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Does God Separate Himself from Us Every Time We Sin?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier
The Truth Network Radio
April 26, 2022 1:30 pm

Does God Separate Himself from Us Every Time We Sin?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier

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April 26, 2022 1:30 pm

Episode 953 | Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier answer caller questions.

Show Notes

Questions in this Episode

1. Is it ok for me to serve communion to my family around dinner?

2. Is it sinful to get a tattoo to memorialize my friend who died?

3. I have heard that when a believer sins we are separated temporarily from God. I don’t think people mean we have lost our salvation when they say this, but this seems confusing and maybe unhelpful. Is the language of being separated or losing God’s presence appropriate in light of the New Covenant realities we have as Christians?

4. What did Jesus mean in John 14 that the disciples could not go with him?

5. How can I know which tradition or denomination in Christianity is right?

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Does God separate himself from us every time we sin? That's just one of the questions we'll be answering on today's edition of Core Christianity. Well, hi, I'm Bill Meyer, along with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. This is the radio program where we answer your questions about the Bible and the Christian life every day. And we would love to hear from you. Our phone lines will be open for the next 25 minutes or so. That's 1-833-THE-CORE.

That's 1-833-843-2673. Now, you can also post your question on one of our social media sites. You can watch Adriel live in the studio right now on YouTube and send us a message through our YouTube channel. And of course, you can always email us your questions. Here's the email address.

It's First up today, let's go to Garrett, who's calling in from Indiana. Garrett, what's your question for Pastor Adriel?

Yes, I appreciate you taking my call. I have a two-fold question regarding the Lower Supper or Holy Communion. The first part is, there are different, of course, accounts of when Jesus gave the Final Supper or the Lower Supper.

Is it custom that we should just use bread and wine or bread and juice? Or is it okay to have a meal and share with the believers? And the second part is, who can administer the actual Lower Supper?

Does it have to be a rabbi, a priest, or ordained minister, a licensed minister? The reason I'm asking is because I'm the head of my household, and would it be okay for me to administer the Lower Supper in my household to my family? And if it's not, will I be guilty of the shedding of the blood of Jesus Christ?

Garrett, thank you so much for this question. I think when it comes to the Lord's Supper and just Christian worship in general, we want to follow the instructions that Jesus gave to us. And so it's proper for the Lord's Supper to be administered with bread and wine. In other words, we don't get to make it up as we go.

I can't use a Snickers bar and a glass of milk, you know, that kind of a thing. Well, the bread and wine are communicating something to us. These are signs that God has given, that God has prescribed that signify the body and blood of Jesus, the gospel of His grace. And so I think it's important that we just stick with the Scriptures here.

Now, there are extraordinary circumstances. You know, I've heard people ask, well, what about in a place where there's no wine, or that kind of a thing? But wine, and this is one of the reasons why wine is used in the New Testament, when Jesus instituted this meal.

It isn't just chosen randomly. It's the drink of God's kingdom. You think of Isaiah 25, where Isaiah, the prophet, has this picture of the kingdom of God being this amazing feast, you know, with well-aged wine, with the bone-in steaks, this image, this image of celebration, this image of joy, this image of God's kingdom. And that's why Jesus uses these elements in the institution of the Lord's Supper. And so again, I think we want to stick with the Scriptures here. And just generally speaking, with regard to worship, we want to stick with what the Scriptures teach. Now, with regard to the question of who can administer the Lord's Supper, I believe that it should only be someone who has been ordained, ordained as a minister of the gospel.

Now, I know that that might come off as controversial, but let me explain myself here specifically. The Apostle Paul says in 1 Corinthians chapter 4 verse 1 that we are stewards of the mysteries of God. The Lord's Supper and baptism are visible words that God gives to us.

These signs, these sacraments of His grace, they're closely related to the preaching of the word of God. And I don't think that just anybody should be a preacher. James chapter 3 verse 1 says, Let not many of us be teachers, brethren, knowing that we will receive a stricter judgment. There are some people that are called specifically to this office of teaching, of representing Christ through the ministry of the word and through the ministry of these ordinances. And the reason why this is so important is because we want to protect those things. We want to, like Paul tells Timothy, guard the good deposit of the faith that's been handed down so that we wouldn't just entrust anyone with these mysteries.

There needs to be training. There needs to be qualifications, the ones that Paul outlines in 1 Timothy 3 and Titus chapter 1. And so it's something that happens, the Lord's Supper is something that happens according to the word of Christ in the context of the worshiping assembly. And this is exactly what the Apostle Paul says in 1 Corinthians chapter 11 where there's some rebuke there with how the Corinthians were taking the Lord's Supper. But if you guys are coming together as the body, not as individuals on your own, off doing your own thing, but this is something that the body does together because in part what's being pictured, signified in the Lord's Supper is the unity that we have through the body of Jesus.

The one loaf, the one bread that we break, Paul says earlier in 1 Corinthians. And so I believe that it should be administered by a pastor, by a minister of the gospel in the context of the gathered assembly and according to what Jesus has said. Now again, I know that for many people they were taught to, anytime you want to take communion kind of off on your own, you can do it sort of your own special time with Jesus if you want.

If you don't have bread and wine you can use saltines and a diet coke or whatever. But brothers and sisters, we need to take very seriously what Jesus says in his word with the Apostles taught related to this meal. In fact, in 1 Corinthians 11 Paul says, I would say to you, Garrett, as you lead your family, as the head of your household, I think you teach the scriptures, you sing together, you pray together, you take them to church, a good solid church where the word of God is faithfully taught. And there you partake of the Lord's Supper together under the ministry of the word, but I don't think that's something that we should do as individual fathers in our home.

We do teach the word and encourage in that, but I think that the Lord's Supper is reserved for the worshiping assembly to be administered by a pastor. Thank you for that two-part question. Sorry for going a little bit long there, but I really appreciate your question. I appreciate the fact that you're wanting to lead your family in worship and caring for them and for their spiritual well-being.

May the Lord bless you in that. Garrett, thanks so much for your call. Thanks for being a regular listener to Core Christianity.

We really do appreciate you. We have our phone lines open right now. If you have a question for Pastor Adriel about the Bible, the Christian life, doctrine, theology, you name it, we would love to hear from you. Here's our phone number, 833-THE-CORE. We'll be taking calls for the next 15 minutes or so. 1-833-843-2673. Let's go to Sarah calling in from Nevada. Sarah, what's your question for Adriel?

Hello. The question I have is in regards to tattoos and Leviticus 19-28. Someone I loved dearly who was a believer has just passed away and they had a very specific tattoo that I've always loved. So before they passed, I asked them if I could get that tattoo in memory of them and that they said, you know, they wouldn't be upset and they're fine with it, but would be getting this tattoo a sin?

I don't believe tattoos in general are a sin, but since it would be to memorialize the dead, would that be displeasing to God? Well, first, let me just say I'm sorry to hear about the death of your friend. And so may God comfort you in this time. And I'm grateful that this friend was a believer, that we have the hope of the resurrection of the dead and eternal life through Jesus, through what he's done, and that you have that hope as well for this friend. But I know that this has got to be a really difficult time for you. And so may God comfort you. With regard to your question, you know, I like the specificity here because we've received this question before, Sarah, you know, does the Bible just flat out condemn tattoos? And I always say, well, no, you know, I mean, obviously there are some things you shouldn't probably put on your body. I mean, it could be, you know, dishonoring to the Lord in and of itself, but just generally speaking, no, but this is more specific because Leviticus 19-28 says you shall not make any cuts on your body for the dead or tattoo yourselves.

I am the Lord. Now, would you getting this tattoo that your friend had be a sin, in one sense, you know, memorializing this person? No, I don't think so. I think specifically what's happening in Leviticus 19 in particular, I mean, these calls to holiness that God is giving to his people to live in a way that's distinct from the pagan nations. And it seems that one of the things that was a part of the pagan worship that these people would do around Israel was tattooing. It was a sort of spiritual thing, even a religious exercise, a pagan religious exercise. And I don't think that's what you're talking about here. And so I don't believe that it would fall under the condemnation of God or that it would be a sin to get this tattoo.

And so that's my answer. I think, you know, when you look at the context of Leviticus 19 and you set that command in particular in verse 20 in its context related to pagan worship and the pagan worship that was happening around the people of God, not wanting to imitate that. I think that was forbidden, but I don't think that what you're talking about, sister, would be a sin per se. And so may the Lord be with you and comfort you and continually draw you nearer and nearer to him, Sarah, as you continue to grow in Christ. God bless. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. And Adriel, I've never told you, I really like that tattoo of the Archangel Michael there on your bicep. When you flex, it really looks. Yeah, that's right. It just triples in size, doesn't it, Bill?

No, Bill is joking. I don't have any angels tattooed on my body, but I don't know. There's an idea, I guess. Better check with your elders first. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez, and we would love to hear from you if you have a question about the Bible or the Christian life. Also, if you've got any doubts about the faith, maybe you consider yourself to be an agnostic or an atheist or even follow a different religion.

And you've stumbled across this program and you're thinking, I don't believe in this Christianity stuff. Hey, Adriel, be happy to talk to you as well about the truth of the gospel. Here's our phone number. It's 833-THE-CORE.

That's 1-833-843-2673. We also get a lot of questions here at Core Christianity about heaven. And to answer those questions, we're offering you an excellent free resource today. It's called Seven Things You Need to Know About Heaven, and it is free. One of the greatest topics a Christian can think about is our everlasting life with Christ. It's what helps us from striving after the things of this world. We don't need to hunger for material possessions, for power, for ease, for comfort.

Why? Because Christ has secured for us an everlasting kingdom where we are co-heirs with him. Unfortunately, many people don't understand this, and so we want to help you fix your eyes on heaven and the hope that we have there and even beyond heaven, the promise of the resurrection of the body, the glorification of the whole world, the cosmos.

This is what God has promised to us in his son Jesus. And so, would you get a hold of this resource? Again, it's over at, and it's called Seven Things You Need to Know About Heaven.

Love to get that in your hands this week. And again, you can go to forward slash offers. Again, forward slash offers and look for Seven Things You Need to Know About Heaven, a free download for you. Well, we do get voicemails here at Core Christianity. And if you've got a question for us, you can feel free to call us 24 hours a day and leave your voicemail.

Here's one that came in earlier this week from one of our listeners named Brian. Yes, my question has to do with a popular phrase that I think I hear in Christianity in general, but I even hear it, you know, sometimes in my own church. And it's this phrasing of when a believer sins or is in a state of sin that our sins will separate us from God temporarily. And I don't always think that they mean we're lost for the moment because of committing sin or we've lost our salvation, but it still seems to be a very confusing way to navigate through the Christian experience and the Christian life and the life of a believer.

So my question is, is this language appropriate given what we know of the new covenant realities versus maybe is this some old covenant? Thanks for taking my question. Yeah, I mean, really an important question. What happens when we sin? I actually got an article over at, Four Things God Does After We've Sinned. I think that's the title, but I just try to unpack what God is doing even when we sin.

Now, here's something that you need to understand. One, as a believer in Jesus Christ, when we trust in the Lord, when we receive the word of God, we're sealed with the Holy Spirit. This is precisely what the apostle Paul said in Ephesians chapter 1 verse 13, in him, you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it to the praise of his glory. In other words, God has given us this down payment, the guarantee, if you will, that the world to come, the new creation is ours. We have the spirit of the age to come living in us. We've been sealed with the Holy Spirit.

When? When you believed in the gospel. And I don't think that this is something that we just sort of get and lose and get and lose every time we sin. But our sin, you know, there's an experience associated with sin that I think Paul is going to talk about in just a few chapters.

In Ephesians chapter 4 verse 29, listen to what he said, he's talking about sin here, verse 29, let no corrupting talk come out of your mouth, but only such is as good for building up as fits the occasion that it may give grace to those who hear and do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Now he doesn't say, you know, you're no longer sealed as you were in chapter one when you sin, but he does say, when we sin as believers, sealed by the Holy Spirit, that we grieve the Holy Spirit. And there can be this sense of spiritual drought, right? We've experienced this when we struggle with the sin, the feelings of maybe God being distant or, you know, prayer not coming so easily or, you know, I know that I've grieved the Holy Spirit, you know, that sense.

But that doesn't mean that God has abandoned us or left us. I think it's just the consequences of sin, but you don't step in and out of, you know, the sealing of the Holy Spirit, if you will. But we can quench the Spirit through our actions, through our sinful behavior, but the Spirit is always there and God is always there and calling us to repentance and disciplining us as his children even when we do sin. And so the way I would answer your question is by saying while we don't lose the Holy Spirit, we can't as those who have been sealed. God has blessed us, he's saved us, he's justified us, he's sealed us with the Holy Spirit when we believed in the Gospel. We can as believers grieve the Holy Spirit and that is something that we sense, that we feel even. But, right, God in his mercy, you know, calls us to himself. You know, we can repent and we do repent, we're called to confess our sins as John tells us in 1 John chapters 1 and 2. To confess our sins knowing that he forgives us and when we do we have that renewed sense of fellowship with God and also with his people. And so maybe you're in a time right now in your own life where you know you've been quenching the Holy Spirit.

Yeah, I believe in Jesus, I've embraced the Gospel, boy, but I feel so distant from God and I know that there are things that I'm doing that grieve the Holy Spirit. Well, let me just say to you, brother or sister, confess those things and repent of them and turn to the Lord and receive his grace and mercy, the mercy that he gives you when you confess your sins and so there's that hope that we have. Thank you for your question, God bless. Amen. Some great words of reassurance from Adriel.

Thanks so much. This is Core Christianity. Let's go to Jerry on the line from California. Jerry, what's your question for Pastor Adriel? Pastor Adriel, here's my question. Just prior to his crucifixion, Jesus told his disciples that he would be leaving them and where I am going you cannot follow now, but you will later. Well, Peter, speaking for everyone, spoke up for the rest of them and says, Lord, why can't I follow you now? And he said, Jesus response, don't let your hearts be troubled, trust in God and trust in me. There are many rooms in my father's house.

I would not tell you this if it were not true. I am going there to prepare a place for you. I will come back and take you to be with me so that you may say that you may be where I am. John 14, 1 to 3. That is my question. So everyone who has passed away, including the disciples and everyone, are they with Jesus now, absent from the body, present with the Lord? Or is it they are just sleeping?

Yes, great question. When the believer dies, are they just sort of unconscious, you know, sleeping, waiting for the resurrection? Or are they in the presence of God?

You quoted one passage in 2 Corinthians chapter 5, to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. And I believe that the disciples and all those who have died in Christ are with God right now, worshipping him around his throne. In fact, in the book of Hebrews, in Hebrews chapter 12, we have a picture of that, the spirits of the righteous made perfect there around the throne of God, worshipping God.

You have the image of the martyrs beneath the throne of God in the book of Revelation, calling out to God for justice. So it's not that the believer, when we die, we just sort of sleep, that we're not conscious, like you're taking a really long nap until the resurrection. No, we are worshipping the Lord together with all the church triumphant in heaven, waiting for the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come. But we are in the presence of the Lord immediately. When a believer dies, their souls are immediately made perfect in holiness. They're really a wonderful thing, and their bodies go down to the ground. They're still united to Christ in a real sense, so our bodies are waiting for that resurrection, the glorification that comes on the last day.

But there's every indication, I think, in the New Testament that when we die, we're in heaven in the presence of the Lord, worshipping him together with all the saints. Thanks. Great response. Thanks for that, Jerry. Thanks for bringing a regular listener to Core Christianity. We do appreciate you. Let's go to Bonnie calling in from Kansas.

Bonnie, what's your question? Hi, my question is, how do you know what faith or belief or religion is good for you? Like, I was baptized at a young girl in a Baptist church, and I converted for my husband into the Catholic faith. But when I go to the Catholic church, I walk out thinking, what was the message? And I don't know if I'm just not opening my heart and mind enough to the Catholic faith, or is it just not right for me?

Bonnie, thank you for that question. You're not the only one with this question, you know, how do I know what spirituality or religion is right for me, that sort of works for me? I think we actually need to go back even further and ask maybe a different question, which is not, you know, which one is right for me, but which one is just right? What is the truth? And ultimately, right, that's what we want to be aligned with. We want to be aligned with the truth. And fundamentally speaking, the truth, I believe, is something that God reveals to us in his word.

And that's something that I think that many people would be willing to say. I think that even Roman Catholics would be willing to say, God's word, right, ultimately is the truth. And so the word of God, rightly understood, rightly interpreted, rightly proclaimed, is where we want to be. We want to be somewhere where there's a faithful ministry, where the Bible is being taught, where we're being led into a deeper understanding of who Jesus is, of what he's done for me and how he calls me to live. And so what I encourage people to do is, you know, the primary question shouldn't be, does this make me feel good?

I feel like it's right for me? I mean, I think there's a piece there where we should connect and be able to connect. But the primary question is, is God speaking here through his word? The church is wherever the word of God is being faithfully taught and worship is being conducted according to what Jesus has said. You know, you have those ordinances that he gave to the church, baptism and the Lord's Supper, and where the gospel is being clearly proclaimed. And so I would say what you want to strive for for yourself, what your family should long for, is to be in a place where the word of God is taught faithfully, consistently, where the scriptures are opened and they're being preached. That's the job of a pastor. I mean, Paul gives Timothy this solemn charge in 2 Timothy chapter 4, preach the word. That's what we're called to do. That's what I'm called to do as a minister of the gospel.

Anybody who refers to themselves as a pastor or a priest, if they're not preaching the word, the word of God, they're not doing what they're supposed to be doing. And so I would say for you, sister, go where the word of God is being faithfully taught, where the scriptures are being opened, and you're being led into a deeper understanding of who Jesus is and what he has done for you. And you're receiving the comfort of the gospel. That's what each of us needs in order to grow in our own spiritual life. And so I just want to say a quick prayer for you, Bonnie.

Father, I thank you for this caller. I thank you for her, for her desire to know you and walk with you. I pray that you would help her and her family to get plugged into a place, Lord, where your word is faithfully taught, where they can grow together in the knowledge of the truth. Would you be with her and bless her in that? In Jesus' name, amen. When you contact us, please let us know how you've been encouraged by this program and be sure to join us next time as we explore the truth of God's word together.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-04-26 17:25:36 / 2023-04-26 17:35:36 / 10

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