We have a feast with the Person of Christ through the Body of Christ. His Church is perfect in its position in Jesus. He has gathered us as forgiven ones saved by grace for His glory. (Ephesians 1:21-23, 3:21; Psalm 32:1-5)
Speaker(s): Steven Scibelli, Thomas Schaller
11:00 AM on 12/26/2021
P. Schaller –
Good morning. Praise the Lord! I have a deep voice today. I have a little bit of something in my, but I had a
covid test so I’m negative on covid. We’re okay. I want to share for a few minutes today. We’ll
have our offering and song and then P. Scibelli is going to share. On the wall, painted on the
wall, are the titles of the messages that we’ve had during the Christmas season. A Small Feast.
That message was about Gabriel meeting Mary, and Mary saying yes to the angel. That was a
feast. Two people or an angel and a person by herself. That was a small feast, but was it a
feast? Yes, because she was meeting God in his will.
She was brought into the plan that was bigger than her like your life and my life. When you are born again, when you are saved, you are brought into the feast of God. It’s a feast not of food but a feast of love and forgiveness.
The second message was A Family Feast. That was Mary meeting Elizabeth, Zacharias, and
there was prophesy. There was assurance. There was confirmation. Even Elizabeth who was
six-months pregnant said to Mary that you are carrying a child. You are the mother of my Lord.
Then we had A Feast for All. That means the wise men came. The shepherds came. It means
today for us the Koreans come. The Chinese, The Filipinos, the Indians. It’s a feast for all. All
people. The sinners come. The sinners come. Wow! Everyone comes. Everyone is called.
Come and eat at this table, God’s table of love and forgiveness.
Today’s message is the last one of this series and it’s there on the wall: The Church is a Feast.
We gather and two or three gathered in his name and there he is in our midst. The main point
that I think of is love, a feast of love, forgiveness, a future, life, love, hope. A feast of joy. Going
into the New Year on Friday night we have our New Year’s Service. We’ll be here, go to eat
food in the Family [Center] and then come back in here for the last half hour and bringing in the
New Year with singing and thankfulness.
When I was listening to the message this morning by P. Steve and P. Dennis White, I was
listening to what the Spirit was saying and it was so encouraging. To think of the people that are
coming to Christ and finding a new life and are excited about it. Be excited about my new life, to
be in the very presence of God who humbled himself and came so we could have a feast.
Our feast is better than their feast. Who’s that? The world. The house. We said the other night
where equity cannot enter, truth is fallen in the street, justice stands afar off and judgment turns
away. It’s a house of tyranny, a house of selfishness, a house of the inward introspection. It’s a
house of depression. It’s a house of – there’s no future. It’s a house of unbelief. It’s a house
without God. This house, the house that wisdom built, Proverbs 9:1. It’s a house that Jesus’ built,
So let’s look for a few minutes at Psalm 32. This is really an amazing psalm. I love this psalm.
Could you for a minute think of doing the really bad thing, committing a huge sin? A terrible sin.
A wicked, terrible sin. Could you think about that for a second. You haven’t or maybe you have
but think about it. You’re very good people generally. You don’t do really bad things. But think of
the bad thing for a minute. Think of doing a really bad thing. Go ahead. Okay. You don’t want to
think about it. I don’t want to park there. I don’t want that to get in me. I don’t want to think about
it. Wait a minute. Think about it for a minute. You know what that means? When I have
committed a terrible sin. Do you know what that means? There are Christians they quit the
Christian faith because of what they did. They’re done. They’re not good people. That’s what
they think. They’ve done a terrible sin.
That’s not the meaning of our Christian faith. The meaning of our Christian faith is forgiveness. I
mean forgiveness. Somebody said it this morning. This is at the very center of our lives that we
have been forgiven. Really forgiven. I remember reading a story about a man in Texas, and
somebody had broken into his house and it was dark and they were in a room and he shot the
person and it was his daughter. A horrible story. He shot his daughter in the darkness, in the
confusion or whatever it was. I don’t understand it, but it happened. Have you ever done anything terrible or intentionally terrible?
Have you ever done anything that just is earthshaking?
David did. David committed adultery with one of his best friend’s wife, and then he also
arranged for him to be killed. David did something terrible and he wrote Psalm 32. This Psalm
32 is at the very heart of our feast. The very heart of our feast, of our new life – it happened to
the woman in Luke 7 when she went into the Pharisees house and she was weeping and she
had a box of ointment and broke it open. The tears were washing his feet, Jesus’ feet with her
hair. And all of this picture of what a feast is when you are forgiven. You’re not self- conscious.
God, God has forgiven me. God has forgiven me. Thank you, God. You have forgiven me. It’s
gone. It’s forgotten. You have forgiven me. That’s Psalm 32.
We don’t take the time to go over the whole psalm but I want to point out two things to you. Vs.
1. The word “blessed” means happy. But it’s a deep thing. It’s a deep – something you can’t buy
in the world. It has to come from God. When you are blessed of God, it has to be a deep – it’s a
joy. It’s a happiness. Your sins are covered. You have been forgiven. This is amazing. It
happened at Pentecost when Peter preached in Acts 2. When he preached there and the 3,000
people became believers. They were forgiven of crucifying Christ. They were guilty. They were
forgiven by God. He forgave them and they were filled with the Holy Spirit and you couldn’t stop
them. You couldn’t stop them. I love it when the new believer is forgiven and they kind of just
walk around and it’s like just awesome. Jesus is real for them. They are in a feast. They are
blessed because their sins are gone and forgiven and covered.
vs. 2. This is another word for sin. There’s three there. I’m going to finish in a minute, but I want
you to notice something. It wasn’t easy for David. He had committed the adultery. He became
proud, tough, tough guy. He was a warrior, soldier, tough guy, not a broken guy. Arrogant. And
he wouldn’t confess his sin. He wouldn’t do it because he’s proud. I’m not talking about it. Don’t
think about it. That’s my business not your business. How tough you can be as a sinner. How
tough you can be. How arrogant we can be. This is what happened to him in vs. 3. I was holding
it in and not confessing my sin. vs. 4. I was convicted. Verses 3-4 is the stubbornness we have
as sinners, and I’m just silent. I’m not broken.
I’m not coming to God. No, I’m just none of your business. None of your business. I live my life. You live yours. None of your business. I’m fine. I’m good. I’m good to go. Don’t worry about me. I’m fine. Leave me alone. That’s the
psychological profile that we have as sinners because I cannot confess my sin to God. I cannot
do it. I refuse to do it. I don’t want to do it. I don’t feel like doing it. And then there is this thing –
this is a little longer than a wanted it but – there is this thing where you push people away and
then you say, see. Nobody likes me. You see. Nobody cares about me. And they push people
away in their guilt and in their whole arrogant selfishness. They’re not looking for help, and they
don’t want you around. They go away and they get depressed and it’s all because they cannot
confess their sin. They don’t want to. They don’t want to.
This is a good message, isn’t it? This is a good message. Really. But that person does not have a feast. They have poverty of spirit. They do not have any joy. They do not have fellowship with God, and they’re a Christian, but
they’re just, you know (hands folded), I go to church. I read my Bible, they might say. And all
that stuff. All that stuff. No, it’s not real. It’s not real. Listen, God resists the proud, the proud
Christian. The proud. He resists the proud, but he gives grace to the humble. And a humble
person has to admit it. My sin. This is what happened.
Go to vs. 5. He finally breaks down. How many months did it take before David admitted? How
many months? Remember Bathsheba. And she’s pregnant. The baby is born. But somewhere
around that time, so it’s nine months he did not admit it. He did not admit it. He did not confess it
but he did finally. vs. You forgave me. He forgave me. Could we live every day thinking like
this? He forgave me. He forgave me. All my sin. He forgave me.
I think that that means the year 2022 is a year of joy, a year of freedom, a year of fellowship, a
year of confession, of spiritual hunger. You become alive, Isaiah 58. And you got fellowship
because God has forgiven you. Blessed are those that are forgiven. We are blessed people. So
that’s that. Amen. Would you pray with me?
P. Scibelli – Ephesians 1:21-22, Ephesians 3:21, You may be seated. Good morning. Joyous Christmas to
you. I can’t really see you cause those lights are blinding me, but that’s the way it is. You’re
here, amen! You’re the church that can’t be defeated. Amen! Though we are not quite perfect
yet. I don’t like that line in particular. We are perfect in our position. Experientially, we are
growing. Amen! I thought about three feasts a few moments ago for every born again believer.
First of all, there is the feast that I have with the person of Christ. That my personal relationship
and your personal relationship with Jesus is really a feast where God is doing all the supplying.
God is doing all the cooking. God is doing all the preparing of the meals. God is doing all the
giving and we are just doing all the taking.
And I love that. That’s what grace is all about. “For out of his fullness we have all received grace upon grace.” So what a feast it is to have this relationship with Jesus Christ. That’s a feast in itself before we get into the other two. What a
feast to have Christ as my Savior, amen! What a feast to be born again. What a feast to have an
eternal purpose. What a feast to know that we are going where? Heaven. What a feast to know
that we can have heaven on earth. What a feast we have with the Word of God. What an
The second feast is what we are talking about this morning. Precisely would be the church. That
the church is a place where I experience a feast from God. I experience the Body of Christ. I
know when I first came to the ministry in 1976 which was 45 years ago? Forty-five years ago.
When I first walked in, I thought these people are crazy. It was a small church, maybe about 15
people, at the Mariott Hotel in Springfield, Massachusetts. My brother and I both came dressed
with suits and ties on. Needless to say, there was nobody there with a suit and tie at all. They
were kind of dressed down. So we were standing in the back looking a little bit strange and
uncomfortable feeling funny. Then people began to sing. They began to raise their hands in the
air. They had guitars in the church. I’m like, guitars in the church?
They’re raising their hands and praising the Lord. I said to my brother, let’s get out of here! I said this is, I don’t know. I
always remember though that one person that stopped me from going because of this lovingly,
intimidating look was P. Mike Williams. He was just standing at the door making sure who could
come in and who could go. And I said, let’s wait and see what happens. That began in my life a
feast of the church. The feast of the Body of Christ. Many people say they have a feast with
Jesus who is the Head but never have a feast in the Body of Christ in the church, and really
miss so much of Christianity. Of course, I’m talking to the choir because you are all here in the
church, but it’s amazing to me how many people today do not think it’s necessary to be a part of
a local assembly. They believe in this universal church.
You know, you’re born again and placed in the church. I understand that. But they have nothing to do with the local church and they miss an amazing feast. When we come here not just on Sunday morning and on Sunday night and
Wednesday and all during the week, but because we are in the church we experience this
incredible feast with God. We feast with God.
I like what 1 Timothy 3:15-16 says. Paul says if I tarry long, I want you to know how to behave
yourself. Ever tell your kids how they should behave themselves? Anybody? Yeah. “If I tarry
long, I want you to know how you ought to behave yourself in the church of the living God
which is the pillar and the ground of the truth.”This is the church. It’s alive. It’s a pillar and
ground of the truth. It’s not just living. I’ve been in churches where there seems to be a lot of life
externally expressed. Then I’ve been in churches which seem to have some truth but no life and
never found the balance till I came to the ministry.
There are many churches that are great churches out there that have a balance of – the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth. This is quite a feast. When I think of the epistle to Ephesus, and I think about what
happened. How Paul planted the church in Ephesus in Acts 19 and 20 and how something took
place in Ephesus. John the Apostle said it in Revelation 2:1-7. He says I know your labor, your works.
I know all these things that you are doing. I know you have tried those who are false teachers of
doctrine and you have gone against them. He says but I have somewhat against you. He’s not
against them. God can never be against me. Say that. God can never be against the church.
But he can be against what I do. If I do something that’s evil, something that’s not godly,
something ungodly, God’s not for that.
He’s for me, but he’s not for what I am doing. Hallelujah! Are you with me? Some people do some stupid things at Christmas. I know because I used to do them. Stupid things at Christmas, you know. But he is for this church in Revelation 2:1-7. I have somewhat against you because you have deserted me. You’ve forsaken me, your best love. Really when I think about the church and what we can constantly, continually and eternally gain
from the church. By the way, the church doesn’t just end here. Did you know that? Huh? We’re
going to be in the church in heaven.
Amen! Together. See the person sitting next to you? You might be with them in heaven. Probably you will. You’ll be with them in heaven. And I think it’s incredible what we can receive from the church. How much we can grow in the church. What we can learn in the church. Those two verses that I read talked about the fulness of Jesus Christ in
the church, and the glory of Jesus Christ in the church. Where are you going to find God’s
fullness and God’s glory? Where? Yeah, but you know what? There’s people in the church they
did this. They nicked my car in the parking lot. They didn’t hold the door or hit me in the face.
They took my favorite seat. This and that and that and this and all these little things. And they’re
looking and they’re walking by sight but never walking in the Spirit or by faith in the finished work
of who we are in Christ. This is the church.
Amen! Can you say “amen”? This is the church. It’s exciting to be a part of the church. I know what it was like to be without a church. Kind of wandering around in 1976 like a chicken with my head cut off. Knowing I was saved but not
experiencing one stinking thing about salvation because I had no fellowship and I didn’t know
anybody. There was me and my brother. I could only take him for so long! No, I love him. Just
The church. I found a church. The pearl of great price, amen! What the enemy wants us to do is
to get us to become familiar with the church. Familiar with the pastor. Familiar with the
leadership. Familiar with the members of the Body, the fullness of him that filleth all in all. The
preciousness of each single believer, each Christian whether they are saved one day or they
are saved like the George’s. I’m not going to say years. How many years? Hundred? I’m just
joking. He’ll get his son after me if I’m not careful.
But the church. What a place! Where do you find the love of God? I know in Christ. That’s a
feast, but I find God’s love in the what? In the church. Read Ephesians 3:15-21 this afternoon for your
reading. To know the love of Christ that passes knowledge that you might be filled with the
fullness of God. Now unto him that is able to do exceedingly abundantly above what you could
ask or think to him be glory in the? Church. I find God’s love where? In the church. You’ll find it
in yourself of course because the Holy Spirit sheds the love of God abroad in the church but the
Holy Spirit in Rev. 2 and 3, “he that has an ear to hear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the”
what? Church. God’s love is in the church. Say that to the person sitting next to you. God’s love
is in the church. God’s love is in the church. God’s love is in the church. God’s love is in me and
God’s love is in the church.
Where do you find truth? The Bible says in Isaiah 59:14, we heard it, truth is fallen in the streets.
Where do we think we are going to find church? In some local club where people play cards? In
some sporting event? There’s nothing wrong with a Ravens football game. You’re not going to
find truth. Where do I find truth? Where is truth? The pillar and the ground of truth. It’s in the
church. By the way, truth is not what people think it is based on some natural understanding.
But truth, ALETHEIA, is defined by God. Truth in the church. Truth in Christ – I am the way, the
truth, and the life. And truth in the church.
Where do you find mercy? We already heard that. And forgiveness. Where do you find mercy?
When you mess up or I mess up. And maybe I’m asking for mercy and I get it from God in a
personal relationship. That’s a feast. But it’s amazing when you come to church and you feel a
little bit unworthy and a little bit guilty and ashamed about something, and somebody just runs
up and hugs you and says I’m so glad you’re here. If it wasn’t for you, I don’t know what I would
do. You’re like, huh? Hello?
I was feeling guilty and ashamed about something that I did. It was nothing. It was something I
didn’t do in the church which I should have done. I was sitting in the back, the last seat in the
back all by myself just going through all my guilt and shame wondering what’s wrong with me?
I’m a pastor. Why didn’t I do this? And Dr. Stevens walked right through the door, walked right at
me and said to me, I’m so glad that you are here in Baltimore. Then he said, thank you, just for your life. See, you find mercy in the church, amen! Hello? You find mercy. Try and find mercy
out there. Try and find mercy in the world. The church brings mercy to the prisons, mercy to the
streets, mercy in the message. We get mercy in the church.
Where do you find grace? Come to some family events, you’re not going to find too much grace.
How come you cooked it like that? How come you ate so much? Because I was hungry. I can
remember some of our family growing up times. It would be a war. My wife said I have never
seen anybody eat faster than you. I said, well, I think I got a partner in that. I said we ate fast
because we weren’t sure anything was going to be there. And you just shoveled it, you know? I
used to put it in my pockets so I would least know if I had it later and I was hungry, I could go
back later and reach into my pockets and get it. You find grace in the church. You find love in
the church. You find mercy in the church.
Where do you find faith? I know Galatians 2:20 says I live by the faith of the Son of God, but the Son
of God is the Head of the Body and my faith is derived from my fellowship with you. Romans 1:11,
the mutual faith of you and me. 1 Thessalonians 3:8, we stand because you walk by faith. I don’t have
any faith without you. Hello? In you. Where do you find faith? In the church. Did you ever walk
around and have a couple days of a time of unbelief? What do you do? Avoid the church or
come to the church? I’m coming to the church where I can be built up. Building yourself up in
your most holy faith (Jude 20-24). I find faith where? In the church.
How about your purpose? Well, I’m going to find my purpose at a university. There’s nothing
wrong with that. I went to five of them. By the time I got through all five universities, I was a very
clever devil. I was an educated demon. I wasn’t a stupid one. I didn’t find my purpose in school.
I definitely didn’t find my purpose in my family. Criminals. Sorry! If anybody is watching, get
saved, too. I didn’t find my purpose in sports though I loved it. Hockey and basketball. I didn’t
find my purpose in my neighborhood friends or all the friends I grew up with. Are you kidding
me? I was walking around with no purpose until I got saved. And really, when a person gets
saved and is not really fellowshiping with the church, they have a purpose but they don’t know
it. I find my purpose where? In the church. In the church. My calling is in the church.
It’s amazing. Just having an opportunity over these last few days. Holy days I call them. You can
call them holly. I’ll call them holy. Just calling people from Asia, all of Africa, South America. Just
making telephone calls all over the place. If anybody doesn’t have an idea about phone bills,
see my wife. Phone bills. You know how you unfold the phone bill, some people just do like one.
Mine is like this. It just has layers to it. And I love it! I’m not complaining. I love it. You talked 47
minutes with that person? She says 47 minutes? I said, yeah. They needed 47 minutes of help.
I don’t think about time when I’m on the phone. I think about the person to whom I’m talking, not
the time I’m talking. I definitely don’t think about money. Why? Does God supply our needs? Is
there a provision? It’s in the church. It’s in the church.
When I was kind of functioning a little bit on my own in African missions, we were very fortunate
to have 6 to 700 dollars a month. But since coming to Baltimore in 1993, our African missions
budget is $40,000 a month. Where does it come from? I don’t know. And I don’t even care. I just
know it comes, because the work and the mission is in the what? It’s not a parachurch
existence. The mission is where? In the church.
Where do you find the Gospel? Where? In the church. You find the Gospel in the church. Where
does your marriage get healed? I wouldn’t be married today if it wasn’t for the church. How
could she stand me? I can’t live with myself more than a couple of minutes. Marty Veader, stop
agreeing with that! My marriage doesn’t make it without the church. I’m raising my family where?
In the church. This is amazing. It’s very simple but very clear. That we may know how to
behave ourself in the house of God which is the church of the living God the pillar and the
ground of the truth. The church and churches everywhere are the fullness and the glory of God.
The gifts are found where? In the church.
Let’s never forget this. It’s a feast, amen! It’s a feast.
Church is a feast. Jesus is a feast. The church is a feast. The Body is a feast, and the Gospel is
a feast. We got a three-course feast meal. Hallelujah!
Thank you, God for a feast…we know the enemy hated Jesus, and the enemy hates the church.
The world hates the church. The flesh hates the church but Jesus loves his church. And we as
Christians in the Body, we love our church. We thank you for the church. (Prayer)….I will never
experience fullness outside of the church. It will never happen. You can wish it, pray it, think it,
believe it, but it’s not going to happen. Glory and fullness are in the church. (Prayer). Healing is
found where? In God and in the church. My financial giving is so awesome when it’s done in the
church. It doesn’t mean – you tithe to the church and if you want to give to other things. It’s
amazing. But this is the church. I tithe to the church. I give to the church. I pray for the church,
amen! I pray for the church. (Prayer). (Song, We are the Church that Can’t Be Defeated and
Shut the Door, Keep Out the Devil.)
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.