We get God at the Cross. God is working to save. Joseph’s brothers lived with guilt for years. They’d sold their brother.  We bring ourselves and our dirt to Him and we are cleansed.  Fellowship with God is not in guilt, it is in healing, grace, freedom, peace. (Genesis 42;21-22; 1 John 3:20)

Speaker(s): Pastor Thomas Schaller
Sermon # 11478
11:00 AM on 5/27/2018



P. Schaller

Lord, I need you (from the song). Does anyone feel like that this morning? Is that a good thing? It is. We are children of God. Lord, I need you. How about if you are strong and capable and really smart in every way. Lord, I don’t need you. Not good. Would you all stand with me and say not good. Lord, I need you. Would you turn to your neighbor and fellowship for a moment and say Lord, I need you.

Ge 42, I pray this message will help you, all of us, in regards to something very important in our lives. This has to do with the subject of guilt. Does anyone know what the word “guilt” means? Turn to your neighbor and say I know what that means. I wonder in a crowd like this if we have someone who has done something bad in their lives. Don’t raise your hand. Do we have any criminals amongst us? Thieves, murderers, adulterers and on and on. What do we believe about that? Yes, we have such people here. Look in the mirror. Turn to your neighbor and say I am one of them.

James 2, listen to this, you might say if I have offended the law in one area, I’m guilty of it all. Is that important? Self-righteousness is very common with people. I would never do such a thing or I’m not as bad as that person.

2 Cor 10:12, we need to learn these categories in our Bible. That’s why we go to a Bible believing church. They that compare themselves amongst themselves are not wise. Could you say that back to me? Compare myself among themselves. I have a little group here. I am better than they are. That is an attitude. It’s very common. Self-righteousness is a problem for some people. They haven’t hit the bottom. They don’t think they are that bad. You are very bad. Bad man. You are a bad man! This is an important starting point in our faith. This is a starting point. It is we are all in the same kettle of fish. We are all in the same soup, and we all have a depraved sin nature. When Jesus was on trial, the crowd cried out crucify him and Pilate said whom shall I set free? The one called Christ or Barabbas? What did you cry out? You’re thinking it’s a trick question. Barabbas. You think you’re any better than those people. You’re the same one that crucified him. We cried out Barabbas because we have a sin nature and we don’t know how bad we are. God came here and we crucified him. You might say I would never do such a thing. You are deceived, wrong, proud, and self-righteous. You don’t know how wrong you are. You have no humility and not Spirit-filled. If you have a mentality like that, get back to ground zero. I put him there. I am guilty and I have sinned. Religious people become religious and self-righteous and proud. They don’t understand what it means to be broken and humble and Spirit-filled people and doctrinally sound people. This is a cold shower start for our message today. A good starting point is I am the problem.

G. K Chesterton was asked, what is the problem with the world? He said I am, sincerely yours. G. K. Chesterton.

I am the problem is a good way to start. It’s a blanket that covers us. We need to find the same answer. The answer for my sin is not me or you. The answer for my sin is God and his grace. The answer for our lives is Christ and his cross. We love the cross. We glory in the cross. It is despised and considered foolish and idiotic in the world we live in. The cross is not in their reference when men talk about problems in the world. We are saying it is the answer. The problem with people is they don’t have God. You get God at the cross. Thanks for coming today. We’ll have a good sermon here.

Tonight we’ll have a special service… (He is going over the past events we had). Sterling Johnson, Gary Whitt, P. Steve Devries, Dave Stambowsky joined us at the graduation. The graduates were amazing at the breakfast yesterday. I’m so thankful for our teachers, school and mission. We are not done. People in the world need to hear what we are saying. P. Fred Ellis said he had a great time in Nepal. People are finding Christ. One village five years ago they had never heard about J.C. Today there are 500 born again believers. Halleluiah. God is working to save. We are in the end times. Iran, pray. Pakistan. The work in Nepal, Thailand, working of God in Vietnam. A team is in Vietnam with Pastor Doug and Bethany. Every time you find Communism, you find a spiritual hunger. They say there is no God and if you say there is, we will throw you in jail. What goes on in the heart? I don’t believe you. There is a God. Hungarians were taught evolution. There is a God.

Ge. 42, Joseph is prime minister in Egypt. He made it from the pit. When he was 17, his brothers threw him in a pit and wanted to kill him. One brother said let’s not kill him. There is a caravan coming. Let’s sell him. Joseph went to Egypt as a slave. Later he was a servant there and framed as a rapist and put in jail and they would have thrown the key away but he interpreted a dream. Pharaoh released him. He became a counselor. He was so smart and clever. He said it’s not me. It’s God. God is with me. His brothers come looking for food. They don’t know it’s him. He has at least two languages he knows. He speaks through an interpreter with his brothers. Doesn’t want them to know he speaks Hebrew. They don’t know he is Joseph. He’s like a king. He’s an Egyptian. He doesn’t speak Hebrew. Together they are talking. Joseph is there in his presence.

Ge 42:21, Can you imagine Joseph listening to them say this. They are opening their hearts to each other. We were cold hearted when he was crying out for mercy but we had no mercy to give him.

vs. 22. They are guilty of something that has happened at least 15 years earlier but the guilt hasn’t left them. We are in this situation because of what we did to our brother Joseph.

vs. 23-24. He heard their talking and he understood. He turned away and wept. My brothers are guilty for what they did to me. They are regretting what has happened. They don’t know I’m here. The conscience is a powerful thing in the lives of people. It would take some hours and messages to go over the subject as fully as we could. Conscience is a complicated subject.

Based on the message on 1 Jn 1 on fellowship if you remember I drew a schematic and said if this represented truth, God’s mind and here I am and my mind may be something like this. I may have a little of God’s mind in my mind. A believer may have more of God’s mind in their thinking but we move away from truth based on our subjective experience. Subjectivity is based on my feelings and experience, my culture, education, what people say to me and how I interpret life. Most people are living in their subjective minds and don’t have a reference. I feel bad. Maybe tomorrow I will feel better. They live so strongly on feelings and emotions, nuances and ideas. Maybe go watch a movie and take it on somehow in their mind and heart. They live based on a movie or a friend’s opinion or what the hair dresser said or a hero or Hollywood celebrity or what they say in a news article. References for people’s lives are so shallow and deficient. Adding to this we said the solid block represents objective truth. Bible truth. Doctrinal truth.

Rom 7:6 not in the oldness of the letter. Even the Bible can become a religious reference and its oldness of the letter and not the life of the Spirit. My words are Spirit and life. Sometimes people read the Bible and it’s oldness of the letter and that’s also subjective. They might use it as a club, a manual of right and wrong. It’s a revelation of a person, a manifestation of his mind and heart.

Is 55:8, you can’t figure out God’s mind. It must be revealed to us by the H.S. living in love. A lot live in the Bible but don’t have love.

1 Cor 13 though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels but have not love, it is a sounding brass. It’s a cacophony of noise, a disharmony of noise and chatter. We’ve heard it in our own heart and lives. Chatter. Though I know all mysteries, can move a mountain with faith and have not AGAPE love, it profits me nothing. Though I give my body to be burned and give my goods to the poor but do not have AGAPE love, I have nothing. Shocking words of importance for us. Objective truth is my Bible being received in humility and in the Spirit, the anointing of God. The anointing teaching me the Bible.

Mt 12:3, 5, 7. Jesus says have you never read and he tells this strange story from the Old Testament. Have you never read? These are people who know the Bible inside and out. David ate holy bread. Some have a Catholic background as I do. Imagine going on a bike ride and starving and you go into the Catholic Church and go into the altar and start eating the holy bread. That would be sacrilegious. Have you never read that David did that? He was on the run from Saul and they went to the priest and he said it’s holy bread. Can we eat it? The priest thought – we don’t know how he processed it. He said if you haven’t been with women for three days you can eat it. Christ said haven’t you read that story? Please explain it to me. I have something in me about the Christian life being so fresh and gracious and amazing and it motivates me to God. I don’t like religious form as much as I like liberty, joy, homeless people being loved and touched, drug addicts transformed by grace. What an amazing reality. Guilt. Guilt can plague you as it does many people. For you, you should not live in guilt. You and I the one thing that marks us is our freedom from guilt. Fellowship with God is not a fellowship of guilt but healing, of forgiveness, of grace, of encouragement, of freedom.

Fellowship in 1 Jn1 like we read with objective truth. You say my heart condemns me. This man’s heart condemns him. He has generally a sense of guilt in his life. You ask him why and he may not know. I have confessed my sins and I’m born again and have times of great freedom and then plaguing sense I’m deficient. Not enough. I’m not what I should be. When I do the good thing, evil is present with me. You remember that teaching. Let’s get the two chairs. These guys are confused. They don’t know what to do! Tree of K of good and evil. Don’t eat at the tree of k of good and evil. Knowing good and then when I know good, evil is present with me. I do something evil and know as I do it, good is here. I shouldn’t be doing it. This is my conscience. This is the presence of guilt. Even when I do good, I have the presence of evil, awareness of doing good but maybe not be doing good. I will be doing evil.

This is Romans 7:18. It happens. It’s our mindset. This is where a lot of Christians live. About being good and not being bad. When I’m bad, I know I should be good. Christ came to give us something greater. Christ came to set us free from guilt. Guilt is not a good way of being governed and guided in your life. When these brothers are talking about Joseph, Rueben said I told you we shouldn’t have done it. He was crying out for mercy and we didn’t listen to him. Joseph turns away and weeps. He realized they have hearts for him and how guilty they are even though it happened 15 years earlier. Your life if you are trapped in this mentality of guilt, God cares about you and says the kingdom of God is like a child. Something beautiful about children. They don’t have big hang-ups psychologically. I’m wrong. I did it. And go off and play. They have a sense of love and forgiveness and what is right and wrong usually. They are not complicated like you and I. We suffer a lot with guilt. I want to share with you that there is something a lot greater than your guilt. It’s God. He didn’t make you to be guilty but to be like a child in the kingdom of God. He didn’t make you to bury you in your emotions and heaviness and complexity. Fleshly wisdom is complex. We have simplicity and sincerity that we are rejoicing in. There is something bigger and greater than our complicated selves. If our heart condemns us, God is greater than our hearts.

1 Jn we’ll have a great Convention. (He’s talking about it).

1 Jn 1:6-7, we walk in the light. The stool is simply God and his light, objective truth. If we walk in the light like I walk in a room. Let’s say I have dirty clothes on and walk into a room of light. I see my clothes are dirty. I realize I am dirty. I’m walking in the light. When I say I’m dirty, that’s important. That’s like me saying I have sinned. I am wrong. God, you are the light. I’m cleansed, clean, shining, forgiven, and not guilty. I’m free. I have fellowship with you in that freedom. You are loved and the blood cleanses us from everything not just the sin I confess but everything: pride, unbelief, fear, depression, confusion, difficulties regarding myself. Somehow I’m in the fellowship of the light. What about you, Tom Schaller. He’s that complicated guy and does a good thing and is aware of the evil. All I know is good and evil. Where is God? I don’t know about God but I’m wrestling with my good and evil? God help me. I even threw my brother in a pit and haven’t seen him since. 15 years later you are struggling with that thing? You have no idea how difficult that is. I go to bed at night and can’t find my way. This is the story of humanity. This is a story of people. Does anyone have any other answer? Yes. He’s risen. God knew our problem and he took us from there to here. God crucified Adam. Adam was crucified with him and Christ is raised and this is our fellowship in the light with Christ. He says you have a spot on your sleeve. I say I don’t. Then I can’t have fellowship with you. You are denying truth. I feel I don’t. You have a spot on your sleeve and I can’t fellowship with a lie. Admit it. Not only on my sleeve but on the bottom of my foot. You confess.

vs. 8. Don’t lie to God. Having a hard time? Tell God. If you are phony, tell God. If you are a hypocrite, tell God. I remember meeting a missionary and we spent a few days together. I said are you happy? Next day he goes, pastor, when you asked me that simple question are you happy it made me think and realized I’m not. I’m not happy. Thank you. That’s the beginning of healing. Good starting point for people. I’m not happy. I have some guilt. I got religious guilt. I don’t pray like I should or read like I should or care for people like I should. Hello? That’s the story of the human race. You don’t care about lost people. In my flesh dwells no good thing, Rom 7. That’s why he came. He didn’t come for the goodie, goodie people sitting in this chair most of the time. God is saying I am not impressed. You are complicated and as phony as a $2 bill. You are an empty suit. I gave my money to the poor, have all the mysteries, move mountains and Christ said it’s nothing. Come unto me…take my yoke upon me. It’s easy. Bounce around like a little kid. Are you a good Christian? What is your testimony? I don’t care. I’m moving with God in his joy and peace. It’s incredible that this is true.

vs. 9-10. These things are written so we would walk in the fellowship with objective truth. Please guard yourself from a subjective mindset and learn this book. Meditate on it. Hear messages. Hide it in your heart and have fellowship in your heart. This church is an awesome one. I’m happy I’m here and been in it more than 40 years. I don’t hear about this way of life so much. In this one you can say thou shalt not commit adultery. The motivation is God’s love. Adultery steals and destroys and hurts people. Don’t lie or steal or be deceitful. It’s not ways of freedom and joy and peace.

If it happens, 1 Jn 3, if it happens, I have sinned in some terrible way and I hope not, but the attitude is just as bad in one sense.

Mt 5:28, if I think a certain way or hate someone it’s the same as murder. If I have broken the law, I’m guilty of it all.

1 Jn 3:20, my heart condemns me. In our picture my heart condemns me. I have two natures in me. A sin nature that is here and it produces guilt even when I haven’t done anything wrong. It’s a mentality. I’m condemned or failed somehow. This can be present when I wake up. It’s from my sin nature. I put off the old man and put on the new man. God, I am in your presence and I have some sense of guilt. God could say your heart condemns you. You have a sin nature that is saying you are guilty but I am greater than your heart. My doctrine is saying my Son took all your sin upon him. Walk by faith in me. By faith in God we know God is not condemning me. Even if my heart condemns me, God is greater. What happened on that cross is greater than my sin. This is a healing for the human race. The blood cleanses us from dead works and we serve God like a child. Happy and contented in himself. A saint of God living in spiritual light is able to say God is with me. In all these things we are more than conquerors. Though we like sheep are led to the slaughter but inside I realize I have a treasure, victory over my failure and everything that is in this world. Greater is he that is in me than he that is in this world. Another word for this is a tree of life. In the garden were two trees, the tree of life and the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Eat of this and you will die. We have eaten of this and felt the death, psychological complexity, discouragement, despair, feeling bad about our lives and performance and our pain and trouble. We see what death does to the human body. The gospel says the first man Adam was made a living soul but the second Adam was made a quickening spirit. Jesus Christ is the tree of life. He’s the truth, the way, the life and greater than our own hearts and failures. The doctrinal truth of the finished work means we died with him and were raised with him and our fellowship is in the light. We say yes I have a spot on my sleeve and its going. I thought I had a clean suit on and seems I soiled it. You walk in the light and the blood cleanses you from everything. You have fellowship one with another. If you live in the flesh and have fellowship this way in the flesh, you look for people to have fellowship in the flesh you may find them but not a happy group of people to be with. A party of the flesh. They may laugh at a dirty joke, slap you on the shoulder. We’ve done it. When you find Christ and body life and freedom we find hope, we found vision and care for each other deeply in our hearts. Joseph heard his brothers talking about it and he starts to weep. He knows. He loves them and wants them here. One day later in the story he did say put the Egyptians out of the room. He looked at them and said in Hebrew I am your brother Joseph. They were shocked. They were stunned and amazed. The blood left their face. They had no idea.

I love it when that happens to you and I in a spiritual way when God surprises us with his grace. Joseph said I don’t condemn you. We got plenty of food. I saved you from starvation. Go tell my father. Does my brother Benjamin live? This is what he is interested in. What a story. Beautiful. Amen.


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.