The people of God have often found themselves in trouble. But the curse leads to the fight. Their deliverance has come with manifold grace, joy, victory, and feasting. (Esther 8:11-13; Hebrews 3:12-13; Hebrews 4:9-12; Galatians 2:20-21)

Speaker(s): Thomas Schaller, Steve Devries
Sermon 12226
11:00 AM on 1/2/2022

P. Schaller –

Happy New Year! Blessed New Year! This morning we are speaking about God’s love, and what Jesus
Christ has done for us and what it means to be a believer. Being saved and then sanctified by
God and loved by God. We had a great Christmas Candlelight service here. It was just so
packed out. We had a beautiful time. Then we had our New Year’s Eve service here and that
was a fantastic time of reflecting on our past and thinking about our future and who God is.
There’s a lesson in Jewish history. Let me use a picture here. Here’s a timeline. Is that right?

Okay. Here’s a – this is a story repeated in Jewish history. When the Jews are persecuted or
having trouble, it often ends up being a feast. And we had our Christmas messages on the
feasts. The Small Feast, The Family Feast, the Feast for All, and then the Church Feast. This
was seen when they were in Egypt and it was time to leave, there were the pestilences, the
plagues that came on the Egyptians, and then the Jews had the Passover. It was a feast. It
happened with the Greeks, Antiochus Epiphanes. They had Hannukah. Remember that? And it
happened in the book of Esther.

This is an interesting point. Here’s a timeline. Haman is a bad guy. He convinces or he leads the
king to make a decree that the Jews – this is a calendar. I’m not giving you the Hebrew name of
the month. I want you to just think of – He decides, the king, to kill the Jews on a certain day in
the whole empire from India to Ethiopia. All the Jews on a certain day. So they pulled a date.
They decided. It was about eleven months later. On this day, all the Jews were to be killed. All
the Jews were to be killed on that day. How many understand the story? How many have read it
and you know about it? This is just a principle. I want you to follow it with me. They are all to be
killed on that day.

Mordecai, Esther’s uncle, said, Esther, you need to go before the king and deal with this
because this cannot happen. You will be killed. Your family will be killed. The Jews will be
killed. You need to go before the king and have him change his mind. You have to go before the
king and make a protest and change this. This is in the book of Esther. Mordecai told her that in
chapter 3. In chapter 4, she went and then she made it with a couple meetings and it was
changed. And the king – Haman is hanged, and the king said we cannot change this law. This is
the law that they were to be killed on a certain day, but I will make another law and it will be that
the Jews can defend themselves. They can defend themselves.

It’s like an amazing point there. If I had been king, I would have canceled it. It’s canceled. It’s not
going to happen. The Jews are not killed on that day, but he couldn’t do it. He couldn’t cancel
the law. They couldn’t do it. The law had been made and it had to happen. That law stands. But
I can make another law and that is you have a right to defend yourself. You have a right to
defend yourself. This is amazing. This is fantastic. This is the way we live. You got to follow this
with me. This is just a short introduction but it’s getting longer and longer as I’m talking! This is a
whole message. This is amazing.

Let me repeat it. There are things in your life that are going to happen that can’t be changed,
like you’re going to die one day. That’s a law. The sentence of death is upon you. That’s a law.
That’s going to happen. But there’s another law. But there’s another law. Do you follow me? But
there’s something more. There’s something more.

There are things in this life that are like that first law by Haman. The Jews will be killed on a
certain day. And the king said I can’t touch that. That will happen, but I will give you the
permission to fight, to defend yourself. And the Jews were told that. When that day happened,
they fought. They fought. Now what does this mean?

It means that when Adam and Eve fell in the Garden of Eden, a curse came upon this world,
upon them, and upon the planet. A curse came. Even in our marriage. It came on our bodies.
We die. It came on us psychologically. We are depressed, confused, burdened with guilt, fear.
There’s death that works in us. That law has not changed. It is operating in us today. Woo! Woo!

That’s so cool. What? Of course. Have you seen a curse lately? Have you looked around? Have
you seen a curse? Have you seen a graveyard? Have you seen a cancer? Have you gotten a
phone call from a doctor or policeman? Have you gotten anything through the mail that you kind
of tucked away and hope it disappears? It’s over. It’s gone. It’s there. It’s there.

This is a world that is cursed because of our sin but God in his great grace has said to us, I love
you. We kind of look around and go, how do you love me? My life has trouble. The Lord says,
yeah. You got trouble, but you got me now. You got me and my promises. You have my Son.
You have the Holy Spirit as your Comforter, and you got this Word as your teacher and
counselor. And that’s where we are living. We are actually living in a fight. We are actually living
in a world that is not a good thing, but we have received him. He so loved us he gave of his
Son, and to learn of his Son. Come learn of me. I am meek and lowly. Take my yoke, my
burden is light. And learn of me because my yoke is easy, my burden is light and find rest for
your souls.

Remember when Lazarus’ died, Jesus wept at the tomb. He wept there. All of us are wondering
why was he weeping? Maybe because he just saw what I drew up here in principle. He saw that
first law, that death, that broken heart, the family devastated, a family in tears. He saw death.
He saw a grave, a tomb. He saw the Pharisees, the hard hearts, the lack of compassion and the
indifference. He saw this world that way. But he also said I let this happen. He said that in John.
11. He said it to his disciples. I let it happen. I waited an extra two days for him to die. And he
said to his disciples, he sleepeth. When they were walking towards Bethany, he explained to
them he is dead. They said if he is sleeping, he is doing fine. Jesus said no I mean he is dead.
He is dead, but I am going there because I am another law. I am the resurrection and the life.

This is what we are going to speak about this morning, and we’ll have communion also. But we
have P. Steve Devries as one of our guests here. He came to be with us for the weekend. He
lives in Kentucky. He wants to start a church in Lexington, Kentucky. He has a Bible study
group. We are praying for him, and we just want to welcome to share the Word and to take the
communion. Praise the Lord! Turn to your neighbor and just say, Happy New Year! God bless
you. Don’t forget the second part of the message!

P. Steve Devries – Okay. Good morning. Happy New Year! Blessed to be here with you. We got
a new year coming. A new year to walk with God. P. Schaller, this is a great way to begin, the
love of God. God loves us. Just a short, quick message and thoughts but three Scriptures,
okay. Genesis 37, Psalm 85, Galatians 2. If you have your Bibles, you can open them and keep your
fingers. Genesis 37, psalm 85, Galatians 2. Okay. Are we ready?

Genesis 37:1-5, Psalm 85:8-11, Galatians 2:20, who loved me. Say it. Who loved me and he gave himself
for me. I don’t know about you. Do you ever catch yourself and you realize you are thinking
about yourself way too much? Can anyone identify with that? You’re just kind of on a roll. You’re
just thinking very much. You’re very actively thinking, but then you realize I’m really just focused
on myself. I’m very much, and then I’m looking at other people based upon focusing upon
myself. For me, this is death. It’s so much death. I don’t know the love of God there. I don’t know
grace and mercy there. The passage we just read in Psalm 85, I think this term going back to
folly is actually a pretty nice way to define that.

That when we heard the Gospel and received the Gospel, the focus was not on us. Initially, I
agree I am a sinner. There is nothing good in me, but very quickly the Gospel takes its focus off
of me and brings it to Jesus Christ and what he has done, who he is and this is life. This is
where life is for me. Where when I think of myself, I’m actually not focused on me but I’m
focused on God. I’m focused on the love of Christ. I’m focused on who I am in Him.

This story in Genesis 37, it’s an interesting story because Jacob, Israel actually. It uses this term
Israel. This is his new name. It says Israel loved Joseph more than all of his children. At first on
the service, that doesn’t sound right. It’s not right. God is no respecter of persons. He really is
not. That aspect of the story we can relate to in human nature, in human relationships, but think of it this way:

When I’m focused, when we focus on Christ, we’re focused on God. We can be
Joseph. You can be the one, you are the one he loves the most. And because you’re focused
on him, there’s no comparison. I’m not thinking about oh, he doesn’t love my brother. No, it’s
thank you God. And he give us a robe, a robe of many colors. A robe of salvation in Isaiah 64:10.
This garment.

The Hebrew word for this garment is interesting. It’s actually related to the
garment reaching down to the length, covering the palms of my hand and going all the way to
the soles of my feet. This coat of many colors.

But when it’s translated into Greek, it’s this word “poikilos.” You remember poikilos? You
remember poikilos? This manifold grace. Manifold, abundant grace of God. Poikilos. All the
different dimensions, the variety of how God loves us so personally and so intimately. He loves
you. If I’m focused on myself, now I become like Joseph’s brothers. I become, I hate this life. I
am jealous of my brother. I’m focused on me. I’m focused on my righteousness, what I have
done, what I have performed, how I have failed. I am focused on me and it is death. And I
cannot even find love in my heart for my brother that God loves.

So I love this verse in Psalm 85. Mercy and truth, they meet together. Righteousness and peace
kiss each other. What is that? Truth, God’s righteousness, they condemn me. God’s heart is
mercy. It’s peace. And if it is not for Christ, if it is just me standing there, I am condemned. If the
world, if it’s focused on me, I am condemned. But we are not alone there.

This morning, pastor was speaking about the middle voice. It’s not just active. It’s not just
passive. No, we are responding to God and he is ministering to us and we are right in the
middle of the kiss because of the love of Christ, because of what Christ has done. He loved me,
Galatians 2:20. Romans 7, Paul is focused on I, I, I, I, I. What’s the conclusion? Oh wretched man
that I am! Romans 8:1, he focuses on the Holy Spirit. He focuses on who we are in Christ. The
message comes to nothing can separate us from the love of Christ. And the life we now live, we
live by faith in the Son of God who loved not just the whole world. He loves you. You are the
one with the coat of many colors. You are the one who has received the many poikilos, beautiful
riches of God’s grace. That is who you are.

Don’t think of myself. Don’t focus on myself except in this one place. That old man is crucified
with Christ. That’s not who I am anymore. But right now, who I am in Christ. Now I can be
focused on who I am, but it’s not me alone. I’m there with Jesus and he loves me. He loves me
so much more than I deserve, but I’m not living in that realm anymore because righteousness
and truth and mercy and peace have kissed at the cross. And this is where we are. Amen. You
are so loved. It has nothing to do with what you have done or what you have performed. You
are so loved by God.

Amen.

P. Schaller – You may be seated. Welcome. We have Amanda and Steve, right and Conin, the
best man at the wedding. That wedding was amazing. The best man’s speech was excellent. So
they are visiting with us and it’s great to have you. Driving down from Philadelphia. Thank you for
being here.

We are considering, meditating on this incredible principle that we introduced in the beginning.
P. Steve mentioned that it’s so easy for us to see ourselves two ways. One way is I don’t
deserve a coat of many colors. God does not love me. He loves you but how could he love me. I
have issues in my life. I have issues, bad habits. I have a cancer working in my soul and of
course we see in our country that there are people struggling with mental health issues, with
fears and anxiety and depression. And they go to the experts and they get medical advice and
many times prescriptions.

You have to ask yourself the question, is that what they need? Is that
the real thing? Will that deliver them. If you are under a doctor’s care, I’m not challenging that.
But I am saying there are a lot of people that easily move in what is natural and what P. Steve is
saying and what God says to us is come unto me. Learn of me. That takes some effort. That
takes a decision. That means I need to be engaged. That means I am seeking. I’m searching.
I’m asking. I’m knocking. Jesus said if you knock it will be answered. If you seek you will find. If
you ask it will be given to you in Luke 11.

So in our faith and in our church, we exhort one another and encourage one another not
denying the reality of the first law, but definitely interested in what is the second one.
I know this is a little hard to follow because not everyone understands what I am saying. But if
you look at the book of Esther for a moment, and you can have Sunday afternoon Bible reading
when you go home today. And I will just make a point here by directing you to what Haman,
what his plan was in destroying the Jewish people. Isn’t it in itself incredible that there would be
a genocide, where there would be an evil man instructing the king to get rid of the Jews. Yes,
how amazing that is.

We are in – Haman is promoted in chapter 3. Then he talks to the king in chapter 3:8-9. What
was the plan? It was that they were to be destroyed, vs. 13. Does that sound familiar in history?
What would it be? What kind of forces are there to destroy, to identify them as Jews and then to
destroy them and kill them that they would all perish? Isn’t it incredible.

So we said in our diagram, our first point was when the Jews have persecution, keep your eye
on it because it may result in a feast. It happened when they came out of Egypt. They danced
and sang on the other side of the Red Sea. For three days they celebrated and every year after
they were to have a celebration or a feast because God took them out of Egypt. When Christ
was crucified, there was a demonic celebration but three days later we have Easter. We have
Pentecost 50 days later. We have now this Christmas season, this celebration. We also have a
celebration in our own heart, though as P. Steve said, I don’t deserve the coat of many colors.
Did you hear that part of his message. Many colors, poikilos, means many sided or variations.
Many shades. Shades of colors. He had a coat with many shades.

This is the word used for grace in the Greek. In 1 Peter 4 it says manifold grace. It is poikilos
grace or charis. It means many sided grace. Grace for when you are in trouble. Grace for when
you are dying. Grace for when you are in prison. Grace for when you fail. Grace for when you
feel insecure. Grace when you are afraid. Grace when you are inferior in your soul. You feel the
intimidation or the inferiority. Grace. This is a great word for us. It is an expressio of love. You
receive something you don’t deserve and it’s many sided. Okay.

Do I have that coat and we are saying, yes. Why? Because of Him. Wow. Him. What do you
mean? It’s him. He gave his Son. God loves the world. Everyone in the world is loved by God.
Every day, Psalm 33:5. Every day God gives grace to the wicked and the evil, to the good, the
bad, the righteous, the unrighteous. That’s called common grace or logistical grace. It’s many
sided.

Be careful because you don’t give grace out like God does. You say he doesn’t deserve it. Or he
will get it if he shows that he is serious. I will forgive him if he can prove to me he is forgivable.
No, this is many sided grace. It is for the unworthy. Those that are not sincere. Those that are
not believing. Those that can care less. Those that are ungodly or wicked. Every day, God is
giving grace to the wicked and the sun is shining on the wicked and the rain is falling on us and
he’s giving us food and satisfying us in many ways as we are suffering with our sin in our lives.
So we have law #1 here. And this is seen in many ways. This is the curse of life. In the Garden
of Eden when it happened, they were driven out. They were cursed. There were four parties that
received a curse. The woman was cursed.

The man was cursed. The earth was cursed. And the devil was cursed. There was a negative effect because of sin in this world, and it continues unto this day. And here it is. It parallels Haman’s governmental efforts to destroy the jewish people. That was a law.

Later in the book in chapter 8, the king said I cannot reverse it. I cannot reverse that law. But the
king granted that Mordecai would take Haman’s place. Esther was given the place, given
Haman’s status here. Esther 8:2, so Mordecai becomes the new – we could call him maybe
minister of the interior or the chief staff officer or second in command or maybe even prime

minister. You have the king and then you have the second in charge and that’s now Mordecai.
Mordecai is saying what shall we do about this law, this one here? We have about 11 months.
There’s a period of time where they cast pur. Pur was the drawing of lots. Like maybe the lottery
back in my day when there was the draft for the Vietnam War. They shifted to lottery. They
would put your birthday, the numbers of the year in a bin and they pull it out and give you a
number. And they would draft the first 80 numbers, and you would have to go to the Vietnam
War. Go into the military.

There was a drawing and it was the thirteenth of this month, Adar. What should they do? Can’t
cancel. What should we do. This is what they decided in Esther 8:11. They had the right to fight.
They had a right to fight. Maybe you’re a woman and I understand you don’t want to hear about
it. I don’t want to hear about any fight. I understand that. Guys too. I don’t want to fight. I don’t
want to hear about any fight. It’s kind of like you better wake up. You better wake up. If you are
just neutral, you’re going to go down the current. There’s a river. There’s a flow. There’s a force.
There’s a law. There’s death. There’s disease.

There’s sin. There’s heartache. There’s addictions. There’s problems. There’s broken hearts. There’s broken relationships. There’s loneliness. You can’t be neutral. You can’t be neutral. I don’t know who said that but I think they
need it! No, I’m joking. Hey, is that Matt? Yeah. Alright. So, amen! Wait a second.
It means that if you are just born into this world and you become a subject of the world, an
object, even a tool, you know better. I have decisions I can make. I have a heart. We are made
in the image of God. I have a conscience. I see things around me that maybe are wrong, and
I’m not part of that. But I am part of it cause I’ve seen myself be part of things that are wrong. I
kind of melt into it. I kind of flow into it. It happens. It’s part of the curse that we are in.

But there’s a message for you that is, Jesus Christ came into the world and he is God. He
doesn’t go with that flow. He actually contradicts the curse. He actually knows it is here and he
is not reversing it. In one way, he is allowing us to live in it. On one hand, we are suffering
because of it. A lot of people have an issue with God cause he doesn’t take it away. Because
the baby dies and the baby is innocent and innocent people shouldn’t suffer or die, and many
other things we have issues with regarding the curse.

But look again. Christ came into this world to say in me, you have peace. These words have I
spoken unto you that in me you would have peace. But in the world tribulation. But be of good
cheer. I have overcome the world. I haven’t removed the sting, the thorn but I am here giving
you grace. I’m giving you my presence, my Spirit, my promises, my resurrection from the dead. I
have ascended and you’ve ascended with me. And I sat down and you are seated with me in
heavenly places. Ephesians 2. Wait a minute! I’m seated in Baltimore. No, you’re not. You’re seated in
Baltimore AND you’re seated in heavenly places. Aorist tense. Meaning it’s not a time sensitive
tense in the Greek. It’s just a state of your status like the door is closed.

The door is closed. It has nothing to do with it closing or that one day it will be open. It’s just a statement of fact.
And this aorist tense is used in the Greek for our finished work doctrines that teach us that the
work of Jesus on the cross is finished. There’s nothing more to do. It’s done. He overcame
death. Period. It’s done. The door is closed. It’s done. It’s the status, present existing reality. We
have overcome death though we live in a mortal body. We are living in Baltimore but we are
seated with God with Christ Jesus on a throne with him with many benefits, many advantages.
And now we live in this world with the right to contest what they say, what the first line is saying.
I have a right to say we have overcome you. Bring it on. We have overcome you.

I’m a sinner. Wait. I am crucified with Christ but I live yet not I but Christ lives within me. The
coat of many colors. Are my eyes on that? Are all the promises of God yeah and amen or are
some of them – let me say that in English in a better way because that’s old English. The
promises are yeah and then that’s like amen is Hebrew, right? Amen. They are not yeah and
then nay. Nay! Nay! That means promises work sometimes but not always. They’re yes and no.
Yes and no. No, they are yes. They are real. They are for sure. What does it mean now then?

The believer has the Spirit and the Word.
Let’s go to two illustrations of the principle. Heb. 3, if you were to read the chapter and see how
discouraged the Jews were when they were in the wilderness. We’ll put here the first line. This
curse and then we’ll put here the word “wilderness.” when you are in a wilderness it is hot.
You’re dehydrated looking for shelter. It’s not nice. When we were in Israel in the wilderness on
a day totally parched, dried desert where the Jews were living for 40 years. That’s a long time.
Would you feel the curse in the wilderness? Easily. Could you lose heart? There are three
words in verses in this chapter. It says you have to hear the Holy Spirit in vs. 7. You have to
hear his voice.

Very easy not to hear his voice when you are in trouble, when you are doubting,
when you are discouraged. It’s also easy to harden your heart, vs. 8. It’s easy for your heart to
err in vs. 10. You have a hard heart, an erring heart and then in vs. 13 you have a deceitful
heart. This can all happen to us as believers because of life.
Someone said to me recently life is hard, and I’m thinking about it. I know what they mean. I
agree in many ways. It’s so easy what life can do to the heart of man, but Heb. 4 says that we
can enter into rest. God has prepared a rest for us. We can enter into rest.
This is the meaning here that we have another law that was made by Mordecai. We can
contest. We can fight for our lives, for our families, for our possessions. So there was a fight on
the 13th and 14th.

They added another day to their fight because they weren’t finished with their enemies. They fought their enemies.
I think this should be explained. There are enemies in life they should be under your feet. How
can my enemies be under my feet if I don’t have doctrine, truth. I don’t have God’s mind. The
Bible is the mind of God. The Spirit of God is our teacher. The mind of God affects my heart,
and my heart affects my mind. They go together. My spirit, the Holy Spirit that dwells in your
spirit, the deepest part of you, 1 Corinthians  2:11. There is a spirit in the man that knows the man. Proverbs
14:14 “a good man is satisfied from himself.” This is like the deep, like deep in your heart you
are fellowshiping with the living God. The God of truth guides you in truth and you are able to
resist the enemy, resist the lie and say no, not for me. I don’t accept that. I am living in Christ. I
have truth in my heart, in my spirit, in my heart and my mind is renewed in it. I’m believing it. I’m
able to fight a fight of faith, the fight of faith. As a good soldier in 1 Timothy 6 and 2 Timothy 2. This is
our privilege.

Let’s finish up. It’s Hebrews 4 and I want to draw your attention to this. vs. 9. Wait a minute. I got
a call from the doctor and he said I have a cancer somebody could say. That day may come. Is
there a rest for the people of God? Is there? Is there a rest? Is there engagement in the reality
of a curse? Do I have some content that can handle the problem?

I feel ourl church has grown a lot during covid. That’s too bad that every church couldn’t say
that. I think many can. I feel we’ve grown. I feel the Holy Spirit is teaching us to live above the
curse. What’s the curse? It’s covid. It’s death. It’s a disease. It’s a pandemic. Let’s change the –
it’s a war, a famine, a drought, slavery in Egypt. It’s the persecution of Jesus and he’s crucified
hanging on a cross. Whatever you would say that life would dish out. We are saying that in us
dwells the living Christ and we are able to engage in that curse and make a feast out of it.
Look at what happened. By the way, you know that purim was the lots that they drew. They
fought and guess what? This became a holiday for the Jews. Did you know that? It’s a holiday
for the Jews. They could say they tried to destroy us. I think of them dancing kind of like this.
They tried to take us out but we turned it into a holiday, a feast. We have overcome our
enemies.

Notice something. Did you know that Adolf Hitler, the Nazi government, ordered Jews to be
hanged on that day because Haman was hanged and he wanted their feast of Purim to be put
down. He resented it. He resented it. He was an evil man. He resented it that the Jews would celebrate it. Instead of Haman being hanged, he hanged Jews. And Haman’s sons were
hanged and so he hanged Jews. Imagine how wicked this is. But I can say it today because I’m
telling you something. There is an evil world and if you don’t have the content, you don’t have
the Holy Spirit and the living God in your life, then you don’t have much to fight with. You’ll be in
your house afraid. You won’t be in your house afraid for a year or two years. You’ll be afraid the
rest of your life. Cause you can’t handle the battle.

Hey. I like what I just said. I feel like repeating it. You won’t be afraid just for a couple of years. You’ll be afraid the rest of your life. You got to deal with your enemy head on by reality of our living God because Jesus said, fear
not. That’s what he said. And if you follow me, I will make you a fisher of men. If you follow me, I
shall take care of you. The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not lack. You walk in paths of
righteousness. Though you go through the valley of the shadow of death, my rod and my staff
they will comfort you. You will dwell in the presence – I’ll make a table for you in the presence of
your enemies. I will crown you with lovingkindness. I’ll anoint your head with oil. Surely
goodness and mercy will follow you all the days of your life and you will dwell in the house of the
Lord forever.

Come on. Is that God talking to us? Yes, it is. He said there is a rest for the people of God. I want to finish it up here. Look at the verse. Hebrew 4:9-10. It’s like the seventh day of our week. It’s the Sabbath. It’s our rest.
But it’s an eternal rest. It’s a spiritual rest. It’s over. I can fight my enemies and I can rest in God.
I have the gift, the peace of God that passes understanding. We have fellowship with God even
though life can be very painful. I’m not underestimating it. Very painful life can happen to us.
Very sad. Very painful life. Please, don’t let that curse destroy your life and take you out. Don’t
go on drugs. Don’t become an alcoholic. Do not get bitter. Do not become an angry, crusty old
man. That’s a bitter old man with a shotgun across your knees on the rocking chair on the porch
saying get off my grass!

Do not become a twisted, angry, bitter, old person or young person but
learn to forgive. Learn to take on your enemy. Learn to communicate. Learn to be a
communicator. Learn to love. Learn to forgive. Learn to walk with God. Learn to honor your
mother and father. Learn to live by the grace of God and have fellowship with him.
Let me finish up here. I’m trying to do it. vs. 11-12. Here’s the key. Please have a diet. Just read
it. If you don’t understand it, keep reading it. Keep studying it. If you don’t understand it, keep
digging. Be patient. Be prayerful. Have times of prayer. Be quiet. Pray in your heart. Go for a
walk and talk to God. Nothing else. Don’t even worry or think about anything else but go before
God in faith and be loving him and receiving from him.

I’m finishing all the time, right? Okay. I am serious about it but this part fits perfectly. In the
Greek you have an action by the subject and the effect by the action. This is called an active
voice. I eat. I walk. I drive the car. I do this action. There’s another when the action affects me.
This is an action that takes place and affects me. It’s an action that affects me. This is called the
passive voice. This is the two voices that are in our language over and over again. We are
affected by others or by the environment and the other one is I am doing something. I am
affecting others.

But there is a change. In the Greek language they have something that is very unique. Here’s
me and here’s the object. The effect on the object actually has an affect on me. The best way to
explain this is my wife and me. My wife, I love my wife but my wife effects me. My love for her
actually has an effect on me and she does love me but my love does have an effect on her. This
is called the middle voice. In our faith this is fantastic because it’s how we are filled with the
Spirit but it’s me being filled. I am before God. He fills me. I am effected by his Spirit but it’s me
also affecting him. I am effecting him.

I am living in the Spirit. I am effecting him and he is
effecting me. This is a mystery. This is fellowship. It’s in the Body of Christ too. You are here. I
am saying something but you are effecting me. We are in fellowship. It’s Jesus saying the
Father and I are one. My Father is loving me. I am obeying and honoring him. I am effecting
him. Then I am loving you and you love me as I love my Father. This fellowship of love is a
dynamic effect and an interaction.

Eugene Peterson wrote this about it. He said “the middle voice, most of our speech is divided between active and passive. Either I act or I am acted upon. But there are moments and they
are those in which we are most distinctly human when such a contrast is not satisfactory. Two
wills operate either to the exclusion of the other.” That’s like marriage. Two wills are operating
but I’m not operating exclusive of her. But inclusive. Like I’m operating with her. So he said, “the
subject is participating in the results of the action. I do not control the action. That is a pagan
concept of prayer, putting the gods to work by my incantations or rituals. I’m not controlled by
the action. That is a Hindu concept of prayer in which I slump passively into the impersonal and
fated will of gods and goddesses.

I enter into the action begun by another, my Creator and saving Lord and finding myself participating in the results of the action. I neither do it nor have it done to me. I will to participate in what is willed.” It’s a beautiful thought. We’ll think about it later I think. But I think you understand it. Of course you do. When you are Spirit filled and living in a
fellowship, have you done this? Have you prayed? I am in the fellowship of prayer. What have
you done? I don’t know. I’m in a fellowship with God. There is rest for the people of God. We are
in a battle but the battle is the Lord’s. And we are with the Lord in the battle called life and it’s
God that will do valiantly in us and through us. We will have a testimony. It was God who did it.
You did it? Yes, I was there. Yes, I was in it. Yes, I made decisions. Yes, I honored him but it
was his grace, his power, his nature, his person, his victory in a troubled world.

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.