Classic Christianity – Encourage By Grace P2 (01-29-19)
Bob George shares from the word of God to encourage believers by a message of grace. Bob reviews again the things discussed in part one. Do you have any encouragement from being freed from death to life, from His love, being united in fellowship with Him, being united in one spirit and purpose in Him? By leaning not on your own understanding, but living in the grace of God, being led by the Spirit of God, what joy and peace, what newness of life is available to you! So leave behind vain conceit and selfish ambition and develop an attitude of servitude, the same attitude that is in Jesus Christ.
Starting around minute 14 in the audio, Bob shares part two of this three part series titled “Encourage by Grace”. Bob shares the attitudes of Christ. The admonition to believers is to have that same attitude, to work out your salvation with fear and trembling. Think of the magnitude of the creator God and then consider his humility of love and servitude towards us, whom He created by the power of His word, ans that he should humble himself and become obedient to death on a cross, reconciling the world to God. Let us walk in the humility that is in Jesus Christ. So look at your thinking in light of the attitude of Christ and cast aside arguing and complaining and those attitudes that no longer belong to you, who are a child of God, who has been made into a new creation, with the Spirit of the living God in you, instructing and guiding you into all truth. There is a newness of life available to the child of God. Let God have His way in you.
Don’t think it is lowly to serve someone in love. Bob continues teaching from Philippians 2.
5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:
6 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
7 rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.
8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross!
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. Do Everything Without Grumbling
12 Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.
14 Do everything without grumbling or arguing,
15 so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky
16 as you hold firmly to the word of life. And then I will be able to boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor in vain.
17 But even if I am being poured out like a drink offering on the sacrifice and service coming from your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you.
18 So you too should be glad and rejoice with me.
What does it mean in verse 12 to continue to work out your salvation in fear and trembling. It means to work out what has been worked in you by the Holy Spirit in total humility. The Holy Spirit is indeed at work in the believer as Paul writes in verse 13.
13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose
Notice that the Holy Spirit is in Jesus, the second Adam, who walked in perfect humility, emptying himself of using his divine attributes. Even though he is fully God, he did not count equality with God something to be grasped. He lived as a man totally dependent on the Holy Spirit.
19 Jesus gave them this answer: “Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.
So he learned obedience through the things he suffered and went to the cross in total obedience to the will of God, to face death of all mankind. The creator of the universe laid down His glory in heaven and did this for you and me!
Think of this thought. Jesus is more than a man yet he laid down his life for us.
Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
So, to understand humility, ponder who Christ is! He certainly served us and called us friends long before we even knew him or cared about him. He initiated love to us while we were yet his enemy, because of our unregenerate minds and evil behavior!
If you are serving one another, that is God working in you. If you do not have love for others then God has not worked that in you. Why? You have not let Him. If I am still trying to earn God’s love, then how is he ever going to get His love into me, for I could never earn it? God love is perfect, totally unconditional. Being spiritually dead, no one is capable of earning God’s love nor can love be earned. Love is meant to be received.
1 John 3:16
This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.
Unless you are totally deceived, how can you ever think that you really have earned God’s acceptance? That is what the self righteous world thinks. Look at God’s creation, the stars and the sky and the blue marble Earth dangling out in space. Think of the immensity of that God! Yet He is God and we say that He is not sure what he is doing. That is how the world thinks, “I know more than He does”.
15 The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. 19 For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.
21 Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. 22 But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation— 23 if you continue in your faith, established and firm, and do not move from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant.
He is at work in you and me for his good pleasure. He has given us wisdom so we can share with others. Do everything without complaining and arguing. That should not be hard, should it? Yet, how weak we are. So hold firmly to the word of life. For then you can boast on the day of Christ that you did not labor for nothing. Recall also what Jesus said in Matthew, as the perfect man who lived by the Holy Spirit, as an example to us.
Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”
What is that complaining and arguing all the time? We are children of God and are to become blameless and pure, without fault in this warped and crooked generation. The believers should not be known by arguing and complaining. “My husband doesn’t understand me, that slob”. Think about that. Also, and the idea that a man is going to think like a woman or a woman like a man! Now, think about being deceived, to bring those things together.
Bob shares in the audio a little humor how men and women think differently. A man and a woman can look at the men and perceive thinks quite differently. It’s as if the woman is pondering about the back side of the moon while the man is thinking about the front side of the moon. So, quit complaining about those things, you cannot change it. Learn to accept the things the way they are, those things you cannot change. God can teach you things in all kinds of circumstances.
We lose things because we are not patient and lean on our understanding. You get impatient at work over an assignment and you become frustrated, so instead of being patient and waiting on the Lord, you make your thoughts known. In the process, a relationship with someone has been hurt and you no longer have the assignment.
17 So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. 18 They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. 19 Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, and they are full of greed.
Many of us have puny thinking. Have you noticed how the flesh is insatiable. Like a goat that eats anything you will give it. Someone will say, “A little marijuana won’t hurt you”. But a little does not stay little. How much you use it does not matter anymore. Then you go to greater drugs like crack and heroine. That little thing won’t hurt you is where it all began. One drink won’t hurt you, you say. Where did alcoholism start? With one drink and before long, one drink became two drink, then three drinks, and then totally out of control. That one little thing has now got you hooked and you are in the process of destroying your life.
So you hear the voice from the world, that you need a drink to help you be at ease to communicate with people, to be accepted, or to have a good time, to fit in with the crowd. Don’t listen to it! You do not have to fit in with the crowd. I am not going to lean on my own understanding. I have got God’s wisdom available to me. Why get your mind on that when you can get your mind renewed on God. Alcohol destroys brain cells and I have none to spare. Don’t you drink is not what I am talking about. The subtlety of it that it won’t hurt you is not a certainty, but it might. So why take a chance on something that can destroy your life.
20 That, however, is not the way of life you learned 21 when you heard about Christ and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. 22 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
All of us had a former way of life. Can you as a Christian have a former way of life? Yes! There is a new life in Christ but also a new life for the child of God. Can you be a child of God and be leaning on your own understanding? Absolutely, but that does not lead to joy and peace and the fruit of the Spirit reaching out to the branches! As a child of God, there is a new way of life available to you. You can be transformed in your thinking so as to live in newness of life.
So in the letter Paul writes to the Romans, he exhorts believes to be transformed in the renewing of their mind. Rely on the Holy Spirit and ask Him for wisdom. Ponder over His word and let Him teach you through His word. God wants you to live in the abundant life He had promised.
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
There is a new life in Christ, but also a new life as a child of God.
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