This broadcaster has 536 podcast archives available on-demand.
Keep up-to-date with this broadcaster on social media and their website.
April 11, 2022 8:00 am
Today on Fellowship in the Word pastor Bill Gebhardt challenges you to become a fully functioning follower of Jesus Christ accepting the grace of God receiving it.
We love singing about it.
We love giving testimony to what we are to give grace to others.
We bought not all things that terrible thing 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. Let's join Pastor Bill Gebhardt now is once again he shows us how God's word meets our world is a lot of you already know I have had a lifelong love affair reading and I love reading books about the state of the church.
The American church the evangelical church but sometimes when I'm reading about the state of the church in America begin to pray that I hope that he's not writing about our church, because so much has been so critical for so long about the church this last week I was really challenged as I was reading about grace and the evangelical church in America. Andy Stanley wrote this he said churches talk about grace singing how amazing it is, but they create graceless cultures within the church.
There's a big difference between preaching a message about grace in creating a community of grace Chuck Swindoll wrote grace received but unexpressed is dead. Grace to spend one's time debating how grace is received or how much commitment is necessary for salvation without getting into what it means to live by grace and to enjoy the magnificent freedom it provides quickly leads to counterproductive argument. Philip Yancey wrote this. How is it that Christians called to dispense the aroma of grace. Instead, omit the noxious fumes. Of ungrace I was challenged by Yancey's words, we dispensers of grace here is a correlation we are meeting the noxious odors of ungrace serious business anymore specifically are you a dispenser of grace. I don't mean just in the context here but I mean in your life are you a dispenser of grace we need to be warned about that in God wants someone should open your Bibles to Zechariah chapter 4 Zechariah is a postexilic prophet which means he came to prophesy after the exile. After the 70 year captivity in Babylon.
The reason he came is that everything in the holy land, specifically in Jerusalem was destroyed or burned. It had been for decades. The temple was in ruins. After 70 years in captivity. Some of the Jews began to come back to the land led by Nehemiah and at the time of Nehemiah.
They rebuilt the walls for security and laid a foundation for the temple and then they did nothing. As a matter fact. They spent the next 15 years. Not doing anything more on the temple at all. So God sent them a prophet and his name was Haggai.
He comes right before Zechariah and Haggai is a vintage fire and brimstone prophet.
He is very strong with the people he is in the face.
He has sharp words stinging sarcasm and scathing rebukes, he said to them, I'll bear you how can you be remodeling their homes while the home of God lies Baron will become motivated for short time, but then I got tired of listening to him that often happens with people who are primarily reviewers and so they began to become apathetic again and that kind of background, God sends Zachariah a very different kind of profit in fact allocates rights. Zechariah does not rebuke or condemn or break the people with striking colors and vivid imagination. He paints glowing pictures of the presence of God to strengthen and to help them words of inspiration flow from his lips. Zechariah has these visions is probably the most difficult book in the entire Bible is certainly in the Old Testament to interpret.
In fact, his visions are so mystical and beautiful that even humility me. So that's what he starts out with her, but he gets a very important point. Chapter 4 verse 20 says the angel who was speaking with me returned and roused me as a man was awaken from a sleep and he said to me what you see and I said I see, behold, a lampstand all of gold with its bowl on the top of it and seven lamps on it with seven spouts belonging to each of the lamps which are on top of it and also to all trees by one of the right side of the bowl and the other on the left side and then he answered. I answered and said to the angel who was speaking with me. What are these, my Lord in the angel who was speaking with me answered and said to me do not know what these are, because I have no idea, no, I just saw something but I don't know what it is not what's interesting about it is it immediately. You don't even find out what is. But God gives a warning to the people of Israel at this time gives a warning to the people of our church in our time gives a warning to Zechariah gives a warning to you and me that he answered he said this is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel. He is the governor he said, saying, not by might nor by power but by my Spirit, says the Lord of host theirs as principal nurses rebuke was he talking about, not by might not by power but by my Spirit in any says this where you will great mountain before Zerubbabel you will become a plane and he will bring forth the top stone with shouts of grace, grace to it while you see they had a problem. That's why it's called a mountain. By the way don't you call your problems mount have a mountain the face they had a mountain the face and theirs was a real problem. They had people who were completely apathetic. They had enemies outside the walls of one of the driving back out of the land, and they clearly had finances because they had to rebuild the Temple and the whole city of Jerusalem and they have this problem. And just like us.
When I have a problem. They decided the way to get about doing it is to get about doing it.
You do this you pull yourself up by your own bootstraps and put a plan in place and you do your homework and you do your own thing and God politely but clearly says no is wrong you will succeed fact when he ends up saying here's this. He says there will be shouts of grace, grace to it cusses I'm going to do it. How do you think you got to be my people, my doing, how do you think you come out of Egypt that be my doing, how you think you got to the land that be my doing, how you think about nothing battle and now it's my doing. This is how you gonna rebuild my doing. Boy that is a lesson that we don't learn well. It's an amazing thing with Christians that we often we face the mountains of our life. When a people grace without relying on God. We use power and might, Theodore Lasch and his work on the minor prophets. Is this the two Hebrew words might empower denote inner strength inherent power courageous bravery, fortitude as well as manpower, large numbers of soldiers, riches leaders, well coordinated organizations, good financial systems, etc., but the Lord's work. The building of us temple the inner growth expansion of his church cannot be carried out by mere external means human strength and wisdom along will always fail God's spirit must do it that describe life. Think of the biggest bombs you faced in the last few years is that we were dependent on the spirit of God on the grace of God, for God to do it or do you come up with your own. My power your own. Might your own fleshly plants. By the way, the reason we do that and it reason it's so hard for us is our own power and might get results see it because it gets results and we think will that's the way to Golden homes and get results. Human ingenuity works. God's is not by might, it's not by powers, not by our own ingenuity.
The work of the flesh will not amount to zilch in light of eternity.
She God has a better idea's ideas will be shouts of grace grace. I love the living Bible paraphrase here. Therefore, no mountain. However, hi, can stand before Zerubbabel Britt will flatten out before him and Zerubbabel will finish this temple with mighty shouts of thanksgiving for God's mercy, declaring that it was all done by grace alone question the morning for you is are you a dispenser of the grace of God, are you I know you receivers of the grace of God, all of you who have been saved or happy receivers of the grace of God you been saved by grace in a black Ford that's not the question of the day.
The question of the day is are you a dispenser of the grace of God. How do you influence the people God has placed in your life how you get things done. See how you get things done interfamily place of business neighbors, employees, children, siblings spots, how do you get things done by dispensing grace something else. Some of us can do by charisma, by the way, the amount of charisma is directly proportional. How will people know you don't have a lot of charisma. People know you can remove them. If you have a lot of charisma you trailing a whitening method working charisma. It requires a certain amount of not knowing. Sometimes we use pressure and force. We lean on people to get things done. Sometimes threats and get people to move, threaten is all part of our control idea sometimes intimidation intimidate people to do the things you want done. Sometimes we use deceit, manipulation, guilt, fear, or the church over the last 2000 years is used a lot of guilt a lot of fear to try to motivate his people see how you deal the moms are you facing your life. The problems use worldly wisdom, pragmatism, denial, avoidance is a warning here shuffling all right. My warning stands anything that does not result in gods getting the glory to be enough to restrain our own might empower so that his spirit can do the job which includes removing the obstacles it is easy to forget that not all the grace killers are out there. He said, many of them are in here in the ranks of the church trying to do God's will. Their way well enough negativism. I don't want to try to manipulate you by think you feel guilty.
So what I like to do that is show you three characteristics in the New Testament about people who are God's people who dispense grace what they're like. The first is defined in the book of acts chapter 4. The church has just begun. Acts chapter 2 we have the birth of the church, what would the mountain be for the early church over the mountain. The worse the problem the problem is this. They live in the midst of a culture that hates them that the test them that pressures him that persecutes them you see they were all either Gentile proselyte to Judaism, but they were all Jews in the early church there were Jerusalem and the Jews who had been responsible for crucifying Jesus Christ hated the church that we find out even later. 20 some years later with the book of Hebrews you find out that Heather Holmes confiscated the property, grabbed lost a friend that's a big problem and so they began to sort of huddle together but they had enormous stress because they also had Jews would come to the Passover from all over that part of the world who were staying in Jerusalem waiting for the second coming of Christ, so that's the mountain but look at their solution in verse 32 of acts chapter 4 and the congregation of those who believed were of one heart and soul and not one of them claimed that anything belonging to him was his own, but all things were common property to them. The first characteristic of a Christian who is a dispenser of grace is generosity with her own possessions Christian.
It was a dispenser of grace is a generous human being. That's exactly what Paul says to the Corinthians.
When is writing to them in second Corinthians 9 and he said it. God loves a hilarious cheerful CLARiiON's the Greek word giver's grace is grace. They love doing that in fact notice and with great power the apostles were giving testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus and abundant grace was upon them all. If the grace they were generous.
They were happy they were glad to do it. You see, if you are grace dispenser you don't cling onto your own possessions, you're happy to give. I don't mean just in church. I mean anywhere. I mean to friends and family and neighbors and those who need it is happy to do it. Grace should be remote.
You see a person of his characteristic of a dispenser grace the person was no real tie no real sense of the personal possessions they have an absence of selfishness. That's just the way they are. There is a second characteristic and is found in acts chapter 11 verse 19 give you in the background and toyed with the mountainous, the people get dispersed out of Jerusalem because Stephen is modern everybody starts getting afraid and I going to begin to talk to people by the Lord and they start talking to Gentiles about the Lord breaks moments Gentiles. And guess what many of them start trusting the Lord now that really bothered the Jews who already following the Lord, where the covenant people were Abraham sons.
The Lord is our Messiah. What about why would Gentiles be allowed into the scenario. Even though Jesus and told him in the parables of Matthew 13 and it was exactly was going out but they didn't like it. What was the mountain here prejudice. There is a mountain of prejudice here. So here's how the story sort of work itself out. Verse 19 so then there arose those who were scattered because of persecution that occurred in connection with Stephen made her way to Phoenician Cyprus and Antioch, speaking the word to no one except the Jews alone, but there were some of them men of Cyprus and styrene who came to Antioch and began speaking to the Greeks and preaching Lord Jesus and the hand of the Lord was with them in a large number who believed turn to the Lord.
The news about them reach the years of the church of Jerusalem.
Now that should've turned into a hallelujah praise the Lord meeting as though they did says they sent Barnabas off Antioch to check it out now that it a bad idea but they sent the right person they sent Barnabas to watch what happens. It says when he arrived and witnessed the grace of God. He rejoiced and began to encourage them. What he says, all with resolute hard to remain true to the Lord for he was a good man for the Holy Spirit in faith, and considerable numbers were brought to the Lord. The second characteristic of a person was a dispenser of the grace of God is that they offer encouragement and problematic situations with an absence of caution they just encourage problem comes up he wants to encourage that's all he wanted to do. He is a great dispenser of grace is a good man. He is Barnabas notice what he doesn't say hey wait a minute. I don't know about you guys even get into the kingdom. I mean, you're not Jews in a part of the Adamic covenant your men uncircumcised. You see you ever The Mosaic volume. Even though the Mosaic law to loving it. In into any of that is encouraged.
See if your dispenser grace. That's what you do encourage people to me asking this question when people shown interest in Jesus Christ. You just encourage them. I find the story years ago but I love the store because it makes the points of clear Chuck's window again when he was pastor of the church and forth in the E free church and Ford in California is as a young man stumbled into our church one Sunday evening he was stunned to see a building for folks singing and having a great time together and there he stood barefoot cutoffs, no shirt, full beard alone. I what's in the platform as he stared in amazement, we found out later that it was the first time in his life. You never been inside of the church among the congregation. He wandered down the side aisle, looking at us like a Staring at a new gate.
One of our members invited them to sit next to him, shared his hymnal and answered some of his questions was wonderful to see such grace and action. I loved it. Following that particular evening meeting the young man immediately came forward on front to talk to me. He had dozen or more questions. All of them excellent. I noticed CN was still sticking in the hairs of his legs. He was fresh off the beach was treated with kindness and respect. No one told him what he should wear how we should act a couple of the fellows invited him to have a Coke and a hamburger with them. He was surprised but accepted. Not surprisingly, he was back the next Sunday in the next within a matter weeks. He became a Christian and he spoke of how our love and acceptance and encouragement. One him, he publicly testified of his faith in Christ when he was baptized. The context of grace gave him room to grow to thinking to be himself, to ask questions that young man later finished his university work and attended and graduated from seminary and now is in full time ministry is that I think is even worse used to.
He walks into our churches that we treated see is that how we treat when someone walks in Micah was he doing here today. There I'm grace. She grace. Just think of how you and I look before a holy God a lot worse than a giant cutoffs with a beard and no shirt. He's is all I have for them is grace C4 dispensers of grace not only are we generous with our personal possessions, but we encourage people in problematic situations. There was 1/3 and final characteristic turn to first Timothy chapter 1, the apostle Paul.
Verse 12 Paul says I think Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me because he considered me faithful, putting me into a service even though I was formally a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent aggressor yet. I was shown mercy because I acted ignorantly in unbelief and the grace of our Lord was more than abundant with the faith and love which are found in Christ Jesus. A characteristic of a Christian who was a dispenser of grace is this. They are released from their own past failures and they release others of their past failures.
In other words, there is no shame.
Notice what Paul said blasphemer persecutor violent aggressor. He probably ordered the stoning martyrdom of Stephen, how do you think he thought about that is passed but he never speaks of shame here because that's what grace does. Grace erases shame, we saw that by the way doing with Rahab the harlot. The woman at the well. Grace erases your shame if you are a dispenser grace you release yourself in your past shame I don't care what it was. Divorce addict, ex-con financial failure.
Drunkard that matter. Grace releases you now you have the grace to release others. I hate to say this but I really believe that churches are shame machines. They spent thousands of years just making people feel ashamed. It's not grace.
Shame is a grace killer is counterproductive in its debilitating see if we are dispensers of grace we release people from shame and ourselves. It's an amazing thing to be a believer in Jesus Christ and still be a sinful human being. We love accepting the grace of God we love receiving it.
We love singing about it. We love giving testimony to it.
But when we are to give grace to others. We block not think so.
Do that terrible thing if your dispenser the God's grace. Your generous with your personal possessions you offer encouragement and problematic situations and you release yourself and others. Shame is a dispensers of grace God do well to one last verse of the charge. If you would to second Timothy very user-defined from where you are. Second Timothy chapter 2 in verse one. I love a bulldozer. He's ready to young Timothy's as you is emphatic in the Greek that's White's first.
You therefore, my son, you Timothy you Bill you John you Sally hello if you're a believer in Jesus Christ are part of you here.
Be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus, be strong in the grace wisely have to tell Timothy that because it's so easy to go adrift. It's so easy to become an grace.
It's so easy to buy into the greatest killers is so easy to do that. He says Timothy look you please strong and it highlights the strong in the grace of God is a B. Your passion, let the grace of God be your passion, let it be your pursuit model. It demonstrated teach it. Be a person of grace saved by grace live by grace the receiver of grace be a dispenser of grace. I'm not certain where we are as a church, but I paraded, we are people who dispense grace with our generosity with our encouragement in a release in past failures. I pray for all of us. I pray for each one of us, but that's what we are. God expects nothing less of us. He's clear about that. His love for us motivated him to bathe us in grace and our love for him and our fellow men should make us will courage delirious cheerful happy dispensers Festival give our on the radio ministry of fellowship lower if you ever miss one of our broadcast or maybe you just like listening to the message one more time. Remember, you can Google 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 programs as Fellowship in the Word. We are thankful for those who financially support our ministry and make this broadcast possible. We ask all of our listeners to prayerfully consider how you might help his radio ministry continuous broadcast on this radio station by supporting us monthly with just a one-time gift support for ministry can be sent to Fellowship in the Word. 4600 Clearview Pkwy., Metairie, LA 7006 if you would be interested in hearing today's message in its original format that is is a sermon, the pastor will deliver during a Sunday morning service of fellowship monitored visit our website FVC Nola.org that FVC and oh LA.O RG at our website you will find hundreds pastor Bill sermon you can browse through our sermon archives to find the sermon series you're looking for. You can search by title. Once you find the message you're looking for. 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 of your heart. I'm Jason Denhardt.
Thank you for listening to fellowship in order