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Making The Most Of Our Fellowship (Hebrews 13:18-25)

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Hebrews  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  55:16
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Our nation, our world, and indeed the Church in America are in crisis. How do we stay strong in the faith? By making the most of our fellowship with each other and with Jesus Christ, Himself. Dr Paul Dean Jr finishes up our series from Hebrews by exploring how we can do just that, from Hebrews 13:18-25

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Alright glad to see everybody here today. It's a beautiful day outside the sunshine always praise the Lord for that and all kinds of things. So well, we're just happy to be here. We have been going verse by verse through the book of Hebrews and we've arrived at the last little section. So in Hebrews chapter 13, the last few verses will begin at Verse 18, and I want to make a rather lengthy application this week weight into this this morning, but Hebrews chapter 13 beginning and verse 18 Now it's obvious if you listen to the radio or if you've been out on the web or watch television that our nation is in crisis. The brutal murder of George Floyd kind of set off a firestorm to say the least and of course this in fact was a brutal murder and we should all be up in arms about it. And of course racism is the issue that everyone is talking about his murder has been attributed to racism and obviously we don't have to say to anyone that racism is evil. We above all people Christians those who know the name of Christ. We above all people affirm that racism is evil. We work to rid the racism from our land we work to rid racism from anywhere that we see it. We work to do that and legitimate ways again because it doesn't glorify God. It's certainly hatred of human beings created in the image of God, and it's it's not worthy of Anyone particularly those who know and love the Lord Jesus Christ. So we hate racism it's evil, but I want you to think with me for just a few minutes about this whole issue. I think it's important for us to be informed because we're not inform will then we're part of the problem rather than part of the solution and what we need to be as part of the solution because of who we are those who name the name of Christ Madison police officer who murdered George Floyd he certainly is guilty of Nunnally murder, but police brutality, we could say that Derek chavan. I don't know whether not he's a racist. I haven't looked to see if there's any evidence in the last few days. So that would indicate that he's a racist but it's not really the issue and of course, they're those who recognize that he might not be a racist. And so they're saying that will even if he's not then it's racism that allow this to her. Open and think about that even if he's not racist its racism that allowed this incident to happen. It seems to me there's an agenda looking for a culprit and I think we have to understand those things. What they're talkin about is what you heard about no doubt this phrase systemic racism and systemic racism. If you're just sort of listening on the surface, you might think it's one thing when in fact, it's another you might think it simply means that there's widespread racism and certainly that might be part of what the term refers to but it's truly rooted in critical race Theory and critical race theory has been something that we have highlighted a few times in the past, but it certainly come to the fore in the aftermath of the incident with George Floyd and all of the rest critical race Theory. I wish I could give you an academic lecture this morning, but That we don't have the time for that. I've done that and other context and perhaps we'll do it again, but essentially simply critical race Theory divides the world into oppressed groups and oppressor groups and it seeks to liberate the oppressed. That's essentially what critical race theory is about it forms the idiot logical foundation for the secular social justice movement that we hear so much about 2 in our culture. And of course when we're talkin about oppressed groups, according to critical race Theory, we're talkin about groups, like race or groups that identify racially or groups that we might identify by class or gender or sexual orientation Etc. And these groups are subordinated to oppressors and oppressors are said to Have hegemonic power in other words, they are part of the hegemony the majority and because they are part of the majority they have privilege and because they have privilege they have power and so what they're saying is that the dominant group has the ability to impose their values on culture of the dominant group decides. What right? What's wrong? What's good? What's evil what's viable what's normal and then they brainwash all of society into thinking that their position is true including those who are oppressed. They they brainwash even those who are oppressed into thinking that the oppressors point of view is the correct view and the oppressed need to be liberated from that hegemonic power whether they realize it or not. So you might be the victim of Oppression and not even realize it if you agree with the oppressor groups etiology, then you are oppressed and you don't even know it and of course critical race Theory we could go on but critical race theory is rooted in cultural Marxism. If you've heard that term and the overturning of the status quo this particular point in time. It's what witnessing in our culture on the television every night is critical race theory in full flower critical race theory in action. We seen it here and there for sure but we're seeing it very very clearly. As I said in in the events in the aftermath of the murder of George Floyd. We see it through certain Bad actors a stirring up Strife in our land. We see it through a couple of groups groups like black lives matter groups like antifa and oddly they've joined forces as it were to stir up The Strife that we see in our land and they're taking advantage of the murder of George Floyd. No one says or at least in our group no one says that the murder of George Floyd is not evil. It is evil. No one says it's not a tragedy. It is a tragedy. No one says it is not racism in our culture. There is racism in our culture, but that's not really the issue. That is going on here. And that's what I'm laboring to sort of elucidate if I can over the next couple of minutes. These groups are taking advantage of the murder George Floyd and they're seeking the overthrow the current social order and obviously they're willing to engage in violence to achieve their ends and what they're after is a new socialist order and you can see this in and their own literature. You can see it on their website. If you go to Black lives matter, if you go to empty that you can see these things it's there in black and white for all to see and they're using ignorant people. I don't mean people who are unintelligent. I just mean people who are not that informed and that probably describes all of us at one point or another. I'm not always as informed as I should be in so they're using ignorant people in the name of standing Against Racism to accomplish their agenda. And so our nation is in trouble. Our nation is in crisis, but perhaps more importantly the church is in trouble evangelicalism is in trouble evangelicalism as a whole is in crisis many of our Evangelical leaders are confused on this issue. That's one reason. I want to talk about it for just a few minutes. Many of our Evangelical leaders are not merely confused. But in my estimation they are compromised. They have jumped on the bandwagon and they're saying that racism cannot be tolerated in our Landon. Certainly that's true. It can't be tolerated of the sense that it's an evil. Just as a side issue. You can't Outlaw what people think you can't Outlaw what's in people's hearts. You can Outlaw criminal activity. You can Outlaw murder. You can't Outlaw racism, but through the gospel or through various kinds of secular messaging if you like if we want to stand up Against Racism speak out Against Racism. We should certainly do that. But the evangelicals who are jumping on the bandwagon. They're jumping on the bandwagon of those who are well proliferating critical race theory in our culture and I think some of them are certainly aware of this but they've decided that it's a good thing to be in League with them and some of them perhaps are unaware of what they're doing. You say what? What about the protest the protest or Against Racism? Well again, that's that's what's being said and that's what a lot of people think inserted. That's what a lot of people who engage in the protester thinking. That's why they're out there. One of the facts that we might need to be made aware of is that there are more whites killed by police than blacks. That is a fact you get a CDC you look at the statistics for more white folk are killed by police than black folks. So is the real issue racism and I'm suggesting to you that while a lot of folks are focused on racism and really believe that I know that that's not really the issue before us the issue before us ultimately is human depravity. The issue before us is human and racism is the club that the Bad actors black lives matter and Tifa and perhaps others racism is the club. They're using to promote their agenta. You've heard a folk calling agenda you heard of folk calling for the dismantling of the police. For the defunding of the police. What's that all about what happens if we dismantle the police department's I'm not saying there's no such thing as police brutality. I'm not saying there's no such thing as bad cops. I'm not saying there's no such thing is is over aggressive police officers who need to be dealt with one way or another but when you're calling for the dismantling of the police, there's an agenda here. There's a chaotic agenda. It is an agenda that wants the walls to come crumbling down. So that something else can be put in its place. And again, the problem is human depravity manifesting itself in this year my word lawlessness. What we're witnessing night in and night out these days is lawlessness. We're talkin about The fact that the laws of our land or being set aside God's laws being set aside, of course, you would call the Lord Jesus having set of one particular occasion depart from me you who practice lawlessness for I never knew you would send extremely serious issue Derek chop and murdered George Floyd that's lawlessness, but the protests which are more aptly term riots. They too are lawlessness your talk about the destruction of private property. You're talkin about looting you're talking about stealing your people be beat in the streets. Have you seen the videos? We're talking about people being murdered. It's all lawlessness. And the lock down is part and parcel of what's going on here. It's part and parcel. I'm not spending a conspiracy theory. I'm talking about what's happening and real-life you recall how just a few days ago, maybe 10 days ago were so medical experts and a great many others word announcing people protest against a lot. Then you can engage in peaceful protests against a lot then if you do if you're chilling the rest of us, that's what we were told. If you engage in peaceful protest against the lie, you don't love your neighbor and back to you don't care about my grandmother. You're you're you're evil and guess what Evangelical leaders jumped on that bandwagon as well? We've been told by our brothers in Christ that we don't love our neighbors. We've been told our Brothers and Sisters in Christ that were evil. I know Shane medical experts just a couple of days ago 600 who signed on to one document of which I'm aware and perhaps others at this particular point in time. Those same medical experts have now come out and said well, do you can certainly engage in these protests these protests Against Racism even the riots if you like and as long as you're non-symptomatic are asymptomatic, then there's no real danger of the spread of covid-19.

now

here's my question. Have you seen the pictures of Philadelphia yesterday the pictures in Philadelphia this morning? I I can't even begin to imagine. How many people are shoulder to shoulder back to back front the front hundreds and hundreds of thousands of people in the streets in Philadelphia. My question is this to the medical experts to the mainstream media to all who are saying what they're saying. When were you lying before or now? That's my question.

and now they've come out and said That these protests certainly pose no danger, but any other violation who what they're saying listen to this these protests pose no danger, but any other violation of social distancing orders including peaceful protest of the lockdown still posed a danger of spreading covid-19. That's lawlessness. You're making it up as you go and your liking people down when you have no right to do it. It's a lawlessness. It's all lawlessness. And now big Eva evangelicalism is telling us list of this to support the protests and by that they mean even the riots.

I've never heard such a thing out of evangelicals in my entire life support the riots because racism that's what they're telling us.

Now Summit mitigated that and they said well, we certainly don't condone violence. We certainly don't condone beating people. We certainly don't condone murder, but why we don't condone the violence we can support the riots because these folks have been oppressed for hundreds and hundreds of years and how would you feel and so there's a mitigation there. There's a there's a there's a compromise there and the irony listen to this just as a side issue. The irony is breathtaking. Because we're hearing this from people who for years and years and years have misapplied Romans 13:2 the rest of us and turn the government into our God.

The irony is breathtaking. They now support lawlessness. But this is the very place where government should be the role of government biblically speaking is to protect the right the god-given rights of men women boys and girls, it's the government that should be stepping in and saying no, we're not going to allow you to beat people in the street. We're not going to allow you to murder people. We're not going to allow you to destroy private property. We're going to protect the god-given rights that that the citizens of this country have that's where the government should step in and yet would we have we have Mayors telling the police to stand down. Let the looters do whatever they want.

So what's my point swell part of it? The murder of George Floyd is evil not to sound repetitive or be repetitive but I want to make sure we're clear police. Brutality is evil racism is evil. Riots or evil mayor said at least a stand down is evil Christian leader supporting the riot? It's evil. It's all evil and why are the Christian leaders doing that? There's another question.

Because they bought the lie that racism is the issue here here is racism an issue in our country. Yes. Is it the issue here? No. That's my premise. They bought the life systemic racism. And what is systemic racism say it says that if you're white you are racist because your wife you can't help it. You can try to change it. You can do better perhaps you can try to do better and better but you'll never get over your racism because you're automatically racist but simply because you're white that's what they mean by systemic racism in our Evangelical leaders have bought into the LIE of critical race Theory and rather than working to end racism which is what we ought to be doing. They are contributing to the ever-expanding racial divide in this nation unwittingly soap, but that's what they're doing. And that's why it's such a critical issue not always at Louis and it's it's it's it's it's creating the problem making the problem bigger rather than solving the problem and that's why I'm a little exercise about it this morning. So here are Evangelical leaders promoting civil unrest fueling the fires of racism and they're liable to be part of the resulting outright race War. I pray we have no such thing. But when you witness the violence in the streets, it's unbelievable. I remember the television images back in the 60s when I was just a young boy, but I've never really experienced it when I was really aware of what was going on. In my lifetime. I'm 56 years old and this is the first time I've seen it to this degree and I'm fearful in a very real sense that it may worsen.

1 Evangelical leaders said if you're tired of what you see on television every night think of the burden that our black brothers and sisters have experienced for hundreds and hundreds of years. And of course my black brothers and sisters. They mean black folk in general not black Christians and then there are black Christians should come out and said to those leaders. None of them know we're Christians and identity is not in being black identity is not tough in any group in the past our identities in Christ. Don't put your wokeness on us. But then you got other black Evangelical leaders what in particular who said this past week. My identity is a black man is more important than my identity in Christ.

That's what we're talking about.

Tsar Christian leaders are missing the point. The issue is depravity. The issue is lawlessness is only one thing that'll fix that. It's the gospel is the power of God the grace of God every single one of us has evil in our hearts every single one of us will never get rid of that. Unless were transformed by the power of the Living God and that's why we Proclaim Christ that's wrong and Proclaim Grace the good news that we can be set free from our sin from from from the attitudes in our hearts that are shaped by our culture from the attitudes that the gripper Hearts from the moment. We're born we can be delivered from sin Satan and death by the grace of almighty God in the Lord Jesus Christ. That's the gospel. That's the only thing that will change human hearts and that brings us the Hebrews chapter 13, believe it or not.

That's for sure.

Our country is in crisis. No doubt about it. Let's church is in crisis and maybe we're in the minority here. The Hebrews that this letter was written to are in the minority the Hebrews this letter was written to are in crisis. They are being told by spiritual leaders that they need to walk away from Christ. They're being told by certain spiritual leaders that they respect that all their life that they need to go back to a form of Works righteousness to to a form of Schumann works that that makes one right with God obedience to the old Covenant Love. That's the way of Salvation as far as their understanding is concerned when we all know that the way of Salvation is by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone in these Hebrews are under persecution. They're being tempted to reject the gospel that they've heard the gospel that they've embraced the Messiah who is the Fulfillment of the Old Testament that the Messiah that the old Covenant and everything else around it in the Old Testament is pointing tooth. They're in danger of rejecting the one And only one who can save them the Lord Jesus Christ. Oh, yes, they're in trouble. They're in crisis. They're being called to stay strong. They're being called to stay strong in the face and part of the way that we stay strong in the faith is to embrace the importance of our fellowship together in Christ. Let me say that one more time part of the way that we stay strong in the faith is to embrace the fellowship that we had with each other by virtue of the fellowship that we have with the Lord Jesus Christ, which certainly comes by virtue of the of the of the work of Christ on the cross and then the application of his work to our hearts by the holy spirit in the New Birth. It's not that we've just turned over a new Leaf we've been born again. And because you've been born again with fellowship with God, I will have fellowship with one another and so in the midst of the country and prices here's my application. In the midst of our current situation in the midst of evangelicalism in crisis with stay strong in the faith part of how we do that is to make the most of our fellowship. Make the most of our fellowship and how do we do that? Well, I just want to make for brief points of application. If I may here's the first we want to make the most of our fellowship. We need to seek out meaningful prayer. We need to seek out. It's a proactive thing we to seek out not perfunctory prayer, but meaningful prayer. Listen to what God's word says beginning in verse 18 pray for us. There it is. So here's the right or to the Hebrews this this Christian leader. He should pray for us. We're confident that we have a good conscience and all things Desiring to live honorably, but I especially urge you to do this that is pray for us that I may be restored to you the sooner. First 20 he begins to pray for them now. May the God of Peace who brought up our lord Jesus from the dead that great Shepherd the Sheep to the blood of the Everlasting Covenant make you complete in every good work to do his will working in you what is well pleasing in his sight to Jesus Christ and him be glory forever and ever amen. And then skip Down 2 verse 5 Grace be with you all that's a prayer Grace be with you all amen. So what we want to do is seek out meaningful prayer. Seek out meaningful prayer now getting back in verse 18 is I said, the the writer here urges the Hebrews to to pray for them pray for us. We're confident with a good conscience and all things. You know, we we we have consciences and and conscious is only work is submitted to the word of God, you know, you're at your conscience won't freak. If you don't mow in the right way. You don't know much about the word of God. So the more you know of God's word the more properly your conscience works. And so he's saying that we're confident that we have a good conscience. There's nothing that that I can think of that that you know, I've I've said to you that's wrong is nothing that I can think of in my lifestyle that is a bad example for you. So I have a clear conscience and in all things I desire to live honorably such thing as perfect not saying that to that he never send but he desires and he strives to live honorably. He does that before God before both so don't know Christ. He does that before the Believers, and so I've I've done my best. I have a clear conscience. So please pray for me. Then of course this prayer and verse 20 he refers to the God of Peace and then he talks about how I brought it Lord Jesus from the dead and then the Lord Jesus is the great Shepherd of the sheep and it's according to the blood of their lasting Covenant New Covenant. He says, so I'm praying and verse 21 that God would make you complete. So this is part of his prayer. I'm praying that God would work in you in such a way because God has to do this that God would make you complete in every good work to do his will part of the way that that we help others the fellowship that we have part of the way that we help others to do. The will of God is to pray for them and we ask them to pray for us. And so again, we're praying that the author is praying that God makes these Hebrews complete in every good work to do his will working in them working in you what is well pleasing in his sight and obviously that comes through Jesus Christ. Meaning what Christ has done and of course the operation of the spirit and and and the glory is to be giving to the Lord Jesus on all of these things. Grace to You verse 25 again So there's some mutual prayer in this particular passage of scripture. Now, one of the questions that we need to ask ourselves is why why this emphasis on pray for us? And why does since it's on now? May the God of Peace do this this and this and why does emphasis on grace to you? You see it in every new testament letter.

You just for fun 3. Is it just cuz they're Christian Janelle and Christians can open up a meeting of any kind without prayer. Right? We come to church. We're we're having I don't know a meeting of know some committee what we got opening with prayer. That's fine. I'm not throwing off on that but it seems kind of perfunctory. Sometimes we're we're having the youth over and all we're going to do is watch TV and have Pizza Wings open the prayer is is it just for fun treats that what we're doing? Or is it more than that? Is it deeper than that? Is it is it is something else going on with all this prayer will obviously something else is going on prayer obviously is rooted in a recognition of the sovereignty of God. You don't pray to God to do something unless you believe that God can do it and you don't pray to God to do something. If you think you can accomplish it yourself, you understand that God has to do something. That's why we pray for for lost people, isn't it? That's why we pray for our lost family members and I talked to people who are not necessarily biologically where they need to be a Master Mason of say that loving when I said, well, do you pray you know for for the Salvation of how to put a lot of emphasis on free will do you do you pray for God to just save your lost family members will sure I do what when you pray to God to say you're lost and where's what are you asking God to do? You're asking God to work in their hearts. That's what you're asking her to do. So you must understand that God has to do something. It's so when we pray it is an acknowledgement of the sovereignty of God when we pray. It's an acknowledgement of the goodness of God. We wouldn't go to someone we didn't think there was much. Hope of an answer. We know that God is good. And of course when we pray right knowledge in our dependence on God as I alluded to a moment ago there certain things that we cannot do. We can't change our own heart. We can't change anybody else's heart. And if I want to be committed the will of God somebody's going to be praying for me. I got to pray that God help me to be committed to your will and you got to pray Lord help us all to be committed to your will we got to pray for one another help us to be committed to your Will O God, that's how it works. We can't do this on our own.

Prayer, it's not perfunctory. Powerful because God works prayers the power that shook the world in the Reformation. Sometimes they're too busy or too distracted to pray Martin Luther said this had so much to do that had to start his day with the first three hours in prayer. That's how much he had to do. He couldn't neglect prayer now. There's no minimum time requirement. But prayer is absolutely critical. That's the point. I'm trying to make we got to pray for one another and don't miss this. I've already alluded to it, but don't miss it again in verse 18 this this spiritual leader. This this is an apostle and see an associate of the Apostles. I don't know who he is with the spiritual leader who is certainly a close associate of the Apostles. He's asking for prayer. He needs prayer. I need prayer. You need prayer Our Evangelical leaders today need prayer. Our world needs prayer Our Country needs prayer the church needs prayer in the midst of a country in crisis. in the midst of evangelicalism in crisis We've got to stay strong. We got to stay strong in the faith. All the time we do that is by making the most of our fellowship part of making the most of our fellowship is seeking out meaningful prayer seeking out meaningful part of the something else we can do we can strive for ministering presents. So again, we're in trouble so want to take a stand when I make sure we're standing will make sure we're doing what's right. And so we have to wait to have genuine biblical Koinonia genuine biblical Fellowship. What's that Fellowship all about? Well again prayers part of it, but shows presents. Ensuing a Strife or ministering presence in verse 19. We've already looked at it but let me just emphasize something else the writer says but I especially urge you to do this and look at this that I may be restored to you this sooner. So for whatever the reason he's been with them, but he's not with them now and he wants to be with them and it's not just that he likes them. It's not a Sally Field thing and I know you like me. I like you. It's amazing. I can't believe no no. No, it's it's part and parcel who they are in the Lord Jesus Christ. I want to be restored to you. I want to be restored to you sooner and God's the one who has to bring this about right? That's part of what's going on here then if you to skip Down 2 verse 23 know that our brother Timothy has been set free. So there's Timothy He's obviously been in prison and then but he was he was tempted to be a little weak there for a while. He was tempted to compromise the gospel fearful of of those to whom he preached and I can understand the feeling from time to time to pick up on who you're preaching to depending on what you're going to say, but Paul admonished him encouraged him to be strong in the faith. Obviously Timothy was strong in the faith. He's in prison for it.

I've never been in prison for preaching the gospel. We got a couple in our midst to been in prison for preaching the gospel in another country. You can talk to Ryan and his wife after the service if you like.

But know that our brother Timothy has been set free to watch this. With whom I shall see you if he comes shortly.

I think someone else and I can't remember who it was recently. Please forgive me, obviously, you know who you are but I think was Wednesday night a couple of weeks ago was telling us that they might have been in jail, maybe for preaching the gospel maybe on a mission trip or something like that. I'm not certain but I remember thinking back in 1998 when Ron and Andrea and Johnny touche were restored to us and we didn't really know what happened until we heard the story. I remember thinking, you know, it might have been that they were taking away as they were but it might have been that they were never released and we'd never know what happened to them. And what did Joy it was to see them face to face as they told the story?

So this ministering presents this writer this leader wants to be restored to them. Timothy obviously wants to to be with them and their full intention is to be together. There's something about being together isn't that this face-to-face Fellowship? So I the scripture talks and many many places about gathering together and when we gather together in the Name of Christ the fellowship meal there's a special Dynamic there. It's face-to-face Fellowship the barriers between Jew and Gentile black and white if you like all those bears are broken down in price and we sit down at the table together to signify that incredible incredible Dynamic that only the Lord Jesus Christ can accomplish ultimately and truly in our hearts. So the ministry of presence just what a joy went when everybody's here the other times when when we can't be here. All of us have things that come up from time to time when understand that that's part of what I'm simply talking about Bode the joy of being together and why we make an effort to be together unless there's something providentially hindering us.

It's the one anothering Ministry of the church when were present with one another. face2face tan Zone

And frankly, it's knowing that you're not alone.

Knowing that you're not alone.

I I am not a you know, how should I say to not part of the twitterati? Is it where I don't send out a lot of tweets. I might I didn't like to say that word. But anyway, just kidding. It's just kind of one of those words. But anyway, I'll take an article that I've written or a podcast that I've done. You know, that kind of seems I don't get into The Fray as it were and but I do read a lot of Christians comments on Twitter and then of course, they'll retweet this or that and then you get a lot more information than you want sometimes but I see a lot of Christians putting out this weekend in in the midst of the crisis we find ourselves in and a lot of them are afraid. And depend upon where you are that that that could be a very real issue by the grace of God. We're very fortunate in our area so far it's not risen to the level that has another areas but a lot of these Christians I saw one woman said that she feels like Elijah. She she feels all alone Renwood Elijah was in the cave. She feels all alone.

But when we come together, we know we're not alone. The ministry of presence sometimes we we take it for granted and I listened I take it for granted. I have taken it for granted didn't realize that take it for granted until we came back together a few weeks ago after being apart for a few weeks. It was one of the most joyful feelings I've ever experienced in my life. Just being together had no idea how I crave didn't I missed it until I really experienced it because there's a there's a spiritual Dynamic there.

the joy but also the strength it is not easy to be bored by yourself. But you got some folk beside you shoulder-to-shoulder. You got some folk praying for you. You can be bold. As a lion Spurgeon was asked one time with the secret of his success was just to use that kind of terminology and all the people in The Gospel going forth and all that. It is powerful powerful preaching. What's the secret of your success? He said my people pray for me. people pray for me boldness who's Will bold and Spurgeon

and I was part of the conversation a couple of weeks ago and one of the individual in the conversation asked another you if you're going through a tough time. Something's come upon you who would you call? I mean you got lots of friends lots of folk, you know, who would you call? An individual respond. He said I call my brother's at church. Because I know they pray for me and I know they love God because they love God they love me. He knows that because they spend time together and they spend time together in prayer. So we're taking these first two dynamics of Fellowship together prayer and presents. Is Satan Works to dividas? So we have to stay together. We do that by coming together. Each other persecuted Church stay strong, you know, they go underground but they come together and that's how they stay strong. You can't be bored on your own. You have to have the body of Christ standing with you and indeed they stand so here we are in the midst of a country in crisis in the midst of evangelicalism in crisis and we have to stand we have to stay strong strong in the faith the Faith of Our Lord Jesus Christ part of how we do that is to make the most of our fellowship and we do that by seeking out meaningful prayer. We do that bus driving from ministering presence and thirdly we we do that by working for maturing progress. Now that sounds kind of I don't know what the smoothest way to say it but just think with me work for maturing progress progress in the faith progress in Grace growth in great. That's what I'm talkin about spiritual mature. Sew-in verse 20 hit in the midst of this prayer. Look at what he's he's asking for a look at what he's talkin about. He he first started highlights for us. Again. The song Auburn T of gods in the Believers life is sovereignty of God in your life. First of all, he talks about the character of God. He says now may the God of Peace. I'm in verse 20. May the God of Peace. So so so God is the one who brings peace peace between God and man peace in our hearts and peace between man and man. You want to know what can bring peace in our culture God Only God. That's what we need. We need that's why I said we need the gospel. We need the grace of God. So may the God of Peace or that the character got about the power of God the God of Peace who brought up our lord Jesus from the dead. This guy who raised up from the dead think of it. He raised up from the dead the Lord Jesus Christ the power of God being raised somebody from the dead. He can't do anything right? Then create the universe we can do anything. Obviously, he's God. How about not just the power of God, but the care of God the God of Peace who brought up our lord Jesus from the dead that great Shepherd of the sheep. The chairs for us is Shepherd's house and then about the guarantee of God through what the blood of the Everlasting Covenant the Covenant that God made the promise that God made this coming to this new cover the Salvation Covenant this Covenant of Grace that was ratified that was sealed by the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ the atonement for our scent accomplished by the Lord Jesus Christ. The guarantee of God and then the working of God. What does he say? May this God this God of Peace this got a power this got a care this God who guarantees his promises me he make you complete in every good work to do his will working in you what is well pleasing in his sight through Jesus Christ.

You know, sometimes we wonder can we do anything that pleases God because we have a healthy biblical understanding of sin and if we have that more more we have a healthy biblical understanding of our own sinfulness. And we wonder can we do anything that pleases god well by virtue of the grace and the power and the working of almighty God we can do things that are pleasing to the lord. It's God who makes us complete make sure it's God who who energizes us to do every good work who energizes us to do his will works in us. What is well pleasing in his sight. We don't do that on our own. We can just turn over a new Leaf is a set of few moments ago what I just good people. We've been radically change radically transformed. It's the working of And it's all for the glory of God is in it. Through Jesus Christ to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen. It's to his glory because again, he's the one that does it. So he highlights God's sovereignty in your life. But then of course there's our responsibility before the Lord our responsibility before God hears a little admonition and verse 22 and I appeal to you Brethren bear with the word of exhortation for I've written to you in a few words and I like that by the way just as a size 13 chapters just a few words, you know, I've I've been admonished to get my articles down, you know used to be about three thousand words. I've got him down to like 800 now but listen 13 chapters, I might revise my policy again. Just a few words here. But what does he say? I appeal to you brother. Bear with this word of extrication. Can you see the the Paschal care the tenderness of affectionate in just so you know, I have written this to you do it or else it's not what he says you please bear with this don't walk away from Christ follow the lord Jesus all the way to the end. That's the word of exhortation. So do what I've said to do in this letter that's their responsibility. You're in crisis. You're in the minority there people who are calling you away from Christ of persecution. A lot of them had their homes plundered remember that chapter 10. A lot of them had did actually some of their friends and loved ones and family members have been put to death. So they're in crisis. They're still being persecuted and all the rest.

Do what it says.

Maybe you're confused about certain things. That's okay. We can be confused from time to time.

The don't be increasingly Christ is the answer his gospel his word his work.

Yes, we can be influenced by our culture, but don't be that's the exportation this morning. 1st Timothy 4 pulse is meditate on these things talking about the word of God meditate on these things give yourself entirely to them that your progress your growth and Grace that your progress may be evident to all take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you you will save both yourself and those who hear you if you continue to follow Christ by faith. That's the issue. And this is a fellowship issue because the author praise for them in this regard again back in verse 20. He says now may the God of Peace do this this this and that he's praying that God would work in them. So that makes it a fellowship is shoot. He exhorts them and verse 22, I appeal to you bear with this work that makes it a fellowship issues. So again, this Mutual prayer this Mutual exhortation this Mutual progress this Mutual growth in Grace continue with Christ all the way to the end. That's what we're talking about here.

We have to stand. Countries in trouble evangelicalism sin trouble. We got to stay strong in the faith. We got to make the most of our fellowship that's part and parcel how we do that.

Making the most of our fellowship going to seek out meaningful prayer. We got to strive for ministering presents later worked for maturing progress and lasted this morning. We better cherish our mutual partnership. That's that's real. It's it's not you know, it's not just a platitude. We cherish our mutual partnership our partnership in the gospel is Paul said to the Philippians. In verse 23 again know that our brother Timothy has been set free.

They care for Timothy. With whom I shall see you if he comes shortly they want to be together this Mutual partnership. They've been praying for Timothy. They've been praying for this spiritual leader Timothy and the spiritual leader. Whoever he is. The writer of the Hebrews. They've been praying for the for the Hebrews obviously. He's written this letter from the heart. Then he says that verse 24 greet all those who rule over you that is greet the Elders of spiritual leaders in the in the church greet all the saints greet everybody. Whoever reads this letter make sure you tell everybody we said hey, you know that kind of thing, but it's deeper than that. Okay, most of them were born in the southern Kingdom. So greet all those who rule over you and all the saints those from Italy greet you obviously a contingent to of Believers there and Italy, perhaps syndrome. They greet you Grace be with you all. a man

Yeah, Timothy's been in prison. Doesn't get more real than that does it doesn't get more real than that. You know, I am not an alarmist. I'm really I'm really not. But am I get real here pretty quick? It might I hope not, you know what I mean by that. Thrill for some people that's for sure. Without the Christian worldview, there's no there's no real Liberty for anyone. There's no freedom for anyone without the Christian worldview is Liberty is rooted in in in the reality that we're all created in the image of God that that all human beings have a seat and stroller dignity and worth is it were and you know, we can't murder others have been crazy image of God can enslave others have been crazy. The guy can oppress others. They've been crazy with your God racism is evil cuz you're hating people who are created in the image of God on and on I could go and and ensure we don't steal from from others because they betray the image of God and God's given them property and all the rest of the point of trying to make his we will understand these things. There's there's liberty there's freedom from murder and theft and oppression and racism and all the wrestlers. There's liberty and freedom from that and and and it's it's it's given by God, but if you don't have a Christian worldview might makes right. You have a Christian worldview is survival of the fittest. You have a Christian worldview. You got the power you make the rules. That's what we see.

And that's why those who supposedly decry the murder of George Floyd are willing to murder others are willing to loot others and destroy the property of others. It's it's not that they really care about human life. They care about their own agenda, but they can't help it because they're lost. And all the other in the grace of God we be in the same place.

And it may be that soon and very soon. We can be forced into a lot of things in this culture. I mean, we've already experienced things. I never thought would experience not in my lifetime anyway, and we can be forced into certain things. Something might compromise our faith if we comply and so we had to stand with in order to do that. Got a pray for protection. We can't compromise the gospel. Go preach the gospel and part of that. You know what that means. We are to love our enemies. I'm talking about those who are out there looting and those are out there burning and pillaging and and beating people up and and maybe even murder aoife will love them. Got to love them going to preach the gospel to them. We need the power of God to do that. But that's what we're called to do. The Christian. Ethic is totally different than the world's I think.

And we can't take what we have now for granted. And now and then if it's if it gets worse and worse now and then no matter what happens. We got to cherish our mutual partnership in the gospel. We can't take it for granted. It's it's too precious. And maybe that's part of what God is doing who knows highlighting these things for us. We might be afraid we might be in the minority, but we're not alone. God is very reserved. 7,000 have not bowed the knee to Baal metaphorically speaking. We're all over the country. We're all over the world. We're together right here.

And in the end it's not about what we want is it is about Christ. It's about his glory. It's about his gospel. It's about taking the gospel to those are Lawless. That's what it's about.

You know, I called to the Lord Jesus a few moments ago depart from me those of you who practice lawlessness for. I will say to you. I never knew you.

But you know what happens in the gospel. Paul said it to the Romans. It's repeated many many other times how many different ways throughout the scriptures? But he said this blessed is the man whose Lawless Deeds are forgiven whose sins are covered. That's the gospel. The father help us to be focused on Christ Jesus the great Shepherd of the sheep was raised up by your power go to the blood of the Everlasting Covenant. May we love you more? May we love one another more may we never take for granted what you've given us? And may we love others more? Not just people that it might be easy to love but let us love even those who hate us. So that's what you tell us to do in your word is a sense in which those who don't know you they can be kind to each other. They can love one another to a certain degree but it puts your reality in your glory on display when we love those who hate us. Oh may we be engaged in that and may Kohl's be heaped upon their heads and by that we trust that they would see you they would see their sin and they would see the sufficiency of the Lord Jesus as their Savior and they would repent and they would come to know him whom to know is life eternal. And may they have the Peace of the joy that we have not because we're good people because we're in Christ by your grace. They find themselves of the very same position and Christ by Grace. They get the joy you get the glory. So I gotten father may you make all of these things real to us more real to us every day regardless of our circumstances and father. May you make the church strong when you make it strong? In a very real application away the nation in which we live this land which we find ourselves with all the turmoil. May you heal it by the gospel by the gospel. Will thank you and praise you for all of these things in Jesus name.

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