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The Power Of Grace - Part 1

Fellowship in the Word / Bil Gebhardt
The Truth Network Radio
April 5, 2022 8:00 am

The Power Of Grace - Part 1

Fellowship in the Word / Bil Gebhardt

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April 5, 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.

See, what is the principle here? The principle is this through David. Grace is so powerful that in spite of all your consistent sinning, it is without limits. 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. On October the 30th, 1961, the Soviet Union detonated the most powerful weapon ever created. It was nicknamed Tsar Bomba, King of the Bombs. It was a thermonuclear warhead of 50 megatons, that is 50 million tons of TNT. It was 1400 times more powerful than the bombs that the United States dropped on Japan at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. In fact, it was 10 times more powerful than all the explosives that were used in World War Two by all the opposing armies. 50 million tons.

It's hard to imagine. If you took an Olympic-sized swimming pool and filled it with TNT end-to-end from the bottom to the top, that wouldn't be enough. If you took 10 Olympic-sized swimming pools and filled them end-to-end and top to the bottom, that wouldn't be enough. In fact, it would take 11,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools filled end-to-end and top to the bottom with TNT. All of this in a bomb that was 26 feet long and 6 feet in diameter. At 11.32 a.m. it was detonated 13,000 feet above the surface, north of the Arctic Circle.

Mintu-Shika Bay was the place where they detonated it. A person that was standing 60 miles away would suffer third-degree burns all over their entire body. The mushroom cloud was 40 miles high, eight times that of Everest. The diameter of the cloud was 25 miles. Windows shattered over 600 miles away.

It measured a 7.1 on the Richter scale and was still measurable on its third time around the circumference of the earth, the shock waves. The devastation was unimaginable. The surface of the land was obviously leveled in a 44-mile diameter. It was destroyed and then the scientists said, and then completely rebuilt, blown apart and then put together. Hills were leveled, valleys were filled.

In fact, when it was finished, they said over that period that that area was as smooth as an ice skating rink. That's the devastation that it did. Many scientists claimed that that was the greatest demonstration of power that the world has ever seen.

Their reasoning for it was that 1,500 square miles were completely changed. I respectfully disagree with that. I think the greatest power that the world has ever seen is the grace of God. The grace of God has been operating since creation and it was so powerful that it has had, does have, and will have the power to actually change billions and billions of people's lives.

The grace of God is not a destructive power, as our Obama was, it's a constructive power. It was the power behind creation. It was the power behind the cross. It is the power behind the myriads of saved souls both in heaven and here on earth right now. And it will be the power behind a new heaven and a new earth. But most importantly, I think to you and to me, is what the grace of God has done for us and what it can do in your life.

No wonder those words were written. Amazing grace. How sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me. And once was lost, now I'm found. I was blind.

Now I see. This morning, what I would like to do is to illustrate the power of the grace of God. I'm going to use four Old Testament examples, familiar stories, but very different people. And what I would like you to do is to figure out who do you most identify with?

Which character? Which issue comes up in your life as a manifestation of the power of the grace of God? Would you open your Bibles to the book of Joshua and Joshua Chapter 2? Joshua Chapter 2.

As I said, each of these stories will be very familiar, but each one makes a very profound point. Verse one, then Joshua, the son of Nun, sent two men, a spy, secretly from Shittim, saying, Go and view the land, especially Jericho. And so they went and they came into a house of a harlot whose name was Rahab. And they lodged there. You know the story, Rahab the harlot.

She's hiding out the spies. But there's something amazing about this, and that is her own faith and her own testimony in verse eight. Now, before they lay down, she came up to them on the roof and she said to them, I know that the Lord has given you the land and that the terror of you has fallen on us and that all the inhabitants of the land have melted away before you. For we have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red Sea before you when you came out of Egypt and what you did to the two kings of the Amorites who were beyond the Jordan in Shihon and Og, whom you utterly destroyed. And when we heard it, our hearts melted and no courage remained in any man any longer because of you. And then this statement for the Lord, your God, he is God in heaven above and earth beneath.

She makes this incredible statement. And we know how the story then. Moves on, I would like you to turn to Chapter six of Joshua.

And here we seek sort of the outcome. Verse one. Now, Jericho was tightly shut because of the sons of Israel.

No one went out and no one came in. And the Lord said to Joshua, See, I have given Jericho into your hands with its king and its valiant warriors. And you shall march around the city. And he said, all the men of war circling the city once.

And you'll do that for six days. Also, seven priests shall carry seven trumpets of ram's horns before the ark. And then on the seventh day, you shall march around the city seven times and the priest shall blow the trumpets. And it shall be that when they make a long blast with a ram's horn and when you hear the sound of the trumpet, that all the people shall shout with a great shout and the wall of the city will fall down flat and the people will go up every man straight ahead. And we've talked about that in the past. That's one heck of a battle plan, isn't it? But by the way, it's grace, isn't it?

Someone else is doing the work here. But what I want to do is look at a couple other verses. Look at verse 17. And the city shall be under the ban and all that is in it belongs to the Lord. Only Rahab the harlot and all who are with her in the house shall live because she hid the messengers whom we sent.

And then in verse 25. However, Rahab the harlot and her father's household and all that she had Joshua spared. And she has lived in the midst of Israel to this day, for she hid the messengers from Joshua sent out to spy on Jericho.

I want to take a little bit different look at this. There's no question that Rahab benefited. No doubt she was spared and her family was spared. We know something else about Rahab that in Hebrews Chapter 11, when they have the Hall of Fame of faith, her name's there.

She is put there as one of the great illustrations of a person of faith. But there's a lot more to that story. For example, Rahab marries a man named Salmon. She gets married.

Well, that's nice. And they have they have a little boy. And his name is Boaz. And Boaz grows up and he gets married. He marries a woman named Ruth. And they have a little boy and his name is Obed. Obed marries and he has a little boy. His name is Jesse. And Jesse marries and he has several little boys, but one of them is named David. Rahab. David. Something here about the power of grace.

And I don't want you to miss this. Rahab teaches us something. Grace is so powerful that it can erase your old label and give you a new one. Think of how she was known.

Who would like that? Rahab the harlot. Every time she's mentioned Rahab the harlot.

Doesn't help in Hebrews. Zahan simply means prostitute. Fornicating prostitute. That's who she is. She is Rahab the harlot. She's also the great great grandmother of David.

She is also in the lineage to Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. You see what was changed by the grace of God? A lot of us have labels. Labels from our past.

Some of them are given by our parents. Stupid. Parents calling you that when you're a little child. Oh, you're stupid. Loser.

More serious ones. Abuser. Tramp. Thief.

Attic. Dummy. Divorcee. Orphan.

Criminal. These are labels. These are labels that we receive. You may have a label.

Someone may mention your name and then they have a label the way you were. Grace changes all that. Grace gives you new labels. Forgiven. Accepted.

Loved. Shout of God. Friend of Christ. New creature. Saint.

Joint heir. These are the labels of grace and grace has the power to do that. Grace has the power to erase your old label.

Give you a new one. The second story I'd like to go 25 miles southwest of Jericho. To the great great grandson. His name is David and I'd like you to go with me to Second Samuel Chapter 11. We all know the story of David. Isn't that a great story?

One of our favorites often. Samuel, the prophet priest, goes to the house of Jesse because God says that's where you're going to find the king. And Samuel then parades all of his sons out from the most impressive down. And God says to Samuel, Samuel, none of them will do. Samuel says to Jesse, Do you have any other sons? He said, Well, just one.

Just the little one. He tends sheep. He said, Well, bring him in. And he does. God whispers into Samuel's ear. He's the one. He's David.

It isn't long. Only a chapter later, we find out this teenage boy faces Goliath. And we know the story well. And all of a sudden, his fame goes everywhere. The people sing about him.

He's such an impressive guy. Of course, it got the notice of Saul, who was the illegitimate king. And Saul's paranoia took over and Saul spent a lot of time hunting him down and wanting him dead. But we know the story.

David becomes the king. And when you think about it, what an impressive guy he is. He's handsome. He's a fierce warrior. He's musically extremely talented. He's a great leader of men.

But here's an important thing to know. He has real flaws. I mean, real flaws. David has character flaws and not just little flaws, but big ones. We have this tendency to think of David as a man after God's own heart.

So he's so exemplary, but he's not. Even before this chapter, we're going to look at right here. Even before then, when David was running from Saul, he went and he went to the priests of Nob and they feed his men. He told them that he was, in a sense, working for Saul. So you have to give us these food, and they gradually did, and then Saul showed up and he killed them all for doing that because David was lying.

And then it happened in the springtime when the kings go out to war. David decides not to go out, spend a little more time. Verse 2 says, When it was evening, came David arose from his bed and walked around on the roof of his king's house. And from the roof he saw a woman bathing, and the woman was very beautiful in appearance. When he was supposed to be out at war with his army, he wasn't.

I'm not even sure it's a coincidence he's out there at that time. So David sent and inquired about the woman, and one said, Is this not Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite? And David sent a messenger and took her. And when she came to him, he lay with her.

And when she had purified herself from her uncleanliness, she returned to her house. And the woman conceived, and she sent and told David that I'm pregnant. What kind of man does that?

The kind we read about in the papers, isn't it? That kind of man, a man of power, corrupting. But this is David. Now you'd think right there David would say, Look, I have to make this right. But he doesn't.

He now does what we often do when we sin. How can I get out of this? How can I make sure nobody knows? I got an idea. Uriah is a very faithful soldier of mine. I'm going to bring him back from the front. And I'm going to say when he comes back, we'll give him some reason he has to be here, and I'm going to send a message back with him that, Look, you probably really miss your wife. So why don't you go and be with your wife for a night or so? And then you can go back to the front.

Sounds like a good plan. That way, when she's pregnant, everybody will say, What? That's Uriah's baby.

By the way, what kind of man would have his own baby and then allow it to be a pretend baby of another man? He said, But Uriah won't do it. He wants nothing to do with it. He said, The other soldiers aren't back. I'm not going to do that.

That wouldn't be right. So David comes up with another plan. How can I murder Uriah?

Then no one will know. And he gets that plan. And it basically is the plan, Hey, look, whenever we charge the enemy and their archers are shooting the arrows, let's yell, Charge, but tell everybody not to charge except Uriah will charge. So everyone charged. Uriah ran.

Everybody stopped and Uriah kept running and he died. It's murder. Wow. What kind of man would do that? By the way, it doesn't stop there. This great leader of men, this man after God's own heart, even in his own family, his son Amnon, decides that he will rape his half-sister, Tamar.

And he does. And David finds out about it. And you know what David did? Nothing. He didn't do anything.

Absalom is Tamar's full brother, and he takes matters into his own hands, and he resents and then hates his father from that day forward. That's David. See, what is the principle here? The principle is this through David. Grace is so powerful that in spite of all your consistent sinning, it is without limits. Grace is so powerful that in spite of all your repeated and consistent sinning, it is without limits. If grace had limits, David would have exposed it.

That's David. The apostle Paul wrote this to Timothy. He said, Christ Jesus came into the world to save the sinners. He said, among whom I am chief.

He knew that. Romans 5 says, where the sin increased, grace abounded all the more. David couldn't escape the consequences, by the way, but he received the grace.

When you think of the consequences, the baby died. David prayed, but the baby died. In Matthew 1 and verse 5, where it's going through the genealogy of all these to Jesus Christ, when it comes to David, Matthew writes this under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. And to David was born Solomon by the wife of Uriah. It's clear David doesn't escape that. You see, David teaches us something here. But in a lot of ways, isn't he a lot like us? Don't we all put the grace of God to the test?

Break his laws? Irresponsible with his blessings? How often do you think about the own sin in your own life, especially the habitual one, the one that the writer of Hebrews says so easily entangles you? How many times? How many times am I going to do this?

How many times? It just goes on and on and on. You see, that's what ends up happening to us. And what we learn from David is this, that regardless of how far you've strayed, regardless of how guilty you feel, regardless of how long you've avoided God, his grace awaits you.

It has no limits. That's how powerful the grace of God is. The third example, the book of Judges. A few pages to your left, the book of Judges, chapter 6. Through Rahab, we learn that grace is so powerful that it can erase your old labels and give you new ones. Through David, we learn that grace is so powerful that in spite of all your persistent sinning, it is without limits. And now we run into another character, a character a lot of us can identify with. He is known as one of the great judges of Israel.

God raised up men and women at this period of time to judge the nation, to protect them from their enemies on the outside and their apostasy on the inside. And one of them was known as Gideon. You probably have seen his Bibles. He's a very, very famous guy.

But he's not very impressive. Verse 12, the angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon and they said to him, The Lord is with you, O valiant warrior. There's a new label. Now you've got to understand, Gideon's not even in the army. And the angel of the Lord, when you see the angel of the Lord, Theophany, is the Son of God. Oh, the Lord is with you, O valiant warrior.

Now watch this response. Gideon said to him, Oh my Lord, if the Lord is with us, then why has all this happened to us? And where are all the miracles that our fathers told us about? And didn't the Lord bring us up out of Egypt? But now the Lord has abandoned us and He's given us into the land of Midian. Wine, wine, wine, wine, wine. Oh Lord, wouldn't you be kind of impressed that the angel of the Lord is talking to you? But I've got a lot of things on my mind here. I mean, it's just amazing. Notice, the Lord looked at him and said, Go in this your strength and deliver Israel from the hand of Midian.

Have I not sent you? You see, when the Lord says you're going to do something, guess what? You're going to do it. And he said, Oh Lord, how am I going to deliver Israel? Behold, my family is the least in Manasseh and I'm the youngest in my father's house. I don't think I can do this. What am I going to do here?

I'm not adequate for this. The Lord said to him, Surely I will be with you and you shall defeat Midian as one man. Let me be clear about this one more time. So Gideon said, Okay, how about this then? If I found favor in your sight, didn't he say, O favored one? But I'm not so sure you know what you're talking about. So if I found favor in your sight, he says, Then show me a sign that it's you who's really speaking to me. Please do not depart from here. He says, Until I come back, I'm going to go make an offering.

I'm going to make it right here in front of you and let's see what you can do with it. Verse 21, The angel of the Lord put out the end of a staff that was in his hand, touched the meat and the unleavened bread, and fire sprang up from the rock and consumed the meat and the unleavened bread, and the angel of the Lord vanished from his sight. When Gideon saw that it was the angel of the Lord, he said, Alas, O Lord God, for now I have seen the angel of the Lord face to face. And the Lord said to him, Peace be with you. Do not fear. You shall not die. See, he knew what was bothering him. He's afraid. Now that sounds like it's going to be a great story.

I would wish right there everything went great, but it doesn't. Verse 36, Then Gideon said to God, If you will deliver Israel through me, as you said you would. Notice the if. If you're going to deliver Israel through me, like you said you would. He said, Behold, I have put a fleece of wool on the threshing floor, and if there is dew on the fleece only and it is dry on all the ground, then I will know that you will deliver Israel through me, as you have said. How about this? I'll put out a fleece, you put dew all over it, but I want everything around the ground dry because otherwise it would be just a dewy morning and it wouldn't even know there was you because on a dewy morning there's dew everywhere.

But this is dew only on the fleece. What are we learning about him, besides the fact of his excuses? What kind of faith does this man have?

How does your faith stack up to his? You've got to feel pretty good about yourself. You have to. Well, and it was so. When he arose early the next morning and squeezed the fleece, he drained the dew from the fleece, a bowl full of water, and it was dry everywhere else. That would do it, right? No. Then Gideon said to God, Do not let your anger burn against me.

You think? You see, he says that I may speak once more. Please, let me make a test once more with the fleece. Let it now be dry only on the fleece and let there be dew all over the ground. And God did so that night, and it was dry only on the fleece and the dew on the ground. What do you learn from Gideon?

You learn this. Grace is so powerful that in spite of all of your inadequacies and your lack of faith, God can still do great things through you. Grace is so powerful that in spite of all of your inadequacies and your lack of faith, God can still do great things through you.

By the grace of God, you are being a coward to a conqueror. 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, North Carolina, New York, New York, New York, New York, New York, New York, New York, New York, New York, New York, New York, 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, FBCNOLA dot org. That's F-B-C-N-O-L-A dot O-R-G. At our website, you will find hundreds of Pastor Bill's sermons. You can browse through our sermon archives 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 fbcnola.org. For Pastor Bill Gebhardt, I'm Jason Gebhardt, thanking you for listening to Fellowship in the Word.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-05-11 20:02:05 / 2023-05-11 20:13:26 / 11

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