Godly counsel in the Body of Christ makes us healthy people. We learn Truth. We learn to love righteousness. We learn to help the weak and the failing. (Romans 15:1-7)
Speaker(s): Pastor Thomas Schaller
6:30 PM on 3/14/2021
P. Schaller –
One of our messages was about counseling and secular psychology replacing biblical counsel. That was
yesterday afternoon. One writer said that the evangelical church has sold its position of
counseling people to a mess of psychology pottage, taken from Esau selling his birthright for a
bowl of lentil soup. I feel this past week what happened was we were together. When we are
together, there are gifts of the Spirit that function and in that ministry is counseling, divine or
godly counsel. I want to use this text tonight, Romans 15:1-7, with this in mind. The 11:00 service
this morning was very good. That was from Psalm 19 and I just feel that what we are saying is very
important in the days we are living. Because some of us are students of history. We are not
scholars of it but we have lived in countries where we have followed through what has
happened tragically in Eastern Europe with Communism, with the ideology. We know people
that have been through it, that have grown up in it. We understand the mentality of a totalitarian
regime. It’s not far form our understanding when we read about Nazism and what happened,
and dissidents were imprisoned or murdered. People that resisted.
They resisted their propaganda, did not agree with it. Those people were dealt with harshly many times in history.
The United States of America doesn’t have that tradition or that history. We don’t have.
Generally, we have a very open and free population that can express dissidence or I don’t
approve of that. I don’t accept that. I don’t believe in that. Keep an eye on that. Keep an eye on
that. The advantage we have in this context is we have the Spirit of truth. I have to tell the truth.
It’s in you. You have to tell the truth to yourself. You have to sleep with yourself. You have to tell
the truth to your children, to your friends. You have to tell the truth. I cannot lie. I do not accept
and believe what may be propagated by the government or the media. I don’t accept or believe
that. Period. That’s the way it is. Now, the issue here tonight is that we find ourselves healthy.
How did we get healthy but by the Spirit of God, the gift of regeneration and fellowship with each
other in the truth. That’s how we are healthy. Instruction is a way of life. It’s not my opinion.
You didn’t come here to listen to me. You came here to learn the Bible. You did not come here – this
isn’t a social gathering of mutual admiration. This is deeper. This is we are seeking God. Even if
it hurts, we seek God. We want the truth. We want the anointing of God to lead us in our life. I
witnessed that this past week with the pastors, with the Body. This is very, in a way, this is very
expensive. It’s very expensive for this to happen. It costs a lot. Proverbs 23:23, When Christ came,
this is our example. He is in a world where there are many lies and he’s telling the truth and he’s
getting in trouble as he tells the truth, but he cannot help it. Psalm 40, I did not hold back from
telling the truth in the great congregation. I love righteousness and I hate iniquity. This is what
the prophet said about him. We are blessed people. We are blessed people in life and we are a
free people. We are free. We are free to assemble. We are free to have a Bible. I had a friend
who was in the Soviet Army and he was stationed in Egypt.
He had a library and when the military moved back, his particular group moved back to the Soviet Union and the authorities went through his library. He could take every book except one. That was the Bible that he had
acquired. All the books could go back to the Soviet Union except the Bible. Do you realize it was
illegal? Do you realize the Wizard of Oz was illegal? And 1984, the book, was illegal in the
Soviet Union. You got to realize that we have a history. We have something to say that is very
much in our hearts and it is our freedom to be who we are, to believe as we believe, to embrace
it and tell the truth. It’s so precious and important to us. Psalm 51:6, I must speak the truth in my
inner part, deep in my soul. I have to go to bed with myself. I have to stand before God. I have
to confess my sin. I have to bring my life before God. I have to in good conscience. Another
case, one of our new believers in Kazakhstan. This is some years ago. She was brought up in a
Muslim family. She talked to me.
My family is against me. I’m in a lot of trouble with my family. I said, why? Because I became a Christian. I said what is the Constitution of your government say in Kazakhstan? Do you have a freedom of conscience? Can you believe based on conscience? She said, yes. I said that’s the issue. You have to stand before God with what you
believe. And if it’s Christ is what you believe, then you with good conscience – even your
government is saying with good conscience then you have the right to that. That’s very simple.
So with this in mind, turn to Romans 15:1, could somebody deny the Lord. Could somebody say I
believe in Jesus but not anymore because I don’t want to go to prison. I deny the Lord. Yes,
somebody could. Who did that in the Bible? Turn to your neighbor and ask them. Peter. The
Apostle Peter. When Peter denied the Lord, was he weak? Yes, he was weak. He denied the Lord and went out and he wept. Why did he weep? He had promised I will never do that. I will
never. Jesus said, yes, you will. Yes, you will.
No, I will die with you. Let us go and die with him. I think Thomas said that. But he didn’t. He wept. He went out and wept. That happens to Christians. It happens to Christians that we also lie. We also fail. We sin. We stumble. We are
weak. But during the Convention this past week, I didn’t feel that weakness. Personally, I didn’t
feel the weakness and when I was in fellowship I didn’t really see that weakness. I saw strength.
I saw an anointing of God. I saw edification. I saw people talking with each other on the deck, on
the sidewalk, in the pastors’ meetings, in the ladies’ meetings. I saw godly people ministering
quietly, beautifully listening to each other and in the heart, supporting. I am for you. It’s in our
heart. It’s not necessarily these words. But I’m trying to say something. If God made you strong,
and if God has built us up and edified us, that’s good so we can help weak people. By the way,
you and I that may be strong today may be weak tomorrow.
We may stumble next week and have our problem. But what is the nature of this relationship but it is the Lord wants his church to be built up so we can help each other. This is really what I want to say. vs. 1. I feel that is
what happened this past week. People were here and it was more than me and my life. It is
here because it’s the Body. I want to lay down my life for the brethren. I want to just be around
my sisters and brothers to help support because we have a worldwide mission. People in other
parts of the world are watching us and they are following. We have some place in the plan of
God. We are not people pleasers. We’re not looking at anything other than just asking daily God
to lead us as a people in a world that needs a message. Needs instruction. vs. 2. What’s the
plan? It’s that in our hearts I would like my neighbor to be helped. I would like a child to be
loved. I would like a dad to be encouraged and keep at it. I’m developing this message about
dads and sons and daughters. I realize how the world makes fun of fatherhood. It’s part of the
Spirit of the age.
That a father is a nobody. Many of these ideas but a quiet, loving father who is just there faithfully providing and teaching hard work and morality and listening and controls his anger or frustration has a word in season. How does he have a word in season to his son? He has a word in season because he received a word. He has received a ministry so he has a ministry. Isn’t that good? He tells the truth to his son. He tells the truth to him and he instructs
him about manhood. I remember when I was a little boy my mom said do you want a magazine
like a Boy’s Life I think the name was. Any one remember that? Boy’s Life. I said sure. Anything
free you want to give to me. I got this magazine about boy scouts and boy’s tying knots and
boys doing things. It was good because I want to be a man. I want to be a man. I want to learn
about building a fire, a campfire, doing things, building a tree fort, a tree house. Little rules in our
family like you never hit a woman, you never hit a girl. You never hit a girl. You can beat up
guys but you can never touch a girl. Never.
Ever. Your sisters. Never. These are little thoughts and ideas that I think there is a place for instruction regarding life. That instruction – like premarital sex is another thing. Where do kids ever hear about why we do not do that? Why do
we have sex after marriage? How are children and teenagers ever going to learn these things if
there is no instruction. Why do we do it? We want their edification. vs. 2. Edification. Son, I want
the best for you. My daughter. I remember as teenage girls I go, you are fine ladies. You are
ladies. You are precious young women. You are fine women. You are precious. I would tell
them that. I would love them and tell them that. That’s a simple thing. Teenagers. Children. How
many elderly people need edification. How many that are teaching that are teachers need their
gas tank filled up by receiving teaching. How many businessmen need teaching and to know
God and walk with God and also suffer. And suffer a little bit maybe might happen because I’m
taught and I learn this. vs. 3. I thought I was all about me?
No, I’ve learned something else. I’ve learned it’s not about me. I want God. I want God in my life, right? Let’s see what will happen as we walk with God. You can say I’ve been walking with God for a couple months and see what
happens. You can do that but you can also say I want to walk with God and see what happens
like what happens. What does he do? How does he reward us? It says without faith it is
impossible to please him but he that believes, believes that God is and a rewarder of those that
diligently seek him. In other words, there is something as I seek him, there is some reward that
happens. Can’t we say many of us that somehow we have seen his reward? In some measure.
Some peace. You know. Some love. Life. Faith. vs. 3-4. The reproach, the opposition against
God by sinful people fell on me. vs. 4-5. That means our whole Bible that was written before the
book of Romans, everything was written for our learning. Exodus. Leviticus. Numbers.
Deuteronomy. Moses. Solomon. Proverbs. Psalms. History. Chronicles. Kings. Ecclesiastes.
Isaiah. All the prophets. The minor prophets. Everything was written for our learning. We realize
that God is not mocked. He is a living God. He’s not, we don’t fool around. We are not tempting
him. It’s written for our learning. All the good things that we learn from our Bible is written before
so that we become a student of these things. We are instructed by them. vs. 4. Takes time.
Patience in the Scripture. Hours, days, months, years. Listening. You coming here. Patience in
the Scriptures. Comfort. Patience. Learning. Why did Jehoshaphat have a problem? Who was
Hezekiah? Why did Uzziah become a leper? What did Isaiah really say as a prophet? I love the
minor prophets because there are little gems in there. Amos and Joel and Micah. I love. Before I
go to bed, sometimes I go and read some pages through there and it’s a comfort to me. It’s
teaching and something to think about as we fall asleep. The result is that the Body could be
edified. The Body is edified. People are taught.
They are instructed. They learn to hate sin. What a miracle that is. I hate sin. I hate a lie, Psalm 101. David said, I hate a lie. And those that turn away, they will not cleave to me. I think of duct tape kind of like you might not even know
it’s there. Like on your back a piece of duct tape and it’s cleaving to you and that person went
away. They left. They went away. They’re gone and the fact that they are gone is cleaving to
me. Demas has forsaken me having loved this present evil world. Well, I just take the duct tape
off. It will not cleave to me because that person’s life, that’s their decision. That’s not mine.
That’s their decision. That’s not my life. I have this edification that happens because you and I
are growing. God wants us to grow. vs. 5. What is the meaning of consolation? It’s a reward.
The God of patience and the one that is taking care of you. The God of patience and the one
that is rewarding you, the one that is visiting you.
The one that is building you up. I think this covid year has been a trial run. It’s kind of a weight room exercise getting in training for the Olympics. This is it. This is it. Come on guys. We’re in it. Let’s go. We’re assembling. Forsake
not the assembling as the manner of some is. Isn’t that good. It’s time to get back to church. It’s
time to assemble. Sixty-five million Americans, is it, that have the vaccine already and we hit
herd immunity back in November and December. We had covid. Been there. Maybe get it again.
Get another immunity. My body will get build up against it. Yeah! Come on! Hey, that’s not an
issue. This is an issue, what’s in our hearts. Are we edified? Are we ready to train our children
and grandchildren in the faith? Are we going to one day lay hands on young people that are
going to go with a message and the Spirit to edify people in South America and edify them and
build them up and will those strong be able to minster to the weak? That’s a good word. Us that
stumble or are troubled. I’m intellectually troubled.
I had that problem as a Christian. I had things that troubled me about the faith. I had things that I wasn’t sure about. I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t really answer all my questions. I couldn’t really understand the whole thing, so I learned to live
by faith. And the Bible spoke to me. Then I understood it through the Bible and I understood
what Jesus said through the Holy Spirit to build me up in my faith. Then I’m in the Body and I’m
saying, hey, we don’t know everything but we really love each other. Hey, I don’t know the
answer to this question. Nobody does. Nobody does but these people have a smile. I’ll take the
people that have the smile. We got the faith. They’re talking about Jesus. Unto us that believe,
Jesus is precious. Irreplaceable. Invaluable. Unique. I was in Hungary one time and they said to
me in the village, we were evangelizing and they said to me in the village, there’s Mozart’s
piano. And I go, wow. I don’t know really what that means.
Do you want to go see it? I said, no. That’s okay. I said, how many pianos does he have? They didn’t know. This was a museum with his piano. Then I was thinking that piano is precious because Mozart is gone and there will
never be a piano that he plays, right? To some people it’s precious. It’s irreplaceable. You can’t
reproduce it. Never be again. It’s precious. To some people that’s precious, that piano. That’s
like Jesus to us. There’s nobody like him. He is precious. We have him. God is with us. We have
strength from God. vs. 5. Like minded one toward another. I feel that way. We see our brothers
from Miami and Tampa and different places. Chicago and Marlboro and we sit down and have a
time together. We laugh a lot. We talk a lot. We care a lot. We weep a little bit maybe. I saw
tears this past week. We are like minded one to another. You can make it. Let’s say a Christian
falls down and a young girl, we said it this morning, a young girl gets pregnant. She’s a
Christian. She does something sinful. It’s wrong. We know that.
But it happens and she’s pregnant now. She needs to be loved, encouraged, forgiven, built up. She not only do we
restore her but we walk with her in it. We walk with her in her pregnancy. We walk with her in
letting her know, loving her because you are forgiven that’s one thing. But Body life means we
are the Body and there are many members and many gifts that are able to edify one another and be like minded. Wait a minute. I put her down in my mind. Look what happened to her.
That’s unbelievable. Look at what happened. I’m not like minded. I put her down. That happens
in church life. That cannot happen in Body life. The Spirit of God doesn’t say that. The Spirit of
God picks up, restores, and builds up and carries here through the pregnancy, the birth of the
child, the next phase whatever it is, the care. I got to say our fellowship is that way. That’s how I
see it. That’s how I watch. That’s how I believe but it takes instruction, doesn’t it? It takes some
provoking us in our hearts and minds cause this is bigger than just people.
This is a spiritual life where we are edified and we that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak. Please we
could say to folks around the world come and be with us because God is helping us and we are
members. Let us go to them. We’re looking forward to the summer and what will God do. Keep it
in prayer. We don’t want to assume anything but walk in prayer and see what God will do in
helping and building up and ministering in a world-wide sense and locally. Two more verses. vs.
6. Listen to this part, vs. 7. Have we received one another as Christ as received us. I’ll never
forget one experience I had. This is back in the Communist days. I was traveling to
Czechoslovakia from Poland and the borders were very tight. You could stay there for days
even at the borders as they were checking. I was invited to preach at a church, a church that
was underground. I think it was officially registered but they had suffered persecution and the
authorities were very strong on it. They got me in there.
I was living in Finland at the time. I got in there and I love that whole thing. We’re doing something illegal and it was interesting. These people, it was their call. If they invited me it was what they were doing. I wasn’t pushing myself
but they had heard things about us in Finland, the revival in Finland, the work of God in Finland,
so we were invited. A Polish pastor did it too so it was through him that we ended up at this
border town on the other side. Our contact was very interesting and I love these people. There
was a pastor named Arto [?] and he had a little son, a little guy. They sent people to the border
to meet me and bring me to the place. We preached there. It was a very good time and a lot of
love and the Spirit of God there. This was 1979. When we moved to Hungary because we were
praying that we could go to that part of the world if Communism ended, that we could go to this
part of the world. We moved to Hungary in 1990.
That little boy was grown up and he came to our Bible school in Budapest from Czechoslovakia, David Rusnock. It was precious because I loved his dad and his dad loved me. We loved each other and somehow even time and distance
didn’t have anything. It was something more. We were received as Christ received us so we
receive each other. Not with suspicion. Not with doubt but with love. There is something about
Christians, the way we are, we recognize each other. The way we are is like there is something
about us that we have something going on from God, our heavenly Father, and he has put us
together when we don’t even know each other and it’s edifying. It’s called Body life. There are
many gifts in the Body. Much happening in the Body. Many things. That’s why we call it like
therapy. This is like a psychological therapy to be with people that love you. I just come in to the
room and I sit and listen to hear what God has to say to my heart. I ‘m with people that love me
and receive me as Christ has received me.
You can think of the Apostle Peter denying the Lord three times, Jesus going to get him and receive him and bring him back and restore him and say, do you love me? Yes, I love you. Feed my sheep. Do you love me? Yes, I love you. Feed
my lambs. Do you love me? Yes, feed my sheep. This is restoration. This is Body life. This is for
weak people, all people. This is the ministry of the Body. We need it. But if the world doesn’t
have it so what do they have? A pub, a barroom, an affair. They have sexual excitement. They
have money. They have a boat. They have activities. They have a mutual admiration. You’re a
great guy. Yeah, you’re a great guy and then you find out in the other room he says that guy is a
jerk. He said you are great guy a second ago, but you’re not. Hello? Is that an empty life? Is that
what we suffer from? Then we go to the psychiatrist or the doctor and we get some medications
for our anxiety and our fears and insecurities and then we read psychology books to try to, or go
to the movies to try and find out who I can follow.
Or a celebrity or a basketball player or somebody. I don’t have a role model. I don’t have a father maybe. I don’t have a role model. I don’t have any instruction. I don’t have any teaching. I don’t have any comfort. I don’t have any
deep connection with people. So I’m hurting. These verses are saying that our fellowship is
different from that. In my words, our fellowship is therapeutic. I get helped. I get loved. I get
encouraged. I get a friend. vs. 7. Thank you, Body of Christ. I have to say that I go to bed last
night thinking about our week and just saying, thank you Lord. You know. That’s all. I know you
discern it, recognize it. It will grow. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, just keep coming. It will grow and the light will go on at different times. Remember that brother said I got two brain
cells and one is flashing on and off! And I’m not the smartest guy but sometimes I get it. It might
take some time. But brothers and sisters, we have been born again and put into something, the
Body of Christ, that we desperately need. It will keep me from myself. It will keep me from my
sinful, fleshful life to a degree.
It will restore me when I fail. It will help me go all the way. It will build me up in my faith and by the way, it is needed everywhere. Little groups of people of ten or five or fifteen or thirty. A church with seven people. It is needed everywhere and it grows. If God is in it and he is, and we seek him, we will find him, and we’ll have a ministry that will be
effective and it’s very much needed. Churches are closed. People are very much discouraged.
They turn to the world. The liquor store says we are open to meet your needs. The liquor store.
We are wide open. Come in. We will meet your needs. We are saying you cannot meet my
needs. That’s a lie. You have no idea what my needs are. I don’t need your filthy stuff. I don’t
need it. I don’t care about it. I’m not tempted by it. I’m not fighting it. I don’t care about it. I want
the church to be open saying, God will meet your needs. We are open and God will meet your
needs and he uses you and I in the ministry to help people and they need it.
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.
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