The message of Christ is that He made an open display of the devil’s defeat. He did it through love by allowing the thorns to be forced upon Him. His weakness destroyed all that the devil could throw at us. (Ephesians 3:15-16)

Speaker(s): Pastor Justin Schaller
Sermon # 11507
6:30 AM on 7/15/2018

 

 

P. Justin Schaller

Good evening. Safety vest, multiple ties if I need to change in the message. Just decided to bring it up. Not even going to use it! Just to confuse everything! How is everyone doing this Sunday evening? Good to be here. Let’s open up in prayer. We’ll flip through a few different portions in the Bible and ask the Lord to speak to us tonight.

To go with P. Duane’s story. Wasn’t that an awesome story? We had a young guy in our church over a year who got a job offer in San Francisco. Over the past year, he made big decisions and wants to honor the Lord. We are disappointed to see him go but excited for what God has for him. His prayer request was he would find a church in San Francisco. He said, do you know of any? I don’t. I asked him to come up and pray for him. Let’s pray together God would lead him to an awesome church. Unbeknownst to us, we had a new guy for the first time and he just moved from San Francisco and just left an amazing church! Come to find out he said its right next door to where this guy is working! Do we really have to worry about much? It’s pretty simple. God takes care of his people.

Eph 3:16, I have a few different thoughts. I believe the Lord will give us a word of encouragement.

Eph 3:14-16, sometimes I wonder how powerful that is, how strong that is. When you feel there is something on you that is much stronger than you. You say is Christ’s power able to lift this burden or to lift this weight on me?

2 Cor 12 Paul is receiving an amazing vision. When you go through the Scriptures and have people who had visions of God, it usually brought humility. In Paul’s case, he was afraid of pride.

2 Cor 12:7 we want revelations from God but what comes with them.

In Paul’s case he says in vs. 7. Satan is so filled with pride why wouldn’t he want Paul to exalt himself? Why would Satan bring a thorn causing Paul not to exalt himself? I believe and as Luther said, Satan is God’s devil. Satan goes and deceives and destroys but at the same time, God is sovereign over the devil. Paul receives an unbelievable revelation from God. He says there is not a language I can speak in to express the revelation I have seen. Like trying to speak another language and only know five verbs. He’s saying this revelation could bring pride into my life. A demon came and put a thorn in Paul’s side.

vs. 8. I believe that God was the one who put that thorn and he used the devil, just like he did in Job’s case to defeat the devil. He allowed the devil to think he was the one putting the thorn which he did but God had a greater plan.

vs. 9-10. It’s amazing. Who crucified Christ? Who was influencing in the background and putting the thorn in Christ’s head? It was the devil. He was the murderer, the liar, the manipulator in the background and God allowed it.

God allowed the thorns to be put in Christ’s head and Heb. 12 Christ did it with the joy set before him. He endured the cross. We receive revelation. We heard from the word and God gives it to us but also we are open to the spiritual realm to put a showcase by God’s grace showcasing who the devil is.

Josh 10 is a great story. The Jewish nation is going into the Promised Land. Five kings deceive the Jewish people. They capture the kings, throw them in the cave, and open up the mouth of the cave and Joshua told his generals put your feet on the necks of these kings and declare this battle God has given. Through our suffering, the devil is involved but God is sovereign over the devil and allowing the thorns to go into the side of believers so the power of Christ might be manifested. You think you can destroy and murder and deceive but at the end of the day, I am good to my people. I am good. Those little Jewish men put their feet on the neck of those kings. Little men with no warfare but have the grace of God on them.

Col 3:15, devil behind the scenes is putting the thorns on Christ’s head and nailed to the cross. Christ takes it with joy set before him endures the cross.

vs. 13 publicly display…through him. The thorn, the death, the rejoicing of the enemy, the power of God, the resurrection of Christ and Christ raising up saying the devil, I allowed you to do it but even that you can’t do successfully. I’m going to make a public display over the rulers and authority that I have triumphed over you.

1 Tim 1:5, I want this to be edifying for us tonight. I believe it is. We preached on this this morning.

The purpose of all we do in vs. 5. The goal of our instruction, doctrine, Bible reading, prayer, of our Christian walk is love. This is an amazing verse. You think what the goal is. If I’m discipling someone, what is the goal? More faith? Yes. More grace? Yes. But primarily more love.

1 Cor 13 type of love where there is no “I” in the love. It’s looking on the needs of others more than myself. The thing that squashes out this love, if we take out a pure heart and put defiled heart and instead of good conscience, guilty conscience and instead of sincere faith, faith brought up in our own works and efforts. Have you been in a group of people where there is so much love it’s simple, clean, pure, not defiled. No gossip, envy, jealousy or strife. No warring or arguing. Just you being there in love. That’s what God has called us into. The problem is guilt. I said this morning, I believe the greatest thing for believers is not to think so much about ourselves. Ever notice when you do something and not thinking about your problems or situation, you have a good time. You go into a place – I remember having issues but at the ocean. I’m sitting on the beach thinking and then I went under the water for 20 minutes and I came up and I felt good. The freedom in Christ is to think less and less about us. It’s not to think less of myself but less about myself. This is love. Ever notice when you are guilty, it’s hard to pay attention to other people. It’s hard to be thinking of other people’s needs when all you are consumed with is your own. Hard to minister to others when you have a defiled conscience and don’t think you are good enough. That is a nice white music stand. We’ll say that is a pure heart. Convention time with your brothers and sisters and what were we operating in? Love. You wake up Monday morning and there is guilt and quenches out the love. You have a guilty conscience and a heart of love gets quenched. Isaiah puts it beautifully.

He says in Is. 41:10 that fear creeps into our heart, fear that comes in and he says -we said this morning fear is really pride. It’s saying I am fearful of the future and I don’t trust you, God. God says who are you oh man that you fear man? When we think of a fearful person, we have pity but God has strong words for them. Who are you oh man that you fear? I am the God that created everything. Who do you think you are that you are not going to trust me and come through and fulfill the promise I give you? What quenches the heart of love but fear? That’s our condition.

1 Tim. This is where it gets good.

vs. 5. Goal is love. No better place to be than in love. Think about it. From a pure heart and good conscience and sincere faith. This is the point: faith. Why is faith so important? Faith in what Christ has done. Faith in the fact that Christ has cleansed my conscience. I put faith in the fact that the blood of Christ cleanses my conscience. Lord, I want to hear faith and believe it. He says believe it by faith or there is guilt in my life and it’s good for nothing. Guilt, I failed, my past. I’m guilty. I wake up and feel guilty. The blood of Christ has taken away our guilt. The love of Christ came into our life to take away our guilt and I believe that by faith. My soul is defiled but I believe by your blood it’s taken away. What does the devil come for in the believer’s life? Faith.

Mk 4. He knows the way to destroy love between the believers is take away the faith. With no faith, the old heart is back to normal.

Eph 3:16-17 why is he praying to a bunch of believers who already have the Spirit that they might have this special manifestation of the power of Christ in their life? Because a lot of believers live this way. They know it. There’s no faith. I’m covered in guilt but the weight of the guilt I need self- analysis, a long walk. I need to think through my problems why I have this guilt. Good luck. This guilt is heavy. Let’s add on the thorn that goes into your side that the Lord allows the devil to put there. It’s heavy, crushing but here’s the amazing news. I bow my knees before heaven that the power of Christ may be able to be manifested in you. The power of Christ lifts it up. People know it’s so heavy. They don’t believe it. The power of Christ lifts them up. People say I know, I know. No, do you know? The power of Christ and why is it there in our lives?

vs. 17. So Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith.

vs. 19. Lord, even the knowledge of trying to figure out my past and my guilt, it passes even that knowledge. The love of Christ he lifts it up. The devil wants to steal our faith so we don’t continue to grow in love. We continue to have analysis, envy, pride, jealousy but Christ is saying I have done it. I have done it. It’s an open show case for all the demonic world to know who the ultimate victor is, Christ in us, glorified in us. It’s an open display. Why is it that Christ or we could say the Father wants this to happen? He says devil, I’ll fight you with one hand behind my back. I’m allow you, you are so filled with pride and you think you are so capable and intelligent and you think you’re so good. I’ll let you go into the world and deceive the world. I’ll come in and I’ll let you kill me. I’ll let you kill me. When Judas Iscariot hung himself after Christ was crucified, the devil took God on and it was suicide for the devil. It’s over. You can put thorns in my head and nails in my hand and kill my disciples and try to ruin my church and go through the world and accuse the brethren day and night, but I’ll show you who is more powerful. I’ll use these little specks of dust, blow life in them and put my Spirit in them and the Spirit is so powerful he will put you in open embarrassment. They will have a power in them they are able to rejoice. Paul is saying it’s not comfortable but God allowed the devil to place a thorn in my side so Christ can be manifest in me so it would be an open rebuke for all the devil and demons himself. Christ’s power has the ability to overcome it.

My testimony is one of joy. I have joy. For you and for me this is normal life right there. Trust me. I know. That’s our life. Day after day, I wake up and I feel the weight of it again but I find a fresh oil that is anointing me day by day that the power of Christ is above to lift it. I’m able to have an open, clean heart with a lot of joy and trust in who Christ is. This is our testimony and we know it.

I want to encourage us tonight in it. Love is what we are growing in. Convention was awesome. I told my father it surprised me. The Spirit of love. You could be in it for hours and 11 hours just passed by because there is love. We need it.

In closing, through the week, this week, let us be thinking about this. We have all the messages we heard today and through the weeks and months. We can be thinking this week. It’s simple. Don’t we make things confusing? Absolutely. The power of Christ is simplicity and by faith. We don’t stop hearing or reading or talking because we always need to be built up in faith so faith produces this love that is in our life.

 


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