Classic Christianity – A Closer Look at Your Identity in Christ P18 (04-20-22)
You are a Saint, Not Because of Obedience to the Law
No one will be declared righteous through obedience to the law. Yet people are out there trying to make themselves righteous to God by trying to be obedient to the law. Well folks, we’ve got some news for you, no one is obedient to the law. In fact, those under the law, are under a curse. Listen to today’s message of Righteousness.
10 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.”
Just as a person’s physical growth is based on proper diet and exercise, so is the Christians’s spiritual growth dependent on regular feeding upon the word of God and application of its principles. With more false teaching, shifting opinions and general confusion in the world than ever before, Christians need a solid foundation upon which to base their beliefs and build their lives. The word of God declares that Jesus Christ is that foundation of truth. With that in mind, let’s now take A Closer Look at Your Identity in Christ.
Now, it says that those two sets of desires are in conflict with each other, and they war against one another. So that is the condition that you and I as a child of God are going to live in. That’s the arena that we’re going to exist in. It is the fact that I am now a child of God. Praise the Lord! I’ve got a brand new set of identity, that I never used to have as a lost person. They’re God’s desires, but I also have some of those old fleshly desires. Why? Well because I still come in the flesh, and in that place of mine is indwelling sin creating those same old desires. Did it say those desires would go away? No. What did it say? Clean up the desires of the flesh and you’ll be spiritual, no, what did it say? Walk in the Spirit and you won’t fulfill the desires of the flesh.
So one thing we know about that, we know that we have desires of the flesh. Where does it come from? Indwelling sin that lives in every human being. It lives uncontrolled in a lost person. There’s no option except to give in to the desires of the flesh, and the desires of the flesh can be good desires and bad desires, but they’re not God’s desires. They’re good for any human standpoint, but not God’s desires. So are we ever going to get rid of them? No, never going to. So it says we’re going to have desires in the flesh living in us. So it says the solution to that is not to be preoccupied with how to clean up the flesh, but it’s to be preoccupied with walking by faith in Christ, which is walking in the newness of life called, walking in the Spirit. There’s a by-product of walking in the Spirit. You will not be fulfilling the desires of the flesh. There is also a by-product to trying to clean up the flesh. You won’t be walking in a Spirit. Now as good as it sounds to be trying to clean up the flesh, and that sounded good trying to clean up your flesh, but can’t be walking in the Spirit when you’re trying to clean up here flesh. There’s only a by-product when I’m trying to clean up the flesh is you cannot walk in the Spirit. There’s a by-product to walking in a Spirit. You will not be fulfilling desires of the flesh. Isn’t that subtle?
Now you see, religion comes in and has no preoccupation at all with walking in the Spirit, because most people don’t even know what it means to walk in the Spirit. Or didn’t know, there was one like the early Apostles would have all asked. Did you receive the Spirit when you believed? Didn’t even know there was a Holy Spirit. Why, I want to tell you something. I didn’t either for 36 years of my life. I didn’t know there was a Holy Spirit. I thought it was the thing you said when you were baptized in the name of Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and had no idea that the Holy Spirit of God was God who lives in me as a child of God and had no idea about that. So I didn’t know who He was. So the only option that you have when you’re lost is to walk in accordance with the desires of the flesh. And now we have a new option, and that is with the Spirit of God living in me. I now have a new option and that is to walk in accordance with the desires of the Spirit. I didn’t have that option before I was saved. Now I do. But the issue is I still have the desires of the flesh.
So is it unusual in as much as you still haven’t dwelling sin living in you, creating desires of the flesh, is it unusual for a human being to give in to those desires in one form or another? And we sit around as Christians, so self-righteous, so sickening. And just can’t, I just can’t believe that this Christian did something like that. Well, folks, believe it, it can happen to anybody. If you can think something, you can do something. And if you don’t, if you have thought something and haven’t done it, praise be to God, because you’re very fortunate because you’re capable of it. Now, when you’re thinking something and if I can think and I can also do it, and I don’t do it, there’s only one person to thank for that, and that is the Lord Jesus Christ, who has obviously renewed your mind saying to you, Bob, that is not my will. It’s not the best for you. It’s not the best for you.
When the scripture says, don’t commit adultery as an example. It isn’t there because God’s an ogre, that thinks sex is terrible. And just, you know, you got Christian sitting around when you word sex, your mouth just curls out and something terrible. No, it isn’t terrible. God made it for the enjoyment of a human being, but the reason for saying don’t commit adultery is because it perverts your ability to have the ultimate in sexual activity, with your own mate. It prevents that from occurring, so that in an adulterous situation, you cannot enjoy the true fulfillment. That is available to you in a sexual relationship that was given by God to be executed, in marriage. He didn’t say that to cramp your style. He’s saying that to protect you so that you can really enjoy this thing called sex in the context of marriage. So, all of those types of things are, if I’m walking, realizing what God is saying, and walking in His newness of life that has been given to me in Christ Jesus, depending upon Him and His truth. And what I just talked about is part of His truth, He said there’s a by-product. You will not need to be fulfilling the desires of the flesh. What’s the flesh say? Man get what you can when you can get it. That’s what the desires of the flesh are continually bombarding, that after all you got needs, and so go get those fulfilled. That’s what the flesh is always saying. God said no. No, I realize that there’s desires of the flesh out there. But those are not needs. You just think they’re needs, they’re not needs, they’re desires. What you need is to walk in the newness of life that has been given to you in Christ Jesus. That’s your needs. These (other things) aren’t needs, they’re desires, that the world perceives things, but they’re not needs at all. This is what you need. You need to depend on Me. You need to walk with my desires. My desire for you is to walk in the newness of life. I desire for you to know how much I love you. I desire for you to know that I have forgiven. I’ll never see your sins again, My desire is for God, for you to know how much I love you. Now, if that’s God’s desire for me to know those things, then if I want to walk in that newness of life, then I’m saying, Lord, if it’s your desire for me to know how much You love me, then I want to know how much You love me. Why? That’s what’s going to fulfill a need if it says it is My desire for you to know how much I love you. That means there is a need inside of me to know God’s love. So when I enter into doing His love, I have the deepest need of my heart being met, totally contrary to desires the flesh that we perceive is needs, and they’re not, and the deepest need of our heart can only be met in Christ.
We’re talking about there. For this difference between walking in the newness of life, walking in a Spirit and a part of walking in the Spirit, a large part again is what the Spirit has made you. And that is this child of God. So if I’m going to walk in the Spirit it said we worship Him in Spirit and in truth, then I’m going to have to walk in truth. And where you’re going to find truth is of course in the word of God that has been revealed to us. So the first thing that I have to return to if I’m To walk in truth in Spirit, and in truth is in the one Christ Jesus, that’s walking in Christ Jesus, abiding in Him. Well, what was He? Full of grace and truth.
We beheld his glory, the glory of the only begotten, Son of the Father. Full of what? Grace and truth. So I’m going to have to walk in His grace and I’m going to have to walk in His truth. Well, so when I blow it, and we all do, you know a person says well, what if a Christian starts sinning? I’ve got news for you, you’ve never stopped. We’re so idiotic than we think we stop sinning. We haven’t stopped sinning. If we still worry, we still have lust. Do we not? We can still be angry, that He says is the same as murder. And we don’t want to hit that, that too stringent. It’s too. I don’t care whether you want to hit or not, that’s what God said. That’s how stringent those things are.
We can have jealous thoughts towards people. We can have jealous ambition and this selfish ambition. We can slander people. We can lie, kids learn to live for the learn to lie before they can talk. Amazing thing. Little, tiny, tiny thing learns to lie. Why did you do that? Shakes his head. Can’t even say no, yet just shaking his head. So we can do all of those and we don’t even think those things are sins, and we never stopped. We stopped being a sinner if we’re a saint. But we haven’t stopped sinning. Asked a person the other day. But asked that question what do you do when you start sinning? It never stops. And how long have you been a Christian? 30 years. How long have you been worrying? 30 years. That’s pretty persistent. You’ve never stopped worrying. Is worry a sin? Of course, it’s in that which is not of faith is sin. So, can you have faith and worry at the same time? No. Now, how many of us can say, I never worry anymore? I just have never worried since the day I received Christ. If you did, well maybe you haven’t worried, but you’re still a liar. So what does it make any difference whether you’re a worrier or a liar? So the issue is that is not the issue. The issue is we’re never going to stop sinning. When we see sin from God’s vantage point that which is not a faith. The Lord said the world’s sin is unbelief in Me. So is there ever a time that we can doubt His faithfulness, doubt His love? Doubt His provision? Well of course it is. It’s a part of the human experience folks.
Now if I’m going to then return, I’m going to walk in the Spirit when that old flesh says, you don’t trust Christ, trust over here. Well, what do you do? I gotta walk in Truth. Now, what is truth in regards to, from God’s vantage point, in regards to that unbelief that you just executed, in regard to the worry that you’ve been doing, in regard to the anxiety that you just experienced when He said don’t be anxious? What mode do we take there in human behavior? Well, first of all, I got to return for going to walk in the Spirit. I’m going to walk in truth. So what is true about that sin from God’s vantage point? Well, was it judged? Yes. Where was it judged? At the cross. And was it judged yesterday? No, 2,000 years ago. What was the verdict? Guilty. What was the punishment? Death. Who took it for you? Jesus. How much is left for you? None. That’s why there’s no condemnation awaiting me who belongs to Christ Jesus. Why? Paul says, because the law of the Spirit of life set me free from that unbelievable law of sin and death. Because the wages of sin is death.
So, that little sin of worry, that little sin of anger, that from God’s vantage point according to His righteousness, which is perfect said, same as murder. That little glance of lust as far as God is concerned, same as adultery. No difference at all. And Bob, the Christian world sits around, and their self-righteousness and self and convicting indignation, saying my sins are not as bad as your sins, that guy’s sins over there are worse than mine. Let’s destroy him. And I want to tell you, it is the height of deception. It’s when those kinds of mindsets come from a mind that has been turned over to a reprobate mind. We think a reprobate is someone out getting drunk or living on the street. No, a reprobate is one who is saying that guy’s sins are worse than mine. That’s a reprobate mind. That’s a mind that has been perverted beyond comprehension and almost beyond repair. As such is the Pharisee. Thank God that I’m not a sinner like him. Who did God save him? No, never. The guy that said, Oh Lord have mercy upon me, a sinner. It’s a reprobate mind to think that my sins have been taken away by Christ, but their sins have not. God, my sins are okay because I’m doing them. His sins are not okay, because he’s doing them. That’s a reprobate mind.
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The only adverse words and harsh words that you ever heard from the Lord Jesus was whenever to the tax collector or the adulteress. It was to the self-righteous. I was just reading that this morning calling them self-righteous, white washed sepulchers. He said you got yourself all clean on the outside, but you’re dirty on the inside. That it’s not what a man puts in his mouth that defiles him, it’s his heart. So it doesn’t make any difference whether you drink or don’t drink. That’s not the problem. You got a heart problem because you can have a heart problem drinking or you can have a heart problem being sober. The heart problem being sober is how wonderful I am because I don’t drink, and the heart problem for the drunk is that you’re depending upon alcohol to do what Christ Jesus wants you to do; and that’s to walk in the newness of life. Both of those are heart problems, the self-righteousness, it says, it’s sickening to God. That your righteousness is as a filthy rag, and that is at that as a referral, quite frankly, and this may shock some people, that’s a referral to a menstrual rag. It’s a referral to the most god-awful looking thing there that you would want to see. And he says, that is what your righteousness is to God.
Now when are we ever going to come to grips with that to realize that righteousness in and of ourselves is nothing? We don’t have any. It’s all what we’ve received from Him. So, Bob, when we are going to learn to walk in the newness of life to return, I have to say, whatever that’s sin might be, one sin is of the same to God, there’s not bad sins, and good ones. I have to return to what truth is. And what truth is is that God took that away 2,000 years ago at a cross. Well, should I ask him or begging to forgive me? Not if you’re going to walk by faith. He already has. So the only thing I can intelligently do is to thank Him. Do I ask Him or begging for my redemption? No, why I’ve already got redemption. Well, it says, in Him, you have redemption, the forgiveness of sin. So, if I don’t ask Him to redeem me every day, why should I ask Him to forgive me every day? Now, some people take that as an oh, you’re just taking sin lightly. Why? Are you taking your redemption lightly? No, it has nothing to do with taking something lightly. It has something to do to walking in truth. If I am in Christ, I am a redeemed saint. If I’m in Christ, I’m a forgiven saint. Now, if that is true, then the only thing I can do with both of those things is to spend my life. Thanking God for something that has taken place. I thank God for making me a saint. I don’t ask Him or beg Him to set me apart. He’s already set me apart and He set me apart forever. So now once I return to that truth, which is identity, then I have to look at what I just did or thought in this light as a child of God that has been redeemed by the blood of the Lamb. As a child of God that has redemption, as a child of God who is totally forgiven, as a child of God who has been delivered from darkness to light as a new creature in Christ that I am.
Does that mindset that I had, that produced that action, and that thought, is that consistent with His mind? Is it consistent with His desires? Does God desire for me to be hacked at my brother? No, God’s desire for me is to love my brother. Well then, if I’m hacked at my brother, whose desires am I functioning under? Well, my own desires, called desires of the flesh. Is that God’s desire for me to walk in the flesh? No, it is not. Well, then what is He wants you to do walk in the Spirit? What am I going to have to do to walk in the Spirit? Walk in truth and grace. What does that mean? Forgive your brother and quit being hacked at him. But I said, I don’t want to. That flesh says, I don’t want to, he deserves to be being hacked at. He deserves it. And He says, I know that. So did you deserve hell too. But if you guys got what you deserved, any of you got what you deserve, you’d go to hell. So it doesn’t matter whether someone deserves something or not. God said, if I gave you people what you deserved, you’d all go to hell. So if I’m functioning from a standpoint of wanting to destroy someone, because that’s what they deserved, then I’m functioning In the flesh. You’re going to have people that I want to guarantee you, I know people that if I gave them what they deserve from my standpoint, they wouldn’t be on the face of the earth. From my standpoint. But you see, from God’s standpoint He said, I died for those same people as I died for you. And if you want to hold bitterness and resentment in your heart toward what people have done, that have been terrible and brought great heartache to you and your family, and humiliation to you and your family, over what they thought, what somebody thought, had no bearing on it at all, no justification for it, but brought great harm to you. If you want to hold bitterness in your heart to them, you can do that, but I want you to know that is fleshly. It is not of God.
And so I have a decision to make. Am I going to walk in the Spirit? What does that mean? We’re going to walk in truth. Well, if I am, He said there’s going to be a by-product. You will not fulfill the desires of the flesh. What your flesh wants to do is go get even with a person and that person deserves to be exposed. They deserve to be revealed. They deserve all of that and He said, no. No, that may be true from a physical standpoint and that may be true from a fleshly standpoint, but why don’t you read again what it says that vengeance is Mine says the Lord. And if vengeance is Mine, why don’t you let Me deal with those issues. And you look back and say, Lord, thank you. And that’s what I want to do is let You deal with the issues. It’s Your job to complete the work You began in me and in everybody else for that. It frees you from having to play God in people’s lives.
I imagine anyone following along in the book are totally confused right now. So maybe we’ll get a reference point back to page 24 in your study guide. But as Christians, again we sometimes get the idea that our behavior is what is truly important to God and all that, and all He is concerned with is what we do. But behavior is the result of a belief system. The old adage that says that actions follow attitude is very true. And that’s why God is so persistent in teaching us who we are because once we know and truly believe that we are children of God, Saints by are calling, then our actions are going to predictably begin to follow suit with what we know to be true. So as an example in Ephesians 4:1, it says as a prisoner for the Lord then I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling that you have received. Now in other words, don’t live the life in order to receive but because you have received the life. In other words, are you a child of God? Yes, then live the life. Are you a butterfly? Yes, then go fly. It’s not inconsistent with who you are at all. Have you gone to medical school for 150 years and got your medical degree? Yeh, well go be a doctor. You see? So in other words has God called you to go and to proclaim the grace of God to people? Yes, then go proclaim it. And when you know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that that’s what you have been sent by God to do, or sometimes we use called by God, but it’s basically sent by God to do. Why then you will continue doing that regardless of the circumstances that you are in. And I have certainly discovered that in my own life that it doesn’t make a difference what is thrown at you. If God has sent you to do something, you’ll keep doing it regardless of the circumstances.
Paul would go out and be beaten half to death, taking lashes that one more would have been dead. Then dust himself off and go preach to the very people that walloped him real good. And that has to be on a total understanding that I’ve been sent by God, to do something. And I’m going to go do something. So it’s not out of character if you have been called by God, then live a life that is worthy of your calling. In other words, commensurate with your calling that God has called you to.
Now once again, in Romans 1:7 to all in Rome, it says now who are these people who are loved by God, called to be Saints, grace and peace to you from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ. So, how does he identify the born-again Christians in Rome? People who are loved by God. And who are called by God to be what? Saints. So that’s who we are folks, and we’re not Saints because of what we do or say, it’s because of who we are. Now it’s because of an understanding of who we are, that we begin to go and do.
Now that ties in, and I just want to take a break here for a moment to discuss what we have been discussing before, and can also be unbelievably misinterpreted, if we allowed it to do so. Now, could you ever be called a saint under the law? See, if righteousness could be gained through obedience to the law, then Christ died for nothing, but no man will ever be declared righteous in the sight of God, through obedience to the law. Why? Well, because we can’t obey it. It’s very, it’s very obvious. It should be to anyone listening to me. You can’t obey it.
And so what he is saying is righteousness has to be imputed, it has to be given to us. So if we’re going to recognize that fact, that no man will ever be declared righteous in the sight of God through obedience to law. Why then we’re going to have to realize that, how could an unrighteous person be called a saint? Now that is what God called you and me to be. A saint, someone set apart. How could you be? I’m going to take this unrighteous dude and set him apart. No, you’re going have to be made into a new creation and that’s what a new creation is. It means someone who has been separated from an old creation. So you and I are born into this world as an old creation. What is that? That is a person without the Spirit of God living in us. Totally unrighteous in the sight of God. In other words, he’s never been made right in the sight of God. And so, as a person who is totally unrighteous in the sight of God, how is he going to be called anything except an unrighteous person, called a sinner, called a natural man, called lost? That’s who you are. So if righteousness therefore cannot be gained through obedience to the law, then how am I going to be righteous so that I can be called a Saint, someone set apart? Well, it has to come through righteousness being imputed to you now.
So folks, under the law what it said was under the law, there is a curse to the law and did not Paul say anyone under the law is under a curse? Well, what is the curse? Well, it’s dual in nature. You’re under the curse that the wages of sin is death. So that, and how many have sinned? Sinned and fallen short of the glory of God? All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. So how many are under the curse of the wages of sin being dead? All people, all of us. So if we are all under the curse of the wages of sin being dead and all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and that means that under the law, which is where sin comes from, because apart from the law there is no sin. So, under the law, all have fallen short of the glory of God. There is none righteous. No, not one. There is also a dual curse to that, and that is under the law, the righteous demands of the law is, if you obey, you will be blessed. Now, how many obey it? According to what we just talked about, if none are righteous, no, not one, all of their deeds are as filthy rags, which is what our obedience is, our own deeds trying to find acceptance in the sight of God, through what we do? So if you will be blessed through obedience to the law, then how many people are going to be blessed? None.
Thank you so much for tuning in to Classic Christianity, with Bob George. We hope you’ve enjoyed today’s program. We truly hope that today’s message has inspired you to walk a life of faith in the Lord, find more information online at shop.BobGeorge.net. There you’ll also find available CDs, DVDs, and bible studies available for purchase. It’s through your help that we are able to spread the good word of Jesus Christ. Until next time, walk in faith, be good to one another and praise the Lord. Amen.
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.”