Radio Broadcast Monday 06/15/2020

Classic Christianity – A Closer Look at Faith, Hope & Love P25 (06-15-20)

Synopsis

Now let us look at this wonderful hope we have. If you ever had to sell your car or house, you want to do so to get a good deal, to exchange something of value, such as a car, that someone else deems valuable. You want the money you receive in exchange for selling your car as more valuable to you than the car. That is a good deal. Now, in Christ, we have an incredibly good deal! We exchanged a few brief years on this earth, allowing Christ to live his life in and through us, and in exchange we will one day be present with the Lord with a new glorious body that never gets old and never dies, and is no longer in the presence of sin, nor will ever experience sorrow, sickness or pain again, and we will forever be with the Lord for eternity. That is a great deal! That is the marvelous hope we have in Christ Jesus. We know this hope is going to happen because the Lord told us in His word that it will happen. That is our blessed hope. We are not hoping it will happen. We stand in hope that it will happen as the Lord said it would.

Now, we do not know all the details, like what our new body will be like, but we know it will be like his and we know that because we shall see him as he is. How God accomplishes that is a mystery to us, and we do not really need or even care to know. We just know that God has promised us a new glorious body like his. So when we know this hope we have in Christ, the things of this earth grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace. So we look forward to what is promised, this blessed hope that we have, and the things of this earth are just light and momentary. And what God is working in us is so far superior, that we walk in faith in this hope, that what we see is temporary but what is eternal is forever. So we fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith.

So these ingredients of faith, hope and love, work together, but the greatest of these is love. God is love, and we know what love is because God first loved us. Oh, we cannot even fathom the love God has for us, and what He has planned for us for eternity. So this love and faith are fueled by this hope God has made known to us. Oh, how much easier it is to walk in faith, knowing how temporary this life is in light of eternity. So we can endure a few brief years on this earth, walking in faith in what God has already provided, and knowing this hope we have, that we shall be in his presence for eternity. This life seems but light and momentary, no matter how hard or difficult it may become as the world draws near to the end, and as we know that sin will get worse and worse, but we have this hope, and in hope of his promise to us, that we will shine like stars in a darkened world of sin, as we keep our eyes focused on Him, walking in faith.

2 Corinthians 4:16-18
16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

Transcript

This has been a wonderful study because you are dealing with the ingredients of the Christian life. They are the only ingredients God is interested in. He told us that. In the end of all time, three things remain: faith, hope and love and the greatest of these is love.

1 Corinthians 13:13
13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

A Christian lives his life by faith here. We live our life with the hope of what is to come. In the meantime, we have the privilege through Christ Jesus of walking in love here on this earth. Those are the ingredients He is looking for. That does not necessarily tie into the activity that man is looking for. But what God is looking for in us is people who walk by faith. And we are told that without faith, it is impossible to please God.

Hebrews 11:6
And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.

There are so many people trying to impress God by what they are doing but are not walking by faith in the fact He is doing something through them. The only thing keeping that from happening is not letting Him do it.

1 Corinthians 1:8-9
8 He will also keep you firm to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 God is faithful, who has called you into fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord

If He has called you, you do not have anything to do with that. Then He said, “I will do it”. Then He says that you did not have anything to do with that, so get out of the way, and let me get into action on your behalf. That is what it means to walk by faith. It is only that kind of faith that pleases God. Do not ever get the idea that God is pleased with what someone says, “I have enough faith to cause you to do something”. If you think that is pleasing to God, then you have a surprise coming to you. That is not faith but presumption. The faith God is looking for is, “I believe in you God in what you did for me, in the sending of your Son and the total provision that was made for me in Him. I am going to walk in faith in that. I am going to trust you in that.

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[b] 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.

When an angel came to Mary to announce to her the birth of Christ, she pondered these things in her heart. She did not deny this was going to occur. She did not know how that was going to occur in that she was a virgin, but she did not deny it was going to occur. Her faith did not cause her to get pregnant. Her faith did not cause God’s plan to go into action. God just merely announced what He was going to do. Mary responded. That is what faith is, a response to what God says he was going to do. She pondered these things in her heart and she gave birth to the Lord Jesus Christ. Her faith did not cause anything to happen. It just entered into what was going to happen as promised by God. That is the only kind of faith God is interested in.

Jesus is not interested in people walking around talking about how big our faith is. As a matter of fact, if anyone has faith as small as a mustard seed, he can move a mountain. I have not seen anyone move a mountain.

Matthew 17:20
20 He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”

That is an indicator of how big any of our faith is. Yet there are people walking around bragging about how big my faith is. What that means is, “I got God to do a bunch of things on my behalf”. You might have gotten somebody to do something on your behalf but I can guarantee you it was not God. The slickest thing Satan can ever do is make you think God is doing something and you are bossing Him around when the matter of fact is Satan is putting those things in your mind and carrying out some of your requests to get your attention off of God and on to you. And when you get your attention off of God, then Satan has control over you. So you have to understand the plot of Satan. He is a power on this earth. His way of getting to us is in subtle ways. The drunk down on skid row is not a big one to Satan. It is the good acting person in the pew that is Satan’s tool. We have to understand that and the subtlety of his work in our life. Whatever our faith is, “look what I did. I had enough faith to get God to do something” then you have now put yourself in a position to be greater than God. “I am a manipulator of God. I can tell God what I want and my faith is so big, He is obligated to do that”. That is not faith. It is presumption and does not come from God.

John 5:19
19 Jesus gave them this answer: “Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.”

Jesus walked on this earth in total dependency upon his Father. He did not have to do this. He can assume his role, that many Christians are assuming today, being the dynamic of his own action, the cause of his own effects, speaking things into existence that are not as if they were. That is what God does, not man. Man stands around thinking he does that. He doesn”t. Only God does that. Jesus could have performed that way. But he refused to because if he had done that he would not have shown us anything. Jesus came to show us how to live as a man. I am not God. I am a man and I will never be God. He is God clothed in humanity. He showed us how to live as a human being. He walked in total dependency on his Father.

John 8:28-30
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. 29 The one who sent me is with me; he has not left me alone, for I always do what pleases him.” 30 Even as he spoke, many believed in him.

Jesus is saying, “I do nothing unless the Father tells me to do it. I say nothing unless the Father tells me to say it and how to say it. Incidentally, as the Father sent me, so send I you ”. So He gave us the example of how to walk by faith on this earth. That is not faith that is causing God to do something. It is faith that enters into what God has already done.

Now, we have covered five chapters in our bible study book on faith. Now we are going to turn to hope. Now, we have learned how we walk in faith here on this earth. Now, we are going to see the reason that we can walk in hope as to what is going to happen to us someday. With that blessed hope when you and I are absent from the body and present with the Lord.

Titus 2:11-14
11 For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. 12 It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, 13 while we wait for the blessed hope – the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.

2 Corinthians 5:8 (KJV)
8 We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.

A lot of times people do not look at that as a blessed experience. But for you and I that is the most blessed day when we see Him face to face and become like him. Inasmuch as He has not been on this earth for over 2000 years, it is hard to see Him face to face as they did back then, and saw Him in His resurrected form. We will get to see Him that way some day. When we are absent from the body, we shall see Him just as He is and become like Him.

1 John 3:2
2 Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.

That is the blessed hope and is the hope of every one of us who are born again believers. This down here is only temporary. This is not the end of life. At the end of this life is the beginning of true life. When we understand that and realize the truth of that, then we realize that everything we have down here we are to hold onto loosely for it will soon pass. I laughingly said so many times, “I have never seen anyone going to a cemetery with a u-haul on the back of a hearse. We do not take it with us. We came into this world with nothing and we go out of this world with nothing. But when we, as a Christian, go out of this world, we go into the presence of Jesus Christ our Lord.

2 Corinthians 4:16-18
16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

Psalm 90:12
12 Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.

As we begin our lesson on the Christian hope, we realize God not only provided life of spiritual abundance while here on this earth, but also total freedom from sin for all eternity when we go into His presence. God asks us to live a short period of time on earth, serving Him in the midst of sin, in exchange for spending eternity with Him totally free from sin“s presence.

Isaiah 60:19-21
19 The sun will no more be your light by day,
nor will the brightness of the moon shine on you,
for the Lord will be your everlasting light,
and your God will be your glory.
20 Your sun will never set again,
and your moon will wane no more;
the Lord will be your everlasting light,
and your days of sorrow will end.
21 Then all your people will be righteous
and they will possess the land forever.
They are the shoot I have planted,
the work of my hands,
for the display of my splendor.

Revelation 21:3-5
3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. 4 ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death ’[a] or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

5 He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”

I came out of the business background. In the business world, you talk about having a deal and getting a deal. I know what a deal is. I have been in the business world. A deal is when I exchange something I deem of value for something you have that I deem of more value. You, the product you have, has value but you deemed that my money is worth more than what you have. That is a deal. I give you what I think has value. You give me what you think has value and we have a deal. I think your car is worth more than my money. You think my money is worth more than your car. We have a deal.

What did we do? God said to us, “Bob, for just a few brief years here on this earth, and the longer you live you realize how brief they are. I want you to be available to me to live My life in and through you. I want you to be available to Me. I want you to be My child. I want you to be the recipient of My love, My grace, My mercy, and My kindness So for just a few brief years, in exchange for that I am going to take you home to be with Me so you will never be around sin again, never see it again, never see death again. Now while here on this earth a brief few years, you will experience conflict of the flesh, which is sin. You will see suffering. You will see things going on in this world you do not understand. But you will be available to Me. That is all I ask. I do not want you to change the world. You cannot change it. You cannot even change yourself. But I am going to ask you to be available to Me to live My life through you. You are going to live down here in the midst of sin and death. But in exchange I will allow you to live for eternity. This is just a few brief years down here. In exchange for that, I am going to allow you to live eternally with Me free from sin, free from death, free from suffering and free from all those things that plague humanity ”. I look at that and say, “That is a deal! I am exchanging, again, these years, in exchange for the eternity that I am going to be able to spend with Him free from all these things that plague our humanity so severely ”.

Now the Christian hope lies, therefore, in the truth that this world and its problems are soon going to pass away. We have to realize that this is temporary down here. In the light of eternity the problems and circumstances we face on a daily basis lose their magnitude when you look at them in light of eternity. The biblical promise for our future home is what gives us hope to face tomorrow. To realize this is temporary and there is something far greater ahead of us in the future, that is this marvelous hope that we have. While here, we walk by faith in His provision for us here on this earth. We live in hope and that is not a hope this is going to happen. It is the glorious hope that we know by faith as to know where we are going to be. We live in hope in the day that occurs. We are hoping for that to occur. It is not that I am hoping something is going to occur but I live in the hope of it occurring. I am looking forward in hope of that occurring.

We are told this in 1 John 3:1-3.

1 John 3:1-3
1 See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.

We walk by faith in that truth. God has called you a child of God.

John 1:12-13
12 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God – 13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.

That is what we are, children of the living God. We talked about that, that one of Satan“s tools is to try to get us not to understand our identity. So what has happened in the Christian world is that we have substituted being a child of God to being a Baptist, a Presbterian, a Methodist, a Catholic, a charismatic or a non-charismatic. I could go on and on, for there are hundreds and hundreds of identities. God did not give us any of those identities. There are just born again people in heaven. Those are the identities man has put on ourselves. The only identity God gave us is that you are a child of God. You think that would be good enough.

I laughingly say that we are kind of like a jar that has marvelous apple sauce in it. But that is not good enough to have that identity. Let us put a label on it so they can recognize me. So let us put “smuckers” on it and with a name like “smuckers” it has got to be good. So let us forget what is in the jar and let us get everybody concentrating on the label. It does not make any difference what is in it, whether it is good or bad, but with a name like “smuckers” it has to be good. That is what we have done, is put on a label on the outside of a jar, of what has been cleansed at the cross, filled with the life of God, sealed with the Holy Spirit, and called the child of the living God and we say, “that is not good enough”. Let us put Presbyterian, Methodist, or Baptist on it. Let our pride be on what the label says and who cares what is going on inside. Unfortunately, many times that is where we as Christians are.

But God says we are a child of the living God. The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know Him. The reason the old cannot understand you is because they could not understand Him either. The reason they do not know you and what you are about is because they do not know Him and what He was about.

1 Corinthians 2:14
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.

They just cannot comprehend what is going on.

1 John 3:2-3
2 Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. 3 All who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure.

Let us look at this for a minute. Here is what the scripture said, “what we will be has not yet been made known”. What does that mean? Well, you get people and we talk about what we are going to be like up in heaven, and the bible says you do not know any of that. You do not know what you will be. I heard someone talk so authoritative about that like he has been up there or something. We do not know what it is going to be like. I have no clue what my glorified body is going to be like. If God is God, it is not going to be like this one. That is one thing I am confident of, what it is not going to look like. We can talk about these things.

John 20:26
A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!”

Can you imagine having a physical body like that and walking through walls? We cannot envision these things. What we will be has not yet been made known. God has not made that known totally to you.

One thing we do know is this: “when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is”. Now that is good news. “Everyone who has this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure”. In other words, when you and I can walk in this hope, one of these days, I will be absent from the body and present with the Lord, and when that occurs, I am going to receive a glorified body. What that is going to look like nobody knows. We are not told. We do not know.

Philippians 3:21
21 who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.

So we are talking about, has anyone seen Jesus in his totally glorified form? The answer to that is not that I know about, not like he is in heaven. We have been given some descriptions in Revelation. If those are descriptions of Jesus it is a far cry from what we think. We do not know what he is like in his glorified body. We do know he has a glorious body. We know that. We are told that. We also know God is Spirit.

John 4:24
24 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”

We do know that even though God is Spirit, Jesus has a glorious body. We are also told in Philippians that he is going to transform these lowly bodies of ours so that they will be like his glorious body. So back to John, where it is talking about, “what we will be has not yet been made known”. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him. We will be like him because we will see him like he is. Is there hope there? I think that is a marvelous hope. This hope purifies us just as he is pure. His work is so final and so pure that when we think about that, that there is a degree we are purified by that thought, there are no doubts about that. There is no doubt about the fact that one of these days, I am going to be out of this body that contains indwelling sin. It is not going to be like that any more. That is a purifying thought to realize that we will be free from sin that holds us to such bondage that if it were not for Christ controlling that, we would be the mess of all messes. So to realize that we are going to be like him and that we are going to have a glorified body, and it is going to be a body like his. That is a marvelous thought and that thought does a certain amount of purification in just that, as he is sure the mystery that is in the scriptures that we do not know and do not have to know. What it says there. What we will be has not yet been made known. It has not been made known to man yet. But we do know that when he appears we shall be like him for we shall see him as he is. What does that mean? I do not know. What I do know is that one of these days, when he appears to me, I am going to be like him. The reason I am going to be like him is because I see him as he is. How is he going to do that? I do not know and I don ’ t even care. What I am concerned about and care about is that I am going to be like him. How he is going to pull that off is fine with me. I do not need to know how he is going to do that. But I do have hope in the fact that it is going to occur. I have hope in the fact that I will be like him. He will transform our lowly bodies so it will be like his glorious body.

Folks, I am going to vary a little bit from the lesson plan here. Let us turn to 1 Corinthians 15. This is the most natural question that we could ask, that is, “How are the dead raised?” “What kind of body will they become?” This is what we are dealing with there. When you are raised from the dead, what kind of body am I going to have? That is a natural question. He says I am going to get a new body. What kind is it going to be? In Corinthians is the answer to this. This ties into a little bit into 1 Thessalonians where people are talking about the Lord is coming back. Everyone who is there listening to what is being said, are thinking, “That is great. The Lord is coming back. He might come back today. If he does, we are going to meet him in the air”. What is the most logical question then? What about people who have already died? What is going to happen to them? You tell me I am going to meet him in the air. That is good news. But what about loved ones who have died? These questions are being answered because they are being asked.

1 Corinthians 15:35-36
35 But someone will ask, “How are the dead raised? With what kind of body will they come?” 36 How foolish! What you sow does not come to life unless it dies.

Unless a seed dies, when it falls to the ground, it abides alone. You do not stick a seed in the ground and it comes out a seed. The amazing thing is that the seed dies but there is life in that seed. In that little seed there is life in there. You and I cannot see it. But there is life in there. But until that shell dies that life does not spring forth. It does not take root. It has to take root in the death of the outer shell. That shows us something. When this outer shell dies, we come alive in all of its form. We live spiritually now but that life is contained in this body of flesh but until this dies, we will not come fully alive. What we will experience life here compared to what we will experience up there, we will wonder what we had down here.

1 Corinthians 15:37-38
37 When you sow, you do not plant the body that will be, but just a seed, perhaps of wheat or of something else. 38 But God gives it a body as he has determined, and to each kind of seed he gives its own body.

When you plant a seed of corn, it does not come out a seed. It comes out as an ear of corn. It does not come out looking anything like a seed. What comes out is an ear of corn. What you plant by the looks of it, you will never know what it is going to look like once it takes root and comes alive. That is what Paul is saying here. Such great examples he shares.

1 Corinthians 15:39-44
39 Not all flesh is the same: People have one kind of flesh, animals have another, birds another and fish another. 40 There are also heavenly bodies and there are earthly bodies; but the splendor of the heavenly bodies is one kind, and the splendor of the earthly bodies is another. 41 The sun has one kind of splendor, the moon another and the stars another; and star differs from star in splendor.

42 So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; 43 it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; 44 it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body.

Folks, let me explain once again. Flesh and blood will never inherit the kingdom of God.

1 Corinthians 15:50
50 I declare to you, brothers and sisters, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God,

What you see if looking in the mirror right now, that is not going to heaven. It came from the dust and it is going to return to the dust. It is called a natural body.

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A Closer Look at Faith Hope and Love

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