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March 28, 2022 8:00 am
Today on Fellowship in the Word pastor Bill Gebhart challenges you to become a fully functioning follower of Jesus Christ. There has been a consistent effort.
2000 years for a graceless fortunately God is always in whenever grace is front and center. The church, the church is vital because that's the way God would've wanted 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. Our world Stanley, the legendary pastor First Baptist Church and writes this about his seminary training in a particular class that he took.
He writes one of my Mormon memorable seminary professors at a practical way of illustrating to his students the concept of grace.
At the end of his evangelism course he would distribute the exam with caution and he would tell us to read it all the way through from the beginning before we answer anything, the caution was written on the exam as well and as we read the tested became unquestionably clear to each of us that we had not studied nearly enough. The further we read, the worse it became about halfway through audible groans could be heard throughout the lecture hall on the last page, however, was a note that read, you have a choice. You can either complete the exam is given or sign your name at the bottom of this page and in doing so receive in a for your test wow. We said stun was a serious, just sign it and get an a slowly the point dawned on us and one by one we turned in our test silently. As we filed out of the room when I talked with the professor about it afterward.
He shared some of the reactions he had received through the years.
Some students began to take the exam without reading it all the way through, and they would sweat it out for the entire two hours of class before reaching the last page. Others would read the first two pages become angry, turn the test in blank and storm out of the room without signing it.
They never realized what was available. As a result, they lost God totally one fellow. However, read the entire test, including the note at the end but decided he wanted take the exam anyway.
He did not want any gifts you want to earn his grade and he did he got a C+. The rest of us got in a Stanley then writes the story illustrates many people's reaction to God's solution to sin, grace. Some people look at God standard moral and ethical perfection.
They throw their hands up in surrender. Why even try.
They tell themselves. I could never live up to all that stuff and others are like the student who read the test through and was aware of the professors offer, but he wanted to take the test anyway, unwilling to simply receive God's gift of forgiveness.
They set about to rack up enough points with God to earn it. But God's grace truly is like the professors offer. It may seem unbelievable but if we accept like the stunned students who accept the professors off, we too will discover that yes God's grace is truly free. All we have to do is accept it years ago at Oxford University.
There was a group of students were taking comparative religion and they were debating about the uniqueness of each religion and in one moment they were debating about the uniqueness of Christianity in a just happen at that time. As CS Lewis and walked in to their discussion and he said what's all this discussion about and they said Dr. Lewis on ask you let us ask you the question and the question was, what is the most unique thing about Christianity and Lewis simply said that's easy grace, grace.
The Greek word is Carisa's means gift just simply means gift BB Warfield said it is the free sovereign favor of God to the ill deserving, Donald Ray Barnhouse maybe pictured the best he said love that goes upward as worship and love the goes outward is affection.
The love that stoops's grace we use the word in so many ways, knowingly we say grace to say grace today we say grace we are grateful when someone gives us an act of kindness. We are congratulated that's grace. By the way for success. Same word we leave a gratuity at a restaurant's grace, even music.
There are grace notes that are added to the musical score to make it so much richer in Britain. The world is addressed as your grace how misguided and then we use it in a negative way you can fall from grace. What we talk about people being a disgrace or an ingrate.
That's how we use the word, but full of Yancey in his book what's so amazing about Grace says that grace is our last best word I love our last best word, but I'm not so sure we get it.
You see the word Carisa, which is grace is related to other words in Greek and you would translate those in verbs like to rejoice, to be glad it's all related.
Whenever you think of the church. That's what we should think of where the recipients of grace and that should make us the most joyful glad group of people, but I think if you went out to the streets of American. As the average person what you think of the church when you think of the church you think the people what you think of I don't think they'll say all it's their joy it's it's just so how happy and glad they are all the time, but the word of God's going to say more in the weeks to come.
It's not just that we are the recipients of grace, but we are supposed to be the dispensers of grace, you and me.
We are to dispense grace to others. You know the world can feed the hungry, that the world can heal the sick, but the world cannot dispense grace we are those who are supposed to be the ones who dispense grace and that's kind of the problem is and it whenever my guilders exposed. I love being a recipient of the grace of God.
But whenever I am violated by someone else.
I find it very difficult to give the same kind of grace to another person that I so much want for myself to say that someone deserves. Grace is a contradiction in terms. I you can ask for. You can beg for it. You can plead for but the minute that you think you deserve grace. It's no longer grace. Grace can't be earned is unmerited unearned, undeserved favor of God, the church over its 2000 year history is always had a very uneasy relationship with grace it did in the first century and it does in the 21st century. There are what Chuck Swindoll calls grace killers everywhere in the church the ideas it grace is foreign to us.
The whole idea of just like the student of making on our own, earning it is all part of argument that's the way the real world works. Doesn't it. But that's not grace. There has been a consistent effort for 2000 years for a graceless church. Fortunately, God is always prevailed and whenever grace is front and center of the church. The church is vital because that's the way God would've wanted it to be.
We often think of grace in the person of Jesus Christ. Even John wrote in John chapter 1 he said that that when Jesus Christ came he was full of grace and truth. That's true in grace is the unfolding story of the life of Christ, but it's so much more than that, you will find grace in Genesis 1 the Revelation 21 you find the grace of God. Every where it touches everybody even in the Old Testament grace the touches the rich and the poor and grace of code touches kings and peasants. The young and the old and the powerful and the powerless grace touching virtually anyone is my prayer that in the weeks ahead. You will come to a much clearer understanding of what grace means and you will be able to appreciate it. Dispense in your own life to begin in the Old Testament, and I think that that often is what the Old Testament is not about grace.
The Old Testament is about law and fact I don't even know if you could really see much grace in the Old Testament. All there's a lot of grace.
You see, we often think of the God of the Old Testament, the God of the New Testament is to separate God's Richard Dawkins in his book the God delusion, writes this about the God of the Old Testament.
He says that the God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction jealous and proud of it. A petty, unjust, unforgiving control freak, a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser. He is homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal pest is not the first Marcy in the second century said that the God of the Old Testament is a cruel and jealous lawgiver, where the God of the New Testament is compassionate and loving father, full of grace. I disagree with them vehemently, so to begin our study of grace in the beginning. Open your Bibles to Genesis chapter 1 mission table.
These are the kind of words are so familiar to us. We miss things and it because we just sort of.
We know it by heart. In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth and the earth was formless and void and darkness was over the surface of the deep and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters in the beginning God created the heavens and near the window. Start out by way and we see the creation in a certain light, it while God is demonstrating his power is demonstrating his Majesty, that's true.
Psalm 19 says the heavens are telling of the glory of God in their experience is declaring the work of his hand, but have you ever ask yourself about this verse, the great question. There is a great deep questionnaire.
Why why you ask yourself that why why is there a creation why a lot of people thought about it for a long time. I mean apparently there was a time when there was nothing and then there was a time whenever something we call that creation. Why does anything exist at all. I mean we can even imagine.
Nothing can we try that. Imagine nothing we can't. Why did God create it's interesting when you read some of put forth this idea he created because he was lonely. It was not okay.
Just think about that from a logical point of view.
First of all there's a triune God. Yes, community and oneness of the father, the son of the Holy Spirit. He is complete and is perfect. He isn't going to be lonely. In fact, if you think about of my point of view creation is something that happens at a point in time God's eternal so how long did God exist before creation. See how long now, obviously, because eternal there's not really like glitches of mar point of view, we would say it this way as the unscientific. I think a really long time. I mean right I don't really long time while he was lonely that he would've had creation a long time ago but he wasn't lonely he wasn't like the one we get lonely music or something else going on here. I think I know why God created grace creation is the grace of God undeserved unmerited the gift of God. And here's what's so interesting about it.
Verse three then God said, let there be light and there was light starts but there be light about you. You like light I like light you like light. Just imagine a creation with a light using just imagine that light is such an I need thing. I mean like is so wonderful that God says all use the word like to describe me. I am light God is light you see, that's how wonderful it is illuminates it. So what's a wonderful thing. There's something else going on here.
Look at verse 10, but at the end of the verse and God saw that it was good. Verse 12 the end of the verse and God saw that it was good. Verse 18 and God saw that it was good.
Verse 21 and God saw that it was good. Verse 25 and God saw that it was good. Verse 31 and God saw all that he had made, and behold it was very good.
It was good. It was good question for who who was a good four see who was a good four answer us. You and me. Humans is good. The creation is good and it is good for us.
Using God's spirit of physical creation is not that enhancing the God. It is not that old.
I know I finally have something that's physical.
He's a spirit being a boy it's good for us. Think of how good it is the endless variety of creation, the boundless in scope idea creation, how marvelous it is in its complexity, endless variety, and wondered about the variety of creation, adenoviral God.
I went to made 300 species of beetles. I just don't see any reason for couple beetles that that why we need 300 species of beetles. But God says I want that kind of variety in creation boundless in scope. If you read engine scientists they think they started speculating thinkers all there were thousands of stars they thought they really had it. Then as they continue to progress. They said no, no, there are millions of stars and then as we got better and better estimates a certain amount that there's probably billions of stars on them. We find out that there were billions of stars in our galaxy and get this, there are billions of galaxies, some are now speculating. There may be billions of billions of galaxies.
Why, why not 12 galaxies and how many more do we need him here we have a billion stars in this one you see how broad and vast it is and then you think of the idea about how marvelous it is in its complexity.
When men discover the Adam started to see the way physical creation is put together. He was in all and even then for a long long period of time. They said we know now that there there but we don't know why they stay there and it became a real problem. Now the last 2025 years scientists are saying were we know that there's something there called black matter, and we know that it holds everything together. We can't measure yet, but we know it's there. While endless variety boundless in scope marvelous in complexity and here's the point. None of it was necessary.
Grace is the grace of God.
You see, did for us. Why do you know that will look at verse 26 after God saw it was good. Then God said, let us make man in our image, according to our likeness. After he creates it always and always make man and he said well you have a man's watch Moses rights and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth. God created man in his own image and is in his image God created them male and female he created them, and God bless them and he said you be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth, you subdue it you rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every other living thing that moves on the earth. And then God said, behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the surface of all the earth and every tree that has fruit yielding seed, it shall be food for you and to every beast of the earth, and every bird of the sky and everything that moves on the earth which has life, I have given every green plant for food. And so it was with the God say good for you.
That's all for you.
I did this for you. If you think about a God created the world and then he gave it to us as grace perfect environment and notice what he tells them.
I love the words that he gives him using words like be fruitful and multiply, fill the earth subdue what role. Enjoy yourselves because all this is for you. That's the grace of God we can earn it.
We didn't deserve it.
We did absolutely nothing anything of that on a personal level. Beautiful sunsets are for you color for you have to have color can all be in gray I like gray but my star filled nights for you planting, harvesting, variety of vegetables and fruit. What you salmon speckled trout or redfish for you beach for you. The mountains for you. The links for you. The rain forest for you. Why the grace of God the grace of God is a very important principle of the first principle of the study.
Grace is never just enough grace is always far more than grace is never just.
Grace is always far more than enough pastoral giver on the radio ministry of fellowship in the world. If you ever miss one of our broadcast or maybe you just listen to the message one more time. Remember the good a great website called one place.com that's one place.com and you can listen to Fellowship in the Word online at that website you will find on with today's broadcast but also many of our previous audio program is at Fellowship in the Word.
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You can listen online or if you prefer, you can download the sermon and listen at your own. And remember all this absolutely free of charge. Once again our website FVC Nola.org forecaster Bill Gebhardt. I'm Jason Gebhart. Thank you for listening to fellowship in order