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The Narrow Path 8/18

The Narrow Path / Steve Gregg
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August 18, 2020 8:00 am

The Narrow Path 8/18

The Narrow Path / Steve Gregg

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August 18, 2020 8:00 am

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Good afternoon and welcome to the Narrow Path radio broadcast. My name is Steve Gregg and we are live for an hour each weekday afternoon about this time taking your phone calls. If you have questions about the Bible, the Christian faith, anything like that that you'd like to talk about. You have a different viewpoint from the host. Want to talk about that? Feel free to call us.

The number is eight four four four. Eight four.

Fifty seven. Thirty seven. Now, I have to say, some radio stations play this program, you know, in the night and things like that. This is an afternoon or evening program in the United States. I'm on the West Coast. So Pacific Time, it's 2:00 in the afternoon. And so that's you have to calculate if you're listening to the live broadcast or replay.

But number is eight four four four. Eight four.

Fifty seven. Thirty seven. And our first caller, she is Victor, calling from Colorado. Victor, welcome to the Narrow Path. Thanks for calling.

Hi there. I really like your program on your Web site.

Thank you. So I had my question here and I just wrote it down so I wouldn't stutter. It's just three sentences and I look like I had to say about it. I appreciate it.

So I have a hard time with my daily walk with God.

Though I've been a Christian a long time, I struggle with daily sins and being obsessed with asking for forgiveness. So I sort of, you know, like with First John, one nine there. There's a church I went to recently and they had a moment where they said it. Because of that, we should be quiet now. Let's confess our sins.

And then I see it like in Romans, that says we are no longer under the law.

So the Church of Confessing Sins really has a place there. Can you explain that duality there and how I should be thinking about this?

Well, we're not under the law of Moses. That's what Paul means. Whatever he says, we're not under the law. He means we're not under Moses law. We certainly are. And Paul said we are under the law of Christ. He says that, for example, about himself in First Corinthians, Chapter nine. First Corinthians nine, he says in verse 20 and 21 to the Jews, I became as a Jew that I might win the Jews. To those who are under the law, as under the law, that I might win those who are under the law. To those who are without the law, meaning without the Jewish law as without law not being without law toward God. But under the law, toward Christ, that I might win those who are without the law. So Paul's actually talking about his evangelistic strategy that when he's with Jewish people and under the law, he conforms to their way so that he doesn't offend them and he can reach them for Christ. But when he's with Gentiles who aren't under the law, well, he's not either. And so he doesn't have to he can be like them. He can be like one not under the law because he's not into law. But he says in parentheses, but I'm not lawless. It's not like you don't have any anything governing my life. He says I'm under the law of Christ.

So there is still such a thing as sin under the Old Testament? Well, you know, it says in John, it's his sin is the transgression of the law. Now, in the Old Testament, it was transgression of the Mosaic law because that was the law that was relevant. Now we're under the law of Christ and sin is the transgression of the law of Christ. That is to say, when we don't love one another, as we are told to love, which is his great commandment while we're sinning. And so there is definitely occasion to confess that to God and to seek forgiveness. Remember when Jesus taught us to pray? He taught us a prayer to pray daily. We know it is a daily prayer because it includes give us this day, our daily bread. So each day we're asking for our own bread for that one day. So the prayer was expected. We prayed every day and it included. And forgive us our trespasses are our sins, our debts, as we forgive those who have sinned against us. So it's clear that virtually every day Christians, apparently, Jesus felt, would normatively ask for forgiveness of sins. Until we're perfect, until such a time that we don't ever do anything wrong. Until the time comes that we do not fall short of the glory of God, which is what sinning is, sinning the word sin and the Greek means to miss the mark like an archer shooting at a target missing. Well, the target is to be just like Christ, to be imitators of God as dear children. And anyhow, we're missing that mark, which is an awful lot, probably. That's that's a sin. And that's what sin actually is. So there are plenty of occasions for us to seek forgiveness of sin, even though we're not under the law. And that is the law of Moses. I don't have to. Another was a repent for having touched a dead body, as I would if I was a Jew under the law or for having eaten pork or for having, you know, missed the Sabbath day or something like these are part of the Jewish law. And. And there'd be a sin in it for violating it when it was when it was the current requirement that God has made new requirements, much more actually life invasive requirements, because we're supposed to walk even as Jesus walked and to love as he loved. And that's a full time assignment 24/7. Not just a matter of keeping a few days or making sure we keep certain things out of our mealtimes. It's an all day everyday imitation of Christ. And walking in his spirit. But if that sounds too demanding, of course, the Bible does say if we walk in the spirit, we will not fulfill the lust, the flesh. So because he gives his spirit to his children and we have the option of walking in the power of his spirit, then it's not that difficult. I mean, there are times when we have to struggle against to temptation, but for the most part, walking as Christ walked is the normal thing to do when you're filled with the spirit and walking in the spirit. So when you do fall short, though, there is still, as John tells you it, first on one line, the need to confess your sense to God. And and that is not diminished by the fact that we're not under the law of Moses.

OK, so.

I guess I just sort of spend my day sort of obsessed, wondering if algae was Edison. Well, gee, if I forget that, will God not forgive me?

Well, why don't you just rest in? If you if you've if if Jesus is your Lord. If your whole life is dedicated to him and you know, your whole definition of your of who you are is I'm a follower of Christ. That's what I'm here for. That's my identity. That's all I care about.

Well, then I mean, that's what that's what conversion brings you to when you before you're a Christian. You don't think that way. But when you are converted, that's what happened to you. Substitute. It's no longer I the Christ you deny yourself and take up across anthology's. That's what Jesus said. His first steps you take when you become a follower of his. So once someone has done that, their heart is going to be renewed. God's going to give you a new heart. He's got his spirit in there and it's going to be more or less your your nature. You have a new nature that's going to want to live obediently to God. And you don't have to be worried about it all the time. If, you know, you can assume if you're walking in the spirit that most of the time you're not doing any good offense got at all. And if and if you do something that offends God, he'll convict you about it. That's another function of the Holy Spirit. He'll convict you and make you realize that you've done something wrong. And that's when you that's when you confess it. So, I mean, if somebody is just living Jesus as a religion rather than a relationship, if somebody has never really been converted, but they're just trying to follow the teachings of Jesus as a way of life. Oh, that's gonna be a very scary life because, you know, those standards and the Sermon on the Mount are pretty steep and pretty scary, but it's not scary if you're converted. You know, if you're converted, you have a new heart. It has laws in your heart. He gives you the spirit and you walk in love. That's what that's what happens when you become a true born again Christian. And and then, of course, sinning is not the way of life. You still stumble into sin once. Well, but it's not a way of life. I've been all day thinking, is this a sin? Is this isn't is this isn't just walk in the spirit. Just follow Jesus. Just walk in love. And, you know, then then you really don't have to be nervous. If you do something, need to repent of the Holy Spirit. I'll show you.

Yes, I believe that and I mean. Thank you for your answer.

Thank you, Victor, for your call. God bless you. Don from Sacramento, California. Welcome to The Narrow Path. Thanks for calling.

Hi, Steve. Hi.

So I've been thinking about, you know, how Jesus is his death toll for or provided forgiveness from sin for every single human being. And. I don't it says it so that God did that, so that he would be just in the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus, right. Roman Gendry. So how is his death? How does it make it just. When I put my faith in him.

To.

Set me free from my sin. How does that one person's.

Yeah.

Provide justice for God to, you know, to forgive me. Follow me.

Yeah. Yeah. How can somebody else paying a penalty have anything to do with your actual guilt about something you've done, right?

Yeah. Why is his specifically why is Kreiss specifically satisfying the justice of God?

Right. Well, because you are either in Adam or you are in Christ. Those are the two options. Human beings are born in, Adam. But when they're born again, they're now in Christ. Now, when you're in Adam, you share in his, you know, sinful lifestyle what you learned in him.

While you're born, Adam, OK, are you through with the concept of the body of Christ?

My way.

Are you familiar with the biblical concept of the body of Christ? That is the church being the body of the church, the body of Christ. Are you from here that.

Yeah.

OK, well, the Bible indicates that Christ is the head over an organic body, which consists of all of his disciples, all of his followers. And we are like hands and feet. We're like organs and limbs of his body. And we. And it's not merely a metaphor. It's it's a metaphor. But it's got a lot of, you know, reality in it that his life is in us. Just like the life that's in your head is in all the members of your body and all the memories your body, follow the instructions from your head. And that's what that's what the body of Christ is. It's people who have the life of Christ in them. That is through the Holy Spirit coming at them. And who follow Jesus, that is, they obey him like members of the body obey ahead. Now, if you are a disciple of Jesus and you have the Holy Spirit, you're following Christ. You're a member of the body of Christ. And the body of Christ is a corporate. This concept is hard for some of us, but it's Paul. Paul talks about all the time. The body of Christ is a corporate entity. It's like it's a man. Paul said in a any Ephesians chapter two and verse fifteen that Christ took the Jew and the Gentile who are believers, the Jewish believers, the gentle believers, and broke down the middle wall of partition between them and made in himself of the two one new man. He means the body of Christ. But he took all the Jewish believers in all the gentile believers and made one man. He means one body out of them. And so the body of Christ, according to Paul, is like one man. And if you're a believer, you're in that man. You are in him. And just like the organs in your body are in you and they share in your status and your health because you're just one body, your head and your members. They're not two different things. They're one body. So if you are, let's just say you're you're a janitor.

Well, every organ in your body is, though, is part of a body, which is a janitor. That's their status. If you get elected to be president of the state states, then every member of your body is president of the United States. Everything in you shares with the status of who you are, who you're the body there, the body and your Christ as the head. So if Christ is at the right hand of God, then we are at the reign of God in him. Posit said, if Christ is righteous, then we are righteous in him. We share the status now. Before we were in Christ, Paul considers there's another body, another corporate body. That's Adam. And it's you know, this is not just a philosophical talk. This is literally true. You know, every person in this world came out of Adam. Adam and Eve began to have kids. And what were these kids made of their made up pieces of Adam and Eve cells and therefore their children were part of them organically, like a tree and its branches and its twigs and so forth. Sometimes you'll see evolution is have these illustrations of these trees of evolution with all these different, you know, relationships alleged between these different animal groups. Well, there really is that kind of relation between all human beings, because we all are twigs or branches off of a one big tree, which is Adam and Eve. And we're we're that's an organism. And Jesus described himself as an organism to us as a vine. And we are the branches and the vine. So whether we use the idea of a human body as an illustration or of a organic plant, they both work. There's two essential identities. There's Adam and those who were born of Adam who are part of that organism. They're part of the body of Adam. And there's those who've been born again into Christ. And they now share Christ. Now Paul indicates. That in Christ, we have all of Christ benefits, and in Adam, we had, you know, all kinds of problems that Adam had because we were in him. Jesus. We have his identity. How can his death do anything about my scent? Well, he took my scent upon himself personally. He died as a sub, as a substitute for us all with our sins upon him. He paid the penalty for sin and then he rose again and and then he invites us to be in him, which we are when we're born again. And when his spirit dwells in us, we are not part of his body. And in him he is righteous. So are we. He took the sins on himself. And then after he paid the penalty for those sins. See, all of our sins became his. And then he paid the penalty for them as as the one who pays for this. And then now we're in him and he is righteous and our sins have been taken from us. And it says in Second Corinthians, Chapter five, I think it's verse 21, if I'm not mistaken, says he, who knew no sin, meaning Christ became sin for us. That we. Might become the righteousness of God in him. And Peter says something similar. And first, Peter, chapter two, I think it's around verse 24, somewhere around there. First, Peter two. He says that he himself took our sins upon his own body on the tree, that we being dead descent should live under righteousness. And I say 53 six. It says all we like sheep have gone astray. We've turned everyone to our own way. But the Lord laid on him the iniquity of us all. So all of our sins were laid on Christ. And he became the bearer, the sin bearer. And he took our sins and he paid for them with his own life. And now anyone who will be in him shares in his identity as one who is sinless and righteous. And so that's who we are. If we're in Christ, that doesn't mean we don't still do good and bad things. And it doesn't mean that maintaining our relationship with him doesn't involve keeping some short accounts. You say to say that. I mean, Christ doesn't mean that I'm automatically in Christ for the rest my life. Remember, Jesus said, I'm the vine. You are the branches remain in me, he said, and you'll bear much fruit. He says if you don't remain in me, you'll be like a branch cast forth and withered and burned. So that's in John. Fifteen versus one to six. So, you know, if you're in Christ, you're participating in his identity and his life and his virtue. If you don't remain in him. Well, that's a different story. Now, remaining in him has to do with our relationship with him keeping that relationship. That's like I don't know if you're a married man or not, but if you're married, you know, if you do something that offends your wife, well, you're going to want to repent of that because you don't want to hurt your wife. If you do want to hurt your wife, you never get husband. But if you hurt your wife and you learn of it, hurt her feelings or something. Well, you want to repent of that because that's not what you want to do. It doesn't end the relationship because you're hurt feelings. In fact, it doesn't even in the relationship if you neglect to apologize. But it certainly damages the relationship in the sense that it's not what it should be. There's there's issues there that remain unsettled. And our relationship with God is similar. I mean, he doesn't he doesn't disown us when we fall into sin.

Oh, can I ask question? So, yeah, just add it all up to my original question. OK. So Christ for our sin in his body.

On the cross, right? Mm hmm. So how is that? Just.

Well, it's very just for a person who's who's who's bearing a lot of sin and guilt to be punished for it. In others got. I mean, God didn't really want to punish anybody. God's not interested in punishing people. He says he has no pleasure in the death of the wicked. He doesn't ever want to punish. But he he has to maintain justice. He can't just, you know, ignore criminal behavior.

He's a judge denied. I'm not denying that. Well, I answer you. I'm like. Hence you then. OK.

So he had he couldn't just say without sending Jesus. He couldn't just say, okay, all of you people are lawbreakers. But I'm just going to kind of ignore it. I like you guys. I mean, I'm just real generous and I think I'm loving, so I'll just pass on it best, OK? But that's not what God did. He couldn't do it. He's a judge. And as a judge, he has to be just. So he found a way to transfer our guilt onto the shoulders of another bearer of guilt and to punish him and our place. And that was God himself. God himself took on human form so that he could be our guilt on himself and take it on himself so that now he can do what he always wanted to do, and that is just forgive all those who repent. All those who come into Christ can now be totally forgiven. And there's and no one can say but God, you're overlooking their sin. That's not just you can't overlook criminal behavior and be it. Just judge. Well, no, he didn't overlook it. Dine on the cross is a far cry from overlooking it. It was like God took it on himself. So, I mean, how can that not be just.

Yes, I know, Don, I totally agree, I totally understand and accept. The card has to be just that I can't go read. I just can't go free area.

There's no way. Okay, well, you can take it that way. That's what the Bible says. But I mean, if you want to be a Christian, you can believe what the Bible says about it. But I there's not more I can do. I'm not going to argue with you all day long.

I did the best I could to explain it. If you don't like my explanation, you can seek some more. But you can't ignore what the Bible says. OK. I mean, you're trying to deny what the Bible says. I think you think you're such a Christian and maybe you are. But I don't understand it. The Bible says that God set Christ forth as a propitiation for our sins, that he might be just. And the justifier of those who believe in Jesus. Now, you might say you have said, I don't know how that works. So I can't do it. I can't. I can't be justified. Well, I guess if you're the judge, then I guess you're right. If God is the judge, I think it only matters that he would know how that works. If I don't know how it works and I do have some idea of how it works. But I mean, if I'm wrong, if it turns out that my whole explanation is the wrong one and there are by the way, there's many different explanations people give about the atonement. Not all of them are exactly like mine. So somebody is wrong and it could be me. But if I turn out to be wrong, I don't think God can say, hey, you know, I. Jesus died for you and stuff that you didn't quite understand how that works. So you're going to hell. You know, I mean. I mean, you're not going to be judged on how much you understand how this works. You're judged by whether you trust in Christ or not. And God said he has worked this out. Now, not everybody finds it as difficult as you do to figure it out, but that's OK. You don't have to figure it out. The fact that you're saying since I can't figure it out, I'm not going to believe it. Well, there's there's your problem. You know, I can I can say about many things in the Bible. I haven't figured out, you know, how that works. There's a lot of things I don't know in the Bible. I mean, I know I know they're there, but I don't necessarily know exactly how it always works. The Trinity is one of those things. I don't fully understand the Trinity. I believe in the Trinity, but I fully understand it all. There's lots of things like that. But I'm not to be judged. Are forgiving or not forgiven by if I understand mysterious things. Is not for mysterious people who master mysterious things that Christians for children. You have to be like a child. And if you're if your father says, you know, don't worry about that thing you stole from the store. I've covered it. You don't say, well, I don't understand how you can cover it for me. Well, just. You know, just believe it. If your father says it, he probably did it. And if he's God, he certainly did it. Now, you know, I don't really understand how understanding it or not understanding it is going to impact the way you live if you're a disciple of Jesus. You're going to live like a disciple of Jesus. Whether you understand or don't understand the atonement. And so I don't know. It sounds like you're making trouble for yourself. That's unnecessary. But if I understand what you're doing, I think you're making trouble for yourself by saying, if I can't understand how this works, I'm just not gonna accept it. And you're welcome to take that view. I'm sure there's a lot of unbelievers who take that view. But that is the view of an unbeliever. If you're saying I'm not going to believe it unless until I fully understand it, that's an unbelieving position, isn't it? You're saying I'm choosing not to believe what God said. And until he can give me a damn good answer about how this works. I'm just not gonna believe what he said. OK. No. No one requires you to be a believer.

I mean, you'll be sorry if you're not someday. But that's not I mean, I'm not require you to be a believer. I think you should be. But it looks like you're having some struggles that you're holding onto. I don't know of any reason to hold onto him. I mean, if so, I just can't I just can't bring myself to believe. Why not? You think God's a liar is at it? I mean, how how else would he be difficult to believe if he's not a liar? Seasonably. If you think he's a liar. That's what John said. Johnson. Whoever does not believe has made got a liar. Because he does not believe the witness that God gave of his son. So just so you know, if you regard yourself as a Christian and I think you do. Well, if you say God's a liar, that's not a very nice thing to say about God. I'm not saying to go to hell for St.. But I think that's a serious problem. And if I were you, I'd probably want to get over it and I'd do it right now, not tomorrow. All right. Let's talk to Reg from Maple Ridge. Be seen if we come on the break too quickly. Well, you know, I'm sorry, Reg.. We're going to take you after the break, because I'm just not we're gonna hear the music just about now and then or maybe a few seconds, and then I'll take your. I don't want have to interrupt you at the break time. You're listening to the narrow path. Next caller we'll take will be Regin, Maple Ridge, British Columbia. And we have some lines open. If you'd like to call now, you can get in line before the second half hour.

The number to call is eight four four four. Eight. Four fifty seven. Thirty seven. That's eight four four four eight four fifty seven.

Thirty seven. And yeah, the narrow path is a listener supported a supported ministry. We buy the time on the radio stations, on a lot of stations, and it costs a lot of money. But you notice we don't have the commercials. We don't sell anything.

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We have another half hour coming up. Don't go away. I will be back in 30 seconds. And we'll take some more of these calls.

Small is the gate and narrow is the path that leads to life. Welcome to the narrow path with Steve Greg. Steve has nothing to sell you but everything to give you. When today's radio show is over, we invite you to study, learn and enjoy by visiting the narrow path dot com, where you'll find free topical audio teachings, blog articles, verse by verse teachings and archives of all the narrow path radio shows. We thank you for supporting the listener supported narrow path with Steve. Greg, remember the narrow path dot com.

Welcome back to the Narrow Path radio broadcast.

My name is Steve Greg and we are live for another half hour, taking your calls.

If you have questions about the Bible of the Christian faith or a different view from the host to talk about that. Feel free to give me a call. I said our lines just filled up. So I'm going to take. Give me a call in a few minutes. You might find the lines of open up. Let me give you the number.

It's eight four four four. Eight four. Fifty seven. Thirty seven. That's eight four. Four four. Eight four.

Fifty seven. Thirty seven. And our next caller, as promised, is Reg from Maple Ridge, British Columbia. Hi, Reg..

Welcome. Well, I guess one quick question. Last year, I heard a clergyman, a young clergyman from England in American church in Maple Ridge disparage the Crusades.

I wanted to get your opinion about the crusade with a righteous college. I would go we can't.

That they were whether the Crusades as as. There were several crusades. You know, there were several different popes ordered and things like that. But some of them, I don't know if any, were truly righteous by the by the standards that I would understand to be God's priorities. I'm sure that they thought they were righteous, certainly some of them. What they I think what they were first of all about was trying to liberate Jerusalem and what they regarded as the Holy Land from Muslim control. And since they regarded the Holy Land to be Holy Land, they didn't believe that Muslims whom they regarded as pagans should be controlling it.

And and, of course, there were there was a church in Jerusalem and churches there that there, you know, the Muslims as didn't always treat the Christians that well.

And so the pope just decided that he'd probably send troops down there and liberated. Now, the thing got protracted and there's a lot of injustice done. If somebody is sympathetic with the idea of liberating the Holy Land from Muslim control. They might be inclined to think these are justified losses, these all this bloodshed and so forth. I just don't really see that it's part of the Christians concern to liberate Palestine. It's to my mind that's that's a that's not the concern of Christianity to go do that and fighting in carnal wars or what I say can't I mean, fleshly war for use. Where are we? Weapons and so forth. Although I do believe nations have the right under God to defend themselves with war. I don't think the church is supposed to have its armies go out and fight with other religions. At least. That's my that's my feeling about from how I read Jesus.

I read a statement by a pauper, by pool. He was the one who when the Crusades first started. We've seen 75, almost 30 years ago. This evening, he said that Christians are being attacked and killed by the Turks. And we must send soldiers to protect them. And if we do, they will they will discourage the migrants from attacking even more Christians, because up until that time, he said they had been promised help and bicker, but nobody heard. No. And so that's why he issued this.

People were right.

I've not only heard that, I've not only heard that, but I suppose probably a lot of that's probably true. I guess the problem is very seldom are wars fought for only one motivation. I mean, every nation that goes to war, whether it's Nazi Germany against the allied powers or us against them, we always have some justification. You know, the Nazis had their goals.

And by the goals that they thought were important, they were justified in trying to conquer Europe and make Lavon's round for the dramatic peoples and get rid of the Jews and things like that. I don't share any of the Nazis values, so I don't think I think they were doing was justified. But in their own minds, their own values justified it. Likewise, we went to war after Pearl Harbor because we were attacked. It was time we felt to you know what now is justified for us to get involved. And I'm sure it was. I'm not saying it was not, but I you know, when most wars, there's a lot of different motives kind of working together on all sides. I mean, there's usually some motives that are not altogether pure on both sides and some that are justifiable in their own side. And so it's awfully hard to look back a thousand years at a war. I have studied the Crusades, but I haven't made it a special study where I could get under the skin of all the popes and exactly all the things that motivated them. But, you know, if if my neighbor was being attacked, my next door neighbor and I was around, I would go to their rescue. I don't know if I'd cross nations to go to the rescue a similar way, you know, to do battle against people suffering in other countries. I might I don't know. It really would depend on a great number of things. I can't think of very many that would make me do it as a as a Christian. Now, if you're an agent of your state at a soldier of the state fighting for your country and for your neighbors and for everybody against a foreign invader, then I mean, there's different issues involved. I, I would rather not be the final judge about all the things that I hear criticisms of in history, because you always hear criticism from somebody who's got. Aside, you know, and there's usually another side to that doesn't mean that things all can be justified, but they're in in the minds of the people who do them. They're usually justified. And so I I've not I'm not a fan of the Crusades. You know, I'm frankly, I'm not a fan of the popes. And so, I mean, if I were in the pope's position with the pope's values and so forth, I would probably I might do what he did. But I don't know that I'd ever share all of the pope's values. So I don't you know, I can't really give you the final thumbs up or thumbs down on everything. There were some pretty nasty, some nasty stuff done by the Crusaders to against Muslims.

Yes, you I'm choosing a war crime is everywhere. Sure.

Were some hold children to kill people.

That's like Vietnam. You know, it was Vietnam justified? Was it not justified? Well, what part what part of it? Was it justified to try to save South Vietnam from communist control? That could be seen as something that is benevolent on our part, although we might have been doing it more for our own concerns about what would happen to us if communism spreads too far. I don't know if we're just being benevolent, but so many war crimes were done in Vietnam that's, you know, kinds of eclipses, anything that might have made it seem like the right thing to do. So wars are always complex. And I think it's hard for a Christian to to know enough even about the wars fought by his own country. Yeah. If we go to war, we're going to hear with the newspapers. Let us know what you know, what the government lets us know. And that means we don't know all the facts. And so I you know, when it comes to a wars our country never engaged in in that thousand years ago. Looking back, we have historians telling us some parts of the story, probably not everything. So I'd rather not. I'd rather not make a final judgment. But I'm in general, my thoughts about crusades are on the negative side.

Great. OK, thanks. Appreciate it. All right. God bless you. Thank you. Bye now.

All right. That was worth the wait, wasn't it? OK. Mary from Santa Ana, California. Welcome to the narrow path. Thanks for calling.

Oh, thank you. Hi. I can make a comment about the previous caller. Sure. Or my Christian thought about killing Muslims and war against Muslims. Is that if you kill them. They're probably not going to happen. But if we get killed as Christians, it's not so dire.

You know, we we go to be with Jesus. So that's my anti-war statement.

Yeah. Well, I'll tell you what, that's that's a major consideration among Christian pacifists. And that is that, you know, hey, I can I can die. We can die for us to die is gain for them to die. It's not gonna be so good.

So I shouldn't do it.

There are there are more complex issues that Christians sometimes get involved in and maybe rightly so, saying, OK, it's not a question for there. I'm ready to die or not. It's a question of whether all these people that they are killing are ready to die or not. And in other words, if it's a whole bunch of unsafe people killing a whole bunch of other unsafe people, it's a Muslims against Jews. And neither of our Christians, you know, then the question is, well, do I just kind of stay clear and wash my hands of the whole thing or what?

Or do I support those who are innocent as opposed to those who are guilty, you know? That's those are the kind of issues that complex sify the war.

Yes. Oh, my original comment was going to be, is it possible that a lot of bad things that happen to people are because they're not donating to Christian monasteries? Because unless they're a requirement really to donate to Christian monasteries because. Well, I know in my own life, I'm very blessed.

If I do and if I forget or delay or don't do it for a while, my life sort of goes just pop. So I'm. Well, I know what it is on that ship.

Giving I mean, proper giving is a responsibility because we have a stewardship. God. God owns everything we have and he's entrusted for us to invest it in his kingdom. Now, giving to Christian charities would be an important part of investing in the kingdom. I you know, I, I have a certain percentage of the money that I give away to, you know, ministries of spread the word of God and a certain percentage givers who put people who are Christians, but they're not naturally preachers so much as they're helping desperately poor, sick people. You know, I don't think that I think that helping people, loving people is the work of God to promoting justice is the work of the kingdom, too. But obviously, there are secular charities that, you know, to medical help for people in Third World countries or who help the poor, which would not at the same time in any sense convey Christ to these people. So I'd rather give to someone like World Vision or to, you know, Mercy Ships or I think Food for the Hungry is. I think they're vocally Christian, if I'm not mistaken. So, I mean, there there are food for the poor. I don't get these names mixed up. I give to all these groups some. But I only give to Christian charities. I do. You're asking really if the fact that people don't can bring bad things on them.

Well, I know that giving to sacrificially giving to righteous causes definitely promise to bring some blessing. It won't always be financial, but it'll certainly be a blessing that God will say well done, good and faithful servant. You know, you've been faithful and these things, I'll make you rule over greater things. So, you know, to have God's favor is always a blessing. But there's also suggestion that, you know, if you're generous, that's also gonna be something God will reciprocate and be generous with you. Now, I don't know how well this works in places that are so poverty stricken that nobody is financially blessed, you know, but. And but I think everyone should be generous with their neighbor. And Christians in a wealthy part of the country like this one, really.

I mean, we're responsible for a lot. There's an awful lot that God's given us. And, you know, we can either increase our standard of living as our as our finances increase or instead we can reduce our standard of living and increase our standard of living. That's what I would always recommend. I think it's a lot. It's it's a lot happier. It's a lot happier. Jesus said it's more blessed, which means happy. It's more blessed to give than to receive. And this is true. This is true. I can say that's true from experience.

So too much is given, much is required, that kind of thing.

All right. All right. But whether Gödel required of them in this life or in the next one. You know, I suppose that's his that's at his discretion. I believe that if you're stingy in this life, there's a very real possibility that God will get stingy with you in this life. I don't know if you're generous. He said he'll be generous with you. So, I mean, that's true in this life. But I think there are people who are stingy in this life and they seem to get on fine financial until the day they die. But they're gonna have to answer to God for it. So, you know, there's a reckoning. Eventually. But if you better tell your basic question, yeah. If people are having troubles in their lives, financial troubles and stuff, it would be definitely worthwhile to say, well, how have I been stewarding God's things? Maybe he doesn't want to trust me with much because I'm not very faithful with it. You know, if if every penny I get I'm spending on extras for me, you know, I not only have a comfortable life, but I'll I'll spend more on eating out. I'll spend more on gadgets and upgrade my car and my house and everything else before I give to the poor. Well, I mean, that's not good stewardship. And so it's very possible that God will say, okay, I really only want to be generous with people who are gonna be good and faithful stewards. That does seem to be the principle.

And I. I don't know. I mean, I don't like to make promises like the prosperity people do, but I can get my own testimony. That is, that the more I have given, the more I have prospered. And that is not just, you know, a throwaway line that preachers use to get people to give. This is my testimony. You know, 50 years in adult ministry, living in independently my parents. I have you know, I've given a lot away. I mean, I give an increasing amount away as the years go by. And it's an amazing thing. God provides everything I need. And it's an and every year it's more than the previous year. But I've made I've made a decision not to not to increase my standard of living each year as my income increases. I don't. I have no interest in increasing my. I like the way I like the way I live. I could live on my own. I could live less if I wanted to, but. But I definitely avoid increasing my standard of living so that I can give a larger percentage.

To them, maybe. OK. Thank you.

All right. Well, thanks for bringing that up. God bless you. Compassionate use. Thank you. Bye now.

All right. Our next caller is Everett from San Pablo Everett. Welcome to The Narrow Path. Thanks for calling.

Hello, Everett.

We talked to ever Latin, he usually gets through. I don't often get a problem. Hey, where were you? Oh, well, thank you.

I'm so upset. My question is, when children are thermogenesis.

How will that deal with children? So it doesn't look for ability about that like twelve. And I'm thinking that because the knowledge and understanding of accountability in terms of number eight, I think.

Yeah. I think that, you know, Jesus made it very clear that punishment for sin is proportionate to awareness of. Yes.

Sin. That is to say, Jesus said that servant who knew his master's will and did not prepare himself and didn't do his masters well will be beat with many stripes. But that servant who didn't know his masters well but did things where the strikes will be beat with few stripes. So, I mean, there's a very clear correlation between one's ignorance there and the degree of culpability that they'll be assigned to them. Now, of course, in both of those illustrations, people receive stripes. Both those people were punished.

But one less than the other. But if you extrapolate that back to a little child who doesn't know nothing, you know, I mean, even even an adult who doesn't know everything still has a conscience and knows, you know, has some moral responsibility. But a child, a little child who doesn't know anything about those things. I believe that God, I although they do things that are wrong. I think that God recognizes they don't know anything. And therefore, they. They don't. I don't. He touches the same way. Now, you're right. I don't think that's a numeric age. I mean, some people would make the age of a kind of a, you know, 12 or 13 or even 20. In Deuteronomy, Chapter one. But then on the other hand, I mean, kids know an awful lot about right. Wrong when they're two and three. So I don't know. I mean, God. God's gift to judge that the one thing I can say is that we don't know exactly where anyone stands with God when they die unless we know very well that they're very godly Christian or we know very well that they are very adamant, you know, enemy of God. But most people are in between their son. I mean, there's people who we think are Christians and they probably are, but we don't know for sure or there's people we think probably aren't really close enough to God to be qualifying it. God may know more than we do about their heart. So we can't judge. All we can what we can say is that God who does judge never makes a mistake. And you'll never find anyone who deserves to be given a pass that God accidentally judges them, you know, nor will you ever find a case where they deserve to be judged and God accidentally gives them a pass. You know, God knows everything and he'll judge righteously. And I do believe when it comes to small children, when they die, if they die in that condition, that there is no grace to them because they their degree of ignorance. But not everyone believes that mostly Calvinist don't usually believe that. They really believe that, you know, a child who dies is either elect or not elect. And if they elect and they die, they go to heaven. If they're not elected, they don't. I don't I don't agree with that doctor.

Wow. Wow. And one other question. I'll take off the air. What does it mean to be inclined, like be quiet. Yes. No, Condit. Which acting class. What the right to be in life.

Oh, okay. Well, being in Christ is Paul's expression. And the idea of the body of Christ is Paul's concept to what I mean is that we don't really have in the teachings of Jesus or in the teachings of Peter or James or John. We don't really have this concept of B of the body of Christ, though Jesus did have a similar concept I mentioned to earlier, call it of Jesus, I'm divine. And you are the branches so that the branches are, of course, limbs of the organism. The organism is the vine and part of it just like limbs on your body, like your arms and legs are part of your body. So the branches and twigs are part of the vine. Jesus is the whole vine. And we who believe in him are members of him. We are part of that vine. We're in him, he said. Every vine, every branch in me bears fruit. If you don't remain in me, you because forth. And this is the same kind of language Paul applied to the image of a body, the body of Christ. He also used that of a plant because Paul talked about the olive tree and the branches that are, you know, in the tree and the ones that are broken off from the tree. So Paul had you know, he is more than one illustration, but the idea is that Christ is viewed as an organic whole made up of many members, like a body. And if you're if you're one of those members, if you're part of him, then you're in him in that sense, just like the organs of your body or in you. And and therefore, sharing your identity. So but if you mean what does it mean practically? I mean, I've just been about the concept, but maybe practically you wonder. Well, being in relation with Christ simply requires that you are his. You belong to him and you belong to him. And so far as you've surrendered yourself to him, if you have given yourself to Christ, you've acknowledged his claim upon your life that he's your lord, he's your king, and you're living your life with that awareness and intending to honor that awareness. I mean, this is being a disciple and the disciples are the ones who are in him. It's as you trust in him. And trusting in him, of course, means not only that you have some kind of vague mental faith, but it means that you are you're leaning on him. And what you're leaning on is him as your king and your lord and your savior, others. All those titles that he has, you believe those things that's trusting in him is you trust that he is the king and the Lord. And therefore, obviously, it has a lot to do with what you how you live your life. You'll live your life one way if you think you have a king and differently if you think you don't. Similarly, if you think you're a servant, you have a lord. You'll live your life a certain way. If you think you're nobody's servant and you don't have a lord, then you'll live your life differently. So believing in Christ requires that we believe in who he is, which is king and Lord and savior and all those things that he is shepherd. We believe that we believe in him and he has all those things. So the one we believe in is all those things. And that means our lives are affected as if we are sheep who have a shepherd or servants or the Lord or subjects under a king who have a king. And we live that way. If we don't live that way, we don't really believe it. Right. I mean, Jesus. Why do you call me Lord? Lord. And you don't do the things I say. If you if you say that Jesus is Lord, it doesn't mean you really believe. Yes. It shows if he is. That's why Jesus said in Matthew seven. Not everybody who says to me, Lord Lord will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. But those who do the will of my father in heaven. So it's not with your mouth saying, OK, I believe in Jesus. I believe he's the Lord. Well, what are you doing about it? Those who do the will of the father, the ones who really believe that he's the Lord. And so. Abiding in Christ means trusting in him, but trusting in him, of course, means a great deal more than what some people think. Some people think it just means OK. Do I believe Jesus died on the. Of the cross? Yeah, I do. Do I believe that Jesus Rosary.

Sure, why not? I mean, now now let's watch our next TV show. Now let's go play another video game.

No, I mean, it's your whole life has been convicted of this. The only faith that saves is a faith that grips you and that defines you. And so forth. And when you have that faith, you're in Christ. And a person who decides to depart from Christ is the one who where Jesus said in John 15 six. You know, if anyone does not remain in me, he is cast forth as a branch. Well, not remaining in him is simply ceasing to have that faith in him. Paul talks about many who will depart from the faith in the last days. He many shall depart from the faith. So obviously, a person who has that faith can depart from it. A person who. Has followed Jesus, a shepherd can wander off as a lost sheep, just like Israel head. When I say said all we like sheep have gone astray. Well, whose sheep were they? They were his.

And therefore, they've wandered away from it, if you're wandered away from you're not the flock anymore until he recovers you if he can. All right. Anyway, I want to try to take another call before out of time. Randi from Northern California, welcome to the narrow path. Thanks for calling.

Well, almost eight. Can you hear me OK? No, I don't. Go ahead.

I, I just I listened to your sermon over the weekend where you filled in for a brother of yours at his own church, I believe. And you spoke about the kingdom of heaven and the kingdom of God and my entire Christian life. I've only heard one other preacher preach a sermon. And it was very, very parallel to what you said. It was almost like you'd both had the same exact beliefs that you shared. Good. My question about the sermon is, are you ever going to do a part two? Because I think you've got run out of time. You said that's the end of my time. I got to go. And I think that there's more to be said to make it a complete teaching, to make it a complete understanding.

Oh, you know, the answer to that is yes. I've done a whole series on the Kingdom of God. And and what you heard was I sat in for a friend in his pulpit, his church.

I gave a brief, a brief treatment. But I have I think it's six or eight lectures on the Kingdom of God that cover at the beginning, cover when I cover there. And then they go on and develop it more. So you can go to my Web site. The narrow path dot com. And click on the tab that says topical lectures.

And then just find the series on the kingdom of God, and it's all there now. I've just finished writing a book on the Kingdom of God. The publisher has just sent me the galley proofs, so I now know exactly how many pages it is and so forth. It's going to be four hundred and thirty pages. That's one book I've written another book. That's a follow up, which is about discipleship in the Kingdom of God. That's another 430 pages. It's got a couple of big books.

The first one, I hope, will come out maybe before the end of next month. I don't know how I'll be given more updated information about that. But it's interesting now that I'm writing on it, that so many people have called recently and actually asked me about this subject, which was fine. I didn't I didn't ask him to. This is not a paid promotion here anyway.

Yes, there is a serious at us. The lectures are free.

Was that a very good job?

All right. Well, thank you very much.

And God bless you. You have a good day. We're out of time for the day. You've been listening to the Narrow Path radio broadcasts. My name is Steve Greg and we are live Monday through Friday. At this time, we're listener supported. You can go to our Web site, The Narrow Path dot com, and click on the donate link and see how to help us stay on the air. That's the narrow path dot com. Let's talk again tomorrow. God bless.


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