Classic Christianity Radio – (03-20-19) – Part 3
Bob George shares how in Christ we have forgiveness, righteousness and life. The law brought death but God brought life through Jesus Christ. We were dead in our transgressions and sins but God made us alive with Christ. God does not send anyone to hell. People just remain spiritually dead because they refuse to come to Christ for life. Only Jesus Christ can provide life, eternal life, to mankind. Whoever believes in Jesus is not condemned to death but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in God’s one and only begotten Son. Bob spent some time explaining what spiritual death is and how that came about through Adam’s choice to sin. Bob then explains man’s need of new spiritual recreation, a spiritual new birth unto new life in Christ. This new spiritual birth is what Jesus spoke about with Nicodemus in John 3. Bob continues to explain what coming to Jesus Christ for life means.
There are a lot of people who want to come to Jesus Christ to get forgiveness because they do not want to go to hell. So a lot of little kids coming to Jesus because they do not want to go to hell. But what about having someone to invade your life and control your life, to be your God. Well, that is a different matter. A person says in his heart, “I do not want somebody to tell me what to do. I just want forgiveness. I just do not want to go to hell”.
There are many who have responded to a gospel of forgiveness and that is not the gospel. We are deceiving people if we are telling them that is the gospel. There are many television preachers telling people to come to Jesus and ask him to forgive your sins and you are saved. The gospel says that it involves the death, burial and resurrection of Christ Jesus. You cannot have one of those, forgiveness and righteousness and life, without trusting in what Jesus accomplished in all three.
1 Corinthians 15:1-4
1 Now, brothers and sisters, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. 2 By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.
3 For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,
Are you coming to Jesus to just get your sins forgiven? Anyone with a brain would say yes to that. Or do you want to come recognizing that you need a God, that you are dead and in need of life. That is the fullness of the gospel. This is what Jesus said to the religious Jews who trusted in their own righteousness through the law.
39 You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me, 40 yet you refuse to come to me to have life.
Come to Jesus Christ to have life. Jesus also said this to Martha, the brother of Lazarus, whom he raised from the dead.
25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; 26 and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”
To Thomas, who later would doubt Jesus unless he saw the nails in his hands and the scars on his side, Jesus said this.
6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7 If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”
What is the condition of man? Man is born in sin, standing in death, under the law, under the bondage and baggage of the law that continues to condemn you.
For all who rely on the works of the law are under a curse, as it is written: “Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law.”
Therefore no one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by the works of the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of our sin.
Over here is the offer of eternal life. How am I going to get over there? Jesus died on the cross, took away the sins of world, providing a bridge, through the cross, to the other side in order to rise from the dead to offer his resurrected life to mankind.
Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
There is only one pathway to the cross, and when you go through the cross, you leave the law behind and enter new life in Christ. If you are under the law you are under death. If you are under death, you are under the law. You cross over to the newness of life through the cross. The cross is the way to salvation but it is not salvation in and of itself. Man is not merely saved by the death of Christ but by the life of 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 salvation? Salvation is being made alive.
“Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life.
He will not be condemned. Why? He has crossed over from death to life.
He will not be condemned because condemnation is under the law. He has crossed over to spiritual life. What does that mean? Have you crossed over from death to life? Are you alive in Christ?
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. 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, 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.
Since condemnation is death and you are freed by His life, will you ever be dead again? Whose life do you stand in? His life. Will He ever die again? No. Is Jesus ever going to die? No. I am in His life and so are you. How does that match up with those who teach that you can lose salvation. The reason for that is people do not know what salvation is. If you know what salvation is you won’t be teaching that you can lose it. Salvation is life, nothing more and nothing less. Once you have been born again of the Spirit of life, God has come to live inside you permanently and eternally. How are you going to lose that? For me to lose mine, he would have to lose His. How secure of a salvation do you have? Permanent and forever because it is based on the work of an eternal God and was never based on my obedience to the law.
I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand.
And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit
How long have we been talking without mentioning what you are to do? Have you had anything to do with what we are talking about, which is salvation? If we do not have anything to do with getting our salvation, then how are we going to do anything to lose it? Losing salvation is an insult to God’s finished and all-sufficient work through the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance—now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant.
We have an eternal inheritance in Christ Jesus. How can you lose eternal salvation? If you walk away from Him, he walks with you. You cannot walk away from Jesus. A person asks, “How come you do not walk away from Him?” You reply, “If you are behaving badly, are you walking away from him? We are always getting into behavior management. What is the only command Jesus gave us? Love one another.”
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.
Go back to 1 Corinthians 13 and from the characteristics of love listed there, ask yourself some questions on how well you and I are really loving one another.
1 Corinthians 13:1-8
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8 Love never fails.
Are you always patient?
Are you always kind?
Do you ever envy what someone else has?
Do you boast in what you do?
Are you proud of your obedience or your good deeds before men?
Do you dishonor others?
Are you easily angered?
Do you ever keep a record of wrongs?
Do you rejoice with the truth?
Do you ever fail?
Nobody will ever stand before God in their own self righteousness. We never had any of our own to begin with. Through the word of the prophet Isaiah, this is God’s testimony of man.
All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away.
If you are ever condemning a person for their evil behavior, and that may be true their behavior is evil, but if I am not loving somebody, then I am not either. Love neutralizes the entire world. I cannot love God in my own strength. Only God can do that.
1 John 4:8
Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.
1 John 4:19
We love because he first loved us.
“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.
Apart from me you can do nothing. People talking about kicking somebody out of the church because they do this or that. Yet people can also be good at church but mean as a hornet at home. There is inconsistency of behavior in you and me. Even in science, if you do not have a constant you cannot do an experiment. So too in the spiritual realm. Jesus is the only constant in me. The same tongue that sings praises also curses men. How easy is that for man to do?
With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness.
There is nothing wrong with the thing called the tongue. It is just a muscle. Underneath that muscle is a heart. The inconsistency in man is evident. The only consistent is in Jesus. Only consistency that comes from you and me is because of Him. People talk all about different kinds of rewards. What thinking is that that I am going to outdo you or you are going to outdo me? There are those who say some of our works are burned up. So will we all stand up there as ash piles? So, will I stand up and say my ash pile is bigger than your ash pile? All wood, hay, and stable.” We have to come to grips with the fact that everything we have is Jesus, all of Him and none of us.
1 Corinthians 3:12-13
12 For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, 13 their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work.
for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.
What is the foundation? Jesus Christ. Who does the work in and through us? Jesus Christ.
3 All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. 4 But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.
Are we more condemning than merciful?
God looked down with mercy and kindness and made us alive with Christ. Even when we were dead, like a corpse, in our transgressions, He made us alive with Christ! It is by grace you have ben saved.
When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins,
Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live.
3 Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.”
4 “How can someone be born when they are old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!”
5 Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit.
6 Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit[b] gives birth to spirit.
7 You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You[c] must be born again.’
8 The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”
When Jesus talked with Nicodemus, discussing with him about spiritual new birth, Nicodemus responded in human terms. “How can I enter my mother’s womb a second time?”, asked Nicodemus. In the context of the conversation, Jesus was saying that not only does man need to be born physically into the world, as through the sac of water in a pregnant woman, but also must be born a second time. There is a physical birth, where flesh gives birth to flesh. There is also a spiritual birth, where Spirit gives birth to spirit. So unless a man is born again spiritually, he cannot enter the kingdom of heaven.
The phrase, “unless born of water and the spirit” has been misinterpreted by many people but the context makes the meaning very clear.