Call-In Classic Christianity Radio – Bob George P575 (10-01-20)
In general, people call in because they want to know what truth, to grow in grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. Some may be infants in Christ, and others may be believers for quite some time, but have been wandering around in erroneous teaching, and are just beginning to grab a hold of what truth is. Even topics as basic as Baptism and the Lord’s supper. Even those that rightly understand that baptism, that of water, does not save you, but is a ceremony, do not understand the Lord’ supper.
There are those who are genuinely confused over baptism, and that can vary depending on your religious upbringing. But, as you read scripture, it would become very clear to you. Both John the Baptist and Jesus clearly tell us about the fact that the water baptism that John performed was to be replaced by the spiritual baptism that Jesus alone accomplished for us, placing into the body of Christ the moment you, by faith, came to accept his death, burial and resurrection for you.
The Lord’s Supper, sadly, has been more perverted than anything else. Countless many have turned it into an introspection on sin, and have turned it not into a celebration of the New Covenant we are under but fear of eating of the bread and drinking of the cup in an unworthy manner, lest you incur condemnation. Again, read 1 Corinthians 11 in its full context and find out what the apostle Paul is really addressing. And grab a hold of what salvation really is, and then you will not be so easily confused. There is no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus. Those who were abusing the Lord’s Supper were behaving like a pig, a glutton, and were receiving judgment from the body, fellow believers, for the total lack of consideration of others, preventing them from participating in the New Covenant celebration, humiliating the poor among them by eating up all the food.
Many people wander from church to church, and really do not understand what church is. It is not a building, a place you go to, on the corner of walk and don’t walk. If you are in Christ, you are the church. You can gather with any other believer of like mind anywhere. You are a part of the body of Christ. On various call in programs, I repeatedly hear people say they are hearing so much erroneous teaching, and that is true across all denominational persuasions. The point is, if there are so many differences then all of them cannot be right. Both of us can both be wrong but we cannot both be right.
This is so vitally important and worth repeating. You have to go to the source of truth, and the source of truth is in the scriptures, and the meaning of the scriptures must be revealed by the Spirit of God. Realize, if you are in Christ, the Spirit of God lives in you to guide you into all truth. So have this attitude in you of being a learner, to be open to respond to someone who asks you on what basis do you hold your position on something. Be willing to search for the scriptures to be sure you are not just repeating what you have been taught by a denominational persuasion but can support what you believe from the word of God yourself. Have this attitude to rely not on your own understanding, but in all your ways to acknowledge Him, allowing the Lord to teach you.
Bob provides some guidance on how to avoid misinterpreting scripture. First of all, do not form doctrine from the book of Acts. He cites some examples of how you can easily get confused when you do so. Acts is written as an historical account of the early life of the church, and can record what people said, but that doesn ’t mean that what a person said is necessarily true. Learn to form questions as you read scripture, such as, “Being judged by whom?” in the case of 1 Corinthians 13, and oftentimes, the answer is in the passage, keeping context in consideration. So go back and read the whole chapter, looking for context. Who was the author addressing? Was he writing to Jews under an Old Covenant? Gentiles? Jewish leaders? What was the overall subject or theme? Was there a doctrinal matter or a practical matter that he was addressing? Was he speaking about salvation or another matter? As you read, get a big picture of how different parts fit in with the whole. Hebrews is an excellent book to help on that, as it contrasts the Old Covenant with the New Covenant. In the example of baptism, by reading carefully what both Jesus and John said about baptism, you can clearly see a distinction between what is called water baptism and what is called spiritual baptism. Scripture often interprets scripture, meaning, for example, that there are numerous verses that can tell you what salvation is, and more obscure ones, such as drinking poison or holding snakes, that you can essentially ignore on matters of doctrine, and all the more so, since it is in the book of Acts.
Randy from Waltfort, OR
Randy: I listen to you each and every day and have for some time now. I have been attending church for the last four or five years. I separated from church because of teaching I was under as a young man. I lived my life with God but without church. I started going back to church five years ago. I have been to seven different churches and no one has taught me what I am looking for. I started listening to you four months ago. I found more righteousness than anything I heard in my life.
Randy: I have one question on communion. If I cannot go to church, I am not able to commune. What is your take on that?
Bob: Again, Randy, it falls back to what is the definition of church. If you are in Christ you are the church. You are a part of the body of Christ and any time you are together, whether in a coffee shop or wherever it might be, with another member of the body of Christ, there the church is meeting. So going to a place down on the corner of walk and don’t walk is not the church. That is a building. In those buildings, sometimes, as you well know, you have people in them who do not know the Lord from an apple tree. Then you have a few scattered people who do know the Lord. But God’s church is not in that building. God’s church is people in that building. There is no such thing as a gathering of people where you have people where all the people are born again. You may have places like that, but they are few and far between.
Bob: Now, as far as communion is concerned, Christendom has perverted that more than anything in Christianity in regard to its meaning. When people take the Lord’s supper, making sure they get the lights dim with the organ playing “Just as I am“, doing introspection, and getting all of our sins out of our life so we do not eat and drink condemnation on yourself, nothing could be farther from the truth.
Bob: Instruction on the Lord’s supper is in 1 Corinthians 11. The problem with the church in Corinth was they were drinking up all the wine and eating up all of the food before the rest of the body showed up. That was identified by Paul as taking the supper in an unworthy manner.
1 Corinthians 11:27
27 So then, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord.
Bob: So, he says one remains hungry and another gets drunk.
1 Corinthians 11:20-21
20 So then, when you come together, it is not the Lord’s Supper you eat, 21 for when you are eating, some of you go ahead with your own private suppers. As a result, one person remains hungry and another gets drunk.
Bob: His solution to that is this.
1 Corinthians 11:22
22 Don’t you have homes to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the church of God by humiliating those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I praise you? Certainly not in this matter!
Bob: He did not say God is going to zap you and get you. No. He said, ‒Why don’t you eat at home so you do not humiliate those who have nothing. I am not going to praise you for this.”
Bob: So he talks about those who eat and drink in an unworthy manner. What was the unworthy manner? They were taking the cup and food, not waiting on the rest of the body. You would be guilty of sinning against the body. If you and I were ever to go visit a bunch of believers, taking the Lord’s supper, and we got there and everyone fat, dumb and happy, and passed out eating and drinking too much, then I would think we have a right to judge their behavior. That is what it says here. You are sinning against the body of Christ and the blood of the Lord, that is the life of Christ that lives in His body.
1 Corinthians 11:27-28
27 So then, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. 28 Everyone ought to examine themselves before they eat the bread and drink from the cup.
Bob: A man ought to examine himself before he eats and drinks the cup. What does that mean? Sit there with introspection? No. Are you being a pig, a glutton, or are you waiting on the rest of the body? That is what it means to examine yourself.
1 Corinthians 11:29
29 For those who eat and drink without discerning the body of Christ eat and drink judgment on themselves.
Bob: Whoever eats and drinks without recognizing the body heaps judgment upon himself. Judgment from who? The body. There is no judging of your sins. The verdict was guilty, the punishment was death, Christ took it all and that is why there is none left for you. There is no judgment for you, but there is judgment from the body.
1 Corinthians 11:30
30 That is why many among you are weak and sick, and a number of you have fallen asleep.
Bob: To have fallen asleep, is to be passed out, which is what you do when you eat and drink too much.
1 Corinthians 11:31
31 But if we were more discerning with regard to ourselves, we would not come under such judgment.
Bob: So if you judge your own actions, then you would not come under judgment by the rest of the body.
1 Corinthians 11:32
32 Nevertheless, when we are judged in this way by the Lord, we are being disciplined so that we will not be finally condemned with the world.
Bob: When being judged by the Lord, you are being disciplined by the Lord. He disciplines us. It shows us when our thinking is wrong. That is what that is doing right now, so you will not be condemned by the world. In other words, the world is looking in and saying, ‒They are no different than we are.–
1 Corinthians 11:33-34
33 So then, my brothers and sisters, when you gather to eat, you should all eat together. 34 Anyone who is hungry should eat something at home, so that when you meet together it may not result in judgment.
And when I come I will give further directions.
Bob: And that judgment, that is from one another. That is the Lord’s supper in the bible. What has been done in churches today is so sad.
Randy: The church of Christ I was going to. They practice communion but whenever the plate comes by, then you partake at that point, and it just continues on and nobody waits on anybody. But I have been in churches where communion is passed out and everybody communes together.
Bob: That is not the issue. You have missed the point there.
Randy: Oh, okay.
Bob: This is not the case of passing around and waiting on each other. It is the case of someone who came in and ate up all the crackers before the rest came in. It is not in the way it is taken but whether or not you are thinking of the body instead of just thinking of yourself.
Bob: But again, I guarantee it is not being taken the way it is written. I guarantee you that. The issue is, “Do you have to take it?” No. It is for your own benefit. It is a visual aid that you are a member of the body of Christ.
1 Corinthians 11:23-26
23 For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, 24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.” 25 In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.” 26 For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.
Bob: Of course, people who think they are saved by being baptized are not a member of the body of Christ. Baptism cannot save anybody.
Randy: I have been listening and I am catching all these things you are saying. It is so inspiring more than anything in all my life. Your teaching is phenomenal. I do not know how the world can go on without people in your stature talking and teaching the things you are. So many of churches are just not being correct and that is just so sad.
Bob: So many are functioning by tradition and by what we have been taught. How can anyone expect anything different? If you go to a Baptist seminary, you will go back into the pulpit and communicate Baptist doctrine. If you taught in the Methodist seminary, you will go back in the pulpit and teach Methodist theology. If you go to Church of Christ, Church of Christ theology. If Episcopalian, go and learn what they teach and go back and teach that. Now logic tells you something is wrong. Both of us could be wrong, but not both of us could be right. The issue is you can see from that alone and ask, “How can all of those be truth?” The issue is they can’t. The only way you are going to find out if someone is teaching truth is to go to the source of truth, which is the bible and not the denominational persuasion. You may find a denomination that most of what they teach is direct out of the word of God but I guarantee you all of them cannot be or they would be at odds with each other.
Randy: In that regard, with what you stated, if I were in a church where over 90% is the truth of what the word of God is, and they would be teaching this, would I be better attending their church or sitting listening to you on Sunday morning? Is there a difference there? There is no sin except the denial of Christ Jesus.
Bob: The issue on this, Randy, is to find a place where people, and hopefully you can find a place, and if you cannot, then you are better off staying at home than listening to false teaching. The main thing is to try to find a place where people teach out of the word of God and teach the word of God. If a person is doing so with an open heart and you identify something that you consider to be error, there is nothing wrong going to a pastor and saying, “Pastor, I got a question for you?”, just like you have done here. “It appears to me in scripture this is what it is saying, yet it appears to me I am hearing you say this. Can you clarify that for me?” Anyone who has an open heart is going to give a clarification. They may give a clarification based just on what they have been taught. If they do, you can ask, “What is the biblical basis for that? Where do you find that in scripture?” You can have dialog if you have a teacher who is open to learning, for we never stop being learners, who is open to someone saying, “I do not quite understand what you are saying there in light of these scriptures.” So you might end up changing someone’s mind and heart.
Randy: I tell you. I wish I lived in Dallas. I would go to Sunday services and not worry about nothing.
Bob: We wish you were here, too, brother.
Randy: Thank you so much for your help. It is a great thing to have this message. I can receive twice a day. I get it through the internet, so I thank the Lord for that.
We thank the Lord, too. You just keep listening. God bless, pal.
Elizabeth from Nashville, TN
Elizabeth: I was wondering about Mark 16:16.
16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.
Elizabeth: Do you have to be baptized to be saved?
Bob: Elizabeth, that passage of scripture, if you will look closely in the bible, hopefully our translation makes this note, “[The earliest manuscripts and some other ancient witnesses do not have verses 9–20.]” So those passages, you have to say, “Well, I am not going to read those to take any kind of doctrine out of that at all because it was not in the early manuscripts. It is also strange to me as you read it.
9 When Jesus rose early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had driven seven demons.
Bob: That is not the account through the other gospels. He appeared to Mary, the mother of James, to Silome, and all the different ones.
15 He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. 16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. 17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18 they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.”
In this it also talks about people picking up snakes, speaking in new tongues, drinking poison. Well, I do not believe I want to do any of those things unless it is biblical. I would have a hard time even if it was biblical, drinking poison and picking up snakes. I would rather drink poison than pick up snakes. So I do not pay attention to that passage.
Bob: No, baptism is not a criteria for salvation at all. Salvation is from God. Jesus died for your sins. Jesus was raised from the dead. I ask people, “Who died for your sins?” “Jesus.” “Who was raised from the dead?” “Jesus.” “Who baptized you?” “My pastor.” That ought to tell you something. That is 2/3 Jesus, and 1/3 man. And that, of course, is heretical teaching. There is nothing we can do to save anybody. The issue is Paul said this.
1 Corinthians 1:15-17
14 I thank God that I did not baptize any of you except Crispus and Gaius, 15 so no one can say that you were baptized in my name. 16 (Yes, I also baptized the household of Stephanas; beyond that, I don’t remember if I baptized anyone else.) 17 For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel – not with wisdom and eloquence, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.
Bob: This is where a lot of people get confused. John the Baptist said.
11 “I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me comes one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.
So spiritual baptism is what saves us. That spiritual baptism is when we receive the Spirit of God into our hearts as a result of believing by faith in Christ, his death, burial and resurrection. Then the Spirit of God baptizes, or places us, into the body of Christ. That is the completion of salvation.
Bob: A lot of people get confused when it says they were baptized with water baptism instead of the fact that John said that will get replaced with spiritual baptism. That is merely a foreshadowing of the reality. Jesus said the same thing.
16 Then I remembered what the Lord had said: ‘John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’
Bob: Baptism that saves is nothing we do but only what Jesus has done.
Elizabeth: Okay. So water baptism is not important like communion?
Bob: No. It has nothing to do with salvation. It is merely evidence, something that you can do, but it is something that is not a necessity to do. It is a way we can celebrate. We should publicly declare the fact that we are in fact in Christ Jesus. Baptism is one way of doing that. It certainly is a remembrance to you again of the day that you came to Christ by faith. This is an outward manifestation of that. As far as communion is concerned, that is a celebration of the day you came to Christ and became a part of the New Covenant where sins were all taken away. Those are merely celebrations of what has already taken place in your life.
Elizabeth: Okay then.
Bob: Does that help, Elizabeth?
Elizabeth: Yes. Yes.
Bob: I appreciate your call. Bye. Bye. Now.
Kevin from Indianapolis, IN
Kevin: It has been a long time talking to you. I do not listen as often as I used to because not on here as it used to be. I was on where a lady talked about forgiveness. I can speak on that from experience, where an incident happened with a neighbor over my dog, which resulted in having to put our dogs to sleep. There was certainly hurt feelings and my flesh would rise up, like thoughts of retaliation, and the Holy Spirit got my attention and said, “No, forgive him and walk in love.” Like the bible says you are heaping coals of fire on their head by showing them love. I appreciate the advice you gave.
21 If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat;
if he is thirsty, give him water to drink.
22 In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head,
and the Lord will reward you.
Kevin: My question has to do with, and I may know the answer, but I enjoy your input. In Acts 3:19, where Peter was talking about repent, so his be blotted out and times of refreshing will come.
19 Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord,
Kevin: He was trying to apply this to Christians. He was talking about the season of Yom Kippur coming on. I wanted you to address this especially in light of what we know about the finality of the cross.
Bob: Again, I think before you answer the question out of the book of Acts, you have to realize the book of Acts is not a doctrinal book, and you must understand the truth of that. It is a historical book. It is not doctrinal. So there are things said there that are not doctrinal, but why they were said was so they will be recorded.
Bob: Now in the context, there is this.
13 The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified his servant Jesus. You handed him over to be killed, and you disowned him before Pilate, though he had decided to let him go.
Bob: He is talking to the Jewish leaders here.
14 You disowned the Holy and Righteous One and asked that a murderer be released to you. 15 You killed the author of life, but God raised him from the dead. We are witnesses of this. 16 By faith in the name of Jesus, this man whom you see and know was made strong. It is Jesus’ name and the faith that comes through him that has completely healed him, as you can all see.
17 “Now, fellow Israelites, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did your leaders. 18 But this is how God fulfilled what he had foretold through all the prophets, saying that his Messiah would suffer. 19 Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord, 20 and that he may send the Messiah, who has been appointed for you – even Jesus.
Bob: So, in this particular case, he is saying repent. What is repentance? Turn to Jesus. That is what repentance is. Repent and turn to Jesus. When we turn to Jesus, what happens to sins that were provided at the cross. They are wiped out.
Bob: It is just merely. You have things in Acts. Peter, on one occasion, said this.
18 When Simon saw that the Spirit was given at the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money 19 and said, “Give me also this ability so that everyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.”
20 Peter answered: “May your money perish with you, because you thought you could buy the gift of God with money! 21 You have no part or share in this ministry, because your heart is not right before God. 22 Repent of this wickedness and pray to the Lord in the hope that he may forgive you for having such a thought in your heart. 23 For I see that you are full of bitterness and captive to sin.”
Bob: Peter told him to repent of this sin when this man was trying to buy the Holy Spirit. He said, “Perhaps He will forgive your sin on that.” That is not a true statement. Perhaps is not a true statement. He has forgiven you of your sins. Did Peter not know? Possibly. Or maybe he was saying this to put him on a guilt trip. What we do know is that what he said was written down in the book of Acts.
Kevin: That was my take on it, on Acts 3. He was telling him to repent first and foremost for the fact he had rejected Jesus as the Messiah.
Kevin: Right. He was talking specifically to Jewish leaders. That could not apply to us because our sins were already taken away at the cross. I know that. It is so interesting, Bob, when you read. I know your take on this. I was in a discussion with people on 1 John 1:9. It is hard for people to give that up, “I have to get my sins forgiven.” I tell them the bible says that sins were already taken away. He forgave them all. It is hard for people to break that mindset.
Bob: They do not know what it means, Kevin. That is double-talk. If a person has a brain and can think, they know it is double-talk. I think, sometimes people do not have a brain. But if they have a brain and can reason, you do not have to be a rocket scientist to put the two together.
2 Corinthians 5:19
19that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them
1 John 2:2 (KJV)
2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.
30 When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
3 After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.
Bob: That is, after he provided, not providing. With all of those passages, and this is just sampling, I do not think you have to be a rocket scientist to figure out our sins have been forgiven. He took them away from the eyes of God once and for all and will not do it again.
27 Unlike the other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself.
10 And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
22 In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.
Bob: If a person will read the book of Hebrews, this is explained so clearly.
Bob: Now, it gets down to this. How do I respond to that? That is where the problem comes in. If I know what Jesus did, then I have no problem with how to respond. But if I do not know and I have not really stopped to think about it, that means the sins of the entire world were placed upon Jesus at the cross and taken away from the eyes of God. It also means when Jesus said the world’;s sin, singular, is unbelief in me (John 16:9), and that he said that because the sins, plural, of the world were placed upon Christ Jesus at the cross, the only sin attributable to man is the sin of the rejection of the son of God. If that is true, once you understand that, Kevin. I am not preaching to the choir to you. But as you understand that truth, no one really has to tell you how to respond when you sin. When my sins were taken away from the eyes of God never to be seen again, and I sin, the only thing I can do, if I am going to walk by faith. There is the big if. If I want to walk by faith, then the only response I can have to God is say “Thank you, Lord.”
Kevin: Yes, “Thank you.”
Bob: There is no other response if I am going to walk by faith. Now if I want to walk by works, then I will say, “No, that work was not completed at the cross. I have not been forgiven for that sin.” If I am asking God to forgive me, then in my mind I am saying, “I Have not been forgiven by God on the cross”, which is a denial of what he did at the cross. Therefore, “I am going to ask and, therefore, he is going to respond by forgiving me.” Now I am in control instead of Him. So I think is the control factor.
Kevin: Do you think a lot of it is self righteousness, bob?
Kevin: It is hard for people to accept that he has done everything and all we have to do is believe. “No, that is too easy. I have to do something else in response.” I think that is a lot of the problem.
Bob: We cannot bring ourselves to the reality of our total depravity. We cannot bring ourselves to the truth of that. If it was not for what God did, every single one of us who has ever been born on the face of the earth will be in hell. So we sometimes have difficulty with that. Yes.
Kevin: I appreciate your team, Bob. I thank you for expounding upon that. It is good to reinforce that I am on the right track with my thinking. God bless you with your ministry.
Bob: God bless you, pal. Bye. Bye.