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Grace In The Law - Part 2

Fellowship in the Word / Bil Gebhardt
The Truth Network Radio
April 4, 2022 8:00 am

Grace In The Law - Part 2

Fellowship in the Word / Bil Gebhardt

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April 4, 2022 8:00 am

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Today on Fellowship in the Word, Pastor Bill Gebhardt challenges you to become a fully functioning follower of Jesus Christ. His commandments are to free us from the consequences of our sin. By the way, I don't know about you, but aren't your greatest regrets the times you ignored the law of God? You did what you wanted to do on your own. You reap what you sow.

And then you even have memories that are shameful. See, as Paul said, the law is good. We can't make the mistake Israel made. You can't justify yourself to God by trying to do the things that God declares you can't do. Thank you for joining us today on this edition of Fellowship in the Word with Pastor Bill Gebhardt. Fellowship in the Word is the radio ministry of Fellowship Bible Church located in Metairie, Louisiana. Let's join Pastor Bill Gebhardt now as once again he shows us how God's Word meets our world. By the way, the fourth one is the final one in our relationship with God, and it's supposed to be a celebrative.

It's like to be a big celebrative. It's a celebrative commandment. Remember the Sabbath?

Keep it set apart. Isn't it interesting, by the time of Christ, they have 39 different classifications of hundreds and hundreds of laws about the Sabbath in order to justify them before God. Just the opposite of what God said.

He said, let's celebrate this. He illustrated it to them, by the way, when they were in the wilderness, they ate food. It was called manna or manna. And it's the word manna means what is it? They didn't know. God provided it every morning.

They get up. There it is on the ground. That's grace, by the way. And then what would happen is there was only one day in the week where God didn't provide it. He didn't provide it on Saturday. You get up Saturday morning, there isn't any on the ground. So God said on Friday, get enough for two days. And if you did it, then on the Sabbath, you didn't even have to pick it up. God provided it.

Now, by the way, if you tried to store it any other time, it rotted. It was all to teach this principle from God. You see, even take the creation week and it says, and God rested on the Sabbath. He wasn't tired. He was finished. You see, the whole idea is the key to it isn't you're tired, you need a day's rest. He was finished.

And so he rested. This is the only commandment, by the way, of these 10 that's not in the New Testament for us. To abide by the only one.

And the reason is simple. For you and me as believers in Jesus Christ, every day is the Sabbath. Every day. I honor every day. It's the day of rest. You know why? It is finished.

He has finished the work. We honor it every day. It's a celebration.

And of course, they use it as a ritual of the worst sort. Notice, all four of these commandments are simply commandments about your relationship with God. God says there's going to be some rules. And here are the rules about your relationship with me. That I am the one and only. That you don't try to make idols. You know, that idea. And the idea says, don't take my name in vain.

And let's celebrate a day a week together resting in me. And then he moves to others. And these are all common to us. But they weren't to Israel. This is not like the Egyptians lived. This is not common to them. But it's common to us. Because we grew up in America. And if you look at America, or you look at Europe, both of those cultures are founded on these commandments. And so consequently, there's things that we understand.

But it wouldn't have been understood exactly the same way. What's kind of odd to me is the very first one that he starts with. Honor your father and your mother.

What a place to start. By the way, though, you remember what Jesus said when he was asked what was the greatest commandment? And Jesus said, well, and they thought they tricked him with it because, I mean, they had 600 of them plus. How would he pick one?

We'll get him for that. And he said, yeah, that's an easy answer. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength. That's commandments one to four.

Love your neighbors yourself. That's commandments five through 10. You see, he goes, I got them all right there.

That's all. But here he starts out with this idea of honoring. Honoring. You see, God has something in mind here. He's nation building. That's what he's doing.

You realize how odd these people are? God told them they're not going to have a king. Now, go back in history and see how many other nations at that time existed without a king or a pharaoh or none. You have to have a leader. God said no leader. It's called a theocracy. You're actually going to exist as a nation simply by taking these rules that I'm giving you and applying them to your life. You'll build cities, you'll farm land, you'll raise armies, you'll have taxes. You see, you'll do everything that a nation does, but there'll be no king.

They'll just be the relationship you and I have. Why did he do that? He said, I'm doing this to show the whole world how unique the grace of God is. Remember, Israel was to be a light to the world, just as we are. They were supposed to exist as a nation in such a way that other nations would say, how do they do that? How do they do that? How do they exist like this?

How do they get through this stuff? But they didn't. They used it to separate themselves in the world. They messed up on the understanding of the law almost completely. So when he says honor, the same way you honor a king or a dignitary, from God's point of view, the key to a peaceful, stable society is that a nation is only as strong as its families.

That's always been the case. That if you want a strong nation, you need strong families. Now, we live in a day, by the way, where the families in our country are precarious. You wouldn't say that we have the strongest families on earth and our nation is suffering. See, God said, honor your father and your mother, and I love this, that your days may be prolonged in the land which the Lord your God gives you.

It's your best chance to stick in Canaan. By the way, we like to apply that so that I'll honor my mom and dad, then I get 90 years. That's not what he's saying. He's talking to them as a nation, and he said, we want your best chance of staying. He said, you need to honor. You know, Benjamin Franklin said that only virtuous people are capable of freedom. Only virtuous people are capable of freedom. He said, corrupt and vicious people have to have a master.

He even understood that. Honor your father and your mother. And then it's kind of interesting because, remember, love your neighbors yourself. That's all the rest of these commandments are, is about honoring. The first four are honor God as God.

The next six are and honor people as people. Love God as God, love people as people, but he uses the idea of honor. He says, you shall not murder. Honor other people's lives.

That's all he's saying. Honor other people's lives. He says, you shall not murder.

Verse 14, you shall not commit adultery. Honor other people's marriages. Honor your father and mother. Honor other people's lives. Honor other people's marriages.

You shall not steal. Honor other people's stuff. You see, this is about getting honor to other people. Honor your father and mother. Honor other people's lives. Honor their marriages. Honor their stuff. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

Honor their reputation. You shall not covet, he says, your neighbor's house. All that means is even in your thought life, honor. That's what coveting is. Coveting isn't doing it. Coveting it is thinking you want to do it. He says, you shall not covet your neighbor's house. You shall not covet your neighbor's wife. You shall not, or his male servant or female servant, his ox, his donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.

Don't even think about it, is what he is saying. It's all about honor. You see, the law that God gave is a phenomenal act of grace by God.

It gave them their best chance of existing as a nation and flourishing. God said to them, look, I want to give you a guideline here, and this guideline will be for your good. That's what the law is. Isn't it kind of interesting when we think about the law, or we even think about rules?

You know this. Don't we always kind of believe that the reason someone gives you a rule is to sort of suck the fun out of something? You know, that's the idea. You got some rules, and you know, just trying to stop us from the stuff that's really fun. Is it? You see, is it?

I don't know. Maybe you go to Angola and ask someone, how fun is stealing? How much fun is that?

I've sat in my office for an awful lot of years with an awful lot of people and tell you guys something. Adultery is not fun. There's not a whole lot of fun in that. You see, there's consequences. God understands that, and in His grace, He says, look, I want you to avoid the consequences of really bad choices, so here are the rules. You see, but notice again, the grace of God always precedes the laws of God's grace. He isn't giving this to everybody.

He's giving it to people that are already His. You see, I think Christians often vilify the law. We make a big mistake. I'm a gracer. I'm not into the law. Well, you ought to be, because the laws make a great deal of sense not to establish my relationship with God, but because I have a relationship with God. Turn to Romans chapter 7 with me. Romans chapter 7. I just want to get Paul's insight, because Paul is the champion of grace. In Romans 7-7, Paul says this, What shall we say then? Is the law sin? May it never be.

Meganoita. As emphatic as a word as you can have in Greek. Absolutely not. In fact, he says on the contrary, he said, I would not have come to know sin except through the law. Notice what he says in verse 12. So then the law is holy and the commandment is holy and righteous and good. Therefore, he says, he says, did that which is good become the cause of death for me?

May it never be. Rather, it was sin in order that it might be shown to be sin by effecting, he says, my death through that which is good, that through the commandment, sin might be utterly sinful, for we know that the law is spiritual. I'm the flesh sold into bondage. So what does Paul tell us about the law? He says the law is spiritual. The law is holy. The law is righteous. The law is good. There's nothing wrong with the law.

But there is something wrong with us. Turn to Galatians chapter 3. Galatians chapter 3.

Just a few pages to your right. Verse 21. Is the law then contrary to the promises of God? May it never be.

Meganoita again. Is the law contrary to the promises of God? May it never be. If the law, he says, had been given which is able to impart life, then righteousness would indeed have come to the law. You see, if you could establish a relationship with God through the law, then that's how you'd become righteous. But the law was never given for you to establish a relationship with God. The law was given to people who already had a relationship with God.

They were redeemed people. And God said, out of His goodness and out of His grace, your best chance for a happy and meaningful life are these rules. You see, it's for your good.

Observations. The laws of God are not designed to keep you from something good in your life. It's really to keep you from something bad in your life. Secondly, the laws were designed to protect relationships. The one you have with God and the one we have with each other.

That's what they were designed for, to protect those relationships. Thirdly, the law did not stand in contrast to grace. The law is right in the middle of the story of grace.

And fourthly, and very important, this is where they really messed it up. The law was given to expose and confront sin and to demonstrate the need for God's grace and his savior. The law was given to expose and to confront sin. The law was never given to make you good. It was given to expose your sin. And by the way, why do you think so much of the law when you read it in the Old Testament is all about the sacrifices you have to make? You see, every time I didn't live up to the law, something died.

Every time. An innocent dove, a lamb, a sheep, a goat, a bullock, they died. You see, they died. It was right in the law. You can't keep this, and because you can't keep it perfectly, you'll never establish a relationship with me that way.

What you need is a savior or a messiah or the lamb of God. And the law was designed to steer us and point us right to that. But that doesn't make the content of the law bad.

That's what Paul said. It's good. It's righteous.

These are things we should strive for. Israel failed miserably. To them, it became a source of pride. And they became naive. They actually believed they were keeping it. The rich young ruler, what must I do to be saved? Jesus said, keep the law.

He goes, I've done that. Well, that's a lie. No one could keep it. But he believed he could. It's a source of pride. It also created their wrong view, created great hypocrisy. And that's why Jesus kept calling the Pharisees and the scribes hypocrites. You phonies you. You phonies. Your life doesn't stand for it at all.

You've got to clean the inside of the cup. You whitewashed sepulchers. You see, they misread God's intent of the law completely. And to them, the law became the key to having a relationship with God. And it was the covenant with Abraham, the covenant with David, the Palestinian covenant. Those were the covenants. The grace covenants of God is the reason Israel had a relationship with God.

Not because of the law. As I said, God didn't give us the law to make us good. He gave us the law to expose our sin. Every single sacrifice they gave was an object lesson of that truth.

How does that apply to us? The last verse to look at, Ephesians, just a few more pages to your right, Ephesians chapter 2. And Paul's sort of talking to the Ephesians, but he's talking to us. The very first verse of chapters 2 says, you were dead in your trespasses and sins. In other words, you did not have a relationship with God. You did not have forgiveness. You did not have heaven. He says you were dead in your trespasses and sins in which you formerly lived.

That walk means lived. According to the course of this world, according to the prince of power of the air, he said of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. He said among them we too all formerly lived in the lust of our own flesh. Paul said that's all of us. You as a Gentile, me as a Jew.

Indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind. And we're by nature children of wrath, even as the rest. Then he says, but what's the grace of God? But God, being rich in mercy, because of his great love with which he loved us, even while we were dead in our transgressions, he made us alive together with Christ. By grace you've been saved. You've been delivered.

You've been redeemed. And he raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus. In honor of that in the ages to come that he might show the surpassing riches of his grace in his kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith.

There it is again. God does everything you just trust. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And that, not of yourselves, it's the gift of God. Your salvation is a gift of God. It is grace.

It is nothing but a gift that establishes the relationship. Notice he says, let me be emphatic. Not a result of works. You can't brag about it. You didn't do anything. He did everything. He gets all the glory, all the credit. All you have is thanks and gratitude. And now a chance to love him because he so loved you.

Now watch. He says, for we are his workmanship. Created in Christ Jesus, there's you and me, the grace of God. And then he says, for we are his workmanship created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them and we should live in them. Is there a place for good works?

Of course there is. For the redeemed, for the saved. You see, God's grace always precedes the laws of God's grace. That's what he is saying. For us, his commandments are an extension of his grace.

They're not in contrast. For us, his commandments are to free us from the consequences of our sin. By the way, I don't know about you, but aren't your greatest regrets the times you ignored the law of God? You did what you wanted to do on your own. You reap what you sow.

And then you even have memories that are shameful. See, as Paul said, the law is good. We can't make the mistake Israel made. You can't justify yourself to God by trying to do the things that God declares you can't do. The grace of God is everywhere in the word of God.

I hope you've seen this after these first three. It's all through it, even in the law. Right there in the middle of it is the grace of God.

Thank God. Father, it would be amusing if it wasn't so sad that so often people today made the same mistake that people made then. That they actually believe that they will establish a relationship with you based on how well they perform. In that day, they said they kept the law.

In our day, we say, you'll grate us on the curve. Father, that's not what the word of God says. The word of God says that the only way you can be saved is through the grace of God. That you did the work. You brought them out of Egypt. You protected them.

You delivered them. They were saved under the blood of the Passover lamb, and we are saved by the blood of Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God. Father, I pray that as saved people that we understand that the commandments in the New Testament, the imperative moods, the rules are designed for our good as well as your glory. And Father, I thank you for this tremendous capacity that we have that they didn't. We have the indwelling Spirit of God that enables us to do as Paul said, I can do all things through him who strengthens me. Father, I thank you for your grace, and I thank you for your law.

In Christ's name, amen. You've been listening to Pastor Bill Gebhardt on the Radio Ministry of Fellowship in the Word. If you ever miss one of our broadcasts, or maybe you would just like to listen to the message one more time, remember that you can go to a great website called That's, and you can listen to Fellowship in the Word online.

At that website, you will find not only today's broadcast, but also many of our previous audio programs as well. 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 this radio ministry continue its broadcast on this radio station by supporting us monthly or with just a one-time gift. Support for our ministry can be sent to Fellowship in the Word, 4600 Clearview Parkway, Metairie, Louisiana 7006. If you would be interested in hearing today's message in its original format, that is as a sermon that Pastor Bill delivered during a Sunday morning service at Fellowship Bible Church, then you should visit our website,

That's At our website, you will find hundreds of Pastor Bill's sermons. You can browse through our sermon archives to find the sermon series you are looking for, or you can search by title. Once you find the message you are looking for, you can listen online, or if you prefer, you can download the sermon and listen at your own convenience. And remember, you can do all of this absolutely free of charge. Once again, our website is For Pastor Bill Gebhardt, I'm Jason Gebhardt, thanking you for listening to Fellowship in the Word.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-05-12 13:56:44 / 2023-05-12 14:06:12 / 9

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