The unity of Church life can bring freedom for those bound by sin and self. There comes the washing of the Word and fellowship. We are anointed and we learn to die to self and become fruitful, positive faith-filled people. (Psalm 133; John 12:24-25; Isaiah 58:9-11)
Speaker(s): Thomas Schaller
7:00 PM on 9/29/2021
P. Schaller –
Hello. Thank you. Praise the Lord tonight! (Prayer). Amen. Halleluiah! Amen. I feel like saying halleluiah a
thousand times. Just thankful. Thankful. Just so thankful. Thank you, Jesus. Thank you, Jesus.
It’s so good. I’d like to speak tonight about Body life and us being in the Body and knowing each
other in the Spirit. I would also like to talk about some good habits that we develop as believers.
I just want to introduce one thought, and then I’ll sit down and Jesse will take over and do what
he has to do. The one thought is: have you ever felt like maybe you don’t belong? Okay. I don’t
belong. Like we might have those feelings in life quite a bit. Where I work maybe with some
group of people. It may be that I don’t fit in or feel that I belong. But when it comes to the church,
this is spiritual that you are baptized into the Body of Christ by the Spirit, and you drink the same
Spirit. Are we different? Yeah, we may be different, but we are not looking at differences. We’re
looking at what God is doing, what God has done through his Son.
At the communion table at the Last Supper, he broke the bread and said my body is broken for you. His body is broken so that we would be united. He suffered so we would be one. By his stripes we are healed, and by
his Spirit we have fellowship in the same heart and in the same mind. I want you to notice this
one verse because it might illustrate in a certain way what I want to say at the beginning. It’s
Leviticus 13:45. Leprosy is a terrible disease. It affects your neurological system, muscles,
bones. I don’t know actually all – I’ve read different things about it, but it’s a horrible disease and
very contagious. So, this is a law in the Bible under Moses’ teaching that if somebody was a
leper, they had an obligation to call out. To put their hand over their upper lip and cry out,
unclean! Unclean! They also were to let their hair grow and wear torn clothes so they could be
identified from a distance. Oh, that’s a leper. Stay away.
That’s a leper. Stay away. So it’s vs. 45. Oh, I thought he had his hair grow long, but his head is shaved. Is that right? His head bare or no? What? No hat. Okay. Alright. So. Who is teaching who, right? What’s going on? What
happened to the pastor? Okay! Okay, so let’s just move on. Okay. vs. 45. From a distance,
right? From a distance. I feel like that this is what sin does to me. I could come into the church
and sit down but sin separates me from the Body and Body life. We can’t get contaminated by
your sin as a leper or covid. We have authority in Christ, but you are more alone. It’s like in a
bubble. I go to the church, but nobody understands me. I go to the church, but I don’t fit there. I
don’t belong. I’m isolated or alienated. I believe that happens to people and sometimes to be
honest, it’s a way that God speaks to us. What God wants me to do is to be humble and come
before him and say, God, I know I belong.
I don’t feel it, but I make my confession to you. I know I belong. This is your will. Not that I would be alone, isolated as a leper. I would rather – it would be rather it would be that I am in the light in fellowship one with another and receiving the many blessings that happen in the Body of Christ. The many blessings that happen in the Body of
Christ. When somebody leaves the church for a while, maybe a month or a couple months or
years or something, they might feel this. They come back and they might feel like they are a
leper, to be honest. That’s how they feel. Like unclean, unclean. But what’s the answer for that.
It’s a way that God governs us as people. He says you are accepted in the beloved. I am for
you. Justin preached last night in Federal Hill and it really touched my heart that when they
lowered the man down through the roof in Mark 3 as he was paralyzed and they brought him
through the roof, the first thing Jesus said to him was your sins are forgiven. And Jesus didn’t
say would you repent? He just said your sins are forgiven you.
And he said that grace is the nature of God and God gives grace to all kinds of people all the time. He gives grace to the
unsaved. He gives grace to us. If a person is a leper and they come – let’s say they have been
living in adultery. Nobody knows about it, but they come into the church. To them there may be
walls and barriers and isolation and alienation that is happening in their soul. The Lord actually
says to them – we pray that he would say to them – it’s your call. I am for you. I am for you.
Believe me. Trust me. Walk with me. What happens is John 15:3, now you are clean. Walk with
me. Confess your sin to me and the blood of Jesus Christ will cleanse you from all
unrighteousness and walk in fellowship with the Body. But it might not go that way. They may
come. They may feel they don’t belong. They may be condemned. They undoubtedly are
somehow under the conviction of God regarding their sin and God is, God is loving them, but
they might say I’m out of here.
I don’t belong here. I have chosen another way. I have chosen another way. So, that is something I want to speak about tonight for a few minutes in a loving way just to build us up. There’s a lot of good stuff to say about it. The life of Christ in the Body is so absolutely a reality. It is like very, many dynamic elements to it that happen in your life.
You’re growth. Your interest. Your focus. Your concentration. Your openness to God. Your
fellowship with each other. Your edification. Not to mention how God prepares to use us as we
fellowship in the Body. But this whole thing of “unclean, unclean!” and the bubble is also a very
real thing. You don’t have to do that. You don’t have to do that. No, there is a better way and
that’s what we will speak about tonight. Okay. Praise the Lord! Welcome Jesse Fyers. Wow!
That was a very lively, authoritative clear message (in the song).
Wow that was fun! Excellent. Excellent. Praise the Lord! Turn to Psalm 133. This is where we are going with our message because we jump around. This is Psalm 133. Body life. Body life is the fellowship of the Spirit
with more than one believer. Two people. There I am in the midst. vs. 1. Isn’t it good? Body life.
We use that word in our vocabulary around here. Body life for church life. Church life is more
than just a traditional group of people that believe the same thing. It’s more. It’s what we call
Body life. The Spirit of God in you in fellowship with each other. It’s illustrated many ways in the
Bible. One of them is when Mary met Elizabeth and she said Elizabeth, and the baby in her
womb leapt. That was John the Baptist. And Elizabeth said the mother of my Lord. What a verse
that is. What is in you. Mary was – Elizabeth was six months pregnant. Mary, was she three
months pregnant? Was there three months or six months difference with Jesus and John the
Baptist? I’m not sure. Again, the pastor needs help!
Okay. Let’s put that right out there! With stammering lips we preach the Gospel! I have, you have in you this life of Christ. Don’t block it, grieve the Spirit or quench the Spirit but walk in faith. Come to the church by faith. Last week we
gave a list of why teenagers should come to the church. Remember the list? We are
encouraging people to fellowship, to sense the anointing, to discern the message, recognize
what is said. How important is it? Is it a message that brings me – is it something I don’t hear on
the TV, Fox News or CNN or my neighbor or professor at school. Is it a message from God?
That’s a good question, isn’t it? Is it from my Bible? Is it from the Spirit? Does it speak to me?
Does it edify me and build me up in faith? Does it provoke in me a response? Yes, I want that.
Yes, I believe that. Yes, I’m in fellowship. vs. 1. It’s not produced by us. It comes to us. It’s the
nature of God. Father, Son and Holy Spirit are one.
We are in fellowship in the Trinity and we fellowship with each other with many, many sisters and brothers in the same Spirit when that happens. We were in Washington, D.C., remember? The prayer time. 100,000 Christians with
Franklin Graham at the Lincoln Memorial. How precious it was to be standing in the midst of
100,000 Christians the police reported. They estimated that number and to feel I have fellowship
with these sisters and brothers. Beautiful. Very good. A lot happens when there is that unity. A
lot of unknown, unseen things happen. A lot of grace. A lot of love. A lot of encouragement. A lot
of words. A lot of peace and joy that happens amongst us. This is where we are going in our
message tonight. vs. 2. This is Aaron, Aaron’s beard. There was a large amount. There was a
batch of anointing oil that they made. I calculated one time 35 gallons for the oil. We don’t know
how much they poured on Aaron.
They could have, I suppose, poured the whole batch on him. He was soaked, saturated with the oil. It went all over him down to the ground, down to the bottom of his garments. He’s saturated in oil. What is the meaning? The anointing of the Holy Spirit that is on the Body of Christ, that goes from the head Christ down to us. It’s his will that we
would be anointed, that we would have a fellowship in the Holy Spirit. It’s his will that we would
not put our hand over our lip and stand out in the driveway saying, unclean! Unclean! I am
unclean! I am a leper! And have tattered clothes and be separated from the Body. Is that God?
Christ came to heal the leper. He came to redeem us. To change our life. Baptize us into the
Body and have fellowship in the Body. Go to John 12 please. vs. 24. One illustration I heard of
this is Egypt in a pyramid they found some rice. They found some rice granules in Egypt. They
did a dating on it. I don’t know how they did it, but supposedly the rice was a couple thousand
years old. There it was.
They planted it and it grew. It was not dead. It didn’t produce anything. It
was alone. It wasn’t useful. It was alone. It had no – it had the potential. It’s like the man out in
the parking lot saying, leper! Leper! Unclean! Unclean! And he abides alone. He’s alone. How
many years? Fifty? Sixty? Seventy years he’s alone. What does he need to do, but here it says
he must die. If it die, it brings forth much fruit. What does that mean for him to die? He has to die
to his self life. I am a leper. I have sinned. I am alone. I don’t belong. I don’t belong. I know I
don’t belong in there. I don’t belong in that church. I know I do not belong there. I know that.
What does Jesus say? Unless you die, you’ll be alone. You’ll just be the same. You’ll just be the
same. But if you die – to what? I have to enter into the assembly by faith. I have to believe. I have to hear what God says about me and leave my many feelings, my victimhood, my
alienation, my loneliness, my dysfunctionality.
I’m dysfunction. I just swear and curse at people all the day long. I’m angry with society. I’m angry with the world. I’m angry with God. I’m angry with the church and so on. Of course we see that with homeless people many times whatever
the causes. But I just say it doesn’t apply to them. It applies to me. We could be by ourselves
preserving our own life. One man could say I’m an artist. You don’t understand me. I got to be
alone. I just want to be alone. Give me some time. Maybe a couple years, ten years or so. Give
me a couple decades. I just want to be by myself. I’m an artist. I just want to be by myself. But
you got to ask yourself this question: Is that what my life is to be alone? Or if I die to my self-life
then I will bear fruit. I will be in the Body of Christ where he put me and be part of the Body of
Christ as a member in particular. When you are built up in the Spirit and then when you are
alone – there’s nothing wrong with being alone. We teach that.
Solitude is a Christian discipline. Solitude is a Christian discipline. It’s important to be able to be by myself. We teach that. But when I am by myself, it’s not in the flesh. I am filled with the Spirit. We are filled with the Spirit
because we learn to walk in the Spirit. If I am creative as an artist, God can use me but I am a
Spirit-filled artist. If I am a teacher, I am not alone. I’m in the Body and walking with God and
he’s giving me more. He’s filling me with the Spirit and leading us in fellowship and then when I
am doing my job, I am not just a teacher but I am a wise teacher or a Spirit-filled teacher or
mother or teenager or father or whatever. So, it’s a good message, isn’t it? vs. 25. Too many
people, too many of us we love our lives so much. We can’t lose it, but Jesus says you’re losing
it. You’re losing it. You love your life a lot. My life is the only life I have. I got one. I’m going to
live it. This is the world’s message. I’m living my life.
But it’s not Jesus’ message. Jesus is saying lose your life, and you will find your life in the Spirit. My heavenly Father gives you the Spirit so you can rejoice. A couple things to say about it in closing. Turn to Isaiah 58. I say in
closing just to get your attention! It might be true though! It might be! Okay. Isaiah 58. This is
what will happen to you in the Body of Christ. vs. 9. thank you, Jesus. You shall call and the
Lord shall answer. You shall cry and he shall say, here I am. Wow! This is pretty amazing.
What are the three things he says here? 1) Take away from the midst of thee the yoke. We
need to park there for a second. If you take away the yoke from your midst, what’s the yoke that
I have to take away from me? Watch. I’m a leper. Unclean! Unclean! I’m a leper. There’s a yoke
on me. I don’t belong. I don’t belong. I have sinned. I have sinned.
I’m a bad person. I’m a bad person. I’m a drug addict. I got bad habits. I swear a lot. You can’t trust me. I’ll cheat and lie to get to the top. That’s who I am. Jesus says if you take away from the midst of you the yoke,
those things that are holding you, – if you can die to yourself and surrender to me, I will take the
yoke off of you. I will take the yoke away from you. I will. I heard it recently in the last few weeks.
I love hearing salvation stories. I heard a number of people tell these amazing stories of how
Jesus Christ delivered them, and he took the yoke away. Isn’t that amazing? But my part of it is,
Lord, I like being a leper cause then I can be, you know, this is my world. I’m in this bubble. I
chose. I like to say to people, “unclean! Unclean! And stay away from me. Cause this is, that’s
my yoke. My yoke is my self-love. God is saying you better give that up to me and come by
faith. I’ll change, i’ll satisfy you. Oil will be poured. You’ll be delivered. You’ll be fresh. You’ll not
only be forgiven of your sins but do it no more.
Remember the woman. Neither do I condemn you. Go and sin no more. Do you think she did sin again? I mean adultery? Do you think so? I kind of think she was changed. Neither do I condemn you. Go and sin no more. That’s probably what happened to her. Probably she left and it was over. The yoke, the yoke is my self-love.
People love their sin so much it’s a bondage. God is saying come on. Give it up. Trust me. I’ll
take it away. I’ll deliver you. That happens in the Body of Christ. It does. Alright. 2) the putting
forth of the finger. I wonder if maybe Jesse, do you want to stand up here and act that part out?
Putting forth the finger. Go ahead. Okay. Yes. Putting forth the finger. Do you do that? Do you
put forth the finger? Is it accusing? You’re the problem. It’s your fault. It’s putting forth the finger.
That’s the – he did a good job, didn’t he? I got convicted when he pointing at me! It was
overwhelming! The third thing – let’s say putting forth the finger.
There are some people they have a nasty habit of accusing. They just accuse a lot. It says in Revelation 12 the devil, Satan, accuses the brethren day and night. Even on a good day, he’s not sleeping. He hasn’t stopped.
He does it day and night. And unfortunately, when I jump in to his program, I’m accusing the
brethren day and night, it’s hard for me to have Body life. When I find fault with you all the time
and I’m putting forth the finger as a way of life, how do I fit? How do I belong? When I have this as a habit? God says if you will not do that anymore. Stop doing that. The third thing is speaking
vanity. This is foolishness, emptiness, village gossip, constant accusations, maybe pop
psychology of suffering and emotional trouble and guilt and confusion and I’m upset about this
and about that and God is saying, you know, leave that in the parking lot and come in by faith
and get ready to hear what I have to say because what I have to say to you will heal you. What I
have to say is going to build you up in Christ.
What I have to say is going to guide you into usefulness, isn’t it? Look at vs. 10. Where did you get that light? Where did you get that? How come you are doing so good? How come you just seem happy all the time? Hey, what’s going
on? How come you got something fresh? Why aren’t you bored, bored half to death with
Christianity. Bored stiff with the whole thing about prayer and about Bible. You’re just bored to
death with the whole thing. Why? It seems God is saying that’s not me. That’s not me. I’m not a
boring God. I’m a living God. I give you light in obscurity. When others don’t have it, you get
some light. Some spiritual life. Some joy, peace, quietness, things are okay with you in your soul
and in your mind and heart. I say this not to shame us. I say this to instruct us. That any one of
us can find ourselves saying with the hand over the upper lip, unclean! Unclean! And all of this
happens to people. It’s not an uncommon thing, but the instruction is if you could die to yourself,
live in faith, walk in faith, stop pointing the finger.
Stop talking about your stuff complaining day and night. You might find yourself in fellowship in the Holy Spirit with your light arising out of obscurity and you’re darkness is like the noon day. Wow! I’m excited about Jesus. Jesus has
been in my bedroom. Jesus met me at lunch time. Jesus was with me on Saturday. Jesus was
with me in my quiet time. Christ was with me on the sidewalk. Christ was with me in my heart.
Christ was with me when I read this book that stirred my heart and built me up. Because of time
I want to leave it there and read something to you. We’ve got time, but look at vs. 11. He’s
instructing the Jewish people they were fasting but selfish. They were religious. You can read it
at the beginning of the chapter. The Jews were fasting but they had anger inside. They’re like
jealous of each other. They are fasting from food but they are not satisfying God because there
is some deep problem in their heart. I just say to you and to all of us, everybody that I just
believe we found a watering hole, a rock in a desert land, a shadow, a shade.
We found a resource. We found life. We found God saying to us, teaching us, come on. Trust me. I saved
you. Now, let’s grow. Let’s move. I’m going to help you. I’m going to guide you. I’m going to
guide you. I’m going to speak to you. I’m going to help you. I’m going to be with you. You’re not
going to be tempted as much as you used to be. When you are in this other state of mind, you
have temptations you wrestle with and many things. You’re going to do real good. I’m going to
take care of you. The thing I wanted to read in closing is something that touched my heart.
Martin Luther had a real fun relationship with his wife. He had physical problems at the end of
his life. And he had to travel to another town seventy miles away. Actually, he died there in that
town. His wife was concerned about him because of his health. “Luther’s wife of nearly 21 years
was not present at his bedside.
Four days earlier, Luther penned what would be his last two letters, one to his wife and another to a disciple. But Luther” – let’s see. What he said to his wife was funny, kind of funny. “He told his wife he planned to return home later that week. His business in [?] was finished. His health was much improved and he was sending ahead a gift of
trout. We have plenty to eat and drink and live like lords he said jokingly. We are well cared for,
even too well, so that we might easily forget about you people in Wittenberg.” he was dying. He
wrote that to his wife in his last letter to her. He was light hearted, I mean, you could say many
things about him, the good and the bad. He was not a perfect man. There are things about him
but I love to think a Spirit-filled person can look at death and say it’s okay. It’s okay. I’m ready.
When you are in the Body and you have this fellowship, you are not alone. Even when we die in Luke 16, God sends us angels to take us to heaven. We are not alone. Life is to be lived light-
heartedly. Life is sometimes a joke. It’s serious but come on! Jesus has saved us.
Redeemed us. Praise is our way of life. Singing, praise and thanksgiving. Stop putting forth the finger. What
was the other one? The last one? What was it? Speaking vanity. The foolishness of life.
Complaining. I can’t handle it. Stop complaining. Stop complaining. Be thankful. Have
thanksgiving in your prayer. Thanksgiving every day. Thanksgiving for you are alive. Are you
kidding me? Do you know how many people have died? Billions. Billions of them. You’re alive!
You and I are alive! We eat, breathe, drink. We eat trout. We live like lords. We don’t even –
what did he say? He said we might easily forget about you people in Wittenberg. A few hours
later he is gone because of chest pain and shortness of breath and other maladies that he had.
He probably had a heart attack and he was gone. But it’s okay. When you lose your life, and the
yoke is gone and you stop putting forth the finger and you stop talking foolishly and you learn
love and you learn being a servant and you learn rejoicing in the Body, then you have many
friends, much fellowship, a lot of joy and a divine purpose. Let’s go into the world with a
message and bring this Gospel message to Vietnam. Bring the Gospel message to small
countries, third world countries that people forget about. Let’s go to Bolivia. Let’s bring the
message to some small island somewhere in the South Pacific and let’s do it before we die.
That’s a good idea! Okay. Amen. That’s 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.