There is tendency in us to turn superstitious ways. We can fall into doing things and belief systems built on stuff. What we need is a changed heart and to live as crucified people. Galatians 4:9-14
Speaker(s): Thomas Schaller, Chris Moore, Ken Feyers
7:00 PM on 10/6/2021
P. Schaller –
Turn with me to Galatians 2. We are having a pastor’s retreat starting tomorrow. Any pastors that have come in from
outside of Baltimore – Dr. Chung for example – would you just stand. We want to take a look at
you. Just any pastors that have come in. Oh, Keith. Great. P. Ken, P. Chris, P. Steve Devries.
Beautiful. Others coming. P. Stan Collins has come in. They’re up in Maine. P. Arturo. Renaldo,
no, Rolando. The ‘l’s on the other side of the ‘a.’ Rolando and P. Diaz. Yeah. Okay. So pray for
that couple days of refreshment. Thanks for your love and prayers. How many others are going.
You’re going to go. Would you stand up? You’re going to the pastors retreat? Here in the
auditorium? Just stand up. These men. Wow. Beautiful. Awesome. Great. Awesome. Beautiful.
How about the people that are going to be at home? Are you going to be praying for us and
loving us for the future and the work of the ministry.
The concern I have in our faith is that people get so discouraged by their lives and they have things in their lives that they deal with and to be honest sometimes we get so troubled by our lives. I’ll read this: “I know of a man who
feeling inferior to his wife, asserts his superiority by insisting on buying her clothes and telling
her what to wear.” Anybody in the room fit that? Would you just stand up? We’re going to marvel
at you! He insists on bossing her outer life because he feels inferior inside himself.” He’s inferior
so he takes control over her outer life. It’s interesting. This verse, Galatians 2:20, is for him and all of
us. It says I am crucified with Christ. Is it true that my inferiority died with Him. Is it true my pride
and selfishness, my morose, morbid, moody disposition. Did it die with him? Did I die with him?
It’s a very good question. This is a Bible verse that many people that – okay. That’s very nice.
That’s very nice but this is where I live. I have these feelings of inferiority to my wife. Imagine.
And many expressions of these things that happen amongst us.
But I’m encouraged because I believe in the ministry the Spirit is speaking to us and that’s why we come. Cause I need
teaching. I need understanding. I need to realize I am not alone. This whole church is filled with
people, all of us, we have issues. We have things. We have stubborn habits. We have stubborn
moods and attitudes. We have secret pride and religion and legalism. It happens. We slide into
it. The Galatians, the book of Galatians is about that. But look at what Paul is saying here. It’s
life changing. I am crucified with Christ. It doesn’t matter if you experience it. It’s true. It doesn’t
matter what you believe about it. It’s real. You died with him, Romans 6. In the mind of God, it’s
really true and real, and in the mind of the Holy Spirit who dwells in you, he reveals it to you. I
was crucified with him, but I live. But it’s not me. Have you found that? Have you had the
fellowship? I think tonight we have. I think we live in it. I think we wake up in it in the morning. I
think we have times living and embracing and we are free. And we love people without
conditions out of our heart.
We start to love ourselves with our new identity in who we are. When you detect your sin nature in your life, what do you do with it? Let me repeat that. When you detect your sin nature in your life, what do you do with it? I’ll tell you what I do. I
acknowledge it. I don’t hide it best I can. I pull it out from under the carpet and put it right on the
table. There it is. My sin. There it is. My sin. Lord, thank you. Thank you. It’s in the light of your
eyes and what have you done with it. I have taken it away. I have removed it. You are free. Go.
You are free. You are crucified with my son and you live but not you. Not you. Have you felt that
in the Spirit? This isn’t me. This isn’t me. This is him. This isn’t me. This joy is not me. It’s him.
This light is not me. It’s him. This love in our hearts isn’t me. This peace that you have in your
life. This peace you have is not me. It’s him. Isn’t that amazing! You might say well, pastor, you
know, you hang out with believers every day and you get to preach these things and teach
these things and maybe it is so for you, but for many of us, for many of us, you know, we’re
struggling. What do we say?
Cast down every thought and high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God. Do not embrace it as the truth. It is not true. I am crucified with him. How soon after I say those words, how soon after I repeat it, after I believe it, after I walk by faith in it, how soon is the Holy Spirit anointing you in your heart and understanding and leading you in
faith? Right away. For the Holy Spirit is jealous of us. He wants us to live in faith. And he wants
us to identify with the truth that he wrote. To believe it, mix faith with it. I live but not I. Christ
lives within me. The fellowship we now have in our local assembly is a fellowship of the Holy
Spirit and the person of Christ. And the freedom that we sense this is normal. This is God. The
love that we have coming out of our hearts, that is God. The joy that we have is from God. I
asked P. Chris Moore to share tonight for a few minutes about the fact that they are in Texas.
It’s covid time. God puts it on their heart to go to Iraq. They go to Iraq as missionaries during covid, with joy, and by faith. Who is thinking like that? The people that fear are not thinking of
The people that are troubled by their inferiority or are comparing themselves with each
other or saying I got a raw deal. What happened to me in my life I’m a victim. I’ve suffered in my
life. All these folks are in a different place than you and I. How did this happen? I am not myself.
I’m crucified with Christ. Now I live. The life I now live I live by faith of the Son of God who loved
me and died for me. At the end of your life who is glorified? God. How did that person do that?
God. How did that work? God. Why did he believe like? God. How come things went so? God.
Why did God open that door? God. Why wasn’t he angry and bitter and resentful and wounded
and hurt all his life? Why? God. I am crucified with Christ but I live. Isn’t that amazing. So,
welcome P. Chris Moore. Thank you for being here tonight. Come on. Give him a hand. Isn’t he
great? The joy of the Lord is our strength.
P. Chris Moore –
It’s great to be here. I look at the Body here and I was thinking as he’s
preaching I look at the Body here and it’s a mirror. I see myself in the Body. Isn’t that great? I
look at you and I see myself. That’s our new identity in Christ. Yeah, we went to Iraq. That was
quite an amazing trip, and I can tell you the story how that happened. A few years ago we got
an email from a Hungarian journalist. His name is Burtsy. And he is a guy that would ride with
the Peshmerga which is the Kurdish freedom fighters that reside in Iraq that are a group of
freedom fighters that have the best result against terrorist organizations like ISIS. These are the
guys that would go out to the front lines and really get their hands dirty and they would get
support from certain international large countries to do the job. In this army, there’s also women,
Kurdish women that fight there. He sent us an email.
We got one of these emails to our church address. It’s like maybe like a hundred other churches that were emailed in that list. And it was an email that went like this: I’m a journalist. I’m a Christian. I don’t consider myself a very
spiritual person, but I’m riding with the Peshmerga and the things I see here are just so heart
breaking. I want to send out an invitation, a cry to American churches to come and send
laborers cause what’s happening here is not getting to the news and we are seeing it firsthand.
There are a lot of people that are asking me questions about God and I don’t really have
answers for them. Would you consider sending people to do a work here? We wrote back and
asked him questions and who he was and we ended up inviting him to one of our EUROCON
conferences and he came. A couple years ago, maybe a year and a half ago or a year ago, we
were kind of just sitting in our house. I think we just had a meeting. We had one of these
meetings in our house because everything was shut down.
We were just sitting there with a couple of families. We were with a family, the Turner family, Billy and Candace Turner, that are in our church there in Houston. We were just talking and we had just discussed what Paul had
said in 1 Corinthians 16 when he said that a great and effectual door has been opened up unto me.
And yet there are many adversaries. I want to allude to this verse because I think I was just a
springboard verse that got the idea rolling that we would go. Paul says in 1 Corinthians 16:8, I will tarry
in Ephesus until Pentecost. That is so significant because if you read the context of what is
happening and what Paul is alluding to in 1 Corinthians 16:8, he’s alluding to we’re going to stay in
Ephesus. Where’s Ephesus? In Acts. 19 we know in Acts 19 and 1 Corinthians 15 and 2 Corinthians 1 several
verses there just talk about the unbelievable things they were suffering in Asia and that they
feared their lives.
They were seeing these contradictory things happening with the sons of
Sceva and people misunderstanding are these guys with you Paul? And all of these things. 1
Cor. 15 Paul describes his men as wild beasts. Men that were so out of control. We’re in this
place and he says but I will remain here. I will remain here. When Paul said I will remain, I will
tarry, he is using a word there “meno.” But not just “meno.” He’s putting a prefix there EPI which
we know when you see in Greek EPI in front of a word, it really puts that word on steroids. I am
digging in. I am planting myself here. I will remain in Ephesus until Pentecost, until God does
something. But then he says there are many adversaries. When we were looking at Iraq, when
we had started to talk with Burtsy, there was something that was – it was coupled with an
advertisement that I saw between, – it was a real short ad on TV, maybe thirty seconds.
There was a Kurdish pastor there and behind him was a burnt out church. He said my church has just
been burnt down. We live here in the Kurdish northern part of Iraq. We’re asking for prayer. I
remember looking at this guy’s face and God just touched my heart. They’re here at a
missionfield. There’s a place where Christ has not yet been named. There’s a place where God
is working. We sat down with the Turner family and others and we said why don’t we go by faith. Why don’t we just do it. Covid. We can’t get on a plane. We need tests. We need masks. We
need, – everything points at us not to go. I think this is the right time to go! I was thinking, I was
actually thinking of some of our African pastors that kind of just go out in the field. They’re
getting shot at. I thought if this is what’s happening, why can’t we do this even the more being
Americans. Let’s just go, and if God closes the door, he closes the door.
So we got our covid tests. I think we literally took eight different covid tests on the whole trip. We got on a plane. We
flew from Houston to Istanbul. And then from Istanbul to Amman, Jordan. That was an amazing
experience. Every step of the way, there’s just people at the checking counter telling us you
Americans cannot go to Iraq. You guys cannot go. What are you talking about? We have been
invited by an NGO that we met there in Erbil which is the capital of the Kurdish people group.
We just showed that badge, that information and they get on the phone and make phone calls.
As their doing this, we’re standing there with our team, Billy, myself, Candace and their eleven
year old daughter and Britanny Howard was with us. I remember being in Istanbul and we’re at
the Jordanian Air and the guy was just saying – they were just turning down everybody. They
were saying you can’t go right now to Iraq. You can’t go to Iraq.
They were just turning everybody down. The guy came to us and said you guys can’t go. We just prayed and stood
there. We kind of laughed and relaxed. If we can’t go, we’ll just visit Istanbul and Izmir. They let
us go in the plane. We got to Oman. We almost missed our flight there. Another covid test.
When we landed in Erbil which is a city that’s been patterned after Houston. I’ll explain that.
Houston and Kurdistan have this unique relationship because when you go to the oil fields in
Iraq, you’ll see a lot of equipment there that was made in Texas. When we landed there, we
didn’t know what to expect. We were the only Americans on the plane. There were all Kurdish
people on the plane. And we got off and immediately we got to see what we had heard about
the Kurdish people is that they are very open. They’re very warm. They’re very pro-American.
They’re very thankful for what P. Bush and his administration did during Saddam years.
They provided air support to protect them from the genocide and the chemical warfare that was
happening. When we got there, we were just greeted. People were so happy to see us. The
border guards were checking our passports. Actually, it was kind of interesting. We land there
and they didn’t ask us for our passports. They said Americans don’t need visas anymore. Just
come in. It was the most interesting border crossing I have ever had in my life. This is amazing!
We had talked to them and the Kurdish people group – I’m going to wrap this up here – the
Kurdish people group are about 35 million people. They are the largest people group in the
world that do not have their own country. The Jews or they call themselves the other Jews, the
second Jews. I don’t think they are of Jewish descent but they are descendants of the Medes
and the Persians that we read about in the Old Testament.
They are the descendants of the Medes and they live in the northern part of Iraq. They’re language is very closely related to Farsi which they speak in Iran. When you listen to Kurdish, you can hear a lot of the Farsi roots. I
don’t speak Farsi. I just know a few words. And it really sounds like it. When we were there, it
would take all night to tell you the stories. We met this – you hear the stories of people that are
having visions of Christ, right? So we thought those are just stories. Every person we met,
literally every person we met, tells us I had this vision. I was sleeping. A man came to me with
bright shining garments, spoke to me. One guy, I think the most comical one is, believe it or not
communism is a growing force is Kurdistan and he said I’m a communist. I believe in Islam. I
had a dream one night and all the prophets of God were all lined up. One was in the middle
shining with shining garments and was greater than all of them by far, and he said that must
have been Mohammed. I said no, that wasn’t Mohammed.
That was Jesus Christ. We met people, there is a family there – pray for a Kurdish pastor there. He is a house church pastor. He just leads his own church in his house. He was a human trafficker before he got saved. Just
a very bad person and drugs and everything under the sun and he got saved. His whole family
came to Christ. He’s been persecuted in his neighborhood. Be praying for him. His name is
Haman. There’s a disciple there that we connected with right away when we first got there. His
name is Abraham. He’s Kurdish. He’s 20 years old. Billy and I met him. He said to us I received
Jesus Christ as my Savior. My family threw me out of the house. I don’t have any money. I don’t
have a place to live. I don’t have a place to sleep but I have joy. I have joy. His face was
beaming. I never saw anything like it in my life. He doesn’t have a penny.
He just translated for us. He went with us everywhere, and we met so many Syrian refugees. We met Yazidis. Yazidis
are a people group there that have a very demonic religion and somehow it’s mixed with Islam. One last story I’ll tell you is – by the way, every where we went, every cafe, every place we went
we were so well received. We were so well treated. We were sitting in an outdoor cafe. Some
kids came up. Some homeless kids. One of them was deaf. He was like the guy who was
running the whole gang of kids. They came up and they’re begging and we’re trying to give them
something. This guy coes over and he yells at the kids in Kurdish and I asked our translator
what did he say? These are our guests from America and let’s not shame them by begging.
There is such a shame culture there in that culture. There’s one story that really sticks out. That
is that we were in a cafe and we were sitting with a Kurdish man who spoke English very well.
He works with ex-military. What they do is that they are all believers.
They take some equipment that was donated by the U. S. army I suppose and they go up into the hills in northern Iraq near the Syrian and Turkish border and what they’ll do is go out and look for these families, these
Yazidi families that are at the edge of the hill country waiting for these humvees to come in.
Then they just run out. They run as fast as they can. These families will run out under sniper
shots and try to make it to the humvees. One story is this family with an 11-year old girl is
running out. These guys get out in their military uniforms and everything. They’re getting shot at
and one of them gets hit. Then the mother and father get hit. They die. The little girl gets hit in
the eye but she survives. They bring her back to their base in Erbil and they being to minister to
her and get her back to health. And then they lead her to Christ. She’s a Yazidi girl. If you are a
Yazidi and you get saved, it’s like your family is dead.
Everybody that is related to you get killed. Her name – I don’t know her name – but she now is a believer in Christ. Every day we would go from house to house to house. We’d go to these little rooms, dirt floors, and these people would
give us what they had. Coffee. This really weak coffee. We’d just sit there and share the Gospel
with them. We had so many people that just made decisions in Christ. The Lord is doing
something there. It’s an open door and effectual and it’s open to Greater Grace, open to us by
the grace of God and all we have to do like P. Schaller said is take up our cross, crucify all of
our issues. Our little stuff, our egos, our inferiorities, all this stuff that we are offended about and
push that aside and say let’s stand for the, let’s go forward. Let’s go into this open door in the
Muslim world. I know I’m really over time. I’m so sorry. I’m going to finish with this paragraph
here or this quote by Zwemer. Samuel Zwemer is someone I have been thinking about recently.
He said, “An open door beckons.
A close door challenges him who has a right to enter. Frequent setbacks and apparent failure never disheartened the real pioneer. Occasional martydoms are only a fresh incentive. Opposition is a stimulus to greater activity.” And this is the part that blessed me: “Great victory has never been possible without great sacrifice. He that
believes in Christ does what he cannot do, attempts the impossible and he performs it.” That’s
us, guys. Amen. That’s Greater Grace. That’s everyone in this room. We’re going to go again in
March, after Eurocon, Lord willing. So pray for us. Thank you very much.
P. Schaller –
Okay. Turn to Galatians 4 for the second part of our message and complementing what
P. Chris said. Gal. 4:3. My son was born on December 13, so I understood that some day his
birthday would fall on Friday the 13th. And I know that that’s a superstition for some people.
Friday the 13th is a bad day. Is that correct? In the world, thank you. On the same day, a black
cat walked under the ladder! That was not a good day! And then when I went to get my license
plate, they gave me the number 666! And things were not looking good. I heard of an MBA
basketball player who won. He played an amazing game wearing a certain pair of socks, so he
would keep wearing those socks because he believed the socks had something to do with his
good game. Have any of you had a rabbit’s foot or a St. Christopher medal or maybe looked at
the stars or looked at the astrology handbook. I think Colleen Altoona has done that! Yes, you
have! Leon told me! As a Christian, are there things that you follow and bring God to some idea
in your life where you just say I better do this because I want God’s blessing. If I do this, I get
The Galatians slid into this way of thinking. They were taught this way. They
were told that they were to be Jews. They were to be Jews. What is a Jew? Someone born of
the geneological line of Abraham and if you are not but you convert to Judaism and you are
circumcised as a man then you could be a Jew. And if you keep the law of Moses, you are a
Jew. If you are a Jew, then you are saved. Paul saw this happen with these people and he
wrote and said I am crucified with Christ; nevertheless I live, yet not I. And you don’t have to be
circumcised and you don’t have to keep the law of Moses and you don’t have to keep pagan holidays. You can have a black cat and your son can be born on the 13th of the month. It has nothing to do, nothing to do – what socks you wear when you play basketball unless you put on those socks a value. You put on those socks something that God is not doing that. God is not doing that. In the Islamic world when they pray, they pray towards the east, right? They find the
east and put their carpet at the airport – you see them on a small carpet at the airport – and they
face toward the east.
When you pray, do you face toward Greater Grace World Outreach Baltimore?!! When you pray, do you face a direction? Do you have to be in a temple? Do you have to be in this building? Do you have to – how about Jonah in the sea, in the fish? He prayed. Which direction was he facing when he was in the fish praying? What is the meaning of
all of this? Here it is and kind of get it in your mind. Get it in your heart and listen to these words.
Beggarly elements. Beggarly elements. It’s chapter 4:9. Let’s go to vs. 9 first. That means God
knows you. You may not know him but he knows you. How turn you again to the weak and
beggarly elements? Could a cat affect your decision making or a number like 666? Or the
number 13? Could it affect your decision making or a pair of socks? Or praying in a certain
direction? Or has God revealed himself to you in some way that it blows these things away. I
don’t look at a horoscope. I have nothing to do with it. It’s foolishness. It’s a lie. It’s a deceitful
tool. It’s an evil thing. I have nothing to do with it.
I worship God. Isn’t it interesting that the Catholics have Mary replacing God. Wait a minute. Mary had Jesus and then they teach Jesus had no sin, so his mother, she did not have sin. That’s in their theology. So she was without sin.
Mary was without sin? Mary is the mother of God? Mary, I pray to Mary? Why would I do it? She
is a saint. Do I pray to a saint or do I pray to Almighty God? What do you think? What do you
think? How do we live? We are looking for the Holy Spirit to lead us beyond creation. Fish. The
roll of the dice. The socks. The black cat. The ladder. The Halloween stuff. God. God. Like Paul
said to the Galatians, how do you turn to the months and the days. vs. 10. Christmas is coming.
That’s an important Christian holiday. I love that time. We celebrate it big time around here. We
love Christmas. We do outreaches. It’s beautiful, but Christmas is not going to determine for me
my life. Or the full moon. Or the years or the feasts like feast of booths, the feast of Pentecost,
the feast of Passover or the pagan holidays and the May Pole, the winter solstice.
Paul said these things are beggarly elements, and there is something bigger than we are a part of and it is
nothing less than fellowship with the living God who has spoken to us these words of grace. And
this determines your life. What does God say to us in our hearts. Our life is bigger than us. I am
crucified with him but I live. How do you live. I got a black cat and a ladder and we got the feast
of Pentecost and Passover but I messed up. I got lost or I violated the law or I sinned. I sinned
not only in a light way but I sinned in a bad way. I violated the law. The law has brought me into
bondage. I am guilty of breaking the law. Paul says that’s a weak element. Cause the law
cannot change your heart. The law cannot change your life but God can. The law cannot save
you but God can. Why are now living in legalism? Legalism doesn’t do anything for you but bring you into bondage. Self-awareness doesn’t do anything for you but bring you into self- consciousness. This is a weak and beggarly element. This is not where you are called.
You are called to fellowship in the Holy Spirit who leads us in liberty and joy and freedom and grace and
ministry and learn to build yourself up in that grace. The grace of God has appeared unto men.
The grace of God has changed our lives. The grace of God is now where we stand and we grow
in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. This is big. This is very big. This is really
big. It’s bigger than the ocean and the stars and the cosmos and all of creation. It is the Creator.
The Creator has visited you. The Creator has made a new and living way for you. The Creator
has spoken to you and he said through Paul I am crucified with Christ but I live, but not I. No,
but Christ lives within me. So Paul then closes with this and I want to close too. He said when I
was with you, I was weak. I illustrate it like when I came to your church, I had covid. And usually
he’s got covid! This is the idea. Paul said when I was with you, I had infirmity and weakness, but
you treated me like an angel of God. You treated me like an angel of God. It’s written there. Galatians
4:14, it means infirmity.
There was something wrong with him when he came to them. When he came to those churches and went to these people, there is something wrong with Paul. Maybe some – I’ll make up things. There was an eye disease. They think he had bulging eyeballs. There is a condition like that. Maybe he had a rash or a fever. Maybe he had malaria. Maybe
there was something kind of funny, a deformity of some kind. There was something strange.
When they saw him, they could have reacted but they didn’t. They received him in vs. 14. Why did they do this? Because they were filled with the Holy Spirit. God was big in their hearts. They
were saved. They loved him as an apostle. They loved him. We have been in churches like this.
I’m sure in Iraq where P. Chris went. The people respected them. They came to us. You came
to us. That’s amazing. Thank you so much. Paul said that’s how you respected me. Now watch
this. This is the main point and the last part.
You became cold. Cause beggarly elements can’t give you that joy, that freedom, that love. Beggarly elements steal from you. They take away from you. They make your world small. Beggarly elements. Elements of creation. Things we
make up in our minds. For example, I woke up late and I didn’t pray. I’ve been praying every
morning early. But on this particular morning, I woke up late and I rush out to the car and I get in
the car and I speed away. As I’m driving away, I’m saying I didn’t have my quiet time. I didn’t
have my prayer time. And that’s not a good thing. My day will be bad maybe. My day will be
bad. Then God speaks to me on the beltway. What does he say to me? Look unto me. You’re
prayer I could care less right now. You’re living in the present. I am God. I am bigger than your
failure, your program, your prayer life, your meditation in the morning. I’m bigger. I am God.
Come to me. I am God. I am the living God.
I am the one you need on the beltway when you don’t pray. I am the one that you need in your life when you fail. I am God. Look unto me. I am God almighty. When you don’t read your Bible like you feel you should or go to church like you
feel you should. I am God. Do you know me? I am God. I am God Almighty. Isn’t that amazing.
We are to make a big deal in our hearts about him. That’s what the Holy Spirit is in the world to
do. To show us him. To make a big deal. Dance before him. Rejoice before him. Sing with all of
your hearts. Love God. Receive God. Talk about God. I was with someone the other day, an
unbeliever, at his house with Gary Groenewold. And said to the man, he’s about my age, and I
said I want to talk to you about God. Just like that. There’s silence. He’s looking at me and he
nods his head. I said I want to talk to you because it’s so important.
And we had a little talk and then we went back to our little business thing that he wants to talk about and different things.
Then I go back to it again about a half hour later. I go back to the subject. I get tired of this other
stuff. We have to talk about God. He goes, yeah, of course because that’s your job. I told him
I’m a pastor. That’s your job. Of course. Do you know that the world would expect us to talk
about God if we know him? Do you know that the world would say if you got something good
going on tell me about it cause I need to know. We say it’s bigger than a rabbit’s foot. It’s greater
than the stars. It’s greater than your religion. It’s greater than your bondages, your inferiority,
your fear. It’s greater than your diseases. It’s greater than the grave. It’s greater than the devil.
It’s God and he loves you. It’s amazing. I’m going to ask P. Feyers to come up and close with a
prayer. Welcome, P. Feyers.
P. Feyers –
I’d rather follow P. Schaller than P. Chris! Visions to Iraq! I went to the mall! I bought
my wife some clothes! I got some nice socks! Wow! I just wanted to share a quick thought. I
know it’s getting late. I thank you for your concentration. I got to tuck Jesse into bed soon
anyway! I couldn’t help it! Just two quick verses here. Turn in your Bibles to 2 Cor. 7:5. Where
the flesh has no rest. I don’t know what Paul was going through and some of the different things
in his life and his struggles and everything. Did you ever look and notice that you are in the
middle of something – by the way, P. Schaller said really encourage them. How’s this verse for
encouragement? Trouble on every side. Fighting on the outside. Fear on the inside. But you
ever go through something and you are seeing finally the end of it, maybe, possibly. You don’t
know but it’s getting a little better, and then you turn and something else just smacks you right in
the face. You just walk into something else and it’s like trouble everywhere I turn.
Everywhere I’m turning I’m running into something else, something different. Not something new. We
experience these things over and over again in our lives. You know, you think of when is this
going to stop. When is this going to end? When I’m I going to get victory? When am I going to
see what God has for me in this situation? The promises of God though are so beautiful. The
promises of God. 1 Peter 4:10 it says there’s grace on every side. Even though there is trouble
on every side, I got the grace of God also. Grace is all around us. The manifold grace of God on
every side. Every side. Even in this trouble God has given me this amazing measure of grace.
Then there is fighting on the outside and fear on the inside. I think about maybe what Paul
experienced with all these things with all this fighting on the outside. He dealt with – what was
that in Ephesus? What was that guys name in Acts 19. Was it Cedrick? No, Cedrick is the
Entertainer! Demetrius. Demetrius the silversmith.
He caused all these problems and these riots and uproars and all this stuff that was happening. And going on, but I think this here, this fighting, I think it’s more of a spiritual thing. It’s in the spiritual realm. It’s wickedness in high
places. It’s demons. It’s principalities. It’s powers. It’s rulers of darkness, and it’s going on all
around us and it’s like it’s even blowing up even more. It’s crazy out there. It’s crazy what people
believe and what they talk to you about. When you have conversations and you get down with
them and you talk to them about Christ and what do you think about that. And they go into all
this, what are you talking about? Where are you getting this from? It’s this atmosphere. It’s this
pressure. It’s this heaviness. And it’s all around us and even with that all around us, we have
this fear within us. I think Paul is really being honest.
Really opening himself up and the Holy Spirit is penning it into this Bible that he suffered much too and he had a lot of pain and struggles and trouble and a lot of fighting. Remember, everything that happens on the outside
loves to work it’s way on the inside. And this is this fear. This is this fear we live. A lot of people
are living in a time of great fear and this is why this message is so wonderful and important to us
that we get to share Christ. And then we get to go away for a little bit and we get to come back
and share it again. They want to hear it. They expect, they want to hear it from you. God has not
given us a spirit of fear. Fear is a spirit. But what? Of power, of love, and of a sound mind. The
power of God, the love of the Holy Spirit, and the mind of Christ. So, look at vs. 6. It says
“nevertheless, God.” Wow. That’s like reading, “but God.” Nevertheless, God.
We look and we examine our troubles and our tribulations and the fightings on the outside and the fear on the
inside but there is always this “nevertheless, God.” We love to pay attention to that. It says
“comfort those that are downcast” or cast down. TAPEINOS in the Greek. It means really
depressed and really humiliated by the things of life. The downcast. God comforts the downcast.
He’s the God of all comfort, 2 Corinthians 1:3. And he’s the father of all mercies in that same verse. He
comforts the downcast and he comforts us by the coming of Titus. When Paul was in Troas, he
was looking for Titus and he couldn’t find him. And now he finds him in Macedonia. He finds him
here and he’s comforted. It’s like us. God uses believers. He uses the Body of Christ. He uses
men and women of God to usher in this comfort. A divine comfort that God has for us in
whatever you are going through, whatever fears you are running against. All the fightings you
are doing. All this mental and emotional garbage, God finds a way to use the Body of Christ to
comfort us. 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.