Classic Christianity – A Closer Look at Your Identity in Christ P23 (05-03-22)
What is the Work of The Ministry? Believe in Jesus
Place your faith in Jesus and His forgiveness for you on the cross. No one “gets” their sins forgiven today. Christ forgave you of your sins on the cross 2000 years ago. For without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.
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.
We’re coming into a section here, over the next number of weeks that quite frankly it’s the most exciting information that’s in the scripture. We have been studying together in our search for identity. In other words, our first lesson out of this book was where do we go to try to find our identities? And we’ve talked about that, how? We’ll go to our jobs, which is probably the number one thing, you know, it’s an interesting thing, you introduce yourself or get introduced to somebody and that’s the first thing is, you know, my name is. The next question invariably is what do you do? Right. What do you do? And so it’s amazing how our identity is wrapped up in that. And of course, I believe that it had an awful lot to do is because of that identity situation is had an awful lot to do with women especially, who when somebody is asked what do you do? It was always, I’m just a housewife. That’s all it is. I’m just a housewife as if that is just to say, will you follow her around all day and see if you can say I’m a just a housewife and especially if there are children around the because that’s a 24-hour day job and incidentally, there is no more important job on the face of the earth, then taking care of your family and your children, as someone has to do that. And when you have nobody in the home that is there looking out after that, then who is looking out after the home? And the answer to that is, nobody.
So, it would be like, I’m a businessman, but I’m not going to be there. No one’s looking after my business then. And so, we have to understand that many times as the world began to play upon this that I’m just a housewife, or making that into some kind of a second-rate citizen. Why? I believe that kind of opened the door then for women thinking that you do not have any identity unless you’re a career woman. And so then everyone started to go out into the workplace, and look what has happened to the degradation of homes in the country and the world today. And so we studied that about your identity. Because folks your identity is none of our identities is in what we do. You could say, well I’m just a housewife. And another person very proudly say well I’m a doctor or a lawyer. I’m president of the United States and then you got to ask yourself the question. How long you going to be one of those? In other words, if you’re a medical doctor, if you are a practicing doctor or a surgeon, that occupation could end in a minute by just the removal of your hands, just get in an accident, or have brain damage or whatever else it might be. So your identity is only wrapped up as long as you can do something. And ultimately age is going to grab a hold of all of us sooner or later if we are fortunate enough to live any length of time until we can’t fulfill that function anyway. And then in the age of course of Industry where you’re forced to retire at an early age. Why after that retirement takes place, you don’t have any identity left. And that’s why they say that the average is about two years after retirement, people die.
And I think most of that is because they just don’t know who they are. They’ve lost their identity. And so it is so vitally important for us to come to grips with the fact that our identity is not tied up in what we do. Our identity is in who we are, not in what we are doing. And so we studied that and how God has now given us a new identity and that is a child of the living God. And as a child of the living God we have been made into a brand new creation. And that’s where we left off last week. If any man is in Christ, he is what a new creation old things have passed away. And behold, all things have become new to the point where Paul was able to say, I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live. In other words, the old Paul without the Spirit of God living in him was crucified with Christ. And Christ, died, all died. So Paul died. I died. That guy is dead. Now, I had to die in order to come alive. So the old Bob George was a dead man living in darkness. It says, when you were in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, so I was dead. Now, that man, obviously is no longer there if indeed, I’m alive. So if I’m alive, the dead man’s gone, so the Bob George, without the Spirit of God, living in me, that guy is no longer in existence. I’ve been crucified with Christ. I died with him and I no longer live, Bob George without the Spirit of God living in him, no longer lives, but instead Christ lives in me. So if I no longer live and Christ lives in me, then whose life do I have? His. And the life that he says therefore that I live in this body, I live by faith. And who? A dead man, no. I live by faith in the Son of God, the one who loved me and gave Himself, or gave His life to me, and for me. So I’m a new creation. In other words, that is something brand-new.
And of course, we’ve given so many times the butterfly illustration, but it’s one of the better illustrations that I know in regard to Identity where once we were a caterpillar, now we’re a new creation, a butterfly. How’d you get to be a butterfly? You are an old caterpillar that was metamorphosized. Who are you as a born-again Christian? Who was I before? An old sinner. Who am I today? Called a saint created in the image of God, for good works. How to get to be one of those? Was an old sinner saved by grace, but now I’m no longer called an old sinner or a new sinner. I’m called a Saint in the eyes of God. Now does that mean you’re a saint? Because of what you do or what you don’t do? No, that’s not your identity. He didn’t say you’re a saint because you act like a saint or you’re a saint, or you’re not going to be a saint if you don’t act like a saint. Actions have nothing to do with that. Designation it has totally to do with. Are you in Christ? Or are you in Adam? Are you in Adam dead? Or are you in Christ alive?
So when we became a child of the living God, we became a new creature in Christ and through this spiritual birth God has transformed you into a saint. You may act sometimes like an old sinner saved by grace, but that’s not your identity. You can be crawling around with the caterpillars. And all you have to do is to recognize that I’m no longer a caterpillar. I’m a child of God, and get up and fly. God has something better for you and me then trying to return to who we were before. We were in Christ lost without hope. He didn’t make you born again so that you could return to crawling around like caterpillars. It’s called an abundant life that he’s called us to and with Christ living in us you and I can experience everything that God created you to be as a new creature in Christ Jesus.
We’re going to be teaching through this lesson on the fact that you are totally forgiven. In other words. You have a brand new identity, a child of God. What does that mean? It means you’re a brand new creation. Well, what is new? I mean, we had or to have something new. You had to be something old, well, as an old creation I was in Adam. I was dead in trespasses and sin, but it says that my father was that of the devil. It said that there I was without hope of ever being able to go into the presence of a living God. I was an unbeliever, all of those things. Now, I’m a new creation. Now, what does that mean? Well, it means I’m totally forgiven. It means I’ve been totally made righteous in the sight of God. It means that I’ve been reconciled to God. These are all our next lessons, the lesson after that, I’ve been redeemed by God, the lesson after that, I am justified in the sight of God. The lesson after that, I’m a part of the body of Christ. The lesson after that is going to be that, I’m a citizen of Heaven. The lesson after that is, I have eternal life. And the lesson after that, just kind of drags along there, I’m totally loved, it’s hard to top that. So you talked about an inheritance. We really have one.
Let’s begin dealing, it’s a subject that we have spent much much time on the radio and in our ministry. It’s kind of something that we’re almost known for and that is attempting to try to get people to see the forgiveness of sin that has taken place in Christ Jesus. Our Lord in Acts 10:43, which is the first scripture that we have in our lesson on page 27 in our workbook. It says that all the prophets testify about Him. And of course, that’s Jesus, that everyone who believes in Him, that’s Christ Jesus, receives something. Forgiveness of sins through His name. You will note that it did not say, he receives forgiveness of sins through your confession. He did not say that you receive forgiveness of sins through your begging Him to do. So, you will notice that it did not say that you receive forgiveness of sins by keeping short accounts with God. It says that forgiveness is a result of believing.
In other words, it’s like someone saying, if you go into the bank, you will get your money. My role is to go into the bank. The bank’s role is to give me my money. Now, after I go into the bank, which is my role, and the bank gives me my money, which is their role. Well, I have completed that transaction. Now, it’s the same type of thing. Our condition is to believe in Him. Remember they asked Jesus. We said Lord. What is the work of the ministry? He said this is the work of the ministry, believe in Me. You could just hear them say Lord. I don’t think He understood. I think he’s got a little hearing problems. There Lord, let me ask again. What is the work of the ministry? He said that the work of the ministry is to believe in Me. And so our role folks as a child of God is to walk by faith. That is the only way that I can walk. I can either walk by faith or I’m going to walk in unbelief, and unfortunately, the average Christian today, walks around as a practical atheist. And you say, well, what is a practical atheist? Well, a practical atheist is one who, although he claims to be a believer, lives his life as if God were not there, which is what an atheist would say. There is no God and lives his life, as if God was not there and has to rely therefore on his own resources to sustain his life. Well, what’s different between that and an atheist? The only difference is one is saying, I believe in God, but I don’t, I don’t believe he’d do anything for me. And the other is saying, obviously I don’t believe in God, so obviously, he can’t do anything for me. So I got to do everything for myself. And so living as a practical atheist is like saying, well no, I do believe there is a God, but I still have to carry out the work.
Whereby God said. No, I’ll complete the work that I began in you. I began the work and I’m going to complete the work. And so, all of the prophets testified about Jesus, all the old testament prophets were testifying about this coming Messiah. That everyone who believes in Him, without faith it’s impossible to please God, that everyone who believes in Him, Jesus, receives something. In other words. That’s the by-product. I received something. Why do I receive forgiveness of sins through His name? And all that means through all that He is and all that He did. In other words, you’re talking about through His name. It means in total authority when you, if you are in Texas as an example, and you’ve been made, let’s say a sheriff. You’re going to go out and represent the state of Texas and I come in the name of the state of Texas. In other words. Somebody goes out to arrest somebody. They’re literally arresting them in the name of the state. In other words. The higher state is behind that transaction. So, it’s in the name of everything that they stand for. All authority has been given to me in heaven and earth. Therefore, it says that is my name.
Classic Christianity Radio thanks you for your support of our online and radio ministry. Bob, George Ministries offers nine in-depth Bible study guides, please visit shop.BobGeorge.net to find the Bible study books, along with many helpful materials to help you grow in your relationship with Jesus Christ. Let’s continue now, with our Classic Christianity Radio program.
So when you’re talking about receiving forgiveness of sins through His name, that means all of the authority of Heaven and Earth have been given to you and me to be able to say I have received forgiveness of sins. He gave me the authority to be able to say that in His name by His authority, He gave me the authority to be able to say, I believe your authority. And so it’s a wonderful thing that we have here that we have forgiveness. It isn’t the case that I get forgiven anymore. I am a forgiven Saint.
Now in Acts 26:17 and 18. It says, I am sending you to them to open their eyes, to turn them from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God. So that what? That they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in Me.
Now I want to take a look at that passage of scripture last week. We spent a long time talking about light and darkness, and there’s a reason for that. That in 1st John, where people have used this 1st John 1:9 passage brought it over to a believer, and literally paralyzed our understanding of the finality of the cross. With that verse of scripture out of context, the understanding of that scripture and the realization that 1st John 1:8 and 9 is a matter of fact, that first whole first chapter of John was not written to Christians. It was written to a Christian pastor, who was to read that passage to people, some of whom were Christians, just like an assembly today, but a great number of people in that group called gnostics, who did not believe that Jesus came in the flesh, He was an illusion and did not believe that you had a sin nature. And so, there was a contrast in that first chapter to light and darkness. If we claim to be in fellowship with God and yet walk in darkness. Well how can you walk someplace unless that’s where you are? It says we deceive ourselves, the truth is not in us.
Light and darkness is always without exception, there is no exception to that in the scriptures, always lost and saved. It is not a saved person who has backslid. It is, if you’re in darkness, there’s only one reason you’re in darkness, and that means you’ve never been in light, because if you are in the light as Christ Jesus is in the light. So if Christ is in the light, and I’m in Christ, and Christ is in me. Where am I? Well I’m in the light. And for me to get in darkness, he would have to get in darkness, if Christ is in me, and I am in Him and I am a new creation, then He’s going to have to get in darkness for me to get there. But instead of that, it says that if you are in the light as Christ Jesus is in the light, there’s a byproduct of that. Again, a result folks, we have fellowship with one another. You and Jesus have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus is Son, the blood of Jesus, His Son continually keeps on cleansing you of all sins. In other words, there’s no way to get in darkness because of the continual cleansing power of Christ Jesus. Now that cleansing power does not come from our asking, our begging, or our even being aware of it. It is a byproduct of being in the light.
Bob years ago I was involved when I was in sales with a company that used to handle a product. It was a gas range. I was not involved in that. But it was a gas range where they said something. They called it, it was called the Ultra Ray. And what that was was a new type of heating element, whereby you could broil. And the element would alleviate the sparks, what comes off of meat? When you’re cooking it? All of the debris that comes off. You can’t remember either. The grease, it is the grease splatters out of the meat, is immediately just eradicated. It just ate it up. And so, you literally could cook all kinds of things in that oven, and never have to clean your oven because when the grease would splatter, it would just take care of it. Now, that grease splattering, equating that to sin, that Ultra Ray is what ate up the grease. It had nothing to do with the meat, the meat produced the grease, but the Ultra Ray alleviated it. Now, what was that as a result of? Being in the oven. That’s all that meat had to do to get the grease eradicated from what was cooking. Was being in the oven.
Now, when I am in Christ, that’s what you’re talking about if you’re in the light, as He Christ Jesus is in the light, there’s a by-product of that. The blood of Jesus will continually keep on cleansing you of every sin imaginable. In other words, if you’re in, if you are now, having been translated out of darkness into light that Ultra Ray got you and every sin is going to be eradicated by the blood of Jesus. Has nothing to do with the meat. Meat didn’t cause that it’s the Ultra Ray that’s causing it. In other words, it’s not because of what I do. It’s because of what Jesus has promised. Right.
So getting back to what we’re talking about here is in Acts 26. He said, I’m sending you to them to open their eyes, turn them from darkness to light, from lost to saved, from the power of Satan lost again. You see it would be like saying that to turn them from darkness and the power of Satan, to light to God. In other words, it just amplifies what you’re talking about, always lost and say, why does he want to turn them from darkness, to light, from the power of Satan to God? So that they can receive forgiveness of sins. It’s a byproduct of walking into the light, the very moment that you come to Christ for who He is, Christ, you receive something. Forgiveness. What’s a Christian world trying to do? Bring down people down the aisles to get forgiven. And can you see why we are so feeble in our understanding of their lives? Because you see, they already had a system like that called atonement, where you could go get forgiven. So you don’t come to Christ to just get forgiveness. You come to Him for His life, to be translated out of darkness.
What are you telling people? You a sinner, you need forgiven. No, you’re in darkness and you need light. You’re under the kingdom of Satan and the power of Satan. You need to turn to Christ. You need to come alive. You don’t have life. You need to have life. That’s the message of salvation. Not come and get forgiven because there’s no forgiveness in coming to get forgiven. You come to get the forgiver, not the forgiveness, and we have our eyes constantly on the gift, instead of the Giver of salvation is a gift. It’s a gift from who, from God. Christ is the provider. Salvation is a byproduct. I come to Christ. I receive salvation. I don’t come to salvation to get Christ. I come to Christ and in Him, I have salvation. So we’ve got everything backwards. We’re streaming people down aisles to get the by product instead of getting the source. And so we come away all feeling good. Hey, I just got forgiven. I just got forgiven. Well, that’s fine. Wait till next Sunday. Then you go down and get it again, you see? And so we’re just, it was great for the carpet business. We’re just walking aisles all the time, getting forgiven and forgiven and forgiven. And then if we’re not in that realm, wait, then we’re at home keeping ourselves forgiven. And oh God, please forgive me again. Thank you. Forgive me. Forgive me, forgive me. And what are we doing? We don’t realize, we’ve already received the Forgiver. The Forgiver lives in you and if the Forgiver lives in you, you already are forgiven. Why? Because of the Forgiver. So He was sent to them to turn them from darkness, to Light, from being lost to God. So that as I come to God, I receive forgiveness of sins and in Christ a place among those who are sanctified by faith in Me.
Now, again, sanctification is not one of those words, like, we’ve made it into where you walk around with your Bible under your arm, your head tilted to one side looking glassy-eyed and half stupid. That is not what sanctification is all about. Sanctification is a very practical word. It means that you have been set apart for the divine purpose that God created you. If you’re looking at your watch right now, you’re sanctifying your watch, you are using it for the purpose that it was created. If you have shoes on your feet, you’re sanctifying your shoes, you’re using them for the purpose that they were meant to be using them according to the purpose that they were manufactured.
And so when you and I come to Christ into His life, entering into His into Him, who is light. I will never be in darkness again because He’s never going to be, never has been a darkness. So I will be in light for the rest of my life. I will be the receiver of forgiveness for the rest of my life. I have received a place among all of those who are set apart by faith in Me. So the very moment I place my faith in Him I was set apart from where? The entire world. In other words, from the unbelieving world you and I have been set apart. We’re believers. Now, we are believers in Christ Jesus. We have now been partakers of the divine nature of Christ Himself. As I said, we talked about totally forgiven, totally righteous, reconciled, redeemed, sanctified, justified, made into the body of Christ a citizen in heaven with it in life and totally love. And that’s not too bad. It’s a great diet. And God made us into those things. That’s a byproduct. I don’t come to get those already, I got them if I am in Christ in Him, all of those things have become ours.
So I’m not sanctified because I made myself sanctified. As a matter of fact, anyone out trying to sanctify yourself is saying that what Jesus did when He sanctified you was not good enough, which is incidentally the same thing that people are doing when they’re trying to keep themselves forgiven. You’re saying that His death on the cross was not good enough. They said, oh no, He died back then but you still have to ask. Well, I’m sorry, but if I have to ask Him for forgiveness today in order to execute it, what would He have to do, if without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness? Well, I’d have to die again. Didn’t he say I’m not going to do that? So the issue is I did that once and that blood of God was of such nature that had covered forever, took away forever the sins of the entire world. So the very moment I came to what He is still doing His resurrected life. His life is still in existence, the Holy Spirit of God, coming to men and women, boys and girls all over the world saying, come on, come to Me. Be raised from the dead. Come unto Me. Open up your heart. Come to Me. That’s a living thing. What He did at the cross, He did 2000 years ago. What He’s doing today is ongoing. Now when we come to Him, we receive forgiveness of sins and a place, a place, a permanent place. Where is that? In the light transferred for the power of Satan to God, that’s a place that you and I are in a place among all of those who have been set apart by faith in Me.
Now, Colossians, 1:13 and 14 amplifies that for he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness. Well, what’s a dominion? Dominion is place you live in. That’s it. That’s like your dominion is the country you live in. We were living in the dominion of darkness. We were born there. You and I were not born in light, spiritual life. We were born in darkness. And so, He rescued us from that old inheritance, that dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son He loves. In other words, brought us into the kingdom of Jesus Christ in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
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.
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.
All believers are now brothers and sisters in Christ.
3 Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.”