Classic Christianity – A Closer Look at Your Identity in Christ P19 (04-25-22)
Darkness and Light, Lost and Saved, Out of The Fellowship and In The Fellowship
In today’s lesson, from the Bible study booklet, A Closer Look at Your Identity in Christ, available for purchase from our online Bob George Ministries ecommerce store Bob teaches on a very important lesson for today. It is a key understanding in the the New Covenant that we live under and having a proper understanding of the keywords, Darkness and Light, Lost and Saved, Out of The Fellowship, and In The Fellowship. We know you will be blessed to hear this message and want to share it with others too. So many hearts have been changed once a person grabs a hold of these truths.
Just as a person’s physical growth is based on proper diet and exercise, so is the Christians’s spiritual growth dependent on regular feeding upon the word of God and application of its principles. With more false teaching, shifting opinions and general confusion in the world than ever before, Christians need a solid foundation upon which to base their beliefs and build their lives. The word of God declares that Jesus Christ is that foundation of truth. With that in mind, let’s now take A Closer Look at Your Identity in Christ.
I used to spend a great deal of time, in fact, in my early years as a Christian, it was totally in teaching home bible studies, why it would take, sometimes many years to get through one of these books. But in the meantime, we were going through an awful lot of material out of the scriptures and you know, the goal of teaching is not to get through material, it’s to get people to the Lord. And so you kind of do what you feel the Lord is leading you at that particular juncture.
We’re going to pick up where we left off last week and I think that is on page 24 of your study series (A Closer Look at Your Identity in Christ). So if you have that, why turn, we’re only probably going to get to one verse in that, but we’re going to go through multitudes of versus dealing with this area called light and darkness. And this whole series is about our identity. And identity is involved not only who I am, but where I am. In other words, if I am not a child of God, then according to the word of God, I’m a child of Satan. That’s a hard thing for us to, to grab ahold of. But did not Jesus say to the Pharisees, your father is that of the devil? So, even though we have to realize that when I am a lost person, in darkness, that I have a father called the devil. Otherwise, there would be no difference in now being in the light, with my Father called my God, whereby the God of this universe is now called our Father, so that we can go boldly into his presence. Calling him Daddy Father, Abba Father. Could you literally do that when you’re lost? You could do it, but it would have no meaning to it. And so there is always something to Identity. If I am an orphan and that is my identity, I’m probably going to live in an orphanage. So it’s not only who I am but who I am determines where I am.
And so we have to come to grips with this issue of light and darkness. And in the scripture, what does light and darkness mean? And I will say up front that there is no exception to this myriad of scriptures that we’re going to go through whereby light and darkness is anything except lost and saved. Now one of the misconceptions that is taught many times, especially in legalism, is when we’re trying to control people with this in and out of fellowship mentality, because you see what we do is we take the stringency of the law and the beauty of grace and water it down with our own verbiage and our own little religious and denominational preferences.
The wages of sin is not out of fellowship. The wages of sin is death. Now, there is a sense in which the wages of sin is out of fellowship when you’re talking about our condition, because fellowship in the Bible is either in the fellowship saved, or out of the fellowship lost. It is not for believers. In and out of fellowship is not an expression that is used biblically as it relates to a believer. It’s out of fellowship, lost. You are now in the fellowship, saved. Two fellas in the same ship, is what fellowship is talking about. But what we have done is we drag those terms over into the Christian realm and instead of, instead of the wages of sin being death, why we call it out of fellowship. And instead of the gift of God being life, why, we call it in fellowship. We use words like unsaved rather than lost. This person is unsaved. Well, what does that mean? Well, I don’t know. It’s kind of, he’s not lost, he’s not really saved, you’re just kind of unsaved. It’s kind of like an unCola. It kind of puts you in a neutral land out there. There’s no stringency to that. There’s nothing even to grab ahold of. I’m not lost. I’m not saved, I’m just kind of unsaved. And so those kinds of words, even though they sound innocent in nature, can be used by Satan to pervert the truth of the Gospel so that we never appreciate the fear that we should have of death as a lost person, and therefore never appreciate the joy that we have in life in being saved. And so it keeps us from that deep understanding of something that produces deep emotional understanding of something that sustains us in our time of need because a watered-down gospel will not sustain you in your time of need. A watered-down verse of scripture may temporarily sustain you, but never permanently.
And so we have to come to grips with the permanency of what the scripture is talking about. And so when it is talking about a person being in darkness, you’re talking about a person being lost. And when you’re talking about a person being in the light, you’re talking about a person being saved when you are in the light, as He is in the light, God is light in Him is what? No darkness at all. So, if we are in the light, meaning if I am in Him, in Christ, as Christ is in the light, there’s a result to that, being saved. That means you’re saved. If I’m in the light, I’m saved. Who am I saved by? The One who is not only in the light, but is the light, called the light of the world. So if I am in the light, saved, there is a byproduct of that, you and the One who is in the light have fellowship with each other. And the blood of Jesus, His Son continually keeps on cleansing you of every sin imaginable. In other words, stepping into the light, puts you into a position, whereby you are in fellowship with God forever. Never again based upon what you do or what you don’t do. You weren’t out of fellowship with God, lost, because of what you did and what you didn’t do. You are out of fellowship, lost because you’re dead as a hammer. And you’re in fellowship, saved because you’ve received life, you’ve come to Him for what He came to give you and that’s life. So you weren’t lost because of what you did, and you’re not saved because of what you’ve done. You’re lost because you are in Adam, dead. And you’re saved because you’re now in Christ, alive. And those are factual things. Now, we have to come to grips with those because it’s through that funnel or that filter that we have to interpret all scripture.
Because if I’m thinking, well, here I am in the light. But every time I sin I get back in darkness. Now how many times folks, have you been taught that kind of thing? To me it was hundreds, you’re over in darkness and you have to get in light. No, that is not true unless you’ve lost your salvation. And if you lost your salvation, meaning the life of God departed from you, the issue is, how are you going to get it back? So, we’re like Dracula, where we’re alive today, and dead tomorrow. And then there, then you’ve got the we’ll teach Assurance of Salvation said well, no. No, you haven’t lost your salvation, you are just in darkness. Well, if you’re in darkness, you’ve lost your salvation. So we have to come to grips with these things. A child of God can never be in darkness again. Never if you are in the light, as He, Christ Jesus is in the light, the result is you have fellowship with one another and the blood of Jesus, His Son, continually cleanses you of every sin imaginable. Immediately. How could you ever get in darkness? I mean if you even sin you couldn’t get in darkness because you’d be cleansed before you got there.
We’re going to pick up in our lesson with a passage dealing with this light and darkness. And then we’re going to spend the rest of the hour together or the remaining time together in amplifying that. Beginning in Ephesians 5:8, and all of this folks, is a part of your identity. For once you were once darkness. It doesn’t even say you were in darkness. You were just called darkness. You’re not only in it but you are dark. And if you’ll notice when you’re in dark, you are dark. But now you are light in the Lord. So live as children of light. Now, folks, this is the motivation that you’re talking about for Christ’s life. It doesn’t say go out and live as children of light so that you can get in the light. It says, if you are now in Christ, and you now are light in the Lord, live as children of light. In other words, don’t live any longer as children of darkness. You used to be a child of darkness, don’t live that way anymore. How come? Well, that’s not who I am anymore. You once were a worm. Now, you’re a butterfly. Don’t live any longer as a worm, because you’re going to be living inconsistent now to your new identity. You don’t need to crawl anymore. When you’re down there crawling, instead of flying, you are not living as a butterfly, you’re living as a worm. So you see the whole motivation of Christian living or Christ living is who you are. Because once you understand who you are, then the issue is go be who you are. And there’s the motivation there. You see all religion tries to get your behavior changed so that you will be. Christ came and said receive who you are and then live according to who I’ve made you. Now, that’s what we have talked about before that sometimes shocks the shoes right off of people when they come down to the reality that when we have been freed from the law, transferred out of darkness into light. That we have been freed from the punishment of the law. In other words, the wages of sin is death.
So we’ve been freed from the curse of the law. But we have also been freed from another curse that man doesn’t look at as a curse. They look at it as a goal to be obtained rather than a curse that ends up defaming you. Absolutely prohibiting you from blessing. Man looks at it as if you are obedient, that you will be blessed. And that’s what all religion do. Weren’t you brought up that way? Sure. If you’re a good little boy, you get some candy. If you do this, I will reward you. If you do this, I will. If I, and that’s the way we live our lives, always thinking, if I do, I will be blessed. Now in the old covenant, that was also true. God, the people came down and, you know, we’re the ones that are the dummies that we are. We’re the ones who demanded the law. We want the law, we want the laws of God. He says, okay, I’ll give it to you. And see how you do with it. And when He gave it to us, why, what was man’s response? So we’ll obey those, those are easy, just and you have ten more for me, you know, and before they ever got the plates off of the mountain, they were having orgies down there and building a golden calf. So that shows our capability of keeping just those ten.
Now under that law and under that old covenant was if you obey I will bless. To Solomon, if you obey I will bless. Now. I want to ask you a question, folks. If you really believe that is for today as a child of God, is that a blessing or is that a curse? Because according to God, you’re going to have to ask yourself the question. How much do I have to obey Lord, in order to be blessed? And then if I’m on this kind of a performance orientation, which also ties into how much faith you have, that’s also a part of this work deal. If all of that ties in together, then what we have is a heavenly work orientation. In other words, God will only bless if my faith is big enough or He will only bless if I do, and I’m perfectly obedient.
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So when we don’t get blessed as an example, with an illness, death, hardship, trials, tribulation, well, what would be the only thing that you could come up with? Well, I must not be obedient. Just must not be obedient, because otherwise He would be being blessed, but he’s got trials in his life. Therefore, he must not be obedient. And in your own heart, you say, I must not be obedient. You see folks, if obedience is what brings about blessings from God, then how much obedience do you need to get blessed? Well, I’ll tell you what, Jesus said, who is the greatest teacher of the law that this world has ever known, because He not only told what it said, but He went behind what it meant. And He said that, if you have violated the least of these, my commandments, you have violated all of them. You say, you mean today Lord? No, I mean, in your whole life. He said, unless our righteousness exceeds that of the Pharisees we’ll never enter the kingdom of God. He says, it’s harder for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than it is for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. And folks, He wasn’t talking about a gate over there in Israel. We’re taught he’s talking about that of an eye of a needle, and because I’ll tell you, the reason for that is what you’re saying is, if that Camel, that sometimes people say there’s a gate over there called the eye of the needle. And a camel can’t get through it unless they take the baggage off. But if they kneel down, they can. So in other words, they get down. They get to it by self effort. And so He’s talking about a needle. Now, you try to get a camel into the eye of a needle and if you want to start with the tail and start with a hair on the tail, if you’d like to do that, you’re not going to do that. It’s an impossibility.
And so He’s talking about the very fact that no man will ever be declared righteous in the sight of God, through obedience to the law. And now, what it says through the law. What’s it talking about through obedience to the law? No, man will ever be declared righteous. How come? Because there is none righteous. What does that mean? There is none obedient. There’s not one. All of our deeds, all of our obedience is as filthy rags to God. That’s what deeds are. Being obedient to God. And so under the old covenant we were working to get blessed. That’s a curse. And that’s why He says under the law you are under a curse because under the law, it has to not only be that if you’re disobedient, you’re going to get the wages of that, which is death punishment. But if you’re obedient, you’re going to get blessed. Well, in both cases. It says a man under the law is under a curse. He’s under a curse with both of those. I’m not going to get blessed because I can’t be obedient. There’s none righteous. No, not one. So where’s blessings going to come from?
Now under the New Covenant, when you have Christ Jesus living in you, how blessed are you? Where you’re just as blessed as you’re going to get. It says, as a matter of fact, that in Christ Jesus, we have received everything that we need for life and godliness. That’s pretty good blessings that we have been made a child of the living God. It’s a pretty good blessing. That we are a joint heir with Jesus Christ. That means that all the inheritance goes to us. That’s a pretty good blessing. Now. I want to ask you a question, folks. How many have you earned that or got that due to your obedience, except one act of obedience obeying, the gospel? And what is obeying the gospel? Try and earn it? No, obeying the gospel is Bob you can’t. It’s a gift to receive it. And, when I enter into that gift, that has been given freely to me, and receive that, accept it, believe it, trust in it; I have obeyed the gospel. And I am blessed out of my socks from that point on.
Now the blessing therefore did not come from obedience to anything, except Jesus. He was the One that obeyed. Sin came through the disobedience of one man, Adam, and salvation came through The obedience of One Man, Jesus Christ; just One Man was obedient. That was Jesus, who is the representative of all humanity, just as Adam was a representative of all humanity. And so all in Adam are dead. And all in Christ are alive. So we have to understand folks that we have been freed from the blessing of obedience, the same as we’ve been freed from the curse of disobedience. We are blessed in the Beloved. You and I are accepted in the Beloved. We are blessed in the Beloved. We have already received the blessed One, Christ Jesus. We’ve already been made righteous in the sight of God. You can’t get any more blessed than that. You’ve already been made holy in the sight of God. You can’t get any more blessed than that. You’ve already been set apart in the sight of God. You can’t get any better than that. Nor can you set yourself apart more, make yourself more holy, make yourself more righteous, make yourself more justified, make yourself more glorified or make yourself more reconciled. All of those things God did for you and all we can do is accept them by faith. Now that’s blessing upon blessing upon blessing. So God says, I’ve already blessed you, now go do.
Under the old covenant is go do, and you’ll be blessed. The only problem with that, nobody could do. And we dumb Gentiles sit around thinking, oh, well, even though the Israelites had the law for all those years and everything else, why they couldn’t do it, but we can, and you’re saying no, you don’t understand, Gentile or Israelite neither one of you can do it. So don’t start looking down on the Israelites thinking that they blew it. The Gentiles can’t do it either. We just think we do it because we make up our own little denominational laws and our own little denominational things that we think are righteous, and then we gauge ourselves by those things rather than on what God says. So we are as much under the law in our thinking, as the Israelites ever thought of being. Now, in both cases, God came at a point in time in history, and that was at His death, when He ushered in a brand new covenant. And that was a covenant, that said, not because of you not any longer, because it is not going to the day of atonement, not any longer Gentile, of going to your confession booth or down to your altar calls. I have forgiven you once and for all and where those sins have been forgiven there’s no longer any sacrifice for sins. Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness. I’m not going to come and die again, there is no more shedding of blood. And so, if you’re not going to accept what I did for you, then don’t accept anything because there isn’t any more sacrifice for sins. If you’re not going to believe Me, you’ve had it.
I want us to see something under the old covenant. It would be like saying to your son, you go out and learn to drive. And when you really know how to drive really good I’ll get you a car. Under the New Covenant God says, Bob here’s a car for you, you receive it and then I’ll teach you how to drive, because when you learn how to drive after you receive the car, you’re going to be very familiar with what I’ve given you. You go out and learn to drive, you might learn to drive in some other car. And then when I give you the one I got, you’re not going to know how to function in it. So I want you to receive my gift and after you receive my gift I’m going to teach you how to drive. That’s Grace. You’re not blessed, in other words, by getting a car as a result of learning to drive. That’s law. It says, I’ll bless you by giving you the car and then I will teach you to drive, that’s Grace. Now. So, in other words, folks, you need to get out of your mind, that mindset that I am having problems in my life because there must be some unconfessed sin in my life or there must be some disobedience in my life, or God is jerking me around down here for some reason because of what I’m doing. That is not true. That’s a lie out of the pit. That would have been true under the old covenant, because God dealt with them on that basis just to show man you cannot do it. There’s none righteous. You think you are. You’re trying to be. But there is none righteous, except My Son. And so, the old covenant, and the law brings us to the end of ourselves. And as a scripture says quietens every mouth, shuts the mouth of every human being in regard to self praise. And brings us to the point of saying, Lord Jesus I can’t, but You can. So we are not blessed because of what we do. We are blessed because of what He did and so it is with a moment you’ve received what He did and is continually doing in your heart today, you, your actions are as a result of a knowledge that you’ve already been blessed. Therefore go do likewise.
As an example, in forgiveness, under the law and Jesus taught under the law until He died. Lord, what we call, the Lord’s Prayer. If you do not, forgive your brother here on earth, your Father in heaven will not forgive you. Was that true before the cross? Absolutely. It’s part of the law. If you do this, God will bless you with forgiveness. If you do this, God will do this. At the cross, could that be true, that your Father in heaven will not forgive you? Well, if it is just cut down the cross, folks, because he lied, when he said, father, forgive them. They don’t know what they’re doing. The the whole new testament is nothing, but a huge lie that deals with the finality of the Cross where he said, I’ve taken away their sins forever. So you can’t take away their sins and still hold them accountable to their sins. That’s double-talk and a lie out of the pit of Hell. So before the cross under the law, if you forgive your brother, reward, your father will forgive you. After the cross, I have already forgiven you, blessed. Now, go forgive one another. There’s your difference in the to forgive one another. How? As Christ Jesus forgave you. I’ve already blessed you Bob, now go bless somebody else by forgiving them. You see that? See the difference in the two. Now, that’s all dealing with once being in darkness, lost, now in light, saved, and as a child of God living in the light as He is in the light, live as children of light.
Now in verse 17, chapter 4 of Ephesians we’re just going to set the stage to amplify these passages. It says, so I tell you this and insist on it in the Lord that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do in the futility of their thinking. What was wrong with the way the Gentiles live? Futile thinking, and we can have all kinds of futile thinking. Most of the time, everything we do is an exercise in futility. So we have futile thinking now, why did he say futile thinking? Why didn’t he say futile acting? Well, because their actions are a result of what they’re thinking. And that’s why we are in a process of having our minds continually being renewed by truth that will set us free from what this stupid futile thinking that we have when we’re thinking fleshly, instead of the things that God has given to us. It says, not only do they have futile thinking, they are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God. That’s lost folks. Because of the ignorance that is in them. How come? Due to the hardening of their hearts. There again, God says why do people do what they do. Why do people want to go out and slander somebody? Why do people want to go out and try and accuse people? Why do people want to go out and attack people? Why do people want to do that? It says very simply, they’ve got a hard heart. It’s due to the hardening of their hearts. Their thinking has become futile.
Thank you so much for tuning in to Classic Christianity, with Bob George. We hope you’ve enjoyed today’s program. We truly hope that today’s message has inspired you to walk a life of faith in the Lord, find more information online at shop.BobGeorge.net. There you’ll also find available CDs, DVDs, and bible studies available for purchase. It’s through your help that we are able to spread the good word of Jesus Christ. Until next time, walk in faith, be good to one another and praise the Lord. Amen.
Stand on the firmness of truth. Don’t keep going back and forth. Thank Him that the forgiveness issue is settled.
Let’s pray together:
- Lord Jesus,
- I thank you for taking away my sins on the cross,
- never ever to see them again.
- Having done that, I now thank you for giving me eternal life,
- through your resurrection.
- I now receive that life.
- And I am going stand in the fact that I am a child of the living God.
- In Jesus Holy name I pray.
All believers are now brothers and sisters in Christ.
3 Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.”