Call-In Classic Christianity Radio – Bob George P709 (02-17-22)
Is Tithing for Today? Forgiveness And God is The Initiator
“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32
Bob: We’re gonna go to Pebble Beach, California, Manom you’re on the air.
Manom: Hi. My question is my husband and I come from different backgrounds, but I’m Catholic my husband’s Protestant and we’ve tried very hard to lead a Christian, you know, household. With a husband head of the household and we raise our children to go to Sunday school and we both had the benefit of growing up in households that had that kind of structure. But now that we’re older and our parents are getting older in their 70s and 60s, we go back home and we find our parents aren’t living certain Christian principles and it’s causing a lot of conflict, like, his parents have changed religion and maybe come to me, less Christian, and I’m, we have a lot of conflicts with them and I want To lead a Christian lifestyle, but I feel like it’s a lie when we go home for family visits and it’s filled with tension. So how do we be Christians and live a Christian Life, you know, and get along with our families? Not just, you know, church and with each other but truly with our families of origin.
Bob: Well Manom, people, you know there’s a world of difference between that word “Christian” has been thrown around so much today that it really has no meaning to it. What it means is I go to Christian churches on Sunday, instead of going to Buddhist Church or Muslim church. I go to a Christian church and I go to a Catholic Christian church, and he goes to a Baptist Christian church. And all of it has no meaning to it because that is not Christian. Number one is you don’t become a Christian by going to church. You are a Christian by spiritual birth, and that’s something that has to take place by God, it isn’t something that takes place by man. It’s a supernatural event that takes place in a person’s life at some point in time. In history, when they, when they die to their own self sufficiency and die to their own self-righteousness. And to recognize that there is not one thing in us worthy of ever going into the presence of God and that as a result of that, God cleared the deck for us to do so through his son who took away the sins of the entire world, never to see them again. So there’s no more forgiveness to be executed on our behalf by God. And secondly, was raised from the dead so that the resurrected life of Jesus could could be used to raise us from our condition of spiritual death. We’re not born into this world alive spiritually. Were born dead spiritually and in need of spiritual life, and he’s the only provider for that. When we come to that by faith. We began to grow in our knowledge of Christ Jesus and realize that we cannot live the Christian Life. In other words. How do we live the Christian life? You don’t, you can go try, we can make ourselves look semi-good, but we try and we fail.
The only way that the Christian Life can be lived is by allowing Jesus Christ who lives in us, to live his life in and through us. It’s like a vine and branch. The branch cannot live a vine life, period. Is it possible for the branch to live a line life? A branch cannot produce fruit on its own. It can’t do anything that anyone is interested in on its own, except just hang there. But if a branch learns to abide in the life of the vine, the vine produces fruit in and through the branch and the branch is able to bear the fruit of the vine, but it cannot produce it. And so we can’t live the Christian Life. We can pretend and hope that no one finds out that we really do have faults and we can pretend but we can’t live it. Now, what happens is, many times, people have thought that being a Christian, and I’m talking about my own family. I’m talking about my own family that certainly thought they were Christians. They went to church and prayed occasionally and read the Bible every now and then. So they thought they were Christians, but they weren’t it wasn’t until the very very latter years of their life. In fact, My father right before he died and my mother shortly after that they came to know Christ as their personal Lord and Savior. Well, how are they going to produce a Christian Life? They don’t have anything to produce it with and so what happens is, you said? Yeah. I’m religious, I went to church, but I have nothing inside of me to live this life that I’m trying to live. So I’m being hypocritical. So they finally give up on it. And sometimes go to other religions, or go to whatever, it didn’t make it, you know, where people go, they might. Go to the bar and probably find more sincere fellowship there than they do in the church. So the issue is that that’s why you’ll see people who start off looking like they’re being religious and they’re trying to be religious but they can’t pull it off. This is not a life for us to live. It’s a life for him to live in and through us. And that’s why Jesus himself said, I, you know, Jesus was God himself.
He said, I don’t do anything unless the Father tells me to do and I don’t say anything unless the Father tells me to say it and how to say it. And so as the Father sent me so send, I, you. He taught us how to live on this Earth, not as God, because we’re not God, but as a man, and that’s in total dependency upon God to do in and through us, but we have no ability of producing on our own. So that’s the lie. That’s a lifestyle of the Christian and that explains how some people start off, but I would say in most cases they never got there to begin with. Like I said at the beginning of the program that so many people have been told you come to Christ and get your sins forgiven. And they think that’s all it is. It’s what salvation is to them, get your sins forgiven and they’re never saved. I’m sorry, you’re just not saved by thinking you get your sins forgiven. You were born with your sins forgiven. But they have never come to Christ for the consequence of sin is death. And that’s a pretty big problem when you stop to think about. It’s a problem, Death is a real problem. And unless it is solved by resurrected life, we’re going to remain dead, trying to act as if we are alive. And that’s when we become actors.
Manom: It seems like our families of origin are literally falling apart. You know, we’ve watched as when we thought my husband’s parents were very involved in a church and they just walked away. I remember asking my father-in-law about tithing. I couldn’t believe he was recommending that I not tithe. I was sort of looking for a little earthly guidance. And so I did it and it quickly became apparent to me that that is indeed not what God wanted me to do. And so I went back to tithing and kind of had a laugh about it with my pastor at my church, and said it’s so funny because I thought this was going to solve our problems and it didn’t. I am better when I’m tithing and so it’s confusing.
Bob: How are you better when you’re tithing? There’s no such thing as tithing in the new covenant today. Well quite frankly, I sense in you a great work ethic but I don’t sense in you the reality of Jesus Christ being alive, living, in you, your only hope of glory to be real honest with you. You obviously think that if I tithe God’s going to bless me or something else. There’s nothing in tithing in the new covenant. If it’s not there, then why do it? Tithing is for the old testament and was for the old covenant levitical priesthood. It’s the way that they supported the Levites, from the twelve tribes of Israel. One of them was Levites. They could not work. I tell pastors if you’re going to teach people to tithe like an Israelite, why don’t you live like a Levite? They can’t work. They can’t own property. They couldn’t do anything. It’s called Free Will giving today as laid out in the two chapters in second Corinthians. But you see the issue is that when you are calling something, tithing and encouraging people to tithe and criticizing for, I think you’re criticizing for doing something that the bible didn’t tell him to do. He didn’t tell him to tithe he told him to give freely, to give joyfully and to give in accordance to what you do have, not in accordance to what you don’t have. And there’s two, there’s two chapters in second Corinthians that deals with the principles of biblical giving and that’s how we should give. But you see in our churches, today we come back because we can’t trust people to do, so being led by the Spirit because they don’t know the Spirit is there. So you say no you’ve got a rule. It’s a law of tithing and you’re not under the law of tithing. He gave you the right advice in what he said, if he knew what he was talking about and to say that, I’m not going to pay that. I’m going to tithe and up here is the bill. That’s ridiculous. Your God says that you’re supposed to pay your bills. So he gave you the right advice. You’re not tithing that. You should be joyfully giving and joyfully giving in accordance to what you have in accordance with the scripture and not in accordance with church tradition. See, the problem we have today and Christianity, is people are hanging on to church tradition that has nothing to do at all with the scripture and there’s many denominations that place tradition over and above the word of God. We only have one source to live by and that’s the word of God. The word of God many people never open the word of God. They don’t know what it says and they say I am a Christian. No, you’re not. You’re just religious. The word of God is what is our guide. That’s the way God speaks to us is through his word. How do I know that our sins are taken away? It tells us God was in Christ, reconciling the whole world unto himself not counting their sins against them.
Manom: And the concept I understand the concept that my salvation comes not from my good works, but from Jesus’ job that he died on the cross for me. I know that. My question is a real life one, which is how do you, you know, and get along with people harmoniously? How do you live, trying to follow those three steps, the ones in Romans so far as it is up to me, live at peace with everyone? How do you do that? You know, how can you go to church and do all those things and things and deal with people?
Bob: Jesus said I didn’t come to judge the world but to save the world. So what are you doing? Judging. Quit judging people. If you are comparing yourself with another person it says you’re a fool. In other words, you’re comparing your deeds by their deeds. But the Bible says you’re a fool because all of our deeds are as filthy rags to God. That’s what the Bible says we are all like filthy rags. So when you’re judging people, you’re judging them that they’re not doing what I’m doing. Well, that’s about as not only as a judging but it’s also self-righteousness. It isn’t walking in the righteousness that’s been given to you in Christ Jesus. It’s self-righteousness. And the reason I’m righteous is because I do all of these things this way, but they don’t. And that’s judging and God says, don’t do that. Believe me, I’m trying to help you. Maybe you don’t think you need help but I’m trying to help. Maybe I’m judging here myself, but you said to me, “I understand all this stuff.” You’re very quick to go, “I understand,” and said “I was standing on principles.” It’s not a principle, it’s Jesus. He’s life. And you say, “I understand that. I understand that Jesus died for all of our sins” and you stop there. Did you stop there? Let’s go onto reality. In other words, there’s no reality in Jesus. Let’s go into reality. Jesus is the most reality that you ever run into in your life, the resurrected Christ living in you, your hope of glory. And you see again many times we don’t realize that we have been taught and taught and taught, come to Christ, get your sins forgiven. That is not true. You come to Christ because he’s already taken away your sins. There is no further forgiveness to be executed on your behalf by God. None, none at all. He has taken away the sins of the entire world. But where is that forgiveness that was provided two thousand years ago? It’s received in his resurrected life. That’s why Paul said, without the resurrection we’re to be pitied of all people and are still in our sins. Salvation is not getting your sins forgiven. Salvation is being saved from the consequence of sin, which is death by the gift of God, which is life. That is the most reality you’ll ever run into.
A person now, is indwelt by Christ. Now, he has a choice. Am I going to listen to the Spirit of God who lives in me? Who wants to live his life in and through me? Are you going to listen to Him or going to listen to my flesh? And you’ve got the option to listen to either one of them. That’s the conflict. The desires of the flesh are in conflict to the desires of the Spirit. They never are going to get along with each other. And that conflict will be until the day that you die. And so, in the meantime, what does he say? The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love period. What happened when they hurt Jesus? Don’t imagine that. It doesn’t hurt when He was slapped, or when he was hung on a cross. What did he do? Father, forgive them, they don’t know what they’re doing.
And so the issue is that, if you are doing anything that is so called Christian that it’s Jesus doing it through you, because you don’t have the ability to produce it and neither do they. So, if they’re not producing it, if you do not see them bearing the fruit of God in any way, shape, or form, what’s their problem, whether or not abiding in the vine? How come? They don’t know anything about it and they don’t have anybody to tell them. They obviously weren’t told that in the churches they were in. They went from one church to another. Why? Because they were searching for something. So I would look at those people with pity. I would look at them as the poor souls have never been able to find truth. And if I knew truth, I’d be the first one there to try to tell them truth.
When I came to Christ, when I was 36 years of age and I came to know Christ as my personal Lord and Savior, I got on an airplane immediately and flew back to Indiana to my mom and dad to try to communicate to them the truth of Christ Jesus. My dad was the most moral man I’ve ever met in my life. He lived an exemplary life, but he didn’t know Jesus. And it was my mission to be sure that he knew Jesus before he died. Because as good as he was, he would not have gone into heaven, because of his good works, only by putting his faith in Christ’s works.
Manom: You don’t know my background. You don’t know what I’ve done and what I haven’t done or what my daily practices are. But I believe that I am a Christian in the biblical sense and that I grew up Catholic, but I came to know the Lord as an adult when I made this realization that Jesus did die on the cross for me. And I don’t do anything to deserve the salvation. It’s a gift, and there’s no good works that can save me. If I want to do things for my church, or if I want to do things because I think that it builds God’s kingdom, great. God accepts that but it doesn’t make me better than the guy next to me who’s doing a whole bunch of nothing, but accepts gifts of salvation. Now, you can take that as judging if you want to, but I’m just saying that some people do this and some people do that. So why don’t we just say it that way? So it sounds less judgmental because you seem to think that I’m very judgmental and I don’t hold that against you, but that’s your opinion. But what I want to know is like today you do God’s principle say, someone does wrong you and you call that person and you say, because God is at the center of my life, I’m asking you to forgive me and I would like to live at peace with you as we’re called to do and that person doesn’t respond. How do you, where do you proceed from there? You just keep going?
Bob: Sure. There isn’t anything that you can do beyond that. You cannot move the will of another person. It’s what it says in the scripture or someone has offended, you, you go to them that if they don’t respond, you move on and there isn’t anything else you can do if the person
Manom: That someone like your mom or your dad, or someone that’s very close to your family of origin. You just walk away?
Bob: Well, there isn’t any walking away. You just have to recognize, they’re not accepting what you have offered to them is forgiveness and a desire for friendship that you’re not walking away from them there. Evidently walked away from you. I mean, they walked away from you, you haven’t walked away from them.
Manom: Now what if the person wants to keep going? They want to keep going as if nothing had happened.
Bob: And keep loving them, keep loving them and pray that they’ll get to know Christ Jesus as their Lord and Savior. That’s the only solution to anything.
Manom: I guess you’re right. I mean, I believe that.
Bob: Yeah. So the only thing to do is, those are people they’re not going to accept your forgiveness and that type of thing. And it’s a person that doesn’t know forgiveness. And you forgive how? As Christ Jesus forgave you. If you don’t know he’s forgiven you, how in the world are you going to forgive one another? So you must get people to Christ.
Manom: Well, I’ll tell you what, I think you are right about me. I think I am judgmental, and I think that you did a very good work today, for Jesus, and sort of telling me and confronting me with that truth. Because that’s not an easy thing to hear or learn about yourself. And I thank you for being honest.
Bob: Well, thank you for your attitude, my dear. It’s a sign of Christ living in you. And that’s what this whole thing is all about. You know, I appreciate your call. God bless you, bye-bye.
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21 Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.”
Bob: Let’s go to Nashville, Tennessee, Ron you’re on the air.
Ron: Hey, Bob how are you today?
Bob: Good. Good Ron. Thank you.
Ron: Wonderful. I was listening to your thing about, we can’t initiate anything and I feel you on that. But what I was going to ask you, because sometimes I witnessed to people and I tell them that, if they found in God’s word, when he says such as Psalms 1, we don’t get our counsel from ungodly people, don’t sit in the seat of the scornful, if I delight is in the law of the Lord, and in his law, he meditates day and night, whatsoever we do shall prosper. So if we come to God and we say, hey God, I’m doing what you said to do in your word and you can’t lie, whatsoever. Is that initiating God?
Bob: First of all, I don’t know what you’re doing over there to begin with because that isn’t where we live. We’re under a new covenant of Grace today, Ron. And it’s not conditional in any way, shape, or form. It’s all the fact of following what Jesus did. And Jesus said as God, (and as Archie Bunker said, he wasn’t too bad of a Christian) we have to realize that Jesus said, I don’t do anything less than what the Father tells me to do it, and I don’t say anything less than the Father tells me to say it and how to say it. And so, even though Jesus was God, when he was here, when he came to this earth and took upon himself an appearance as a man, He walked in total dependency upon his Father and initiated nothing. The role of God is to initiate all action, to be the reason to be the initiator of his own acts, the cause of his own effect, but he put that prerogative aside and walked in total dependency upon God the Father in order to show you and me how to live this Christian life. And as he said, “as the Father has sent me so send I you.” So in essence, living on this side of the cross, and dwelt by the Spirit of God, who now is not to meditate on the laws of God or the law of God, but to meditate upon Christ Jesus, the Son of God, that is our meditation. And our walk with God is to be totally dependent upon what he leads us to do. So many times, we go out and take initiative on our own and fall flat on our face. And it’s just God’s way of showing you what taking our own initiative does. So if we’ll wait on the Lord and for him to lead us and to guide us into all truth then we’ll be functioning exactly as God meant us to function, and that is in total dependency upon God, the Father.
Ron: Right, I understand what you are saying. But, if he initiated it by his word, but if we follow his word, which it could even be Christ’s teaching following Christ?
Bob: Well, then who would be the initiator? And I see he’s the initiator is, in other words, God is the initiator and we’re the responder. So, that’s just basically what I was saying, we don’t initiate to him. We don’t tell him. Now God, you told me, if I do this and this and this you’re going to do that, that’s putting yourself in a position of being God. He says it because you are in Christ Jesus. Go and love one another and quite frankly, Ronnie, the only thing that Jesus left us to do is to love one another. He said, the only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love, that’s it. And we put on all this other stuff and we think we’re so, so obedient. And we’re so Godly. And that to me is the most ridiculous thing in the world. He’s the Godly one. We’re not. We have the privilege of participating in the divine nature that lives in us, but in and of our flesh is still no good thing and inasmuch as there is a dwelling sin, that is living In us, that is what is going to keep us dependent upon Christ. I’m convinced that if we didn’t have it, with sin living in us, we’d forget Jesus in a New York minute.
And so that’s why Paul says to rejoice in our weakness because our weakness is what keeps us dependent on Jesus. Yeah, so he’s the initiator and we’re the responder. He says, go talk to that person. We say thank you Lord I’ll go talk to him. Not so that God will do something, because he’s already done something.
Ron: Yeah, I believe that. Yeah.
Bob: Okay, brother. That help Ron?
Ron: Yes sir it has.
Bob: Okay, my friend. Appreciate your call Ron. God bless you, bye-bye. Now.
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.
Order Born Free today.