Classic Christianity – A Closer Look at Law & Grace P29 (11-22-22)
Jesus Came to Give Us Eternal Life To All Who Place Faith in Him
~ “27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: 28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. 29 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. 30 I and my Father are one.” John 10:27-30
~ “But we do not realize that Jesus was raised from the dead, so that that resurrected life that raised Him from the dead can come and raise you and me from the dead, that salvation is not just getting sins forgiven. Salvation is being raised from the dead.
The wages of sin is death, under the law, but the gift of God is life under grace, life and death, you could not have any greater contrast life and death. I came, Jesus said that you might have life What do you need life for? Because we’re dead. And when we ignore that part of the gospel, that dynamic of the gospel and reduce it to only forgiveness of sins, we have people walking around no different than a Hebrew, on the Day of Atonement.”
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 0:40
This really has been an interesting study. In fact, it is absolutely foundational, if any of us are ever going to understand what the Christian life is all about, if you do not understand the difference between long grace and to understand that you have been freed from something in order to be called to something, while you’re going to try to live a life either that you do not have that’s lost, that’s people practicing religion never been regenerated, or to have a life that you never live. And that’s someone born again, that does not realize that Christ came to give his life for you, in order to give it to you in order to live it through you. So you cannot live the Christian life today, as a Christian anymore than you could live the Christian life as a non Christian. As a non Christian, you try to live a life that you do not have, as a Christian, many times we have a life that we do not live. So we’re out trying to live a Christian life, that is an impossibility, only Christ can give you life, and only Christ can live his life. And so the reason that he gave his life for you was so that he could give his life eternally to you. And the reason he gave his life to you is so that he can live his life through you. It’s not complicated at all. But you see under the law, that is an absolute. That’s a myth, not only a misunderstanding, it is it is an even thought of under the law. Here’s the law written on stones. Now you keep it that was the Old Covenant. You keep it. And the problem was that God found fault with that. Who did he find fault with? with us. If we could not keep the law, We cannot keep it today, if the Hebrews couldn’t keep up with all of their dedication to it. How do you think we’re gonna keep it in the flimsy way that we talk about being under the law. And so we in Christendom have done the same thing that the Hebrews have done, you can’t obey the 10. So let’s make up 600, and some that we think we can, and we keep increasing the laws in order to meet our requirements on people. And so, in the scriptures, you’ve got the thou shalt nots, 10 of them in essence, and then we add, Thou shalt not dance, thou shalt they all share not let liquor ever touch your lips, although the Scripture does not say that it certainly talks about drunkenness. But it also talks about little wine is good for your stomach. And, and again, I can look in my own life and say, Well, then why don’t I participate in that particular activity? And again, that’s just personally, why don’t I participate in it? Because it can be a stumbling block in this judgmental place that we live called America. If you are a Christian, over in France, it would never enter your mind to have a glass of wine as an example with your meal. Never enter your mind in America. Man. It’s a no no if you’re of a certain denominations, because they have taken scripture and stretched it over and beyond what it ever meant to be that’s making up your own laws. Not only can they not abide obey the laws of God, but they say there’s one I can obey, at least when no one’s looking. And it’s like somebody said, One day a good way to get your good way to get your lawn mowed. You just go out and in the middle of the night, you just pour booze all over that lawn, they sit in the middle of night, those Christians come over and eat it right. I didn’t think you’d be able to pass that. Well, but Bob, we just have come up with everything under the sun. And the fact of the matter is that God did not call us to live under the law. He called us to live in the newness of life to live responsibly as a person who is in Christ Jesus. So that’s where it gets down to the point if you don’t want to be a stumbling block, why then that’s something God is putting on your own heart, not to be a stumbling block to somebody else. It’s not a law that God’s more pleased with that. It’s the fact that you’re going to be able to possibly communicate to a person what it means to walk in Christ Jesus better than if you’ve got a stumbling block that’s keeping somebody from from doing that. But you can also do that by having a sloppy lawn. Sure, I mean if you’re if you’re a Christian with with you know, Jesus loves you on your on your door, and your lawn looks like you’re growing rabbits in there, you are not being real good testimony to your community. So there’s a lot of things that you can do, that are not good testimonies to the people around you. But we always concentrate on the nasty nine and the dirty dozen.
But Bob, it’s a it’s a, it’s a very interesting thing for us to realize that the missing link many times in evangelical Christianity comes from a missing dimension in our evangelism. And I’ve said the reason we have in many instances, such pitiful discipleship is because we have such pitiful evangelism, that we have reduced salvation down to nothing more than getting your sins forgiven. And then, even if we taught that in its fullness, in other words, not just forgiven, taken away. And we taught that in its fullness without the double talk of Yes, Jesus took away all your sins, but and then we come up with all kinds of theological gobbly gook about what that’s just positional forgiveness, but experiential forgiveness you still have to keep up with, which is just negating truth. When God says, I forgave you that’s not positional or experiential, that’s just plain truth. And you’re either gonna walk in it, or you’re not gonna walk in it. But let’s not come up with any of these terminologies of being positional or forensic, or any of that type of thing. And something else is different. That’s not when God says something is true, it’s true. And the way you walk by faith in it is walking by faith. And what he said is true. And so when Christ went to a cross to take away our sins, that’s true, that’s not position on something else is experiential. That’s true. The experience of that is walking by faith in it and saying, Thank you. To beg God to do what he’s already done is not positional X and experiential, it’s stupidity. And so that’s all you can call that. It’s just plain stupid when God says, I have taken away your sin forever, to turn around and ask him to forgive you when he said, that’s what I’ve already done. Is, is absolute presumption in its ultimate form. But you see, we have reduced salvation to nothing more than a flimsy understanding even of the cross, let alone a non understanding of the resurrection. And so if you ask the average person today, what was the meaning of the cross? well they’ll tell you, that’s where Christ came to take away your sins. Mostly, they would think from the day maybe that you accepted that backwards, but from that point on, it’s up to you. And that’s a misconception. And quite frankly, it is heretical, when you stop to think of, of what you’re saying, in regard to what Jesus said, When he said, that is finished. That’s all over. But we stopped there. And we ask a person, what’s the meaning of the resurrection? And I guess you get this blank look, it says, I guess that proves that Jesus was God. But we do not realize that Jesus was raised from the dead, so that that resurrected life that raised Him from the dead can come and raise you and me from the dead, that salvation is not just getting sins forgiven. Salvation is being raised from the dead.
The wages of sin is death, under the law, but the gift of God is life under grace, life and death, you could not have any greater contrast life and death. I came, Jesus said that you might have life What do you need life for? Because we’re dead. And when we ignore that part of the gospel, that dynamic of the gospel and reduce it to only forgiveness of sins, we have people walking around no different than a Hebrew, on the Day of Atonement.
Because we’ve talked about and we were talking about, in the simplest terms, long grace is an issue of God’s acceptance. In other words, on what basis is a person really made acceptable to God? And basically, there’s only three possible answers, you can be acceptable to God through the law. In other words, man is responsible to make himself acceptable to God through His obedience to the law. The other one is by grace where God gives man a standing of total acceptance as a gift through His Son, Jesus Christ. And then there’s that attempt, which quite frankly, represents modern day Christianity. And that is this attempt to try to mix Law and Grace, whereby a man says that God’s grace enables him to work for his acceptance. Now, whatever answer we choose is going to affect basically how we live and certainly how we approach the Christian life. But it is also totally going to affect our understanding of the love of God, whether it’s still conditional, or whether it is unconditional. And many of us will say that we’re made acceptable by the grace of God, yet, we still experience fear and guilt and condemnation. And you say, Why is that so? Well, because in our minds, we’ve really never let go of the law, we just have never come to the point in our life of realizing that we are no longer under the law. And if we were, we wouldn’t need to feel guilty, we’re dead. In other words, under the law, you are if you violated the least of these, my commandments, you violated all of them, and the wages of sin is death. So it isn’t the case of whether you feel guilty or fearful or condemned you are if you’re under the law. So we have not let go of the law. And that’s why we still experience in many instances, instances, this continual feeling of fear of God and guilt before him and condemnation from him. And the reason for that is, you’ve never been freed from the law. And so you persist in bringing the law over into the Christian life. And Bob, I’ve always compared that it’s like chocolate and milk, you have pure chocolate, let’s say that represents the law, you have pure milk that represents grace. You mix the two and you got chocolate milk, you’ve got a, you’ve got a mix of both you have watered down and discolored the purity of the milk. And you have absolutely watered down the purity of the chocolate. And what you end up with is you don’t end up with purity and either one of them, you got a discolored milk and you got a discolored chocolate, tastes pretty good. And that’s exactly right. And that’s why we practice religion and say, well, that tastes pretty good. Exactly. That tastes pretty good. So we for us to walk in a newness of life. We need to see the end for us to walk, not dying to the law. And where we come to a point where we absolutely leave the law where it belongs, if we are truly in Christ Jesus. And we’re talking about spiritual things here, Bob and a natural man cannot understand spiritual things. So a person who’s still under the Law and still believing that his salvation is dependent upon obedience to the law, you’ve never been saved to begin with, you cannot be saved for that mindset. You’ve never come to the end of your sufficiency, and to the beginning of his, you are still trying to do for God what God has done for you there same thing as the Hebrew, that, that rather than receiving the righteousness that comes from God, you’re still trying to establish your own and you’ve stumbled over the stumbling stone, you have never come to a point of salvation, you are still trying to earn your salvation instead of accepting the fact that you couldn’t earn it if you wanted to, and come to the end of your own self sufficiency and receive the one who did and that was Christ Jesus alone, the only man who ever walked on the face of this earth, born alive spiritually, and lived a totally sinless life, and took that flesh of his to the cross to pay a price and to pay a debt that he did not owe for us who owed a debt that we couldn’t pay, and died on a cross raise from the dead so that he could give us His resurrected life. Now until we’ve come to Christ to receive the fullness of all of that, we just have a half Jesus
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Bob George 13:58
And so to a person who’s still trying to live under the law and to earn his acceptance under the law has never been saved. He may be a religious type of person, but he’s never been saved. A person who thinks that he has saved because he belongs to a certain denomination has never been saved. He is merely a member of a denomination, you may as well belong to the Kiwanis Club, for all the good it’s gonna do you because a membership is not an issue in regard to your need. And that is life, spiritual life being given to you from outside of you. Joining the Kiwanis Club doesn’t give you live and joining a church does not give you life. Life has to come from God Himself. And so if a person anyone listening to me today has still been trying to earn their salvation or think that they are saved because they belong to a specific denomination. And I don’t care whether that’s Protestant or Catholic, or Buddhist or Muslim or Hindu or what It is it doesn’t make a difference. All of those things are just strictly religions. And so and they will not save anyone, anyone than the Jews, who were the ultimate in the practice of religion, or religion that was given by God, not one that we made up, but given by God, if they could not be saved through practicing religion, because nobody can practice what you preach. And so in an essence, we’re all hypocrites, all of us have sinned, all of us have fallen short of the glory of God, there is none righteous, no, not one. And we come to understand that I am not righteous in the sight of God, because of the club that I belong to, or the church that I belong to, or anybody that I belong to, outside of Christ Jesus. And so if a person is still out there thinking that they have salvation, because of any of those things, folks, I’m telling you, and I’m not telling you for my opinion, I’m telling you directly out of the Word of God, you are still lost. And there is no need in staying that way. I mean, it isn’t something for that to be an insult, unless you want to remain lost working at it. But it’s, it’s to help you to recognize your condition so that you will receive His provision. You can’t do it. No one could do it. If the Hebrews couldn’t do it with all of their history of trying, how do you think you’re going to, you can’t do it. And when I can’t do something, I must turn to one who can, I cannot make myself alive. Many of you listening to me right now have never realized that you are dead spiritually. I never knew I was dead spiritually. Never had a clue of it. I knew that I bounced prayers off of the ceilings. But I didn’t know I was dead spiritually. No one had ever told that to me. But God says we were all born in Adam dead, dead spiritually. That’s why you’re constantly seeking because you’ve never found. And if that is the case, that you are walking on this earth today, and you have tried to find meaning and purpose to life through religion, joining a church going to a service, belonging to a denomination doing good works, doing good deeds, getting involved in charity, getting involved in helping others. All of those things are nice, human noble things, but they will not bring life to the dead. And until you realize your condition, how are you ever going to accept His provision? If I’m not starved? If I’m not hungry? Why would you want to accept food. And so folks, we have to realize that all have sinned, and all have fallen short of the glory of God. And if that is true, then all people needed forgiven, they needed their sins taken away. And Christ Jesus did that not over and over and over again, the way under the Day of Atonement, the high priests used to perform their duties over and over and over, which could never take away sin. Not the way some people teach. You have to go back every week and get your sins forgiven and get your sins forgiven and get your sins forgiven, get your sins forgiven, or as a Protestant to go answer the altar call and get your sins forgiven or sins forgiven and sins forgiven. Or if that isn’t good enough, and you don’t like altar calls within your first John one nine to get your sins forgiven and forgiven and forgiven and forgiven. Folks, you’re never complete that way. And that’s what the Bible very clearly says any one of those kinds of techniques will never enable you to walk in your completeness. In other words, to realize, wait a minute, it’s been done. I don’t have to ask for something that has already been accomplished, it has already been accomplished for you. And so when you come to a point of realizing I needed forgiveness, I need forgiveness, I needed forgiveness, I will need forgiveness. And Jesus said I did every one of those things in advance for you. I took away every one of your sins that you have ever done, are doing or will ever think of doing. I have taken them away. I have dealt with a certain issue once and for all. And I’m not going to deal with it again. I took it away. I didn’t cover it as the blood of bulls and goats did. I took it away. There is nothing for you to go through. There is no performance for you to go through in order to activate my forgiveness. It has been done, it is completed. And it is over. That’s why I cried out from the cross. It’s finished because it’s finished.
And then you realize something else and that is that the wages of sin is death. And when we were dead in our sins and the uncircumcision of our sinful nature, God did something. It was a necessity for spiritual life. He gave us life. When I was dead, he gave me life. The wages of sin is death. The gift of God is eternal life. How do we receive that life? By merely recognizing my condition and And realizing I did not want to stay in that condition. And recognizing that salvation is much more than just getting your sins forgiven, he already had a system for doing that called atonement. I needed my sins taken away, so that I could receive a life that’s called eternal life.
You see, folks, forgiveness is not an end in itself, it was merely the means of accomplishing the end in itself, that of restoring life to the dead. But before God could give you and me a life called eternal life, one that could never be taken away from us again by sin, he had to deal with sin once and for all, and for the entire world, and forever, and that he did at the cross. So that from that point on the Holy Spirit of God can roam through this entire earth, saying to any man and woman, boy and girl on the face of the earth, Come unto me, your forgiveness has already been taken care of, but you have to recognize your spiritual death and come unto me for what I alone can give you and that’s life come to me, and I will give you life. And we exist in our hearts are able to say, Lord Jesus, thank you for what you did for me at the cross. And I now accept your resurrected life to come inside of me, and to be my only hope of glory. Now, folks, when that occurs, we are now led internally by the Spirit of God no longer externally, by a law that kills, but internally by the Spirit, that gives life so I therefore leave the law where it belongs, it did its work. And I now rejoice in the newness of life that I have come to, in Christ Jesus, my Lord.
Now that we’re in Christ Jesus, as I said earlier, for some reason, we still many times think that we can make ourselves acceptable to God are more acceptable to God. So we persist in bringing the law over into this newness of life that has been given to us in Christ Jesus. And I think one of the reasons is we’ve never come to grips with the stringency of the law. So in order for us to effectively realize that I don’t have any choice except letting go of the law, we have to take a look at the stringency of it. In other words, we once again have watered down the law, the wages of sin instead of being death, why the wages sin as being out of fellowship, and it’s just God just a little disturbed, he kinda can’t look at you. Well, folks, that’s not the case at all. The wages sin is not God, not looking at you. It’s not God twirling around on his chair and turn his back on you. It’s not God giving you a little paddle in or taking you to the woodshed. The wages of sin is death, and it’s never been a thing one iota different than that it is death, and that is stringent. So then you have to say, well, how much sin? Well, let’s go to James 2: 10. Our key verse, whoever keeps the whole law, and yet stumbles, and just one point, is guilty of breaking, all have it. So it doesn’t make any difference. Now, you look at that, Bob, and you say, well, that doesn’t seem fair. Well, I want to tell you something. You can live all of your life, in the laws of the land and be a law abiding citizen all of your life, just as law abiding as you want to be. And then you only got one more year to live and you’re 80 years old, and you can go and do one thing in your lifetime. One thing that is against the law, and you will be deemed as someone with a criminal record for the rest of however long, you’ve got just one law in all of your life. So it shouldn’t be a mystery to us that that is the stringency of the law. That’s the way the law works. So you say, well, is that just today? No, that’s in your entire lifetime. From the time you’re born till the time you die, if you want to be under the law, here’s the stringency of it. If you stumble in any time in your life, from the time you’re born to the time you die in just one point of the law, you are guilty of breaking all of it. Now folks, do you still want to be under the law? Now, when Jesus came into this earth, He came as an extension of the law. He came to show us what the Law demanded. Here’s what the law demands folks. And he spoke to people under the law Jesus was born of a virgin under the law, and he taught under the law in order to explain to people the stringency of the law, which should have prepared their hearts for receiving what he came to do, and that was to die for the forgiveness of those of us that could not uphold the law and fulfill it and to bring life to the dead as a result of our inability to do anything except sin. And so he came to prepare people. His message was not an encouragement to the last in Matthew 5:48. He has said Perfect, therefore, as your Father in heaven is perfect. Now if a person is trying to gain God’s acceptance through keeping the law, and the law standard is 100% Perfection, which is exactly and precisely what we just read in the book of James, I keep, if I’m under the law, and yet I stumbled in one point, I’m guilty of breaking all of it, that means perfect, perfect. There’s no such thing as a violation. Well, what would he have to conclude? If that is his acceptance before God? What would he have to conclude in his life? Where he is with God, if he’s living under that standard? You’d have to say, Brother, I think I think I’ve kind of messed up. I can’t do that. You remember, on another occasion, Jesus said, be perfect, be holy, how holy as holy as your Father in heaven. That’s all it will do. Unless your righteousness exceeds that of the Pharisees, you will never see eternal life. Well, you see, to the Pharisees, they were the ultimate in outward form of obedience to the law. And you say and exceed that, how on the world could I ever exceed that? He said, now you got it, you can’t.
Now you see, that’s why Paul was able to write in Galatians 3:10, that all who rely upon observing the law, are under a curse. For it is written cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the book of the law. So folks, if you’re under the law, what are the demands on it? You must do and continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law, for how long? as long as you are on this earth, and as long as you have been on this earth, because if you are and under the law, you either keep all of it and if you stumble in one point, you’re guilty of breaking all of it. Jesus demands here’s the requirement. Perfect, what is perfect mean? It means perfect, it means there’s never been a violation of God’s law in your entire life.
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Stand on the firmness of truth. Don’t keep going back and forth. Thank Him that the forgiveness issue is settled.
Let’s pray together:
- Lord Jesus,
- I thank you for taking away my sins on the cross,
- never ever to see them again.
- Having done that, I now thank you for giving me eternal life,
- through your resurrection.
- I now receive that life.
- And I am going stand in the fact that I am a child of the living God.
- In Jesus Holy name I pray.
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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