The woman taken in adultery had everything against her on the outside. She was caught and guilty. But Jesus saw the inside. He brought beauty and said, “Neither do I condemn you.” Come to God in fellowship and get the ministry that’s needed. (John 8; Psalm 27:4; James 4:10-11)

Speaker: Thomas Schaller
Sermon: 12575
7:00 PM on 09/6/2023

P. Schaller –

Hey, have you ever heard of this phrase, “Curse ye Meroz”? Some of you are new in our church. Even in the
last twenty years. I don’t know that we’ve ever taught that. Curse ye Meroz. What does it mean?
It relates to our message tonight. Would you like to turn with me to the book of Judges. I want to
point it out to you and tell you a little bit about it. Judges 5. Deborah. How many love Deborah?
Come on! Deborah. Man! Wow! Deborah. Huh? Boy. She was singing and praising God.
Now, the history and the geography you have like this. Here’s the Sea of Galilee. The Jordan
River runs down into the Dead Sea. You came to church to learn a little geography tonight.
Okay.

The battle, the Canaanites in the north – there was a city up here, Hazor. There was
Megido. Mt. Tabor was here. Oh, it’s not up there? It’s like Jesus coming. We never know! You
never know! Okay. So, the Canaanite kings in the north – I’ll just draw this line here – they were
defeated by Joshua but they came back and they had authority. They had armies. This
particular general had 900 iron chariots. Nine hundred iron chariots. A big, a very substantial
force.

Deborah and Barak, they teamed up. Deborah lead and there was a king, a Canaanite king. His
name was Sisera, and he was the commander. And he came up here in this area. I’m not going
into the detail. You can look it up in your study Bible and see what happened. But Deborah and
Barak came out against him. And he actually fled on foot. He fled on foot to get away cause the
army was defeated. There was a small village called Meroz. What did those – when the enemy
is fleeing on foot, the commander, they had an advantage. They could have captured him. They
could have destroyed him. They could have killed him. But instead, they just said we’re going to
mind our own business. We’re not into this. We’re doing our own thing.

So, that’s the principle. It’s simple, but it relates to what we want to say tonight. Look at Judges
5. It’s a great chapter actually with a lot of names and places, tribes, and how they related to this
battle. They weren’t united under a king at this time in their history. Israel. So, they had judges,
like heroes. The word for “judges” is “hero.” They had heroes that would just step up, and they
would do what had to be done to defeat the enemy, because there was different people living in
the land. And the Canaanite people would oppress the Jews, hated the Jews, and the Jews
were given the land. So, they believed it was theirs. But they were oppressed, so God raised up
a hero.

The point here is that whether you are winning or you are losing, you have to have something in
your heart about what to do. You have to have something in your heart that’s not based on
convenience or your opportunity or your advantage. It has to be something on a higher principle.
There has to be something in our hearts and that’s why we are fellowshipping.

The word “fellowship” is really our subject. Look at Judges 5. It says vs. 23. They didn’t show
up. They hid. Maybe some examples of that come to your mind when, you know, like you’re
really needed but you’re not going to take the risk. There’s risk involved. You’re not going to be
part of the team. You just shut the door and play it safe. But you could have been the turning –
the tide had already turned but you could have helped us. And so, Deborah is saying that, you
know, that shouldn’t have happened, that you should have done that.

So, this is about being cowardly. This is about hiding when I’m needed. It’s about I need the
Holy Spirit in my heart to govern my life. I need the Holy Spirit to show me how I think about
this. I think you got that, right? Okay. We’ll leave that and go to this word.

It’s fellowship. This is in Psalm 27 where I would like you to look at. Psalm 27. A couple weeks
ago, we had a message here on Wednesday night on prayer. And by the way, somebody said to
me they go church is great on Sunday, but it’s even better on Wednesday. And I go, why do you
say that? I don’t know. The messages are – I just love to come on Wednesday. I need it. We get
in the habit of it. It’s a little more feeding. Another message that I can think about during my
week. And because we have fellowship. So, let’s talk about it for a minute.

Turn to Psalm 27:4. That reduces your life to simple, real simplicity. One thing I desire. I don’t know
about you but I got a lot of distractions in life. I got a lot of things that come from my own heart.
A lot of distractions. It’s a way of life. I know this. But then we enter his courts with praise, his
gates with thanksgiving. We come into his tabernacle and we are in fellowship. We’re in
fellowship with God. This is what he’s saying. I really find the fellowship. This is what he means.
I find the fellowship with God, the presence of God, the Spirit of God. Clarity of God. The peace
of God. The joy of God. “At his right hand are pleasures forevermore.” We find fellowship. We
are – let’s look at it.

Psalm 27:4, isn’t it amazing to find one thing in life that you want to do all of your life. “I’d rather be
a doorkeeper in the house of the Lord.” Remember Psalm 84. And the sparrows that live in the
house of the Lord. It looks like the psalmist saw the house and he saw the birds. The birds
wanted to live there.

Remember that story by Don Barnes. He walked to the church one Sunday morning. The
neighbors are sitting on the porch across the street. They said, hey! There’s birds flying in the
top of the church. He said, at least they know where to go! Okay. vs. 4. The presence of the
Lord. Beauty is a gift on the outside of me. To see something beautiful. And then the inside of
me, to have the faculty to recognize it when I see it. When I see something beautiful, I recognize
that. That’s a gift for us as people. We know what beauty is. When you see a beautiful child, you
see a beautiful mountain or oceans. You see something beautiful or a small thing. A beautiful
thing. A piece of art work. A person. You see something beautiful. You see the heart of a person
is beautiful. The kindness. The graciousness. The humility of people in the Body. You see
service without conditions. You see somethng beautiful.

This reminds me of a verse. Turn to Luke 11 with me. This is Jesus speaking with a man that is
like this. He doesn’t have the fellowship. I’ll put it like this. A little picture. The man has the
outward life down. He’s got it down. The life, and we’ll call it the outward life. He’s a winner. He’s
got it down. He’s well known. He’s respected. He’s got money, prestige, position. He’s got it
down. He’s a winner. He’s a winner. And these people walk amongst us. Look what Jesus said,
Luke 11:37-38. The Pharisee is outward, occupied with his religion and his behavior and his
words. Occupied. But does he have fellowship with God. Does that Pharisee have fellowship
with God? He doesn’t. He doesn’t. Look at it.

vs. 39. I see your heart. I see your heart. That’s what I see. I see who you are. You’re an
arrogant, proud, religious winner. You fool everybody. You fool everybody. You have great
reputation. But do you have fellowship with God. The answer: No. You’re inside is filled with
judging people. No compassion. No love. No joy. No peace. Did God make the outside and also
the inside?

Look at chapter 11:40. Let’s write those two words down. What are the things that God made
without? What did he make on the outside? Well, you could take my body, my hands on the
outside. My physical body he made that on the outside. Being with other people. They make
companies. Businesses. They make families. They make families on the outside. You have
friends on the outside. We have institutions on the outside. We have a civilization that is on the
outside. But God made the world so that we would have an outside, but didn’t he also make the
outside? Curse ye Meroz. Why curse that village? Cause they didn’t have the fellowship with
God to do the right thing.

They were too afraid of the results or they were hiding. Like the Dutch
people in the Netherlands in World War II hiding the Jews. We’re not going to hide any Jews?
What? We’ll go to prison if we hide the Jews. Yeah. Corrie ten Boom’s family said we’re doing it.
There’s not even a discussion. We’re doing it. These people are refugees and they are being
hunted and murdered and we’re going to hide them. So, that’s the idea.

In our life, you know what you need more than anything? Not the outside life. You need what
God made on the inside to be operating and what is that for? It’s for fellowship with God. That’s

what we are made for. It would be in us in our spirit, in our heart. That’s where this theme is
leading us tonight in our meditation.

Let’s read it, vs. 40. Let’s say the Ten Commandments. All of those things on the outside. Do not
commit adultery. Do not lie. Do not bear false witness and so on. But it has to come from within
my heart, not just my behavior on the outside but something from within. Psalm 51:6, God requires
truth in the inward part.

So, here it is. Let’s say this. When you enter into the house of God in the Old Testament picture
and you’re a worshipper, how do you enter the courts? How do you enter the courts? Psalm
100. You enter his courts with praise, his gates with thanksgiving. Remember we said if I had to
meet an important person, I would kind of get ready for that. I’m going to meet an important
person. I’m going to be careful what I say. I’m going to be myself, but I’m going to approach that
event with some respect. Well, when we come before God, let’s think about it. I’m coming before
God, and I would like him to show me if there is any evil way in me. If there’s something not
right.

Now, here’s a sketch. Here’s a picture of a man, I guess. I’ll give him a mustache. Okay. Does
that look like a man? Okay. It’s for sale at the end of the meeting!! He’s looking at himself. He’s
looking at himself. What does he see. He sees himself. What’s the problem with that picture?
#1. how does he see him? Do you have the ability to see yourself? Do you have the ability to
know yourself? How do you know yourself? But this is part of what God made. He made the
inside, too. That we would be self-reflective. That we would be self-conscious. That you would
know you exist. You don’t have to tell a child that you exist. Dad, duh? I know that.

Okay. That knowledge of ourselves is also like fluid. And you have different things that you think
about regarding yourself in different ways. You could say this is who I would like to be. Who
would I like to be? Or you could also say this is unfortunately who I am and that is moving. It
moves. I am dissapointed with myself. It’s called regret. I can’t believe I did that. Or it might even
be I’m deceiving myself. Have you ever said when you hear about a scandalous thing maybe
with a Christian, I can’t believe that that Christian has been living this way all their life and
they’ve been a hypocrite. Have you ever heard that? I can’t believe – I could never live with
myself if I did that, if I was a hypocrite like they were?

Okay. What’s wrong with that? You change. You say I could never do that. You don’t know that. You change. You can actually become a deceitful lying thief. How do you know? You say, I would never do that. What if you
are changing in a bad way and you start to accept the fact that this is what I do? Yeah. Of
course. That’s why this picture has to go. It has to change. This whole paradigm here. This
whole picture of our self-consciousness has to change. I know how it can change. That’s
amazing. And you know it, too. We know how this can be changed, so we have another way of
thinking about our lives. This picture is for the most part is about the outside. It’s who are you?
It’s on the outside. That’s how people think. I don’t want to go into it too much, but I think you
follow it with me. Are you understanding what I’m trying to say here? Probably you’re not but
thanks for just saying, yes! Yes!

All right. So, this is amazing that God made the inside. That God made the inside of us and we
recognize it when we have Jesus in our life. This picture is a very good one if we turn the man
into a woman. Let’s do that. Take the mustache away. Forget about it! This is – she has an
earring here. A woman with a mustache! Okay! Wait a minute. Hold it! I can’t lose my thought.
This picture is so – if you take this picture with John 8 and the woman taken in adultery and
walk through that picture with that woman.

The woman is taken in adultery and she’s very – this is my spin on it. It doesn’t say this, but
she’s brought before Jesus and who is condemning her? The Jews are condemning her and the
law is condemning here. You shall not commit adultery. If you do, you will be stoned. That’ the
law. She has all these people around her. She is guilty. What do you think of that picture? That
will be her looking at herself and being disappointed for different reasons. They found out that I
am, and added to that they are condemning me to death and my life is miserable.

My life is miserable because of this. I’m lost. And I’m living on the outside. I’m an adulteress. But God
made the inside, too. God made the inside of that woman. She sinned. Yeah. She’s rebellious.
She’s sinful. It’s a wicked sin. Absolutely. But God made the inside of that woman. You see what
– of course. Why did he make us? For fellowship. I mean spiritual fellowship where your life is
effected on the inside and you enjoy your life. You actually enjoy your life. It’s amazing.
So, listen to the story. They say, what do you say,

Jesus? The law says. What do you say? He bends down and he’s quiet. I like that. He’s quiet. He’s writing on the ground, and then he gets up and says, “let him who is without sin cast the first stone.” So, they go away. They go away
from the oldest to the youngest. Then he said to the woman, “where are your accusers?” Now,
think of this picture. Where are your accusers? She said they are not here. But she’s not healed
yet. He goes, neither do I condemn you. This is a whole new game.

What? Are you kidding me? I’m guilty. I changed it. I changed the whole thing. I am here. Look
at me. I made you to worship me. My grace will change your life. My Spirit will give you
regeneration. I call you by name. I am for you not against you. This whole thing. What happens
to this woman is that this picture changes to something else. I will try to give you a picture of
what it changes to. It is in effect the cross where God gives grace to you, and you are here and
what are you looking at? God. You are a worshipper. Do you know what you are trying to
accomplish? No, I have the presence of God. One thing have I desired that I go after his beauty
and inquire in his temple. I want to hear from him not from me.

Look at the picture here. This is about me. That’s about me. That’s how you live. That’s how you
think about yourself when you’re driving home. Maybe you could say I should pray more or I
should be like that saint or that saint or I should read my Bible more. I’m a little disappointed
with myself and these ideas as a pattern of life. As the whole thing. And that should change by
entering his courts with praise and thanksgiving and saying neither do you condemn me. I am
here. And your inside lives. You’re alive. God is here. It’s beautiful. I may inquire. I’m a seeker.
I’m not a seeker for gossip or what’s the word?

I’m searching iniquity, Psalm  64. I’m not looking for
people’s sins or the failure or disappointments of people. The outside. I’m not accusing people
of things that I don’t know really anything about. And besides, they are not here in this world for
me to judge them. We are in this world not to judge our brothers, James 4:14. We are not here
to be evaluating each other with this diagram here. Like how is he doing? I’m very disappointed
with him. His behavior and so on. How is he doing?

Why are you living there? Why are you living there? That’s not where we are living. We are
worshippers of God and are following God in the mystery of a fellowship in grace. And we are
growing in grace and we’re thinking in terms of grace. Out of our hearts is coming something
pure by God’s grace.

So, this is the picture. It goes like this. The woman comes before God and she sees something
beautiful. How do you discern the beauty. It’s inside me. I know it when I see it. It’s beautiful.
When we see that story about the adulterous woman and we just say that’s Jesus. That’s
beautiful. That woman’s life was changed by Jesus. That’s beautiful. That’s why he came. That’s
what the ministry is about. It’s about seeing beautiful things. Teenagers and children and people
and families and business people. Seeing people from far away finding Jesus Christ and the
grace of God. That’s our mission. This is our joy. This is our food. This is our bread. We have
bread to eat that they don’t know of.

Now, it doesn’t mean that she’s not self-conscious, but I kind of think of it like a spiral upward
direction Where she is self-conscious but God-conscious and sees herself with a new identity.
She has a new identity that was given to her by God. It’s not like – does she have direction?
Yes, she has direction. Does she have some godly ambition? Yes, she has some direction. She
enjoys Jesus. But one thing have I desired. That one thing. I don’t have to make progress in the
eyes of other people. I don’t have to make progress in my own eyes. I don’t even know. How
many of you know how much you have grown in the last year, five years, ten years? What do
you know about that? I don’t know. I just know the Bible says we increase with the increase of God. So, there is an increase happening. I don’t know what it is. I would hope – two words:
knowledge. Philippians 1:9, Colossians 1:9-10. Knowledge and love. We would be increasing. So, that’s
amazing.

By the way, just a side point, the psychiatrists that work in prisons say this about this diagram
here cause I studied it one day in the library years ago, and I read about this. That in crime,
violent crime, the difference between the criminal sees himself and what he should be, this
distance will determine whether he is violent or not in his crime. If the distance is far away from
who he is, the frustration level is high and he has hatred. He has hatred for himself, and that’s
where the drive goes to become violent and hurt other people.

This doesn’t help. What that criminal needs like the adulteress needed wasn’t to be told to do
better or even to be forgiven. That in itself would be amazing, but she was given something like
entirely, incredibly new. And she had met God. And God spoke to her inner man. He made the
inside, too. The outside but the inside, too. What a good message for our culture. Likes and
dislikes and prosperity and everything and diplomas and accomplishments and all that. I’m not
against – it has it’s place, but it cannot define my life. Didn’t he that made the outside make the
inside, too?

What do you mean inside? The conscience is clean. I have a new identity in my heart. I’m in the
presence of God. He’s anointed me and he’s using me in his plan. For all of us believers. He
has called you and is using you in his plan. Okay. Amen. Let’s do the offering.
The service will – maybe we’ll do the offering. We’ll do a music song. Maybe I’ll say a few words
and then we’ll close our service. Right now, talk to your neighbor for a minute about what you
just heard. Share it.

Okay. Stay right here. I want to draw your attention to a verse in James to add to your talk. This
happens to Christians a lot. If you haven’t noticed it in your own heart, it does happen. Maybe
nobody pointed it out to you. This is a very common thing. James 4:10. Now, here’s what
happened. I have this little booklet by Dr. Stevens there. This one. It’s called “Opposition” by P.
Stevens. Read these booklets. They’re excellent messages. If you’re an affiliated pastor, read
the booklet and preach a message from it. Share the doctrine and teach right from the Bible.
Here he is saying, James is saying that Jewish legalists, Jewish legalists saw Gentile Christians
come into the church and they judged them.

They judged them. This is James 4:11. Don’t speak evil of each other. Don’t look for evil. Don’t speak evil. Go into the temple with thanksgiving and be in fellowship and come out with a pure heart and speak love and edification and truth with each other. But don’t speak evil of each other. Don’t slander. Do not do that. That’s vs. 11.
He is living in this other diagram to be honest. He is looking at not himself. He’s looking at you,
and saying you are not what you should be. And I’m going to tell that to you. And this kind of
thing and think it and judge my brother about different things that come up. I don’t know. I want
to finish this.

I already preached long enough, but it’s hard for me to do that right now! I mean, I
judge my brother about the car he drives. The way he lives. His wife. His family. I judge my
brother about things, what he said to me. He shouldn’t have said that. I’m petty, picky and
sensitive. I mean we are pampered. We are pampered in our world, and we are told that we
have a right to express ourselves and be critical and say I’m going to be real with you. I’m going
to tell you exactly what I think.

Hold it! I don’t care what you think about me. I don’t want to hear it. I don’t want to hear it. You
say, pastor. You’re not being open and transparent. I don’t care. I do care but I’m trying to say
something to you. You have a bad habit. You are a critical person. It’s not about me. I can hear
my critics all day long. I mean I’m just saying that. I don’t care. Yes, I have critics. We all have.
But as far as brothers go, brothers and sisters, you are not to be critical of your brother and your
sister. You are not here for that reason. You are not here for that reason. I don’t want to hear about a pastor. I don’t want to hear about a brother or a sister unless you’ve gone to them
yourself.

When you go there, you better go there from God. From the holy of holies. You got to come from
God to your brother and sister. Otherwise, we don’t want to hear your flesh, because you could
even be right. But you won’t minister to the person and help them like Jesus would. Where are
your accusers? There aren’t any. Neither do I condemn you. Go. You have a changed life.
I know there’s a lot to say about the subject, but I just got to get this out there cause you know, I
cannot cover the whole subject in a few minutes. I just want in my mind I have seen it. I have
seen it mess up churches.

I have seen it drive people away. I have seen people gossip and talk
like – and by the way. Somebody is talking like that, you say come with me. I want you to tell
that to the person you are talking about. You’re talking about Jimmy? All right. Come with me.
Tell me that in front of Jimmy. I don’t hear it unless he is there. Is Jimmy there? Then, we’re
going to talk. Do you have something to say? No, no, no. I don’t want to say anything. Then,
why are you talking to me? You’re gossiping. You’re speaking behind his back. That cannot
happen here. That cannot happen in our church. This is not about the flesh of men. This is
another model.

Watch it up there. That’s a different model. This is God and his presence with us for edification.
Now, there is a place where you go to the leadership or you go to the authority. And by the way,
if you are in authority, you have to be very prayerful and humble and meek and restore people in
Galatians 6:1-2. Okay. So, that’s that. Amen. Okay.

That song was really sweet. Okay. Let’s close in a minute. Let’s think about what we heard.
There’s a lot of material in there, and I think the Spirit wants to say – here’s a positive word on it.
When you have something in your heart troubling you. It happens. We’re human. We all have
things that trouble us. Remember when Joseph went to prison, because the woman lied about
him? She slandered him. So, he’s in prison. And we don’t know what happened, like how he
processed it. But he had to forgive her. He had to forgive her. He had to live with God. And then
when the dreams came, those two prisoners that had dreams, he was able to interpret them and
believe God’s hand on Joseph. Cause in his heart, Joseph, he went before the courts with
thanksgiving and praise and he’s worshipping. He’s taking his time.

When you are a worshipper – you and I are worshippers – we do have to slow down. We have
to focus. And just relate to God and receive from him and be worshippers of him. So then, he
heals Joseph on the inside. Then, he interprets the dreams. He says, when you get out of here,
the guy that survives. The baker is killed. The butler survives. He said remember me. And it
says he forgot him.

There’s another thing about worshipping God. I may not get it my way, but I’m a worshipper.
God is going to help me. God is going to take me. He’s going to carry me. I don’t have to flip out.
I don’t have to become nuts. I don’t have to attack my brother. I don’t have to attack the church
or attack my family or attack the pastor. Attack this or that. No, no, no. Don’t do that. Don’t do
that. That’s not good. Don’t do that.

If you do it, process it differently. Come before his gates with thanksgiving and praise and learn
how not to complain and talk and curse and be so upset and angry and just fly off the handle
and go around like a nut yelling and cursing like a Christian. Are you kidding? Your life is on the
outside. You’re behaving like a crazy person, you know, just because you’re disappointed. You
get quiet like Job for seven days. He’s quiet before God. He’s hurt a lot. A lot. More than
anybody in this room could ever take. A lot. Losing ten children at one time. He’s hurting a lot.
Why is that story there? Cause this is about not me doing my best. This is about coming before
God. One thing that I desire that I will seek after. This is – cause in that house, it’s beautiful.
There are answers. There’s ministry. I might not get the answer I want, but I get the ministry I
need. I’m able to go. I’m able to be there. I’m okay. I’m saying this like in principle.

But it’s true. “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” This is what Paul said. This is reality for
us. This is a new life. So, I’m saying all of this to say be careful how you process your life and
have a prayer life and a meditation life that’s bigger than you. Set me on a rock higher than me.
Help me. And there’s no way without this book. If this book can go in my heart and become a
way of life, a way of thinking and learn it learn it little by little. Learn it little by little and then out
of you will come a fountain. The source will be in your words.

Have you ever been to a party where everyone is so polite and nice. You look so good. And all
these things. What is really in the heart? The church is a place where what is really in our hearts
is the most important thing. That’s where Jesus is. He’s in our hearts. And we don’t play a game.
We just are who we are. We just are. We’re so happy about it. My outer man, who I am, is
somehow in connection with who I am. Who I am is actually who I am. That can’t happen with
people unless Jesus is the one that is the I am. I am crucified but I live. But not I. Christ lives in
me and that is me. That’s the great gift. It’s so refreshing, so satisfying, and so important. Don’t
slide into anything other than that. Let the Lord search our hearts and lead us in the way
everlasting. Amen. Okay, Jesse will close our meeting.

 

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.