Has God said? That question was posed by the serpent in the Garden. We know that God has spoken in His Word, and He has spoken clearly about Himself and our value to Him. Let Him write His thoughts upon your heart and make you whole. (Psalm 119:17-20; Luke 24:13; Jeremiah 31:31-34)
Speaker(s): Pastor Thomas Schaller
Sermon # 11313
11:00 AM on 8/13/2017
Praise God. God is with us. (Jer 31)
Bible college will be starting up in two weeks. You are all welcome. Maybe something said today will encourage you in taking a class or the whole program. We have two brothers from Romania that came to go to Bible college here. Maybe some Hungarians. Finnish. Please be praying that God will give us a great year. This is because of the New Covenant.
(Jer 31:31-34) When God brought them out of Egypt he brought them to Sinai and made a covenant with them based on Law. He said if you keep my Law, you will be blessed. If you violate my Law, you will be cursed. It didn’t work well for them because we all have the fallen nature of man and are not keeping the covenant. When it comes to conditional covenants based on our performance, we are bound to break them based on our sin nature. We may do it for a period of time, but we know we are sinners sold under sin and having the constant habit of breaking the Law. He said I will make a New Covenant.
vs. 33. I will put my law in their inward parts. In our Bible Psychology class, – a short diagram here. We have the heart of man and we put a hole in it. We say that when we read the Scripture that man’s heart is deceitful and desperately wicked.
We read that in Jer 17:9. The heart being deceitful like a decoy. We have decoys used in hunting. They look like ducks, decoy ducks, but it isn’t the real thing. Same in the heart of man. It might look like he is a R man but he isn’t. He may do the right things but not with a perfect heart.
It is God that looks on the heart, 1 Sam 16. God knows our heart and realizes we have a heart issue. Even if we obey, we really don’t want to and look for the opportunity to do something in secret. We say to our young people, nothing good happens after 10 at night. Get home. Or 11 at night. In darkness, people misbehave. They do things at night and in the daytime they look very good. God is saying we did this covenant with your heart being wicked. But I have done a new thing and given you a new heart. This is the heart of Christ. We can also say the heart of David. David had a heart after God and so do you. You are born again and God gave you a new spirit and a new heart. The Holy Spirit and the heart of man, a new one. Not of the first Adam but of the last Adam. How many understand what I mean? How many people are in the world? How many different kinds? Two. Someone says there is all kinds of races, but no. There are two. One Adam, the first Adam who is a sinner. It doesn’t matter the color of my skin, how much money I have, etc. We are of the first Adam and the first Adam dies. He has a hole in his heart and is searching for something to satisfy him. He is looking for security and value. He wants to be important and loved. I want someone to notice me. I’m made to be loved. When we are born into this world and our mother takes us into our arms and loves us, we are made for value and security. But we lost it. When we lost God, we lost it. Yes, my mother holds me but it’s not deep enough. They may know my name at school but it’s not enough for me. You need to be loved by God. You need to be secure in the arms of God. You need to be spoken to by God. Your heart needs to be secure in God. That’s why the second Adam came. There is an emptiness or loneliness or insecurity. The second Adam is not insecure, is not afraid, is not guilty, is not foolish but is very wise and secure. He is the one who has come into your life so you are born again. You have both of these hearts in your life. They don’t work at the same time. They are like those on/off switches. You push the top one and the bottom one goes out and you push the bottom one and the top one goes out. One excludes the other. When Christ dwells in us, and he always does, but I may not reckon on him in my sanctification. I may not live by faith in him.
vs. 33. Where does it go? Where does the law go? In the inward parts. Using our picture it goes here. The law is written in our new heart in our spirit. The Word of God goes in our spirit and in our heart and now we delight to do God’s will. We have a hunger for God we didn’t have before. This heart with a hole in it doesn’t have any desire for God in the absolute sense. I may cry out I’m hurting, help me. And that’s not a bad thing, but this heart doesn’t have a capacity for the ways of God. The new heart does. I will put my law in the inward parts. You will love me. You will do my will. You will enjoy that. You will have delight in the will of God. Delight yourself in the Lord and he shall give you the desires of your heart. Set your affection on things above, not on things below. Set your affection on things you can’t see, like God. The first commandment is to love him. How can I love him when I don’t see him, when I don’t know him and maybe I don’t really care actually. We come to Christ by faith and we are born again and now we have something going on we didn’t have before.
We have this truth in the inner part in Ps. 51:6. There is a hunger or a desire or a question. Could God answer my prayer? Could God deliver me from my personal problems? Can God be my strength, my fortress, my refuge? Can he help me in my pit, my struggle, my life?
Ps. 119. We see the repetition of this thought. Your Word. When we say that we mean the Bible. There is more. There is the Word that is in the Bible that is living. Building us up in our inner man. We have an inner man. The world of psychology has hijacked people. People are thinking in terms of are they treated fairly, how they got offended, how they got hurt, how to improve themselves, how to be a positive thinker.
Ps.119 what is really needed is God writing in the inner part of me and putting in us his Word. Words. Life. God’s Word is living, quick, and powerful.
Heb. 4:12. The Word of God is inspired. It’s the breath of God. God breathed in Adam and made him a living soul. The first Adam was a living soul and the last Adam is a quickening spirit.
What is needed is man to be made alive in his spirit and to walk in the Spirit, Gal 5:16, Eph. 2:1, Ps 119. Quicken me according to thy word.
vs. 25. My soul cleaves to the dust. Has that happened to any of you this week? Isn’t it true? My soul goes to the dust. What was the curse God gave to the devil? On his belly he would go and eat the dust. How about me? My soul cleaves to the dust that the devil eats. I don’t like that connection. That I would cleave to the dust when we have been made to be more like angels, to be more like God, to be like Christ, to be made a quickening spirit. Sometimes I want to hear bad news than good news. The scandal, the perversion, the failure, the infirmity, the negativity, the revenge, the desire to destroy. My ego, my self-importance, maybe even self-improvement as an idea or plan for my life. I cleave to the dust. I used to live in Europe and we would have talks. Raising questions was fashionable. Is the Bible really the Word of God? Is Christ really raised from the dead? Why is there suffering, pain, poverty? All these questions leave us with no answers. Then the churches are empty. You may marvel at the building but go inside and hardly anyone there. In Finland, 88% it used to be were Lutheran but it’s less today and only 5% are going to church. Why are the churches empty? We cleave to the dust and there is no quickening, there is no message. There is no answer for these questions until you come to what we are talking about today. God would put it in my inner part. That inside the H.S. would give me words and he would say he is risen from the dead. Is he risen? Yes, he is. What about this or that? The contradiction in the Bible, a lot of seeming contradictions. God makes the wisdom of men foolish. God’s wisdom is higher than the wisdom of Adam. We have some assurance. Is the Bible true? Yes, I know it is. It’s in my heart. I can reason and explain and I understand in some measure, but it’s not a blind faith. It’s a faith with our eyes open and our understanding sharpened by the wisdom of God. Quicken me according to thy Word.
vs. 25. Make me alive by your Word. I’m trying to explain this and we will understand it today. I want you to know where I’m going. I have a concern that people come to the church and listen to a message and [say] “it was very good” [or] “I enjoyed it” and they go out the door and don’t read their Bible personally. They go on in life and don’t have the Bible in their life in a personal way. They’re not digging into it, not looking for God in it. He said a New Covenant I make that I will give you a new heart and spirit and put my law in your heart. You shall know me as your God. God becomes our God and that’s exciting. God is someone we can talk to and love, someone we care about, someone whose arms are not short. Someone we can trust in every area. I have a living God who cares about me in my marriage. When I’m older and sick, we have a God that talks. We have a God that has words. A God that cares for us. It’s very motivational when it goes in the inner part. You start to seek and look and listen and care.
Mortimer Adler wrote a book on “How to Read a Book.” He’s observed “that the one time people read for all they are worth is when they are in love and are reading a love letter. They read every word three ways. They read between the lines and in the margins. They read the whole in terms of the part and each part in terms of the whole. They grow sensitive to context and ambiguity, to insinuation and implication. They perceive the color of words, the order of phrases and the weight of sentences. They may even take the punctuation in to account. Then if never before they read carefully and in depth. So should believers read the love letter that the eternal lover of our souls has given to us so that we may better know him and his purposes.”
Ps 119: 17, 18, I remember Spurgeon would say I get on the side of my bed and put my Bible there and kneel down and get into the Word and read it prayerfully and slowly. God will speak to you from your Bible. This must be in your personal life. The sword of the Spirit is the rhema that will govern and guide you in your decisions. I remember our first year in Finland. I was thinking of coming back to America. We went out as a team and had a difficult time. God spoke to me from the Word and I was staying. I remember the story about the Israelites left Egypt and wanted to go back to Egypt. They don’t know what they really want. They don’t know how to guide their life or organize their way. Guide me God according to your Word. Enlighten my eyes. Your Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path. The Word is living and quick and powerful. We can easily be confused. Why wouldn’t we do what Jesus said, man does not live by bread alone. The dust, the food, the job, the girlfriend. Maybe some of you are looking for a girlfriend. The church is a great place to find one! Don’t find her and destroy her. You get a relationship with God and walk with God and God can give you one. And the same the other way. We have a living God that cares for us in every detail. If live by your natural man you will be with your heart with a hole in it. You’ll say I need a girlfriend to fill the hole in my heart. Jesus didn’t live like that. He delighted in doing his Father’s will. You say that’s Jesus. He’s perfect. For you to live is Christ. This is how we live now. We behold the wondrous things out of your law.
vs. 19-22. I love this psalm. These words. What they mean. To eat them. We are silly like a silly dove in Hosea.
Hosea 10:7 Ephraim is like a silly dove. Like the morning doves we have in Baltimore. They are cooing. They fly low and they are on a telephone wire or a housetop and they go from one place to another. That’s how people live. Our heart is like a silly dove. That’s like that picture there with the hole in it. They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. Mount up with wings. We will have a deeper life by the Spirit. (Luke 24)
I remember talking about election and free will in Bible college. I remember being confused about it. Pastor Stevens walking by and stopped at the table and said what are you talking about? He had joy and went on his way. I want to be that way. I like to have joy. I’m heavy in this consideration about election and free will and realized that conversation we were having is important but should be resolved. I must understand something more. I’d like to have the Spirit of God in my life, the filling of the Spirit, not just the theology. God is not worried about election or free will. His ways are perfect. God’s Spirit does things perfectly. The ministry is not based on dangling questions. Some questions are illegitimate. They aren’t of any value. Where was one of them said? One question that shouldn’t have been in the picture. What question didn’t serve any great question? Has God said? In your face devil. Yes, God has said this. Your questions are devised to tear me down and tempt me. To destroy my life and bring me to the dust. Your questions are ministering questions. If I listen to you, I will have questions but how many will listen to me have questions. Jesus is making declarations. He is manifesting the mind of God. God said to Job 81 questions to bring him to the bottom and say God you are the one who has all the answers and I worship you. You are the one I need.
Lk. 24:13-15, 17. Some talking doesn’t have any value. It doesn’t encourage or edify. It tears us down. It’s all around us. It’s on the TV and radio, at work. Some is just questions and not edification and at the end we are sad and sober. As Jesus talks to them, things get clear. He is opening up the Scripture and his hearts burn within them. The Spirit of God starts to minister to them and builds them up in the inner man. Here we are not ministering questions but looking into the mind of God, knowing the character of God and the wisdom of God. Set me on a rock that is higher than I.
Ps 40. Lead me in the way, not the way of man but the way of the last Adam. Lead me in the way. That’s what the people in Argentina, Russia, China and India need. We all have been in the school learning things of the dust. There is value in it but quicken me according to your Word. Put your Word in my inner part so I might behold wondrous things in your book. God is the healer, counselor, the answer for my pain, my problems. When someone passes away and it breaks your heart, be still and know I am God. You will keep me in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on thee. Your word is quick and powerful, sharper than a two-edged sword. It’s a discerner of the thoughts and intentions of the heart. Now we are like an open book to God. There is a blessing there. There is a message.
When we go as a missionary to a foreign country people say who are you? I’m a missionary. What is your message? I didn’t know I had to have one! Why did you come here? Good question.
Billy Graham said in an interview if you had to live your life over again, what would you do differently? He said one of my great regrets is I didn’t study enough. I wish I studied more and preached less. People pressured me into preaching to groups when I should have been studying and preparing.
Donald Barnhouse said if he knew the Lord was coming in three years, he would spend two of them studying and one preaching. I don’t want to know the Bible in general terms. I want to meditate on it, write it on index cards. Have it in my house on the wall. Carry it with me, read chapter after chapter, let this Word get in my spirit and worship the living God who gave it to us like a love letter that you read over and over backwards and upside down and inside out and see what he is saying. Man does not live by bread alone but by these words. That is what will build you up.
Maybe some are holding on in life. We have something new for you. You are born again and have a new heart and God loves to put his word in the inner pars, comfort you. You are not just standing there but he is holding you strong. He is risen.
What religion do you belong to? I take the long answer. I believe in the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The God that sent the Messiah in to the world. The Christ raised from the dead three days after the crucifixion. He sent the Holy Spirit at Pentecost and satisfies the longing of the human heart. Are you Baptist or Catholic? I believe in the Christ that was raised from the dead and is the answer for your pain and trouble and death. Death where is your sting? Grave, where is your victory? Quiet, peaceful, in the spirit and then you have a message. You have something to say.
This world is in a lot of trouble. Families are in trouble. Marriages are in trouble. Homosexuals are. Transgender. They are people made in the image of God. They need the new heart given to them. If you have the last Adam borne in you by God’s grace now you have a capacity you never had before. A fish in an aquarium swims this way, boing! Boing! Take the fish and he swims in the ocean. Many human beings – boing! Boing! But your Word is exceeding broad. Your Word gives me a dimension of God where his arms are not short. Your Word leads us to believe I can walk on the water, I will be raised from the dead one day. That already happened in the mind of God already. This is what we have.
How will you ever learn it? Only by this great book. Go to Bible college if you can. If you can, get it on the internet and listen to messages here. Come to church on a regular basis. Have your own Bible and start to get on your knees and read it. Keep reading it. Keep reading it. I still don’t understand it. Keep reading it. I remember reading “begat him” and he “begat him” and I didn’t get the whole thing. I keep reading it. I’m dumb, Lord and you are smart. You know what you are doing and I’m just your servant, Lord.
Live by faith and God is with you.
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.