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April 7, 2022 8:00 am
Today on the Fellowship in the Word pastor Bill Gebhardt challenges you to become a fully functioning follower of Jesus Christ.
What I mean by that is not so much are you as religious as Nicodemus. I would doubt that you were you by Wendy, what are you a good person. You spend some of your life and you know good people. What I mean by that is, they have their own theology like Nicodemus Nicodemus believe in a certain system that you would do and when you did that you would be able to enter the kingdom of God joining us today on this additional Fellowship in the Word pastor know your heart Fellowship in the Words the radio ministry of Fellowship Bible church located in Metairie will join Pastor Bill Gebhardt now is once again he shows us how God's word. Our world apparently over the years as a pastor I have made some people feel uncomfortable.
I've actually walked up to someone who was smoking a cigarette soon as they saw me they put it out. I'd met people with shopping areas are somewhere out there, and as soon as they see me they feel compelled to explain to me why they haven't been in church for a long time. I've had people apologize for swearing. In fact, one time I was talking to someone from our church and he waits on the phone and at that moment something happen and immediately an exploitative came out of his mouth and he said to me at that moment, pardon my French pastor now. First of all as a pastor I have no capacity to pardon anything and secondly I don't think that was French but on the whole, over all the years of ministry. Most of the people in and out of the church that I have met treat me just like everyone else and that's exactly the way I would like it to be gone out of my way. In fact, to try to make it that way. And the reason for his simple Jesus. He is a reason he's a unique fella to say the very least, and I was thinking about this is past couple weeks and this sort of led me down this path this morning, but people who were nothing like Jesus.
Nothing like him at all like and Jesus liked people who were nothing like him all people who seem to be a lot like Jesus didn't like Jesus and Jesus was not impressed at all with the people that seemed a lot like him. Why was that mean it's not logical.
You and I have a tendency to like people who are a lot like us and we sort of stay away from people who are like us. But with Jesus it was just the opposite.
It's only not our experience, but I think there was a reason for it, which open your Bibles to John chapter 1, the gospel of John chapter 1, a very famous opening set of verses in John chapter 1 and verse one John wrote these famous words in the beginning was the word and the Word was with God and the Word was God. Then in verse 14 John writes this in the word became flesh and dwelt among us. We saw his glory, glory as the only begotten of the father. What is that glory what glory full of grace and truth.
Jesus was full of grace and truth. The profits they spoke the truth. The apostle Paul explained the greatness of grace. Jesus Christ was full of grace and truth and that fact repelled some people and attracted others. Let me illustrate that right from John turn out to John chapter 3 with me. John chapter 3 and we run into Nicodemus. In verse one. John writes there was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews, a member of the Sanhedrin and this man came to Jesus by night and he said to him, Rabbi, we know that you have come from God as a teacher for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with them now.
On the surface or what you see is this one teacher coming to another teacher.
In fact, Jesus calls Nicodemus later the teacher of Israel and he is saying to him, Rabbi Ramona as a fellow Rabbi I come to you. I want to talk to you.
Nicodemus is a ruler of the Jews in Jesus as the King of the Jews. They have so much I am sure that Nicodemus is a very moral man. Of course Jesus is moral perfection in Jesus response to him in the most startling of ways. He says truly, truly, summer translations probably translated better for our culture, saying, let me tell you I'm telling you the truth. Let me tell you the truth. Truly, truly, when user twice. Let me tell you the truth. Notice because he's full of grace and truth, and the first thing he says the Nicodemus truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.
Out of nowhere, what is he saying here he saying this Nicodemus you're wrong. That's the very first thing ever says no Nicodemus you are wrong about what seeing the kingdom of God, you're wrong. None.
Nicodemus would've told you as a ruler of the Jews, and as a good nursing a good religious and moral person. Nicodemus would've said well you see the kingdom of God by being Jewish. You have the part of the covenant people coming apart of the covenant people you needed.
You need to take the Mosaic law seriously need to do the law and if you're not Jewish.
You need to become a proselyte, and be baptized in the Judaism and if you do that you get to see the kingdom of God and Jesus says wrong.
That is not how you see the kingdom of God. I'm telling you the truth. Nicodemus wrong with that starts a bantering back and forth Nicodemus I'm sure was offended and so they start this idea being born again.
There's a lot of sarcasm going back and forth Nicodemus and how to go back in your mother's womb and get to be born again and Jesus then decides to pick up on that. It was we go through the story he picks it up in verse 14 and he says let me tell you how you get to see the kingdom of God, Nicodemus, as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up so that whoever believes will in him have eternal life. There's a truth. Nicodemus knew the story the Israelites during the Exodus found themselves bitten by poisonous snakes and they are told there's a solution that I bite that Moses was instructed to make a brazen serpent and put it up on a standard and hold it up if you would just look to that standard, you would be cured.
I got a believe as I said before it's got a couple guys laying there saying I'm just telling you what came down the chain.
I got a guy said that you just look in your to be fine.
The other guys I guide this Cialis works, but Jesus uses that store. The Nicodemus knows really well and then he says, so that whoever and that's the word Poss and in Greek is better translated, I believe, and often translated everyone not whoever but everyone so that everyone who believes in him will have eternal life is grace look to the serpent, the Son of Man, me, you just looked at me and you have eternal life.
And that's the grace of God, not Nicodemus. Eventually, he deals with this, but at this stage is not ready for it.
Nicodemus should have had. Love being with Jesus Christ.
But the truth of Jesus Christ is hard to handle for him so he leaves and by the way, it's in that context, the Jesus says in the next verse for God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
For God did not send the son of the world to judge the world but the world might be saved through him. He who believes in him is not judged. He does not believe is judged already, because he is not believed in the name of the only begotten son of God. It's as clear as can be here and Nicodemus is bothered by it and the reason is simple. Good people are always bothered by the grace of God. Good people are always bothered and you get a religious good person and are very much bothered by the grace of God and Nicodemus really doesn't like it. Are you Nicodemus. What I mean by that is not so much. Are yours religious is Nicodemus I would doubt that if you worry if I would be here, but are you a good person.
Are you a good person. You spend some of your life and you know good people and what I mean by that is, they have their own theology like Nicodemus Nicodemus believe in a certain system that you would do and when you did that you would be able to enter the kingdom of God. Good people have the same system in our world that is God will grade on a curve and I'm a pretty good person and almost always say it something like this.
I'm not a serial killer. You know I don't abuse my children whatever it is because I don't do certain things I try to kinda do what's right.
I think I'll be okay when I die.
Jesus Christ was full of grace and truth would say to you, you're wrong, wrong, but it's very very hard to eternal life is in a reward for good people.
Eternal life is God's gift of forgiven people.
That's what eternal life is see that's what Jesus Christ is saying and you would think that good religious people would really warming up to that idea but they didn't and they don't. Jesus came full of grace and truth. Nicodemus should've love being with Jesus but the truth was hard to handle. Jalisco just to the next chapter and see chapter 4 and I would run into a very very different person. This is the Samaritan woman not only she different than Nicodemus. She's completely different than Jesus Christ. Jesus American now you really have to understand that the Jews used to say, the time of Christ, that the only thing on earth that is lower than attacks together is a Samaritan so they would do prostitutes then tax gatherers, then Samaritans as a lowest. That was their view.
They didn't speak to Samaritans. They never traveled through Samaria. They always crossed the Jordan in one of the east bank and then back in the Galilee. They didn't have anything to do with cement. But Jesus as I want to go right through Samaria and he goes any runs and not do a Samaritan but a woman but not just any woman, an immoral woman.
This is a woman who's had five husbands and is living with a man now she's a moral and so that's when Jesus comes to her. In verse seven and it says there came a woman of Samaria to draw water is at noon and she Jesus said to her, give me a drink for the site was gone away to the city to buy food and therefore the Samaritan woman said to him, wait, wait, wait, how was it that you being a Jew, asked me for a drink since I am a Samaritan woman. Jews have no dealings with Samaritans. What you'd why you talking to me.
She understands. By the way, look is a rabbi is a teacher. Jewish men when speak a Jewish rabbi by the way, when speak to a Jewish woman about that a Samaritan woman and she knows she's immoral she doesn't know. He knows but she knows a kind of woman she is and understand something if he took and drank from her job, he would defile himself because her jug is unclean and so he would be ceremonially defiled and he asked her for the drink know this is kind of interesting because you know they have a dialogue.
Jesus tries to get very spiritual. Whether she can't quite follow what he saying, but are you saying look what you really need to do is bring for me, I meant ask you for drink that you need to bring for me the drink that I'm offering you spiritual I'm offering you grace.
That's what they keep saying that I getting this theological debate and I gotta love the lady you gotta give her a lot of credit but as they go about who's right, the Jews are the Samaritans and where you worship in all that we get out of verse 25 in verse 25 the woman said to Jesus, okay, I know that the Messiah is coming.
He was called the Christ. When Ellen comes to declare all things to us noticed and what you saying to she saying this by being on your way. I'm pretty much done here. You see, let let let the Messiah decide who's right. The Samaritans of the Jews is kind of interesting in her apartment she does that, but I love Jesus response.
He said to her I who speak to you am a go. I me Yahweh. I am Messiah.
I am God incarnate.
I am she's stunned and she converts Samaritan woman and what's interesting about it is, is that in verse 28 says so.
The woman left her water pot took off running into the city and the sea said to the men, probably the only ones would speaker in that city. Come see a man who told me all things that I have done. This is not the Christ as it and the assumption as it is the whole idea as I found him and his was interesting.
She's been living with shame she knows it.
Notice the first thing she says about him. He told me everything I've ever done. Now we know by the dialogue that was in everything, but he did tell her that and she said you know what I drank.
I feel no shame.
What incredible statement this woman coming to saving faith.
The question I guess for you is are you like the Samaritan woman steer you the kind of person that your life is left to Thursday. I mean spiritually thirsty. They have a lot of painful memories in your life. She did broken heart unfulfilled dreams, missed opportunities. Maybe most of all terrible choices. You just made terrible choices. Jesus Christ says, drink me see it's an interesting thing. She is nothing like him and that she converts the woman at the well should have been uncomfortable with Jesus, but she is overwhelmed by his grace, Nicodemus should've love being with Jesus, but he finds truth are to handle.
See that's the way it is, then, and that's the way it is now, and that's the way it's always been. Jesus Christ is full of grace and truth that repels some people and attracts other people and it's always been that way, but the main point is this. Good people really struggle with the grace of God, could people they struggle back in the fourth century there were two great theologians, one's name was Pelagius and Pelagius was a wonderful man brought up in a fine home well trained. He was moral Hon. and most of all, extremely popular.
There was another man. His name was Augustine or Augustine.
Whichever way you'd want to say it, and with Augustine. It was quite different.
Augustine wasted his youth and immorality.
He had a bizarre relationship with his mom and he had enemies everywhere but he got the grace of God because he got the grace of God.
Everything went right for him and Pelagius was a good person who was committed to human effort. He thought you got into the kingdom of God, much like Nicodemus must've thought he thought he had it all out and Nicodemus gave the example Pelagius takes it to fruition, and Pelagius becomes a heretic, believing that you work your way you good your way to heaven. See that's just it.
Grace is very very difficult for good people. The people were nothing like him. Judah in the Old Testament Rahab Mary Magdalene Matthew the tax gathers Zacchaeus a general tax together. They love Jesus. They can write to them people like Nicodemus, Saul of Tarsus Pharisees priest Sadducees good people struggle and were repelled by Jesus's message. Grace attracts truth repels question which when you identify with you more like Nicodemus, are you more like one of the well seek only put it this way, you good person because it is a good person, even a believer, I believe you struggle with grace, not in the sense of being forgiving yourself that you struggle with grace and Jesus must believe that to because he speaks directly to us about it told me now to Matthew chapter 20 Matthew chapter 20 and he gives us a general illustration and see how you deal with this. Matthew 20 in verse one, for the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard. Now vineyard. There would've been terrorist and working the vineyard was seasonal and it was always hard work kinda backbreaking you had to go and hire the people for the vineyard and so Jesus says that's what this guy does it says and when he had agreed with the laborers for Dinero's for the day. He sent them into the vineyard. Now we don't get that. But it was big and Jesus time he decided to give each person at 6 o'clock in the morning who came Dinero's that is a Roman soldier's days work. Now we don't think much of that, but that's a lot more money than a person are usually 10 vineyards get he's being a well-paid they're getting a Dinero's for days work. I imagine they jumped right at it within Jesus now continues then went about the third hour which you be 9 o'clock in the morning. He saw others standing idle in the marketplace and of those, he said, you also going to the vineyard and whatever is right, I will give you and so they went.
It's all he said while that says anyone about the sixth hour noon in the ninth hour at 3 o'clock and I went and then it was about. He says, and about the 11th hour five in the afternoon the workday ends at six at five in the afternoon. He says he went on he found others standing around and he said to them why you been standing idle all day long and they said to him because no one hired us and he said to them, going to the vineyard to an went so we have guys hired at 6 o'clock for days work for Dinero's that we have guys hired and he said I'll make it right with you the end of the day at nine noon 35 when evening came, the owner of the vineyard said it was foreman call the laborers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last group 1st.
The reason is doing that is he wants to see the reaction of the first group and when those hired about the 11th hour came, each one of them receive the dinners they started five ended at six.
Now you made a deal with him that you will start at six work too hard work for the nurse. Good pay and you get a dinners Matthew started six in the morning how you feel is your good person and has a good person feel at 6 o'clock and even when the money is being handed out see how would you react I'm sure very much like they did will notice is is when they received it is, is when those who first came I love the response in verse 10, they thought that they would receive more hey this is good news.
He gave her the nurse for an hour we were here 12 hours. This can be great, but each of them receive the nurse and when they receive it they grumble to the landowner saying these last men have worked only one hour and you have made them equal for us who have borne the burden of the scorching heat of the day and he answered he said to them, friend, I'm doing to you. Nothing wrong. He says did you not agree with me for Dinero's. He's a take what is yours and go but I wish to give.
He said to this last man, the same as the you is not lawful for me to do what I wish, with what is my own horse or I envious because I am generous so the last first and the first last night, Jesus teaching on the parable form is making a really good point. You see when you want to say in that story. If you started at six not fair. That's what you want to say right. Not fair. I mean, you know that we we live for your good people you live for fairness.
If you had more than one child to try to break a candy bar and half not fair that's not fair really and the fairness good people love fairness. What's interesting about that is, is that Jesus Christ point is what happens when somebody comes past. You broke your heart on the radio ministry of fellowship in the world. If you ever miss one of our broadcast or maybe you just like to listen to the message one more time. Remember the good great website called in 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 that Fellowship in the Word.
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