Classic Christianity – A Closer Look at Your Identity in Christ P64 (08-08-22)
Today the Body of Christ is the Body of Believers
~ The church, the ecclesia, the True church is made up of born again believers in Christ Jesus. The church is not on the corner of walk and don’t walk. It is not someplace you go. No one goes to church. Sure we use that term in everyday talk, but the truth of the matter is that the church is all over the earth today, and the Holy Spirit has made us a part of that group, when the Spirit comes to indwell a person, they become part of the body of Christ Jesus.
Listen in to today’s lesson with more in-depth teaching, from the Bible study booklet, A Closer Look at Your Identity in Christ, available for purchase from our online Bob George Ministries ecommerce store.
Just as a person’s physical growth is based on proper diet and exercise, so is the Christians’s spiritual growth dependent on regular feeding upon the word of God and application of its principles. With more false teaching, shifting opinions and general confusion in the world than ever before, Christians need a solid foundation upon which to base their beliefs and build their lives. The word of God declares that Jesus Christ is that foundation of truth. With that in mind, let’s now take A Closer Look at Your Identity in Christ.
Bob George 0:45
Now, we talked about in 1st Corinthians 10, 16 and 17. And what it says is not the cup of thanksgiving for which we give thanks for participation in the blood of Christ, in other words, the life of Christ. And is not the bread that we break a participation in the body of Christ, because there’s one loaf we who are many are one body, for we all partake of that one loaf. And so in this scripture we talked about last week, that’s what truly that’s what the Lord’s Supper, when it is done properly, is all about, it’s showing a single loaf. Well, that represented Jesus when he was here, and his bodily form, singular and form could have drawn him could have drawn a picture of him. He said, This is my body, it’s going to be broken for you. And he broke that loaf. And he told the apostles and the believers eat of it. Now, when every person partakes of that loaf, after everyone has taken a piece out of that loaf, where is it? Well, it’s gone. Is Jesus body here on this earth, the body that he had 2000 years ago? No, where is it? It’s gone. Well, who’s his body today? You and me. Anyone who is born of the Spirit in dwelt by the Spirit, and then placed, identified, baptized by that spirit in to his body, so we become his body, here on this earth. And that’s what the Lord’s Supper represents. That’s what is a picture of, not sitting around with the lights down in the organ playing and trying to make yourself righteous in the sight of God and holy in the sight of God and getting all your unconfessed sins out of the way so that you don’t eat and drink damnation upon yourself. And and making yourself worthy. You never had been worthy, you never will be worthy, worthy is the lamb, not the sheep. And the instructions in Corinthians on the Lord’s Supper was to take the supper in a worthy manner. In other words, quit eating all the bread and drinking up all the wine for everybody gets there, and passing out and going to sleep. So we have a tape series on that, in case anyone’s interested in further teaching on that, that is quite enlightening. Yes, and I couldn’t recommend it to you more.
Well, let’s go on to the next passage of scripture. Colossians 1:18. It says, And he is the head of the body, the church. So what is the church, the ecclesia? The true church, not what it’s become the pitiful representation that it has become, but the true church is not a building, down on the corner of walk and don’t walk. The true church is not a denomination. The true church is not an organization. The true church is an organism. It’s a body. I don’t look at Bob Davis and say, hey, it’s pretty good looking organization you got there. That’s a he’s a he’s not an organization. He’s an organism. He’s He’s a body that’s made up of many, many parts. And though its parts are many, they form one body, he’s not an organization. And so we are not either an organization we are, we have been joined to the living Christ, and He is the head of this body, the church. He is the beginning, and the first born from among the dead. Now what in the world is that mean? Well, who are the dead? You and me? How far does that go back? Adam, when he died, we are all born dead, are we not? So who was the first born alive from among the dead? Jesus. That’s why his virgin birth isn’t up for grabs. If Jesus was born of natural means, like you and me, he would have been born out of the loins of Adam, dead like we are. But he was conceived by the Holy Spirit of God. So he was the first born from among the dead Adam was the first man ever created alive Jesus called the last Adam, the only man ever born alive. So he’s the first born from among the dead, so that in everything it says he might have supremacy. Now in as much as he was the first born physically from among the dead He then provided through taking that life, that physical life to a cross, dying for the forgiveness of all of our sins, raised from the dead bodily ascended into heaven bodily, with the promise that now I’m going to send the Holy Spirit to you, because my body’s gone from this earth, but I’m going to send my Holy Spirit to you, and you’re going to become my body, it’s called the mystery. This is the mystÃrio, the mystery that was held in the heart of God before the foundation of the earth, Christ in you, your only hope of glory. So folks, we belong to Christ. And we belong to one another.
You see, if I see myself as nothing more than a part of a denominational group, why that kind of becomes my club. And what I mean is my membership type of club, I don’t mean once you hit people in head with all those some of those things do that too, in another way. But folks, think about it for a moment, we’re talking about a total belonging to something, all of us have a desire to be a part of something, don’t we? We like to fit into something to be a part of something. But you see, everything that we’re a part of is temporary. I’m identified right now with my wife. And we’re married, and we’re identified with each other, and we’re a part of each other. And we’re a part of the same family. And we’re a part, so we belong to each other. And my family, we belong to each other. But that’s temporary. Why is it temporary? We’re gonna die someday. And some people get divorced, and then that’s split up. So it’s temporary, at the best. It’s either temporary because of our actions, or it’s temporary because of death, but it’s temporary. We belong to a college fraternity or something or a sorority, and boy, we’re so happy because for three or four years, we get to belong to something. And what happens when you graduate? Well, you’re kind of an ex alumni about as important as a fist in water, when it’s pulled out nobody misses you. Unless you get money, then and then you’re important. But it’s temporary, at the most, it’s temporary, and sooner or later, you’re going to die again. So it’s temporary people will belong to gangs. So thing belong to something, that’s the attraction of this gang warfare that you see going on. I’m a part of this gang over here, I belong to some people, it’s temporary, real temporary. We do the same thing in joining churches, I’m going to belong to that church, because I want to be a part of something I want to fit into something I want to be around some people that, that know me, and I know them and, but it’s temporary folks, that church can go downhill as many of them do, that people die off or just closed down, it’s temporary. At the best, it’s temporary. There’s nothing that you can join down here on this earth. There’s nothing that you can belong to down here on this earth, that is not temporary. So you say, well, so does that meet a need? No, it doesn’t. Because you know, it’s not you know, it’s temporary. There’s only one thing that you can belong to that is eternal. And that’s to the body of Christ Jesus, our Lord, when we were joined to him and spiritual birth.
You know, I was just kind of sitting at the break, wondering if to bring this up or not. But I think it is, I think it’s worthwhile doing and in in saying what I’m going to say, I’m not picking on a specific category of people, but I am talking about a principle here. You remember, I think it might have been one one day last week that when our radio program or a couple of weeks ago, a guy called in and during a conversation, he said, I’m a Calvinist, and I think you know what that means. And, and I thought to myself, as as I keep thinking back on those type of things, you say, well, I almost felt like saying, Yes, I do. And it’s unfortunate. Now it’s unfortunate because Calvin, maybe his belief system was off or whether it was right or wrong. That’s not the issue. It’s an issue of identification, right. Because you I’ve been thinking about that type of thing. And somebody’s saying, Well, I’m a Calvinist. Now, what does that mean? And again, to those of you that consider yourself that don’t think I’m picking on you, but I am saying you need to change your identity. Because you’re not a Calvinist. If you’re a child of God, you’re a child of God. And and I’m going to show you why you shouldn’t see yourself in that fashion. If you’re a Calvinist what you’re saying, Well, I believe like Calvin did, and that would be a Calvinist. I believe I’m a Davis, what’s that mean? I believe like Davis does. Well, you’d have to say, Well, what did Calvin believe? I mean, who’d he believed in? Where did he get his information? Did he have direct revelation from God? Or, or Where’d he get his information? Well from the Bible. Well from who? Well probably from Paul. Well, then if Calvin got his information from Paul, why would you be a Calvinist? You ought to be a Pauline.
And they say, Well, yeah, okay, you’re right, Bob. You’re right. I Calvin would just believe what Paul had to say. And I believe what Calvin has to say, but he believed what Paul had to say. So I guess you’re right, I should believe what Paul has to say. It’s okay. What Paul has to say about being a Paulinus? He said, Who am I? Who is Paul who has Cephas? Who is it didn’t say Barnabas, but but he could have said that Apollos? Anybody who are we? He said, we’re only servants. We’re only people who plan to see somebody else was it but God has to make it grow. He was saying don’t call yourself a Paulinus or, or an Apollos follower, or whatever it might be. That’s not the issue. The issue is we got our information from God. So if we got the source of our information is God, He alone is who your identity is with, not with me. Not with Paul, not with Calvin, not with George, not with anybody except God. He’s the one who teaches us. And Calvin could have been right on in regard to his teaching right on. But I want to tell you, if that, indeed, that was true, then he had to get it from the Holy Spirit in order to be right on. And if he got it from the Holy Spirit, I got news for you. So can you so I don’t have to get it from him. Now, if teachers are used to encourage to open up the Word of God and to point you to Jesus, but in a final analysis, folks, I am not believing what I believe because of being told or read by some other man. And I don’t want you to do that either. I don’t want you to believe what you believe because Bob George said it. As I’ve said, before I could be lying out Matisse to you. All I want to do is to encourage you to go back to the Word of God and read it yourself trusting only in the Holy Spirit of God to reveal what it means. And I’ll guarantee you if you know what it means it’s going to lead you to one person it isn’t to me, it’s not the Calvin, it’s not even to Paul, it’s to Jesus, there’s only one reason for reading the Bible. And that is to be pointed to Jesus. So Calvinists don’t think I’m picking on you, but you need a new identity. Yeah. And, and so did I, when, when I’m a crusader, or I’m a this, I needed a new identity. If I’m a Baptist, I’m sorry, you need a new identity. I’m a Catholic, you need a new identity. I’m a Methodist, you need a new identity, those are all temporary, they all will fade with the dust. There’s only one identity if you’re born again, that you should have and that is I am a child of the living God, period, you will never find those other identities listed in the Bible. They’re not there for a reason. And that is that their false identities. Now if I am a child of God, that happens to go over to a Baptist church, I’m a child of God, and we’re on Sunday goes over to, whatever this might be. That’s a different story. But that is not your identity. You’re not who you are by where you go. If I go into a barn, I’m not a horse. So, so we’re so folks, get your identity, where it belongs. Why do you think all of this instruction is in the Scripture? It’s there talking to Christians letting you know you’re a part of something bigger than these little local things. You’re a part of something bigger than that. You and I are a part of a universal body of Christ Jesus, a born again believers who were born 2000 years ago, and if the Lord tarries will be born 2000 years later, we’re all a part of one body,
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Bob George 14:36
What does that mean? Every person who is born again truly born again, not a churchgoer, not a somebody who call themselves a Christian because that has no meaning anymore. But someone who is truly experienced a new birth and Christ God’s give grace to who? the humble who does he resists the proud. He’s so proud man who could ever come or be claimed to be in Christ Jesus because He doesn’t give grace to the proud. The proud man says, I earn it myself, I’ll do it myself. This organization is going to save me. I’m a part of this nifty group over here said fine that you look like one who’s a part of that nifty group, but you’re not born again. In Christ Hebrew there is no pride in being a Hebrew. There’s no pride and being a Gentile was their pride and being a Hebrew? Absolutely. Was their pride and being a Gentile, absolutely. Today, in Christ, there is no Hebrew, there is no Gentile, there is no slave there is no free. It’s just one and him. BORN AGAIN of the Spirit.
Romans 12 amplifies this, just as each of us has one body, and with many members, and these members do not all have the same function. So in Christ, we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all of the others. Now, folks, I want to ask you a question. If your toe didn’t behave quite the way that you thought that it should, how much sense would it be for you to beat it up? To cut it off? To rumorise about I’d go over and tell everybody else you know, that told mine I tell you, it’s a it’s a dumbest thing you’ve ever seen in your life that even wiggle properly anymore. You see, we don’t understand were part of each other, we belong to each other. Would you go out and lambaste your child or your mother or your father? Would you go out and try to rumorise them or slander them? Or, you know, and I guess some people do that go out and have intercourse with your sister, or incest, it’s those those things are basically unheard of. It’s not that they don’t happen in some arenas, but I’m talking about from a Christian. It doesn’t make any sense, folks, we belong to our family. I mean, you know, you’re not gonna go romance your daughter. Or if you’re a woman to romance your son, it’s ludicrous. It doesn’t matter in your mind, unless something is really perverted about you. And, and yet, we’ll go romance, another part of the body. You see, folks, we have to, if we don’t understand that we’re a part of the same body of Christ, then something’s wrong with us, the member of the opposite sex to a true born again Christian, and if the opposite sex, be it male or female is a born again, Christian, that is your sister in Christ. From God’s standpoint, she or he, are your sister or your brother in Christ. And so when you’re sitting around thinking lustful thoughts, and you’re sitting around thinking adulterous thoughts, about your own sister, or about your own brother, the Bible is saying, that’s perversion. that that person is a member of your own body. Now, are we capable of doing that? Yes, we are. Why? Because of indwelling sin and because of perverted sin, we’re able to do that. And that’s why it says in the scripture, that if you’re in Christ, and you’re a widow, or you’re a divorced person, and you’ve got to be burning in lust, and of course, it says, Don’t be joined unequally yoked to an unbeliever. So probably that lust is toward your own sister or brother in Christ, it says, Get married. Don’t continue on with that, because you’re a part of the same body of Christ. And that is going to lead you down a primrose path sooner or later. So it says, Don’t do that, get married, and make that relationship the way it ought to be.
Now, folks, if we came to grips with the fact that we are a part of the same body of Christ, and we belong to each other, I have a feeling we’d be treating each other a lot differently. I know there was a great difference that took place in my life when I came to grips with the fact that my Amy is my sister in Christ. And I will tell you something, we’re only going to be married as long as we’re here on Earth, because there is no marriage in heaven. Some people have one guy said that, oh, no, I know why they call it heaven. But there is going to be no marriage in heaven, but Amy’s going to be my sister in Christ throughout eternity.
And so when I look at her as not just my wife, and not just my best friend, but I look at her as who she is, and that’s my sister in Christ. I’m going to be treating her a little bit differently and at a different mindset altogether than just looking at her as a person of the opposite sex.
Now, let’s go on to as a part of this body, what did God do? Well, he gave different gifts to different parts of the body. And my hand has a different gift than my foot, my foot has difficulty picking up a sandwich. But if it did, I wouldn’t want to eat it after dead anyway, so, but we all have different gifts. So it says we have different gifts according to the grace given to us. So this is all according to God’s grace. So spiritual gifts are not something that we earn or ask for spiritual gifts are things that are given to us as a matter of God’s grace, and of his knowledge as to where I best fit into this body, because I don’t know. So he determines that as to where I am needed the most. And he gives me the gift to fill that need.
As we get into spiritual gifts. Before we do, and I’m not going to amplify this, because of the time element, we have a tape series that we did called spiritual grift gifts, that again, if you have an interest in this particular subject, I would encourage you to call our order line and to pick that tape series up, I think it’ll be very enlightening to you. But when you’re dealing with gifts, being having a spiritual gift is totally different than than having the fruit of the Spirit. You have the fruit of the Spirit with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, long suffering against these things, there is no law. And fruit is the outward expression of an inward nature. Gifts is something totally different than that, obviously, you don’t even have to be in dwelt, or what I’m saying is controlled by the Spirit to exercise gifts. Or in Corinthians is it was talking about the misuse of some of the gifts he couldn’t say that if you were speaking in the tongues of men and angels supposing that that spiritual gift is a gift that if you don’t have love, you’re a noisy gong. So it’d be a little hard to be a spirit filled, noisy gong.
So you can exercise a gift without being controlled by love. But so there’s it’s a totally different thing altogether. In a final analysis, you can camouflage spiritual gifts as well. But you cannot camouflage the fruit of the Spirit folks, there’s no way experientially, see I can teach in the energy of the flesh, but I cannot experience love in the energy of the flesh, I cannot experience joy. In the energy of my flesh, I can’t create that in my own humanity, peace. I can’t create that in my own humanity. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, those things come from somebody else and that somebody is Jesus. So fruit is an outward expression of an inward nature. And it’s his nature that expresses those things. Now, but as we do for a moment, a gift, all it’s saying here in Romans 12, four through eight, if a gift if your gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith, not nothing more, nothing less. If it’s serving, let him serve. In other words, if your gift is serving, go do it. Quit trying to be a teacher, if your gift is serving. In less you’re serving people by teaching. If your gift is teaching, it says let him teach. If it’s encouraging, let him encourage, if it’s contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously. I wish there were more people with gifts like that, if it’s leadership, let him govern diligently and of course, folks that kind of annihilates these people that sit around and say there should be no, that organization is all evil. If you don’t have any organization, why would you need leadership. Now again, the body of Christ is an organism, not an organization. But the organism needs organized, never at the exclusion of seeing it for what it is. In other words, because the parts are many in your body, they’re all attached to one another. But you and I are sitting here together all a part of the body of Christ. But if we did not know, or at least have a plan as to when we were going to be on the radio at night, it’d be a little tough to say I don’t think I’ll be there here. So there’s there’s organization that has to take place, in order to keep the body in plugged with the head, the head himself is going to keep you organized the head keeps my body organized. If it didn’t, my left hand and say man, I’m not going to pick up that food I’m not going to pick up anything you know I’m going to rebellion to my head doesn’t make any sense. So there’s a degree in which organization is there and where leadership is necessary. Now, if it’s showing mercy, it says let him do it cheerfully.
So folks, it what it’s dealing with here is there are different gifts in the body. And not everyone has the same gift. And so, again, people will take gifts of the Spirit and say if you don’t have it why you’re not spiritual. Well, it’d be like me saying, if you don’t have to teach, you’re not spiritual, or and that I’m more spiritual because I have a gift of teaching. You see, it’s ludicrous. If I have the gift of teaching, what’s it say to do? Teach. If you’re a hand, be a hand, if you’re a foot be a foot, if you’re a liver be a liver, if your heart pump, if your eyes see if you’re a nose, smell, if your ears hear, it’s not a big deal, what is it doing serving the body. And when you got ears that refuse to hear your body doesn’t function the way it ought to, if you have eyes that can’t see your body does not function totally the way that it should. You get a disease where you can’t speak, your body doesn’t function the way it was designed to.
So folks, spiritual gifts are always for service to the body. A cow does not drink her own milk. An apple tree does not eat its own apples, those things are produced for the benefit of others. And the spiritual gifts are not given to us for self edification to sit around and for me to go into a room by myself and just throw myself teaching. It’s for the benefit of others. So if I have a gift of teaching, it’s for your benefit. If I have a teacher of giving, it’s for your benefit. If I have a gift of encouragement, it’s for your benefit, not for mine. And anybody who uses spiritual gifts for self edification to just sit around and get your own jollies out of my own gift is totally perverse in an understanding of what a gift is for. A gift is for a benefit of another person. And if it isn’t benefiting another person, you know, it’s not gift from God. Now it says, In Colossians 3:15, Let the peace of Christ rule your hearts. since as members of one body, you were called to peace, and be thankful you have parts of your body, called to peace, be at peace with each other, quit fighting each other, quit trying to be one another just function according to the head. And when you function according to the head, you’re going to find it you’re functioning in total harmony with each other, and you’re serving one another. And so be thankful. Whatever gift you have. Be thankful.
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 shop.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 and 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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