Classic Christianity – Book of Romans P33 (01-22-19)
Mankind was created by God to be in a loving relationship of trust. We were to trust God, the one who created us. Mankind was created with free will so we can choose to love God. But since the fall of mankind, we have his sin-indwelling flesh, that is in conflict with the Spirit. The flesh does not trust the Spirit.
It seems that those who are uneducated, the poor or the slaves are much more likely to depend on God. You may notice the black spirituals in the days of slavery where the blacks relied so much on God, for that is all they had. I was just talking with my sister who observed a nursing home that was the most poorly funded and had few equipment available to help the elderly. They were the most kind-hearted and grateful people compared to the other nursing homes in the area that had so much more.
In the time of Christ Jesus, the lame, the sick, those with leprosy, and the downtrodden came to Christ before the religious Jews or the wealthy. It seems those who recognize their need in the physical world, and see no way out of their predicament, are more likely to see their spiritual need as well. Why is it that we learn to trust God more in our trials and tribulations that when we are rich emotionally and physically?
1 Corinthians 1:25-27
25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.
26 Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. 27 But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.
But whether rich or poor, we have this common flesh in struggle with the Spirit. When you were lost, all you had was the flesh, and you were in bondage to the law of sin and death. Your mind was hostile to God. But there was a point in history, a moment in time, when you heard the message of grace that set you free. You became a new creation in Christ, were born again, with the Holy Spirit who now lives in you. You now have your mind set on what the Spirit desires. He teaches you to say no to ungodliness and worldly passions. He lives in you to will and to act according to His good purposes.
Bob George also used the illustration of new ownership. You were once under the control of Satan, but now you are under the Spirit ’ s control. This was likened to a former landowner you were once renting from. He was mean-spirited and demanding and nit-picking. But a new landlord took over, who was kind-hearted and gracious. The old landowner became a renter as you are, living next door. But since he is not your authority any more, you have no obligation to give into his demands. So too with Satan, he can demand you to do things, but you are under no obligation to obey him.
In Christ we pout to death the misdeeds of the body by walking in the Spirit. We form new attitudes, renewing our mind with truth. We learn to no longer think as we used to. We do not strive to obey the law to impress God to try to convince God to accept us. We are accepted in Christ by what Jesus Christ did or us, in Him alone. Recall that we never had any righteousness of our own. We were dead spiritually. Our physically bodies will die, but we will live on eternally by the Spirit we have been given. Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God. When we do die, our bodies are typically buried in a grave, then, we are who are in Christ, will be present with the Lord, and will be raised with a new immortal body, one suited for heaven.
I have been telling you for years and years and years that I could be lying out of my teeth to you. Just because I am on the radio, that does not make me smart. You can be an idiot and be on the radio. It has nothing at all to do with spirituality. A man does not know the Lord from an apple tree can get on the radio, if he has right connections or the right money. You do not have to know the Lord to be a pastor. I know so many pastors that did not know the Lord at all. All the pastors I knew growing up did not know the Lord. You do not have to be a Christian to graduate from seminary. You just have to go to school. You just go to school because you are not going to learn much of the bible anyhow. You will learn counseling, tradition, and how to give the Lord’s supper. You will not learn much bible. They do not teach it at most seminaries. I am very serious about this. There are some denominations that are bible oriented. Thank God for them. But the vast majority of your denominations, you get very little bible in seminary. So we have to understand the truth of this. In the final analysis, what you and I are doing with is the Spirit of God living in us, who has promised to reveal the meaning of this word to you and me. Do you understand that? God has said I am living in you and my Spirit does not conflict with my Spirit. Since it is the Spirit who wrote this bible, and He is living in you, then depend upon the Spirit to reveal what it means.
1 Corinthians 2:9-10
9 However, as it is written:
“What no eye has seen,
what no ear has heard,
and what no human mind has conceived” –
the things God has prepared for those who love him –
10 these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit.
You can sit and study your little eye balls into the ground and you can become a student of the bible and never ever have a clue as to what it means because the Spirit has to reveal it to you. I do not care what your education background is, whether you had any or whether you had a bunch. The Spirit of God still has to reveal the meaning of the word of God to you. The person who has a bunch, you will probably have to be more dependent than the one who has little. The one who has little cannot depend on his education because he has not had any so he just depends on the Lord.
When you go back to the history of this country, and go back to the worst atrocity, the days of slavery. When you find slave owners going to nice churches, sitting there singing their songs and having announcements and a ten minute message. Then you have the slaves. Do you know who learned about Jesus? The slaves. They had a relationship with Jesus that would make the owners sick. Why? They did not have anything to count on except that. The only one they had to rely upon was Jesus. That is why there is a strong base in the black community even today. Especially black mothers, who see that children go to church and hear about Jesus. A lot of that came because they had nothing else to offer. They had no other place to go except the Lord Jesus. Whereas the others have their social life and nice things to do and left a little money in the offering plate, and then came home and get involved in the important things of life. But the important things to the slaves was Jesus. So you have the spirituals. So that is what you see continually going on today, a real true relationship with the living God.
Now He says that this is what we have been saved from. We have been saved from the consequence of sin, which is death, by this marvelous gift of life in Christ Jesus. Why did He have to do that?
3 For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in the flesh,
He did not condemn the man. He condemned the sin in sinful man.
4 in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
Those who live according to the sinful nature are the lost people. When you are a lost person, you have your mind set on what your flesh desires, do you not? That is all you have it set on. That can spell itself out in all kinds of ways and habits, can it not? There are all kinds of things we get hung up in. It can be alcohol, drugs, promiscuity. It can be anything. It can be all things that your flesh is going to tell you to do. It says that you have your mind set on those things, and therefore, because your mind is set on them, that is what you are going to do and that is how you are going to live. How many of you remember when you were in that condition?
5 Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.
On the other hand, those who live according to the Spirit, those who are born again of the Spirit of God, they have their mind set on what the Spirit desires. Guys, do you remember when you were lost? How many of you remember when you were lost? Outside of maybe going to church on Sunday, or being dragged to church on Sunday, did you ever give thought to God? You might be thinking of God every now and then, but you were not thinking about pleasing God were you? Who were you thinking about pleasing? Yourself. If you are worried about what other people are thinking about you, they are not? They are thinking of themselves. If you do not believe that, take a group picture, and get it back and see who you look for. We are self centered, aren’t we? We have to understand the truth of that, where your mind is put on. As a man thinks, so is he. So this mind of ours, as a lost person, is placed on what the flesh desires. And when you are saved, it begins to focus on what the Spirit desires.
6 The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace.
The mind of the flesh, the sinful man, is death. The man without the Spirit living in Him is dead. It does not mean he cannot receive life. But at that moment he is dead. That is why his mind is on there. But the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace.
7 The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God;
Now, you might have thought that you were hostile to God. I would not have thought I was hostile to God. I thought I was indifferent to God, but I never thought of myself as hostile to God. I just probably thought God graded on the curve until I grew to the age when I knew I would live to a hundred and fifty and that equation would come on my side. I just thought I was indifferent. Those are the two attitudes of the heart, passive indifference or active rebellion. But it says the mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so.
When I studied in grade school, back in the day you had to learn the ten commandments, I learned what they were, but I forgot about them, and I wanted to forget them so I can plead ignorance. It was like W. C. Fields, that old crusty comedian, and atheist. He was on his death bed and someone came into the hospital and saw him reading the bible. He asked him what he was doing and he replied that he was looking for loopholes. Maybe if I do not know what the law is, then I cannot be held accountable for that. And do not think people do not think that way. So there is hostility to God.
8 Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.
How many people who are lost will think they are pleasing God? “Well, I go to church. I sing in a choir. I bet He is thrilled to death with me.” No. No one who is lost is pleasing to God.
9 You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ.
So you cannot be born again apart from being indwelt by the Spirit. That is why it is an absolute impossibility, as taught in some circles of Christianity, that you are born again today and then receive the Spirit tomorrow. That is an impossibility and is false teaching. You cannot be born again unless the Spirit of God indwells you. That is what it means to be born again of the Spirit. There is no way to get the Spirit today and get it again tomorrow. There are not two Spirits. There is just one. The moment you are born again, you are indwelt in the Spirit. Then the Spirit places you into the body of Christ. First, Christ is in you, and then you are in Christ. He comes to live in your Spirit and then makes you His body.
10 But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin,
In other words, this body is going to die. In your body is death, do we realize that? Something called death reigns in your body. Do you all understand that? What does that mean? Every one of us is not going to be here some day and some sooner than others. You are not going to be here. Amy said she read about the last survivor of World War I just recently died. We are all going to go sooner or later. There is nobody left from the civil war. All of us are going to go. In our bodies is something called death. Your body is dead because of sin but your Spirit is alive because of righteousness.
the Spirit gives life because of righteousness.
But the Spirit we have is alive because of righteousness. What does that mean? This body we have is only a temporary house. It is a tent. Look what we do to it. We blow it up. We manipulate it. We operate on it. We paint it up. We dress it up. We exercise it up or down, whichever one. We are preoccupied with this house, not what is inside, but the house.
There is a balance as a Christian. The balance is your number one priority is what is going on inside and then what is going on outside. Prior to my heart attack was exercise profited little. I had to reverse that a little bit.
the Spirit gives life because of righteousness. 11 And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, [born again] he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you.
What is that a promise of? Your body is dead because of sin yet the Spirit of God, who lives in you, is going to give life to this mortal body. Do we understand? What kind of a body is the going to give us? It is called a spiritual body. What does a spiritual body look like? I don’t know. Do you know? But we do know one thing. This body will go to the grave but we will get a new body. What else do we know about this body of ours? Flesh and blood will never inherit the kingdom of God. Are we together on this passage? Flesh and blood will not inherit the kingdom of God. What is this body? Flesh and blood. What are my ears? Flesh and blood. What are my eyes? Flesh and blood. What is this whole body made of? Flesh and blood. Is this body going to heaven? It is going to the grave. If you get thrown in the ocean, then you will be whale food. If you get to be buried, you will become worm food. But flesh and blood will not inherit kingdom of God. Why do people think this thing will inherit the kingdom of God? It is going into the grace and decay. You came from the grave. You are going to return to the grave. You came from dust. You will return to dust. But he said He is going to give us a new body. That is the good news. We are going to receive a new body.
2 Corinthians 5:1-5
1 For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands. 2 Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, 3 because when we are clothed, we will not be found naked. 4 For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. 5 Now the one who has fashioned us for this very purpose is God, who has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.
The issue comes down to when? That is debatable to people. If you think you are not going to get a body until a hundred years. But what I believe is absent from the body and present with the Lord.
2 Corinthians 5:8
8 We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.
Does it make any sense while here on this earth you have a home, but when you die you are homeless? I do not believe that is true. That is why in Thessalonians, at the rapture, those of us who remain behind will not proceed those who have fallen asleep before us. The ones who have fallen asleep are already there. And those who are alive on earth, will meet the Lord in the air.
1 Thessalonians 4:16-17
16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
I think we will get our bodies immediately. That is why it says absent from the body and present with the Lord. That could be debatable I assume. So you have to decide where you want to go on that. It is just difficult for me to imagine that we are floating around with no body. So I am going to go with the body. I am thankful this is going to go to the dust. I am going to get a new one. The older you get, you are more grateful for that. When you are young you kind of like the one you have. So he is going to give life to our mortal bodies who lives in you. We will talk about that in more detail in Romans.
12 Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation – but it is not to the flesh, to live according to it.
You have the old you, without the Holy Spirit living in him. You have no obligation to obey that old guy. He is dead. You have no obligation to him at all. It is like an owner of a place of business or an apartment complex. You have this owner there who is mean as a hornet, and you are renting from him. You have an obligation to pay the rent to him. He is bugging you every week. He is banging on your door complaining how you live. One day someone comes in, and says he has to do what he has to do. We have a new owner. Really? What kind of a guy is this new owner? Terrific. Full of heart and a wonderful person. Besides that he is going to cut your rent. That is something else. Incidentally where is the old guy going to live who was the owner before? He lives next door. The old owner starts knocking on your door and says, “Where is your rent?” You left some dirt outside door. Clean it up. Do you have any obligation at all to obey him? None at all. But you could, couldn’t you? You could. You are in such a habit listening to him, doing what he wants you to do, living in fear of him, that you could get back right into him. Okay sir, I will get the things picked up. Could you listen to him? Yes. But do you have an obligation to listen to him? No. You share under new ownership.
Guys you have been bought with a price, haven’t you? We are under brand new ownership. You are not under the ownership of Satan and your old flesh. Therefore, you have no obligation at all to obey that old guy, the Bob George without the Holy Spirit living in him. I do not have any obligation to obey him. I can. I can listen to him. Sometimes, do we do that? Yes. Hey, do you not remember how fun that used to be before you had the Spirit. Next thing you know you are listening to him and going back to doing those things you used to do before you were saved. Any body doing that? You do not have to lift up your hands.
People live in terrible guilt many times. They are living terrible guilt because we are out trying to live the Christian life and we find ourselves falling on our face. Have any of you experienced that? Have any of you experienced that the things I want to do I do not do and the things I do not want to do, these things I keep on doing? Have any of you experienced going through that? If I am doing what I do not want to do, then it is sin living in me. Do you have any obligation to that sin that lives in you? No. But can you grab a hold of it and listen to it? Yes. Do we do it? Yes.
Then here are people who live in terrible guilt. The issue is, what kind of an attitude do we have to have as we walk through life? You have to walk through life like this. James says if you kept the whole law and violated it in just one point you have violated all of it. What does that do to us? In other words, am I going to have acceptance in the sight of God through my good works, what does that do for you? Does it annihilate you or are you pleased with that statement. All you have to do is violate one and you are guilty of all of it? Is that encouraging? What does that tell you? You know what people tell you? You have got to try. That is like trying to jump over a cliff. You can try but you are not going to make. Well, that is better than not trying. Well, I would tell you that a person who tries will probably live somewhat a better lifestyle here on earth but as far as God is concerned it has not impressed God at all. Oh, that can’t be. He has to be impressed with me. Can you imagine God being impressed with you? Ooh, Bob, that impressed me. We are so arrogant that we think we can impress God. You do not have a chance in the world of acceptance in the sight of God apart from being clothed in the righteousness of My Son. So get rid of all your self righteous attitudes and realize that you are not as good as you think you are. That you too are not going to heaven for only one reason and that is because you are clothed in the righteousness of Jesus. So might as well as put your self righteousness aside and enjoy your clothing. That is what He is getting at here. You have no obligation to the flesh at all.
13 For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live.
14 For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God.
That is the only way to put aside misdeeds of the body is through the Spirit. When that happens you will live. Why are you going to live? Because you are a son of God. Do you have any ability to put aside the misdeeds of the body when you are lost? You can control them temporarily, but put them away? No way.
15 The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship.
Again, perfect love casts out how much fear? All fear. What does fear cast away? Perfect love. Does God want us to function in perfect love? Yes. What does Satan use to keep us from it? Fear. When you are experiencing fear, you are not being led by the Spirit. Why? Because God did not give you a Spirit of fear. We have to understand the truth of that. How many of you have fearful thoughts in your head? We all do. Where do they come from? Satan. We have to understand that. So do not sit around trying to analyze the thoughts. Recognize where they are coming from and give them back to him. It is like the old landlord. Tell him to get lost. I am not under your ownership any more. You do not own this place any more. Go back to your apartment and starve to death. Get out of here. Get away from me. That is what you have to do when you recognize who is putting that fear in you. That old guy banging on the door, putting fear in you. Wait a minute. He does not own this place any more. You are not owned any more by Satan. You are owned by God. He says He did give you a Spirit of fear. You received the Spirit of sonship. You have been made a Son of God.
And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.”
You call God your daddy because that is who He is.
16 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.
How do you know you are saved? Well, if you do not know you are saved, something is wrong. Your Spirit should be testifying you are saved.