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Lent: Our Struggle

Lent: Our Struggle Sermon Audio Here

Romans 8:6-11

When your engine making weird noises, or your computer is behaving strangely, or there’s a sudden change in health status; It’s important to pay attention to what’s going on internally!

Why Is The Spiritual Life A Struggle?

We’re Stuck With Two States ~ Romans 8:6-8

  • v6 “mind of the flesh” to live according to that state; “mind of the Spirit” to live in the state of the Spirit
  • v7 description of the meat-minded: hostile/OPPOSED; it wants its OWN way, not God’s, and it CAN’T choose God on its own!
  • v8 NOT merely “controlled by” but IN THE FLESH; there’s no separation. We do NOT have a neutral nature that is somehow influenced by a bad fleshly side and a good godly side

we are either living led by the Spirit, or we are quite literally meat-heads

We’re Settled By One Spirit ~ Romans 8:9

  • v9 IF the Spirit lives in you, you aren’t “of the flesh”; Spirit brings life and peace to the spiritually dead (God breathed the Spirit-becomes a living soul); CONVERSELY, if the life lived isn’t of the Spirit, that means the Spirit isn’t present = meat-minded

If a person can’t live led by the Spirit, they’re lost

We’re Saved To Serve Forever ~ Romans 8:10-11

  • v10 NOTE: your body is dead because of sin whether you have the Spirit or not; all flesh dies. The point Paul makes here is that even though your meat-tent will pass away, what is YOU, your SELF, doesn’t need to: when you allow the Spirit to make Your life His HOME, He brings you to life, KEEPS you alive, and produces His righteousness IN you to show you it works
  • v11 God’s Spirit OVERRIDES death; we no longer need fear it, because we will live THROUGH/PAST it; our bodies will still fade, but they are merely temporary dwelling places for our SELVES which have been joined to the Spirit. And since the Spirit (our roommate in us) will live forever, so will we!

Ezekiel 37:14~ I will put my Spirit in you and you will live, and I will settle you in your own land. Then you will know that I the LORD have spoken, and I have done it, declares the LORD.'”

God DESIRES to bring us to life: but we have to receive what He gives on His terms so we know HE is at work, not us.

Lent: Our Light

Lent: Our Light Sermon Audio Here

Ephesians 5:8-14

Consider the history of the light bulb – all variations on a concept: power passing through a medium gives off light.

How Do We Live As People Of Light?

Ephesians 5:8-14

  • v8 my favorite verb: peripateo; walk around in the light; we are to MOVE
  • v9 we are to BEAR FRUIT of light: this is a natural result, not forced
  • v10 “find out” less ‘discover’ and more ‘determine’ we are to INVESTIGATE
  • v11/12 “have no fellowship” we are to EXPOSE (shine the right amount of light, like developing ground-penetrating radar of a minefield
  • v13/14 we are to SHINE (this little light of mine)

1 Sam.16:7 – But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.

Lent: Our Peace

Lent: Our Peace Sermon Audio Here

Romans 5:1-11

I’ve been noticing new construction around our town. Have you ever considered all the parts that go into the construction of a permanent dwelling? Jesus said He’d prepare a place for us – we haven’t “moved in” yet, but what do we already have right now?

What Parts of Peace Do We Have?

Present Terms of Peace ~ Romans 5:1-5

  • v1 NOT “we must make peace” but “realize that you already HAVE peace”; this is not a call to cessation of conflict with God – this is an encouragement to let us know that God has already granted us peace because of our being made just according to HIS will
  • v2 access INTO grace? Faith is a VERB here; when we USE our faith, we enter into the grace we’ve been given. Example: a builder constructs a house to specifications, but we have to walk INTO the house to take possession of what we own “on paper”
  • v3/4 suffering leads to perseverance, and then character, and then hope
  • v5 we hope for God’s love; our hope is REALIZED because of the presence of the Spirit; once we recognize our hope, we give God glory in response

Perfect Timing for Peace ~ Romans 5:6-11

  • v6/7 “right time” Kairos; God’s timetable, not ours
  • v8 God gave us what we needed BEFORE we knew we needed it: Christ’s atoning death
  • v9 Jesus’ sacrifice fulfills God’s covenant with us
  • v10 Every blessing we have is because we are connected to Christ. His death paid our price; His Resurrection pulls us into Eternal Life
  • v11 “have now received” Both PRESENT AND FUTURE

“Behold, I will stand before you there on the rock at Horeb, and you shall strike the rock, and water shall come out of it, and the people will drink.” And Moses did so, in the sight of the elders of Israel. ~Exodus 17:6

God stands before us in our times of trouble with His solution. He has already provided everything you need for peace; you just have to recognize it.

Lent: Our Credit

Lent: Our Credit Sermon Audio Here

Romans 4:1-5; 13-17

Your credit score is based on other people’s estimation of the likelihood that you’ll pay your debts on time. But what if you have a debt that is IMPOSSIBLE to pay? How will that effect your bottom line?

To Build Your Eternal Bottom Line

Deal In The Right Currency ~ Romans 4:1-5 [Don’t trust in your capacity to demonstrate righteousness to God]

  • v1/2 do our works earn God’s favor? NO
  • v3 our righteousness is ASSIGNED to us
  • v4/5 we earn wages from our work; we are ENRICHED by God’s character and choice;
  • in other words, our reception of righteousness isn’t about us at all; it’s about GOD’s goodness towards us

Live In The Right Design ~ Romans 4:13-17 [Don’t Force the Law to fulfill a role for which it is not designed]

  • v13 LAW is based in the negative; you don’t receive goodies for keeping the Law, that is expected; rather, you are punished if you BREAK the Law
  • v14/15 therefore, law brings wrath as its wage (if you break it)
  • v16 God’s goodness isn’t demonstrated by Law, but by Grace
  • v17 Grace can come to anyone, even those who aren’t part of the Law system

God is not a crutch; God is our entire life support system!

Paul makes 2 points we have got to catch: 1) We CANNOT EARN God’s favor; it is ALWAYS assigned to us on credit. 2) the point of the Law isn’t righteousness; it’s relationship. We cannot live according to the Law to be considered “righteous”; the Law acts as a mirror to show us our brokenness, our NEED for God.

Lent: Our Need

Lent: Our Need Sermon Audio Here

Romans 5:12-19

How do we discover our need? Often, we encounter a situation where something needed is discovered lacking; other times, we’re informed that a previously unknown circumstance affects us in ways for which we are unprepared.

We Have A Great Need

A Terminal Sickness ~ Romans 5:12-14

  • v12 No one doesn’t sin, so no one escapes death
  • v13/14 you claim “I’m a good person, I don’t break the law” but sin isn’t about breaking the Law

A Treatable Situation ~ Romans 5:15-18

  • v15 sin is passed generationally; grace overflows directly
  • v16 sin snowballs over time; grace fixes the problem
  • v17 death is passive consequence of sin; grace is active reception of life
  • v18 we receive results from previous choices: sin from Adam, salvation from Jesus

19 For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous. ~ Romans 5:19

Our need is beyond our ability to meet: left on our own, we will die in our sin. Thank God We Have A Great Savior who meets us IN our need and covers it completely!

Transfiguration: Seeing and Receiving

Transfiguration: Seeing and Receiving Sermon Audio Here

2 Peter 1:16-21

This last weekend, my family and I attended RadCon, a science-fiction convention in Pasco, Washington. It’s a chance for all of us to dress up in costumes, and hang out with others who enjoy fandom and cosplay. My costume this year was Ming the Merciless, based on the old Flash Gordon serials from the 1930’s. We spent many evenings working on our costumes, and our work paid off: we were transfigured – and ended up winning Best in Show! (make sure you scroll all the way down to the end of the post…)

Transfiguration Today is Attainable:
God Changed Moses
Exodus 24:12-18~ God calls Moses into HIS presence, and Moses is never the same

  • Our Exodus text starts with an invitation: God calls Moses to join Him on the mountain, specifically to receive the Law. Moses goes to the mountain and waits for further instruction from Yahweh. The Lord then calls Moses into the cloud of His glory to speak with Him.
  • Moses was before change: a murderer, on the run, in hiding

God Changed Jesus
Matthew 17:1-5

  • Today is called Transfiguration Sunday; it’s the day where we remember Jesus’ Transfiguration on the mountain top, flanked by Moses and Elijah. The account is found in Matthew 17:1-5:
  • And after six days Jesus took with him Peter and James, and John his brother, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became white as light. And behold, there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with him. And Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good that we are here. If you wish, I will make three tents here, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah.” He was still speaking when, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my beloved Son,[a] with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.”

  • Remember, Jesus didn’t hold on to His equality with God, according to Philippians 2:5-8 He became one of us, fully human. And just as Moses reflected God’s glory in his face when he came into Yahweh’s presence, so did Jesus.

God Changed Peter
2 Peter 1:16-21~ Peter was changed because of

  • v16 what he witnessed (majesty)
  • v17/18 what he heard (God’s Call)
  • v19 what he has read (Scripture)
  • v20/21 what he has received (Spirit)

We remember on Transfiguration Sunday that God is STILL in the business of changing lives. He changed Moses from a criminal on the run to the Lawgiver of Israel; He changed Peter from a headstrong fisherman to a heart-strong fisher of men; and as Jesus was transfigured by letting the glory of God shine through, we too can be changed by God’s Majesty, Call, Word, and Spirit.

Ming the Merciless (my personal transformation this last weekend)

Epiphany: Unraveling the Riddle of Readiness

Epiphany: Unraveling the Riddle of Readiness Sermon Audio Here

1 Cor.3:1-9

The current snowy weather has certainly changed how we prepare to begin a journey. What might have been a quick trip to the supermarket is starting to resemble something from Scott of the Antarctic…

How Do We Get Ready for Wisdom?

Don’t Get Stuck in the World ~ 1 Cor.3:1-4

  • v1 follow up from 1 Cor 2:14-16, distinction between the person living according to the Spirit, or according to the world; Corinthians are living by the world’s standards
  • v2 the world can’t digest God’s wisdom as a whole; if we are caught up in that system, we can’t either
  • v3 indications one is caught in the flesh? They act like the world, with argumentative attitudes
  • v4 They even take spiritual leaders and reduce them to rallying slogans

Focus On Who’s Really At Work ~ 1 Cor.3:5-9

  • v5 simply, God does the spiritual work; we just help as God chooses
  • v6/7 we do different tasks, but God gives the growth
  • v8 God notices our specific help; we’ll be rewarded eventually (that’s another sermon)
  • v9 notice that the Corinthians are not counted among the workers (they’re too worldly); they are the recipients of God’s work, not the co-laborers

Deut 30:19-20a ~ This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the LORD your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him.

God chooses us for Salvation; We choose to live IN that Salvation, by responding to His Love, listening to His Word, and walking in His Way.


Pastor Ed Backell

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Pastoral Tweets

  • 1 Pet. 3:20-21~ Remember Reasons To Hope: 7) God Prepares Ways To Rescue His People; 8) God Rescues From Being Overwhelmed 5 days ago
  • 1 Pet. 3:22~ Remember Reason To Hope: 9) Jesus In The Perfect Position To Save: AT THE TOP; over Angels, Authorities, Powers, AND Problems! 5 days ago
  • 1 Pet. 3:17-19~ Remember Reasons To Hope: 4) God Values Your Life; 5) Jesus Already Paid For Your Sin; 6) Stuck? Jesus Can Free You 5 days ago
  • 1 Pet. 3:13-16~ Remember Reasons To Hope: 1) You Are Not Alone When You Suffer; 2) Your Hope Is Reasonable; 3) Your Hope Doesn’t Need Power 5 days ago
  • Posts from 1 Peter: Reasons for Hope pastoredb.wordpress.com/2017/05/21/pos… 5 days ago

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