Classic Christianity – The Book of John P52 (06-05-23)
Take Off The Grave Clothes!
~ Many people today are walking around with their old grave clothes hanging on to them. They live as though they are still under the law, pretending, being hypocrites that they are somehow obeying the law of God. They have one foot in the law and the other foot in grace, trying to straddle both sides of the fence, holding on to the old grave clothes.
~ The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face. Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.” John 11:44
~ “The purpose of the law was a mirror to show me my face is dirty. But you cannot wash your face in a mirror. You use the mirror to identify your condition. And then you turn to Christ Jesus for the cleansing, do you not? You don’t go to a wash rag to see if your face is dirty. You go to a mirror, you go to the wash rag to cleanse your face. And so the law was given as a reflection, the law was given to show you that you’re a sinner. That’s the purpose of the law. And in the Scripture, it says, this is the purpose of the law. It showed me my face was dirty, so that I would turn to Christ Jesus for my cleansing, and turn to him for my resurrected life. When you’ve turned to Christ Jesus, you leave the law behind the law has now done its work, it showed me my condition. Now I’m going to turn to His provision. And I’m not going to be camping on what showed me my face was dirty for the rest of my life. I’m going to be camping on the one who cleansed me once I saw that my face was dirty. The law keeps you preoccupied over here, where Grace keeps you preoccupied with him and what he’s doing. The law keeps you preoccupied with you and what you’re not doing. And Grace keeps you preoccupied with him, and what he is doing. Do we understand that? Take these grave clothes off of you. Some of you came out of a terrifically legalistic background, God’s still peeling off the grave clothes. But there comes a time when you got to get rid of them. You cut them off, and get rid of them so that you can walk free, not free with no leading. That would be horrible, wouldn’t it? But free now to be led by who? The Holy Spirit of God living in you. And as we get into the next chapters in the book of John, you’re going to see why he could tell him to take off his grave clothes, and tell you and me to take them off. Because he explains in detail what it means to be led and guided by the Holy Spirit of God. The law condemns, but the Spirit gives what? Life. And so as living people, people who have now been made alive spiritually, we need to be led by the living holy Spirit of God living in us. He’s the one that’s going to lead you into all truth, to guide you into all truth to take the things of the Lord Jesus Christ and make it known to you. And we’ll study that in detail over the next few weeks, Take off the grave clothes, and let him go.” ~ Bob George
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Welcome to Classic Christianity Radio with Bob George Bob’s clear, timeless teachings on the complete forgiveness and unconditional love of Jesus Christ will transform your life as you learn about God’s amazing grace. Let’s join Bob as he teaches us from God’s Word.
Bob George 0:27
We’re not so concerned. If somebody else’s husband runs out on his wife, we’re just concerned if it’s mine. And that’s the way we are we focus on my baby, I’m gonna rock my baby. But God looks beyond the immediate, he looks beyond just your needs. He looks at the needs of the entire world. And he looks at those needs. And he says, I can cause all things to work together for good to those who love the Lord and are called according to His purpose. I’m not going to make bad good, but I will cause it to work together for your good and that’s why we can give thanks and all things isn’t it? Because we do have that promise from Christ Jesus. Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?
Jesus once more was deeply moved as he came to the tomb. It was a cave. It was very similar to the tomb that Jesus was buried in. It was a cave with a stone laid across the entrance. And Jesus said, Take away the stone. But Lord said Martha, the sister of the dead man, by this time, there’s a bad odor, for he’s been there four days. In other words, the corpse stinketh. And Jesus said, Did I not tell you that if you believed you would see the glory of God?
Now, guys, let’s look at this for a minute. Did I not tell you that if you believe you would see the glory of God. Now Is the glory of God dependent upon their believing? Or is it dependent upon Jesus? He’s saying, Did I not tell you that if you will, trust me, and put your faith in me that you’re going to see the glory of God, your faith in me, isn’t going to cause me to raise Lazarus from the dead. Your faith in me is going to say I’m trusting you to do whatever you’ve said you’re going to do. And if you’ve said that you’re going to raise Lazarus, then you’re going to raise Lazarus. So they took away the stone. Why? Because they believed what Jesus said. And then Jesus looked up, and he prayed. He said, Father, I thank you that you have heard me. Now he’s going to explain here that the reason he’s praying is not that he has any doubt that for the Father is going to hear him but so that we who are listening would understand something. And so he said, Father, I thank You that You’ve heard me, I know that you always hear me. But I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, so that they may believe that you sent me.
When he had said this, Jesus cried out in a loud voice, Lazarus, come out. Now, why did he say Lazarus? Because had he not said Lazarus had just said come out, you had a had a mass exodus out of the graves. So he isolated it to Nazareth to Lazarus, come out. And the dead man came out, his hands and feet were wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face. And Jesus said to them, Take off the grave clothes, and let him go. Now, folks, this is a picture of resurrection. You may have been raised from the dead. But you’re still in the grave clothes, of legalism. The grave clothes of legalism. Those are clothes for the dead. The law is clothes for the dead. And what he’s saying is you may be alive, but there’s something else to do if you’re going to be alive. You need to take off the thing that killed you. As Paul said, it’s through the law, that I died to the law. You got to take it off. You’re alive. But you still got these old grave clothes hanging on you. This law hanging on you, condemning you to death. The law is the grave clothes of the dead. And the law can be the grave clothes of those who are also alive. And there are many people walking around who are alive in Christ still clothed, not in the righteousness of Christ Jesus, but still close in the grave clothes of the law. And what he is saying to us until you die to the law, you’re never going to come alive to Christ Jesus. When the Bible is talking about die to yourself daily, what’s it talking about? How you gonna die to yourself when yourself is alive? What do you die to? The law. That’s what you die to you die to the law, because the law is what demands the self to behave. So if you’re going to die to self and keep the law alive, you’re never going to die to self. Because the law is always demanding the flesh to do something or telling what not to do something. And so we have to learn that this law is not our friend as a saved person.
The purpose of the law was a mirror to show me my face is dirty. But you cannot wash your face in a mirror. You use the mirror to identify your condition. And then you turn to Christ Jesus for the cleansing, do you not? You don’t go to a wash rag to see if your face is dirty. You go to a mirror, you go to the wash rag to cleanse your face. And so the law was given as a reflection, the law was given to show you that you’re a sinner. That’s the purpose of the law. And in the Scripture, it says, this is the purpose of the law. It showed me my face was dirty, so that I would turn to Christ Jesus for my cleansing, and turn to him for my resurrected life. When you’ve turned to Christ Jesus, you leave the law behind the law has now done its work, it showed me my condition. Now I’m going to turn to His provision. And I’m not going to be camping on what showed me my face was dirty for the rest of my life. I’m going to be camping on the one who cleansed me once I saw that my face was dirty. The law keeps you preoccupied over here, where Grace keeps you preoccupied with him and what he’s doing. The law keeps you preoccupied with you and what you’re not doing. And Grace keeps you preoccupied with him, and what he is doing. Do we understand that? Take these grave clothes off of you. Some of you came out of a terrifically legalistic background, God’s still peeling off the grave clothes. But there comes a time when you got to get rid of them. You cut them off, and get rid of them so that you can walk free, not free with no leading. That would be horrible, wouldn’t it? But free now to be led by who? The Holy Spirit of God living in you. And as we get into the next chapters in the book of John, you’re going to see why he could tell him to take off his grave clothes, and tell you and me to take them off. Because he explains in detail what it means to be led and guided by the Holy Spirit of God. The law condemns, but the Spirit gives what? Life. And so as living people, people who have now been made alive spiritually, we need to be led by the living holy Spirit of God living in us. He’s the one that’s going to lead you into all truth, to guide you into all truth to take the things of the Lord Jesus Christ and make it known to you. And we’ll study that in detail over the next few weeks, Take off the grave clothes, and let him go.
Now, therefore, many of the Judeans who had come to visit Mary, and had seen what Jesus did put their faith in Him. They finally saw if a man can do this, that would get your attention wouldn’t? Would have a tendency to get your attention. Had you seen a person dead for four days, walk out of a grave and then say take the grave clothes off and all of a sudden you see, that would get your attention, they put their faith in Him. On the other hand, there were those who went to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done. Now can you hear that? Do you know what this guy did? Do you know what this guy did? What kind of a magic trick or some kind he pulled, he said he raised Lazarus from the dead. Now would that get the Pharisees attention? And it did, it really got their attention so one people say I’m going to put my faith in Jesus and other groups I’m gonna go tell the leaders see what they think about this.
Have you ever heard that? How many times if you’ve ever come to understand some truth that God really reveals to you so I’m gonna run them a pastor see what he thinks about this? Gonna run the Calvin see what he thinks about this? Wonder what oh Luther thought about this? Wonder what Billy Graham thinks about this? We’re gonna go to anybody to find out what they think about it. Because if they think something about it, maybe that’s what we are to think. Why? Because we don’t trust the Spirit of God living in us. We don’t trust the fact that if the Spirit of Truth lives in you, he’s gonna reveal truth to you. And you don’t need it confirmed. It’s nice to get it confirmed. When I was first understanding the truth of finality of the cross, I’d have gone to anybody to get it confirmed. Couldn’t find anybody. But the issue is you don’t need it confirmed by man if it’s confirmed by the Spirit of God.
Well, immediately course the the leaders that did what you always do when you don’t know what to do you call a meeting and So they call the deacons meeting, the chief priests and the Pharisees called a meeting of the Sanhedrin. Get the whole group together here. And here’s what they here’s what they said, This man, we just heard a report from these people. And we have no reason to doubt them. That this Jesus of Nazareth that we’ve seen turned water into wine, seen him heal a blind man on the Sabbath. And we know he’s a Sabbath breaker. What are we accomplishing? It doesn’t say this, but this is what they’re saying. What are we accomplishing? By allowing this man to live? What are we accomplishing? We’re trying to negotiate. You can’t negotiate with this man. He does not negotiate. He just tells what he says is true. And what he says is true, is the opposite of what I think is true. What are we accomplishing? We’re the leaders. We’re the big dogs. We’re the ones on television. What are we accomplishing? Here’s this man performing many miraculous signs. Now, you would think that what your attitude would be, this man might be who he’s claiming to be. It’s not what are we accomplishing? What does he seem to be accomplishing? Could this be the Messiah that we’re teaching everybody about? Could this be? Never thought, never thought. This man is performing these miraculous signs. They’re not denying he raised Lazarus from the dead. They’re not denying any of these miracles. They’re just saying he’s performing these miracles. And look at this. If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him. And then the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation. What killed Jesus? Job security, period.
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Bob George 14:10
If we let this man continue on, no one’s gonna come to me for advice. No one’s gonna come to me for my biblical interpretation. They’re all gonna go to him. I can’t raise anybody from the dead. I can’t turn water into wine. I can’t do these things that this guy is doing. Who does he think he is doing that in front of us? Well, if you just understand the mind of these people, it’s really tragedy. That here they’re looking straight in the face of God, doing miracles only God can do and all they can think of is if we let him continue the Romans are going to come and take away our place. Going to lose my job. It was my nation.
Then one of them named Caiaphas, who was a high priest that year, he spoke up and he said, You know nothing at all. Well, that’s true. Finally spoke some truth. You guys don’t know anything. Look at this prophecy, do you not realize that it is better for you, that one man die for the people, then that the whole nation perish? Do you not realize that it’s better for you, that one man die for the world than for the whole world or a nation to perish as a prophecy. He did not say this were told on his own. But as high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus would die for the Hebrew nation, prophesied that, and not only for that nation, but also, not only is it going to die for the Hebrew people, but also for the scattered children of God. That’s the Gentiles, to bring them together and make them into what? One new man, that, my friends is the mystery. That is predestination, that is choosing. That is all of these things that in the heart of God that He predestined, that the Gentiles would come to Christ the same way that the Hebrew would come to Christ. And the whole book of Ephesians is around this statement, how he’s going to make the two men into one, make the Hebrew and the Gentile into a brand new man, called a child of the living God.
I talked last Tuesday to a man who came with his little deal on the back of his head, and that’s okay. But he made a statement that was strange to me that if had to give up being a Jew, give up being a child of God, he’d give up being a child of God. That was strange to me. And I said to him, what’s the big deal about being a Jew? What’s the big deal about being a Gentile? Wouldn’t you rather be a child of God? I mean, people come out and say, I’m a Messianic Jew. Well, praise God. I’m a messianic Gentile. Now, let’s get on with who we are. What’s the big deal about all of this? Let me say, I’m gonna have to give up my tradition. You gave up your tradition years ago. If you hadn’t give up your tradition, it’d be killing bulls and goats. You wouldn’t be eating pork, and shrimp. You gave up your tradition long ago. Is there anything wrong with being a Jew who has come to Christ and celebrating as an example? Passover? No, that’s a celebration of God delivering the Israelites out of Egypt. Nothing wrong with that. If I was a Jew, I’d probably celebrate that too. If I understood that the final Passover was Christ. Nothing wrong with that you’re not asking the person to give up their Jewish heritage any more than you’re asking me to give up my Gentile heritage. I got a great heritage hedonistic. Idol worshipping, we got a great heritage, don’t wait to Gentiles, that will give any that don’t need to. God didn’t call us to hang on to our physical heritage. He called us to let go and to become a new creature in Christ. If any man be in Christ, he’s what? A new creation. Until you’re a new creation. You’re an old creation. What’s the old creation, I’m a Jew, what’s full creation. I’m a Gentile. Now I got a new creation. I’m not a child of God. He made the two into the one. That’s why I said I do not believe that God ever intended to have messianic groups, where only the Jews sit over worship on Saturday or whatever day they want to that make a difference. And then the Gentiles get together, any more than he wants to divide up the body by gifts. One group sit around, just blow their nose all day long. Another group just sit there in your mouth wagging all day. Now the group sits in with something else that he didn’t want that. He didn’t want people dividing themselves up by their gifts or dividing up by their natural heritage. He said, I want you to become one new man, I want you to find unity in the midst of your diversity. Here are a big deal about having unity among everybody that is identically like you is but when you got diversity, and you have unity, you know God’s bringing that about. So we have people divided up like that. I don’t believe that was of God. I think they their choice if they want to do something. But I believe what’s of God is to have Hebrew and Gentile and slave and free and every color and every creed together in one group unified around Jesus, not around I whether I’m a Hebrew or Gentile, or whether I’m black or white or brown, but my unity is around. I’m in Christ. We’re brothers and sisters in Christ. That’s a unity that no One can break down. That’s also unity my friends, that if the Jewish people just like in World War Two ever got in trouble the one group they could count on to help born again people. So you had the Corrie Ten Boom’s. So I had to name these villages where they hid the Jewish people, not a soul ever turned one in, when they’ve had Nazis wrapped trying to kill them. So Unity.
And so he said that the high priests, a prophesied Jesus would die for a nation and not only for that nation, but the scattered children of God bringing them all together, and making them one, one person, one new man out of the two. So from that day on, they plotted to do what? Take his life, the Judean leaders, not the people, the leaders, plotted to take his life, it was a plan. They planned how to take his life. Because he taught different than what their interpretation of the Bible was. And so they plotted and planned in detail to put him to death. Why? What are we accomplishing? What are we accomplishing, allowing this guy to continue? Before long if we let him go, the whole world’s gonna follow him, we’re gonna lose our nation, and we’re gonna lose our position. What are we accomplishing? Let’s get rid of it. So they plotted to take his life, and therefore Jesus no longer moved about publicly among the Judeans. Instead, he with he withdrew to a region near the desert, to a village called Efrem, where he stayed with his disciples.
Now, when it was almost time for the Jewish Passover, many went up from the country to Jerusalem for the ceremonial cleansing. Those were baths like baptism. Those were ceremonial cleansing. You had those baptismal pools all over Israel, where people got into the baths and did ceremonial cleansing. What is that? The cleansing of the outside of the body. couldn’t ever clean the inside? No, just the outside. So they went through those ceremonial cleansing before the Passover. They kept looking for Jesus as they stood in the temple area, and they ask one another, what do you think? Isn’t he coming to the feast at all? But the chief priests and Pharisees had given orders that if anyone found out where Jesus was, he should report it so that they might arrest him. Arrest him and what? Kill him.
Six days before the Passover, Jesus arrived at Bethany where Lazarus lived, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. And here a dinner was given in Jesus honor. Martha served as usual. While Lazarus was among those reclining at the table with him. And then Mary, remember, you had Mary and Martha, Martha was always the worker and Mary was one always sitting at the feet of Jesus. Mary took about a pint of pure nard, of expensive perfume. And she poured it on Jesus’s feet and wiped His feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. But one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, who was later to betray him objected, why wasn’t this perfume sold and the money given to the poor guy that sound? Just like people, why you wasted all his money on this man named Jesus, that money could have been used to feed the poor. Now, in as much as God knows what’s going on underneath the skin, were able to give an account of what was really going on. He said this was worth a year’s wages. Now he said he did not say this because he cared about the poor. But because he was a thief, as keeper of the money bag, he used it to help himself to what was put into it. There’s a lot of people who talk about the poor their billionaires talking about the poor poor well once you get to read, save your money and help them? But just it’s always let them help the poor. I am for you all y’all helping the poor. Don’t ask me to give up any my money. I’m paying taxes to do it. You see how easy that is? I’m not going to take responsibility that if I see someone in need to help them, I’m gonna pay taxes and let y’all do it. Because I don’t want to dirty my hands down there with the poor. Have you ever noticed how the rich support the rich and the poor support the poor? If you get down to reality, it’s the rich that support the self sufficient. It’s the poor that support the struggling. All you have to do is look at some of the big churches you see around, who supports it? The rich and the bigger the church, the more the rich support it so that we could walk in and say, This is my church. I guarantee you don’t have any rich support in this place. When I first started out in ministry, and I was down that you know, where I was the First Baptist Church in Dallas, and I was surrounded by all the multimillionaires. We’ve hobnob with the Hunts. Hobnobed with the owners of the Cowboys hobnob with all of the people down in Highland Park. Why? Well, because I was evangelism director of the church that they supported. When I left, none of those guys supported. We used to do a lot of support with very few people, today we do a lot of support with a lot of people. You know, who I think supports this ministry. And I’m not against the wealthy at all. I think I’d rather be I think I’d be just as happy in Jesus wealthy as poor. But the issue that Paul said, I’ve been content found to be contented in whatever circumstance I’m in, you’re not there because you’re poor rich, you’re there because you’re in Christ. So when you’re in Christ, you’re the richest person alive.
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 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 in 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.”
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