Speaker(s): Pastor Thomas Schaller
Sermon # 11568
7:30 PM on 10/31/2018
That was such a good tune and rhythm and the voice, the heart, the spirit. Thank you. Welcome home. Tonight we have a palm tree to put up on the screen. Why don’t we have some prayer a little bit? Have a prayer with your neighbor. Should we pray for our country, churches in our country? Pastor Appreciation Month ends tonight at midnight!
I have so many things to say. I have a lot here put together. Essentially, we went to Israel and came back two days ago. We had a great team of people, 48 people. A Brazilian Messianic Jew who got saved in Brazil [was the tour guide]. Two of his grandparents were holocaust survivors. Two things in his family were forbidden that they would become orthodox Jews and that they would believe in Jesus but God did it. God saved him and his brother and his extended family. He immigrated to Israel. It was a great story.
Heb 1:1, I’ll tell you in a minute what I want to share with you. Israel is packed with messages. It’s packed with history, prophets, and miracles. We were at Tiberius the Sea of Galilee in the city and I sat with five Jewish boys as people went to use the bathroom in our group getting ready to go out on the lake. One spoke good English and he said, do you believe Jesus walked on water? I said, yes. I can’t do it. But he did it. I said do many tourists come through here? He said many. The people there we enjoyed it had many experiences and God is speaking through this nation. We are in a very interesting time in history and we have the benefit of looking back and saying what it says here, God at different times – Noah, Abraham, the family, the Jews coming out of Egypt. We went to the wilderness, the desert and saw a replica of the tabernacle set up and we thought about it. We went to Jerusalem for four days. We saw many things in the city of David. We were in the city of David, the Gihon Spring. We would go back to our hotel facility and P. Ben and Ramona met us. We spoke together and fellowshipped and brought things out of the word.
P. Ben said – I have a palm tree up there (on the screen). He said three things about a palm tree a believer can learn. The root is a tap root. It goes straight down as deep as you can imagine. The root is in the center of the tree. This tree is like a believer. Who has a tap root that goes directly down deep? If a hurricane comes, the tree bends with the hurricane winds and the root is in the middle of the tree. If you bang the tree like this, you hurt the outside of the tree. Then it doesn’t change the tree. Then the third thing the leaves go up and when they go out, they die and when we go horizontal we die. But if we go vertical, we live.
What I want to speak about tonight is the believer’s position. What is our position and how do we relate to it? In our life, we have trouble. All of us, different kinds. We have trouble with demons. I think I experienced that on the way home on the airplane. I had mentally this crazy, stubborn, demonic thoughts that came to my mind after an amazing time together with the Body and in fellowship. Demonic thoughts don’t trouble me so much because our identity is so grounded in the finished work and we know what God gave us in Christ. Demonic activity and one of the characteristics of it is confusion. Another one is blaspheme, unbelief, rebellion, fear, guilt. All kinds of things demons can do to believers. But the believer must learn how to live and relate to the great grace of God. Because as we were in Israel, it seemed everything that happened with Jewish people and the tabernacle is pointing to the ultimate One.
Heb. 1:2. God has spoken to us by his Son. That’s shocking that God came here. Soon it will be Christmas season, the great time of the Incarnation celebration. The fact God became a man and lived here and spoke to us day and night for three years. The Son of God died on the cross. The apostles are un-packaging that for us. What does that mean that Christ died on the cross? It must be very meaningful if God’s focus is on the cross. If he gave his Son to come on the cross, if his Son died on the cross, it must be packed with meaning for us. Many times we think I get saved so one day I will go to heaven, but the cross means much more. It means you and I would be able to live in a wicked, demonic world with our sin nature attached to our mortal body and our mortal body and sin nature welded together. The sin nature I have is connected with my body. As long as I’m in this body, I have a sin nature. When I leave my body, it will be the first time I’m without my sin nature. That day is coming. That will be a great day. Out of a demonic world where there is no fear, guilt, no shame, no self-consciousness as we know it as guilty, sinful people who struggle with this whole thing called spirituality. Unless we understand the finished work. The finished work is the tree with the tap root that goes to God that we are rooted and grounded in what happened at the cross.
Rom 6, do you remember when Dr. Stevens taught us about the 96 things that happen to us at the time of salvation? These are called positional truths. Leon Morris says that Eisenman [?], a theologian said there’s 164 passages where you have “in Christ,” “in him,” “in whom,” where we come up with an exact count is not easy because not all of the use of these phrases refer to positional truths but 164 passages and A. M. Hunter referred to about 200 of them. Whatever the number, it’s clearly Paul emphasizing the position of the believer in Christ.” We are in him and he is in us. Louis Sperry Chafer said the seven powerful words. I am in him and he is in me. Jesus said I am in you and you are in me. These are seven power packed words for the believer. Who am I? My position. To do this as a diagram when Jesus died and we believed we were immediately raised and seated in heaven. This is our position. Here I am in my experience as a believer. My experience looks more like this, meaning I am not always believing. I’m not always victorious. Sometimes by habit we as Christians sin. This is part of our theology and a deep understanding of what it means to be saved. One is my position and the other is my experience. In my experience, I am attracted to the idea of succeeding or willing or determined or getting my act together or getting disciplined or praying more. I’m more inclined to my personal progress and how I can do this and make it as a believer.
But the teaching here in Romans 6 is very important for us because it tells us how we live this life. How? We are sanctified. It has everything to do with this one. You cannot fight a good fight unless you know who you are. You cannot declare your victory unless you know you have it. We can’t put on who we are unless we know who we are. Who am I? What did Jesus do on the cross for me? One of the things I noticed in our group, we had 48 people, the relaxed spirit of joy and truth and appreciation and identity. It’s amazing when we meet other believers and there is no comparison. We went into a 12th century church near the Pool of Bethesda where Jesus said the man sat there for 38 years waiting for the waters to move. There is a cathedral nearby. Some couple hundred in there were singing a hymn we all knew. We all joined in and sang the hymn. We’re kind of lost in the word “we.”
We is Romans 8. It’s repeated in Romans 8.
Romans 7 is the word “I” repeated. When I’m on the plane coming home and its more “I” and demonic thoughts and craziness maybe for whatever reason. Who knows? Maybe something I ate or not sleeping. I don’t care about it but I want to bring it up because it can happen to you. We are human beings, failures, weak. We don’t pray enough, read our Bible enough, or do enough of this or that. Who cares?
Romans 6 in this chapter in the first ten verses we have 22 indicative verbs. That might not mean much to you but the indicative mood is a statement of fact or actual occurrence. It may be action occurring in past, present or future time. It is a statement of fact. It can even be made with a negative adverb. This is in contrast with another mood where the speaker desires or asks for the action to take place. This is not about wishing something will happen and hoping it had happened. It has happened. I have died with Christ. Indicative mood. Statements of fact. When this is so important to God, it must be very important to us. We died. Truth. Our position. Planted. Buried, Raised with him. Truth. What does this mean now in my life in a practical way? It really means faith. To believe it. In my experience, I can say that’s not true. That’s not relevant or it doesn’t matter. Then there is no tap root that goes to that essential reality that will hold my tree or sanctify my life. It’s the reality of the truth of these finished work statements that Paul as an apostle is presenting to us. Let’s write down some things.
Will power won’t work, Roman 7. What I will do, I don’t do. What I shouldn’t do, that what I do. I’m living with a sin nature and the only answer to my sin nature is death at the cross. And it happened. When I live by faith in what God has said, the Holy Spirit is faithful to set me free. When we are free, we become worshippers of God with the green palms that go up. We say, praise God. The palms that go down die. There is something about my life that is dying while I’m living. The Holy Spirit is faithful to minister to us the reality of who we are and we say we are free in Romans 8 or the last verse of Romans 7.
Rom 6:11-13 are imperative mood verbs. Imperative mood is a command or instruction given to the hearer charging the hearer to perform a certain action. Flee youthful lusts. The first ten verses is not imperative mood. It is indicative mood. It says this is the truth. Now he follows it up with imperative mood. Likewise reckon yourself to be dead unto sin. My reckoning, my mixing faith, my believing that I passed into something different. I read about a soldier in the Marines drilled by a drill sergeant yelling at him and making him do pushups. This drill sergeant was mean and tough. He did his duty and finished and got out. He left his uniform at home. He met the drill sergeant at the mall. He went into his routine and yelled at the guy and said do pushups. I don’t know if this is true. It doesn’t sound like it! The guy is saying no way Jose, not going to happen. We give in too much to the lies and say you have to sin. No, I don’t. I died and now I live. For me to live is Christ. I’m free. We are worshippers of God and the Spirit of God and we say now this amazing word “we.” On the trip, as I was looking at people and enjoying our time together, I saw nobody after the flesh. I was amazed at this and enjoyed it so much. Every one of us have the same thing. Every one of us have the same grace. It’s not about who has the will power or who is righteous or more righteous than someone else. Or who does this well or that well. It’s we have died and there is great grace with us. We are built up in him. We are knowing him. We are worshippers of God. We are free.
Romans 8 three parts to this sanctification.
Rom 8:1, I saw this diagram. Three pillars like this used in this verse and over the top this sanctification. Sanctification means we are being made like Christ. We are living in the H.S. We are finding the way of the Spirit in our life. We are finding the ministry of grace in our lives. We are finding the peace of God. Our tour guide was such a sweet guy. We were always correcting his English. He asked us to and some of us were too eager to do it! Pronouncing names in Hebrew and finding the word in English. He was such a humble and sweet guy. God gave us him. You should see how much we affected him and we had this fellowship. He told us at the end when I went with this group they said you have a cute group. Largely middle aged people stumbling along almost everything short of a walker! When we would go to an event or occasion you have a cute group. We would say are some of the groups crazy? He said some of them are crazy! What he means is hyper-spiritual and emotional. We are not so emotional in that way. But a lot of tears. At the garden tomb, we went in by groups of 6 and could go in for a few minutes and come out. Just about everyone when they came out had tears. It was emotional but it’s sanctification that is happening. Sanctification is happening in your life and my life because of our positon. We know we are not in the Marines any more. We are free. I’m not listening to the devil. I’m not listening to my flesh or what the world is telling me. We are free. We have this pillar is power. This pillar is freedom.
Rom 8:2-3, free now to serve others. Free now to not care about their weakness or problem or trouble or confusion. Free now to lay down our lives. Free to be like Christ in an evil world. Free to worship upward, not be hurt on the side. You can beat the palm tree, scar it, put initials in it and won’t change essentially the tree. The tree is a good example. When Christ came, he must have done this for us. He did it. Many of Paul’s epistles are saying this. Schaffer said until positional truth is recognized and received, there can only be confusion and misunderstanding about the true motivating principle in the Christian’s life. I don’t understand how to get there. Rest and walk in faith. The spirit…make us worshippers. We will be deep and personal. We will read things edifying and grounded in the finished work. We will care about each other without judging each other. We either think of people too highly or too lowly. When you are Spirit filled, you think of Christ in this world and how much you love people whoever they are. If they are low, I don’t know they are but to love them. Someone was very impressed with our group of people the Lord had put together and someone was visiting and said I would love to have a group of people like you have. I’m thinking, you have no idea! A couple things. You have no idea who these people really are. They are the failures, the low ones, the high ones, the carnal ones, the fleshly ones, the discouraged ones, the confused ones. Of course, I’d love to have a group of people like you have. You have them. They need to recognize what the cross means. To recognize what it means to live by faith when you fail. To put on the Lord J.C. when you are unable. How much God is for us and what we have. Paul is saying it over and over. It’s not about how great – it used to be that way in the Marines and in religion, but it isn’t that way. It’s a mystery. It’s the Spirit doing it and leading us. Indicative mood know it by fact and imperative mood act on it. Believe it. That’s it. Middle pillar – I can’t remember what it was.
Rom 8:4, Spend time in prayer listening to the Spirit. Spend time in the word listening to the Spirit and building you up in the Spirit. Then when the demons are there, resist them. Laugh at them. Don’t be under pressure from demons. They are liars. They mean nothing to me. I could care less about demons. Like the dead palm branches coming down and falling away. The demons are nothing.
Our freedom and life in the Spirit means everything. Finish Bible college by faith, by faith, by faith. Be a missionary by faith. When you have a calling of God on your life, do it by faith in the finished work and see what God does. Test him and try him and he will do it.
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