In gathering as Spirit-filled people, God is with us. Let us learn to give up in the right way. Die to the self life. Manifest the life of Christ, We must learn to see with spiritual eyes. Jacob was old and blind, but he could see ahead. Light shines into hearts unto life and knowledge. The shaking of these days could bring us into great treasures in Him. (2 Corinthians 3:13-14; 4:1-10)

Speaker(s): Pastor Thomas Schaller
Sermon 11877
7:00 PM on 4/29/2020

P. Schaller –

Praise God! Thank you, Lord. Praise God! Wow! Convention. Convention. Greetings everybody listening and
the few people here in the auditorium. God is here with us. Convention. We’re going to teach
from 2 Corinthians 3 a little bit and then chapter 4 and speak to your hearts about the spiritual life, the
new life we have in Christ and what that life means to us. It’s very important in Proverbs 18:14.
There is a spirit in a man, and it will sustain his infirmity but a wounded spirit who can bear?
What is more important my physical body, my soul, or my spirit? All three are important and of
course because of our fallen nature and we have lost God.

We have become dead to God in Ephesians 2:1 and then our body is the most important part of our being or our mind and our soul is the most important part. But we lived in our body and in our soul and we found the limit. Our body goes to the grave. Our soul is defensive, not understanding, desiring, not fully satisfied and so
we were drawn by God’s grace to God. We have the creation in our body and our soul, but it
wasn’t enough. So we came to Christ. It says in 1 Corinthians 15 that the first Adam was made a living
soul but the last Adam a quickening spirit. The spirit. Christ the quickening spirit. Remember
some of the miracles we read in the gospels and they touched the hem of his garment the
woman in Mark 5. was healed. Even his shadow being casting over somebody in the gospel of
Matthew I believe but let me check on that later.

Christ is a quickening spirit. His words were spirit and life. His miracles evidence of spiritual life. When he was with the disciples and there was a kind of burning in Luke 24, their hearts burned within them. John the Baptist said I
baptize you with water but another coming will baptize you with fire. This spoke he of the
Spirit. In Hebrews 12 God is referred to as the father of spirits. Our spirit. That’s where we live. Our
spirit. It’s very different. It’s not our body, our physical body. It’s not our soul. It’s that organ by
which we have communion with God for God is Spirit. He that is joined unto the Lord is one
spirit, 1 Corinthians 6:17. All of this I am saying for our context and also to speak about our Convention
this year in June, the end of the month of June.

I’d like the people in Europe and Asia and Africa and everyone in the world to follow me with my thinking together as a body before God and I’d like to ask you to pray with me for what God wants for us when we gather together and how that will be, how that will happen, what it will look like, what will happen. Because when we
gather as Spirit-filled people, there is life. There is encouragement. There is fellowship. Now we
have an online church and a drive in church on Sunday. I want to thank the Body for the love
and support which is extraordinary in my view, but it is that way because of the Spirit, the Holy
Spirit. We have become alive to God. With God all things are possible. With God we have found
peace in our fellowship because he is the Prince of Peace.

That’s his name. The angel said when Jesus was born in Bethlehem they appeared unto the shepherds and said peace on earth. They said fear not. And then they also said peace on earth, good will toward man. Thank you, Lord.
Some of the young guys becoming preachers. Some of the young ladies being so committed
and dedicated. It doesn’t matter if I’m a man or woman or young or old. What matters is the
Spirit affecting our heart and our mind, the Spirit enlightening our lamp in Proverbs 27:20. The
Spirit affecting us. This is the text and it’s the end of 2 Corinthians 3. Paul speaking to the Corinthians
and making it clear to them that this life is spiritual. This is a new life. We can see now. We can
see. Not as the children of Israel when they could not see in vs. 13.

I would like to simply say they couldn’t see. A veil was over Moses’ face. They couldn’t see the glory that was on Moses. They couldn’t see. All they could see was their trouble. They could see manna every day. They
could see strife and complaining and hear it and think it and feel it. They were in the desert and
couldn’t see. It reminds me of the man of God in our Bible. Sometimes we read Isaac was blind
and he blessed Manasseh and Ephraim, but he knew what he was seeing, not with these eyes
but with different eyes. You must see with other eyes, spiritual eyes, you, and I. We have to
see. Our Convention in June. I want to see that.

I don’t want to force anything, and I don’t want to misunderstand God’s plan and what he is doing but I would like to see and come to God and live in faith and see something. It’s like that in life in general. Sometimes when we feel we can see, we are blind. We have to see like a different way. Isaac was old and blind and then his son
Jacob was old and blind but both of them could prophesy and see into the future. Because of
this seeing, we can do the ministry and not stop. We can see. This is written here. If you go to
vs. 14. Maybe blinded as I said. They were blinded by life. Life can blind my eyes. Then the veil
is on their hearts in vs. 15. When the veil is taken away in vs. 16, the Lord is that spirit in vs. 17-
18. We are changed by the Spirit of God from glory to glory.

Someone could say – there is a brother and he’s very disciplined. How can you be so disciplined? And he could say because of what I see. I’m seeing. I’m being changed from glory to glory. Then I could say not me. I don’t
feel that way. Or I am some how discouraged. I’m somehow not understanding. I’m living like
everybody else is and the key is no. In chapter 4, it describes this change that happens and this
kind of ministry that is unusual. It’s not determined by external things. At the end of chapter 4,
it says we look not at the things that are seen but we look at what is not seen. This is by the
Spirit. The Holy Spirit leads us and shows us. 4:1, what ministry? Liberty, the glory of God. We
have a ministry. You might say I feel more like dirt than star dust. I feel more like mud than the
glory of God. Well, he’s going to explain it in a minute.

Even though the apostle Paul had been in prison a total of 8 years and as a Christian for 25 or so and even though he had suffered very much he was able to see again and again and not faint. 4:1, A little Greek book explaining the
Greek text here. It says we do not give in to evil. We do not lose courage. Maybe some people
are not with the Body that much, they lose courage maybe because they don’t have their
brothers and sisters as much as they normally have. They don’t resist evil. They just go with the
flow in a casual way. It can happen to any of us. When the veil is taken away and we are alive,
we are in worship. We are in communion.

The love feeds the love. The love helps me in my concentration, helps me in my decision making. In my response. I respond because this is spiritual. This is God’s life. Come unto me and learn of me. I am meek and lowly. Take my yoke. What yoke? The yoke of the fellowship and you’ll have rest for your soul. You won’t give up.
You’ll be able to go and go in your heart, not physically go. In your heart you are going in faith
from faith to faith and it’s maybe quiet and slowly growing but it’s there. I have no way to turn
back. This is too good. I’m not confused about where I am going . I’m making straight paths for
my feet. I’m not discouraged with some other way, but it says, stop. Ask for the good way, the
old pathway and you will find rest , Jeremiah 6:16. Vs. 2.

You know in our hearts there are things we are ashamed of. Those are the hidden things of dishonesty. It’s the hidden things of shame. Our shame causes us to hide. Sometimes I make my excuse instead of admitting my problem. I need God. I’m trusting in God. I don’t want to make excuses. I don’t want to be dishonest. I don’t
want to cover my shame. I want to be in the light of God, the light of his countenance, his
fellowship. There are believers that live in soulish life. They have a lot of talking and energy and
excuses and explanations, a lot of hiding and they get very tired from it. But they that wait upon
the Lord are bringing their dishonesty or their shame before God and he forgives us and
cleanses us, and he quickens us and fills us with the Holy Spirit. Vs. 5.

How many times have we met somebody that is living in the wrong way and they may be handling the Word of God but before I handle the Word of God for my advantage, it would be great for me to sit before the
Word of God and let it do an operation in me and I admit and I respond and I’m open and
naked before him in Hebrews 4:12-14. The Spirit of fellowship will heal me, cleanse me, John 15:3.
We’re able to be really strong people because of spiritual life. You can take an amazing beating
on the external things of life because of your internal life – the spirit of a man will sustain his
infirmity. He’ll be able to endure it. He’ll be able to be in the wilderness and be okay like Joshua
and Caleb and Moses.

He’ll be able to be corrected and receive the correction. He’ll be able to
say yes I have sinned like in Luke 18 when the man said, Lord, have mercy on me a sinner,
versus the Pharisee who said, thank God I’m not like him. Vs. 2. I believe I was thinking today in
America all these happy Spirit filled Christians that are going through this time with a lot of
praise and a little spring in their step, kind of an attitude of love and glory. I was thinking about
in America the answered prayers. I was thinking about God moving. We are the happiest people
in the world not because of our body or soul but because of the fellowship in the presence of
God is the fulness of joy.

At his right hand are pleasures forevermore. Wow! Truth. You will know the truth. What do you mean? You will know the truth. That’s an intuitive knowing. You will know the truth and it will set you free. The other people their consciences will kind of be alerted. What’s going on? Why are they like that? What’s going on? We say it’s God. God is real. It’s Christ. He is risen. And then we all say it in a simple humble way like God bless you and
many things. We have the power to bless because we are these kinds of people. vs. 3. It is hid
to those that are lost.

I’d like to think of it this way: If our gospel is belittled, if our gospel is
looked over, bypassed; if our gospel is not understood, if our gospel is not received; if our
gospel is just like people fly over it and have no recognition of what it is and the power of it,
then unfortunately it may be because they are lost people. They don t have the ability. The
difference between them and us. If our gospel which is this incredible new life, if this gospel of
this new life is ours and if it is not received then in vs. 4. Somehow and I believe this spirit that
is in this world is able to blind people’s minds. It’s able to bewitch them so to speak.

Like in those Disney cartoons. Or the chronicles of Narnia in C. S. Lewis. Who was that woman, Cruella
De Vil with the black hair and the white hair. Frozen territory. Frozen area. Like a bewitching
happening in a town or city. They are blinded. It doesn’t work. It doesn’t happen. I’d like to tell
a short story about this. There was an amazing story. Pilly Kraama’s grandmother. Pivy Jensen’s
grandmother way up in northern Finland. The tragedy happened in the family. Her husband was
killed in a car accident. She moved to a small village in the middle of Finland in the east, 5,000
people and she started praying and opened her home up to the kids in the public school across
the street, and she had her little family and the kids would come at lunch time and she talked about God and Jesus.

They would pray and the kids would run back to school, 5 th grade, 6 th
grade, 7 th grade, 8 th grade. This happened there and it’s amazing. In that town from that group
of people we have 27 people that came from that town into our work, our work in the ministry.
27 people. And you know who they are? Many of them you know. Matti Sirvio was one of them.
Marian Hakinen was another one of them. The Kraama family. Pirte and Kikko. These people. 27
and we say it must have been the prayer. It was the prayer that opened up the hearts and the
minds. When we went there in 1976 as a guest to preach there, we were in the Lutheran room
and they had a lot of people in it.

We preached there and it resonates with those young people.
Teija Petrone, another one. Teija Petrone. They resonated. The Spirit did it. They were like, I am
in, in time. I want to go to Bible college. I don’t know what I’m going to do. I want to follow
God. It happened. I would say the god of this world is busy blinding people to this great gift that
we have. It’s our prayers and our ministry and our lives of faith and the joy we have and our
peace and quietness and our spiritual life that has an impact. Vs. 4. What kind of gospel?
Glorious gospel. It’s amazing. Remember the series of messages preached many years ago, the
glorious gospel. Pastor would say it’s not just the ABC gospel.

It’s not only that you are a sinner and you need to be saved, but it’s more. You are a sinner and need to be saved, but when you are saved, you are seated in heavenly places. It’s more. You’re seated in heavenly places but
baptized into the Body. It’s more. You have the gifts of the Spirit. It’s more. You have power
with God. It’s more. You are the bride of Christ being prepared by God and being washed by the
water of the Word in Ephesians 5:26. It’s more. You have an eternal purpose. It’s more. You’re
equipped to live in this world and move mountains and be the salt and the light and have grace.
Even it’s more. When you fail, the grace of God is greater than your failure.

When you are lost and feel troubled and deeply discouraged, it is a living God that will never leave you or forsake
you in Hebrews 13:5. He calls you by name. It is a glorious gospel. The glory of God on the face
of Moses. But now we see not the face of Moses, but the face of Christ. Face to face. You know
how it is when you see a face. I’ve told it many times but in the battlefields in the Civil War
when photography was a new art, men in the war sometimes had a photo. They are in the
battlefield and when they are mortally wounded and dying they would pull that out and look at
their loved one. They looked at the picture and they died. Often they would find those soldiers
with the picture because the face.

The face. Face speaks. It’s the same with us. If I could see Jesus’ face. If I could see God loving me. If I can see the Spirit of God, Christ’s Spirit revealing to me the nature of a loving, powerful, Almighty, gracious God and we are very well equipped. We are going to take a few minutes but notice in the sequence. Vs. 5. We are going to go to verse
10. Vs. 6. God commanded the light to shine out of darkness. When did he do that? In the
beginning when he created the heavens and the earth. Let there be light and there was. Did he
do it another time? When Jesus was born in Bethlehem. It says in John 1, in him was light and
the light was the light of men. When Jesus spoke there was light.

That was in the midst of darkness. Did he do it when you were born again? Did he command that light would shine in the darkness of your life? When God would speak to you maybe early in a morning when you’re
sitting in darkness but God commands light to shine out of the darkness. Could it be in my
deepest trouble as a child of God that God has shone the light in the darkness. He commanded it to shine in where? Our hearts. Vs. 6. What kind of knowledge? It says in my Greek book here
it is intuitive. It is a knowledge that is a knowledge not just a knowledge of intelligence but
illumination. It is enlightment. The illumining which the knowledge of the glory produces. It’s
like I know. I know. We have a brother who comes normally, and he was at the drive-in on
Sunday. We went to coffee.

We had a tailgate coffee session at the Dunkin Donuts at Rossville and Route 40. We were in the pouring rain. I called him Duck Dynasty, his pickup truck. We had a good time. Duck Dynasty Joe. He goes I came to this church a few times and then I was gone for some months and then I came back. Then it happened to me. I’m never leaving here. This is awesome. I got it. I got it. That’s what he’s saying. This is beautiful. This is what has happened
to you and me. If it hasn’t happened to you, wait on God. Bring your self before God. It’s going
to be explained here. Vs. 7. Convention. We are being asked by folks in Europe, is the
Convention going to happen? This is my answer. We have a treasure in our earthen vessels that
the excellency of the power may be of God not of us.

It’s a God thing. It’s a God thing. I believe in my heart God wants us to have it. I believe it will happen. I believe it is a God thing. I ask you and to keep it in your heart and mind and bring it to God. This isn’t soulish. This is not some
organization that operates mechanically by policies and mechanics. No, this is spiritual. Wow!
This is spiritual. This is what God wants to do. What does God want to do? What does God want
to do in your life? Maybe this coronavirus time is one of the best times in my life. It is the life of
the Spirit. What is God saying? What is God doing? What is he preparing? Maybe he’s coming
back very soon. There are many people saying that.

Maybe this is the beginning of a shakeup and a preparation and maybe a pouring out of his Spirit. We pray for that. For us judgment begins at the house of God. Let us bring ourselves before the light of his countenance. Be very
honest with God. Very honest with God. No hiding. Absolute brokenness and openness before
him. We have it in earthen vessels. Vs. 8 Meaning of that is we are subject to pressure, to afflict
that which presses upon or burdens the spirit. Remember Paul was troubled with the
Corinthians and he hadn’t seen Titus in 2 Corinthians 2. He had some bad reports and sent Titus. Later,
he was comforted by the coming of Titus in chapter 7.

Paul was troubled by reports. He was troubled by sickness. Vs. 8. This means pressure into a narrow place. Narrowness of room, confined space and then painfulness of which this is the occasion. This is the real trouble but
not to distressed, not to be at a loss, to be in doubt, to be perplexed, to be despondent. We are
perplexed but not in despair. These words would take some time, but I believe you understand
exactly what is being said. It is so easy in a very troubled life in a world where there is a lot of
things going on. What are some of the things? My family. Maybe a broken heart. What are
some of the things? Maybe I’m worried about my marriage.

Maybe I’m worried about my future. Maybe I’m concerned or worried about the next period of time. Maybe I’m very
troubled in my heart with some relationships of some kind. Maybe I take in too much about the
news and what is being said and all the conspiracy theories of all kinds and so on. What I’m
saying is life happens, but I wanted you to hear this and believe me. I want it in my heart, too. I
want to know. I want to find that treasure that is in the earthen vessel. Jesus said I leave but I
send you the Comforter. I believe a season in prayer can turn things around. I’d rather be one
day in the house of the Lord than a thousand in the tents of the wicked.

The tents of the wicked, it’s the same old, same old. I’m to meet God in the tents of the wicked. It’s round and
round. A thousand days in the tents of the wicked. One day in the house of God, one day in the
Spirit and the spirit of a man and the Spirit of God are in communion and we get showered with
this peace and love and this treasure that is in the earthen vessel. This deep encouragement
that is able to say, I love my wife. I am very patient. I love my wife. God will help me. He will
help me. My kids are in trouble. I don’t know how to handle that, but I have to cast my care on
God, 1 Peter 5. I have to cast my care for he cares for me. He cares.

He takes our burdens and carries them and helps us. We need to learn this. We need to learn to give up in the right way and surrender to God. Too many are fighting in their soul. They are fighting in the flesh. They
are fighting for their rights, for what belongs to them. They are fighting in this life with the
flesh. Paul is saying, no. I have been troubled on every side, but I am being upheld by the Spirit
of God. The Spirit of God is upholding me. I want to finish it. Vs. 9. Cast down – the word was
used of throwing an opponent down in wrestling. Striking someone down with a sword or
another weapon. It sounds brutal. Vs. 9. Driven down.

Like Paul is driven down. He’s smitten. On the outside of my body, my soul but there is a spirit in a man, and it will sustain his infirmity. It will carry him. It will carry him. It will guide you. He will teach you. He will comfort you. You
will be stronger. You will be restored. You will be encouraged. You’ll be healed. You’ll be
upheld. Please do not throw your spiritual life away because of disappointment or shame or
failure. When you fall down, get up and go on in faith. God is for you and not against you. God
will heal you and bless you and guide you and lead you. Maybe your failure is a steppingstone
to know him and his grace and uphold you and teach you very much. Vs. 10.

Always dying. The processes of dying, slaying, putting to death. Paul’s constant exposure to death. Paul was
constantly on the edge of dying. He was always bearing about in his body the dying. But I
believe there is another kind of dying. Not a physical dying but a dying to my self-life, a dying to
my rights, a dying to what belongs to me, a dying to what my privileges are and my rights as a
person. You’ve stolen my dignity from me. You have slandered me. God says to me in my heart
you are dying the death of the Lord Jesus. He was naked in the eyes of the whole world, a fool
and weak. So you also have the dying of the Lord Jesus in your life.

Will you accept it? Yes, if I can have you. If I can find God I lose my life and look that way. That’s okay with me if I can discover the treasure that is in the earthen vessel. Vs. 10. This is the last part. The life also. The
life. Ever heard people say in that church there is life. In that fellowship there is life. There is
life. I don’t know why but he’s alive. That guy is fun to be with. He’s got life. Where did he get
the life? Through the dying of the Lord Jesus. The life of God. He gave his life. He lost his life and
now he’s got another life, uncreated life. He lost his created life in order to gain uncreated life.
He lost his rights to find the cross and at the cross he found life.

That’s our calling. Then it says the manifestation. It’s manifested. Convention in Baltimore June 2020 we’re on track. We’re going to do it. It’s going to happen. I ask you to bring it to God in prayer. I ask you to think
about it. It may be the greatest Convention we’ve ever had. I don’t know the details of it. I’m
not thinking about it like that tonight. I’m just saying what we are looking at is something not by
the ambitions of our flesh. We don’t care about that. Not about a reputation. We don’t care
about that. We are more concerned about the work, the Spirit, the love, face to face, and about encouragement, about our mission. I want to hear fresh things from God about our mission and
what God is doing.

I want to see my brothers and my sisters in the plan of God and whatever
God is doing this summer and into the fall, and about missions in the world and the preaching
of the gospel and bring the message of Jesus Christ wherever we can. Know that the god of this
world is blinding the minds, but God is working. God is working and he’s using you and me.
That’s the message. Amen. In this great crowd here tonight which is empty, I can hear the roar
of praise in our hearts and thanksgiving for the message of 2 Corinthians 3 and 4. I know what this
means to the church as a whole, everywhere, and down through history. We’re going to pray
right now.

 

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.