The True Witness of Reconciliation

As enemies, we were brought to reconciliation by God Himself. We have no idea of what is in our hearts. God does not deal with liars. Jesus came to become sin for us. The great gift of grace to us has made us free of sin and death.
Proverbs 14:5; 2 Corinthians 5:18-21

Speaker(s): Pastor Thomas Schaller, Pastor Steven Scibelli
Sermon # 11518
11:00 AM on 8/5/2018

 

 

P. Scibelli

What it means to follow God. It speaks of an abiding fellowship in relationship to God loving me and producing faith. I can’t follow God unless I’m loved by God and believe God. Satan wants to make people dyslexic. To see backwards, to follow God without love and faith. Following God is simply by him loving me and me believing and receiving and following God.

Mt. 3:17 lowest point in Jordan at the beginning of Jesus’ ministry. He hears a voice. This is my beloved Son, the Son of my love in whom I am well pleased. It’s great to stop trying to please God and live in the Son who pleases God. At the Mt. of Transfiguration was the high point. This is my Beloved Son in whom I am well pleased. We will have high points and low points in our lives. We love the high points. We love the low points, too. In the high and low, this is my beloved Son in whom I am will pleased. I am loved in the low points and in the high points.

We have a pastor in Africa that unless God intervenes, he passes with cancer. He’s lost half his body weight. He said to me isn’t God good all the time? Yes, Pastor Daniel. He said we need to support an 11th church. He’s concerned with the goodness of God and the ministry. We prayed for his health and healing but that wasn’t on his mind as a first thing.

This is my beloved Son. I read a story about a man, a missionary to China for 35 years but the last 10 years were interesting. At age 70 – you’re supposed to retire aren’t you? Please don’t take it wrong. I’m talking about spiritually retiring. I love Jonathan Goforth, Canadian missionary. At 70 years old, it wasn’t the best situation. He’s 70 and his wife is an invalid and the only one who wants to go with him is a 14 year old boy. He has one eye, 70 years old, a wife crippled and accompanied by a 14 year old helper. God said, go. Follow me. It’s about being loved and believing God. After his 70th birthday, there were 1,000 converts in Manchuria. More converts in the last 10 years than in the 30 other years in China. High point, low point.

I desire to follow God and we want to please God. God says this is where it begins. This is the Son of my love in whom I am well pleased. Listen to him. Receive God’s love and that will produce faith. Love believes all things. I just need to be loved by God. Say that. I want to be loved by God more and more. And God promises to do that because that is who he is. That love produces faith and that faith moves mountains and that faith follows God but it begins with God’s love. How can you just get up from a receipt of custom and follow?

It was something about Jesus Christ’s life that Matthew and Peter just got up and followed. When you meet the one that loves you, the only way he can love you, you say I believe him and I’m going to follow.

Bernard of Clairvaux, they put pitch tar on him and burned him at the stake. They tried to get him to recant his faith. He kissed the stake and said thank you for providing this stake that will bring me into your presence today.

How do we follow? We believe. How do we believe? We’re loved.

 


 

P. Schaller

Praise the Lord! Halleluiah! God is good. It’s so good to have P. Scibelli back from his long trip, 28 days. The countries he goes to he mentions them. There were 2,000 at a conference and 2,500 there. It’s a beautiful work of God. Keep it in prayer. It’s all about Jesus Christ and his great work.

I look in the audience and see many great friends and servants of God. Gary Toft is here. He lived in Romania for 2 years and served there. The Post family, P. Jon and Diane. Cindy Matthew and the family from Puerto Rico. We are blessed to be in the presence of God’s people. Every one of us are objects of his grace and love.

I was reading in the Scriptures and I got a hold of something we all know pretty well. We understand it but when it occurred to me, I got filled with joy about it. In amazement at what Christ has done for all of us. I am in shock. I am amazed. I am so thankful. I could dance here! Knowing what God did for every one of us. All of us, what God has done for us through Christ. It’s amazing. I’m going to try and share it with you today. God can reveal it to us and help us understand it. Two parts. Before we get there and when we get there. Is that hard to understand? Before we get there and when we get there. Okay! Let’s go.

Prov. 14:5, ever have anyone, you know what I mean, lie and bear false witness against you? Go to your boss and tell a lie about you. The heart of man that we have a real problem in life because of what happens in our hearts. Our hearts are a problem. They are deceitful and desperately wicked.

I talked to a brother one time on a sail boat. Three guys on a sail boat on the Atlantic Ocean. Two don’t like one. They got this idea to take a bucket with a rope on it. When the sailboat is going, that rope can pull you in. They had a wicked evil idea of getting rid of the third guy in the boat by having that rope tied around him and throw the rope and he would drown at sea. No one would know. Horrible story. The heart of man Your heart and my heart.

Look at the verse. Where do we find a faithful witness? He would tell the truth all the time. God. God is the true God and there is no darkness in him. God, faithful witness. In heaven, there were all these angels and one angel gets the idea I don’t agree. I rebel. I am against God. He is the first liar. He is the father of lies. He is an unfaithful witness. He will lie, murder, destroy, cheat you, and deceive you and me. He is an unfaithful witness. Jesus Christ is a faithful witness. He came into this world and is telling us the truth even if we don’t like to hear it. Even if he will be crucified, he will tell us the truth. Even if the world won’t receive him, even if not politically correct, even if the whole world is against him, he will tell us the truth. Isn’t that good? I want that. When the fallen angel went through heaven, he lied to all the angels in heaven. How many believed the lie? What was Lucifer saying in heaven?

Ezek. 28, God allowed him to traffic in heaven. He had the freedom to go through heaven and lie. God is not that great, he said. He was saying I am better. I am greater. Follow me. I will show you the way. In principle. We don’t know what he literally said because it’s not written. The fact he did it is clear and a third of the angels believed him. A false witness will utter lies. He was cast out of heaven in Luke 10. Jesus said I saw him fall as lightning.

Adam was to be a faithful witness. Adam was to be a faithful witness of God. Adam was to say that God is good, real, able, gracious and all of the truths about God that would be revealed about Adam. There was to be a witness on the earth of who God is. The liar misled Adam and Eve and Adam agreed with the devil. They agreed and became a false witness.

We are a false witness of who God is. We get hurt and are tempted to say, what happened? How is it I don’t understand? We get sick, poor, thirsty, and hungry and start to utter lies about God. It’s not fair what happened to me. I can’t believe this happened to me. By our experience, we become a false witness.

The Jews come out of Egypt through the Red Sea and three days later they start complaining. Where is the food? Where is the water? Man is not to live by his stomach alone but by every word that comes out of God’s mouth. Reality in the universe is like a house with two floors and man is living on the first floor only. Only by what he sees and experiences. He’s subjective. He lives by reason and feelings. If God loved us, he wouldn’t bring us out to the wilderness to die. We are dying. Is this love? Yeah, right. This is love. It is real.

When Lazarus is dead and his sister said to Jesus if you had been here, my brother would not have died. I don’t understand why you didn’t come. We told you four days ago but you came late. Jesus lives in the whole house. His eyes are not only on dead Lazarus buried in the tomb but his eyes are on his Father. He is a faithful witness of the Father. He said this is for the glory of God. Can you see it? We see my dead brother. That’s what we see. Jesus is saying, come on. Come on. Don’t live by sight. I am here. I am the resurrection and the life. I am the way, the truth, and the life. Open your heart. Believe me. I came that your life would be more than what you feel and reason. You would live by spiritual understanding.

The H.S. is a faithful witness. He will guide you into all truth. He will show us the Father. Your new heart that Jesus put in you, your new heart and mind is bearing witness of the truth. We are dying in the wilderness. I don’t deny that reality. I have a feeling there is something more going on than us dying. More than my life it is to his glory. I believe that God is more than my bread and bed and my life and things and my feelings and my understanding. My thoughts are not your thoughts and my ways are not your ways. I need a faithful witness on the earth and that’s us.

We are a faithful witness. It’s not us but we are on a mission. We are bearing witness to the goodness of God and the grace of God and the ways of God. We are here with a purpose. Not to lie about God but bear witness of a greater reality than us. God’s presence in his Body and God’s reality through the cross. The impartation of this in our lives. I want to say there is a contest.

The first liar was Lucifer. He became the father of lies. Meaning he didn’t have one before him. He was the beginning of lies. God is not the liar. Misunderstanding. Life is like a court room.

“Throughout Israel’s history, both Israel and Yahweh are on trial for their fidelity to the covenant. The whole Bible can be read as one long court trial.”

Isn’t that interesting? One witness is called and another is called and he is a false witness. If you read the word “witness,” God says I call heaven and earth to bear witness. I would like to get a better understanding. Wherein have I wearied thee? Bear witness against me in Micah. “God’s not fair.” Jesus is saying God is fair. All his works are right. The false witness is then why has this happened and that happened? Jesus bears witness to the nature of God. We are in a world where both sides are making their arguments.

We are in a world where sometimes we agree with the lie. Then there are times in our humility and our faith and the Holy Spirit is teaching me and I see it. I believe it will be as God has said. I am a bit embarrassed I believed the lie and now I realize a lot of things I don’t understand. Love passes knowledge. Good example is when Jesus is dead and buried in the tomb and the women want to go early morning because they can’t work on the Sabbath and can’t carry the spices and wash his body. It was done quickly and the Sabbath came. The first day of the week they are going to do more of it and have the idea, who will move the stone? They could aid no one so let’s go home. But they didn’t do that. Because love passes knowledge. Knowledge says the stone will be there. Let’s go anyway because we love him. We love him. He is dead. He’s a dead man. Yes, but we love him. It is in our hearts. I go because it’s our new heart.

We are in this world. Listen to me. Unsaved people do not have a new heart. They have that heart when they devised the scheme in the Atlantic to get rid of the guy on board. Their heart devised it and it comes up in the heart of men: adultery, pride, evil eye, blasphemy. It’s in our heart. In our first birth, we are liars. We utter lies all the time. We hear the devil lying to us about God. “Don’t believe God.” “It doesn’t matter.” “It makes no difference.” “You can never reach him.” “He doesn’t care about you.” “Don’t you know how lousy a person you are?”

This is the second part which is shocking.

In 2 Cor 5:18 is a short lesson. We’re flying here. I want to make a point. When two people disagree, there is a word for this in the Greek about being reconciled.

It’s only one place in our New Testament in Mt. 5:24. Someone has something against you and be reconciled to your brother. Same way as when you buy a used car. What’s your price? That’s crazy. Make a counter offer. Make some reconciliation and agree at a certain price. That’s the word. Working it out between two people. This is a kind of reconciliation of two parties, enemies, and being reconciled. This is not the word used here. It’s two parties and one of them goes all the way to the other and brings him to being reconciled. There is no negotiating on the guilty party. There is nothing in that party that is an enemy. This is an enemy and this one is God. We were enemies and reconciled to God. When we were far away, unable and had nothing to offer in making an agreement with God. God could say I’m disappointed with you and you sinned a lot. We could say I’m sorry and I will do better. God could say I’ll give you six months. I do better and God would say can we pick up our game a little? The pressure is on me. I’ll give it a shot. Let me try. That arrangement is not our message at all. It is not our message. It is not the gospel. That is not what happened to you and me. That does not work. That can’t change my life. That is garbage. It’s a false witness. This is not the gospel. This is not working out some arrangement so God would be pleased with me because of me. Look at what he thinks of us. The cross. That’s what he thinks of you and me. If I was in the Atlantic Ocean, I would never dream of someone being lost at sea [someone might say]. You are a nice person but you have no idea what you’re capable of.

James 2:10 you are guilty of breaking all the commandments. There is no way any of us would be anywhere with God in any relationship. God does not deal with liars. We are false witnesses, liars. Therefore J.C. came. And he became sin. He became 100% sin for us. He did. He was 100% God. God became a man. It’s almost blasphemy to say it. But it’s here in the Scriptures. We would never say it expect it’s in the Scriptures. We would be justified before a holy God and all my sin would go on Christ. Unimaginable that a holy God would become sin. That a holy God would be judged as sin on our behalf and raised and we would be brought in the presence of God by his grace. God has reconciled us to himself.

vs. 18. Reconciled us to himself by J.C. and given to us the ministry of reconciliation. God was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself. This word. This one. He did the whole thing. He went all the way and then brought us all the way. We are righteous now before a holy God. We are able to bear witness that our God is an incredible God, a God of all grace, a forgiving God, the wise God. The wisdom of God that did this. The depth of it is amazing. The reality is beyond words. It’s an unspeakable gift of God. The great gift of God in Christ. The reality of God’s great grace. The reality of the Spirit of grace. Bearing witness that God is a gracious God and forgiving God.

vs. 20. An ambassador can’t be lying on behalf of the country he represents. He must be representing the country, the government.

vs. 21. That’s the thing. That’s it. That’s what I said at the beginning. When we say this, it was in my meditation that we would be reconciled all by his grace through his son Jesus Christ. Now we bear witness to the reality of God in a suffering and dying and troubled world.

All the psychology and medical work and education and professors and moms and dads and through our world and country and how little is preached about Jesus Christ. How little people say Christ is the answer in places where we need to be hearing it. Our young people need to be here because we are faithful witnesses saying don’t believe the lies of the 400 false prophets. There is another answer. The fuller picture. Put your trust in him and you will know it. That’s why he came. We will do the communion with this message in mind.

Tonight will be a great message on love. I’m going to give an introduction on joy. The joy of God! The joy of God! Come on out. Don’t be hanging around home having another donut, another TV program. Come on out.

 

 

 


Please enjoy these sermon notes from the messages preached at Greater Grace Church in Baltimore. These notes are provided to aid in your study and understanding of the Word. Note that these notes do not represent complete, word-for-word transcriptions. Also, they may contain omissions as well as some errors in spelling and structure, etc., as we attempt to provide them as soon as possible. Our hope is that these notes serve as a way to help you search and connect with messages on related subjects and passages. Thank you for your interest in the ministry of Greater Grace.

 

 

Comment(1)

  1. Reply
    Ged Valaitis says

    Pastor Scibelli’s intro about spiritual dyslexia; getting our lives backward by trying to serve God, before receiving the love of God, reminded me of a favorite Pastor Stevens message, “Letting God do in us, what He has allready done in us”.
    Pastor Stevens uses Hudson Taylor (China Missionary) as an example of someone who fell into spiritual dyslexia. He was trying to serve God, and it just wasn’t working. Hudson Taylor cries out to God, “how do I live by faith” ; and God answers him, “abide in my faithfulness”.

    As Pastor Scibelli’s prayed; Let’s fellowship with His faithfulness, so we can be faithfull witnesses.

Post a comment