Radio Broadcast Monday 7/20/2020

Classic Christianity – A Closer Look at Faith, Hope & Love P40 (07-20-20)

Synopsis

In this subject of Agape love, that is love that can only come from God and what God produces in us and through us as we rely on HIm, as we rest in Him like a branch on a vine. Our natural self, that sin-indwelling flesh, that Agape does not come out of us unless we are depending on Him, walking in the Spirit and not in accordance with the flesh. Of course, we have been in the flesh, our mind being so long in this worldly thinking, that we had since we were born with this sin-indwelling flesh. So there is the renewal of the mind that has to occur, and will continue to occur until the day we die. So we learn how to have our minds renewed and we put no confidence in the flesh.

So what happens when we put confidence in the flesh? We live in bondage to sin and death, even if, or though, you are not under that any more, when we do not have to. If error is what binds you, truth is what sets you free.

We believe all kinds of errors that need to be replaced with truth. At one time or another, we thought that whenever we sin we have to ask God for forgiveness. That is what we were taught by our religious denomination. But that is not true, because when we read the scriptures, God says there is no forgiveness of sins without the shedding of blood, and Jesus is not going to shed His blood again. And, in Hebrews, under this New Covenant of grace we are now under, we read that our sins and lawless acts He will remember no more.

We also thought that 1 John 1:9 was written to believers, but upon more careful examination of the scriptures, we realize that it was written to unbelievers, who, as the pastor spoke, said that the truth was not in them. If the truth is not in you, then you do not belong to Christ Jesus, and if you do not have Him then you do not have life. So the pastor of the church was repeating what the apostle John had written to him to say to the Gnostics among them, that they are sinning against the knowledge of the truth. So, you come to understand that 1 John 1:9 is not about confessing sins to God so as to keep short accounts with God. If it were, then God is not love, but God is love, and love keeps no record of wrongs.

Others think that you can be in and out of fellowship with God because of sin. But when you examine scripture, you realize that the Holy Spirit is sealed in you until the day of redemption. That means the Spirit will never leave you or forsake you. Your salvation, Christ living in you, is not about your performance, of how well you keep the law, of how obedient you are to that. Salvation was never about what you did or did not do. You repented from thinking about what you can do to what He alone accomplished for you by His death, burial and resurrection and you accepted this gift of eternal life in Christ Jesus.

So we come to understand this unconditional love of God, and continue to grow deeper in our understanding of Christ Jesus, not just in our head, but in the attitudes of our heart. His love is overwhelming when we ponder over all He has done and who He is. God is love. The greatest definition of love is found in 1 Corinthians 13, and that really is a definition of God, who is love. Wherever the word “love” is used in that passage, you can replace the word “love” with the word “God.”. Christ Jesus, who is God, and how we come to know God, has perfectly lived out love. Indeed, we read that love is the fulfilment of the law and love does it’s neighbor no wrong.

So ponder over the meaning of love. We fall short but God never did!

God is patient, God is kind. God does not envy. He does not boast. He is not proud. God does not dishonor others. God is not self-seeking. God is not easily angered, and He keeps no record of wrongs. God does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. God always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. God never fails.

So, when you think of God’s perfect love toward you in Christ Jesus, what kind of thoughts come to mind, and what kind of response do you have?

Transcript

You see that today. We have been ostracized in some instances, by denominations, and ostracized by some radio programs, because of our teaching in regard to forgiveness. Now, as we have said before, in the New Covenant, in which we live today, we have to first of all clarify that. In the New Covenant, there is no passage of scripture that tells you to ask God to forgive you of your sins, except in 1 John 1:9. It is not dealing with the saved person, but is dealing with a lost person. I can prove that. All you have to do is go see what it says in 1 John, and then go to 2 John and read the opening remarks, and the case that you are talking about is Christ not living in you. It is something that is either there or is not there.

There is nothing in the bible about being in and out of fellowship. It is not there. In scripture, you are in fellowship, saved, or out of fellowship, lost. But there is no such thing as bouncing in and out of fellowship. I can back that up in scripture. That is not some hair-brained idea I came up with. All you have to do is read the New Testament. You will see, as you read the New Testament, and the bulk of it written by the apostle Paul, and there is not a doctrine the evangelical church believes in that is not amplified by Paul’s writing.

The truth is not in the other writings, but all of the truth is in Paul’s writings in regard to how we live in the New Covenant today. There is not one mention in any of Paul’s writings that every time you sin, you are out of fellowship, that you have to confess sin to get it forgiven all over again and then to get back into fellowship with God. There is no such thing in all of his writings. It would seem to me that that should be a clue to biblical interpretation to somebody and especially to someone who knows scripture. That would be a clue that maybe what you had been teaching is not correct. If you do not find it there, then it has to come there from tradition. It certainly did not come there by the New Testament teaching. It might have come from the Old Covenant, but there is nothing in the covenant saying that.

There is nothing in the New Covenant about continual forgiveness. What is taught in regard to that is the totality of forgiveness.

Ephesians 1:7
7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace

The issue is, are you in Him or are you in Adam? Are you in Adam, dead, or are you in Christ, alive? If you are in Christ, alive, then you possess something. It is not something you get. It is something you have. What you have, redemption, the forgiveness of sins. You and I do not ask God to redeem us every day. Why? We are redeemed. Do you, as a born again Christian, ask God to give you eternal life? If you do, you probably do not have it because you do not know you have it.

1 John 5:12
12 Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.

When you have the Son, you have eternal life. If you have it, why ask for it again, unless you did not believe you had it. Would you say, “Lord Jesus, I am justified but please justify me”. Again, you could say that, but you would not be walking by faith saying that. It is not that you could not say that but it is an indicator that your faith has not been placed in the finality of the work of God. You are still involved in what we are talking about earlier, that is confidence in your own flesh. Confidence to keep short accounts with God, confidence to have a quiet time, to do this, that and the other. That is confidence in the flesh. I do not need confidence in the flesh if I realize that has already been done, and I can walk by faith in that, resting in that truth, which is called the Sabbath rest. Confidence in the flesh is how you live in the desert. No confidence in the flesh is how you live in the promised land because it is already there. You do not plant trees because they are already planted. You do not dig wells because they are already dug. You jump in the water and enjoy the fruit of the tree.

What I am saying, theologically, it ought to tell somebody something. You better look at your denominational persuasion and what have you been taught and passed on without thinking it through. All I am trying to do is help somebody to think this through. If you can find in Paul’s writings or in the New Covenant today that you are bouncing in and out of fellowship. Find a place where you ask God to forgive you so He will forgive you. You show that to me. Again, I say in the New Covenant, the only place you will find that is not in Paul’s writings but stuck in John’s writings, around 95 A.D. So you wonder how those poor people kept in fellowship with God for 90 years until that was written, then misapply that to a believer and rob us of the joy of realizing we are new creatures in Christ, and as such, we are forgiven people. So I ask people to challenge that.

You go up and talk to somebody about that and they do not want to hear the truth or examine the bible. It is like saying, “do not confuse me with the facts. My mind is already made up”. They get mad at you. That love that is expressed to you is certainly not Agape love because it is conditional. “Unless you believe what my denomination teaches, I am not going to like you.”

There is no place in the New Covenant about tithing. Free will giving is in the New Testament but tithing is not. Tithing is Old Covenant. You go into some denominations and tell them that you will be as popular as the Titanic sinking. We think nothing of that unloving response. Nothing of love. That is where it ought to be. “This is what our denomination believes. This guy does not believe this way and he is going to change people. So, I am going to hate him. I am just going to get rid of him.” That is what takes place. “We think nothing of that as an unloving response. That unloving reaction. We think nothing of that. It has no bearing on my Christian life at all. The only thing is I have got my persuasion. Brother, you better go along with it and not make any waves”. The priority of love is out of the Christian world. It is out of that. “I say on that, compromise”. We never compromise on truths of scripture. But on the other hand, I am commissioned by God to love those who do not agree. The beauty of it is, you have the bible to confirm what you believe is true or not.

I tried to give some examples of instances in our lives where we can sit back to just judge ourselves. If we do not judge ourselves, then others will judge for us. And I judge myself to see how I am responding. Am I this way? Am I responding in an unloving way? If that is not, the best I am doing is loving someone with Phileo love. Am I drawing upon the love of Jesus Christ in my relationships with people? So we have to realize, again, that Agape love was always a kind of love that was initiated by God. Agape love has to be initiated by God in order for me to bear fruit of love.

Romans 5:8
8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

John 3:16
16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

Again, you do not get life and lose it again, but you have eternal life. You will never perish and you will have eternal life. I have come to Christ by His Son one and only Son and through faith in Him. I realize something, that I will never perish and I have eternal life. That life began with the Son. We are told that.

John 3:16-17
16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world,

Why not? The world is already under the condemnation of sin. The wages of sin is death. The gift of God is life.

John 3:17-18
but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.

He did not need to condemn. Sin has already condemned men. The wages of sin is death. That was a truth.

Romans 6:23
23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

God did not initiate when sin came into the world. That was truth before sin came into the world, that sin brings about death. That is a principle just like jumping without a parachute. You are going to come under gravity. That is a law. You do not have to jump out of it for it to come into effect. It is in effect. So that is the same thing. The whole truth that sin will bring death is in effect before sin ever entered into the world. When sin entered into the world through Satan then it did just what God said it would. Death resulted from that. He did not need to condemn the world because sin already condemned the world to death. But He came to save people from that spiritual death. That is what Christ Jesus came to do. That is the total expression of His love.

John 3:19
19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. 21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.

It is love without reservation. It is love not dependent upon us as an object of love but dependent upon Him as the origin of love.

We listen to this and say, “Praise God for that”. But I think we have to know more and more and more and more about the love of God. That is the ultimate goal of biblical study. It is to get to know the love of the God that you know you have living in you. To find out what that love is to the point where as the apostle Paul was able to come to, not only through knowledge but through experiential knowledge, that nothing can separate me from the love of God. It is there.

Romans 8:35-39
35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written:

“For your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”[Psalm 44:22]

37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

I think the best definition of love is in 1 Corinthians 13, and we use that to say how we ought to live. We tend to read that, and hear somebody dramatize on that on television.

1 Corinthians 13:4-8
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

8 Love never fails.

Love is patient. Love is kind. We go through all that drama as if that is a part of our lives. But this passage does not need drama. This passage needs truth. First and foremost, you have to realize that even though this is a recording of how God wants us to live our lives, and that is dependent upon the one who can produce this love in us. First and foremost, we have to know that is how God loves me.

1 John 4:19
19 We love because he first loved us.

1 John 4:8
8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.

When I read 1 Corinthians 13, I can say that because God is love, God is patient with me. That is good news. You look at history on that. Was God patient and is he patient with Israel. The whole of the Old Testament, 400 years and beyond that even to this day, for 6000 years of what we know of, the years since creation, He has been patient with Israel. Yes, right to this day. Is he patient with you and me? Absolutely. Even as He cried out from the cross, he said, “Father forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” That is His kind of patience.

Luke 23:34
34 Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”

1 Corinthians 13:4-8
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

8 Love never fails.

It is unbelievable patience. Can you imagine Jesus Christ being God, coming unto his own, and then watching his own beat the daylights out of him? I am glad I am not God. It would not have happened that way. We have to realize that. That is patience that is totally out of our realm of experience. But God is patient with you. God is kind to you. God is never envious. He does not envy. In other words, God is not sitting up there, seeing all the things he has provided for us, and saying, “I wish I had not done that”. God is not boastful. We are boastful, but he isn’t. It is amazing how patient God is.

He is not boastful or proud. Pride really is a fleshy thing. Boasting comes from pride where we call attention to ourselves. I think so many times, the expression, “I prayed and God did something”, is so prideful and boastful, because what it is saying is that God did something because I prayed. This is the attitude being expressed. “He would not have done that thing if I had not prayed. He is not interested in people as I am interested in people. He is impersonal and indifferent. But I convinced him. Because my holy life and my good life and my unconfessed sin, he just had no option. He is just obligated. When you tithe he is obligated to bless. So I have the ability of obligating God”. What kind of God do you have, folks, if the puny little you and me can obligate God to do something. That is all a part of our pride. That is part of that worship that is flesh worship. It looks like worship but it is flesh worship. God is not proud.

God is not rude. Rudeness is not being considerate of other people. I see that constantly. It always gets me when I look in a church service sometimes, where people will sit right down on the first and second row and then go out in the middle of that and get coffee. If you have a kidney problem, sit in the back row. You will have people like that and it is rude. While you are teaching, for people to be talking, quite honestly, it is rude. It is rude to go to sleep, and people will certainly do that occasionally. To a degree it is rude. It would be like you and me talking to each other, and I go to sleep on you. Poor old Bob is tired and is probably true, but it is a rude thing to do.

I remember going over to Atlanta, Georgia, where I was working like crazy on a project here in Dallas. I went over to help them. A guy, very lovingly, asked me to come over to dinner with him and his wife. I was so exhausted and I did not think I would be able to get into his house. I sat there staring at him and fell asleep in the middle of his conversation. It was rude, and I apologized. I am sorry but I am just totally exhausted. Love is never rude.

Love is also not self seeking. God is not looking out for His best interest. He is looking after yours. Why does God tell us to do things, for His benefit? No, for ours. God says do not steal, and that infidelity and other types of things, do not be engaged in that. He is not doing that for His benefit. He is doing it for ours. It will ruin your life. God is not self seeking.

God is never easily angered with you. God keeps no records of your wrongs. That kind of annihilates that idea that there is this big video in the sky, that all of us look forward to, that when we die, He is going to flash before our eyes everything we said and did on screen, and you and the angels and everybody up there is going to watch that movie, and then we wonder why anyone wants to go. That is what we have heard, isn’t it? But we have been told that is what is going to happen to us. If that is what heaven is then that would not be heaven. But that is not what is going to happen. He said he took my sins across his back never to see them again. He would say to us, “I am sorry. There is no record of it”. You can go say to Him that you sinned again. He would say back, “Did what again? I have no record of that. That is under the blood of My Son. ”

God does not delight in evil but rejoices in the truth. Again, a reason for that is because God knows something about truth. He knows something about evil. That is, “I never delight in evil because evil is what binds you, but I rejoice with truth because that is my truth that sets you free”. God wants you to be free. He rejoices in the truth that sets you free.

God always protects me. God always trusts me. God always hopes the best for me. God always perseveres with me. His love never fails with me. Where there are prophecies, they will cease. Where there are tongues they will be stilled, and where there is knowledge, it will pass away. But these things remain; faith, hope and love and the greatest of these is love.

1 Corinthians 13:8
But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.

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

Until we are basking in the fact that this is how God looks at me, and how many times when we are doing things, that we think, “I bet God is just sick at his stomach at me”. No, the bible says He is patient with me and He keeps no record of wrongs. How do you respond to that? You say, “Oh Lord, thank you. Your mercy and kindness is absolutely awesome”.

What is interesting about this subject of love, is we normally think the opposite of love is hate. That is what many people think. They think of it that way. I would have too until I started thinking about it more. When I think of Agape love and what it is, the opposite of Agape love is pride. Pride is concerned with self and it’s focus is always inward.

As an example, if we take a look at this, where love is always patient. That patience is that calm self-restraint from punishing others either physically or emotionally for a wrong suffered or a mistake made. It is always forgiving. Pride is never patient with mistakes. It retaliates when a wrong is suffered doesn’t it? It holds onto things. That is pride that does that.

We are talking about the fact that love is always kind. It is a goodness of heart put in action toward another’s benefit. That is how God deals with you and me. Pride is never interested in another’s benefit. Pride is always looking inward as what is best for me.

Love is never jealous or envious. It is not being resentful or desirous of another’s advantages, possessions or gifts. It is not desirous of another’s good that yourself cannot have. That is love. The opposite of that is pride. It is always jealous and envious of other’s good fortunes. When someone gets something good, it is always, “Why did that not happen to me?”

Sometimes when I look at our ministry and I have to say when I look at that sometimes, “there is a prideful attitude”. I look at this probably self righteously, and when we are taking what the word of God is saying, then I see all this other big stuff being taught, knocking people over, and I know it is all flesh, and I know it has nothing to do with the bible, drawing millions of people and dollars, and here we are teaching truth, while we are struggling from hand to mouth every month. It is kind of like a martyrs complex. Confession is good for the soul but is hard for the reputation. Sometimes I ask, “What is going on here?”, but then that scripture comes to mind that says, “Never be envious of the unrighteous”. I cannot look at what I am doing or what we are doing in comparison to what someone else is doing. If God is leading a person to do that, that is fine.

John 21:21-23
21 When Peter saw him, he asked, “Lord, what about him?”

22 Jesus answered, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me.” 23 Because of this, the rumor spread among the believers that this disciple would not die. But Jesus did not say that he would not die; he only said, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you?”

Like Jesus said to Peter, “Why does it make any difference if John lives forever. I am telling you to follow me”. Do not be looking about what other people are doing. Just look at what He is calling you to do and go follow it. I see that with radio stations. Some stations around the country we would love to be able to be on, but they do not want a program like ours on. They want positive thinking programs. They want entertainment programs. They want people with their particular persuasion, which happens continuously in this ministry. It makes no difference if people are coming to the Lord. We send tapes of people coming to the Lord, and it makes no difference. The response we get is, “You are not one of our guys”. I look at that, and say “woe is me”. Then I get to thinking. “Why should I be concerned with this kind of thing? This is God’s deal. If God wants us to be on a certain radio program, then he has to open up the doors. If he doesn’t, then why should I want to be there?” Those are things God has to deal with us on. All of us are subject to that. I have to realize that is an attitude of pride. It is not an attitude of love but an attitude of pride. The way God deals with that is through the renewing of your mind. God would be saying to me, “Whose deal is this, yours or mine? Did you initiate this or did I?” When you get that straight, you back off, and say, “Okay Lord, this is your deal, not mine”.

Love is never boastful or arrogant. It never seeks to honor itself or is puffed up with pride, with self importance over nothing. Pride is always boastful and arrogant. Pride says, “I must be at the center of attention”. You see that in young children. Children are the center of attention. Those little children are full of pride. You come into the world at the center of the universe. If those diapers are wet, the child cries until they get changed. If the child could speak, he would say, “You are there to serve me”. If you let that pride in a child continue in the teenage years, then you have a monster on your hands. That is why parents are there to curtail that. Children have a sin nature that is full of pride and self centeredness.

Love never acts unbecomingly. It never acts contrary to the behavior that is appropriate to a Christian, a child of God. He behaves with modesty, grace, humility and patience. That is how love behaves. On the other hand, what does pride do? It is always rude. It never sides with the feelings of others, whether it disturbs somebody or not. It seeks it’s own. The love of God, Agape love, does not insist on it’s own way or rights. It looks out for the interest of others. Pride always looks after it’s own way and interests. That can even be when you are helping people all the time. The reason you are doing it is to get the praise of man.

Faith That Pleases God

A Closer Look at Faith Hope and Love

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