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September 13, 2021 8:00 am
Today on the Fellowship and the word pastor Bill Gebhart challenges you to become a fully functioning follower of Jesus Christ. About the only one with the one Paul calls us runners something different about the race.
You and I wanted to wait.
Normally if there's a ratio running against other people want to, but that's not each one of us. Each one of us are going over each one of us have the capacity have the capacity to win our race as Paulson. I finished the course kept the faith and be rewarded because joining us today on this additional Fellowship in the Word pastor Bill Gebhart Fellowship in the Words the radio ministry of Fellowship Bible church located in Metairie, Louisiana.
Let's join Pastor Bill Gebhart now is once again he shows us how God's word meets as many you already know this but I love sports and out it doesn't even matter if it's a Super Bowl in New Orleans aren't badminton tournament. Malaysia I'm watching I just always been that way and for some unknown reason I have a capacity to remember useless facts, they just stick in my mind I can remember when I was in high school I was a pullover track and field and our high school and that I read about that.
I think the greatest cold water.
Whoever lived. His name is Bob Richards, Bob Richards won the gold medal in 1952 in 1958 people voted 15'6", with a steel pole, no fiberglass, just still, I think is the greatest cold water. Whoever lived when I was a little boy that I was a Yankee fan. I mean I as a young boy 1958. I love the Yankees Mickey Mantle is my favorite player Roger Marist Moose scarring Yogi Berra Elston hired Bob Turley, Whitey Ford.
I guess going on and on but the team that finished second to the Yankees in the American League with the Chicago White Sox. I think a lot about them, but I remember this that Louis Aparicio was their shortstop and hit 266.
That year Millie Fox played second base for them to get 300 and I can't remember your name. I don't know why it works like that but I'm not apologizing we live in a sports culture and I was raised in a sports culture home, no doubt about that but you know that's not a new thing. Sports is not a new thing. The Greeks and Romans were crazy about sports.
In fact, JS Howson, in his book the metaphors of St. Paul. He said that sporting events actually became a religion among the Greeks.
That's how they thought how modern is that I thought. In fact, every boy in Greece every free boy was enrolled in the gymnasium and he would learn the basics of mining and wrestling, boxing, swimming and even weightlifting and aging grease.
The Jews on the other hand, maybe like a lot of women today but the Jews had no interest in sports not. There is nothing in history talking about Jews ever playing sports, no interest in sports and yet the irony of all this is that the Jew would choose the Pharisee, a Pharisee, Saul of Tarsus, who becomes the apostle Paul. He uses sports because he's the apostle to the Gentiles to the Greeks and the Romans, and he uses sports and a metaphor for sports to describe you and me. I'm in a series that I call.
I am who you say I am and I said that what we have to realize is what is God said about us.
He said that were children of God and all those privileges.
He said that were new creation in Christ.
He said that were living stones all in the same house that were Royal priest in the same temple that were a holy nation or group of people for God's own possession and last week we said worshiping the same fold all those different ways. And now Paul wants to tell us there something else about us and that we are all runners in our own race. Open your Bibles to ask chapter 13 ask chapter 13.
We just go drop it into verses to start this this is the first time. The apostle Paul in the first missionary journey uses the metaphor for the idea that you and I are all believers are runners – 13 in verse 16 it says.
Paul stood up, and motioning with his hand. He said men of Israel, he said, and you who fear God, listen to what I'm going to say and he goes on with his message were not looking at that and it's morning, but I want to go down to verse 25 and a 25 he's describes John the Baptist and he says this and while John was completing his course, he kept saying what do you suppose that I am. I'm not he. But behold, one is coming after me with sandals whose feet I am not worthy to untie. It's all in that one phrase, it says when John was completing his course non-English doesn't look like much, but in Greek it looks like a very different thing in Greek, it would say this when John was finished running his race when John the Baptist was finished running his race. Even then, one Jewish man describing another Jewish man as a runner. The thing is amazing is the people would've you John the Baptist ministries a failure.
They thought the Messiah would come, he became you be the son of David, had set up all over the whole world from Israel. He didn't.
Not only that John the Baptist was put in prison and you know that whole story, and John himself. I don't think would've viewed himself as very successful because he knew when he was in prison he was waiting then to be beheaded, which he was, you know it's interesting that from God's point of view.
John was a success in finished his course, he had completed the race. You see, John had a race to run and he was complete. Whether it was done. And even though John didn't think he was successful in the people to think he was successful. God said he is successful in acts chapter 20 Paul is describing himself and he said here's my one is one of my great motives. I want to finish my race pulses I want to finish my race that was in the second missionary journey. I want to finish my race and that's exactly what he does go with me to second Timothy four second Timothy chapter 4. These were the last words of Paul ever wrote.
As most of you know Paul was arrested twice the first time he was arrested he was under house arrest in Rome, but he was freed and was able to go out on his own. The second time he knows now is not going to be free there to keep them in Rome and then he he now understands as a Roman citizen will be executed and in his case.
He will also be beheaded and so Paul was speaking and got in verse six of chapter 4, he said, for I am already being poured out as a drink offering that's is that's viewing the end of his life giving it the God he said, I'm already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. Now there's one thing that Paul knows that you and I did usually don't know.
He knows the time of his departure. He knows it. It's time he knows he's in his last days he understands this completely and then he says this I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith. Now that looks like almost a mixed metaphor in verse seven, but it's not when he says I have fought the good fight and I finished the course. He's describing one thing completing the race fought the good fight doesn't mean boxing uses that analogy and another part but not here. I fought the good fight is a Greek idiom and it means that I plowed through no matter how difficult the consequences were any of you give everyone a marathon or long-distance race here every marathon runner. Talk about running into the wall usually run 20 miles you hit the wall. And if you finish the marathon you have to fight the good fight, you have to run through a wall. That's what Paul is alluding to. He said I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I've kept the faith, he said. Therefore, in the future. There is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that day and not only he said to me, but also all who are bloggers appearing positively rewarded because of the wind, but I'm not the only one I could win.
She's the one Paul calls us runners, there's something different about the race you when I run than a typical race. Normally if there's a ratio running against other people, and only one of them can win. But that's not the case in each one of us are going runner owners. Each one of us are going to go over our own course.
Each one of us have the capacity have the capacity to win our race. As Paul said, I finished the course, I kept the faith and their be rewarded because of it. Now I want you to go with me to see what it takes to win two Hebrews chapter 12 and verse one Hebrews 12 is a grueling strong verse for us. One of the problems we have of being a runner and running a race is we want to quit. I we want to just sit down, we want to stop. We want to lay down will stop running, especially when it gets really hard for us to say we just don't want to do it anymore or as I've said in the past myself every once in a while I just go into a personal pity party and a day I just know I just want to stop.
I don't want to run the book of Hebrews is written to a whole group of people. The one to do that on a large scale. The whole group of people were believers in Christ. They were Jewish believers and they decided that it's not worth it when one of my many more. They they said maybe what we ought to do is just look back in the Judaism and become. And then our friends and family will like us better and we can will do okay.
The writer of Hebrews is like no no no no no. Whatever you do don't do that because if you do that you will be just like the Exodus generation will be saved coming out of Egypt, but you will die in the wilderness and you'll never get into the land flowing with milk and honey will never be in the promised land. That's what the whole book of Hebrews is about. So in chapter 10 he says, look, I know what you need and use the race metaphor again. He said you need endurance to see if you're going to run a race for lifetime. You need to have endurance. That's the point if you live the Christian life.
You need to have endurance and I say this many times in the past. Endurance is the way you measure your faith how much faith you have, how much we went door and so chapter 11 that we call the Hall of Famer faith is simply a chapter that deals with those who endured. That's the pointer example after example, people endured. Think along Abraham and Sarah waited for Isaac think along Moses was in the land of Midian 40 years what you doing and during he said. So when he finishes chapter 11 he says this. Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us.
Sounds like a stadium I met sounds just like a stadium, all the witnesses of surrounding us. These are all the people who ran the race before us since we have this great surrounding us, let us lay aside every encumbrance and the sin that so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us so that we got a run and we have to do this with endurance. He said I know there's two things are hampering you. One is encumbrance.
What I've taught on this before. I've said is very likely that the encumbrance of the wrong priorities. I live my life for the wrong kind of priorities. Anyway me down.
I don't run spiritually and the other one is the sin that so easily entangles us, in my view is that as I have my sin that so easily entangles me.
You have your sin that so easily entangles you, you know it because you repeated over and over again, he said, look, you gotta lay aside the encumbrance and you gotta get rid of that sin and entangles you and put you down on the run and you've got a run with endurance the race that is set before I have my race. You have your race very different races each person has a different race. Then he says this, let me help you fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and the perfecter of faith.
If you want to know the example Heidi Ewing were with us a tape. He said Jesus you want to see someone who ran his race perfectly. Jesus is the author is the perfecter of our faith. Notice he said, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, he set down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him whose endured such hostility by sinners against himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart and stop running similar. Jesus while finger that race. The most difficult race anyone is ever run, ever, and he knew what it would take to run his race heat. He knew that at the end of his life, which is not very long, only about 33 years of age.
He's going to go to the cross. He knows that and yet Luke writes to us in Luke says on more than one occasion Lou says that Jesus had said as much face to go to Jerusalem, I got he did say and I must go to Jerusalem, I must be arrested.
I must be is a crucified. I know what I have to do. He knew the agony of this he's in the garden of Gethsemane and he sweating droplets of blood father could be possible let this cup pass from me. He's on the cross hanging and screaming out Eloi Eli Lamas of botany, my God, my God, why you forsaken me.
He knows how horrible it is. But here it says, who for the joy set before me endured.
How did he endure the cross. See what motivated him to endure the cross you and me the reason he endured for the joy set before him. There are people that I can redeem who are separated from God by sin who and I'll become the children of God, and I will spend forever with them.
I will endure this.
You see, the joy is out in front. Joyce comes at the end and he says that's what you have to have you have to have endurance to do this in his race that he one and one for all of us. So my question this morning is what do people who do well what good runners do what is it like to be a really good one, or in your own life.
The first thing is pretty obvious to us in this passage, they run with joy and I don't mean or happy boy. There's nothing worse than pseudo-happiness.
You go through some terrible languishing. You know you say just keep smiling. Some there's a time to laugh.
By the way, but there's a time to cry. There's a time to celebrate this time to mourn, so you can't make it. Don't be phony and try to make it like it's everything's just great. This not see the joy comes at the end for us. I mean if you think about this you if you fight your life.
Life's final battle with a long bout of cancer not a lot of joy in that there is again you see there is at the end. Just like with Jesus. Hello my love, joy on the crosses bearing the sins of the world, but there is again you see is the same idea. If someone you love seems to be in perfect health and you're planning your life together and you're also happy about what it is and then all of a sudden you get the phone call and find out a drunk driver cross lanes and their dead. There's nothing joyful about all praise the Lord's morning is a sorrow, but there's joy in the end you see the joy that they have is the joy that's when it's all over. I can even remember how many times I say these things over and over to you, but I'm determined to keep trying and that is that you know the worst thing that can happen to you can happen you and I read the end of the book and you win so important for you to understand.
You see, sometimes we have a lot of joy in our lives because the circumstances a wonderful and it's joyful but there are other times when it's anguish. It's difficult but don't worry about that because because you win in the end, the joy is yours forever. That's why it's such an important thing. Secondly they normally run with joy but the evidence discipline in their lives. Go with me to first Timothy chapter 4, first Timothy chapter 4 verse seven. Paul is writing to young Timothy is trying to explain to him that if you're going to be a runner. You have to have a certain amount of discipline in your life. This is kinda convicting to us. I hope it does anyway. He says the Timothy verse seven but have nothing to do.
We said with worldly fables fit for only old women. I want to talk about that today so save myself that and you are all young women anyway. Okay so when I got them apply to you soon.
On the other hand, he says. Discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness for bodily discipline is only of little profit but godliness is profitable for all things since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. People who run will have discipline in the life that were discipline in Hebrews. You know the word. The Greek words gymnasium to say more ways for gymnasium. That's for the discipline comes from very athletic word he said. Bodily discipline is only for a little bit of profit. What amazes me is some of you have a capacity to be enormously disciplined in your physical life boy and renewed your you got it down. I mean, you only eat things that are really really good for you nothing but the best for you to make sure you get a certain amount of cardio and every day you you you really got it down, and there's nothing wrong with that.
It is profitable, but only a little bit and I don't want to burst your bubble, but no matter how disciplined you are physically in the end you're dead, you're just dead. Whether human healthy or not your day you see that and that's what Paul's perspective is there's nothing wrong with that it's profitable in its own little way.
But what amazes me is we have this capacity to discipline ourselves every day doesn't matter how hot it is a retraining of see the runners out running. I'm disciplining myself the question is do you discipline yourself to my spiritual point of view she that's the real ratio running. Are you discipline.
The Scripture says we are to grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ you feed on the word of God. You see, you have good nutrition you see is your life spiritually disciplined and so far so often it's not and we can run amok this way.
Think of somebody like Samson help release was one of the great judges of Israel. God supernaturally empowered him to become a judge of Israel how to turn out for him. Let me ask you, do you think he was discipline spiritually.
All you think you try to deal with the sin that so easily entangles him or do you lightly allow that's in the sense see we can be children of God, but we can run a very poor race. If we don't have any discipline of all service and only run the joy and evidence discipline they stick with it. Pastor broke your on the radio ministry of fellowship Lord, if you ever miss one of our broadcasting or maybe you just like the message one more time.
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