Classic Christianity – A Closer Look at Your Identity in Christ P27 (05-11-22)
Being a Good Rebel
The flesh and the Spirit are at war with one another. Let us learn to be a good rebel and understand that it is natural to rebel against the flesh when we are in Christ Jesus. Learn what that means as Bob shares his thoughts on the matter.
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.
If there was, I think I can honestly say that if there was a set of notes that I would want at the exclusion of any other notes that was available to me, outside of the notes of the Bible itself, it would be the notes that we are offering right now on the New Covenant. Because, and the reason for that is this. An understanding of the New Covenant in comparison to the old, in other words, seeing the stringency of the old that we were under and seeing what the New Covenant is all about in regard to our forgiveness, our new identity, our new everything is paramount to understanding in my opinion of understanding what the Bible is about. The Old Testament is dealing with all of the ramifications of the old Covenant, under the law demanding people to obey.
Doing so, and God allowed that to take place and it tells us that in the scripture, allowed it to take place in order to show man you cannot do it. God never intended man independent of God, to be able to do anything worthy of God. And so but man in our stubbornness and on our rebellion in our arrogance and ignorance, keep thinking we in our own strength can do something to make God look good. And so, we go out and try to honor God. And what that means to us is I’m going to be so good that I’m honoring God. You’re honoring God when you’re praising Him for what He’s doing, in the midst of us being slobs. That’s what honors God, not thinking we’re so wonderful. And so, pleasing to God, that I imagine, He’s just, he just sitting up there just almost giddy with how marvelous we are. And we think we’re honoring God with that type of thing. What we are honoring God with our praising Him for what He did for us, not bringing attention to what we are doing for Him.
Now, when you’re under the law, which is a performance orientation, and if I am commanded to perform, then I’ve got to get involved in that. How did I do Lord? If I’m under a performance, that’s the thing. How did I do?
You’ll see people in their early, I would say relatively immature days of starting to teach the Bible, then they’re always saying, how did I do, how I do? And I remember my saying to somebody one time, man that was a fantastic message. And the guy said, thank you, Satan just told me the same thing like you told me that. And so it’s one of those things Bob, where maturity enables us not to be asking, how did I do, because that’s not the issue. Anyway, if you’re out there, you present the gospel and it’s God’s business to do. It’s not, how did I do, but what did His Spirit do in the lives of people while He was impressing upon your mind to proclaim His truth, not mine but His.
And so everything is in opposition to performance orientation. And until we get that clear in our heads, we’re either going to be in the teaching that you’ve got to go do everything for God and just go out and think positive and be good, and all of this type of thing (Jesus isn’t important and that whole issue) just what you do totally ignoring Jesus, or then you get down to a point where you get kind of the Thessalonians mentality where by you are just laying on a hill, eating bonbons and waiting on Jesus to return. And then you get this combination people. Well, yeah, God’s there to help you to live the Christian life. And you see all of those are wrong. God is not here to help me to live the Christian Life. God lives in me so that I will get out of the way so that He can live His life in and through me. He uses me as a human instrument and uses you as a human instrument, but He is the initiator of all activity. Unless of course if that is not true then why did Jesus live the way He did where He said that I do nothing unless the Father tells me to do it. So the Father was the initiator of all activity. I say nothing unless the Father tells me to say it. So the father was the initiator of everything that He said and yet He used Jesus and His human form to verbalize and to visualize God Himself here on this earth. Now, Jesus at any time was never anything less than God, but He chose, and this was all a part of the plan of God, to function as a man as God intended a man to function. Now Jesus took no credit for this. He did not say well, God told me to do it, but I did it, I mean, I have to do it. He’s a new creation. He is a brand new creation. Jesus Is God. Now, when we’re born again, we are a brand new creation and loved by the living God.
I was thinking of something today. I have never shared this with another human being so I’m sharing it with you and sharing it with the rest of the world today. But the thought came to me today. That is if I am a child of God and that is my true identity as a child of God. Everyone puts the emphasis on being obedient. Well you see, if I’m a child of God and Christ is living in me, obedience should be a natural thing for us and yet we find ourselves sometimes saying, well that’s not very natural, it’s unnatural. And I started thinking about that and said is it? No, I think walking in the newness of life is Christ Jesus made us to, is a very natural thing as a child of God. But we’ve got all our emphasis on you have to be obedient. I believe, the answers are to be, you have to be disobedient, disobedient to the flesh. You see, obedience should be natural.
The flesh is demanding me to do what I don’t want to do as a child of God, isn’t it, constantly demanding. Now I’ll tell you what, with my rebellious nature, I think that as I began thinking about this, what is happening here, is this enemy of mine trying to pose as a friend constantly trying to get me to do something contrary to what is my new identity. And we’re always thinking about don’t have to be obedient, have to be obedient. You see, when you start saying I have to be, that’s a law. It’s the power of sin is in the law. Now when I realized, no, the natural aspect as a child of God, is to walk in the newness of life. So who I need to start learning to be disobedient to is my flesh, that flesh that is demanding me to do something contrary to my new identity. And I have to get down to a point of saying to my flesh, you’re not gonna tell me what to do. Now isn’t that where we are in our natural state? We don’t want anyone telling us what to do. And yet, here we are, as a child of God, wanting to be God’s guy. And here’s the flesh demanding us to do something and we’re sitting there listening to it, and then trying to be obedient to God, instead of realizing obedience is a natural outflow of being a child of God. Your problem is you’re being obedient to the flesh. And so, in other words, you/we need to learn to be disobedient to the demands of the flesh. You see? And because when we are disobedient to the demands of the flesh, there’s a natural outcome to that. We’re going to be walking in the Spirit.
All evil is, is a perversion of good. Everything that God gave man that was good, Satan comes and perverts it into evil. God gave sexual gratification to be good in marriage. Satan has come along and perverted that. God gave, I believe, a spirit of rebellion. In other words, did Jesus rebel against error, and against sin, and against Satan? Absolutely to get behind me. It’s a spirit of rebellion. Now there’s good rebellion, that’s rebellion against evil. But, and that’s how God intended, man to rebel against was evil. But you see what has happened. As Satan, once again took that god-given deal and perverted it so that we end up rebelling against good instead of against evil. Now, I’m not talking about going out and getting a bunch of picketers, when I’m talking about rebelling, I’m talking about individually in these minds of ours, that Satan is constantly bombarding and attacking, of being in a position of rebelling against those demands from the flesh that we have come to learn our in total opposition to what God says is good for us. And we know, is that, and is in total opposition to everything that is good for us. And so we hesitate from being rebellious. We had that’s a, that’s a bad emotion. Say no, it isn’t a bad emotion. It’s a god-given emotion. But use your Rebellion to rebel against what should be rebelled against. Did Paul rebel against legalism? You better believe it! What do you know, what do you think he was doing when he was saying you foolish idiotic Galatians? Who’s hypnotized you, cast an evil spell upon you? He was rebellious against religion. Was he rebellious against false teaching? You better believe it! I mean, harshly rebellious against it. Was that rebellion god-given? Absolutely! Is rebellion a bad characteristic? Absolutely not. It’s what are you rebelling against. You see, it’s the object of your rebellion. Is faith a good attribute or a bad attribute? It depends upon what the object of your faith is. Put your faith in Satan, put your faith in me, you’ve got bad faith. You put your faith in Jesus, you’ve got good faith. You put your rebellion against evil, phenomenal rebellion. You put your rebellion against God and you’re going to live separated from God.
So what Satan had done is taken this god-given thing of rebellion that we have a tendency as a Christian, who say, I’m not supposed to be rebelling. Say yeah, you are! Yes you are. You should be rebelling against legalism as Paul did. You should be rebelling against the ploy of Satan upon our minds to try to get our flesh to do everything contrary to what it is to walk in the Spirit.
I believe that once we exercise the spirit of rebellion where it belongs, the god-given spirit of rebellion, and that is against everything that is bad for us. That instead of walking around kind of with a cramp style, wanting to be rebellious but we’re not supposed to, and we can be very joyful in our rebellion when it’s against the right thing. I’m not talking about the evils of the world out there folks, forget about out there. God is interested in you and you’ve got all you can do to deal with you instead of somebody else out there. Right? And anybody that’s out there, dealing with the evil of another person, instead of themselves is just what’s called a busybody and deceived out of their socks, because they got enough stuff of their own to worry about without worrying about somebody else. So we’re not talking about having to go out and get the world moral. Just concentrate on yourself because that’s all you’re responsible for. So we’re talking about just individual deals here.
But our minds are constantly being bombarded by Satan using the indwelling sin that is within us. And that’s a kind of his receptor using that to bombard our minds with every thought contrary to the thoughts of God. And we’re told that the desires of the flesh are in total opposition to the desires of the Spirit. They war against each other.
Classic Christianity Radio thanks you for your support of our online and radio ministry. Bob, George Ministries offers nine in-depth Bible study guides, please visit shop.BobGeorge.net to find the Bible study books, along with many helpful materials to help you grow in your relationship with Jesus Christ. Let’s continue now, with our Classic Christianity Radio program.
Now, again, if you have an enemy and you’re in war, are you rebelling? Are you in rebellion against your enemy? Absolutely. Should you be? Absolutely. You don’t teach a bunch of soldiers that, don’t be rebellious against those folks out there, after all, they’re neat people. No, their enemies. They’re out to kill you.
And so there is a spirit of rebellion that is within all of us that we’ve been taught so often that, that is evil, where the fact of the matter is, it is not evil. It’s god-given. But place that rebellion where it belongs. And when you hear that voice of the flesh coming out, demanding resentment, demanding to get even, demanding to go out and destroy people, demanding all of that. Our role is not just oh well, as just a nice voice rebelled against it. Say brother, you’re not gonna tell me what to do! When you talk about, you’re not going to tell me what to do. You don’t control me anymore. You’re not going to tell me what to do. That feels good to say that. And to say it legitimately, feels good saying you’re not going to tell me what to do. You’ve been telling me what to do long enough. You’re not going to tell me what to do anymore. I’m in rebellion against you. And I’m in harmony with the God who now lives in me, who’s made me into a brand new creation where I don’t have to sit around thinking about obedience anymore either, because that’s a natural outflow of being a child of God. And so I’m going to rebel against what you’re telling me so that I could live naturally. And that is with just joyful dependence upon a God who came to love me. Give Himself for me. Lives in me. Constantly renewing my mind, constantly teaching me truth. That is setting me free and I can walk in a newness of life to that, and I don’t have to listen to you anymore.
Again, to me. I have never verbalized these things before. It was just something that hit today. When I came to work and forgot my briefcase I had to go back home and get it. But Bob, I am convinced that this is an area of teaching that I just have never looked at before. I cannot say I’ve ever heard before. And yet the more I think on it, and verbalize it, the more I see the wisdom of it.
We talked about a little bit yesterday on a broadcast that had when you were talking about that lust, is lusting after desires. The lust itself is not a desire. It’s lusting after a desire. In other words, if you have a desire, the flesh, do you always think of lust as it involves in sexual things? But man’s lust goes all over the place. It’s any kind of evil desire that flows inside of us. Well again slanders in the same lineup as adultery and homosexuality. So if I have a fleshly desire to slander somebody, which I certainly could, and sometimes do, I can either ignore it or rebel against that desire. So I’m going to ignore, rebel against it. But if I don’t then lust is going to lust after that desire. In other words, the flesh says, I want to do that. I want to do that. And so that’s all lust is. It is lusting after evil desires, desires that have been perverted and evil. And so, we’re into a situation where it is just because of the very nature of the way that we are made in this flesh of ours. And with that, does contain indwelling sin, which creates, is the way we can identify the sins within us is by the desires created in us. And I can either like, I say, rebel against those desires, or I can allow lust to develop toward those desires. And that makes me want to do that more and more and more, and more and more. Or instead of rebelling against that, and I realize as even as I’m speaking that you can get people where we can, so I’m just so mad at sin and all that but that’s not the issue. It’s there. I don’t care how mad you are toward it. It’s going to be there till you die. So you don’t need to get so angry about it. You just need to rebel against it. I’m just, I’m sorry, but you’re just not going to tell me what to do. I’m not mad at you. I just don’t want you to tell me what to do. I’ve got someone else that I’m listening to.
And that just begins to put all of these things into place. The struggle that we go through between the flesh and the Spirit, and the struggle that I have seen at times of my own life. But seeing in the lives of people that I’ve been very close to and see how far that people can go in being deceived in destruction, and asking yourself the question, how can that be? How can a person continue to want to do that? And the more you think upon it, all that is, is continually giving in to lusting after the desires of the flesh that says, even though Jesus didn’t come to kill and destroy, I want you to come, I want you to kill, destroy in the name of Jesus because he said… It makes no sense at all. So, I believe that there’s a dual situation that we’re involved in here. And that is one of course, we have to recognize where these thoughts are coming from and we can’t sit around and rationalize those.
Love does no harm to your neighbor and it doesn’t make any difference whether you’re talking about on that, whether you’re talking about sexual sin and you’re talking about going at drunkenness, talking about homosexuality, you’re talking about slander, you’re talking about anything, you want to talk about. All of those are in the same camp. There’s no degrees on that. But when those desires of the flesh are there, we have to recognize those desires of the flesh. Don’t call them of God. There isn’t anything of God in any of those things. And so we have to recognize where they are coming from. And again, I believe you set up your natural rebellion against it in regard to the fact that someone’s trying to get me to do something that in my new nature I do not want to do. And I’m not going to listen to you anymore. And then turn and to walk in the Spirit. That’s walking in truth. Walk in the newness of life. Walk in love. Yeah, that’s what you’re going to be walking in when you’re walking in the Spirit is Truth and Love.
And love does no harm to your neighbor. So when you’re thinking about doing harm to your neighbor, you don’t have to wonder whether you’re walking in the Spirit or not. If you’re thinking about doing harm to somebody, you’re not, you’re walking in the flesh and you’re being used as an agent of Satan. I can be used as an agent of Satan, have, and will, and probably will again. Or I can be used by God. And the choice is mine as to, whether I want to listen to that voice in the flesh and give into it, or whether I want to listen to the voice of the Spirit of God that lives in me, can give into that.
We’ve taken quite a diversion here, but sometimes those diversions are very meaningful and they are to me and I appreciate our listeners giving me the opportunity to just share these things as they come to me. And hopefully they’re coming from the Lord, and come to me and are able to express them to you. Hope all of this that were talking about being able to be a new creation indwelt by a living God, living with the Holy Spirit of God alive, living in us, bringing Christ to our hearts, which is our only hope of glory. People who have been given new life In Christ. Made into brand new creations in Christ. Baptized into his body and chosen by God saved by His grace. Jesus’ blood presented to God, which is a propitiation for our sins, reconciled to Him. Redeemed by the blood of the Lamb. Freed from the law, so that I can walk in the newness of life. Totally forgiven. Totally cleansed. Made holy and blameless in the sight of God. Hidden with Christ in God, clothed, with Christ sealed in Christ. Given the righteousness of Christ. Justified in Christ, saved from the wrath of God in Christ, made peace with God, freed from condemnation, go on, and on, and on all of these things are yours of who we are in Christ today as a result of what took place at the cross of Jesus Christ when the New Covenant went into effect. Had it not been for Christ, fulfilling the law by his natural Life. Becoming a man and as a man fulfilling the law for you and me which we could never fulfill. Upholding the law, meaning that when a law is violated a punishment has to take place and death is the punishment. And so, His taking our death for us, for the punishment for sin, upheld the law. In other words, the law has been upheld, fulfilled it through His life, upheld it in His death, raised now in the newness of life, so that you could be raised in the newness of life. So what was the goal of the Cross? To enable you to be raised in the newness of life to walk in a new way of life, no longer under the law, that could only condemn you, but to be freed from the law. So that you could walk without condemnation in a newness of life indwelt permanently by a living God who loved you, gave Himself for you, gave Himself to you, and is now living His life through you. Now, if that isn’t good news, and I don’t know what good news is.
Now all of that folks, took place again, as a result of the New Covenant, a new agreement between God and man. Now last week we studied very briefly about the first Covenant and Hebrews 9 explains that. Hebrews 9:16 In case of a will that’s a covenant. Oh, you have a will and a testament. Your Bible is a testament. It’s a will. In other words, it shows what God has given to man. So it’s an Old Testament. In case of any will, it’s necessary to prove the death of the one who made it, because a will is enforced only when someone has died, it never takes effect while the one who made it is living. And it goes ahead and says, that’s why the first covenant, so in as much as you have a first covenant, obviously you have a second one, so you got an old one and a new one. So, under the first covenant, even that when it says was not put into effect without blood, in other words, without a sacrifice, a death sacrifice. When Moses had proclaimed, every commandment of the law, to all the people. He took the blood of calves together with water, scarlet, wool and branches of his hyssop and he sprinkled the scroll, and all of the people and he said, this is the blood of the Covenant, which God has commanded you to keep. In other words, there’s been bloodshed. There’s been death. There’s been sacrifice. And this is the blood of the Covenant, which God has commanded you to keep. Now. There was the problem, the command, not in the command, but our ability to keep the command, but that was the old covenant. Now in the same way he sprinkled with blood, both the Tabernacle and everything used in its ceremonies. And in fact, the law requires under the law that nearly everything be cleansed with blood and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.
So folks, there could be no forgiveness either in the Old Testament or the New without the shedding of blood. In the Old Testament, that was done through a sacrificial system called the day of atonement, and there an innocent animal, pure innocent animal was slain on our behalf, his blood, it’s blood shed on the altar on our behalf as a substitute for us and our sins were therefore placed on it in essence transferred through the priest into the animal and covered for everything that I did last year. So without the shedding of blood, that kind of forgiveness could have never taken place. Now, there’s a problem with that type of forgiveness. And that is, what am I gonna do tomorrow? And the answer to that is wait till next year and come back again. And so there’s a New Covenant that had to take place. A covenant that had permanency to that forgiveness. Now why? Just so that we could be forgiven people? No, it’s so that we could walk in the newness of life because you can’t walk in a newness of life when you’re having to get forgiven over and over and over again, through a sacrifice. In other words, there’s no way to walk in freedom knowing that someone has got to die for what I did yesterday.
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.”