Call-In Classic Christianity Radio – Bob George P662 (08-19-21)
If God Made You Holy, Set Apart as a Child of God, Walk in that Unity in Spirit and Grow in Truth
In the world today, you may hear people say, “I am a Christian too” But the word Christian has a different connotation of meaning to different people. You used to hear people say that if you are born in America, you are a Christian because this is a Christian nation. Mormons, Protestants and Catholics all say they are Christian, yet they all have different doctrinal beliefs. Others will say that they are a Christian because they were born into a Christian home. Then you may hear or read about “COEXIST”, as if all religions of the world believe the same way, or if they do not, it is just minor doctrinal differences. A person will say that all we need to do is just love one another. That we just all need to get along. The emphasis in the world today is often on unity, to build bridges with other belief systems, with the assumption that we can achieve unity apart from truth, as if everybody can define whatever they want about what truth is, and coexist together in unity. That is fantasy, man relying on his own understanding and not acknowledging God and letting Him direct his path. They are all in error. It also defies the basic principle of logic, that two contradictory statements cannot both be true. The more serious problem is the nature of fallen man, that man can live independent of God and decide for himself right from wrong, and good from evil.
It is common in our culture for someone to ask you, “Where do you go to church?” The reason people ask that is because they want to get a quick assessment of what your beliefs are, so they know whether they want to listen to anything else you have to say. If you say that you do not go to church, many will presume you have forsaken the assembly of believers and therefore presume you are “backslidden.” If you say, “I am a Baptist” and the person asking the question is a Catholic or a Presbyterian, then that, at one time, automatically puts people on edge and tends to block any further communication. There seems to be a trend now toward a more ecumenical attitude, where each person presumes the other person is a Christian, instead of sharing the truth of Christ Jesus and His completed work of forgiveness on the cross and His saving Life.
In many such situations, the problem is that further discussion into what is the meaning of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus never gets talked about. It is as if any religious practice that people participate in are valid expressions of worship, and no deeper discussion is pursued or thought as even needed to be pursued. There might be a discussion to see what we have in common, but with no basis on a foundation of truth. The truth is seldom taught in these situations. There is a false unity being pushed on the world, as if truth does not matter. But that is not what Jesus said. By necessity, truth will divide.
34 “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35 For I have come to turn
“‘a man against his father,
a daughter against her mother,
a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law –
36 a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.’[Micah 7:6]
Of course, Jesus is not talking about a physical sword here, but truth discerned through the word of God, as revealed by the Spirit of God. When truth is told, there will be those who hate God and are out to destroy Christianity. So there will be those who will take up a sword to kill you, for there is no room in their heart for truth, perceiving you as a threat to their totalitarian control.
So to expect peace in a world ignoring the truth of what God says is what the world tries to promote contrary to reality.
20 Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also.
Why is there no real unity? Why all these different denominations? Who has a real dynamic relationship with the living God because they identify with the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ? Has a person grown in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ? Can a person who knows what truth is sit in a church where the pastor is a homosexual? The Spirit in him would give him the discernment that he does not need to be there. Can a born again child of God sit in a church where a pastor preaches that godliness is a means to financial gain? Not if he understood the words spoken in 1 Timothy 6, he would not. When a person is made into a new creation he is set apart, made holy, so his thinking is different from the thinking of the world.
When a foundation of truth has been laid in a person’s heart, not by what was taught by a priest or a pastor, but was taught by the Spirit of God living in him, if indeed he is born again of the Holy Spirit, he grows to maturity in Christ through reliance on the Spirit to teach him the meaning of the word of God. So what is the evidence of a growing born again child of God, a true Christian? He sets aside the deeds of the flesh by walking in the Spirit (Romans 13:11-13, Galatians 5:16). By identifying himself as a child of God, whether from out of a Jewish background or a Catholic background or a Protestant background, or lack thereof, he learns to love others, particularly those in Christ who came to faith in Christ the same way, as brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus. Your identity is no longer who you were, but who you now are, a child of the Living God. He no longer wants to fight with his brother or sister, for that would be attacking his own body, of whom God made him a member of. He sets aside jealousy and bitterness and anger. The true believers all identify with each other, not as a Jewish Christian or as a Protestant Christian, which would be an oxymoron, but as a brother or sister in Christ, a child of God.
When a born again believer fails to grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ, or is a mere infant in Christ, he is subject to every wind of doctrine out there, and any fad that comes along (Ephesians 4:14-16). There are people who say they are a “Messianic Jew”. Why do we not hear people say, “I am a Messianic Gentile”? People say such things because they do not know the word of God. Read the book of Ephesians. What did the apostle Paul say about the Jews, or more properly, the Israelites, and the Gentiles? He made one new body out of the two, a born again child of God, who came to faith the same way, by faith alone in what Christ Jesus accomplished for them by His death, burial and resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:1-4). So there should not be a Jew body over here and a Gentile body over here. That divides the body of Christ. You are one in Christ with a common identity, a child of God, and that is what should matter. And of course, someone claiming to be born again should not be trying to bring in Old Testament practices when we are no longer under those things, but under a common New Covenant. Again, truth is what by necessity will divide.
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. 4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.
So many times people look at mere outward behavior and presume a person is a true believer based on the fact they sound nice and do good things. In reality, whatever your background is, in whatever denomination you grew up under, you may not even be a child of God yourself, a new creation in Christ, because you do not know the way, the truth and the life and what He accomplished for you, the meaning of the death, burial and resurrection. How can you say that? We were all once lost, born that way, and can identify that what we heard as a lost person was contradictory to the truth revealed through the scriptures. How can I get my sins taken away by what I do when Jesus said “It is finished” (John 19:30)? And we read in Hebrews, that now we are under a New Covenant system, where it is written that without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins (Hebrews 9:22), that He remembers our sins no more, and there is no longer any sacrifice for sin (Hebrews 10:17-18). Each of us is saved through faith by His life (Romans 5:10), and in that life is the forgiveness of sins (Ephesians 1:7), with everything I need for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3-4), having eternal life (John 17:3), having the Spirit of God living in me (2 Corinthians 1:22). We come to believe in Christ alone for what He alone did for me and received His gift of eternal life by faith (John 1:12-14). Now when that happens, I am a child of God, and what sense would it be to participate in a service for a lost loved one that is a denial of Jesus’ finished work on the cross? No one can tell someone else what to do or what not to do, but to a believer, that is the discernment we have from being a child of God now. For the Holy Spirit now lives in the true believer.
All of this highlights the main critical problem. People do not know what truth is or do not know their true identity that God gives them as a child of God. Without truth there can be no unity. Doctrinal differences formed by what man thinks is why we have different denominations. No one can make himself holy by what he does, for the law points out to you that you are a sinner and fall short of the perfect standard of God. You and I cannot do it. God can and He did. He obeyed the commands of God by being perfect love, fulfilling the law for us. He died to become sin for us, to meet the demand of the law that the wages of sin is death. Having taken away our sins, once and for all, He was raised from the dead in order to give us what we could never obtain, eternal life, His resurrected life. That life is to be received by faith in Him, and as He promised that when we do, He, being eternal, will live in us forever and His life cannot be taken away from us, as He is the guarantee of that. We are no longer under the law of sin and death for He died once and for all to bring us to God. God has to make you holy, for any religious system out there cannot make you perfect. So now He charges us to make disciples of Christ, teaching them all that He taught you, of a New Covenant you are under today, of walking in the Spirit, to love one another as He loved you, to know your identity as a child of God and walk in that new life, putting aside the deeds of the flesh by allowing Him to live His life in and through you as your mind is renewed with truth. You are set apart to learn to live in the purpose for which Christ created you, as a new creature in Christ with the Spirit of God living in you. Be born free today.
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