Classic Christianity – Book of Romans P51 (03-03-20)
Have you ever wondered what your spiritual gift is? Maybe you already know? Bob shares a life example to help you discern your spiritual gift. Suppose a child spills a glass of milk at a church gathering, what would your immediate response be? With this simple example, you can more readily see if you are a servant, encourager, admonisher, teacher, or leader.
Read along in Romans 12, as Paul describes the spiritual gifts and then explains their purpose. Their purpose is not to edify or serve yourself, but to serve, edify and benefit the body. So the gifts are given by God, as He apportioned them to each member of the body, to serve one another in love. Bob then turns to Ephesians 4, another passage that provides more details on the purpose of the body. Ponder also on these verses in Ephesians 3:14-20, Romans 8:9 and Matthew 28:19-20.
Bob then explains what Trinity is. The reason people have difficulty understanding Trinity is because they try to put flesh and blood on them. You cannot do that. God is Spirit. You cannot see Spirit. Bob uses the illustration of an egg; with the yolk, the white and the shell, to explain Trinity. It is impossible for us to understand because Spirit is in the realm of the Spirit. We cannot comprehend, but we can apprehend. Why? Because we know what God has said, and know that God is not a liar. There are many scriptures where Jesus explains what Trinity is. You will not find the exact word, Trinity, in the bible, but the concept of Father, Son and Holy Spirit as one God in three persons is believed as true based on what Jesus has said. There are several passages of scripture revealing to us what Trinity is.
34 While he was speaking, a cloud appeared and covered them, and they were afraid as they entered the cloud. 35 A voice came from the cloud, saying, “This is my Son, whom I have chosen; listen to him.” 36 When the voice had spoken, they found that Jesus was alone. The disciples kept this to themselves and did not tell anyone at that time what they had seen.
16 As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. 17 And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”
Now about this purpose of spiritual gifts. The true gifts are the people given to the body so the body of Christ might be built up until we all reach unity in the faith. That is why we have apostles, pastors, and teachers. What do ministers do? They teach people to trust Christ. And we all have been made competent to be ministers of the new covenant. All of us are instructed to use the spiritual gift God has given us. There is one faith, one Lord and one baptism, and we are to worship God in Spirit and in truth. We operate in our spiritual gifts until we all reach maturity, the unity in the Spirit. This is true unity, not unity in everyone doing the same thing in the same way, in the same place with the same enthusiasm, but unity in the Spirit. No truth, no unity. Know truth, know unity. This unity is about knowing the love of God, to be convinced that nothing can separate you from the love of God in Christ Jesus.
Get a whole bunch of you and sit at a table on Sunday morning. You have to go to church. Then let one of your children knock over a glass of milk, and you will see what your gift is. To the gift of servitude, they will be down there cleaning up the milk. To someone who has the gift of encouragement, will say, “Oh, do not worry about that sweetie. It can happen to anybody.” To the person with the gift of admonishment, he will say, “You ought to watch what you are doing on Sunday morning.” To the one with the gift of teaching, he will say, “Let me explain to you how things spill.” You have all of these different gifts that you will see come out of you naturally by just spilling a glass of milk. And if you got the gift of leadership, you will try to arrange the table a little differently so you do not hit the milk when you are trying to eat breakfast in the morning. You have all of these things that God will show you what your gift is if you let Him.
Now, thinking along that line. Let us say someone spilled the milk at your table, how may of you think you might be able to identify what your spiritual gift is now, after the milk has been split? You have a better clue on that. Follow that. That is a natural gift that God has given you, a natural gift to help people. The person who wants to get down and clean the milk, that is a natural thing. Go be a helper. That would be a group of people that would probably be called deacons in church, those who help and serve. Many of you have shown that to me over these years, that that is your gift. You love to help. You love to serve. We have some people that are unbelievable in that capacity. So, that is where you begin to identify.
What is the purpose of spiritual gifts? To edify yourself? No. I believe God gave me the gift of teaching. I do not sit in a room and teach myself in order to edify myself. God does not want us to use the gift for that. You do not sit around to serve yourself. A cow does not drink its own milk. A tree does not eat its own fruit. It bears fruit for others. The purpose of a spiritual gift is for the benefit of the body. You have ears to hear. Why? So my body can hear what is going on. You have a tongue to speak with. Why? To edify the body. So there is no exception to the fact that a spiritual gift given by God, not the ones that we dream up, but a gift that is given by God, is given to you for the edification of the body, to serve the body, to help the body. Do we understand that? Every part of your body is to serve the body, is it not? If I am hungry, my hands help to serve that. My mouth helps to take care of that. Teeth and all those things are there to serve the function of the body. So you and I sitting in this room, all of us have gifts. The purpose of the gifts is to serve one another in love. Not only to serve here, but to serve out into the market place. Sometimes when you are using your gifts out in the market place, you are serving people by them watching you, and then saying to you, “where is that coming from?” That gives them an opportunity to know that where it is coming from is God. Spiritual gifts are to serve one another in love. He says there are all kinds of gifts.
Let us turn back to Ephesians 4. It is so good to read and study our bibles.
1 As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. 2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. 3 Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. 4 There is one body
There is not a Jew body and then a Gentile body. There is one body.
and one Spirit,
There are people that teach you are born again, and then later on you receive the Spirit. That is nonsense. It is impossible.
And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ.
There is no way to be born again, and then later on to receive the Spirit. That is impossible. That is false teaching. When you are born again, the Spirit comes to live inside you. There are not two Spirits. There is not the one you are born with and then another one that you get. There is one Spirit. Who is that Spirit? The Holy Spirit. Who is the Holy Spirit? The third person of the Trinity; God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit.
Let me ask you another question. How many of us would have known that if it had not been for Jesus coming? Would you have known God had existed as God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit, would you have known that apart from Jesus? Not at all. But when Jesus came, he explained the Trinity.
19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Why did he say that? To identify them with the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Who are the Jews identified with? The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. At least they had a trinity. That is who their God was. Who is your God? The God of Abraham is Jesus. But they did not know who He was until Jesus came.
People have trouble with the Trinity. A seminary professor once said, “if anyone denies the Trinity, he will lose his soul and anyone who tries to understand Trinity will lose his mind.” And that is probably true. And here is the reason. God is what? Spirit. Let me ask you this. What does a Spirit look like? Has anyone seen one lately? I do not mean in your imagination. No. No one has seen one.
24 “God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”
So we know something about the Spirit. Truth. You cannot put flesh and blood around a Spirit. When you hear God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, what is the first thing you do, in your mind? Well, you put flesh and blood around them. You envision what the Father looks like, what the Son looks like, and what the Holy Spirit looks like. Is that thinking soberly, with proper judgment? No, because you cannot dress up Spirit. Can the three of you be one? No. But in the spiritual realm, can three be one? There is an egg. An egg is made up of a shell and a white and a yolk. Is it not? Which one is the egg? Now, if you put an egg up in the attic, and decided the people down in the kitchen are having some problems, and you took the yolk and put it down in the kitchen, would there be any less of an egg in the house? Would there still be an egg in the house? The yolk would be down here, and the white and shell is up there, but there is still an egg in the house. Now, I do not know if it helps you with Jesus or not, but it helps you with eggs. In essence, that is what God did. The yolk came down to this earth. There was no less God. There is still the white and the shell, but the yolk was down here, ministering to us down here, until he went back to the Father, and sent the white to live in all of us. And so, we may not be able to comprehend all of that, but we can apprehend it, can we not? So the Trinity is something that you do not try to put flesh and blood on. You cannot do it. How God exists in three, and yet is one, that is spiritual stuff. You have to apprehend but please do not try to comprehend it because you cannot comprehend Spirit any more than you can comprehend what people want to comprehend, and that is foreknowledge. All of that type of thing is God’s stuff. We have no point of reference to it at all. We cannot even enter into it. So he is saying to us there is one body, there is one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope, not two hopes.
just as you were called to one hope when you were called; 5 one Lord,
There is not Jesus is Lord, and Buddha is Lord and Mohammad is Lord, and all that nonsense. No, there is only one Lord. That one Lord came to this earth, took upon Himself our humanity, entered into our death with us so we can enter into eternal life with Him. One Lord.
There is one faith, not two. Not a Jew faith and a Gentile faith, a Muslim faith, a Buddhist faith. No, there is one faith. Who is that faith in? One God who is Jesus. Do not let anyone tell you that we all worship the same God. That is nonsense. There is only one God and He does not contradict Himself. If the God we worship is the same God of the Muslim, then if God wrote both of those books, then he must be a nit-wit, for he contradicted himself all over the place. There is one God, one faith, and one baptism.
one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.
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.”[Psalm 68:18]
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.)
Let us look at Ephesians 4, starting at verse 11.
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.
God, first of all, gave Himself. Those inner core were his followers, his apostles. One of the criteria to be an author of the New Testament, was to be an apostle or an emanuinserant of an apostle, to have been with Him in His baptism, death, burial and resurrection, to have seen and observed that. So we realize He gave some to be apostles. Who was to carry out the teaching of Jesus when He went away? Did not Jesus say He is going away.
7 But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.
Jesus told his disciples that it is good he is going away because when he does, he will send the Spirit to live in you, who have come believe, and tells us, we, who are born again, are going to be His body.
But who were the authorities right after Jesus ascended? The apostles. If you wanted to know what truth was, for you were having a wonderment about it, that is who you went to, the apostles. They were the authority.
Now there were not many of those. There were, as far as we know, the twelve. They were the authority in regard to the interpretation of the word of God, and ultimately the ones who wrote down this book, which we hold in our hands today, were written by apostles or emanuinserants of an apostle, a scribe.
Now, He gave some to be prophets. A prophet was a person, in those days, who could prophesy nothing more than what we would hold in our hands today in regards to the New Testament. He was not prophesying anything new once we have the word in our hands. There is no new prophecies.
He gave some to be evangelists and others to be pastor-teachers. A pastor teacher, evangelists, and an apostle were all given for the purpose of teaching. Why did He give us those people to us? To prepare God’s people for works of service. He did not say to entertain lost people. He did not say to develop programs that will be acceptable to all people. He said to teach you truth so you and I can think soberly. It does not matter how many spiritual goosebumps you get. It does not matter how entertained you get. If you do not think properly and you do not think soberly you are to be pitied of all people, are you not? All you are going to do is get into an entertainment group, if you are thinking stupid, so you can think more stupid, and then get into small groups to collect your ignorance. God never intended the church to be anything except a place where you learn to grow so that you can think soberly in accordance with the faith God has given you, to learn, to be students of the word of God. So He prepares people for their work of service, their work of ministry. How come? So the body of Christ might be built up until we all reach unity in the faith.
Now, folks, in order to have unity in the faith, you have to have something to unify around, do we not? You cannot have unity unless you have someone to unify. That is why people say “Oh, pray for the peace of Israel.” If you are going to pray for Israel, pray that the Messiah will come back soon, for until he does there will be no peace in Israel. You are praying for something that is impossible according to the word of God. To pray for peace of Israel is an impossibility until the prince of peace is looked upon.
10 “And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication. They will look on me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son.
7 “Look, he is coming with the clouds,” and “every eye will see him, even those who pierced him”; and all peoples on earth “will mourn because of him.” So shall it be! Amen.
That is unity. Why? You have someone to unify around, and that is Christ Jesus. The purpose of teaching and of using your gifts, is for one purpose, to draw people to Jesus so that all of this adversity out there, draws everything right to the head. We sit around and worship the body and we talk about what the body is doing. We forget the head. Folks, we are like a chicken with his head cut off, many times. We are flapping around. We are making a lot of noise, spreading a lot of blood over the place, but we do not have a head. Have you ever seen a chicken with his head cut off? They are a mess. And you will become one if you are around one. He says we need unity, unity of the Spirit, until we all reach unity in the faith. Not unity in that we are all doing the same thing at the same time, in the same place, with the same degree of enthusiasm, but unity of faith. We have all come to know something and that is Jesus. And to come to the knowledge of the Son of God. What does He want us to be built up to? To reach unity in the faith and knowledge of the Son of God and to become mature, obtaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.
Do you get that? You remember, guys, in Ephesians, where it talks about the prayer where Paul prays and I pray that out of his glorious riches, right above that, that he may strengthen you with power in your inner being so Christ may be at home in your heart through faith.
14 For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge – that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
He just repeats this again down here, becoming mature, to know this love that surpasses knowledge – that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
What does He want us to know? So that we will obtain the fullness of the love of God, the fullness of God, and to obtain the whole measure of the fullness of God. He wants us to know the love of God, the height, the depth, breadth, and width of the love of God, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge so you might be filled with the measure of the fullness of God.
Folks, quit trying to figure it out and enter into it. God loves you. Nothing can separate you from the love of God.
37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Trials can’t. Tribulations can’t. Sins can’t. Death can’t. In all these things, we are more than conquerors through him who loved us and gave himself for us. Nothing can separate you from the love of God. Are you rooted in that? I mean, really rooted in that? If someone that you know dies, are you rooted in the fact that nothing separated him from the love of God for they are in Christ, and they are in a better place than we are? Or are you grieving like the heathen are? If you are about to die, are you grieving like the heathen are, or do you realize, like all of us, we will be absent from the body and in the presence of 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.
I will move into the presence of the love of God and know that love in all its fullness. When you run into trials and tribulations, do you know the love of God. If God be for you, who can be against you? Do you know that? Are you rooted in it? If we are, we have unity. We are together in something. I am not talking about lip service. A lot of people talk lip service. When the rubber hits road, do you know it? Are you rooted in it? Do you know that nothing can separate you from the love of God? Trials can’t. I have been through those. All those things you have been through, you learn something. You grew in your knowledge of something, and that is nothing can separate you from the love of God.
Some people say that when you sin you are separated. No, you are not. How can you be separated when you know this?
7 But if we are living in the light of God’s presence, just as Christ does, then we have wonderful fellowship and joy with each other, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from every sin.
If I am in the light as He is in light, then there is no way to get into darkness. Many of us have tried. Sin is not even going to separate you from the love of God. Do you know why? Because your sins have been taken away. Have they been dealt with? Yes. Were they judged? Yes. Everything you have ever done, will do tomorrow and have done yesterday, were those sins judged? Yes. What was the verdict? Guilty. What was the punishment? Death, and who took it? Jesus. How much of it? All of it. How much is left for you? None. That is why there is no condemnation for you in Christ Jesus, for the law of the Spirit of life set you free from the law of sin and death. Did we deserve that? No. Did we earn it? No. We just rejoice in it.
1 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2 because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.
If you are walking by faith under a guilt trip, God did not give you guilt. He took away your sin and guilt. In order to feel guilty, you have to be guilty. You may be guilty on something down here, but do not get those two things confused. But from God’s vantage point, it has been taken away, If you have been feeling guilty before God, you may as well forget that one. God has taken that away. “There is nothing I am accusing you of. If there was anything I was to accuse you of, I accuse you on the cross. My son stepped in between my wrath and you and took it all for you.” So there is nothing that can separate you from the love of God. Can you do things to be separated from family and from each other? Can you do things to be separated from society, such as put in jail? Yes. Those are natural repercussions for things done down here. They are natural and they are justified, but not from God. God said, “already done that”. That is why there are many people that sit in jail that testify to the fact; ’Bob, I am freer here than most people are out there.” My freedom is not dependent on where I am. It is dependent upon who I am. I am a child of God. I am free in Christ Jesus, regardless of whether I am in jail or out of jail. I am free in Christ Jesus. I cannot tell you the number of letters from prisoners around this country testifying to that truth.
19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge – that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.