The Gospel and the Church - 2017

Scripture: Galatians 6:10, 1 Corinthians 10:12, John 13:34
Date: 09/23/2017 
Lesson: 13
"The church should be a place where the Spirit leads us to put others before ourselves. Understanding that we are saved by grace should make us humble and more patient and compassionate in how we treat others."
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Good morning, friends, we'd like to welcome you to Sabbath School Study Hour, coming to you here from the Granite Bay seventh-day adventist church near Sacramento, California. A very warm welcome to our online members and also those of you who are watching on the various television networks and on Facebook - a very warm welcome to you as well. I'd like to also greet our regular members and visitors right here at the church. Delighted to see you. I know we have some afcoe students who are joining us for the next few months and I'd like to welcome you as well.

We've been studying through our lesson quarterly on the book of Galatians. Today we find ourselves on lesson #13 that's entitled the Gospel and the church. Now, typically, you have thirteen weeks in a quarter, but this quarter there is an additional week. So this is not our last lesson, it's the second-last lesson, lesson #13 - the Gospel and the church. For our friends who are joining us, if you don't have a copy of today's lesson, you can download it at the Amazing Facts website - just amazingfacts.

org - download lesson #13 and you can study along with us. We do have a free offer that goes along with our study today - it's a book written by dennis priebe entitled the final verdict. And this is our free offer for anyone who's watching in North America. The number to call is -788-3966 and you can ask for offer #162 - that number, again, is 866-788-3966 - offer #162. We'll be happy to send this to anybody here in North America.

If you're outside of north America, just go to the amazing facts website and you'll be able to read our free offer there as well. Well, before we get to our study, we always like to begin by lifting our voices in song. I'd like to invite our song leaders to come and join me on stage and they'll lead us in our music today. Good morning and we are going to begin our worship singing this morning with #602 - o brother be faithful - this is an adventist hymn by uriah smith, one of the pioneers of the adventist church. And the words - 'o brother be faithful, soon Jesus will come' - and that is our blessed hope, isn't it.

Let's all sing together #602. And for our next song, just one page over, #604 - we know not the hour - another early advent hymn by frank weldon, who was a nephew of Ellen white. We'll sing all three verses of #604 - we know not the hour. Thank you so much for singing with us. Amen.

At this time we'll bow our heads for a word of prayer. Dear Father in Heaven, thank you once again to be able to gather together in your house on this beautiful Sabbath to open up Your Word and study together. It's an important subject - we're talking about the Gospel and how it impacts the lives of each believer in the church and so we just ask, in a special way, that your Holy Spirit would come and guide our hearts and our minds and just lead us, Lord, into a clearer understanding of your great love and the plan of redemption that you have organized and prepared for us. Thank you, Lord, for hearing our prayer. In Jesus' Name we pray, amen.

Amen. Our lesson this morning is going to be brought to us by Pastor Doug. You know, we're having fun here at Granite Bay. We have a new associate pastor, Pastor Shawn and then, of course, we have Pastor John quedzuweit, and then we have pastor jëan ross, so we've got shawn, John, jëan, and doug. (Laughter) so no one gets me mixed up with anybody, do they? Welcome, friends, we're glad that you're joining us here at Granite Bay.

I know that here in the pews we have joining us, now, some of our new crop of afcoe students and we're always glad that they come help us fill the pews. And I want to welcome those who are studying with us, and we have an extended class - some of you are members of the granite bay church online and we know there's people scattered around the globe that have no local adventist church that they can be a member of. They believe the teachings of the Seventh-day Adventist movement and we provide a way where you can be an online member. If you'd like to know more about that, then you can just go to granitebaysda at our website there and inquire. Actually, it's mrs.

Batchelor who works with the pastors to stay in touch with some of our online members. We try to provide everything we can provide with prayer meeting and digital information and things to read - videos to watch - we just can't figure out, yet, how to download a potluck and a hug. But we're going to do our best to work on that. We're going through our thirteenth lesson in Galatians. You know, some of our quarters we have thirteen lessons; this one we have fourteen, but I'm going to give you a little preview - our next quarter, I'm really excited about, we're going to be going through the book of Romans.

And so, we've got two more classes and then we're in the book of Romans and we're excited about that. Now, before we get into our study today that's dealing with the Gospel and the church, I've got one very important announcement I'd like to make, and that is we would like to encourage everybody to participate in a program that's going to be broadcast from the general conference headquarters - it will be on hope channel, abn is going to be carrying it, Amazing Facts tv - it's a special series that I and Amazing Facts will be bringing, called foundations of faith. Now who knows what's happening October 31 this year? 500Th anniversary. 500Th anniversary - not my th anniversary, it's the 500th anniversary of the - they Marked the birth of the protestant reformation when luther nailed his 95 theses on the doors of the wittenberg church and he chose, what they call, all saints day to do that. It's better known as halloween in our culture, but it's the st.

And we're all very thankful for the protestant reformation, it brought the church light years back to the Bible from where it was during the dark ages. But did they go all the way back? Is there still part of the reformation that needs to happen? Were there some truths that were neglected or forgotten? TRuths about baptism by immersion? About the state of the dead? The nature of hell? The law of God? The Sabbath? And your body being the temple of the Holy Spirit? A lot of things that still - many protestants - good Christians - still have not captured the three angels' message, right? And so we're going to be talking about some of those things. And so, I hope that you will plan, now, to participate in your various churches. Mark on your calendar from November 3 to 11, we'll be broadcasting to any church - you can get it through the internet, you can get it through satellite. We encourage you to participate and plan on inviting your friends from other faiths to join for this revival series called foundations of faith.

And so I just wanted you to get that on your radar right now. We'll be saying more as that time approaches. Okay, long introduction. Now we're getting to Galatians. Our assignment for today - the portion of Galatians we're going to study today is Galatians chapter 6, if you have your Bibles - chapter 6 of Galatians, verses 1 through 10.

And so, as I've been doing, I like to at least read through our assignment and then we're going to back up and break it down as well as we can. Galatians 6, verse 1, "brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted. Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone thinks himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. But let each one examine his own work, and then he will have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another.

For each one shall bear his own load. Let him who is taught the word share in all good things with him who teaches. Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.

Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith." Alright, and so that's our mission right now. We're going to back up and we're going to be taking these different verses part by part - breaking it down. I think you're going to see that what the lesson does, here, it is breaks it up in, really, five sections. First one is restoring the fallen - Genesis - I'm sorry, Galatians 6:1, "brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted." First thing I need to address before I dive into this: is it appropriate, if you are a Christian, and you see a brother or sister and it looks like they are wandering in their faith or they are struggling, if you go and you confront them and you say, 'brother,' or 'sister, you know, I recognize you're having a problem.' Is that appropriate or is that judging them? What did God say to cain? 'Where is your brother?' And what did cain say? 'Am I my brother's keeper? That's his problem. Who am I to judge?' You ever heard someone say, 'if you're going to go talk to someone in the church that looks like they're maybe having problems - maybe their marriage is falling apart and they need a little encouragement or maybe there's some sin in their life and you go talk to them and say, 'is it true that you're having a problem with alcohol? Maybe we could.

..' - 'Oh, don't judge me! Who are you to - you've got your problems, I've got mine.' You ever heard that before? Yes. Is it appropriate for a Christian to talk to somebody who is struggling in their faith? If a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual - now who would say, 'I'm spiritual enough'? But, obviously, Paul thinks some of us ought to think that we are connected with the Spirit. You ought to go to that person and work to restore them. This is a teaching you just don't hear much of in the church today, but it is a biblical teaching that, if you're walking with the Lord, part of that means that we bear each other's burdens and you care about those who are struggling. And if you see a brother or sister and they're weak in their faith and they're battling to walk with the Lord, don't publicly embarrass them, but make it a point to talk to them and say, 'hey, can we talk alone?' And say, 'hey, you know, how's it going?' And then talk to them - gently, you know, don't judge them, don't condemn them, but try and bring them around.

And do it how? Do it in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself, lest you also be tempted. If you do it with an arrogance like 'I'm holier than thou', you're setting yourself up for failure and temptation, because that's pride. And so, it ought to be done in a spirit of meekness, but we should care about each other. I think a lot of churches would be much stronger if the members watched out for each other. Amen? Amen.

It's like we say, 'oh, it's their problem. I'm not going to judge them.' That's kind of the attitude today. But we ought to - and we ought to make each other accountable. Someone, in a minute's, going to read Matthew 18:15 - and you'll have that? Okay. I'm going to read a couple other verses.

Here's one from job - same principle - job 4, verse 3 and , "surely you have instructed many, and you have strengthened weak hands. Your Words have upheld him who was stumbling," - way back in job - this goes way back before the time of Moses, it was a principle - if you see someone is stumbling - if they're weak - you encourage them - you strengthen them. Amen? - "And you have strengthened the feeble knees;" Hebrews also talks about those knees that are feeble - that they might be straight." James 5:19 and 20, "brethren," - and this is the very end of the book of James - "brethren, if anyone among you wanders from the truth, and someone turns him back, let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins." Can you say 'amen'? Amen. Boy, if you can't think of any other incentive, James is talking to the church. He said, 'some of you have fallen; those of you who go to the one who has fallen and you turn them back, you are saving a soul from death.

' Should we care about each other's souls? And covering a multitude of sins. And, in reaching out for those that are weak among us, that are struggling and encouraging them in the way, you will encourage yourself in the process because with Christianity it's like a muscle, if you don't use it, you lose it. As you give it away, you will become stronger. As you share your faith with others, your faith will be strengthened. Alright, go ahead, read for us, please Matthew 18:15.

"Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother." Now, if there's any kind of problem between brethren, you should go to them how? Go to them alone. Don't embarrass them. Don't make a spectacle of it, but we should appeal to each other. Matthew 18 has a lot to say, actually, about how we resolve some of these differences.

You've got a brother in the church and they borrow your lawn mower and they don't give it back, then it breaks and they don't pay for it and, before you go and you bring it up in a church business meeting, you ought to go knock on the door and say, 'hey, can we talk? You know that lawn mower? Don't you think you ought to buy me another lawn mower? Even if it's a used one, I mean' - and appeal to them, you know? We ought to reconcile our differences. And don't gossip about them, right? 'You know what that brother did?' And you ruin their name - that's not the way to do it. Alright, 1 Corinthians 5, verse 1 - now there - there's a time when churches - not just individuals - churches collectively need to make the members accountable for the purpose of being redemptive, not just for executing wrath. Corinthians 5:1 and 2 - Paul is talking about a really serious problem they had in the corinthian church and nobody was doing anything about it. They said, 'we don't want to judge'.

Paul said, "it is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and such sexual immorality as is not even named among the gentiles - that a man has his father's wife!" - We hope it was his step-mother - "and you are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he who has done this deed might be taken away from among you." What is Paul talking about? The church kind of had a blasé attitude about sin in the camp and the gentiles were looking in on the inside. What does that do to the witness of the church? If someone takes the name of Christ - if someone says they are a Seventh-day Adventist Christian and we're not living the life, then we ought to encourage each other, first of all, to live the life and, if someone is living in open high-handed immorality and they're not repenting and they don't change, what should you do? They need to be put out of the church. Why? For one thing, so they'll know they're in a lost condition and they'll repent and come back. So it's redemptive. I remember, once - church - I will not name what church it was - it wasn't this church - had a deacon.

Found out that he was fraternizing with another man's wife and when I found out about it, had a very brief visit with him. I said, 'brother, we're going to have to bring your name up' - I found out it was true - and he had all these interesting excuses - he said, 'oh, well that guy doesn't treat his wife nice and she needs someone better than that. I'm being really good to her.' I said, 'look, she's married to another man. This is cut and dry.' And I was very sorry we had made him deacon, to tell you the truth. And I said, 'look, we can go to the business meeting and we can talk about this, or you can recognize this as unbiblical and you can ask to have your name dropped and we'll work with you.

And he was really upset that I would - he finally decided to do that, but he was really upset that I would approach it that way. He said, 'I love the Lord. I'm a Christian.' And, at one point, someone knocked on the church office and came in and it was the husband of the lady that our deacon was running around with. Now how do you think that made me feel, as a pastor, about the witness that was going out into our community? I don't ever want to deal with that again. And this man was a Christian of another church.

He said, 'is that what your church teaches?' So, can you see why we had to deal with that? And then when we did deal with that brother's name, some other members of the church said, 'that was an unloving thing to do.' And they read me the riot act. 'You should have been more patient. Everybody makes mistakes. Who are we to cast the first stone?' You ever heard those arguments before? Yes. I said, 'look, we've got the husband Marching in my office saying it.

The deacon's admitting it.' Said, 'we've got to deal with this.' But these days, friends, you can hardly do anything to get kicked out of the church because people don't want to deal with sin. You're not helping that person. You're not helping the witness of Christ. And what happened to - what happened to Israel when they refused to deal with achan? You know the story of achan in the old testament, who had been stealing against the command of God and they were losing battles? So - and, you know, you have to recognize, nobody in the church feels like we're perfect. Nobody feels like we're worthy - amen? But there needs to be a standard of Godliness, that if a person is living in open high-handed sin, it needs to be dealt with.

First you want to be redemptive, especially if it hasn't gone public, and try to restore them. And first you go one on one. If that doesn't work, Jesus said take someone with you. If they still won't listen, bring it to the church. Isn't that what the right process is? A lot of churches, let's face it, they've got people on their church books that left the church years ago, that are totally out in the world, and nobody does anything about it.

And there's a lot of churches I go to, where, on Sabbath morning you'll see fifty people there and I'll ask the pastor, 'how many on the books?' 'Three hundred.' That's a little exaggeration, but not that far. Why is that? Because the church is not dealing with these things. It should start one on one. If we would bear one another's burdens - as soon as we see a person starting to slip and go and appeal to them and work with them and try and redeem them. I don't think we'd see that great deficit that we see now.

Someone say, 'amen' - I just told the truth, I know I did. Alright, now, is there a point when you finally have to say, 'look, I've labored with them but we're not getting anywhere? This is another verse people don't like to read, but - Hebrews - also written by Paul, we believe - Hebrews 6, verse 4, "for it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good Word of God and the powers of the age to come, if they fall away, to renew them again to repentance, since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put him to an open shame." Is this saying that a person, if they backslide, cannot be restored? No, it's talking about a person who knows all the good things of God and, in the face of that, they continue to live a life of sin. Have you ever wondered how do you apply the verse where Jesus says, in Matthew 7, 'do not give that which is holy to the dogs or cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under feet and turn and tear you in pieces'? Sometimes - you know what Paul says? Speaking about this same individual in 1 Corinthians 7 - in 1 Corinthians - 'you might need to deliver such a one to satan for the destruction of the flesh that, ultimately, his spirit might be saved.' Meaning that, ostensibly, he might repent and come to his senses and be restored. But who would ever want to say, in a church setting, that you're delivering someone to satan? Doesn't John say there comes a point with some people - John says, you know, we ought to pray for people, but he says there is a sin I don't even ask that you pray for it.' Sometimes a person gets into such a state of open rebellion that you need to say, 'alright, Lord, we're going to let this person go. We'll pray that you deal with them and get their attention and bring them back.

' I don't think anybody here would ever say that you get to the place where you stop praying for somebody because, you know, the Bible says 'where there's life there's hope.' But is there an unpardonable sin? I think that's what John was talking about. Alright, what about Galatians :1 - the part that says, "...considering yourself lest you also be tempted. This is under the section beware of temptation. How many remember where Matthew chapter 26, verse 31, "then Jesus said to them, 'all of you will be made to stumble because of me this night, for it is written: 'I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered. But after I have been raised, I will go before you to Galilee.

' Peter answered and said to him, 'even if all are made to stumble because of you,'" - and he looks around at the other eleven - 'even if all these stumble' - "I will never be made to stumble." And so Jesus says, 'considering yourself' - in other words, be humble, because here Peter thought, 'though all men forsake thee, I'll not forsake thee.' And guess what? Did Peter know his own heart? No. Did Peter think that was a possibility? No. 'I'd never do that.' Do we know our own hearts? The human heart is desperately wicked; who can know it? And so, we must, in humility, commit our hearts to God or we're capable of all kinds of things that you'd never believe. Esther chapter 7 - do you remember when - this is one of those 'thou art the man' experiences - king ahasuerus said to queen Esther, 'who is he and where is he who would dare to presume to annihilate your people?' And Esther said - basically, she said, 'king, it's you.' She said, 'it's the wicked haman.' But haman had the King sign the law. the King is the one who did it.

So haman was terrified before the King. Both haman and the King were saying, 'yeah, who would do that?' They didn't realize that Esther was Jewish, and here they had just worked together to make a law to kill all the jews. Like the video of that in heaven - haman's face when Esther says, 'it's haman.' Here he just thought he was invited to the feast because Esther liked him. Judge not - verse 7 of - rather Matthew 7, verses 1 and 2, "judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.

" So we need to be very careful. Now someone's going to read, for me, Matthew chapter 26, verse 25 - you'll have that? Just hold one second, keith, and we'll get to that. I'm going to read a couple more verses. How many of you remember when Daniel interprets the dream, for the King, of the great tree that gets cut down and the King says, 'what is the tree? What is the tree that gets cut down?' Daniel said, 'you're the tree that gets cut down.' It was because of his pride. Earlier Daniel said, 'you're the head of gold' - he liked that interpretation.

Now he says, 'you're the tree that's getting cut down.' That was probably a humbling experience. Go ahead, please read for us, Matthew 26:25 "then Judas said, which betrayed him, answered and said, 'master, is it i?' He said unto him, 'thou hadst said.'" Yeah, when - later at the dinner Jesus said, 'this night, you're all going to betray me. You're all going to forsake me.' And they went around the table one by one - you remember how they were sitting around the table? We don't know the exact order - we know that you've got Jesus and you've got John, then you've got Peter, then the other apostles and then, just before you get back to Jesus, you've got Judas. It does describe - at least those three - where they were sitting. And, as they go around the table, John says, 'Lord, is it i?' 'No.

' - Peter, 'is it i?' 'Is it i?' 'Is it i?' Finally, Judas says - you know, everyone's looking at him because he's the only one who hasn't said, 'is it i?' Judas knew it was he and he finally said, 'Lord, is it i?' And Jesus said, 'you said it.' And you wonder why they still didn't catch on about Judas. It's amazing to me how clueless they were about this hypocrite in their midst. Corinthians 10:12, "therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall." Now, you realize, when you read in 1 Corinthians chapter 10, he said that we're tempted in many ways, but God has promised that he will not allow us to be tempted above what we are able but will, with every temptation, provide a way of escape. And so, that's a wonderful promise. But when you go into that verse, don't forget that you must have a humble attitude of not - not being over-confident and, especially, if you're going to go labor with a brother or sister, to do it humbly.

You know, I remember - I struggled with smoking for years - and there was a member of the covelo church where I was baptized, ultimately. They said, 'doug, can you stop by, I want to talk to you.' And he wanted to talk to me - he knew I was struggling with this temptation. And so, when he labored with me, instead of condemning me and saying, 'you know, you're just addicted to cigarettes. It's a filthy habit. You've just got to quit.

' What he did was, he shared a personal experience about how he struggled with temptation and how God gave him the victory. And I was so impressed with his meekness and humility - instead of condemning me, he related to me and said, 'you know, I know what you're going through. I really struggled with this' - and he itemized what the issue was - and it was a battle for years. And I still, to this day, remember the story he told me about how he struggled. And he said, 'but, you know, I prayed and I prayed' - and it took a long time of praying - 'and finally God gave me the victory and, praise the Lord, the temptation was gone.

And it felt so good to be free. And he wants you to be free.' And he prayed with me then, that day. Well, I didn't quit right away, but I did later and I never forgot that he didn't condemn me - that when he confronted me, he did it in love and he related to me. You know, the one reason that Jesus is a great Savior is he became a human and he was tempted in all points as we are tempted, right? So he relates to us, and that's what Paul means when he says, 'considering yourself, lest you also be tempted.' Do it in gentleness. And, if you don't, Paul says you're a hypocrite.

Look in Romans, for instance. Romans chapter 2, verse 21, "you, therefore, who teach another, do you not teach yourself? You who preach that a man should not steal, do you steal? You who say, 'do not commit adultery,' do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? You who make your boast in the law, do you dishonor God through breaking the law? For 'the name of God is blasphemed among the gentiles because of you,' as it is written." It's like I was saying, you know, who is - who is the biggest enemy in the world of Christianity? Christians. People who take the name of Christians. And Paul said, to his Jewish readers - he writes the Romans, he says, 'look, they make fun of us in rome because, here, we preach one thing then we do another. And so, one reason for us to labor with each other is so that we bring up the standard of 'what is a Christian? And we live the life.

So, if you're going to talk to someone else about being restored - someone who is wandering from the faith, make sure that you're being consistent with that. Jesus talks about this a little later, when he says, 'why do you look at the speck that's in your brother's eye but you don't consider the two by four that's in your own eye?' - He says 'plank' - 'or how can you say to your brother, 'let me remove the speck from your eye' and look, you've got a plank in your own eye? Hypocrite.' Now does Jesus say, 'don't be looking for the speck in anyone's eye? Don't help your neighbor if he's got a piece of sawdust in his eye.' Is that what Jesus said? Or does Jesus say, 'when you're looking in their eye at the piece of sawdust, notice the reflection of your own eye. Do you have a two by four in your eye?' I had to grab a little piece of two by four to do a job yesterday, and I'd hate to have that in my eye. But Christ, here, this is an example of the humor of Jesus - or the irony, anyway, because, obviously, it's an illustration that, if we're going to help - but does Jesus say, 'don't ever help anybody who says something is in their eye?' No, he says, 'first remove the speck from your own eye, then you'll be able to help your neighbor with what's in their eye.' Amen? So, alright, let me just make this practical. Do you know somebody - brother, sister, somebody in the church - and they're just really struggling in some area you're aware of? Or maybe they're missing every third - every other week because their commitment is weak and you think they might just need some spiritual encouragement? Before you go see them, what should you do? Pray.

Pray and say, 'Lord, is my own heart right?' Or you're an elder and you're going to pray and have an anointing service for someone to be healed. Before you talk to them and you pray for them, you ought to pray for yourself and say, 'Lord, is my spirit right so that I can pray? If there's anything in my life, Lord, forgive me. Help me set that straight.' It's really good for Christians to take a regular inventory of our own lives as we pray and as we work with others, amen? Now, and this is biblical, 1 Corinthians 11:31, "for if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged." Now, I don't know about you, but I don't want to be judged. What does Paul say we need to do if we don't want to be judged? Judge yourself. Did I read that right? Let me read it again.

Corinthians 11:31, "for if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged." I hear some pastors out there saying, 'don't take yourself too seriously, just - just, you know, live in faith. Just live in grace and...' - My Bible says that every now and then you ought to take inventory of your life. Examine your heart - matter of fact, here's the verse - 2 Corinthians 13:5, "examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith." - Isn't that clear? - "Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you? - Unless indeed you are" - reprobate - or "disqualified." As some versions put it. So there is a time for Christians.

Doesn't David say, 'search me, Lord, try me. See if there be any wicked way in me. Lead me in the way everlasting.' I think it's appropriate for Christians to, every now and then, do a little accounting - an inventory of your own lives - and, especially, before you're going to go and labor with and try to encourage a brother or sister. Amen? And then 2 Peter 3:17, "you therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked;" - and so, we need to be careful to examine our own hearts and guard our own way, watch our own feet - the Bible's clear. Burden bearing - now we're in Galatians 6:2 through 5 - and this is really just - we're summarizing the work of the Gospel in the church, "bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.

For if anyone thinks himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. But let each one examine his own work," - this is what we were just talking about - "let each one examine his own work, and he will have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. For each one shall bear his own load." - We will all go into the judgment with our own record, and so, we need to make sure that we have the Lord taking away our burdens and we examine ourselves. Part of Christianity is bearing one another's burdens. Now someone's going to read, for me, Matthew 27:32 in just a moment - you'll have that? I think a few months ago I shared with you an illustration.

I was in western australia a few years ago. They've got a statue of someone there they call 'russian jack' - any of you ever heard of that before? Russian jack - there in western australia they had some mines in the 1880s and these two guys - russian jack's real name was ivan fredericks and I guess he had some russian background - and they were prospecting, out looking for gold, and his partner broke a leg and then got sick and the nearest medical clinic was 150 miles away - no roads. So ivan loaded his friend in a wheelbarrow and pushed him 150 miles - and this is over rough terrain - and when they finally entered the town there in wyndham - he took him across the great sandy desert to the nearest medical center - when he entered the town and they came and got his friend out they said, 'did you really push him all the way across the sandy desert?' He said, 'yes, I did.' And his friend said, 'and he didn't miss a single rock along the way.' (Laughter) can you imagine that? No shock absorbers in a wheelbarrow with a broken leg. That must have been a rough ride. But you've got to have a good friend who's going to push you that far.

That's what it means, "bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ." Go ahead, read, for us, please, Matthew 27:32. "Now as they came out, they found a man of cyrene, Simon by name. Him they compelled to bear his cross." What a wonderful man Simon must have been, that he bore the cross of Jesus. You ever thought how great it would be if you could say, 'I helped Jesus carry his cross.' But does it say that Simon volunteered or they compelled him? Compelled him. So is that the same thing? Better than nothing.

Are there some who - better than nothing - yeah, at the end of a spear. Yeah, it is good. Are there some people in the church that are helping bear burdens but they're not doing it willingly, they're doing it at the point of a roman spear? Doing it by compulsion? You know, I think Simon, later, when he found out who Jesus was, there is someone in the church who was called Simon niger and legend has it he was the one who carried Christ's cross. Matter of fact, I think a verse says it. And that, you know, he was later converted and what a privilege to say, 'yes, I'm the one.

' But how much better to say we willingly are wanting to bear one another's burdens. This is what it means to be a Christian. Matter of fact, Jesus says, in Matthew chapter 5:41, 'if someone compels you to go one mile, go with him two.' How many times have you used the expression 'going the second mile'? What does that mean? It was very common, in Bible times, that the Romans - remember, they were occupied by the Romans - as they traveled across the country, any roman centurion could come up and say to some farmer out in his field, 'look, drop what you're doing. I want you to help our soldiers carry the gear for one kilometer.' And, according to roman law, they couldn't require you to carry it for more than a mile. And then they'd find someone else and they'd carry it for a mile.

But Jesus was saying, 'look, if you want to be my follower, after they compel you to carry it for one mile, you tell them, 'I will carry it for free for another mile.' Now that's sort of outrageous, isn't it? I mean, this is your enemy and he's telling you you've got to carry his armor or his cannon - I guess they didn't have cannons - whatever it was you carried or the Romans - you had to carry it for a mile and they'd say, 'alright, you're free now.' You'd say, 'I just like you. I want to carry it another mile.' 'What in the world makes you do that?' 'Jesus, my Lord. He told me to love even my enemies. Let me carry it for you even another mile.' And if all of the jews had done that after Christ taught it, there never would have been a second war with the Romans, where the temple was destroyed. Bear one another's burdens.

Certainly, if you're going to do it for your enemy, would we do it in the church? Amen? James 2:14 through 16, "what does it profit, my brethren, if someone say he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says to them, 'depart in peace, be warmed and filled,' but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit?" I think I've told you before that when I first became a Christian, I'd spent so much time hitchhiking and praying for a ride - sometimes I spent hours out there in the sun, thirsty, whatever, just standing there begging for a ride. But I remember, in desperation, once or twice, I made these reckless promises and I hope the Lord doesn't hold me to it. And I said, 'Lord, if you just give me a ride, I promise, if I ever get a car, I will pick up every hitchhiker I see.' Well, I wasn't - you know, I was sincere when I said it, but I finally did get a car and I picked up a lot of hitchhikers. It got to the place where I thought, 'you know, I'm having a hard time living up to this vow.' And, you know, sometimes I'd see six hitchhikers standing on the on ramp and I'd say, 'Lord, I can't do this.' Then I said, 'well, I can't pick them all up, but I'll pray for them.' And I started thinking of that verse and I'd go by hitchhikers and I'd say, 'Lord, help them get a ride.' But I didn't give them a ride. So I'm in a hurry and they look like they smell and this is a new car, but 'give them a ride - have somebody else give them a ride, Lord.

' Now it's okay to pray for those that are having calamity. I think all of you have heard, at this point, that yesterday, president trump issued a declaration that Sunday - tomorrow - is a national day of prayer for the hurricane victims. Now that's good that we are taking time to pray, and it's biblical. I mean, I can think of a couple of times in the Bible when Kings and rulers proclaimed days of prayer. Even Esther asked all the people to pray on a - for three days - because they were facing annihilation.

I have to just tell you, I put it on my Facebook page - I don't know if anyone saw it - that it did give me a little bit of portentous creep - creepy feeling - to see the president signing a Sunday law, surrounded by religious leaders and political leaders, even though there's really nothing wrong with having a day of prayer. But just - it kind of was portentous, you know what I mean? It's kind of a harbinger of what may come some day. And - but it's good to pray and it's great for the nation to pray. That's - you know, thanksgiving came as a national day of prayer. That's how thanksgiving developed - because of the civil war.

It's good. I remember - the first thanksgiving with the pilgrims, that didn't become a national day until lincoln, during the civil war. But to just say 'we're going to have a national day of prayer' is one thing. To say 'we're going to send money' - do you know, on September 9, our church is having a special offering for the victims of - you know, if anyone out there is named harvey, I feel really bad for them right now, because we're all talking about victims of harvey, but we're going to be praying for and making donations to - now isn't that better? It's one thing to say 'we're going to pray', it's another thing to reach in your wallet and say, 'we're going to give something to help with the victims. I noticed, when I checked out at walmart yesterday, that they gave an option on the screen to donate to red cross for, ostensibly, the hurricane victims.

And so, here he's saying 'bear one another's burdens, not just with your prayers, but in tangible, real ways. Otherwise, what does it profit?' Part of bearing the burdens, it's just giving them time. I love what Paul says in Romans :15, "rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep." When you weep with those who weep, you divide their sorrows. You're helping them bear their burdens. Are there burdens in life? Yes.

When you become a Christian and you yoke up with Jesus, he said, 'my burden is light.' He helps bear the burden. Someone said that - you ever help a person carry a load by taking a stick and you put it through the handle of a very heavy cement bucket? They've got one end of the stick and you've got one end of the stick? Right? You ever do that before? And you pick up the bucket together. Do you realize that if you put the bucket closer to their end and you've got the long end of the stick, you have more leverage and your end is much lighter. They end up with the short end of the stick - it's much heavier. It's like when you're carrying a couch upstairs, you want to be at the top of the stairs, right? You don't want to be the guy pushing the couch up the stairs.

Well, Jesus is the one at the bottom. He has the short end of the stick. He says if we yoke up with him, he will take the burden. So, as Christians, we ought to model the teachings of Jesus, amen? "We then who are strong" - Romans 15:1 - "we then who are strong" - meaning in the faith - "ought to bear with the scruples of the weak, and not to please ourselves." We ought to be accommodating other whose faith might be a little weaker. Then we talk about the law of Christ - Matthew 22, verse 34 - "but when the pharisees heard that he had silenced the sadducees, they gathered together.

Then one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question, testing him, and saying, 'teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?' Jesus said to him, ''you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.' This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: 'you shall love your neighbor as yourself.' These two commandments replace the ten.'" Is that what he said? No. No. Some people read it that way. Jesus actually said, 'on these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

' In other words, it's a summary of the law and the prophets. In Galatians chapter 5 - this is what he says - verse 14, "for all of the law is fulfilled in one word," - meaning one saying - "even in this: 'you shall love your neighbor as yourself.' But if you bite and devour one another, beware lest you be consumed by one another!'" This is how we show we are Christians, by bearing each other's burdens - by loving one another. Alright, sowing and reaping - last section. Someone's going to read job :8 - I'm guessing that's you, manjeet. Yes.

Here's the last section - Galatians 6:7 and 8, "do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life." There is a sowing/reaping principle in life you cannot escape. Please read for us, job 4:8. Job 4:8, "even as I have seen, those who plow iniquity and sow trouble reap the same." You're going to harvest what you plant, and Paul is telling the galatian believers, 'you will reap what you sow.' And Proverbs 6:27, "can a man take fire to his bosom, and his clothing not be burned? Can one walk on hot coals and his feet not be seared?" - There's a few fijians who can do it - "so is he who goes in to his neighbor's wife; whoever touches her shall not be innocent." In other words, there is a law in life that there are consequences for your actions. You can read, for instance, Romans 8:5 - and he's talking about if you sow to the flesh, you're going to reap from the flesh corruption.

Romans 8:5, "for those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace." And God wants us to be spiritually minded, amen? We'll reap - if we sow to the spirit, we'll reap of the Spirit life. That's good news. I want to remind our friends, in closing, about the free offer that we'd like to make available called the final verdict and you simply ask for #162 when you call this number. The number is 866-788-3966 - that's 866-study-more - we'll be happy to send that to you.

God bless you. We look forward to studying his word together again next week. Five hundred years ago, God used martin luther to inspire a great reformation, calling people back to the foundational teachings of Scripture; however, in the centuries that followed, the church has slipped off the bedrock of truth into the valley of Lukewarm worldliness. That's why, this fall, I'll be presenting a brand-new nine-part series called foundations of faith - a perfect series for anyone seeking a personal revival and renewal in their relationship with Christ. Please plan, now, to join me in person, online, or on television and be sure to invite others to join you as well.

The reformation continues. Every now and then, in the panorama of history, we hear about individuals that go from the lowest depths to the highest pinnacles. They emerge from the shackles of prison to lead and inspire a nation. Take Joseph, for instance: he's sold by his brothers as a slave, then falsely accused and thrust into prison. Yet, through a series of divine circumstances, he miraculously goes from the prison to the palace, ruling the ones who once imprisoned him.

Sound far-fetched? It's happened in history more than you think. South africa is the home of just such a leader. Nelson mandela worked tirelessly to establish peace and freedom in his country and his influence was felt around the world. Before freedom, there must be forgiveness. Like Joseph, who was unjustly accused of a crime he did not commit, nelson mandela was accused of terrorism and sentenced to life in prison on robin island.

He was often exposed to cruel punishment and abuse. But even in the midst of apparent failure and discouragement, he never lost heart and he never gave up. After years in prison, a growing number of supporters rallied for his release and eventually it took place. And God used him so that he was instrumental in helping to abolish racial segregation in the country of south africa. Incredibly, he now was, virtually, the absolute leader in the country that had imprisoned him.

He had all the tools and the power at his disposal to get even with the prison guards and others that had mistreated him. Instead, mandela chose forgiveness. It reminds me of that verse in the Bible in Ephesians chapter , verse 32, "let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you." I'm so thankful that nelson mandela, like Joseph, chose to forgive those who were once his enemies, and to serve his nation with love and courage. You can find a number of examples of this happening in the Bible.

You have Daniel, who was a captive from the land of judah, and yet God arranged things where he becomes the prime minister in the kingdom of Babylon. You have Esther, who was a poor orphan girl in persia, and yet God worked things out where she becomes the queen of that country. The book of Jeremiah ends with an incredible story of a young king named jehoiachin, who was in a Babylonian dungeon for 37 years and then king evil-meredoch has mercy on him and he had a new status, going from the prison to the palace. This is what the Lord wants to do with you and me, friends. He gives you the bread of life.

He gives you the robe of Jesus' righteousness. He gives you a seat at his table. If you accept his forgiveness and you're willing to pass it on, you and I can live and reign with Christ. Wouldn't you like that experience?

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