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Dear Faithful Reader….

Welcome to Metro!

Welcome to Metro!

Hi all,

It was not an easy decision to come to, but I feel that this is the course I must go.

I have enjoyed writing these blogs, based on the weekly sermons I’ve heard from the people over at Metro Bible Fellowship out of Carrollton Texas. There have been a lot of “aha” moments that I was just thrilled to be able to share with you.

Due to health reasons, I am unable to continue the weekly upkeep of this blog, as you’ve probably noticed in the last few weeks. I am still getting “aha” moments from the Holy Spirit through using the guys over at Metro, but job stresses, family stresses and health will not permit me the time and health to share. I don’t like the decision, but at this point, I have to have closure on some things, and my blogs, sadly, are included in that.

However I would like to invite you to join in Bob Christopher’s posts as he shares his thoughts from time to time concerning the New Covenant. Take a look and see what you think:

FirstLifeThenChange

So, thank you for your patronage, and although I will no longer be posting, I would like to encourage to listen to these fine folks and draw your own conclusion concerning the love that God has for each and every one of you.

The End

To Do or Not To Do

Metrobiblefellowship

To Be or Not to Be

Richard PeiferPastor of MBF

Richard Peifer
Pastor of MBF

These are the questions….

No. Sorry.

Wrong literature.

Seriously though, today’s sermon was fired right at me. For someone to be set free in Grace, to know that I’m totally forgiven, my attitude for the past couple of months has totally stunk to high heaven.

For a long time, growing up, my Christianity was based on behavior. Was I “behaving”? Was I following the Ten Commandments? Was I doing the doing and abstaining from the “Thou Shalt Nots”? How’d I compare with other Christians? How’d I compare with the newly saved drug addict? How about Billy Graham?

Apparently, this was more widespread than I knew–widespread enough for Richard to share the truths in Romans 6, that our Christianity is not based on behavior, but on relationship. Apparently Paul had that problem as well. There were two questions Paul addressed in the book of Romans:

  1. Are we to continue in sin so that grace may abound?
  2. Shall we sin because we are not under law, but under grace?

Did you catch the problem with these questions? Both are based on behavior. Here are some thoughts that Richard gave us as to why the ‘behavior’ way of doing things aren’t the way to go:

  1. “Good” behavior isn’t necessarily so. (Check the motivation behind the ‘good’ behavior)
  2. Behavior leads to relativism.
  3. Behavior leds to judgmentalism (My behavior is better than your behavior!)
  4. Behavior is steeped in the knowledge of Good and evil.
  5. Behavior lives on the Death side of the Life/Death knife edge.

Now, I know this to be true, and especially these last two months. One of the ingredients to depression is start focusing on your behavior, instead of a relationship with God. Once our eyes are fixed on God, and we are resting in His finished work, our ‘behavior’ follows suit.

So…. you want to keep gutting it out for God, or rest in His provision? I think I’ll rest in His provision. My son reminded me that, to stop walking a walk of behaviorism (or in my case, bad attitudism,) to be thankful for His provision.

Until next time…

My Hero!

MetroBibleFellowship

Richard PeiferPastor of MBF

Richard Peifer
Pastor of MBF

My Hero! Yes, Jesus is my hero. He took the death meant for me. He took the punishment meant for me. This one time act took me into eternity.

I believe it. There are a couple of things that Richard brought out during this sermon. He talked about two different areas of time. There is the time line of humanity; linear and finite; and there is eternity, where God lives.

There are some things that we can attribute to our linear time line, that, as mentioned last week, are just waiting to catch up to eternity.

  1. We stand in Grace
  2. We glory in suffering, which produces perseverance, which produces character, which produces character, which produces hope.
  3. The Holy Spirit has been given to us.
  4. Christ died for the ungodly; therefore, Christ died for us
  5. We are saved through His life.

All of these things happened in a point of time. It happened, and it will never happen again. Doesn’t need to. Now, before folks get bent out of shape, let’s think about this.

Do we suffer here in the present? Oh yeah. No need to even think twice. You and I both know we suffer.

Has the Holy Spirit been given to us? Did the Day of Pentecost full come? I know, in some church circles, this would be fuel for arguments, because the Holy Spirit being given to us once and for all isn’t a belief. Some churches feel that the H.S is given out in increments, based on our behavior. Same for forgiveness. We have been given forgiveness, and we will never be forgiven again. There’s no need to be forgiven again. We’ve already been forgiven. Totally forgiven. Jesus providing forgiveness for us was a one time act that happened in our linear time line at just the right time–it will never happen again. That act happened in our time line, but the consequences are eternal, so that can also fit on the next list.

In eternity, we:

  1. have been justified
  2. have peace with God.
  3. boast in the hope of the glory of God.
  4. will be saved from God’s wrath.
  5. will be saved through his life.
  6. have been reconciled.

Because of Jesus dying and resurrecting, all of the above things are in eternity. They will last forever, and never be done away with. Our justification will be forever. Our peace with God is forever. We will be saved from God’s wrath–forever. We have been reconciled (forgiven) forever.

Another deep sermon that should not be listened to casually. Think about what’s being said, read along in the scriptures with Richard, and let the Holy Spirit either bare witness that these are true.

Deep.

When Credit is Not Debt

MetroBibleFellowship

Richard PeiferPastor of MBF

Richard Peifer
Pastor of MBF

Credit. Debt. They seem to go hand in hand. When we spend without paying (credit), then at the end of the month, we might owe big time (debt) Thankfully, God credited us as righteousness, because of the debt that Jesus paid. When we believe, and accept Him, God credits our account, so to speak. That credit will never be revoked.

Richard reminded us of Abraham being credited because he believed what God told him about the coming Messiah. We receive credit because we believe what God has said about the New Heavens and New Earth. We’re looking forward to it. We’re anticipating it. Why? Because we believe what God has said about our future.

It was very thought provoking, as Richard reminded us that God, being in eternity, has stated some things about us. From our finite point of view, those things haven’t happened yet, but in reality, aka eternity, they have. We’re just waiting for our finite, linear time line to catch up with reality. God sees our whole life as a glance, whereas we see it only moment by moment. Have you ever tried to live in the past and the present simultaneously? Impossible to do, isn’t it?

Another neat thing that was brought out was Romans 4:23-25:

23 The words “it was credited to him” were written not for him alone, 24 but also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness—for us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. 25 He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.

This hit me like a ton of bricks. All those “nice things” that God said about Abraham, concerning Abraham’s belief, wasn’t just for Abraham, but it was for me!! This is definitely one of those verses that can be personalized. Try it, and see what happens:

23 The words “it was credited to him” were written not for him alone, 24 but also for me, to whom God will credit righteousness—for I believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. 25 He was delivered over to death for my sins and was raised to life for my justification.

Did you try it? How’d it feel, knowing that all that Jesus did, he did for you as well? 

This was a hard sermon for me to swallow, as it seemed to be a little bit ‘out there” for me, but, after re-listening, I realized that yes, there’s some good practical sense within those words.

Have a listen–let me know what you think!

The State is Immaterial

Metrobiblefellowship

Richard PeiferPastor of MBF

Richard Peifer
Pastor of MBF

Richard brought today’s message as a follow up to BC’s message last week. A visual of a jail cell, a judge, and a nice luxury palace. The whole thing was… when we were born, we were born already in solitary confinement. Why? Adam’s sin put us there. There was no getting out of our own merit. There was no even getting to a jail cell where we could at least be around other people. In our sin, we were right by ourselves. Without hope. Our judge, totally righteous, could see right through any glimmer of a piece of a good work we might have done, and judged us righteously. Guilty. There was no “little bit” guilty or “extremely” guilty, we were all guilty. And guilty carries a punishment.

However, because of this extremely justified judge, we were also given a way out. Jesus Christ Himself served our time. He paid our debt. Once it’s paid, it’s paid. There’s no going back. Once we accept the payment that He made on our behalf, there’s no going back, even if we wanted to. Once we’ve been redeemed, there’s no ‘unredeeming’ to be done.

Richard used the example of a one-way gate. He shared a story of his friend who lived at the bottom of a hill in his city. The sewage plant was on the top of this same hill. As long as the power was good, there was no fear of sewage flowing back into his house. (eww at the mental image THAT story conjured up!) But if the power ever went out…. ewwww! So, the friend put in one of those gate things on his plumbing to keep that from happening. The sewage had a one way pass out of there, and the owner of the house was not letting it flow back through.

From Jail to freedom

From Jail to freedom

That’s sort of like us. Once we’ve passed from death into life, there’s no going back, even if we wanted to. (Who’d want to go back to the sewer again??) We might act like sewage, but God calls us justified. Not because of our good works, (as if!) but because of Who Jesus is. We don’t flow backwards through the gate that we came through. We simply just slam into the wall. We might feel like we need to flow back, but God won’t let us. Thankfully. He allows us to have ourselves smacked around a bit, then when we finally realized we’ve had enough, He gently comes to us and offers another way.

Another “aha’ moment I had was a verse that I memorized as a child, and I’m betting you know it too:

“For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God”–Romans 3:23

If you’re like me, you put a period after the word “God”. I never realized the verse I had memorized since childhood was only part of a thought. Floored me. Here’s the whole of it:

There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.-Romans 3:22-24

Two weeks later (yes, I’m late publishing this again) I am still floored.  The point is, that Jew and Gentiles are the same: we’ve all sinned, are equally guilty of death. But did you catch the second part of that?? Does it thrill you as much as it does me? Yes, I’m guilty. Yes, I’ve sinned, but even in spite of that, I’m justified!! How? By God’s grace! Through what vehicle did this grace come through? The redemption that Jesus gave when He died on the cross!! RP asked WHEN are we going to start telling people that? When are we going to stop stopping at “for all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” and continue on with the thought that, in spite of that… we’ve been justified???

Can you believe it? I challenge you to read this verse differently the next time you quote the “For all have sinned” verse to someone–remind them that they’ve been redeemed and justified, too. Question is, will we accept that we’ve been justified as quickly as we accept the fact that we’ve all sinned?

Something to think about…

The State Rests

metrobiblefellowship

Bob ChristopherCEO of PTP

Bob Christopher
CEO of PTP

So. the state rests.  We were judged, and we were found guilty. Punishable by death. God judges us with a just judgment. We tend to judge with a not-so-just-judgment. I mean, really… who do we think we are? Fussing at someone else because of whatever sin they’re engaged in. If we were really honest… we tend to dabble in sin ourselves. Maybe not full fledge front page news sin, but any sin is sin, right? No matter how much or how little we’ve sinned in our lives, we’re guilty. There is no escaping God’s judgment,  We’ve all sinned and fall short of God’s glory.

What did God base His judgment on? It was based on truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Jesus is truth. God doesn’t show favoritism, he went by the book. He examines our heart and sees exactly why we do whatever it is we do, right or wrong.

Now granted, some of us have accepted God’s provision for our judgmental selves, but there are others who are held in contempt. They have turned their backs on God’s kindness, patience and tolerance towards them.

But you know… once we accept Christ, make a conscious decision to trust Him, our condemnation turns to praise…

So… are you condemning or praising?

The Good News Concerning Jesus

Metrobiblefellowship

Bob ChristopherCEO of PTP

Bob Christopher
CEO of PTP

I have to admit, this sermon left me going, “Wait….what??”

You see, all of my life, I’ve been taught that Romans 1 was Paul condemning the homosexual lifestyle of the Roman Empire. High school world history taught me that “back in the day” women were merely for procreating. As naive as the weaker sex was, there was no way the female was capable of love.

Anyway, because of that tidbit of history, I figured Paul was reading them the riot act. But, as it turns out, he wasn’t.

Bob made a good point in the sermon and it was this: if we preach about anything other than the good news of Jesus, then we’re preaching bad news. The very minute we start nagging people to “clean up their flesh” is the very minute we give the enemy a foothold. People don’t need to clean their flesh, they need Life. Life is found in Jesus Christ, not a moral lifestyle.

This sermon definitely gave me cause to think. I want to re-listen, then re-read the first chapter of Romans. What are your thoughts?

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