Classic Christianity – Book of John Part 19 (05-13-19)
Bob George is teaching from the gospel of John. Currently we are reading the account in John 4 of the Samaritan woman’s testimony, “He told me everything I ever did”. Bob explains what discipleship really is, teaching others about Jesus, the person you came to know. Bob said it this way, “I am not discipling a person to be like me but discipling a person to think like Jesus.” As you share your testimony, you are getting someone’s attention about what God did for you and that God can do something for him too. Bob also exhorts the believer to share the truth of the gospel message. It is vitally important to also share the words of God, the gospel that gave you new spiritual life. The “Born Free” booklet is useful for that purpose. From there, you then disciple a believer, by continuing to share from out of that relationship you have with the living God, the truth that has been revealed to you by the Spirit of God. You are encouraging them to study to know God intimately. You are pointing them to Christ not yourself as you also are learning to let God live in you and through you.
Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
The truth shall set men free. Bob shares from his experience of how he once taught error, like so many who teach from their denominational persuasion, not knowing they are in error, until they study God’s word for themselves and realize the totality of the cross. Bob exhorts believers that the only way you know someone is telling you the truth, is to be born again first of all, and then to have this attitude, “Lord, if you do not teach me the meaning of the word of God I will not know what it means.” The Holy Spirit reveals truth to men, and is our teacher. The Holy Spirit will guide the believer into all truth. As you read the gospel of John you will learn about the love of God. As you read the epistles of Paul, he explains the meaning of God’s word. Since you, as a new creation in Christ Jesus, have the mind of Christ, you can discern the things of God. Grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus through the study of his word, asking the Holy Spirit to reveal truth to you.
1 Corinthians 2:14
The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit.
But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.
If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.
As you read the gospel of John you will read about Jesus healing people. But the real healing is spiritual healing. What good is it for a person to be healed today but eternally gone tomorrow and dead forever. As you encounter people, a profound question to ask is this, “Do you want to get well?” Bob explains in the account in John 5 of a man who was an invalid for 38 years. Jesus asked him, “Do you want to get well?” What do you say to an alcoholic or someone who says they cannot break an addiction? The issue is, “Are you willing to sacrifice the peace of God that surpasses understanding for a temporary peace that will go away the minute it is over?”
I am getting a glimpse of what is going on in the world in which we live. Unfortunately, we are around Christians all day long, if you work for the ministry. It is good to get out in the market place and find out what is going on. It is tough to sit and listen to some of the conversations that take place with people who claim to be religious. They pool around and share their ignorance. They are getting their mindset from what they hear. Where are they getting this mindset? They are getting his mindset from the pulpit, from what is being preached. They are echoing what they hear. When you see what is out there, and I finally had to say something. Why? People are living in error and I love them enough to tell them the truth that God has revealed to me. When you see what is taught out there, co-mingling law and grace, you see people burdened and walking in darkness. When a person is having one foot under the law and one foot under the grace of God, then they are unstable in all their ways. How can they receive anything from the Lord?
7 That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. 8 Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.
How can you disciple someone unless you teach them truth? Discipleship is teaching them about Jesus, not of me. Discipleship is getting someone taught of Jesus. How can you disciple someone unless they know Jesus? How are they going to disciple with Jesus unless they know what Jesus said. How are they going to know what Jesus meant unless they read the epistles of Paul where he explained what he meant? Being discipled of Jesus is not getting involved in a technique but getting involved in the person of Christ Jesus. It is getting to know this Christ we proclaim we know. To get our mind saturated on the truth that sets us free. We are all hung up on techniques. I have been through all this stuff, 30 years into it, and not one of it works. What works is getting a person to know Jesus and to know Him intimately. Then you share this Jesus you know. This is true discipleship. I am not discipling a person to be like me but discipling a person to think like Jesus.
You have heard it said, “Let your walk match your talk”. Do you know anyone whose walk matches their talk 24 hours a day? That is just self righteous sounding stuff. Let me pull out in front of you on the freeway and let’s see if your walk matches your talk. The Christian life is not “look at me and see how wonderful I am”. It is “look at Jesus and see how wonderful he is”. We cannot live the Christian life. Jesus is alive living in us. That is our hope of glory.
And this is the secret: Christ in your hearts is your only hope of glory.
We get all this attention drawn to ourselves. We are preoccupied with the body and lost contact with the head. A you look around, you see all kinds of church buildings with signs up advertising their church. In my local area, a church sign reads, “The Caring Place”. We are all concerned with what the body is doing while losing contact with the head. The bigger we get as a body the more we brag on ourselves. We have lost contact with that vital relationship with the living Jesus that sets us free with truth.
1 Peter 3:15
15 But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect
Let us be willing to give an account for the hope that is within us. If you are a believer, hearing what is being taught through Bob George ministries, and if that is true, then the only way you know it is true is by studying for yourself on your own. To know truth, you have to have this attitude of wanting God to reveal truth to you. You ask God, “If you do not reveal the meaning of this word to me, I will not know what it means”. As you approach the word of God with that mindset, you will know what the word of God means. You do not need Bob or anyone else to tell you for the Holy Spirit will teach all things.
No longer will they teach their neighbor, or say to one another, ‘Know the Lord,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest.
26 But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.
1 John 2:27
As for you, the anointing which you received from Him abides in you, and you have no need for anyone to teach you; but as His anointing teaches you about all things, and is true and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you abide in Him.
God will use a teacher and a teacher will teach what he believes it means. But if what I have learned is from a denominational persuasion then all I am passing on to you is my denominational persuasion. Then I could be teaching you error. Bob recalled the day he went to a Baptist church he was once teaching at, and said, “I have good new and I have bad news. Do you want the bad news first, or the good news?” “The bad news first”, they replied. “The bad news is that I was teaching you wrong. The good news is I am going to teach you what I know is true”. At one time, he was teaching error, spiritual breathing, keeping short accounts with God, and other stuff, and came to understand that all that was not true. He did not come to understand that because someone told him but through the study of the word of God. The evidence in the scriptures is so great on the subject of the finality of the cross, that 1 John 1:9, for example, could not be what I once thought it meant, in light of the totality of the word of God. The good news Bob started teaching led to the true discipleship, and those men were made disciples of Jesus. We have to come to the understanding of what truth is. What is condensed in the “Born Free” book is the truth of the gospel, the full gospel, as revealed in the scriptures. If your heart is convinced it is true, then let us go share it.
39 Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me everything I ever did.”
Many Samaritans believed in Jesus because of the woman’s testimony. Here is a man, a prophet, who told me everything I ever did.
40 So when the Samaritans came to him, they urged him to stay with them, and he stayed two days. 41 And because of his words many more became believers.
Because of the words of Jesus, many more became believers. Our testimony will get someone’s attention, ad that is good. In a testimony, a person shares what his life was like before he came to Christ, how he came to Christ, and how he is today. That is good. But if you do not tell a person what Jesus taught then you did not tell them what they really need to hear to become a believer. Because of Jesus words, they became believers. The same is true of us today.
42 They said to the woman, “We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Savior of the world.”
I no longer believe just because of your testimony. Now we have heard for ourselves. We know this man is the Savior of the world. We know that now. I do not have to believe just because you said something about it. You can tell someone you were a former alcoholic or drug addict or whatever, or you can say that you were in Sunday school all your life and then came to Jesus. All these things just get people’s attention. All you have told them is what he has done for you. But why are you telling them what he has done for you? You would not tell unless what he has done for you can do something for them. When someone responds, “This man really is the Savior of the world”, that can occur only when sharing the gospel, when the word of God goes out. If you blend in the word of God in your testimony, then they are receiving both. Do not short circuit the hearing of the dynamic of the gospel.
Handing out a Born Free gospel allows them to hear the words of Jesus, and they are then in a position to respond to what Jesus said in regard to salvation.
43 After the two days he left for Galilee. 44 (Now Jesus himself had pointed out that a prophet has no honor in his own country.)
How many of you have found that when you came to Christ you suddenly found you were not honored among your own family? Bob recalls the time when he went back home telling his mother and father that he became a Christian. It was like pouring hot coals on them. His parents would respond, “What do you mean you are not a Christian? We have had you in church since you were a kid. What do you mean you are getting baptized? You were baptized as a child. Are you saying we did not raise you right?”
You have to be extra sensitive to assure them you are very grateful for their upbringing, having you in church, giving you exposure to these things. You respond, “Thank God you took me there but even though I heard these things, I did not know Jesus and now I know him.”
45 When he arrived in Galilee, the Galileans welcomed him. They had seen all that he had done in Jerusalem at the Passover Festival, for they also had been there.
They had seen the miraculous works of Christ Jesus.
46 Once more he visited Cana in Galilee, where he had turned the water into wine. And there was a certain royal official whose son lay sick at Capernaum. 47 When this man heard that Jesus had arrived in Galilee from Judea, he went to him and begged him to come and heal his son, who was close to death.
Notice the interesting response of Jesus. Obviously, the father who begged Jesus to heal his son had no thought of anything except what is necessary to heal his son. Not that his heart was cold to this father in regard to his son. But there is something much more serious, a desperate need in the heart of man, and that is new spiritual life.
48 “Unless you people see signs and wonders,” Jesus told him, “you will never believe.”
The same thing is going on today. People want the miracles of Jesus but in their hearts they are really saying, “Unless you show me signs and wonders, I will not believe”. You show him a sign and a wonder and they still ask for another and still will not believe. Jesus said, “I will show you a sign. Destroy this body and in three days I will rise again. If you do not believe in me for the resurrection then you will not believe in me regardless of whatever else I do.”
18 The Jews then responded to him, “What sign can you show us to prove your authority to do all this?”
19 Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.”
20 They replied, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and you are going to raise it in three days?”
21 But the temple he had spoken of was his body.
22 After he was raised from the dead, his disciples recalled what he had said. Then they believed the scripture and the words that Jesus had spoken.
31 “He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’”
You wonder if there are any well Christians with all this focus on healing services. You can heal somebody today and they will still die tomorrow.
You see people packed in a church building to see somebody heal somebody. A doctor might give you medicine today but you might die tomorrow. Jesus is essentially saying, “Do not come to me for signs and wonders, but come to me by faith in what I accomplished for you at the cross where I came to give you life. ”
Jesus is saying something to the man that you have a son who is sick and I understand that and my heart relates to that. Jesus, in essence, is saying this. “But looking around, this is not why you are coming to me. You came to get your son healed but if you do not get saved as a result of this, I might as well not have healed him. Until you have spiritual healing in me [Christ Jesus] you have not been healed.” When you have Jesus in your heart then it makes no difference what kind of physical ailments there is because you have a peace beyond understanding.
49 The royal official said, “Sir, come down before my child dies.”
50 “Go,” Jesus replied, “your son will live.” The man took Jesus at his word and departed.
What did this guy exercise? He believed him. This guy is desperate, begging “Come and heal him”. Jesus said to him, “Go, your son will live”. That man took Jesus at his word. How easy to take someone at their word when he is trustworthy. He can be trusted. He says what he means and he means what he says.
51 While he was still on the way, his servants met him with the news that his boy was living.
This man told me to go and I would like to know what time he was healed.
52 When he inquired as to the time when his son got better, they said to him, “Yesterday, at one in the afternoon, the fever left him.”
53 Then the father realized that this was the exact time at which Jesus had said to him, “Your son will live.” So he and his whole household believed.
I took him at his word and believed but I think I will check him out. Then, all the household believed.
54 This was the second sign Jesus performed after coming from Judea to Galilee.
Some time later, Jesus went up to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish festivals. 2 Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool, which in Aramaic is called Bethesda and which is surrounded by five covered colonnades. 3 Here a great number of disabled people used to lie—the blind, the lame, the paralyzed.  5 One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. 6 When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?”
There was this man who was an invalid for 38 years. Then when Jesus saw him, he asked this peculiar question. Do you want to get well?
Let us think about that for a minute. A guy has been in that condition for 38 years. Does that sound like a dumb question? Do you know there are people who do not want to get well. They get a lot of attention with their disability. They can beg and get their needs met. A lot of advantages in being in that condition.
The first question Bob asks in counseling people is, “Do you want to get well?
Someone comes for marital problems. “Do you want to get well?” Do you want sympathy. If you want to get well, Jesus can get you well. If you do not want to get well, nobody can get you well. It is a profound question. People say they have a habit they cannot break. Nonsense. They do not want to break a habit. Bob has had people who said no to that question. So why don’t you ask God to help you want to?
21 Jesus asked the boy’s father, “How long has he been like this?” “From childhood,” he answered. 22 “It has often thrown him into fire or water to kill him. But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.” 23 “‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes.” 24 Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”
Are you sincere in that prayer? Yes. I have seen people break their habit in a week. I have had people break their unwillingness. It is not a fact when someone says “I can’t”. He is really saying, “I won’t”. We do not want to. Do you want to get well is a vital question to ask somebody. Do you really want to get well? Sometimes the answer is that the addiction makes me feel good temporarily. Do you want to substitute the peace of God that surpasses understanding for a temporary peace with drugs or alcohol. If cigarettes satisfied, you would only need one. Bob has been there and identifies with that. The issue is, “Are you willing to sacrifice the peace of God that surpasses understanding for a temporary peace that will go away the minute it is over?”
6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.