Tag Archives: Following Jesus

Live Like You Are Beloved

I have always resisted the easy believism preaching of “God loves you, and has a wonderful plan for your life”.

This type of preaching became popular in the later 20th century church, and often pops up in the current culture as well. I do believe that “God loves you”. But I’m not sure how “wonderful” the plan for your life is, as “wonderful” means “to inspire delight, pleasure or admiration”.

Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so. But we live in a fallen world absolutely opposed to the Biblical Jesus. If you live for Jesus, expect – at best – discomfort!

That’s what 1 Peter chapter 4 focuses on: S-U-F-F-E-R-I-N-G! I have talked with other Pastors who tell me they’d rather focus on the love of God and future Heaven, than they would on the darkness of this world. But Beloved, we live in a dark world. Not too long ago Canadian Authorities chased two brothers Damien and Miles Sanderson who killed at least ten (10) people, and wounded eighteen (18) more with knives. Why did they do this? Because we live in a fallen world.

Every dark and evil thing in our world today can be traced to sin. It is sin that separates us from God. It is sin that drags people down…. Continue reading

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Saved, You Will Be Sanctified

Whereas the Apostle Paul was used by God to talk about salvation, James is used of God to talk about sanctification. What are the differences between the two?
Salvation Is What Jesus Does FOR Us
Sanctification Is What God The Holy Spirit Does TO Us

We are saved by faith in Christ. Receiving Jesus as Lord and Savior, Jesus sends the Holy Spirit into our lives. The Holy Spirit causes us to be “born again” as new creatures in Christ. The Holy Spirit causes us to be adopted into the Family of God. The Holy Spirit stays with us, guiding us into daily being more like Jesus. … Continue reading

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The Church We Strive To Be

The three names “Paul, and Silvanus, and Timotheus” are the Roman forms of the names for Saul of Tarsus (see Acts 13:9), Silas (see Acts 15:22,27,32; 1 Pet. 5:12), and Timothy (see Acts 16:1-3). The Church at Thessaloniki is located in an area that is predominantly Gentile in its culture. When Saul took on the name of “Paul”, he abandoned his Jewish privileges in order to reach out to the Gentiles in the name of Jesus. The name “Paul” in the Greek actually means “a little one”. The Apostle Paul did great things for Jesus because he minimized himself, but maximized serving the Lord. Paul was “little”, not “big” headed. Paul wrote of himself in humility, saying …

1 Corinthians 15:9 … I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.

Paul the Apostle not only minimized his office as Apostle, but also wrote:

Ephesians 3:8 Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ;

Though Paul considered himself a “saint” (the Greek ἅγιος hagios, which means “a person set apart for God’s use”), he considered himself to be “less than the least” of all the Saints. On the other hand, when Paul considered his brokenness as a sinner, he wrote:

1 Timothy 1:15 This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.

Paul did not see himself as someone “special”, but as a terribly broken person. His acceptance of his brokenness made it possible for God to use him in a mighty way. When we humble ourselves, Jesus can do great things for us. As the Apostle addresses the Church at Thessaloniki he says:… Continue reading

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Baptist Distinctives #3: Jesus Is God Our Brother

During our “Snow Day” last Sunday, I listened to an online preacher talking about the Dangers of Idolatry. It was a very interesting sermon/ teaching, and very much enjoyed it. In the sermon the minister noted that “everybody worships something”, and that when God took His people out of Egypt under Moses’ leadership, one of the first requirements that God gave His people was:

Exodus 20:2-3 I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. 3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

God identified Himself as Israel’s Savior, and Israel as a people saved. God commanded that His people have no other gods before the God Who saved them. God identifies Himself frequently throughout the Scripture, using the same terminology He uses in Exodus 20:2 ..

Deuteronomy 5:6 I am the Lord thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt …

Psalm 81:10 I am the Lord thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt …

Isaiah 43:3 For I am the Lord thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Savior: I gave Egypt for thy ransom …

Hosea 13:4 Yet I am the Lord thy God from the land of Egypt, and thou shalt know no god but me: for there is no savior beside me.

God identifies Himself as Israel’s Savior.
God identifies Himself as OUR Savior.

When we make an idol of anything, if we worship anything or anyone outside of the God of the Scripture, we demean God our Savior. It is God Who saves us, and not we ourselves. When the commercials today say “Keep on doing YOU”, they are bidding us to follow idols. … Continue reading

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