575 episodes


The Sanctuary Downtown / Relentless Love Peter Hiett

    • Religion & Spirituality
    • 4.8 • 33 Ratings




    After eleven chapters of theology, Paul says, “therefore,” and now tells us what to do.

    Romans 11:32-12:1, “God has consigned all to disobedience, that he may have mercy on all.... For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen. I appeal to you therefore, brothers, to present your bodies a sacrifice—living, holy, and perfect, which is your logical service of worship.”

    The logical implication of all that Paul has taught us is to present our bodies a sacrifice.
    And we think: “Um. . . I don’t think so; Paul can’t actually mean that.”

    I’ve been told that Jesus sacrificed to end all sacrifice.
    He did say, “Destroy this temple.” That’s the place where sacrifices are made.
    But then he said, “And I’ll rebuild it”— a temple, that is, where sacrifices are made.

    “Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God (Eph. 5:2).”

    He journeyed to Jerusalem on purpose; he presented his body a sacrifice to God; he didn’t sacrifice to us, but he did sacrifice for us.
    So, some say, “See? He died, so I don’t have to die; he sacrificed, so I don’t have to sacrifice; he was punished (a penal substitution), so I don’t have to be punished; he was crucified, so I don’t have to be crucified.”

    And yet, he repeatedly said, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.”
    Some object to the idea saying, “His yoke is ‘easy.’ So, if life’s not easy, I obviously need a vacation, a massage, and a manicure but NOT a cross.”
    Well, a cross does look an awful lot like a yoke . . . .

    “Present your bodies a sacrifice.” It appears that Paul actually meant that. And that is surprising, if Romans means what so many have said that it means.

    If you grew up in American “Evangelical” circles and learned the “Romans Road” brochure, you probably learned that: #1 God is “just,” and that means that he has to punish sin. #2 Jesus was punished, so you don’t have to be punished. #3 You don’t have to be punished, if you just accept that he was punished for you, but if you don’t, then you will be punished forever without end, for you must pay, but can’t pay, that’s why it’s forever without end—eternal non-satisfaction.

    But, if Jesus was sacrificed so that you would NOT be sacrificed, then the very last thing that Paul would write at this point of his letter would be, “Therefore present your bodies a sacrifice.”
    If Jesus was sacrificed so that I don’t have to sacrifice, wouldn’t Paul write, “Therefore, congratulations! You made the right choice, Peter! You’re first and not last! So, of course, you deserve a vacation, a massage, and a manicure; of course, you deserve more stuff than 99% of the world; Of course, you should demand your rights and be easily offended when ridiculed, rejected, and kicked out of the synagogues (what they called churches in Jesus’ day)!”

    That’s actually what I want Paul to say. And actually, that’s what the Church has often said.
    But Paul actually wrote, “Present your bodies a sacrifice... it’s only logical. Indeed, do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may prove what is the will of God, what is good and pleasing and ‘teleios:’ accomplished (Romans 12:1-2).”

    In the age to come (which always is), the “plan for the fulness of time” is accomplished, and all things are “united—brought together under one head—in Christ (Eph. 1:10).”

    It’s as if Adam was blown apart into 10 Billion pieces when he took the fruit from the tree in the garden. And it’s as if Adam is put back together when he returns the life to the tree in the New Jerusalem. And that decision is God’s decision given to us by the “Eschatos Adam,” the “head” of the body, as he lifts his head and cries “it is accomplished” and delivers up his Spirit.

    The sacrifici

    You Matter, It Doesn’t

    You Matter, It Doesn’t

    Mercy on All: The Resurrection of Adam

    Mercy on All: The Resurrection of Adam

    aired from 1952 through 1958 and began with a feature film in 1951. Imagine if the studio executives hired salesmen to stand up at the end of each premiere and say, “Superman is the savior of the world. And now with every head bowed and every eye closed you can decide to be saved by Superman; you can put your faith in Superman. But if you don’t, he won’t . . . save you. Instead, he will consign you to endless torment. I see those hands. Now just repeat after me: ‘Superman you are the savior of the world. I trust you.’ That means that you will tune in every week, dress like Superman, and buy all the available merchandise.”

    I would imagine every confused little boy would raise his hand, say the words, watch the show, dress like Superman, and buy all the available merchandise . . . bound by terror and a secret loathing of Superman and themself. Forced to decide, they would no longer be able to decide to trust Superman, hope in Superman, or love Superman.

    But now imagine if the studio just showed the movie and said nothing. And, of course, that is just what happened. And basically, every kid in America “made a decision” for Superman, watched every episode, dressed like superman, and bought all the available merchandise. They just watched Superman decide, and then they just decided.

    In season one of , coach Lasso has his failing soccer team—filled with self-centered professional athletes—watch the movie, . To his assistant he comments, “About minute 75, there will be a room full of grown men crying.” And sure enough, there is. In the morning they each decide to sacrifice; they each decide to pass the ball and they win the game.

    At about minute 75 the Iron Giant flies toward a nuclear warhead as he hears this phrase echoing in his mind: “You are who you chose to be.” He closes his eyes, answers, “Superman,” and then sacrifices himself to save all humanity as his broken body reigns down upon all below.

    I too cried at , but not at minute 75. I knew that story and had preached that story, as I preached people to “the decision” countless times. I had been trained to explain “the plan of salvation” and call for a decision; ...to preach “The Romans Road” and ask people to decide. But the supposed “Romans Road” ends in chapter 10, while Romans keeps going. And, just like the rest of Scripture, it seems to say that we are not who we choose to be but who God has chosen us to be. So, I didn’t cry at minute 75, but in the end, I couldn’t stop sobbing.

    “I don’t want you to be unaware of this mystery,” writes Paul in Romans 11. “A partial hardening has come upon Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles come in. And in this way, all Israel will be saved.” That would include the Israel not of Israel (9:6), the dishonorable portion of the lump (9:21), the part hardened and cut off from the fullness of Israel (11:12) and the fullness of the Gentiles grafted in (11:25).

    “For the gifts and calling of God are irrevocable (11:29).”
    You cannot revoke God’s Decision to save with your decision to be damned.
    In Chapter 9, he told us, “God has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens whomever he wills (It’s his decision!). And so, from 9 and through 10 and 11, we should be asking, “Whom does God harden and on whom does he choose to have mercy?”

    Now the answer: “God consigned all to disobedience that he may have mercy on all (11:32).”
    That’s God’s free choice, his eternal decision, his election; the judgment of God.
    “All are vessels of wrath precisely so that all may be vessels of mercy. As I say, not a hard argument to follow if one has a will to do so.” –David Bentley Hart

    Many say, “That would be nice to believe but the rest of Romans won’t allow it.”
    And yet, the rest of Romans—like a road—leads directly to it.
    It’s not Romans that won’t allow it; it’s our judgment of God’s Judgment that won’t allow it.

    Next verse: “Oh the depth

    You Can Go to “H3!!” (The Kindness and Severity of God)

    You Can Go to “H3!!” (The Kindness and Severity of God)

    Romans 11:2, “God has not rejected his people whom he foreknew.”
    Who would God NOT foreknow, other than those that he did not make, who by definition don’t exist, but only think they exist, like a bad dream—that is my false self, my “ego?”
    That’s the self that gets jealous of other selves, for it thinks that it deserves things, for it dreams that it is its own creator, savior, and redeemer—it dreams that “[God] did not make me (Isaiah 29:16).”

    Romans 11:11, “So I ask, did [Israel (Paul’s church)] stumble in order that they might fall? By no means! Rather, through their trespass [falling away] salvation has come to the Gentiles [the Nations] so as to make Israel Jealous.”

    Do you ever feel jealous of others who have received God’s grace?
    (Everything is grace. So, to be jealous of anything is to be jealous of Grace.)
    Perhaps it’s a warning: You’ve become trapped in an illusion that you are your own creator, savior, and redeemer; it’s the illusion that you deserve salvation, which is actually damnation, for we are saved by Grace through faith and this not of ourselves.

    Believing the lie, we take knowledge from the tree in the middle of the garden to justify ourselves.
    Believing the lie, we take the Life, and everything dies. . . although we pretend to live.
    Believing the lie, we manufacture false selves, false churches, false kingdoms, and a false world.

    Romans 11:15-16, “If their rejection means the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance mean but life from the dead? If the dough offered as firstfruits is holy, so is the whole lump, and if the root is holy, so are the branches.”

    Isaiah had been called to preach Israel down to a remnant, then a stump, that is a root, that is the Holy Seed—who “makes all things new (Revelation 21:5).”
    For as Paul has said in a hundred different ways, “Where sin increased Grace abounded all the more (Romans 5:20).”

    Some hear that and say, “Great! We don’t have to do anything, and God does everything. Great! We no longer need to fear God. And Super-Great! There is no such thing as Hell and so, we can’t go there!”

    Romans 11:20, “They were broken off because of [the un-faith], but you stand fast because of [the] faith. So, do not become proud, but fear. . . Note the kindness and severity of God: severity toward those who have fallen, but God’s kindness to you, provided you continue in his kindness. Otherwise, you too will be cut off.”

    Holy Crap! It sounds like you can go to “Hell,” we better fear God, and we better do something! . . . maybe take more knowledge, apply it to our flesh, so as to make ourselves like God . . . or he might not love us and make us new?

    Well, God will make all things new . . . but yes, I think you can go to a place that some call “Hell.”

    Paul, who preached to Gentiles, never actually used the word. Jesus, who preached to Israel (Paul’s old church) used it a lot. And yet, he didn’t, for he didn’t preach in English. In Greek and Hebrew, there is no word equivalent to the concept of endless conscious torment; but there are words that get translated into English as “Hell.”

    In Scripture, there are three concepts—two the exact opposite of each other, and one representing the boundary between the other two—all spoken of by modern church people as “Hell.” I call them Hell #1, Hell #2, and Hell #3.

    Hell #1 is the experience of the absence of God. In Hebrew, that’s “Sheol;” In Greek, “Hades.” Hell #1 is the land of ghosts. “You will be brought low,” says God to Jerusalem in Isaiah 29 (which Paul has been quoting). “Your voice will come from the ground like [as] the voice of a ghost.”
    “Ghost” is the Hebrew word “Obe,” which also means “water bottle.” Apparently, a ghost is like a “tupos (Romans 5:14),” the hollow imprint of a man without the life of the man.

    Not only can you go there, I think I’ve been there—I’ve even had some e

    The Work of the Word (“I Know Who We Are”)

    The Work of the Word (“I Know Who We Are”)

    In the movie, “Taken,” ex-Green Beret and CIA operative, Brian Mills has a “very particular set of skills.” So, when he receives a frantic phone call from his daughter as she’s being taken by sex traffickers who plan to sell her as a prostitute, Brian Mills with all his skills becomes a man of action. We’d all like to become men and women of action.

    “Pastor, give me some skills,” and all we get is words, in “church” and in Romans, it would seem.

    Israel had been and still was Paul’s “church,” but Israel had rejected God’s Word; ignorant of God’s Word, and seeking to establish their own word, they did not submit to God’s Word

    Romans 11:1 “I ask then, has God rejected his people?” asks Paul.
    Nazis and some Christians have said, “Yes, because they rejected him; Hell is full of Jews.”

    I once heard of a young father who accidentally shot his beloved daughter, thinking she was an intruder. She jumped out of the closet and yelled “Boo.” But before he heard the word, he had pulled the trigger—her last words were “Daddy, I love you.” Those words could utterly unmake a man’s ego.

    Thinking Jesus was an intruder, Israel crucified her beloved Messiah—his last words were “They don’t know... Father forgive... into your hands I commit my Spirit.” Before they heard the Word, they took action and committed the greatest crime in history.

    So, what should be their punishment? Would you send them to hell?
    “Whatever you do to the least of these, my brothers, you do to me,” said Jesus.
    Israel is our Lord’s brothers. Wishing them to hell is like shooting your own daughter.

    It’s not only Israel that took the life of the Word on the tree in the garden.

    Romans 11:1 “I ask then has God rejected his people? By no means!”
    Why has God not rejected his people, we ask?
    Romans 11:5 “... at the present time there is a remnant, chosen by Grace.”

    Here Paul loses us, for what does “a remnant” have to do with the whole?

    You may have noticed: God speaks to all of Israel, through all of time, as if Israel were one man.
    “When the blessing and the curse has come on you... and you return to the Lord... then the Lord will have mercy on you... and gather you from all the peoples where the Lord your God has scattered you (Deut. 30:1-5).”

    In the Old Testament, it’s as if all is one and one is all.
    And it’s as if you can’t be a real person without other persons.

    After World War II, soldiers suffering from amnesia, would stand in front of the crowd gathered in the Paris Opera House, and ask “who am I?” They didn’t want serial numbers but stories of relationships with persons.

    Who am I without everyone that I’m related to?

    If my daughter isn’t saved, how could I be saved? And if her husband isn’t saved, how could she be saved? And if his Dad isn’t saved...
    This web of faith hope and love extends to everyone that’s anyone.

    When I’m honest I have to admit that my psyche is inseparably linked to all these other psyches.
    However, I’m often not honest . . . for it feels unsafe.

    “If you seek to save your psyche, you’ll lose it,” said Jesus.
    Something’s wrong with my psyche; it only wants to save itself, which is losing itself, for it is literally comprised of all these relationships with all these other psyches.

    “But if you lose your psyche, for my sake, you’ll find it,” said Jesus.
    At the cross, my self-centered psyche is undone, and yet, I get that psyche—all those relationships—back, but in a new way: no longer as harlotry but communion in the freedom of Unconditional Love, which is Life, which is the psyche of Jesus.

    Paul is saying that there’s something left to save in Israel, and you can’t save that something without saving all of Israel.

    A father knows this about his children, for he knows and is known by his children before his children have learned to hide their spirit in an ego.
    When my children say “Dad,” or “Dad

    Jesus’ Questions: How Do You Answer Them and Where Do They Lead?

    Jesus’ Questions: How Do You Answer Them and Where Do They Lead?

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
33 Ratings

33 Ratings

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Life changing


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Awesome preaching

Incredibly dynamic, powerful, thought-provoking. I'm amazed that this new podcast has 297 messages up already. I visited a few times up in Denver and it's great to be able to listen from our home in San Antonio, TX. May God richly bless Peter, his congregation, and his ministry.

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