Radio Broadcast Tuesday 04/19/2022

Classic Christianity – A Closer Look at Your Identity in Christ P17 (04-19-22)

In Christ Jesus You are a SAINT, not a Sinner

When God looks on, at a child of God, God sees you as a Saint and not a sinner. Saints and sinners both sin but Saints are not sinners and sinners are not Saints. No where does God call a saved person a sinner. We need to see ourselves now as God sees us. A Saint is a child of God!

Just as a person’s physical growth is based on proper diet and exercise, so is the Christians’s spiritual growth dependent on regular feeding upon the word of God and application of its principles. With more false teaching, shifting opinions and general confusion in the world than ever before, Christians need a solid foundation upon which to base their beliefs and build their lives. The word of God declares that Jesus Christ is that foundation of truth. With that in mind, let’s now take A Closer Look at Your Identity in Christ.

The study that we’re studying right now and will be for the next couple of days. A couple of weeks, say the next couple, but it’ll be the next number of weeks. Is to me, one of the most important studies that we have in regards to the Christian life as we understand it, and it is the absolute basis for all Christian Behavior. Now unfortunately, it is a subject that is very seldom dealt with and I say that from my own experience, and the experience that I’ve had in the ministry with working with people, all over the world and all over, especially we in the United States, because the average Christian does not know who he is. So he’ll say, well I’m a Baptist or I’m a Presbyterian or a Methodist or a Plymouth Brethren or a Catholic or a Pentecostal or a Charismatic. We’ll very quickly say those kinds of things. But you keep saying, no I ask you. Who are you? Who are you? I mean if you’re not who you are, but where you go. You’re who you are because of who you are and your who you are, if you’re a Christian because of who God Made you.

And so, we have our identities, all messed up. We identify ourselves with our profession. I’m a pastor, a housewife, a businessman. I’m an announcer. I’m a doctor. I’m a lawyer, an Indian chief. You just go right on down the line and we’re identifying ourselves by our vocation by what we do. Everything by what we do. And then, if we are suffering from depression, why, then we have a new identity. I’m a manic depressive. If we’re suffering from double mindedness, why then the psychological profession puts the name schizophrenic on you, and now I at least know who I am. I’m an old schizophrenic. And so in the world in which we live, folks, it is and it is Satan’s world. He has very cleverly engineered in every aspect of the world in which we live a way and a means to get our identity off of who God says we are and on to who he says we are. Because if we can buy the identities that the world puts on us, why then Satan has us totally under his control.

And so it is so vitally important for you and me, as children of the living God, to understand our identity and who God says we are, and to hold on to that tenaciously in the midst of the attacks from the world, from Satan, from the demonic world, to try to get our identities off of who God says we are, and onto who he wants us to believe that we are. And so when you take a look at Ephesians 1:1, you’re going to see something, you’re going to see Paul addressing Saints, it calls us at Ephesus, the faithful in Christ. Now, why does he call these people Saints? Well, because that’s what God calls them. In other words, a saint is one who has been set apart and that’s your new identity is a child of the living God. You used to be a sinner, called a sinner, that was saved by grace.

Now, if you were a sinner that has been saved by grace, then you have a new identity. It’s called a saint, no longer a sinner. They’re no longer called one, when you’re not a sinner. Because you sin, you might sin because you’re a sinner but you’re not a sinner because you sin, you were born one. A sinner’s definition is an unbeliever. It’s one who walks in unbelief. Now, I he walks in unbelief because he is an unbeliever. So there is really a rationale for walking in unbelief. I mean, it’s a very consistent lifestyle. If you are lost, an unbeliever, to walk in unbelief, there’s nothing inconsistent with that. As a matter of fact, there is inconsistency in your life. And that’s why it talks about in the scripture of a double minded man being unstable in all ways and I lived this way to a degree for 36 years, although I was never sincere, to sincere in this, but I was an unbeliever, living with a thought about going to church, of the thought of trying to be good sometimes, but and all of those type of things. But that’s inconsistent. In other words, my going to church on Sunday as an unbeliever was not really where I particularly wanted to be and when it did get to the point where that’s what I wanted to be, it was because I could be around my buddies, my friends.

So it was a place to congregate, but I could also do that at the YMCA growing up. But the Y wasn’t as much fun as the church because the church had a better basketball court in it. So that was for fun. But, and again, it wasn’t that I was adamant toward God. I just didn’t know that I could know God. So, but I was an unbeliever. I was an unbeliever not in the fact that I did not believe Jesus was the Son of God, because I did believe that. Not because I didn’t believe in God. I did believe in God. But I didn’t know God believed in me and I didn’t know that Jesus came to die for me. I heard that He died for the world. But that was out there. I didn’t know that He came to die for me. I didn’t know that I could have a relationship with Him. And so, I did not live in what I am to believe in, and that is that I (God) came for you, you know, I came to die for you. I didn’t know that. So therefore I was an unbeliever practicing a belief system engaging in a belief system. But never thinking what I was believing in, and so I was ameshed in the church system. I was involved in the church system, but I didn’t know what I believed in. Now, that’s not unusual either.

You can be as an example in it, belonged to the Masons and not have a clue what the Masons really believe in. I remember some time, I used to go to the Presbyterian churches. Somebody asked me what Presbyterians believe? So, I don’t know, you know, and then somebody says, well, I believe in predestination. What’s that mean? I don’t know. But I could say, well, they believe in predestination, didn’t know what that meant. But that’s okay. I don’t need to know what they believe. I enjoyed the company of the people that I went on Sunday with. And so, that is not an unusual thing. You can go to high school and be involved in being in high school, not learn anything. So you can understand how we can be ameshed in a system, but still not, you’re in it, but you’re not of it. So I was in a religious system, with quite frankly, I think the majority of Americans are in a religious system, but you’re in it, but you’re not of it, but you don’t understand what the truth is, in regard to the word of God. And so folks, I believe by frankly, that is the condition of the average Christian walking out there is where our identity is unfortunately in our denominational affiliation instead of being made into a new creation by the Lord Jesus Christ.

So again Paul refers to the Saints at Ephesus as Saints because that’s what God called them, and in second Corinthians 1:1, he addresses again, Paul an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God and Timothy our brother to the church of God in Corinth together with all the saints throughout Achaia. And so, how does he refer to them? As saints. No longer a sinner saved by grace, but a saint now, that has been set apart through their new birth in Christ Jesus.

I think it’s noteworthy to look again at the passage of scripture that we went over before we took our break in second Corinthians. Now, here was Paul addressing the Corinth church together with all the saints throughout Achaia. And Corinth was a city in the Roman province of Achaia. And yet it was without question the most carnal church, probably that has ever been known on the face of the Earth. Corinth itself was a city that was plagued with every sexual sin that you can imagine. And these Saints, these new creatures in Christ carried a lot of that baggage into their salvation, and many were guilty as a child of God of sexual sins. They were gluttonous at the Lord’s Supper getting drunk and passing out. Prideful, pride and yet, with every bit of this stuff going on, what did Paul call those current Corinth believers? He called him Saints.

Now we think of a saint as someone who was acting nice. But it’s a designation that has nothing at all to do with how you act. You call a bird, a bird. Not because it flies, because if it was injured, he couldn’t fly, but it would still be a bird. It would be a grounded bird, but it would still be a bird. And so in light of this, you’ve got to conclude about the role that behavior plays in determining your identity in Christ. That is the identity that God has given you. And not the identity that the religious world is giving you. So you have to ask yourself the question. Well, if I am a child of God and called a saint by God, am I called a saint because of all of my behavior? Or am I called a saint because I have believed the gospel and am born-again, and of their been made into what is called a child of the living God who has been made holy, sanctified, set apart. All of those are part of the sainthood. And in other words, you are set apart from the world, doesn’t have anything to do with what I did. I wasn’t saved because of what I did and my identity is not based upon what I do and I don’t do. My identity was based upon what He did and of my accepting of that.

So is it therefore possible for you as a child of God to commit sins? Well, ask yourself the question. Are you a child of God? Yes. Do you ever commit sins? Yes. Well, then I guess it’s possible for a child of God to commit sins. You don’t have to, it’s not really, a very difficult theological question. Now, it would be difficult if somebody came up and said that, if you’re a child of God, and sin, you are no longer a child of God, why then you would have to say, well it would be possible still for a child of God to sin. But if he did, he wouldn’t be one any longer. So then, I guess what you would be is back to being a sinner again. So you’d say well, is it possible for a sinner to sin? So, I guess that’s more comfortable. It doesn’t make any sense, this losing your salvation that is taught so much out there. And in fact, it is not taught at all in the scriptures. It’s just taught in order to keep people in the bondage of legalism and to keep them under the control of another human being rather than under the control of God. That’s all that serves. It serves for no good purpose at all, except enabling man to control people with it. So is it possible for you as a child of God to commit sin? Yes it is. Does the fact that you commit a sin or sins determine your identity in Christ? Well, no, it doesn’t. Again if a butterfly crawls on the ground, does it change its identity? No, it’s crawling on the ground. Like it used to be a worm. It’s returning to the behavior of its old lifestyle of its own identity and it’s stupid. But can he do it? Well, of course he can do it. Yes, he can and he is still going to be a butterfly now acting like a worm, where before he was a worm acting like a worm; much more consistent. Now is a butterfly flying, because he flies, he is a butterfly. No, because he’s a butterfly, he’s able to fly. But again, he can still crawl. So you see that committing sins does not determine your identity in Christ. What makes you a saint in God’s eyes is that God made you that way.

So if any man be in Christ, he is a new creation and it talks about the fact, where Paul said, the things I want to do, I don’t do, and the things that I don’t want to do, I do it anyway, but you say, it’s no longer I, who do it, it’s sin living in me. So, we talked last week about the fact that we have this thing called indwelling sin, living in the body, the humanity, which includes our mind, the humanity of man. And that sin, living in our humanity, it has desires called desires of the flesh. But now as a child of God I also have the Spirit of God living in me and the Spirit has desires called the desires of the Spirit.

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Now, it says that those two sets of desires are in conflict with each other, and they war against one another. So that is the condition that you and I as a child of God are going to live in. That’s the arena that we’re going to exist in. It is the fact that I am now a child of God. Praise the Lord! I’ve got a brand new set of identity, that I never used to have as a lost person. They’re God’s desires, but I also have some of those old fleshly desires. Why? Well because I still come in the flesh, and in that place of mine is indwelling sin creating those same old desires. Did it say those desires would go away? No. What did it say? Clean up the desires of the flesh and you’ll be spiritual, no, what did it say? Walk in the Spirit and you won’t fulfill the desires of the flesh.

So one thing we know about that, we know that we have desires of the flesh. Where does it come from? Indwelling sin that lives in every human being. It lives uncontrolled in a lost person. There’s no option except to give in to the desires of the flesh, and the desires of the flesh can be good desires and bad desires, but they’re not God’s desires. They’re good for any human standpoint, but not God’s desires. So are we ever going to get rid of them? No, never going to. So it says we’re going to have desires in the flesh living in us. So it says the solution to that is not to be preoccupied with how to clean up the flesh, but it’s to be preoccupied with walking by faith in Christ, which is walking in the newness of life called, walking in the Spirit. There’s a by-product of walking in the Spirit. You will not be fulfilling the desires of the flesh. There is also a by-product to trying to clean up the flesh. You won’t be walking in a Spirit. Now as good as it sounds to be trying to clean up the flesh, and that sounded good trying to clean up your flesh, but can’t be walking in the Spirit when you’re trying to clean up here flesh. There’s only a by-product when I’m trying to clean up the flesh is you cannot walk in the Spirit. There’s a by-product to walking in a Spirit. You will not be fulfilling desires of the flesh. Isn’t that subtle?

Now you see, religion comes in and has no preoccupation at all with walking in the Spirit, because most people don’t even know what it means to walk in the Spirit. Or didn’t know, there was one like the early Apostles would have all asked. Did you receive the Spirit when you believed? Didn’t even know there was a Holy Spirit. Why, I want to tell you something. I didn’t either for 36 years of my life. I didn’t know there was a Holy Spirit. I thought it was the thing you said when you were baptized in the name of Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and had no idea that the Holy Spirit of God was God who lives in me as a child of God and had no idea about that. So I didn’t know who He was. So the only option that you have when you’re lost is to walk in accordance with the desires of the flesh. And now we have a new option, and that is with the Spirit of God living in me. I now have a new option and that is to walk in accordance with the desires of the Spirit. I didn’t have that option before I was saved. Now I do. But the issue is I still have the desires of the flesh.

So is it unusual in as much as you still haven’t dwelling sin living in you, creating desires of the flesh, is it unusual for a human being to give in to those desires in one form or another? And we sit around as Christians, so self-righteous, so sickening. And just can’t, I just can’t believe that this Christian did something like that. Well, folks, believe it, it can happen to anybody. If you can think something, you can do something. And if you don’t, if you have thought something and haven’t done it, praise be to God, because you’re very fortunate because you’re capable of it. Now, when you’re thinking something and if I can think and I can also do it, and I don’t do it, there’s only one person to thank for that, and that is the Lord Jesus Christ, who has obviously renewed your mind saying to you, Bob, that is not my will. It’s not the best for you. It’s not the best for you.

When the scripture says, don’t commit adultery as an example. It isn’t there because God’s an ogre, that thinks sex is terrible. And just, you know, you got Christian sitting around when you word sex, your mouth just curls out and something terrible. No, it isn’t terrible. God made it for the enjoyment of a human being, but the reason for saying don’t commit adultery is because it perverts your ability to have the ultimate in sexual activity, with your own mate. It prevents that from occurring, so that in an adulterous situation, you cannot enjoy the true fulfillment. That is available to you in a sexual relationship that was given by God to be executed, in marriage. He didn’t say that to cramp your style. He’s saying that to protect you so that you can really enjoy this thing called sex in the context of marriage. So, all of those types of things are, if I’m walking, realizing what God is saying, and walking in His newness of life that has been given to me in Christ Jesus, depending upon Him and His truth. And what I just talked about is part of His truth, He said there’s a by-product. You will not need to be fulfilling the desires of the flesh. What’s the flesh say? Man get what you can when you can get it. That’s what the desires of the flesh are continually bombarding, that after all you got needs, and so go get those fulfilled. That’s what the flesh is always saying. God said no. No, I realize that there’s desires of the flesh out there. But those are not needs. You just think they’re needs, they’re not needs, they’re desires. What you need is to walk in the newness of life that has been given to you in Christ Jesus. That’s your needs. These (other things) aren’t needs, they’re desires, that the world perceives things, but they’re not needs at all. This is what you need. You need to depend on Me. You need to walk with my desires. My desire for you is to walk in the newness of life. I desire for you to know how much I love you. I desire for you to know that I have forgiven. I’ll never see your sins again, My desire is for God, for you to know how much I love you. Now, if that’s God’s desire for me to know those things, then if I want to walk in that newness of life, then I’m saying, Lord, if it’s your desire for me to know how much You love me, then I want to know how much You love me. Why? That’s what’s going to fulfill a need if it says it is My desire for you to know how much I love you. That means there is a need inside of me to know God’s love. So when I enter into doing His love, I have the deepest need of my heart being met, totally contrary to desires the flesh that we perceive is needs, and they’re not, and the deepest need of our heart can only be met in Christ.

We’re talking about there. For this difference between walking in the newness of life, walking in a Spirit and a part of walking in the Spirit, a large part again is what the Spirit has made you. And that is this child of God. So if I’m going to walk in the Spirit it said we worship Him in Spirit and in truth, then I’m going to have to walk in truth. And where you’re going to find truth is of course in the word of God that has been revealed to us. So the first thing that I have to return to if I’m To walk in truth in Spirit, and in truth is in the one Christ Jesus, that’s walking in Christ Jesus, abiding in Him. Well, what was He? Full of grace and truth.

We beheld his glory, the glory of the only begotten, Son of the Father. Full of what? Grace and truth. So I’m going to have to walk in His grace and I’m going to have to walk in His truth. Well, so when I blow it, and we all do, you know a person says well, what if a Christian starts sinning? I’ve got news for you, you’ve never stopped. We’re so idiotic than we think we stop sinning. We haven’t stopped sinning. If we still worry, we still have lust. Do we not? We can still be angry, that He says is the same as murder. And we don’t want to hit that, that too stringent. It’s too. I don’t care whether you want to hit or not, that’s what God said. That’s how stringent those things are.

We can have jealous thoughts towards people. We can have jealous ambition and this selfish ambition. We can slander people. We can lie, kids learn to live for the learn to lie before they can talk. Amazing thing. Little, tiny, tiny thing learns to lie. Why did you do that? Shakes his head. Can’t even say no, yet just shaking his head. So we can do all of those and we don’t even think those things are sins, and we never stopped. We stopped being a sinner if we’re a saint. But we haven’t stopped sinning. Asked a person the other day. But asked that question what do you do when you start sinning? It never stops. And how long have you been a Christian? 30 years. How long have you been worrying? 30 years. That’s pretty persistent. You’ve never stopped worrying. Is worry a sin? Of course, it’s in that which is not of faith is sin. So, can you have faith and worry at the same time? No. Now, how many of us can say, I never worry anymore? I just have never worried since the day I received Christ. If you did, well maybe you haven’t worried, but you’re still a liar. So what does it make any difference whether you’re a worrier or a liar? So the issue is that is not the issue. The issue is we’re never going to stop sinning. When we see sin from God’s vantage point that which is not a faith. The Lord said the world’s sin is unbelief in Me. So is there ever a time that we can doubt His faithfulness, doubt His love? Doubt His provision? Well of course it is. It’s a part of the human experience folks.

Now if I’m going to then return, I’m going to walk in the Spirit when that old flesh says, you don’t trust Christ, trust over here. Well, what do you do? I gotta walk in Truth. Now, what is truth in regards to, from God’s vantage point, in regards to that unbelief that you just executed, in regard to the worry that you’ve been doing, in regard to the anxiety that you just experienced when He said don’t be anxious? What mode do we take there in human behavior? Well, first of all, I got to return for going to walk in the Spirit. I’m going to walk in truth. So what is true about that sin from God’s vantage point? Well, was it judged? Yes. Where was it judged? At the cross. And was it judged yesterday? No, 2,000 years ago. What was the verdict? Guilty. What was the punishment? Death. Who took it for you? Jesus. How much is left for you? None. That’s why there’s no condemnation awaiting me who belongs to Christ Jesus. Why? Paul says, because the law of the Spirit of life set me free from that unbelievable law of sin and death. Because the wages of sin is death.

So, that little sin of worry, that little sin of anger, that from God’s vantage point according to His righteousness, which is perfect said, same as murder. That little glance of lust as far as God is concerned, same as adultery. No difference at all. And Bob, the Christian world sits around, and their self-righteousness and self and convicting indignation, saying my sins are not as bad as your sins, that guy’s sins over there are worse than mine. Let’s destroy him. And I want to tell you, it is the height of deception. It’s when those kinds of mindsets come from a mind that has been turned over to a reprobate mind. We think a reprobate is someone out getting drunk or living on the street. No, a reprobate is one who is saying that guy’s sins are worse than mine. That’s a reprobate mind. That’s a mind that has been perverted beyond comprehension and almost beyond repair. As such is the Pharisee. Thank God that I’m not a sinner like him. Who did God save him? No, never. The guy that said, Oh Lord have mercy upon me, a sinner. It’s a reprobate mind to think that my sins have been taken away by Christ, but their sins have not. God, my sins are okay because I’m doing them. His sins are not okay, because he’s doing them. That’s a reprobate mind.

Thank you so much for tuning in to Classic Christianity, with Bob George. We hope you’ve enjoyed today’s program. We truly hope that today’s message has inspired you to walk a life of faith in the Lord, find more information online at shop.BobGeorge.net. There you’ll also find available CDs, DVDs, and bible studies available for purchase. It’s through your help that we are able to spread the good word of Jesus Christ. Until next time, walk in faith, be good to one another and praise the Lord. Amen.

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Stand on the firmness of truth. Don’t keep going back and forth. Thank Him that the forgiveness issue is settled.

Let’s pray together:

  • Lord Jesus,
  • I thank you for taking away my sins on the cross,
  • never ever to see them again.
  • Having done that, I now thank you for giving me eternal life,
  • through your resurrection.
  • I now receive that life.
  • And I am going stand in the fact that I am a child of the living God.
  • In Jesus Holy name I pray.
  • Amen

All believers are now brothers and sisters in Christ.

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