Call-In Classic Christianity Radio – Bob George P664 (08-26-21)
Let us Discover Together the Grace of God
It is encouraging to hear people reach out to another brother or sister in Christ or to ask questions because they want to learn and grow. Such an environment where you feel free to ask questions is such an encouragement, where you pray together, have fellowship in the Spirit, and learn from others who have grown in the Lord, and be able to share what the Lord is doing in your own life. In the Internet age, the ability to do so has opened up such opportunities to people living in different states and even across countries with a Zoom bible study. Although you do not have the close person to person interaction, there are opportunities you would never have had otherwise.
So as you listen to the callers, you can hear the grateful attitudes of the heart, even from the resources made available to them, such as Classic Christianity and A Spiritual Journey to Discover the Grace of God that they testified has totally changed their understanding of what the Christian life is all about.
One caller was in a bible study at lunch break from work with other people. As he was growing in grace himself, he realized that the people he was with did not understand law and grace, for they were saying they were still under the law but claiming they understood grace. So he called into the radio program for guidance on how to help his friends. Bob recommended a book to them, Spiritual Journey to Discover the Grace of God which contains scriptures that he can go over with them, and if they still do not understand, it is because they are blind and cannot see and are lost. You cannot look at the truth of God and what it says that we are no longer under the law and continue on proclaiming you are under the law. Hebrews 10:26 would then be applicable to them, as those who are sinning against the knowledge of truth. For they are walking in unbelief. Bob also offered to get him in contact with some people in his local area so he can be with other believers to grow in grace together with.
Other believers call in because they are struggling with understanding a concept, such as what does it mean to humble yourself, as they are confused on a passage of scripture such as John 15. Sometimes we read too much into a passage that is simply not there or we overlook a key phrase in the passage that skews our understanding. Sometimes we may read what we think it says because we ourselves are not solid in our understanding of the unconditional love and grace of God in our day to day.
We may have a tendency to think that God will be disappointed in me when I do something I know I should not do and therefore I think God is distant from me and somehow unapproachable, that He has thrown me away, so to speak. That is not what John 15 is talking about, for he says that the person who fails to abide in me is likened to something. In other words, if we are born again, but choose not to allow the Lord to live His life in us and through us, then we are like a branch thrown into the fire. Such a branch is worthless. It is useless. It is not producing what God intended for it to produce. The person has not grown in the Lord, and it would be like a person who went to heaven but as if one passing through the flames (1 Corinthians 3:14-16). John 15 in regards to the “Vine and branches” is about how to not be living a defeated life, but a victorious Christian life!
As children of God, we all need discipline, or training for the game of life, with Jesus as our coach. The Holy Spirit lives in each believer and that discipline is always upon us. The discipline of the Lord is not a bad thing, in fact it is a very good and positive thing. He is about guiding us into all truth, to have our minds renewed, to operate in the realm of the Spirit to overcome sin-indwelling flesh, to trust Him in what He has said, and to learn how to trust Him for what we are to say and do at each moment of our lives, so that true fruit can be produced in you and through you. We do not make ourselves humble, otherwise we would be proud of the fact we did. Life itself with all its tribulations humbles us so we may lean on the Lord, to allow Him to live His life in us and through us, for apart from Him we can do nothing.
Listen as Bob explains the attitudes of heart God wants us to have, from passages like Philippians 2:5-8, where Jesus humbled himself and became obedient to death on a cross, Romans 7:15-17, where Paul says he does not understand what he does, and how pitiful we really are, so we realize how dependent we need to be on the Lord who is our life, and the parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector in Luke 18:9-14, about the kind of attitude of dependency on the Lord He wants us to have and not an attitude of self righteousness like that of the Pharisee in regards to the tax collector. If not for the grace of God there go I is the right attitude.
A lot of people are trying to live the Christian life in the energy of the flesh. It is discouraging and people burn out and people get discouraged because they think they are not performing for God. They still go to church with a smile on their face and get back in the car and their guts are hanging out. The reason is they tried to live a life they do not have or have a life they do not live. It is not us living for Christ. It is Christ living through us and in us. It is the difference between a person who has come to understand the indwelling Christ and a person trying to live for Christ. If you do know Christ, you are indwelt by the Spirit of God when you place faith in Jesus, and you get into the bible on your own and let Him renew your mind with truth, you begin to realize you cannot but God already did.
Another caller asked about what it means that Jesus intercedes for us. Bob explained, in essence, that we have an enemy called Satan, as it says in John 10:10 and in Revelation 12:10. In Hebrews 7:25, we read that Christ intercedes for us because He always lives to do so. What is He interceding for? When we become a believer we do not ever completely stop sinning but we learn to start loving. We still have sin-indwelling our flesh, that requires us to depend on the Lord, not to obey the letter of the law, which kills, but to walk in the Spirit, where there is true freedom, if we want to experience all that God has for us in Christ Jesus. He is our life.
But when we do sin, Satan is right there before the throne of God accusing us of that sin that he says needs to be judged. Jesus intercedes and says, “That sin has already been paid for by my shed blood on the cross. There is nothing to condemn Him for, for I took away that sin from the eyes of God for Him at the cross. He is a child of mine forever and so He received that pardon.” That is what this intercession is all about.
Romans 8:1-4 explains this transaction, this exchanged life that is ours in Christ Jesus, who is always alive living in us, for all who are in Christ by the new spiritual birth, and can never be separated from the love of God ever again due to sin, because we are not under the law of sin and death but under the law of liberty in Christ. We are free to approach God with boldness and confidence, free to fail and free to choose to allow Christ to live His life in us and through us. We are no longer slaves to sin but slaves to righteousness by the new nature in which we have been recreated. So let ourselves be who we are in Christ, a child of God, of whom He is our loving Father, directing and guiding us through life for our good and His glory.
A common question that comes up is what translation of the bible should I read. Sometimes you hear things that are nonsense and can kind of unsettle you if you have not thought about it before. For example, the King James only people say that is the only trusted bible. If that is the case, then what about those who speak German or Russian or Chinese? So Bob explains briefly the history of how we got our bibles we read today. There were thousands of copies made of the original manuscripts in the original language of Hebrew or Greek, and they were meticulously copied. Then those copies were translated into whatever language a person needs to be able to read and understand the bible.
That is how the different translations came to be. They were translated from Greek into English for those in America by those who knew both Greek and English, from those original copies. Now, sometimes biases of a translator can express things in a confusing way, making the intended meaning unclear, or the meaning of words in English can change through the years, so translations have to be updated to make the meaning clear. The old English style of the King James, for example, is difficult for many people to read today. So it is still good to be able to have a concordance where you can look up the meaning from the original Greek words to help in discerning its meaning on certain more difficult to understand passages. But the key is do not form a doctrine simply on more difficult to understand verses, but from super clear verses, in the entire context of the passage it was written and the purpose for which it was written, and even the intended audience, and by relying on the Holy Spirit to reveal the meaning of it to you. You would not form doctrine on the book of Acts, for example, for it is a history of the early church and was not written for the purpose of gaining doctrinal truth. The epistles of Paul, particularly Romans, is rich in doctrine.
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”
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