Call-In Classic Christianity Radio – Bob George P623 (04-08-21)
People call in to get advice and help on various topics, such as personal struggles with temptation or clarification on understanding scriptures, particularly those passages in the gospels that apply only to the Jewish people who were living under an Old Covenant. So Bob explains what the New Covenant we live under today is.
Jesus used the law to bury people under the law so they can see their need for a Savior. Until the work was finished, Jesus taught about the New Covenant to come, and he told his disciples to wait in Galilee for the promised Holy Spirit. And when the Holy Spirit comes into a person, a person becomes born again, the Spirit remains forever. That is what happened to the disciples on the day of Pentecost, the first time in history people were born again.
The Holy Spirit is what changes lives. The disciples could not really understand what Jesus was saying to them, but now with the Holy Spirit living in them, they now have new revelation. The Spirit lived in them and changed them from fearful men, hiding in fear of the Jewish leaders, particularly that day after the crucifixion, and after Pentecost, became men as bold as a lion, proclaiming the gospel that changed their lives. In one day, three thousand people came to believe from the message they were preaching in regard to Christ.
So listen now as Bob explains this grace we live under today and how we grow in grace, as he shares from the parable of the vine and the branches in John 15, and other passages to encourage us in overcoming the temptations we face day to day in our sin-indwelling flesh, which now has the Holy Spirit living in us. We learn to walk by faith in all that God has said and revealed to us by the Spirit living in us.
Holly from Brownsville, OR
Holly: Thank you for helping me and my husband in understanding grace. Your book Classic Christianity helped us get out of legalism we struggled with in the past. Through the message of grace from reading Classic Christianity we came to understand that you cannot lose salvation. But I am calling on behalf of my husband because Hebrews 6:4-6 was confusing to him.
4 It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, 5 who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age 6 and who have fallen away, to be brought back to repentance. To their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace.
Bob: Let me explain the audience and context of Hebrews. The audience is the Hebrews, Jewish people who had lived under an Old Covenant system. Like many people today, they were professors but not possessors of eternal life. That is they were not born again but giving lip service but never repentance, that is a change of mind concerning who they are and who Jesus is and what he did. They were in essence saying, “I believe in Jesus but I am looking for him as the political Messiah, one who will free me from the Romans”. Or, they were saying, “I am looking for God for forgiveness of sins by going back to the sacrificial system. I am going back to Jerusalem to sacrifice a bull or ram?”. You respond, “What for? Jesus took away all your sins at the cross.” They were going back to the day of atonement. He may have understood but he never repented. He would rather stay under an Old Covenant system he is familiar with than believe the truth in what Jesus finished for him. Jesus is the final sacrifice. There is more details in Hebrews 10 in regards to the finality of the cross and the New Covenant Jesus initiated with his death.
1 The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming – not the realities themselves. For this reason it can never, by the same sacrifices repeated endlessly year after year, make perfect those who draw near to worship. 2 Otherwise, would they not have stopped being offered? For the worshipers would have been cleansed once for all, and would no longer have felt guilty for their sins. 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.
8 First he said, “Sacrifices and offerings, burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not desire, nor were you pleased with them” – though they were offered in accordance with the law. 9 Then he said, “Here I am, I have come to do your will.” He sets aside the first to establish the second. 10 And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
11 Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. 12 But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, 13 and since that time he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool. 14 For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.
18 And where these have been forgiven, sacrifice for sin is no longer necessary.
Bob: Where these sins are forgiven, there is no more sacrifice for sins. Judas Iscariot had tasted the heavenly gift, tasted and shared in the things of the Holy Spirit. He certainly saw evidence of it, tasted of the goodness, but never received life.
Bob: In essence, the Jews hanging around the Apostle John were denying the finality of the cross. Those who teach losing your salvation deny the finality of the cross. So what is meant by “falling away and being too late and cannot be brought back to repentance?“ In essence, it is like saying “You cannot go back to repentance because you never repented to begin with. You can’t go back to where you have never been. Yes, you have heard the truth, tasted and seen the goodness of the Lord but you are crucifying the Lord all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace.“ Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sin (Hebrews 9:22). If there was any further forgiveness needed by Christ, he would have to die again. Is he going to do that? Of course not. If you think there is more forgiveness needed, then you have to crucify him all over again.
19 Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another – and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
16 Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
Bob: So come boldly into the throne of grace with full assurance of faith, having your bodies washed with pure water. He who promised is faithful. He is faithful, not us. Encourage one another as you see the day approaching. If we keep on sinning (sin is the sin of unbelief about the finality of the cross) after seeing knowledge of the truth, then you will see the fearful expectation of judgment that consumes the enemies of God. You have trampled the Son of God underfoot, insulted the Spirit of grace, treating unholy the blood of the covenant, Jesus shed blood for you.
26 If we deliberately keep on sinning
Bob: What is sin?
everything that does not come from faith is sin.
Bob: So what is sin? Unbelief.
9 The world’s sin is unbelief in me;
after we have received the knowledge of the truth [the finality of the cross], no sacrifice for sins is left, 27 but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God.
Bob: If you are not going to trust Jesus for your sins, there is no more sacrifice. You and I can go into the Holy of Holies by a new living way, opened up for us by Jesus shed blood.
28 Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. 29 How much more severely do you think someone deserves [did not say he did, but deserves] to be punished who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified them, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace?
Bob: Insulting the spirit of grace, treating as an unholy thing by denying His sacrifice was final. What people have been doing in Catholicism and Protestantism in equal vigor, instead of spending our time thanking the Lord Jesus for total forgiveness that was provided, people are still asking Him to do what He died to do, and in so doing, making a mockery of His cross.
Bob: Does that help?
Holly: Yes it does. I really appreciate it.
Dominic from Arlington, TX
Dominic: I am calling for clarification on Revelation 3:5. Who is being referred to in the passage that says, “He will not blot out your name from the book of life”. Is everyone already in the book of life and then those who fail to come to Christ are blotted out?
5 The one who is victorious will, like them, be dressed in white. I will never blot out the name of that person from the book of life, but will acknowledge that name before my Father and his angels.
Bob: This scripture actually gives the believer assurance of salvation. As far as who is in the book of life, only those in the book of life are those made alive in Christ. Not only will He never blot their name out of life but He will also acknowledge him before His angels. You cannot be in the book of life if you are still dead. Only those born again are in the book of life. Another way of saying this is “You will never lose your salvation.”
Adam from Sacramento, CA
Adam: I heard a preacher talk about the passage in scripture in regards to the vine and the branches as only applicable to the Old Covenant and is not applicable today. Is that true because that does not ring true to me? Can you help clarify the proper understanding for me?
1 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. 3 You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. 4 Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.
5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. 7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.
9 “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10 If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. 11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. 12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command. 15 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit – fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. 17 This is my command: Love each other.
Bob: When Jesus was on the earth, he was teaching under an Old Covenant while proclaiming the New Covenant. He buried us under the Old Covenant while revealing to us who we were so we may see our need for a Savior and come to believe in him for life. The Old Testament is a total history of man’s failure to ever be righteous in sight of God by his own works. The Old Testament details man trying to define his own righteousness. Jesus for thirty some years explained and demonstrated righteousness, not man’s but God’s. The rest of the New Testament explains man’s total inability to live up to that righteousness and therefore coming to Jesus for that righteousness.
Bob: Paul explains you cannot have righteousness apart from a relationship with Christ. Jesus is the true vine and Israel is called a vine. Israel is not the vine, but Jesus is the vine. Salvation is not received by becoming a Jew or by being a Jew practicing Judaism or practicing sacrificial system or ceremonial law or obeying the ten commandments. Through Jew’s adherence to the law is the way of Israel but Jesus says “I am the true vine”. Jesus is talking to the religious Jews that are bearing no fruit at all, but rather exposing their hypocrisy as dead men’s bones on the inside and white-washed tombs on the outside.
27 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean.
Jesus is telling them the truth that they are dead men. To his disciples, he told them they are already clean by the word he had spoken (John 15:3). Where did their truth come from? From Jesus. So now that you believe the truth, remain in me to bear fruit. Neither can you bear fruit comparing that with those who do not produce fruit, Israel, since they are not connected to the true vine. Apart from me you can do nothing (John 15:5) – like a branch thrown away and withered. Not that you will be burned but like a branch in its uselessness if it does not receive nourishment from the vine. No use for it if the branch is not abiding in the life of the vine. No use for it. That applies to you and me. Jesus is living in the Old Covenant and is teaching the New Covenant. There is just a different arrangement at his death, abiding before the cross and after the cross. If you do not abide in Christ, who is your life, there is no way to produce Christ’s fruit. Just like a branch cannot bear fruit without the vine.
9 “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10 If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. 11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. 12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.
Bob: What did he just command? Love each other. He called you friend.
13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command. 15 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.
Bob: Everything made known to the Father he made known to you. Upon love, love is the fulfillment of the law. So what do people do today? They keep people under the law rather than teach them the love of God. Now those living in the Old Testament while Jesus walked the earth, they had no idea what he was talking about until revealed later. You won’t know what that means, a relationship with Jesus, until after the death, burial and resurrection. It was not until after Pentecost that the Holy Spirit came to live in a person. Until that time there was no ability to understand the meaning of the word of God. Those things must be revealed by the Holy Spirit. He proclaimed this life but it was explained after his death, burial and resurrection. It was not until Pentecost, when the Spirit lives in a person, was this revealed by the Spirit.
1 Corinthians 2:14
14 The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit.
1 John 2:27
27 As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit – just as it has taught you, remain in him.
Bob: They might have heard what Jesus said but had no clue what he meant. Even the disciples did not understand. Their actions testify of their lack of spiritual understanding. After Jesus death they were all fearing, hiding, denying him, cowering, in utter fear, until after Pentecost. Then they were changed by the power of the Holy Spirit, boldly proclaiming truth. Look at Peter’s boldness in the book of Acts where three thousand people became believers after his preaching.
40 With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.” 41 Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.
Bob: Same men, before Pentecost, fearful, but after Pentecost, bold as lions.
Dale from Dale City, VA
Tom: I had girlfriends before I became a Christian, and broke off from them so as to be pure and live a new life, for I had sinned sexually with some. So I struggle with thoughts that come to my mind from time to time and how to let that go.
28 But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
Bob: Then you repented unto salvation and came to Christ. And just because you are in Christ Jesus that does not make you blind and deaf. If evil memories, thinking sexual things, those are not from God. Who do you think is putting those thoughts in your mind? The devil, who wants to steal, kill and destroy, puts those thoughts in your head. He can only steal your witness, and create havoc in your life as you yield to the flesh, for you are eternally secure, by God’s faithfulness, not yours, and your faith in the finality of the cross. As a believer, we are to reject those thoughts.
2 Corinthians 10:5
5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
Bob: So when thoughts that are contrary to truth, to the nature and character of God, replace error and lies with truth. Anything you think today concerning past girlfriends is fantasy. There is no reality, for you do not even know if they are now believers or not. Do not put yourself on guilt trips over those kinds of things. Many thoughts are not even initiated by you, but the devil. Furthermore, Jesus has already taken your sins away, never to be remembered anymore. There is now no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus. While we are yet alive in this flesh, we will still sin, and never be perfect in behavior.
1 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2 because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. 3 For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in the flesh, 4 in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
Bob: Yes, we have Christ’s imputed righteousness, and are sanctified, our new identity, and cannot make ourselves more holy (Hebrews 10:14), but we are still being sanctified in our behavior to be conformed to the image of God (Romans 12:2). You are not going to be more complete for God made you holy. We should always, moment by moment, walk by faith and not by sight or feelings or emotions (Galatians 5:16). We will fail to walk by the Spirit at times, giving into the flesh, that often speaks louder than the Holy Spirit. Yes, at times we will fail. What attitude should we have when we are weak and struggling? For we all have struggles. Struggles are what keep you trusting in Jesus. Paul rejoiced in his weaknesses for that kept him dependent on Jesus. So we abide in the vine, to let His life be lived in and through me, a day to day decision to walk by faith and sometimes we fall on our face, and that will be the process until the day we die. If you want to be perfect in your life then you would have to die.
4 For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.
2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.
16 So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.
1 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,
2 Corinthians 5:21
21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
2 Corinthians 12:7-10
7 Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. 8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
Dale: Thank you very much for your comments and for your ministry. It is very helpful.
Bob: Well, thank you. Keep growing in grace, my friend.
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