A moral law, a sense of right or wrong, is in us all. Payment comes due. Wrong must be made right. The cry for the payment goes on. God gives grace. Jesus paid it all. To Him we must come and believe. No entitlement system will do, just the Gospel that sets us free. (Romans 2:14-15)
Speaker(s): Thomas Schaller, Drew Wileczek
11:00 AM on 5/7/2023
P. Schaller –
Thanks, P. Drew. Wow what a good report. Some of you folks don’t know P. Drew, but he’s like one of our heroes
in the ministry. His family. Ten children. Nineteen grandchildren. Another one coming any day
now. Rebekah is with child and waiting for the delivery and Alex. But we just have a lot of love
for you and your work. He just keeps thinking and caring about the people in the Philippines
after years of what has happened there. And we just thank God for that. That’s a great vision
and great work. Yeah. Alright. So, thank you. Yes.
Before we give the short message, we’re going to give a message and before we do that would
you stand and turn around and just say to your neighbor let’s be praying and thinking about the
Philippines. Would you stand? Okay. You may be seated. Praise the Lord!
Okay. Some of you have traveled around the world, and by the way, we were away last week
but came back. This is our service and on Tuesday, we fly to India for a five-day conference.
Then, we fly to Nepal for a three-day conference and we come back. So, thanks for your
prayers. I really approach these conferences like as you know prayerfully and hoping that God
will minister to people. The people that come in India from different places, they are from our
churches and our work are coming sometimes with questions or burdens or needs that are
beyond us. So, we just pray that the Lord will help them or minister to them and encourage them
in their work.
Also, P. Drew flies to the Philippines on Tuesday, and he’s there for two weeks. And then P.
Scibelli came back and all of this type of work that is happening. But as we travel and we see
people in different countries, we find that people are basically the same everywhere in the world.
You can tell a story, a joke about a man and his wife and a dog in China, and they will laugh like
the people in Russia and the people in Africa and India.
Another thing common with people, not just their sense of humor, but their reasoning.
Mathematics is the same in China, in Russia, in India and here. Math. Reason. Logic. And then
there is something else that we all have and that is morality. We have a sense of right and
wrong that’s written in our hearts. In Romans 2:14 we read that.
Let’s read there. Read that text. I’m going to share with you something this morning I think a
short version of the 9:00 sermon. So, if you want to see the elongated one or the longer one
then go to the 9:00. It’s posted. Romans 2:14, there’s two kinds of Gentiles. They are pagans
without education and then you have pagans with education. You have Aristole and Plato. They
were pagans but they were educated philosophers and thinkers. They didn’t have the Jewish
law, but they had the law in their heart just like we do.
Have you ever been in line in the bank and somebody cuts in front of you? What do you say?
The back of the line is over there. Why do you say that? Because it’s not fair if you’ve been
standing in line and they come in front. What’s the word “fair” mean? What’s that word “fair”
mean? I gave you a piece of my orange a school boy could say. I gave you a piece of my
orange. You give me some of your lunch. Give me a few potato chips. My mom doesn’t let me
eat potato chips. How about this sentence, I was here first. Or how about your father hurt my
father, so I will hurt your father. Revenge. What’s revenge. It’s looking for justice, right? You took
out my tooth; I will take out your tooth.
Is this universal? Is this everywhere in life? Every school, every cafeteria, every business, every
police station, every university, every family. What is this? What are we talking about? What’s
called the moral law. I’ll write it down. Moral law. It’s written in our hearts. Rom. 2:15, even
though they are not Jews. The Jews had the law. So these moral sensibilities that are intuitive to
us. You don’t have to learn them in school. You don’t have to read the Bible to learn them. I just
know that if I gave you something, you should give me something back. I just know that. It’s
written in our hearts.
So, we have three categories of people here that we’re talking about. Pagans, uneducated is
Romans 1. Pagans educated is the text of Romans 2 half way and the rest are Jews, Romans 2
and 3. What benefit does a Jew have? The moral law is codified. It’s written. I actually like to
read it and think about it. I like the law. I like to read about it. If you steal a sheep and you have
to return payment, how many sheep do you have to give back according to the law of Moses?
Four. If you steal an ox and you are found as a thief, you’ve stolen somebody’s ox, you pay back
five oxen according to the law of Moses. I like to think about it.
Do you? I like to think about it. I don’t live in it in one sense because of the Gospel. That’s what we are going to share in a few minutes. But I want to make a big deal about morality, because morality is a key to
understanding the gospel. Morality is a key to understanding God. Morality is a key to
understanding the universe and the plan of God, the mind of God, the nature of God. I love the
moral law to think about it. It’s everywhere. You can’t escape it.
Let me make a point here. The secular person has a struggle with it. He says morality is from
our culture. Morality is from education. Morality is relative. To one person something is wrong; to
another person it’s not. I used to live in Hungary, and in Hungary there’s a gypsy population.
About ten percent of the population is gypsy, and they are the ones that are in jails. Why are
they in jail? Because stealing is part of their culture. You can steal to provide food for their
family. You can steal. It’s a way of life. They can steal. You grow up in that.
But actually if you go deeper, do they know that it is wrong? Do they realize it? Do they have
any guilty conscience for it. I want to say that the secular mind they are denying a universal law.
The universal law of right and wrong. Is it wrong to kill your mother? Is it wrong to kill a child? Is
it wrong to steal from your neighbor? What is wrong and what is right? So, let’s park there for a
The secular man says there is no God. The only reality is the material world. This is generally
speaking. This is an ideology. The secular world is saying man is at the center. But there’s a lot
of problems with it. What’s our purpose on earth? To please myself. Is there life after death? No,
there’s no life after death. Is there God? No, there is no God and so on.
So, they have a problem on many points. It’s a lousy ideology. A secular mindset is a terrible –
it’s weird to be saying there is no God when 96% of the population – Jews, Muslims, Christians
say God exists. We believe in God. The world believes in God. The secular ideology is that
there isn’t any. And it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter. But it does matter. And right and wrong
does matter. And there are things in life that are important. We are made with this intuition to
understand that when something is wrong, it has to be paid for.
Follow this with me because this will go fast. When something is wrong, it has to be paid for.
Pay. I’ll put here, question. Is it true when something is wrong, it has to be paid for. Just think
about it, and you can disagree with me. It’s okay. Just think about it. I just want you to think
about it. I believe it’s correct. Somebody has to pay.
You have $10,000 in the bank, somebody cheats you, steals the money. You report to the bank.
They say we can’t find your money. It’s over. It’s gone. Who pays? That’s what you say on the
phone when you talk to the bank. Who pays? How do I get the money back? The bank says
we’ll do what we can. Where’s the money? Somebody has to pay. The bank might say we’ll pay.
We’ll cover it. But they have to pay. Who pays? The bank. The bank might say, sorry. It’s gone.
Who pays then? You pay. The thief got your money and you suffer for it. Is that correct?
How about our deficit in the country? Was it 52 trillion dollars? Who pays? Somebody is paying.
Somebody is paying some day, some where, some how. Adultery. Who pays? Somebody pays.
A broken heart. A broken family. A guilty conscience. Somebody pays. Do they? I believe it.
When something is wrong, it’s wrong. And somebody pays emotionally, in the conscience,
money, broken heart, depression. There’s a payment. The wages of sin is death. Somebody
pays. Think about it.
You see, the religious world especially in the Buddhist world and the Hindu world too, there’s no
payment. It’s more, or there is a payment. I’ll explain that in a second. Particularly in the
Buddhist world, there is no sense of right and wrong. It’s all relative. It doesn’t matter. It’s kind of
like this idea. If something is wrong, just forget it. It doesn’t matter. It’s wrong. We all forgive. We
shouldn’t even think about it. Just forget about it. It doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter. Okay. Let’s
live like that for a second or two. It doesn’t matter. Really? Losing $10,000 doesn’t matter?
Losing your wife doesn’t matter? Your teenage son doesn’t matter? It doesn’t matter? Like sin
No, you see, if God is God, he could say everybody is forgiven. Always, everywhere and
everybody goes to heaven. Cause I’m God and I can do that. Okay, God. Who pays? And God
says, yeah. I’m a righteous God. I can’t lie. Does $10,000 mean much to you? Yes, Lord. It
means a lot to me. That’s all I got. It’s gone. God says it doesn’t matter. And what do you say?
The moral law written in your heart says it does matter. That hurts. That hurts. And if you just
add zeros to the number, it hurts more. And more and more.
And if you can say it doesn’t matter, then you are unrighteous. If you say it doesn’t matter when
your family is destroyed by sin called adultery and you say it doesn’t matter, then you’re not
being righteous. The universe doesn’t say in my heart. When you are in line at the bank and
somebody cuts in front of you, you could say it doesn’t matter. Please, go ahead. You’re in a
hurry. That’s beautiful. Go ahead. I’m happy that you – help yourself. You need it and so on.
That’s fine. That’s such a small offense. That is a public politeness maybe. Somebody cuts in
front of you and help them do what they need to do. That’s fine. And that is so light and that is in
public, and you are actually going to end up walking out of the bank shining like a hero because
you allowed somebody to cut in front of you and I hoped everybody noticed it! How good and
righteous, how nice I am and merciful.
But I’m trying to say something, that the universe was created by a living, Almighty God who is
moral and righteous and he made us in his image. And every day, this thing talks to us and says
that there is something wrong. And there’s something about us as people. We’re crying out on
the inside. We don’t know what we are crying for, but I want to tell you what we are crying for. I
want to tell you what it is just right now.
I want to tell you two things. We are crying out for righteousness, rightness. And we’re crying out
for grace. I want but who will pay? How do I get this? And how will it happen? How do I get it?
And in a word, who pays for this? Who will pay? You know where this is going, what I’m saying.
Somebody has to pay, right? Because where is the world going? From humanly, it’s wrong, and
we’re shuffling all over the place with our problems and blaming and accusing. Somehow, we
always surface to the top and say I’m not so wrong. The world is wrong. Society is wrong.
Economics is wrong. The political party is wrong. I’m not so wrong. I’ve got a judgment on others
that are wrong.
How about social injustice movement which I embrace it. I think it’s fine. We should be talking
about justice. Let’s talk about it. Let’s start with myself. Let’s start with me. What’s wrong with
me not them. Me. Let’s start with me and where am I wrong. Everybody’s them and him and her
and they’re wrong. But wait a minute. God in heaven is saying in heaven, hello? You are so
wrong. You have no idea. And who’s going to pay?
Now, here’s the last part of our message. It’s this one. If you’ve come here to Greater Grace,
you know these diagrams because they don’t get new! I just use the same ones over and over
again! Here’s God and here’s a guilty guy and he has to pay. So, how does he pay? He has
committed adultery or he has stolen money, or he has hurt somebody or he has been arrogant.
He’s selfish. He doesn’t do anything bad on the outside but inside he’s filled with his self-
interest. He’s consumed with his self-importance. He just believes in himself a lot. Then when it
comes to God, he knows that somehow he’s guilty, so he wants to pay. We put a staircase here.
You go up these stairs and you make a payment by your work. He’s a Christian. And in time, he
says if I say my prayers, if I behave well, if I go to the church, if I do my best, I can pay for my
sin, pay for all of these things that happen that I find myself in a deficit. Deficit. One writer calls it
dirty energy. Dirty energy. It’s my flesh working to make a payment.
Paying. The problem with paying is you feel entitled. This is entitlement. Entitlement is when you
start to believe that God owes you. What does that mean? I’ve behaved. I’ve done a good job.
God owes me. He owes me a good life. There are Christians that come to the faith and they say
I want to get my life together. I want to live a good life and then God will owe me a good life. I’ll
have a good life. I’ll have favor with God, cause God will be pleased with me cause of how I live,
what I do, my disciplines. The disciplines of prayer. The disciplines of faith and reading my Bible
and going to church and so on. It’s like a payment plan.
I used to preach in Eastern Europe and live there many years and this one history before World
War II there was a bar room up on a mountain in Czechoslovakia, and there was such a revival
before the war. This village came to Christ and the bar room went out of business and they sold
the bar room and it became a church. It was up on the hill, up on the mountain. And we were
walking up the mountain to go to church, and the pastor said that the people in our church are
going to go to heaven cause they have to work so hard to get up to the church! I almost agreed
You do what we do maybe a payment so that God owes us. It’s entitlement. You owe me a good
life. You must answer my prayer. You must do what I want you to do cause I’m paying for you.
I’m paying for this. I’m paying. But you can’t pay for your sin. You can’t pay for your life. That’s
what hell is. Hell is people filled, it’s filled with people that have a sense because of their fallen
nature, they have a hatred. When they go to hell, the worst of them comes out. They have a
hatred for God. When they pass into the next life, it’s not better. It’s worse. They become a spirit.
They are a spirit, but when they die they leave their body and they go to hell to a place prepared
for the devil and his angels, Matthew 25:41. This is a tragic thing to talk about. It’s a nightmare. It’s
the worse thing. But apparently it’s reality. It’s what Jesus talked about. It’s what we are talking
about today in different terms.
You can’t pay for your sin. You only suffer from the sin that you and I commit. If we are saved by
a great work of grace where God does something else than this diagram. It goes to this side of
our picture and it is basically God came here. God says I will pay. I will pay. Wow. How do you
pay, God? He says I will live a perfect life and when I die, I will take all the sins of the world upon
me. God will take those six hours and because of this transcendent realities that the person that
was on the cross was God, and our sins went on him and that God died on the cross. God can’t
die. I know that. But Christ died and he was God as a payment for our sin to take our sins away.
That was the payment. And now for us, whoever believes. When we say, where’s the payment?
How do I pay for my sin? God says you pay nothing. You pay absolutely nothing. No payment
for your sin. It’s impossible for you to take away your sin, but it’s possible for me to take away
It’s not the Buddhist idea that it doesn’t matter. Everybody gets grace and love and it really
doesn’t matter. No, this is filled with righteousness and truth. This is the Son of God who never
sinned. Every thought in his mind was absolutely perfect in essence. Everything about his life
absolutely perfect and he became sin for us that we might be made the righteousness of God in
him. That’s the gospel. That’s the grace of God. That’s the payment that God made for us so
that we could go through.
Just like Barabbas at the trial. Barabbas goes free as a murderer, insurrectionist, night-time
terrorist. Bad guy. He was a bad guy. Christ is crucified and Barabbas goes free and that’s the
story of us. Who paid for Barabbas’ transgressions? Barabbas didn’t pay. I mean, his salvation I
don’t know about, but I’m telling you that Jesus died for the sins of the whole world, and that’s a
picture of how you and I go free. We don’t pay.
So, the diagram goes this way. God came. He went to the cross. You and I come to Jesus and
now we grow. I’ll put an upward spiral like this. We grow. We are made righteous. We are learning what it is. We are growing in grace and knowledge. We are learning how to think of
ourselves without payment. There’s no payment. I go to the church because I enjoy it. There’s
no payment. I’m reading my Bible because I enjoy it. It’s not a payment. We are waiting on God
in prayer because we love God. God loves us. It’s no payment. I share my faith with somebody
out there in the public arena somewhere, some day, on a bus or train, a street corner, at a bus
stop, in a cafe, a gas station. And we just share it in a relaxed way. We talk about the grace of
God, the new life. We talk about Jesus. Jesus is amazing what he has done for us. And you
know, we are not making it up.
It says in Hebrews 9:14 that your conscience bears witness. Your conscience is clean. There’s no
payment for any of your sin. King David committed adultery. He is forgiven. It’s gone. It’s written
in the book for our favor, but really it’s out of the mind of God. He cannot remember our sins
anymore even though it’s written in the Bible. But I want you to understand the nature of God is
like who is like my servant, David? And it says in Nehemiah 13 that God loved Solomon. I got to read
that to you to close here.
Nehemiah 13, if you can put it up. Nehemiah 13:26, look at that. Okay. He was beloved of his God. But
read the rest of it. Outlandish means strange or foreign women. Foreign women. He married
women outside the parameters of Israel for political – foreign policy was to be connected to the
nations around them by marrying the daughters of those kings. There was a wisdom in it, a
conventional wisdom that made sense. Egypt will not attack me because his daughter is lying
next to me in the bed. And the Ammonite king, his daughter. And the Moabite king, his daughter.
Solomon had this as a strategy but it was sin. And it says God loves Solomon. But women
caused him to sin and they brought their idolatry into the nation. It’s a great story. I want to say
that when you find the grace of God here, when Jesus is saying I love you. Yes, you have
sinned but I paid. You are free.
Every once and a while go back and ask yourself the question, do we pay? Is there a payment?
What was I saying here. When something was done wrong, does anybody pay? Yes. But you
don’t. But you don’t. You are a new creation. You have a new life. You are free. Learn grace. Be
established in grace. You are not paying for your sin, and you don’t others pay. That’s a whole
different subject. A similar subject but another teaching that needs to be covered.
We are holding people accountable for the wrong, but we also understand the nature of God.
People should be held accountable for wrong, but in love, in patience, in kindness, in
understanding and work with them and help them and also ultimately forgive them. Okay. So,
that’s it. There’s a lot to say there, but because of the time I want to end. Would you pray with
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