Bible Lesson 86


2ND Corithians 5:17

In the last two lessons, I have endeavored to show you from Holy Scripture that those who are truly saved and born again and obedient to the Word and Will of God, worship a Supernatural God, a God who has all power and is in fact, the repository of all power. Not only is Jehovah God, supernatural in power, He is also supernatural in knowledge, knowing everything from beginning to end even before it happens. Jehovah demonstrates His supernatural power to us in that He can be everywhere at once (Omnipresent). It was our supernatural God that created the worlds and all that we know including nature. We can understand nature as a law that was set in place by our supernatural God to cause definable and logical upkeep to all that God created. That law cannot be broken or changed or rescheduled except by God.

In the prior lessons, we pointed out just a few of the Supernatural works of God. These were all works that were outside the possibility of nature. We find in Genesis Chapters one and two, the Creation account and we cannot argue with the fact that creation was the work of our supernatural God.

Time and space will not allow us to list nearly all of God’s supernatural works that speak of times when God interrupted nature and did some supernatural things. Things like His provision of a paradise (Garden of Eden) for Adam and Eve. The creation of mankind and the breathing of life into his nostrils and then causing Adam to fall into a deep sleep and taking a rib from his side to produce Eve. We saw in those chapters in the front of the book of Genesis, that God is the origin of life and the only one who can take away our spiritual life.

God had breathed life into Adam and gave him one command to keep while in the garden, and that was that Adam was not to eat of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. When Adam and Eve disobeyed God and ate of the fruit of that tree, they lost eternal life and began physical death. We can look at other supernatural acts of God and we will see the great global flood that God sent; because the man had become so corrupted in mind and heart. Only eight people and pairs of all animals (seven clean animals used as sacrifice animals) were saved by being on the Ark of Noah.

It was a Supernatural God that called out Abram from among a culture that was idol worshipers and led him to a place that Abram did not know about, to establish a chosen nation. This same Supernatural God gave Abraham (Abram) and his wife Sarah a son in their old age and made that son the son of promise be in the line of Christ. As we read the Old Testament, we have to see the hand of a Supernatural, Holy, Just and Gracious and Merciful God as he guides and tends the lives of those whom He has given His Grace. God goes on to send Prophets, Judges, and Kings to bring His eternal plan into play and to keep His plan on schedule. We know the prophecies were supernatural because they have for the most part all been fulfilled.

We saw God’s eternal plan take a giant leap into our present world, when He sent His One and Only Son, Jesus Christ, through the womb of a virgin to live, preach, correct and go to the cross as a substitution for sinners, to redeem those who would obey Him.

Our purpose in these lessons is to bring our minds back to who God is. Most people who profess to know Christ in this world today are people whose knowledge of God is sorely lacking. Most see God as a shield against trouble on earth and hell in the hereafter. Do some see God as a celestial ‘bell-hop’ who must answer to their every call and whim.

Others see Him as a gentle grandfather who loves everyone so much that He would not send anyone to hell because of sin. Then there are many who believe God has all of those attributes! Listen to me carefully now, if you believe like that you are not a Christian, you are an atheist.

Don’t be too quick to try to justify what you believe because that is the truth and we have become so Biblically illiterate that we really wouldn’t recognize God, if we tripped over Him on the way to church. That may hurt some people’s feelings, but you will get over your hurt feeling; however, you will never get over going to hell.

We have played the come to church and feel good game for so long that in our society, we expect to be able to paint over our sins on Sunday and be patted on the head by our Pastors and teachers, that we have lost the very concept of a Sovereign God.

We go to church like politicians go to political meetings each goes knowing that others are as bad or worse than they are that they don’t have to worry about anyone confronting them. I know that people do not like to hear that whatever they are doing is wrong, but it’s time we all stopped playing, took a good honest look at ourselves and realized that we have been a bunch of hypocrites or worse.

We know God does not like hypocrites because when God was here on the earth with us, in the flesh as Jesus Christ, He always gave the Pharisee, and Sadducees, grief about their hypocritical ways. Remember God will forgive, even the hypocrite, if they repent and turn back to worship God in Spirit and Truth, but there will be no hypocrites in heaven.

The thing that troubles me is that I’m not sure that people in our day will take the time and make the effort to even look inward anymore. We have become so shallow and selfish and narcissistic, that we wear our feelings on our sleeves and we will not hear any criticism of our persons.

We seem to think that if we have it in our minds that we will not allow anyone to influence us that we are some kind of leader. That’s the big problem in our government at this moment. People are shouting to their leads ‘We do not want you to vote a certain way’, yet those swelled heads in Washington believe that they are the answer to the world’s problems.

Many years ago, American Churches, at least it seems that most of them, decided that what they needed was to be more like their communities and their cultures, so they began to drop the standards that God had set in eternity past. As a result of that huge mistake, we now exist as Churches that do not resemble Christ; but instead we resemble the local fraternities and sororities.

It has been said that ‘The church is made up of people, and the church is cleansed when we are cleansed. Too many church members, seem to have been starched and ironed, before they were washed!’; and another old truth that I certainly agree with is, ‘The temple of truth has never suffered so much from wood-peckers on the outside as from termites from within’.

The Visible Church for the most part needs to be brought back to that standard that was set for the Body and Bride of Christ. In Ephesians Chapter five, beginning at verse 24, we find this about the Church’.’ Therefore, just as the Church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the Church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the Word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot of wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.’

Will the church that you are a member of fit that description’ Probably, you know for sure it would not stand in the judgment, if Christ came back today. You need to know that Christ may come back today or tomorrow, and if the place you attend church has a spot or wrinkle, she will not be included in the Wedding! And if you are aware and awake and you have heard the truth, you won’t either!

Why do you suppose that there will be so many who will not enter into heaven’ Well, Christ, God in the flesh, says in Matthew Chapter seven and verses 13-14, that it will be, because people will not read and heed the Word of God. They are too focused on the here and the now and what the flesh wants, to take the time and make the effort to get through that strait gate (Jesus Christ) and walk that narrow way for the rest of their time on this earth.

Now, if you are saying to yourself, ‘Not me, I want to go to heaven’s don’t doubt that you do, want to go to heaven, but God said that you would not take the time and make the effort to understand His Word and Will, and then to obey it all in His power! Any one who is not in denial has to know that if God is part and parcel of the visible churches of our day, that we are serving the wrong god.

That is because we chose decades ago to leave the true God, the God of supernatural power and Grace, and follow after a god that we made up in our minds. That god that most churches today worship cannot be found in the Bible. People, who say that they have been ‘saved’ by this new and novel god of our society, are weak and sinful and look exactly like their friends in the world.

They have not been changed into a new creature who has the old things passed away and all things new. They have not been sealed by the Spirit of God and they certainly are not obedient. Oh, they have many excuses for not being what they are supposed to be but all of their excuses point to a god that has no power.

God dealt with that kind of attitude through the Apostle Paul there in Second Timothy chapters 4 and 5, when God inspired Paul to write to us and warn us that about the perilous times that would come, when men would love everything of the world more than they loved God.

A time when men would have a ‘form of godliness but would deny the power thereof (2nd Timothy 3:1-5). God further inspired the Apostle Paul to warn us in the next chapter of 2nd Timothy about exactly what we have done in our churches; and that is that we have ‘heaped’ to ourselves teachers who teach only what we will accept’ because we have itching ears (2nd Timothy 4:1-5).

God gave us ‘One’ Bible, so all churches (if they are faithful to the Bible) should operate along the same lines, but everyone knows that does not happen. We have various denominations and many of the denominations have churches that do not resemble each other in their worship services.

How does that happen’ The Great Commission has become the great Omission (Matthew 28:19-20). We do not like to be quiet before God in our worship ( Psalms 46:10). We exist, for the most part, of congregations that do not really know one another except by sight on Sunday mornings. We have called many Pastors that do not know the truth of the Word; because they were not called by God, and did not attend a Seminary that taught the undiluted truths of the Word of God, so they came forth with their certificates of graduation and are now confusing entire congregations.

We are, as the Prophet Isaiah said, in Isaiah 53:6, ‘All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned everyone to his own way’. We are as the book of Judges says in chapter 17:6, a nation where ‘Everyone does what is right in his own eyes’. Can you see where all of that is wrong’ We, that is those who have been born again, are a different kind of people, we are no longer running our own lives’..instead, God who is Sovereign in everything is now in charge of our lives and we, like Galatians 2:20, tells us’. ‘have been crucified with Christ, we are alive, but it is not we who are living, but Christ lives in us and the life that we now live in the flesh, we live by the faith of Him who loved us and gave Himself for us’.

That brings us to the place that we can again look closely at the Supernatural power of God in our lives ‘.that is if we are truly saved. Everyone, without exception, everyone who has been saved and forgiven and promised an inheritance in heaven, should understand, and be thankful for the Supernatural power of our Gracious God. Only a Supernatural God could take a sinner such as I and in an instant, change Him from a sinner to a saint.

Only a Supernatural God could recreate me, give me that new birth that is required in every salvation experience, and give me a just standing before Him, making me a new creature with the Holy Spirit inside me, leading me and guiding me toward my heavenly reward. That is not only my experience; this is the experience of every truly saved person in the world. If that is not your experience, I beseech you by the mercies of God to go back to God, willing to say to yourself and to God that you have been mislead about your salvation and crying out to God to come into your life and take it over, granting you that supernatural new birth that puts Christ in you and you in Christ.

That supernatural power that takes the old things, the Adam things in your life and nails them to the cross and raises up a new person, able to walk in the paths of God. We have been willing to submit ourselves and our eternal souls to people, pastors, teachers, bishops and associations, to do that which God alone can do. People, places and things have a place but when it comes to having your sins forgiven and being able to please God, only God will suffice. Remember this ‘.’

No one can make you again but He who made you the first time’. God is not simply a part of our salvation, He is all of our salvation. We have or can do nothing to cause our salvation. God has done it all. The Father in heaven planned it before He created the worlds, The Son Jesus Christ came to the earth to die to pay for it, and the Holy Spirit applies it’s benefits to our lives; but only when and where God decides to save anyone. So if you are saved and you are that new creature in Christ, ‘Thank God for that fine linen, clean and white, the righteousness with which Christ covers our wounded nakedness. It becomes ours, through no thread of what was wrought in our looms’.(Alexander MacLaren).

We (people who call ourselves Christians) have been wrong for so long and have gotten so used to our erroneous ways that when we find the truth we want to think it is wrong. We have been so wrong for so long that I am not sure if a revival would do us much good. What would a revival of our wrong religion look like’ The problem stems from man’s attempt to worship a god that he did not know and did not exist except in the minds of men.

We began to send our sons and daughters off to Seminaries and we found them easy and affirming to our desires when they came back and took over pulpits throughout the country. They were so sweet and nice and they never raised their voices and never confronted anyone or anything, so we enjoyed that preaching to our ‘itching ears’.

Over the years, that became the norm, to preach soothing sermons that never really put a face on sin, never sounded confrontational, never accused or attempted to correct any sort of sin. It sounded good and it caused many to join our church groups; however it was steadily chipping away at the doctrines of the Bible. We are now at a point where it really doesn’t matter whether you believe the Bible or not ‘.just as long as you believe something! That my dear brothers and sisters is a lie and any who preach anything like that are liars!

We call ourselves Christians, but we do not believe in Christ; and the proof is in the pudding. Just think about what we teach as the truth’.things like ‘Christ loves everybody when Christ Himself preached that it was those who loved Him enough to obey Him, that He loved, and He went on to say that those who loved Him enough to obey Him would be loved by His Father (John 14:21-24).

How does a person that believes the Bible reconcile that kind of thing’ We hear from our pulpits that, Christ died for everybody’.when the Bible says in Hebrews 5:8-9, that Christ died for those who would obey Him. We are told in Romans 10:17, that it takes a knowledge of God to reach God’s gift of Grace and Faith. Romans 10:17 tells us ‘Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God’.

That speaks of either reading or hearing the real truths of the Bible, and if we hear or read the truths of God with Spiritual ears, then we are close to the Kingdom. Why is it then that so many church members carry their Bibles but know practically nothing about what it teaches’

Now, whether we like it or not, whether we believe it or not, whether we belong to a large group that does not believe it ‘..makes no difference at all. God said that only those who were born again, born from above, born of water and the Spirit can ever be saved. God said it and it stands as sure as death and taxes! Incidentally, that verse there in John chapter 3 and verse 5 that speaks of being ‘born of water and the Spirit’, is speaking of being washed by the Word of God and baptized in the Spirit.

It is not speaking of water baptism, which is simply an outward sign of an inner change. That means that we must have a basic knowledge of the Word of God to have a saving experience by the God of the Word. That is another supernatural act of God because no man can ever really understand the Word of God until God puts that ability in them.

I want to mention a couple of Theologians and Evangelists that have majored in the Supernatural acts of God and they both insist upon the New Birth being required in our salvation. More than likely, you have heard of John Wesley’ who founded Methodism, and George Whitefield, who was a great evangelist.

I think that we have made the case for a supernatural change in salvation, which changes the outlook, and the up-look of the person who is born again. The New Birth was demanded by the Savior Jesus Christ in John 3:3 and 5. The new birth and the necessity for it is evidenced by Ephesians 2:1-10, and the results of it are shown in 2nd Corinthians 5:17.

God has said that unless a person is born from above, born again, they cannot even see the Kingdom much less enter into it. I am going to share with you a couple of the thoughts of these two great men of God so that it will show you all how far we have come from the Word and Will of God. First, let me tell you something about Whitefield. He wrote and published sermons titled ‘The Almost Christian’, ‘Satan’s Devices’, ‘The Nature and Necessity of Self-Denial’ and ‘The Lord Of Our Righteousness’ and we will have more on Whitefield in a few sentences.

John Wesley, certainly, was a believer in the New Birth and the results of the New Birth. He said, and I quote: ‘Born-again Christians rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory’, and affirmed that ‘We dwell in Him and He in us, because He has given us of His loving Spirit’. In His discussion of the present state of so many church members, John Wesley says of those who think that they were born again in baptism, ‘Lean no more on that broken reed, that you were born again in baptism.’

Wesley believed as did the Apostle John, who wrote as he was inspired by God’.’Ye must be born again’, (John 3:3,5). That New Birth comes from a work of God to recreate sinners into saints, and it always does what it is supposed to do because the Almighty God never does a work that is not perfect.

George Whitefield argued for the reasonableness of the doctrine of the New Birth and the radically changed life of those who experience it; and he argued that if he should preach any other doctrine than the Biblical doctrines, that he would wrong his own soul. He said ‘For the great work of salvation, or making us holy, is particularly referred to the Holy Ghost. And therefore our Lord says, ‘Unless a man be born of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

For Jesus Christ came down to save us not only from the guilt, but also from the power of sin.’ It is evident to me that both Wesley and Whitefield were men who believed and preached the ‘Doctrines of Grace’. Things like the depravity of man in his fallen state, the Sovereignty of God in Salvation as well as in all other things, and of course the supernatural New Birth, that is not a reformation or an overhaul of the old creature but a putting to death of the old creature and raising up of a new creature, who can and will obey God.

God speaks to us from Romans chapter six and assures us that we are not to be ruled by sin. Romans chapter six opens with the Apostle asking this question. ‘What shall we say then’ Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound” Then the Apostle answers his own question and says ‘God Forbid! Or certainly not!’

Romans Chapter 6 and verse 14 tells us that ‘Sin shall not have dominion over you: for you are not under the law but under grace.’ God gave Adam dominion over every other creature that He had created. What did that mean’ It must have meant that Adam could control all other creatures because they understood that he was dominate over them. If the lion could have killed Adam, then Adam would not have dominion over them.

In his original state before he disobeyed God Adam lived in a special sphere of protection from God. The truly saved, born again, new creature in Christ has that same kind of protection. When we are born again, we are removed from under the law to being under the Grace of God. We can stand just before God because we now have had imputed to us the righteousness of Christ. Does that mean that we are free to sin without fear of chastisement’ Absolutely not, or as Paul said in Romans 6:2.’

‘God forbid’! This new creature in Christ is not a sinner, He is a Saint, and God has given Him a new heart and a new mind (Mind of Christ), (1st Corinthians 2:16; Romans 12:1-2). We have the precious Holy Spirit to teach us and to lead us in the way of righteousness. The truly saved person is a person who knows right from wrong and then has the mind to obey God and the power of God to obey.

It is fascinating to watch how men attempt to ‘outsmart’ God by allowing themselves to remain open to sin by their sloppy translations of Bible verses. I have heard men say that ‘It has been the human condition that men cannot live above sin’! That is correct’..if it is understood that the man who cannot live above sin is a fallen man; but we are speaking here of men who have been created ‘In Christ’ and indwelled by the Holy Spirit.

That man has a heart and mind that is determined not to sin because He is now a child of God. Further than that, we are no longer judged by the law, for we are not under the law, but under grace. (Romans 6:1-14; Romans 8:1-4). We are told in Romans 5:13, that ‘sin is not imputed when there is no law’. That does not open up the option to sin and live anyway except the way the Lord has clearly established in His Word.

Any person who has that idea demonstrates the fact that they are not truly saved, and have not been born again. The New Birth by God does not come except by God’s Will and God’s power, but to those who receive, by God’s Grace through Faith in His Son Jesus Christ, the New Birth, everything changes radically.

If you don’t think so, read and think about the following verses, ( Matthew 5:48; 2nd Peter 1:5-11; 1st Peter 1:13-16; 1st John 3:4-9. The question now becomes, have we been born again’ You will know for certain, even though you may not want to admit it, and you need to be honest with yourself and with God and confess that you are not that new creature in Christ. God will forgive your error, and if and when you really desire Jesus Christ more than you desire anyone or anything on the earth, God will see and hear your

Until next time,

may God bless and keep you

This is Bro. Bob