“I have fought the good fight. I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” 2 Timothy 4:7
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Dallas Christian Radio KAAM 770-AM
Bob George Ministries is excited to announce the expansion of Classic Christianity Radio to the Dallas area! Beginning June 5, 2017, listen weekday mornings at 10:30 AM on KAAM 770-AM. We would like to extend a special thanks to Crawford Broadcasting for giving us this wonderful opportunity! Please pray along with us as we ask the Lord to bless this program and bring many people to Christ through the radio broadcasts.
Your generous gifts have allowed us to add this Dallas station. Thank you so much for your faithful support! It is because of your generosity, we are able to add another radio station in order to share the hope that we have in Jesus Christ with the people of Dallas and the cities that surround the Metroplex.
“I will give thanks to the LORD because of his righteousness; I will sing the praises of the name of the LORD Most High.” Psalm 7:17
In His Grace,
Bob and Amy George, Debbie George Cannaday and Jim Warholic
Read this official announcement in our newsletter PDF document format with the following link: https://goo.gl/UP75D9. Feel free to print it out, email it and pass it on to your family and friends.
Listen and follow along with Bob George as he presents the Lord’s Supper.
Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God–this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will. For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you. Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully. Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves.
As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit– just as you were called to one hope when you were called one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.
1 Corinthians 12:12-13 & 27
The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body–whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free–and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.
Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.
1 Corinthians 10:15-17
I speak to sensible people; judge for yourselves what I say. Is not the cup of thanksgiving for which we give thanks a participation in the blood of Christ? And is not the bread that we break a participation in the body of Christ? Because there is one loaf, we, who are many, are one body, for we all partake of the one loaf.
Instructions for the Lord’s Supper
1 Corinthians 11:17-34
In the following directives I have no praise for you, for your meetings do more harm than good. In the first place, I hear that when you come together as a church, there are divisions among you, and to some extent I believe it. No doubt there have to be differences among you to show which of you have God’s approval. When you come together, it is not the Lord’s Supper you eat, for as you eat, each of you goes ahead without waiting for anybody else. One remains hungry, another gets drunk. Don’t you have homes to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the church of God and humiliate those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I praise you for this? Certainly not! For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.” For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes. Therefore, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. A man ought to examine himself before he eats of the bread and drinks of the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without recognizing the body of the Lord eats and drinks judgment on himself. That is why many among you are weak and sick, and a number of you have fallen asleep. But if we judged ourselves, we would not come under judgment. When we are judged by the Lord, we are being disciplined so that we will not be condemned with the world. So then, my brothers, when you come together to eat, wait for each other. If anyone is hungry, he should eat at home, so that when you meet together it may not result in judgment. And when I come I will give further directions.
But I tell you the truth: It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.
While they were eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is my body.”
And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.”
1 Corinthians 13:4-5
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
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.
Then he took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the new covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. I tell you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it anew with you in my Father’s kingdom.”
In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.
Then he adds: “Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more.” And where these have been forgiven, there is no longer any sacrifice for sin.
so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.
“We belong to Christ and we belong to one another”
Follow along with Bob George as he explains to a caller about God’s predestination with the following bible verses:
For the more in-depth study on predestination, click here to purchase the MP3 audio studies and 25 page study guide titled, “Taking the Confusion out of Predestination.”
I speak the truth in Christ–I am not lying, my conscience confirms it in the Holy Spirit– I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, those of my own race, the people of Israel. Theirs is the adoption as sons; theirs the divine glory, the covenants, the receiving of the law, the temple worship and the promises. Theirs are the patriarchs, and from them is traced the human ancestry of Christ, who is God over all, forever praised! Amen. It is not as though God’s word had failed. For not all who are descended from Israel are Israel. Nor because they are his descendants are they all Abraham’s children. On the contrary, “It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.” In other words, it is not the natural children who are God’s children, but it is the children of the promise who are regarded as Abraham’s offspring.
Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God–
I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.
1 Thessalonians 5:24
The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it.
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will–to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding. And he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillment–to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ. In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, in order that we, who were the first to hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession–to the praise of his glory.
Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called “uncircumcised” by those who call themselves “the circumcision” (that done in the body by the hands of men)–remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ. For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by abolishing in his flesh the law with its commandments and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace, and in this one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit. Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone.
Surely you have heard about the administration of God’s grace that was given to me for you, that is, the mystery made known to me by revelation, as I have already written briefly. In reading this, then, you will be able to understand my insight into the mystery of Christ, which was not made known to men in other generations as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to God’s holy apostles and prophets. This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus.
There is one body and one Spirit– just as you were called to one hope when you were called one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.
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 he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
1 John 2:2
He is the one who turns aside God’s wrath, taking away our sins, and not only ours but also the sins of the whole world.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified. What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us?
This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus.
Click to purchase the in-depth MP3 audio files and 25 page study guide to:
Why don’t we emphasize tithing?
The topic of tithing has gotten very much attention from our listeners since it is often emphasized by churches across America. What is surprising, however, is the fact that the New Testament never requires us to give a tenth of our income as an offering to the Lord. You can look back for yourself. It just isn’t there. If tithing is so important why isn’t it mentioned several times in the New Testament?
Why is tithing not commanded in the New Testament?
The word “tithe” refers to a tenth of produce and livestock prescribed by the Old Covenant as the duty of every Hebrew to pay in order to support the Levite priesthood who were not permitted to earn wages; to pay for maintenance of the temple; and to provide sacrifices in worship. All these needs have been done away with under the New Covenant initiated by Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection. All believers are priests because we are children of God by faith in Jesus Christ. Each believer is now the temple of God since God gives us the Holy Spirit to indwell us at the moment of regeneration. There is no need to make sacrifices to cover our sin because through Christ’s one sacrifice of Himself all of our sins (past, present and future) are forgiven. Since the national system of worship in Israel is obsolete, the role of the tithe is ended. That is why the Bible does not require believers under the New Covenant to tithe. It’s just not there. (Eph. 3:12; I Cor. 6:19; Heb. 10:14)
What about the example of Abraham?
The only other time “tithe” is referred to is the incident where Abraham paid a tenth of his goods to Melchizedek. However that was a one time gift Abraham gave of his own free will as a public act of thanksgiving for a military victory, not as an act of obedience to a command of God. Furthermore, the fact that something was practiced before the Law does not make it a permanent command of God. If we use Abraham as an example for tithing then we need to follow him in other areas as well, such as circumcision and animal sacrifice. It’s funny that those last two areas are rarely mentioned along with tithing. (Gen. 14, 15 & 16) The real point of this incident as quoted in the New Testament is to show the supremacy of our priesthood in Christ represented by Melchizedek over the priesthood of Levi, a descendent of Abraham. (Hebrews 7:1-10)
If we don’t have to tithe, why give at all?
In other words, what is God’s pattern for giving under the New Covenant? The pattern is Jesus Christ Himself (2 Cor. 8:9). He walked as a living sacrifice in total dependency on the Father (Phil. 2:5-8). What are we to do? The very same thing (2 Cor. 8:5; Romans 12:1-2). So then our giving of money is to be a natural overflow of God’s love in service to others as we are controlled by His Spirit. Can that be 10% of everything we make? Certainly, and perhaps more or less as God works in our hearts individually. That is the freedom we have in Christ. For your own study read 2 Corinthians 8 and 9.
2 Corinthians 9:8
“Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give,
not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”
For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. John 1:17
The former regulation is set aside because it was weak and useless (for the law made nothing perfect), and a better hope is introduced, by which we draw near to God.
By calling this covenant “new,” he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and aging will soon disappear.
And it was not without an oath! Others became priests without any oath, but he became a priest with an oath when God said to him: “The Lord has sworn and will not change his mind: `You are a priest forever.’” Because of this oath, Jesus has become the guarantee of a better covenant.
The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming–not the realities themselves. For this reason it can never, by the same sacrifices repeated endlessly year after year, make perfect those who draw near to worship. If it could, would they not have stopped being offered? For the worshipers would have been cleansed once for all, and would no longer have felt guilty for their sins. But those sacrifices are an annual reminder of sins, because it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.
Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God. Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin.
The purpose of the law is to make us conscious of sin
1 Timothy 1:8-10
We know that the law is good if one uses it properly. We also know that law is made not for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious; for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers, for adulterers and perverts, for slave traders and liars and perjurers–and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine.
The purpose of the law is to show our need for salvation
What, then, was the purpose of the law? It was added because of transgressions until the Seed to whom the promise referred had come. The law was put into effect through angels by a mediator. A mediator, however, does not represent just one party; but God is one. Is the law, therefore, opposed to the promises of God? Absolutely not! For if a law had been given that could impart life, then righteousness would certainly have come by the law. But the Scripture declares that the whole world is a prisoner of sin, so that what was promised, being given through faith in Jesus Christ, might be given to those who believe. Before this faith came, we were held prisoners by the law, locked up until faith should be revealed. So the law was put in charge to lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith.
The law cannot make you righteous, justify you, or give you life
Galatians 2:16 & 21
Know that a man is not justified by observing the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by observing the law, because by observing the law no one will be justified.
I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!
Clearly no one is justified before God by the law, because, “The righteous will live by faith.”
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
The law can only bring death
I found that the very commandment that was intended to bring life actually brought death.
Is the law, therefore, opposed to the promises of God? Absolutely not! For if a law had been given that could impart life, then righteousness would certainly have come by the law.
For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.
Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
Because by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.
Christ fulfilled the law
You have heard that it was said, Do not commit adultery. But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.
“You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, `Do not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to his brother, `Raca, ‘ is answerable to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says, `You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.
For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it
The purpose of the law is to stir up sin
1 Corinthians 15:56
The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.
Romans 7:5, 7-8
For when we were controlled by the flesh, the sinful passions aroused by the law were at work in our bodies, so that we bore fruit for death.
What shall we say, then? Is the law sin? Certainly not! Indeed I would not have known what sin was except through the law. For I would not have known what coveting really was if the law had not said, “Do not covet.” But sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, produced in me every kind of covetous desire. For apart from law, sin is dead.
Since you died with Christ to the basic principles of this world, why, as though you still belonged to it, do you submit to its rules: “Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!”? These are all destined to perish with use, because they are based on human commands and teachings. Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence.
What then shall we say? That the Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have obtained it, a righteousness that is by faith; but Israel, who pursued a law of righteousness, has not attained it. Why not? Because they pursued it not by faith but as if it were by works. They stumbled over the “stumbling stone.”
All who rely on observing the law are under a curse, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law.”
The law includes the ten commandments
2 Corinthians 3:7-9
Now if the ministry that brought death, which was engraved in letters on stone, came with glory, so that the Israelites could not look steadily at the face of Moses because of its glory, fading though it was, will not the ministry of the Spirit be even more glorious? If the ministry that condemns men is glorious, how much more glorious is the ministry that brings righteousness!
The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming–not the realities themselves. For this reason it can never, by the same sacrifices repeated endlessly year after year, make perfect those who draw near to worship.
For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.
When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God. 13 Since that time he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool,
Christ is the end of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes.
Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.” He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit.
But when the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under law, to redeem those under law, that we might receive the full rights of sons.
For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance–now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant.
For what the law was powerless to do in 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 in sinful man, in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
The purpose of the law is to lead us to Christ
So the law was put in charge to lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith. Now that faith has come, we are no longer under the supervision of the law
For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace.
1 Corinthians 15:56
The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.
And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him
Do you not know, brothers–for 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 a married woman is bound to her husband as long as he is alive, but if her husband dies, she is released from the law of marriage. So then, if she marries another man while her husband is still alive, she is called an adulteress. But if her husband dies, she is released from that law and is not an adulteress, even though she marries another man. So, my brothers, you also died to the law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to another, to him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit to God. For when we were controlled by the sinful nature, the sinful passions aroused by the law were at work in our bodies, so that we bore fruit for death. But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code.
Because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.
And if by grace, then it is no longer by works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace.
You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified. I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by observing the law, or by believing what you heard? Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort?
I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel–which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned!
For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope–the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.
2 Corinthians 12:9
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me
Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.
Because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.
But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law.
For through the law I died to the law so that I might live for God.
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God– not by works, so that no one can boast.
Clearly no one is justified before God by the law, because, “The righteous will live by faith.”
Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance. So she came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!”
So Peter and the other disciple started for the tomb. Both were running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He bent over and looked in at the strips of linen lying there but did not go in. Then Simon Peter came along behind him and went straight into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying there, as well as the cloth that had been wrapped around Jesus’ head. The cloth was still lying in its place, separate from the linen. Finally the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed. (They still did not understand from Scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead.) Then the disciples went back to where they were staying.
Now Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus’ body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot.
They asked her, “Woman, why are you crying?”
“They have taken my Lord away,” she said, “and I don’t know where they have put him.” At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus.
He asked her, “Woman, why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?”
Thinking he was the gardener, she said, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.”
Jesus said to her, “Mary.”
She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means “Teacher”).
Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”
Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: “I have seen the Lord!” And she told them that he had said these things to her.
On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.
Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”
Now Thomas (also known as Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!”
But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”
A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”
Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”
Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.
Bible: New International Version (NIV)
Our hope and prayer, is that you would recognize the risen Jesus Christ, as God in the flesh, who took your sins away on the cross, and rose again from the dead and is eternally alive, and wants to give you the same eternal life of himself in you today, when you believe in Him.
Rest in Jesus’ finished work on the cross.
Follow along with bible verses below.
An Obsession with Confession
1 John 1:9 is the verse we use to negate the good news of Christ’s finished work on the cross. The following questions will help you probe our obsession with confession and conclude with Jesus, “It is finished”
A. Confession cannot obtain forgiveness:
What must be done in order to receive forgiveness of sins according to Hebrews 9:22?
“In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.”
What then are you asking God to do?
Is Christ going to come back and die again according to these verses? 1 Peter 3:18; Hebrews 9:24-28; Hebrews 10:10-14
I Peter 3:18
“For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit,…”
“For Christ did not enter a man-made sanctuary that was only a copy of the true one; He entered heaven itself, now to appear for us in God’s presence. Nor did He enter heaven to offer Himself again and again the way the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood that is not his own. Then Christ would have had to suffer many times since the creation of the world. But now He has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of Himself. Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and He will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for Him.”
“And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, He sat down at the right hand of God. Since that time He waits for His enemies to be made His footstool, because by one sacrifice He has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.”
If you are in Christ, what do you have according to Ephesians 1:7-8?
“In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that He lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding.”
Does it make sense, then, to continually ask for something you already have?
Where is the forgiveness of sins found?
Are you in him?
Since you have forgiveness, is there a need for another sacrifice for the sins you commit today or in the future according to Hebrews 10:17-18?
“Then He adds; ‘Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more.’ And where these have been forgiven, there is no longer any sacrifice for sin.”
Who alone has the power to forgive sins?
“Why does this fellow talk like that? He’s blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?”
Can your confession bring about forgiveness?
What have we been given as a result of Christ’s death according to the following verse?
2 Corinthians 5:21
“God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”
Where is righteousness found?
Are you in Him?
Do we make ourselves righteous or does God provide righteousness according to Romans 5:17?
“For if by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.”
How much unrighteousness does 1 John 1:9 say we are cleansed of?
If we are cleansed of all unrighteousness, do we need more cleansing?
B. Confession cannot restore fellowship:
With this mentality, what is it that breaks your fellowship with God?
If your sins caused you to be out of fellowship with God, what then keeps you in fellowship with God?
How much of your life can you live without sinning?
So, how much of your life would you be in fellowship with God?
What does God say is the wages of sin in Romans 6:23
“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
If you think sin breaks your fellowship with God, what are you saying is the wages of sin?
Which one is right – the wages of sin is being out of fellowship or the wages of sin is death?
If God were going to deal with you according to your sins, what would He have to do when you sinned?
Do you know of any place in the Bible that discusses being in and out of fellowship?
According to 1 Corinthians 1:8-9, who has called you into fellowship and who is able to keep you in fellowship?
1 Corinthians 1:8-9
“He will keep you strong to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God, who has called you into fellowship with his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful.”
The Bible is very clear. The wages of sin is death and the gift of God is eternal life. It is a black and white issue with no in-between. Somewhere, however, the issue has been clouded through the concept of being in and out of fellowship. Instead of the wages of sin being death, it is now being out of fellowship. Instead of the gift of God being eternal life, it is now being in fellowship. This has watered down the gospel and has robbed literally thousands of Christians the ability to experience the abundant life Jesus promised.
When Jesus said “It is finished,’ what do you think that means?
“When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us, He took it away, nailing it to the cross.”
“I will rescue you from your own people and from the Gentiles. I am sending you to them to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.”
(Click here to learn more about light & darkness )
“… He does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His love for those who fear Him,- as far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.”
“Surely it was for my benefit that I suffered such anguish. In Your love You kept me from the pit of destruction; You have put all my sins behind Your back.”
“For He has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son He loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”
“All the prophets testify about Him that everyone who believes in Him receives forgiveness of sins through His name.”
“Then He took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, saying, now drink from it, all of you. This is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.”
“Jesus said, ‘Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.’ And they divided up His clothes by casting lots.”
“He [Christ] did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but He entered the Most Holy Place once for all by His own blood, having obtained eternal redemption.”
“To Him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by His blood, and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve His God and Father – to Him be glory and power for ever and ever! Amen.”
When Christ went to the cross, He died for our sins “once for all.” He paid the penalty of death, which is what the law demanded, so that we could experience His life. Don’t complicate the simplicity of the gospel through the fellowship issue. Recognize that you are in the fellowship, that the blood of Christ purifies you from all sin and rejoice in God’s free gift of eternal life.
Read the story below and follow along with the New Covenant Bible verses link.
Robert knew why. He never lived up to the high standards that his dad set for him growing up. He hadn’t become the doctor his dad wanted him to be. He even failed to complete his college education. When Robert left home, he did so knowing that he was one big disappointment to his dad.
While Robert was thinking about how he had disappointed his dad, the lawyer read, “and to Robert I leave…” Robert perked up. To his surprise his dad had left him… “the savings account, the house, the art collection, and the little red sports car that Robert has always wanted.”
The lawyer noticed a shocked look on Robert’s face and asked him if he had any questions.
Are you sure that my dad left me all of these things? I’ve read my dad’s will and know that I wasn’t included. I was just a big failure to him.
The lawyer smiled and said, “That was your father’s old will. He changed it to include you as one of the heirs to his fortune. And it is this last will that is in effect today. Robert, your dad shared with me how disappointed he was that you did not know that he loved you. He had hoped that you would see his great love for you through this new will.
For most of us, our relationship to God is much like Robert’s relationship with his dad. We’ve read God’s old will and have tried to live up to His standards. But His standards are out of our reach. As a result, all we expect to get from God is condemnation and punishment. Yet, we are not under God’s old covenant. He loves us and has written a brand new covenant, and it is this new covenant that we live under today.
It is interesting to me that the birth of Christ is the single event that divides human history into two parts. Only a small percentage of the world believes that Jesus Christ is God and that He is the Savior of the world. Yet the world’s calendars use Christ’s birth to divide history into BC and AD & BC meaning “before Christ” and AD meaning “in the year of our Lord.” Even though the world does not recognize Christ for who He is, it does recognize the fact that all of human history centers around Jesus Christ.
God, too, pointed to Jesus Christ as the centerpiece of human history. However, where we point to his birth, God looks at the cross of Jesus Christ as the dividing line of human history. Why? Because Jesus’ death changed the basis of God’s dealing with man. This gives new meaning to our terminology, BC and AD. BC from God’s vantage point means “Before the Cross,” and as I jokingly say, AD means, “After De Cross.”
How He dealt with mankind before the cross is different from how He deals with you and me today. Before the cross, God dealt with man on the basis of obedience to the law. Today, God deals with man on the basis of His love and grace.
The reason for the change is that Christ s death ushered in a brand new covenant. This new covenant has been prophesied throughout the Old Testament, and the day Christ died it went into effect.
A covenant is the same as a will. For a will or covenant to go into effect, the one who made it must die. Most of us understand this from our legal system. If you have a will, it will not go into effect until you die. This is what Hebrews 9:16-17 tells us: In the case of a will, it is necessary to prove the death of the one who made it, because a will is in force only when somebody has died; it never takes effect while the one who made it is living. Therefore, for the new covenant that God had promised to go into effect, Christ had to die.
This new covenant is different from the covenant that God had established with Moses and the nation of Israel at Mt. Sinai. After being in bondage and slavery for four hundred years, God led the Israelites out of Egypt and through the Red Sea. The Israelites camped at Mt. Sinai and there God gave them the law for their own protection and benefit.
This covenant was conditional, however. If they would obey Him fully and keep the laws He set before them, then they would be His treasured possession…and a holy nation (Exodus 19:5,6). To this, the Israelites responded, “All that You have commanded we will do” (Exodus 19:8). Their response reveals man’s pride in his belief that he has the ability to produce righteousness. As we will see later, this is the purpose of the law in our lives.
To seal this covenant, Moses and the Israelites offered burnt offerings and sacrificed young bulls to the Lord:
When Moses had proclaimed every commandment of the law to all the people, he took the blood of calves, together with water, scarlet wool and branches of hyssop, and sprinkled the scroll and all the people. He said, “This is the blood of the covenant, which God has commanded you to keep.” Hebrews 9:19,20
Moses then went back up to the mountain. However, before he could get down to bring the rest of God’s commands, the Israelites had already built a golden calf, saying “These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt” (Exodus 32:4). They could not keep the first commandment. Then, as if building a golden calf was not enough, they threw a party to honor their new god. The Israelites could not live up to the covenant. The Old Testament records the curses they received as a result of their disobedience. Like the Israelites, we can’t keep our end of the bargain, either.
The law demands perfection. Because we are all born in sin, it is impossible for anyone to live up to the righteous requirements of the law. But God’s intent was not for us to try to live up to the law. His intent was to show us our sinfulness and our need for salvation. And this is all the Old Covenant can show us. There is nothing wrong with the law. Paul wrote, the law is holy, and the commandment is holy righteous and good (Romans 7:10). The problem is with us. As Hebrews 8:7 says, For if there had been nothing wrong with that first covenant, no place would have been sought for another. But God found fault with the people.
While teaching about God’s holy nature, the law also revealed how unholy and unrighteous man is. Paul explained his own experience:
Indeed I would not have known what sin was except through the law. For I would not have known what coveting really was if the law had not said, “Do not covet”. But sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, produced in me every kind of covetous desire… Romans 7:7,8
Therefore, no one will be declared righteous in His sight by observing the law; rather, through the law, we become conscious of sin. Romans 3:20
The Law is perfect. When it flows through man’s sinful flesh, however, it shows how utterly sinful we truly are. We simply cannot live up to the stringent requirements of the law.
Paul discovered something else about the law; “the very commandment that was intended to bring life actually brought death” (Romans 7:12). Coupled with the commandments is punishment for a violation. Under the law, the punishment for sin is death: For the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23). Because of this there is no hope under this old covenant.
I experienced the hopelessness of the law not long ago. A policeman turned on his flashing red lights and stopped me for speeding. I got out of the car and greeted him with a big smile.
“Hi, officer”, I said. “I know I was driving a little fast, but I am on my way to teach a Bible study and I am running a little late.”
“Are you a minister?” the policeman asked.
“Why yes, I am.” I replied, thinking that I would get off with only a warning.
“Well, of all people, you should know better!” exclaimed the officer. An then, with a grin, he wrote out the ticket.
That’s the law. No mercy at all. The purpose of the ticket was to show me where I had failed. It condemned me. That’s what the Old Covenant did to man. It revealed our sinful nature and showed us how far we are from God’s standard of holiness. That’s the purpose of the law in our lives.
This is why Paul described the old covenant as the ministry of condemnation, and the ministry that brought death (2 Cor. 3). It was a covenant that required man to live up to its righteous standards, and to those who failed it said, the wages of sin is death. Because man could not live up to the requirements of the old covenant, he experienced fear and guilt, and as a result could never draw near to God.
That is where the Old Covenant leaves us; condemned and in need of something new. We need another covenant that has better provisions. The writer of Hebrews puts it this way:
The former regulation is set aside because it was weak and useless (for the law made nothing perfect), and a better hope is introduced, by which we draw near to God. Hebrews 7:18,19
That ‘better hope’ is found in the New Covenant. In contrast to the Old Covenant, it is a covenant of grace, not of law. The following passage of scripture will help us to see the differences between the two.
The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming – not the realities themselves. For this reason, it can never, by the same sacrifices repeated endlessly year after year, make perfect those who draw near to worship. If it could, would they not have stopped being offered? For the worshipers would have been cleansed once for all, and would no longer have felt guilty for their sins. But those sacrifices are an annual reminder of sins, because it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins. Hebrews 10:1-4
Forgiveness under the Old Covenant was a good news/bad news situation. Each year, on the Day of Atonement, the High Priest entered the most Holy of Holies to sprinkle the blood of a bull on the mercy seat to cover the sins of the people committed during the previous year.
Then two goats were sacrificed. One was slain at the altar, the other served as the scapegoat. The sins of the people were transferred symbolically to the scapegoat. And then it was driven out of the city, out into the wilderness, symbolizing the removal of the people’s sins. That was the good news.
The bad news was that the next day a person’s sins began adding up again. Next year, another sacrifice would be required. And the next year. And the next.
God graciously gave this system to Israel as a means for them to experience some relief from their guilt. These sacrifices only covered sins, they could not take them away. Under the Old Covenant, man could enjoy the blessing of God’s forgiveness, but that system provided no final solution.
That is why the law is only a shadow. It is a picture of Christ and His finished work on our behalf. It was not the reality. Once you have the real thing, there is no longer a need to focus on the picture. Under the New Covenant, Jesus died for sin once for all. He did not cover our sins like the sacrifices under the law did. He was the Lamb of God who took away our sins.
Therefore, when Christ came into the world, He said: “Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but a body you prepared for Me; with burnt offerings and sin offerings you were not pleased. Then I said, ‘Here I am’ it is written about Me in the scroll I have come to do your will, O God.” First he said, “Sacrifices and offerings, burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not desire, nor were you pleased with them” (although the law required them to be made). Then he said, “Here I am, I have come to do Your will.” He sets aside the first to establish the second. Hebrews 10:5-9
Although the law required sin offerings to be made, they could never pay the price for sin. In order for sin to be fully paid for and taken away, there had to be a perfect sacrifice. This is why Christ came into the world. He offered Himself as a spotless lamb that would take away the sin of the world. As a result, there is no longer any need to offer sacrifices. God has set aside the first covenant to establish a new and better covenant.
And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God. Since that time he waits for His enemies to be made his footstool, because by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever… Hebrews 10:10-14
One thing you would never find in an Old Testament temple is a chair. The reason is that a priest’s job was never finished. Since the sacrifices offered could never take away sin, they had to continually be offered to keep covering sins. But when Christ offered Himself once and for all, He said, “It is finished.” He then sat down at the right hand of God. We have been made holy and perfect forever through His final sacrifice. There is nothing left to offer God as a payment for sin.
The Holy Spirit also testified to us about this. First he says: “This is the covenant I will make with them after that time, says the Lord. I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds.” Then he adds: “Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more.” And where these have been forgiven, there is no longer any sacrifice for sin. Hebrews 10:15-18
The Old Covenant provided animal sacrifices that served as an annual reminder of sins and led to death. Christ’s death ushered in the New Covenant. He died in our place to take God’s punishment for our sins. As a result, God remembers our sins no more. No other sacrifice is required to gain more forgiveness. We have everything we need under this new covenant. Jesus Christ has done it all.
There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from his own work, just as God did from his. Hebrews 4:9,10
After God had given the old covenant, He told the Israelites to go into the promised land. They wandered in the wilderness for forty years, however, because of their unbelief. Just as the Israelites were to enter the promised land and eat from trees they did not plant and drink from wells they did not dig. God has provided a permanent rest for us through the New Covenant. Our promised land is in our relationship with Jesus Christ. Everything is provided in Him. He offers a life of love, joy and peace to all who would receive it.
The only way to enter this rest is by faith. In order to rest, we must stop working. It is impossible to experience the abundant life in Christ while we are still trying to make ourselves acceptable before God by our own works. We must believe and trust in what Christ has done for us at the cross. Just as Robert’s father made provisions in his last will for Robert’s inheritance, God has made us holy and acceptable in His sight through the New Covenant.
Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the Blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his Body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.
Are you still trying to live the Christian life in your own strength under law? God has provided a new and living way whereby we can enter into a permanent Sabbath Rest. Are you willing to enter in by faith today?
“In the case of a will, it is necessary to prove the death of the one who made it, because a will is in force only when somebody has died; it never takes effect while the one who made it is living.”
“This is why even the first covenant was not put into effect without blood. When Moses had proclaimed every commandment of the law to all the people, he took the blood of calves, together with water, scarlet wool and branches of hyssop, and sprinkled the scroll and all the people. He said, “This is the blood of the covenant, which God has commanded you to keep.” In the same way, he sprinkled with the blood both the tabernacle and everything used in its ceremonies. In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.”
“For if there had been nothing wrong with the first covenant, no place would have been sought for another. But God found fault with the people.”
“The time is coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah. It will not be like the covenant I made with their forefathers when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, because they did not remain faithful to my covenant, and I turned away from them, declares the Lord. This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time, declares the Lord. I will put My laws in their minds and write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be My people. No longer will a man teach his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying, `Know the Lord,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest. For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.”
“The Holy Spirit also testifies to us about this. First he says: “This is the covenant I will make with them after that time, says the Lord. I will put My laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds.” Then he adds: “Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more.” And where these have been forgiven, there is no longer any sacrifice for sin.”
“First He said, “Sacrifices and offerings, burnt offerings and sin offerings You did not desire, nor were You pleased with them” (although the law required them to be made). Then He said, “Here I am, I have come to do Your will.” He sets aside the first to establish the second. And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.”
“The former regulation is set aside because it was weak and useless (for the law made nothing perfect), and a better hope is introduced, by which we draw near to God.”
“By calling this covenant “new,” He has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and aging will soon disappear.”
“If perfection could have been attained through the Levitical priesthood (for on the basis of it the law was given to the people), why was there still need for another priest to come – one in the order of Melchizedek, not in the order of Aaron? For when there is a change of the priesthood, there must also be a change of the law.”
“But the ministry Jesus has received is as superior to theirs as the covenant of which he is mediator is superior to the old one, and it is founded on better promises.”
“For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance – now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant.”
“And it was not without an oath! Others became priests without any oath, but he became a priest with an oath when God said to him: “The Lord has sworn and will not change his mind: `You are a priest forever.’ ” Because of this oath, Jesus has become the guarantee of a better covenant.”
“Such a High Priest meets our need – one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens. Unlike the other high priests, He does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for His own sins, and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins once for all when He offered Himself. For the law appoints as high priests men who are weak; but the oath, which came after the law, appointed the Son, who has been made perfect forever.”
“Now there have been many of those priests, since death prevented them from continuing in office.”
“But because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood. Therefore He is able to save completely those who come to God through Him, because He always lives to intercede for them.”
“The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming – not the realities themselves. For this reason it can never, by the same sacrifices repeated endlessly year after year, make perfect those who draw near to worship. If it could, would they not have stopped being offered? For the worshipers would have been cleansed once for all, and would no longer have felt guilty for their sins. But those sacrifices are an annual reminder of sins, because it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.”
“Therefore, when Christ came into the world, He said: “Sacrifice and offering You did not desire, but a body You prepared for Me.”
“It was necessary, then, for the copies of the heavenly things to be purified with these sacrifices, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. For Christ did not enter a man-made sanctuary that was only a copy of the true one; He entered heaven itself, now to appear for us in God’s presence. Nor did He enter heaven to offer Himself again and again, the way the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood that is not his own. Then Christ would have had to suffer many times since the creation of the world. But now He has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of Himself. Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and He will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.”
Atonement Covered Sins, Christ Took Away Our Sins.
“Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But when this Priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, He sat down at the right hand of God. Since that time He waits for His enemies to be made His footstool, because by one sacrifice He has made perfect forever those who are “the holy ones.”
“Then He adds: “Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more.” And where these have been forgiven, there is no longer any sacrifice for sin.”
“Therefore . . . It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age, if they fall away, to be brought back to repentance, because to their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace.”
“If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God. Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. How much more severely do you think a man deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God under foot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified him, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace?”
Conclusions Concerning Forgiveness
Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.
God remembers your sin no more.
There is no longer any sacrifice for sin.
2 Corinthians 3:6-11
“He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant – not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. Now if the ministry that brought death, which was engraved in letters on stone, came with glory, so that the Israelites could not look steadily at the face of Moses because of its glory, fading though it was, will not the ministry of the Spirit be even more glorious? If the ministry that condemns men is glorious, how much more glorious is the ministry that brings righteousness! For what was glorious has no glory now in comparison with the surpassing glory. And if what was fading away came with glory, how much greater is the glory of that which lasts!”
2 Corinthians 5:17-19
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! All this is from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to Himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them.”
“Therefore, since the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us be careful that none of you be found to have fallen short of it.”
“There remains, then, a Sabbath rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from his own work, just as God did from his. Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest.”
Old Covenant: Man reaching up to God with self effort to be accepted by God.
New Covenant: God reaching down to man through Jesus Christ with love and acceptance.
Under Law Man Says
Under Grace Christ Says
Look at what I’m doing for you
Look at what I did for you
Look at how I went to church
Look at how I went to Calvary
Look at how I was raised in my denomination
Look at how I was raised from the dead
Look at how I gave my money
Look at how I gave my life
Look at how I confessed my sins
Look at how I took away your sins
Look at how I stood against sin
Look at how I died for your sins
Look at how I judged the lost world
Look at how I saved the lost world
Look at how I marched against evil-doers
Look at how I suffered for evil-doers
Look at how I bowed down to you
Look at how I became one of you
Look at how I healed the sick
Look at how I raised the dead
Look at how I spoke in tongues
Look at how I spoke in love
Look at how successful my life was
Look at how successful My death was
“Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, His body, and since we have a great Priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful.”
“Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”
Classic Christianity eBook for Kindle and other book readers is available for purchase directly from eBook distributors.
Harvest House Publishers chooses to place eBooks on sale at various times as a way to support recent releases of Bob’s new book, Jesus Changes Everything.
A Word from the Publisher
By: BOB HAWKINS JR.,
President of Harvest House Publishers
I recall that sunny afternoon in 1988 as if it were yesterday. While driving down Hilyard Street in Eugene, Oregon, I tuned in to a local Christian radio station in search of a solid sermon from a well-known preacher. Instead, I found myself captivated by a biblical counseling call-in program—an unusual broadcast for a time when teachings like “Christian psychology” and “improving your self-esteem” dominated the airwaves.
The compassion of the teacher and the biblical focus of the counsel drew me to listen all the more. And I was pleased when I heard that the counselor and his ministry were located in Dallas, Texas, a city I would soon be visiting on business. So I scheduled an appointment to meet with the host of the program, Bob George of People to People Ministries, hoping to provide their outreach with some appropriate Harvest House books as premiums for their broadcast.
Bob will tell you more about the misunderstanding that followed, but the upshot was, he talked for nearly two hours at the appointment about who we are in Christ and the problems with today’s performance- based Christianity. I was riveted! I found myself nodding in wholehearted agreement with what made complete sense from my personal study of God’s Word. My past reading of the Bible was being illuminated with fresh insight right there on the spot. I had not heard such freeing news in my entire Christian life!
I had grown up in a strong Christian environment, and my constant heart’s desire was to better understand how to grow in my walk with the Lord. However, like so many of you who have opened these pages, I found myself struggling to keep sin at bay while striving to live the Christian life out of my own strength. I had a good handle on the basic doctrines of the Bible, and I was convinced Christ had died for and forgiven all my sins. After all, I was living for Christ. Yet something was missing amid all my efforts. I was “busy and barren,” as Bob George puts it. But I was about to embark on an amazing journey of biblical understanding, just as you are now.
That two-hour discussion in Dallas led to the first publication of Classic Christianity, in 1989. The book’s impact has far exceeded the expectations of both author and publisher—over 600,000 copies have been distributed worldwide in numerous languages! And the stories keep coming in about people transformed by the love and grace of Christ. In fact, I would go so far as to say that Classic Christianity represents the purest presentation of the gospel message I have ever read. Why? Because it effectively strips away, to the degree mere man can, all but “Christ, who is your life” (Colossians 3:4).
Finally, as president of Harvest House Publishers, I want to express my deep appreciation to and love for Bob and Amy George, Bob and Jena Christopher, Bob Davis, and so many other truly ministry-minded servants at People to People Ministries. These 20 years have been a huge joy for my wife and me and our staff! Thank you for welcoming Harvest House as an integral partner in your life-changing outreach.
And to you, the reader, if you want to understand who you are in Christ, if you want to stop striving and start resting, if you want to truly grow in your Christian life, read this book in its entirety, again and again. (And don’t miss the foreword by Major Ian Thomas, which alone is worth the price of the book!)
With eternal appreciation to God the Father and His servant Bob George,
Bob Hawkins Jr.
President, Harvest House Publishers
You could combine all the “miracles” you see on television. You could cut my leg off and see it grow back, and it still wouldn’t compare to what happened to me that day. I experienced the greatest miracle anyone would ever witness. I found the deepest need of my heart satisfied by the Lord Jesus Christ.
After we arrived home from Arrowhead Springs, I began in earnest to tell everyone about Jesus. And, life most eager and zealous new believers, the first people I wanted to share with were members of my family. I knew that my mom and dad were in the same condition I had been in all my life: religious, yet lost. They knew about Jesus, but they didn’t know Him personally.
I was so concerned that my parents hear the gospel communicated correctly that I flew back to Indiana, picked them up, and flew them back to California so that Dr. Bright could talk to Dad and tell him what he told me. I figured he did such a good job withme, he couldn’t miss with my dad, who, I knew, had just a few months left to live.
When Dr. Bright shared with Dad and asked if he would life to recieve Christ, Dad said, “Dr. Bright, I would be happy to pray with you, but you have to understand that I’ve lived a very moral life. In our church we have quite an array of stained glass windows. Dr. Bright, I paid for those windows—everyone one of them.” My heart sank as I listened to the conversation. My mind raced with concern at the thought that my dad was lost and dying.
We went home and, in another attempt to reach my dad, I gave him a book to read. I was so anxious for my dad to receive Christ that sometimes I felt like I was badgering him. I also realized how seriously ill he was, and I didn’t want to upset him. But this was important. I couldn’t watch my dad die without knowing Christ.
When my parents returned to Indiana, Dad’s health took a turn for the worse. All of my family assembled to be with him for what we knew was our last opportunity to see Dad, and I wanted desperately to know for sure that he had eternal life.
In my heart, I cried to God: “I’ve got to know about Dad’s relationship with You. Please, God, don’t let him die without knowing You.” As our visit over the long weekend finally drew to a close, Dad summoned my brother and me into his hospital room.
Fragile, thin, and gaunt, he looked at us and said, “Boys, I want you to know that all the things I placed so much importance on during my life are meaningless. The only thing that really matters is man and his relationship with God.” Then Dad turned to me and said, “Bob, I read that book you gave me, and everything’s A-OK.”
I leaned over and kissed my dad a final kiss. That day I left to go back to California, and by the time I arrived home from the airport, the telephone was ringing with the news that my father had died. My reaction was simply, “Thank You, Lord. Thank You for giving me a wonderful father. Thank You for saving me and for allowing me to be a vehicle for You to save Dad. I know where I a going one day, and now I know for sure where Dad is: ‘absent for the body and present with the Lord.'”
Excerpt from Bob’s book, “Faith That Pleases God.”
First, the law defines sin. Romans 4:15 says that “where there is no law there is no transgression.” In other words, you can’t break a law that doesn’t exist. Policemen couldn’t pull you over and give you a ticket for speeding if the state did not have published and posted speed-limit laws. That’s why Romans 5:13 says, “For before the law was given, sin was in the world. But sin is not taken into account when there is no law.”
Second, the law convicts men of their guilt and need for salvation. The question is, Who will ever come to a Savior? The answer: only someone who knows he needs to be saved. The major purpose for which God gave the law was to convince men of their lost condition so that they would be prepared to accept Jesus Christ as Savior.
“Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God. Therefore no one will be declared righteous in His sight by observing the law; rater, through the law we become conscious of sin.” (Romans 3:19-20).
God's Solution to Man's Problem -- Life
…”There are those who sincerely try to live a life they do not have, substituting religion for God, Christianity for Christ, and their own noble endeavors for the energy, joy, and power of the Holy Spirit. In the absence of reality, they can only grasp at ritual, stubbornly defending the latter in the absence of the former, lest they be found with neither! There are those who have a life they never live. They have come to Christ and thanked Him only for what He did, but do not live in the power of who He is. Between the Jesus who was and the Jesus who will be they live in a spiritual vacuum, trying with no little zeal to live for Christ a life that only He can live in and through them, perpetually begging for what in Him they already have!” Major Ian Thomas (From the forward of Classic Christianity)
“For if, when 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!”
Now having been cleansed of all unrighteousness and the sin issue settled forever, there are only 2 things left that God had to do for man:
1. Provide Righteousness.
2. Provide Life.
“Since they did not know the righteousness that comes from God and sought to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness. Christ is the end of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes.”
“I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: The righteous will live by faith.”
“But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe.”
“But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ – the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith.”
“I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!”
“But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God’s grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many! Again, the gift of God is not like the result of the one man’s sin: The judgment followed one sin and brought condemnation, but the gift followed many trespasses and brought justification. For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ.”
Remember: Before righteousness could be given, man had to be totally forgiven and cleansed of all unrighteousness.
1 Corinthians 1:30-31
“It is because of Him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God – that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. Therefore, as it is written: Let him who boasts boast in the Lord.”
2 Corinthians 5:21
“God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that IN Him we might become the righteousness of God.”
“Is the law, therefore, opposed to the promises of God? Absolutely not! For if a law had been given that could impart life, then righteousness would certainly have come by the law.”
“I found that the very commandment that was intended to bring life actually brought death.”
“Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned.”
“As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins.”
“Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath (Death) remains on him.”
“Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned (Dead) already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.”
“For if, when 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!”
“When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins.”
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”
“In Him was life, and that life was the light of men.”
“I am the bread of life.”
“You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life.”
“Jesus answered, I am the way and the truth and the life.”
“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
“But because of His great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions – it is by grace you have been saved.”
“Before long, the world will not see Me anymore, but you will see Me. Because I live, you also will live.”
“I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life.”
“In reply Jesus declared, I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again. How can a man be born when he is old? Nicodemus asked. Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb to be born! Jesus answered, I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.”
“I have become its servant by the commission God gave me to present to you the word of God in its fullness – the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the saints. 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.”
“God has said, Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”
1 John 5:9-13
“We accept man’s testimony, but God’s testimony is greater because it is the testimony of God, which He has given about His Son. Anyone who believes in the Son of God has this testimony in his heart. Anyone who does not believe God has made Him out to be a liar, because he has not believed the testimony God has given about His Son. And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.”
1. What caused the Spirit of God to depart from Adam?
2. What caused the Spirit of God to depart from Jesus?
3. What is the only thing that could cause the Spirit of God to depart from you?
4. Where are your sins?
5. Were your sins judged?
6. What was the verdict?
7. What was the penalty?
8. Who took it?
9. How much of it did He take?
10. Therefore, how much is left for you?
11. Why can’t the Spirit of God depart from you when you sin?
“For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and you have been given fullness (completeness) in Christ, who is the head over every power and authority.”
2 Peter 1:3
“His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by His own glory and goodness.”
“And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit.”
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.”
“Everything that does not come from faith is sin.”
“So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live (by faith) in him.”
“But my righteous one will live by faith.”
“And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.”
John 11:25-26 (KJV)
“Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believes in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever lives and believes in Me shall never die.”
“For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.”
“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”
1. Are you willing to live with the attitude of not my will, but Yours be done?
2. Are you willing to give up trying to control your circumstances?
3. Are you willing to give up trying to control everyone around you – kids, mate, parents, employees, etc.
4. Are you willing to give up trying to control your future?
5. Are you willing to surrender to the One Who: Gave His Life for You, So He Could Give His Life to You, So He Could Live His Life Through You?
“No one lights a lamp and puts it in a place where it will be hidden, or under a bowl. Instead he puts it on its stand, so that those who come in may see the light. Your eye is the lamp, of your body. When your eyes are good, your whole body also is full of light. But when they are bad, your body also is full of darkness. See to it, then, that the light within you is not darkness. Therefore, if your whole body is full of light, and no part of it is dark, it will be completely lighted, as when the light of a lamp shines on you.”
“The master commended the dishonest manager because he had acted shrewdly. For the people of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own kind than are the people of the light.”
“This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of the light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God.”
“When Jesus spoke again to the people, He said, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows Me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
“Then Jesus told them, ‘You are going to have the light just a little while longer. Walk while you have the light, before darkness overtakes you. The man who walks in the dark does not know where he is going. Put your trust in the light while you have it, so that you may become sons of light.”
(Jesus speaking to Paul on the Damascus Road)
“I will rescue you from your own people and from the Gentiles. I am sending you to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in Me.”
“For although they knew God, they neither glorified Him as God nor gave thanks to Him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles.”
“The night is nearly over, the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh.”
2 Corinthians 4:3-6
“And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. The god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For we do not preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ has made His light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.”
2 Corinthians 6:14-16
“Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and unrightsousness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: ‘I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be My people.”
“So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts.”
“For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord. Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. But everything exposed by the light becomes visible, for it is light that makes everything visible. This is why it is said. ‘Wake up, 0 sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.”
“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”
“…the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. For He has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son He loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”
“But you, brothers, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief. You are all sons of the light and sons of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness. So then, let us not be like the others, who are asleep, but let us be alert and self-controlled. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, get drunk at night. But since we belong to the day, let us be self-controlled, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet. For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath, but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
“God, the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone is immortal and who lives in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see. To Him be honor and might forever. Amen.”
“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light.”
I John 1:5-7
“This is the message we have heard from Him and declare to you: God Is light, In Him there Is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with Him yet walk in darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, His Son, purifies us from every sin.”
I John 2:8-11
“Yet I am writing you a new command, its truth is seen in Him and you, because the darkness is passing and the true light is already shining. Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates his brother is still in the darkness. Whoever loves his brother lives in the light, and there is nothing in him to make him stumble. But whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks around in darkness; he does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded him.”
Read more in understanding of 1 John 1:9.
One of the most asked questions on the radio that Bob George answered was, “What about 1 John 1:9?” The 1 John 1:9 question is still being asked today. So, how are we to understand 1 John 1:9 in light of the New Covenant?
We invite you to feel free to follow along with Bob with it is finished bible verses.
1 John 1:9
When we read the Bible, we need to look at the context in which each book was written. If we don’t do that, it’s easy to misinterpret what a particular book or chapter is really saying. When that happens, we can easily come to wrong conclusions, which can then cause a lot of misunderstanding about the work of Christ on our behalf.
One example of this is that many people believe that although their sins have been forgiven prior to salvation, after salvation it is up to them to obtain forgiveness through their confession. Others believe that all their sins have been forgiven at the cross, however, they cannot experience forgiveness unless they confess each time they sin. The verse both parties use to defend their belief is I John 1:9. Let’s read the first chapter of 1 John, and keep in mind two important questions: “Who was John’s audience?” and ‘What was he trying to accomplish in this letter?”
The audience was a confused church in Asia. The pastor there asked John to write a letter to help clear up some major doctrinal heresy called “Gnosticism.” Gnosticism comes from the Greek word “gnosis”, which means knowledge. The Gnostics were a group of people who believed they possessed superior spiritual knowledge. They believed that all flesh is evil and that only spirit is good. Because they believed that, they didn’t believe that Jesus really came in the flesh – they believed He was an illusion. They also believed that because sin had to do with our flesh, there really wasn’t sin – sin was also just an Illusion. (That’s similar to people today who believe sickness is an illusion.) The church in Ephesus was filled with people who not only didn’t believe Christ came in the flesh, they didn’t believe sin was real.
“That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched – this we proclaim concerning the Word of Life” (I John 1:1). In other words, John is establishing that he was an eyewitness to the fact that Jesus truly did come in the flesh. He did this to convince the Gnostics that Jesus was not an illusion.
“We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son, Jesus Christ” (verse 3). This verse says two things. First, John repeats the fact that he, the rest of the apostles and other people saw Christ in the flesh. He wanted the Gnostics to realize that there were many people who could testify to the reality of Christ. Second, he is saying that there are some people in the audience who were not in the fellowship with Christ.
“This is the message we have heard from Him and declare to you: God is light; in Him there is no darkness at all” (verse 5). John’s message in this verse is clear: God is light and in Him there is no darkness. We are either in the light (saved) or in darkness (lost). Scriptures are full of this comparison between light (saved) vs. darkness (lost). On our next posting we look more in-depth to learn more about light and darkness in the scriptures.
“If we claim to have fellowship with Him yet walk in darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth.” (verse 6). In other words, if someone says he has fellowship with Christ, but is walking in darkness (lost), he is lying and not practicing the truth. The Gnostics claimed to be in fellowship with Christ (saved), and yet were actually living a lie and therefore weren’t practicing the truth.
“If we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, His Son, purifies us from all sin” (verse 7). In other words, if we walk in the light (are saved) we have fellowship with one another and the blood of Christ cleanses us from all sin. To put it another way, once we are saved, we are permanently in the fellowship because the blood of Jesus continually cleanses us from all sin. Therefore, we aren’t forgiven because we confess our sins. We are forgiven because of what Christ did for us on the cross.
“If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us” (verse 8). John is now addressing the belief the Gnostics had regarding sin because they didn’t believe it was real and therefore believed they had no sin. The “we” John is using here doesn’t refer to believers. He is referring to the Gnostics, who believed they were without sin. Because they claimed to be without sin, then they were only deceiving themselves and the truth (Jesus) was not in them.
However, verse 9 says that “if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” In other words, if the Gnostics were to confess they had sins, then God, Who is faithful and righteous, would forgive and cleanse them from their unrighteousness. In the Greek language, the words “forgive” and “cleanse” mean past actions that have results today and will continue to have results in the future. Also, the word “all” used in these verses means all. It doesn’t mean that we are cleansed of our past sins and our past unrighteousness, it means we were cleansed of all our unrighteousness. And if God cleanses us from all unrighteousness, then we are cleansed forever!
“If we claim we have not sinned, we make Him out to be a liar and His word has no place in our lives” (verse 10). Basically this verse is a repeat of verse 8. To put it simply, it means that the Gnostics can’t claim to be without sin and yet be saved. John is saying that because the Gnostics claimed they had no sin, they were actually calling God a liar and therefore didn’t know the truth.
The purpose of the first chapter of 1 John was to compare the truth of God to the error of gnosticism. John was addressing the Gnostics, who were deceived by their own teaching. He wanted the Gnostics to understand that what they believed conflicted with what God said. He was not, however, addressing believers.
Today, there are people who believe that Christians must confess their sins in order to be forgiven. They believe that it is possible for us to be “in and out” of fellowship with God and that we must “keep short accounts” (or stay “fessed up”). The Bible doesn’t teach that we are “in and out” of fellowship with God. A person who is saved is in fellowship with God – eternally. “God, who has called you into fellowship with his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful.” (1 Corinthians 1:9). A person who is lost is not in fellowship with God. There is no bouncing back and forth. You are either in fellowship with God (saved, walking in the light) or you are not in fellowship with God (lost, walking in darkness).
Scripture also doesn’t teach the idea of “keeping short accounts” (being “fessed up”). Teaching that we are to “keep short accounts” with God causes very real and damaging problems because we miss the point of what confession really is. Such popular teaching makes confession a mindless cure-all, a “bar of soap” we use daily to clean up our flesh. A common scenario would be of a person privately confessing to God a bitter attitude towards another and then asking for forgiveness. Afterwards, he doesn’t think about it, feeling that he has adequately met the “spiritual” requirement.
“When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins” (Colossians 2:13) The fact is that while the sin issue is dead between you and God, it isn’t between the people with whom we come in contact daily. When we realize we’ve wronged another, we need to go to that person and take steps toward reconciling the relationship with that person.
It is easy to “confess” our sins and continue on, thinking we have met a spiritual” requirement. But has there really been a change in our attitude, and not just our action? That would be like the little boy whose father angrily tells him to sit down and be quiet in church. The little boy does so, but tells his father that “I may be sitting down on the outside, but I’m standing up on the inside!” God is much more concerned with changed attitudes. As our attitudes change – through the truth of God’s Word – our actions will eventually change.
Teaching we must confess our sins in order to be forgiven doesn’t produce changed hearts. Why? Because we have placed ourselves under a “law” which demands that we confess every sin in order to be forgiven and stay in fellowship with God. However, there are no laws, Mosaic or man-made, that can free us from sin. The law was never meant to free us from sin because “the power of sin is the law” (1 Corinthians 15:56). Therefore, we usually end up repeating the same sin before the week (or even the day) is over and feel guilt and frustration over our inability to change.
This obsession with confession keeps us under the power of sin because we are consumed with thoughts of ourselves in a sincere desire to please God. As a result, though, we become so concerned about whether we are “in or out of fellowship” with God that we don’t have time for our relationships down here. We are too busy keeping “short accounts” to be able to serve our brothers in love. Compare and see how many times the Scriptures exhort us to love one another versus confessing our sins. The emphasis is overwhelmingly in favor of loving our brothers.
We need to focus on the fact that God has forever settled the sin issue. Before Christ, men’s sins separated them from God. Christ was the only solution to this dilemma. Then He hung on the cross and said “It is finished!”, He meant it is finished! God has bridged the gap between Himself and man through His Son. “All this is from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to Himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them… God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.” (2 Corinthians 5:18,19,21).
Since the Bible tells us that all of our sins are forgiven because of the grace of God, then what do we do when we do sin? Ignore it and say “I’m under grace, so it doesn’t make any difference if I sin?” Many believe that teaching the forgiveness of Christ will cause people to go out and sin more. Paul dealt with this argument over 2,000 years ago. He responded, “By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?” (Romans 6:2). He continues to tell us that “we should no longer be slaves to sin – because anyone who has died has been freed from sin. . . In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. . . For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace” (Romans 6:6,7,11,14).
The more we understand our identification with Christ, the more we understand that we have been freed from the power of sin. We are freed from sin because of the work of Christ Jesus on our behalf, not because of our law keeping. Teaching the forgiveness we have in Christ is not a license to sin – we don’t need a license to sin. The only reason people often believe this is true is because they lack an understanding of God’s unconditional love, forgiveness and acceptance. They do not understand the motivating power of Christ’s love for them.
The Bible tells us “to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness” (Ephesians 4:23,24). Concerning lying, for instance, we are told “to put off falsehood and speak truthfully to our neighbor, for we are all members of one body” (verse 25). Or, concerning stealing, Ephesians 4:28 says that “he who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work with his own hands, that he may have something to share with those in need.” In other words, stop lying and start telling the truth. Quit stealing and go to work so you can share with others. These are not laws we are to keep. Because we are children of God, it doesn’t make sense for us to continue lying or stealing.
These are just a few verses that tell us what to do when we do sin. Not one verse says to confess our sins before we can go on with life. The motivation, instead, is found in Ephesians 4:32, which says we are to “be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” The only way we can ever love, forgive and accept others is because Christ has first loved, forgiven and accepted us. It is true that we will treat others the way we feel God is treating us. If we feel we have to perform for God and ask His forgiveness each time we sin, we expect the same performance from everyone else. If we believe God loves us only when we do the right things, then we tend to also love others when they, too, do the right things.
The opposite is also true. Only when we understand the unconditional love, forgiveness and acceptance of God will we ever be able to share that same love with those around us. It is impossible for us to love and forgive one another if we are constantly worrying about our own acceptance to God. The simple truth is that “we love because He first loved us” (1 John 4:19).
If we believe we must continually confess our sins in order to be loved and forgiven by God, we are actually mocking God and telling Him that Christ’s work on our behalf was not sufficient. The damage caused by this belief is extensive. There are many who are in bondage to this “law” that was created and perpetuated by man. That’s why it is so important to understand what the bible says about Christ’s finished work on the cross and our identity in Him. As we understand these truths and keep our eyes on the Lord instead of ourselves, we will see our lives change.
Enter God’s rest today.
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In Jesus Christ,
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