Call-In Classic Christianity Radio – Bob George P551 (07-09-20)
It takes time to grow and mature in Christ. Oftentimes, when you have been a Christian awhile, you will hear common questions being asked by many people, generation after generation. Certain verses or passages of scripture, when not understood in its context, in the totality of the cross, of being made complete in Christ, being under a New Covenant, not under an Old Covenant, you are likely to have a faulty interpretation of scripture. The key to understanding, first of all, is to be born again of the Spirit. Assuming that is so, then you have the mind of Christ, and the Spirit will lead you into truth.
The problem that many people have is that they rely on denominational persuasions of men. They listen to too many preachers out there, and do not get into the word of God themselves. Ask the Spirit of God to reveal the meaning of the word of God to you. He is the only one you can rely on to reveal the truth, the meaning of the word of God, to you.
Oftentimes, a young believer will come across a passage, that somehow they think indicates you can lose your salvation, or that you have to persevere to the end to be saved, or to keep short accounts with God. Much of this lack of understanding comes from not understanding what salvation is. A person will focus on one verse, taken out of its context, and get all worked up over it. There are numerous scriptures that explain these things very clearly. Paul makes it very clear. Salvation is not getting your sins forgiven, but is coming alive in Christ Jesus through His resurrected life. When you first read the entire book of Romans and Galatians, you not only have the context, but you also come across very clear scriptures that brings out what salvation really is.
By starting with what you know salvation means, then you can go back to those less clear scriptures, that seem to be giving you trouble, and discern what it is saying, and what it means. If a person is to be saved by obedience to the law, then what will he have to do? He would have to have not failed once. But after reading the first three chapters in Romans, what conclusion did Paul come to concerning the Jew and the Gentile? He concluded that both alike are under sin and that no one is righteous. At then at the end of the third chapter, he said that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.
So if you are going to have any righteousness, someone has to give you his, if he has any of his own. Who does? Jesus Christ does and he is the only one who does. He took your sins away when he shed his blood on a cross. Jesus is the only one who has any righteousness. Jesus is the only one who has life, eternal life, to give to man. By being raised from the dead, he offers life to all men, and always lives to intercede for man./p>
So study the scriptures and let the Spirit teach you what salvation is, about the totality of the cross, law and grace, and what it means to be made complete in Christ. For starters, read Romans 2:13, Romans 3:20, Matthew 5:20, Galatians 3:23-25, Romans 3:19-20, James 2:10, Romans 3:10, Galatians 2:15-16, Galatians 2:21, Romans 7:10, 1 Corinthians 15:56, and Romans 7:7-9. But to really get a full understanding, you need to read entire chapters and books of the bible, and while doing so, asking the Spirit of God to reveal the meaning of it to you.
As you read the word of God, you will discover that God made women with certain roles different from men. Obviously, only women can birth children, and that should be self evident just from nature. In regard to leading in a church, women are not to be in authority over a man. They can teach other women, as the scripture instructs women to teach younger women, but they are not to be in authority over a man. When you read certain passages, such as in 1 Corinthians 14:34-35, realize the context that Paul was addressing that in the context of a misuse of speaking in tongues, of women babbling in the church, and there was disorder that followed. Context helps understand the meaning of what is being said in a passage.
So often people hear things that are just passed on from generation to generation. Unless challenged or confronted, they will often cling onto something as being true, and never think to question the truth of it. But we are to rely on the Spirit to renew our mind, to replace error with truth. It is not uncommon for a person to stand up and say he is called by God to be a pastor. No, you are called unto Christ, and Christ, being the head of the church, is the one who sends you to do what he wants you to do. Yet, oftentimes, there are pastors who are control freaks. They most likely do not know the Lord and think it is their job to tell people what to do. The pastor’s job is to instruct people to trust the Lord and to model that faith in the Lord, to be a model to the people of God, and as someone gifted in teaching, to instruct what the Lord has taught them so as to build up the body. But, it is the Holy Spirit who leads people into all truth and directs the body. Each person has his own unique gift and call from God. There is a moment by moment walk of faith, where each believer relies on the Spirit, just as Jesus did, and modeled for us. Jesus did not do anything unless the Father told him what to do and he did not say anything unless the Father told him what to say and how to say it.
Mark from Pittsburgh, PA
Mark: I believe you are saved by faith, but I often come across scripture that talks about those who endure to the end will be saved. Endurance is one thing. Those who keep the commandments of Christ.
Bob: You have to give me passages of scriptures, because what you are saying has to be in context.
Mark: I understand. Let us go to Romans 2:13
13 For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God’s sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous.
Bob: How many people were declared righteous by obedience to the law? Paul said that no one will be declared righteous by obedience to the law.
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 what the passage is saying is that unless your righteousness exceeds that of the Pharisees, there is no way for you to get into heaven according to your own righteousness.
20 For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.
Bob: So you see, Mark, these kinds of arguments are really ludicrous. It is made by people who have not read the scripture. You cannot read the totality of scripture and believe what people are telling you. You cannot believe what you are believing if you understand the totality of scripture. Throughout scriptures, you cannot be saved by the law. All the law can do is kill you.
Mark: So the law and obedience to Christ are totally two different things? I am not arguing for or against. I think my problem is I listen to a lot of different preachers. I get mixed messages.
Bob: That is your problem.
Mark: Men preachers all seem to want to actively find and seek God, but the truth of God comes to different conclusions. How can so many different people come to so many different conclusions that are, from their heart, trying to seek God? I do not understand it.
Bob: How can Ted Bundy kill all the people that he killed when he is such a nice looking man and well educated man and even nice looking curly hair? How can a nice person murder people? See, you are judging people by what they look like and act like. It has nothing to do with what they know in their head. Unless the Spirit of God reveals the meaning of the word of God to you, you do not know what it means. Therefore, you have to lean on your own understanding because you are not depending upon the word of God. I am going to read scriptures to you and if you come to any different conclusions, then you have got a different bible.
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. 25 Now that this faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian.
Bob: The law was put in place to lead us to Christ. Now that faith has come we are no longer under the law.
19 Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God. 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: Now, you got hung up on a passage of scripture over there that says that it is not those who hear the law but those who obey the law who will be declared righteous. This passage tells us no one will be declared righteous in His sight by observing the law. So, how are you going to interpret this scripture? That is true. So only those who will be declared righteous in their own works would be those who obeyed the law, every single point of it, and never violated the least of it.
10 For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.
As it is written: “There is no one righteous, not even one;”
Bob: No man has ever done that, obeyed the law. So it tells us that no one will be declared righteous through obedience to the law. Now that faith has come, you are no longer under the law.
Bob: Let us look at what the law cannot do for you. The law cannot justify you.
15 “We who are Jews by birth and not sinful Gentiles 16 know that a person is not justified by the works of the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law, because by the works of the law no one will be justified.
21 I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!”
Bob: The law cannot make you righteous. The law cannot justify you. The law cannot give you life.
10 I found that the very commandment that was intended to bring life actually brought death.
Bob: All the law could do is to show you that you are dead. Until we come to a conclusion of seeing that we are dead, we are not ready for salvation. We have just gone to a half salvation to get our sins forgiven. Incidentally, that is just up to the time you accepted Christ, they say. From that point on, you have to keep short accounts, keep up with them yourself. That is what people are taught. That is not salvation. You are not saved by getting sins forgiven. You are saved by the resurrection of Christ Jesus. All the law can do is stir up sin. We are told in scripture that the power of sin is in the law.
1 Corinthians 15:56
56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.
7 What shall we say, then? Is the law sinful? Certainly not! Nevertheless, I would not have known what sin was had it not been for the law. For I would not have known what coveting really was if the law had not said, “You shall not covet.”[Exodus 20:17; Deuteronomy 5:21] 8 But sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, produced in me every kind of coveting. For apart from the law, sin was dead. 9 Once I was alive apart from the law; but when the commandment came, sin sprang to life and I died. 10 I found that the very commandment that was intended to bring life actually brought death.
Bob: So, we have to understand the totality. There is no way of salvation through obedience to the law.
Mark: Yes, and I get that. To get the full understanding, you really have to be taught by the Holy Spirit. But again, I go back to, there are so many people who claim this is what the Holy Spirit is teaching me what the scriptures mean, but there are two different meanings. So many people who I listen to and trust, yet they come up with two different meanings and two different conclusions. I do not know how both can proclaim the Holy Spirit is teaching them. One is right and one is wrong.
Bob: That is very easy. Just because I say the Holy Spirit is teaching me does not mean the Holy Spirit is teaching me. You ought to know that.
Mark: So, how do you know?
Bob: Mark, listen to me. Hold on a minute. I want you to listen to me. Quit listening to people, including me. Get into the word of God yourself. If you are born again, the Spirit of God is living in you. He wants to reveal the truth to you. Quit listening to what I say. Quit listening to what someone else says. You are hoping that somebody will teach you what the truth is. We are not going to teach you what the truth is. The Spirit of God is going to teach truth to you. Turn off your radio and your television for a month and not do anything except the bible. You will come out of it a new man.
Bob: Your problem, and you identified it in the beginning. You listened to too many people and then said how come there are so many interpretations. Forget it. God wants you to understand the word of God. He has to reveal it directly to you. I do not mean to be rude, but you are not going to get well of this dilemma you are going through until you quit listening to men and start listening to the word of God and read scriptures and let Him reveal it to you. Okay, brother. I hope that helps.
Ray from Corpus Christi, TX
Ray: I regularly share my faith with others. The subject came up of orderly worship, beginning in 1 Corinthians 14:34.
1 Corinthians 14:34-35
34 Women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the law says. 35 If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church.
Ray: Now, I want to hear your take on it. What does this mean?
Bob: I think it says exactly what it says, Ray. I think there is no question about it. The application there is in the context of the abuse of speaking in tongues. In that particular case, women began to take over, and babbling in the middle of a service. So Paul had to come in with his instruction and say, “I prohibit you from doing that”. The context there is that. On the other hand, I do not think it is too wise for anybody to speak in church service unless you have a round robin going on. If I am speaking in a service, I do not want people babbling, talking back and forth. You are there to listen to the word of God. You are not going to be doing that with all that noise going on. That is the context of that whole thing.
3 Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. 4 Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, 5 to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.
Bob: On the other hand, you are talking about teachers. Women should teach other women, and teach children. So obviously that does not mean silence in the church. I think it means in the service itself, when people gather together for the apostles teaching, and for fellowship and prayer. In that particular context, it is for women to remain silent, but especially as it relates to this confusion. God is not a God of disorder. That was being brought about through the misuse of speaking in tongues.
Ray: Somebody else jumped in your conversation. That is why in their church they do not allow women to be pastors.
Bob: There are other passages on that, Ray. Timothy deals with that. A pastor should be a man of one wife. That kind of delineates women on that. That is true. Why would you want a woman to be a pastor? If anyone knew how much a pastor had to go through, you would not want a woman in that position any more than you would have women on a battlefield. I do not think a woman belongs in the boxing ring. I do not think they belong in the battlefield. And I do not think they belong as a pastor either.
1 Timothy 2:11-14
11 A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. 12 I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man; she must be quiet. 13 For Adam was formed first, then Eve. 14 And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner.
Ray: That is not necessarily the same thing as a preacher?
1 Timothy 3:1-5
1 Here is a trustworthy saying: Whoever aspires to be an overseer desires a noble task. 2 Now the overseer is to be above reproach, faithful to his wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, 3 not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. 4 He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him, and he must do so in a manner worthy of full respect. 5 (If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church?)
Bob: Again, a teacher. The purpose of why they are talking about a pastor. A woman is not supposed to be in a position where she has authority over a man. A pastor would be in that situation. That should never take place. I have seen the abuse of that. I have never seen an exception to it. It ultimately ends up in disaster. You cannot get a woman working in that capacity and then going home to her husband and being in submission. Maybe she is not married. Maybe there is a reason for that. Scripture very clearly declares that a woman should not be in a position of authority over a man. A pastor should be a man. It does not mean a woman is not capable. It is not the role God has designed for them. We should not be in rebellion to that if that is not the role God designed for them. It would be like a man rebelling against God, saying it is not fair for me not to have a baby. I was not made to have babies.
Ray: It is not like we are being male chauvinists. This is God’s order of doing things. The reason I am calling is because it threw me into confusion. Being in a church and then see women preaching. Then all of a sudden I see scripture. I do not understand this. This is confusing to me.
Bob: If we just learn to follow what the scripture says we would be in great shape.
Ray: You really did turn on the light. Thank you very much.
Bob: Thank you very much, Ray. I appreciate your call.
Brent from Dickson, TN
Brent: I was called into the ministry in March of 2000. I went to my pastor that I was called. At the time, he told me that I was not ready. God was really speaking to me. He has really been giving me trouble in ministry, saying that I am not called and that I am out of the will of God. I went. That preacher and him were having a lot of problems. He left the church. He was over her. He said some things that hurt her so she left. Then there was a revival and I was called to preach.
Bob: Who is the “ her ” ? Is she the pastor of a church?
Brent: She has got her own church. She is a pastor now.
Bob: You were preaching in her church, the revival?
Brent: Yes. She asked me to be a speaker at one of the nights. She asked and called me if I could go. After he told her yes, he went back behind her back. She told me that I was out of the will of God.
Bob: How old are you, Brent?
Brent: Twenty two.
Bob: Okay. Well, Brent again, I have to ask a question. What was she doing calling a pastor to give you permission to speak. You do not need the permission of a pastor to do anything. If someone asks you to communicate the gospel. Your Lord is Jesus, not the pastor. I do not know, unless the guy is a total control freak, what right does he have to say to you that you have not been called. The bible does say to not let people who are young get into ministry too soon because you have not had a chance to mature yet. I agree with that.
1 Timothy 3:6-8
6 He must not be a recent convert, or he may become conceited and fall under the same judgment as the devil. 7 He must also have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil’s trap.
8 In the same way, deacons are to be worthy of respect, sincere, not indulging in much wine, and not pursuing dishonest gain.
I do not think anyone is called into ministry. You are called unto Christ and Christ sends you into ministry. Everyone thinks they have a call to go into ministry when many times they have not been called to Christ yet. There is calling unto Christ and then He matures you and then sends you where He wants you to go.
But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.
22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.
But again, if an individual, like yourself, feels like you have been called unto the Lord, that you have maturity. There is training you have to do. By training, I mean embedding yourself in the word of God, learning from experience. If you think that Christ is sending you to be a pastor, then you are dealing with people problems. It takes a certain amount of maturity to deal with those things.
It sounds to me you are in a legalistic church. The pastor is unbelievably legalistic. I would probably find another place to go. If I could give you a recommendation, I would start some home bible studies. I would gather some people and start ministering to some people. You have not been given an opportunity. You have started doing that and I would do more of that.
1 As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. 2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. 3 Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.
A bible study format enables you and forces you to be able to answer questions and also forces you to be able to say with no embarrassment, and say, “I do not know”. That is probably three of the greatest words God will ever give you, “I do not know”, but then you say, “I will find out”. If you think you are standing up as a big old pastor, thinking you know everything, you will never say “I do not know”. But in a bible study, you can say “I do not know”. It teaches humility. It teaches you how to minister to people and love people. When standing in a pulpit, you are talking to a group of people, but in a home bible study, you are talking to individuals. You might get two or three bible studies going on. I had a multi-dollar business and I had two or three bible studies a week. That is how I grew and why I am here today. Then see where God leads you. But you do not need permission from a pastor to do that. You do not need permission from him to do anything.
Brent: He told us we were out of the way doing bible study in our homes.
Bob: Get out of there, Brent. You have no business fooling around with a person like that. People like that are control freaks. All I can do is speak from my experience. The vast majority of people like that do not know the Lord. They just learned some vernacular and controlling people. There is nothing in a bible about control. It speaks in the bible about being submissive to one another. It talks about obeying leaders. That is not church leaders but civic leaders. In other words, the law abiding citizen. And teaches you to listen to God and God alone.
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.
28 So Jesus said, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am he and that I do nothing on my own but speak just what the Father has taught me.
30 I will not say much more to you, for the prince of this world is coming. He has no hold over me, 31 but he comes so that the world may learn that I love the Father and do exactly what my Father has commanded me.
Recall the way Jesus lived. He said, I do not do anything unless the Father tells me to do it. I do not say anything unless the Father tells me to say and how to say it. He was not in submission to men. He was in submission to his Father. That is where I need to be and you need to be. When you are out there, it is you and Jesus. And you will do what Jesus tells you what to do. He has a better idea of what you need to do than that pastor does. I would not spend another moment in that church.
Brent: I really do thank you. I needed to call somebody to give some good advice. I know that you give it. So I thank you for it. God bless you.
Bob: Thank you, Brent. Same to you, brother. Keep us posted on how you are doing?
Brent: Yes sir. I will do that.
Bob: If you are already teaching studies, gather some people and teach some more around. Make yourself available and see where God will lead you.
James from Waco, TX
James: I have been doing a little extra reading, trying to meditate and search further in the scriptures. In relationship to the Lord’s prayer, when Jesus gives the example of the prayer, and He says, “lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil”. I kind of fumble through that. I do not feel like I have really got a good understanding of that. I wanted to hear what your thoughts are?
9 “This, then, is how you should pray:
“‘Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
10 your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us today our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.’
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: James, it is really in the way in which the passage is read. Lead us, not into temptation, but lead us, Lord, not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. So, when you look at that, with a comma after it, Lord, lead us, not into temptation, then you understand what the passage is saying.
James: I appreciate that. The one thing I was kind of walking away with, if you do not mind, is what it means to you about that leading me not into temptation, that there are places where I read and understand that God said there are various levels of spirituality. You are not born completely knowing and understanding and strong as a Christian. When you start, you start on milk like an infant, then you work your way up. Then after awhile you can digest the meat like an adult. Christianity is a spirituality, a way of maturation. One of the things I was curious about would that not also apply as in that God would not present us with things that we are not capable of handling? Does that come across?
1 Corinthians 10:13
13 No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.
Bob: Well, he says there is no temptation to man except that which is common to man but with the temptation there is a way out. That is for a brand new Christian or whether you have been a Christian for a long number of years. There is no new temptation. It has been in existence for a long time. I have to correct that to a degree. We have temptation, like on the internet, which is one of the greatest destroyers of children. They have access to pornography in ways, that in ages past would never dreamed of growing up with. If a person wanted to look at pornography, you had to drive into some crazy area of town and go into some sloth place and find it. Today, you go into your bedroom or living room and turn on a computer. It is destroying many families. It is satanic in every shape and form. It is the old deal. God may have meant it for good but Satan comes and perverts it for evil. Drugs were not even in existence when I grew up. I never knew what a drug was. There are temptations today that children run into that I never experienced in my life.
Bob: But James, as far as the Lord’s prayer is concerned, we have to understand that that was the Lord’s prayer he was given. He did not give them a prayer. He taught them how to pray. That was under the Old Covenant. That is why it says in there, forgive us our sins. That is never mentioned again after the New Covenant went into existence. He says, forgive one another as Christ Jesus forgave you. We have to realize those kinds of prayers, you look at it and then you apply to what you live under today, whereby God has taken you and created you into a new creation.
13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.