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Can People Be Considered “Good” or “Righteous” Apart from Christ?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier
The Truth Network Radio
May 31, 2022 6:30 am

Can People Be Considered “Good” or “Righteous” Apart from Christ?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier

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May 31, 2022 6:30 am

Episode 978 | Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier answer caller questions.

Show Notes

Questions in this Episode

1. I was listening to your program, correct me if I misunderstood you, but it seemed to me like you said that if married couples are having relations not in order to have children, then they are sinning. I can’t think of anything in the Bible that says such a thing. Is that your view?

2. Is self guided meditation ok or is it wrong in God’s eyes?

3. In Luke 23, the author calls Joseph of Arimathea “a good and righteous man.” But when I read Paul, he says in Romans 3 that “no one is righteous” apart from Christ. How can I reconcile these passages?

4. Was Elijah reincarnated as John the Baptist?

5. Is paradise and heaven the same or different places?

6. Should Christians refrain from watching shows that depict Christ like The Chosen?

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Core Question – What’s the Difference Between Justification and Sanctification?

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Can people be considered good or righteous. Apart from Christ is one of the questions will be answering on today's addition of core Christianity will hi, I'm Bill Meyer along with Pastor Israel Sanchez.

We pray you had a wonderful three day weekend. This is the radio program where we answer your questions about the Bible and the Christian life every day. Would love to hear from you and our phone lines will be open for the next 25 minutes or so you can call directly into the studio with your question. Here's the number it's 833 the core that's 1-833-843-2673. You can also post your question on one of our social media sites you can watch a drill live in the studio right now on our YouTube channel and send him a message that way course you can always email us your question at questions at core, first up today. Here's a voicemail from one of our listeners named George your program and I don't know understood what I thought y'all were saying that a married couple would engage in relations or not having children that will be a fan. Do not misunderstand that I can't think of anything in the Bible that would teach any such thing. I know the part when people are going first married, or whatever they can abstain from relations for time, temporarily voluntary, so if you like to explain that little bit better. Thank you very much George thank you for that question in giving me an opportunity to clarify sorry thanks I was not clear on a previous broadcast.

No, I don't believe that I don't believe that if were were not, you know, having relations and in order to simply wanted to have children that that were were sitting in the passage he referred to try to think back to maybe win when we got a question related to this. It sounds like you're talking about. First Corinthians chapter 7, where Paul gives some some advice and wisdom with regard to marriage, and he says concerning the matters about which you wrote.

It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman, but because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife, and each woman her own husband. The husband should give it to his wife or conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband for the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does, likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time that you may devote yourselves to prayer, and then come together again so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control, intimacy, and in in marriage rightly. As Christians we believe that you should not be having sex outside of marriage within marriage.

It's a way to stop serve in and love your spouse in and yes you know that the fruit of intimacy is children and that is a blessing from the Lord. I don't think we want to minimize that anyway. But does that mean you're sitting if if you're coming together just to be together to enjoy each other, but that you're preventing you know that having a children it is that mean that civil no.

No I don't I don't believe that personally and I think Paul's advice there in first Corinthians chapter 7 is helpful. He says look we don't want to deprive each other in in marriage. This is a part of healthy Christian marriage is a Dick. Sometimes we minimize that this is this is a significant part of that. And so it's important that were were serving each other that were loving each other in this, not depriving each other except Paul says maybe you know for Fred. Time of prayer that you know good egg agree and say let's let's focus on preying on drawing near to the Lord and I and then afterwards coming together again. So seems like Paul is is all for this and and so my so thank you for that question.

May the Lord bless you and again thanks for giving us an opportunity to follow up with that you're listening to core Christianity with Pastor Israel Sanchez would love to hear from you. If you have a question about the Bible, the Christian life theology or doctrine. Or maybe you have some doubts about the Christian faith you like to ask a Pastor Israel about those feel free to give us a call. Here's the number 833 the core that's 1-833-843-2673 let's go to a voicemail that came in from one of our listeners last week to help me now. I do not know what God wants you I don't know that medication that that's wrong in God's eyes, that I appreciate it. Hey, thank you for that question is self guided meditation help you fall asleep something that's that's wrong.

Is it sinful. What I guess I want some more information coming. What is it that that your meditating on II don't think you know practicing stillness and maybe you know thinking about things that help you follow suit. I think there's anything wrong with that benefit if it helps you that's great, but Mina sometimes and we talk about meditation. Depending on what it is that you're referring to are there other other religions that practice meditation to talk about meditation. I think we want to be discerning here is I think wise for us to meditate upon holy Scripture on that which is good and true and beautiful and and of course were were called to do that throughout the Bible. I think of what Paul told the Philippian church. In Philippians chapter 4 verse eight finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. So I think oftentimes want more talking about meditation that the question is what is it that your meditating on what is it you're focusing on.

As Christians were called to meditate upon to focus upon the word of God on the promises of God and we should do that throughout the day.

Maybe that's not something that you're able to do it night to help you to fall asleep. Now does that mean it's there is need of anything wrong with just sort of try to steal your mind and maybe listening to you know nature sounds, or that I don't think so at all and so a bill want to get your insight here to.

If you have any thoughts about this is as it is a counselor will depend on the nature sounds.

I made a face like he already realizes wildebeests have lie just cafeteria is L, you know that I was not going to help you to sleep very well. It will not know. I think your advice is is really well said, there are some forms of meditation that certainly have a religious component when we talk about certain forms of yoga or or or Hindu type meditation, but I think for things like guided relaxation where your you know, learning how to relax your muscles and focus on do no green pastures. I don't think there's anything wrong with that and I think we can also in that meditation is you said focus on God and focus on his creation.

The beauty beautiful things that he has made in this world. I think that's that's fine. I think just to be careful about it what it is you what you said what the person is meditating on what is the central focus of their meditation. You're listening to core Christianity and well summer vacation just around the corner lot of kids getting out of school real soon. Maybe out of school already. And because of that we are offering a special free resource for families this summer. Yes, as you plan for those summer trips. I mean speaking of meditating on that which is good and true and beautiful no better place to go in the word of God. And so here core Christianity we put together brand resource 10 verses to memorize as a family this summer. It's free.

Free resource pointing you to the Scriptures stuff to meditate upon, together with with your family and and not just you know it's not as given you versus to to memorize and to meditate upon. But there's also some some teaching is well-suited going to the verses and in encouraging you with the word of God and so get this free resource and take advantage of it.

This this summer over core, this is a great resource for every family and I would highly recommend you get it right now. It's absolutely free. You can go to our website at core, look for 10 verses to memorize as a family this summer course you can always call us for any one of our resources as well. Here's our phone number it's 833-843-2673.

That's 833 the core and if you want to call the question now is the time to do it will be taking calls for the next 15 minutes or so and our phone lines are open 833, the court wears a voicemail that came in from one of our listeners. This is from Davis, a sure continuing to do was work usually tend to listen while going for walks over it's really lovely to being able to meditate on the laws whether even when I'm out appreciating his creation is currently studying through. I have a question regarding Luke chapter 23 W. 50 to 56 is about Joseph from Luke describes him as a good and righteous.

Now how do I lead this word righteous because if I go by what Paul says I think Paul says in Romans that no one is righteous, Jon.

I believe the Scripture that says righteous.

So what does righteous mean in this context when Luke says that Joseph from you is a good and righteous man. Thank you Ken excellent question right in and what were comparing Bible verses here because obviously Paul in Romans. Quoting from the Psalms says that there is none righteous and so is this a contradiction or at least what does Luke mean when he refers to this individual. Joseph Joseph of Arimathea is being rice righteous, verse 50.

There was a man named Joseph from the Jewish town of Arimathea he was a member of the Council a good and righteous man who had not consented to their decision and action and he was looking for the kingdom of God that I think here in the context there were not using righteousness as a technical term meaning you know he was justified imputed with the righteousness of Christ, and we think about the doctrine of justification, but I think it's it's contrasted there with the fact that Joseph of Arimathea did not consent with the decision of the Council to put Jesus to death. He was someone who is anticipating waiting for the kingdom of God he was he was looking forward to the promises in Scripture, and of course throughout the Bible, specifically in the Old Testament, you know, we have individuals who referred to as righteous. The psalmist sometimes will will refer to himself as righteous as he clings to the promises of God and as he looks to them as I think that we can have a category right and just and in terms of understanding the covenant people. Looking forward to the promises of God, the fulfillment of the gospel that was prophesied in the Old Testament. Looking forward to Jesus or even speak of them in this way Luke exit brings up several people like this earlier in his gospel in Luke chapter 2, he talks about a woman named Anna prophetess mother was a prophetess Anna verse 36 of Luke to the daughter of Faneuil of the tribe of Asher. She was advanced in years, having lived with her husband seven years from when she was a virgin and then as a widow until she was 84. She did not depart from the temple worshiping with fasting and prayer night and day and coming up at that very hour she began to give thanks to God and to speak of him to all who were waiting for the redemption of Jerusalem. Again, looking forward to the kingdom of God and coming righteous and I we might say, so I think Scripture speaks this way we can speak this way, but we also affirm with the apostle Paul in with the rest of the Bible that when it comes to our standing before God, apart from Christ, as you say there is there is none righteous, we can't do anything to merit our way into heaven to justify ourselves and that's precisely the point that the apostle Paul makes in the passage that you were alluding to know in in the book of Romans. In Romans chapters 2 and three immediately really going back to to chapter 1 Paul is is highlighting the universal universal sinfulness of humanity. The fact that we all need the gospel all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God will then how can we be righteous will he gives us the answer in Romans chapters 3 and four specifically, in Romans chapter 4, he says in verse four to the one who works, his wages are not counted as a gift but as his due, but to the one who does not work but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, that is, God justifies not the righteous, but the ungodly sinners who come to him in need of his grace looking for forgiveness in Jesus, his faith is counted as righteousness. Just as David, who by the way, in the Psalms would at times referred to himself as righteous, just as David also speaks of the blessing of the one whom God counts righteousness apart from works. Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man against whom the Lord will not count his sin as I will. Luke is doing there in Luke chapter 23 is he's just disease portraying Joseph as this. This man was waiting for the promise of God's kingdom and in that sense because of that he is he is called good righteous men in it and you know there's there's no even though even though Christ is not risen from the dead, yet right. A. The reality is you have a guy here who's clinging to the types the shadows of the Old Testament. Looking forward to the kingdom of God by faith in a real sense I think we can say that he was was righteous, not apart from Christ, but through Christ and Christ's promise.

Thank you for your question and for your encouragement and I'm grateful to hear that the program is a blessing to you and I've always wondered what happened to Joseph of Arimathea did Jesus reveal himself to him after his resurrection, I kind of think maybe he did, but of course that speculation, but it is so interesting. Just think about you as you said he was a righteous man in his standing before God, and what happened to them. Yeah, yeah, this is this is going out with a bleed of them should have the book out there I'm sure there's a book out there bill. That is all about Joseph of Arimathea you can look up, but we don't know how is it because you have characters like that in the Scriptures. I think Nicodemus for example, right, there's another guy who's in the right.

There is indication of the Lord was working in his life that maybe was converted and following Jesus, but we don't know the whole story.

And so we we probably won't we won't know that the entire story.

What would end up happening until were in the presence of the Lord, hopefully with those with those brothers as well.

Maybe you should start on that fiction book the Pedro Sanchez first, the book just a story you the final chapter.

This is for Christianity with Israel Sanchez and we'd love to get your calls.

If you have a question about the Bible or the Christian life. Here's the number it's 833. The core let's go to Rick calling in from Nebraska.

Rick what your question for atrial birth to John about Elijah returning back there was Elijah John the Baptist like you just about where they want to think that question but will first. Here's we can rule out.

It's not that it's not that Elijah was reincarnated as John the Baptist is in line there is there some strange ideas out there about this event.

She heard people make that claim of the Bible supports reincarnation look even Elijah was reincarnated as John the Baptist. No, that's not the case. The passage that you are referring to is Matthew chapter 17 and in verse 10. The disciples asked Jesus why do the scribes say that Elijah must come first.

And Jesus answered Elijah does come first and he will restore all things that Elijah had this this calling of restoration, of course, this is what John the Baptist is doing in his ministry prophesied in Isaiah chapter 4840 he's paving the way for Christ. But I tell you that Elijah has already come. Jesus said, and they did not recognize him, but did to him whatever they pleased.

So also the Son of Man will certainly suffer at their hands.

Then the disciples understood that he was speaking to them of John the Baptist. So in what sense is Elijah. You know, John the Baptist, or in what sense did Jesus convert the John the Baptist come as a new Elijah, if you will well remember what Jesus said at the beginning of our what was said about John the Baptist at the beginning of Luke chapter 1, to read in verse 15. This is a prophecy about John the Baptist. He will be great before the Lord, and he must not drink wine or strong drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother's womb.

Wow, and he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God and he will go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just to make ready for the Lord, a people prepared.

So in that sense John the Baptist is coming as this new Elijah paving the way for the Lord for the Lord Jesus and calling people to repentance calling people to faith and also just in the sense that he is this this last in line of the great old covenant profits if you will, that the the prophets. Jesus says right the fees the greatest and so John the Baptist is coming as this prophet as this Elijah -like figure in the spirit and power of Elijah. Luke chapter 1 verse 17 but it's not that Elijah was reincarnated as John the Baptist and you for your question, listening to core Christianity with pastor Israel Sanchez, just a reminder were to be recording a second episode of our program today.

It will be live on the air but will be recording it and you can call us with your question. For the next 35 minutes or so. If you have a question were unable to get in during the live program.

Feel free to give us a call again anytime the next 35 minutes call this number it's 833 the core that's 833-843-2673 would love to take your calls. Your questions on the Bible, the Christian life, theology, doctrine, you name it.

Let's go to Donna calling in from Missouri. Donna what your question for atrial cross care why I love the place for me to pay. Not thank you for that question just for for the believer who dies in Christ, we are immediately transported into the presence of the Lord.

I do believe that he was speaking of heaven that Jesus was speaking of heaven that he was going to take the thief on the cross to be with him and it's the same thing that he does for us. This is what we sometimes refer to Donna as the intermediate state, and the reason we call it the intermediate state is because heaven if you will note being disembodied in our bodies going down to the ground or spirits or souls being in the presence of the Lord in heaven.

That's not our final destination. We as Christians look forward to the resurrection of our bodies secured by Jesus through his resurrection. That's what the apostle Paul makes absolutely clear in first Corinthians chapter 15 so we believe that God is gonna raise up every single person who is ever lived on the earth throughout all history summary to be raised to condemnation and some organ to be raised to eternal bliss or everlasting bliss in the new creation with the Lord. But until the time of the resurrection until the time of the final judgment. Believers who have died, including the thief on the cross and all of our loved ones who have died in Jesus, they are in the presence of the Lord worshiping him. It's what the apostle Paul. Look forward looked forward to his. He was anticipating his death he writes about this in Philippians chapter 1 he says I want to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better and in second Corinthians chapter 5 he says to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. And so that's that's the hope that Jesus gave to the thief on the cross there and that's the hope that he gives to all of those who put their trust in him. The souls of believers are at their death made perfect in holiness. The immediately passed on into glory and their bodies, our bodies still united to Jesus. Jesus still holds our bodies in his hands in her they go down into the grave into the into the ground or or wherever they're buried and wait if you will for that time of resurrection. When we are restored when our bodies are restored by the power of the Holy Spirit. God bless great explanation. Thank you. Federal this is core Christianity with pastor Israel Sanchez. We do have a YouTube channel and you can watch a real live in the studio every day on YouTube and send us a message.

That way, one of our YouTube viewers has this question for you.

A drill should we watch shows that depict Jesus like the chosen hey thank you for that question and there's a lot of talk about about that show the chosen Willoughby to say something in a during the time of the Protestant Reformation and even early on in the history of the Christian church. Christians were were very much opposed to the making of images or depictions of God on the basis of love.

God's law. We were told in Scripture not to make any images of God. Why because were so prone to worship the work of our hands and because the reality is is is that the that the tendency the reality of misrepresenting God is a wall you know you a lot of times you have these these movies.

These depictions. These television shows that that you know or are trying to work with the Bible and teach a little bit about who Jesus is give you know sort of historical depiction to cinema the life of Christ. But we have to be really careful because our hearts or minds can become so drawn to that and enter in the reality is you. It the fact is there are creative liberties that are taken as I just think you we want to exercise wisdom here if you want a clear picture of who Jesus is. Go to the word mean it's what the apostle Paul said in Galatians chapter 3 that Jesus Christ was placarded before the church at Galatia. How through the preaching of the word and I think I think that's we want to focus if you want to understand who Jesus is.

If you want to know Jesus's heart for his people. What he's done. Go to the Scriptures and dig into the Scriptures learn the Scriptures and when you do you'll find Jesus. Thanks for list Christianity request your copy of today's special offer.

Visit us at core, and click on offers in the menu bar or call us at 1-833-843-2673. That's 833 when you contact us. Please let us know how you been encouraged by this program and be sure to join us next time. As we explore the truth of God's word together

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