Our faith is transcendent. Our God is above all things. We often covet things related to home, family, money, and entertainment. But we are connected to the living God in the Person of Christ. (Hebrews 13:5-10; Ecclesiastes 12:1)
Speaker(s): Thomas Schaller, James Dadidis
11:00 AM on 11/28/2021
P. Schaller –
I see the congregation and want to thank you for your faithfulness through the months and years. It’s
great to see our sisters and brothers hungry and thirsty and faithful people. God bless you. Turn
to your neighbor and say, congratulations! You got approval! Thank you. Yes. Is this Afroos and
Farshad’s family here? Okay. Good. With us from Texas. Good to have you. We have P. James
Dididas from Montreal and his family and some visitors. Because of the covid, two years we
haven’t been together. We’re so glad to have them. The border opened up ten days ago I think
and they just did a sprint down this way and so we welcome them. Welcome P. James.
P. James Dididas –
Wow, it’s so good to be here. So good to be here with you guys. Wow!
That’s amazing. Praise the Lord. I just want to introduce my family to you. If they can stand here
in the front row. If you guys could stand for a moment. (He’s introducing them). My wife and I
just celebrated last month our 25th anniversary, 25 years together. I’m just so blessed and 25
years of being my team mate and just doing ministry together. I just thank you. Thank you.
So, yeah. We’re from Montreal, Canada and we pray you’ll pray for us and we hope you’ll pray
for us. We need your prayers up there. God is doing a great work in Canada. God is doing a
great work in Montreal with our Bible college, with our young people and the church is doing
well by the grace of God. We really thank you for praying for us. Please continue to do so. Look
us up on Youtube, Greater Grace Church of Montreal. Like us. Share us. Be part of us. We
really love you guys and we thank you so much. We thank the ministry. Thank you, pastor and
all your faithfulness has kept us this last couple of years. We are with you. We are watching
you. We are being edified by your portions. We need you. Thank you for being faithful. Thank
you for following God and the calling of God for this city and for our ministry world wide. I really
So, I just want to share maybe a thought with you from 1 Corinthians 15 and then I’ll be happy to hear
pastor speak. 1 Corinthians 15:45, 47. I’ve been thinking about this theme of the will of God. It’s so
healthy for us to think regularly what is the will of God? We can tend to be so earthy. Have you
ever felt earthy? What does it mean to be earthy? The word in Greek there is basically dwelling
in the dust, being dusty. It’s so easy for us to just have human viewpoint about our lives and just
protect ourselves. Protect Adam. Live in self-preservation. Be earthy. Live in our wounds. Live in
our bruises. That’s why it’s so healthy to come to church. We come to church and we have to
check ourselves. Am I walking in the will of God? Or am I living earthy, right? Adam was earthy
and he was a living soul, but the second Adam was Jesus and he was made a quickening spirit.
That’s so good. We come to church and we are quickened, we are revived, and we have to
check our will at the door. We begin to think in the will of God, right? What is it really to be in the
will of God?
It says in Romans 12:1, that’s such a good verse for me. That’s what deals with my earthiness.
He says I beseech you therefore. Everything that I have spoken to you about in the last 12
chapters, everything I’ve presented to you, the doctrine, the teaching, the doctrine of salvation,
justification, sanctification, your positional truth. The fact that there is no longer any
condemnation. The struggle that I had in Romans 7 with being earthy. I wanted to do what is
good but I can’t do it because I’m earthy. All these things that I have spoken to you. I beseech
you brethren by the mercies of God that you are to present your bodies a living sacrifice. What
is the will of God for us but this is it to come to the cross. It’s to bring our adamic nature, our
preserved flesh and to present it to God as a living sacrifice. This is the life of the cross.
This is what our ministry teaches. This is what I’ve grown up listening to, the cross. We bring
Adam to the cross. We don’t try to protect him, but we present him to God, our bodies because
it’s our reasonable service. It’s reasonable to do this.
I saw this video somewhere on the internet, social media or something. It has this guy, he takes
his son’s video games and puts them in a pile in the back yard. He gets on his John Deer lawn mower – I don’t know if you’ve seen this. You might have seen this – and is son comes running
out of the house and he runs over the video games in this huge pile. They’re breaking into a
million pieces. The son is looking and he’s horrified. Just his face, the whole video is really
about his face. Like somebody is putting their hand in his soul and ripped it out. This horrified
and his father is like, that’s it. I’m done.
I was thinking about it and this is how it is sometimes when we are earthy. We think that if I go
to church or I actually give my life to God or if I present my life to God, God is going to like put
all my fun stuff in the backyard and jump on the John Deer and run over all of it. We have this
crazy – we want to preserve it. We want to say, no. I’ll live in my earthy life. I’m safe. And that’s
not at all what God wants to do. He wants to give us the quickening spirit. He wants to quicken
us. He says present your body a living sacrifice. I’m not going to take anything from you. I’m
going to give you my life. I’m going to give you my power. I’m going to give you my heart. I’m
going to give you my will. I’m going to reveal to you my will for your life.
Where do we learn that? We learn that in the assembly. We come to church, and God deals
with Adam. We don’t have to protect him. We just present him. We present it as a living
sacrifice, right? It’s not like the Old Testament. It’s not like the dead sacrifice, animal sacrifices.
No, we go through the cross and we come out living. We are living in our calling, living in our
position in Christ. We are living in the power of God as a quickening spirit. And God does that if
we present ourselves. If you continue to read in Romans 12, it says this is the perfect will of God
So, I just want to thank you for living that way. I thank you, pastor, and all the staff here and just
all the encouragement we have cause you taught us to live this way. It’s the best way to live,
isn’t it? Amen. Amen.
P. Schaller –
Okay. You may be seated. Alright. (Prayer). Let’s start with a verse in Heb. 13.
Then we’ll go to another place and go back to Hebrews 13. Then maybe go to another place and go
back to Hebrew 13. Okay? Let’s go. Turn with me. First Hebrews 13:8, one of your favorite verses. You
can say it outloud with me. Are we there? Okay. Is it up there? No. Okay. You don’t bring your
Bibles anymore, do you? Okay, so we got this. Ready. 1-2-3. “Jesus Christ the same yesterday,
today, and forever.” That’s our subject today, Christ Jesus. The only wise God. The only God
that does not change. That is everywhere present. That has all knowledge. The only God that
came into this world to reveal himself to us as God. Our hands have handled him the Apostle
said in 1 John. 1.
Our ears have heard him so his voice is still ringing in our ears. The Greek
brings that out, Kenneth Wuest the theologian and scholar. It’s still in our ears, his voice. Our
hands have handled him. We have seen him. We have studied him. We have seen him. He is
the Christ. The Savior. He is alive. He is real. His important to us.
P. James quoted from Psalm 119 where it says that our soul clings to the dust. He quoted
actually from 1 Corinthians 15, we are of the earth, earthy. I like that. It reminds me of a conversation
that we had with our family at the thanksgiving table. How many of you had conversations at the
thanksgiving table and you survived them? Well, I asked the folks at our table to have a
discussion with the person next to them or across the table, just like we do in the church here. I
would lead them in the conversation.
It comes from a teaching from Martin Luther in the 16th century. As a Christian he said that men
have idols in their lives. He mentioned four of them, four of them that I remembered. This is an
interesting message. He said men have the cave as an idol in their life. What he meant by that
was their home. Man’s home. I don’t mean the man cave though we have those, but a woman’s
home or kitchen, her immediately family, her security. A man’s home, his home his TV, his lazy
boy chair maybe or his little coffee cupboard. His home. He has a cave. He has a place where
he feels relaxed and comfortable. Men have this as their god.
So, we had a talk at the table about it. I enjoyed being with the family and thinking about these things, teaching them about idolatry. We have idolatry in our hearts. The things that we love, we
can love too much. The things that are of the earth are earthy and so are we. We are attracted
to them. We need them. A warm blanket. A warm bottle of milk. Medication. A pair of
eyeglasses. A comforting hug. This is all normal for us. This is how we live our lives.
The second idol he said was the clan, the family, the tribe, the people group. We are Chinese.
We are Korean. We are Puerto Rican. We are Colombian. We have Antonio over here. We love
you. We have Russian and Hungarian and Romanian. We have Turks and Cypriots and Jews
and Iranians and so on. Our group of people can be an idol for us. It can be important but is it
The third one was marketplace is an idol. The mall, Wall Street, the money, the bank, and so
on. I want to make a comparison between the gods of this world and the living God, the God
that does not change. The God that is the same yesterday, today, and forever. The God that
transcends the world. The God that is not of the earth but he is of the heavens. He came into
this world to set us free and give us a new life. We heard it so well taught from P. James this
morning. It stirred my heart. We spoke about it at 9:00 and then he shared that message.
The fourth one is the theater. We could say maybe entertainment, the social connections that is
relaxing for us. Maybe the NFL. Maybe like football. Maybe the club, the group of people that
you are with that is some how entertaining us. This is all normal. That’s the amazing thing about
it. All of these things in themselves are not bad. They are a normal part of life.
Everything we have, even our food, our physical life, the air we breathe, the warmth we have in our homes,
but now comes something interesting about it.
So, turn with me now to Ecclesiastes. We will get back to Hebrews in a minute but Ecclesiastes.
This was my meditation last night and I want to just point something out to you about this
amazing book of Ecclesiastes. It is actually one of my favorites. Ecclesiastes is the perspective
of life when God isn’t real for you. When God is not real, I look at life, I believe in God, I can talk
about God, but I find very much in Ecclesiastes this philosophy. “Let us drink and eat and be
merry for tomorrow we die.” It’s a perspective of life under the sun. What does it mean under the
sun? On the earth, we are under the sun. We are of the earth, earthy. We are under the sun.
And we find life to be vain. We find us losing things. We find us losing.
The list that I have up on the screen. I have my home and then somehow it’s possible that I lose it. I will lose it one day
because I will die one day. My family. One day I have thanksgiving dinner and one day
somebody is missing. And one day my seat will be empty. I will be gone. These change. These
earthy things. It’s sad when people have only this.
At our dinner table, one of the people at the table said that they worked in the hospital and there
was a man dying. He was 60 years old and he was dying and he told I think it was my son
working there or my daughter. I don’t remember which one said it. He said I have given my life
to my business. All my life I spent my life in my business and I made a mistake. I should have
spent more time with my wife. I should have been more with my family and with my wife.
There was silence at the table for a moment and we were thinking about it. I said isn’t it possible that I
would have one god all my life and at the end of my life I say I should have been worshiping
another god? Another one of the same kind. We thought about it.
What is it about these four and the many others that are in our hearts is that they are not God.
They are not God. They change. They change. They disappear. They increase, decrease. They
lead us. They mislead us. They are not dependable. They are not the answer for our lives. They
are not what we are really made for. They are not what we are looking for. Jesus Christ the
same. Why does it say “the same?” Cause Timothy, it’s written there in 1 Timothy 1, he is the
King immortal, eternal, invisible, the only wise God.
I wish we could take a few minutes and think of those words. To the king, we all need a king. You need a king. You and I need a king. We are made to be subjects to the king eternal. An eternal King. Not an earthly king. Eternal.
Immortal. He needs to be like glorified, beyond flesh. He needs to be immortal and invisible.
He’s the invisible God cause nothing could ever contain who he is. He is Spirit. We cannot see him. He is not of the earth, earthy. He is of the heavenly. He is invisible, immortal, the only–.
I read this past weekend that the Jews in paganism – I’ll put here “paganism.” they had many
gods. I’ll just write down and make some pictures. They just have gods. Do you know what they
said about it? They said the pagan worshiped this god, but then they had to go back and
worship this god. Then there would be a worship of this god and then oh, okay.
They would have to worship this god. They could never be loyal and committed to one god. Added to that
was the jealousy between the gods. If you worshiped this god you may get in trouble with this
god. Doesn’t it look confusing? Isn’t it contradict our nature? Isn’t it foolish that we would have
such gods that are not God and what happened to us when we heard the Gospel was that we
gave our heart to the only, only, right? Let’s put the word there. Only. And then wise. How many
wise Gods are there? One. There’s only one. Jesus Christ. Who is he? The same yesterday,
today, and forever.
The God that doesn’t change in time like our mortal bodies do. Turn to Ecclesiastes 12. I want to just
show you this. vs. 1. I had my grandson on a little motor vehicle and I watched him the other
day and enjoyed. He’s two years old. Enjoyed him and I thought of this verse. vs. 1. before the
evil days come. Let me draw a diagram of that. Here’s my history. When I’m young as a child,
these days if I could store them up and remember them and the happiness that I have with
those childhood days, that will help me before the evil days come and I grow a beard! And I’m
kind of bent over. And the evil days come.
Look at vs. 1 with me. Meaning when you get old, and you don’t like life that much anymore.
You lost your passion for life. Before those days come, remember your Creator. It doesn’t say
Savior, does it? Remember your Savior. It says, remember your Creator because this book is
written from an earthly perspective. How can that which is crooked be made straight it says in
By the way, how can you store up healthy days to help you when you have the bad days? I don’t
know about you, but I think the bad days can be really bad days and I live in the pain of the bad
days and my childhood days are not helping me that much. It’s not the best advice. It’s not the
answer for my life. What’s the answer for your life? Not your earthly life. The answer for your life
is your heavenly life. It’s Christ. Christ is the answer for your life.
Now we go back to Hebrews 13 and we’ll finish as we read through these verses. I think some of the
things that we have said are quite profound, so it takes some time to process it. If you don’t
understand it, that’s fine. You are here and learning little by little and we are good. This may
help. Hebrews 13:5, meaning of “covetousness” is greed, avarice, a kind of lust, reaching. The word
for “lust” in the Greek is to stretch. I want more. Give me another one. I want that. This is the
idea. Our conversation isn’t with covetousness. We have contentment. We are satisfied with the
Let’s look at it. vs. 5. You’re contented. With what? Love. Love. Really? Yes. God is love. What
do you mean love? God. God is love. The Holy Spirit filling me, satisfying me. I’m contented.
Yeah, but don’t you want somebody’s job? Don’t you want somebody’s wife? Remember the
Ten Commandments? You shall not covet thy neighbor’s wife. Don’t you want newer car, better
car, better house? Don’t you want more money? Don’t you want what your neighbor has or
what you’ve seen in a magazine or what you see on social media? No, I’m okay. I got it. I’m
content. How can you be content? Because of God. Really? Is he that real for you? Yeah. He is.
He is real. Well, how does it come? It’s the Holy Spirit. It’s the fellowship. It’s the quietness and
worship. It’s the trust in him that he said he is enough.
Isn’t your God – don’t you have what everybody else has? The cave, the clan, the marketplace,
the theater? Don’t you have this? The thing that is moving you and driving you and keeping
you? No. I have something more. I have God. I have God in my life. God. Honestly. It’s God that
gives me satisfaction. It’s God that gives me peace. It’s God. I don’t want to – we’re not
boasting. We’re boasting in the Lord. We’re boasting in the Gospel. We’re boasting in the reality of Christ. He is not under the sun. He is seated in heavenly places and he is enough. He is
satisfying. He said it, John 8. Out of our belly would flow this river.
So this is what the text is saying. Let’s read it, vs. 5.
How many conversations are with either directly or indirectly or after they get in the car they are talking about what they don’t have or have and the whole thing is like without God. It’s come on! We are good. God is with us.
Many times on the mission field we didn’t have things, you know. We have family talks
sometimes about our past and one Christmas my wife and I, our Christmas was just some
raisins, some pencils, some paper, and a Hungarian comic book which they couldn’t read. That
was what we had for our Christmas. I say that to honor our faith and to say we had such a
happy time, happy childhood because of the way we think. We are satisfied. God is with us. Isn’t
it amazing. God is filling us.
We have seen our sisters and brothers in different circumstances. People here. People abroad
and on the mission field and we have seen beautiful saints of God with this contentment and
satisfaction. But in our culture, it’s very fashionable to speak about what you don’t have, what
you’re going to get, how you’re going to get it, what you’re going to get. You’re going to get.
You’re going to sit in your stuff whatever it is, and that’s – I’m going to be happy as I get my
stuff. It’s like don’t be too sure of that cause your stuff does disappear. It does disappoint us. It
does leave us empty. What about another way? I have what I have thank you Lord. But I need
to see you. I need a fresh vision of you. I need freshness in my heart. Please renew my mind
that I would understand life the way you do and see life. And the Lord will say you only have a
certain number of days on earth.
Enjoy them. If you have one child, enjoy the child. If you have
14, enjoy the 14. If you have nothing, enjoy me with your nothing. If you don’t have what you
think you should have, then just get used to me and hear from me and be built up in me and
know that I am your God. I am Jesus Christ. I am the one that will not change.
Let’s go to the next verse here, Hebrews 13:5b. Is that enough? Jesus is with me. Is it enough? I
have to learn that. I want to learn that. I know it a little bit. I want to think about it. Isn’t it good. I
will never leave you. Am I enough? God could say that to us? Am I enough for you? Am I
enough for you? Maybe some of us very, very healthy people may be very, very sick. And God
say, I am here. And we say, you are enough.
Maybe some people are secure financially. You may not be one day. Is God enough? One day with our family or a wife and one day she is not there or he’s not there. Is God enough for us? I mean I’m just talking. I’m just saying this cause
it’s written there. It’s something to think about.
Is it true that the Lord is saying that you have idols and they are just changeable. They are not
what you need. They are a delusion, a deception. They mislead you. That’s not what your life is
about. I want to teach you love. I want to teach you joy. Have you had any joy lately? Have you
had thanksgiving? Have you had a worship? Do you have this kind of attitude? Yes, Lord. By
your grace, this is what I want in my life. This is the will of God in Christ Jesus that in everything
To be filled with thanksgiving. I am alive. God is with me. Thank you God. We are
not of the earth, earthy. We are of the heavenlies and our Heavenly Father is what we make a
big deal about. We make a big deal about our King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise
God. I know you understand me. Go to vs. 6-7. Those are the sisters and brothers, the leaders, the pastors, these men ordained of God to have good influence and rule over you. I always think of a coach. If I want to play
tennis, I want to have a coach, a tennis coach that will hit the ball back and forth. I’d like him to
teach me. He has the rule over me. I am happy to be under him. I want you to teach me. I want
to learn how to play tennis or run a computer or understand some technology or drive a car.
I want you to rule – I want you to govern. I want you to help me. I want to learn because of you.
You should have somebody like that in your life and remember them because they’ll have a
good influence. We need the influence. We are not neutral. We are always changing. We are
always influenced by people. We are always being exposed to. We are always needing to be
helped and corrected and so this is what is said here. vs. 7. the pastor has opened the Bible and taught you the word of God. Remember that when you go home with your heart affected by a message. You say God gave the message. I talked on the phone yesterday to a brother, and he said every time I come, God speaks to me about
something I’ve been reading or thinking about or I need to hear it. I go just keep coming. Just
keep coming. He said I have obstacles about it. Overcome them. Come by faith and just keep
coming. You need it. We need it. We need the Spirit to speak to us.
vs. 7b. Conversation is old King James. It’s a good word but it’s changed a little bit. It means we
follow their way of life. How they live. They live by faith. Moses lived by faith. I want to follow
him. Like I want to follow him. He followed God. I need somebody like that in my life. I want to
follow. I can have a godly woman in my life that will help me and teach me and have an
influence on me as a young woman or an elderly person or somebody who has wisdom and
experience. I want to follow. I need it. I need somebody that doesn’t walk with – these are their
conversation. Always about the home. Always about the family. Always about what to buy or
sell. Always about entertainment. It’s like could – is there anything more? I need fellowship.
That’s why we come here cause we make the effort to have God present it to us and we would
see him as our God. Then we have these things in our lives but they are not our gods.
Yes, we have a family if God gives it but God can take it away like he do Job. Yes, we have our
people, but our people may be foolish. They may be proud. They may be unwise. I want to have
God’s people in my life. I want God’s people in my life. I want new friends in my life. If you
follow God, I want to follow with you. I want to be with you. I’ve got God in my life, not my
prejudices or biases or opinions or selfishness or traditions or the way my mom or dad did it. My
mom and dad may be right in many ways but they might not be right. They might not be of God.
I need people of God to lead me and help me and guide me in the Spirit of God. I’ll be with the
people of God.
What about the marketplace? We buy and sell and get gain if the Lord wills in James 4. What
about the theater? It’s a part of life. I get relaxed when I watch part of an NFL football game. I
don’t have time to watch a whole game usually. I might come home and turn it on and watch it
for a while cause I like football. And it’s entertaining and relaxing and have a cup of coffee or a
drink of something or even eat ice cream, Hubby Tubby ice cream! Gallons of Hubby Tubby
before going to bed! No, I don’t know. Whatever it is that you do. I don’t know about the dietary
part of what I’m saying. Hey, get a grip on your life. By the way, elderly people don’t stop
moving. Keep moving. People that have a little bit of extra weight and carry it around. That’s
okay. Just keep moving. Keep moving. Don’t stop. Don’t get sedentary. You stop moving you’re
going to die. Don’t die. Glorify God, okay?
Hey, our God is a living God. He will answer our prayers. He will help us. In closing, chapter
13:8-9. Who is Jesus? He’s so kind, quiet. He is so understanding and compassionate. Wait a
minute? He’s like on fire. He’s strong. He has truth. Woe! What? He said that? Woe! That’s like
a sword in my heart. Yes, I need it. He’s like a Navy Seal. He’s like an aggressive, military
combatant. He’s on my case. He’s pursuing me. Wait a minute? He’s a heavenly father. He’s
gentle. He takes me in his arms and holds me. He is God. He’s everything you need. Every
moment, he’s everything you need. You don’t have anybody like him. Nobody could ever invent
him. He’s not in our hearts. Could never happen. There is no god like our God. He’s the only
wise God and the living God. Worship him with all your heart. Give everything to him. Trust him.
And He’ll help us manage in this world. I am so afraid. I am so sad that many, many people
without God are consumed by these things and that’s all they have.
They don’t have God and they suffer. Why is he suffering so much? Cause he doesn’t have God. If he had God and God
was his God, he would not be there. God would deliver him. God would help him. God would
comfort him. God would fill him. God would show him love. God would give him wisdom. God
would show him the way. God would help him. And if he suffered, God would comfort him. God
would restore him. He restores my soul. We that wait upon him will mount up with wings as
eagles. No good thing will he withhold from him that walks uprightly. He loves righteousness and he loves his righteous people. That’s you and me. We are in good shape. We’re in good
If you read this afternoon that chapter, Ecclesiastes 12 and see how his physical life is falling apart. He
talks about his teeth, the grinders. He talks about losing his desire to live. It talks about the
grasshopper is a burden. He can’t hear the singing anymore. It talks about his ears. His eyes
are dim. He talks about the pitcher. Before the pitcher, the silver pitcher is broken and the
golden cord – the spinal column – the golden cord is broken. The pitcher, your cranium is
dashed to pieces. Before the man, he is deteriorating. He can’t, he’s getting old and old and it
doesn’t give any answer for that. It doesn’t. But when we read in the Gospels, our God gives us
the answer. Three days later, he came out of the tomb. His pitcher was not broken. His eyes
and ears, his grinders, glorified body. The earth, earthy, goes to the earth.
But God did not make us to go to the earth. He made us to go to heaven and live through
heaven, through God in this life while our outer man is perishing, while our family may be – our
home, may be the marketplace collapses and the theater is empty. That’s okay in a sense
because the Lord is my helper. I will not fear what man will do unto me. Because he has said, I
will never leave you; never forsake you. And because Jesus Christ is the same yesterday,
today, and forever.
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.