Classic Christianity – Book of John p10 (10-31-18)
Bob explains the gospel of good news by sharing numerous scriptures and discerning questions. He starts by sharing from 1 Corinthians 15:1-5, in regards to the necessity of Jesus death, burial, and resurrection, and asks the question, “What is the gospel?” He then shares examples of men who were quite successful in this world, but how futile their life is without Christ. He shares from the booklet he wrote titled “Born Free” that provides more details on the lives of these men and their tragic ending (https://bobgeorge.net/books-by-bob-george/born-free/). So man, without the life of Christ, tries to find meaning and purpose in occupation, worldly success, sexual encounters, friends, and all kinds of things, none of which fill the God-sized vacuum in their inner being. Man’s fundamental problem is that he is spiritually dead and in need of new life, God’s life.
God gave the first created man, Adam, the choice to depend on God for life. When one reads Genesis, one reads that he was told that if he should eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, he will surely die (Genesis 2:17). Tragically, he chose to not depend on God for life and chose his own way, and so sin entered the world through him, and death through sin, and so death came to all men.
12 Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned—
8 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2 because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. 3 For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in the flesh,
We were all born under law of sin and death through the disobedience of the one man Adam. Sin and death was passed on to every being through Adam. So one is born spiritually dead. Notice from reading Genesis, Adam was created in the image of God. But after Adam sinned, that relationship with God was broken and Adam died spiritually. But with all other men from Adam, Genesis 5:3 recorded that man was created in the image of Adam, and Adam was dead spiritually.
When Adam had lived 130 years, he had a son in his own likeness, in his own image; and he named him Seth
Also from Ephesians, one reads that man is dead in his trespasses and sins and by nature objects of wrath.
As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, 2 in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. 3 All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh[a] and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath.
This separation from God, being dead spiritually, is what makes men ask such questions as “Who am I?” and “Where am I going?” There is a great chasm between spiritual death and spiritual life. The only solution for man is the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who then can offer life to men. In fact, that is the reason Jesus came to earth, to give life to men.
10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
And this life comes by believing in Jesus Christ
25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; 26 and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
4 But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. 6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus,
1 John 5:12-13
12 Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.
So then what does it mean to believe in Jesus Christ? Before life could be given, sin had to be taken away. Sin had to be forgiven first. But no man can forgive sin – not a priest, not a pope, not your best friend, not the meritorious works of others, and not your best effort. Only God can forgive sins.
Who can forgive sins but God alone?
5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in very nature[a] God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; 7 rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature[b] of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
21 But now apart from the law a righteousness of God hath been manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; 22 even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ unto all them that believe; for there is no distinction; 23 for all have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God; 24 being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: 25 whom God set forth to be a propitiation, through faith, in his blood, to show his righteousness because of the passing over of the sins done aforetime, in the forbearance of God
22 In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.
8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
9 Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! 10 For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! 11 Not only is this so, but we also boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.
1 John 2:2
He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.
12 But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, 17 Then he adds: “Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more.”
Right before Jesus died on the cross, he said “It is finished”.
When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
Man in his pride says Jesus work is not finished. Can you get more forgiveness of sin? In 70 A.D., as prophesied by Jesus, the temple was destroyed, ending the sacrificial system, the Levitical system of sacrificing bulls and goats to atone for sin. Do you take God at his word, or do you make God out to be a liar?
7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace 8 that he lavished on u
13 For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
If you are born again spiritually, then the Holy Spirit lives in you, and according to the scriptures, you have redemption, the forgiveness of sins, a present reality for all time. Recall also in Hebrews, by inspiration of the Spirit, one reads that he will remember our sins no more.
It is an insult to God’s finished work to ask fro something you already have? Are you in Christ? Why ask God for forgiveness when you sin when your sins have already been forgiven and never to be remembered anymore? Why ask God to redeem you when you have already been redeemed?
This is what people do today that insults the grace of God. Many go to a confessional booth to ask a priest to forgive you of sin against God? Many others quote 1 John 2:9 out of context, asking God to forgive them of sins, as if keeping short sin accounts with God! But if one is in Christ, the accounts have already been settled. God has taken sins off accounts payable by you that you could never pay and transferred sins to his account, on the accounts receivable. No more accounting needs to be done. Even John the Baptist testified of what Jesus came to do.
The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!
When Jesus died on the cross, it was his love that held him there.
2 Corinthians 5:17-21
17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! 18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
21 Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. 22 But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation—
Bob shared this thought: “The cross is not end in itself but the means of accomplishing an end, the restoring you to new life in Him.”
No one can enter the kingdom of heaven unless they are made into a new creation by God, not by water but by the Spirit. Yet, what does man do in his pride? Try to add or subtract from God’s finished work in Jesus Christ. Church of Christ will add the necessity of baptismal regeneration (water baptism) to be saved. Catholics add the necessity of seven sacraments as necessary for salvation. Others add the ability to speak in tongues. Adding anything to Jesus finished work, takes away or nullifies Christ’s finished work, and they remain in darkness and spiritually dead by the sin of unbelief in Jesus.
Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit.
So, when one is born again, they are made a new creation in Christ. Bob likens a new person in Christ as a butterfly that was once a caterpillar. Can a butterfly ever become a caterpillar again. When someone is born again, what is he now? Child of God You can be a member of a Baptist Church, Presbyterian Church, and still not be a child of God. In that case, you are just a member of a club. Have you ever heard someone say “I am just a sinner saved grace”? If you are in Christ, are you a sinner? No. Scripture never refers to a person born again of the Spirit a sinner, but rather they are referred to as saints. Paul wrote letters to various churches with an introduction, as in: “To the Saints in Ephesus”. Will a saint ever become a sinner again? No. He is a new creation in Christ. Can he sometimes act like a sinner? Yes So, when a believer sins, what should he do? Ask for forgiveness? No. He has already been forgiven. How foolish to ask for something you already have. Instead, just thank God for what he already did for you when he died on the cross. Why then do believers still sin? Can a believer believe a lie/ Yes What lie are they believing? Do they think they are still a sinner? Have they doubted God’s love for them? Have they forgotten they have been forgiven? We also have the world, the flesh and the devil to contend with while in his present world. One day this flesh with indwelling sin will be transformed also. But our spirit has already been transformed! The basic reason someone sins is because he stopped trusting Jesus. The root cause of sin is unbelief.
9 For in him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.
10 And you are complete in him, who is the head of all principality and power:
There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
What does the scriptures say we are?
2 Corinthians 5:17
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!
So, how does one live as a new creation in Christ? By faith, the same faith that saved you. AS Romans states: “The just shall live by faith”. If one is functioning by faith, he has faith in what is true.
So, what does religion do for man. Nothing. Religion is man’s best effort to reach up to God but Christ is God’s only method to reach down to men in forgiveness and to offer him new life. Are you in Christ? Do you have life? Are you empty inside?
12 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— 13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.
A personal invitation still stands to repent of the sin of unbelief and come to Christ by faith in what he alone already did for you, his death to take away sins of the world, your sins included, and life as a gift to receive when he rose from the dead. Bob made a point to say one is not repenting of sins, for no one can really say they can completely stop sinning. The only sin that keeps someone from having life is the sin of unbelief in Jesus Christ. When one refuses to come to Christ then one remains in spiritual death. But our hope is new life for you. But you must choose to believe to have new life in Christ!
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