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September 1, 2020 8:00 am
Today on Fellowship in the Word pastor Bill Gebhardt challenges you to become a fully functioning follower of Jesus Christ.
Many of us have strained relationships, dysfunctional families, dead-end jobs, financial hardships, spiritual dryness, emotional struggles because life is unfair. Some of the unfairness of your life is your fault. You reap what you sow you don't even have to. So what in this world to read because life isn't fair pain and struggles part of living and what God understands about that is what we need to be encouraged 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 collectively as a congregation we just dissipated in the Lord's table. Each time we do. It's it's a time for us to reflect is a time when we look back to the cross and what Jesus Christ did there for us and it's a time when we look ahead to the second coming is a time when we look up to God in the time when we look into our own hearts and it's a time when we look around at our brothers and sisters in Christ. Periodically, I believe, will we need to experience the encouragement that we receive.
We partake of the Lord's table. After all this crosses where our sins were forgiven. In the second coming of the King of Kings and the Lord of lords will rectify and straighten out everything in this very disturbing world an opportunity to look up to a God who loves you an opportunity to look into your own heart and to measure insincerity and it's a chance to look around at your brothers and sisters in Christ who are to love us just as we love them, you know, it was precisely that last point that the church of Corinth was so disturbing they didn't love one another. In fact, they even disdained one another. They didn't encourage each other at all. In fact, the truth of the matter is that every single time that we assemble as a church every time we should be encouraging one another is instrumental in part and parcel of what it means to worship as a congregation open your Bibles to Hebrews chapter 10 the book of Hebrews chapter 10 the context of chapter 10 is the same as the context of the entire book of Hebrews. These are a group of believers just like us except their Jewish and when they came to Jesus Christ as their Messiah. They found that even though their hard I'm sure was filled with gratitude and love for the Savior and their Messiah. They found out that the people and their families and in their neighborhoods and where they were did not like it at all. In fact, they began to be persecuted by the Jewish community as well as the Greek and the Roman communities and so the whole book is about the idea that apparently many of them said maybe we ought to just sort of ease back into Judaism.
I mean after all, then people would accept this, we could still believe in Jesus and the whole book is a warning never to do that is only get the chapter 10 and verse 19. The writer of Hebrews writes this piece is therefore brother and since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus by a new and living way which he inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, his flesh, and since we have a great high priest over the house of God.
He's making these three conditions for them and it was probably hard for them.
He says that they should have confidence to go into the holy of holies. Now that means metaphorically in their prayer go boldly. He says earlier in the book into the holy of holies they did have a confidence from their point of view only the priests could be in the holy place, and only the high priest on Yom Kippur could be in the holy of holies, the writer says no you and I can go right into the very presence of God and the reason we can. As he says in verse 20 is because he inaugurated for us a new and living way because of the work of Jesus Christ. The member the veil when the temple was rent it was torn in half so that access to God was open and also in verse 21, because he is our great high priest. He intercedes for us and because of all that since all those things are true, he gives us in the sensory commands and gives them three commands the first one in verse 22. Let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience, and from our bodies washed with pure water. Let us draw near to God because of the finished work of Jesus Christ. We can draw near its finished and then he says in verse 23. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering. He says for he who promised is faithful. Let us draw near to God and let let us hold fast to our faith.
That's not waiver, as they were doing and then he says this and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds. Let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together is the habit of some, apparently some of these Jewish believers said, maybe it's better not to worship together. That way people would know who we are, but because we worship together. They see us together and they know who we are and were getting ostracized and persecuted because of that, the writer of Hebrews is don't do that, he says, not forsaking our own assembling together is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the day drawing near.
He's describing them in the presence of God coming into the holy place. In a sense he's describing worship. It's astounding when you read it because when he is describing worship.
One of the key elements of worship. Notice there's not a mention in their music. He's not talking about well, that's what worship is. He's is one of the key elements of worship here is encouraging one another. You see, whenever you come together and there's good reason for that.
The main reason in a sense, in a generic way is this in their world and our world. The same thing is true life isn't fair, it's never been fair and it never will be fair until Christ comes back. Life is not fair. And because life wasn't fair to them. They were being persecuted they find himself ostracized.
They realize how difficult life was for them in the same thing is true with us. It's not fair for us. Either were not persecuted to the same degree but think about it how many of us have strained relationships, dysfunctional families, dead-end jobs, financial hardships, spiritual dryness, emotional struggles because life is in prayer. Some of the unfairness of your life is your fault.
You reap what you sow you don't even have to. So what in this world to report because life isn't fair, pain and struggle was part of living and what God understands about that is, we need to be encouraged and we need to encourage one another.
You see, otherwise we try to cope differently when life is unfair for some of us we cope by just staying in bed I just stay in bed and pull the covers up over my head and it all hopefully go by for others of us. We take pills and medication and we see maybe I could just know myself enough so that I won't have to deal with these unwanted feelings that I have when life is unfair.
Some of us run into very unwise relationships. Others of us run the drugs or alcohol because life is in fair. All that does is leave us angry and fearful and cynical and detached and anxious, distracted. There's all kinds of ways we try to cope because life isn't fair, but escapism and indulgence are not the answer.
When the most important things about dealing with life and it's not fair is encouragement you need to receive encouragement and you need to be in encourager want to give you definition of encouragement. Simply using the Scriptures, if you look at the word, encouraging the Old Testament.
It's child sock is the Hebrew word, and child sock means to strengthen.
In fact, I remember reading a passage this last week were David was talking to one of his generals and he was telling the stay the course. Be ready for the fight in it in the Scripture, translated, and David encouraged him. In other words, he said look strong enough you can do this, the idea of strengthening when you get to the New Testament. It's a different word is the word Paraclete to us in Paraclete tosses the word you're probably familiar with because when the Holy Spirit is being described by Jesus. He calls him the Paraclete. In other words, Paraclete tossed means one who comes alongside you to comfort you and so when you get the Old Testament and the New Testament idea of encouragement you get this idea of strengthening and comforting someone that's what encouragement is. Chuck Swindoll says this is his definition. He said the act of inspiring others to have renewed courage spirit or hope that's encouragement. I will look at a picture of encouragement for our lives as well as theirs want to look at Hebrews chapter 12 now.
Hebrews 12 just a page or two away at Hebrews 12 verse one in between the passage we looked at in Hebrews 12 is that's right it's Hebrews 11 and Hebrews 11 is the Hall of Fame of faith.
These are all these people that were considered the most faithful service spiritual giants and the irony of it is, is when you read this whole of payment faith.
You come away with the conclusion that's a little bit mixed. Some of these people because they were so faithful return vendors blessings from God because there were so faithful, but others of these people were just as faithful and they didn't really reap anything except persecution.
In fact, he goes all the way to they had to live in caves. He said some of them were even sawed in half.
He might've been referred to Isaiah, who was by tradition sawed in half with a wooden saw for his faithfulness to God. In other words he uses the Hall of Fame of faith and now he wants to speak to them and to us in chapter 12 verse one. He says this therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us. While this is really an interesting picture. First of all, you know what it really takes to live in a world that's so unfair. Endurance. That's what it takes more than anything. In fact, he says the hallmark of faith is that it indoors. That's what faith really does. It is able to win door but the picture he uses is kind of interesting. Here's the picture and I would view it as sort of a Coliseum so like the Olympic Games and were on this sort of long marathon except going through the city were not going to the city were just running around lap after lap in the stadium and that's what he said is your life, and he said no bikini you running this race right in your own life. Is this one thing you have to do is you have to give up anything that you see encumbrance upon yourself. You have to do with that and you have to deal with the sin that so easily entangles your legs. He said so you have some responsibility encumbrances could be living with wrong priorities. Sin speaks for itself. But he says something else we have this be group of witnesses around us.
These are all the people who were believers who live there like before we did in the picture that is using is in a sense there in the stadium to encourage us and what he means by that is it's not how fast I run but what we know because of encumbrances and sin that entangles us, we fall from time to time, and so whenever we fall. We need somebody and they're very are sitting in the stands saying get up get up you can do this. Get up in the reason they can tell us, that is, they've already run the race. They got up. The other thing is were all running together and so it's sort of the one another's of the New Testament. So whenever I fall what I need is I need you to come by and say come on Bill get up get up you can do this, you see you can do this. Want me to run with you for a while glumly hoping for a while.
I do what I can, but you can do this and I need to do that to you all of that is simply called encouragement. You see, we need to be encouragers and we need to receive encouragement. The reason is, life isn't fair, and we really need this in order to cope. He continues with the picture in verse two and says fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and the perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and he sat down at the right hand. He said of the throne of God. For consider him who has endured such hostility by sinners against himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. See what to take on Jesus Parker do for us. We could never do for ourselves. It took endurance. He had to endure it. He ended door.
The shame he had to door the mocking the beatings he had to endure the cross in the door the wrath of God. It says any and/or all of it for the joy that was set before him. The irony of all that is your the joy he was willing to endure all that, for the joy set before my people of his own pieces. All we all want you to do is when you're running just fix your eyes not on each other, but on Christ. You see, he's the author and the perfecter of our faith. We will utilize his power to run this race. So what a picture that he gives.
What's the scope of this idea of encouragement told me to first Corinthians chapter 12 first Corinthians chapter 12 and verse 12. Know the irony of first Corinthians 12, is that it occurs again after first Corinthians 11, but first Corinthians 11 is about how they had distorted and destroyed the Lord's table.
God was so unhappy with the way that they participate in the Lord's table. Paul says many of you were sick and many of you are now asleep. Which means there dead they had mocked the Lord's table in the way in which they mock the Lord's table was it was sort of like the haves and the have-nots. They would have an agape feast at the end of the day, usually on the Lord's day and what they would do as they would get together and have the fees but the slaves, or believers in Corinth, they couldn't get there till later and so those are the haves they had the whole feast and made all the food and drink all the wine before the slaves got there and God was not happy with them at all.
You see, they saw people was different were aristocratic were affluent. They are nothing but slaves and that was really at the heart of the problem and so he writes in first Corinthians 12 that what they really need to do is they really need to understand what the church is about in verse 12 he says. For even as the body is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body, though they are many, are one body, and so it is and so was Christ. He says there's there's only one body.
The body of believers. Christ himself and were all members of that body he said, for by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether we were Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, we were all made to drink of one Spirit. For the body is not one member met many were all in this together. He said, and in front of in the Lord's eyes. We all have eggs exactly equal footing because component server uses analogies are kind of funny, said of the foot says because I am not a hand, I am not part of the body.
He said it is not for this reason any less part of the body, he said, and if the ear says because I'm not an I am not part of the body. It's not for this reason any less part of the body. If the whole body were an eye that's an interesting thought. If the whole body were nine were for the healing be he's of the whole body were hearing there were with a sense of smell be pieces but now God has placed the members each one of them in the body just as he desired. If they were all one member.
He says, where would the body be, but now there are many members but one body.
The eye cannot say to the hand. I have no need of you. Or again the head to the feet. I have no need of you on the contrary, he said it is much truer that the members of the body would seem to be weaker are necessary and those members he said of the body which we deem less honorable. He said on these we bestow more abundant honor and he said, are less presentable members become much more presentable, whereas our more presentable members have no need of it.
But God is so compose the body, giving more abundant honor to the member which is locked not stop there for just a moment is a need something analogy.
How many of you before you came to church today.
I really want to make sure that, for instance, your large contest time looked really good for Sir church service today and that your liver and the pancreas and you are really concerned about how they deny you. Where were you spending your time in that mirror were in good nothing more important in this place, this is it. I hear about that'll pause talking about. By the way, I much rather hear bad news about my face and bad news about my heart or my liver or my pancreas.
You see, what we deem is almost not important. He says of the most important parts in the analogies make it is really simple. We have this tendency to think that the people who are the face of Christianity the mouth of Christianity.
These are the most important people. Christianity is another not as all the other people is all the sick people who serve it's all the people who pray it's all those people you see is the part that note doesn't get any of the recognition. That's the most important and then he says this he said in verse 25. So there may be no division in the body, but that he says the members may have the same care for one another and if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it and of one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it so we all are together. That's why we need to mutually encourage one another.
We need encouragement you know it it if you're in appendix you need encouragement you need people to encourage have an important role medicine.
Medical science hasn't figured out I bet exactly what the appendixes airport but you have an important role. The same thing is no bias after the radio ministry of fellowship Lord, if you ever missed one of our broadcasting or maybe you just like to listen to the message one more time. Remember the good a great website called one place.com that's one place.com and you can listen the fellowship and the word online event website you will find on with today's broadcast but also many of our previous audio programs as well have 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 a 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 will deliver during a Sunday morning service at Fellowship Bible church visit our website FVC Nola.org that SBC 10 oh LA.O RG at our website you will find hundreds pastor Bill sermon you can browse through our sermon archives defined servicers are looking for, or 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 listening. And remember, you can do all this absolutely free of charge. Once again our website is FVC Nola.org forecaster Bill Gebhardt, Jason Denhardt, thank you for listening to fellowship in order