Classic Christianity – A Closer Look at Your Identity in Christ P54 (07-13-22)
Understanding Our Identification of Being in Christ Jesus
In today’s lesson, Bob gives an example of marriage and the identification we have when we are married vs that of being a single person. Many times people get married, and they still maintain the attitude of singleness in their head. They take the attitude of not considering the needs of the mate, and only worry about their own self.
How does this relate to being married to Jesus? Well, when we understand what Jesus did for the church, that He loves us perfectly, and that He serves us with love and grace in our time of need, then we likewise, when in a marriage also, we can serve one another in love when you have two people who are in Christ Jesus themselves. They have oneness in a marriage where both are in Christ Jesus.
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.
Bob George 0:45
Now it says, As a person who has been set apart, He called us, He saved us and called us to a set apart live a holy life. Now, I can’t work at that either. Now, let me give you an example of that again, let’s say that you and I grew up in an unbelievable, liberal political persuasion. And I tell you, we we made we made some of these liberal politicians, I mean, we just made him look like a conservative and compared to us, we’ve just very liberal. And let’s say that we started looking at life and we started seeing things from God’s perspective and seeing that man is sinful, and all have sinned and all have fallen short of the glory of God. Their hearts, without regeneration are wicked and deceitful above all things and who can know them? And you look at that type of thing. And suddenly you began saying, you know, this really doesn’t make a lot of sense with what the Scripture says about man because if man is truly sinful, How are they going to be improving themselves over time? And it seems like we’ve had enough time to show that doesn’t work. It seems like that just the advent in our country in the very short couple of 100 years, so that we’ve been around, has been Revolutionary Wars. It’s been Mexican American wars, it’s been civil wars. It’s been World War One, it’s been World War Two, it’s been Korea. It’s been Viet Nam. And now over in the Far East, it seems like people would get a glimpse that maybe there’s something wrong with human nature. And so I cannot adopt that philosophy, that political philosophy anymore, because it’s being replaced with something. And I began to really be drawn to more of a conservative mindset, as a result of my understanding of the word of God. Now, am I working the set myself? And let’s say you don’t go, you don’t go with that, man, you’re just still in the same old mindset? Am I gonna be being separated from you? In thought? Absolutely. Am I trying? No, I’m not trying. It’s just a byproduct of what I believe is going to separate me from what you and I both used to believe. Right. And so now, how much sense does it make for me to go out and say, I’m going to really work at trying to be separated from oh Bob, I’m going to really work at being separated from this evil world out there? You don’t need to work at that. It’s something that is a byproduct of your thinking, because it’s as man thinks in his heart, so is he. And so instead of trying, as many people are doing, trying to separate themselves from the world, by driving in a buggy instead of a car, wearing a certain sort of clothes, that instead of another kind of clothes, absolutely just adamant toward anything that would smell of alcohol, or, and again, I’m not advocating these things, folks. So don’t call in or write in on that one. I’m just saying, I’m going to separate myself by being this good person over here. Well, folks, if you’re really a good person, you don’t have to try to separate yourself from the world, you’re already separated, believe me in every way, shape, or form. You’re also deceived, because there aren’t any good people, according to Jesus. So what I’m getting at on this Bob, is we’re studying this thing of sanctification and holiness, because they’re all the same root. It is not a work that we do. It is a byproduct of who we are in Christ. So if I, if I have come to grips with, as we talked about, let’s just take some of these elements of forgiveness. If indeed, I understand that if I am in Christ, and I am in a new Covenant in that new Covenant, that states that my sins and lawless acts he will remember no more. And where these have been forgiven, there’s no longer any sacrifice for sins. And without the shedding of blood, which is a sacrifice, which there isn’t any more, there is no forgiveness. So if there is no more sacrifice, then that means there’s no more death. And therefore, there’s no more forgiveness to be executed, then I have to come to grips, do I not with the fact am I a new creation in Christ in the new Covenant, or aren’t I? And if I am, do I get forgiven? Or am I forgiven being?
Bob George 18:32
And I better think that through because the answer to that is going to determine whether I’m going to spend my life running to somebody for forgiveness of my sins, not because I’ve offended you, but get somebody out there as an intermediary to forget to get forgiveness, whether I’m going to be spending all my life like Martin Luther on his knees trying to get forgiveness, or whether I’m going to realize that by faith, I’ve been justified by faith. And God did that. And I am a forgiven person. I’m the way I believe is determined on how I’m going to live. So if I had been set apart from from God and from the world, and I am a forgiven person, what does it say? Live like that. Now isn’t that difficult?
Bob George 6:05
We’re studying 2nd Timothy 1:9, talking about Christ who has saved us and called us to a holy life. Again, he has made you holy. Hebrews 10:14 We studied that’s the next question by that will this new Covenant this new will and testament that we are under today, we have been made that’s not will be have been made holy, through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus once and for all. In other words, it has happened, it’s done. It’s finished. Now what do you do 2nd Timothy 1:9 walk in it. He he did that, by that one offering He made you wholly through the sacrifice of His Body of Christ, you’re set apart. So he said, go ahead and be one of those. In other words, don’t work at it. Just be who you are, you know, in other words, being holy, is quit work and edit and just be who you are. Now at the very moment that I believed in Jesus, I was set apart from the world. And it says not because of anything we’ve done, but because of His own purpose and grace. So He set us apart, anyone coming to Christ, by faith was set apart for God’s purpose of grace to be able to, once again be God in His creation, to once again be able to, to, to live in His creation, and to express Himself, Himself to the world through His creation, so that a person looking at His creation could get a glimpse of the Creator, who is Spirit and cannot be seen. So He came to us and did what He did, so that the Creator who is Spirit and cannot be seen, can be seen and experience through His created beings. And so it was all for His purpose and grace, this grace was given to us in Christ Jesus it says before the beginning of time.
Bob George 7:54
Now we just talked about, Hebrews 10:14, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus, once and for all. Now, let’s go to the next question on page 53, which is Hebrews 2:11. It says in there, that both the one who makes men holy, now who’s that? God, He’s the one who made us that way. And those who are made holy, that’s us, are of the same family. Now if that doesn’t blow your mind, you don’t have one. Okay. Yeah. So in other words, who made me holy? God, He made me that way. And who did He make holy? Me. So the one who made me, and me are the same family. So what did he do? Well, it’s back to that inheritance. It’s back to that thing of, we became His inheritance, and we received His inheritance. So we got each other, the mystery to be is what He wanted with us. But He said I did. Your my creation. And I love, you were born into this world, and Adam, dead, without hope. And that’s where we see the mercy of God, of God looking down on His creation, and seeing, There’s no way that those people, in that fallen state, can ever come into contact, and to know and experience a living God living in them, which is what I created them for. No way in the world that those people can ever walk free from condemnation. No way to do that, because they’re guilty. So how are you going to live free of condemnation? There’s no way for them to ever live. Like my, like Jesus came to live because he did not come born in Adam. That’s why his virgin birth is not up for grabs. They see the beauty of that life. They see the desirability of that life. I believe, deep down and each and every one of us, we would really like to be a good person. I remember, as a kid, I wanted to be good. I’d like to be able to be generous, I’d like to be able to be helping people in need, all of those things are desires of our hearts, but we can’t pull it off. And so we just give up. So he said, These people are in a desperate condition. And because of His mercy, and His kindness and his love toward us, he came down and entered into our humanity with us so that we can enter into His deity with Him. And so the one who was able to make me a new creature, set me apart, and the one who He sets apart, are of the same family. And that’s why I can walk into His presence calling Him Daddy Father. And it says, so Jesus is not ashamed to call them what? Brothers. So when you, when you stop to think of this whole transaction that has taken place, is how Jesus said, I don’t call you my servants anymore, I call you, my friends. You’re a part of my family now.
Bob George 11:05
I Jesus am the first born from among the dead. Now what in the world does that mean? Well, how are we all born dead? Who was the first born alive from among the dead? Jesus. Adam was the first man ever created alive. Jesus is the only man ever born alive spiritually, the first born from among the dead. So in as much as He was the first born from among the dead, when we are born again from the dead, we’re now brothers with the one who made us alive.
Bob George 11:48
Now, let’s go to 1st Corinthians 1:2. It says to the, to the Church of God in Corinth, to those sanctified in Jesus Christ, set apart and called to be holy, to call to be set apart, together with all of those everywhere who call on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, their God and ours. So this is an extremely interesting statement in as much as you go into the book of Corinthians, and there after that statement, you will begin to see in the second chapter even in the first chapter is talking about people that feuding and fighting and fussing with each other, people demanding miraculous signs that don’t know the Lord at all. In the second chapter, talking about cockiness and arrogance on the part of people. In third chapter talking about divisions in the church, talking about ignoring the apostolic authority that was so obvious in the Apostle Paul and the others, talking about people literally having incest in the church and being then and and says, being proud about it. Lawsuits among believers, all kinds of sexual immorality, divorce talked about in there, it sounds like good old day in Dallas, and all of these things taking place. And what does he call these people who are doing all of those things? But he called them Saints, people who were sanctified in Jesus, called to be holy, but we’re certainly not living according to their calling. But still call them what? Saints. Were they less set apart? No, you were set apart. As we talked about, as we talked about before, you were you were set apart for His own purpose and grace, and obviously engaging in those things, you’re not carrying out his purpose in grace at all.
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Bob George 14:20
So acting like an idiot, of course, but are you a child of God? Absolutely. So where the Corinth church had huge number of problems, and among the greatest was that of the sexual immorality and that was a result again, of their background. Here was the city of Corinth or the whole area of Corinth. That was like a Las Vegas an Atlantic City in Calumet City, New Orleans Mardi Gras and everything else all wrapped up into one place and it was sin was rampant there. You had temple prostitution that was the main form of religion there to the worship of Diana and all of these things. And the gospel of grace went into that area with those people. That was their lifestyle. That was what they were used to. So is it going to take time for them to come out of that? Yes, it is. Does it take time for you and me to come out of whatever sin and since had gotten a hold of us in our lives before Christ and even while you’re in Christ? The answer that is yes. But is he promised to complete the work that he began in you and me? Yes, He did. And faithful as He called you will also do it. Now. Does when we’re looking at these things of not living in accordance with our sanctification, in other words being set apart, and therefore not living consistent with that. Are you growing in grace with that? That depends. You see, again, we look at growing and I’m going to be growing in grace when I start doing everything right. There’s something that precedes that doing once again, and that is believing. You see, if I’m going to grow in the grace of God, then I’m going to have to grow in God’s grace being extended to me in the midst of whatever I’m doing. And so you can see a person that is out there trying to make himself holy, and say I’m growing in grace. No, you’re not you’re growing in self effort. But to grow in grace, especially like in the Corinth church with all of their background, you’re gonna have to grow by walking in the total knowledge that you are a forgiven, loved, set apart, saved in the midst of that dumb thing that you’re doing. That’s what draws us back to the heart of God. It is the grace of God we’re told that teaches us to say no to unrighteousness. And it says it is the love of God that draws us to repentance, not the law of God. The Law of God draws you to rebellion. It’s the grace of God that draws you to repentance. So, when we’re going to walk and grow in grace we’re going to have to grow in grace by walking by faith in what my total inheritance is, never ever based on what I’m doing, but based upon what He did. And it’s when we come to grips with that love, that acceptance, and that mercy, and that kindness that is extended to me, fully and abundantly in Christ Jesus, that I as a child of God in dwelt by the Holy Spirit of God that is never ever sleeping in regard to the renewing of my mind. Keeps me looking at these things and saying, Bob with a God like that, that loves you, has accepted you like that, that understand you perfectly; yield your will to yield your will to Him. Let Him control your mind, teach your emotions, direct your will, yield yourself to Him. He will take you down a path that when you get to the end, you’ll look back and say, Oh, thank you, Lord Jesus, for where you’re taking me.
Bob George 18:11
Now what do we do and we’ve been going down a path in the wrong direction and we come to grips with this. The only thing that we can do is to say, Lord, I have learned I can’t but you can. And I’m trusting you. I’m not trying to quit doing these things. I am trusting you to renew my mind. And when that mind is renewed, my actions are going to be renewed.
Bob George 18:33
We’re going to go to the book of Ephesians right now in a fifth chapter, beginning of verse 25 to 27. And we’re going to close this particular segment on sanctification as to a again, what I call a visual aid that God gave us in regard to our being set apart and that is with man and wife and husband and wife in this thing called marriage. There is very little that is talked about in the Bible about marriage, surprisingly enough. There’s a lot talked about loving one another, being considerate of each other, being kind and compassionate with one another. And those kinds of things were characteristic in our life, you don’t have to tell somebody about how to get along in marriage, you would be automatically getting along in marriage. But here again is a picture of this because we failed to realize this it says that the role of a husband is to leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife, and the two of them become as one flesh. Now there is an assumption there for the wife to do the same thing. The issue is to leave and then to cleave to one another where the two of them it says becomes as one flesh. And so the two of them becomes one. Now one of the difficulties that you run into in marriage is this there’s numerous different difficulties. Just the fact that man and woman is enough, but there’s numerous difficulties. But if you don’t leave and cleave, you’re never going to see a marriage becoming what it should be. Because that oneness does not occur when you’re still hanging on to something else. You can not only be hanging on to your mother and father, you can be hanging on to your traditions, but especially for men, you can hang on to your singleness. And I’ve said so many times and I saw that of course in my own life before I became a Christian. That until I died to singleness, I never came alive to my marriage. That didn’t mean it wasn’t married, see. That doesn’t mean I wasn’t set apart from the single community. I was sanctified from it. I was married as far as I was concerned. When I got married, I got married for life and up to now that’s worked okay. But I’m saying that that was set apart from the single community in, in legality in where I lived in my relationship with my wife. But I didn’t die to singleness. I still would sometimes act like a single guy. So when I was lost, the guys wanted to go to bars, St. Patty’s day especially boy, I was and and my mindset was, was that well, you know, I’m independent. I can do what I want to do. I don’t mean a being unfaithful. This type of thing I’m just talking about, I’ll do what I want to do. But you see if you’re married, and if you’re one with someone, you don’t do any longer which you want to do. You consider one another, do what we want to do. And it’s a consideration there to the I always felt like as far as the raising of the kids were concerned. There was no one that knew more about those children nor love them anymore than Amy. So even though from a God’s perspective as the head of the household, and I am responsible to make the final decisions on that, I would have been an idiot to have done that without not only consulting Amy, but listening to what she had to say and probably making my determine my decision predicated on what she said. That just made sense.
Bob George 21:56
If I was if I had been trained in how to balance checkbooks and how to manage money, and I was very good at that. How intelligent would it be for Amy to be making financial decisions without consulting me if that was your responsibility to do so. And so what is this it’s called cooperation. And so many times we look at marriage like a tennis match where we’re playing singles instead of doubles. And we perceive our partner not as being on the same side of the net together where we’re working to outscore the opponent, but all of a sudden, we’ve gone to the other side of the net, and we’re trying one upmanship with each other, and to see which one can beat one another in this competitive game that we’re playing called marriage, and it’s devastating. So when in this passage of Scripture you’re talking about this Husbands love your wives, just as Christ loved the church, and gave Himself up for now, does that mean? That Christ came to serve the church. He came with an attitude of that I’m here to serve the church, even at the expense of my own life, and I’m there to protect it. So what would a man’s attitude be if he entered into marriage with the right mindset? That I want, there’s a woman that I want to serve in love for the rest of my life. What would be the proper mindset of a wife entering into marriage? Here’s a man that I want to serve and love for the rest of my life. They see, you’re only free to serve when your needs are met. If I hadn’t eaten in four or five days and you had a marital problem, and came to me and said, Bob, can you help me? I think you answered would be if you’d get me a McDonald’s or something, my work, but I’m starved to death and all I can think about right now is my hunger. When you see when I’m still having a spiritual hunger. And I have not gotten that need met for unconditional love and acceptance, met in Christ Jesus. Then I’m going to try to get that need met in my mate. It’s the most natural place in the world. And so we become, like ticks on a dog sucking the life out of each other, trying to get our mates to meet a need that they cannot meet. Amy cannot meet that need for unconditional love, unconditional acceptance. She doesn’t have an inner to meet that and never say that I don’t have it in me.
Bob George 24:18
So, what happens to us is once the two mates come to a realization of their identity in Christ, basking in the love and the acceptance and orienting kindness that is available to him in Christ, and that need is met. Now, when the need is met. I’m now free about some time something else besides myself, and that a new thought. And in marriage, it’s to think about your mate, serving one another. So servitude as a result of being served by God, so that I’m free to serve one another. So when when when it’s talking about the husband, loving your wife as Christ loved the church, it means an added servitude you see to a man’s and we’re talking about if I got married so I can be served. No, you’re married so that you can serve one another in love. Now please, woman don’t take that. Don’t Don’t don’t take advantage of that. Because both of us are in that capacity to serve. But when it says for gave himself up for her to make her holy set part cleansing her by the washing, with the water through the word to present her to Himself as a radiant church without stain or wrinkle, or any blemish but holy and blameless.
Bob George 25:35
Now, when Jesus died for us, what did he do? What did say by that one offering He made us what? Perfect, holy, acceptable, blameless in the sight of God. Now what does that mean? When you’re identified with your wife, and she’s identified with you, if you become a drunk, what is her identity? Why she’s the wife of a drunk. If you become a womanizer, what does her identity become? The wife of a womanizer. If you are a crook what does she become? The the wife of a criminal? If you are a mafia man, what is your wife? She’s the wife of a mafia man. If you are a pastor, what does she become? Why she’s a pastor’s wife. In other words, her identity to the world is predicated upon in many instances you and what you’re doing. And so it says to the husband and this is this is this has been a deep lesson for me to learn that many times my spontaneous decisions to do something has, drags Amy right in to that to the consequences of that decision. And, and so that independent spirit that we many times have as a man that I’m going to do something and I want to do something because I want to do it. I’m not gonna let my wife interfere with this. The fact of the matter is, is whether you want your wife to be interfered in that decision or not, the consequence of that decision is going to go on her the same way it does on you.
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.”
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