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October 25, 2021 8:00 am
Today on Fellowship in the Word pastor Bill Gebhardt challenges you to become a fully functioning follower of Jesus Christ from among the Hebrews as they were spiritual babies. They could deserve like long. That's why they were tempted to go back in the Judaism wise education is a good way to say not just of them, but he saying at all of us is astounding to me how many of us really are not mature Lord of all. Simply milk drinkers as children. Doesn't matter chronologically.
How long you been a Christian matters where you are in a sense, spiritual because the whole idea of the word of God is to discern good and evil to discern good and evil is to give you wisdom. The Bible talks about wisdom all the time wise choices how you live life to the fullest. You make the best choice. Seeing God's book. I can help you with that I can give you my word, and this will help you discern good and evil. 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 but went past her now is once again he shows us God's word meets world over the holidays.
I read a book by a man named Greg Hopkins and he was one of the staff pastors at Willow Creek Church in Chicago a mega church in Chicago.
In fact, in the 1990s when Greg Hopkins was there. The average Sunday attendance at Willow Creek was over 20,000 people were attending the church literally had hundreds upon hundreds upon hundreds of programs.
The idea behind their programs was that they wanted their programs to be able to produce quote dedicated followers of Jesus Christ. They wanted people who love God with everything they had. They knew that Jesus had said the love the Lord your God with all your heart mind soul and strength your neighbor as yourself that that must encapsulate everything they realize to the bill Hibel sues her senior pastor had said 90% dedication to Christ leaves you still he said 10% to little and so they wanted to see how their programs are really doing and they created a survey of questions long and expensive. They surveyed over 9000 people from their own church, but then he decided maybe be more important to survey evangelical Christians from all kinds of churches and so when they had finished they had surveyed over half a million evangelical Christians in and over 2000 different churches, so the database here is just enormous and when they had finished everything that they had done the first sentence of the report to the leadership at Willow Creek was this all your assumptions about what you are doing a wrong all your assumptions about what you are doing wrong.
That must've been a shock to them, to say the very least you see the finished and they put everybody that they had surveyed into four groups and the first group that they had as a person who goes to church or believer in God, but the running sure about the relationship with Jesus Christ and the relationship with God is impersonal. If you were going to encapsulate them in one sentence it would be this I go to church but my faith is not a significant part of my real life at all. That was category one category two. If you then you put it in a sentence it would be this. I have a relationship with Jesus and I'd like to know them better. Category three was I have a relationship with Jesus and I look to him for help and comfort and guidance. I depend on him on a daily basis and then they find it was a category four. My relationship with Jesus Christ is the most important relationship in my life and it influences every single thing I do not they found out something else that there was no correlation at all between participation in church programs, in which category you came not that's what shocked him how they found out that category. Four people were in small churches as small as 10 or 15 people. They were in medium churches. They were in large churches and they were in mega churches. But what really shocked them about the category for person was this member that surveyed over half a million people only 12% of Christians are in category 412% in category four. It's it was astounding to them to find us up. You see, they thought that all of the programs that they had in all the specialized ministries are all but to move people to love the Lord more deeply and wasn't true so they decided then to look at these people category for people and that certain characteristics that they had that other people don't know what I want to look at today is simply this category for Christian spent a lot more time in the word of God, but not at all because they felt obligated to, but because they actually loved me in the word of God were an interesting statement that is so that really shouldn't surprise us too much. How different they were back in the 1950s. Eight of your toes are said may not the inadequacy of much of our spiritual experience be traced back to our habit of skipping through the corridors of the kingdom like children one through a marketplace chattering about everything but pausing to learn the true value of absolutely nothing.
Chuck Swindoll wrote this. We've all been in a hurry.
At some point grabbed fast food instead of planning and cooking a balance mill. We barely stop to enjoy the food as we will for Don and on the go.
We we are.
He said it may satisfy hunger for a while but it provides little nourishment spiritual fast food presents the same problem. A quick glance at a verse or two on the way out the door doesn't give you long term satisfaction. Our spiritual food needs to be carefully prepared so will sustain us and refresh and satisfy our deepest longings of our souls. Looking back over all the years that you have known Christ.
Is there any measurable difference in your walk, your growth in your depth as a result of the years you spent growing older, have you measurably, he said, spiritually grown-up is a great question.
Have you asked yourself how much different than you are right now than you were five years ago.
See how much of you really grown much of your really changed seek there's nothing new about biblically shallow Christians at all. In fact, over half a million people in 2000. Churches say that about 88% of his fullness categories.
Open your Bibles to Hebrews chapter 5 and I want to illustrate that this is not new. The context of these obviously is in the book of Hebrews. You've heard me teach on this book before the book of Hebrews the by Jewish believers who are really being persecuted for believing in Christ, they been disowned by their families have been ostracized by friends. They decided after 20 to 25 years that maybe it would be better to go back into Judaism is a go back in and still believe in Jesus the writer Hebrews says emphatically categorically no you can't do that. You can't go back. The also says them.
You have to understand that everything in Judaism that you would call holy or sacred is just a shadow that Jesus is the substance of everything and so consequently he goes to one stage after another, telling them the superiority of Jesus Christ. And so here in chapter 5 in verse five, notice what he says he says so also Christ did not glorify himself so as to become a high priest, but it is he who is said to him you are my son, today I have begotten you just as he also says in another passage. You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek is points going to be that Christ is a Melchizedek in priest is not a Levite is not for Maren you superior to that, but he realizes when he says it to them.
Their response assembly with the president. I don't know years.
You see, I don't know what you're talking about this great king of Salem. This King priest so notice what happens down to verse 10 he says being designated by God as a high priest according to the order of Melchizedek concerning him.
We have much to say. It's hard to explain, since you will become dull of hearing, and that's the epidemic among Christians dull of hearing. In other words, I don't really listen. They do their time. They go through the motions daily and a just simply list don't really listen. He said I'd like to say so much more about Melchizedek, but there's no point in it. No will to verse 12 he said, for though by this time you want to be teachers, you been walking with Christ for 25 years to teach people the word of God. He says you have need again for someone to teach you the elementary principles of the oracles of God, you have company milk and not solid food. I can even give you the meat you can accept it because it dull of hearing, he said everyone who partakes only of the milk is not accustomed to the word righteousness is a baby is an infant is talking about the word of God is that they really can deal with it. They don't see it that way is a solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained and there is to discern good and evil, see the big problem among the Hebrews as they were spiritual babies, they could discern right and wrong. That's why they were tempted to go back in the Judaism.
Why is that the case because they didn't really know and love the word of God that's with the writer. He was saying not just of them, but he saying it's all of us. It's astounding, probably. How many of us really are not mature in the word of all were simply milk drinkers as children.
Doesn't matter chronologically. How long you been a Christian it matters where you are in a sense, spiritually because the whole idea of the word of God is to discern good and evil to discern good and evil is to give you wisdom. The Bible talks about wisdom all the time wise choices. How do you live life to the fullest. How do you make the best choices using God's is book I can help you with that I can give you my word, and this will help you discern good and evil.
Turn with me now to first Kings first Kings chapter 4 and verse 29 first Kings chapter 4 and verse 29. I want to see you to see one of the great dispensers of wisdom in Scripture you know his name. His name is Solomon. He is the son of David to verse 29 says this now.
God gave Solomon wisdom and very great discernment and breath of mind. Like the sand that is on the seashore how much wisdom is Ahab. He said it's infinite. He said God gave him a special endowment. He said Solomon's wisdom surpassed the wisdom of all the sons of the East and all the wisdom of Egypt.
He was wiser than all men.
And he said that even he said the Israelite and human Intel cool he says and Darga the sons of male and he says, and his fame was known throughout all the surrounding nations.
He says he spoke more than 3000 Proverbs in his song for 1005 I love that in five songs go to set a thousand thousand and five. He spoke of trees from the cedar of Lebanon, even to the hiss of the girls on the wall. He spoke of animals and birds and creeping things and fish's wisdom was in the real world. He knew all the wise things to say about life a supernatural gift from God.
He said men came from all peoples to hear the wisdom of Solomon, he said, from all the kings of the earth who had heard of his wisdom. That's wisdom not want to see what Solomon wrote and then back to the word of God. I want to going out of Proverbs chapter 2 Proverbs chapter 2 Proverbs one is all about wisdom. Proverbs chapter 2 how do we acquire how we become wise.
I would stop doing stupid things. He writes this is my son, if you receive my words and treasure my commandments within you and make your ear attended the wisdom and incline your heart, understanding, and if you cry for discernment, and lift your voice for understanding, if you seek her as silver, and search for her as as for hidden treasures. Then you will discern the fear of the Lord and discover the knowledge of God, for the Lord gives wisdom from his mouth comes knowledge and understanding. You tell by the emphasis when I was reading what's the most important word if if you see good also said son, if you don't do this and I can be wise see you not going to be wise, if you do these things he said then you will be wise. Each one of these things are what we have to do. That's the most important word. Notice he says if you seek her as silver, and search for her as for hidden treasure me ask you if somebody really trusted told you something you never knew was possible, but it turned out to be true that somebody had buried the $10 million in your backyard. How would you act, what would you do, what would your guard look like see what would you do you see how foolish it seems to be saying my nothing. I when doing you know you would, you know, you would why there's nothing more important and more money. You see that something worthwhile. See says that's what Solomon says member Saul and all the money could ever imagine is you have to seek wisdom said God doesn't dispense wisdom the lazy souls he doesn't. You have to go after it.
We sort of have to be in a sense like Robert Ballard is a man who by the way, discover the wreckage of the Titanic off the course of Newfoundland it was a life work for him. He says this my first direct view of Titanic lasted less than two minutes, but the stark site of her immense black called towering above the ocean for will remain forever ingrained in my memory, my lifelong dream was the finest great ship and during the past 13 years.
The quest for her had dominated my life and now finally that quest is over when Ballard found a ship by the way, he took 53,500 photographs 53,500 photographs of the ship. Think of all the money. Think of the endless hours that he had spent. Think of how diligent and painstaking. His effort was for ship it sunk the let me ask you how painstaking is your effort in the word of God. You see your acquiring wisdom. How painstaking are you free for so many of us as believers were not painstaking at all.
That's not the way it works for us, you, you can never become the kind of authentic Christian, you need to be by getting a sermon once a week. This is not a nap. You'll never be a cat for it just doesn't work that way. You just simply can't succumb and sit and listen to someone born on for 35 or 40 minutes and then go home and have done all I needed to see what he is saying is you gotta say cedar, you gotta go after it is gotta be some is important to you and if it's not the only person that really gets hurt by that is, you, because you never become what you should be. The Bible doesn't yield its treasures to the lazy soul by the way, that's why we teach Bible study method.
Brad teaches Bible study methods over and over again what what is that so you can study the word of God on your own now. By the way the course is not an end in itself. I went through the course and so I need to do the course of the first step I can imagine why every person who loves Christ would want to do that so that I could go into the word of God myself figured off myself sink it is treasure you see.
And finally, in a sense, be able to glean with the word of God does and what the word of God is so when I want to do now is I want to show you through one some verses in the Psalm of just how spectacular the word of God is and could be in your lives. I could pick Psalm 119. For example, I decided not to. It's 176 verses long, but by the way Jewish children required to memorize that song hundred 76 verses, why would that be the case so they knew how important word of God was. That's how important it is.
But I want to look at us all a lot shorter by David Psalm 19. So open your Bibles to Psalm attorney or by was the Psalm 19. Just a few pages to your left is starting in verse seven. In these next few verses we see descriptions of the word of God and what are the results. What does the word of God do. Why is it so important. The very first thing verse seven he says the law of the Lord is perfect, restoring the soul.
The Bible transforms you. The Bible transforms you notice he says the law. That's the word Torah got that from Moses. The law the law for life. The wolf living the law of the Lord. There's the ownership what law were talking about with about the law of God is of the law of the Lord is perfect, that Hebrew word means all cited it's very difficult thing to understand. It's all cited. It's all encompassing its comprehensive in its scope. The law of the Lord is perfect, and it says restoring some translations. It converts the soul. The interview the real you.
That's what the word of God does word of God could take a person as unregenerate as I was before I came to Christ and transform him into a lover of God because of the word of God us is a very important thing you transforms your life. He said that's what it's it makes it so magnificent and so wonderful. He doesn't stop there, though he says the testimony he said the testimony of the Lord is sure and makes wise the simple. The word testimony is interesting. What is what is a testimony it's it's what somebody does, who testifies what you testified to the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth you testify. Notice this, though this Scripture says something interesting the testimony of who of the Lord says the Bible is a testimony of the Lord God says I swear to tell the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth about what everything about me, about you about the world about sin. I'll tell you something about everything. I'm I'm going to give my testimony here is the testimony, he says of the Lord. He said the testimony of the Lord is sure that were sure is wonderful word you know it.
Amen. He said the testimony of the Lord is amen amen means what so be it. It's true.
These are the testimony of the Lord is sure, and he says, making wise, he says, making wise the simple actually says giving wisdom to the unguarded mind was so naÔve and so foolish.
Jeremiah 17 the heart of a man is desperately wicked is deceitful above all things, I can trust me, you can trust you see the heart of men desperately wicked is deceitful above all things good is it to see the man seen. He says look that's not the way this works the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise. He said the simple were the unguarded mind is given wisdom, given wisdom about everything in life you could possibly imagine how thrilled you the radio ministry of fellowship Lord, if you ever missed one of our broadcasting or maybe you just like the message one more time. Remember the good a great website called one place.com that's one place.com and you can listen the Fellowship in the Word online event website you will find on with today's broadcast but also many of our previous other programs as well have Fellowship in the Word.
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