Classic Christianity – A Closer Look at Law & Grace P15 (10-19-22)
Are You An Actor, Practicing Christianity or Are You Born Again of the Spirit of God?
~ “Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.” 2 Timothy 3:7
~ “You can immerse yourself, baptize yourself into a role, to the point where that role becomes a part of you, even though it is not a part of. And so in religion, you can do the same thing. You can sit in an evangelical church, where people are really proponents of the Bible. And boy, they teach that this Bible is true. And I’m grateful for that. But you see, again, knowing that the Bible is true, and knowing what the truth means, is two different things. Because you can always be studying as the scripture says, and never come to a knowledge of the truth.”
You see, one way, a person is a hypocrite and the other way the person is a true child of God. Many in the world today are practicing hypocrites. They are really good at their acting craft too. Because from the outside, for a person looking at them on the surface, you would say, “there goes a child of God, because after all, they never swear, they always are so polite to me and those around them, they are stand-up people in their community. And they always go to church on Sundays too.” Yet most of the ones that sit in the pews, are very stinky, and are dead and have never been born of the Spirit of God. Are you a hypocrite actor yourself? Or are you a child of the Living God, born of the Holy Spirit of God? Test yourself in this.
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 0:41
You know, as you look at our study guide, our study book on the A Closer Look at Law and Grace, you realize that there are 13 solid blessings lessons in regard to the contrast between being under the law and being under grace, you could very easily have 26, more or 36 more, because the entire New Testament is a testament about the New Testament, the new agreement between God and man whereby we live today motivated not by the law, but by the grace of God that has come to live within us as a result of the one who is full of grace, and that is Christ Jesus coming to live inside of us. Yes. So it’s, it is a it is a subject that is inexhaustible. You could go on and on and on, and literally teach on nothing else for the rest of your life, the contrast between law and grace, and I assume there would still be some people after that still wanting to hang on to the law. Sure. And it’s because we deny the power of God and His resurrected power living in us. We either deny that Bob, because of the fact that we really do not know it exists, we’ve never experienced a true New Birth in Christ.
And that is, that is a very understandable thing when you stopped to think about that. Because there are many people who have had religion, so steeped in them, that they can verbalize the verbiage just like a parrot, or act a part just like an ape. And so we’ve become apes and parrots in regard to our Christian experience. There, it’s like an actor, an actor can learn the lines, mimic the part, putting himself into the character, to the point that by the time the movie is made, that he doesn’t know for sure whether he’s the character he has been playing, or he’s really who he is. And that is an actual testimony from actors. You can immerse yourself, baptize yourself into a role, to the point where that role becomes a part of you, even though it is not a part of. And so in religion, you can do the same thing. You can sit in an evangelical church, where people are really proponents of the Bible. And boy, they teach that this Bible is true. And I’m grateful for that. But you see, again, knowing that the Bible is true, and knowing what the truth means, is two different things. Because you can always be studying as the scripture says, and never come to a knowledge of the truth. On the other end of that pendulum is having a zeal for God but not in accordance with knowledge. So in other words, one group is dealing by feelings alone. And the other group is, I just know what it says. But in either one of the cases, neither one of know what it means. Sure. The one who is involved in, in the feeling deal, that the person who is having a zeal for God, but not in accordance with knowledge, doesn’t know what the word of God means, in most cases, don’t even know what it says for sure, outside of a few memorized verses of scripture. But I’m feeling like God is there. And it’s feeling, feeling, feeling doesn’t know what it means at all, in most cases, don’t know what it says. On the other end, the people who are always studying but never able to come to truth, they know what the word of God says, can repeat it and memorize it quoted back to you, but again, not a clue as to what it means. And so you can truly, you do not need the Spirit of God living in you to teach you the law. The law, it says is for the lost. And so if the law is for the lost, then it is understandable to the lost whereby the truth of God’s Word, His grace is not understandable to the lost. You may have a clue as to what it says, but you do not have a clue as to what it means. And we’re told that in a scripture that no eye has seen, no ear has heard. No mind has conceived of those things that God is prepared for those who love Him. But it must be revealed by the Spirit. So until the Spirit of God reveals the meaning of something, you can know about it, but you don’t know it.
I spent 36 years of my life and I know you spent a great number of yours, I knew about Jesus. But I did not know, Jesus. I know about President Reagan, President Carter, President Ford, whoever it might be, I know about them. But I do not know them personally. I know about actors that you see, but I do not know them personally, I know about them, but I don’t know them. I know you. I don’t just know about you, I know you. There are people who are listeners to this broadcast that know about us, but they don’t know us we haven’t met yet. When you go to a conference, you not only know about somebody, you get to know them, because you meet him, you can see him you be around them. That’s a difference between knowing about a relationship and having a relationship. And the same is true in Christ Jesus, that we we must come to him empty handed, he is not interested in what is in our hands, he’s interested in our hands. And so we come to Him empty handed. We don’t come to him with any works to offer him with any good deeds to offer him in exchange for his life, for any good works to offer him in exchange for his eternal life, for any church attendance, that I have to offer him in exchange for eternal life, I have nothing to exchange with him. The only thing that I have to exchange is the entirety of me in all of its ugliness, and vileness, and confusion and everything else. That’s all I have to offer. I have no works to offer him at all. Just me. And that’s what you do. You offer yourself to a living God, who has chosen to take what you offer, and to give us his life. It’s an exchange of life, I exchanged my life for his, I give him the rejection of the world for the acceptance of God. I give him all of the rudeness of the world, for the absolute love of God that has been given to us in Christ Jesus. But I have no works to exchange, there’s nothing that I could do that would be worth the eternal life that he is offering me. Right. Can you imagine going up to, you know, somebody that’s got a Cadillac, and you really want it. And so you reach down and say I was a good boy, today, we give me the Cadillac? See, it just doesn’t work that way. There’s no works that that can earn, it’s too expensive for us. So we don’t come if we come to God with the thought that I’m coming to him under the law, I’m offering him my obedience to the law, you’ve never come to Christ. And the reason for that is Christ doesn’t accept that he does not accept the offer. And it’s talked about that in the second chapter of John, where it said they saw the miracles that He did. In other words, they came to Him for His miracles. And they said they believed in him. And we would look at that and say born again, but you need to keep reading but it says But Jesus did not entrust himself to them. For he knew man, and he did not know the testimony about man, cause he did not need the testimony from of man concerning man. Yeah. And so we may say, I’ve come to Christ. But the issue is, has Christ accepted what you have to offer because he doesn’t accept your works. He doesn’t accept your obedience to the law. He only accepts a contrite spirit that says, Lord Jesus, I can’t, but you can.
But we’re going to pick up now in chapter four of our book, Classic Christianity study series, A Closer Look at Law and Grace. And we’ll be on page 26. As we saw in the last chapter, the law is like a mirror. It can show us that our face is dirty, but it can’t wash it for us. And all that God intended the law to do. That’s, that’s all that he ever intended the law to do is to reveal us in all of our, in all of our uncleanliness and all of our unrighteousness to reveal the reality of our spiritual death. Because like Paul, that we studied last week, he thought he was alive once apart from the law. But then when he realized that that was a commandment, That law was just something written on stone that was a commandment for him to do and he realized he couldn’t do it. He said he died, he realized his his death. And so the commandment, it didn’t bring death, physical death to him at that moment, but it produce death in him. It’s kind of like a cancer germ is in you long before it produces death. It’s there it didn’t bring death immediately to you upon its arrival, it just ultimately produced death in you. Yes. And so what what we’re dealing with and this in this whole thing is the is the law has done its work now it has showed me that my face is dirty. But I must turn to another source for that cleansing. And of course, that is Christ Jesus. The other thing is that we have to keep in mind. And this chapter is what the law is powerless to do. And that deals in Hebrews 7:18 and 19. It says the former regulation is set aside, because it was weak and useless. For the law made nothing perfect. So you don’t have to wonder what was set aside, it was the law, because it made nothing perfect. And a better hope is introduced by which we draw near to God.
Now folks I want us to look at a couple of things. If God went to the problem of introducing a better hope, and all of this thing is an introduction. God has to proclaim something, he has to declare you righteous, you can’t be made righteous, because you think you are you’re not righteous because you’ve worked for it. A declaration has to be made and Christ declared that I have made you righteous in my sight through your identification with my righteous one, and that’s my Son. Now, if there was not a need in the human being, for us to be able to draw nearer to God, in perfect worship, complete worship, and in other words, nothing left to complete. We are coming to God because of our completeness. Now as an example, when we get to heaven, as a child of God, is there going to be anything left for us to do to be worshiping the King of kings and the Lord of lords? No, we’ll just be there worshiping why? we will see our completeness in its total magnitude. Right now, Bob, because of this body of ours that in that in that is indwelt by indwelling sin, it’s hard for us to see, and to comprehend our completeness. It’s hard for you and me in our humanity to realize the truth, that we have been made perfect in the sight of God. How come? because something internally keeps telling us something contrary to that, especially if we think perfect is sinless perfection. But when we realize that no, I have been made complete. And what perfection means is completeness. There’s nothing to add, there isn’t anything else that God’s going to do. When you get to heaven. There’s no more forgiveness. There’s no more any of that, well I got news for you. There is no more of that right now. You don’t have to wait to get to heaven. As far as he’s concerned, you’re already seated there in the heavenlies with him in Christ Jesus, right. So your completeness has already been provided for you given to you. Now again, why? Because there is a need in the human being as God created that human being to be able to draw nearer to God, in completeness, there’s a need there for that. He built us that way. Just like there is a built in need for me to experience acceptance, not human acceptance, the kind, the feeble way that we do with each other which is accept you when you behave the way I want you to and I don’t accept you when you don’t. But unconditional acceptance. There’s a need inside of me God made me with that need. He put a vacuum in me with that need? How come? full intention of fulfilling it.
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Bob George 14:10
There is a need inside of me for unconditional love to be able to experience unconditional love, not conditional love, like man and woman can give to each other. But unconditional love. Why do I have that need? Well, God put it in me. It’s a vacuum that’s there, what for? so that he can fill it. I had a need as born into this world with a spirit that had the dead spirit that was dead to the life of God that had a need as strong as horseradish to be indwelt by God. How come it’s there? Well, God put it there. How come? because he wanted to fulfill it. So there is a need in the heart of every man to be able to draw nearer to God. Now that’s why people are trying so desperately to try to draw near to God In the energy of their own flesh, there is a need to know that I can walk into the presence of a living God, and be accepted and loved. And to receive mercy in my time of need, there’s a need for that. So because there is a need for it, and because we do not know that a better hope has been introduced, we try to get that need met by our performance, if I will do this, I can go into the presence of God and draw near to God, if I got all my sins confessed I can I can draw near to God because if I don’t, why I can’t draw near to God. If I go to church on Sunday, and Sunday night, and Wednesday and Monday, and then I’ll do that. So because I want to be able to draw nearer to God, and then I can go into the presence of God and say, God, see? See where I was today. I was at church all day long, aren’t I wonderful? It doesn’t matter how bad my kids had in the back seat on the way home. But we forget about that when you see where I was. Lord, didn’t you see when I when I put my tithe in the offering plate. Or when I put my money in the offering plate, and I kind of pulled it out of my wallet and flashed it around. So everybody could see how much it was? And didn’t you see that Lord? And now Now I can draw nearer to you because of what I did. And God is saying, Bob, I love you too much to even enable you to draw nearer to me on that basis. Because if that’s the way you think you’re going to draw nearer to me, you’re immediately going to be thinking, what else do I need to do? Did I do enough? Have I done too little? When will it ever come to the point where I’ve done so little that you not only kind of not draw near to you, but you don’t even know who I am anymore. All of those questions are going to permeate the soul of a man. If drawing nearer to God is predicated on what we are doing, instead of what he did. Is there a need for a man to know that he can draw nearer to God? Absolutely strong as can be. God put it there. But he also provided the way that that can occur. And it’s not through works. And so the Old Covenant because man asked for the law. Amazingly, man asked for the law after they were saved from Egypt. They were already in the desert heading toward the promised land, you had to go through the desert to get to the to the day of rest, they didn’t waht rest. They had some of them. Were thinking about going back to Egypt if the sea hadn’t been filled in again. Probably some members sitting there, say it open up, open up a second, go back. But you see, you see, they asked for the law. So in order to do so I can draw near to God. So God says, Okay, I’ll give it to you and see how that works. But it says that form or regulation, that law, that Old Covenant that God put into effect and commanded us to keep there’s the problem commanded us to keep it said you want it, you keep it, you want the law, here it is you keep it. That regulation has now folks been set aside.
There, the reason that it was set aside is because it was weak, and it was useless, useless for what? absolutely useless, and enabling a man to draw near to God, absolutely useless in regard to having his work complete in your life, because there’s always a new law to obey, and a new something to do in case you don’t. So there’s no finished work to that at all that work is never finished under the law. It was weak because we are weak. The law itself isn’t weak, it becomes weak when it flows through us. It’s what Paul said, nothing wrong with the law. It’s holy, it’s good. When it flows through me, it kills me. So that former regulation was set aside because it was weak and useless. Now, folks, when something is useless, why are you hanging on to a useless thing, like a typewriter. In this day and age, it’s like those manual typewriters are just kind of useless almost. And he says the law is useless. It is useless is a former regulation, a law that was given saying you obey it, it’s useless, in regard to accomplishing what God wants to accomplish that is making you complete, and enabling you to draw near to God won’t do either one of those things cannot do either one of them. And yet man hangs on to this weak and useless thing, and sets aside the most powerful person that ever walked on the face of the Earth called the Lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world. And we set aside that relationship in order to hang on to this old, weak, useless thing that the book of Hebrews said should disappear, become obsolete. It is obsolete and will soon disappear. So you’re hanging on to something obsolete, something that doesn’t work anymore. It’s useless. It’s weak, and we still want to hang on to absolutely absolutely still hanging on to it or say no Let’s not be talking about the 10 commandments, let’s be talking about those ceremonial law, folks. He’s talking about Mount Sinai period. Because it doesn’t make any difference, whether it’s a ceremonial law, whether it’s the 10 commandments, or it’s the laws that your church has put into effect.
I was just talking to a gentleman who’s been overseas, were in the churches in in, in those areas. And Europe in Yeah, in Europe, and in that Eastern bloc in the Balkan countries, whereby the church is so legalistic that if a girl wants to have a date, they have to go to the pastor and get permission to have a date with somebody. One of the, one of the ladies that were there, visited America, some friends, while she was there, got a permanent, and went back, and was ostracized in front of the whole church, by her own father in that church for having a permanent, I mean, we just have to think about it that that is enough to make Gods stomach turns. You know it, can you imagine. And that’s the kind of legalism that is over there. And that’s why quite frankly, we’ve been extended an invitation to go over into Hungary, and, and Poland, and some of those areas to try to get this message across the people who, now that the door is open. Legalism is flourishing. So we don’t have to wonder who gets in when the door gets open. You know, people talk about man there’s an open door and Europe said, Yeah, but there’s only one problem with an open door, a lot of flies come in.
The three elements that are contained in this particular lesson is that what the law is powerless to do, it cannot make us complete or perfect. It cannot make us righteous in the sight of God, and it cannot give life to the dead. So when you stop to think about that, you can understand why said it’s weak and useless. It is useless for providing any one of those things, that is an absolute necessity for salvation, every one of those things. Now, folks, I want you to think along with me for a moment, this former regulation, the law was set aside. Now in Hebrews 10:1 it says the law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming, not the realities themselves. So in other words, the law is a shadow, it was a foreshadowing, not the reality. If you are standing and the sun is at your back, you’re looking at your shadow, what is the shadow of? it’s not a shadow of the sun, it’s a shadow of you. It’s showing your own darkness. Now you turn and face the sun, you leave the shadow behind you where it belongs, and you’re now standing face to face. In a relationship with the sun. Before the sun was at your back, you had no face to face relationship with it, now you’re face to face with it, and the shadow is in the back of you. And that’s where it belongs. The shadow was a it was not a shadow. The law is a shadow of the good things that are coming now to us. It’s the good things that are already here. And that’s Christ, not the realities themselves. So who’s the reality? Well, Christ, Jesus Christ is reality, the law was a shadow of that reality, just a foreshadowing of what was going to come to bring us an ability to walk in righteous standing before God, life to the dead, and to be made complete.
Now it said For this reason, because the law is a shadow, not the reality. It can never the law, by the same sacrifices repeated endlessly, year after year, make perfect those who draw near to worship. So once again, was it God’s desire in Hebrews seven that we draw near to God? Yes, it is. Is it God’s desire for people to draw nearer to God in worship? Yes, it is. It states that that’s a need that we have, why did he give us the need? so that he alone could fulfill it. Now, folks, if you have a law, you have to have punishment for a violation of the law. If there is no punishment for violation of the law, the law is meaningless. You’ve got a sign that says 55. But it is meaningless if there’s no punishment for driving 85. So for to have a law, you must have punishment. If you are going to have punishment with the law, you need representation in the case that you don’t agree with the law, or you don’t agree you were guilty of the law. And so you need an intercessor, between God and man, if God is the one who gave the Law, or in the case of here on this earth between the justice system or the judge, and man, the offender, you got a law, you got a violation, you got a potential punishment, and you have somebody to represent you. Now, when it is God’s law, and he has a law out there, there has to be a violation for disobedience to that law. And therefore, under the law, you had to have a priest, which was a representing representing God, man to God, a priest, who would be able to present and to plead your case before God, intercede for us. Now to that priest, under the Old Testament, He said the way that that sin that violation can be covered, is through a sacrifice because the wages of sin is death. Now, the wages of big sins isn’t death and the wages of little sins is just a woodshed. He didn’t say that. So there’s no numerical value on sins. Worry is the not a faith, anything, it’s not a faith is sin. So worry is a sin the same as adultery. Looking at a person with lust is the same in God’s sight as adultery. Being angry with someone in your heart is the same as murder in God’s sight, not in ours. But in his. So the law was stringent, so stringent that Jesus when he came to this earth, he literally explained the spirit of the law. That’s why he said those things. He said, You want to be under the law. Be perfect, because that’s all that will do. Now, isn’t it strange that when Jesus commanded be perfect, and he said, How perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect, that’s all it will do. And then it says that no man will ever be made perfect through obedience to the law.
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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