We are earthen vessels. But in us is the treasure of God. Jesus died in a way unseen and the Roman soldier witnessed this and said this is the Son of God. Now we reveal the power of His death and life as we walk with Him and in Him. 2 Corinthians 4:6-12
Speaker(s): Pastor Thomas Schaller
7:00 PM on 10/28/2020
P. Schaller – What a beautiful
song service. P. Steve tapping into a new realm. The Andrulonis family. Now we know where all
the talent is coming from. I just dropped my glasses and the lens popped out and I put it in. It’s
perfect now. Wasn’t that good. Pastor Steve did a good job. What a good time. As many of you
know, maybe you do, we have posted on our website that some of our church family have
tested positive for the virus. So we don’t have a children’s program tonight. Some of the
musicians and song leaders – if connected with people positive and so on so we got P. Steve. He
stepped up. Will I be doing it next week?
No, Bill Alexson will be the song leader. Give him a hand, P. Bill Alexson! The flea market and harvest fest is cancelled. GGCA is closed this week and MBC&S also. We have life streamed classes next week and students can come in. The Learning Center is closed this week. We are doing services as regularly scheduled. It’s beautiful.
I have a message for this subject tonight in the Lord. Praise the Lord! Hey! To the folks on the
internet, God bless you and we are learning in this period of time many precious things. People
have said to me through the weeks thank you for the morning devotionals. I get edified by
them, so I’m encouraged and regarding the messages the Lord is giving us, we have such a
beautiful spirit in our church. Amazing. Fellowship and a great team of people you know. We
got Dana and James from Tennessee over here.
Any other visitors here tonight? I’m working with the most awesome people that are so encouraging and the times we live in and the Spirit of God in my day to day life is so important. How many of you have faced new challenges in
your life in the last 24 hours! In the last year? How about new things and what does God think
about it? What is he doing? How does God think about us? Mark 15, what does God think about
us? I want to explain that. Many of you know this Scripture in Mark 15:39. This is what I want to
speak about. This man saw Jesus on the cross dying, and he saw other things. There was an
earthquake. He saw the man Jesus on the cross dying. What did he see? What did he see? Two
things he saw. Let’s draw a picture here.
Are we ready for the message? I need to get the feedback. Woe, yeah! On the internet, they are calling the police right now!!! How many want to hear a simple word from Bill Alexson? Turn around and tell them Billy Graham is alive and doing well.
Bill Alexson –
Here’s a simple word I have. It’s easy to think, what exactly is God doing here?
Kind of like Israel, we are God’s people, but they went through so many things. The bottom line
is this: God is up to it. We need to keep our eyes on him. Paul said I pray he would take it away
from me three times. He had this thorn in the flesh. He said my strength is made perfect in your
weakness and if you remember when Mary and Martha were very nervous about Jesus. I
thought he loved Lazarus. Where was he? What’s he doing? He wasn’t going to do what he
normally does and heal people. He was going to resurrect him from the dead. He wanted to do
something greater for the glory of God.
You say, I feel so weak. I feel so nervous. That’s what God wants. He doesn’t want our ability. He wants our availability. He doesn’t want our strength. We want to be in control of things. God wants to part the Red Sea, so when he does it in our life, the world is going to see that it’s gone. He’ll get all the glory. You think when I watch the TV and see what is going on, I’m a human being and I get nervous. How am I going to end
up? You’ll end up like King Hezekiah if we keep our eyes on him. Why? King Ahasuerus from
Assyria annihilated all the countries surrounding Israel. And then because he was very arrogant
he sent a letter to King Hezekiah and said I took care of this country, that country. I brought
their kings back. They are enslaved to me now. Don’t think your God is going to do any
different. What did the king do? He went to prayer and sought God.
You know what happened? Overnight, 250,000 Assyrians got some kind of plague and died. In a museum in London there is a cuneiform tablet that chronicles this guy’s exploits. It says I went to this country and took
care of these guys. Then the last thing that is on the cuneiform thing is I had Hezekiah caged in
like a bird, but you know what? There is nothing written after that. You can go to London and
see it now. God is up to it. Globally, he’s preparing his church. Stand still and see the
deliverance of the Lord he said to Moses. Moses complained, hey, they are ready to stone me?
He said, look. Do what I told you to do. Lift up your staff and say, stand still and see the
deliverance of the Lord. Then the waters parted and what looked like the worst thing could
happen. Like God, you have forsaken us. Mountains on both sides. Red Sea. Here comes the
chariots. It was perfect timing for the glory of God, and he took care of his people. Jesus is
coming back. We are his people. He’s not going to forsake us.
And by the way, P. Schaller this is all [indistinct]. That’s supposed to be humorous! That’s okay. Anyway, to sum it up and give it back to P. Schaller, we are in the right place at the right time. God knows what he is doing. Keep
your eyes on him. The Bible says I’ve never seen the righteous forsaken nor his seed begging for
bread. Something great is going to happen and something great is happening. If the only great
thing was that we are being conformed to the image of Christ, and we get more focused on
God, that’s success, but he’s going to do much, much more. The Lord is coming back. Look up
for your redemption draws nigh.
P. Schaller –
Thank you. Wow! That was awesome. That goes right along with what I wanted to
say in the message. You knew I was going to call you up. And when I saw you, I go, I need to call
on him. And you’re prepared. You had the message. You’re going to know at the end of the
service it’s the same as what I’m thinking I want to share. Here we go. That was a good
warmup. I started the message and then got to talk to you. Here we are. When Jesus was on
the cross, what did it look like? The centurion soldier had seen many die. When he saw this man
die, he saw there was something different. This is the Son of God. Truly, this is the Son of God. 2
Cor. 4, this was a text my wife shared with me this morning. We had a talk about it. I said I feel
that’s what the Lord wants to share tonight.
So here we are. Vs. 6-12. Question. Is there anything in your heart that came from God? Is there light that has come into you heart? Vs. 6. When did he do that? When did he actually do it in the Bible? In Genesis, in the beginning. He
uses that to say it also happened when you got saved. He commanded the light to shine in your
heart. That happened when you got saved. The parallel in Genesis, he said let there be light and
there was. Now you are saved and said give them light and light came into their heart. This is
called a treasure in your earthen vessel. You have an earthen vessel like this. We can draw one of these jars. The human body is the earthen vessel and the treasure is the light of God in your
heart in the earthen vessel. What is an earthen vessel made out of? Clay. What does this mean
to us that we have a mortal body, a human body? We have a human body that gets sick. We
have a human body that gets tired.
Anyone notice that? We have a human body that gets thirsty, hungry, a fever, a cough, a flu, covid, cancer, old, aches and pains and clicks and ticks and things when you get out of bed, a little creaking of the joints. What is that called? Earthen vessel. When Jesus died on the cross, what do you see there? An earthen vessel. What do you
see when Jesus is dying on the cross? Earthen vessel. What do you mean? Bleeding. He’s in
pain. What do you mean earthen vessel? He’s thirsty. I thirst. What did the centurion see? The
centurion saw earthen vessel. The world we live in today is talking so much about the earthen
vessel. Some of us are tired of it. Earthen vessel this and that. This is what life is. Earthen vessel.
Disease, sickness, death. But what did Paul say here about it? Vs. 7. The light of the knowledge
of the glory of God in the earthen vessel. Let’s draw another diagram. None of this is
particularly something you haven’t already thought of, but I want to provoke you in the text
and thinking about what is being said here.
Even though it’s simple but it’s profound. Sometimes Christians feel we shouldn’t get sick. Sometimes we feel we shouldn’t be weak. Maybe we shouldn’t have an earthen vessel. Maybe our whole life is about our treasure. But it
seems Jesus’ death on the cross is a combination of an earthen vessel and a treasure. When the
centurion saw him die, he didn’t see him come off the cross and go like, I win! I come down
from the cross. And then he’s saying the Son of God. No, he saw him die. Let’s make a list
please. When he died, what happened? He was alone. Where were his friends? He was alone.
He died with thieves on two sides of the cross, one on each side. Essentially, he was alone.
Nobody understood him. He had no fellowship with anyone.
His Father had forsaken him. I read that word “forsake” because I was curious about it and tried to understand what it means in the Scripture. God will not forsake you. It’s when someone passes somebody in the race, and
they are way ahead and the other person is left behind. They are forsaken. God will never
forsake you even if he has all the power to pass you and be strong, victorious winning. Our
Father is with us with our earthen vessel and says this is my plan. I want you to have an earthen
vessel. I want you to know, I want you to not cover it. I don’t want you to be ashamed of it. He
was alone and he was shamed on the cross. Why? He was naked. What else? He was guilty of
our sin. He was thirsty. He was forsaken. My God, My God why have you forsaken me? This
death of Jesus undoubtedly the demons because we read about the demons around him on the
cross in Psalm 22. It’s that inside picture of what was going on in Jesus on the cross.
The bulls of Bashan were around him. They were wagging their tongues and cursing him. He was rejected of
men, forsaken, put down, ridiculed. In that the centurion saw – it’s almost like, look again.
What do you see? I see truly the Son of God. How can you see that? It’s a shame. It’s foolish. It’s
wrong. I see it. I can’t help but see it. It’s God. God is here. God is in that. God is here. That’s
what this is saying. Vs. 7. This death I described on the cross is called the dying of the Lord
Jesus. It says that we are bearing about in our bodies the dying of the Lord Jesus. We are
bearing about in our bodies something very similar. No, we are not atoning for the sin of the
world. No, we are not dying like Jesus did on the cross. It’s not the same. God is saying, yes.
It’s very similar. They are going to say you are wrong when you aren’t. It’s okay because I have the
treasure. When I’m misunderstood, I’m considered guilty when innocent. That’s okay because I
have God in my life. I got God happening in my life. That’s amazing. Vs. 8. In the Greek, it means
not overly perplexed. We are perplexed but not to the point where – the first part of the verse
has to do with the present and the second part with the future. I am hard pressed on every side
in the present, but I can survive it because I have a treasure. I am perplexed or confused about
my future but not utterly confused like I lost my way entirely. I know God. Yeah, but it looks
bad. I know it does. But God is with me. God is present. God is the answer for my life. This is
amazing. In this last 8 or 9 months whatever time this has been going on for, we have gone
through different periods as the church.
We have seen many things and we have grown a lot. I feel it in my heart. There is a maturing, a growing. There’s love. There’s faith. There is not the fear of shame. We are not afraid of shame. This is very good. We are not afraid of looking bad. We are not afraid of being put down. We’re not trying to cover up. We don’t have an image
that we have to protect. We have earthen vessels. We stumble. We fail. We are thirsty or tired
or sick or afraid or worried. The other thing in it is that even though an earthen vessel is part of
the picture, we have found the treasure. The Word. The truth. The joy. The freedom, the
mission, the ministry, the ministry. Isn’t it amazing. The apostle Paul is saying you can’t stop it.
You put me in prison, and it will bubble out of me. Remember Justin said he said to the
Philippians the people of Caesar’s house greet you.
The Philippians are thinking put Paul under house arrest and he ends up evangelism people in Caesar’s household in the Praetorium and the soldiers that were with him during the daytime. Though I have an earthen vessel and it may not look good as far as a Hollywood image, this Hollywood image is not the purpose of God. The
purpose of God is the earthen vessel is fragile and being broken. When you see him on the
cross dying, what the world would say is not a good image. That’s not how Christianity grows. It
won’t grow by that image. Paul is saying on the contrary. It is in that image the centurion said
truly this is the Son of God. This is the reality. These people are for real. There is life there.
There is a ministry there. One of the blessings in the mission field is you can go anywhere in the
world and this works. There is no pretense. There is nothing American about it in that sense. It
doesn’t have to be strong, beautiful, powerful, smart, intelligent, polished, professional. That’s
not our message. Halleluiah. That’s not our message.
The dying of the Lord Jesus. Vs. 9-10. I want to say that I still wonder what that means. Bearing about in my body the dying of the Lord Jesus. I try to explain it up on the board and maybe this is what it means. The dying of the Lord
Jesus, thirsty, demons are around him, misunderstood. This is how he died. In my body I’m
carrying about with me something very similar. The shame of death. It’s a shame when a man
loses his teeth, hair, muscles, gets weaker, hunched over, lays in bed. Thirty years earlier was
different but now he’s a shell of a man. If in my earthen vessel there is a plan for humiliation
then let’s acknowledge that and say I’m looking for God in my humiliation. If I feel people
misunderstand me and I’m alone, let’s compare this with what Jesus faced and I can find God in
this life with a lot of questions and emptiness. This is a curse on man. That’s fine. This is what
he is saying. I believe this is what he means. Vs. 10. Why?
That the life of Jesus. The life of Jesus. Is that what the centurion saw? Did he see the dying of the Lord Jesus and did he see the life of the Lord Jesus on the cross? Did he see the life of the Lord Jesus when he was dying? Maybe he heard Jesus talk to the thief. Today you’ll be with me in Paradise. Maybe he heard him say,
Father forgive them. They know not what they do. Did he see the life of the Lord Jesus when
Jesus was on the cross? What does it mean for us? The life we are now living must be not about
our earthen vessel alone. If you a person that is living in some neutral mindset then you’ll be
filled with the fears and worries of the earthen vessel. You might try to cover the shame of it.
You might live in denial of it, some artificial idea about reality. The answer is I don’t want to live
in the denial of my humanity or earthen vessel, but I am very hungry and thirsty for the
treasure. This is what we are feeding on. What happens? Ministry happens. Back when we had
services here and it was an empty chapel for 8 or 10 weeks.
We were preaching to an empty chapel during the spring if you remember. We said let’s have outreach. We have to reach the area. We have to go into other neighborhoods. And P. Gary and P. Renaldo and others here and
P. Lynch and Jen and different ones we had 80 kids on the basketball court through the
summer. June Alive. What does that mean? We’re not afraid. We are ministering. This period
we are in we need to realize this is God. God is with us. We need to realize this is God. This is
about learning ministry. This isn’t about anything other than finding Jesus Christ in our everyday
life and realizing what his plan is. It’s awesome. Vs. 10. I was thinking of Carolyn Peters in Serbia
and the team. P. Tomas and Eva, Stephen Stein, all the Fins. The amazing work in Lapland this
past summer. The vision P. Matti had to get a building up in Lapland, way north of the Artic
Circle. They said 11 Finnish pastors, 80 people all through the summer. They had a vision and a
work for the Artic and the Lapland and they did it.
How many good things have happened because of the treasure in our earthen vessel. Sharen Eyring returned to Albania recently. Dan Dunbar lives in Korea. The precious people, Scot and Laura, and Sabo brothers and the Sabo
family, the brothers in central Asia. Toir, Emil and they have had the covid. The family. Pastor
Emil. Toir has had it, covid and they have a ministry in Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan and things go
on. The Post family in Nepal. And many people that just say I have an earthen vessel but the life
of the dying of the Lord Jesus and then the life of Jesus is manifested. P. Carl more than 8 years
ago diagnosed with ALS. They said he had 6 months to a year to live. His wife Suzi and Andrew.
I was going every year and seeing him. He lived 8 and a half years. I have no idea except it must
be – it was the dying of the Lord Jesus just like up there.
Just horrible. But in his eyes, in his faith, he had a time when he could move this thumb like this, so he typed on the phone his message. It took him six hours to type it out with his thumb for Sunday. He typed it out like this
with joy. With joy. Jesus I see you. I see you Jesus. Not everybody sees it. They are too hard, too
judgmental, too arrogant, too self-righteousness. Shame. To be on the cross like this is
shameful….put it away from me. I don’t want to hear about your foolish life, your stuff. I want
to see something big and beautiful and powerful and strong. God is saying, no. If you want to
find me, you better look again. I’m here. I’m everywhere around you. It’s not like men see it. It’s
the way I am. I am different from you. I’m not proud. I’m not blind. I’m loving and caring and
kind. Forgive them. They don’t know what they are doing.
I remember years ago, P. Lange preached a message on that in the 90s maybe. Jesus said you don’t know what you are doing. He simply said Jesus said that because nobody here, nobody there, nobody in this world really knows what we are doing. Do we really know what we are doing? It’s ridiculous if we think we
know what we are doing. All I know is God has said there is a treasure in us, and that treasure is
the point of life and it’s what people need. That’s why you should not judge your brother, not
judge your sister. That’s why we are to be loving and forgiving. We all need the treasure. We
have enough of the earthen vessel. We are all looking for Jesus in life. Vs. 11-12. There it is.
That’s the message. It’s a good one. Something to think about. To love and enjoy. It’s where we
are at in life in many ways. I think this period of time, we’ll go through some periods, another
chapter this way and another chapter that way.
Maybe our country is moving in a direction. Maybe we will be surprised how things go. We don’t know. Are you and I geared up for what life really is? Are we really prepared and are we learning? Yes. The answer is yes. We wouldn’t
be here if we weren’t hungry for it. Because we are, blessed are those hunger and thirst after
righteousness. They will be filled. We will find it. We’ll enjoy it. We’ll say like the Apostle Paul in
the prison cell he could say to the guard, do you enjoy being here with me? Yeah, you’re an
interesting person. Why are you so happy? Why are you so thankful? What’s going on? I have a
visitor coming and you can be in our fellowship. You can listen in. The prison guard and he was
in house arrest and Paul was even paying his own rent. The Roman guards were guarding him
as a prisoner. People could come and go and listen to this professor, scholar, rabbi Christian,
Apostle talk. It was a lot more than just knowledge. It was a treasure. It was spiritual life. It was
joy. It was ministry. Nothing could stop it. God gave it to you.
You got it. Enjoy it. Worship God with it. Have a party with it. Do the halleluiahs. Sing a lot. Rejoice a lot. Have a bounce in your step and have a ministry. Today I was out walking with my wife and we crossed the road. It was
black asphalt on the street. I said let’s go. I said, touch my hand. No, don’t touch my hand. I’m
crossing over the river and I can’t feel the bottom of the river. She goes, what are you talking
about? I go, John Bunyan’s Pilgrims Progress. She goes what do you mean? It’s at the end of the
journey he is crossing over the river of death to the Celestial City. You can’t go to the city
without going through the river, but you have to go alone. But you can’t be with me when I go
through death. I must be alone. Look at the screen. You have to be a lone in death. It’s a shame.
Can you feel the bottom of the river? No, I’m out of control. I can’t feel the bottom. Death is
overwhelming me. Just as he is feeling the whole strength of death, he feels the bottom and is
on the other side.
Woe! Lisa, are you going to go with me? You can’t. I want you to go with me.
You can’t go with me. You can’t. Wow! It’s going to be overwhelming. Death will be
overwhelming, but it’s okay. It’s the earthen vessel. Disease is part of it. It’s part of life, death
and many other things. We’re not hiding from it. C. S. Lewis said, maybe Chesterton said it too,
we are the ones that can look at reality in the face and say that river is a fearsome river, but I
got to go through it to get to the city. Nobody wants to go through death in one sense but the
promise by Jesus is if you believe me, you will not taste. You will see the glory of God. If you
believe in my Word, you already past from death to life. I think that’s why in one part of the
story, he couldn’t feel the bottom and he was so afraid, and he couldn’t feel the bottom and it
was overwhelming him. In a short time he could feel it, meaning he tasted the death but
actually Jesus had tasted the death for him.
He passed from death to life in the way of illustrating it. I’m just trying to say tonight that both of these are realities. If you ask the centurion – maybe I’m going long, but I’m enjoying this so much. That centurion soldier saw the
horrible reality and then he looked again and saw truly this is the Son of God. I believe when
our Christianity is that kind of reality, people look again and they go, they got it. It’s not a game.
It’s not a Hollywood production. It’s not an empty sham. They got it. I want it. I want it. That’s
what we are delighting in tonight. This is our rejoicing. Some of you – I’m not saying this to you
here but I’m saying to the whole world in principle not any person – some of you people are so
immature regarding this subject. You are shallow and superficial and judgmental and narrow
and have a misconception about what this life is about. It’s not about you looking good but
Jesus Christ knowing you. It’s not about you getting you’re your way but you finding who Jesus
Christ is. Life is so shallow for so many people.
My life as to be this way or this way. And this is the image I want, and this is a good testimony of my neighbors and moral life and many other ideas. It’s way too shallow. You and I are called with a divine calling. It’s so precious. It’s a
mystery. You can’t reproduce it. The flesh can’t reproduce it. You can’t manufacture it. I
remember the story. Now I’m going on. I’m rambling. Really, I’m finishing. Billy Graham our
famous evangelist, American revivalist, 1946, 1947 through the 50s and 60s, Billy Graham, one
of our heroes, had a school for preachers. Men went to the school to be effective evangelists
and preachers like Billy Graham, but nobody could produce a Billy Graham. Why? Because Billy
Graham doesn’t come from the flesh. He can’t be produced by men. Billy Graham is a calling.
That was a gift from God. That was a treasure in an earthen vessel. What has happened
however in the school for sure, men of God have learned and been trained, and they have their
gifts and their portion.
And it’s the same thing in what we’re talking about tonight. Your life is unique. Your gift set is unique, and your calling is unique. Your place is irreplaceable. You have a place in his plan. One day your earthen vessel will be like what we are talking about and it is that way tonight and we are glorying in the fact that we have something. I might not always see it. I might not always experience it or know what it is in my own life, but I can live by faith in
him and it’s up to him what he is doing.
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.