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August 2, 2021 8:00 am
Today on Fellowship in the Word pastor Bill Gebhardt challenges you to become a fully functioning follower of Jesus Christ. Also, as you can compromise grace whenever you try to say no.
I believe in grace by I also believe that I should have to do this children's is not grace is God's unmerited favor. It is a gift 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 meets our world January 6, 1942 virtually one month after the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, Pres. Roosevelt addressed the assembly of the joint houses and he told both the House of Representatives and the Senate that America would likely become involved in two wars on two fronts. The Pacific theater in the war in Europe and he told them that after victory would be one there would be a new world, a new world of freedom. He envisioned a world that had freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom from want and freedom from fear.
FDR was right when he assured the Congress that there would be victory on both fronts.
But sadly he was wrong when he said that the world would experience these four great freedoms the world is not men have always wanted to be free freedom has been a goal since we showed up on this planet. Freedom is also been very, very hard to find and if you found it is very very hard to keep freedom is wonderful but is precarious in the Gospel of John Mays chapter 36 verse Jesus Christ said this, he said, so if the son makes you free, you will be free indeed.
He says if I make you free, you will be free indeed. Is that how you think of yourself do you sense the freedom you know what it means to be free in Christ. You see, even that freedom has had its enemies for nearly 2000 years. The attack on the believers freedom has been steady and effective. The attack is heard both from the outside and from the inside. It has been overt and covert has to be resisted. Open your Bibles to Galatians chapter 5 Mel Tenney calls this little epistle, the Magna Carta of Christian liberty sinners notebook in the New Testament written that is more important to understand when it comes to the believers freedom to see the Galatians were freed when the apostle Paul came to Galatia and he preached the gospel of Jesus Christ. But after Paul left Judaizers came people who said from Jerusalem that you needed to believe in Jesus Christ but you also had to do some religious activity in their case the religious activity. Liberty was circumcision and so they discredited the apostle Paul and said he is not really an apostle. They discredited his message of grace. In fact, Luke wrote in acts 15 he wrote this. Some men came down from Judea and began teaching the brother and they taught them this and less you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses you can.
Not the saved.
That was an attack and attack on freedom and attack on the grace of God in an attack on the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross.
And that's why Paul wrote the epistle and remember that he wrote the epistle with a tremendous amount of energy and anger and he told them that believe in Jesus Christ and then to add circumcision to it in order to get saved was not the gospel. It was a different gospel and he told them that this different gospel could never save them and he said that those who those who take the gospel and try to force it on other people should be anathema cursed forever, but Paul realized how difficult the circumstances were because it's interesting that Paul says I got get it. I understand that there's a tremendous Lord to religion. I understand that it's hard not to knuckle under to religion me said we did a whole sermon on this that if you don't think religion is a strong Lord in your life. As Peter because what did Peter do Peter compromised. Once the Judaizers came, Peter would not eat with the Gentiles. He put himself right back under the law, and Paul confronted him and for the whole Church of Antioch last week Paul right in the heart of this epistle decided to make his best case for grace and if he had Harry was pointed out, he tried to think of every possible way that he could make a case for grace and so he had six different approaches we went through last week a personal approach in a scriptural approach logical approach historical approach emotional approach and even an allegorical approach. Every one of them. He is trying to make his case for grace and we finished up right in verse one of chapter 5, last time, and Paul introduces the whole concept of freedom. It was for freedom that Christ set us free.
Therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to the yoke of slavery. Freedom is a wonderful but precarious thing Paul was saying Christ has made you free but you have to stand firm against the outside attack of religion and last week I said I wanted you to picture yourself and I hope you were able to do that. This followed last week as a sumo wrestler okay with the diaper and everything I really want you to see yourself that way is about a 400 pound sumo wrestler and because the thing about a sumo wrestler issue.
They do stand firm. You do not move them out of the circle. That's what their whole whole thing is about standing firm and Paul said that's what I want from you I want you to stand firm and the reason for this is very clear.
He said because if you don't, you're in big trouble. Not only are you gonna lose your freedom, but notice what else he said do not subject yourself to the yoke slavery when interesting words Paul says religion will enslave you. In other words religion will give you some list of do's and don'ts.
That's what it's good at a whole list of things you should do and things you shouldn't rituals. You should go through places you should be special prayers. Whatever it is it's always religious. It's always do's and don'ts and the motivation is always the same fear and guilt that if you don't do this if God doesn't get you will get you and then you try to make people feel guilty. Paul says that's a slavery. He said in verse two he says behold I Paul say to you that if you receive circumcision. Christ will be of absolutely no benefit to you at all. Paul says you cannot compromise grace whenever you try to say no. I believe in grace but I also believe that I should have to do this you kill grace. It's not grace. Grace is God's unmerited favor. It is a gift.
It can only be received by faith or is not grace and so he said if you receive circumcision.
Christ will be of no use to you whatsoever. And then he goes on, and he says in verse three he says I testify again that every man who receive circumcision, that he is under obligation to keep the whole law. In other words, Paul says it's all or nothing. You can pick and choose if you want to pick and choose.
You can't do it. Once you put yourself under the law of Moses.
You're the whole law. We discussed that 600 laws and ordinances. I mean incredible backbreaker of a deal, but that's what you're saying Grace compromised his grace excluded you think about it.
All religions are the same means always the same. It's always about their version of being good, you know that you have to do certain things to prove that your good if you do those things in a rescue kittens.
Whatever it is you you do those things, God will be so pleasantly surprised by that and so happy to see what you're doing and he'll let you in to an eternal relationship with him or a lot of times. Religion always is no way to impress goddess of suffering. You know you need it. You need to sleep on a bare floor with no blanket you need. Take vows of silence never speak and God be so impressed they also without a person so impressive. That's religion and that's what Paul said.
He said it's all or nothing, but it does not work and its consequences are enormous. Notice what he says in verse 40 you have been severed from Christ, you are seeking to be justified by the law you have fallen from grace. Notice those consequences severed from Christ. You see, if someone tells you know I believe in Jesus Christ plus something else.
They don't have Christ they only have something else you are severed from Christ. He said you have fallen from grace. In other words what you're saying is grace is again of no value to you whatsoever because you put some type of religious activity involved. Religion destroys grace always the same. So Paul then says in verse five he says for we through the Spirit by faith are waiting for the hope of righteousness. He says look, I know. Religion always talks about righteousness. I think I got it but were waiting for the ultimate righteousness. We said over and over again will you are saved by faith and faith alone in Christ and Christ alone.
That is called justification and you are saved from the penalty of sin that's out works. And now the life that you're living in Jesus Christ you live again by faith and you are being saved from the power of sin in your life that's called think of vacation in one day you'll be absent from the body to be present with the Lord to be fully conformed to Jesus Christ and there will be no presence of sin in your life whatsoever and that is called glorification and pulses, that's what we live for a whirlwind of righteousness. We look forward and hope to the completion of this. Then he says in summary, in verse six he says, for in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor on circumcision means anything you sent among all hot about services and the means nothing is always not find us justify yourself before God with in any says this, but faith working through love for theirs. Christianity just a little verse what's the only activity of Christianity. Faith was the motivation Christianity love you seat religion uses fear and guilt. Christianity uses love and gratefulness, which is a stronger motive in someone's life. Fear and guilt, or love and thankfulness. See what motivates people to be a certain way. That's what Paul is saying right there. He then says, as he is perplexed. The whole epistle you will running well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth how this happened.
He's getting tired by now and call names this time. You know he's calling a lot of names we didn't call many names. He just said how did you let them do this to you know I worked because you and I are inherently in our flesh religious religious people ever since Cain ever since the Tower of Babel.
All of the Eidson all the isms of the Old Testament religion Pharisees religion ever since Christ showed up. What good what happened to Christianity religion wife because were inherently religious.
Why, because of our pride seed appeals to my pride.
I need to belong to the right organization. I knew to do the right things. I do the right activities. I stand up and sit down at the right times I genuflect just when I'm told you I repeat things over and over again in person and not somehow make me feel so good that I earned this for myself and I suppose addressing here. That's why they were hindered even to a Galatian it's on like no religion sounds right doesn't that just seems like a good thing to be religious. He says this persuasion did not come from him who called you religion never comes from God. Never if it's religion.
It did not come from God. He says then look a little leaven leavens the whole lump. You can't take religion and little bits you can say no. I'm a believer in Jesus Christ and offer grace. But I got a little bit of religion I season with that seasoning. Leavens the whole lump.
You see, because why because it destroys grace received back that same idea I considered more and more faith in faith alone in Christ and Christ alone.
You can add to this events as I have confidence in you and the Lord that you will adopt no other view, but the one who was disturbing you. He said he will bear judgment. Whoever is always right back uses a judge for this God will judge him for this. Remember Jesus Christ response the Pharisees, but was he so mad about. He said you blind guides of the blind.
He said you know what you do you steal the kingdom of heaven away from people. How with religion you make this all about religion you and we judge for that Paul says but I brother and he said if I preach circumcision. Apparently the Judaizers told them even Paulus bought into circumcision and where he goes. Now he preaches you have to be circumcised pulses.
He said if I preach circumcision, why am I still being persecuted. I said this last week but so true everywhere you find religion.
It will always persecute grace always.
It doesn't matter what the religion is if you believe in grace, you will be persecuted by religion. It doesn't matter if it's outside of Christianity or inside of Christianity inside of Christianity, the persecution of the last 2000 years excommunication or worse martyrdom will kill you for believing in grace, that's a religion does. It always persecutes then he says this, then the stumbling block of the cross is been abolished.
Paul knows what religious people think of the cross today.
It's exactly the same. It's a stumbling block what you mean by that you share Jesus Christ and the gospel of grace with them that Christ died live the perfect life died for their sins on the cross and satisfied a holy God because he was resurrected and Easter Sunday and that if you put your trust and faith in the person of Christ that is finished work on the cross. You can be guaranteed to be born again into the family of God and heaven is secure for you and you say that the religious person, you know what to say.
Every time that's too easy. That's just too easy it wasn't for Christ is not too easy. It's the gift of God. But it's a stumbling block to the religious person, they just don't get it. I want to do something I'm going to do it. I'm going to earn it. Then Paul says, I'm glad it's in English not Greek and Scripture somewhere just plowing pulses. I wish those who were troubling you would even mutilate themselves. Let me tell you what the Greek says, in essence pulses.
You know what if circumcision makes a person's spiritual why not castration. Why not just cut it off if that's what they think of anything that's going to make you spiritual. You see, that's what Paul is saying, that's his exasperation. Christ is made you free. He said you got to stand firm against the outside tank of religion. That's what he is telling them but now we start speaking more to us. I don't worry about most of you when it comes to standing firm against religion. Most of you come out of religious background. You know it you been there. This is hard for you you're happy about the grace of God. But there is another threat to the freedom you have in Christ. There is another threat. This what comes in the inside comes in the flesh. It comes from you and it will enslave you. Just like religion will it's the threat from the inside.
Notice what Paul says verse 13 he says, for you were called to freedom, brethren, I don't know if we ever think about that.
You ever think that Christ is saying I'm calling you to be free. I want you to be free. You might want to ask the question free to what free from what we mean free. I can tell you what he means. He means this free to live the life that God intended you for the lip memo Jesus came he said I've come to give you life and to give it to you abundantly. In other words, even in a fallen world. I want to give you a life. I want to give you a life that every day makes every day worth living. I want to give you a life that no matter what the circumstances are in a fallen world surrounded by fallen people life can be marked in a specific way.
He says for you were called to freedom, brethren only. Do not turn your freedom here is into an opportunity for the flesh. There's the danger there's the attack I can lose my freedom.
All I have to do is give my flesh the opportunity. You see, I do stand firm against religion but against me against my own flesh I can give an opportunity that's why. By the way, over and over again when it comes to sin in a believer's life. There's one word that always occurs in the temptation process flee, 148 get out of there.
Why is if you stay, you're in trouble.
You see all my flesh needs is an opportunity that's all it needs. Give me an opportunity to sin, I'll do it. Think of this. There was a man after God's own heart.
What a great way to be described in one Kings went to war.
That man David decided not to go any state, and based probably on information others a given racing from Sally decide to spend the evening up on the roof of his palace and he just happen to know that there was a woman taking a bath in another rooftop. What is God trying to say to him right there as soon as he got that first glance run flee when David King might take a good look mother Rama Logan you look and he fell and ended up ordering the murder of Uriah the Hittite, the husband of that woman. How tragic you see how tragic a man after God's own heart. That's what Paul was saying. Do not let your flesh have opportunity, you put yourself in the wrong circumstances you what you'll do you fornicate in what you do you commit gossip you know what you do, you'll envy and be jealous of other people, you know what you'll do your curse and swear your drink until you drop just put yourself in no circumstances. You do it on your flesh needs is an opportunity that's opposing he says, in contrast to that, he says, but through love serve one another. See it's lobby goes on is the whole law is fulfilled in one word in the statement, you shall love your neighbor as yourself, Jesus was asked the question how would you summarize the whole Old Testament all the laws love the Lord your God with all your heart mind soul and strength.
Love your neighbor as yourself. What is God set me free to do to love him in the love you and you know what so great if I love him and love you I love life. I love life. You see, if I love him and serve him and I love you and serve you the biggest beneficiary of all me. I'm happy and content.
You see, that's what it is he severely can hurt you is to give your flesh opportunity says in verse 15.
If you bite and devour one another, he says take care that you're not consumed by one another. Apparently there's fights going on in Galatia. What a description of the typical church. One of the best ever churches were people bite each other.
Boy they still are, they still are. The church gives Christians a tremendous context. I tremendous context to assassinate other people's characters and to gossip on.
They always do it. As I've said before, like I'm there, I'm just taking prayer request. I just want to pray for, but I want to talk about people want to buy an image.
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You can browse through our sermon archives defined sermon series you're looking for or you can search by title. Once you find the message you're looking for. You can listen online or if you prefer, you can download the sermon and listening room. And remember all this absolutely free of charge. Once again our website is FVC Nola.org forecaster Bill Gebhardt and Jason Gebhardt. Thanking you for listening to fellowship in order