Paul and David had so much, but they knew that they were by the grace of God. Cain and Saul became murderers at heart through envy. The Lord brings things into our lives to keep us humbled and aware of who He is. (2 Corinthians 12:1-8)
Pride, Thorns and Sufficient Grace
Speaker(s): Pastor Thomas Schaller, Pastor Justin Schaller
7:00 PM on 9/25/2019
P. Schaller –
Good evening. Where’s my tie? Who stole my tie?! I’m heading to the airport. My plane is 9:20. My wife is
down here and we’re going to go. I’m flying to France. We have a conference in southern
France 4 days and then Geneva one day and back on Tuesday evening. Thanks to the Body that
makes this happen, just every person. I thought of sharing one verse before I run out the door
there. Also the Dutch family that came from New Tribes.
This great couple, would you stand for a minute? These guys are amazing. Last night here they did a whole evening, and they were amazing sharing their heart for lost people in Papua, New Guinea and living there with tribal
people sharing a message. Last time they were here was 6 years ago. I hope we’re here 6 years
from now and you’ll be back and I’m here, too. Do you feel your life in following Christ that
there is something quietly, deeply moving in your life that you are better off in a spiritual way
today than a year ago or three years ago or five years ago?
It is true. Now, in the end times, we are taught in the Scripture about the end times and the amount of trouble that is happening on the outside of people’s lives and on the inside. The prophets, Daniel who writes his prophecy
and at the end he says those that are wise will consider these things and it will not be known.
Then we read in the end of Zephaniah and Micah and Amos often times at the end of the book
of the prophet there is a word there for people like us.
I want to show it to you in Hosea, chapter 14. He goes through this amazing description of backslidden Israel and judgment and God’s love and mercy for the people. 14:9, now, I believe that when I’m ungodly and I develop
those ungodly habits as a way of life and thinking, it continues. That’s like a group of people.
That’s the nature of the world. This is the way it goes. I got this table now. It’s new. Working off
a butcher table! Who is wise. This is something different.
Those people are quietly growing in understanding. We are understanding spiritual life and truth and love, faith, and joy. We are understanding and there is a disaster and then there is this word from God to people like us.
I’m not going to leave you empty. You’re going to understand these things. You’re going to
understand the way of the devil and what he does. You’ll understand what bad decisions bring
people. You’ll understand how to be guilty and hurt and condemned. You’ll understand in our
society what they are teaching our children and believing about abortion and dishonesty.
You are going to be wise going in the other direction. There is something going on in your heart,
assembling and getting a word and loving each other and living in faith and anticipating a
kingdom coming. Vs. 9. When it is right, and you are walking in it, it’s increasing, and you have
this simplicity and joy and it’s just right. You understand this in dark and difficult times but
there is an increase from God in your life. You look at the other thing and see these amazing
changes and it’s wicked or unrighteous or not good.
That grieves me or you say, really? Really? Is that what is going on? I’m shocked. This is the way it is. We say that is not the way it is for me. I’m growing in something that comes from God. This has an end. Eternally no, but it’s no
party. This one is. This will increase and when he ran out of wine, the best wine came later. We
always say when you follow Jesus, it gets better and better. That’s what I’m feeling in my heart
tonight. God bless you. Awesome.
P. Justin Schaller –
Okay. Good evening. How are we? This is nice here, huh? Can I get some
appetizers, kick my feet up! I feel like I’m the boss at the office. P. Shibley. Where is P. Shibley?
Impossible? Pray. He got these wrist bands from the Silver Spring church. I had the privilege of
going down and spending some time with him. You have to pack a fleece blanket, a lunch, – it’s
such a trip! I worked under him in Bible college.
It’s awesome to see what is happening in Silver Spring. They have an amazing building. Was it last year you bought a building? They have Sunday school, kitchen, awesome chapel. We need people like him in the church. People
behind him say if he can do it, maybe I can do it. Sorry to call you out. He lives in Harford
county; it’s been over a decade he’s been doing it. The fruit of his ministry is evident, and God
has blessed him with this amazing building.
We don’t do things the way other ministries do. We just do it. He’s one of those guys. When you want to quit, think of P. Shibley driving up and down 95. That’s my shout out! That’s all you get, P. Shib. We need each other, don’t we? This church has so many examples around the globe. It’s astonishing to see the character of people
in this church. It’s so refreshing. I have three portions of Scripture. I do have something to say. I
have it in my heart and mind and we’ll pray God can give us something to chew on.
We’ll go off of what my father just shared. (Prayer). Ge 4, 1 Sam 18, 2 Cor 12. I want to lay a foundation of
what we want to say. Ge 4 is the story of Cain and Abel. We know the story. Right at the
beginning, we think it’s bad now, but we have murder at the beginning of the Bible. Abel came
and brought his offering. Cain brought his and it was rejected. Because his brothers was
accepted, Cain had jealousy and envy in his heart.
Jealousy and envy can take people out. You can’t let it sit in your heart too long. It’s in our old heart naturally. It can pop its head up in many different situations. We see it in our hearts. The more we mature in Christ – I remember
P. Colban preached a message last summer. The flesh is flesh. It doesn’t change. The sin I had
20 years ago could pop up again. I guard myself against it. We have envy and jealousy. Cain was
depressed. Your emotions can take you on a wild roller coaster ride. Depressed, low self-
A person saw I was down in the dumps and said self-pity is another manifestation of
pride in my heart. I feel I should be more than I am. Cain is saying I’m angry. Vs 7. the Lord
spoke to him. The Lord is so gracious, and kind. He can speak to a man that committed murder.
Vs. 7. It’s an interesting Hebrew word of an animal waiting at the door waiting to devour him.
The devil will let you go a long time in your envy and pride. Sin is like a wild beast.
He’s sleeping at your door and you think it won’t harm you until one day he wakes up and he’s hungry. That
sin manifested in murder and he murdered his brother. You can talk to people who have
committed murder in the hotness of their anger and say I don’t know what came over me. We
could say it’s always been there. It’s been sleeping and had an opportunity to snap on you and
eat you up. We only have the decision of what we are going to worship.
If man worships himself through his own pride and deceit, it will eat you up. We see the story through the Bible, 1 Sam 18. We started last night in Federal Hill on the life of David, Jonathan and Saul. To make a few
points in the story. Saul is a perfect picture of that sin waiting to devour him. David and
Jonathan being representation of a spiritually- minded man. 1 Sa 18, David killed Goliath while
Saul was waiting there all those days doing nothing.
The little wimp on the side lines. The king of Israel didn’t do anything but a young, Jewish boy who had faith in the power of God took the sling and stones and killed Goliath. Over here was Jonathan. Vs. 1. We see this as spiritual
friendship which it is, two spiritually minded people that were knit together. The Spirit of God
gave me the victory. The Spirit came in me and gave me the strength and power to do it.
Jonathan also went out to battle and the Lord gave him a great victory.
When you have spiritually minded people, when they hear the testimony of another spiritual person, their soul
is knit to that person. Our relationships are not based on fleshly likes, dislikes, but it’s based
upon what God is doing in all of us. vs. 2 Saul took him into his house. Vs. 3. Do you remember
Saul tried to give David his armor, but it didn’t fit, but Jonathan’s armor fit. Spiritual
relationships mean that the things that minister to us that come from another spiritual person
A carnal man can’t build us up or give us armor in a spiritual way vs. 5-7. David went to
the battle to kill Goliath that his brother deterred him, and said, who are you that you are going
to do this? You’re just a silly, little boy. David passed that test. He didn’t think too highly or
lowly of himself either. He had confidence in the Lord. When you have someone who has low
self-esteem which is a form of pride, they can get deterred very easily when any objection
comes in their calling.
Now we have a test that David is being praised but doesn’t let it go to his
head. He passed the test. This is a test the Lord sent to see what is in his heart, but David
passed it. Saul didn’t pass it. Vs. 8. Have you ever noticed when you are living in pride, jealousy,
or envy, you have vain imaginations. Your mind takes you to places that are not reality. Saul
sees all of a sudden that his little emotions get hurt because of his pride, his inflated idea of
who he was.
He is insecure and it gets poked. All of sudden, his whole world shatters to the
point that he is saying, what are you going to steal my kingdom? David is thinking what is wrong
with this guy. This guy is so insecure. Vs. 10. David played the harp to Saul because it was a
ministry to Saul. It’s interesting in the story that David is there, and he is playing the harp for
the benefit of Saul. What is in Saul’s hand but a javelin. Vs. 11.
The awesome thing about reading Scripture is you can see God’s plan from start to finish. God uses an evil spirit in a proud man to humble David. He’s anointed David. He has the throne. But he’s going to test David, a
man of war, a man coming back with the head of a giant in his hand. He is going to allow him to
be attacked to see what comes out of his heart. He comes back and plays the harp for Saul.
Jonathan gave David his throne because he cherished honoring God more than the throne of
Israel. And David passed the test because it was his rightful throe he could take from Saul, but
he decided it was spiritual authority and it was God’s business of taking Saul out when he
wanted to. He allowed it to happen. He spent years running from cave to cave being chased by
this wild man who is proud of himself and insecure.
David did it saying I’m not going to touch him. God has sent him because it’s going to humble me. 2 Cor. 12 we have the apostle Paul and I think this is an important message for us. We can be so offended. We can be so self-centered. We can be so consumed with ourselves. When we read the Scripture, I see myself in Saul, but I
also see something else working in my members that’s in David and the apostle Paul. Paul
writes his letter to the Corinthian church because they turned their back on Paul.
Paul spent two years in Corinth planting this church. These people that are in his church are his people. But
now all of a sudden, false teachers come into the church and start to malign Paul. They say his
speech is uncomely. It’s plain. He doesn’t speak with the wisdom of the world. This part of the world sophisticated speech, this was Plato, Aristotle, Socrates, the wisdom of men, the
philosophies, the psychology and Paul is this little man and when in his presence he is
There is nothing comely about him, and when he speaks, all he speaks about is
this cross. There is no wisdom in it. They spread rumors he was doing things for sexual pleasure
and for money. They said he was a fraud. 2 Cor 11 this is the point in 2 Cor 7 that Paul is in the
place of utter depression. He is tormented. He has invested so much time in these people and
the false teachers come in and bad mouth him and speak rumors.
He defends himself but no one stands up for him. He writes letters and sends people to the church, but nothing is working.Vs. 13-15. The original word ANGELOS, it is a worker of the devil, an angel of the devil, meaning
a demon. These false apostles were influenced by demons. These demons were coming into
slander Paul. He gives a list and says I’ve been beaten and tormented in vs. 25, 27. He’s saying
to the church that I’ve been through hell and back but there is something worse than that in vs.
Besides those things, the thing that brings me the most pain is this church is going down the
tubes. These demons, these false teachers are coming in and ripping the church to threads. I’ve
done everything I can do to convince you I am a man of God, an apostle of Christ, but you guys
are believing that I don’t sound good when I speak, that I don’t have interesting things to say,
and when you are in my presence I’m just a weak person.
You think that how could God ever use me. He says I’m going to tell you something and starts 2 Cor 12. Paul never wants to talk about the three appearances. He saw Christ and the revelations he received because his
apostleship was not based on those things. Chapter 12:1 he is saying you have pushed me to
the last place I want to go. This experience happened to me years ago. I never said anything to
anybody because I don’t want to be puffed up, but you leave me no choice.
In the Greek culture, they believed if you were a spiritual person that you received visions from God. And
they would use all sorts of means – alcohol, orgies, drugs, whatever it was, to initiate
themselves into a place in their consciousness to experience God. Paul never received a vision
of God. I never wanted to say it because this is not what my ministry is based on. vs. 2 He talks
about himself in the third person. He’s speaking about himself. Vs. 3-5.
He’s saying this spiritual experience I want you to know I’m not glorifying in anything in me. God gave me this
revelation. It is only the fact that the grace of God gave it to me. Vs. 6. Don’t judge me about
my experience because you can’t validate it. This is the way you validate my ministry: what you
see in me and hear in me. People can say they had this amazing experience. That’s not how a
spiritual person is validated.
That’s what Paul is saying vs. 7. Acts 9 his conversation and Acts 17 he sees another vision of Christ in the beginning of the church plant in Corinth. Now three times he receives a vision from God. vs. 7. Not just a little prick but impaled through the body. Something has come into my body and pierced my flesh, the messenger of Satan buffeting me.The false teachers were buffeting him. It means to punch in the face, to punch in the gut. These
messengers of Satan were brought in to buffet Paul.
He goes on to say the reason why God has allowed this to happen, the reason why God has allowed these false teachers, these demon teachers to come in and spread rumors, to come into the church and malign me and rip it to
shreds is to buffet me. Why? He says it. Lest I shall be exalted above measure. Paul is saying
God allowed that to happen so he wouldn’t become proud. He had received so many visions.He had received so much inspiration. He had seen Christ three times.
In my flesh I could be puffed up, but by God’s sovereign plan he’s allowed this church to absolutely ruin me to the
point that I’m on my face crying out to God and I am saying God remove this from me. But God
says in verse 9, my grace is sufficient for you. I would say the most pain people have in life is
from relationships. You can lose money or lose this or that or jobs but things that rip people
apart is relationships with people. It ruins you.
The great apostle Paul who planted this church the church in Corinth is a crown jewel and all of a sudden he’s a complete failure. They think he is a cheat, a false teacher. He’s saying God, would you do something so you would allow this situation to change. God says I’ve allowed it so you wouldn’t become proud in your flesh. Lord,
could you remove it? He’s gone to the Lord. You see spiritual people, and this is a spiritual test.
When you have a problem, where do you go?
If I’m full of myself and worried about my reputation, I go to other people. Paul is an example. I didn’t run around trying to chase them out of the church or malign them because they are maligning me. He went to the throne of
grace and he went three times. The answer was in vs. 9. Do you know that the test is coming for
you and me? Do you know the test in our life that God is interested in our godly character and
his holiness and grace to be manifested so all the world can see, not so we can glory in
ourselves, but we can glory in the grace he has given us.
His throne of grace never runs out. It doesn’t matter what situation you are in. God is there and he is saying I want you to be a broken, weak vessel so that you can come to the throne of grace and I can fill you up; and so
that you can be a testimony to that church of what kind of spiritual person you are, only by the
grace I give you. Our mouth and tongue is a representation of what is in our heart. In 1 Cor. 4,
Paul is being accused of being this and that. He says I think it a light thing you are trying to
blame me for all of this. It’s a light thing your opinion of me.
I think it’s a light thing that you’re coming and giving your opinion about who I am. I think it’s a light thing because my opinion of myself doesn’t matter either. There’s only one opinion that matters. It’s the opinion that God
has declared, and when he looks at me he says well done thou good and faithful servant. We
want to hear it. I look at you and it’s a finished work. He looks at David and he has this inner
When you are confident in the Lord, you don’t think too highly or lowly of yourself.
C. S. Lewis says you think of yourself less. You’re not thinking of yourself. This thing is not
wrapped up in you. It’s wrapped up in him. If he causes the church in Corinth to crumble or
causes Saul to throw a spear at you, it’s a test from God. They’re God’s demons and God’s devil
and he uses them for his purposes.
His purpose is to bring us to a place of humility so his grace can shine through us and his power can be manifested to all the world. He does it through the weakness. When I’m impaled like Paul says and it’s not leaving. Don’t think it’s a strange thing.It’s not if it comes but when it comes. It’s coming. The day of testing is coming because God is
saying I want to see my character and nature shine through you.
David passed the test. He could have been so full of himself when they were singing his praises.He goes you guys are right. It’s my throne. But he goes, no, I’m just a humble servant. He even said it to Saul and it
just messed with Saul so much. When you have insecure people and they see a secure person in
Christ, it bothers them. They are going to say, what can I do to knock that guy down? If we are
Spirit-filled people that are humbly coming to God saying that I get knocked down all the time.
I get offended all the time. I get wounded all the time. But if I live in that, that is sin crouching at
my door that is going to eat me up, take me out. I’m going to be fed to the beasts. I don’t want
that to be me, or you. We don’t want that to be us but that’s in us. So many times we can think
it’s the things on the outside. It’s the thing I’m waking up with every day in my heart and I need
to come to the throne of grace.
Paul could say, God, could you give me grace, so I don’t punch somebody in that church? Can you give me grace, so I don’t malign somebody? Can you give me grace, so I speak words of edification? Can you give me grace so I can get through this day without crying all day because the thing I poured my life into has completely crumbled. Jesus says, yes, Paul. I’ve given you a lot. Since you received a lot, I’m going to have to hurt you.Sometimes we think I want the Lord to open up all these things to me, but I see in the Scripture
the more I get from God the more testing maybe I have to go through.
The Apostle Paul could have very easily been puffed up in himself and said, oh, did you know I’ve been saved because Jesus appeared to me. Did he appear to you? Look at all these churches. Did you know I wrote
all these epistles? And let’s not think that the Apostle Paul was any different than us. He’s the
man in Romans 7 that said that sin was in him and he didn’t know how to be delivered. His flesh
is your flesh and my flesh.
Just because he did amazing things does not mean he can’t be tripped up by pride. All of us can. When we live in pride and think of ourselves more than we ought to or more lowly than we ought to, we are setting ourselves up to be offended and to be destroyed and that’s what the devil wants. We’re saying, I need to learn these lessons. I’m
fascinated by reading 1 Samuel. It’s a clear picture of who I am. I am like Saul. The end of his life
was not good. In closing, in James, where do all strife and wars come from?
It is not the envy in you? Don’t let another day pass when you are harboring something in your heart toward
someone else. Don’t let a day pass when you think you should be this and that person is that
and it robs you of your joy. Many of days have been ruined because all I can be wrapped up in is
my self-life. Don’t feed it or live in it because the end result is more confusion and more fights
with an angry beast.
Jesus came as the perfect example of coming into the world with a harp
nothing other than ministry. All David had was a harp and Saul a spear. You are not called to
pick up a spear and throw it at someone else. You are called to play a harp and minister to
another person. Even when Saul threw that spear at him twice, David came back and picked it
back up and kept doing it.
In our calling in our life like Jesus did in Php. 2 that he didn’t look on his own needs. He did not out of his own ambition. With loneliness of mind, he considered others better than himself. He had this mind that was placed in him where he would lay his life down at the altar as a little lamb and the knife was picked up by the ones he loved. Don’t be surprised the devil uses the people that are closest to you to pick up the knife, to put pain in
your life to bring you to a place where you are humbled; and all you can do is go to the throne
of grace and call out for it.
God will give you the grace to continue to love even when you are being beaten. It’s the nature of Christ in us. Jesus is raised up and the ones he loved – we could say Paul with his church and Jesus with the world he is lifted up and saying to his Father, forgive them. We don’t fight against flesh and blood, but we fight against principalities and powers. We don’t fight against people. We fight against flesh and sin and devil and demons. Amazing thing
is it is finished.
Paul says I count it a small thing, 1 Cor. 4. I count it a small thing that you judge me. I know nothing by myself, yet I am hereby justified. He that judges me is the Lord. Do you know where true freedom is? True freedom is in the place where you recognize your reputation and your idea of who you are and what your life is, and your accomplishments are at the cross. You find a ministry of the Holy Spirit where he empowers you to go through the hardest trials
and deepest valleys, and you go through it by his grace for his glory and when you do, it’s so
You can say like David said to Saul don’t you know it’s a waste of time to think about
yourself all the time. Can’t you just enjoy the fact that you are king, like I do? I’m not thinking of
myself so much. I’m free from that. God is in heaven and he has anointed me. I know my
position. I have the ability to walk by his grace being offended or praised but not being puffed
up or being deflated but going through it by his grace because he has humbled us.
He humbled us in many different ways. Apostle Paul had a severe one. Don’t be surprised when he humbles
you. It’s the only way his glory and his grace can shine through us.
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