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September 29, 2020 8:00 am
Today on Fellowship in the Word pastor Bill Gebhardt challenges you to become a fully functioning follower of Jesus Christ you never stop being the church.
God's expectations of you and I never cease because we are the church. You can do this.
In fact, I want to argue today that circumstances were under right now since the pandemic may simply be the greatest opportunity that all churches and specifically our church is ever snapping all of the sort to get into that mindset that I just simply go to church. Not every week, but mostly music and have done my duty of gone to church. I was given this unique opportunity for 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. Let's join Pastor Bill Gebhardt now is once again he shows us how God's word.
Our world that this is a very challenging set of circumstances for the church of Jesus Christ.
I believe that to be true.
It's interesting that I hear people saying boy I miss church and I feel the same way. Boy I miss church but when someone says that what do they mean what do you mean when you say I miss church she made me think what what is the church. I think many would say it's this building on 4600 Clearview Pkwy., this is the church. I think other people might say well it's where I go when I meet my friends and I and a few other nice people.
But what does God say what's the church from God's point of view he uses so many different metaphors to try to describe what we all call the church. The Iglesia called out ones of God. Open your Bible to Ephesians chapter 1 for a moment.
Ephesians chapter 1 verse 22 and out. I just want to give you a glimpse just a new Ephesians and what Paul tells the church of Ephesus what the church is. He says in verse 22. He said he put all things in subjection under his feet and he gave him.
He said as head over all things he said to the church which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all it's not the only type because the church is the body of Christ, and we know what Paul speaks the crib in 2000 and Christ is the head so Christ is the head and the church is the body. I mean one application that is clear as possible. They had decides what the church does in the body does what the head says the church should act just like your body reacts. Your brain controls what you do and then your body just simply reacts to it. Secondly, though what he ends up doing is if you look at chapter 2 and verse 19 he says so, then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and you are of God's household. There's another metaphor.
What is the church were God's household. What an interesting way to say it. He's our father wears children and where the household of God. Notice against Gonda verse 21 and 22 the same chapter and says, in whom the whole building, being fitted together is growing into a holy temple in the Lord in whom you also are being built together. He said into the dwelling of God in the spirit. Here he says with a temple of God. Now, individually, Christians are the temple of God, collectively, the church is the temple or the residency of God. Then if you go to chapter 5 of Corinthians verse 28 he uses an analogy and he says this so husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself.
For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church. This is interesting that in verse 32 we said this mystery is great but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church. Here is inference is very clear in the book of Revelation that the church is the bride of Christ were the bride were so when you think about it were, the household of God with the temple of God with the body of Christ with the bride of Christ part of God's household. That's just in this book, Peter says that that were the flock of God and were the pillar of truth but nowhere in the entire New Testament. Nowhere is the church ever called ability never is.
The church called ability. You see, I think we have to be careful. I think we end up in times like this that our mantra becomes I want to go to church and I do to. I want you to go to church but I have to be careful with that. You not to say I want to go to church when you should say is we are the church. We are the church that I go to church at such an important thing for us to understand because we been forced to understand by the circumstances of our day. My inference is clear to me. We never stop being the church. We never stop in the household of God, the bride of Christ, we never stop. We are the church and I'm afraid that some people and maybe some of you, but some people have thought or G. If we can't go to church more than I can be sort of on vacation from church. I can kinda be on vacation and I will have to go so I can sort of vacate. I'm telling you that is not only on biblical that's dangerous you never stop being the church. God's expectations of you and I never cease because we are the church. We can do this. In fact, I want to argue today that the circumstances were under right now since his whole pandemic began may simply be the greatest opportunity that all churches and specifically our churches ever had to be the church. You see, I think all of us sorta get into that mindset that I just simply go to church. Not every week, but most weeks receipt and have done my duty have gone to church God has given us a unique opportunity so I want to review just a little for some of you, but for the others of you want to make something clear. How does the church actually function what should be doing so want to go that acts chapter 2 the book of acts chapter 2 beginning in verse 41. Please remember that acts two is where the church began that's Pentecost. This is when the church began and so right in the beginning God gives us a clear statements as to how does a church function right from the beginning he wants to make this clear.
It says in verse 41 so than those who received his word were baptized, and that day there were added about 3000 souls in Jerusalem that the church is born. And I get to see what does it function like a please understand one thing that we know for certain that it doesn't have at Pentecost. There's no building game factors. No real building for the church for about 350 years. So here we see it. He says they were continually devoting themselves to the apostles teaching in the 1970s Jean Getz wrote a book called sharpening the focus of the church wonderful book it. It's actually the book that's the philosophical basis of our church.
Jean wrote this book so that we understand church better and what he said in the book was that every church must have three vital experiences. It must, it must have three functions that are not negotiable.
These are functions of the church has to have all the time.
So the very first one that he says is right there in that verse.
The first vital experience is learning. He said they were devoting themselves to the apostles teaching right from the beginning and understand how important this is.
Whether they have Old Testament who are they messianic Jews. They have any understanding of the church at all. No who has to tell them the apostles. That's the way this works they devote themselves to the apostles teaching. Interesting that in the great commission. Jesus Christ is go and make disciples.
I baptizing and teaching the Basco is the word it's just 100 times in the New Testament. It means teaching you have to be learning someone has to be teaching.
What a great time. This is to be taught with unprecedented time. Think of how much time many of us have in our hands. Now I do understand healthcare professionals.
A lot of people there working on the clock. I get. But for a lot of us. There's a lot of time and you keep hearing the pundits on TV talking about how lonely people are, you know, Sue Sosa, I'm so isolated. What will I do with my time will a lot of people have a lot of different ways of trying to cope with that. Most which are not good, but for Christian what a time when it's time to learn what a time to be taught me. We live and not just the time of the pandemic. We live in a time a technology Kyle Lee. You can find almost every single grade teacher in Christendom. One line all teaching, all you have to do is avail yourself of it if you want to do goods.
You can read books online you have to go to library. You don't have to buy the book you can read a book online. The question I have is, are you taking advantage of that or Unification Church couple weeks ago we had Kent Marion Fuller here and we explained that there circumstances are very unusual because they got caught here in New Orleans.
The Belizeans and they can't go back to Belize even yet so what are they going to do with all their time liking tailors from the beginning on Kent comes to me and says you have some books for me to read and I started getting 3 to 5 books of the time. Soon as he finishes, he brings them back said you have some more books for me.
I give him again. He's probably read more books since he's been here than any other period of time over a long period of time because he has the time, what an advantage the question I have for you.
Are you doing that you growing in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ. You see, are you using this time for you to learn more of the truth, the word of God. If you don't, you're missing a tremendous opportunity. Remember, Paul told Timothy study to show yourself approved, a workman, it does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth, the Lords given us this opportunity to grow. You see, if the only time you have ever been in the Bible is that on most Sunday show up in church and listen to someone like me talk. You're not. You're not growing in the grace and knowledge of Christ. You're not a workman that doesn't need to be ashamed. You see we have a responsibility here. It's an important think it's Petersons like newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word it feeds us and what opportunity we have right now to be fed in so many ways. The second vital experiences the vital relational experience.
He says they were continually devoting themselves to the apostles teaching and the fellowship that's her name fellowship than in verse 44. He describes it, he said in all those who had believed were together and they had all things in common is that verse is, I don't know if you think fellowship is what it is. This is the word clan near misses a word that means partnership they had all things in common. They were all for one and one for all. They sustained each other financially, physically, that's fellowship I hear people say sometimes I feel the same way. I really miss the fellowship on Sunday morning. I don't want to burst your bubble, but very unlikely if that's fellowship. You see, when I meet my friends or a few other people that I know and say good morning and I say to my friend, you see the game on Saturday. Holy count was that something or what that's not fellowship.
Now that's friendship. I'm all for friendship but that's not fellowship fellowship is partnership has a work in our lives.
Well, look at all the one another's in the New Testament someone is ringer 39 different ones one another's as fellowship. Love one another, encourage one another, serve one another, admonish one another. Confess your sins to one another. Forgive one another on and on. You have these one another's that's fellowship, you see how much of that is what we do on Sunday morning.
Again during this pandemic, don't we have unique opportunities just unique opportunities, fellowship people have needs. Some people lost their jobs. People only yes what are you doing about what are you doing about how if you show people your brothers and sisters in Christ that you love them that you're serving that you pray for them.
What do you do for fellowship and not sure many of us do anything but we all want to say but I really miss it. I know you miss something. Go with me to Romans chapter 12 I love up all rights are Romans 12 verse 10, Paul gives us another little description here fellowship starts at any says be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Can someone come to your mind right now in the body of Christ. You say I'm devoted to them. I wanted to mention my love that's a Paul said be devoted to one another in brotherly love give preference to one another in honor why should I be devoted to you because you are more important than me as a positive Philippians. Consider everyone else is more important than yourself. Be devoted to one another. Give preference to one another and honor, not lagging behind in diligence, you gotta work at this.
This takes time and effort fervent in spirit, serving the Lord, rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, isn't that exactly what were all doing right now. One of the greatest opportunities you have in the church for fellowship is during tribulation because when I am matriculating. I don't know if that's a word when I am tribulation.
I need encouraged. I need some to lift me up. I need those people and we have people right now who are in tribulation, and you say I want fellowship with and with all diligence show them the honor that's due them devoted in prayer less important thing is the discipline. It's difficult for us isn't easy to be in prayer for yourself you'll find it pretty easy.
Oh God, help me get through this day God would have the diagnosis go away. Oh, oh God, what about intercessory prayer for others. How much time do you spend praying for others. See, I think we've reconfigured this whole word fellowship, and so we don't see our responsibility here decent contributing to the needs of the saints, practicing hospitality while that's fellowship, you have a need. If I have the resources I'll meet your need is hard for us. Fellowship requires you to be wholly other oriented and overall honest with ourselves we just a little bit myopic and selfish, so it's a lot easier us for us to call fellowship fellowship to see my friends on Sunday morning talking about yesterday's game and once in a while and some churches. Maybe we can have a donut and coffee that we go it's fellowship now is not the Bible says is not fellowship. That's friendship animal for friendship don't call it fellowship: God's pastoral giver on the radio ministry of fellowship Lord, if you ever miss one of our broadcast or maybe you dislike of a smoother 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 event website you will find on with today's broadcast but also many of her previous audio program at Fellowship in the Word. We are thankful for those who financially support our ministry and make this broadcast possible with all of our listeners to prayerfully consider how you might help with radio ministry continuous broadcast on this radio station by supporting a monthly report of the 100 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 FVC 10 oh LA not to Argie at our website you will find hundreds pastoral sermon you can browse through our sermon archives defined sensors are looking for. You can search by title. Once you find the messenger looking for. You can listen online or if you prefer, you can download the sermon and listen at your own.
And remember all this absolutely free of charge. Once again our website FVC Nola.org forecaster Bill Gebhardt and Jason Gebhardt. Thank you for listening to fellowship in order