Radio Broadcast Monday 05/11/2020

Classic Christianity – A Closer Look at Faith, Hope & Love P10 (05-11-20)


So this faith is our communication with the living God who lives in us. You can trust someone you have come to know and who loves you perfectly. This is how we are designed to live, in dependence upon God. Jesus modeled that dependent attitude, when He being God came to this earth in the appearance as a man, and chose to live as a man so that we, who are not God, may know how to live. So He tells us, “as the Father sent me, so I send you. ” So is He telling us to do what Jesus did, to raise the dead? No, that is something only God does and can do. But He is saying to us to have that same attitude that is in Christ Jesus, the attitude that says “I live in total dependency on the Father. I do nothing on My own initiative, but I do what the Father has told me to do and I say what He has told me to say.”

When we were lost, we were into all kinds of dependencies, but misplaced dependencies, drugs, alcohol, and all kinds of things. It is natural for man to be dependent, but without God in our lives, the dependency is misplaced, and is in ways that leads to anxiety and heartache and despair and grief and pain. So dependency is common to the human experience. But God wants us to know Him. We were created to know Him, to have the Spirit of the living God living in us, so we may experience joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness and self control. That is why He breathed into Adam the breath of life. So God sent Jesus into this world to restore that broken relationship with God because of sin. He wants to put the Holy Spirit back into man. That is the reason for the cross, to take away the sins of the entire world, so that sin, which separates us from God, is out of the way, so that y His resurrected life, He can offer His very life to us as a gift to be received by faith.

Many people think that man is basically good, but that is simply not true. We might occasionally do some good things, but at the core we are naturally sinful. We are not born selfless. Even before a child knows how to talk, he is already lying. We are born in the nature of sinful Adam, rebellious in nature toward God saying, “I can decide for myself what is good and what is evil”. That is not a dependent attitude. That is an independent attitude. But real living is when you have this trusting relationship with the living God who created you, and knows how you were designed to function and has the very best in mind for you. Come to Jesus to receive new life. Enter into a relationship with God through Jesus so you can be a child of the living God. Learn to rejoice in your weaknesses so that the power of God might rest on you. God longs to be gracious to you. He did not come to condemn but to save. He came so you might have life and have it abundantly.


Faith is something you listen to. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of Christ.

Romans 10:17
17 Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.

That is basically what that passage says. As you and I hear, not some gibberish, but you hear truth from God, in regard to His word, and therefore, now my response is, “Am I going to put faith in that or am I going to deny that?” But sadly, someone might say, “I do not want any one of those things. I just want to feel good. Just get me excited, and let me jump and down and feel good, and then I can go home and say ‘I had a good day in the Lord and I was worshiping Jesus’”. You see thousands of people doing that type of thing, and it breaks your heart when you see it because the person is getting nothing. Until you come to grips with truth and know what truth of the word of God says, and allow the Spirit to teach you what it means, you have nothing except an emotional experience to brag about or talk about. Folks, faith is not a feeling. Faith has substance.

In Hebrews 8:11, we read about Abraham’s faith.

Hebrews 11:8
8 By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going.

Abraham heard God say “go”. He did not get him all jacked up with emotion. The only emotion he had was “why?”. “You are telling me to go into a land I do not know anything about. I do not know why you are telling me to go but I am going to go.” Now that is faith. In faith, you do not initiate something to God. Abraham did not work up faith to get God to say “go”. God said “go” and Abraham by faith said “okay”

Hebrews 11:8-9
8 By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. 9 By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise.

Turn also to the passage in Luke concerning the angel’s visit to Mary in regards to the birth of Christ Jesus. Here you see another example of faith.

Luke 1:26-38
26 In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27 to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”

29 Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30 But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”

34 “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”

35 The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. 36 Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. 37 For no word from God will ever fail.”

38 “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.

The angel said to Mary and said “you are going to be chosen above all people to bear the Son of God, unmarried, and probably going to be called all kinds of names all of your life”. Mary said, “Let it be so”. Mary is saying “I would like to have God in my womb”. She did not cause God to do that. You do not cause God to do anything. God said, “this is what I am going to do, Mary”. Mary said, “Let it be so.”

That is what faith is. Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen. Mary had not seen a baby yet. Abraham did not see where he was going and did not even know where he was going. But I have faith that if you said it, there is a place for me to go. It is sober. It is not exciting. It is not spectacular. It is just faith. God says “do it” and you do it. There was nothing excited about God saying to Jesus, “Go to a cross and die for the sins of the world.” Nothing to jump up and down and get all excited about. That song, “get excited and tell everybody that Jesus is Lord”. I have something better. Tell everybody Jesus is Lord and then you will be excited. We have got everything in reverse. Now, we are talking, therefore, about the fact that faith says “Okay”. God says, “do something”. Faith says “okay”.

Now, what is a couple of opposites of faith? First of all, fear is one of the opposites of faith. You cannot fear and have anxiety and have faith at the same time. That is why Jesus spoke about not to worry.

Matthew 6:34
34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

When I am worrying about tomorrow, how can I put faith in that? Tomorrow is not here yet. Tomorrow is fantasy. When I am sitting here worried about what is going to happen tomorrow, then I cannot put faith in that because tomorrow is not here. That is a fantasy. But I can sit there thinking about all the bad things that will happen tomorrow. Now, my feelings do not know they are not happening because my feelings are merely responding to what I am thinking. So I am sitting there as an emotional wreck as a preoccupation of thinking about what is going to happen tomorrow when tomorrow is not even here yet. So I cannot put faith in anything.

So, you say “Lord, I have got faith in that you will take care of that thing that is going to happen tomorrow”. God says, “How can you have faith in Me about what is going to happen tomorrow when you do not even know what is going to happen tomorrow?” God says, “You do not even know what is going to happen tomorrow. You may not even be here tomorrow.” You can only put your faith in what is going on right now. You put faith in what is going on right now, not tomorrow and not yesterday, but right now. In as much as there is enough trouble each day. We have a lot to put faith in. We do not have to worry about exercising faith in what is going to happen tomorrow.

You also do not put faith in the past. You come to realize what Paul says in Philippians 3:13.

Philippians 3:13-14
13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

Paul is saying that I am not going to be thinking about tomorrow because tomorrow is God’s country and I am not going to beat myself up over the past because the past is over. There is nothing I can do about my past. Some people ask, “What about my sins?” If you just sinned, that is a past sin. “I know God forgives my past sin, but what about my future sins?” If you just sinned two seconds ago that is a past sin. Even to people who constantly believe you have to keep short accounts with God, you do not have time. Once you have sinned, it is a past sin, and you already said Jesus died for all your past sins.

Two things we are continually dealing with in the Christian life is what has happened in the past and what we think is going to happen in the future. In both cases, a preoccupation on our thought patterns, in either one of those directions, will keep us an emotional wreck. As we talked about, we are designed by God, whereby our emotions predictably respond to whatever we are thinking. If I am beating myself up over what I have done in the past, which is a second ago, then my emotions do not know whether that is present or whether it has already happened or whether I think it happened or it actually happened. Your emotions are just predictably responding to that. Then I can think about all the bad things that are going to happen in the future. Again, my emotions do not know whether it is going on or I just think it is going on. For your emotions cannot distinguish between past, present or future or fact or fantasy. They just respond predictably to what you are thinking.

That is why Jesus told us to live a day at a time. That is the only way you can walk by faith. You cannot walk by faith in God’s provision for yesterday. That has already occurred. I cannot walk by faith in God’s provision for tomorrow. That has not occurred. The only time I can walk by faith, which is only thing that pleases God, faith, is right now. That is why He says to live right now because that is the only way to exercise faith that pleases Me. So if you want to please God, you do not sit around thinking about what you ought to be doing. You do it. When you are thinking about what you ought to be doing that is ought to be doing when? A little bit from now. That is anxiety. That is not pleasing to God even though you are doing it very self righteously, saying “I know God is pleased because I have got such a desire”. God is saying, “No, if you want to do something, go and do that. If you think that this is what I am leading you to do, then go do that right now. Do not worry about tomorrow. Respond right now by faith.” That is why He says to live one day at a time.

To tell someone to live a day at a time physically would be a ridiculous statement to make. How else am I going to live physically one day at a time? But He is talking about mentally. Do not allow your mind to get up there in the future. Do not allow the mind to sink back into the past. Think about today and today only and walk by faith in Me today. You cannot walk in yesterday. It is over. You cannot walk by faith tomorrow. It is not here. You can only walk by faith right now. That is why people set out to improve themselves. Turn to 2 Corinthians 12:9.

2 Corinthians 12:9
9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

Here, again, let us think this through for a moment. Does anyone of you know someone who does not have human weakness? We all have weaknesses? We all have sinful behavior. We all have patterns. There are sin patterns that are already built in us. They are like grooves in a record. They will be there for the rest of your life. What we would like to do is to somehow get rid of that record, to get rid of those grooves, and to get rid of those temptations. We want to get rid of this yucky flesh. “If I could just get that improved, then one of these days, I will improve myself enough I will not need the Lord at all. I will be so wonderful that I would be kissing myself all over the place for I would be so proud of me.” That is where self righteousness gets to you. That is what people call progressive sanctification. You are just getting better every day. You are just getting more sanctified every day. All of that kind of thought. “You used to do this but I do not do this.”

I remember, as a brand new Christian, where I used to say that when I would go speaking. I heard it some place. You always say something you heard. You are not thinking whether it is true or not. You are just repeating what you hear. “I am not sinning as much as I used to. And by the grace of God, in a few years, I will not be sinning as much today.” That sounds so good. It is a stupid statement. But the issue is that what you have to realize is this is weakness of the flesh we all have. What did Paul say? Improve it? No. You cannot improve the flesh. He said, “rejoice in it”. “Huh.” In other words, boast about your weakness. It is the only thing that will keep you dependent on Christ. Why? So the power of Christ may rest on me. Christ’s power will not rest on someone who does not need Christ’s power.

2 Corinthians 12:9
9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

To say, “I have gotten so good I do not need Jesus” and fail to realize that I am not good. How many of you have heard someone say, “Basically, I am a good person”. No, basically I am a rotten person. I may have done some good things along the way, but no one is a good person. No one is.

Mark 10:18
18 “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good – except God alone.”

Jesus said, “no one is good but God alone. So if you want to call Me good call Me God because only God is good.” But man comes along, and says, “Oh basically you are just a good person”. You can be out robbing people, taking drugs, beating up people, and yet say, “basically I am a good person”. No, we are not. We have a sin nature.

Jeremiah 17:9
9 The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?

Basically, it says our hearts are deceitful above all things. That would not go over well in a positive thinking clinic, but that is the truth from God’s standpoint. When we see good things coming out of us, we can know something. That is either some learned good behavior. You do not have to teach a person how to smack when they eat. You do not have to teach someone to lie. They learned how to lie before they could talk. Some things that appear like good behavior are learned behavior. You learn good behavior. You are not born with it. You learn it. You can look good on the outside, on those type of things. When you have things like love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, long suffering going out of you, then there is one thing you know. There is only one way it comes out of you. God has put it in you. That is why the grace of God is so important to us. Until we can rest in the unconditional love and grace of God, we do not have anything to give to anybody. Religion has come along with our judgmental fingers pointing at everybody, point out mistakes, criticizing people, mutilating people because the more sinful that you are. Big deal. All of us fall short of the glory of God. If not for the grace of God, where would we be, and there would be no such thing as salvation for the soul.

Romans 3:23
23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God

No one will ever go to hell because of sins. God came to this earth to take away the sins of the entire world. Hitler’s sins were taken away. We have to understand that, it is believing a lie to say that if you do not change your behavior you will go to hell. No, the truth is that your sins have been taken away. It is your sin of your unbelief in Jesus, who took them away, is what will keep you lost and dead and to ultimately live in hell. But no sins that will do that. The sins of the entire world have been taken away.

John 16:9(TLB)
The world’s sin is unbelief in me.

Man’s standing in his unrighteousness, saying 𔄟I do not need you, Jesus”, “I will get rid of my own sins”, or “I do not have any problem”, or whatever the excuse there is. All of us are in the same predicament and have no room for self righteousness. Yet, Christians often are the most judgmental and self righteous people. Jesus says, “that is not my way. I do not come to condemn the world but to save the world”.

If you are in Christ, then what are you condemning the world for then. Jesus said, “I did not come to do that”. How can I be in Jesus condemning when He said “I do not come to condemn”. This whole attitude of faith is faith in a Jesus who came to this earth, looking down and seeing us in our pitiful condition of lostness and providing forgiveness at the cross and life through His resurrection. That is what we put our faith in.

So when we are looking at faith, it is an attitude of dependency. Again, we look at this and ask if dependency is an uncommon word for us today? No. No. There is nothing unusual about that. We talk about drug and alcohol dependency. People will talk about having codependency, do we not? We hear all kinds of the word “dependency” thrown around. Why is that? Because God created man to be dependent, not independent. There is no such thing as an independent man. When you go into business for yourself, you think, “I have got to get into business for myself so I can be independent. I want to be independent”. When I got my business, the government owns you. Everyone owns you when you have your own business. No man was ever created to be independent. You are created to be dependent. In as much as you were created by God to be dependent upon God, to be a dependent person, not an independent person. The only independent one is Him. We are codependent. If I do not depend on the one I was created to be dependent upon, I am forced to go and find something else to be dependent upon. When you see people co dependent or drug dependent or alcohol dependent, all that is is a person who is fulfilling there true humanity and need for dependency but they got it shifted onto the wrong object. They are not doing anything unnatural. They are created to be dependent. The problem is they must exercise that dependency somewhere. When they refuse to put on Jesus, then forced to put on everything except Jesus. That misplaced dependency is what plummets people into conditions of depression and anxiety, drug and alcohol dependency and all these other dependencies we are subject to.

When you get into the area of dependency, did we have an example of dependency you can show me? Yes, from none other than Jesus Christ Himself. We have to understand something, that when Jesus came to this earth, that was God in the flesh.

John 1:1-3
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.

John 1:14
14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

Now, Jesus was God, never anything less than God, always was, always is and always will be God. Yet when He came to this earth, He entered into our humanity with us. He entered into His own creation and walked on this earth as a man, in the appearance as a man, for some 33 years.

Philippians 2:7-8
7 rather, he made himself nothing
by taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
8 And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
by becoming obedient to death –
even death on a cross!

Now, the issue is, how did He walk? What was His purpose here? Was His purpose here to teach me how to live as God? That is difficult to do inasmuch as we are not God and He is. Or did He come to teach us how to behave as a man, as God intended man to be, a man indwelt by his creator, recognizing his creator as the only independent one, the initiator of all things, and me as a created being, as a responder to all things. That is how God intended man to be, not a pitiful thing we have become, but as God intended man to be. Jesus showed us how to live as a man.

John 8:28
28 So Jesus said, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am he and that I do nothing on my own but speak just what the Father has taught me.

So Jesus said, “I live in dependency upon my Father. I do not have to do that, I am God. I can be the dynamic of my own action, the cause of my own effect, and the result of my own action”. That is what God does. God speaks things into existence that are not and creates them as if they were. God does that. Man does not do that.

Hebrews 11:3
3 By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.

But if He behaved that way, He would not teach man anything. Jesus is here to show man how to live as God intended man to be, as He created him to be. “I am not going to show you how to live by all the things I am doing. There are things God will tell me to do that He will not tell you to do, such as raise the dead. But I am going to teach you to live in dependency upon my Father. I do nothing on my own. I speak only what the Father has taught me and what the Father has told me to speak.” That is dependency. “I am not going to be the dynamic of my own action. I am not going to be the initiator of anything. I will be the responder to the Father. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” Should that not tell us something? Should that not tell us the attitude that God wants us to have, an attitude of dependency. He told us that attitude should be like that of Christ Jesus.

Philippians 2:5-7
5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:

6 Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
7 rather, he made himself nothing
by taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.

What does that mean? Dependent. If we are to do nothing unless the Father tells us to do it, as He said He did nothing unless the Father told Him to do it, then what are we doing initiating things in the energy of our own flesh? Would God tell me to do something that was contrary to what He already revealed in the word of God? I do not think so. Let me give an example of that. Jesus said because the Father told Him to say this, “I, Jesus, will build this church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it.

Matthew 16:18
18 And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock [chief cornerstone, Jesus] I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.

We come along and say, “I am going to build my church. I will engage in humanistic attitudes and learn some growth principles. I will learn how to recruit and do things, and build my church”. It sounds good and noble, but in many cases, unless God told you to do that, it is wood, hay and stubble. I can have that flesh goal to go out and do something, and probably accomplish some of that, but that does not mean God told me to do that. “Bob, I will build my church. Bob, you just lift me up and I will do the rest.”

John 12:32
32 And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.”

I remember a few years ago when we started Metro Bible Fellowship, that I used to have executive ministries, due to the background I came out of. People have college ministries, high school ministries. “Bob, did I have a campus ministry? A high school ministry?” No. “Executive ministry?” “No, I did not have that either.” What did Jesus have? “I proclaimed truth about myself and God drew people unto me.” Now, go do likewise. I am through with all of this trying to reach. Do you have a minorities ministry? Yes, Christians are always the minority. I do not go out and try to reach blacks, Hispanics, the rich, or the poor. You lift Jesus up and He draws people unto Himself. We have a greater mix of ethnic backgrounds in our little assembly than those with an assembly of 10,000 people and there is no effort to do that. God honors when you go out and proclaim Him and He says, “I will draw people I want to draw. You just proclaim Me and let Me do My work.”, I have seen that in existence. It is not one of those things that I tried to do. It is one of those things where I understood the truth of dependency. “If you lift Me up, I will draw men unto Myself.”

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