Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Update # 1

For those who wonder what to read, or what is good reading, or what not to read, I keep a list of:

  • Books I recommend
  • Books I have read
  • Books I have reviewed
  • Books I have in the wings waiting to be read

I have updated a couple of those lists. You might want to check in periodically and see what might be of help, comfort, and value to you. Remember, there is no end of the making of books. There is so little time and so many available to read. Choose wisely!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

The Test of Stewardship (Part 3)

SERMON                  GM14-034

SERIES:              Christian Living in a World of Chaos & Contradiction

SETTING:          North Kelso Baptist Church

SERVICE:          Sunday AM

SUBTITLE:        The Test of Stewardship        (Part 3)

SCRIPTURE:     1 John 4:17-19

SUBJ:                  Perfect love

SUMMARY:       Perfect love produces confidence

SCHEME:           that Christians stop fearing the judgment of God

Our theme is:  Perfect loves produces confidence

This is a good reminder for us all that God has implanted his character or nature within us which produces confidence about the Day of Judgment.

 Proposition:  Genuine believers as recipients of fellowship and Sonship are charged with a stewardship that when faithfully discharged demonstrates a true relationship with God.

Interrogatory Sentence:  How do genuine Christians faithfully discharge their stewardship duties?

Transitional Sentence: This passage supplies us with three (3) principles to be good stewards. 


The Christian Life is Viewed as Stewardship

The Test of Stewardship
1 John 4:17-19 * (Part 3)


A.   The Paralyzing Effect of Fear

Louis Pasteur was reported to have had such an irrational fear of dirt and infection that he refused to shake hands.

President and Mrs. Benjamin Harrison were so intimidated by the newfangled electricity installed in the White House they were afraid to touch the light switches. If there were no servants around to turn off the lights when the Harrisons went to bed they slept with them on.
B.    The Problem for Believers

This is like some Christians. Some believers are paralyzed with fear that they might be not genuine believers. They look to historical events or emotional feelings for evidence of their redemption rather than being confidently assured furnished by the fruit produced by God in their lives.

In verses 17-19 we see that perfect or matured love will produce the assurance needed by every believer that they are truly in Christ.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Is Church Boring?

You say that you don't gather with a local body of believers because you think the service is boring? In many cases I have to agree. I have attended many so called "corporate worship" services that have been nothing more than "snooze-fests." But what is the real problem?

The gathering together or as the New Testament puts it the assembling of yourselves together, today is far from what it was in the early days of Christianity. 

First of all, the "service" is not about you. At least not in the most direct manner. Ultimately if the gathering follows biblical patterns you will benefit tremendously.

Second, the gathering is to center around Jesus Christ and His glorious work of atonement. Acts 20:7 makes it clear that the early church gathered on the first day of week to commemorate the Lord's Supper. The church gathered to be reminded of, to take strength and inspiration from, and to proclaim the death of Christ. 

Third, in the 10th chapter of the letter to the Hebrews we see that the body gathers to stimulate or encourage each member to love one another and to serve one another. Each believer is to utilize and minister their spiritual gift in order to benefit their fellow believers. Also prayer is to be offered for specific needs and individuals, various physical needs are to be met, and fellowship of the saints is to developed.

The gathering should be an exciting, informal, and God-centered experience. If you attend services thinking that the church "owes" you something or that it ought to entertain you, then you are attending for all the wrong reasons.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Disappointed Sinners

It dawned on me how disappointed an unredeemed man must be with Christ. How can we who know Christ be so insensitive to say emphatically that Christ died for the sins of a specific individual when we know not if they are a subject of redemption? Can you imagine their utmost disappointment to stand before God and be told to depart from God and when they cry out, "Wait, one of your servants told me that you died for my sin, how do I not benefit from that?" Oh, how much safer to say, "You must know that you have been sentenced to eternal death and condemnation, unless you come to see your sin against God and feel the weight of the burden of guilt and sin, which when it becomes unbearable, you cry out to God for deliverance and salvation." Safer to say, "God has graciously provided a sacrifice whereby His wrath was appeased, will you turn to that sacrifice." When Christ has been revealed to the soul who cries "What must I do to be saved?" then we can say, Christ died for your sins for you have proven yourself to be a subject of redemption to the glory of God! 

(Gregg Metcalf)

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Seven Things That Are Detrimental to the Church

This list is by no means exclusive. I am sure we can add many more things for days to come. For example, the lack of church discipline today church-wide is a major problem. However, I would let this item fall under, "the shift from a God-centered vision to a man-centered vision." I do so because when God is no longer our orientation and the comfort, welfare, and ease of man is our orientation, then discipline will cease in the local churches. 

So, having said that, let me share with you what I think are at least seven (7) items that have had a detrimental affect on the local church. By the way these items are in no order of importance or significance.

  • The chasing of the American dream
  • The dumbing down of the gospel
  • The shift from a God-centered vision/focus to a man-centered vision/focus
  • The casualness/nonchalance in the pulpit
  • The removal of the pulpit
  • The loss of expository preaching
  • The influx of Neo-evangelicalism
For a bonus:

The emergence and rise of the rock-star pastor

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Free Will: Is It a Biblical Concept?

I stumbled across a statement one day in a book I was reading. I can't remember the book any more because it actually was a few years back. I have always made it a habit to write down various statements, quotes,  quips, or pithy sayings in order to at some point find the time to reflect on them. Many times I forget who made the statement which prevents me many times from giving credit/shame on you to the source. And yes, sometimes it is years before I come across my notes and muse on them.

I came across this statement once and because at the time I thought it was provocative I wrote it down meaning to come back to it. Well, Saturday I stumbled on it again and here goes:

"The will does not command the heart; the heart commands the will."

That sounds like such a loaded statement, doesn't it? It just doesn't sound right. If the heart is used as "the seat of emotions" then it sounds like our emotions control our will. One would think that it should be the other way around, the will or volition should control the heart or the seat of emotions.

But look at Matthew 12:33-35

"Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree bad and its fruit bad, for the tree is known by its fruit. You brood of vipers! How can you speak good, when you are evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. The good person out of his good treasure brings forth good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure brings forth evil."

Matthew seems to imply that the heart is equal to or can be equated with the human nature. So, if this is the case, what does it imply?

  • Words and actions are fruit of the human nature; they reveal our nature
  • It implies that the will is in bondage (not free) to the heart. Men are not free to do what they should do.
  • It implies that the nature (heart/sin nature) controls the will
  • The will is only free to do what the nature/heart commands because that is all the nature knows. It operates within the confines of itself.
  • Even in bondage to the heart (nature) we are still responsible before God (Romans 7:18-23)
  • All men are born slaves or in bondage; either to sin (old nature) or to God (new nature). 
  • God liberates us from the bondage of sin making us a slave to righteousness. With this new nature we freely follow Christ.
To be continued...

Monday, September 15, 2014

And if the Lord is willing...

Beginning tomorrow, and because I don't know what will happen tomorrow and because my life is like a vapor that has appeared for a little time and then will vanish away, I add, if the Lord wills, I shall begin musing on some hot-bed theological topics.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

The Test of Stewardship (Part 1)

SERMON                  GM14-032

SERIES:              Christian Living in a World of Chaos & Contradiction

SETTING:          North Kelso Baptist Church

SERVICE:          Sunday AM

SUBTITLE:        The Test of Stewardship        (Part 1)

SCRIPTURE:     1 John 4:7-12

SUBJ:                  The Stewardship of Love

SUMMARY:       The truth I propose then for your consideration is this: That genuine believers as recipients of fellowship and Sonship are charged with a stewardship that when faithfully discharged demonstrates a true relationship with God.

SCHEME:           that Christians discharge their stewardship

Our theme is:  Genuine Christians love one another

This is a good reminder for us all that the great and blessed privileges that we enjoy as recipients of fellowship and Sonship with God results in a stewardship.

 Proposition:  The truth I propose then for your consideration is this: That genuine believers as recipients of fellowship and Sonship are charged with a stewardship that when faithfully discharged demonstrates a true relationship with God.

Interrogatory Sentence:  How do genuine Christians faithfully discharge their stewardship duties?

Transitional Sentence: This passage supplies us with three (3) principles to be good stewards.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Ode To 9/11

Ode to 9/11
Written 9/10/2010
Gregg Metcalf

Nine Eleven is forever etched into our mind
Those events will never fade with time
Never thinking for a moment of such danger
Looming overhead inside a wicked stranger

Plots and plans for months were hatching hate
Had come together on that infamous date
Death and terror rained down from the skies
Drawing eastward all of America’s eyes

A nation sleeping caught completely unaware
Drew together as one person in a single dare
Destroy the fiends of such dastardly deeds
The memory of loved ones will serve as seeds

To war and victory soon came the gallant call
Many raced into action hoping to see the fall
Of an enemy beyond the borders of our land
We sent our soldiers to hot and searing sand

Ten years or so with 4,000 killed in this war
Brings us no closer to what we are fighting for
Terrorists still roam this globe breathing out death
Yet there’s no time to stop and catch our breath

So now we leave Iraq to continue in Afghanistan
To fight the terror that remains to plague our land
The enemy is not one to quit or loose or to fold
since they have been fighting for centuries untold

We are not fighting to promote American liberty
we wage not a war in the name of democracy
when will America come to really understand
this war is all about that precious desert sand

To Isaac and not Ismael was all this geography
Given by promise from the God of all eternity
Cast out the bondwoman who is Mt Sinai, alas
Give this ground to Abraham’s sons to possess

This war is religious and will never come to an end
Until the King of Kings comes to reign as friend
Who will defeat the enemies of His chosen people
Who then will come to Him in faith ever so feeble 

Today we will remember nine-elven 2001
For what took place can never be undone
We dare not forget those cowardly atrocities
Who robbed loved ones from so many families

The hearts of many will be with all those who lost
And without any choice paid such a heavy cost
We will mark this day across our dear land
And thank those who yet fight in that desert sand

As I close I would like to say to those yet in pain
I am sorry for your loss and that 9/11 ever came
stealing from you the ones you loved so very dear
May God reveal His amazing grace, it’s always near

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

The Trouble With Man and The Treasure of Salvation

  1. Man is a rebel
  2. Man is under the wrath of God
  3. Man is born dead in trepassess and sin
  4. Man is born spiritualy dead
  5. Man is born spiritually blind
  6. Man's is born with darkened spiritual understanding
  7. Man is alienated from God
  8. Man is born under the condemnation and damnation of God
Salvation is...
  • coming to the knowledge of the truth
  • being called out of darkness into the light
  • to put man into a right relationship with God
  • being brought to the awareness of the burden of sin
  • having Christ revealed to your soul by the Holy Spirit
  • having the burden of sin, guilt, and condemnation removed
Salvation is not...
  • praying a so called "sinner's prayer"
  • walking an aisle during an emotionally manipulated service
  • signing a card
  • joining a church
  • being baptized
  • taking communion
  • being confirmed
  • asking Jesus into your heart

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

The Books - And Especially the Parchments!

Books! There have been a number of books that have made a major impact on my spiritual and pastoral life. I am forever indebted to God for prevailing upon these various authors to write these books. Allow me to share ten books which come to my mind frequently, that I re-read often, and have had the most impact on my life. They are in no particular order; they are listed as I think on them. 

1.  The Bible (I prefer the ESV)
2.  The Sovereignty of God - Arthur W. Pink
3.  The Valley of Vision - Ed. by Arthur Bennett
4.  Body of Divinity - Thomas Watson
5.  The Rare Jewell of Christian Contentment - Jeremiah Burroughs
6.  Evangelicalism Divided - Iain H. Murray
7.  Pilgrim's Progress - John Bunyan
8.  Preaching and Preachers - D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
9. Lectures to My Students - Charles H Spurgeon
10.  Christ Formed in You - Brian Hedges


11.  A Gospel Primer - Milton Vincent
12.  Growing Up in Grace - Brett Murray
13.  The Discipline of Grace - Jerry Bridges
14.  The Transforming Power of the Gospel - Jerry Bridges
15.  The Gospel According to Jesus - John MacArthur

Monday, September 8, 2014

My Tribute To S. Truett Cathy

In honor of S.Truett Cathy's passing here is my tribute written to the tune of Living in a Gangster's Paradise and Living In An Amish Paradise (paraody by Al Yankovic)

In A Chick-Fil-A Paradise
Gregg Metcalf

As I drive through the valley where I live with my wife
I look around and discover something missing from my life
I see fast food chains scattered all over the place
But there is only one dish that will put a smile on my face

At 6:30 in the evening I’m feeling hungry again
My wife and my son are acting like crazy men
Their stomachs are growling and causing them pain
We need something to eat before we all go insane

I’m a man who works hard for a few bucks to spend
I will share what I have and sometimes I will lend
A dollar or two hoping to help thee and thine
Or maybe throw a party like its 1999

We’ve spent all of our lives eating in a Chick-Fil-A paradise
We’ve tried burgers once or twice in a Chick-Fil-A paradise
That’s way too much to sacrifice, living in Chick-Fil-A paradise
There’s no need to pay a big price, living in a Chick-Fil-A paradise

Some bigots lashed out in the paper last week
Accusing Truett Cathy of turning the wrong cheek
Now the Mayor of Boston won’t let Cathy play
In His city by bringing in another Chick-Fil-A

Mr. Cathy maintained God created Adam and Eve
Make no mistake it was not Adam and Steve
But I guess it was wrong for him to think it was grand
To be free to express his opinion in this great land

Glorifying God by being a faithful steward of
all that God has given to us with His great love
To have a positive influence on all who come in
Is this really a bad business or is it just a whim?

If you come to visit, you’ll be pleased to no end
You will want to stop by again and again
Fried chicken was meant to be made this way
Come and see how they do it at Chick-Fil-A


There’s no corn fungus, no caviar, no escargot, not a single ortolan
Like Robinson Crusoe, you’ll be eating chicken on your lawn

We’ve been eating most of our lives in a Chick-Fil-A paradise
We’re just plain and simple families, living in a Chick-Fil-A paradise
There’s no time for political correctness living in Chick-Fil-A paradise
We aren’t bigots or intolerant, living in a Chick-Fil-A paradise

Jumping in the Buick, driving down the street
Heading to our very favorite place to eat
Think you’ve had chicken that is to die for
You’ve had nothing till you come here and score

We’ve been eating most of our lives in a Chick-Fil-A paradise
We’re just plain and simple families, living in a Chick-Fil-A paradise
There’s no time for political correctness living in Chick-Fil-A paradise
We aren’t bigots or intolerant, living in a Chick-Fil-A paradise


Sunday, September 7, 2014

The Test of Sonship (Part 10)

SERMON                  GM14-031

SERIES:              The Christian Life Viewed as Sonship

SETTING:          North Kelso Baptist Church

SERVICE:          Sunday AM

SUBTITLE:        The Test of Sonship     (Part 10)

SCRIPTURE:     1 John 4:4-6

SUBJ:                  Discernment

SUMMARY:       The children of God must practice spiritual discernment

SCHEME:           that Christians develop the disciple of discernment in order to distinguish between truth and error

Our theme is:  Genuine Christians test the Spirits

Proposition:  The Christian life is a life that demands constant discernment

Interrogatory Sentence:  Why should genuine believers live a life of constant discernment?

Transitional Sentence: John identifies three reasons why genuine Sonship must be a life of constant discernment. John makes it clear that discernment is essential for the children of God.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Happy Birthday Shannon Metcalf!

Happy Birthday to

Shannon Annette Metcalf

Today marks the fortieth year
since you have enriched our days,
you have shined brighter than any
star with all your  beautiful ways.

Your smile never fails and your
energy flows as the summer wind,
you embrace life so tirelessly
as you flash that infectious grin.

I take this time to thank
 God for His marvelous grace,
because he gave you to us 
to always love and to embrace.

Happy Birthday this September Six
may this day bring you cheer,
I hope you find the same happiness
you have brought to us our dear.

Written by Gregg Metcalf, for our first born  - aka SAM1

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Thinking Out Loud...

I was thinking the other day and I came to this conclusion:

It is not the love of God, as monumental as it is, that should motivate us towards salvation; our sin, brokenness, mourning, and the provision of God's only Son as a bloody sacrifice brutally slain should motivate us toward salvation.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Jesus Calling or Proper Application?

The main purpose in reading scripture is to deduce the meaning of the text at hand. We read and study scripture in order to determine the intent of the author. Anything less is not bible study and will always lead to a chaotic approach of application. Prayerfully, carefully, and skillfully we must determine what the original author intended for his original readers to know and to understand.

The hardest thing for most believers is to "step outside" of the text and let it speak as originally intended. What I mean by this is the scripture was not written to white, anglo-saxxon's in the 21st century. The scripture was written to 1st century Jews and Gentiles. The bible is not our personal and/or individual script to be interpreted as we need or please. I hate to say this and burst any bubbles but there is no "special message in the bible or from God" for you. We only derive blessing, benefit, and application as we apply the original intent of the author to our modern day setting. 

We must work hard to discover the eternal principles of truth that are in each and every passage of scripture. It is here that we are comforted, or encouraged, or strengthened. We can certainly be blessed by the reading and study of Scripture. Bible study is a spiritual exercise. Bible study is actually communicating with God through His living Word! The Holy Spirit inspired the bible to be understood and applied in our lives on a daily basis.

There are four principles that we must keep in mind when we make application of a scripture passage for our lives:
  • application is grounded in biblical truth not opinion, speculation, or "special messages" to you
  • application is based on the biblical author's intended meaning and purpose
  • application is to demonstrate the relevance of biblical truth in a practical manner
  • application is never to contradict, convolute, counter, or challenge biblical principles
Next time you open the living Word of God, have determined the meaning of the text and are about to make application, remember these four principles and "apply" them to application process.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

What Christ Says About...TEMPTATION

Matthew 26:41 ESV 

"Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

No living human being is ever exempt from being tempted. However, we can be diligent to resist temptation and to prevent it from devouring us. Augustine is reported to have said, "We cannot prevent offenses and temptations from coming upon us; but by prayer and the invocation of divine assistance we may certainly defend ourselves and keep them form overcoming us." Most are aware of the admonition that enjoins one to "flee temptation." The only problem that I have discovered with this is that even if one's flees temptation, they often leave a forwarding address.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Happy Labor Day!

The Gospel-driven Disciples blog will be closed this weekend in order to enjoy this three day weekend! We will be on the patio and in the backyard grilling hamburgers, roasting corn on the cob, almost inhaling watermelon, and enjoying potato salad. Also, our daughters Shannon and Sonja (Vancouver, Portland) will be with us along with our granddaughters Madilynn and Bryttany!

We wish thee and thine a very happy holiday! I hope that you and yours will keep everything safe, sane, and satisfying! Have fun!!