Call-In Classic Christianity Radio – Bob George P669 (09-09-21)
Hold on to What is Unshakeable and True, Christ Alive Living in You
As you go through life experiences and reflect on life, there are more and more questions that you ask. You never stop growing. If you escaped the horrors of Vietnam or World War II, or had to start all over after the devastation of a tornado or a hurricane, even losing a loved one, you may have asked many questions while trying to hold onto whatever you can call life. Common questions asked are “Where is God?” or “Why is there such evil in this world?” or “Why did God allow this to happen?”
There are all kinds of people in this world who face all kinds of challenges in life. Maybe you have not experienced love or grace in a church environment, unlike others you hear about who seem to just express how much they just love their church family. Others have grown up without a father for their mother had to flee from an abusive husband as far away as she could to a place of safety. They had to leave a loving supporting church family to find a critical, judgmental attitude in a new environment, trying to find a new start in life without much support. Others, like those believers in Afghanistan and other countries, are moving from house to house, not sure when they will be hunted down by the enemy, and are entrusting themselves to God’s care every moment of every day. As you ponder your own life, I encourage you to get to know God, who loves you perfectly, and who has promised to never leave you or forsake you, and come see if the things of earth do grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace.
2 Corinthians 4:16-18
16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
As time passes and you ponder over God’s word, you begin to get more clarity of understanding. You get to know God who loves you perfectly and who has promised to never leave you or forsake you. You begin to experience His comfort in the midst of all you are going through. Your circumstances may never change, but somehow you begin to understand the love and grace of God, and though you cannot explain it, all you can say is that you have a peace that surpasses understanding. In all the circumstances of life, God has made Himself real to you when it seems no one else could nor if you were to take your eyes off Jesus just one moment could you make sense of anything at all.
You also begin to understand how God is not the one to blame for all the evil in this world. In Genesis we read how God created mankind with free will, and with that free will is the potential for Adam to choose to live without God, and with that choice is a severe consequence, life without God, a separation called death, that if not corrected, man is forever separated from God in a place called hell. Although Adam could eat from all the trees in the garden, there was just one one tree he was told not to eat from. He chose to eat from that one tree of whom God had said, “if you eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall surely die”. He ate of that tree and he died. That death is called a spiritual death where the Spirit of God left Adam because of that choice.
Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned
All the problems we experience on this earth is from the one choice of Adam in the garden of Eden, where the law of sin and death entered the entire human race and all died because of sin. We were all born in the likeness of sinful Adam, born without the Spirit of God living in us.
3 When Adam had lived 130 years, he had a son in his own likeness, in his own image; and he named him Seth.
When God chose to create man with free will, you cannot give man free will and then control what they do. His only option on that would be to make robots out of people. Prior to this taking place, which is a horrible thing man does apart from God, but it shows what man is capable of apart from God. You have Old Testament with all kinds of atrocities, with perversion in the Old Testament. Then you ask why did God allow that? It gets disconcerting to hear people because the root of it is self-centeredness. “God could allow this to happen to me. I do not care if it happened to you but how could God allow this to happen to wonderful me?” Have you realized your condition before God, that if it were not for the grace of God, you would have remained dead?
Now concerning these natural disasters, like tornadoes and hurricanes. Why did it happen? Because you lived there. There was a natural disaster and you got caught in it. It is not complicated. But people are asking, “How could God allow this?” God gave man a free will. Consider a tsunami that happened in Indonesia. Not one animal was killed. How come? They all ran. Who was telling them to run? God. Do you think He was not telling His people to run to safety? We do not listen to God. The animals do. The animals are smart enough to listen to instinct or God or whatever. We are not. We have choices and we make choices.
Do not sit around blaming God saying “Why does He allow that?” Allowing is a by-product of creating man with free will, with choice. To Him to strip that He would have to stop all of it. You can say, “Why did God not stop the murdering of millions in Germany in World War II?” Why did He allow that? He gave man free will. Free will chose evil over good.
9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.
That is going to carry on until the final judgment whenever knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord and they will look on the one they had pierced. There is going to be a day of reckoning of whether your name is in the book of life or not. The ones who have chosen by an act of their will, evil over the good, of believing God. Those who fail to come to Christ for life, believing what God accomplished through His Son, Jesus Christ, are not going to be in the book of life and will live eternally separated from God in a place called hell. That is a fact.
2 Thessalonians 1:6-10
6 God is just: He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you 7 and give relief to you who are troubled, and to us as well. This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with his powerful angels. 8 He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. 9 They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might 10 on the day he comes to be glorified in his holy people and to be marveled at among all those who have believed. This includes you, because you believed our testimony to you.
If you are in Christ Jesus, you never stop growing in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. You begin to get more clarity of understanding as you ponder over God’s word but at times there are those things of scripture you just do not understand yet. You think you understand something but only find out you did not understand as clearly as you thought. But you have this one constant in your life that makes life worth living. For it is not you living any mote, but Christ alive living in you. You have just been so ravished and confused for so long that just to have Christ is all that you can hold onto to comfort you. You have become so dependent on Him, and He has never failed you, even though at times it seems you cannot move on with life.
Listen now as a caller is so burdened in her heart concerning a church where the pastor has not understood the grace of God, and may not even know God Himself personally. Without the grace of God, he thinks he has to control the church through fear and promoting the law. If he lets go of the law, he feels that he will lose control, but he never was in control. He does not understand the purpose of the law, and that is to condemn you so you might seek a savior in Christ Jesus. So being under the law means you have not understood grace, and have not come to the end of the law for righteousness.
2 Corinthians 3:6-11
6 He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant – not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. 7 Now if the ministry that brought death, which was engraved in letters on stone [ten commandments], came with glory, so that the Israelites could not look steadily at the face of Moses because of its glory, transitory though it was, 8 will not the ministry of the Spirit be even more glorious? 9 If the ministry that brought condemnation was glorious, how much more glorious is the ministry that brings righteousness! 10 For what was glorious has no glory now in comparison with the surpassing glory. 11 And if what was transitory [ the Law] came with glory, how much greater is the glory of that which lasts!
He has not understood that God is the one who is in control. The Spirit of God lives inside a believer, and He is the one who is to control, or lead each individual believer internally. The pastor has not understood that this internal leading of the Holy Spirit is where faith begins and where we as believers relinquish control to someone who loves us perfectly and unconditionally, always has the best in mind for us, conforming us so that our outward behavior is in conformance with who He has made us, perfect in His sight, not on the basis of what we have done, but on what Christ alone has done. We are totally accepted in the beloved. He walks with us through life and will never let go of our hand.
28 I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. 30 I and the Father are one.”
13 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.
Listen also as another fellowship has started that has grown to understand the grace of God and have grown in their understanding of the knowledge of the Lord. But you never stop learning. Listen as a young man asks a question that made everyone think. In this home bible study, this lady called for advice on how to answer this question about forgiveness of sins in the context of the woman caught in adultery in Luke 7:48. At this time Jesus was still walking on the earth, not yet having gone to the cross, and in light of the fact that in Hebrews 9:22, it says that without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins, how were her sins forgiven?
48 Then Jesus said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”
49 The other guests began to say among themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?”
50 Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”
22 In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.
So how then was her sins forgiven or how were people’s sins forgiven in the Old Testament before Jesus died? Certainly, the blood of bulls and goats were a temporary covering for sin. Listen as Bob George explains this in the context that the shedding of blood has the deeper meaning of more than shedding blood but it is the forfeiture of life. Then consider that Jesus is God in the flesh, who is the one who was sent by God to be the final sacrifice for sin, not just for you and me, but for the whole world, including the women caught in adultery. He is the only one in authority who had the ability to forgive sins, and He recognized her faith in Him and so He said to her that her sins are forgiven and then tells her that her faith in Him is what saved her and to go in peace.
Then, at times, our minds wander over some past sin we did. Maybe we had done something so bad, particularly in our own mind, but the person we sinned against is now dead. We carry this guilt with us, and whenever we think about that, this pain wells up in our eyes. How do we overcome such guilt, pain or sorrow? What will it be like when we see that person again, for we know the person we sinned against is in heaven? We must realize that Jesus remembers our sins no more, and the person you sinned against is a believer, a new creation. That person will see you as Christ sees you, a new creation now also and a person with a new identity. I think that person who died, who knew you when you were a non-believer, would be delighted to see you just as God does. So when those memories come up we have to refocus our mind on what is true. Our sins have been forgiven, and that before you were ever born. And that you are a new creation in Christ with a new identity, and while you are still alive in the flesh, God is at work renewing your mind so your behavior conforms with who God made you, a child of God.
One of the things people are often incorrectly taught in so many churches today is that you have to ask God to forgive you when you sin. This puts a burden on the person and puts him back under a law, as if there is still a punishment for sin, and according to the word of God, that would be the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23), for those still under the law. That thinking makes God unapproachable, that you have to approach God in fear for what He might do to you rather than to come boldly to the throne of grace (Hebrews 4:16).
15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are – yet he did not sin. 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.
The issue is people do not realize their sins are already forgiven. Does God remember your sins? Is He keeping count of your sins today? Look at Hebrews concerning this to see what the word of God says.
16 “This is the covenant I will make with them
after that time, says the Lord.
I will put my laws in their hearts,
and I will write them on their minds.”[Jeremiah 31:33]
17 Then he adds:
“Their sins and lawless acts
I will remember no more.”[Jeremiah 31:34]
18 And where these have been forgiven, there is no longer any sacrifice for sin.
We are under a New Covenant today, ushered in after the death of Christ, whereby He remembers our sins no more and where there is no longer any sacrifice for sin.
1 John 2:2 (NASB)
2 and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.
Since Jesus Christ took away the sins of the entire world, why would you ask Him to do what He has already done? That is why there is no place in the New Covenant at all, in Paul’s writings, that ever tell a believer to ever ask God to forgive him when he sins.
30 Therefore when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And He bowed His head and gave up His spirit.
They knew something that we evidently do not know. That is it is finished. So we want to walk by faith in that.
Many a people incorrectly think grace is giving a license to sin. To a person who thinks that way, he would say, “Does that mean you do not have to ask God to forgive you, so you can go do anything you want to?” What kind of a system would give a license to sin? In such a system of asking God to forgive you when you sin, whether going to a confessional booth or quoting 1 John 1:9 as a means to get your sins forgiven by God, what is that system doing? You are not supposed to sin but if you do then all you have to do is confess it to God and He will forgive you. That is a license to sin. Go get smashed out of your mind and the next day go to a confessional both or go to 1 John 1:9, to ask God to forgive you and then wait until next week to go do it again. That is in itself a license to sin. The system people are using is the license to sin. You can do anything you want to but just be sure to ask God to forgive you. You can insult people. You do not have to confess that sin to people but just ask God to forgive you. You can go out and mistreat people, be mean as a hornet, and do not have to deal with them, but just ask God to forgive you. That is a license to sin.
When you understand you are already forgiven, that issue is already over. Now, the issue is, “Am I behaving consistently as to who I am as a child of God. Now it shifts over to my identity. I am a child of God, a forgiven child of God, and is what I am thinking consistent with the mind of Christ? Now God is getting under the skin with me. Under grace, you are acting in accordance with who you are, and realizing that new identity, your focus is now on how the sin needs to be dealt with, with the one you sinned against that has to be dealt with, with the body of Christ, between you and your brother or sister in Christ. For the sin between you and God has already been forgiven, and because it has already been forgiven there, that is the basis for forgiving your brother or sister who sins against you.
13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
God is not dealing with you on the basis of the law of sin and death, because you are no longer under that law, but on the basis as a child of God, under a new law of liberty in Christ Jesus, where you are disciplined, or trained, to walk in the new way of the Spirit.
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.
The other is just outward. Grace gets under the skin. People who make those kinds of statements are justifying their own sinfulness because in their minds, I’v got a system to keep myself forgiven, by going and confessing my sins. If that were the case, all Catholics would never sin, or if I went to a confessional booth, I would never go back again because all would be forgiven. Same with Protestants. No, it never stopped any of us from sinning. We ought to get off of that merry-go-round, for that keeps you sinning, when you understand who you are in Christ Jesus. When you do not understand the fullness of what Jesus did on the cross but instead are just saying I am partially forgiven you are not living a free life. You will understand that when you enter into His resurrection Life and understand that God has made you into a new creation in Christ Jesus.
2 Corinthians 5:17-18
17 Therefore if anyone is in Christ, this person is a new creation; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. 18 Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation.
So we are to grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ, by relying on the Spirit of God to reveal to us the meaning of His word, so as to replace error with truth, so that the truth will set us free. You come to realize the difference between your identity as a child of God and your behavior. Your behavior may be inconsistent with who you are as a child of God, but by having your mind renewed with truth, your behavior comes into conformance with who God made you, a child of God. So let’s move on and grow in the knowledge and grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.
2 Corinthians 3:6
6 He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant – not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.
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