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August 12, 2020 8:00 am
Today on Fellowship in the Word pastor Bill Gebhart challenges you to become a fully functioning follower of Jesus Christ. Every day I serve, place the way I think the way he thinks. I changed my perspective to his perspective.
That's what Paul was doing. She Paul operates on himself every day, you and I have to operate ourselves every day. Thank you for joining us today on this additional Fellowship in the Word pastor Bill Gebhart Fellowship in the Words the radio ministry of Fellowship Bible church located in Metairie, Louisiana. Let's join Pastor Bill Gebhart now is once again he shows us how God's word are oral. Be still and know that I sent hard.
You see, that is really hard. Just be still and know that I am God wait if you trust me.
Wait and that heart like so hard because we don't trust. That's what makes it so hard for us time after time he shows his faithfulness. But the next time you're in a spiritual struggle. It's like I want to wait. I want the eye we needed. Now I need it now. I need it now. So you have the idea of waiting and then you have to bring to mind the truth of God what is God said about my situation. What is God said when we do that hope returns to our heart were healthy.
The surgery is a success. You see, once the surgical tool that you would use then it's interesting if you go to physical operating room thing of the things you see their scalpels and scissors and calipers and forceps and sponges and sutures in one to sterilize stuff is all over the place. What you do surgery with the word of God. What's the surgery that I perform myself spiritually telling me to Hebrews 4 Hebrews in the New Testament, chapter 4, the context of the instrument is found in verse 11. The entire book of Hebrews is a great book in the New Testament is that there are believers that the writer of Hebrews is writing too hard, discourage with her life. Most of them have been Jewish believers. In other words, their heritage is Jewish state converted to Christ they are messianic Jews.
The problem that they had is not for 20 years the Jewish community is hated them and ostracized so they brought their friends a foster family. They lost their businesses. They've also been persecuted by the Greeks and Romans their discourage group of people so the writer is writing to them because what they decided on their own, or at least he caught wind of his or thinking you know what maybe we ought to go back to Judaism, as everybody likes us back there and he says don't you dare do that and then he decides is going to use an analogy, he compares them and us to the Exodus generation and it's kind of interesting, and his basic premises. This, yes, you were saved in Egypt because you were under the blood of the Lamb at the Passover and you were. As Paul said baptized when you went through the Red Sea, you Unisan saved now you're on your way to the promised land. Land flowing with milk and honey. But he said you know what I'm worried about. Just like that generation almost all of you are going to die in the wilderness. You can be saved to be out of Egypt, out of the world that you're never going to make it to the spiritual life that God meant for you to have you to die in the wilderness. That's what he keeps wanting them, he says what you really want to do is get into the wilderness and he calls that the faith rest life I life spiritually, flowing with milk and honey. So in verse 11, he says, therefore let us be diligent to enter that rest, so that no one will fall. He says from following the same example of disobedience that they had. He says let me explain how you get there and for the sake of the sermon you get there by performing surgery on yourself. That's how you get there. Notice he says for the word of God is living and active.
It's sharper than any two-edged sword. It's piercing as far as the division of the soul and the spirit of both the joints and the marrow it's able to judge the thoughts and intentions of your heart that were judges.
The word Pentecost we get the word critic from it. It's the idea that if I wanted to understand where I really stand if I want to understand what's really going on. If I want God's perspective on this. It's the word of God.
What's interesting is he's trying to describe them.
How suitable the word of God is for this so he says the word of God is alive and powerful. And then he said it sharper than any two-edged sword, when he said that that audience you heard that read for the first time went all see. We don't but the word of two-edged sword is the word Gladys. Gladys is the Roman sword. The Gladys is a 20 inch two-edged sword. 20 inches. Some historians have written that the Gladys conquered the world. You see, the Romans invented this two-edged sword. It was extremely sharp on both both sides. It was very short.
Most battles are fought in very close proximity to your enemy the Roman state in very tight formations and so whenever the Roman army will encounter you the Roman army would just in a sense get close to you, and once they did they cut you both ways. You see, they cut you both ways. The barbarians had big clubs and you know axes and all that stuff of the Romans were just slicing and dicing.
In fact, run Roman historian, said that a lot of times the enemy would actually stop fighting and run when they saw how disemboweled the guys in front of them were from the Roman two-edged sword. It just cut them to smithereens. Notice he uses that analogy and he says that the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged. It's sort and notice he said Pierce's it goes all the way through everything the thoughts and intents of my heart.
That's what it does.
You see what happens when we operate on ourselves with a two-edged sword of the word of God. It's real simple. We change our perspective to his perspective, we change the way were thinking about our situation to the way he thinks about our situation when you perform that surgery on yourself. You go from being spiritually sick to spiritually healthy. In fact, it's really an analogy of the Christian life.
Turn with me to Romans chapter 12 Romans chapter 12 Paul shows how this works to a little bit better degree.
Romans chapter 12 the first word in chapter 12 is the word therefore if you would read Romans 11 to the end of chapter 8 in Romans, Paul makes a case of how a person is saved and how us a person lives and now at the end of that justification and sanctification in chapter 12 verse one pulses. Therefore, having told you all you needed to know I want to tell you how you live your life. He says therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies, your lives as a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God which is your spiritual service of worship. He says once you got understand what it means to be justified before God and how to live the sanctified life how to live the Christian life is what you gotta do you gotta present yourself to God as a living sacrifice. You've heard me say this in the past that I didn't invented. I think the first person I ever heard say, was J. Vernon McGee many years ago but he said the problem with living sacrifices as they keep getting off of the altar and that's kinda what we do.
You see, what we do as we say. After all, you know, a good Sunday afternoon. I'm dedicated on my mauling Lord I'm in for young men than Monday we call off the altering about our life. You see says you have to present yourself as a living sacrifice on notice what he says then he says do not be conformed to this world. Literally it says do not let the world squeeze you into its mold. In what way in a way that I think. Don't let the world squeeze you into its mold.
Then he says this, but be transformed and that's the word metamorphosis how like Caterpillar becomes a butterfly same word he said, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind you have to renew your mind. In other words, when I perform spiritual surgery myself you want him spiritually suggest what is happening on renewing my mind. I'm getting I'm in exchange. My perspective of my situation. For God's perspective. My situation, I meant to change the way the world sees my life and the way I see my life the way God sees my life easier once I'm able to do that. My mind is renewed and I go from being spiritually unhealthy to be spiritually healthy. Let me illustrate that. Go to second Corinthians chapter 4 second Corinthians chapter 4 and Paula illustrated in his own life.
Now if anybody should've ever been discouraged in the early church and said I think I've done enough. I think it's time to retire your way been Paul okay started out as a relatively old man and even broke my almost half of the New Testament and we we really venerate them and say such a great guy but understand something after Jesus left the scene. Paul was probably the most hated Christian on earth. Everywhere he went. People hated him. He was arrested on several occasions he was beaten with rods. He was stoned and left for dead. He was shipwrecked that snake bit.
I meet. He had a thorn in the flesh that was so uncomfortably entreated the Lord three times a please take it away. I'm in so much pain. Paul had from our point of view, a really difficult time of it. He writes about it in conclusion here.
Verse 16 he says therefore we do not lose heart. A please understand in the analogy of the sermon that I'm saying is Apollo saying by the way, I just want tell you something I'm spiritually very healthy. I'm spiritually very happy and what you want to say is, how can you be your life stinks you got so many terrible things. I mean you have all these people that hate you. You been disowned by your family. They beat you with rods extolled you for dead. Everywhere you go someone want to take your life as you I'm good. You see him good. Spiritually I'm good. The watch he says. Therefore, we do not lose heart. Though our outer man is decaying, our inner man is being renewed day by day or by the way, I hate to say this because now I can more identify more than ever before. Paul's old and out and just that process along is the outer man decaying will become a reality, it either is a reality you or one day, Lord willing, it will be a reality to you.
The other man is decaying pulses. Yeah, I know how hard my life is. I mean, I remember reading how many thousands of miles.
He walked I could even imagine him he might go in the parking garage and the dome.
You know that's a long walk walk thousands of miles in his whole view was yeah yeah I got it I got it.
The other man is decaying.
But notice, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day what you mean he saying this I do surgery on myself every day. Every day I do surgery myself when you mean I replaced the way I think the way he thinks I change from my perspective to his perspective. That's what Paul was doing. She Paul operates on himself every day, you and I have to operate ourselves every day is an important aspect of our faith. If you don't do this. Yes, you have friends who encourage you and everyone's YMCA professional counselor, but is not enough.
You have to operate on yourselves now after he doesn't want you to see his perspective.
He says for momentary, light affliction. Now I just described Paul's been through. Would any of you who are going through that say I miss him some momentary, light affliction, that's what we call a hangnail and all that hurts.
We would never say that. What does he get that perspective. What you think is God.
He says for momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison. He says while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen their eternal Paul has a completely different perspective and you know what he said because I have a different perspective on a tell you something I never do. I never lose heart. And because he never loses heart. What does that tell me he's always filled with hope. Always is always filled with peace, he's always filled with joy.
No matter what the circumstances are in his life, seeking you say that about yourself is your life filled with those kind of those kind of attitudes, joy and peace and hope no matter what the circumstances are, because they should be and they can be. That's what Paul is saying. David said look I meditate on your word Lord and am renewed I don't lose heart.
Paul says look I I renew myself every single day. You see the surgery that the word of God can do in your life is so amazing.
I don't believe, by the way, in the word of God. There is one single thing on your life that the word of God doesn't address. I don't believe that there's any difficulty, depression and discouragement, despairing experience in your life of the word of God doesn't correct. You just have to be able to work on yourselves. Examples say it's sin that's bothering you of the sin that so easily entangles you in your face all the guilt with it and all those things in your so despairing I just never get done with this what's word of God say will Paula to the Corinthians that every time there's a temptation your life. It says God's as I provide a way out. I provide an escape to that temptation. The apostle Paul said to the Romans that I no longer have to be a slave to sin, because I'm a new creature in Christ.
John wrote in first John 19 that even if we do sin and we confess, acknowledge our sins agree with God about he's faithful and just to forgive us our sins and climbed to some all unrighteousness and guilt, and so the word of God addresses that if I'm struggling with sin. If you're struggling with self-pity and so many people are. Don't you know who you are, your child of God, your joint heir with Christ are part of the bride you want to inherit something, you inherit everything you see.
Do you understand who you are. If you want to speak about humiliation. Think of the humiliation of Jesus Christ one through God incarnate who humility himself become a member not just a man, but a servant, not just the server but when I went to the cross, not just one of the cross, but dying there and you know why died so you could be a son of God. You see how many feel pity for yourself. If you have an unforgiving spirit and you just can't get past that. How about the words Paul wrote to the Ephesians. Let all bitterness be put away from you. Be forgiving, just as God in Christ Jesus forgiven you. He never gives us command. We don't have the ability to obey. If you're struggling with it.
It's not because you can't forgive, it's only because you won't forget if it's fear of a situation you're in on so afraid about this am so afraid about this. How many times in the Bible is Jesus a fear not what the 23rd Psalm say even if I find myself where in the valley of the shadow of death, what you say, I will fear no evil, why would you say that because you are with me using these of the verses and the casting that out.
That's all we do surgery on ourselves. You lose a loved one and posted to the church of Thessalonica that we agree, but not like those who have no hope you have anxiety cast your anxiety upon me. Peter wrote because I care for you. You see it's always all their if you're filled with ingratitude. Look online to get it takes some kind of stock of your life. How many blessings if you add count them, and on and on. You see, what you need to do when operating yourself is to prepare your sermons for an audience of one have to learn to preach to yourself so much easier preach to others and it one last passage.
First Peter chapter 5, first Peter chapter 5 I want you to see an interesting promise verse 10 the promise in verse 10, from God to you is this the surgery will always be successful now. By the way if you've ever had a certain kind of surgery get on the Internet you want to see the percentage that each doctors had successful surgeries right and if you have heart surgery.
I want to guidance and 99 percentile guy, you know, if I see a guy in his Dr. so-and-so in his success rates a 30% and I don't think I want to risk that you see what God is saying here is look spiritually when he does surgery to 100% success rate is what he says, verse 10 after you have suffered for a little while. By the way knows the sufferings are we learned so much through suffering and will never leave until we leave after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to his internal glory in Christ, he says, will himself do what for me. Perfect, confirm, strengthen, and establish me or you Peter so overwhelmingly wrote that he said day. To him be dominion forever and ever. Amen. He goes into a doxology. The surgery is this he promises. I will strengthen you, I will establish you do it, I'll do it. You see, you can count on that. Samuel Clark 18th-century British pastor wrote this a long time ago. Christians, he said, deprived themselves of their most solid comforts by their unbelief and forgetfulness of God's promises, for there is no extremity so great that there are not promises suitable to it and abundantly sufficient for all our relief through the process. If we would reap the comfort and benefit of these promises. He said it is not enough. He said that we have those promises. It's not enough that we can on occasion now and then look at these promises we must thoroughly acquaint ourselves with them, explore them up in our memories and be often meditating upon them that they be be ready for use when we most need them. Then he said this constantly plead in prayer. God's promises to God, he will always acknowledge his own handwriting. That's how we do the surgery, while it is helpful to have friends to encourage us and occasionally see a professional counselor. I really believe the greatest discovery of your spiritual health and your life is you have to learn to operate on yourself. Just like Dr. Evan Kane whispering father, I fear that this is something that for many of us were not used to leave and get more discouraged when our friends don't show up. We get discouraged when we seek professional counseling and it didn't do what we thought it would do and that would be to fix everything but father.
We need our friends and would occasionally, we do need that counseling but father what we need is this ability that Paul had the ability that David had to constantly day in and day perform spiritual surgery on ourselves.
Father, we have the tools we have the word of God, the Spirit of God. The people of God. We have all that we need to have a life that is marked with joy and peace and hope, regardless of the circumstances around us father. This is what not only we want for our lives. This is your will for our lives that we renew our thinking that we begin to see our lives. From your perspective rather than our own father, may we do everything possible that we can to perform spiritual surgery on ourselves and then allow you to do what you do best. You are infirmity.
Father, I thank you so much that we can do all these things through Christ, your son strengthen his name.
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