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November 1, 2021 8:00 am
Today on Fellowship in the Word pastor Bill Gebhardt challenges you to become a fully functioning follower of Jesus Christ. Like Jane said, confess your sins one to another, what they needed no more sense of accountability. There are people in my life that I would confess my sins simply because, not everybody see what it's all part of the close up there has to be a sense of honesty, a sense of transparency of who we are going out 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 when pastoral Gebhardt now is once again he shows us how God's word.
This is the heart of fellowship showing what I have to get the early church said they had all things in common reason for was they were all persecuted. They were Jews. They believed in Jesus as the Messiah, the Jewish community around him ostracize them and persecuted, so they sort of huddled together and they help each other. They gave each other room and board receipt they gave each other mills. They did everything they could for each other because of their need.
But at the hard fellowship of sharing what you have now wanted to see how this can work in verse one of chapter 8 of second Corinthians. He says now brother and we wish to make known to you the grace of God which was given in the churches in Macedonia that in a great ordeal of affliction, their abundance of joy and their deep poverty overflowed in the wall of their liberality. Was he talking about. There were poor churches. The report churches around Thessalonian Thessalonica. The report churches there. But Paul went there and said look the saints in Jerusalem are starving and they said we would love to help. Now they had a problem. They were dirt poor. They didn't have anything they said we don't care will give them what we have and they did. That's why says notice he says out of their deep poverty in overflowed in the wealth of the liberality for I testify that according to their ability and beyond their ability.
They gave of their own accord, making us with notice breaking us with much urging for the favorite nurse.
The word participation just what that word is fellowship, that's fellowship. He says, making us with much urging for the favor of fellowship and the support of the saints. We want to have fellowship will give them what we have and that amazing that's what I'm saying it it's an astounding thing than you think about it, it means sharing what you have to give when someone else has a need that could be advice, it could be encouragement.
It could be service. It could be money in this case it was money or something else about this though, in this case they do know these people, all they knew was what they had and whether they have in common with poor saints in Jerusalem. Christ see their brothers and sisters in Christ. So they said will give whatever is needed will give when you participate in life and that way you see your your experiencing New Testament fellowship. Do you see other believers as altogether were all partners in this endeavor, we call life. That's what happens there and involve sharing what you give fellowship also is about this idea of a partnership in ministry. I want to go to Galatians chapter 2 Galatians chapter 2 with me. Verse seven. Want to understand the context, the great enemy of the early church was the apostle Paul. He was called Saul of Tarsus.
He was a Pharisee of Pharisees. He hunted people down.
He put people in prison, he oversaw the stoning of Stephen maracas the everybody hears that on the road to Damascus. The apostle Paul converted and now is going to show up in Jerusalem.
Now, you could just imagine how the people in Jerusalem must've felt. In fact, look at 122 and 23. I'll give you that for a moment, look at what he says in Galatians. I was still one known by the site of the churches of Judea, which were in Christ, but only they kept hearing that he once persecuted us, is now preaching the faith which he once tried to destroy. That's all they heard now watch what happens. Both verse seven of chapter 2. Both on the contrary, seeing that I had been entrusted with the gospel to the uncircumcised. Just as Peter had been to the circumcised, for he will effectively work for Peter and his apostleship to the circumcised effectively. He says work for me also to the Gentiles and recognizing the grace to do been given to me. James and Cephas, and John who were reputed to be pillars, gave to me and Barnabas.
What the right hand of fellowship. He said, so that we might go to the Gentiles, and eight of the circumcised.
They only asked that we remember the poor, the very thing we were eager to do, see what because we had Christ in common. Could you imagine Peter and James and Donica said easily that we don't trust we don't like this could be a ploy he's going to try to get us.
You see, this is a guy that's an enemy into anything like that is given the right hand of fellowship your part of the body. You see, that's an extremely important aspect of that they saw him as an equal partner God gave me the grace God gave him the grace that's an amazing thing when you think about it in a very important aspect of this. That's not exactly the way churches see each other as I hate to say this but it's been so to everyone since I've been here inherently churches view other churches as competition.
I imagine that of all the things that disappoint the Lord that may disappoint her more than anything, how we do that you should go there used to come here freely see how you view it as an competitive way. It's a partnership should extend your hand. Be thankful for them. Now I'm not talking about heretical churches.
But I'm talking about with the gospel of Jesus Christ is preached, the whole idea is you just don't see them as competition. That's not fellowship. We have fellowship with believers all over the earth.
We should see them that way. Without question, they saw grace that Paul was given something I want to say is this fellowship requires commitment go with me to Philippians chapter 1 Philippians chapter 1 I love it.
Paul writes in his fellowship isn't something that you can just do once is something you have to immerse yourself in and stay in the rest your life. He starts ice as Paul and Timothy, bond servants of Christ Jesus to all the saints in Christ Jesus, who are in Philippi, including the overseers and the deacons grace to you and peace from our God and father, the Lord Jesus Christ.
I think my God in all my remembrance of you always offering prayer with joy in my every prayer for you all and then he says in this in view of why it is also happy. In view of your and the English says participation Greek word Corian area is fellowship again. In view of your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now. From the first day until now. What's the fellowship it's in the gospel.
They were excited about it the first day there still excited all these years later Jesus Christ gave us the great commission make disciples by going and baptizing in teaching. He also said in acts right before he ascended your be my witnesses in Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria. The uttermost parts of the world.
We have a one command agenda would evangelize the work world for Jesus Christ. I've said it many times in the past everything when we get to heaven.
Everything we do will be better than it is now, except that we will not evangelize the lost in a better way. That's why we're here.
That's the purpose of the church.
He said you participate in that you had fellowship and net you had this riveted attention to what is important and that is spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ.
I love this little story that Max locator writes pieces behind him at a trill of tracks beneath him a pounding stallion before him. Miles of trail to cover within him a flint rock resolve squinty eyed firm jawed Rob owned pony express riders had one assignment deliver the message safely and quickly. They seized every advantage, the shortest route, the fastest horse the lightest saddle only the sturdy were hired to handle the horses couldn't handle the heat, could they outrun robbers or outlast blizzards. Those selected were given $125 a month really good money in 1860 Colt revolver, a lightweight rifle, a bright red shirt and blue trousers and eight hours. The cover 80 miles six days a week hard work for high pay. But the message was worth it. In any writes this. The apostle Paul would've loved the pony express.
See, I think that's exactly it. Pony express riders. We have our job, our jobs, the great commission of Christ, we participate in this thing together everything we can do is to be focused in that way. That's why fellowship is so important to us to why we committed that way in churches. There's a lot of reasons I'll give you a couple one of them is a sense of entitlement is what I mean by that so many people go to a church to get that's why you go.
So when you visit a church all ideas okay now and see what I'm going to get here and I'm been evaluated okay.
I didn't get what I wanted. I think I need to go somewhere that's entitlement thinking everything when you came to church. What can I give you today. What can I give the people sitting around me.
What can I give you some of the parking lot looking to get people, how can I help before you do something now I'm just here to get that's what I'm here for this to be really disappointed. You see, that's the way this works you can't.
You can have that sense of entitlement some of you. Hopefully not many of you have this great sense of superiority when I mean by that is, so what Proverbs is don't be wise in your own eyes. The people come the church and basically as long as the church sees everything their way there fine, but soon as the church doesn't want moderate here is a C way I see things. That's the way it is that you will never have fellowship like that. Some people have agenda driven ideas when they come the church. Some of its doctrinal that is are certain beliefs they have in the first thing they do. After the first Sunday visit me is tell me the uniqueness of their belief and if I'm okay with it, then they may stay up for second Sunday, but if they don't they probably right Ichabod in the side of the church and go somewhere else. Other people have been the subject engenders. That is what is a good place for me to move my business around I can find people see if you come in for church. That way you're never going to have fellowship.
That's not the way church works at all and are some people I think that really resisted because they have injury in the past there always goodness idea that I was there but send somebody hurt my feelings. Look, let me be as clear as I can about this if you're going to interact with our group of people they are going to hurt your feelings. Okay, if you can interact with any group of people there going to hurt your feelings. People hurt each other's feelings.
That's part of life.
If you say why have fellowship at long as no one hurts my feelings do not have fellowship here and wherever you go. You're probably not can I have a theory simply because that goes along with the territory.
That kind of thing destroys. He says our own, our own commitment to fellowship effectively serve the walker that say they anything I want to say is fellowship hurt sometimes. Paul talks about this in Philippians chapter 3 I want to see what Paul says and I'll pick it up and nab verse nine that I may be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the law, but that which, through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith that I may know him and the power of his resurrection and then Paul says this and the fellowship. There is of his sufferings, being conformed to his death. Does that mean the fellowship. The partnership of his sufferings we will go on the services it well lit see Jesus offered and I suffer so anytime I saw from partaking of Jesus. That's not what he said is not talking about let me ask the question. I guess this way did Jesus deserve the suffer no pity except the suffering yes in his life in deserve it. What you mean 12. I have fellowship with Jesus when I don't deserve, and I still suffer.
That happens in relationships.
By the way she that's a think in your skin.
There are times when the suffering is completely undeserved and you suffer anyway.
But he says you know what when you do that. He said no one can understand you have partnership or fellowship with the sufferings of Jesus Christ while there's another thing number nine that fellowship requires complete honesty go with me to first John chapter 1 first John chapter 1 verse five John writes this he said this is the message we have heard from him and announce to you that God is light in him is no darkness at all. That shouldn't surprise anybody but then he says this, but if we say that we have fellowship with him to see if I say look, I have partnership with God. I went to the image Jesus and I walked on life's road together hand-in-hand I'm right with Jesus. He's with me every day were together all the time.
He says if we say that we have fellowship with him, and yet we walk in darkness rely.
We do not practice the truth. You see, I can't say I have fellowship with Jesus.
Why live my life in sin says you can do that. That's not fellowship. He says if we walk in the light as he himself is in the light. Okay, we have fellowship with one another in that interesting heat you think you would've said, we have fellowship with him.
We do, but he said we have fellowship with one another when we walk in the light as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another and the blood of Jesus, son keeps cleansing us from all sin is not talking about perfection, he's talking about short accounts with the sin in my life. Notice if we say we have no sin, he's were deceiving ourselves. The truth is a menace in verse nine if we confess our sins that were confessed means to acknowledge some of your backgrounds were confession mean something else it means to acknowledge. If we acknowledge our sins he is faithful and righteous to forgive us of our sins and to cleanse us from all on righteousness. If we say we have not sin. We make a man a liar's words on. In other words, I have to be honest, if you can have fellowship.
I have to be honest with God and honest with others.
That's why James said, confess your sins one to another.
Why do they need to know so that I'm honest so there's a sense of accountability.
There are people in my life that I would confess my sins to receive simply because they will hold me accountable, not when do that with everybody. You see, neither would you. But it's all part of the fellowship. There has to be a sense of honesty, a sense of transparency of who we are. That was nine and here's the last one fellowship produces real unity back to Philippians chapter 2. Notice how Paul starts this chapter he says therefore if there is any encouragement in Christ is there encouragement in Christ. Yes, he said if there's any consolation of love.
All there is. If there's any fellowship of the Spirit. Of course there's fellowship of the Spirit. He said if any affection and compassion.
He said I want you to make my joy complete by being of the same mind maintaining the same love United and intent on one purpose. He says do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves, not merely looking out for your own personal interest but the interest of others is because that's fellowship not the lookout for my own interest is an astounding thing. I'm so glad he put that one little phrase in regard one another as more important than yourselves. Do you do that she do you view everybody around your brothers and sister in Christ is more important in your uniform honest with ourselves. The answers emphatically.
Usually no there's no one more important than me. To me that the income the Lord that comes my flesh. She that's a different thing. He said look, if you do that if you look out for others. He said you have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus.
Although he existed in the form of God, he did not regard equality with God to be ASCII emptied himself. That's what you and I have to do I have to empty myself. You have to become more important to me than I am. Whenever I do that though, that creates fellowship which creates unity CDC others believers is your partner's fellowship means we have our lives in common.
It has to be a high priority of your life. It's for believers only. It's centered on our relationships we have in Christ involves sharing what we have been given to others. It's a partnership in our ministry. It requires commitment on our part.
It sometimes hurts.
We have to be honest with each other, but it produces real unity just because you attend fellowship Bible church doesn't mean at all. You have fellowship misprint father. My prayer is so simple I simply asked this for each person to ask themselves do I see other believers as partners in my life dry up people in my life that I can take the deepest issues of my life to that'll hold me accountable. Do I use it as an opportunity that I had to share with Jesus Christ has done for me with others to experience that the New Testament calls fellowship. Father, I thank you for this great opportunity for all of us to be one through our fellowship with one another. Thank you for this opportunity to fulfill the words of Jesus to love you with all the heart mind soul and strength of our members are set by one of them have to go to the radio ministry fellowship Lord, if you ever missed one of our broadcast or maybe you just like the method one more time. Remember the little green website called in one place.com that's one place.com and you can listen to Fellowship in the Word online event website you will find on with today's broadcast but also many of her previous audio programs as well have 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 with 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 LA not.org and our website you will find hundreds pastor Bill sermon you can browse through our sermon archives defined sensors are looking for, or you can search by title. Once you find the method you're looking for. You can listen online or if you prefer, you can download the sermon and listening and remember all this absolutely free of charge. Once again our website FVC Nola.org forecaster Bill Gebhardt and Jason got hard and you for listening to fellowship in order