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September 7, 2021 8:00 am
Today on the Fellowship in the Word pastor Bill Gebhardt challenges you to become a fully functioning follower of Jesus Christ. Some of us these days.
Even are not still be disappointed here beside the submission for joining us today on this additional fellowship in the work past Canoga Park Fellowship in the Words the radio ministry of Fellowship Bible church located in Metairie, Louisiana when Pastor Bill Gebhardt now is once again he shows us how God's word. Our world war two 5 million were taken person find themselves as POWs in prison camps in your Russia Asia Pacific. The most notorious of the prisoner of war camps run by the Japanese and they were probably the coolest of all the camps there was a commander in one of the Japanese camps, who was extremely cool. His name was Kenichi and knew she was ruthless. He is brutal in his torture of his prisoners. One of the favorite things. He enjoyed doing as he would starve the man for days or weeks and then he would feed them rights in the shell and give them no tools to be able to take the rice out of the shell and it's just like razor-sharp men would be fire the rice and then the rice would carve up their stomach in there and test times.
Whenever Kenichi found out that the war had ended February 24, 1945. He decided on that day that he would kill all the remaining prisoners in the camp. He didn't expect that the American troops would arrive to the camp that exact same day and they liberated the camp from Kenichi. He escaped and disappeared, and so they searched for him actually four years and they found him in the Philippines as a gardener at a golf course and so they arrested him. They tried them and they hung up before the execution. They asked him if he had a statement and he said I do I believe in, and I love the Lord Jesus Christ is and how did you come to know Christ.
He said that he had been so deeply affected by the testimony of the Christians that he persecuted and tortured. He said those Christians maintain their faith under the direst most horrific possible starter circumstances, that a person could ever face these are for me this hanging is simply a doorway into heaven commissions hatred overpowered by the love of Christ and the testimony Christians. How when this happened I do something like that happen, on the one hand, you could say yes is because of who he is. I mean I understand but on the other hand, I think it's also because of who we are. Who those prisoners were in the middle of a series entitled I am who you say I am and I really believe that this series is so important because I think it's one of those elements of our faith that we overlook all the time I we read these words in Scripture.
And we just assume the word is okay yeah okay that's what's at me, but it's interesting and we look at the word of God. It's not like God just simply says there are people who believe in me and believe in Christ and our people know their unbelievers, so were believer, we are believer gotchas. Knowing you're so much more than that. You have to understand this. The first week I said that God says look your children of God. That's an amazing thing.
It's an expression we use lightly but when you think about it, your children of God. Jesus told Nicodemus you must be born again into the family of God is that what you must do and then were born into the family of God.
The Scripture then says gotchas I adopt you as sons and daughters by which we cry out, Paul said, daddy or father. He said yeah and not only are you adopted children of mine, but you are joint heirs for everything you going to inherit everything that exist because you my child.
I mean, that's an amazing thing. And then last week I said the Scripture says that we are new creations in Christ. He said all the old things are passed away new things of come. I'm not sure we ever grab that I think what we end up thinking is you knob just, you know, I've just brought me end of the Christian faith of Almighty baggage and you know I can't do this and I can't do that in public policy is not your your new creation.
You should look at everything different. He said you should look at suffering and death differently now than you ever did before. You should look at life in service differently than you ever did before.
You should look at yourselves differently. You should look at Jesus Christ differently. You should look at the cross differently. He said in those cases, that's what I want you to know is it that's that identity you have is extremely important to one he saying look if you're a child of God. In acts chapter 1 he says you can be my witness not going to testify to people what I did to you for you and then he said if you are a new creation. He said you're my ambassador.
I appoint you my ambassador to the people around you now.
Today I want to look at 1/3, fourth and fifth thing that God says about us and once you open your Bibles to first Peter chapter 1 first Peter chapter 1, you need understand the context of this. It's very important. The people that are receiving this this letter from Peter there spread all over what we call modern Turkey there spread over Pontus, Galatia, I do see a and what they called Asia, there spread over and let me be clear about the second. Their life stinks their life is as bad as her life can be there.
Hated the persecuted there struggling and so Peter says I gotta write a letter to encourage you and so the one of the first things he said we looked at this before. Look at verse three he said, Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ do according to his great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ and the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable. It's undefiled and will not fade away, it's reserved in heaven for you, who are protected by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last day.
He said look I just will let you know how it turns out, I say this all the time. I read the end of the book we went.
That's important for you to understand when you come to the end of your life when you need to believe that you see that's what Peter is trying to tell them. Look, it's always another life right now is not good noticed Peter then says in verse six he said in this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials. Your life stinks.
These people are been brutalized businesses taken some of them incarcerated put into prisons.
This is a terrible time for them. Peter says don't worry about that your child of God, so he talks about being a child of God and then over in chapter 2 I want to pick it up in verse four he said I want to see three more things about you. He says in verse four and coming to him as a living stone, which has been rejected by men but his choice and the pressure side of God, you also, as living stones, are being built up into a spiritual house we are living stones in the same building.
That's what he stone us now. First, what's that mean mean very someone ever say to someone you want to encourage or how often would you say to your spouse and I want want to flatter you honey.
You know your living stone, no.
But this is amazing.
Notice he starts out by saying as coming to him as a present participle present tense parcel doesn't me when I became a Christian. It means I keep coming back to the work back to the Lord. Back to the Lord, and he says that when you keep coming back to Laura wanted to remind you a couple things here and here Jesus called her a living stone.
That's an oxymoron, living stone, how do we use the word stone stone dead right knee stone dead because stones are dead is it not this one. This is a living stone. He said you come to him as a living stone. He said notice which is been rejected by men but his choice and precious in God's sight while he said whatever God God calls and precious when men say they reject.
There's another thing here.
He said you as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house as the church were all living stones to an interesting way of viewing it in Matthew chapter 16 Peter said you are the Christ, the son of the living God, and he turned to disciples and he said to the right upon this rock I will build my church. He never met a building and never met a denomination he never met an organization he meant people. I will build my church. We are all living stones. In fact that's what he goes on and says notice you also, as living stones, are being built up into a spiritual house and then he does something interesting. He quotes Isaiah and Psalm 118.
He said this is always been the case. He says in verse six behold, I lay in Zion a choice stone, a precious cornerstone for me to stop there for a moment Jesus called us all the time.
The cornerstone now still in architecture. Once a while with certain type buildings was to have a cornerstone but it's basically ceremonial, you might put the date on it in 1963.
That's when this was built. Is this the cornerstone, but in construction those days if you were going to build a building any size or substance. The most important thing about the building is the cornerstone, the cornerstone has to be perfect if the cornerstone is perfect. The walls are perfect. You see, and if it's not perfect, then the whole building is not perfect.
That's why Jesus called the cornerstone. He's that one and he says behold, I lay in Zion a choice stone precious cornerstone, and he who believes in him will not be disappointed. Great way to look at. That's a very important promise to us. You believe in Christ will not be disappointed. You see, that's a very important thing for us to understand ultimately at the end of it all. None of us will be disappointed who believe in Christ. Some of us in these days. Even our circumstances not be disappointed if we choose not to be, we can still be disappointed. Here we decide we want to be disappointed. But he said you should be and then he goes on. He says this this is precious value then it is for you who believe, but for those who disbelieve the stone which the builders rejected. This became the very cornerstone and a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense, for they stumble because they are disobedient to the word and to this doom. There also pointed what Peter is talking about in a general sense here is religion. He said that the cornerstone Jesus Christ is always a stumbling block to religious people. Always it was to the Jews.
It is the religious people today, even people call themselves Christian or religious. It's a stumbling block is a stumbling block to the great religions of the world. It's a stumbling block to Islam. It's a stumbling block. No, no, that can't be right it can't be all about Jesus. It can't be about Jesus Christ dying as a substitute. It can't be that it's all grace and that all I have to do is believe it can't be that I stumble over that. That's too easy. I need to be doing something he said if you do that without Christ. He said it's because you're disobedient to the word and to this doom will be appointed is that it can't work that way.
You can't do that no matter how sincere or zealous you are and think about think of a Muslim terrorist put a whole bunch of bombs on himself in the best of many walks into a crime.
And blows himself up serving all and he blows himself up and all the people and one of the reasons not the only but one of the reasons he blows himself up as the moment he blows himself up and goes into eternity will be in the presence of 72 virgins 72 virgins but he won't be in the presence was a weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth can be extremely disappointed. No matter what the religion is if you stumble over Jesus Christ, you stumble he said that's the way this works. The Scripture says in the book of axes. No other name given among men by which we must be saved. Just Jesus Jesus that I am the way and the truth and the life and no one will come to the fatherless to come through me mimics a lot of people stumble. I pray that someone that you're not one of those people somehow I'm to do something religiously impress God because you can end up extremely disappointed.
We are living stones in the same building. He says something else here though. In verse five he says you also, as living stones, are going up to a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer us up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ, that in verse nine. Your chosen race of oil priesthood. Wow. So he's the starts out there in verse five you also, you plural you all from the South you all.
He said all of you. He said all of you.
He said a part of a holy priesthood. Those are the words by the way, that had a lot to do with the starting of the Reformation.
When Catholic priest understood that this is what the word of God said my Martin Luther said don't ever call mice call me a priest unless you call yourself a priest because were all priest universal priesthood of believers is a fundamental fact of the New Testament is a moral priest, some you come from backgrounds and you think know the priest is specially designated group of people that are not your specially designated group of people when you're not just any priest if that person always says you have a holy priesthood, set apart by God. That's pretty good, but then he says that in verse nine that is a royal priesthood that's really cool.
Now many royal priests there are in the Bible. One. Melchizedek King priest of Salem just one no Levite, not Aaron, not any of the Levites are ever priest Melchizedek priest because you that's the kind of priesthood you have because Melchizedek is a theophany of Jesus Christ.
Jesus Christ is a King priest and you and I are King priests, all of you.
You see, you know it's ironic about this of you think about it from another point of view who wrote this Peter in that interesting. The first pope wrote that were all priests. How did I get so messed up you said were all priest know the point of it is what what something about being a priest noticed offering up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ you when I make offerings. You know how often all the time your life in my life. Let me show you this, go with me will come back to Romans chapter 12 Romans chapter 12 verse one. The apostle Paul writes this, he said. Therefore, I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God you can't you can't plead more than that, I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, this is so important to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God which is your spiritual service of worship. So as a priest.
What can I offer God me Mr. you should offer God you I offer me a living sacrifice J.
Vernon McGee was the first guy ever heard say it but he he said one time. The problem with living sacrifices they keep getting off of the altar and you can keep them up where they belong and there's a lot of truth to that, but I am to offer up the God living sacrifice, it's me. I'm a priest that's what I'm offering you God would send me and I'll do anything anywhere any time at any cost. Just tell me you have me see that's what Paul said that's what you need to do. You need to offer your whole life. But there's more parts to go with me now to Hebrews chapter 13 the book of Hebrews chapter 13 in verse 15. Here the writer of Hebrews says this through him through Christ through him, he said, then asked continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God. That is the fruit of the lips that give thanks to his name. God says there's another thing I want to offer me. I want you to offer me the praise of your lips. Notice the word. There's continually it doesn't say for now on Sunday morning and say that this continually. I want you to continually praise me so that's what I want from you next verse, and do not neglect doing good and sharing for with such sacrifices God is pleased axes. You see, when used when you do good with other people and you suck and you share with other people.
God says that's a sacrifice to me. Thank you for your offer me satisfy God from your life you are familiar.
Praise offer me a Thanksgiving offer me doing good in Ephesians chapter 5, Paul says when we love that we have love for God and others were offering up spiritual sacrifices.
The motivation of the Christian life is not a religious motivation. I don't live a certain way because of fear or because of guilt. I live that way because of love and gratitude. That's what you say that's what you do. You offered up the God. It's interesting that in the book of Revelation the writer keep saying that the prayers of the saints are offerings to God.
He sees him as a sweet aroma.
Every time we pray, we make an offering to God's will.
Priests that's our rule was priest in the Old Testament you had priests that were chosen by God. You and I are chosen by God, you had priests in the Old Testament that could only be cleansed by the blood of the sacrifice and you and I are cleansed by what the blood of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ see but were so different than they were.
Member Mount Sinai if you saw the movie, you know, it was pretty cool was kind of wild looking up there and all the people down and bottom there, terrified how many people could walk to Mount Sinai and be sort of in the presence of God. One night, just Moses that's it.
So anything of the holy of holies.
How many people could go when to work at the mercy seat is the Ark of the covenant, the holiness of God and Sam here just one, the high priest how often once a year.
That's it and had bells on his garments. The reason he had bells on his garments was that if you don't hear the bells I mean she's dead right and the traditional rumor is that they used to tie a rope around his ankle, so that if he did fall down better. They could drag them out because if you wanted to get them you would die. That's a holy God is. Now what about you and I the writer of Hebrews says come boldly, you and I go boldly to the throne of grace. You and I go boldly, not once a year. Any moment we want to know if we go bowling because you and I are children of God, and adopted.
I connection go boldly in the presence of God climb up on his lap and calm her dad and I can talk and it says that the throne of grace and mercy. Pastor Bill Gilbert on the radio ministry of fellowship Lord, if you ever miss one of our broadcasting 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 of the word online that website you will find on with today's broadcast so 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. We ask all of our listeners to prayerfully consider how you might help his radio ministry continuous broadcast on this radio station by supporting a monthly report just a one-time gift 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 of fellowship monitored visit our website FVC Nola.org that SBC and oh LA.O RG at our website you will find hundreds. Pastor Bill sermon. You can browse through our sermon archives defined servicers are 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 on listening room. And remember all this absolutely free of charge. Once again our website is FVC Nola.org forecaster Bill Gebhardt injuries and thank you for listening to fellowship in order