Call-In Classic Christianity Radio – Bob George P707 (02-10-22)
Understanding the Truth of What Christ has Done When we Celebrate the Lord’s Supper
You may have been to church for decades, not realizing the error you have been taught. Someone asks you, “Do you believe in the atoning blood of Jesus? Bob would respond by saying, “No, I don’t. He did not come to atone for sin. He came to take it away.” Words have meaning, and they have meaning in the context they are used in scripture.
Depending on your religious background, an improper understanding of the meaning of words can hinder you from understanding the truth of what Jesus Christ has done for you. Have you been raised in a church that emphasized the passion of Christ and heard the expression, “Holy Communion”? There is nothing holy about communion, of a wafer that you ingest into your body. In many people’s minds, grace has the concept of something you receive by participating in a sacrament, or from an action of a priest on your behalf, such as sprinkling of what is said to be holy water.
And even the word salvation has different meaning to different people. Some have never heard the word, and simply respond by asking, “Saved from what?” Others think of salvation from the religious practice they have been taught under, and think it is a sin to presume anyone can be saved. Others think of salvation as a process, almost like being graded on the curve, for after all that is all man can do is what they say. Others will say it is important that you stay in a “state of grace,” that you confess (ask for forgiveness from God) any sin as soon as you can, especially those mortal sins that can send you to hell. That is the thinking of untold millions, living in a constant state of fear.
So, regardless of your religious upbringing, you most likely have been taught man-made teaching, that if you were to look more closely at the scriptures, relying on the Holy Spirit to reveal truth to you, and reading not just verses here and there, but reading passages in their full context, then you are in a better position of understanding truth and of having truth revealed to you. But is your attitude that of being so sure of your religious training that you have no room to test and see if what you had believed was really so? Are you in a position to learn directly from the Spirit of God, who loves you perfectly, who came from heaven and returned to heaven, and knows what is necessary for you to get there, to be with Him?
The key for many people is to understand that the scriptures are indeed the very Word of God, and Jesus is God, through whom these words came to be written down for us, through the prophets of old, foretelling the time Christ will come, and the apostles, who walked and talked with Jesus, and through whom Jesus later said He brought back to their remembrance all that He had said to them.
21 But the temple he had spoken of was his body. 22 After he was raised from the dead, his disciples recalled what he had said. Then they believed the scripture and the words that Jesus had spoken.
Jesus knows what the real meaning of the scriptures, of what He came to do for mankind. He wants you and me to know the real meaning, not to boast of what knowledge we have, as if we have something to boast about, but to experience new spiritual life, the life of Christ in you, a dynamic relationship with the living God. The confidence in the Word of God as the Word of God is crucial.
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
31 The one who comes from above [Jesus] is above all; the one who is from the earth [John the Baptist] belongs to the earth, and speaks as one from the earth. The one who comes from heaven is above all. 32 He testifies to what he has seen and heard, but no one accepts his testimony.
With that said, several callers asked questions of scripture for clarification, about the Lord’s Supper, Holy Communion, or passion of Christ, and what all that means. What is man-made and what is true? So let us look at the scriptures.
27 Unlike the other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself.
14 For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.
15 The Holy Spirit also testifies to us about this. First he says:
16 “This is the covenant I will make with them
after that time, says the Lord.
I will put my laws in their hearts,
and I will write them on their minds.”[Jeremiah 31:33]
17 Then he adds:
“Their sins and lawless acts
I will remember no more.”[Jeremiah 31:34]
18 And where these have been forgiven, sacrifice for sin is no longer necessary.
This passage is one passage out of Hebrews, which explains the New Covenant God made with man, where God, through what Jesus did, was able to set set aside the Old Covenant, with all its rules and regulations, and the ten commandments so many are familiar with, that no man could keep, and that was made with the Israelites under Moses for centuries. Why was the old one set aside? It was weak and useless and could make no man perfect before God (Hebrews 7, 10, James 2:10, Romans 3). Why not? There was not a problem with the law, for it was holy, just and good (Romans 7:11-13). The problem lies with fallen man.
17 For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ!
Man is born dead in sin, which Genesis and Romans explains thoroughly, through the fall of Adam, the first created human being who sinned in the garden of Eden. Adam and Eve were the only people created with the Holy Spirit living in them, but when they sinned, the Spirit had to leave them because of sin. All of us have been passed on a new sinful nature. So we are born incomplete, without the Spirit of God living in us, but through the work of Jesus Christ, were given the opportunity to allow the Holy Spirit to come live in us, to be made complete in Christ.
3 When Adam had lived 130 years, he had a son in his own likeness, in his own image; and he named him Seth.
Many people think everyone is born in the image of God. That is what is commonly heard, but is simply not true. We are not born in the image of God, but born in the likeness of fallen man, as we read in Genesis.
So when you see the big picture, have a panoramic view of all that transpired from the beginning to the end, from the fall of man, and of God’s dealing with man through the Old Covenant and then, after Christ died, ushering in a New Covenant with the shedding of His blood, and after the resurrection and ascension, where now the Holy Spirit can be offered to man and indwell man permanently, which is yours by faith alone in what Christ accomplished for you. Now, you have the necessary framework to understand truth.
Atonement was a word used only in the Old Covenant as a temporary covering for sin that was provided for man under an Old Covenant system. It is unfortunate that so many bible translations into English have incorrectly used the word atonement instead of the word propitiation in regard to what the death of Christ accomplished. But atonement involved the shedding of the blood of a bull and a goat, as you can read about in Exodus and Leviticus, and only covered sin until the next time man sinned. It could never take away sin. All this had to take place until the time of Christ, as we read in scripture.
3 But those sacrifices are an annual reminder of sins. 4 It is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.
5 Therefore, when Christ came into the world, he said:
“Sacrifice and offering you did not desire,
but a body you prepared for me;
22 But Scripture has locked up everything under the control of sin, so that what was promised, being given through faith in Jesus Christ, might be given to those who believe.
23 Before the coming of this faith, we were held in custody under the law, locked up until the faith that was to come would be revealed. 24 So the law was our guardian until Christ came that we might be justified by faith.
We have elaborated a little more than what Bob did on the audio, due to lack of time on a short 30 minute segment, but enough for you to check out what Bob has said, to see if what he said is so, and so solidify in your own mind the truth from the Spirit of God, relying on the Spirit to reveal truth to you. But the passage of scripture referring to what Jesus did, a proper translation will use the word propitiation.
21 But now apart from the Law the righteousness of God has been revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, 22 but it is the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction, 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in God”s merciful restraint He let the sins previously committed go unpunished; 26 for the demonstration, that is, of His righteousness at the present time, so that He would be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.
This passage is also where you read about this concept of justification through faith, which may be more familiar by some.
To summarize what you will hear Bob explain to various callers about what salvation and grace is, and how the work of God in Christ Jesus, not by atonement, but by propitiation, made it all possible for the redemption of mankind, and how you can be made complete, or be created spiritually alive in Christ Jesus, through His resurrected life.
The word propitiation that is used in the New Covenant means God looked down on the act of Jesus and said, “I am totally satisfied”. In essence, God is saying, “The blood of My Son was of such value that it was able to take away the sins of the entire world for all eternity from My eyes. The blood of bulls and goats cannot do that.”
Redemption is where He bought us back. He had to buy us out of our lost condition. The way that took place is through the resurrection. Atonement is in the Old Testament and is what covered your sins until the next time (Hebrews 10:11). With Jesus, there is no next time of forgiveness (Hebrews 10:12-14). He died once and He died for all (Hebrews 9:12) and He died for the sins of the whole world (1 John 2:2 – NASB).
11 Every priest stands daily ministering and offering time after time the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins; 12 but He, having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, sat down at the right hand of God, 13 waiting from that time onward until His enemies are made a footstool for His feet. 14 For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified
12 and not through the blood of goats and calves, but through His own blood, He entered the holy place once for all time, having obtained eternal redemption.
1 John 2:2 (NASB)
2 He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.
There is no more forgiveness to be executed on our behalf. If there was any further forgiveness to be executed on your and mine behalf by God, He would have to die again, for without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness.
22 And almost all things are cleansed with blood, according to the Law, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.
It is important to understand that the crucifixion is not what saved you. The cross was a necessary preparation for eternal life to be given, by taking away the sins of the entire world upon Himself. That happened before you and I living today were ever born, on a cross over 2000 years ago. But what man needs is new life and only a resurrected life, one who has no sin of His own, yet raised to new life for us, can offer that new life to man. So Jesus, God in the flesh, was raised from the dead. It is in His resurrected life, that saved you.
Sadly, religious teaching confuses people taught under erroneous teaching. Jesus went to a cross once and He is not re-sacrificing Himself over and over again, reducing himself in the form of a wafer every time a priest calls God down from heaven. That would make a priest more powerful than God and God having to bow down to a priest. Nor do you ask God to forgive you every time you sin, or introspect over your sin before participating in the Lord’s supper, making a mockery of the finished work of the cross for the forgiveness of sins. Those things are man-made things and are not in scripture.
1 Corinthians 11:23-34
23 For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus, on the night when He was betrayed, took bread; 24 and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “This is My body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” 25 In the same way He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood; do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.” 26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes.
27 Therefore whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy way, shall be guilty of the body and the blood of the Lord. 28 But a person must examine himself, and in so doing he is to eat of the bread and drink of the cup. 29 For the one who eats and drinks, eats and drinks judgment to himself if he does not properly recognize the body. 30 For this reason many among you are weak and sick, and a number are asleep. 31 But if we judged ourselves rightly, we would not be judged. 32 But when we are judged, we are disciplined by the Lord so that we will not be condemned along with the world.
33 So then, my brothers and sisters, when you come together to eat, wait for one another. 34 If anyone is hungry, have him eat at home, so that you do not come together for judgment. As to the remaining matters, I will give instructions when I come.
When you read what the apostle Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians, you have to read it in full context and understand it in the framework of the New Covenant we are living under today.
The words “to do this in remembrance of me” is a visual picture of a spiritual reality, and the reality being in Christ (Colossians 2:17). The real picture of the Lord”s Supper is a single loaf of bread, which Jesus says it represents My single body, single in form. You can touch it and talk to it. But it will be broken for you. And you pass it around. What happens? Where is it after it is passed around? It is gone. Where is it? It is in you. It is a picture of the day that you were born again of the Spirit of God (as Jesus explained to Nicodemus in John 3) and Christ came to live in you eternally. The drinking of wine is a celebration of the New Covenant (explained in Hebrews). What is a New Covenant? “Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more and where these have been forgiven, there is no more sacrifice for sins.”
So what do so many do in modern churches today? They model introspection, asking God to forgive you while we celebrate the covenant that says “I have already forgiven you.” It does not make any sense. We are just making a mockery of the grace of God and grabbing a hold of man-made stuff instead of walking by faith in what Christ revealed to us. Jesus has said, “I took away your sins forever from the sight of God so that you can be indwelt by My Spirit. Walk in the faith of that.”
This phrase so many get tripped up on about eating or drinking in an unworthy manner is in regard to believers who are sinning against the body of Christ, eating up all the food and even getting drunk. Who is the body of Christ? People who are born again. But they are not acting like children of God, and so they are being judged by whom? By other believers they are sinning against. That needs to be corrected. If you are given into overeating, then analyze yourself before you even come, so you do not insult the poor among you. At least eat at home before you come. This bread may be all the food they will have this week, and so they cannot participate in what is supposed to be a joyous celebration of the New Covenant. And the reason they are sick and even dying is because they ate or drank too much. That is the context.
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.
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