Our world is totally inconsistent. People have a sense that things should be just and right, but they aren’t. Some use the inconsistency of others to excuse their inconsistencies. We, however, have a Savior who is consistent in truth, love, mercy, forgiveness, and grace. Christ is always and forever the same. (Hebrews 13:7-8)

Speaker(s): Pastor Thomas Schaller, Pastor Kevin Lewis
Sermon 11914
11:00 AM on 7/5/2020

P. Kevin Lewis –

Good morning. Praise the Lord! Praise him! Praise him in this place! Didn’t you enjoy worship service this
morning. What a wonderful day it is. Praise him! Greetings from the Rome church, the Utica
church. I know they’re watching by internet this morning. I know they would want me to pass
on their love to you. Hopefully many of them will have a chance to come down for Convention
and we can continue our fellowship. When I try to explain to people where I’m from especially
those outside the state of New York, I say I’m from upstate New York. Somehow it still doesn’t
ring. It’s different from New York City. It’s different from N.Y. City. Very different. God has
brought me to geographically live in the place where the Eire Canal is in the foothills of the
Adirondack Mountains which is full of snow. I tell you this for this reason:

As a kid, from ages 2 to 10, I lived in Florida and not in New York. In my elementary school, my school used to sing
two songs that sort of stuck in my heard. One was “Sixteen Miles on the Erie Canal.” Remember
that song? You’re dating yourself if you know it. We’re all in the same boat. And, “I’m Dreaming
of a White Christmas.” Two really prominent songs. A little kid living in central Florida and in the
second grade I was confused a lot by those songs. One I had no idea what this Erie Canal was,
and the building of it and really had no frame of reference of a white Christmas. I had never
seen snow. I thought white Christmas was about white people! I said wow! I’m dreaming of a
white – okay! I guess it’s a song, so I have to go along with it. Just like the Erie Canal, I’ll go
along with it. Then I moved to Central New York and a new frame of reference about the Erie
Canal which is about 2 miles from my house and a new frame of reference about a white
Christmas.

Thank God for clarity. If you would, turn to Hebrews 13. I want to share some thoughts
on the consistency of our Savior. Vs. 7-9. This morning service, we talked a little about the
unrest and uncertainty that is happening and occurring in the world and more specifically in our
nation. Our economy is really uncertain. Past 3 or 4 years the economy has been robust and
booming. It was a time of plenty, but now there is a great deal of uncertainty. In our
environment and things impacting physical health, there was never a time I can recall in our
history we had to walk around with masked faces with concern of transmitting a disease that
could be and has been for some very deadly. There is tremendous uncertainty about how we go
forward.

There has been uncertainty especially in our nation with social and civil unrest. Things
and old wounds that have come up and caused a great deal of questioning and distress and
uncertainty of how we heal the divide. As I was pondering those things, I was thinking of Esther
4:14 when Mordecai says to Esther, “if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for
the Jews will arise from another place.” If you remain silent, God will deliver the Jews from
another place. But perhaps you have come to your royal position for such a time as this. Maybe
you are uniquely situated for this season. I believe the church of Christ is uniquely situated to
be a supply to one another in the Body and a beautiful example to the world what it means to
live and experience the consistently of the Savior.

What it means to put on display the love of God and show forth the character of Christ. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever. He is consistent in our lives. Consistent. Malachi 3:6 I am the Lord. I change not. Therefore the sons of Jacob are not consumed. God’s covenant promises have not changed. Numbers 23:19,
what he has said, he will fulfill it. James 1:17, Our Christ, our Savior is so consistent with us. There are many aspects of God’s character, Christ’s character we can talk about, but I want to
emphasize these five. The five aspects of the consistency of Christ: 1) Divine truth Christ always
displays for us, John. 14:6. We are always getting and receiving divine truth. That’s what I love so
much of hearing the preaching of the word. Its inputs of truth we need constantly. I found thy
word and it was the joy and rejoicing of my heart. We need constant truth.

There are so many things in the world vying for our attention and trying to get us to consider them and make them
viable. God says it is my word that will stand forever. Divine truth. Christ is always giving us
truth. 2) Love. 1 John. 4:16, we are always being loved by the Savior. I don’t know about you, but I
can never exhaust the love of Christ. I need it more and more and more. I have a job in the
environmental field. There is this new thing, this new movement of getting people out in nature
so they can de-stress. It’s called force bathing. You bathe in the force as you walk through it.
Yeah, it’s weird. I can’t even understand it myself. It’s this idea of trying to be all consumed. We
don’t have to go and bathe in the forest to feel peace and at home and secure. We have the
love of Christ that passes understanding.

We need that consistency of the love of Christ. 3) We need to consistently experience his mercy, Psalm 32:10. Mercy surrounding us. I like so need that God. To understand everywhere I look, everywhere I turn, I experience the input of this consistency of mercy. 4) Ephesians 1:7, The Savior because of the covenant and the blood on the
mercy seat we have forgiveness. We have it and are often reminded of it. We need it so
desperately. 5) Romans 5:2, We are standing in grace. There is the consistency of the reminder
because of the Savior that he sees us in grace which gives us an opportunity to live with a grace
orientation in life. The consistency of our Savior is he is always gracious to us. I was thinking
how blessed are we to have a Savior where there is no variation or shadow or a changing of his
mind. How blessed are we.

Totally saved, irrevocably secure. In Christ. In Christ Jesus the hope of glory in Colossians 1:27. That’s us. Those who are without Christ in the world don’t enjoy that type of consistent relationship. Melvin Lerner said those without Christ need and want to believe they live in a just world where they receive what they earn. Thank God I don’t receive what I earn. Thank you, Jesus. People without Christ believe and want to believe that they live in a just
world although their daily lives are continuously confronted with injustices either witnessed or
experienced. These individuals need to feel that the world is just in a way of dealing with their
feelings of helplessness and insecurity. The belief assumes that good things happen to good
people and bad things happen to bad people.

Even though we know there are tons of contradictions to that assumption, those without Christ try to some how find solace in this idea if they are good, only good things will happen to them. And the bad things happen to people
who are intrinsically bad. This is how they keep themselves safe. Those people with a high
belief in a just world have a hard time even seeing their own unfairness. Lerner says they are
fundamentally delusional. I think it’s imperative we understand that kind of thinking. If we are
not thinking, it can evade how we evaluate situations in life and how we understand trials and
tribulations. Many times our reactions and attempts to explain complex and multifaceted
events with simple and sweeping statements are indicative of a just world belief.

As believers, we would never think we know the world and the world system, and it is corrupt but there are
times that belief seeps into how we view the world. Rarely is anything ever black and white. Rarely. The world is full of inconsistencies. Full of it. We have the benefit and privilege in living
in what I think is the greatest country in the world. By far. Unbelievably. We just celebrated
another Independence Day. Praise God. Every Independence Day I pull out my Encyclopedia
Britannica, the 1976 edition, bicentennial. We are headed toward another one. The greatest
country on the earth by far and yet even in America there are wild inconsistencies in the land of
freedom and liberty and rugged individualism.

There is rapid oppression and centuries of systemic racism. It changes and morphs and comes back and hides and then is unveiled again. There are wild inconsistencies even in the greatest country on earth. In the world there are wild inconsistencies where there are wars and rumors of wars and people crying and wanting peace
but have no way of getting there. Brother is fighting brother. Acts 17:6, where the Spirit of the
Lord is indwelling our souls and teaching us how to glorify God, but the world is far from that.
The world is full of inconsistencies. People are totally inconsistent. Totally. Families, people can
be unbelievably inconsistent. In families where there should be love and support especially for
those we have biological investment in, it should come natural and easy, but it often doesn’t.
There are wild struggles to express love and care even in families. Many times our deepest
wounds come from those we are closest to.

This morning I shared a story about a man telling me about him being really angry. He got so angry putting together his daughter’s swing set that his daughter was actually afraid of him. I said to him, what was it that made you so angry? He said my dad never encouraged. He always beraided me. He told me I would never amount to
anything. He told me I was no good, I was incompetent. Every time I struggle to achieve
something, I just remember his voice echoing in my head. People are wildly, wildly inconsistent.
I thought of this as I was sharing this with him. We can use the inconsistencies of others as a
license to be inconsistent. Spurgeon said one way which sinners frequently excuse themselves
is by endeavoring to get some apology for their own iniquities from the inconsistences of God’s
people.

Ever have someone point out to you what they think is unacceptable behavior and they
say, is that what Christians do? Christians don’t act like that, do they? You are no different from
the world. Usually, I start out by saying, you don’t know what Christians do. Usually. Sometimes
it’s more colorful than that. The world is looking for the inconsistencies in God’s people as an
excuse for them to remain inconsistent, for them to remain unaccountable. Even in the Body of
Christ, we can at times be inconsistent. Even in the Body of Christ, I know, the holy and
sanctified group, we can be inconsistent. We can legalize grace. You got to receive grace and if
you don’t, it’s a problem. You don’t know God if you can’t receive grace. What’s the matter
with you? We can legalize grace or be graciously legalistic. You just don’t have it yet. You have
not matured.

I understand. You need to read your Bible more and pray more because that’s the
reason you are in the shape you’re in. You don’t understand the doctrine of grace. We can be
legalistically, graciously legalistic. We can at times be covetous. We can be covetous with
misplaced affections, knowing that we should set our hearts on things above. We can be
covetous. One of the thoughts I’m always surprised about that circulates in the hearts of people
is that we should live forever on the earth now. And when people get sick or they get close to
possibly dying, we freak out. Death is this tragic thing when we know the Lord has said our time
on earth is short but in eternity we will live forever. Sometimes we can get covetous. We can be arrogant and prideful and forget love endures all things. We can be prideful. But. There is a but.
We have a consistent Savior.

We have a consistent Savior whose divine inputs are truth where
he is always giving us divine truth and divine life. His inputs are love, this love that passes
understanding and will never cease and never end. This divine input of mercy surrounding us.
The divine inputs of forgiveness and grace. As we look into the mirror of the Word, it is his
consistently that establishes our heart. His consistency establishes and stabilizes our spiritual
lives. We are like so blessed. I was counseling a Christian couple whose 20-year marriage was
rocked by infidelity. Devastated. The husband was riddled with guilt and didn’t have an answer.
The wife was filled with rage a and devastation. Couldn’t believe God would allow something
like this to occur. Couldn’t imagine it that her grand idea of romance had been shattered. For
two years was crying and yelling and fighting.

A lot of of talking. A lot of praying with sackcloth and ashes. A lot of questioning. After 2 years, they both stopped blaming and began to experience the consistency of the Savior’s truth and love and mercy and forgiveness and grace. There was a huge turnaround in their marriage which resulted in spiritual growth, a deepening
in their walk with God and renewed commitment in their marriage because of the consistency
of the Savior’s input. The world wants to think that it is just, and we clearly know that it isn’t. As
believers, we don’t have to apologize for our inconsistency. We don’t have to go around
apologizing for our inconsistency because in John. 8:32, truth has set us free. Truth has set us free.
It’s the truth, this input from the Savior that we are not our mistakes. We are not our
deficiencies. We are in Christ, perfect in him. When he sees us, he doesn’t see our sin. We don’t
have to apologize for our inconsistencies.

Truth has set us free. In John 13, God has committed to love as he has loved us. Don’t apologize. Love as I have loved you. Let divine love in Romans 12:9 be without hypocrisy. Just love people. In James 2:13 let mercy rejoice against judgment. You don’t have to judge them for judging us. Let mercy rejoice. I don’t even have to find out why
you are judging me. I can just freely give you divine mercy. In 1 John 1:7-9 because of the input
of the Savior, we can walk in the light as he is in the light, having fellowship one with another,
not hiding from our own sins but learning how to confess them because we have already been
forgiven. We have already been forgiven. Titus 2:12 let grace teach us how to live in this
present world, this grace we are standing in. It’s his consistency the consistency of the Savior
that stabilizes our lives and allows us to be consistent. Amen.

P. Schaller –

That was a very good video. One thing to notice is July 13 th is not a Saturday. If you
took note of that. I don’t know what day is that. It’s a week from tomorrow. That’s not P. Bob’s
fault. It’s just the script he read. Heads are going to roll! Those things happen. The message –
this is so important for us that we would have the mind of being able to process what we see
going on in the world. You have the, you and have to be prepared for what is happening that
we are looking at in life. You can’t be nonchalant. Nonchalant! That’s French! You cannot just
go with the flow. You cannot do that. You cannot do that. You have to be awake, engaged with
God. God is the only answer for life. Thank you very much for the few hands over here.
Seriously, I mean, I can see people, Christian people.

You know how I am. I got something to say about it. Thank you so much, pastor. Thank you so much. This is how we are going to live the next ten years is a big deal. It’s a big deal. This is crazy. I need Christ’s heart and mind for my life and people I love and for the church and my family and grandchildren. This is important. This is
crazy some of this. Some of it I understand. I’m done. Pray for me to leave the platform! Here
we go. We’ll close with an invitation. All the believers, we want you to pray. There may be one
person listening on the internet. This is all about one person that we don’t know that has been
listening. It’s about one person coming to Christ by faith. Come to Jesus by faith. I don’t know
who you are, if you are on the internet or in the auditorium.

You came and you listened and its God speaking to your heart and saying to you personally come to me. Trust me. When you do that, when you come to Jesus by faith, you are born again. You are born of the Spirit. It’s the
greatest miracle. The birth of a physical little baby is a great miracle, but this is even greater.
This would not happen without the first one. You have to be born physically into this life to
have your second birth, a spiritual birth. That is for you today right now. Pray with me.

 

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