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March 4, 2022 7:00 am
Today on Fellowship in the Word pastor Bill Gebhardt challenges you to become a fully functioning follower of Jesus Christ. Generation of mistake that centers bags made a mistake, you sent this mistake were also whole generation of victims, not violators.
See, I'm just a victim. I might've done it but I have a disease say it's not me that's the only reason I did 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 going pastor Bill Gebhardt now is once again he shows us how God's word meets our world Prussian king Frederick the great was once touring is prison in Berlin and as he was going about the prison.
The prisoners were falling on their knees screaming out to him and all were proclaiming their innocence, except for one man. He just remained silent as a fabric called to him and said why are you here, armed robbery, your Majesty, are you guilty yes indeed exist.
I am guilty, your Majesty, and I deserve the punishment. Frederick then immediately summoned the jailer and ordered him released this guilty wretch at once. I will not have him And is prison where he will corrupt all these fine innocent people who are when I read that story the first time I thought about while there is the blessing of honest confession and also there is the reluctance that we have even as Christians to do it.
You see generally, when it comes to confessing our sins we fall into three categories. One some of us live in a perpetual state of confessing, but not in a good way. In other words, we live sort of defeated joyless unhappy lives to Christians like that the Christian life is simply a matter of constant guilt, then a lot of other Christians who live carnal lives, licentious in their lives.
They're completely unaware or unconcerned about any of the sin in our lives. After all, they're going to have an hopefully most of us in the third group to group the desires a joyful and hopeful and faithful walk with the Lord but also a group. It's very much aware as God said to Cain, sin is crouching at the door and it's desiring to wreck your fellowship or your relationship with me and we know that if we confess our sins through Christ is finished work on the cross for the forgiveness that we need is readily available. I've been doing a series on forgiveness and what I said in the very first week is that forgiveness is the keystone of all relationships. A relationship with God in our relationship with each other and I said we need that with God because all of us have sinned and fall short of the glory of God is none righteous, no not one. And so we need God's forgiveness to have a relationship with them. We also found out in that very first message that forgiveness is just part of the very nature of God and God also said when I forgive you.
I completely and totally forgive you and then the second week we dealt with this idea that even though forgiveness is a wonderful gift to us. A grace gift. It was extremely costly for Jesus Christ to secure a forgiveness than last week I said we dealt with that woman that when you embrace the forgiveness of God in your life you truly embrace and are grateful for your love for Jesus Christ grows this week I want to talk about something a little bit different. Want to talk about our need to live day-to-day. In the forgiveness of God, not just heaven but on the day-to-day how important forgiveness is for us which open your Bibles to first John chapter 1 right at the end of the Bible. First John chapter 1 the context of first John is found in a single word fellowship. That's the name on the sign out front fellowship now. The problem with that is when I say that word to most of you.
Hopefully not all of you.
You have a very different idea what the word means for most evangelical Christian. Somehow, doughnuts and coffee something like that is involved. If it's fellowship that is not also the New Testament word.
The word is Queen the client amines partnership client amines intimacy. It's got this idea that when people have fellowship your abiding with each other.
Your close. That's what John wants to talk about notice in verse three he said what we have seen and heard we proclaim to you so that you may have fellowship with us and indeed our fellowship is with the father and his son Jesus Christ. Verse six if we say that we have fellowship with him. Verse seven but if we walk in the light as he himself was in the light, we have fellowship with one another. John is talking about fellowship and predominantly later in the book of talk about fellowship with one another, but here in chapter 1.
In other words, how do you have fellowship with God as a believer when a day in day out basis in Jesus said it differently.
Jesus said if you abide in me and I abide in you, but it's the same idea the ideas how do you walk close to God day in and day out. That's what he picks up in verse five and he says but I want to tell you something right off the bat. God sets the terms of fellowship.
God sets in verse five. This is the message we have heard from him and announce to you, God is light and in him there is no darkness at all that you see in the context what he means by this God is light, God is the perfection of character. There is no darkness in God at all. It speaks of God's moral purity. The absence of sin, God will have nothing to do with anything that is corruptible or contaminating his holy.
It also speaks of God's perfect truth the light of the word of God, the light of the truth of God in the Bible you often find when people do not believe the truth Bible describes my living in darkness.
And thirdly, it also speaks of the life-giving power of light, life flourishes and the like what John is saying is this, he cannot change for the better and he will not change for the worse in his day in day out relationship with you.
If you can have fellowship with God.
It's got to be on God's terms.
That's what is going to say no you I know what you might be thinking in that kind of understood no.
I mean, that makes sense, doesn't it not to Christians. See Christians struggle with this Christian sometimes think that we can determine the terms of our fellowship with God will decide.
In fact, John says this in his first chapter he uses the same phrase three times verse six if we say verse eight if we say verse 10 if we say in other words, apparently Johnson's look there. Some of you that are going to say not unknown of God's light.
I understand it, but if we say and then he sets the terms for the fellowship.
The first ones in verse six if we say that we have fellowship with God and yet walk and walk is always a metaphor for live if we live in the darkness, we lie, we do not practice the truth. Now the inference is clear. There were believers then and there. Believers now that say they have fellowship with God and they live in the darkness and Johnson's and by the way, that makes you a liar you see any interesting here that what he says, this idea of walking means I pattern a lifestyle. He's not talking about an individual act is not talking about that he's talking about when we live in the darkness. When we take a sinful idea and we perpetuate it and stay in the state of that's what is referring to here. By the way, that happens often in people still kind of fellowship with God and remember years and years ago a person that was deciding to go into a state of sin and that I found out about it so I called and I talked to this person and I said I understand this is what you're doing and this person listen to what I had to say and then so will look it's pretty simple and he gave me a theological lesson that the lesson was here's a theological premise.
God wants me happy. This makes me happy. So therefore God's in this unit that is that's a lie that's a lie were capable of that. I remember when that moment I married students at Dallas seminary. There was a pastor in the church we attended our first or second year at seminary and a very very gifted pastor and he was married and had five kids. Remember that and he decided to leave his wife and his five kids and decided to go live with a woman who was a counselee of his and the elders of the church find out about of course, the pastor leaves and there was someone else and they when confronted him with it. In his statement to them was looking understand my fellowship with Jesus Christ is sweeter now than it's ever been before. You know that is as a lie that he may have enjoyed his sin, but there's not a chance that he was having fellowship with Jesus Christ living in a perpetual state of sin. Notice that we are capable of that kind of thing verse eight in verse eight he says if we say we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. But please understand I think what he means. Here we find this out to the gospel of John. If we say that we have no sin, I don't think the person is talking about perfection like you know I never, never, never sent word that phrase have no sin, is used four times in the Gospel of John, and every time. The implication in the Gospel of John is.
I bear no guilt for my sin at all. I bear no guilt.
I have no sin, because I have no guilt. It's just a phrase that is used by the way, that's kinda big in our culture may not want to think about the way our culture works even our evangelical culture where a whole generation of mistake or not sinners eggs made a mistake know you sent not just a mistake. I think were also whole generation of victims, not violators.
You see, I'm just a victim of it and I might've done it but I have a disease, see United's not coming. That's the only reason I did it yet to be careful there a few years ago a man named Luther Luke Castille walked into a pub in Elgin, Illinois with four guns determined to repay an insult that he had received in that bar.
He opened fire while laughing and shouting on the king. I'm a natural born killer and within moments, two people were dead and 16 others lay wounded his victims were total strangers at his trial.
He was asked by the prosecutor if he had any remorse. He said any feeling I have in that regard, upkeep between myself and the Lord Jesus as well.
Ironic as it sounds, I'm a passionate and giving person. I like to think I'm a pretty good person. I'm not one who would hurt anyone who doesn't provoke me with his message. I'm not guilty I'm not I'm not guilty.
Jeremiah 17 in verse nine the heart of a person, the heart of a man is desperately wicked deceitful above all things good is a hard to see us now. I don't think many of you would get four guns in going to the bar and shoot it up for an insult, but I think some of you said things like this. Hey had no wonder miserable at work. My boss provokes me ever said that my mother-in-law makes me mad everything like that. They made me mad. Really I am no guilt. It's their fault so-and-so really knows how to push my buttons. I'm no guilt.
They did it. They had it coming, never sitting like that.
By the way, if you're married, you know uses him was of an art form. While yes I'm doing wrong but you you are doing all this and that's why I'm doing this I don't bear guilt here that is deceit. If we say we bear no guilt have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves. The truth is not in us. See we make up our own conditions for relationship with God. Verse 10 if we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar and his word is not in us than you paraphrase verse 10 in modern English sin is my problem because I've redefined that that's not sin.
You see we can do that we can take something that God says the sin was no that's not sin, giving example of in Mark chapter 7 Jesus confronting the Pharisees and they did this quite often but they were commanded by the Lord to honor their parents and that meant to take care of their parents and her parents old age so the Pharisees decided was look, I really don't want to do that because Ed was all my money sauté when doing a pledge my money to the Temple when I'm dead and I can use it anywhere you want to listen an alcoholic court man in Jesus confronted and so being greedy which is sinful and dishonoring your parents which is sinful, they said no it's not sinned all its core. I put this money to God at the Temple so I'm not they do any of this stuff we can redefine those kind of terms that we may not deal with core band but how may times very unchristian couple say were in love were not fornicating were in love redefined it or how about the mantra so many Christian businessmen. Everybody in the business world operates. This way really so even though I'm doing that it's not sinful because everybody's doing it my way. Isn't that the one you tried when you were little. I mean, that was the drum I tried to be a look everybody else was doing it and what did your parents 80 everybody else jump off a bridge. You know the funny part about that is most could probably jump you see that's redefining it. These are all doing with fellowship. If we say that sin in my life is no big deal, and I can tell, writing so can God or if we say that we don't have any guilt somebody else provoked it or if we say sinners in a prompt as I've redefined it.
If that happens, the word of God here says you're a liar. Your deceit and you call and make God a liar. So the question is then how do I walk with the Lord. How do I have fellowship day in and day out. How do I abide in Christ. How do I take full benefit of what it means to be a believer in Jesus Christ and then you see this in verse seven and verse nine, first verse seven, the conditions of fellowship with God, he said, but if we walk in the light as he himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another and the blood of Jesus his son cleanses us from all sin. If we live righteously not perfectly.
By the way's not talking about perfection here otherwise would be no reason for the blood of Jesus his son to cleanse us from all sin is not talking about that he's talking about not abiding in the darkness, living righteously every single epistle that Paul writes that's what Paul writes about hey you know the way used to be. Don't be that way anymore. That's what he said and basically what Paul says you know what you are in Christ. Act that way you see your child of God, then act like a child of God you declared righteous by God, then live righteously limited to one example that Ephesians will come back the first joint Ephesians chapter 5 pulses it differently but it's the same thing in his first eight verses he's is therefore be imitators of God RBCs not talking about perfection, as beloved children the way children imitate their parents and live or walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave himself up for us in offering and a sacrifice to God is a fragrant aroma.
The watch but immorality. He says, or any impurity or greed must not even be named among you, as he says, is proper among saints and there must be no filthiness and silly talk or coarse gestures which are not fitting but rather he says the giving of thanks, verse seven he says therefore do not be partakers with them. You were formally darkness, but now you are light in the Lord walk or live as children of the light that's one of the ways we do it. You see, one of the great things that happen when you became a Christian, is that the spirit of God came to reside in. You see, you know that means it means you now can live righteously is a battle we all know that but I can actually live righteously and so he said will then live that way. Now back to second condition a very important one, because we will never do it perfectly is verse nine. He then says in verse nine if we confess our sins he is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness, not to some, this is become extremely confusing verse and yet you can understand on a certain level whenever we became a Christian and we trust in Jesus Christ and his finished work on the cross.
We were told that our sins were forgiven, correct all my past sins, omnipresent sins and all her future sins and Esther. So then why is he saying here that we need to confess our sins, and give you some examples of how others have responded one radio personality said if you practice this verse you live in daily insecurity and always doubt whether your sins are ever going to be forgiven. Another author wrote this to practice. First John 19 reveals your unbelief for missing the point is sincere, but misguided. There was a context here that they try to interpret that to say this is for unbelievers that would make much sense in the context look at the words are used.
First of all, John is writing in verse six we in verse seven we in verse eight we verse 10 we verse nine we know who are the we verse one of chapter 2 my little children, I am writing these things to you is a believer's. This is clearly not unbelievers that he's talking about at all and he says my little children, I am writing these things to you that you may not sin. We are the only ones that have the capacity so John says that's what I'm writing for an John is confused by this because look at verse 12 of chapter 2 John understands the judicial forgiveness that we received these and I am writing to you little children because your sins are been forgiven you for his namesake had been forgiven past perfect tense action in the past that the results continue forever. John is not talking about judicial forgiveness here which is from the penalty of sin which a separation.
God John is talking about relational forgiveness here; parental forgiveness in my day-to-day relationship with God.
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