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August 23, 2021 8:00 am
Today on Fellowship in the Word pastor Bill Gebhardt challenges you to become a fully functioning follower of Jesus Christ. So identify with me. He said that you normally say no to yourself and willing technician you're willing to take humiliation.
That's fine if you want to come after me if you want to follow me. This is what the conditions see then we wonder sometimes why am I not, why don't I have the kind of peace that is why don't I have the kind of joy that I should. Why not this might be one of you joining us today on this additional fellowship of the word pastor Bill Gebhardt Fellowship in the Words the radio ministry of Fellowship Bible church located in Metairie, Louisiana when Pastor Bill Gebhardt. Now once again he shows us how God's word meets our world. He is now my life I deny myself.
I say no to me. I say yes to him. See, that's a very important condition you say no to yourself. And yes, the Christ, see if you don't, you're not really following up you're not really following you forget about the joy and peace in the hope's not going to happen. You see, if you apply this in a sense of your own life, you wind up saying things like I can go there. I can't do that I can't date them. I can't work there. You see I can't because a him now, you might be thinking yeah, but I have a lot on the ball. You know I'm an impressive person and I like the idea of adding Jesus to me and we make a good team as long as it's about me. And then Jesus is there to help while I don't think you're as impressive as Paul I want to go with me now to Philippians chapter 3, and Paul addresses that verse four is not what Paul says, he said you know, I know how humans like the bride. In fact Paul I think would tell you that he was a human. He used to brag. And Paul said it, but I had good reason to brag because I was really impressive. He says in verse four, although I myself might have confidence even in the flash.
He said if anyone else has a mind to put confidence in the flesh I Farmor nearly saying he saying this to you and me. I more impressive than you in the flesh, I more impressive than you will he says what that mean he'll show you. He says I was circumcised on the eighth day of the nation of Israel. I want to the chosen people, he said of the tribe of Benjamin, the finest tribe.
The tribe it was first in the battle to being the tribe of Benjamin is to be the best of them all, that was me. He said I was a Hebrew of Hebrews, you understand. I'm just not just Jewish, I'm the most Jewish Jewish person you could meet. I am a Hebrew of the Hebrews he said and asked the law, which is what member what defines the Hebrew he said as a matter of the law.
I said Pharisee I Pharisee now that has a terrible ring gloss, but it had an impressive ring.
Then the Pharisees were probably the most impressive people in Israel. I said in the past that if you had a daughter, you would pray that she would one day marry a Pharisee. Everybody respected the Pharisees. They were the most about most religious people you could ever meet. And Paul says I was a Pharisee. You see I was that the Jew of Jews. Benjamin Israel a day circumcised.
He's not done.
He then says as the seal I was a persecutor of the church as to the righteousness which is found in the law, blameless think that word blameless you mean nobody had the dirt on Paul or Saul of Tarsus now when it came to keeping the light That, at least overtly, where you could see it you can buy me. He said I was Salas a Pharisee of the Pharisees.
You see, that's Paul saying that's who I am. More importantly it Paul saying that's who I used to be.
That's why was now watch what he says but whatever things were gain to me these things he said. I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. I deny them because I deny me.
I disown them because I disowned me. He said more than that. He said I can't do all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ, my Lord, whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and I count them, he says, but rubbish that I may gain Christ some translations more accurately word says rubbish, says dung so you say to Paul all the things you've accomplished your heritage in who you are and how religious you were a hottie how you look at all that done days that I denied all sheep. Paul understood what was the deny yourself. He got an idea. He wanted to come after the Lord, as the Lord said what he said was no longer my agenda only your agenda no longer my will only your will.
You see, that's what Jesus says that we can go back to Mark and he continues his thought he was in the first condition to the second if anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself and then he says, and take up his cross and follow. Secondly, must take up his cross. Now for us. That's kind of like this nice abstract term. If you're honest, it's kind of a romantic term.
It's the cross. I mean, some of us right now might be merit wearing jewelry at the cross when the classes is just such a special thing. If you were alive) and Judah. You'd never think that ever all you think about when you thought of that is shame, humiliation, and suffering in the lifetime of these people were listening to Jesus speak Rome crucified 30,000 Jews in our lifetime. In a very small country was that mean everybody. Saul crucified people hanging on crosses.
Everybody in fact 2000 Jews were crucified at one time they sought they saw the agony of the cross. You see, but it's more than that. He said you have to take up your cross when you mean take it up well.
Rome had this way of shaming you. So whenever you had the kind of offense which would call for crucifixion. The Romans would take you in first strip you naked and then they would put the cross member of the cross when you and you carry it, you know, just carry it anywhere you have to carry it through the highest most populated areas of where you're going to be crucified, and Roger neck they would put whatever was the crime that you committed and you would carry your cross and that kind of shame to the place where you were going to be crucified. Rome's perspective of the cross was as much humiliation and shame as you could, that's what they did.
So when Jesus says if anyone wishes to come after me, must deny himself and take up his cross that had to be shocking to them when you mean take up the question again. Are you willing to bear the shame you willing to bear the humiliation I remember about this time. What's Peter saying no no no Lord forget all that negative stuff I want to talk about the kingdom and I want to talk about the glory and I want to talk about the blessing. He says there is no blessing without the cross. You have to so identify with me. He said that you normally say no to yourself, but that you're willing to take the shape you're willing to take humiliation in your willing to suffer. That's the fine print. You see, if you want to come after me if you want to follow me. This is what these are the conditions you see. Then we wonder sometimes why am I not, why don't I have the kind of peace that I should have. Why don't I have the kind of joy that I should have. Why not this might be why have you made these kind of decisions and by the way Luca adds to it. In his case and he says you must take up your cross daily every day take up the cross every day.
Albert the shame and humiliation. You see, those are amazing conditions in their day and age there even more stunning. They are in our day and age that I would willing to do that.
The only response I think they could have had and we often have us do not seem a little steep.
You know I like the idea that when someone asked me that they just said hey do you believe this and I said yeah that's a good going to have a mess can be great in living a life that we wonderful. I like that once this stuff the fine print to see if you want to follow. This is what you going to do Jesus and by the way, it's not as steep as you think, brilliantly says how about if you consider the alternative. You don't have to having to do with me. So, notice what he says next, what does it profit a man to gain the whole world forfeit his soul.
What would again a man look you want to live for you great.
What if you had been for you and you gain the whole world is hyperbole pretty clearly and then you lost your soul and Lukey says your life your eternal life. The idea, what if you lost that. What if you gained everything and lost your eternal life.
See what's the value difference here, but I got everything I could've ever wanted is a what would it profit a man. He said for what it what will a man give in exchange for his suitcase soul.
So what would you give forth when the answers implied everything because Jesus understands the consequences of not believing in following Christ gets it he understands the consequences and very unpopular term.
We call hell will I don't like to hear about that or we just diminish it with humor.
I don't mind going to hell. Be there with my friends to be okay. Let me tell you something, it will be okay. It's unimaginable in its eternal so Jesus says, think about that.
What would you pay for your soul answers. I pay everything he says so what I'm saying to you why not vested me now you see why not do that he says in verse 38 for whoever is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will also be ashamed of him and he comes in the glory it was father and his holy angels, Jesus is look, this is your chance. This is your opportunity. If you want to come after me if you want to follow me, you need to deny yourself you need it will only be to be humiliated. The shame and he says even the suffering of the cross and then he gives the third innocence condition. He says take up his cross and follow me. In verse 34. Follow me the implications to the word itself. By the way, as Arco oh it means to imitate his identity. Follow me as the imitate me. You see when I'm going there. I have asked myself the question, when Jesus goes there is is a place he would go when I do that. Is this something Jesus would do. When I say this is this something Jesus would say, in a sense that's what a follower. Does he sort of in a sense imitates or mimics as Lord but also has built into it.
The idea of obedience because if I'm the follower what's that make him the leader and we even have a game like that only right. You see, the idea of it.
As he says it.
I do it in John chapter 8 he said if you continue in my word, you are my follower in John 15.
He says you are my friends if you do what I command you telling me to first John chapter 2 missing what John writes in his epistle right at the end of the Bible. John is writing to an audience that apparently has decided to sort of in a sense read the fine sin in certain ways and its consequences. It's like we do in our culture.
Culturally, by the way, how many times have you heard from a cultural point of view, especially on national news ever. The word sin there's no such thing. In fact, even among Christians. You never hear anyone talk about sin, even Christians, we are much more missed Baker's then we are sinners. I just made a mistake yes and that mistake is sin not as a mistake. So he has to address this and he says this in verse six of chapter 1. First he says if we say that we have fellowship with him and yet walk in darkness, we line, we do not practice the truth. If you say geez and I are like this is a word is like this were close. He says you're walking in the darkness, you're not close. In fact, he says you're a liar.
He said it. If we walk in the light as he himself was in the light, we have fellowship with one another and the blood of Jesus. He said his son cleanses us from all sin. He says in verse eight if we say we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves.
The truth is not in us. In any says in verse nine if we confess our sins he is faithful and righteous to forgive us of our sins and the kind of small unrighteousness. Verse 10 if we say that we have not sinned, we make a model liar's words not in us. Then John says that my little children, I'm writing these things to you that you may not sin.
But if anyone since we have an advocate with the father, Jesus Christ the righteous, and he himself is the propitiation or the satisfaction for our sins, not for ours only but for those of the whole world.
Then he says.
By this we know that we have come to know him.
What if we keep his commandments, the one who says that I have come to know him and does not keep his commandments is a liar and the truth is not in them. Whoever keeps his word, in him, he says, the love of God has truly been perfected by this we know that we are in him the one who says that he abides in him audit himself to walk in the same manner as he walked with the same if you say you're a follower of Christ, the new imitate him because your following because he's the leader not notice he's not talking about perfection because he just spent a lot of time talking about sin. You see, Jesus Christ came and said I come to give you life to offer your life and offer you abundantly and we set over all the years that life is a life of joy and peace and hope you have it. But just because you say I believe Christ is my say. When he died for my sins.
You'll notice that you don't have that.
The reason is Christ would say you want to come after me, you want to be my follower, you want to imitate me. Do you want to listen to me when you have to say no to you see you have to and you have to bury your own cross you're willing to take the shame and they go you're willing to take the suffering you've been given one life's a gift, you have it now you have life you have a day you were born you have a day you will die and you have a few thousand other days sprinkled in their that's called your life. No one else has your life just to. It belongs exclusively to you. What's that mean that means this is your shot. This is your shot because it's your life, the past days are gone, the future days are all hypothetical. You got today we have now, but as a believer in Jesus Christ.
If you follow him.
If you say no to you if you're willing to bear the shame and the suffering for him.
I know one thing for sure, you can have joy and you can have peace the matter what's going on in your life and you live with hope. That's what our Lord said they become your everyday companion you may not have known that when you came in here this morning but it's all there in the fine print. The spray father my prayer this morning is this simple. I simply pray that each person asked himself the question. My really a follower of Jesus Christ have really denied myself and my willing to bear my cross father if there are those of us to find our lives full of anxiety and worry, full of despair and misery we have to ask ourselves the question, MI. Following Jesus Christ where my simply trying to get Jesus Christ to fulfill my agenda for my life. Father that will never lead us to the abundant life that Christ spoke of spirit of God is to challenge each and every one of us to question us about our authenticity is a follower. Father I pray that when we come to that decision. We will decide. You will be glorified in the room, bathroom never on the radio ministry of fellowship. If you ever miss one of our broadcast or maybe you just 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 to Fellowship in the Word online at that website you will find on with today's broadcast but also many of our previous audio program is at Fellowship in the Word.
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