Radio Broadcast Monday 02/11/2019

      Monday February 11 2019

Classic Christianity Radio – The Mystery of God Part 1 (2-11-19)

Bob George TeachingBob George provides insights on the subject of the mystery of God from God’s word. When many people think of the word mystery, they think of a mystery novel or maybe a detective show on television. In a detective mystery, a detective solves a murder from various clues gathered from interviewing suspects or witnesses and investigations surrounding a crime scene. When one thinks of a mystery in the scriptures, look back in the time period of the Jews and the Gentiles in the Old Testament before the cross. What information was known then? What could be known through the prophets and that which was written down through the Jewish scribes? Even though Moses wrote about Christ, many did not fully understand. How could they? There were clues alright but their meaning was hidden. Not until Jesus Christ came and explained what He came to do and then finished the work He said He came to do was this mystery understood. But not until the Holy Spirit came to dwell in men, where truth was made known in the hearts of men, was this mystery made known. Paul, appointed by God to be an apostle to the Gentile, explains what this mystery is, a mystery that was once hidden for ages, but has now been revealed to the Lord’s people. He wrote this to the Colossians, saying the mystery is the new body, the Lord’s people, the Ecclesia, the church, that is composed of both the Jew and Gentile. But the mystery is much more than this!

Colossians 1:24-27
24 Now I rejoice in what I am suffering for you, and I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ’s afflictions, for the sake of his body, which is the church. 25 I have become its servant by the commission God gave me to present to you the word of God in its fullness— 26 the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the Lord’s people. 27 To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.

Paul further explains what the real mystery is. That Christ dwells within men, a new spiritual birth, as a blessing from God. God gave mercy and grace to both the Jew and the Gentile. Bob shares further from the book of Ephesians. He explains that this plan was in the heart of God before the foundation of the world, to call both the Jew and the Gentile, to be made holy and blameless in His sight, by faith in His now completed work. By faith in His completed work in Christ, God planned before the foundation of the world to make one new body in Christ, out of both the Jew and the Gentile.

Bob explains what predestination and God’s choosing really means. As Bob provides the background of Ephesus with the context of Paul’s writing to the Ephesians, as well as by asking logical questions of scripture, Bob explains that predestination and choosing is not about “you’s” and “me’s” but about the body of the Jews and the body of the Gentiles, to be made into one new body. That is, both the Jew and the Gentile, are both recipients of God’s mercy and grace the same way, by faith in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. As you read through Ephesians, take particular notice of the words: “adopted”, “predestined”, “chosen”, “blessing”, “holy and blameless”, and “faith”, and “riches of God’s will”. Bob spends time explaining the meaning of these words in the context of Paul’s letter to the Ephesians.

In part one of this three part series, Bob provides background into the city of Ephesus, with its temple worship and idolatry, a city of Gentiles separated from the knowledge of God. In those days, only the Jews had the knowledge of God, as God dwelt with the Jews in a cloud by day and fire by night, the movement of the sanctuary and the ark of the covenant, through the law given to Moses, through the divine interventions such as freedom from bondage in Egypt, and God’s word through the prophets, which were written down through Jewish scribes. The Gentile had no access to such knowledge unless he was willing to be circumcised and identify himself with the God of the Jews.


The city of Ephesus was to Turkey what Athens would have been to Greece. In Greece, there is a Parthenon with a temple dedicated to the goddess of Athena. Across the sea, is Turkey, within is the city of Ephesus. In Ephesus, there is a temple six times the size of the one in Greece. There in Ephesus was a temple containing the goddess of Dianna, the goddess of fertility. Bob jokingly said it was the temple of futility.

Gentiles today are thought of as the church-goers. Jews today are those who go to a synagogue. But in those days, Gentiles were godless, idol worshipers. Gentiles were quite destitute in those days. Israel was the only voice for the true God, that voice from or through the Jews. God set the Jews apart to be a representative of a triune God on this earth. They did not know the details of a triune God. They knew Him by the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. They knew Him as Elohim, and even though Elohim has a plural ending form, the concept of a triune God was not understood. Even in Genesis it is written, “Let us make man in our image”. Who is the “us” when there is only one God? But know one knew the true answer to the question of “us” recorded in Genesis. They knew there was a plurality but did not know how that plurality worked itself out in human experience. Only when Jesus came did we understand God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit, known by the word Trinity today. So clues of the Trinity are there in the Old Testament scriptures but the meaning was hidden. Looking at the scriptures we have today, we have even more information as to the meaning of a triune God.

In scripture, it is written that Jesus raised himself from the dead, that God raised him from the dead, that the Father raised him from the dead, and that the Holy Spirit raised him from the dead.

John 2:19
Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.”

1 Corinthians 6:14
By his power God raised the Lord from the dead, and he will raise us also.

Galatians 1:1
Paul, an apostle — sent not from men nor by a man, but by Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead

Romasn 8:11
And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you.

Surely we don’t believe he was raised four times. When talking about one, talking about all. So Israel was the only voice to proclaim that.

In Corinth, outside where the Bema seat is, there is excavated a Jewish star of David. Gentile world today is nothing like it was in those days. Idol worship, heath practices, temple prostitution, and all sorts of godless living. Ephesus is the largest city in all of Asia. Ephesus is a port city, a hub of commercial activity for surrounding areas. So Paul came to present the gospel of Jesus to these types of heathen people.

Ephesians 1:1-2
1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, To God’s holy people in Ephesus, the faithful in Christ Jesus:
2 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ is how Paul introduces himself. Words like chosen, adopted, chose of God, riches of God’s will are what you will read. The other apostles did not elect Paul as an apostle. He was named an apostle by the will of God. Strange indeed since he was the one who formerly persecuted the people of God. He now taught Jesus is greater than Moses, a stumbling block to the Jews.

John 5:45-47
45 “But do not think I will accuse you before the Father. Your accuser is Moses, on whom your hopes are set.
46 If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote about me.
47 But since you do not believe what he wrote, how are you going to believe what I say?”

So here is an apostle talking about Jesus in a surrounding that no one was anxious to hear. God called him to be an apostle.

Paul addressed his letter to those in Ephesus as the faithful in Christ Jesus. Paul often talked about grace and peace. Shalom (meaning peace) was the normal salutation but Paul said grace and peace. There is no peace apart from grace. Not just peace, but grace and peace.

Ephesians 1:3
3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.

How blessed are we? We are blessed with every spiritual blessing in Christ! The blessing given to Christ has been given to you.

Ephesians 1:4
4 For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight.

He has chosen us in Him before the creation of the world. What were we chosen to be? You were chosen to be holy and blameless in his sight? Are you holy and blameless in your own sight? No. Do you see one another and say,”I see a holy and blameless person?” No. So what is important? What you think about you or what God thinks about you? What we think about each other can go up and down like a yo-yo. But what God says is consistent. Why? Because He made us holy and blameless through the identity of the holy and blameless one. He is called the blameless one. He is called the Holy one. Through our identification with Him, he has made us holy and blameless in his sight. Blameless means there is nothing left he can blame you for. We can do things that are blameable but he does not blame us for that. That is what mercy and grace is about. When you extend mercy to someone, you are saying you are withholding what is due to you.

As an example, if you were driving along, as some of us have done, you might have been gong faster than the speed limit was. And you see blue lights, and a policeman gets out of his car and is about to write you a ticket. And you ask him, “Can you extend mercy to me?” And he says, “Yes, and get back in your car and watch your speeding.” That is mercy but that is not grace.

Grace would say, “Here is a 100 dollar bill and go enjoy yourself when you get to your destination. Now that is grace. Grace is giving something you don’t deserve. Mercy is withholding something that you do deserve. Mercy is saying, “yes, you are guilty but I am not going to exercise that judgment”. But grace says, “I am going to give you my life, and I will come live in you.” That is the mercy and grace of God.

Mercy and grace working hand and glove in regards to salvation. When God went to the cross, what did He do.

2 Corinthians 5:21
21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

He extended grace only after withholding punishment from them first.

Hebrews 10:14
For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.

Can you make yourself holy? No. But many try and many try to improve on what Jesus did.

None of us can make ourselves acceptable through the obedience to the law or our good works or our good deeds.

Romans 3:20
Therefore no one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by the works of the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of our sin.

Isaiah 64:6
All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away.

If we care, we are going to walk by faith, and our faith is not in what you and I are doing. My faith is not tied to what I do. My faith is not “If I do something then God will do something”. Or as some people have said, “God helps those who help themselves”. Others have said, “If I tithe, God will bless”. That is what most people call faith today. They think, “If I am obedient then God will really bless you”. So this faith is how most people think. But biblical faith is just the opposite. You have already been blessed, and with every spiritual blessing. Faith is not, “If you do this then God will bless you” when you have already been blessed, and blessed with everything you will ever need.

2 Peter 1:3
His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through the knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence.

Faith thinks and believes this, “God has done something and I am going to walk by faith in that”. If we do not understand that, then Christianity is reduced into what you are doing or not doing rather than on what He has done and what He has accomplished. What He accomplished was in the mind and plan of God before the creation of the earth and was put in existence in his timing when Jesus came to this earth in order to save both Jew and Gentile and to make one new man out of the two. So there is no such thing as, ” if you do this God will bless you”. I would hate to have that kind of faith. Most people have this kind of faulty thinking as shown by what they say when he gets a raise or when he gets a lot of money. So they say, “Oh, God is blessing me”. No, it could be Satan cursing you. So do not think that just because getting lots of money that God is blessing you. Those who are blessing you are your clients or the people buying your merchandise. But that is not even a blessing because you had to do something to receive the money, a product sold or service rendered. A blessing is when you don’t do something and get something.

Ephesians 1:3
raise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.

If you have Christ Jesus, how much more blessed do you need? Think about that. “I have Jesus but I would like to get blessed.” You will not get any more blessed than what you already got in Jesus. You have got it all already. You are not going to get more holy than what you already are in Christ. You are made holy and blameless in His sight.

Ephesians 1:4
4 For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight.

When did He choose us in Him? Before the creation of the world! That is where it all began, in the mind of God before the world was created!

God is saying, “I will provide a way to look upon you heathens, who have no righteousness of your own, who have fallen beyond the depths of imagination, that you can be holy and blameless”. Now, if do not recognize yourself as a heathen, then that is not good news. You would not receive it as good news because you do not even see your need of His righteousness. You already think of yourself as righteous without Him. Your attitude would be like, “If I was God I would do the same thing. I am just as good as you people are. God loves me. I love me too and I know He love me”. This thinking hinders and prevents you from receiving good news from Christ since you are blind to it. Apart from Jesus you can do nothing, be nothing, and I am nothing, apart from him. Why? God made us that way so that God in the man is what makes the man. Without Christ in us, we are not complete but when Christ is in us, we are complete.

2 Peter 1:3
His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through the knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence.

Now He chose us but He also predestined us.

Ephesians 1:5-6
5 he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will—
6 to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.

What was his predestination? To be adopted as his sons through Christ Jesus.

What is the difference between a natural son and an adopted son? If you were a natural son, can you be called an adopted son? Of course not. Who were the natural sons? The Jews! Who did the gospel go to first? The Jews! Who were given the ordinances of God? the Jews Who were given the laws of God? The Jews! Who were given the knowledge of God, of the coming Messiah? The Jew!

Romans 1:16 [gospel went first to the Jew]
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.

Romans 3:2 [ Jews were given ordinances of God ]
First of all, the Jews have been entrusted with the very words of God.

Through Moses and the prophets, through God’s dealing with the Jews as a nation, the Jews had the law and the knowledge of God. The Gentiles never had the law and were never under the Old Covenant agreement. That agreement was made between God and the Jews, was conditional and temporary, and was only meant to last until the time of Christ.

Did the Gentiles have that information? No, they were worshiping Dianna (also known as Artemis in the Greek), wallowing in heathenism, worshiping temple prostitutes.

Acts 19:35
The city clerk quieted the crowd and said: “Fellow Ephesians, doesn’t all the world know that the city of Ephesus is the guardian of the temple of the great Artemis and of her image, which fell from heaven?

Who were the natural children? The Jews. Who were the adopted? The Gentiles.

Who is he talking to? The Gentiles. Where was he talking to them? In Ephesus, a Gentile city. Were the Jews there too? Yes, the Jews had been there a while with the message of Judaism. So in God’s mind, he predestined the Gentile to be adopted into the family of God the same way the Jews were elected into the family.

Predestination and choosing has nothing to do with “you’s” and “me’s”. It has to do with the body of Jews and the body of Gentiles.

There are only three categories of people: Jew, Gentile, or born again. The Jew, the Gentile and the church, or Ecclesia, are the only three groups of people. The Ecclesia, the church, is made of both Jew and Gentile background, and that are also born again into a new body in Christ.

John 3:16 could also be equivalently translated as “God so loved the Jew and the Gentile that He gave his only Son”.

He not only died for the sins of the Jews but the sins of the Gentiles too. Indeed, he died for the sins of the entire world. The entire population of the entire world was predestined by God that through His Son they would be conformed to the image of His Son.

Romans 8:29
For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.

Ephesians 1:5-7
5 he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will—
6 to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.

When the Gentile and Jews were predestined by God for salvation, that was in accordance with His pleasure and will, for the praise of his glorious grace.
And that was freely given us in the One he loves.

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