Classic Christianity – Bob George (12-12-18) Continuation of Ephesians
Welcome to Classic Christianity with Bob George. Through our Classic Christianity radio program, and the books, bible studies, CDs and DVDs, we have available for purchase online with “bobgeorge.net“, it is our hope and prayer that with Bob George Ministries you continue to grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. To Him be glory, both now and forever. Bob George continues teaching from Ephesians 4.
22 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
25 Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body. 26 “In your anger do not sin”[d]: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27 and do not give the devil a foothold. 28 Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need.
For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want.
Philippians 2:7-9 Humility of Jesus Christ
7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:
Bob expounds on describing the root problem of our flesh. He explains that the root problem is our sinful desires (Ephesians 4:22), which are always in conflict with the Holy Spirit indwelling the born again believer (Galatians 5:17). He explains the concept of homosexual behavior, starting with a sinful desire, in contrast to the false teaching of being born a homosexual. He further explains what the difference between a non-believer and a believer is, which is in destiny and in the grace of God. The real difference lies in the attitude of the heart (Ephesians 4:23) rather than in actions. Bob explains the attitude in a Christian. Attitudes like kindness, mercy and joy in the Lord are attitudes of humility (Philippians 2:7-9), in the heart, and are what God produces by the Holy Spirit living in you. So Bob elaborates from Ephesians what it means to put off the old self and be renewed in the attitude of the mind. He explains the difference between true righteousness and holiness with self-righteousness and fake holiness.
Knowing you are born again spiritually, a new creation in Christ, as a new member of the body of Christ, the meaning of such instruction “to put off the old and be renewed in the attitude of the mind” (Ephesians 4:23) is more clear. For certainly God is not telling us to be back under the law or that a Christian is about what someone does or does not do for even the actions of Christians are not consistent 24 hours a day due to the flesh. Bob uses an illustration of the transition of a single person into a married person to explain this concept of a new identity. When one understands who you are and how God re-created you in a new family (Ephesians 4:25), one asks the questions why should I do or not do certain things in light of the new identity and relationship with God and other believers. Such choices to be angry or steal (Ephesians 4:26-28) would make no sense in light of this new attitude of the mind and new identity in Christ.
Bob expounds a little on the meaning of “do not let the sun go down on your anger” (Ephesians 4:26) and explains how a divorce can happen when this instruction is not understood and followed. The grace of God, Christ in you, has made you into a new creation with a new attitude of serving one another in truth and love (Ephesians 4:25). When one is born again, he has Christ’s righteousness and holiness. Bob contrasts righteousness and holiness in a believer to the self righteousness in the religious, such as the religious Jew who sought to establish his own righteousness by the law. Bob contrasts the Jew, trying to be righteous by the law, and the Gentile, without the law and worshiping idols. If a believer is walking in the flesh, then he certainly can look very much like a non-believer. Bob exposes the judgmental attitudes among the religious, the false teaching in the holiness movement, where one strives to make oneself holy and acceptable to God, and the relation between being mad, anger, and blaming to murder. So, do not let the sun go down on your anger, but settle the matter quickly, before worse things happen, such as divorce or murder. Bob explains the motivation of not getting angry, to not let the devil get a foothold to cause more destruction for he comes to steal, kill and destroy. Bob also explains the motivation for not stealing. When one is a believer, one has the mind of Christ, to serve one another in love, being a part of the body. So why steal when one can serve one another in love by working with their hands? Bob illustrates the concept of the family of God with parts of the body (Ephesians 4:25) in explaining this renewing of the mind with new attitudes (Ephesians 4:23). Would the nose lie to the hand that it was a runny nose so the hand has to decide it needed to wipe the nose? And each of us are a part of the body of Christ!
Our flesh is being corrupted by our deceitful desires. Where is the root problem of our flesh? Is it not in your deceitful desires? The desires of the flesh are in conflict with the Spirit. Our problem is not potty trained too early or had a background or had a mother, God forbid. Problem is I had deceitful desires. You are not born a homosexual. You develop homosexual desires, and they are deceitful desires, for they lead you to the pathway to destruction. You cannot rationalize deceitful desires and say you are born that way. You are not born an adulterer, a thief, covetor, or a homosexual. You are not born with any of those things but you are born with a sin nature. And so born with choices, either good or bad. Am I going to make choices to do God’s way or fulfill desires of the flesh? Which of those two desires speaks the loudest? Flesh or the Spirit? The flesh most certainly speaks louder. Why is it that desires of the flesh are so familiar to us. That is where we live and so used to listening to it. Eat when stomach growls and don’t when stomach doesn’t growl. Spirit of God speaks in subtle way. When desires of the flesh scream out, sometimes we yield to those.
The little voice is subtle, and may sound weaker, but it is not. The normal response is to respond in the flesh and not in the Spirit. When we are driving down the freeway and someone drives in front of you, most of our response is not to “Praise Jesus” and say “Father, forgive him he knows not what he does”. You are just showing what you are. God is saying to you “That is what I died for. If it was not for me, you would not know you have even done wrong.” If being Christ is predicated on outward action, then we are in a world of hurt, of impossibility. Being Christian is not always responding beautifully all the time, in sinless perfection. We would like to walk around being sweet but are we all the time? Certainly not! Lots of people who do not know the Lord act nice. Don’t have to be a Christian to not smoke, not chew, and not run around with the girls who do. I know Christians who did not engage in any of those activities and they are not Christians. I have a destiny different than the lost. I am not better than the lost. I am better off but not better than the lost. Judgmental attitudes of berating and criticizing people is that of thinking only those who do right are those who do things my way. To be able to have mercy is one of those characteristics of a Christian. A merciful heart, a kind heart, a truthful heart is inside a Christian and will show forth in speech and in action. I can find people who don’t do this or that all over the world. I find very few with hearts of kindness, mercy and joy because those things are produced by the indwelling Holy Spirit living in him. It is impossible for me to have joy if it is predicated on my wonderful action 24 hours a day.
Recognize deceitful desires come from the flesh. Put that off and be renewed in attitudes of the mind. Your attitude should be that of Christ Jesus (Philippians 2:7-9).
So what is one attitude of a Christian? Humility. What is humility? Not looking down on people that everyone is dumb but you, that nobody knows how to do anything but you. The opposite of humility is like expecting every person here to wear black since it has been decided that black is the only acceptable color. It would like a person saying “People here wearing different colors and if you do not have black on then you are not well dressed.” There is a variety of people, Christians, in this life. As smart as you are, it is total ignorance according to God’s wisdom. In this internet age, there are more facts available in the history of the world yet the world is still lacking in wisdom. Be made new in your attitude of the mind. The scriptures do not say to be made new in your actions. Now that is not negating actions. True actions follow true thoughts. Trying to change actions does not do any good until thinking and attitude change. Like in a marriage, until you put off being single, then you will never put on being married. Must die to singleness to be married. I must realize I am not single anymore with no one to answer to. I cannot just hang out with single friends at the bar whenever I so please. I have a spouse with needs and desires to please. I must die to the single attitude. When single, want to go work out until 10:00 o’clock. Fine if single, but not anymore when you must consider the needs of your spouse. Until die to that single mindset, you will simply make a mess of your marriage.
You have to die to the old way in order to come alive to the new way. All this is a change in attitude. How many of us got married and kept thinking like a single person. I am not single anymore. Be renewed and put on the new self that is true righteousness and godliness. There is righteousness. If any man be in Christ, he is a new creation.
2 Corinthians 5:17
Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
Born of mom and dad, but created of God when born again. When born again, born again to be like God in true righteousness. And if born in true righteousness, then whose righteousness are you going to stand in? His. What is false righteousness? Standing in mine. So there is false righteousness, called self-righteousness. And there is true righteousness, which is called God’s righteousness. Can you stand in self righteousness? Sure. You think you are so righteous that you can hardly stand yourself. That is the kind that makes God sick.
That was the problem in the Jewish world. Instead of accepting the righteousness that comes through God, they sought to establish their own righteousness and stumbled over the stumbling stone, Jesus Christ the cornerstone.
2 For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge.
3 For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.
4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.
1 Peter 2:7-9
7 Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner,
8 And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed.
9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light
The Gentile was never trying to establish his own righteousness. He was enjoying his sinfulness. But the Jew was trying to make himself righteous before God. Only one true righteousness, standing in the righteousness of Him. Only one true holiness. Whose holiness? His.
For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.
By one offering we are made holy. Whose holiness do you stand in? His! If you are trying to make yourself more holy than he made you, then what does that say about how he made you? Not good enough. If trying to make yourself more righteous than he made you, then what does that say about how he made you? Not good enough. Christ’s righteousness and holiness is perfect.
If we are going to have our minds renewed then must stand in His righteousness. Recognize in and of myself I have no righteousness. The only righteousness I have is His. The only Holiness I have is His. Holiness movements where people try to make themselves more holy is total ignorance of Christ and His holiness. In their false thin,king, the way I can be acceptable in the eyes of God is to make myself holy. If that were so, what wold holy look like. Holy would do this or that. Another person comes along and says that is not good enough. Doing pretty good, but holiness says you would do better. Keep raising the bar, the standard, until impossible to get over the bar. This is religious flesh that is futility in thinking.
So we read we read to put off falsehood and speak truthfully to our neighbor. If going to change attitude of a child or us, children in the sight of God, I am not going to change attitude by saying put off falsehood and speak truthfully. Why? Because I told you to. Why did you tell me to? Because mom and dad told me to. This can be traced back to Adam. This would be law to put off old self this way. What does grace do? Grace explains why. We are all members of one body. Are you in Christ? If you are members of the same body, then how much sense does it make for the body to lie to each other. How would you like if I lie to you all the time? If nose says it is running and it is not running, that makes no sense, for a nose does not lie. Nose says to the hand that the nose is running. So hand, pick yourself up and wipe off the runny nose. That is how the body of Christ should be working together in harmony. What is the motivation? We after all are part of the same body. Are you in the family? Now, i in the same family, would it not be useful to say be truthful to one another? No. We are in the same family, each part of the body proving input to what the other parts of the body needs.
In your anger do not sin? Do not let the sun go down in your anger. What does that mean? Is anger in and of itself sin? Where does that anger come from? What do you normally get angry over? Is it when you do not get your own way? Is that sin? Yes. What does it say to do about that sin? Confess it and stay angry? What does it say to do? Straighten it out. Don’t let the sun go down. What have you done if you don’t? You have given Satan a foothold. Don’t pay attention and remain mad at each other, let it fester, and then be in worse shape. How many of you let anger go overnight? Anyone who has not allowed anger to go overnight? How many not only not let sun go down but let weeks go down. When you do not settle an issue and still mad at a person then start blaming that person. Do you like to feel mad? It makes you mad that you are mad. I do not like that feeling to be mad. It makes you feel bad to be mad.
If I am feeling bad than someone had to cause that for God is not going to blame himself. So who do you blame? The one you are mad at. Whenever you start and continue to blame someone you are going to start hating somebody. Now there is a worse problem than being mad. That is why Jesus said being angry is the same as murder as far as God is concerned. If capable of anger, then capable of putting blame, then capable of hating and capable of those other things, then capable of murder. All starts in attitude of the mind. Don’t give the devil a foothold. If just go to bed and say who cares, what deeper problems will you have? But if you realize you are giving the devil a foothold, that is my motivation to settle the matter. If mad at my mate, should the motivation be to settle it because that makes you feel better? No. If you do not settle then get the devil a foothold in her life, my life and our marriage, and left unsettled too long, could destroy the entire marriage. Divorce started with a little incident left unchecked, that grew into bigger ones, until marriage is wrecked. No one gets married with the idea I am going to get divorced some day. Say in front of the minister and many witnesses, to love and to cherish until death do us part.
He who has been stealing must steal no longer (Ephesians 4:28). Why? Because needs to go to work so as to be useful to share with those in need. Unless a robin-hood mentality, one normally steals to help yourself. To really share with those in need, stop stealing. If working, is there a benefit to think I can use some money to share? , Serving one another in love is the mindset of a believer. Believers belong to one another, as a part of the body, each part doing its assigned work. Most of the time money we spend is out of greed and not need, serving our self rather than supporting the gospel. Is your mindset that money is mine or mindset that all belongs to the Lord anyway. Take some money I receive and set it aside for the purpose to share with those in need. Then it will not be a question of should I or should I not spend the money on others? You have already committed that you are going to spend money. Now it is just the matter of where I am going to spend the money. Some portion has already been set aside. So the decision I then have is what I do with that money that is set aside.
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