Christ came, God became a man to be with us. He was seen then. We will see Him. We look for that day to come. (Hebrews 2:5-9; Matthew 1:23)
Speaker(s): Pastor Thomas Schaller, Pastor Gary Groenewold
7:00 PM on 12/9/2020
P. Schaller –
Wow! That took a long time! Wow! Did you know that after they sang I would come out here! Did you know that!
Let’s do it all over again! Aren’t the tech guys awesome. They are. They’re just amazing. Great
guys. Good evening. Praise the Lord! We’ll have P. Gary Groenewold. He’s back from the
Midwest where the animals, the coyotes, and badgers are running wild. He’s a man of God.
He’s a man of faith. He’s amazing. We love him very much. Merry Christmas! Praise the Lord!
Did you notice the Nativity Scene is out there in the parking lot? Was it on Saturday? Saturday
afternoon. Bring some neighbors maybe. Do you want to go to the church parking lot? We’re
not going inside. Just go to the parking lot and the Nativity Scene. That could be an outreach.
Starts 4:00 on Saturday. It will be great. (Prayer).Welcome, P. Gary.
P. Gary G. –
Great to be with you guys. As you drive through the Midwest, you see these
incredible silos. You’re used to the concrete silos or the blue harvester silos that go up in the air
that used to be on the cattle farms. But now they’re made many different ways. They are dug
into the ground and they make a pit. They have big huge cattle farms. I won’t call them ranches.
They’re actually where they feed cattle. The cattle get big there. They call them feed lots. That’s
where they bring them in from the west and then they feed them out in these lots, but these
farmers are so active in preparing the food that goes in the trough. That’s what they focus on. If
you knew, we know, but can you imagine we have a pastor that is like preparing food for us
continually so we can grow. It’s like can you imagine a greater gift on this earth than to have
someone who is preparing food for you continually.
This is our incredible blessing in this church. It comes from heaven for us to eat. Let’s not miss it. I’m in my truck and I have a little picture frame there with my wife and the side of the truck I named it Miss Kathy! No, I didn’t!
I’m so thankful for my wife. You know those truck drivers that have their wives name. They title
their truck Miss Kathy. We’re thankful for food that it takes so much labor and work to get that
food. We think there’s a beef steak in the grocery store but if you knew where it came from and
the labor to actually feed that cow. We are amazingly blessed that we have food. What I want
to speak about briefly tonight is the Nativity. We had some kids in our house tonight and we
have a little Nativity scene. They were glued. You can go through each character. The wise men.
You can go through the angels. Jesus wasn’t in the manger and we are waiting for him to be
born and why he wasn’t there. We could go through the virgin birth, how Mary became
pregnant. We could speak about the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
A nativity is an amazing picture of a – I was thinking of this Word of God’s invitation. It is so available, God’s
invitation to each one of us. God is so available to be our fullness, our completeness. What I
want to speak about in a couple minutes here tonight is the missing link. What do you think I’m
going to speak about? Evolution, right? No. Brian thanks for all your work in the ministry on
Belair-Edison. It’s incredible. Psalm 103:2, we kind of get excited. There’s so many benefits in this.
But then we know our flesh. We know our weaknesses, and we kind of, there is something
missing there. Something is missing in our victory. Something is missing in our life continually.
Like oh I failed. Maybe our mind doesn’t click quite right in certain areas. We feel like Jacob
walking around in life with a great big limp. We feel incredibly needy. Vs. 3. I’m not going to explain that tonight, but this got me today. “Who healeth all of our diseases.” Maybe you have
this sin you can’t get over.
Maybe you have a weakness in your life, and you’re persuaded. You
kind of would skip over that. That’s right. I really don’t believe this, not experientially. It doesn’t
happen in my life. To tell you the truth I have been hanging out here long enough. I don’t think
it will ever happen in my life. I think you know what I’m talking about. Why even pray for that
anymore? It’s not going away. Heb. 2:7, God wanted man to have dominion, to have authority
in life. Vs. 8. We maybe don’t feel like that. I don’t have all things, but this is how God made me.
Where is this? Does it really exist? Is what he’s preaching about will it really work in my life?
Should I just be bitter and say it doesn’t work in my life and kind of live life half empty the rest
of my life. We almost say no it’s not really like that experientially in my life. Everything has been
put you could say under us. Maybe I secretly drink. Maybe I have a problem in my life and it’s
not going to go away.
Almost like a besetting sin and I really don’t believe these verses about all
things. Then it says this. This is incredible, vs. 8b. That’s the way we kind of feel. We don’t see it
quite full, but it says this: but we see Jesus. But we see Jesus. This is the healing of all of my
diseases. I can walk around with incredible limps, with incredible old sin nature hanging on to
me but I can see Jesus Christ. This is where our dominion comes from. When Moses’ eyes in Ex.
4, the eyes of his heart saw beyond his failure in Egypt and he saw God’s thoughts. He had this
turning that happened in his life. This is what happens in our life – this is where our dominion,
our authority, our power comes from. This is where our fullness comes from. But I see Jesus
Christ. Do we see our strength, our victory, the great things we have done? They don’t really
mean anything. The thing that really breaks us is we see Jesus. We see Jesus. Not everything
feels like it’s under our feet, but we see Jesus.
This is the victory. This is the finished work victory that we have in our lives. Not in the future but this is what we preach about, what we have today. But I see Jesus. Vs. 9-10. This is our captain. You don’t have to have a perfect
experience to have a perfect life because you see Jesus. That is our perfection. So many times
we are so focused on our perfection. Am I perfect? Am I getting better? Am I ever going to be
there? It’s so wrong to live like that. But I see Jesus Christ in that area of my life. There is so
much authority in there. That’s where the grace of God teaches us to deny ungodliness. I see
Jesus. There is so much authority in this. There’s no authority in I don’t feel victorious. How can
I get victorious? When is victory going to happen in my life? But I see Jesus. This is this amazing
grace that gives us victory where we have dominion. Where we sense that everything is under
our feet and we experience the victory that God has given us. This is an amazing season. In
Christ’s name. Amen.
P. Schaller –
How many dads believe your daughter would sing with you like – if you asked her?
How many dads? You want to raise your hand? Wow! Over here! There’s one. P. Mark and
Sophia that was very edifying to us, wasn’t it? Sweet. Hey, if my daughter wouldn’t do that, and
I’ve never asked her. The thought never crossed my mind and her mind I’m sure. But now that
we are on the subject, how many of you men your wives would sing with you. You want to raise
your hand? There we go. The thought never crossed my mind until now. That was such a good
message and I want to – that message was – how about this. I woke up this morning and I’m lying in bed. Usually I can get out of bed and get going in a second but today I just didn’t get out
of bed till about 20 minutes ago! No, I’m joking! Can you tell? I stayed there for a little bit and I
said a prayer. Lord, just love me, right? Just love me. I need it. just love me. Psalm 22:29, If you
focus on that last part, nobody can keep alive their own soul, especially when we are going
towards death and we are on our death bed.
You can say, I don’t want to die, but you cannot keep alive your own soul. P. Gary just preached about the missing link, the person that is missing in the average life is Christ because I cannot keep my own soul alive. I cannot get
victory over the enemy. I have my moments of weakness and failure and frailty, but God so
loved us that he gave us, he came. This is Matthew 1:23. Halleluiah! A virgin shall be with child. That’s
God. A virgin can’t be with a child, but this virgin shall be with child because God made her
pregnant and she had a child. Vs. 23. Emmanuel is Hebrew and because Matthew is written to
the Jews it could have stayed that way but knowing this Gospel would also go to the Greeks and
the Romans, then they add. The writer adds, “which being interpreted is God with us.” You
know when you open up a package sometimes and the instructions are in English and on the
backside French and Belgium, German, Russian, – all kinds of languages.
Why? The manufacturer wants you to know. When God says his name shall be Emmanuel and it’s
interpreted God with us, that means that God wants us to know about the missing link for life.
That missing link is I am good. I am strong. I am able. And then I have over here my enemies
and I have death and I cannot keep alive my own soul. But God so loved us that God came.
Now, think about this. If Christ was God, why was he hungry? If Christ was God, why was he
thirsty? If Christ was God, why did he die? If Christ was God, why was he weary and resting at
the well in John. 4. Because he was a man. God? Really? Totally God, God Almighty, the God that
is everywhere. The God that has all power. God Almighty, infinite God, everlasting to
everlasting became a man. This is what is needed. God with us. The missing link. The one that
legally came into the world, legally as a Jew, legally fulfilled the law, was obedient to his Father
in every way and became us so we would be like God. God with us.
Best of all. When I’m laying in bed and maybe I don’t want to get out of bed, maybe I’m not feeling so well or maybe I’m discouraged or absolutely weak as a human being, I have this message. God is with me. God is
with me when I’m alone. God is with me when I’m with other people. God is with me when I’m
busy. God is with me when I’m not busy. God is with me when I succeed, and God is with me
when I fail. God is with me when I have an addiction, a problem, a psychological problem and
an emotional problem and a physical problem. God is with me. God, how can I be sure?
Because he was a man. He was so much a man that he said on the cross, “I thirst.” But in the
same gospel chapters earlier he said, “if any man thirst” in John 2 “let him come unto me and
out of his belly will flow rivers of water. Then on the cross, “I thirst.” As a man, he was thirsty,
tired, weak, frail like us. But as God, altogether perfect, complete and powerful. The missing
link in life is Christ. Christ is what everybody needs.
The one that satisfies your deepest need. The one that spiritually visits you in your spirit and in your heart and promises to give us the Holy Spirit and communion with God. Best of all, God is with us. I’ll never leave you; never
forsake you. I’ll never lose you. Of all the Father has given me, I’ve lost none. I call you by name.
I have you name in a book. There’s no way I could ever lose any of you, John. 6:37. The Incarnation, the great miracle of God in the mystery of the Christian faith. The link between
heaven and earth in you and me. Have you seen God in your brother or sister lately? Have you
seen God in the Body of Christ? Have you discerned God in fellowship? Have you found God in
your weakness? Can you say no man can keep alive his own soul? I cannot keep alive my own
soul. But wait a minute. God is with us. In Him I live forever. I will not die. How can you say
that? Because God became a man and that man did the work. He did the heavy lifting. He did
salvation. He died on the cross. He took our sin. We were separated from God so he was
separated from God that we might be united with God forever.
Best of all, God is with us. That’s Christmas. That’s a miracle. It’s a testimony. Let’s read that Scripture again that P. Gary read, and we’ll finish. Hebrews 2. It’s one of my favorite portions, and I’m amazed at it. “Without
controversy, great is the mystery of godliness. God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the
Spirit, seen of angels, believed on in the world and received up into glory.” This is something
spiritual, real, eternal. There is a kingdom that is coming. The modern man doesn’t have any
clue of what we are talking about and he’s never satisfied in his heart because he doesn’t have
God. What happened to us? We got God and God came in and God is satisfying. For the human
heart has a hole in it the size of eternity. He’s put eternity in our heart, Ecclesiastes 3:11. Hebrews 2:5, I told
you before and I want you to get the habit, read the end of your Bible chapters 19, 20, 21, 22 of
Revelation. Read about the city because you are going there.
Read about heaven because you’re going there. Set your affection on things above. Get orientated to faith. That satisfies the human heart. I want to drink eternal life. I want the Spirit of God in my heart and my
understanding. I want to be prepared because this is true that Christ came is so clear. It’s so
clear. It’s so clear. It’s beautiful. Vs. 5. What world to come? The one at the end of your Bible.
But the angels are not in charge. We are. We’re in charge of the coming world. Why? Because
Christ did it. Because Christ redeemed. Christ reconciled. Christ did it. Chit became the head of
the human race. Christ is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords and on his thigh is written, “faithful
and true.” He is also called in that portion, 19, the Word of God. But the angels. They must be
beautiful. They must be powerful. They must be absolutely majestic, awe inspiring. They must
be absolutely fantastic, but they are not the ones.
Step aside angels. Step aside. The dust of the ground made in the image of God. God becoming dust as a man to bring man to heaven and to put him on a throne where man will be the one who is in charge of the world to come. What kind of man? Christ and his bride. Us. We get to go along with him. He’s the guy. He’s the man.
He’s the Savior and the bride is there with him. This is incredible. Vs. 6. The meaning here is
Psalm 8 that he thinks so lowly of man. What is man that you would be mindful of him? He’s
like what is man? He’s not? What is man that you would even care about him? That you would
even think about him? There’s two opposing thoughts to this “what is man?” The other what is
man, man made in your image is incredible. What we have done in our history what we are as a
race of people both good and bad I know, but it’s remarkable our civilizations. It’s remarkable
our accomplishments but then we miss what he is. We don’t know actually yet. What is man?
There’s a story in Revelation 19:10. It says John saw a creature in heaven.
It’s a great story. It’s Scripture. He went down to worship him. He thought he was God. The creature said don’t
worship me. I am your brother. That means that a saint who was here went to heaven and is gloried and you could mistake him as God. I mean he is glorified. What is man that you are
mindful of him? It does not yet appear what we shall be, but we know when we see him, we
shall be like him. It’s coming. Our glorification. Right now it is our humiliation. We have a mortal
body and we are getting older and we can feel the humiliation of being a man. But that’s good
for us because we are made to know God in humility. That’s good for us so we can walk with
God, but we still don’t know what we will be. Vs. 7. You made man a little lower, but you
crowned him with glory and honor, and at the same time you crowned him with the sweat of
his brow and fatigue and confusion and sometimes murder in his heart and hatred and jealousy
and envy and wickedness and problems of all kinds.
You crowned us with a calling. You crowned us with a capacity. You crowned us with a fear of God, a drawing. You crowned us with a love. You drew us by love. You put your Son on the cross and said I love you. Come to me.
Believe in me. I am the missing link for you. Vs. 7. You put animals. I read about tigers in Siberia
and there are Russian villages and a Siberian tiger will – and this documentary was that these
Siberian tigers are killers, but they don’t attack people. The commentator said they know if they
ever get involved with people, they will be in some kind of trouble. The tiger will know it is in
some kind of trouble. Don’t deal with people. It sounds like how some of us think about it. But
you know what? We are over the tigers, the fish, the dolphins in the aquarium, the birds, even
viruses. We are over. We are powerful people. We are capable people. But then there are many
things that are not over us like death and viruses and failures and sin and fears. We do not see
everything. We don’t have the power in a storm.
The storm can wash us away. In a fire, be consumed in a fire. We don’t have. We don’t see everything under our feet, but we see the missing link. We see Christ came. God became a man because he had to go all the way down.
He had to go way down. He had to cut through, go through all the infection like a surgeon in a
medical unit. By the way, keep our medical people in prayer. They fight a good fight in their
workplaces and so on. We love them and care about them. Continue to keep them in prayer. A
surgeon, a car mechanic has to go down in and solve the problem. On the surface, I don’t see
the problem. I just have to put gas in it, and it will be okay. No, there is a big problem. On the
surface we may not understand it because we don’t have the understanding, but God looked at
us and said your problem is so great. I have to way down into the belly of the thing. I have to
become a man and I have to be cursed on a cross and pay a price as a man. I have to be a man
that does it. I have to be a man, a 100% a man.
I have to go to sleep. I have to be hungry. I got to be weary. I got to be thirsty. I got to fear the pain. I got to know the weakness. I got to know what it is. He knows everything as God but he’s saying also this is my reality. And in order for me to save you, I must become a man. In my world and in my reality I must pay an ultimate
price. The innocent has to become guilty. I must shed my blood. This is the only way it will
work. I must pay an incredible price of love and be willing to do it. If it was done and he wasn’t
willing, it wouldn’t be just. If an innocent man is traded for a guilty man, then it’s not just unless
the man who is innocent is willing. If he’s willing. Jesus Christ says I delight to do the will of my
Father. I am willing to become sin for the sins of the world. I am willing to pay the price. I am a
man. I am willing to do it. And he did. That’s changed our lives because now though we don’t
see everything under our feet, we see him. We see him. Have you seen him?
We would see Jesus in John. 12:24, wasn’t it? The Greeks came and said we would see Jesus. We see him, Galatians 3:1 crucified for us. We see him. That’s the one I need. Him. When I was laying in bed this
morning, I was so happy about it because I’m so ended. I’m so done. I’m so finished. I’m so
done as a person. That’s good. No man can keep alive his own soul. Best of all, God is with us. I
said, God, you got to love me. So I put myself in the Gospel. A guilty person or an empty person
or a lost person and say Jesus you are the answer. Thank you Jesus. And just rest in the love.
You love me. You’ll never leave me. You love me. You care about me. You’re what I need. I
don’t see everything under my feet, but we see Jesus.
This is what he said in vs. 9. We’ll finish with this. He went all the way. He went all the way for the suffering of death. We have not yet grasped that or understood the meaning of it, but it is incredible. Because he went all the way,
he went all the way up also. He went up and he’s crowned with glory and honor. Vs. 10. That’s
all I want to say tonight. Emmanuel. God with us. I could say angels are with us. That’s great.
Money is with me. I got a letter. I got a document. I got permission. I got a license. Great. That’s
useful and needed. But what on earth, what is the whole, why are we here? What on earth is
going on? God is saying God is with you. That’s what’s happening. God is with you. You have it.
You have life. You have power. You have his name. You have his promises. You have a coming
kingdom. You have answers. You have fellowship. You have connection. You have peace. You
have satisfaction. You have everything the modern man doesn’t have.
Let me finish with that, another little finishing here. The modern man, he is as empty and dried up as you can ever
imagine. He is so hurting. This whole year has brought to surface the spiritual sufferings and
spiritual deprivation and spiritual emptiness and devastation of the human race. When hatred
and anger and jealousy and fear and all the feelings of men. All of us, we know about it. How
can that become my lifestyle? How can that become how I live? And then I can pretend. I can
pretend. I think sometimes a lot of Christmas, the idea in the world is like let’s have a good
time. Let’s pretend for a couple days. Let’s give gifts to each other. Let’s be happy. Let’s be
happy. Let’s go. Let’s be happy and have a good Christmas time. That’s modern man. Wow.
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.