Radio Broadcast Tuesday 09/20/2022

Classic Christianity – A Closer Look at Law & Grace  P02 (09-20-22)

Being Clothed in the Righteousness of Jesus Christ

~ “That’s grace. It is also a picture, it is a foreshadowing of what was going to happen, obviously, 1000s of years later, when Jesus Christ clothed us in His righteousness. So the grace of God clothed man when he fell, and the grace of God clothes us today, in the midst of our sin, taken away at the cross, clothed in his righteousness, so that we stand today, not in our own little Christian fig leaves. But we stand today clothed in his righteousness. And folks today, as man today is still trying to find his acceptance in the sight of God through what he does. All that is, is making a bunch of dumb Christian fig leaves, and hanging them on yourself, instead of resting in the clothing that has been provided for you in Christ Jesus, and rest in the fact that you have been clothed in his righteousness.”

Listen in to today’s lesson with more in-depth teaching, from the Bible study booklet, A Closer Look at Law & Grace, available for purchase from our online Bob George Ministries ecommerce store.

Jesus asked how does God love and accept us? And how does he expect us to live the Christian life? To answer those questions, this insightful study explores a vital issue at the heart of the Christian experience, the biblical relationship between law and grace, understanding their role in our relationship to God will bring joy, freedom and spontaneity to your Christian life. Now, let’s take A Closer Look at Law & Grace.

Bob George 0:39
They weren’t thinking what was right or wrong, or good or evil or anything else, they were just living in harmony with their Creator, would that have been a wonderful way to live. But all of a sudden, they found themselves self centered rather than God centered. Prior to that time, their occupation was on God, their Creator, now it was upon God’s creation, themselves. And so they hid and they made fig leaves in order to clothe themselves. God came along as seeing them in the pitiful condition that they were in. And for the first time, of course, in all of life that as we know it today, why they saw death and they saw death with probably their little animals that were pets things of, of a great affection between the animal kingdom and and the human kingdom, and all of a sudden, an innocent animal had to die in order to provide clothing now for Adam and Eve, not the kind of clothing they were providing for themselves, which was just a covering, but humanity was going to fall. And I believe the reason that you need animal skins is because cold was going to enter in, which leads me to believe that God never intended us to be cold. Good point, I think that’s an excellent point. Otherwise, he would have made us with bear fur on it instead of naked, so But at any rate, all of a sudden, a covering had to be made. And in order for that to be done, an animal had to be killed. That’s grace. It is also a picture, it is a foreshadowing of what was going to happen, obviously, 1000s of years later, when Jesus Christ clothed us in His righteousness. So the grace of God clothed man when he fell, and the grace of God clothes us today, in the midst of our sin, taken away at the cross, clothed in his righteousness, so that we stand today, not in our own little Christian fig leaves. But we stand today clothed in his righteousness. And folks today, as man today is still trying to find his acceptance in the sight of God through what he does. All that is, is making a bunch of dumb Christian fig leaves, and hanging them on yourself, instead of resting in the clothing that has been provided for you in Christ Jesus, and rest in the fact that you have been clothed in his righteousness.

So therefore quit going out and trying to decorate yourself up in your Christian fig leaves. And that’s all self righteousness is is Christian fig leaves. But it was a foreshadowing of that. So even though there was law prior to Moses, the law came through Moses. And even though there was certainly Grace prior to Jesus, the final Grace came through Christ Jesus, the ultimate form of grace came through Jesus Christ, our Lord.

Now, the other thing that I want to mention that this particular point because it ties in to what we’ll be talking about in the rest of the lesson, is that when the law came to Moses, it was given to in essence to the Hebrew people. So there is a sense in which the Gentile never was under the law. The law was given to the Hebrews, given to Moses, to the Hebrew nation. And the fact that they had the law and attempted to live in submission to that law, is what sets them apart from every other person on the face of the earth. It’s what sets the Hebrews apart from the Hittites and the Amorites, in the mid tides and all those islands. It set them apart from the world. That’s why they were a distinct peculiar people. They were peculiar, because they were following God’s laws to the best of their ability. What made them peculiar was no one else was trying, no one else knew about them. They weren’t trying to here was a group of people had God’s law, trying to live according to them, and they were peculiar to the world, unusual to the world. A group of people had to be chosen, he had to choose somebody he chose the Hebrew he chose, chose the Hebrew for that, to be that that set of people now so in essence, folks that Gentile never was under the law.

Now, when the grace and truth came through Jesus Christ our Lord, what did he What do we have to do to put on something new? Now here the Hebrew was clothed now in these beat up clothes of theirs trying to obey the law with all their hearts and absolutely not being able to so just beat up unbelievably these old raggy clothes and God comes along and offers a new set of clothes, a new covenant. Now if someone offered you a new set of clothes, and you were standing there in rags, what would you have to do? Why you take off the old in order to put on the new that was the Hebrew. The gentile was standing there naked. Now when you offer a new set of clothes to the Gentile who’s naked, what do you have to do? Just put on the new you don’t have anything to take off. You’re naked.

You see the the new covenant that ultimately came to the entire world. But it said the gospel first went to the Hebrew and then after that to the Gentile. So obviously it would go to the Hebrew because the Hebrew was the one who the group of people, the Hebrews were the ones that God was dealing with, under the law. But the law was a foreshadowing, and the law had a terrific purpose. And like the scripture says that the law is not for the savedit was for the lost in order to show us that we cannot do something. So it’s, it’s my feeling that if you’d say, well, if any group of people on the face of the earth could pull this off, it would certainly be the Hebrews. But they couldn’t. And and that’s not a discredit to them. It’s just reality of all humanity. No humanity can live up to the righteous requirements of God, humanity cannot live up to deity. And so but we had to be shown that and so the Hebrews and their attempt of laws and following the laws tenaciously did nothing but fall on their face with it, and self righteousness kept growing and growing and growing. So when the gospel came, when grace and truth came through Jesus Christ, here’s a new covenant. And incidentally, that new covenant was announced in the Old Covenant in Jeremiah, it was announced that I’m gonna give a new covenant where their sins and all his acts are, remember, no more, it was announced in the old, said, you’re gonna get one, when they got it, they didn’t believe they got it did that strain, that’s why we are.

So it was one of those things that it isn’t like all of a sudden, this new covenant was made up over here by Jesus and his apostles, it was announced in the Old Covenant that a new one was going to come. But the old covenant had to be fulfilled, it could not be fulfilled by us. And so God became a man and fulfilled it, like we say, upheld it at the cross, and then offered in new life. Now, so to the Hebrew, the announcement had to be take off the old and put on the new. Ultimately, then when the gospel went to the Gentile, the Gentile wasn’t take something off, they didn’t have anything on, it was put on the new see. Now, what has happened, obviously, over these years of Christianity is that the that basically was, although in the early stages, it was all all of the apostles, all of the people were Hebrews who couldn’t who realize that Jesus was their Messiah, and were born again. And then that message started going to the Gentiles. And at the same time, the Hebrew leadership continued in their rejection of Jesus to the point where finally, God put them on the back burner, and said, We’re going to take the message to the Gentiles. And so, so now what happens? Well, the Gentile, who all they had to do is put on a new covenant See, it’s kind of like we went back to Jerusalem, and just dug up all those old rhaggy clothes, and put them all put them all over our new suits, so that we could walk around with our new suit on covered with old raggy laws. And that is the condition of a person today who is supposedly in Christ, and under the law, what’s he done? he’s got a new suit on, and that has been absolutely destroyed by all these old raggy clothes that he’s put on over not even underwear outerwear, that we’ve got over our new clothes. And that’s the stupidity friends, of trying to live under the Law and Grace at the same time. God never did put you Gentile under the law, you never were under it. The law was used in your life to show your sinfulness so that you would turn to Christ, which was universal in scope, but you never were under the law. The law came through Moses, to the Hebrew grace and truth came through Jesus Christ for the entire world. So you talk about being stupid we are as Gentiles are really stupid because we have ourselves under a bondage that God never did have a surrender to the Hebrew, they were under the bondage of the law. And they have to put something off in order to put it on to the Gentile all we had to do was put it on. But what did we do why we adopted the new inheritance and grabbed the law and are more stringent, and, and hypocritical in our attempts to follow it than the Hebrew ever thought of being.

Now, folks, let’s turn to Acts 15:1, to kind of get a clue of this as to what was taking place in those early days after the New Covenant, the teaching of Christ came to the Hebrew. Some men came down from Judea to Antioch and we’re teaching the brothers quote unless you are circumcised according to the custom taught by Moses, you cannot be saved. So what was taking place? Well, the Hebrew had received salvation, he was already circumcised, that all Hebrews were circumcised. So that had already taken place. So now he had salvation. So now all of a sudden, this gospel was starting to be opened up to the Gentiles, they start hearing these Gentiles have received the Lord. Well, they said, Well, you can’t be saved unless you’re a Hebrew. I mean, God gave salvation the Hebrews. So how could you be saved as a Gentile, you’re gonna have to be a proselyte, you’re gonna have to come over and be a Hebrew, and then you can be a Christian. So that was the early teaching now, folks, again, I think the I think one of the benefits of seeing statements like this, in the book of Acts, is, as we’ve said before, if the book of Acts was a doctrinal book, then Gentile you need to get circumcised before you need to get saved. But the book of Acts is not a doctrinal book. It’s a historical book of what took place. From the day of Pentecost on in the early church, and in the early church. That was the teaching of some people coming down from Judea to Antioch, teaching these people, you unless you’re circumcised size, in other words, you become a Hebrew. According to the customer, Moses, you cannot be saved. Now if you’ll get circumcised become a Hebrew, then you’d be saved. But God didn’t save anybody except the Hebrew. Was that true? No, wasn’t true. Was it taught? Sure. Was it recorded in the Book of Acts? Absolutely. Is it a doctrine? Certainly hope not, and you’d better too. So but it’s there. Now, Acts 5 15:5 some of the believers who belong to the party of the Pharisees stood up and said, the Gentiles must be circumcised circumcised and required to obey the law of Moses. So here again, were people, believers who belong to the party of the Pharisees.

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Bob George 14:03
Now, this is a hard thing to understand. Because here you’re sitting there, although you had Nicodemus that obviously, came to know Christ and remained in the party of the Pharisees. You say, Well, can that be so? Well yeah, that can be so you come to Christ by faith, but you’re still a meshed in this tradition that you were in. And what did it say in the book of Hebrews about the law? it says it is fading, and will soon disappear. And so what we tried to do is say, Hey, man, if good discipleship would have been taking place back in those days, you would have gotten those guys out of that Pharisee group immediately. But that doesn’t happen, folks. That’s not the way it is. It’s like the early Christian. What the early Christians were did they worshipped? well they worshiped in a synagogue. Sure. Now there came a point in time where their, their understanding of truth was in such contrast to the legalistic teaching that they could not remain there and ultimately went to the homes. But there was a long period of time and that’s where they were same thing would be true. They’re a believer could belong to the Pharisees, believer, you see to the Hebrew who was already circumcised, See, in other words, it wasn’t like a Hebrew, saying to a Hebrew, now Hebrew, in order to be saved, you have to be circumcised. I think he said, unha, but you see, they already were, you get what I’m getting already, I read already am circumcised, so, and I was saved. So I knew both of those things occurred. And so you can see where a theology would develop out of there. That Gentile, you also have to be circumcised in order to be saved, and required to obey the law of Moses. Now, after much discussion, there, Peter got up and address them. And he said, brothers, you know that some time ago, God made a choice among you, that the Gentiles might hear from my lips. That was from from Peter, the message of the gospel, and believe. God who knows the heart, showed that he accepted them, that means the Gentiles by giving the Holy Spirit to them just as he did to us. And that was also an unbelievable discovery on the part of Peter when he discovered that the Gentiles could be saved, just like the Hebrews were.

And Bob, that discovery didn’t come for about 18 years, after Christ after after his resurrection, in that vicinity 16 to 18 years. So it was a long time for Peter even, to to realize that the Gentiles God also gave this gospel to the Gentiles. So, and that was confirmed, and every place where it was announced that these Gentiles, the Samaritans are coming to Christ, the Apostles who were left by Jesus as the apostolic authority, which ended with the apostles, but during that period of time, they were the authority to go to those areas, to verify the fact that this was from God, because there was terrific amount of phoniness taking place in those times, just as it is today, false prophets all over the place. And so somebody came down and said, these Gentiles are coming to Christ, why they would send an apostle down there to verify that and Peter was, and John, were the original apostles who would go down to verify those things. And God gave signs. As an example, in those days, he gave signs as an example of speaking and an unknown language as proof that the Holy Spirit had been given. Now it wasn’t the speaking in an unknown language that verified the fact that they had been given a Holy Spirit. But these people were speaking the truth of the gospel in a language that they had not learned. And I believe when they went to the Gentiles, that the language that he gave the, the Gentile was Hebrew, because the Gentile didn’t know Hebrew. And I believe that the Gentile who had never learned Hebrew spoke the gospel back to Peter, in Hebrew. And that was the sign to the unbelieving Hebrew, who the unbelieving Hebrew was Peter, who did not believe that God would give salvation to the Gentiles. And so it talks about that fact that tongues is a sign not for believers, but for unbelievers. And so it was used as a sign. So just as the all these people who came on the day of Pentecost from all of these different areas, and here, were these apostles, speaking in their language, that was a sign so is this also a sign.

I don’t want to get into this subject of spiritual gifts at this particular time. But I think because through the book of Acts, you will see this phenomena take place that we have to understand what the phenomena was. And of course, Corinthians explains that in regard to this speaking in an unknown tongue now that’s exactly and precisely what the apostles did on the day of Pentecost when they proclaim the gospel in all of these different languages. And so they were said, How could this be those are in other words, they’re kind of like dumb Galileans up there, you know, how could they be doing this and therefore it was stated that this is a proof of, of the validity of what they are teaching. And folks with the apostles who were left on this earth by Jesus with the instruction And that’s good for you, I’m going away. And I will therefore give you everything that you need to represent the gospel on this earth. Until such time that the I quite frankly babe until the scriptures were totally completed, so that we have a plumb line now to go to in regard to the determination of truth. And so the apostles, certainly the message on the day of Pentecost was verified to those people, by the fact that these uneducated fishermen were speaking this unbelievable message of truth in a language that they had never learned. And then we see how now the gospel went to the Gentile. And that was confirmed, in the first instances at least that we know of, by the same thing, and again, I believe the only thing that could have been assigned to the Hebrew was seeing a Gentile proclaiming the truth of the gospel back to them in Hebrew that they had never learned. And so it became a sign, in all cases, to the unbelieving Hebrew. And that’s what the Scripture says, tongues is a sign to the unbeliever. And that means to the unbelieving Hebrews, yes. Now, let’s go on with Peter’s message there in regard to the giving of the Holy Spirit to the Gentile just as he did to us the Hebrew. He made no distinction he said, between us and them. In other words, he’s saying to these Hebrew brothers, brothers, God made no distinction between those Gentiles out there than he did from us. For he purified their hearts by faith, in essence, the same way that he purified our hearts by faith. Now, then, why do you try to test God? By putting on the necks of the disciples a yoke that neither we nor our fathers have been able to bear? In other words, why are you trying to put onto the Gentiles the yoke of slavery of the law, when we ourselves were not able to live under the the weight of the law? No, he said, we believe that it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus, that we are saved, we are saved, just as they are. So Peter is saying to his Hebrew brothers, folks, by the grace of God, we as Hebrews have been saved. And by that same grace, the Gentiles have been saved.

Now, in 2nd Corinthians 3:7 through 11, Paul elaborates on that. And he says, and he’s contrasting this law and grace again, and of course, prior to that as Colossians 2:6 where it says, just so then as you have received Christ, Jesus, the Lord continue in him, how did the Hebrews receiving by, by faith, how did the Gentiles receiving him? by faith, so just as we received Christ Jesus as Lord believed in that the Hebrew or Gentile, slave or free, continue to walk in him, how? by faith the same way. Now, in 2nd Corinthians 3, he then elaborates, if the ministry that brought death, and that was the law, which was engraved in letters of stone, came with glory, so that the Israelites could not look steadily at the face of Moses, because of its glory. Fading, though it was, will not the ministry of the Spirit, be even more glorious. Now he’s saying, Folks, if the 10 commandments, that engraved and letters a stone, that’s what was put on the stones, the 10 commandments, we’re not just talking about ceremonial laws here, folks. If those commandments that were engraved in letters on stone came with glory to the point and you remember, when Moses came down, they couldn’t look at it. They could not look steadily in the face of Moses, because of the Shekinah glory. Fading God was that he said, What is this ministry of the Spirit gonna be? Now if the ministry that condemns man is glorious, that’s the law. How much more glorious is the ministry that brings righteousness? Could the law ever bring righteousness? No, it says, If righteousness come through the law, then Christ died for nothing, that no man will ever be declared righteous in the sight of God through obedience to the law. So what did the law do? condemns you. Condemns you to death. The wages of sin is death. You have sinned, you’re a dead man. But it says that message here’s the law, if you violate it, you’re gonna die. It came with glory. Man, if that’s glorious, how much more glorious is the ministry that brings righteousness because We deserve it? No, because it’s given to us. For what was glorious, that was the law has no glory now, in comparison with the surpassing glory, in other words, it has faded away, in comparison to the grace of God that has now been given to us in Christ Jesus. Was the law, glorious? Yes it was. But in comparison to the grace of God, it is faded away. Now, and if what was fading away came with glory, that’s the law, it came with glory. how much greater is the glory of that which lasts for how long? Forever. What is the glory that lasts forever? The grace of God that has been extended to you and me freely and abundantly in Christ Jesus, our Lord, it has no end. It is Jesus, who is the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. And unless Jesus is going to end, his grace will never end. Now that’s a beautiful thing for us to know, isn’t it?

Now, 2nd Corinthians 3 then tells us this, therefore, for beginning in verse 12, since we have such a hope, we are very bold. Hope in what? Hope in the glory of the grace of God in which we now stand. We are not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face to keep the Israelites from gazing at it while the radiance was fading away. In other words, Moses knew that that glory of the law was fading, the Shekinah glory. And he didn’t want his people to lose faith. And so he put a veil over his face so that they wouldn’t see that the glory was fading. So in other words, it almost sounds hypocritical. But it wasn’t. He did not want the law to be diminished in any way, shape, or form until it had been replaced. But the law started fading the day that it came off of the mountain. But it was only fading because something greater was coming on the scene. And that was Christ Jesus.

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