Classic Christianity – A Closer Look at Law & Grace P09 (10-05-22)
Jesus Said, “Take Off The Grave Clothes”
~ Jesus Raises Lazarus From the Dead ~ John 11:38-44
38 Jesus, once more deeply moved, came to the tomb. It was a cave with a stone laid across the entrance. 39 “Take away the stone,” he said.
“But, Lord,” said Martha, the sister of the dead man, “by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days.”
40 Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?”
41 So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. 42 I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.”
43 When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” 44 The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face.
Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.”
Jesus asked how does God love and accept us? And how does he expect us to live the Christian life? To answer those questions, this insightful study explores a vital issue at the heart of the Christian experience, the biblical relationship between law and grace, understanding their role in our relationship to God will bring joy, freedom and spontaneity to your Christian life. Now, let’s take A Closer Look at Law & Grace.
Bob George 0:38
I guess there’s no teaching that I get more excited over than when you are teaching on law & grace, because it really is the very thing that I believe, is pointed toward Christians. Because, in essence, we’ve talked about this so many times, the reality of it is, is the law was never given to the Gentiles. It was given to the nation of Israel, it was given to the Hebrew, it never was given to us as a Gentile. What we have done is, we have brought Old Testament law over into Christianity. And God never intended that for occur to occur. To the Hebrew, it had on the old ragged clothes of the law, because the law just beat them up. That’s all the law can do to any of us is just beat us up. And so to the Hebrew, he said, take off the old take off the old covenant and put on the new covenant. And so to those that responded always with a call from God, and a response from us always. Everything, the law given by God responded by the Hebrew will do it. The New Covenant, the grace of God offered to all responded by us. We’re not the initiators of anything, God is the initiator, we’re the responder. And so to the Hebrew, he said, take off the law and put on the new. So he had to take off those raggy clothes in order to put on the new to the Gentile, he is standing there naked. And to them, he just said, put on the new the New Covenant is for everybody. Now the Hebrews did not understand that. It was something like 18 years after the resurrection before Peter saw the vision that salvation went to the Gentiles the same as the Hebrews. That’s a long time. But they did not understand that it’s not that they didn’t want to. They just had no understanding of that at all. But the New Covenant was for all people come unto me, I’m he’s there to save everyone Hebrew, Gentile, slave and free. So to the Gentile, he wasn’t saying, take off the old covenant, take off the old law, they were never under it, he just said put on the new, put on the new covenant. Put it on. And so what have we done? Well, there was the Hebrew that took off the old and some put on the new, and then drag the old clothes back and put them all over the new. So here you are stabbed with a brand new suit of clothes, with these old rags hanging over it. And so you got new style going here. And to the Gentile, they were standing there with their new set of clothes, and they reach back. And they also picked up those old clothes from the Hebrew. And they put them on. So all of us are standing there and new clothes with rags on top of them. And just celebrating like crazy the wonder of being in Christ living in a desert with raggy clothes on. Now, once again, just as in salvation. Now the call of salvation quite frankly, in the Christian world, the way it is today is the same for Hebrew and Gentile because we have put on ourselves even though it wasn’t given by God, we have put on ourselves the same law that was given to the Hebrews. So in essence, the call is the same now take it off, and put on the new.
Now there are many people who are saved walking in the desert, still wrapped up in their grave clothes like Lazarus. He was raised from the dead wasn’t he? And then what did Jesus say unloose him take the grave clothes off. So there are many Christians walking around, they’re alive, but they’re bound up in their grave clothes. And what God is now saying is take those things off. You don’t belong in grave clothes, you’re alive now. So there are many Christians who are alive in Christ roaming in the desert in their grave clothes. And of course then we’re saying my grave clothes are better than your grave clothes and and mine are wrapped much better than yours. And besides that, the buildings that all of us wrapped in our grave clothes go to is better than your buildings. And we have much better programs. But we have phenomenal fellowship with all of these people wrapped up in grave clothes. And the whole emphasis is on what we engrave clothes are doing for Jesus. And Jesus is saying, take those things off and enter into a new land called Canaan, the Promised Land, rest, a place of rest.
So as I said, last week, there’s three home sights, you got Egypt, lost, you got the desert saved, but under the law, will still working for your righteousness. And then you’ve got Canaan, where you crossed the Jordan, and enter into a rest. Those are three places that we can live lost, saved and miserable, or saved and free.
Now, what I would like to do is to go into chapter five of the book of Romans. And I would like for you to open up your Bibles to the chapter to chapter five, those of you that are following along with us in our lesson plan, and we’re going to pick up on page 22. But before we do, I want to set the stage there for what we’re going to be talking about in chapter five.
What you’re going to see in the book of Romans is at the conclusion of chapter five, what you could literally do is to put a parenthesis at the beginning of chapter six, and at the end of chapter seven, because in essence, that’s what this is, it is a parenthesis, the continuation of thought, goes from the end of chapter five right into chapter eight. In other words, at the end of chapter five, we’re going to read, the law was added so that the trespass might increase. We talked about that last week, but where sin increased Grace increased all the more, so that just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness, to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Chapter Eight, therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus, the law of the Spirit of Life, set me free from the law of sin and death, For what the law was powerless to do, and that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so He condemned sin and sinful man in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met, now in us, you do not live any longer according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit, it’s a continuation now, why then, is chapters six and seven in there? Well, to answer the questions to people who do not understand what has been said in the first five chapters, who are still saved, under the law, cannot build delineate between law and grace, have certainly crossed over into the desert, but don’t even know that there’s a promised land. So there’s questions that have to be answered.
We’re gonna pick up in chapter seven. Now, in the book of Romans, it says, Do you not know brothers? In other words, are you not ignorant, brethren, and when he’s saying brothers, he’s talking to his Hebrew brothers. I’m not speaking to men, or I am speaking to men who know the law, that the law has authority over a man only as long as he lives, for example, by law, and it’s just talking about what the law is. A married woman is bound to her husband, as long as he’s alive, that if her husband dies, she’s released from the law of marriage. So then if she marries another man, while her husband is still alive, why she’s called under the law, an adulterous but if her husband dies, she’s released from that law, and is not an adulterous, even though she marries another man. So my brother’s now, this is the illustration that he’s given in regard to the law. This was the law of Israel. This was the law. If you’re married, and you divorce your husband and marry someone else, you’re gonna be called an adulterous under the law. Now, but if your husband dies, why then you’re free to marry another one, even though you’ve been married before. That’s under the law. So it says my brothers, you also died to the law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to another who was raised from the dead. In order that we might bear fruit to God. Now, what is he saying? Well, it’s the same thing Paul said when he said it is through the law that I died to the law. The law killed me. But when I died, I died to what killed me. What killed you? The law. So I died to the thing that killed me the law. So that what? I could be raised in the newness of life, in order to be married to another Christ Jesus so that we are now the Bride of Christ.
Where do we leave the law? In other words, if your husband died, and you married another one, you’re not going to dig up the corpse and move it into the house with you. In other words, kind of like a psycho deal. I’m just gonna plant that body up in the chair, go up on up, and I’ll just keep that old husband around up there. Why that sounds stupid, ludicrous, ludicrous fact it sounds perverted. But that’s what we are doing with the law. It was through the law that I died, I was married to the law, I was born into this world married to the law. But I died with Christ, if you’re indeed are born again, you died to the law. It says through the body of Christ through when Christ died, we all died. So you were born in Adam, under the condemnation of the law, when you died with Christ, crucified with Christ, and what Paul said, I am crucified with Christ. In other words, the old guy under the law in Adam is dead. Nevertheless, I live what that mean? I’ve been raised from the dead. Well, what do you do with what killed you? What do you do with who you are married to leave them in the grave folks. You don’t exhume your old husband as I said, and drag him around. With your new with your new husband. Now that’s what Christians are doing. It’s stupid, but we’re doing it. You died to the law. Through the body of Christ, how come? so that you might belong to another be married to another. To whom? To him who was raised from the dead, Christ Jesus. How come? so that you might bear fruit to God. You gonna bear any fruit to God under the law? No. The fruit to God is the fruit of the Spirit, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, long suffering against these things, there is no law. So can those things be born under the law? No, there isn’t any law that can produce those things. Those things can only be produced through a new relationship with your new husband, Christ Jesus. So you leave the law behind that cannot bear fruit to God. All it can do is to bear fleshly fruit, artificial stuff. Looks good, good bite into it, you got a mouthful of wax. Because it’s artificial fruit. You can go to the stores and buy that kind of stuff looks good. Do you bite into it? It’s all artificial. But if you want real fruit, it’s going to have to be produced by God and that can only be produced by Christ Jesus, as you are walking in dependency upon Christ Jesus rather than in dependency upon the law, which is depending upon a corpse. Now it says when we were controlled by our flesh, our Adam, our identity in Adam, the sinful passions aroused by the law were at work in our bodies so that we bore the fruit of death. The wages of sin is death. The power of sin is in the law. When you’re under the law, you’re under the power of sin, and all the power centers doing is producing death in our bodies.
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Bob George 14:18
Producing sinful passions that are aroused by this law that is at work in our bodies. Does Satan want to keep you under the law folks? Absolutely. How come? it produces sin, it arouses sinful passions that are aroused by the law, not aroused by porno aroused by the law. Now, I hope you understand what I’m talking about there. That none of that type of thing is from God. Porno certainly is not from God. But porno could do nothing. Unless there was something inside of you that responded to it. Circumstances don’t cause your spirit it just reveals it. So the law living in you is what it says, is what arouses the sinful passions are in you. They’re in your flesh, and they are aroused by the law where they are at work in our bodies, and they bear the fruit of death. But, now, this is something new by dying to what once bound us. What bound you folks? the law. By dying to what bound us, we have been released from the law, so that we serve in a new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code. Do you understand that? You are going to have to die to what binds you the law. It’s what we were talking about earlier, release Lazarus. Take the bondage and loosing In other words, get the the binding wire off of him, you’re bound up in grave clothes. Take them off folks. You who are saved, are in the desert if you’re under the law. You know, you can do some pretty neat things in a desert, you build beautiful casinos. And you’ve got all of these places Las Vegas man, full of them. glitzy casinos, man glitzy stuff, beautiful looking things, nice looking fountains. All kinds of things you can do in the desert, you can irrigate the desert. But folks, it’s still the desert. That’s what religion is doing. Instead of us leaving the desert and entering into this Sabbath rest. Why we’re building our own church, we call them cathedrals, there just casinos in the desert. We’re just building flesh stuff in the desert. Instead of teaching and glorying in our buildings, and glorying in our denominations. And glorying In how many people belong to this casino in the desert. Why we have more people coming to our casino than you do. And they gamble more to spend more money. What’s the difference? We’re bragging on our casinos. We’re bragging on our organizations. We’re bragging on our denominations. We’re bragging on what I am doing for God. And all that is desert stuff. And he’s saying, Man, leave the desert, leave the law, it’s binding you. You’ve been released from that law. And there’s a place where you can serve in a new way of the Spirit, not in the old way of the written code of the law. Where is that folks? It’s Canaan. It’s realizing where you are, you realize you’re not in Egypt anymore, don’t you? If you’re saved, you realize that, but where are you? Are you over here in this Sabbath rest, where you’ve left the law behind because there isn’t any law in Canaan, you’re going to have to leave that you’re going to have to die to what once bound you. That’s the bondage of the law before you’re saved and the bondage of the law after you’re saved if you’re still under it. And Bob, I know no one that is saved by leaving Egypt and going into Canaan. We all go in the desert.
And folks, as we will conclude the rest of this broadcast, which is this Romans seven, experience, I do not believe that anyone will ever come to understand the fullness of God’s grace. No one will ever enter into Canaan until they’ve gone through a Roman seven experience. And so don’t look at this as an adverse experience. Although while you’re going through it, it certainly is not a pleasant one. But look at it is what is necessary for God to bring you to the end of yourself so that you will die to what binds you and that’s the law so that you may serve in a new way of the Spirit and not in the old way of the written code.
The apostle Paul in Romans seven beginning in verse seven now is going to answer these questions that certainly people who are under the law, not understanding the fullness of what Paul is talking about when he says to die to the law so that you can serve in the newness of life. We’ll see that as a criticism of the law. And you will see that today very evident when you go out and try to communicate the grace of God to people who are bound up in legalism. They do not see that walking in the newness of life is good news, because they don’t have a clue what that is. They don’t even know there’s a Canaan out there. And so therefore, they see it as a criticism of the law. And so nothing is new under the sun. And that’s exactly what would have taken place with those to whom Paul was communicating this message to so he just answers a question before they get a chance to ask it. And so he says, What shall we say then is the law sin? In other words, if the law is what keeps us in bondage, and it’s something we have to die to. Is the law there for sin? then is that evil? which says, certainly not. But he’s going to explain what the purpose of the law is. We talked about that the law has a purpose. Certainly there’s nothing wrong with the law. It’s not evil. But I would not have known what sin was except through the law. In other words, what was the purpose of the law? To point out what sin is, to point out the fact that here’s what God’s righteous requirements are, and man, you can’t live up to them. Now, he said, I wouldn’t have known as an example. And he uses one of the 10 commandments coveting. It’s incidentally one that no one ever pays any attention to, because you really, nobody knows you’re doing it except you. It can certainly have some results. But deep down when we’re coveting, we normally don’t let people know that because it makes would make somebody think that you’re not a real nice person, if I’m coveting what someone else has. So we keep that, but we really do. That’s, that’s one rumor we keep to ourselves, is our own coveting. I wouldn’t have known he said what coveting was, if the law had not said, do not cover it. But sin seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment. And remember what we talked about a little bit earlier in the fact that that is in that is stirred up in our own bodies, that type of thing is stirred up in us. And, and that is what we have to come to grips with is the fact that sin is living in our mortal bodies. And we therefore, the law, points itself to that indwelling sin that lives in us and stirs up every kind of covetousness desire. So the law activates our sin, this the indwelling sin that lives within us, it activates it. So he’s saying to us that sin now seizing the opportunity that was afforded by this commandment, this law, produced in me every kind of covetous desire, for apart from the law, sin is dead. Now listen to what Paul says once I was alive apart from the law. But when the Commandment came, sin sprang to life and I died. And you say in a wait a minute, you are alive apart from the law. When was you when were you, Paul ever? Apart from the law? You certainly weren’t apart from the law when you were lost. You were the biggest proponent of the law.
Well, were you alive apart from the law prior to getting so legalistic? No, you were born legalistic. He was born in Hebrewism. He was born under the law. He had it written on his head. It was written every place he was under. So what do you mean you are alive apart from the law? Well, I can only be in salvation. That I came to Christ and realize that I did not come to Christ through obedience to the law. My righteousness was not gained through obedience to the law. All of all of Paul’s teaching is teaching that that no man will ever be declared righteous in the sight of God, through obedience to the law, all of sin. all have fallen short of the glory of God. There’s no none righteous, no, not one. So he was alive apart from the law, but here’s, here’s what happened to him as a saved person. Incidentally, folks in the desert, this was before Paul ever entered in to this promised land that he’s going to be talking about. This is a saved Paul in the desert. A saved Bob George in the desert a saved Bob Davis in the desert, a saved whoever’s listening to this in the desert. You are alive apart from the law, you weren’t saved by obedience to the law where you know Oh no, I’d say grace, no grace alone. Was Was obedience a part of the law have anything do with your salvation? Noo no, I was saved totally apart from the law I was made alive in Christ totally apart from the law. But as this person living in the desert when this commandment came, and I said, I took a fresh look at this commandment Don’t covet, sin sprang to life. And I died, as he talking about that he lost his salvation? Well, look what it says, I found that the very commandment that was intended to bring life actually brought death. And I want to ask your question, Did God ever intend for a commandment to bring life? No. Well, then what’s he talking about? That I found the very end commandment that was intended to bring life actually brought death, who thought that it was intended to bring life? Well, Paul did. In other words, Paul was alive apart from the law. But those commandments that he thought were going to bring life literally brought death to him, for sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, deceived me, and through the commandment put me to death. So he’s talking about the fact that even though I was alive from God’s vantage point, apart from the law, when I got back under the law, in my own experience, it brought the same death relationship that I had before I was saved. In other words, in my own experience, I was as dead in the desert as it was over there in Egypt. And folks, that’s why the Hebrews talked about going back to Egypt. They discussed that we want to go back. This man is driving me crazy. And folks, in our own experience, that’s what happens to us. We come to Christ by faith by grace, and we get back onto the law, we say, I am more miserable under the law as a Christian than I was as a non Christian. I’m dead to God.
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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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