Consider the question who is God? We are amazed at His nature. To grasp who we are worshipping leaves broken and amazed. Small God concept leads to large amount of sinful living. (Micah 6:3; Luke 7:37-50)
Speaker(s): Pastor Thomas Schaller, Pastor Eugene Davis
11:00 AM on 3/21/21
P. Eugene –
Good morning everyone. Yard signs still available. Our Easter Play coming up. As you can see, the stage is
transformed. The band is over here. The band used to be here; now they are there. It’s because
of the Easter play. I’m so excited as a local church that we are doing this. This is one of the
most amazing outreaches we’ve had for decades and decades in the city of Baltimore. March
30, April 1 – 3. Just be praying for those actors, director, lights, sounds. Most of all people. That
people would come and people would get saved and lives will be transformed. You can pick up
the yard signs as well as invitations and flyers at our hospitality after service. That will be great.
Today we are having a baptism. It’s going to be awesome. Excited for people getting baptized
and making declarations before God and before the angels and the Body and going forward
with Christ. If this is your first time at a GG service, would you mind raising your hand if that is
you? Anyone? Welcome. Welcome.
Great you can join with us and worship with us. After our
service, you are welcome to our visitor center and receive a little bit of information about us.
We’re so glad you are here. Keep coming. For a little introduction this morning, I was thinking of
this thought: what it means the will of God. I was thinking about this. Remember when it was a
drag for you to come to church? Literally. Maybe you were a teenager or a young person and
your parents dragging you to church. Or just giving or singing. There was a fight. There was a
battle. But in Psalm 40:8, speaking of Christ, “I delight to do thy will O God. Thy law is written in
my heart.” What happens? The natural man doesn’t want to do the will of God, Rom. 8:6-8.
There’s a war. But something happens in Ezekiel 36:26. God gives us a new heart and a new
spirit and all of a sudden we are excited about doing the will of God. We’re running to the will of
God. It’s amazing. The natural mind doesn’t understand. People drive by. Poor people. They are
dragged to church. I can’t believe they are there! But if they only knew. What we heard in the
9:00 service, God has become big. That’s what’s amazing, the will of God.
When God becomes big, then it’s no longer about my will. It’s about God’s will. That’s the most amazing thing that
happens. As we think of the offering and giving, we delight to do the will of God. It’s not a drag.
It’s not grievous. It’s not a burden. We’re not under bondage. We’ve been delivered from
ourselves and when we are delivered from ourselves, the will of God is my delight bcause of a
new heart and new spirit. As we give, we are giving to the will of God. The will of God is that
people would know him, lives would be transformed, people would get saved, and come and sit
and hear the Word of God. I met a young man here after the first service. He was so blessed by
P. Schaller’s message. He said I want to follow God. I want to follow God. What do I do? I said,
come to Bible college. That’s the will of God. I invited him to come and sit and listen and begin
to hear how God sees you. This morning as we give, it’s God’s will but it’s not grievous because
God’s Spirit and heart which are new inside of us responds to God’s will and we delight to do it.
P. Schaller –
Beautiful. Great. Yes. Okay, we’re going to preach in a minute or so and good to
see everybody this morning. What a joy to be together and how good we feel. How good we feel
in the Lord. It’s very good. I have a lot of papers here. Okay, so let’s have – would you stand
with me for a moment and let’s have a prayer for our country. How about two parts to the prayer.
One, by yourself or with the person next to you. Say a prayer for our government, for the
churches across the country, for a revival, evangelism ministry and then the other part of the
prayer I will close in the prayer. Go ahead. Martin Luther King Jr. said something very profound.
Many times he did. He said this, “All I say to America is be true to what you said on paper.” He
said, “If I lived in China or even Russia or any totalitarian country, maybe I could understand the
denial of certain first amendment privileges because they hadn’t committed themselves to that
there. But somewhere I read of the freedom of assembly. Somewhere I read of the freedom of
speech. Somewhere I read of the freedom of the press. Somewhere I read that the greatness of
America is the right to protest for right.”
Our concept of God. Who is God? It’s important in life. We understand because of our sin nature, it’s so easy for us to have a small concept of God. Maybe a God that we would carry in our back pocket, so if we ever got in trouble, we could pull him out and say a prayer. Maybe a God that will be like me and whatever I want my God will say
yes you can have it. Whatever you want, it’s yours. You can have it. To me, you and I we get
along together and I am like you and you are like me. There are many concepts that people
have of God and many times we read in the book of Jeremiah in chapter 7, the Jewish people
had a twisted concept and they followed idols because of it. That’s what I want to speak about this morning, what the Bible teaches about the importance of who God is. When we were born
again and Christ came into our life, he gave us the Holy Spirit who is our teacher who will guide
us into understanding God. It takes time to grow in that and sometimes there are sudden, “Oh!
ah, aha moments. That’s amazing. That happened to me sitting in a congregation like this very
quietly and back in the early years of my Christian life, I was not used to listening to sermons
but my pastor really exhorted me to pay attention and listen because the Holy Spirit wants to
teach me. It happened. I started to understand and love.
I started to love myself. I started to love God. First God. God loves me. That’s important. He loves me first and then to love him and love myself and then love others. If this is not right, if my concept of God is so small, I can take or
leave him. I can believe in him or not. It doesn’t matter or the God that I am believing in there is
no real change in my life regarding life. Life is for most people it’s about myself. It’s about me
and my importance and how people see me. It’s about money or my job or my life is about my
family, my possessions. Life is basically me. Our culture reinforces that. Our culture is teaching
constantly that your life is about you. You are first. You deserve this. This is normal. This is
natural. Everybody does it. Of course, this is the way we are. But the concept of life reduced to
me is too small. And this is why I believe it’s connected to a health crisis in our country. We
have two of them. We have the pandemic and then we have mental health crisis. That’s a
greater one. Suicide rates are up, depression, anxiety, fear.
Why? Cause life built around me is too small. Life built around a sinner, around anyone of us is no real life. God has not made us to live as us as the ultimate goal. When he came to the Jewish people and he spoke to the first
man, the first Jew was Abraham. He was a Hebrew which means from beyond the river.
Abraham came from the Ur of the Chaldees, on the other side of the river and he was called to
this side to walk by faith and God would show himself to Abraham and to his son, Isaac and his
grandson, Jacob and Jacob’s twelve sons in Egypt and Joseph. Then 400 years later, bring
them out by the hand of God. God would in history show himself to be more than what we could
imagine him to be. God would reveal himself to the Jews, to Moses. They came out of Egypt
through the Red Sea being baptized unto Moses under the cloud and they made it out. History
goes on and on for 2,000 years from Abraham to Christ. But they still didn’t see. I’d like you to
turn in your Bibles to Jeremiah 7:8.
I believe the book of Jeremiah parallels the United States of America today because I believe that the United States is turning away from God. I believe that the culture of our world is more and more anti-God, anti-Christianity, anti-Christ, anti-Bible. The media, the press, some parts of government. That’s the day we are living in. They are suffering
as a result in many ways. But let’s read the Scripture. Jeremiah 7:8. What’s the characteristic of a
false prophet? You have a false prophet exaggerates man’s importance. A false prophet
exaggerates the value, the world of me. The false prophet is talking about me. What do you
want? Do you want sex? You can have as much as you want. Do you want money? You can
have as much as you want. Do you need to be respected? Do you want justice? What do you
want? False prophets are talking about me and telling me what I want to hear. Is it okay sexually
I can make the call whatever I want with whoever I am, whatever I do? Yeah. Yeah. Of course.
This is you. This is the god of Aphrodite. This is the pagan god. In the church in Sardis, there
have been archeological digs in Turkey.
The church in Sardis, fourth century, there is a building there and next to it was a pagan temple of sexual prostitution. Jesus talked to the church in Sardis in Revelation 3 and said you have a name that you live but you are dead. You have a name that you live. It’s like a church today. Maybe they have a name that they live but they are dead. I
want to add to this. One author did. He said it might be that they would go to the church and
then walk across the street to the pagan temple for sexual activity. The same Christian? They
have a name that they live but they are dead because they live in sin. They live by lying words.
How can that happen in a church? It’s happening everywhere, isn’t it? Except we don’t have a
building we are going to. You just go to the internet. That’s where you get your world of fantasy
and self-lust or interest or pleasure. Why does that happen? Because their God is too small.
They can’t find God. They don’t know God. They don’t realize who God is. How awesome God
is. How incredibly holy. How righteousness is a joy for us. So let’s read this. Jeremiah 7:8-9. Murder?
What goes on on the streets of Baltimore.
Murder. Murder in the street? Yeah, murder. You steal. You murder. What else do you do? Commit adultery and swear falsely and burn incense unto Baal. Who’s Baal? The fertility god. He’s the god of fertility, sexuality. What kind of god is
he? He will bring you down to – you’ll just be consumed with your own passion, desire, etc. Is
that a life to live? Is that satisfying? Is there any deep edification? Is there some change? Is there any holiness in it? No. God is broken hearted because his prophet Jeremiah is talking to
these people and saying this is what you are doing. By the way, it’s beautiful when a false
prophet can’t tell you the truth because he doesn’t know it and he doesn’t have a clue but he is
ready to talk and also destroy. You have free choice but you don’t choose the consequences of
your free choice. You have free choice but the consequences are from God. How about the HIV
positive infection. The people that practice, 80% of them, because of practicing homosexuality
but you never hear about it.
There’s 40,000 new cases every year. And this has been every year. There has not been a decrease. It’s just constantly infection and infection and infection. Isn’t it a viral infection? What about that? You never hear about it. You never hear about it. All I hear about is masks. You know. What? Ah? There’s a pandemic. Let’s go to chapter 7: 9-10. It
says you will not. Doesn’t it say? Let’s see. vs. 10. That’s what I mean. They could be at the
house of God and they go do these things and then they come back to the house of God.
They’re in the house of God. They go and do these things whatever it is that they do and then
they come back to the house of God. I want to be very kind and encouraging this morning and
say in truth and persuasion that God is extremely real, very real. God is very satisfying. To
those that are suffering mentally with more anxiety than you can handle, I want to say to you
beautifully and just in a word of encouragement, God can take care of you. If you are afraid,
God is the answer. If you are troubled, and you have a lot of anxiety and maybe medications
and so on and that’s you and your doctor but I got to say I believe we are way over medicated
than what we really need. What we really need is the Lord.
The actual understanding of him. The relationship with God. This is why he’s crying out to these people and they are hurting. Read it with me, vs. 10. I don’t know if you got that. We stand in the house of God and we say
we are delivered to do these things. Really? You can lie and cheat and commit adultery and
that’s okay? No, you can’t. Of course you can but the consequences are disastrous. It’s better to
know God, isn’t it? Imagine who he is, the suffering Messiah. This is Easter season and we
have a couple weeks. We have a message tonight on Gethsemane. We have message on the
cross next Sunday and the next Sunday the resurrection Sunday. We have our Easter play and
we just want to – please understand this – with all our hearts we pray that people would know
Jesus because he is the point. We have nothing to boast in except him. I can’t believe that God
is as humble and gracious and condescending and gentle and kind and compelling as he is. I’m
amazed at how much he came and what he did, how he talks to us.
Now he’s talking to his people and it could be like to the American people. God will say I know what you are doing and I
feel the pain. I know about you. vs. 11. I think that’s how some people think of the church. It’s
nothing different. I go to the prostitution temple. I come back to the church. I go to business. I go
to the church. Is the church a place for the den of robbers. Is it just a layer of animals in a hole?
Is my church just people being the same as people in the world. Or is my church a place where
the holiness of God rests on people and is in the hearts of people and we love righteousness. Is
my church my name is highly exalted? Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name.
Jesus showed it to us. When he was here he said that verse. He said it in John 2. My house is
not to be a den of robbers. He cleansed the courtyard. In a spiritually way, that’s what we must
do. We must have the same fire, the same passion, the same understanding. I cannot, God
says my eyes cannot behold the evil. I’ve seen the murder on the streets of Baltimore. I’ve seen
the adultery in the church even. I’ve seen the dishonesty. I’ve seen the heart. I’ve seen the
The guilty person. I’ve seen the sick person. I’ve seen them and I care about
them and I’m crying out to them. I’ve sent prophet after prophet after prophet and sometimes
they kill the prophet. I’ve sent another prophet. I send another prophet. And then I sent my Son.
In sending my Son, I’m saying the same. I want to show you my nature. I’m a holy God, an
awesome God, a powerful God, a wise God, a righteous God, a satisfying God. I am the bread
that if you eat it, you will never be hungry. If you drink this water, you will never be thirsty. If you
come unto me I will never cast you out. I will give you an easy yoke and a light burden. Come
unto me. God is saying. But I am God not this, you know. God. That’s what changed your life.
That’s what changed the pagan world. Where is the temple of Aphrodite? It’s in ruins. What
happened to these pagan temples and those practices?
Christianity won. How could it win in a pagan world? How could it win in a Communist world like China? How could it win in the Hindu world? How could it win? If it’s God and you know God, you can’t stop it. It’s in you. It does good
things. In the last 30 years here in Baltimore, everybody knows us. We can go out on the street
and people say pastor. They know you. They know our church. They know our Easter play. We have a food pantry. Tons of food is delivered, picked up, some is delivered. Midnight Express.
Homeless. Good News Clubs. Youth, sports, sports clubs. Thirty different locations in the city
with sports clubs. Nursing home, prison ministry, June Alive, addiction ministry, Grieve Share,
weekly youth ministry, live nativity, counseling, helping hands, small groups, NBA chaplain,
Baltimore city police volunteer chaplains and many things we have done through the years.
Where do we get the energy? Where do we get the desire? How do we do that? Why do we
think about that? We’re not just here in Baltimore but we’re in 700 other churches.
This is from our graduates and also 50 years in 70 countries. How did that happen? What’s going on? It is.
That’s why when we assembly, we are serious because we come before God. This is not a
social club. You think this is Home Depot or a bowling club or softball team? Huh? Is this the
same thing as a health club or university classroom? The world minimizes God and exaggerates
man and as we exaggerate God under our own gravity we sink in the swamp. When you get the
truth through Jesus Christ, man is not that important. We are talking about the Almighty God
that made us. We come under God. Isn’t that amazing. vs. 11. I see it. I see it. Nobody gets
away with anything with God. That’s why when you sin, you confess it and walk before God by
faith. He is a gracious God and loving God but don’t try to hide it. I had a little illustration in my
mind. When my children were two years old, they could hide behind the curtain.
The curtain would move. Where is Justin? Where is Justin? He’s there behind the curtain hiding from daddy.
It was a game and we played. I can’t see you! I’m playing with the curtain and he’s there and
that’s fun. That’s playing a game. But if he’s 18 years old and size 10 shoes are sticking out
from behind the curtain and he’s hiding from me, it’s not so much fun anymore. And God like
talks to us like adults. Are you serious? You think you can do that? That you are sacrificing me
on the altar of the immediate or the temporal? You sacrifice the eternal? You would rather have
a sandwich than a living relationship like Esau who sold his birthright for a bowl of soup. He
gave up the eternal for a bowl of soup. You’re going to cheat yourself by having sex outside of
God, outside of his will, outside of his plan and do that and believe you are going to walk with
God at the same time? It’s not going to happen. He says I see it.
It’s not – Justin, I expect you, I expect us to have a relationship that you really know me. You’re 17 years old now. We can have a dad, father-son talk. And you show up and I show up and this is like us and God. That’s an
awesome way to live. vs. 12. I would need to explain that. That has to do with Eli, 1 Samuel 2. The
judgment that came on Eli and his family. vs. 13-16. I hear in that God’s anger. I hear in that his
frustration. I hear in that his cry. If you read the next and see Jeremiah weeping in chapter 9:1-
2, what’s Jeremiah saying? They are selling themselves to false teachers. What false teachers
do we have in our culture today? They are everywhere. They are in Hollywood. They are on the
news. They are university professors. They are teachers. They are on radio programs. They are
on sitcoms. They are everywhere. They are lying. They are lying. It’s not the way to live. So we
started our Christian school. Remember the Christian school movement in America? Why did
we? Because the public schools are teaching false teaching and dads don’t sit with their sons
and talk. Sons are not spending any times with their dad and moms.
There is a detachment. They are being taught ungodly things and they never find God. They don’t find God. That’s what
we are all about. You found God. You found God. Are you talking about God? Are you bringing
the Gospel of God? Are you sharing the message of grace? Do you have any interest and care
for the people that are around us and suffering? Mental health crisis. That’s what they call it.
Mental health crisis. Aren’t the pills working. “They have healed the hurt of the daughter of my
people slightly” (Jeremiah 8:11). How? Slightly. What does it mean? Medication. That’s a healing.
Slightly. I’m not contesting doctors and the world of drugs, pharmaceuticals and so on in an
absolute sense. I’m not saying that. I’m thankful also for all the health care workers, doctors,
medical science, etc. But I don’t think a bottle of alcohol is going to help me be healed from the
hurt that I have. The hurt of the daughter of my people slightly. Okay. We’re made for God. God
will heal me. He will satisfy me. No. You need a vacation. Maybe I need God. No, don’t even
think about it. Don’t worry about it. You need a drug.
You need to relax. You need an affair. That’s actually counsel in the world. You need a sexual affair. That’s what you need as a person. This is Ephesians 5, Paul said it’s even ashamed to talk about the things they do in darkness.
It’s even a shame to even talk about it. That’s how immoral and problematic our society is.
Where is the church? The church is shut down. The church. Where’s the church? It’s shut down
because of covid. Where’s the church? It’s shut down. People are afraid. People are going to
get sick. They’re going to die. It’s over. Shut it down. No, wait a minute. Who is God? Is he the one that walks on the water? Is he the one that came to save us? Is he the one that visits us?
Waking up early morning, didn’t he say that? I am the one who has sent my prophets in chapter
7 and it says – where does it say that? I missed that part? I can’t find it. Jeremiah 7:13, what? I got it
first thing in the morning I spoke to you. First thing rising up early I sent a prophet. After you
killed him, I sent another prophet. After you killed him, I sent another prophet. I care about my
people. I care. I see their pain. I see their suffering
I see their loneliness, their emptiness. I see the false prophets and the messages they are listening to and receiving and believing this is normal. Don’t you know this is the day we are living in? Don’t you know we are in this modern
era? Don’t you know? I get worked up about it. Do you know that intellectuals, 1900, 1910,
1920, before the war, then between the two world wars, between World War I and World War II
intellectuals were thinking about there’s no more war. There’s a new society, a brave new world.
That’s what they believed. Then what blew that out of the water? World War II and Hitler. What?
What? Maybe as much as 100 million people dead. That’s your brave new world? It doesn’t
work. The human nature is the problem and the only answer is the Messiah. The only reality
that will change your life is Jesus Christ. The only one that gives, does the actually reality and
this is not false teaching because they will tell you what you want to hear. We will tell you that
Christ is the only way. He’s the way, the truth and the life.
There is nobody like him. He’s the incarnation of God. He’s the one that died. And was raised from the dead and is seated at the right hand of God and by the way, sisters and brothers, you know it. He’s coming back. Yes, he
is. Yes, he is. He’s coming back. Yes, he is. Did I finish? I think so. Let me think. Where did we
go. We did this and the tears of Jeremiah, the broken heart and then when Jesus came, could
you find somebody more humble, more obedient, more righteous, more truthful? Could you find
somebody who could stand in society and say I know you guys are doing the best you can but
you don’t have a clue. You don’t know what is going on. I know you guys got the religious thing
going. You got your world that you are doing but you are suffering. I’m watching you struggle
and drown under the weight of your own gravity. You are going down just by leaving you alone.
You’re gone, gone, gone. You’re very good. Congratulations. You put a man on the moon. You
got an iPhone. Very good. Hey, I got a question? How much money are you going to steal using
your iPhone? How much pride do you have for walking on the moon?
But I give you, I’ll say to you, you can’t even walk on the earth. You don’t even know what it is to be a man. You don’t
even know what it is to have character, to suffer. You don’t know what it is to have integrity and
honesty and suffer for it. You don’t know what it is to know the God of truth. I’m here to show
you. I’m the answer Christ says. That’s what we got. That’s what we got Easter season. That’s
what we got all year round. This is our message. This is our interest. This is our ministry. And
when we assemble and receive the encouragment and the love and the understanding from our
Heavenly Father, then we can do things in the city of Baltimore. We can be helpful. We can love
each other. Laugh. Talk. Hug. Kiss. Minister. Seek. Preach. Share. Love. Listen. Counsel.
Where do we get it from? From Him. And he says forsake not the assembly as many do as you
see the day approaching. Forsake not assembling often one with another. That’s what we are
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.