The feast of life in Christ is one of grace and love for one another. We have something beyond the world. And Christmas shows us this. Our hearts and minds have been sifted. John 13; (Philippians 4.6-8)
Speaker(s): Thomas Schaller
7:00 PM on 12/8/2021
P. Schaller –
Doesn’t it seem like he should have a twin? That’s the reality. So where is he I wonder? And is he a good
looking guy? It depends on which one you were talking about! Yeah, the one on the left I think!
Yeah, it is. Sorry, Avery! P. Love, did you see the play? I’m sorry to say that I didn’t. It was
amazing. Well, I have to say P. Schaller, with the offices back there coming through. I’ve seen
enough of the rehearsals. I did see the play. Okay. King Herod, wow! I am the king! What is he,
12 years old? How old is that young man? Ten or eleven? He played the part like – that’s how
he lives at home! I am the king! I want the Cheerios now! That’s how he did it. He’ll grow up to
P. Love, we have two gifts here just to celebrate Christmas. Anette Bednez did an amazing job
on the play. You know, yesterday Ryan made a sandwich in the cafe just to give to her! That’s
beautiful! Chicken pesto!
Come on. Come up and get it! Isn’t her and her husband – they are amazing! You guys are.
Amazing. Amazing. That’s dinner for two! Yeah.
The second one is Francois Serradji who is the dean of women at the Bible college, and she is
a counselor, a friend. Merry Christmas! Wow! So, she’s from Switzerland. She’s from
Switzerland. The gift is not. She’s from there. I am the king! I am the king! Okay. So he’ll take
the offering. (Offering).
I love how Josh really puts his whole heart into the worship, doesn’t he? I love it. I just saw
Donnie Fisher here, right Donnie? Where did I see you? There he is. You want to just raise your
hand, Donnie? Great to have you here. He called me a couple days ago and warned me that
he’d be here. How did you say? Evaluating the message, or? How did you say it? I forget.
What? Yeah, he said you better not preach a dud. I’m coming in Wednesday night and I’m
checking it out. Okay.
This is Christmas season. Notice on the wall over here “a family feast.” You see that up on the
wall that phrase? Then you have a small feast. Then over here you have a feast for all. Back
there the church is a feast. So our Christmas series is about feast. A feast of the Christian faith.
Having a spiritual feast, and so I want to share something about that tonight and ask you to turn
to John 13 for our opening text.
Our prayer is that some of our maybe prodigal sons or prodigal sisters or brothers or family
members or maybe prodigal moms or dads would come back to fellowship, come to Christ and
join in the feast of fellowship in love. God’s love.
John 13, did I say 13? John 13:31, this is the key to our feast. God gave his only begotten Son
and the Son of God did his work, is glorified. He made his disciples. He put his hands on them,
his words in them and he called them and he said to them, vs. 32. That God would glorify the
Son. Vs. 33-34. This is at the heart of our feast, is God’s love. You would love each other as I
have loved you.
Let’s think about this first point “as I loved you.” How did Jesus love them? He – I have a list
here. He sought them. I love you. I sought you. I came into the world and I sought you and I
found you. I stayed with you three and a half years. I lived with you. I walked with you. We ate
together. You saw the miracles. You touched me. I touched you. You love me. I love you. As I
have loved you. I forgave you when you had little faith. When you failed, I didn’t accuse you. I
led you. When you are not perfect, I love you and my love goes all the way to the end. Love
covers a multitude of sins. That’s how I love you.
How did he love them? I manifest the Father to you, John. 17:5. How did he love them? He died
for them when they were sinners. He died for them and loved them when they were unworthy of
the love. He gave them grace. “As I have loved you, so love one another.” New commandment,
vs. 34-35. “if you love one another.” That’s how this feast goes. I love you and then you love one another.
But I have to say, there are other feasts in the world. Turn with me to 1 John. 2. There’s a feast
that the world has and all of you know about it for we have been to those feasts. They are feasts
of iniquity. Feasts of self, feasts of error, feasts of love, feast even of wisdom, intellectual feast
of wisdom below. Not the wisdom above. Worldly wisdom. Worldly spirit. Worldly desire. Feast
We read about one of them in Daniel 5. The king, Belshazzar, his father was Nebuchadnezzar.
Nebuchadnezzar was an arrogant king and he invaded Jerusalem and took all the golden pots
and vessels and all of the paraphernalia from the temple all the way to Babylon and it was in
storage. When Nebuchadnezzar died and his son took over, Belshazzar, he decided to have a
party with all those utensils. A drunken orgy. Drinking for was it? How many days? It’s in Daniel
5:1-2. This is where it comes in. vs. 2.
Remember those vessels made of gold and silver that Solomon who was rich in gold and silver
had them made specifically for the sacred service in the temple. But now they are in an
idolatrous kingdom, a palace. The son says let’s take those. We will drink out of them. vs. 2-4.
“They praised the gods of gold, of silver, of brass, of wood, and of stone.” Have you been to one
of these parties? Have you been to one of those parties where they take something sacred like
Christmas and it becomes a joke. A party. A drunken orgy. An ungodly den of iniquity. Of story
telling and unclean jokes and stories and ungodliness. Of course you have.
If you’ve been unsaved, if you’ve been without God, you’ve been to something like that. That’s
happening today. That’s part of life. But the Christian – this is where I need God to help us all
the time whenever we gather here that this feast is better than that feast. But can you see it? Do
you discern it? Do you recognize it? Have you had enough? Have we had enough of the feast
that is a feast.
It says in Ecclesiastes that this feast of rejoicing is not the one we should go to. We should go to
the feast of mourning. Feast of mourning. What feast is that? That’s the feast of sorrow. Why
should I be sorry? Because I am a sinner. Why should I be sorry? Because I’m going to die. I
look at death in the face. Why should there be a feast of mourning? Because the Son of God
was crucified. Why should there be a feast of mourning? Because God says to return unto me,
return unto me but you will not. Prepare to meet thy God in Amos 4:12.
It’s an awesome thought. Wow! If we go to the feast, the feast of mourning, then we will come to
Christmas. Christmas is a feast of rejoicing. Ask the angels in heaven. They are in shock. They
are in awe that Almighty God would come here. We are constantly in amazement that Almighty
God loves me, that he makes us holy, that he fills us with his Spirit, that he says as I have loved
you with that same love.
And by the way, when he loved them, they actually, it grew in them. They didn’t want to hear
anything about him leaving them. They didn’t want to hear anything about him going to the
cross. If you go to Jerusalem, we will go with you. We will die with you. We will go to jail with
you Peter said in Luke 22. And I will die with you. That’s what he said. This doesn’t happen
unless somebody means a lot to you, unless somebody is loving you, unless somebody is
touching your life; unless the Holy Spirit is there with the Father and the Son taking a sinner
and making him a saint. He’s desiring to go with Jesus wherever he will go because wherever
Jesus is, there is a feast for all. The church is a feast.
There is a small feast. What is a small feast? It’s when the angel visited Mary and said the Holy
One that is born of you shall be called the Son of God. It was only her and an angel. A small
feast is Martha, Mary and Lazarus after Lazarus is raised. They are sitting at a table in Jn. 12.
It’s Jesus and Lazarus and Martha and Mary. They couldn’t be happier. They got their brother
back. He was dead, stone cold dead for four days. But now they are sitting at a table with Jesus.
This feast that we have keeps us from the other one. I got to warn you and you know it as well
that I have in me a sin nature. I have in me a sin nature. I gravitate to sin. I gravitate to the sinful
lifestyle. I gravitate to sinful people that will offer me something that will tintilate, stimulate,
appeal to me, tempt me, draw me to the feast of iniquity or the feast of – it’s actually – there’s a
story of a young man up in New Hampshire I believe. He went out drinking the other night and
he disappeared. They found him in the swamp drowned. A similar story I heard about a
business man in New Orleans. He left the bar room at 2:00, disappeared, and he was very
wealthy. He owned an oil industry. He owned oil wells. They found him in the Mississippi River.
The feast of the world isn’t something you can bank your life on for there is no wisdom there. It
is foolish. It gives you no direction. It does not empower you. It does not uphold you. It does not
enlighten you. It doesn’t not help you. It does not build you up.
The feast of the world is not a blessing to us. Drinking at Christmas time, God forbid or at any
time in my life – drinking is not what I’m looking for. I’m looking for another spirit. I want the Spirit
of God to fill me so we would not be drunk with wine wherein is excess, but be filled with the
Spirit cause this feast is the one that keeps going. It keeps going. It’s not only on a Friday night.
It’s a Saturday morning. It’s when all the days. It doesn’t matter. Before all the other feasts, you
know, when is Friday coming? When am I going to meet my friends on Tuesday night? When
are we going to meet together? When are we going to have the party?
This is a different one. Our party is beyond our calendar. Our party is all the time. Our party is
waiting upon God. Our party is in a prayer meeting. Our party is holiness. Our party is filtering
through our mind the ungodly impulses that bubble up and surface in my heart and become like
a latch for the enemy.
Somebody will give you a phone call. We had a brother here. He was on drugs. He got off them
and then the phone rang. It was a girl. He was lonely. He needed a girl. He started to go with
her. She brought him back into drugs. He just went back because of the girl.
You understand it? I do. I can see that. In all of this, I could see my life. In all of this I could see
it happening in my life. Are you kidding me? Everybody in this room. Do not exclude yourself
from any of these possibilities.
I do not fear. I just found something better. I’m not afraid of the world. I just don’t love the world.
Love not the world. Read it, 1 John. 2:15. Are you excited about going to Las Vegas? I’m not. I
could care less. Atlantic City, New Jersey it used to be but now it’s Baltimore, Maryland. You
don’t have to take the bus to Atlantic City. They used to do that. The folks in Dundalk saved their
money to take a bus up there and gamble it away: $800, $1000, $1200. come back with
nothing. They just had fun. Losing money. Is that fun? Not paying your rent. Is that fun? Not
loving your wife. Is that fun? Not taking care of your kids. Is that fun? Betraying your children. Is
that fun? Abandoning your family. Is that fun?
That’s a party that Belshazzar had that night, remember. There was a woman in the group and
she said – cause there was handwriting on the wall and the king was trembling. He didn’t see.
He saw the hand only. Mene mene…I forget the words there. He didn’t know what it meant.
There was woman said there is somebody I know that your father knew. Nebuchadnezzar knew
him. There is a man who can tell you what that means. He said get him. Who is he?
Oh, Daniel. He will tell you what it means. It’s amazing. Maybe we are like Daniels in the world
saying to the drunken feasts – maybe we are the Daniels in the world saying are you kidding
me? I’m not tempted in the world. I could care less about it. That’s not the answer for my life. I
got Christmas. I’ve got Christmas.
The wise men seek him. Anna in the temple and Simeon in the temple. I’m not interested in the
world. They’re blind. They’re deceiving. They are cheating. They are stealing. They are robbing. They are destroying. And you shall lie down in sorrow Isaiah said at the end of Isaiah 51. You
will lie down in sorrow because your flame is like sparks, only emotional fire. You get drunk and
it’s emotional fire. It’s nothing. You’ll lie down in sorrow, and when you wake up, you will seek it
yet again. Then you’ll lie down in your vomit. This is in the proverb. You will have delusional
ideas about women and other things, and you’re crazy. It’s not reality. That’s not God Almighty.
God came into the world to give us Christ. When you have Christ, you don’t love the world. You
love Christ. When you have Jesus Christ, you have God.
When you have God, you don’t love the world. The love of the world is not in you. You have another love in your heart. It’s amazing. So, how do we love one another? We forgive again and again each other. We love not the world
or the fashion of it. The Greek word for “fashion” in 1 Corinthians 7:31 is schema. It means the outer
form of something. The world always has the outer form whatever form. It’s the style. It’s what’s
trendy. It’s the words. It’s the philosophy. It’s the kind of way of life. It’s the whole thing about the
world and now we are afraid to be different. We slide in and we fit in and we don’t want to be
different at all.
But Jesus said I need you to love each other, and if you love each other you will be different.
You will stay together. You will forgive each other. You will call each other by name. You’ll greet
each other with a holy kiss. You’ll draw near to God. Christ will be between us. We’ll be satisfied
on a Wednesday night when we come together and fellowship with the Holy Spirit and he
speaks to our hearts. We agree with God and we will be satisfied. We’ll pay attention to these
I was thinking of this word. In the world, what is in the world besides the lust of the world? I think
there is fear in the world. We have seen that with covid. There is anxiety in the world and there
is anger and hatred in the world. This is not a good feast. To be with people that are angry and
have anxiety and fear and lust in their hearts. This kind of fellowship is not – that’s why they
drink. They nullify the pain. Or why they sleep around. They go from one woman to another.
One man to another. They’re looking for love. They don’t have it.
Mary Magdalene when she met Jesus Christ it was like I never met a man like him. A man that
touches my heart. A man that is kind. A man that is holy. A man that cares for me. And when he
dies, she is the first one at the tomb, and she knows that he’s cold, stone dead but it can’t stop
her. Cause she never met anybody like him.
That’s like us. We have met Jesus Christ. He came into our lives. We met Jesus Christ and it
changed us. We met Jesus Christ. Christmas is a celebration of the birth of the Christ that
changes our life. This is not a good feast unless he’s there. That sets the tempo for everything.
When I leave the church, I got something now. The Holy Spirit helped me. He gave me a good
word. He encouraged me in my heart. I got examples of holy brethren around me.
Then I have – I wanted to share sometime. I’ll do it right now. This word “sieve.” Or maybe
sometimes they call it a “sieve.” It’s a filter. You’ve seen it. Like bakers have it with the flour. You
pull it and you do this and it filters. It shakes. A sieve. You put material in one side, one end of it
and the sieve, you shake it and get it out. The finer stuff falls through. This is actually a word.
There’s a word here, EILIKRINES and it’s translated in our Bible two different ways: holy and
another word is sincere.
It’s 2 Peter 3:1. It is referring to your mind. Your pure mind. I bring you to remembrance, I bring
to remembrance your pure mind. I think this – I have the piece on it from Trench here, but I
won’t pull it out to read it to you. Why don’t I do that cause you’re paying attention. I appreciate it
Here it is. The more probable meaning of this word “EILIKRINOS” is the term comes from a
combination of words meaning that which is cleansed by much rolling and shaking two and fro
in the sieve. This is Trench. The term to find the pure or the sincere is by this mechanism that is the rolling and the shaking and to find it.
Now, this is how I understand it. That my mind produces a combination of thoughts. Some of my
thoughts are sinful. Some of my desires are wrong. So they go into that sieve. That sieve is
really a gift from God to us. It’s really our heart. In our heart, we roll around in our heart these
thoughts and we go, no. No. I don’t accept that. That’s not God. That’s not pure. I don’t accept
that. I just let it be and it doesn’t fall through to my pure mind. It’s caught. It’s not there.
Be careful because if you just live naturally every day, you’ll live a sinful life.
Be careful. But if you say – this is in your heart. I don’t want to sound mechanical about it, but I want to say in
your heart, you come before God, you come to God with your heart and you bring everything
before him. Let him filter through and say, no. You cannot steal. You used to steal. You cannot
steal. You cannot lie. You cannot swear. You cannot be cursing people. You cannot be lusting
after people, lusting after women or coveting things. No, you cannot.
Yeah, but I have that in my heart, in my mind. This is in my mind. This is what I want and the
Lord says, go to the house of mourning. Go to the house of mourning. Wait upon me. Be
serious about it. Bring this to me.
And the sieve is working and the pure things fall through and I find myself edified. I have pure
thoughts. I have the Word of God. This is amazing, Psalm 19. I have Psalm 19. Have you ever wondered? Psalm 19 is about the Bible, and Psalm 119 is an extended version of Psalm 19. Psalm 19 is – how is it? Fourteen
verses. This is 176 verses. And it’s all about the power and the life and the truth of the Word of
God, so there is a feast for the believer.
Now, lastly, turn with me to this verse in Philippians. Philippians 4. You know how much I love being
with you guys. I’m so proud of you in the Lord. P. Dan. Pray for John Nielson as he is being
cared for at Franklin Square. There’s some others, too. And the victory, and just health and
healing. I love the kind of faith we have and the love we have for each other. It’s amazing.
Philippians 4:6, I want to say something about Vilmosh and Palma. Just a few words as we finish.
Vilmosh and Palma are from Hungary. We have a history together of 30 years. He left Romania
when the wall came down. He came to our church with nothing. Nothing. Just a heart after God.
And we’re preaching and he is a wise man and a godly man and the ministry just works for him.
He just hears from God, walks with God.
And we went to lunch today and had a talk. It was so beautiful because I’ve been with this couple and have seen what God can do in somebody’s life. And then now and you know just what God has given them as a family. They got married and so on.
I just – this feast that we have is different from anything in the world. This feast of love that we
have. The values that we have. Don’t give up. Don’t give up. Don’t stop. Don’t back off. Believe
and draw near. There is a feast for you all the time. Every day. There’s something for you from
God all the time.
And be careful how you evaluate it. But I can tell you one thing. There’s not going to be a
handwriting on the wall saying your days are numbered. You are done. It’s finished. He died that
night. No. It will be more like I’ve given you my Son. I’ve given you all spiritual blessings. I’ve
created you in Christ Jesus. I’m with you always. I will never leave you or forsake you. I will
empower you. I will bless your life in a practical way. In the city I will bless you. In the
countryside I will bless you. I will bless you in your heart, in your mind. I will empower you. I will
give you a mind of understanding. I’ll make you wise like Daniel. I’ll make you courageous like
Elijah. I’ll make you faithful like Abraham. I’ll make you holy like John the Baptist. I’ll make you a
pioneer like the Apostle Paul. There’s nothing I will uphold from him that walks uprightly (Psalm
That’s amazing. Let me finish with this one statement. Philippians 4:8, you have a feast or think on these things. The phrase means keeping in mind these things. But even making these things the logos of your
personal universe. One should meditate on these things and allow them to shape your conduct.
Allow them to shape your way of life. These things that are pure. That’s the sieve.
I don’t know how to say it. These things that are pure you think on these things and allow them
to be a habitual way of thinking with these thought patterns and then you will lie down with great
peace and blessing in your heart.
You know, we were watching things happen in our culture and in our society and we are in
shock. We are in shock. How empty people are. How troubled they are. How needy they are.
Listen. It may be the very thing that will draw them to Christ. And if our message to them is not
about self-improvement, it’s about Jesus. If our message to them is faith. Come to Christ by
faith. They will hear. They will come. They will believe. They will turn. They will be convicted.
They will be persuaded. They will get into their Bible. They’ll start to grow. We have seen it with
new people in our church. They will get rooted and grounded and it will pour over. They will
have new friends.
And they’ll say I don’t go to that bar room anymore. I do not go there. No.
Never. I’m done. I’m finished. I’m not going there. I’m not doing it. I’m not doing that. I’m not a
fool. I’m not a fool. I gained something. I’m around wise people. I’ve got something in my heart
that is from God. I want to live by faith in God. I have the Spirit of God, the mind of God, the way
of God, the truth of God, the Word of God, the people of God and the purpose and the mission
of God. That’s our new life. So pray with me for that this coming year and we finish right there.
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.