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Today on Fellowship in the Word pastor Bill Gebhart challenges you to become a fully functioning follower of Jesus Christ.
A priest presents himself before God.
A priest get gains access to God priest brings offerings and sacrifice to God, and you do that is why the writer of Hebrews said newcomer only in the holy of holies you're not just any priest you have the same access of the high priest of the high priest could only win once a year you can go in once a minute once a second, you have access go boldly into the holy of holy you are priest new opera praise and Thanksgiving and offerings to God for 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 our world.
One of the first things that Jesus did that night is he when he washed the feet of the disciples. That's the position of the lowest slave in the house he did it, the feet were filthy. They came in for dinner and he got down and washed their feet and in verse 12 he begins to tell them why he says in chapter 13 verse 12 now when he had washed their feet and had taken his garments and reclined at the table. He said to them, do you know what I done to you. Really interesting question. I mean, it is not as obvious as it seems a part of you' Boyd a lot more. He says this you call me teacher or rabbi you call me rabbi and Lord Cory's. He said you're right, for so I am. If I then, the Lord and the teacher washed your feet, you also want to wash one another's feet magic magic. By now the browser prefer you know what he says, for I gave you an example that you should do as I did to you.
We were supposed to wash each other's feet whenever we get a chance. It's a picture. The metaphor drop down to verse 34.
Same night same context. Jesus says in verse 34 a new commandment I give to you that you love one another, even as I have loved you, you also love one another.
There's a commandment to them and to us.
We love each other how like Christ loves us while unconditionally forgiving patient.
All those kind of things he said yeah you need to love one another. Now is going tell the reason he says, verse 35 by this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.
Jesus understand what people are like, look you love some people you could care less about most people in are few people you know like all you see that's just life. Jesus is known. And that's not the way it's going to be with you and by the way this go back to Peter.
That's a problem for Peter's audience see what was the church like while in Peter's church there were there were Jews who were what we call messianic Jews. They had come to Christ believe in him as our Savior. Now Jews didn't like any Gentiles they've viewed the Gentiles of unclean. What the hell I'm Gentiles in the church, but they just didn't have Gentiles they had Greeks and the church. Another drink sold himself as intellectually superior to everybody else. In fact, from the Greek's point of view everybody but a Greek was barbarian made that's the word. The Greek setting and what everybody else talks like but ice bar bar bar bar bar all barbarians during the end of the Romans. The moments that we conquer the world belongs to us so you have Greeks Romans, Jews all by the way have slaves there on the church. You know, the church was full of prejudice see was prejudice and like that on a whole perhaps don't like the have-nots. The have-nots don't trust the house. You see, that's the way it is. By the way is anything changed. I don't think so sadly but I can remember years ago hearing Tony Evans in Dallas say that the most segregated hour in America is Sunday morning. Is that sad or what. That's the church that's the church there's no place for that.
Notice what Jesus said by this all men I know.
You're my disciples will know something's going on. Just imagine if these so to speak court." 50 55 million of us in America who are believers in Jesus Christ. Born-again Christians just think if we love each other that way.
Just imagine what the other people would think.
Have you ever seen.
Have you ever seen the when they are with each other were not even close to that's not our testimony at all. In fact, if you think about the way the church operates, we have trouble loving each other in the room here. We really do. But the American church we view people at the other churches as competition. There are competitors you have to beat your competitors really that's the case you see it's strategically important that we love one another, we should love one another little notice back what Peter says Peter says the reason we should love one another is think about what it means to be a Christian. He says, for you have been born again, not of the seed which is perishable, but imperishable, that is a through the living and enduring word of God first reminder we all came into the family the same way everybody who knows Christ is adopted every one of us and we all came in exactly the same way. We believe the word of God. We believe the gospel of Jesus Christ.
No one came into the family any other way. God doesn't have any grandchildren. He only has children. Each one comes in on their own. He said we have that in common.
We all came in the same way.
He also says we all take our instruction from the same source.
He says for all flesh is like grass in all its glory like the flower of the grass. The grass withers and the flower falls off. But the word of the Lord endures forever, and he says and this is the word which was preached to proclaim to you. We all take instructions exactly the same way. The only authority that we recognize the authority of the word of God. There is no other authority. That's what by the way, sparked the Reformation was a priest named Martin Luther that said, I can't take this anymore. There's only two things that are important solo theater faith alone saves nothing else, save faith alone saves solo script aura, only the Scriptures have authority, no institution has authority over the word of God. We all came into the same way. We all take our instructions in the same source we all have the same struggles noticed verse one of chapter 2. Therefore, putting aside all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander. I hope you don't miss that every one of those or what sins we directed other people.
Every one of them deal with other people he's talking about among us.
He said you gotta stop that. You gotta love you can't can't have feelings of malice. You can't deceive each other. You gotta stop being hypocrites. You can't envy and by the way, you can't slander. That's why God thinks a civil offense of the gossip believer gossiping, slandering you see another believer there supposed to love is a look. We all have those weaknesses in fact that they didn't have those witnesses is the one to set it. We all have the same struggles with this we came in the family the same way we receive our instruction from the same source we all have the same struggles and we all grow the same way. Notice like newborn babes long for the pure milk of the word so that you he says buy it may grow in respect to your salvation.
If you have's tasted the kindness of the gospel of the Lord will grow the same way we grow in the grace and knowledge of Christ is and that's what you have in common. That's the way it works. We have so much in common. I can hope to have a better life because I believe in a living hope I can hope to have a capacity to love my brothers and sisters in Christ. The next thing he says as I can hope that certain eager expectation to share my faith with others. This is where he was going along with this. These people were struggling, they came up with a strategy if the culture hate you. Here's a strategy. Christians often want to use Olga's blend into the culture.
If I blend in the culture they won't be persecute me see it makes sense to them and we do that all the time. You may do without knowing it. Hey, I know what the people in the officer like I want to blend in. I just want to blend in one word go where they go after work I went to laugh at their jokes.
I want to be part of that.
I don't want them to, thinks anything different of me.
I just want to be like they are minimal. Just like me, then will make fun of me. Peter said boy that's wrong that's not good help at all. He said you have this living hope this great salvation to better utilize it. Now you can tell us as to why he says in coming to him. He said, as to a living stone, which has been rejected by men but his choice and precious in the sight of God.
You also he said, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house while he's telling us that were really kind of special. That's the part that makes all this work. Do you have any idea how special your really general think. I don't think we really do. And in our country we call the self-esteem you see self-esteem what Peter is telling me suffering people and telling us is you know what if they were to maser your self-esteem.
It should be off the chart that I should be able commit is a saw the results of this and I don't have any room in the paper. I have never seen people who have healthier self-esteem and you but that's not really the reality is it I don't often realize how spectacular how special we really are from God's point of view and is not a na´ve view photo place here and go with me first about back to Psalm 103 God knows who we are. This a great song by the way you look at nine versus I challenge you this week just to read these nine versus once a day for yourself. You get God's perspective of you and what he's done for you in verse one of Psalm 103, a Psalm of David. He says bless the Lord all my soul and all that is within me, bless his holy name. Bless the Lord, O my soul and forget not of his benefits, who pardons all your iniquities and heals all your diseases redeems you your life from the pit, who crowns you with loving kindness tested and compassion who satisfies your years with good things so that your youth is renewed like an eagle, then verse 11 for as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his lovingkindness toward those who fear him. He said as far as the east is from the West. So far he has removed her transgressions from us. Just as a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him is is you realize what is done for you is forgiven you forever. Infinitely never bring it up again all those things and then this last verse, verse 14 for he himself knows our frame. He is mindful that we are but dust does not na´ve when it comes to you knows exactly what you see but was done for you anyway that you know the passage. Remember, have you to some the times Jeremiah 29 for I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord plans for your welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope you seen just special.
This is the next time you go look in the mirror maybe should start every day.
This way, we do have Jesus look in the mirror and say God is for me because he is God is for me using that's that you that's me, God is for me. The apostle Paul said, if God is for us, then who can be against us. How is it we have such low self-esteem. How is it that we can feel so hopeless see what's going on with us is you have a living hope not. For some day for today. For every day you have a living hope that living hope can change you. And should the living hope gives you the capacity to love and light your brothers and sisters in Christ that living hope he says should give you the confidence he says that share your faith with others. Now back to Peter.
Look at these word pictures that he gives. If that's not enough.
In verse five he says that you are a living stone being built up in a spiritual house and that interesting, he says, is the imagery Jesus is the cornerstone that's what you go to being around and it would think about is the temple of God, then every believer who was alive since Christ is part of the house humans 141.
Maybe that's why the new heaven to earth or the new Jerusalem. I mean is 1500 x 1500 miles that were way up there. There's my stone in the imagery because Jesus is the chief cornerstone. But every one of you are living stone, but it doesn't stop there.
He said not only your living stone.
He says for a holy priesthood, you talk about something that was stolen from the people of God and I'm so glad for men like Martin Luther who recaptured it for us.
Your priest every one of us every single one of us is a priest, a priest represents themselves before God. A priest get gains access to God. A priest brings offerings and sacrifice to God, and you do that. That's why the writer of Hebrews said new come boldly into the holy of holies you're not just any priest you have the same access of the high priest does but the high priest could only win once a year you can go in once a minute once a second, you have access go boldly into the holy of holies you are priest and you offer up praise and Thanksgiving and offerings to God. One advantage that is still not finished verse nine he says that you are a chosen race when it just any race were chosen race.
There a lot of races but this one's chosen my way does matter what race or from your in the chosen race. You see, that's us chosen by who chosen by God. He says you are a royal priesthood, don't miss that. I'll put it this way.
I'm no Levitical priest, Melchizedek. He's the king priest of Salem. That's who you are you not just any priest your Melchizedek your royal priesthood. That's who you are now the only two members in the Scripture of that group that I know I was Christ and Melchizedek might be the same. That's astounding. He said that's who you are because you're in Christ you have a royal priesthood, you are a holy nation or a holy, set apart people of God, you are a people for God's own possession verse 10 you once were not a people, but now you are the people of God.
You had not received mercy, but now you receive mercy.
Six images living stones in a spiritual house where priest in the same temple. We are a chosen race, a holy nation where people of God's own possession where people receive mercy from God. That doesn't pump up the self-esteem what's going to give any idea how valuable your tried this way, Napoleon Bonaparte's toothbrush. So for $21,000 200 years old what your toothbrush look after two years is 200 years old. It's over 21,000 Jackie Onassis Kennedy's fake pearls sold at auction for $211,500 fake pearls and JFK's wooden golf set sold for $772,000 widely valuable because of who they belong to.
Who you belong to someone a lot greater than Napoleon Bonaparte or the Kennedys you belong to God, Creator of all things you belong to Jesus Christ Lord and Savior. That's who you are. You see that's who you are. He says do you get that you have any understanding of how spectacular you are and there's a reason for it. Here you see there's a reason for it back to verse nine. You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God's own possession here is so that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of the darkness and into his marvelous light. You see what the problem was they saw the culture as a threat, but they didn't see the culture as a mission field were starting to do the same thing here we see the culture as a threat to us, but the culture is not a threat.
It's our mission field. Our job is to go out and to proclaim the excellencies of him using that's what word by the way, that takes that takes you to actually tell people by Jesus at the right To speak it now, you might be thinking, well I don't really know if I can do that or I'm really qualified by the way, that was the problem. I think when it came to evangelism. All they said well you know who let all these people to Christ. The apostle Paul Weiner, the apostle John was leaving a lot of people in the area and here's Peter writing to you at that's John and Paul and Peter in at other guys like Barnabas and Silas in the Paulison Timothy mean these are like science, whom I is is your child of God.
That's who you are, your holy nation, a chosen people, your royal priest get out there and proclaim it.
Tell people later in this book he says let anyone know ask you that you can give a whole. You can give an account for the hope that the new is tell people that's our responsibility.
That's why were here set over all the years, every single thing that we can do is believer will do infinitely better and having everything except when the lost. This is a one-shot. This is why we hear notice, then he's not finished yet.
He then says in verses 11 and 12. Beloved, I urge you, as aliens and strangers were not of this world, to abstain from fleshly lust with wage war against the soul.
Keep your behavior excellent among the Gentiles are unbelievers.
I watch so that in the thing in which they slander you as evildoers, they may because of your good deeds as they observe them, glorify God in the day of visitation. There is your life. There's a works. He says one proclaim there's words, the next there's your life there's a works. Our life is a living testimony. That's how we live in is what we say.
He said that's what you should be able to do. He said that's what I want you to be able to do is I want to share your faith with others by your words, and by your works proclaim being saved is a great great thing.
The prophets were intrigued by angels long to understand.
Don't take it for granted and when you're saved and only have the hope of heaven yes you have that, that's for sure.
But you have that certain eager expectation of the life to come tomorrow and the next day Peter said it's a living hope that living hope means that I can live a better life and I can be better than I was in the past that I don't have to live the way I used to live or live the way they live outside of your I can also love my brothers and sisters in Christ is amazing that's astounding. Isn't it easy to love the Lord because of who he is and what is done, but he won't let it stop there is the also have love each other. I have that capacity because of Jesus Christ and I can share my faith with others by words and by works of all the people on earth. Hope should spring eternal in us where the children of God we have reason to be hopeful. We don't have to worry about wishful thinking we have that certain eager expectation of the life to come in the hope that we have will never disappoint us, whispering father must seem to you that a hopeless Christian is an oxymoron.
How can one of your children with all of the benefits that you have provided all of the blessings all the sureties all of the certainties in her life feel hopeless father I pray that these words of Peter encourage us first of all, I pray that it reinforces our self-esteem. We understand who we are and how special we are in your your eyes and wear special father not because there's anything intrinsically wonderful about us. We are special because you have chosen to send her son to die for our sins, and we've accepted that gift.
Father I pray that as we look at these days ahead, and we have this living hope within us, we come away with the assurance that we can change we need to change not only for our good and your glory. But for our witness in this world that we can love one another in such a way that the world takes notice. Again, it would be for our good and your glory, but would help when the lost father give us the courage when the opportunity comes to proclaim our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To give an account for the hope the tennis and to remember that every day of our lives the way we live the way we conduct business the way we are in our neighborhood are the places that we play all reflect our father is in heaven because we are his children. Father, I thank you for hope. Human beings live. Hope you provided the answer. Thank you. Because hope James hope is found in arson pastoral gift card on the radio ministry of fellowship in the world. If you ever miss one of our broadcast or maybe you dislike a listen to the message one more time.
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