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January 26, 2022 7:00 am
Today on Fellowship in the Word pastor Bill Gebhardt challenges you to become a fully functioning follower of Jesus Christ.
That's how important this ideas the labor it's that important. Jesus even took it a step further makes I normally have to love God and I have to love you and I have to love loss, but I also have to love my enemies received the supernatural love of Christ while we were still enmity with God's enemy, God loved us so much he sent his son into the world.
This is the love of God.
That's really stuck 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 going pastor Bill Gebhardt.
Now once again he shows us how God's word meets Thessalonica is the best church, worst church miles is a terrible church. If you could do something wrong as a church, it remains that it will everything you could do wrong. They did want all the way through the book again. What is the completely lack that made everything go wrong in their church. They love each other. They can love people prop for an arrogant, you see that was a problem. Again, you can hold a place to go me to first Corinthians 13 first Corinthians 13. The Corinthians had great wealth was a large church.
They had big numbers and they were carnal fleshly week childish when he said there carnally Paul said to them, you know, when I look at your lives, and I look at the life of an unbeliever pagan Greek it's the same. I can't see any difference in you and all, but they had all the gifts in fact they completely wrecked their church with the way they view the gifts so Paul's writing in that section about the gifts he says look, you people don't understand something you think that if you had a certain gift to be spiritual you see any. And in our case it was glossolalia at times if you had a gift that made you spiritual absolutely not season that has nothing to do with spirituality. So he gets a chapter 13 he says this. If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels. Now please understand everything you said it was hyperbole. I bet you heard some guys that you know I I know now that glossolalia maybe spoke like angels speak that's not what he saying all he saying, but even if I could speak like an angel speaks if I had my aim angel language.
What if I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but I do not have love, I become a noisy gong or a clanging symbol symbol. All I make is noise so I do I just make noise. I saw you there is no there's nothing coming here if I don't have love, I don't have anything else even if you speak our language and you don't have love you don't have anything else but noise CFO Paul was saying. Next he goes on.
If I have the gift of prophecy. Now watch the hyperbole and know all mysteries and all knowledge. Now, who knows all mysteries and all knowledge, only God so he's not saying hey if you had to get the problems you know everything he's not saying that each is an hyperbole.
He said if I have all faith, notice faith, so as to remove mountains now. I love that is never in Scripture. Even Jesus said you had enough.
If you could move a mountain concept. I'll take a step further. If you have enough faith in my example, you can remove the mountain. I have faith that mom's gone and it vanishes you when I was at wow that's really something pulse again if I have faith that could do that but do not have love, I'm nothing, absolutely nothing, not a little. I'm nothing. He then says if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and I surrender my body to be burned but I don't have love, it profits me nothing. No matter how much I do for people.
No matter how much I work if I don't have love doesn't profit me at all. That's how important the labor love us and then Paul says this not notice the context in which Paul said it and you and I and I gotta say I do it to you when I when you often hear this at a wedding. This is for the bride and groom season for the bridegroom. This is for you and me is for the church.
You see, that's what he saying love is patient, love is kind. It's not jealous. Love does not brag. It's not arrogant. It does not act unbecomingly.
This not seek its own, it's not provoked, it does not take in account a wrong suffered, it does not rejoice in unrighteousness and rejoices in the truth.
Love bears all things. Love believes all things. Love hopes all things. Love endures all things.
Love never fails. That's how important was the people you see that's what love is in the Corinthians that have any of it.
Even back in chapter 11 when they had the Lord's table in the agape feast on Sunday evenings. There was no love. So they knew that all of the poor people and the slaves couldn't come. Still Sunday evening that come late because I had to work so those people who are the haves versus the have-nots that got together have the agape feast together and do the Lord's table before the other people got theirs. They could eat all the food, no Paul says when you do the Lord's table that way. That's why many of you are sick and some of you sleep.
Which means you been killed by the Lord sent him to death.
They had no love at all. That's what this church did. They didn't have a labor of love knowing go back to Thessalonians. Jesus Christ was asked by his enemies, trying to trap him if you could summarize the whole Old Testament but if you could come up with one law that is greater than the others. What would it be in a thought here. Say what you can do that and you said that's not a problem. You love the Lord your God with all your heart mind soul and strength. Love your neighbor as yourself. He said everything is inside of that that's how important a labor of love is you see that's how important this ideas the labor of what it's that important.
Jesus even took it a step further and makes us uncomfortable.
I not only have to love God and I have to love you and I have to love the lost but I also have to love my enemies. That's us going too far to see.
That's the supernatural love of Christ while we were still enmity with God, his enemy, God loved us so much he sent his son into the world. This is the love of God. That's what he's talking about. Paul said, and later another Scripture, the love of Christ controls me. I do what I do because of the love of Christ. So he says you have the work of faith, you have the labor you have, to the point of exhaustion you consider other people is better than you. You demonstrated by the way you love. You demonstrated you demonstrate the love of you demonstrate his love the people she do we do it collectively.
But do you do it is important for us because he God's going to God's evaluation of use different and you think God doesn't think you're mature Christian because you spend 15 minutes every morning reading away through Scripture. He doesn't think you're mature Christian because you have a perfect attendance see that kind of thing is not about evaluate you. He's going to evaluate you by though the deeds of your faith by the labor of your love. You see, that's what he wants to know what you really doing that what you're learning what are you doing with it and then thirdly, he said, and the steadfastness of hope, the steadfastness of hope that works steadfastness is that she steadfastness to us means it steady. But that's not exactly what steadfastness means in Greek the word is who Paul Monet it's compound Greek word and it means in this sense to stay under the pressure.
Whatever pressures me and put a new you just stay there.
That steadfastness, he said, you stay under the pressure of hope… Is the word hope, and I produce over the years that word hope doesn't mean cross your fingers and hope okay that word hope means a future certitude.
This is a future certitude something I know is going to happen. We try so hard to build that in your lives, that's why. And I'm admitted advising him, I've said to you over the years. The worst thing can happen to you can happen to you. Okay, why hope I tell you I read the end of the book, you win. See why because of hope. I want you to have that steadfastness of hope because of something I know your sinful people living in a cursed world and I hate to say it but pain-and-suffering reader with you now are they going to be there soon. It's part of life. None of us are going to get out of here alive. She boring the Lord's return and so in order to encounter life the way it is I need a steadfastness of hope. The Bible was so emphasizes this point so much.
I was just looking through some scriptures in the New Testament. Here we have the steadfastness of hope in chapter 5 the hope of salvation. Colossians 1 hope laid up for you. Ephesians 1 you may know what is the hope of his calling. First Peter one hope in God. Hebrews 10 hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering. First Timothy one. Christ Jesus, who is our hope. First Timothy 410 we fix our hope when the living God.
First Timothy 617 now fix our hope on the end. Do not fix our hope when the uncertainty of riches, but on God. Titus one hope of eternal life. Titus 213 looking for the blessed hope of his coming. First Peter one born again to a living hope is then Peter also writes fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Hope all the time, hope seeking, Paul knows this church is under persecution. Now were not really under persecution you but when you are. It's not pleasant okay economically. It's disastrous people shut off relationships from you. You will be arrested for no reason here. There's all kinds of persecution and they need to have that kind of hope, even from a physical point of view of punishment or illness member what Paul called them because he had the hope he called all the terrible things that happened to him. Momentary light afflictions. How can you say that when I compared to the hope that's ahead of me. See, when I compared to the hope that's ahead of me is momentary, light afflictions, that's why Paul sought if you saw Paul in heaven and you said wow all the way. The end. When they beheaded you Paul what you think of that I was is a momentary, light afflictions than me much. I have this hope you CNA says that's how I measure the steadfastness of your hope. As I said last week with these last couple weeks we've dealt with death in our church more destined than normal and one of the things that is most amazing and some of these cases was that knowing the individual who died and knowing the family who remained and one of the most blessed, most important blessings I got from them from both those who died and those who remained was there.
Hope you have sorrow. There's a time to mourn, and hope it were positive. Even the people who die were positive, they they believe with all the hard years of faith absent from the body present with the Lord a place of no more sorrow no more tears. They believed it.
And so when they were desk drawer and hope you see that's like this is important to us to have this guts is that's one of the ways I measure you.
So he says, bearing in mind your work of faith, your labor of love in the steadfastness of your hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. So the questions that I have for you personally in this do you evidence the work of faith is your faith work and I don't mean on Sunday morning I sing and you know a nice modern praise song. I mean, if I ask you right now is a congregation raise your hand if you believe this is true.
This can be Scripture so you know what to do, but you know all things work together for good men will believe in something terrible happens in your life pastor. How could this happen to me.
What is God doing I thought you believe all things work together for the good night now. It's terrible. You see, as always it's good.
I believe that that's not faith. You see, that's not faith that's just reality.
Faith is when you don't know why and you don't know how long you say book.
I trust in him.
He is sovereign. He is good and it all works together for his good, that's my faith, you evidence a kind of faith in your life, what would you endure for your faith in Christ. What are you willing to endure.
That's the test of our faith. We said that before. Do I practice the labor of love. Do I sacrificially demonstrate my love toward other people do I do that, not me saying I love them.
I mean, do you sacrificially do things for them dry. Consider their life is more important than mine is big question, and thoroughly dry have steadfast hope when life my life becomes basically overwhelmingly difficult. I went to an end. By the way when your life becomes overly difficult if you want to know if you have hope. It's really easy to have peace. You don't have peace you see that's the way this works. That's what you have to ask yourself. So God measures us by faith and love and hope. You might think you have in your life is the sign of your spiritual maturity. How prevalent is in our church is the sign of the health of our church. Now I know what you might be thinking. Wait a minute you do all these conclusions are one verse I mean just one verse in the Bible and then would manage this how we measure ourselves.
Not exactly. It shows up a few more times. First, go with me to Ephesians chapter 1 Ephesians chapter 1 Paul writing to the church of Ephesus verse 15 he says this. For this reason I to having heard of the faith, having heard of the faith in the Lord Jesus, which is just among roots exist among you and your love for all the saints, there's faith, love is a do not cease giving thanks to you, while making mention of you in my prayers the same thing he said to the Thessalonians that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of his calling.
So says the visions, love.
I know you have faith.
I know you have love and I'm praying that you have hope. You see, that's what I'm praying the same thing.
He said of Thessalonians. A few pages right go with me to Colossians chapter 1 verse three Colossians chapter 1 in verse three, right after he makes the introduction.
Paul says this we give thanks to God the father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Again, praying always for you. Same thing. He said since we heard that's the reputation now since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and the love that which you have for all the saints because of the hope he says laid up for you in heaven. He said, of which you previously heard in the truth of the gospel, faith your love your hope. One last one Peter first Peter chapter 1 verse 21st Peter chapter 1 in verse 20.
Speaking of Christ and his great redemptive work in 1718 and 19. Peter picks up in verse 20 and he said is concerning Jesus, for he, Jesus was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but has appeared in these last times for the sake of you, who through him are believers in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God, he says, since you have in obedience to the truth purified your souls. For sincere love of the brother fervently love one another from the heart work of faith, labor of love, steadfastness of hope is with the word of God says over and over and over again, so let me conclude by now.
I started so I asked myself. Do we as a church, evidence the work of faith, the labor of love and the steadfastness of because, by the way, that's the only evaluation is going to matter. Mr. II learned that years and years and years ago. I just remember a whole room of pastors John MacArthur making a statement when in risk, shook them, but he said let me be as honest as I can.
I don't care what my people think doesn't matter all this going to matters when I stand before the judgment seat of Christ is what does he think he said people could love you and Christ could be really disappointed and I believe that with all my heart so I asked myself. Do we do that and I believe, as your pastor. We do not nearly as much as we can. I now understand that but we clearly do your love for Christ and for people is been evident to me over the years people have need in your meeting. You see that's important to me and the amount of hope and certitude that the people in the church of Sharon facing extremely difficult circumstances financially, relationally, and from Healthpoint abuse. I have been really encouraged to see that as a pastor and so it that's the only evaluation I think is going to matter all in the long run this church but that's different.
I know collectively what I think of you, we evidence, faith, hope and love. But I don't know you individually will you do so ask you the question.
Ask yourself, do I evidence a work of faith, do I evidence a labor of love for everyone to I evidence the steadfastness of hope is father were always more comfortable with evaluating a church or our own lives with some kind of criteria that we make up and if we satisfy ourselves.
We believe that will do it, but father that is simply not so. The only evaluation of our church and he only evaluation of our spiritual lives as you sent me, not us. We have to ask ourselves after seeing in your word. What is the evidence we have in our personal lives individually and then collectively for faith, love and hope for this is such an important thing for us. So often we call ourselves disciples because we love the learn, but if we don't take that learning and apply it to our lives.
See if we don't have the deeds, the Aragon the works to backup what we've learned. If we don't have the conviction to love others, sacrificially, and we don't have the kind of endurance and perseverance it means to endure and hope than that knowledge doesn't help us at all. In fact, it may give us a false sense of our own majority. Father I pray that all of us understandably need to continue to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ show up in my faith is very good pastor broke apart on the radio ministry and fellowship. Lord, if you ever missed one of our broadcast or maybe you just listen to the message one more time. Remember, 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 program is at Fellowship in the Word.
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I'm Jason Denhardt.
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