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September 30, 2020 8:00 am
Today on Fellowship in the Word pastor Bill Gebhardt challenges you to become a fully functioning follower of Jesus Christ wake up worshiping God suspended a wish to say this in the past when it comes to corporate worship.
If you didn't bring it you didn't do.
You don't go somewhere and then the stimulator so you can worship no hardier worships God or it doesn't say that's a different thing worship as part of who we are, after worshiping God all week long, individually, to come together collectively, and we worship God 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.
I really miss the fellowship on Sunday. I don't want to burst your bubble, but very unlikely that 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. How does it 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. You have these one another's that 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 it. Paul writes here. 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 how I demonstrate 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 in honor not lagging behind in diligence, you got 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 mean 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 ever find it pretty easy. Oh God, help me get through this day God when you have that 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, how meet your need is hard for us. Fellowship requires you to be wholly other oriented and for all 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 doughnut and coffee that we go it's fellowship now. That's not what the Bible says it all does not fellowship.
That's friendship animal for friendship, but don't call it fellowship. Don't call it what God does go to me to first Peter for a moment. Verse seven and chapter 4 chapter 4 verse seven knows Peter picks right upper Paul left off.
He says in verse seven, and this may apply for the day. For all we know the end of all things is near. We know it's near than was yesterday. The end of all things is near. I may have even been asked that question pastor. Do you think what's going on globally. Right now with all that is this you think this is part of the end times the answer is pretty simple yes I do but I don't know if that means anything, because the New Testament writers believe their part of the end times, then times is a long time, but here Peter says the end of all things is near. Therefore be of sound judgment, sober spirit, for the purpose of prayer. Let's pray about this, he says, above all, keep fervent in your love for one another. There it is again, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins inference there's kind of funny when you think about it the more you know, people do this, the more they impress you with the more they depression every euro sometimes. If you think almost boy I wish I hadn't got to know that person that will because all of us fall short of the glory of God and he says yeah he said I understand that it's in there but you know if you have a fervent love for somebody you cover a multitude of sins. You see, because God love me so much the way, what is he done for me. He forgives me. So if I have a fervent love for you.
What I do for you. I forgive you.
That's what Peter says. Then he says be hospitable to one another without complaint. Think that's just funny to me. So hospitality people without complaint.
I wish you understood that, but if it's like this is you say to your spouse a harm you know so-and-so the coming over for the evening.
Boy I hope I'm up to it and they got the kids again. I think all you see that's what we start thinking we start thinking is no that's not real hospitality.
That's almost like dutiful hospitality. I gotta do this did not do without complaining. He said be hospitable without he said any sense of complete.
He said that each one of yours received a special gift employed in serving one another as good stewards of the mappers manifest grace of God conscious of the gifts I've given you just for you.
The gifts I've given you are for others.
You serve them with the gift I give you a way that is fellowship so different than what we often think not go with me back to acts chapter 2 again for just a moment because this vital relational experience horizontally is called fellowship vertically is called what worship that's what it is its worship and not only do we have very strange ideas about fellowship but we often in the context of a local body of believers have strange ideas about worship as well. Notice it just comes up as an inference right in the beginning of verse 47 of chapter 2 says praising God.
That's what they're doing or praising God.
What is worship praise and praising God. Notice it doesn't say they did it only on Sunday morning doesn't say they did it in a building. It says here they were just praising God. You seem to present tense. They continued to displease God present tense worship is what you want I should be all about. You should wake up worshiping God you suspend your day worshiping God go to bed worshiping you for me say this in the past year when it comes to corporate worship. If you didn't bring it you didn't do it. You don't go somewhere and then be stimulated so you can worship your heartier warships got, or doesn't see, that's a different thing. Worship is part of who we are sick after worshiping God all week long. Individually, we come together collectively, and we worship God. Many in the contemporary church. They often fall into the trap that the key element to worship God is how good can you make the music. How good can it be and how emotional and especially if you can do with lighting and special effects to use a lot of special effects a lot of music in a certain way, then you can get people to worship doesn't occur there now.
What happens is when you do that once you create a concert like atmosphere and get people engaged there something that happens to them. They can't help it. They become the audience. I still remember years ago I just read this and person come up to the pastor the church and said I didn't get much out of worship today so that's good because we won't worshiping you see what happens when you're the audience that wasn't good enough for me.
That didn't grip me that while you're not the audience guides the audience sees only your heart. This means nothing to whether whether lighting is the part that doesn't meaning to him he means is this stimulate your heart is not only that, you seem true words is as important but do you believe singing is you can just sing the words.
I gotta believe what I'm saying that become such an important thing singings important, very important. The context might be little bit different in the Bible than we think of it, because we made it simply a Sunday morning church activity, but the night before Jesus was crucified after he was in the upper room. He last thing they did when I left the room to go to the mod assembly was they say I sang together. Paul wrote to the Ephesians in Ephesians 5, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs. He also would do a Colossians singing with thankfulness in your heart. But the point of it is singing a great praise song without real thankfulness in your real heart is just a waste of time because that's not what God is interested in. He's only interested in your heart is another experience he says that in verse 47 praising God, having favor with all the people in the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved vital witnessing experience.
The Lord wasn't just magically adding to their number. These people were praising God, and they were witnessing for Jesus Christ and men, women, boys and girls came to a saving faith of Jesus Christ. And that's how God added to their number. Turn with me to Matthew chapter 28 the great commission is a great words, famous words verse 18 says and Jesus came up and spoke to them is that all authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth.
Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, which means people groups, baptizing them in the name of the father, the son of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you. And low on with you always, even to the end of the age.
So often we see too many commands here as it is only one there's only one command in the great commission make disciples. That's the command. There are three participles that describe how you go and make disciples one by going to buy baptizing. That means witnessing to them the come to a saving knowledge of Christ and are baptized or they baptizing the spirit of God. Either way, but baptizing this is a sign of salvation for them and then he says in teaching them everything I taught you right back to where we started the vital learning experience. You have to be taught just because I'm saved doesn't mean I have spiritual knowledge. Just because I'm sick doesn't mean I'm to be conformed to the image of Christ.
I need to be taught that how do we do this, you see it's it's essential was the book of acts starts at acts chapter 1 verse eight he said you are my witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria. The uttermost part of the world. We are the church and we are God's plan. That's us at your job is my job to witness the please understand it's a simple way to understanding what does the witness do they testify and what do they testify with a know to be true.
He said yeah that's that's you and me you might witness you are my witness will I tell people tell them what you know. Tell them what Christ means to you. Tell them how you became a Christian Exodus over the years, but I'm always befuddled when people say to me you should've been there, why would I be there will be you could argue about dinosaurs or astrophysics better than I can. That's not what witness does. Could you imagine you witness something ask you tell the truth all to the nothing but the truth, and he says not what you understand about nuclear physics, or astrophysics, tell me your understanding. Will that be a short testimony 10. I don't have the testimony Jesus said no I'm not asking miscue to tell people you've experienced. I love it. Peter writes Peter said we are to give an account for the hope that you and us.
I do think a lot of people in our culture feel right now. Hopeless, hopeless, lost their jobs, loss or other financial security. Some people lost their lives. Some people were terrified of losing their lives. I mean there's a lot of despair out there right now. I mean it's an amazing thing that you get secular peoples even through the media keep telling us that one of the ongoing biggest issues of the entire pandemic is the mental health of Americans. Americans are struggling with her mental health. Why fearful they feel fear if you hopeless and depressed. They feel unhappy and here we are one an opportunity God has given us. What a uniquely different opportunity to give an account for the hope that your new your fearful I have peace. What I have peace.
How can you have peace in a time like this. I can just tell them about my Lord, I feel so hopeless.
I have hope you have hope because I read the end of the book we win because the worst thing that could happen every cabinet me.
I have hope. I'm so miserable I have joy, can you see how that would testify to the culture we live in, but not a foreign vacation here because I miss going to church. We have to be very very careful vital learning experience vital relational experience horizontally fellowship vertically worship in a vital witnessing experience. That's what God says that is what the church dives we don't go to church. We are the church spring father. It seems to me that for all of us. It's so easy to get distracted.
We often focus on what we don't have any more instead of these great opportunities that we do have some of his father. We spent all of our time complaining about what we don't have instead of being about the business about what we do have father.
These are extraordinary circumstances. They are unique to us as a people, but they are also a tremendous opportunity for your church. So I pretty father for our church for our people that they look at what the Bible tells them they are to be and through your power of your spirit, we become honest, what an impact. We can make in the lives of those around us is my prayer for all of us in Jesus. Matthew Brueggemann, the radio ministry of fellowship in the you ever miss one of our broadcast or maybe you just like to listen to the message one more time.
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