Call-ins Radio Broadcast Thursday 05/07/2020

Call-In Classic Christianity Radio – Bob George P533 (05-07-20)

Synopsis

The subject of forgiveness comes up quite often by people who call into the Classic Christianity radio program. It is still today the most commonly asked questions. Why did Jesus say that if you do not forgive your brother, neither will I forgive you? What happens when I sin? Should I ask God to forgive me? What do I do when I sin? These are the most commonly asked questions. Then you have questions about baptism and how to live this new life God has given.

First of all, what is sin? Most people think of sin as the nasty five, the terrible twelve or the dirty dozen, where you rate lying maybe as a 2, stealing a 4, adultery an 8 and murder a 10. But what is the root of all sin? What are the attitudes of the heart, such as anger and lust that leads to the sin? Jesus even said if you look lustfully at a girl you have already committed adultery, and so too with hatred being murder. Let us go deeper than that. What did Adam do in the garden of Eden before the law was even given? Did he not trust what God had said, to not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil? What is that? That is the sin of unbelief in Jesus. See, God wants to change our mind about what sin is. Who has not worried about tomorrow? Do you know worry is a symptom of not trusting God, that He is our provision for today? Anything that does not come from faith is sin.

Now, what was the cause of our death? Sin. Who went to a cross to take away sin? Jesus. When he died, how many sins did he take away? All of them. How many of our sins were in the future when he died? All of them. Now, before Jesus went to the cross, what covenant were the Jews under, when he said if you do not forgive your brother neither will I forgive you? The old covenant. What was God’s provision to temporarily cover sin. The blood of a bull and a goat. But it could not take it away. They were under the law that says cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the law.

What were the Jews trusting in to save them? The law of Moses, much like people do today, trying to keep the law, or forming their own religion rather than trusting what God says. So Jesus was saying to them, if you want to be perfect, then be as perfect as my Father in heaven. Who can do that? The law is to bury them, and us today who rely on it, so they might see their condition of death by their sin and by nature, inherited in Adam, and follow Jesus to the cross. And then on the other side of the cross, Jesus has an offer of new life for them. Why? No longer will man’s sins be counted against them. They are taken away. After His death Jesus ushered in a New Covenant of grace. Now that the punishment of sin, which is death, is paid in full by Jesus shed blood on a cross, the next time man sins, he will not die again, if He is in Him. He is transferred out from that law of sin and death that he could never obey and transferred into Christ, His resurrected life with Him, where man will never die and live forever.

So, do you see now that before you and I were ever born, sin is not keeping us from heaven, but our unbelief in what Jesus alone has done for us and failing to come to Him for life. In Him, you have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. Are you in Him? The only sin attributable to man is the sin of unbelief in Jesus. So then, if you are born again, why ask for what in Him you already have? And if you are not yet in Him, what holds you back? He already forgave you of all your sin. Come to Him for new life, and thank Him for His mercy. Receive His resurrected life and thank Him for His grace.

So, as a born again believer, when you sin, what do you do? You thank God for what He has already done for you. You boldly go to His throne of grace for help in time of need. You are His child. He wants the very best for you. Sin brings about disappointment and pain and anxiety and grief. God does not want that for you. He no longer deals with you as someone under law, but His child, who needs training and discipline, a renewing of the mind, to learn to walk in the new life He has given. He is your coach, your counselor, encourager and friend. God loves you unconditionally. So you can go to someone like that, and boldly declare there is now NO condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Now, with your brother whom you have sinned against, you certainly should straighten that out, for that has not been worked out between the two of you. But as far as God is concerned, Jesus took all of the punishment for you already and God will never ever see sins again.

Knowing what God has forgiven you of, how does that make it so much easier to straighten things out with your brother? Does not love well up in your heart, knowing God’s love for you? So the same way you received from God, we give to others. The same grace we received, we give to others. Now, in regard to the world in general, there is wisdom from God. God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble. Jesus did not entrust himself to any man for He knew what was in a man.

Living is Christ. You could never set out to obey the law, and you still cannot do that. Jesus did not set out to obey rules on stone. He came to love people, and in loving people he fulfilled the law because love is the fulfillment of the law. We were designed to live with the love of God in our hearts. That is a fruit of the Spirit, something God must produce in us and through us. When you abide in Him, you are totally resting in Him like a branch who rests and stays connected so that it will bear fruit, whether an apple or a grape or whatever it may be. We do not grunt and groan to produce something like love, joy, peace, patience, kindness and goodness any more than a branch groans to produce fruit. To live is Christ, making yourself available to Him to live His life in you and through you.

Transcript

Amy from Liberty Hills, Texas

Amy: I have a question on forgiveness. Is it not necessary to ask God for forgiveness? My understanding is, as a born again believer, Jesus taught us to pray, to forgive us our sins, forgive us our trespasses.

Bob: You put a period where a period does not belong. You are talking about the Lord’s prayer. Do you know the difference between the Old and the New Covenant?

Amy: I do.

Bob: Do you know when the New Covenant began?

Amy: I know that when Jesus died, it is over with.

Bob: Exactly. He ushered in the New Covenant with his death. So did he teach under the Old or the New?

Amy: I understand that he taught his disciples what was going to be the New Covenant.

Bob: But he taught under the Old didn’t he? He has not died yet.

Amy: That sounds like equivocation. Everything else he did was New Covenant.

Bob: Amy. Hold on a minute. Quit getting intellectual on me. You keep reading.

Matthew 6:14-15
14 For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

Bob: I am just continuing on with what is called the Lord’s prayer, which is really not the Lord’s prayer, nor is it to be repeated over and over again like the heathen do, which he just got through saying.

7 And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. 8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

9 “This, then, is how you should pray:

Bob: Jesus said, “If you do not forgive others on earth, neither will My Father forgive you.” How are you going to bring that together with after the cross, where God was in Christ reconciling the whole world unto Himself not counting the world’s sin against Him.

2 Corinthians 5:19
19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them.

Bob: That is double talk, double mindedness, on one side of the cross saying this and the other side of the cross, saying that. That is either a contradiction of terms or the difference between the Old and the New. Under the Old Covenant, he gave that to us to bury us. How was a Jew not to forgive his brother when he hated his brother. He hated all people who were not Jewish. He hated people in Samaria. That buried them and prepared them for the cross. There is no place in the New Covenant where it ever tells a believer to ask God to forgive him. It is not because we do not need forgiveness. It is because we already have it. So we ought to be thanking Him if we are to be walking by faith. We should be thanking Him instead of asking for what in Him we already have.

Steven from Bakersfield, California

Steven: Hi.

Bob: How are you doing, brother?

Steven: Doing pretty good. Thank you, sir.

Bob: Good.

Steven: I had a question about baptism. I have been a Christian for several years. I began to read the bible the past year, actually. I am beginning to realize I was not a Christian. Many things in word judged me and there are many things in the bible I did not follow. I did not obey his word, therefore, I was not a Christian, although I thought I was. In the past years, I started doing that. I just turned you on the radio. I am not a regular listener. I heard you speaking while driving home. So I wanted to call and ask you about baptism, because I came across many times in the New Testament.

Bob: Steven, I think a couple of things before we address that. I think you need to get clear in regard to that you were not a Christian because you did not obey because that is nonsense. The issue is that you were dead spiritually. You were born into this world dead in your sins.

Colossians 2:9-15
9 For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, 10 and in Christ you have been brought to fullness. He is the head over every power and authority. 11 In him you were also circumcised with a circumcision not performed by human hands. Your whole self ruled by the flesh was put off when you were circumcised by Christ, 12 having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through your faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead.

13 When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you [us] alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, 14 having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. 15 And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.

(Steven interrupts frequently throughout this conversation before Bob finishes his thought.)

Bob: Again, do not agree too fast. Listen to what I am saying.

Steven: Sure.

Bob: Your sins had to be taken away at the cross forever from the eyes of God. That was an eternal act at the cross, in order to give you life. Had he not taken away sin, which is the cause of spiritual death, or He had forgotten one, and you committed it, and He had given you life, you would have lost that life right then, because the wages of sin is death. So you are not saved by the cross. You are saved by the resurrection.

Romans 5:10
10 For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!

Bob: That is what the cross did. It reconciled. He took away our sins. How much more having been reconciled shall you be saved by his life. It is the resurrection that saves us, and that is why Paul said without the resurrection, we are to be pitied of all people and are still in our sins.

The whole emphasis of the New Testament was to offer him for life.

John 11:24-25
24 Martha answered, “I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.”

25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; 26 and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”

1 John 5:11-12
11 And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12 Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.

All of those passages of scripture teach what salvation is. It is coming alive in Christ Jesus. It has nothing to do with what you did. It only has to do with what you believed, and repented of your sin of unbelief and coming to him by faith. That is how you are saved.

Romans 3:20
20 Therefore no one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by the works of the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of our sin.

Bob: So you were not saved through obedience. And you are not sustained through obedience. You are sustained because of Him. You are sustained because of His faithfulness to you. So making a statement that you were not saved because you are not living in obedience is a dangerous one because you are still not living in total obedience to God when you take a look at the scripture that says the only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.

Galatians 5:6b
6 The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.

Bob: Then look at 1 Corinthians 13, which is God’s definition of love.

1 Corinthians 13:4-8
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

8 Love never fails.

Bob: Now consider that in my daily walk that I am always patient, I am always kind, I never keep record of people’s wrongs? I do not need to go on. We have lost it. The issue is what we are doing is allowing Jesus now, who lives in me, to produce those kinds of things in and through me, because there is nothing in my flesh capable of producing those things. I cannot do that through self effort. I have to do that through surrender. When you are dealing with obedience, true obedience is what Jesus said. Here on earth, here He is God, and He said these things.

John 5:19
19 Jesus gave them this answer: “Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.”

John 12:49-50
49 “For I did not speak on my own, but the Father who sent me commanded me to say all that I have spoken. 50 I know that his command leads to eternal life. So whatever I say is just what the Father has told me to say.”

Bob: Jesus said that he does not do anything unless the Father tells him to do it and he does not say anything unless the Father tells him to say it and how to say it. He lived in total dependence on his Father, and then said to you and me, “as the Father sent me so I send you, and so do likewise”. We are following his example of trusting, his example of living by faith.

John 20:21-22
21 Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” 22 And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.”

Bob: When we are talking about living in dependency, that is what God is looking for in us, to live in the attitude of total dependence on the Spirit of God to live in me, to live His life in and through me. If I am going to do that, I have no dependency on myself. I have no confidence in my own flesh except failure. I have total confidence in the Spirit of God who lives in me. If I will yield to Him and walk by faith in Him, He will produce that in and through me just like a vine and a branch. As a branch abiding in the vine, the life of the vine will produce the fruit in the branch, but the branch cannot produce it. It can only bear the fruit.

John 15:1-5
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.

Bob: I wanted to straighten that out just a little bit. I am not saying you were not a Christian then, or are not necessarily now, but do not equate being a Christian with walking in total obedience, otherwise then there would not be any Christian except Jesus.

Steven: Yes, but that is what the word says.

Bob: No, the word says that He is the vine and you are a branch and you can do nothing apart from Him. That is what the word says.

Bob: So the issue is this, Steven. Again, if somebody, like yourself or me, walking around, and I have been in the ministry for a lot of years. I do not know how old you are, but as far as doing things for God, even in my age category, would put me far ahead of where you are. I look at that and say, “I have not done anything worthwhile of entering heaven except abiding in Christ Jesus”. So a person saying I live in obedience is self righteous. Number one, they are deceived. Second, they are terribly self righteous. Nobody can do that.

Steven: I think that, after reading God’s word, abiding in Christ is walking in total obedience to His word and obeying His commandments.

Bob: Steven, hold on a minute. If you are a branch, and you are abiding in the vine, then you are saying is that abiding in a vine is obeying everything the vine has to say when it says apart from the vine you cannot do anything. You see, you got everything confused. You cannot live in total obedience. I just gave you a passage. Are you saying you are living in accordance with 1 Corinthians 13? See, that annihilates you, and annihilates anyone, who thinks they are living in obedience to Christ Jesus. You can sit down and put up with easy things. It says “be baptized” and so I have been baptized. It says “go to church” and I go to church. But what about the attitude of the heart? We have to realize we cannot do that, and that is what it says, “apart from Me you can do nothing.” It is not the case I am abiding in Christ in that self righteousness of total obedience. If I am abiding in Christ, then I am depending on Him to produce it and not me. I can try but I will fall flat on my face sooner or later.

Steven: Then what do you do? How are you saved?

Bob: The Holy Spirit of God, Steven, is alive and the Holy Spirit of God lives in you if you are truly saved. It says if you do not have the Holy Spirit living in you, then you do not belong to Him.

1 John 5:12
12 Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.

Bob: We are indwelt by God and we literally have the mind of Christ living in us.

1 Corinthians 2:16
16 for, “Who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ.

Steven: Of course, we are a branch abiding in Him, and you say we have the mind of Christ. I totally agree with you, that we would have the mind of Christ. Then, can I just go on living any way I want to live and doing anything I want to do, what I feel is right to my own eyes? Where do you draw the line?

Bob: Steven, there is no line to draw. You are confused. If you are in Christ Jesus, I have the ability and privilege to participate in the divine nature that lives in me. I can also participate in my flesh.

2 Peter 1:4
4 Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.

Romans 7:14-20
14 We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. 15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 16 And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 17 As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18 For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature [flesh]. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do€”this I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.

21 So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23 but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. 24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? 25 Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!

So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in my sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.

Bob: That was Paul saying that. He also said praise be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord, who will rescue me from this body of death. How is that possible?

2 Peter 1:3
3 His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.

Bob: You have everything you need for life and godliness, living in you, in the person of Christ Jesus. I can participate in that and yield to that or I can yield to the demands of the flesh. That is the option. That is the conflict that is in all of us. So the hearts desire of a true born again believer is to live, as it says in scripture, to have the privilege to participate in the divine nature. In other words, yielding to the Holy Spirit’s desires. But at times, I yield to the flesh. That is the conflict. When I am walking in the Spirit, I will not carry out the desires of the flesh.

Galatians 5:16-17
16 So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want.

Steven: When you say, sometimes yield to the flesh, give an example of yielding to the flesh.

Bob: Having bad thoughts about people. It can be all kinds of things. You can irritate people. Take love as an example.

Galatians 5:6b
6 The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.

Looking at the definition of love in 1 Corinthians 13, are you always patient? I am not always patient. When I am not patient, I am yielding to the flesh.

Steven: I am trying to be.

Bob: Trying. A dollar will get you a cup of coffee. Trying is not the issue. Trusting is.

Bob: What we are discussing here, you are discussing self righteousness and God’s righteousness. Self righteousness is saying I am doing everything okay, or if I am not, I am at least trying. Will God accept that? No. He won’t accept that.

Romans 9:30-31
30 What then shall we say? That the Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have obtained it, a righteousness that is by faith; 31 but the people of Israel [the Jews], who pursued the law as the way of righteousness, have not attained their goal.

Bob: Yep, you got it. How come? Because they pursued it, not by faith, but by works. Therefore, they stumbled over the stumbling stone. So when you are pursuing righteousness, in your own righteousness, that is called self righteousness. In other words, I say “I am going to go do”, but He says, “No, you cannot, Steven”. I recognize your desire, but you cannot pull it off. Only Jesus can pull it off.

Steven: I agree with you one hundred percent. It is only in Christ that I can give the Holy Spirit and can change a person’s life and change their mind.

Todd from Lubbock, Texas

In John 20:23, where Jesus came out of tomb and visits his disciples, and says whatever sin you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. I was wondering what your take is on that? That also made me think of Ananias and Saphira, where he dropped dead and then his wife dropped dead.

Todd asked Bob to explain this concept of “loosing and binding” he has heard, as read in John 20:23.

Bob read the verses before and after John 20:23 to understand the context.

John 20:19-23
19 On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 20 After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord. 21 Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” 22 And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”

John 20:24-31
24 Now Thomas (also known as Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.” 26 A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.” 28 Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!” 29 Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

30 Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. 31 But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.

Bob: Jesus came out of the tomb, loosed and was once bound. Like 1 John 1:9, read further to understand what Jesus is really saying.

Bob: Jesus appeared to his disciples behind locked doors. Then he suddenly appears to them and says, “peace be with you”. Now that is rather interesting. Here is a guy who was just dead three days ago and then he appears out of nowhere and says “peace be with you”. Thomas, who was not there, said he would not believe unless he saw the nails in his hands and the scar on his side. Jesus met him where he was at and showed him his hands and his side. Then Thomas believed. Jesus replied, “blessed are those who do not see and yet believe”. Jesus is essentially saying: “God sent me. Now I am sending you” (John 20:21). Jesus is saying: “Tell the world what I have done for you. I have forgiven you all your sins and in a little while soon you shall receive the Holy Spirit, my very life in you. I give you authority to proclaim the forgiveness of sins because they have already been forgiven. Tell them that.”

Bob: What did the Father send Jesus to do? God sent Jesus to take away the sins of the world. Why is Jesus sending you? Jesus wants us to tell people that he took away the sins of the world.

John 20:22
22 And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.

Bob: What is meant by “breathe on them”? Breathe on them means he took a deep breath in Greek. Is he saying they received the Holy Spirit right then and there? No. Nobody received the Holy Spirit at this point in time because Jesus has not yet been glorified. He has not gone back up in heaven to see His Father. It did not happen that day. It was just an instruction when the Holy Spirit came to receive him. The Holy Spirit would be the initiator of all things that he wants done on this earth.

John 20:23
23 If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”

Bob: The reason to forgive sins is because they have already been forgiven. The phrase “bound on earth”, as rendered in some translations, we interpret as “will be”but the correct interpretation is “has been”. The only unpardonable sin is the rejection of Jesus. We have authority from God as an ambassador with full authority to tell people your sins are forgiven.

2 Corinthians 5:19-21
19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 20 We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. 21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

John 19:30
30 When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

Bob: As a child of God, we have total authority to say that truth to every person because already bound in heaven. We have heavenly truth to tell to people.

John 16:9 (TLB)
9 The world’s sin is unbelief in me

Bob: We have the privilege and authority to tell people these truths. The work of redemption and forgiveness of sin has already been done by Jesus, who is now deified by God, sitting at his right hand in heaven. Jesus shed blood is a propitiation, completely satisfied the wrath of God against all sin for all people and all times. Blood of Jesus is of eternal value, being the shed blood of a perfect and holy person who had no sin of his own. That is why he is risen and offers new life, his very Spirit in him, to all who will believe and receive.

John 1:12
12 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God

Bob: We incorrectly translate these scripture to mean: “you do this then God will do this”. We are not the initiator of anything to God. We have the responsibility to respond to that forgiveness.

Todd had another question also. He wanted to know about why Ananias in Acts where he and his wife drop dead.

Acts 5:2-4
2 With his wife’s full knowledge he kept back part of the money for himself, but brought the rest and put it at the apostles’ feet. 3 Then Peter said, “Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land? 4 Didn’t it belong to you before it was sold? And after it was sold, wasn’t the money at your disposal? What made you think of doing such a thing? You have not lied just to human beings but to God.”

Bob: We think of Ananias and Saphira in terms of God zapping him. That is not what scripture says. It says Peter, with the gift of discernment, determined they lied to the Holy Spirit and to God. These people were so distressed that they most likely had a heart attack, for example. There are reasons God used for them to be dropped dead. In the early days it is not a game to be played. Ananias and Saphira had the right to do what they wanted with their money but a sin of lying to say you did something with the money you did not do. When they were exposed to their lies they died.

Bill from Chicago, Illinois

Bill: You may have already said a little on this already. I am having trouble understanding how God sees us here on earth. You talked a lot about how He took away my sin at the cross. He took away my sins from the eyes of God. Would it be fair to say that God only sees us as part of Christ’ body or not part of Christ’ body?

Bob: Do you mean a born again Christian, Bill?

Bill: Yes.

Bob: Born again Christian are His body.

Bill: Both lost and saved, how does God view the lost and the saved?

Bob: Ones who believed in Jesus and the ones who don’t.

Bob: There is only one sin attributable to man, Bill, and Jesus said it is the sin of unbelief in Me.

John 16:9 (TLB)

9 The world’s sin is unbelief in me.

Bob: The only sin God cannot forgive and could not forgive is the sin of rejection of Christ Jesus. That rejection of Christ Jesus is played through society in all walks of life. From the eastern part of the world to the western part of the world, and in the different religions that have been formed, which in essence is saying, “God I do not believe in what you did. I am going to form my own religion.” What is the root of that? Unbelief in Jesus. That is the only sin attributable to man. That is the only question any man will ever be asked by God. “What did you do with my Son. All these other things, when you stop to think about them, all these other things have been hidden from the eyes of God, because compared to the rejection of Jesus, they are nothing. They pale in comparison to the rejection of the Son of God. God Himself, who came to this earth and allowed Himself to be tortured by us morons down here, and hung on a cross, when all He wanted to do was to save mankind. So, that is the only thing that God is interested in is how He arranged for us to be saved. That is only through His Son.

Bill: But He does see us, when we are not abiding in Him. He does see us doing that.

Bob: Well again, you are talking about two different things here. Abiding in Him can only be done after born again. Prior to that time, no one can abide in Christ Jesus because you do not know who you are abiding in. Abiding in is only for born again people.

Bill: Right.

Bob: The Holy Spirit of God is dealing with us just as you would with a small child. We are children compared to God. We are just little children down here. He is dealing with us on the basis of new life we have in Christ Jesus. So He wants us to learn how to trust Him and to abide in Him and to rest in Him. So the root of all sin, which we never get around to confessing. The ones who want to confess their sins all the time, never get to the root of unbelief, but they just confess the filthy five and the nasty nine. They do not realize that to all that is unbelief. God deals with us on that. Bill, why did you do what you did? “Because I was not trusting you Lord”. He says, “Now you got it”. That is what He is dealing with us now, constantly teaching us to abide in Him.

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