Classic Christianity – A Closer Look at Your Identity in Christ P65 (08-09-22)
We Who Are in Christ are an Ambassador of Christ Jesus Here on Earth
~ We have one head, however, our body is made up of many parts. And though they are many they form one body, we only have one head. And so what we are looking at there is as he put the body of Christ together with every part to do its work. But the purpose of each part doing its work is to serve the totality of the body. So my hand is doing its work not to glorify the hand, but to serve the body. It’s not there to just serve my arm, it’s there to serve my body. So in Christ Jesus we are to serve one another, the body of Christ Jesus.
Listen in to today’s lesson with more in-depth teaching, from the Bible study booklet, A Closer Look at Your Identity in Christ, available for purchase from our online Bob George Ministries ecommerce store.
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.
Bob George 0:44
We’re going to be picking up in chapter 11, which is entitled you are a citizen of heaven. So if you have your, your Classic Christianity study series booklet, The booklet Your identity in Christ, why turn to chapter 11. And we’re going to pick up there and hopefully finish there, not the whole deal, but at least chapter 11. Today, hopefully, we will.
But I think that probably, this area of us being a citizen of heaven is probably one of the most misunderstood things in modern day Christianity. And it may be one of the more controversial things. And the reason that I say that is this that it is so easy in our humanity, to allow the good to take away the best, in other words, we have a tendency to concentrate on the good, and in so doing annihilate the best. It’s an area of priorities in our lives. We, we can only do so much. And that’s what the body of Christ that we just studied about last week is all about is the fact that we are one body of Christ, we were placed into his body at the time of spiritual birth by His Holy Spirit, baptized by that Spirit into the body of Christ. We have one head, however, our body is made up of many parts. And though they are many they form one body, we only have one head. And so what we’re what we are looking at there is as he put the body of Christ together with every part to do its work. But the purpose of each part doing its work is to serve the totality of the body. So my hand is doing its work not to to glorify the hand, but to serve the body. It’s not there to just serve my arm, it’s there to serve my body. Now I’m my hand is serving my arm, and my hand is serving other things. But the purpose of it is, is to make the body to run more smoothly. That’s where rebellion comes in. Within the body of Christ, if we had, if we had a member of our body, a finger that decided he didn’t want to do what the head wanted to do, didn’t want to do what was best for the whole, but rather to do what’s best for the finger. And, and constantly causing disruption while you’ve got a rebellious finger on your hands. Because it’s not thinking about what’s best for the whole, it’s only thinking about what’s best for this little finger. And we all have a tendency Do we not? to think that we’re the center of the universe, and that the whole universe should revolve around us and our desires and our wishes, with no thought at all as to what’s best for the entirety of the body. If we only had one thing to think about why that would probably be easier. And I think as we studied for a period of time there in Paul’s instruction in regard to marriage in 1st Corinthians, where he said, If you can, it’s better to stay single in regard to serving the Lord. And the reason for that is you’ve got less complications. When you are single. If you’re if your heart is there to serve the Lord in a full time capacity, you have less things to pull you away from the goal that God’s put in your heart. And so, again, you can allow the good to take away from the best. And again, priorities take place because you’ve got a priority of your work. You’ve got a priority of the work that God’s called you to you also have a priority of taking care of your family. You’ve got all kinds of priorities that began to get complicated. In the world in which we live today, whereby there has been such an emphasis on women returning to the workplace and to having careers. Not necessarily in some cases because they have to but just because they want have to, and there becomes a conflict where I want to work, I want to do this deal. But then I also want to be a good mother and I want to be a good wife. But by the time I get home, I’m so exhausted that I can’t be the one. So basically, the only thing I am good, that’s my work. And so once again, something good took away from the best. And that is the ability to concentrate on on your home, if that’s the assignment that God has given you as caring for those children, and taking care of that home, that our interests become divided.
So we it’s not easy, we have conflicts in this world in which we live. And it’s not easy. And that’s why we have to sit down and take a look at prioritize prioritizing our lives and coming to some conclusions in regard to the priorities. Now, let me give you a couple of examples of this. And again, folks is tying in to this citizenship in heaven because in Philippians 3:20, the key verse in this chapter, we’re told that our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ. So what it’s saying is you are in a world, but you’re not of the world, you are maybe a citizen of the United States, but your true citizenship is that of in heaven, that’s, that is your ultimate home. And if, and he wouldn’t have told us that unless he wanted us to see that right now that I don’t belong here. This is temporary, I’m a sojourner, on this earth. So it doesn’t make a difference whether I’m a citizen of the United States, or a citizen of England, or a citizen of Canada or citizen, wherever I am, quite frankly, as a born again, Christian, that in my citizenship anyway, I’m a citizen of heaven. Now, keeping that in mind, for a moment, I’m going to get back to if that’s the case, it should have some reflection on how I think, and poured my attitude toward the things that are in this world. If I truly understand that and believe that, that my citizenship is in heaven, is going to affect my attitude in regard to the things here on Earth.
Now, when we do not prioritize things, and I want to give you some example of that you say unless taken school, what you say, is there anything wrong with sports? And when I was in high school, I played sports, and I love sports. Is there anything wrong with sports? No, it’s good. It’s healthy for you. It’s competitive. There’s a lot of good things in sports. When does it become bad? When the preoccupation with sports takes away from your schoolwork. And that’s why in Texas, you either you’ve got to pass or don’t play law, is because it became so lenient, that it didn’t matter where you are passing school or not. If you could make a touchdown as a halfback, why you were there. And finally, the school system said, No, that is not we’re not here to play football, we’re here to get an education football should be secondary to school. Now, again, anything wrong with sports? No, but it cannot be primary while you’re going to school, school has to be primary sports is secondary. Well, we’ll give some more examples of that and see if it kind of helps us a little bit in understanding what it means that we are a citizen of heaven. If you are a student. What you have to do is to gear or organize your sports around school, you do not organize school, around sports. Sports is secondary to school. Is there anything wrong with sports? No, it’s fine. But don’t let the good choke out the best, which is an education. Because in the final analysis, unless you’re going to go into pro athletics, you’re going to be a lot better off getting an education than you are getting a basketball award. So we have to realize that now on the other hand, if you are out of school, and you’ve gotten your education, and let’s say you’re in pro athletics and playing athletics, then you’re going to have to gear your personal life around your business, which is pro athletics. In other words, you’re you now have entered into a professional part whereby you’re going to make your living by playing sports. So you’re not going to gauge the sports around your activity. You’re going to gauge your activity around the sports. In other words, the priority is now your pro athletic sports because it’s your business. And I hope you understand what we’re saying here school. You see there’s a difference. When you’re in school sports, your secondary school is primary. You get out of school and become a pro athlete and that becomes your business. Your business becomes primary, and your sports and your business becomes primary to your other activities. You can’t walk up to your coach and say, I don’t think I’m gonna show up tonight I got something else to do, he’ll say You sure do have something else to do, and that is adios. You just cannot do that. In other words, that is your primary function is playing pro athletics. And you’re going to gauge the rest of your life around that fact.
If you’re a medical doctor, you’re going to gauge your personal life around your profession, you have to, there is no option to that. As a minister of the gospel, I have to gear my personal life around the ministry, I cannot gauge the ministry around my personal life, it has to be in reverse to that. Why? That’s my livelihood. And so as a man and a head of my home, that the my work becomes primary in that regard. It has to that’s where I make my living. Now, you can also I’ll give you a couple other examples of this. You can take organization, is there anything wrong with organization organization, in a ministry organization in a church? No, it is absolutely a necessity. That’s why God gave the gift of administration, the gift of, of administration is because organization is necessary, and it has to be administrative. Now, also, you’ve got a spiritual function. Now you can get to the point where your organization becomes primary and the spiritual becomes secondary, where in other words, you’re not organizing anymore, in order to do spiritual work. You’re having to do a little spiritual work in order to maintain your organization. In other words, organization becomes primary to you. Is that possible? Certainly the same way that your business and family and sports in school we can can get off, it is easy for us to get off. It’s easy for us to get our priorities off of what is the best and what is good.
Let me give another example. The church, that which is the body of Christ, we can get so preoccupied with the body, that we forget the head, who is Jesus. Now, when you’re concentrating on Jesus, who is primary the head, he isn’t gonna let you forget the body. But it will be in proper perspective. But you can get so preoccupied and involved with the body and the church. That’s all you think about. And I can’t tell you the number of people that I know are born again, at least I think they are, that we’ll go out to dinner sometimes. And that’s all you ever hear I’m talking about is the church, church, church, church church, and they’re talking about Jesus. It’s just church, what we’re doing in the church. And it’s become like a club, the organization, which is good, has been substituted for what is best. I’ll give you another example, the word of God. We can sit down I’ve told you the story whereby the word, Jesus said that the word is good, and it did nothing wrong with the word it’s good, it’s holy. But when the word substitutes for the author, Jesus, why then we’re going to become followers of the word instead of followers of the author, which is Jesus, you see. So again, what is that? Well, it’s priorities. It’s things we have to constantly be thinking through and guarding ourselves against, we are constantly met with different things, whereby the good can rob us of the best.
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Bob George 14:02
Now I say all of that, folks, for the purpose of us analyzing what it means that I am a citizen of heaven. What it means that you and I are children of the living God, we have been reconciled to God. And therefore it says, as ministers of reconciliation, that we should be involved in letting people know something, that God was in Christ reconciling the world unto Himself, not counting sins against them, that when God told His disciples, He said, to go out into the world, and proclaim the gospel, we are told, in essence that we are in the military, and it says that military should not be involved in civilian affairs. In other words, guys, a military man can’t get involved in all these civilian affairs. Now, again, anything wrong with somebody’s civilian affairs? No, nothing wrong with it. It’s just that what we’ve been called to the military is is more important than know civilian affairs. And when we get involved in civilian affairs, what it’s going to do is watered down what we’re supposed to be involved in. And that is the military and before long our minds are warring against ourselves. So we, as children of God have to understand that if I am a citizen of heaven, then I am not a citizen here on this earth. As a matter of fact, does not God say that we are ambassadors, that we are Christ’s ambassadors here on this earth? Well, now let’s think for a moment, what is the job of an ambassador? Well, if if I was named by the President, United States to go over to France, and to be an ambassador in France. What would be my job over there as an ambassador? In France? Well, first of all, you couldn’t be an ambassador in France, if you had a French citizenship, you’re an ambassador, because I have an American citizenship. And I’m living over in France representing the United States of America, in France. Now, as an ambassador, is it my job to pick up Moulin Rouge? Is it my job to tell everybody how they ought to live their life there in France? Is it my job to sit around and pick up the bars and tell people how evil it is to drink wine? Is it my job to tell them that I really do not like the form of government that you have over here in France? It doesn’t seem to be like mine?
Is that my job as an ambassador? Well, folks, the answer is very obvious to that you’d get kicked out of your job if you tried to do that, why? It’s not any of your business. It’s not your job. Your being involved in French affairs, instead of representing the United States of America, in the midst of French affairs. And so if my mindset all of a sudden, I got over and said, Boy, these people are, they’re just going to hell in a handbasket. And so I’m going to have to shape them up in a hurry, and I and boy, I’ll tell you people how to do your deal. And I’m going to form parades and, and picket lines and everything else in order to get you shaped up. You’re not performing as an ambassador, you’re performing as someone who is a citizen of France, because that’s their business, not yours. And you’re also performing as someone, incidentally, who is terrifically in love with the world, or else, you wouldn’t be expecting the world to be behaving so that you might have a nicer place to live. And God also has something to say about that, folks, he says that if you’re in love of the world, the love of the Father is not in you. And my friends, I began to wonder some time if many Christians are a lot more interested in saving America than they are saving souls. And we’ve heard that so many times, we have to get America back to God. And what does that mean? What do you mean, get America back to God? What are you talking about? Well, the way it used to be, well, if it was such a big deal, the way it used to be, how come it’s in a mess it is today, and I could remember and I was a brand new Christian 20 Some years ago, that the big cry and I went along with that, because we’re gonna go change the world, we’re going to change America, we’ve changed it alright, it’s about 10 times worse than it was back in those days. It’s been a huge change. downward spiral. Is that unusual not isn’t unusual, folks. That’s the way this world is calling. It tells us that in prophecy, that’s the way it’s going. Now a person sit back and say, Oh, Bob, we’ve got this responsibility out here. My foot my friends, the only responsibility that God tells us in that Bible is to be responsible to go out and proclaim Christ Jesus, because when until a man’s heart has been changed, you haven’t changed anything. And you can get the laws change today and they’re going to be back messed up tomorrow. The Democratic Congress had laws all in line, and hereby rejoice and praise God, we got all these laws just the way they want them. And now the Republicans are in changing every one of them. And two to four years later, somebody else will be in changing them back again. There is nothing permanent about anything down here. And yet we spend millions millions of dollars supporting a candidate that’s going to do it my way. Gonna do it my way. And that’s why we support millions of Christian dollars that could be given to organizations to proclaim the Lord are spent trying to get a politician elected. What kind of a politician? Well, one that you don’t even know number one who’s gonna get elected or not. And number two, if he did, he might be as big a jerk as when he’s in there now. And yet, it doesn’t make any difference. We just every four years, every two years, we get involved in the same mess as Christians trying to get America changed. Folks, what about souls? Where did it say to go into the world and change your country? It doesn’t Well, you can’t change a country. Christ can’t change a country. He came to change people. He can’t give a United States a new birth, or Canada new birth or France, a new birth, only people, only people are born again. Now, folks, is there anything wrong with having good political system? No, that’s okay. It’s good. It’s just not the best. It’s not the best. And the danger of this is the same danger you’ve got with sports, anything wrong with it? No. But when they start taking over for education, you better do something. And that’s the position of the Christian today, our citizenship is in heaven, anything wrong with all of this political stuff? No, nothing wrong with it. It’s just not the best. And you’re never going to cure anything by understanding it, or changing it. Because it’ll be right back to its same old deal tomorrow.
I’m going to go back into Philippians 3 and pick up before verse 20, where we just pulled out the single verse of our citizenship is in heaven. But if you’d like to turn, turn back with me to I’m going to start in verse 7 of chapter 3, where Paul’s talking about I have no confidence in the flesh. He said, whatever it was to my profit I now consider loss. Folks, Paul was a Pharisee, he was the call the teacher of the teacher, a leader among the leaders, young man growing rapidly in position in that establishment, the Israelites under Roman domain, were given the right to rule themselves. And so politically, they were very active politically, and being sure that Rome was treating them properly. Although Rome didn’t have to treat them properly, they just found out it was easier to do so than to have to deal with them all the time. So they’re interested in all of those things. And so Paul knew all of those things. But he said, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus, my Lord, for whose sake I’ve lost all things, he said, I consider them rubbish or dung, that I might gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law. But that which is through faith in Jesus Christ, the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith. I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings. In other words, I’m not out there trying to get Rome shaped up, I’ll just go ahead and and I’m going to share any sufferings, becoming like him and his death. And so somehow to attain the resurrection of the dead, not that I’ve already attained this obviously hadn’t been raised, or have already been made perfect, except in the eyes of God, of course. But I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me, brothers, he said that I don’t consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do, do, forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal, to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward, in Christ Jesus, the prize, I press on to it, one of these days hearing the word, well done, good and faithful servant. I’ve been at Paul’s, I said, I’ve been focused, I haven’t gotten off of my focus, I haven’t lost my calling. I’m not here to change the political system of this nation. I’m here to proclaim Christ Jesus to the lost, and Christ Jesus to the saved, to allow people to see that salvation was more than just getting out of hell into heaven, but enabling God to get out of heaven back into you. And to be an instrument through which Christ Jesus can go into the world with His love and compassion. Get rid of that critical, rebellious political spirit, and to go out and to love people. And folks, you can’t love people when I’m of this group and your event group, I’m sorry, you just can’t do that. If you’re a Republican, how am I gonna love a Democrat? And if I’m a Democrat, how am I gonna love Republicans? It doesn’t matter. This is what I am. Well, we look like it. But if you’re a child of God, you can’t be looking at people as whether they’re Democrats or Republicans. They’re lost or they’re saved. And if they’re saved, you’re one in Christ. Those other identities don’t mean a flip in heaven. And quite frankly, don’t even mean much down here anymore. And yet, that’s where we focus our attention and our time, and our money and our energy to do what? Try to get somebody elected. Try to get laws change that will benefit me. Try to get America cleaned up.
Folks, I get back to this and please understand what I’m saying. I lived in America at a time when it was cleaned up. I lived in America where you couldn’t have seen a dirty movie if you wanted to. There were no porno shops when I grew up, there were no porno tapes when I grew up on television. Man you couldn’t in early days of television, one guy had to stick a handkerchief down into the front of her dress because it was about an inch under Adam’s apple. It that’s just the way it was. You didn’t have the filthy stuff that you see today on television and sex right in front of you. You the language that is used in films today. You don’t have any of that back in those days. So you say Clean Up America I grew up in America was clean. It was the prime of of this country right after the war, people were excited. GIs were getting educated, the highest grade averages ever attained and universities were contained in those years after World War Two guys were older, mature, and they went to school to study they got good grades. We had prayer in schools, we had Bible teaching in schools. But folks, I don’t know about you, but I grew up lost as a goose. And I didn’t come to Christ until the years that quite frankly, were the most difficult and damaging years probably in the history of our nation. That was the 60s when the hippie generation came in and free sex came in and opened drug usage, and nudity and everything else. That’s when I came to Christ. When I looked at the world and said This world is bad as I am. So folks, we live in an idealistic mindset. This world is not going to get shaped up any more than your body is going to get younger. Your body is getting older. Decay is setting in not a reversal. There is no such thing as as this idiocy of the theory of evolution. Nothing evolves upwards, only downward.
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.”
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