Thanksgiving Law & Grace P3 – Bob George (11-27-20)
Let us reflect on Christ and be thankful. When we ponder all that we have in Christ, how can we not be thankful? At Thanksgiving we can reflect on our nation, but what I really rejoice in is that I have been set free in Christ. To ponder over the wretched state of death I was once in, so miserable that I cried out to God for help, and He rescued me. He led me to new life in Christ Jesus. And today, I rejoice that that same grace that saved me then is the same life that continually saves me now.
I thank Him for renewing my mind, encouraging me and knowing that when I do sin, I am not condemned. Why? I am no longer under the law of sin and death. All the judgment and punishment for sin was placed on a cross so there is none left for me! And I am so grateful that I am under grace. He supplies everything I need to live. I can rest in Him, although realizing that on this earth I will still sin, never going to be in sinless perfection down here. He is continually at work within me until that day I will see Him face to face. But while here, I have the unbelievable privilege to trust Him, to allow Him to live His life in me and through me. I long for His love to be used through me and received in the lives of others.
That is the heart of every believer, who has been made into a new creation, a citizen of heaven, a child of God, no longer under law but under grace in which we now live. We, who are in Christ, have the mind of Christ, to know Him intimately as Daddy, Father. Our mind continually gets renewed. There is no room for boasting except in Christ, who is my life. Christ is our boast for apart from Him, we can do nothing. We have the unbelievable privilege to participate in the divine nature, to experience the fruit of the Spirit as we abide in Him.
Listen as Bob George continues through the 6th chapter of Romans, explaining this contrast between law and grace. I pray you will be encouraged of heart and grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ as you study along, allowing the Holy Spirit to reveal wonderful truth concerning Christ Jesus our Lord from His word.
How many of you remember New Years parties when you were lost? Is that not the dumbest thing in the world? You sit around and blow these dumb things out, twirl your little deals and get half drunk. “Oh, what fun”, you say, but you have such a headache. “I cannot walk today.” Fun? The most boring thing you go to in your life. Boring. We make it look good. You see all this stuff on television. You see these young ladies, scantily clothed, and who say, “It is fun to be bad”. Have you ever been in that realm, giving your bodies up like a piece of chattel, like a toilet seat, and turning your bodies over to any Tom, Dick and Harry that wants to come along and use you to make you feel good? You feel like a tramp. Do not tell me you feel good. We know better. The sexual stuff going on today with teenagers is unbelievable to me, the stuff that is going on. Yet we sit back and say, “Oh, boys will be boys and girls will be girls.” Nonsense! You better teach your children and teach them that these things will drive them to destruction. Guys, and especially girls, have to live with that for the rest of their lives. Instead of men having respect for women and having the respect to treat a girl decently, that is not the thing to do anymore. That is law land. That is over there where you do not even know right from wrong. The purpose of the law is to define what sin is. We rename sin. If you rename it you can redefine it. But it is there to teach you what sin is and what the consequence of sin is.
So guys, you now live in a new realm. You live in a new location. This is called graceland. In graceland, there is no condemnation awaiting you who belong to Christ Jesus. Under graceland, you are not people who get forgiven. You are forgiven people. You are not people who asked if you are going to walk by faith because this is graceland and faith and over there is law land. Over here you are living in a new realm altogether. To ask for what you already have would be ludicrous. You have eternal life. You have been given an eternal inheritance in Christ Jesus. You have all of the promises. Everything that belongs to Christ belongs to you.
3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.
How can we live in it any longer? 3 Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.
What He is saying here is that you have been identified now with Christ. You have been baptized. What is interesting is when the focus is on the physical baptism when instead it should be on the spiritual baptism.
3 Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?
Instead of glorying in the fact you are in Christ, now we start paying attention to baptism. We put the emphasis on baptism. Well, guys, there is a physical baptism and there is a spiritual baptism. Remember what John the Baptist said.
16 John answered them all, “I baptize you with water. But one who is more powerful than I will come, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.
So when you come to Christ Jesus, the Spirit of God comes to live in you, to indwell you. The bible says this.
9You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ.
You cannot be saved apart from the life of Christ. The Spirit of God who now comes to live in you, baptized or places you into His body. He is now the head. You are the body. You are not the body of Christ over here. There are only two of you over there. There is the body of Christ. There is the graveyard. Here is the body of Christ. There is the dead. Here is the living. He says to us in Romans now.
4 We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death
We get all hung up on the baptism instead of the fact this is an act of God. This is not an act of man. This is an act of God where he places you into His body.
in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.
I am identified with the one who died to take away my sins. I am identified with the one who was buried in order to prove his death. I am identified with the one who was raised from the dead so I could be raised from the dead. I am in Christ. All that belongs to Christ belongs to me. He is seated in the heavenlies. So am I. You say, “No. You are here.” But spiritually I am there. I am already there.
4 But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions€”it is by grace you have been saved. 6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7 in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.
This negates the idea that you can lose salvation. That is nonsense. Someone tried to stop our program when we were in California. He was going to pick at the church for sponsoring us there because we teach eternal security. Dumb and dumber. Anybody who thinks you can lose salvation does not know what salvation is. You just do not know what it is because if you can lose it, it is all tied up in sin, that you can out-sin the grace of God. You cannot out-sin the grace of God. As a matter of fact, if you are in Christ, your sins are wiped away never to be seen again. So how are you going to walk away? If you are in the light as He is in the light, how are you ever going to get in darkness?
At any rate, everything that belongs to Christ is yours. That is your inheritance. Is this good news? It seems to me it should be good news.
5 For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his. 6 For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin – 7 because anyone who has died has been set free from sin.
What does it say? Anyone who has died has been freed from the law. Again, back to the discussion of law. You are not under the law. Do you understand that? If you are saved, you are not under the law. You may be saved and be stupid in your teaching and get yourself back under law, or keep yourself under the law. If you are saved you are not under it from God’s standpoint. You are just following around, just pretending you are over here but you aren’t from God’s standpoint. That is not where you are. You are over here. What are you doing hanging over there for? That killed you. Do you not know the wages of sin under law is death? That killed you. Why are you hanging onto that for? People are hanging tenaciously hanging onto that. They are either lost or have never known their identity in Christ. Never known it, Sad.
The dynamic of evangelism is not just for you to get your sins forgiven. It is the fact you have been placed into Christ. That is the dynamic God has placed you, in the Son. You are in the Son.
20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
That is who you are. Transferred. No longer over there. It is empty. No longer there. You do not belong to that over there. Stay away from it. Rejoice in what you have.
8 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 9 For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. 10 The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God.
In the same way, king James uses the word “reckon”. I reckon so. Count yourself. Count on it, guys. In other words, believe it. Put your faith in it. Quit talking like you are one way over here when in essence you are still over here. Is there anything law can do to you today as a born again believer? No. Not really. Can you make it appear that he is doing something to you. You can imagine it but it is all imagination. It is not real. We believe that we live with Him. He cannot die again. He died for sin once and for all. He will not die again. Is there any more forgiveness to be executed by God on your behalf? Is there? If there was, what would He have to do? Die again. Is he going to do it? No. How many of you believe Jesus is coming back?
28 so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.
What did He say He was going to do when He comes back? Is He going to come back to bear sin? No, but to bring salvation to those waiting for Him. Why is He not coming back to bear sin? It seems like there was a lot of it since He was last here. He has already done it.
The quality of the life of God. Life is in the blood. It is not just a liquid you are talking about. You are talking about the life of Christ. He laid His life down for you and me. The forfeiture of His life was of such quality that it was capable of reaching back to Adam and forward to this very day and on.
11 In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. 12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires.
Is there sin in our mortal bodies? He says it is there, but do not let it reign. You do not need to let it reign. How does it reign? By the law. What is the reign of sin under the law? What control does that have over you? The wages of sin is death. We are not under that any more.
13 Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness.
Why? Look in your bibles, folks. Here is the answer.
14 For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.
This means that if you are under the law, sin is your master. Someone says, “Well, I know a lot of people under the law, but they are sure nice acting people.” I do not care how nice they act. That is not the issue. The bible says if you are under law, sin is your master. You are being mastered by someone other than the one who came to master you, and that is God.
Well, the next question that is asked.
15 What then? Shall we sin because we are not under the law but under grace? By no means!
In other words, if we are no longer under the law, should I just live it up? Should I just go do everything I used to do while I was under the law. So he said, “Hold on a minute.” It seems to me that the reason you are over here is because when you were over there, you were so miserable that you could not stand it. If I remember correctly, you were crying out for help. So why would you want to go back crying for help? Why would you go back to live a lifestyle that makes you so miserable, that you wanted to be saved to begin with? To a degree that is almost a thing of insanity, where you know what you do does not work but you do it anyway. It is the case of temporary insanity going on there. But you are not under law.
16 Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey – whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? 17 But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin,
What made you a slave to sin? You were without the Spirit of God living in you. Who was the old man? Bob George without the Spirit of God living in you. What makes me different than I was? God lives in me and I live in Him. That makes me different, but over there a slave to sin.
you have come to obey from your heart the pattern of teaching that has now claimed your allegiance. 18 You have been set free from sin
You have moved. You are no longer over there. You are over here.
and have become slaves to righteousness.
19 I am using an example from everyday life because of your human limitations. Just as you used to offer yourselves as slaves to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer yourselves as slaves to righteousness leading to holiness.
He is talking to people who are Christians. He is telling them they are weak in their natural selves. So what good does it do to pull yourselves up by your bootstraps and get yourself all cleaned up? He says that is not going to get it because you are weak. So do you think we are ever going to grow in our knowledge of Christ to the point that we are sinless? Does anyone think we will ultimately get to the point of being sinless? People who teach progressive sanctification are, in essence, saying, “If you set yourself apart, then you will get to the point you do not need Jesus any more.” How many of you in here are over 60? How many have you been in the Lord for over 30 years? How much better are you in your flesh? “Well, I do not cuss quite as much as I used to.” That is about as good as you can do. “I am a little better than I used to be but I am not where I ought to be.” Does that shock God? Do you think God looks down and says “What you did shocks me. I did not know you were capable of that?” I do not care if you have been a Christian one year or a hundred years, then you are never going to get perfect except in Christ. Quit beating yourself up. Every one of us will have frailties until the day we die. I tell people if you really want to get rid of this sin you are so concerned about, then pray for death, for that is when it will happen. In the meantime, we live under the grace and mercy of God.
Wonderful grace of Jesus, greater than all my sin. That is where we live, always being grateful for the fact that God delivered me from over there to here. Everybody lives differently. Everyone has weaknesses. One person has this weakness and someone else has that weakness. Each of us with weakness but all alive in Christ. Is that good news guys?
20 When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness.
So many times we fail to realize there is a repercussion to sin. You go out and you say, “Why would you teach a child that you are better off to not start drinking. Why?” Because you could become an alcoholic. There is one way in life to ensure that you will not fall off the ladder. Do you know what it is? Never get up on a ladder. You can turn to be controlled by something other than Jesus. You forfeit your body and there is guilt connected with that. Do not tell me otherwise. There is guilt connected with it. So there is repercussions with sin.
sup>21 What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of?
If you were not ashamed of it, you would just boast that you did this and that. You would not be ashamed of it.
Those things result in death! 22 But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Again, transferred from the law and its demands, locked up as a prisoner, under the control of it and God lifted you up and delivered you over into graceland. You leave behind what killed you. Remember what Paul said.
19 “For through the law I died to the law so that I might live for God.
When you are lost, you belong over there because law has not done its work yet. The law is not for the righteous. The law is for the unrighteous to show your need of righteousness.
1 Timothy 1:9
9 We also know that the law is made not for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels
If you are over here, you are free. But if you are over there, you are under law. God did not abolish the law, not for the lost. It is applicable today as it has ever been.
17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.
We used to have them over at the courthouse. Every law we had in the land came from those ten, for the lost to show you are a sinner so you may turn to Christ as Savior. You have to go free. You cannot be free commingling law and grace. You cannot be free visiting the law, going to law land, getting close to that realm as close as possible and the more legalistic you are as a Christian, the more closer you are to that highway. You cannot get over there but might as well be there because you are dominated by it. Dead to the law but alive to Christ.
11 For sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, deceived me, and through the commandment put me to death. 12 So then, the law is holy, and the commandment is holy, righteous and good.
13 Did that which is good, then, become death to me? By no means! Nevertheless, in order that sin might be recognized as sin, it used what is good to bring about my death, so that through the commandment sin might become utterly sinful.
Anything wrong with the law? No. Paul said nothing wrong with the law. It is holy, righteous and good. What is the problem with the law? When it flows through me it kills me. It does not get you out of fellowship. It does not get you out of relationship. It does not mean God turned His back on you as if God spins around up there in a chair, or like a top, all day long. It is death. In your own mind, if you hang onto that law long enough you will forget all about the fact that you are living over here in graceland. And law again will dominate your life, if you let it. It can’t. You are not under it, but in your mind it will dominate you. So go free. Let Jesus lead, guide and instruct you.
This Thursday, we are celebrating Thanksgiving. As we celebrate this season of Thanksgiving, let our minds go further than the freedoms we have in America. We have freedoms but it is being threatened, always one generation away. Thank God we have freedom but that is not freedom that you and I are rejoicing in. I am rejoicing that I have been set free in Christ.
13 You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love.
To serve one another, to be thankful. So when Thanksgiving dinner is served, I trust that you will not gobble up all the food before the rest of the people get there. You are going to serve one another in love. That is what that season is all about. Thanking God for this season of grace that some will not take advantage of but those who have, do you realize how unbelievably privileged you are? Sometimes we forget it but let us not forget it. The privilege we get to pray to God as my daddy. He is the one I crawl up in His lap and call Him, Daddy Father.
Let us close in prayer.
You have told us to give thanks in all things for this truly is the will of God concerning you in Christ Jesus. So thank Him in all things, be anxious for nothing, but in all things in prayer and supplication, thanking Him, make your requests be made known to God and the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will quiet your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. So many times we have that tendency to worry and we feel guilty if not worrying. God says worry is not faith. Worry about children and rightfully so. We have a role to protect them but in the final analysis, we have to turn them over to the Lord. They are His, not mine. I am given them with a short period of time to try and teach and discipline them but in the final analysis, they belong to You. It is the same with all people. That is why it is said in the word to lead a quiet life and tend to your own business, for it really is not our business. It is Yours. As we enter Thanksgiving season, let us be aware of these truths, to be grateful of the marvelous grace of Jesus, who took away our sins, raised us from a state of death into life, eternal life, crucified with Christ, never to let us die. We pray these things and thank you for them, in Christ Jesus name. Amen.