We must be after the things of the Spirit. The life of the flesh is one of death and restlessness in carnality. Unbelievers, we are among those who see us as foolish. We are directed in righteousness by Him. Romans 8:4-7
Speaker(s): Thomas Schaller, Zane Turk
6:30 PM on 4/10/2022
Zane Turk –
Alright. Just a short word, short meditation just as we’re thinking about Easter coming up and the Easter season
and all that that means to us. Let’s turn to Deuteronomy 4. I’m sorry. Let’s do 1 John. 4 first. I just want to
read this. (Prayer). Amen. 1 John. 4, I’ve just been thinking about this. I was listening to one of P.
Ben Turkia’s messages from Convention in 2017. He talks about this a little bit. 1 John. 4:9, just
remember that point, “that we might live through him.” And let’s turn to Deuteronomy 4.
Just the thought when I was younger, a little younger in my faith and growing up I was a little
upset that I couldn’t see God. We want to see God. God has created this beautiful world and he
has this amazing book with the story of his love in it, and we want to see God. God, I want to
see your face. What do you look like? And I was a little bit maybe disappointed. I want to see
God but I can’t. Years go by. I want to see God but I can’t. God, I want to see your face. I want
to see your glory. Show me who you are.
And then, as time goes on maybe I start to appreciate, I started to appreciate the fact that I
couldn’t see God. It means that God isn’t like anybody else. He’s not any other god that you can
go up to and there’s an idol or statue or there’s a picture or a painting of this god that you can
see and you worship. I grew to appreciate the fact that I couldn’t see God, you know. I can’t see
your face, but that means that there is an infinite possibility of who you are, who God is.
There’s an infinite amount of being that I don’t know. And his silence and the fact that he is
unseen points to the fact that he is infinitely greater than I could ever imagine. Right? Makes
sense. Then I started to appreciate the fact that I couldn’t see God, right?
And here in Deuteronomy 4 and let’s go to verse 12. Deuteronomy is Moses’ last three sermons to the
people of Israel before he dies, and before Joshua takes over and takes them into the Promised
Land. And this is like the book of the last warnings, the last laws for Moses. This is his last words
for Israel. He’s been with them 40 years in the wilderness and he’s been their leader and like
their pastor, their priest, the one that represents God to them and represents God. He’s saying,
he’s giving them kind of his last words to them. So, let’s read it in vs. 12. He’s talking about
when he received the Ten Commandments. You heard words. You didn’t see a form. There was
only a voice. God didn’t give himself a form. And then if you go to vs. 15-16. Don’t make an
image who you think God is. You didn’t see the form of God, so don’t create an image of who
God is. Be careful. Because we have a desire to see God. He knew that it was in their hearts that
they wanted to see God that was behind the voice and the signs, but he said don’t make an
image. Don’t make an image. Don’t act corruptly because you’re going to corrupt the image of
Then a little bit later, I mean thousands of years later down the line there is a man who was
born and his name was Jesus. What does he say at the Sermon on the Mount? He says in Matthew
5:8, what does that mean? Does that mean they see the form of God? No. It means that
because they have purity of heart, they see God in everything, right? They see God in sickness.
They see God in the car accident. They see God in the job change. They see God in the loss of a
loved one. They see God in a sunrise. They see God in everything because they are pure in
heart. So now we go from not seeing God and being a little bit disappointed about it to being
appreciative of the fact that I can’t see God because that means he is infinitely greater than I
could ever imagine. But now I see God in every single thing in life because I have a pure heart.
But it doesn’t stop there. Yeah! And then we all know that today is Palm Sunday.
On this day thousands of years ago, God himself rode into Jerusalem on a donkey, on a colt. What did they
say? They said, “blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.” The son of David, the king of
Israel. Hosanna and glory in the highest. And they’re fulfilling the prophesy from Psalm 118. They
say, “Hosanna, blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.” And what does this mean?
Let’s turn to Philippians 2. Because remember that word “form” that we were talking about. You saw
no form; you only heard words. Then in vs. 5-8, that’s amazing! Why did God now want them to
make an image? Why did God say don’t make any images of me? Because he was saying I am a
human being. I am like you. I am coming in a form of a man and what I am going to do is I’m
going to invite you into my death. I’m going to invite you into my burial. I’m going to invite you
into my resurrection. I’m going to invite you into my ascension.
I’m going to invite you to be seated in heavenly places with me. And what does this mean but it means that we can’t see
God, but in Luke 24 I was just reading it the other day. Jesus is a man. In heaven, he’s also God
but he’s also man. In the glorified body that he had, the disciples touched it and they put their
fingers through the holes and he said I’m not a ghost. Give me some food and some water,
right? He eats food and he drinks water and he walks with people, Cleopas and another
disciple, and they don’t even recognize that he’s – they don’t say any different other than he’s a
human being because he’s so much like them.
Why did God not want the Israelites to make an image or a form? But it’s because God says I
am so much greater than being this imaginary figure that you make up. I am actually next to
you. I am on your side. I’m inviting you into my death and my burial and my resurrection. Going
back to 1 John. 4. I’m inviting you to live through me. In 1 Corinthians 15:49, we are bearing now we are
bearing the image of God because he took on the form of a man. Now, we can take on the
image of God, and we can live through him. How does the world see God? We see God through
the Holy Spirit, but how does the world see God? God chose us to bear his image so we could
manifest the love of God to the world. And people see us and they don’t hear a voice but they
see the form and the image of God because as he is so are we in this world. Amen. Amen.
P. Schaller – Okay. What a good word from Zane. And beautiful song from the ladies. Beautiful
evening here. What a good morning we had. I heard in Federal Hill they had – P. Wright up in
Havre de Grace and Owings Mills and just the ministry. P. Scibelli in Africa. I talked to P. Teplov
in Moscow today. And P. Brian Lange in Thailand. P. Taggert is in Thailand with P. Steve
Paragello. I heard Ice Cream – is Ice Cream here tonight? Where’s Ice Cream? Is Ice Cream here? He’s in the refrigerator! Where’s Ice Cream? I heard he’s moving back here so we want to
welcome him. In his absence, we’re welcoming him and good to have him moving here Lord
The Maryland Late Abortion Bill – does anyone know about that? It’s in the news. You know
about it? so, Governor Hogan vetoed it the other day and so it goes back to the State legislature
and they are trying to override his veto. We consider it an ungodly thing. That’s an ungodly
thing to kill late term babies, to kill any baby. So, we are against that. We are praying for that. I
believe we should be engaged in the process of politics. For too long maybe we have – it’s a
paradox but I’ll read this to you. “One of our presidents said, “now more than ever before the
people are responsible” – this is Garfield.
This is in the 19 th century, the middle of it. “the character, the people are responsible for the character of their Congress. If that body be ignorant, reckless, and corrupt it’s because the people tolerate ignorance, recklessness and
corruption. If it be intelligent, brave, and pure” – this is a president saying this about Congress.
“And we the people – “If it is brave, pure, and intelligent it is because the people demand these
high qualities to represent them in the national legislature. If in the next centennial – that’s one
hundred years – “does not find this a great nation, it will be because those who represent the
enterprise, the culture, and the morality of the nation do not aid in controlling the political
forces.” We have to change things.
Patrick Henry. Last one. 1765. “This brought on the war which finally separated two countries.”
That means Britain, England, and us. “Whether this will prove a blessing or a curse will depend
upon the use our people make of the blessings which a gracious God is bestowing on us. If they
are wise, if they will be great and happy, if they are of a contrary character, they will be
miserable. Righteousness alone can exalt them as a nation. Reader, whoever you are remember
this and in thy sphere practice virtue thyself and encourage it in others.” Oh, yeah! I know we
are all of the same mind, but it’s beautiful to say and to think our country is very tough at the
same time fragile. We have to be engaged. We cannot sleep, okay. We cannot sleep. Alright.
Just for a moment would you stand with me and just have a prayer with your neighbor for the
state of Maryland to make the right decision.
For the governor of Maryland, Governor Hogan. Have a word of prayer for the United States, for President Biden, for the Congress, the Senate, and just have a prayer and be serious about it with your neighbor. You may be seated.
When Jesus entered Jerusalem on a donkey, it was the work of the Holy Spirit without any
question. He was king of the Jews but the Jews had no king for hundreds of years. Their last
king was killed. The last one imprisoned in Babylon and eating at King Nebuchadnezzar’s table,
and then they disappeared. The kings were not allowed. When the, the Persian’s allowed them
to return but only have a governor. They had governors. Zerubbabel was one but no king. And
then when the Greeks came, no king. The Jews were not allowed to have a king because they
were rebellious people. No. Then the Romans came. No king. The Jews have no king.
So, it’s kind of like the bamboo plant that has a root system underground and the runner runs
underground and then a bamboo plant comes up over here. And I like to think of Jesus like that.
That they had kings and David was a great king and he was promised that his son would sit on
the throne forever. How can a man sit on a throne forever unless he is God. It was the promise
of the Messiah. Where is the king? There aren’t any kings.
Hundreds of years pass and then just like Blind Bartimaeus. Son of David! Son of David! Jesus
stopped. Who knows who I am but a blind man. The Holy Spirit knows who he is. And Christ
was of the seed by the genealogy. His father Joseph who wasn’t his real biological father but
legally his father was of David and marvelously so Mary his mother was of the seed of David.
Two lines that came from David’s family. One was Mary, the descendant was Mary. The other,
And then that day when he came on the donkey into the city and they said, hosanna! And they
recognized him as the Messiah. We want to say something tonight about our new birth from
Romans 8:5-8 which we spoke about this morning. Before we turn there, I want you to notice a
verse. 1 John. 5:3, and you know this verse. You don’t need to turn there. This is the love of God. If
any man love God, the same is known of him, 1 Corinthians 8:3. You have love in your heart for God.
It’s the new birth. Regeneration. Because of this love then we keep his commandments. I think
we keep them. How do you keep them? Romans 8:4, the Holy Spirit. The righteousness of the law,
the righteousness of the law is manifest in us by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the one that
wrote the law. The Holy Spirit is the one that is love. The Holy Spirit is the one that defines your
new life. You have a new life by the Holy Spirit.
I like what Zane said. Earlier in my Christian life, I wanted to see God. I wanted to see God. But
then I learned I don’t really need to see him. I know him. I know him. I can see him. I know his
Spirit. I know God. I have a love in my heart for God. We cry, Abba, Father. We love his
commandments and they are not condemning us. They are not burying us with guilt. They are
not grievous. They are the result of love. They are not a burden. They are our joy. We have it
not out of burden but out of peace.
So, I’d like you to turn now to Romans. Turn to chapter 8 and we can start from vs. 4. We’ll go
from 4-8. Remember the Father justified us, Rom. 3. We are declared righteous. The Son of God
shed his blood to redeem us and the Holy Spirit came into us to regenerate us, Titus 3:5. All of
this, justification, redemption, has all been done by the Trinity, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
You are saved. How did it happen? You believed. When you believed, what happened? You
were regenerated. What happens when you are regenerated? It’s explained here. That we are
righteous. Legally declared righteous and then by the work of his grace and our new nature, we
have righteousness in our hearts and it's not grievous. It’s satisfying. Other words could be
used. We were sinners, enemies of God, in rebellion, hated God. We hated God.
You might say I never really remember a time when I hated God. When you were unsaved, you
were an enemy of God and did not know him, did not understand him, and you were an enemy
that hated him. You might say it was never manifested. No, maybe not manifested but it was in
the core of who you are. There are no degrees of sinners in the absolute sense of the word. A
sinner is a sinner. Magnitude and expression varies but the nature of it is all the same. We are
rotten, Romans 3:10-18. There’s none righteous. No not one. Not a Jew. Not a Gentile. Not a
pagan. Not a human being. There is none righteous; no, not one.
This is hard. People don’t believe it. It’s the greatest lie in our world that we are righteous, that we are pleasing. God likes my personality. God likes my face. God likes my movement, my behavior, my sense of humor,
my intelligence, my intentions, my sincerity. All of it is all filthy rags in the eyes of God, Isaiah
64. Okay. So, we know this I think. We’re learning it.
vs. 4. This is the miracle of the Trinity saving us, regenerating us and we are righteous now. Vs.
5. They think about the things of the flesh. They relate to the things of the flesh. They care
about themselves. They are drawn to the things of their own desires and inclinations. Their
flesh. They are minding them. Their mindset is of the flesh. Not of the Spirit. They are not of the
Spirit. We had a prayer tonight for our country. Are people generally doing that? No, they’re
generally not. I’m saying the flesh is not occupied with righteousness. It’s occupied with
lasciviousness and license and anarchy and my own will and my own desires and what I can get
for myself. You multiply that around in our society and we have so many deep problems and
then nobody teaching righteousness and nobody teaching the Gospel and nobody getting
saved. And no real change of heart. No redemption. No miracle of grace that happens and
people are lost. And they just mind the things of the flesh.
Come to church with me. We were at Sam’s Club handing out these tickets, free tickets for the
Easter Play and I was so pleased people were taking them and many beautiful attitudes were
expressed. “Oh, I know about that play. Is that the same as last year?” And so on. I was
encouraged meeting, seeing and then of course there are people God is far away in their minds.
They are minding the things of their immediate life. Not eternal life. Not forgiveness. They don’t
know about redemption. They don’t know about who is God. They are just living, minding the
things of the flesh and this is the unbeliever. The unbelievers are the people we live with. We
live amongst them, the unbelievers. They are minding those things of the flesh.
Vs. 5. That’s why we go to church because we are minding the things of the Spirit cause God
ordained not only I’m justified, redeemed, regenerated but my life is converted. I am
converted, Luke 22:31-32. Peter, when you are converted strengthen the brethren. James 5:19-
20, brethren if any of you are overtaken in a fault, he that turns a sinner from the error of his
way. And it looks like that’s a believer. He turns a believer from the error of his ways shall save
a soul from death and hide a multitude of sins that will never be committed, because he's been
restored, he’s been forgiven, he’s been converted. He’s been changed. He had a root of
selfishness that God showed him. He came to God in faith and he admitted it. He agreed.
And the Holy Spirit gave him the mind so that he could mind the things of the Spirit. Minding the
things that really count.
Years ago, when I was in Bible school, we were in Maine. I was riding in a car. I’ll never forget it.
It happened to me many times. I’m riding in the back seat of a car looking out the window and
I’m thinking, what am I doing here? What am I doing here? I’m in this little Bible school. I’m
living in Maine with people I really don’t know them. What am I doing here? I have left my
family. I left my college. I left my life. I went – I was in Bible school. I’m riding in the back of a
car looking out the window as the trees are flying by and the farms and everything.
I’m thinking am I doing the right thing? Am I making the right decision? What am I doing here? Where is my
life going? What’s the point of it? I’m 19, 20 years old. What am I doing? Do you know how I
answered it? I don’t know. I can tell you. I want to also like help you understand what I mean. I
But I was after the things of the Spirit. I wanted to hear what the Spirit was saying. I decided I’d
give my life to Jesus. And I didn’t care. I stopped caring. I stopped saying I need to know. I need
to understand. Jesus, I need a contract with you please. You could fill out and I’ll study it and
we’ll have a good – there wasn’t any. You know what it was? Kind of a crazy, crazy way of life
but people that are unbelievers think we are fools. For the things that we listen to and we
follow them is foolishness, but to us, it is life. He uses two words for it. It is life and peace. And
you know what the world of the flesh is? It is death and he says it here. Death and I’m going to
add in the word restlessness. The life of the flesh is a life of death and restlessness. Have you
ever felt it? I need to move to Colorado. You move to Colorado. I need to move to Florida. I
went to the wrong place. I’m going to Arizona. I want to go where the sun is shining or the jobs
pay well or the houses are cheap or wherever it is. Then you do it and it’s not exactly – I didn’t
sign up for this! Yeah, I know.
We have to understand our new birth has given us a new gyroscope or a new compass. Didn’t
we have a message about two compasses? There’s a message about two compasses some time
ago. It’s really a true thing. On a metal ship you have compass on deck and then you have a
compass up high, and you need both of them to check. Because the electricity and the ship and
the metal ship and the haul and I don’t know the physics of it. You get the idea. I need a double
check. I got one compass but it might not be. I need another one. And what I feel about this is
that you and I who are born again, we have a new nature and that new nature is hungry for the
things of the Spirit. Read it with me. Chapter 8:6, that’s the mind of the unbeliever that you
meet at work. That you you meet at school in the college campus.
That’s in the dormitory. That’s the carnal believer. That’s your relative. That’s a person that is afraid of dying. That’s a
person that is afraid of their future. That’s a person that is maybe zealously, “lustingly” living for
adventure and extreme sports or that are out on the edge maybe drinking and partying. They
are carnally minded and there is a death in their life. It’s dead. You can’t tell me it isn’t. it is. Of
course, you know that. It is. It’s death.
Then it says, vs. 6. And that is who you are, is life, and he adds the word peace. Life and peace.
Why didn’t he say life and love or life and joy? I think because the peace is in contradistinction
the restlessness that is in us. That restlessness. Don’t make decisions out of restlessness except
to go before God and say to God, I am seeking the things of the Spirit. I want to hear a message
from a man of God, from the Bible. I want to have a brother, a sister in fellowship. I want to
seek God in a prayer time. I want to get on the phone with my sisters and brothers in prayer
and say pray for me. I’m looking for the Spirit to lead me and guide me. And also, I need a
conversion in an area of my life. I can see that there is something.
There is a hindrance between me and that peace that God has promised us. So, lead me to the cross Jesus. Lead me to
surrender in brokenness. Lead me in the Spirit. Fill me with your Spirit. Don’t go a long time
without the Holy Spirit filing you and giving you the love. That’s your nature now to walk in the
Spirit and live in love. Not gossip. In love. Not the things of the flesh but the things of peace and
love and encouragement and edification.
Lastly, vs. 7. Do you know what’s the problem with the human race? We lost God. We live in sin
and we are an enemy of God. You cannot take that guy muckle onto him and wrestle him to be
obedient to God. He cannot be. It’s not in him. He has no desire for it. He cannot find it. he
cannot do it. it cannot happen. There’s no way. That’s why in our country there is such division.
They don’t understand us but to be honest, I feel that we understand them. They have no
options. They are in unbelief. They mind the things of the flesh. They say, freedom! Freedom!
What it means is they have a license to live like hell. That’s what it means. I have the freedom
to do what I damn well please. That’s what they mean. I can do anything I want. You get out of
my face. It’s a state of rebellion, ungodliness and it cannot be, you cannot take that and convert
or change that flesh. There’s no way. That will never happen. It cannot happen. It says it here.
Neither indeed can be in vs. 7.
How do we reach them? Many ways. Many works of God happen in history, in life. In many
ways, God is knocking on the door of the unbeliever. Many ways he can call them by a dream.
He can reach them by fear. By a tragedy. By bad news. By good news,. He can reach them by
love, by kindness, by the manifestation of God in our heart and in our mind. It happens. If they
are, if they believe not my Gospel in 2 Corinthians 4:4, the god of this world has blinded their minds
and they cannot see it. Have you felt trapped in that world? I have. I remember it. I remember
you get in a rut. You get in this whole thing, this whole thing. Your doors are shut. This whole
thing of pity and you know the well is very deep the woman said to Jesus. The woman at the
well story in John 4. She said Jesus, – she didn’t know his name – she said the well is very deep.
The well is very deep.
That’s like the human nature, Proverbs 20:5. It says a man of understanding will draw it out. Out of
the well of the human heart. Out of the well. She said you don’t have anything to draw it with,
and Jesus said if you ask me, I will give you water and you never thirst. Another way of saying I will fill the well with everlasting water or I will give you what you need cause I am God. I am
God. I am the one that you need. Seek me and you will find me. Follow me and I will teach you.
I will show you. Follow me. I will show you. Obey me and I will show you.
That is the righteousness that’s from me to you and through you. Let me finish here. It says in
vs. 7. In finishing, I really want to encourage you. You are in the Spirit. You are in the Spirit.
That’s your nature. You are in the Spirit. Am I perfect? No. I am in the mind of God and in the
finished work. Yes. We are as he is even as we live in this present evil world. Legally in the mind
of God we are declared to be righteous. But in practice, I have a lot of growing. I have areas I
need a conversion, a change. Peter was saved when Jesus said, “when you are converted,
strengthen the brethren.” Meaning when you are going to go this – my words – your denial of
me and I’m going to restore you. It’s going to change your heart. You’re going to love me. And
follow me and go all the way. When that happens, you will strengthen the brethren.
Conversions happen in our lives. A jealous woman can change. She’s not jealous anymore. A
covetous man can change. He’s very generous and not like that anymore. A teenager can
change and they are not stubborn or rebellious. They’re broken and Spirit filled. That can
happen to all of us. This is the nature of our new birth is the life of God, the Spirit in us. But you
are not in the flesh but in the Spirit. If he is dwelling in you, you are in the Spirit. This is what he
is saying here. You are in the Spirit. This is the nature of God for you. This is what is normal for
us is a Spirit filled life. Can we quench him? Yes. Can we grieve him? Yes. Can we insult the
Spirit? Hebrews 10:29, yes. We cannot blaspheme the Holy Spirit. That’s an unforgivable sin that
cannot happen to us as believers. But the nature of God for us is the new birth with the Holy
Spirit giving us the new mind where we care about the things that are spiritual. Amen. Would
you pray with me, please.
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.