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August 20, 2020 8:00 am
Today on Fellowship in the Word, Pastor Bill Gephart challenges you to become a fully functioning follower of Jesus Christ.
You might be thinking, though, but but sometimes I struggle. Sometimes I don't live in the way that I should. Sometimes I have doubt. If there's one thing you can remember of this morning would be this if you want to have assurance. If you have a boarding pass.
Trust God's hold on you more than you trust your vote on.
Thank you for joining us today on this edition of Fellowship in the World with Pastor Bill Gephart Fellowship and the word is the Radio Ministry of Fellowship Bible Church located in Metairie, Louisiana. Let's join Pastor Bill Gephart now. Once again, he shows us how God's word meets our world.
When you became a believer in Jesus Christ, when you put your trust in your faith in Christ and his finished work on the Cross, the Holy Spirit of God and dwell you.
But here he says there's something about the Holy Spirit that unique. The first thing he says is that he sealed us.
I love that he sealed us. Interesting. Frager's Sprogis is the word an unusual word. The word literally means Cygnet. And it's amazing and a wonderful word, it was used by governing authorities, the highest governing authority, of course, in their world would have been the emperor of Rome. And when the emperor of Rome wanted to send something that he wanted, no one else they ever see except the person he was sending it to. He would take it. He would roll it up, and then he would pour wax on where on the seam of where that tube is put together. And then he would take his cygnet his ring that says Emperor of Rome. He puts in one. Paul picks right up on that, says that's what the Holy Spirit is, do you and me. God has rolled you up in a tube. He said he's mine by. I certify this one to be mine and I'm going to put my signature on it. The Holy Spirit of God. And he's not only have sealed us with the Cygnet, but notice he also said he gave us the Holy Spirit as a pledge. And again, another very interesting and wonderful word, and this particular word is Aggrey known and Agramonte means simply. To advance advance payment. We used to call this earnest money. In other words, if you're going to do the deal, you have to give advance payment. I like to buy your house. Well, how I know that you're gonna be able to buy it. How do I know you'll be able to get financing? How about if I give you a check up front? That way, it would assure you that I'm going to hold up my end of the deal. That's what God says is his holy spirit to you and me. He said, I assure you, the deal you see, I have put my signature on, you see who has the authority to open up what God has put us seeing them on no one but God. See, no one has that. And secondly. He gives us the Holy Spirit as a pledge. The boarding pass has a signature on it, and better yet, God paid for the pass, as we know, at the Cross.
And another thing about the pledges is God's promise that all the things are to come. You see, that's the best thing about being a believer now, don't you have the surety of heaven in the presence of God? Now. But I also have an inheritance. And I inherit and you do, too. Everything that Jesus Christ inherits and he inherits everything.
All of this is because of the work of God. That's how wonderful this boarding pass is to us. And there's even a little more. Go with me to Jewed, the book of Jewed, right near the end of your Bible, right before the Book of Revelation.
I won't give you a chapter because there's only one, so if you find the book, you're in good shape. The book of June.
Just that first verse, jewed, a bond servant of Jesus Christ and brother of James. To those who are called beloved in God, the father.
And then this phrase and kept.
For Jesus Christ. Now, depending on your translation, it could say, and kept by Jesus Christ or if we kept for Jesus Christ, neither really matters. But notice who we are. We are kept. For Jesus Christ or we are kept more likely by Jesus Christ. You see, my boarding pass is secure by the power of God and so is yours. Paul tells me, evasions, visions, I pray that you would know their surpassing greatness of the power toward us who believe. He goes on and says it's resurrection power, the power that gave guarantees your boarding pass is the same power that raised Christ in the dead. I wish you would get your your your thoughts around that. I wish that would become the conviction of your life. I wish you would see things from that perspective. Resurrection power keeps you. What does it take to get a boarding pass? Faith and faith alone in Christ. In Christ alone. Can't we be put on the stand by list? Absolutely not. You see, we're holding the hands and the power of God. Can I be certain that God will always honor my boarding pass? Yes. That's why he gave us the Holy Spirit to show how certain you can be. You see an on and off Salvacion never appears in the Bible. Not once you never get an idea in a Bible that someone's a believer and then they're not someone's heaven born and then off to hell they go. You never, never see that in the word of God.
Why is that so important? Because of this, if there is no insurance.
There's no peace. You see, if there is no assurance, there is no peace. And if there is no peace about you going finally home, there is no joy. You live with the fear of dying. The uncertainty of it. And so many of us do exactly that. Grace. Should create tremendous amount of confidence in our lives.
Turn with me now to second Timothy, second Timothy, chapter one.
Paul describing himself as a soldier of the cross. I just want to look at verse twelve.
Paul says this for this reason. I also suffer these things.
But I am not ashamed.
For I know whom I have believed. And I am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until that day. What confidence? You know what that means? Peace. That's why when he was arrested. What did you see in all of the prison epistles piece? But you don't even just see peace when you read Philippians. Paul says, I'm overjoyed. I'm going home.
I've got a boarding pass. You see, I've got that pass.
I don't have to worry about ever being put on standby with the anxiety of all that that that brings in my life. I am convinced that I have the boarding pass. Are you? There's a lot of things in life I don't know a lot about. There's a lot of things in life are mysterious to me. But one thing I'm not is not a mystery to me at all, as I know I have a boarding pass. Certainly not because of me. It is because of him and what he has done. You might be thinking, though. But.
But sometimes I struggle. Sometimes I don't live in the way that I should, sometimes I have doubt. If there's one thing you can remember from this morning would be this. If you want to have assurance. That you have a boarding pass. Trust God's hold on you more than you trust your hold on God.
You see, that's what the word of God says over and over again, his faithfulness does not depend on yours. His performance is not predicated on your performance. Your candle may flicker, but it will never. Go out.
You will never be put on standby.
For some of us, we find that hard to believe. But you wouldn't be alone. Even the disciples struggle with that. Turn with me to Matthew, 26. Matthew 26. The night before the crucifixion. Verse 31. And then Jesus said to them, he's talking to the twelve.
You will all fall away because of me this night. Four, it is written, I will strike down the shepherd and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered. But after I have been raised, I will go ahead of you to Galilee. There's the reality, there's his words. Now, before we even look at the response here, I want you to think about this. They've spent over three years, nearly three and a half years with him. They've spent over a thousand days and nights with Christ. Think of that. Just think of that. They have seen him in every possible way you could see him. They have experienced him like none others. And yet the.
You wonder what they're thinking. They saw him turn water into wine. They saw him take a little boy's lunchbox and turn it into a buffet for 5000. They saw mud fall from some guy's eyes and he could see. They saw a man they knew is dead for four days and they saw him walk.
That's what they saw, and that's now they hear the words of Jesus. And Jesus says this to them. But Peter said to him, even though all may fall away because of you, I will never fall away. Peters had a lot of bad moments. This probably is worst.
Why is it so terrible? Number one, he doesn't believe Jesus.
You see, he doesn't believe in Jesus, just made the statement in person. He has been with for three and a half years a person he knows as their messiahs, God incarnate, a person who has never lied. And Peter says, I don't believe you. Something else, though, not only does he not believe, even though all. I. What? Arrogance. What arrogance? I will never watch self-sufficiency. What's going on here, Peter Trust and Peter's strength. Peter, strength will peter up.
You see, this is interesting. Jesus said him truly, I say to you this very night before the rooster crows, you would deny me three times.
And Peter said to me, even if I even if I have to die with you, I will never deny you and all the disciples say the same thing to they all. But if it's up to us, we'll be here for you. It's never up to us.
It's always up to him.
In a parallel count and loop 22 in this exact context, on that exact night, Jesus said this to Peter. He said, Satan has asked for you.
He wants to sift through like weed. Wow. He said, But I have prayed for you that your faith will not fail.
And then amazing. And there's something I missed before and when you return and when you return, strengthen your brother's. How he's gonna fill in the worst way he's gonna deny Jesus.
And Jesus, yeah. And when you return. You see, when you return, you strengthen your brother's. What an amazing thing.
Peter was never really could get his thoughts around that and all those days into a funny ends up with sanding by the seaside with Jesus and Jesus, ask him, Peter, do you love me?
You see, then go feed the sheep. You see do what exactly? That's something that is amazing to me.
No matter what happens, your fall may be great. But God's grace is greater still. You see, that's what Jesus is telling me. Your phone may be great, but God's grace is greater still. Well, he did that for Peter, but we do that for you and me telling me that John 17.
John, 17. The night before him, his great prayer. Same context, same night. John, 17.
Verse eleven. I am no longer in the world, and yet they themselves are in the world and I come to you, Holy Father. Keep them in your name. Notice. Keep them. Keep them in your name, which you have given me. They may be one as we are Father. Keep them. Do you think the father would honor the son's prayer? Absolutely. But notice verse 20, I do not ask on behalf of these alone. You could look at that verse eleven and say, well, that's for the twelve or the eleven. I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in me through their word. That's you and me.
Jesus says, keep Bill. You see, keep him. Don't let the boarding pass come out of his hands.
On the basis of everything I said, some of you I know because you've talked to me about things like this, some of you might be thinking, well, wait a minute then. If that's true, can't we take advantage of this? If it doesn't matter really how we do things, we're never gonna be put on stand by and we have the absolute assurance of the boarding pass, isn't there? That doesn't make sense. If God's always gonna catch me when I when I fall, then. Then why not fall?
If you think that way, you're missing something. An extremely important principle. Grace fosters obedience.
Grace fosters obedience to experience the love and kindness of God when they sink in. It changes your heart. Let me go straight this. Remember Joseph Soder into Egypt by his brothers? And a lot of things didn't seem to go right. But one of the things you kept reading and scripture were words like this.
The Lord was with Joseph. The Lord made all that. He did prosper. No matter what happened to me, prospering.
That's great, by the way.
He ends up in part of his house. Pettifer says, I'll give you control of everything. That's a that's a blessing of God. He's in prison now, he's a part of his house. He has control of everything. And then all of a sudden, part of his wife takes a liking to him.
And on a particular day.
The scripture says she cast loving eyes at him. Lots of Mascaro. She puckered her lips up.
And she said to him, sleep with me. He's a young man. This may have jeopardized all the blessing of being in Potter's House. His response? How can I do this great wickedness? And sin against God. You know, and I know what some of you might be thinking, oh, yeah, but he did it because thou shalt not commit adultery. Don't go there. There was no law. The Ten Commandments came over 400 years later. He was insane. Oh, I don't want to violate a commandment.
No, that's not it. That's not what happened there at all. God's kindness stirs Joseph's holiness.
You see, God was so good that Joseph demonstrated his grace, that Joseph that Joseph said, I will not sinned against God. Grace changes people like nothing else. You see, all religion is as a matter of do's and don'ts of fear and guilt. And it works so poorly. But grace, grace stirs gratitude and love. Strongest motivations you can possibly have.
And if it weren't for Joseph, it should work with us. The last passage I want to look at Titus, chapter two.
Titus, Chapter two.
Verse eleven. For the grace of God has appeared.
Wow. I love that. Don't care much for it appeared. By the way, the grace of God. That Greek word becomes the English word epiphany. What's an epiphany, you see, from our point of view, when we think of an epiphany, it's a sort of a sudden, sort of a sudden intense realization of the truth. I had an epiphany. The Greeks didn't see it that way exactly. They saw it differently. What they like to liken is an epiphany was when the sun rises every morning. It's totally black. And then the arisan before you even see it. All of a sudden the sky turns light and the light disperses the darkness. And that's where they come up with the word epiphany. It's a sunrise. From their point of view, and so Paul says, for the grace of God has appeared bringing salvation to all men. When Bethlehem. You see, it appeared there's the epiphany. It's the incarnation. Noticed the grace of God has appeared. Salvation is available for all mankind now. In Bethlehem, from Bethlehem on instructing us.
Notice what Grace does to deny and godliness and worldly desires and live sensibly and righteously and godly in the present age. Looking for the blessed hope in the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem is rarely a lawless deed, and to purify for himself a people for his own possession, zealous for good deeds.
That's what Greece instructs us to do. That's exactly what Greece does.
If you catch yourself thinking, you know, I can do what I want to do and God will always forgive me, because that's what scripture says.
I can tell you this, Grace is not happening to you. Arrogance. Perhaps selfishness. For sure.
But not Grace. Grace creates the resolve to do good. Not a provision to do bad.
What does it take to get a boarding pass? Faith and faith alone and Christ in Christ alone?
Can we? Be sure that he won't be put on the stand by list. Yes.
Absolutely. You're held by the power of God. But there's one more thing, Grace not only motivates me and I don't know how it feels, but great comforts me.
There's trade comfort in that.
To know that whether I get that final flight home or not or I end up on stand by has nothing to do with Bill. It has everything to do with the Lord who died for him.
Grace whispers in your ear. You will never fly standby.
I've got your boarding pass.
Father, sometimes we need to be reminded of the great truths of scripture. And this reminder today, father, is so important for me and I think for many others. The greatness. Of our salvation. The greatness of your love, the greatness of his sacrifice. The greatness. Of grace. Father, I am so pleased than happy that even though this life is often a minefield. Of uncertainty and pain and suffering and despair.
I have that absolute assurance I have the boarding pass. And I'm homeward bound. Father, I thank you for that. In my life.
I thank you that I don't have to deal with the anxiety and the fear and the worry. But I can approach even the end of my life with peace and joy.
Father, thank you for doing for me and for all of us what we could never do for ourselves. We look forward to one day. Being face to face.
You've been listening to Pastor Bill Gebhardt on the Radio Ministry of Fellowship and the word, if you ever miss one of our broadcast or maybe you would just like to listen to the message one more time. Remember that you can go to a great Web site called One Place dot com. That's one place dot com.
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