Classic Christianity – Book of John Part 40 (07-02-19)
Bob George shares a very practical message of the meaning of the gospel as he continues sharing from the gospel of John. He begins in John 8, where Jesus identifies himself as the light of the world, contrasting darkness (the lost, the dead) with the light (the saved, with life). You are not going into the market place telling people how sinful they are but how dead they are. No man will ever go to hell because of his sins but only because of the sin of the rejection of life. If you reject life you remain dead (John 3:36). If you reject the offer of forgiveness you remain unforgiven. You who are in Christ have good news to tell people. It is a very practical message of the meaning of the gospel. You, who are in Christ Jesus, are His ambassadors.
Bob George explains why Jesus came to this earth to say what he did and do what he did, culminating in his death, burial and resurrection. He claimed to be God, demonstrating that he is God by the way he lived, the words he spoke, and even through the miracles that were performed through him, and ultimately the greatest miracle of all, his resurrection from the dead. Anyone who does not believe he is God will die in their sins as Jesus had said.
Adam and Eve were created in the image of God, created spiritually alive, but once they sinned, the Spirit left their human spirit and sin entered the world. All men died for all have sinned. All men since were born not in the image of God but in the image of man and born spiritually dead. Sin is the cause of death so until sin is taken away, the next time man sins again, he will die again. God had to provide a sacrifice for sin, not to cover sin, but to take it away, so that the next time man sins he will not die. He had to be taken out from under the law and put under a new way of grace.
The only man who could ever lay down his life for you and me was the only one who ever had a life to lay down for you and me. No one on the face of the earth can accomplish this but God. The only person who can save you is Christ Jesus. This is not a religious issue. This is as practical as eating food to live. “If my people are going to live and come alive, then I, God, must come down to this earth to become a sacrifice for their sins, and take them away, so that there is nothing that can cause spiritual death again”.
Then he came to give life. Only God can do that. Jesus Christ was raised from the dead so that the life that raised him from the dead will raise you and me from the dead. That was the purpose of the resurrection, to give life to you and me who were born dead. For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son gives life to whom he is pleased to give it. Now when we receive and believe this gospel of Christ Jesus, we are made a new creation, and behold all things become new. We will never walk in darkness again for the light of life, the life of God, is within us forever. When we sin, we sin in the light, and that is in conflict with your new identity, a child of God, which is what we are.
Bob made a point to mention that not all manuscripts contain John 7:53 to John 8:1-11. You may see a footnote in your bible stating this. Notice that the apostle Paul did not use the King James bible. The original bible was in Hebrew and came from meticulous copying by Jewish scribes. If there was just one letter missing, they destroyed the entire scroll and started all over. They had a high regard for preserving the word of God. Consider the fact that the scribes saw the power of God, the parting of the Red Sea and all sorts of dealings of God with the Jews throughout history. For God Himself was at work to preserve His word. The dead sea scrolls were found in recent history, the earliest dated copy of the scriptures. So is the older better, or the many better?
The thing is you have two sets of manuscripts, older and new. In virtually all translations today there is nothing different in regards to salvation. So why are these certain passages missing in certain passages? There was teaching in James, about picking up snakes and drinking poison, that are not in the earlier manuscripts. And there are biases, like those who want to make a doctrine out of it, thinking it is okay to pick up snakes and drink poison, and you have to get away from such biases. In certain manuscripts found, they were not written down. In later ones, they were. A Jewish scribe still wrote down these things at a certain time even though the earlier ones did not have them. Does that make it not inspired? No. Do they change any significant doctrine or meaning of God’s word or do they provide greater clarity into the walk of Jesus Christ and his manner of love? I say they provide better clarity or amplification on the life of Christ and into the mindset of the religious Pharisees.
They made her stand before the group 4 and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. 5 In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” 6 They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him.
How did they catch her? Someone had to be peeping. In the law, Moses commanded us to stone her to death. If such a law existed today, we would not have many people. The Pharisee asked Jesus, “What do you have to say about that?” They used the question as a trap just like a slick lawyer who says, “Have you stopped beating your wife?”
But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. 7 When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” 8 Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.
We do not have a clue what he wrote. He might of wrote down the law to condemn them, but whatever he wrote, he wrote on the ground and was writing something.
9 At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there.
Notice that the older ones left first. How come? They have had more time to sin. What Jesus is saying is this. Someone caught somebody in the act of sin. The law says condemn him and Jesus says restore him. a totally different mindset. When someone is trapped in a sin, do you have a heart that says, “Oh, I want to go and restore this person” or do you have a heart that says, “Oh, that scumbag, she deserves this”? Do you have the heart of Jesus, who says, “I did not come to condemn but to save.” Only you can answer that question but you know where your heart is. Is it a heart like Jesus or a heart like the Pharisees?
10 Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”
11 “No one, sir,” she said. “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”
Change your mind. You have been caught in something. Go God’s way instead of man’s way. Begin thinking with the heart of God instead of the desires of the flesh.
That is our challenge today. We have the Spirit of God living in us, the hope of glory, and we also have the flesh which makes demands of us. The flesh and the Spirit are in conflict with each other.
16 So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
We have a choice to listen to the Spirit or listen to the flesh. The choice is ours. I can choose to give into the flesh or I can choose to give into the spirit. This is what Jesus is saying, “Go now and leave your life of sin”. Put your past behind you. When is your past? Anything a minute ago. Put it behind you. Get up and start walking in the newness of life. Press on to the high calling in Christ Jesus.
Therefore, holy brothers and sisters, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus, whom we acknowledge as our apostle and high priest.
We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.
Bob says there is nothing in his life that thrills him like seeing a couple that has had difficulty that have done things they should not have done. They have contemplated divorce, separated, but with an attitude that if this is God’s plan for my life then I am willing to accept it. Until you get to that point then nothing will happen. A spouse, who has separated from her husband, says she has no feelings at all for her husband anymore. Bob replies, “So what. God can restore that. If you had it once, you can have it again. If you lost it, where did you lose it? Then to watch God at work. And it God works when you do not think it will happen. When nothing else works, God is at work in the hearts of people. Then all of a sudden hearts start getting changed. Then Bob gets a call and hears they are back together. Bob hears from their children, so excited that mom and dad are back together again.
If we will let God be God, God can do far more than whatever we can dream or imagine, if we just let Him do it. I have never personally met Bob, but I have heard testimonies of Bob that he had a heart for hurting people with a unique way of explaining truth in such a practical way that people receive such truth that lives are changed. Bob testifies that this is by letting Christ live His life in you and through you. So this is a life, Christ’s life, that can also be lived through you also, uniquely at work in you and through you.
46 I have come as a Light to shine in this dark world, so that all who put their trust in me will no longer wander in the darkness. 47 If anyone hears me and doesn’t obey me, I am not his judge — for I have come to save the world and not to judge it. 48 But all who reject me and my message will be judged at the Day of Judgment by the truths I have spoken.
The Lord Jesus made his entry into this world, announcing himself in so many ways as to who he is, in miracles and verbiage, yet some believe and others do not, and so it is today. Some people have asked Bob, what about those who have never heard, like the heathen in Africa? God says, like he said to Peter in regards to John, “Why is that of concern to you,?” or “What business is that of yours?” “As for you, you come follow me”. Those questions about some person in a far away country are smoke screens, a distraction from hearing truth. Leave those decisions to God; for right now I am talking to you about Jesus.
12 When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
We are born into darkness. We are born lost. No man is born alive spiritually. The only man born alive spiritually is the Lord Jesus Christ. The only man who could ever lay down his life for you and was the only one who ever had a life to lay down for you and me. The rest of us are born in Adam, dead spiritually. Adam and Eve were created by God alive spiritually, soulishly and bodily. But on the day that Adam sinned, the Spirit of God departed from his human spirit, leaving him dead to God and very much alive to the world.
Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned
We were born in Adam. You all hear that we are all God’s children, or that we were all born in the image of God, especially during a political campaign. But that is not true. We were not born in the image of God. We were born in the image of Adam.
1 When God created mankind, he made them in the likeness of God. 2 He created them male and female and blessed them. And he named them “Mankind” when they were created. 3 When Adam had lived 130 years, he had a son in his own likeness, in his own image; and he named him Seth.
When Adam and Eve were created by God they were created in the image of God, but when Adam and Eve had Seth, he was born in the image of Adam. There is no baby coming out of a mother’s womb saying, “Praise Jesus”. We were not born saved. We were born lost, dead and in darkness. Adam was born again backwards. He was created alive and chose death. We were born dead with the ability to choose life. Until we do choose life, we remain in darkness. Until we choose to go into the light we remain in darkness. In every place in scripture where light and darkness is used, it is always in reference to the lost and saved, without exception.
13 For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves
If you are in the light, saved, as Christ Jesus is in the life, then there is a by product that you and God have fellowship with one another and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses you from all unrighteousness.
1 John 1:7
But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.
There is no way to get in darkness because Jesus keeps cleansing you of everything imaginable. There is no way to get in darkness. As a believer you do not sin in the darkness. You sin in the light, not in the darkness. That is why it is not much fun. When you are lost, you are in the darkness and you sin in that and it makes no difference to you. When you become a child of God you become a new creature in Christ. When you as a believer sin, you do so in the light, and there is a conflict with who you are as a child of God. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness. If you are in Christ Jesus, you will never ever be in the darkness. You may act like you are but you will have the light of life living in you.
Pharisees challenged Jesus on that.
13 The Pharisees challenged him, “Here you are, appearing as your own witness; your testimony is not valid.”
Pharisees asked, “Who do you think you are? You are saying these things are on your own?”
14 Jesus answered, “Even if I testify on my own behalf, my testimony is valid, for I know where I came from and where I am going. But you have no idea where I come from or where I am going. 15 You judge by human standards; I pass judgment on no one. 16 But if I do judge, my decisions are true, because I am not alone. I stand with the Father, who sent me. 17 In your own Law it is written that the testimony of two witnesses is true. 18 I am one who testifies for myself; my other witness is the Father, who sent me.”
So the Pharisees retorted, “Where is your Father?”
The animosity between the Pharisees and Jesus is immense. Today, the religious are adamant against the born again believer in Jesus. Anyone who declares himself born again makes himself an enemy of half the population. What you have is a fight between good and evil. If you are born again, you will not be popular with the religious world. The religious do not like that talk.
Bob recalls his early years as an evangelist with Campus Crusade for Christ, when he was dealing with children on drugs. He was researching and obtaining information on how such drug use will effect the economy. There was a meeting where pastors and leaders got together to discuss this drug problem. Rick Coreno, the original Zorro in the movies, was there. At that time in his life as an actor, he was not a Christian. He was also the number two man in Hell’s Angels, with tattoos all over him and with his hair unkempt. His mother was a Christian. One day he was sleeping three days and three nights in a dumpster. He went home smelling like a goat. He asked his mom, ‘Where are you going? She said he was going to a Billy Graham crusade, a pretty long drive. He told her not to go, for it is dangerous. From his perspective from Hell Angels, everything is dangerous. She was determined to go and said she has to leave. She invited him to go with her. He reluctantly left to go with her to Orange county. He said to her, “You can go in but I am not going to go in”. He later decided he would go in. A man said these seats are reserved. He listened to the message. The next night he went back again with his mom. When the invitation was given to accept Christ, he said a herd of elephants would not prevent him from going forward. Back to the meeting now, Bob listening and hearing him give his testimony. Rick shared in this meeting how he was freed from drug addiction. He was told he could not have children because of the effects of drugs. Here he is married with children. You would never have thought in a million years e was a man who had a drug background, being dressed like he was, and sharing as he did in this meeting. What a contrast! He shared how Jesus redeemed him and got him off drugs.
Then a religions man, a moderator of the group, told him to stop talking about “this pie in the sky and to get back to reality”. At breakfast everyone was getting ready to eat. The moderator asked, “Does anyone know a prayer?” No reality to Jesus, just “let’s get down to the real issues”.
19 Then they asked him, “Where is your father?”
So too is what these religious Pharisees are saying, “Where is your Father?”. Just like the moderator saying, “Let us just get back to the real world.” or “Does anyone have a prayer?” The moderator, like the Pharisees, have no understanding of spiritual things, sounding like foolishness to them. The lost have no clue of who God is or how to speak to Him or even if there is a spiritual world that has any answers to the issues of life.
1 Corinthians 1:18
For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
19 Then they asked him, “Where is your father?” “You do not know me or my Father,” Jesus replied. “If you knew me, you would know my Father also.” 20 He spoke these words while teaching in the temple courts near the place where the offerings were put. Yet no one seized him, because his hour had not yet come.
21 Once more Jesus said to them, “I am going away, and you will look for me, and you will die in your sin. Where I go, you cannot come.”
22 This made the Jews ask, “Will he kill himself? Is that why he says, ‘Where I go, you cannot come’?”
The Pharisees were probably thinking, “This guy must be going to hell because we certainly are not, because we are so religious.”
23 But he continued, “You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world. 24 I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I am he, you will indeed die in your sins.” 25 “Who are you?” they asked.
Who did Jesus claim to be? He claimed to be God. If you are not going to accept Jesus as to who he claimed to be, God, then you will die in your sins. It is not the fact that hell is going to come on you because it does not. God does not send anyone to hell. You are already dead and you are already destined to go there because you are dead. There is no life available to us except the life of Jesus.
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
There is not many ways to God. This is not a religious but a very practical issue. God, in love, looked down in practicality and said, “These people are dead and they need life. How am I going to give them life so they are not destroyed? I do want not want to give them temporal life but eternal life”. He chose to give us eternal life. He could have chosen to not give us life or only temporal life but he chose to give us eternal life.
Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.
Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them.
“Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life.
Sin is the cause of death so until sin is taken away, the next time man sins again, he will die again. God had to provide a sacrifice for sin, not to cover sin, but to take it away, so that the next time man sins he will not die. He had to be taken out from under the law and put under a new way of grace.
For the wages of sin is death
1 Corinthians 15:56
The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.
because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.
The only way this can happen is by a sacrifice of such value that is put into effect that it will take away the sins of the world rather than cover sins as the blood of bulls and goats did. The only sacrifice of such worth is the shed blood of Jesus Christ, God in the flesh. God came to earth in the appearance as a man, born under the law, born of a virgin, walked on the earth for about 33 years, walking in love, fulfilling the law in its entirety, and then went to a cross to take away sins, not to cover them. He is not coming back to die again. He has already died once, never to die again. He died for the sins of the whole world.
1 John 2:2
2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.
2 Corinthians 5:19
that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.
Then he was raised from the dead so that the life that raised him from the dead will raise you and me from the dead. That was the purpose of the resurrection, to give life to you and me who were born dead.
For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son gives life to whom he is pleased to give it.
Now when we receive and believe this gospel of Christ Jesus, we are made a new creation.
2 Corinthians 5:17
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!
No one on the face of the earth can accomplish this but God. Buddha cannot save you. Mohamed cannot save you. The pope cannot save you. The only person who can save you is Christ Jesus. This is not a religious issue. This is as practical as eating food to live. “If my people are going to live and come alive, then I, God, must come down to this earth to become a sacrifice for their sins, and take them away, so that there is nothing that can cause spiritual death again”. Then he came to give life. Only God can do that.
Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”
“If you do not believe I am the one who came as Savior of this world and who came to give life to the dead, then you indeed will die in your sins”. That is why this message is so vital to the world. We look around in our sphere of influence and see so many dead in sins, lost in darkness. Who is going to tell them unless somebody tells them. That is why we are Christ’s ambassadors, telling others Jesus is alive and he can make you alive.
2 Corinthians 5:20
We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.
This is the best news you can share with people.
13 for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” 14 How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? 15 And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”
You are not going into the market place telling people how sinful they are but how dead they are. No man will ever go to hell because of his sins but only because of the sin of the rejection of life. If you reject life you remain dead (John 3:36). If you reject the offer of forgiveness you remain unforgiven. You who are in Christ have good news to tell people. It is a very practical message of the meaning of the gospel.
1 Corinthians 15:1-4
Now, brothers and sisters, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. 2 By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.
3 For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures.