Classic Christianity – Unity in the Faith P3 (1-16-19)
Welcome to Classic Christianity radio with Bob George, where Bob’s clear and timeless teachings on the complete forgiveness and unconditional love of Jesus Christ will transform your life as you learn about God’s amazing grace. Let’s join Bob as he teaches us from God’s word on the third part of a three message series on the unity in the faith.
Bob shares why we cannot love until we come in contact with Jesus Christ. Since you now have Jesus Christ, you are urged to act in accordance with who you are, a new creation, a child of God, a recipient of God’s love. Bob shares about walking in patience, humility and peace with others that must start with understanding God. Is it Jesus convincing me to think this way or the flesh? The Holy Spirit living in you is the filter for proper thinking.
Bob shares how we can fellowship only with those of like mind, who have the Spirit of the living God in them. Unity in the Spirit comes from truth. You cannot have unity with those who have not come to truth. Are you in the body of Christ? If so, then you are the church and a member of His church. The church is not a building or a denomination, but a body of born again believers.
Bob shares about one Lord, one faith, and one baptism. What really matters is the inward change by the Holy Spirit, a spiritual reality in you, and not an outward religious conformance. He shares from Romans 2 to explain the one spiritual baptism that John the Baptist made reference to when he said that he baptized with water but Jesus baptizes with the Holy Spirit, and the latter being the one baptism.
Bob continues sharing around minute 12:50.
1 Peter 3:18
8 For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit. 19 After being made alive, he went and made proclamation to the imprisoned spirits— 20 to those who were disobedient long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built. In it only a few people, eight in all, were saved through water, 21 and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also—not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a clear conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 22 who has gone into heaven and is at God’s right hand—with angels, authorities and powers in submission to him.
What does it mean to be saved through water? What saved him? The ark saved him. Did the water save him? No. Water would have drowned you. You were saved by being in the ark.
In verse 21, we read “this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also—not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a clear conscience toward God” and then in verse 22, we read “t saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ”.
How are we saved ? We are saved by the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!
What is water? Water is a symbol of what now saves us. What saves us today? We are saved through the resurrection of Jesus where He lives in us and baptizes us into body of Jesus.
Back to Ephesians 4 where we now see more clearly that there is one Lord, one faith and one baptism.
There is one baptism by way of the one faith in the finished work of the one Lord, the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. And his resurrection is what really saves you. How then is the body built up? How does the body grow and reach unity in the faith and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ? How does the body become mature?
7 But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it. 8 This is why it says:
“When he ascended on high,
he took many captives
and gave gifts to his people.”[b]
9 (What does “he ascended” mean except that he also descended to the lower, earthly regions[c]? 10 He who descended is the very one who ascended higher than all the heavens, in order to fill the whole universe.) 11 So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12 to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.
This grace that is given is in accordance with how Christ apportioned it. That is, God decides how each part of the body is to function in relation to the others. And to receive this grace, one must first become born again to be placed into the body of Christ.
Brothers and sisters, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for the Israelites is that they may be saved. 2 For I can testify about them that they are zealous for God, but their zeal is not based on knowledge. 3 Since they did not know the righteousness of God and sought to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness. 4 Christ is the culmination of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes.
5 Moses writes this about the righteousness that is by the law: “The person who does these things will live by them.” 6 But the righteousness that is by faith says: “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’” (that is, to bring Christ down) 7 “or ‘Who will descend into the deep?’” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). 8 But what does it say? “The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,” that is, the message concerning faith that we proclaim: 9 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. 11 As Scripture says, “Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.” 12 For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, 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!”
16 But not all the Israelites accepted the good news. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our message?” 17 Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ. 18 But I ask: Did they not hear? Of course they did:
“Their voice has gone out into all the earth,
their words to the ends of the world.”
19 Again I ask: Did Israel not understand? First, Moses says,
“I will make you envious by those who are not a nation;
I will make you angry by a nation that has no understanding.”
20 And Isaiah boldly says,
“I was found by those who did not seek me;
I revealed myself to those who did not ask for me.”
21 But concerning Israel he says,
“All day long I have held out my hands
to a disobedient and obstinate people.”
How then are the Jew and Gentile to be made righteous in the sight of God the same way, by the one faith, one Lord and one baptism?
Who had the law? Only the Jew had the law. Would they ever be declared righteous in the sight of God through the obedience to the law? Never!
Would the Gentile, practicing all heathen practices, ever be declared righteous in the sight of God, by worshiping Diana? No!
So in order to make a level playing field for both the Jew and the Gentile what did God do? He canceled the law!
Now the Jew does not have the law, and the Gentile never did.
How then can anyone be declared Jesus? The same way, by the one faith in Jesus Christ!
3 Since they did not know the righteousness of God and sought to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness. 4 Christ is the culmination of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes
Jew tried to establish their own righteousness through good works. They did not submit to God’s righteousness, which is in Jesus Christ. God cancelled all of the law.
Moses described the righteousness that is of the law in Romans 10:5-13.
Who is going to go up to heaven to bring Christ down? That is an impossibility for any man.
Who is going to reach down there and bring him up from the dead? That too is an impossibility for any man.
Did any of you bring him up here? No! That is God’s work. Who sent Jesus, who is the exact representation of God in human form? God the Father!
3 So also, when we were underage, we were in slavery under the elemental spiritual forces[a] of the world. 4 But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship.
How then can the Jew, the Gentile, or you and me be saved? The exact same way! There is only one way to be saved.
The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,” that is, the message concerning faith that we proclaim: 9 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. 11 As Scripture says, “Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.” 12 For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, 13 for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
The same Lord is Lord of all. Do you now see why there is only one Lord?
The Apostle Paul, in writing to the believers in Ephesus, also shared this message concerning the work of God and the building up of the body in the unity of the faith.
7 But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it. 8 This is why it[a] says:
“When he ascended on high,
he took many captives
and gave gifts to his people.”
9 (What does “he ascended” mean except that he also descended to the lower, earthly regions? 10 He who descended is the very one who ascended higher than all the heavens, in order to fill the whole universe.) 11 So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12 to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.
Think about the astronaut, John Glenn, landing on the moon with a rocket launched into space. Did John Glenn come from heaven? No. Where did Jesus originate from? Up there.
Did any of us have anything to do with that? No. God sent him and we had nothing to do with it. God’s work alone.
In verse 11, we read that God gave people as gifts to men in order to build up the body. Are certain people greater than others because of what their assignment is? No!
Why should we think of ourselves as more highly than we ought? We all have been given certain assignments on this earth.
5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.
Each of us are branches and God wants to produce 1 grape through one branch and 100 grapes through another. How is the fruit produced? The branch must remain attached to the vine. The vine is the source that produces fruit. So then, you and I abide in Christ, resting in Him, so that fruit will be produced through us. And what is that spiritual fruit?
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
Abide in me is God’s instruction. God said he would produce the fruit. We, as a branch, have no power or ability to produce such a fruit.
So if one branch produces 1 grape and another produces 100 grapes, which one gets rewarded more? Neither.
Why? The branch did exactly what God instructed. He abides in Christ and God produces.
What is the issue here? Are you abiding?
God sent some to be teachers, others to be evangelists, and others to be something else.
If someone is leading others to Christ, is he greater than the teacher? No. That does not make anyone greater than another. There are no heroes or big deals. So resist the temptation to put people on shelves, on pedestals. Once you do, someone will knock it off the shelf for it doesn’t deserve to be there. Who alone deserves all honor, glory and praise?
Consider the Apostle Paul, who God assigned to bring the gospel to the Gentiles. What did he have to say?
1 Timothy 1:16-18
16 But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life. 17 Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen.
There is no delineation in the body of Christ between clarity and laity.
Recall also how Paul addressed the immature believers in Corinth, who were arguing over who was greater.
1 Corinthians 3:4-9
4 For when one says, “I follow Paul,” and another, “I follow Apollos,” are you not mere human beings?
5 What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe—as the Lord has assigned to each his task. 6 I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. 7 So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. 8 The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor. 9 For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building.
And when the believers exalted someone over another in regards to who baptized someone, Paul was used of God to build up the body to correct error in thinking.
1 Corinthians 15:11-17
11 My brothers and sisters, some from Chloe’s household have informed me that there are quarrels among you. 12 What I mean is this: One of you says, “I follow Paul”; another, “I follow Apollos”; another, “I follow Cephas”; still another, “I follow Christ.”
13 Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized in the name of Paul? 14 I thank God that I did not baptize any of you except Crispus and Gaius, 15 so no one can say that you were baptized in my name. 16 (Yes, I also baptized the household of Stephanas; beyond that, I don’t remember if I baptized anyone else.) 17 For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel—not with wisdom and eloquence, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.
Don’t do things thinking it is a big deal for there are no big deals.
“When he ascended on high, he took many captives and gave gifts to his people.”
Many believe this passage in Ephesians 4:8 ties into a passage somewhere in Peter. (Bob did not reference the specific scripture in the audio.)
There is a misunderstanding that Bob wanted to address.
When Christ died on the cross and when he died that was a physical Jesus on the cross. The real Jesus is spiritual. What is death? The absence of light. What is darkness? The absence of life. Where does that life go? It depends on where you are before you die? If you are in Christ, you will forever be with Him and when you die, your body will be raised immortal it will be changed (1 Corinthians 15:52-54), and you will forever be with the Lord (1 Thessalonians 4:17). If you are not in Christ, you do not have the life of God and your body will be in a place of torment where Jesus describes it as a place of weeping and gnashing of teeth (Matthew 13:50), where the worm never dies (Mark 9:48), or where the fire never goes out (Mark 9:43, Jude 1:7), or a place of outer darkness (Matthew 8:12) or a lake of fire (Revelation 19:20, 21:8). Since Jesus is the light of the world (John 8:12), and if you are not in Christ, then you will not have light, but rather utter darkness. Since Jesus is the resurrection and the life (John 11:25) and you do not have Jesus, then you will not be raised immortal and you will not be changed, but will die in your sin (John 8:21).
The soul and spirit will live forever. All people will live eternally just depends on where you will be and what you will experience.
So what was accomplished by the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ?
The shed blood of Jesus in the payment of sin went back to Adam and forward to all eternity. When he was buried, the sins of the world are never to be remembered anymore in the sight of God. When Jesus rose from the dead, he now offers eternal life to all men. If you are in Christ, he always lives to intercede for you. Has everyone believed this message? No. Have all understood and accepted Christ’s work alone for new life? Sadly, No!
Prior to Jesus shedding his blood on the cross, there was atonement, a temporary covering of sin, by the shedding of blood of bulls and goats. Such sacrifices did not take away sin. All this is explained in the book of Hebrews, particularly Hebrew 7,9 and 10. Those in the Old Covenant system, they received salvation as if on a credit card. But such salvation was not as spiritual regeneration as we know it today. So it is not really correct to say that those in the Old testament got saved the same way as we do today. The Holy Spirit did not come to live in them until Jesus came and finished the work. The Spirit of life cannot be given until sin is first taken away. But that price for sin has now been paid for your sins and my sins and indeed the sins of the whole world. So now anyone who comes to Jesus Christ, the one Lord, for life, by the one faith, is baptized into the body of Christ, the one baptism, a spiritual baptism of new birth. The concept of “born again”, a spiritual new birth, is explained in John 3.
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Taking The Confusion Out of Predestination
PREDESTINATION is one of the most misunderstood truths of the Bible. In a clear, concise way, Bob George cuts through all the confusion surrounding this important topic. See how the mystery, that was hidden in the heart of God since the beginning of time, was revealed by the Apostle Paul to bring about unity of faith among Jew and Gentile believers alike. In this series, Bob tackles other related topics, such as: the foreknowledge of God, adoption, and man’s free will. If you’ve ever had difficulty understanding predestination, or trying to explain it to others, this series is for you.
This amazing study presented by Bob George also includes a 25 page PDF follow-along document with study notes and Bible verses.
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