Classic Christianity – Bob George Thanksgiving p2 (11-22-18)
Welcome to Bob George Classic Christianity radio with Bob George, the clear and timeless teaching on the complete forgiveness and unconditional love of Jesus Christ as you learn about God’s amazing love. Bob shares from Romans 12:9-21 what love looks like in action. He cites examples of what we tend to do in the flesh as a contrast so we can better understand God’s way of love. This passage shows us God’s righteousness. Bob then shares that instead of looking to the law to manufacture love, which is impossible to do, we should look to the grace given us in Christ Jesus so this love can be produced in us. He shares how one can inquire of the Lord of your need of love and desire to love others so that He can live in and through you. He reminds us of the proper biblical understanding of Romans. Romans is a contrast between law and grace, showing us the purpose of the law, and how misused its purpose, being made it a means of righteousness instead of a means of showing your sinfulness. Then he points people to look more closely at Romans 5, so one can have peace that surpasses understanding, to be justified by faith apart from law, and to be saved by His life; Christ in you, the only hope of glory. With Christ in you, what you read in these passages can be shown through you, in your marriage, in your neighborhood, in your town; being devoted to one another, patient in affliction, joyful in hope, practicing hospitality, associating with all people in all walks of life with the depths of God’s love, and doing good to your enemy in all sincerity, overcoming evil with good.
9 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. 11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 13 Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.
14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position.[c] Do not be conceited.
17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19 Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,”[d] says the Lord. 20 On the contrary:
“If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”[e]
21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
Bob shares what brotherly loves means by expressing what brotherly love is not. Have you ever said or heard someone say, “I don’t like what you are doing, so I am not coming anymore”? That is not practicing brotherly love. If you were the one who had such a thought, should you not go to him to resolve the matter, that maybe you are in error? And even if he is in error, would you not want to see to it he does not hold onto something that could be a lie? But most likely what you will find is that you are in error by the attitude you hold, withholding time and attention he needs from you.
Bob also shared it means to honor one another above yourself. Do you sit around thinking you know it all. Do you think you know the answer so you don’t take the time to listen to someone else’s opinion? Do you simply listen to one another without having to think you have to share your opinion about everything dogmatically.
Do you share with God’s people in need? Bob shared an example of this when the believers he was with all willingly and gladly sent letters of encouragement to the military deployed oversees. They took the time, treasure, and talent to put a smile on their faces. They are hurting, often with deep feelings of loneliness, away from those they love, while putting their life in harms way for our sake, and are in need of encouragement. There is nothing that unifies a body than when people give of themselves to others in love and gratitude.
As one goes down the list in Romans 12:9-21, what thoughts comes to your mind? Bob continues with the thought on bless those who persecute you. Is this normal? What is our normal reaction in the flesh? Is it not to take revenge? Yet, we read that revenge is mine declares the Lord (Roman 12:19). So can you be thankful that you do not have to take revenge but leave room for God to work. What responsibility has he charged you to do? Feed him and give him something to drink.
Bob elaborated more on living in harmony with one another. Where is that tested more than in marriage. Men and women think differently, different perspective and opposites often attract. How then can a man and woman live in harmony?
We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
each of us has turned to our own way;
Is it not the natural tendency of the flesh to want to be in control, to have it your own way. So if one asks the Lord to show you what to do, he will show you. And as you do, he will show you how to live in harmony with your spouse. The key question to ask of God is, “What do you want me to do?”. And then do what he tells you to. The real issue is do you want God’s way or your own way?
Bob shares what being careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. In other words, Bob says do not be a stumbling block. Paul addressed this matter in his letter to the Corinthians on the matter of eating food sacrificed to idols.
1 Corinthians 8:7-13
7 But not everyone possesses this knowledge. Some people are still so accustomed to idols that when they eat sacrificial food they think of it as having been sacrificed to a god, and since their conscience is weak, it is defiled. 8 But food does not bring us near to God; we are no worse if we do not eat, and no better if we do.
9 Be careful, however, that the exercise of your rights does not become a stumbling block to the weak. 10 For if someone with a weak conscience sees you, with all your knowledge, eating in an idol’s temple, won’t that person be emboldened to eat what is sacrificed to idols? 11 So this weak brother or sister, for whom Christ died, is destroyed by your knowledge. 12 When you sin against them in this way and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ. 13 Therefore, if what I eat causes my brother or sister to fall into sin, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause them to fall.
In other words, people possess different understanding of things, and if someone thinks eating pork is a sin, then to him it is a sin. Anything that does not come from faith is sin. So I would be a stumbling block to someone coming to Christ with this understanding of not eating pork. How well would he receive the message of the gospel when I share such a message while eating a pork sandwich? If anything we do gives the appearance of evil to someone else, don’t do it. Related to this is this matter of leading a quiet life and attend to your own business. Do I look down on someone else because I see them drinking a glass of wine? No! Now, certainly no one should be drunk but simply drinking a glass of wine. Nevertheless, if a former alcoholic is in your midst and by your drinking he is succumbed to falling into a former lifestyle that had him bound, then by your drinking, are you causing him to stumble? Do not drink or be associated in a place where wine is served, for his sake, his conscience, not yours. We should walk in a manner of love toward one another. Bob shared about a lady who came into a gathering of believers and was all upset about seeing another Christian drinking, and was quite vocal about it. Why does his drinking concern you? Are you a former alcoholic or are you just getting into someone else’s business? What concern is it to you?
For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit,
Bob explained what it means “as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone”. That does not mean all people will live at peace with you because even if all that you are doing is promoting peace. Did Herod have peace with God when he chose to murder every child 2 years and under? Did the Pharisees have peace with God after Jesus healed the blind and raised the dead? Sadly, not everyone wants peace or acts in a manner where you can live with peace with them.
Yet, what should we do when we are persecuted? How should we treat our enemies? Feed them and give them water to drink. By dong so you are reaping burning coals on their head, that hopefully they will see that they are in the wrong and come to repentance unto new life.
Now, this list of love actions we have read, are you feeling condemned or convicted. All of us fall short. But do you have this attitude in you: “I am not always acting that way, but I want to”. Then you are not far from the heart of God. The heart of God is mercy. What we read in Romans 12:9-21 is God’s righteousness that we should all desire and long for.
With this in mind, how then can we be changed so we can live in this manner of love, Christ’s righteousness? Often times people’s understanding of the scripture is off. They think that by carrying their bible around in their hip pocket like carrying a cell phone, one can tap into the scripture and start loving, scrambling for the bible passage that applies to you present circumstance, as if bypassing a personal relationship with Christ and retrieving a scripture as a mechanical robot. Jesus made this charge concerning the Pharisees.
38 nor does his word dwell in you, for you do not believe the one he sent. 39 You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me, 40 yet you refuse to come to me to have life.
So then what is the purpose of Romans? Romans is written to show the contrast between law and grace, showing how misused its purpose and made it into a means of righteousness instead of a means of showing your sinfulness. If one reads Romans 2, what do you discover?
12 All who sin apart from the law will also perish apart from the law, and all who sin under the law will be judged by the law. 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. 14 (Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law. 15 They show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts sometimes accusing them and at other times even defending them.) 16 This will take place on the day when God judges people’s secrets through Jesus Christ, as my gospel declares.
28 A person is not a Jew who is one only outwardly, nor is circumcision merely outward and physical. 29 No, a person is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code. Such a person’s praise is not from other people, but from God.
Are you under law or under grace? If you are under law, then you must keep the whole and not ever fail once, for the day you do, you are guilty of breaking all of the law (James 2:10). If one is not born again, he is enslaved to the law, and is obligated to keep all the demands of the law. People will tenaciously hang onto something that will kill them. Do you boast how good you are under law, that you do not murder or steal, but do you have lust in your heart? Do you consistently show up late to work and are therefore stealing time? So then you are a law breaker. And, you are also a hypocrite. Why, you ask? Because you say you are good under the law but you broke the law. People under law like to think they are doing good under it. Indeed, why would they call into a radio program like Classic Christianity radio, defending the law unless they think they are doing good under it? A true born again believer does not boast in his goodness or in the law, but his boast is in the Lord, Christ’s righteousness given to him as a gift. A person under grace is not a hypocrite because he is not teaching that he is good, but that God alone is good.
Bob continues to explain that Romans also gives information on the way of grace. In Romans 5, one reads about the peace of God that surpasses understanding, that one is justified by faith apart from law, and how one is saved by the life of Christ. Christ in you truly is the only hope of glory.
Ponder what is written in God’s word.
Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.
6 You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. 7 Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
9 Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! 10 For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! 11 Not only is this so, but we also boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.
Bob then closed with a prayer.
“We want to thank you for truth of the word of God. We read these things and really it is a definition of your attitude toward us. Really it is saying ‘if I live in you then I can generate those same attitudes in you”. For that we thank you. So Lord, help us to become loving people. Put bitterness away. Forgive one another just as you forgave us. Many times we have had a lifestyle and many times in our marriages of being angry and bitter, Put that away. It does not do any good. Lord Jesus, I am tired of trying to protect myself. I am tired of having this wall around me. I want to be able to love with your love just like you did. You were not fearful of loving us. You knew full well that in so doing that some would accept, and others reject, but you loved us anyway. Father, free us from fears that keeps us from the perfect love of God. And, let us learn to walk in that newness of life, refreshed by God’s word. In Christ’s name we pray and for His sake.”
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