Members of Christ’s Body are what we are. This is the organism ordained by the Lord and equipped with gifts to bring maturity to this reality. God has ordained for you the grace that helps you in this world. Be faithful. Stay at it. Effectual working happens with every part of the body of Christ. The Church makes men and women of God. How? Through these things: the Bible, baptism, communion, prayer, worship, church discipline, giving, spiritual gifts, fellowship, and evangelism. (Acts 11:22-24; Ephesians 4:11-16)
Speaker(s): Pastor Thomas Schaller
Sermon # 11694
11:00 AM on 6/9/2019
One verse in Rev. 5. Before you sit down, I want you to say something to your neighbor.
Rev. 5:11+…how many are in heaven? Ten thousand times ten thousand. Worthy is the Lamb. What I was thinking is in my imagination, I thought of being there. This whole sea of people with the angels worshipping Christ. I compare that to meetings on the earth. In a stadium, or a political party has a big convention and thousands of people. But the Spirit is different, a different kind of meeting. Great is Diana of the Ephesians they cried out for hours. This is not the same atmosphere. No ego fighting with another ego. No sorrow, tears or sadness at this point in that chapter. There is a whole atmosphere of praise and worship to God. They said worthy is the Lamb that was slain. Power, riches, and wisdom and strength and honor and blessing. Seven words there. Sometimes I studied those words. I want to do a message on it. Why do we say those seven words in heaven? How much adoration we have for Christ. He is everything to us. We are in heaven by his great grace and by his work. We will be in an atmosphere of such great love and perfection. It’s because of him.
Do that with your finger. It’s because of you. Say it to him. I have all of this because of you. This is a big thing. We are now on the earth doing it. We have a sin nature. We have a world that doesn’t embrace it. They are busy saying great is Diana of the Ephesians. They are saying the Ravens or a football team or a basketball team or rock and roll concert. We are different. We are separated and called out. We bring forth the praises of God and feel it in our spirit. Love him and worship him very much. We are tasting it in this life. Now in this life it is so satisfying and encouraging and important.
We have a Convention coming in a couple weeks. Are you going to take a little time off or the whole week off? Be on the plaza with a few thousand people and saying praises to God and recognizing who God is. Can you put that in your schedule? Go to someone in the room and ask them if they are going to Convention.
P. Renaldo, would you like to give a testimony about Owings Mills?
It’s been great. Good morning, Pastor Renaldo, We love you! Like the first day of school. It’s been great. Owings Mills has been going on now for close to two years door knocking, visitation, evangelism. We meet once a week now Thursday or Saturday. People are open. A lot of folks don’t have a church home. They want a church they can trust with the word. A lot of folks are asking us when we go to Sunday mornings. Hopefully soon. It’s difficult to get a Sunday morning because of the real estate. We own all the real estate! Yes, our God is bigger than that. Great team, vision, location, church.
Have you ever done something in the Lord by faith and you experienced the grace of God? What does that mean, the grace of God? I felt it or experienced it. We get in a car and go somewhere to preach and come back and have this joy, peace, quietness, love, passion. We got to do that again. Have you ever had a prayer meeting where two or three people gathered and then the prayer happened and you just say pray? That was amazing. Has that ever happened to you? I want to speak about that this morning.
Acts 11:22 I read this story this morning about a missionary who went to Africa. I’ll give you the information later. I don’t have it with me. He had gone as a medical doctor in the Congo in 1911 or 1902, a long time ago, and returned to America after 17 years and felt he was a failure. He saw no fruit of his work. Nine years later he died but today there are churches all over in that area. They traced it back. It came from this missionary. Dr. Leslie I believe was his name. I love those stories because we are part of something a lot bigger than us. The gates of hell cannot prevail against it and we can be partaking of it.
Acts 11:22-23, the grace of God, – how can you see the grace of God? When he came to that place, he saw the grace of God. What does it look like when he saw the grace of God? There is a great book you should read if you can, Bruchko. This young man from Chicago area, when he was 18, graduated from high school and went by himself to the Ecuadorian Indians. They slept in hammocks up in trees 40 feet high so the jaguars wouldn’t get them when they slept. Primitive, naked, just a loin cloth, hunting with bows and arrows. He had been there 4 years and learned the language. He was so discouraged and one day he heard the singing in the top of the trees. He listened to the singing and started to weep. They were singing about God, about Christ. He heard in their language and realized the H.S. was moving in the top of the trees in the hearts of these people and he was changing them. What does it look like when you see the grace of God, when you see God’s grace in the lives of people?
I want to share a couple points with you on that today.
Acts 11:23, I love the word “cleave.” It’s used a number of places. When Adam and Eve came together, they cleave together, drawn to each other. When Jesus was with his disciples, they were cleaving to him. Where will we go? You have hard things to say but we can’t leave you. I have called you in Jn 6. It says he, Barnabas, was a good man and full of the Holy Spirit and much people were added unto the Lord.
Acts. 11:24, this is what has happened to you and me. We see grace not only when we first become believers but as a way of life. We start to see the grace of God all through our Christian life not only at the beginning. We recognize it and see it. It’s our normal life now, a life of faith and grace. It’s the nature of our God. He’s the God of all grace. Gifts are given to us constantly from our heavenly Father. Common grace and abundant grace and then greater grace. His grace is bigger than his sin. No matter what crazy ideas you have had, his mind is greater than our crazy ideas. God’s grace is greater. He is the restorer, the one that forgives and ministers to us.
Eph 4, we have the ministry of the leadership in vs. 11-12. The leadership is given to the church and the word of God.
1) Word of God. God wants to reveal grace to us but he wants to do it by the Bible. The Bible is the revelation of God. The Bible clarifies the mind of God. We don’t know the nature of God. Someone said you take a watch in a world without watches and leave it in the sand in a primitive island and the native picks it up and looks at it. This isn’t an accident. Someone made it. I don’t know who made it. I don’t know if they are a bad person or a good person. It’s the same way when unbeliever looks at the universe. He may believe in God but doesn’t know who God is. It takes the Bible to tell me who God is. The God that made it is wanting to talk to me and communicate with me. He wants to show me who he is.
4:11 Leaders who are gifted for the maturing of the saints. God wants you to mature. Turn to your neighbor. God wants you to mature. He wants you to know him. He is for you, not against you. He does not condemn you. He loves you. God gave us Christ and Christ came into the world so we can know God and his grace. Here is a man who gets saved by grace. How does he live now? He is saved by grace but how does he live? He doesn’t go to the church or know the Bible. The Bible wouldn’t mean much to him. It’s so big and thick and so many pages. He’s not interested. What happens to him? He’s an empty person, not knowing the one who made the universe and saved his soul. We don’t know if he has a changed life. He doesn’t pay any attention to it. He’s not making any decision. When I make a decision and believe, the Holy Spirit will lead me and I go by faith.
I’m in the church because great grace is in the church. The church is the place where in practice God gives gifts. These gifts are leaders who are able to teach the Scriptures. Leaders teach the Scriptures. Look at vs. 12. What happens? Maturing of the saints and the work of the ministry for the edifying of the Body of Christ. What do you mean Body of Christ? Eph 5, Christ is the head and we are members of the Body. Look at my body up here. Hand and leg and fingers and arms. The Body is a metaphor for us. We are all together organically.
I want to compare a car with a horse. If I kick the tires of the car, I only affect the tire. If I kick the leg of the horse, the whole animal reacts. The whole animal feels it. If I rip the windshield wiper off the car, it has no effect on the muffler or engine. It’s only a machine. If I punch a horse in the eye, it’s not a machine. It’s not a machine. It’s a body. It’s an organism. In the same way, we are members of Christ’s Body. Imagine. Grace is there. The grace of God is in the Body of Christ. The Spirit of God.
When Barnabas went to this place, Antioch, and saw the grace of God, we could put in other words. He saw their joy, love, faith, and the grace of God was with those people. He saw their freedom, their worship, and their prayer. The reality of Christ in those people. It’s the same that we have seen and some have the privilege to travel to Africa, India, Hungary, Poland, and Argentina. We come back from these places and say there is no way to explain it but believers are made up of Christ calling and his nature, headship. We speak the same things. We understand the same things. In a couple weeks, some thousands will be here on our campus. We will be together and hear missionary stories about the miracles of God he is doing in these places. We will see the grace of God. It is his will. God will be working through his people. This is his will for my life and yours.
I read about a boy his body growing but the bones in his arm are not growing. His arm is small but the rest of his body is mature. The Body of Christ isn’t like that. It increases with the increase of God.
Eph 4:13 in heaven, we will have all that God has. We will be a bride fully prepared. I was at a wedding yesterday. My niece was married. The wedding was at 11 and the makeup people came at 5:30 in the morning! She was beautiful and a wonderful bride. There is preparation for the marriage for meeting Christ. Preparation to be in the very presence of Christ and maturity of character. The character of Christ works in you and me. That’s what we are here for. We would come like him. We would be a bride one day and come in the unity of the faith and the knowledge of the Son of God unto a perfect man. Perfect man. I would say Jesus and his bride but it doesn’t say that. We will be one. Do you know what it says about Adam and Eve in Ge 5:1? Their name was Adam. How many were they? One. They were man and woman made one. We will one day be made a perfect man unto the measure of the stature. What degree will we be with God in heaven? vs. 13. This is where we are going. The fullness of Christ is in us.
vs. 14. Ever see a teen go off with someone they shouldn’t be with and come back a different person? Ever seen someone tossed to and fro by a boat in a sea, by the storms of life? Ever seen any of us get into trouble and become emotional and lose our bearings or our foundation or our orientation? That has happened to me. The good news is this would not be happening that we would be carried about with every wind of doctrine by the sleight and deceit of men and cunning craftiness. Their words are deceitful. Ever see a handsome guy with a suit on and a rose and a bar of chocolate and knock on a young woman’s door and be everything she wants him to be? The best thing she should do is shut the door and run for her life. That guy is not the answer to her dreams. He is a nightmare. Ever been ripped off by a businessman or betrayed or misled or deceived? It happens. That should not be happening to you and me.
The grace of God, the mind of God, the church of God. It’s a safe place. The church is to be a place where I grow in the stature of Christ. I’m to be edified in godliness. If God gives you the grace, you find a girlfriend who becomes a friend and it’s a holy relationship at the beginning and through it and if marriage is there, that’s a beautiful thing. It happens in a beautiful way by God’s grace. It happens all the time. It’s God’s way by his means that he has ordained for us.
vs. 15. Speaking the truth in love. May grow up into him into all things. I don’t want to lose you. You tuned out. You’re thinking of getting married. The other group I lost with the makeup story and the others with the idea of getting married or not getting married. Let’s reset! What we are saying?
God has ordained for you a way where grace, God’s gifts to you, changes your life and helps you in this world. Where you find Jesus in a real way. To be honest, I wonder if people find Jesus in a real way. I know they can if they would be faithful. Keep at it. Keep coming and believing and obeying. We are here for that reason. I’m afraid people stop short. I got my stuff going on. They don’t realize what God wants to do for them. Their mind wanders all the time. Their hearts are divided. They are not sure what they are looking for. They have divided loyalty and confusion in their heart and mind. They haven’t found the message to ring clear to their heart. They haven’t found prayer as a way of life. Pray and trust God and don’t lean on your understanding. In all your way acknowledge him and he will direct your path. We will see the grace of God. Did you have cancer? Yes, but I’m through it now. How are you doing? Fine. God did it. He spoke to me and led me and gave me grace and he healed me of my cancer. It did happen. I was single and couldn’t live any longer as a single person but I was abiding in him and trusting him with all my heart and he gave me grace and now I’m totally satisfied and contented. If God gives me that, it’s his business. But I’m not going to play with fire or I’ll get burned in Prov. 6. The grace of God is with us. It’s here with us and leading us and working.
vs. 16. All parts, Africa part, India part, Argentina part. Don Barnes, Florida, Chicago, up in Maine, here in different parts of Baltimore we are fitted together. vs. 16. Christ in you works in us. Your life builds us up. Your life encourages us and inspires us. It makes an increase of the Body. The Body is growing up to be like Kevin Durant, 6’ 4’’ and 280 pounds. That’s a big human being. The Body is increasing proportionately with every part. There is an assembly up there. We are coming. Now we are here and the grace of God you can see it with us. It is working. We are maturing and growing and becoming like him. One day, we will be there in a big, huge, awesome way. It’s happening.
Here are some words to think of how it happens. The word, the Bible. The only reason I’m here in my Christian life and through my life is because of the Bible Speaks. The Bible speaks to us. It’s not an empty thing, De. 32:47. It’s a fire, a hammer in Jer. 23:29. Sometimes it stings a little. I don’t need to be pampered but grow up. I said to a man that lives with his girlfriend. I said you are living with the girl but you got to be responsible and make a commitment. Get married. Say I’ll take you good or bad. Right now you are cheating. You can check out. That’s cheap. You are not gaining anything. Probably you’ll get out of it because you’ll be a coward. You got to put your big boy pants on and say I’ll take you as my wife. God gives you grace so you can become more than just your mother raising you. I do your laundry and do your…. Johnny is that okay? He’s 32 years old playing video games in the basement. He needs a church and God and the Bible and a message and needs to grow up. He can grow up and become something. Your family will not make men and women of God. The church will make men and women of God. You bring your family to the church. You don’t have it. Maybe some do, but I’m so thankful the church can do a lot. We fail maybe because of life and that’s another subject.
2) Water baptism and you find the grace of God when you get water baptized as a believer. You go in the tank. We put you down until no more bubbles come up. I’m joking! Some are horrified right now. I’ll never get baptized in that church! I’m joking. We put you under water in your own free will.
The Lord’s Supper, prayer meetings. The grace of God. You start to love it. You get here on time. The presence of God in the Body of Christ. The Puritans used to say the greatest manifestation of God is when we gather. That’s when God is manifesting himself in the greatest way.
2 Chron. 5, 2 Chron 20 and they sang before they went out. David was a worshipper. You and I are a worshipper. The grace of God is with us.
We had the prayer meetings in Lenox. P. Stevens said we’ll go to New Hampshire and have a prayer meeting with the Bible college. I remember it very well. Maybe I do. We prayed. The grace of God. We will go into all the world. The grace of God. People are going to get saved. The grace of God. Young people will get on fire for God. The grace of God. This is normal for us. We would find and see God’s grace with us. Church discipline. How important for the elders and pastor to say that’s wrong. We love you but that is not right. We have to talk to you in humility and correct you in Gal. 6:1. Encourage and teach and instruct. We all need guidance in how we go. It works in us. Humility. When someone tells me what I don’t want to hear….you don’t get upset when things aren’t going your way. You seek God. You say God I want your will. I may not appreciate it or receive it but maybe that is your will. I want to know your will. As we walk in his will, we find the grace of God.
Many times our missionaries are not sure what will happen but they go out and things come together and they are amazed and see the grace of God. They send word back home. It’s amazing. God sent us. He is working. He is doing his work. We are over here saying do you have enough coffee? We don’t have it anymore. I’m making this up. We don’t care much any more about the things we are caring about back home. We see God’s hand and his grace. Do you sleep well at night? Thank you and God bless you. We have found something. The Grace of God is on us. It’s not where we live or how we are living. The joy we have and the peace we have. That’s the grace of God. We have fellowship with each other. Learn about and know people in the church all around.
Take a minute and see three people you don’t know this morning, 100 people you don’t know. That’s normal. You’re new. Don’t go year after year without having a ministry to people that are here. Maybe they will benefit by your grace and love. Go to someone you don’t know and say how can I pray for you? What is your name? Stay around a little bit. That’s called Body life. Maybe you need it. They need your portion, too. Giving is a gift. Grace comes when we are givers. Giving is so much fun. It’s great to be a servant and a giver.
Evangelism. Always have a tract with you. Every day share a tract. You don’t have to be out on the street giving out ten or 30 in a day but one in a day. It’s not a program. It’s a thing of faith and prayer. Lord, I have one. Who can I give it to today? You will find God’s grace in that. That was a good little talk I had. Help me and lead me to talk to people about you. They are struggling and need it.
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.