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Free to Succeed, Part 2

Delight in Grace / Grace Bible Church / Rich Powell
The Truth Network Radio
January 1, 2024 10:00 am

Free to Succeed, Part 2

Delight in Grace / Grace Bible Church / Rich Powell

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January 1, 2024 10:00 am

Hebrews 12:12 cheers us on, calling us to “Lift our drooping hands and strengthen our weak knees” in the middle of difficulty.  If we are in Christ, then we belong to our good Father God.  When we remember whose we are and the home we are heading to, we can endure with joy and patience.

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Welcome to Delight in Grace, the teaching ministry of Rich Powell, pastor of Grace Bible Church in Winston-Salem. Hebrews 12-12 cheers us on, calling us to lift our drooping hands and strengthen our weak knees in the middle of difficulty.

If we are in Christ, then we belong to our good Father God. When we remember whose we are and the home we're heading to, we can endure with joy and patience. In today's message, Pastor Rich unpacks the encouragement in Hebrews 12, 12-24, reminding us to keep walking ahead with the end in view.

Let's listen in. This is part two of a message titled Free to Succeed. It was first preached on January 20, 2013. Love God with all your heart and then live in the outflow.

And this is what he's challenging his readers to do. And when he mentions holiness, then as we live in the outflow, the outflow of loving God with all your heart will be that holiness. First of all, recognizing the credited holiness, the righteousness of Christ that has been credited to my life, that is positional holiness. Before God, I am justified, accepted, holy. I am a holy one in God's eyes. And yet in me, in the day to day, he is forming me, molding me more and more into the image of his son Jesus Christ. And the adversities that surround me, God is using those to mold me.

It's a God thing. It's something that he's doing, which is why he gives us the challenge to pursue peace and holiness. Because when I pursue those things and it begins with loving God with all my heart, soul, mind and strength, and I live in the outflow of that, then my pursuit of peace then becomes an outflow of loving God.

And I am then able to love my neighbor as an outflow of my love for God. And he says in verse 15, looking carefully, lest anyone fall short of the grace, lest any root of bitterness spring up, springing up cause trouble, and by this may become defiled, lest there be any fornicator, profane person like Esau, who for one morsel of food sold his birthright. You know what he's saying here?

He's saying, you understand who you belong to, you understand where you belong. He says, now let me tell you, let me give you a warning of three possible pitfalls. There is a blindness that can be here. Let me warn you about these three possible pitfalls. And it begins in the New King James, all three of them begin with the word lest. Lest anyone fall short of the grace, lest any root of bitterness springing up.

Verse 16, lest there be any fornicator or profane person. And the first pitfall is to forget. The first warning of a blind spot is that we might forget that is to fall short of the grace of God.

Forget what? A pitfall is to forget who you are, that you are redeemed and restored by God's grace. To whom do you belong? Like this orphan. He might have a tendency to forget that he has now been adopted. He doesn't belong in the orphanage. He belongs to another family. He belongs to a dad and a brother that love him dearly.

And are ready to throw a celebration upon his arrival. The warning here of the author of Hebrews is that we can lose sight of our true position. And listen, let me encourage you to understand this, okay? If you are in Christ, do you understand what it means to be justified before God and accepted and reconciled to him?

I hope you do. But understand this too. You have an enemy of your soul who wants more than anything else for you to forget that. And he will do anything he can to distract you away, to help you forget who you are in Christ. It is paramount for the believer to remember who he is, who she is in Jesus Christ. That you have been redeemed and restored by the sovereign creator redeemer.

And you are his, you belong to him and he is making you new. The problem here then happens, and this is why the writer of Hebrews gives these warnings, lest anyone fall from grace. The problem is when we forget our brother is coming to take us home.

And we act like the orphanage is where we belong and therefore we start acting like all of the other orphans. Do you want to know what the biggest challenge to the gospel is today? The biggest challenge to the presentation of the gospel is that people don't believe they're orphans. They don't believe it.

I'm talking about the public in general. You see, as we were talking about the gospel, the gospel is good news. Why is it good news? Because there's bad news. And the good news of the gospel is that we have been rescued from the bad news. And the people in the orphanage live under oppression. Some of them don't recognize, they're so used to it, they think this is all there is. You want to see an example of this? Look with me, turn over to Revelation chapter 3.

You're familiar with this. Remember the lukewarm church? Revelation chapter 3, look with me at verse 17. People don't realize that they are in an orphanage. They don't realize that they are orphans.

Verse 17, Because you say, I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing, and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked. That's the biggest challenge of the gospel. People don't understand that they're orphans. And you know what? The biggest challenge to the church today is for those in the church to recognize, though they still live in the context of the orphanage, we don't belong here.

We have been adopted. And we have been empowered by His Spirit. And we are called to remember that. Now, here's the second pitfall with me in the middle of verse 15, lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble and by this many become defiled. This is to fume.

The second pitfall, the second blind spot He warns them is fuming. It's a root of bitterness. When something happens that you don't like, and you chew on it, and you mow on it, and it just continues to grind inside of you. That is a root of bitterness springing up.

What is it that you're fuming about? You're holding a grudge against God. Why? Well, maybe because you've forgotten who you are. Yet you know this Christianity thing, you know this religious thing, and you think you've forgotten who you are, and so you're just, you're just having to, you have to try to do everything you know you're supposed to be doing. And it becomes a drudgery. And you develop a root of bitterness, you develop holding a grudge against God.

Why? Because you say it's not working. You say to God, you're not coming through for me. A root of bitterness builds up in the heart of a person who prays, and whenever God doesn't answer the pray, the way they want the answer, they start getting bitter towards God.

Because they've forgotten that God is the one who is sovereign, not themselves. The root of bitterness. Faith, I've tried it, doesn't work. How many people have said that? I have heard numerous people say that.

In fact, it is a trend that is even being studied today. How many people are abandoning faith and just walking away from faith, even those who call themselves Christian, are walking away from faith because to them it doesn't work. It's a tragic thing. And here's what happens, lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble and by this many become defiled.

What is he saying there? A root of bitterness is like an infectious communicable disease. It spreads. It spreads. And the writer of Hebrews is warning, listen, remember who you are, remember that you don't belong here.

Because if you forget that you don't belong here, then you're going to start blending in with everyone else. And this following Christ thing is going to become a drudgery to you. And you will develop a root of bitterness. And you'll accuse God of not coming through for you. And that is infectious.

It becomes contagious. And he warns them around that. So three blind spots that he warns them of. Looking carefully, lest anyone fall short of grace, you forget who you are, lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, you fume holding a grudge against God. And the third blind spot he warns them about is this, fooling around.

Fooling around. You're pursuing other gods, other idols. Nathan's invocation this morning was quite poignant. Fornicator or profane person like Esau. What did Esau do?

You remember the story, don't you? What did he do? Essentially this, he abandoned blessing for immediate gratification. He abandoned blessing for immediate gratification. He was pursuing an idol of the heart. He was pursuing a satisfaction apart from what God had designed and prescribed and ordained. He was pursuing satisfaction apart from God himself. What he's saying is, be careful that you don't go looking in all the wrong places for your satisfaction because you've forgotten who you are.

Let me say that again. Verse 16, lest there be any fornicator or profane person like Esau who for one morsel of food sold his birthright, be careful that you don't go looking in all the wrong places for your satisfaction because you've forgotten who you are. There's a good illustration of this. I read it a long time ago. This is in Max Lucado's book, When Christ Comes, but he provides another analogy.

This is good. The story of the prince and his peasant bride. A more intriguing romance never occurred. His attraction to her is baffling. He, the stately prince, she, the common peasant. He, peerless, she, plain. Not ugly, but she can be, and often is.

She tends to be sullen and sour, even cranky. Not even, not the kind of soul you'd want to live with. But according to the prince, she is the soul he can't live without.

So he proposed to her on the dusty floor of her peasant cottage, he knelt, took her hand and asked her to be his bride. Even the angels inclined to hear her whisper, yes. We're so glad you've joined us for Delight in Grace, the teaching ministry of Rich Powell, pastor of Grace Bible Church in Winston-Salem. You can hear this message and others anytime by visiting our website, www.delightingrace.com. You can also check out Pastor Rich's book, 7 Words That Can Change Your Life, where he unpacks from God's Word the very purpose for which you were designed. 7 Words That Can Change Your Life is available wherever books are sold. As always, tune in to Delight in Grace weekdays at 10 a.m.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-01-01 12:19:38 / 2024-01-01 12:24:34 / 5

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