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August 30, 2021 8:00 am
Today on the Fellowship in the Word pastor Bill Gebhardt challenges you to become a fully functioning follower of Jesus Christ man that I am he says who will set me free nurse keyword from the body of this now you know he goes on says thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our so then, on the one hand, I myself with my mind. Observing the law of God. Seven. On the other with my fresheners. Thanks be to God sent his said Jesus, that's a very important thing to understand free joining us today on this additional Fellowship in the Word pastor Bill Gebhardt Fellowship in the Words the radio ministry of Fellowship Bible church located in Metairie, Louisiana Pastor Bill Gebhardt now again he shows us how God's word meets our work several years ago an issue of the New York Times feature story about a 50-year-old ex-convict name Robert Salzman after horrific childhood. Salzman spent most of his adult life in prison and when he was released from prison in 2001 he find it very difficult to enjoys freedom.
He didn't have any money, he couldn't pay his rent. He didn't know what to do. He lives so much of his life in prison. Then he didn't even know how to live on the outside but finally on June 2010 Salzman had a grace like experience.
He was writing a New York City subway and he was found by a man named Mershon Ernesto Greene, a writer and director who was searching for someone to play a tough looking former convict in an upcoming film after an audition. Greene surprised everyone when he gave Salzman a key role in the film. In the following months, Salzman find it hard to believe that he actually had been set free and set free from prison and that he was outdoors he was outside doing what he wanted to do for the first time. On one occasion when he was filming with green on location in Long Island penitentiary and exhaustive.
Salzman fell asleep on a cot in the in the prison cell. When he woke up he became very confused and he thought he was still prisoner Salzman started crying in despair until slowly it dawned on him that he was a free man. Salzman was overwhelmed by joy, the joy of knowing that at any moment he could walk out of the cramped cell through the prison doors when the other side of the prison walls.
He finally could enjoy his new life of freedom.
Jeremiah says this then in a Certain Way, Salzman story reminds me of you many many Christians. He said we have been set free by the gospel of Jesus Christ, but we still live like were prisoners of our past. One of the sadder things as a pastor that it went into all the time is that the pastor Christians who live defeated life. It it's it's a shame to watch Christians are full of anxiety or worry or fear or guilt and are not living you know the Bible calls us more than conquerors and all that. And yet were not living. We live like were still prisoners, but the Bible is clear. We've been set free.
Once you open your Bibles to Romans chapter 8 Romans chapter 8 this is an amazing chapter. I don't know if you really thought about it very much.
One writer described. Romans eight this way. It's the greatest chapter in the greatest book in the word of God went away to describe the greatest single chapter in the greatest book in the word of God.
Romans chapter 8. Now I want to give you some context it comes after seven. You know that and I six and the book of Romans is an interesting book. It's really the theology of Christianity. The book begins when Paul says that God has a case against everybody all humans.
He said if you're a sinful and immoral person. God has a case against you if you're a moral person. God has a case against you.
If your religious moral person. God has a case against it concludes that section by saying all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. There is none righteous know not one. And so after he makes his case then he brings in Romans three the solution offer man if he God has this case against all men. Any any says there in Romans three that man is justified by faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ. And he said it not only justifies men but appropriate GH the father with word propitiation means satisfies it satisfies God's holiness. So then he basically goes in chapters 4 and five. He gives a couple examples with Abraham and his faith in David and then he says look all mankind identifies with one of two people. You're either in Adam or you are in Christ. In Adam all die.
See all are judged in Christ all it he said and you can identify with one of those and so consequently then some of the Jewish believers in Rome probably had the thought then and I'm still struggling with this. But what's the point of the wall. Why do we have a lot in it so important to us.
And so when Paul talks about as he says, look but you have to understand is that the law had a specific job to do and it wasn't for you to say I can obey the law and the great.
It was a basically tell you through the 10 Commandments, but especially the 600 laws and ordinances I can keep the law. I just simply can't do this law I can't keep it all. That was the point of the law. So if you look over to when he gets in the six and seven, when he ends up saying here in chapter 7 was this in verse 12 he said so, then the laws holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good.
He said therefore did not that which is good, cause death for me.
May it never be the laws good.
I'm not. That's the point of the law. The law showed me that it's good and I'm not. That's a talks about that in Galatians as well.
Then Paul right before this he wants to say something else he wants to tell you that even though you're in Christ is a wonderful thing you still struggle with sin as long as we have these bodies what we call flash were going to struggle with sin we don't stop struggling with interrupting the body present with the Lord we don't and noticing the eternal state. We get a resurrected body and new body so he says that in 714 for we know that the law is spiritual, but I'm of the flesh. I'm sold in the bondage, the sin and then he goes through a description of himself.
He sinful what I am doing. I do not understand I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I'm doing the very thing I hate, but I do the very thing I do not want to do. I agree with the law confessing the laws good. So now no longer my the one doing it, but sin dwells in me, for I know that nothing good dwells in me that is in my flesh for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not. He said for the good that I want. I do not do, but I practice the very evil I do not want, but if Elaine if I am doing the very thing that I do not want. I am no longer the one doing it, but sin that dwells in me.
I find then the principle that evil was present in me, the one he said he wants to do good. What a play on words there, but what he is saying is look he finds himself in the same place you find yourself. It doesn't mean that he's a terrible horrible sinner but is very much aware of his own shortcomings, he said look I want to live right but I don't. I want to do the right things but I always do it.
I don't want to do certain things but sometimes I find myself doing that sin is present. He said no that's not me that's the sin principle in me.
That's my flesh. That's my old nature that's my weakness. I do things I don't want to do so.
He goes on then he says I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man, but I see you differently on the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my make members so then he makes this statement and I think he does it for us because of the way we feel wretched man that I am kind of interesting. Paul says I disappoint myself. You disappoint yourself as a believer you see wretched man that I am he says who will set me free and there's the keyword from the body of this death. Now he knows he goes on says thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord, so that on the one hand, I myself with my mind. Observing the law of God. He said that on the other with my flesh the law of sin. Thanks be to God through our Lord Jesus Christ, who set us free from this. He said Jesus did.
That's a very important thing to understand. I'm free. You see that whole section of Paul was talking out in Romans seven, you know where you and in this context of the sermon you know you say that from when you're living in prison, wretched man that I am. It's is so terrible my life so bad. I have no peace of anxiety at Christian living in prison kindness is a bigger been set free. She don't you understand you been said free.
Now watch how about we go to these four versus he says therefore there is now. He says no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
While now you read that you ever think about much should first Elizabeth the great words in this verse. Therefore, what set me you hear me say it all the time. Whenever you see a therefore in the Bible, asked the question, what is it therefore okay. It's always there for the same thing. He's he's now coming to a conclusion from everything you said beforehand. Actually, the whole 47. Therefore, he said I've come to this conclusion.
That's the way he ends up saying it. He goes on, and he says there is now now must now me now means now. Right now, not back then not will be. It's now when you get up tomorrow.
What would be now. Next week now he wants you to know it's always now. It's always present, there is. He says now know and there's the word no Kathy is the word and new Kathy is placed as the first word in the Greek sentence is not like it is in English. The sentence starts with the word no. Whenever Greeks do that what they mean is this. I don't put an exclamation point on the end of the sentence but I want to emphasize one word in particular.
And here's the word that he wants to exercise no, absolutely not. Nada.
Not a chance. That's where you put it first. There is, therefore, there is now no, absolutely not a chance. No way, Josť. Condemnation while that's what he emphasize condemnation, Karima compound Greek word it's a forensic word. It's the word it deals with your verdict and the punishment it combines both. There is now no condemnation. While it's only use her by the way, and now Romans 516 and 18 in both of those refer to the sin of Adam and they both say because of the sin of Adam were all condemned now.
He says there is no condemnation, no judgment. The wages of sin is what death separation. God you never face that ever. There is no con damnation, while absolutely not. You and I will never ever ever ever face the judgment of God first think of an unbeliever. They have a judgment coming yes great white throne judgment everyone everyone everyone stand before it doesn't know Christ. You and I know why. Horses were judged not for the backward of the cross all over sin is judged.
The cross every single one of so there is no condemnation at all for us.
How does it make you feel just how does it make you feel the average Christian nice verse. That's one of the reason just stay in prison. There's no condemnation. You know who you are, you know what kind of sins in your life.
You know how great the grace of God was. You know what you deserve.
You know all these things and now you're told there is no condemnation at all for you, none Donald Gray Barnhouse, the late Donald Ray Barna said this.
If the members of the human race are permitted to yell because their football team won a game or because their candidate won election or because their drilling produced a gusher then let us shout for joy because we are in Christ Jesus, and there is no condemnation or not, but we don't we. We are God cited a Saints game and so this is so great they wanted day really, but you'll never face the judgment of God and is not that great to you seek your free you're really free you been given freedom are free.
That's the point.
Because of Jesus Christ, you are free. That should excite us but were a lot like Salzman feel free. I feel like I'm still in prison you have any joy any hope I don't used to be good and know your free and Adam were condemned in Christ there is no condemnation there is a magnificent illustration of this holy place or go back with me to Genesis chapter 7 Genesis chapter 7, way back in the beginning. This is the noetic flood verse one then the Lord said to Noah enter the ark, you and all your household for you alone. I have seem to be righteous before me in this time God is going to judge the world is going to judge everybody except Noah and his family.
That's it. In order to avoid the judgment they have to go in the ark. Okay, we know that now watch look at 614. He said make for yourself an ark of go forward. You shall make the ark with rooms and you shall cover it inside and out with what pitch now.
Why are they judged pitch. We meet inside one of the ark leak pitch on the inside and picture on the outside, so never leaked and so they were spared no you so long I got us quite get it night.
No, not yet.
What's the word pitch in Hebrew, Kfar, because it inside not you have to have Kfar anything okay pitch right now. Not not most the time Kfar in Hebrew is almost always translated a tone or atonement or appease or forgive. It's the word for atonement and forgiving. It's what covers the ark on the inside and the outside. It's the reason they're not judged is because of atonement in the ark.
They are safe from judgment, because the pitch sealed off the judgment of God in Christ we are saved from judgment because of the atoning work of the cross. The reason they were saved in the ark is the same reason you and I are saved now. The atonement of the ark in the atonement of Jesus Christ.
What a beautiful picture of this how this works in our behalf. Why we have no condemnation at all that we have to face now back to Romans eight, he then says the next word is for and again just to repeat myself.
Whenever you see the word for in the Bible. Always ask yourself the question, what is it therefore for always.
It's called the explanatory gar in Greek means I'm going to explain what I mean here in verse 14.
He said the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and death from I been set free from what the law of sin and death. Now is really one of the law no but he can only do one thing to me and you.
It can only continue to see if you think keeping the law will save you your mistaken because you can keep the law.
No one can keep the law, religion, no matter how conscientiously you follow it will never deliver you from the sin and judgment of God, all the good deeds in the world will never free you from the law of sin and death. Not ever. And that's the great mistake of religion. You see, it's a great mistake of religion religion. He said no you been set free from that people need that he sees an interesting thought. When you think about it that it says there that for us. The law of the Spirit of life in Christ as set you free. The spirit of God has set me free.
Think about the spirit of God. The moment you become a Christian. What happens I been baptized by the spirit of God I'm indwelt by the Spirit of God, I'm sealed by the spirit of God you see on this works the spirit of God. As always he sets me apart. I'm regenerated by the spirit of God. The whole unit with the Holy Spirit is in your life the moment become the Christ.
It's a birthmark not a birthmark is a birthmark is a mark that means I was born. Once the Holy Spirit is a birthmark that means I been born again.
I been born twice. We all got the same birthmark the spirit of God. He said he has set us free in the spaces of what he is done now and the rest of this short chapter he mentions the word spirit 20 times. This is all about the spirit of God indwelling, you and I and everyone of us and he has set us free. Six is an interesting thought.
And we know it's not for perfection. We don't always do the right thing. We have the power to pastor Bill Gebhardt on the radio ministry of fellowship Lord, if you ever miss one of our broadcast or maybe you dislike listen to the message one more time. Remember that you can Google a great website called one place.com that's one place.com and you can listen to Fellowship in the Word online at that website you will find on with today's broadcast but also many of our previous audio programs is no Fellowship in the Word. We are thankful for those who financially support our ministry and make this broadcast possible. We ask all of our listeners to prayerfully consider how you might help his radio ministry continuous broadcast on this radio station by supporting monthly with just a one-time gift support for ministry can be sent to Fellowship in the Word.
4600 Clearview Pkwy., Metairie, LA 7006 if you would be interested in hearing today's message in its original format that is is a sermon, the pastor Bill delivered during a Sunday morning service of fellowship monitored visit our website FVC Nola.org that FVC 10 oh LA.O RG at our website you will find hundreds pastor Bill sermon you can browse through our sermon archives defined sensors are looking you can search by title. Once you find the method you're looking for. You can listen online or if you prefer, you can download the sermon and listen at your own. And remember, you can do all this absolutely free of charge. Once again our website is FVC Nola.org for pastoral Gebhardt and Jason Denhardt thanking you for listening to fellowship in order