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Today on Fellowship in the Word pastor Bill Gebhart challenges you to become a fully functioning follower of Jesus Christ.
Let your light shine. That's all you got. Let your light shine the light.
Let it shine. Imagine how simple that is is as yet. Let your light shine. He says before men that's outside these walls in such a way that they may see your good works and glorify your father is in heaven now. He tells what it means a letter like you said you see your good works, go see the lives that you live in that part of evangelism they were one big father in heaven because they see your light joining us today on this additional fellowship in the world Fellowship in the Words the radio ministry of Fellowship Bible church located in Metairie, Louisiana. Let's join Pastor Bill Gebhart now again he shows us how God's word meets our work last week I said most important about our church is what happens outside or beyond the, I believe that all my heart is more important than anything that happens in looking at this point of view every single thing but one that we do what we call church we will do exponentially better and have just imagined worshiping with billions of souls. Just imagine what that must be like all of us singing on June everybody singing their hearts out to the Lord. Just imagine the kind of fellowship will have one body of believers all all conform to the image of Christ to be amazing. We will know as we are known.
The Scripture says, but there's one thing we can't do in heaven at all, and that is we cannot.
When boys and girls and men and women to Christ we can do that. This is our only shot and that always occurs on these walls that always occurs on the outside.
According to the Bible. There are two elements for us to be able to witness effectively for Jesus Christ. The first one is obvious and that is the words in which we speak we have to know what the gospel, the good news of Jesus Christ is we have to give an account for the hope the tennis we have to use the opportunities we have to talk to people about Jesus Christ, but I believe equally as important as the words we use the lives that we live. What kind of life do we live outside these walls see what kind of life is it that we have. Do we have gospel worthy wives. John Poulton said this, Christians need to look like what they're talking about how perceptive and how convicting because I'm not sure for many of us we do it all. That's what I want to talk about this week gospel worthy lives. Next week we'll talk about the words that we speak all of this was personified in the life of Jesus Christ. John Stott says this, Jesus words and deeds belong to each other, the words interpreting the deeds and the deeds embodying the words he did not only announce the good news of the kingdom. He performed visible signs of the kingdom. That's her Jesus Christ was the words and deeds aspect of evangelism may not realize about throughout the history of the church is been a lot of controversy about this.
Sometimes we say it's only the words and doesn't matter what you live like other times receives only the deeds that's the most important thing all of you have heard this phrase I'm sure preach the gospel at all times use words of necessary the very famous quote preach the gospel at all times use words if necessary, and it's attributed to St. Francis of Assisi, but he never said okay St. Francis of Assisi never said this, those who have dedicated their lives to St. Francis. The Franciscans writing biographies said he never said this, all of his writings that we have and look through and read. He never said it wants. In fact, those words are never find historically took 200 years after he had died and that was attributed to him. The problem with those words, the emphasis was totally on the lives we live, but not on the words that we speak is an interesting thing that words and works are necessary for evangelism. Duane Littman says this, the unhappy truth is that Christians have often found the word versus deed balance difficult to set and maintain especially over the last two centuries in America.
To some, but happen in America before the Civil War, believers just like us, had a balance of words and works as the as the America grew West evangelist followed the there were all kinds is verbal evangelism taking place to win people to Christ. But those Christians are sent out the evangelist were also the Christian to build the hospitals they built the orphanages they were the ones who led the abolitionist movement. They were very active in the life in which they live. And then at the end of the 19th century. What happened was that liberal theology came from Europe, mostly Germany liberal theology attack the credibility and the authority of the Bible and said that the Bible is not the word of God is simply the word of man and you can't necessarily believe it had not attacked a lot of mainline denominations in the United States, and so once you attack your authority in the credibility of the Bible. What you have left and they said what you have left is you need to do good to people that we can call the social gospel, and that is you live your lives in a little while and that's what Christianity is one of the fundamentalists, then which would be very much what we were described I was conservative evangelicals. They rejected that totally and they reemphasize their commitment to the word of God. But when they reemphasize their commitment to the word of God. They said we don't want anything to do with the social gospel we don't want anything to do with social interaction outside these walls were done with that and was until 1947 the call Henry challenged evangelical believers and he said that our witness must be in both words and works there has to be the balance.
And that's the position of the word of God, so I might you first this morning to open your Bibles to Matthew chapter 5 in verse 14. Very famous verses. Matthew five sermon on the Mount in verse 14 Jesus says this you are the light of the world.
A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.
What you think about how profound this is. This is the King of Kings, the Lord of lords, the creator of all things, the son of God and he's referring to you and to me and he says you are the light of the world. That's his assessment of us. You feel like that in the light of the world understand that God has a plan. He has a plan to impact our world.
God wants people to come into a relationship with him. He offers them forgiveness, grace, mercy through the life and finished work of Jesus Christ. But he said the way I'm going to execute.
My plan is this you you're going to execute the plan because you are the light of the world. He doesn't say you'll be the light of the world you see said no you are the light of the world. He said a city on a hill can't be hidden. You can be hidden here, the light of the world ever think of yourself that way ever start your day.
That way, Lord. I'm the light of the world.
I'm gonna like my world up.
That's my responsibility. He goes on, and then he says nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and he said, and it gives light to all that are in the house, he says, look in the light of the world you don't turn it on. You can't turn your light on. This is not like the Neil diamond song turn on your heart like you know that's not it.
You don't turn your light on. You are the light you see in the thing about life is once light is released you can doing about once is like from a light here this lights movement. There's nothing you can do to stop the light now. Well, except one thing that's what he says next.
He says nor does anyone like the world and put it under a basket item I can turn the light off. But I can hide it up, put it under a basket. No one know sadly that might describe some of you.
I just keep my light under the basket. Please don't do that to the light of the world. Whatever you do don't do that. This is a very very simple message. He goes on in verse 16 he says let your light shine. That's all you gotta do.
Let your light shine the light. Let it shine could imagine how simple that is. Next time you light a lamp when you turn on a sled say let your light shine see it's going shine. He says yeah let your light shine. He says before men that's outside these walls in such a way that they may see your good works and glorify your father is in heaven now. He tells her what it means to let our light shine. He said you see your good works will see you go see the lives that you live and that's part of evangelism they will one day glorify your Father in heaven because they see your light. Why should we do this, see, I think often would say well I need to do this because I know I owe the Lord a lot. I mean he save me nothing so I owe him. I let my light shine. Listen what you owe.
The Lord will never repay back don't even try.
You don't pay the Lord back for what he's done for you that some of you may sick but I want to follow his example. I want to have his compassion on people.
That's good, that's only part of it, but I think with the Lord saying here to us and the rest the scriptures do as well is you need to let your light shine. If you're going to win boys and girls in men and women to Jesus Christ. You need to let your light shine because it's an effective and effective precursor to evangelism of the people who sued there so desperately need Jesus Christ.
That's what you find in the word of God.
This is become completely the missing ingredient of American evangelicalism having a country Christmas lights don't shine, we have we have Orthodox fundamental beliefs. We have tremendous Bible teachers.
We have all kinds of media and books, radio, television, all kinds of ways to get the message out. The words are coming out everywhere but the culture doesn't respond and the reason is we don't shine at all just go outside these walls and find out how much were shining see what our reputation is outside these walls is our light shine because it did in the first century church.
In fact, I believe one of the most important reasons. The first century church.
When the Roman Empire was not how well they articulated the gospel, which they did.
How did your light shine in the culture. There's an Athenian philosopher named Arista. These NAB 125 he wrote a letter to the Roman Emperor Hadrian, and this is what he said in the letter describing Christians. He said they do not worship strange gods they go.
He said, and they go their way in all modesty and cheerfulness. Falsehood is not found among them and they love one another and from Windows. They do not turn away their esteem and they deliver the orphan from him and treats them harshly, and he who has gives to him and was not without any boasting and when they see a stranger. They take them into their homes and they rejoice over them is a very brother. They don't call him brother because of his flesh, but brother because of the spirit of God.
And whenever one of the report passes from the world. Each one of them according to his ability gives heed to him and carefully seized was burial and if they hear that one of their numbers imprisoned or afflicted on account of the name of their Messiah. All of them anxiously ministered to his necessity and impossible to redeem them and set them free, and if there is among them. Anything any of the poor or needy, and if they have no spare food though fast for through two or three days in order to supply the needs of food to those who needed so desperately. They observe the precepts of their Messiah, with much care, living justly and soberly as the Lord your God has commanded them to do so is a pagan philosopher regular woman number Mrs. that's the way Christians are the slides and just imagine that our media would report on the evening news that's all we are that that's how they would describe us and you know what you say, that can never happen now things were different and there were no different then there were two groups of people on the earth. And just like now say people loss people there were those of the church and those in the mission field that's all there's ever been.
And by the way, I think I could prove that couple of months ago I read an article about the government in China, the government and China's communistic it's an atheistic government religion is in that sense outlawed.
The Bibles are supposed to be in a country no meeting places. Nothing.
All the children are taught secularism know God and this is what the Chinese government is now saying the Chinese government is now saying I we are going to stop persecuting Christians not as between 100 hundred and 50 million Christians in China, many more Christians in China than our hundred, 150 million. I just find that the American Bible Society as a keep smuggling Bibles into the know what's interesting about this to me is the Chinese government says and this might be bad for them to stop persecuting and here's why it said because they're so honest you're so hard-working they're so helpful to everyone around them and they are so great for the morale of all the people of China that's a secular communistic government saying this, I see the lives of Christians in this is what I think so don't say no. I can never happen here you can see it doesn't happen seen.
I think it's because outside these walls for almost all the churches we really don't let our light shine out all we've earned a reputation that we have come with me to Ephesians chapter 4 verse one Ephesians 4 verse one. Ephesians is a great epistle is sort of a Reader's Digest version of Romans.
It's a shortened version of the wonderful book. The first three chapters of Ephesians are theological they call once you there Ephesians in us to know what is it mean to be Christian. What is amenable to believing in Christ, what are the benefits that we have and so we that's what he tells us in the first three chapters. He says in chapter 1 that you and I have every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places didn't say we have a lot of them. He said you have every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places. They're all yours. Such a gift from God to you. He also says it in you and I the Holy Spirit of God resides. He assailed us off as his people. We have the actual presence of God in our lives. Unique to the church age into the church.
He also said that we have access to resurrection power.
That's amazing. Resurrection power, not just a little more strength to get through the day.
We have access to resurrection power, he said, and all that's because in chapter 2, said we been saved by grace, the unmerited favor of God. We dinner and we don't deserve it. We have been saved by grace through faith. It is a gift of God. No one can earn it otherwise would boast. He tells us were saved by grace, then he says were all united in the one body all over the world. All the believers in the world.
Makeup one body of Christ right now. What a benefit that is and then he said in the reminders were all the recipients of the love of Christ for each and every one of us know that should forest up proposes. I have the reason I'm telling you all this is chapter 4 verse one all these benefits you have. He says therefore either prisoner of the Lord importing you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called walk in a manner is a metaphor for live your life always benefit you have her so that you will live your life differently.
You see, that's his point differently. You need to walk in a manner worthy of the calling you see that this point we have to have a gospel worthy life beyond these walls we have to be different. We have all the resources to be different. We have the spirit of God indwelling us the access to resurrection power. We have all these things, and yet for a lot of us, we just highlight under a basket. We don't impact the world of all terms me to Colossians chapter 1 just a couple pages. The recollections chapter 1 in verses three through 828.
He's thanking the Lord for the Colossians, and then in verses nine and 10.
He says something else. Colossians 1, nine and 10 he says. For this reason also since the day we heard it we have not ceased to pray for you and asked that you will be filled with knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding would also like that. In fact, I'm afraid, often in churches just like ours. Burke Bible churches. A lot of the time is spent filling your head with wisdom and knowledge and then you actually believe that if you have enough wisdom and knowledge are spiritual, but you're not James said can't be a hearer of the word actually have to be a doer of the only thing it measures your spirituality is how you do the word how much of the word. You know that's a very different thing to notice how he ends at first he said with a knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that result that with the result or purpose that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord to please him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God. He said the reason you have all this is so you live differently. That's the advantage of growing in the grace and knowledge of Christ as a mature as a believer I can live more distinctly.
Beyond these walls and so can you. But that's the point of it, it's all about the basis of how we live.
We are to please him in all respects, he says, bearing fruit in every good work. Now please understand what I'm not saying I'm not saying that if you get some conviction you say okay I'm in a do better on the work harder to make an impact on the make my light shine. I could be missing the point is you can't do what you have to save yourself as a minister a lot closer to my Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus said on the binding are the branches. He said if you abide in me and I abide in you, you will bear much fruit. Apart from me you can do nothing. You see, even the Christian life even being late in the world is his work, not mine, not yours is not me bearing down and doing all I can do a stop to my light under the basket. I cannot do it. Jesus is let me do it.
You stay close to me and you will bear like that when you're not burning like it tells you something not close the Lord not staying with them. He said that's what we're much fruit bathroom you ever miss one of our broadcast or maybe you just like to listen to the message one more time. Remember, you can Google a great website called one place.com that's one place.com and you can listen the fellowship and the word online that website you will find on today's broadcast but also many of her previous audio program, had Fellowship in the Word. We are thankful for those who financially support our ministry and make his broadcast possible. Yes, 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.
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And remember all this absolutely free of charge. Once again our website is FVC Nola.org forecaster Bill Gebhardt and Jason Denhardt thanking you for listening to fellowship in order