Tag Archives: salvation

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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The Most Important Thing

1 Corinthians 9:16-23 For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel! 17 For if I do this thing willingly, I have a reward: but if against my will, a dispensation of the gospel is committed unto me. 18 What is my reward then? Verily that, when I preach the gospel, I may make the gospel of Christ without charge, that I abuse not my power in the gospel. 19 For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more. 20 And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law; 21 To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law. 22 To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. 23 And this I do for the gospel’s sake, that I might be partaker thereof with you.

Paul Kept The Main Thing The Main Thing

The Apostle Paul saw His calling as a preacher of the Gospel to be a great blessing from God. He said “Though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!”. When Jesus knocked Saul down on the Damascus Road, He set Saul (soon to be Paul) apart to preach the Gospel. God told Ananias:

Acts 9:15-16 Go thy way {to Paul, and help him}: for {Paul} is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel: 16 For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake. … Continue reading

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The Best Christmas Ever!

Moses was the Chief Prophet of the Old Covenant of God. When Moses prepared to die he promised that another Prophet like himself would come.

Acts 3:22 … A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you.

Jesus Christ is that Prophet. Jesus took the place of
Moses as leader of God’s people.

There are a lot of similarities between the life of Moses and the life of Jesus. Both Moses and Jesus were preserved in their childhood. When Pharaoh wanted Moses dead, his mother hid her son in a little “ark of bulrushes” (Exodus 2:3), and hid him in the weeds at the edge of the river Nile. It was here that the princess of Egypt found Moses, and having compassion for him, brought Moses into the palace to raise as her own.

By God’s Grace Moses had access to the best food, the finest clothing, the best teachers, the most comfortable places to live. Moses grew up in a palace.

If Moses enjoyed the abundance of God’s Grace in the palace, you would think that Jesus Christ, God’s Only Begotten Son, would also be embraced… Continue reading

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The Testimony Of God

The Church at Corinth was one of Paul’s biggest successes. As we studied before, Paul “reasoned in the synagogue every sabbath, and persuaded the Jews and the Greeks.” (Acts 18:4). Paul emphasized to the Jews that “Jesus was Christ”, but they rejected that message (Acts 18:5). At that point, the Apostle focused on the Gentiles. This brought it’s own challenges.

Corinth was a Roman Colony, populated largely by freed slaves . As the city existed because of the benevolence of Rome, the citizens would have participated in banquets honoring the Emperor. To show loyalty to the empire, the citizens were expected to honor the gods of Rome, and in particular the chief god, the Roman Emperor. One commentary notes:

“Corinth is probably the Church of the New Testament that is most like the modern Church.”

Though Corinth had many faults, it was by the Grace of God and the Power of His Spirit that the Church stood at all. As Paul writes Corinth, he reminds them that he relied on the Testimony of God – The Gospel – to found Corinth.

The Testimony Of God Is That We Are Broken,
And Only Christ Can Fix Us

1 Corinthians 2:1-2 And I, brethren, when… Continue reading

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Glory In The Lord

1 Corinthians 1:30-31 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: 31 That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.

Last Sunday night we began a journey through the book of 1 Corinthians. Though all of the “Church Letters” (writings like Romans, Colossians, Philippians, Thessalonians – to name just a few) are necessary for the local Church to learn, I believe 1 Corinthians is a particularly timely book for the day we live in. I came across an article submitted to the Gospel Coalition entitled “Self-Worship Is The World’s Fastest Growing Religion”. Author Thaddeus Williams noted:

“In their recent book Good Faith: Being a Christian When Society Thinks You’re Irrelevant and Extreme, David Kinnaman and Gabe Lyons document that 84 percent of Americans believe that “enjoying yourself is the highest goal of life.” … Further, 86 percent believe that to enjoy yourself you must “pursue the things you desire most.” … And 91 percent affirm this statement: “To find yourself, look within yourself.””

You can see this everywhere you look. A commercial came on television the other day for H&M, a Swedish multinational clothing company. A stylish black man comes on screen, and as he walks toward the camera telling us “You do you. The most important thing is to love yourself. I know I do.”… Continue reading

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Four Witnesses For Jesus

According to the Gospels, John the Baptist came as a fulfillment of these prophesies (John 1:23; Mark 1:2-5; Matthew 3:1-3). When John was still forming as a baby in his mother Elisabeth, when Mary came to visit her cousin. As soon as Mary spoke to Elisabeth, that baby John leaped in her womb (Luke 1:41). Elisabeth told Mary,

Luke 1:44 … as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy.

John was born about six months before Jesus Christ Himself came into the world. His ministry started about six months before Jesus’ ministry started. John was asked at one time if he was the Messiah. John told that he was NOT the Messiah, but that “the One Who is coming is over me, who’s shoestrings I am not worthy to untie” (John 1:27). When John saw Jesus, he told the crowd:

John 1:29-31 … Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. 30 This is he of whom I said, After me cometh a man which is preferred before me: for he was before me. 31 And I knew him not: but that he should be made manifest to Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water.

John’s entire mission of baptizing was to make Jesus Christ “manifest to Israel” as the Messiah. John the Baptist told the Pharisees:… Continue reading

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The Glory Of His Grace

When Paul wrote the Book of Ephesians (under the leading of God the Holy Spirit – 2 Peter 1:21), he was in his first Roman imprisonment. Paul was under house arrest, living in his home, but guarded by Roman soldiers. Acts 28:16 tells us that “Paul was {allowed} to dwell by himself with a soldier that {guarded} him.” He was not chained in a prison cell until his second imprisonment, and could still receive visitors. Acts 28:30-31 tells us that “Paul dwelt two whole years in his own hired house, and received all that came in unto him, preaching the kingdom of God, and teaching those things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ, with all confidence, no man forbidding him.” Paul’s imprisonment is a picture of the great Grace of our God. Though we may go into valleys, our Lord will be with us. If we are in a valley, our Lord will adjust the situation so that we can minister to others for Him. Though Paul’s home is invaded by the enemy, Paul is joyous. Why? We read:

Ephesians 1:2-6 Grace be to you, and peace, from God our Father… Continue reading

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God Makes Everything Beautiful In His Time

“… why did God make some people ugly and unattractive? How can I accept the fact that God, though capable of making me beautiful or at least average looking, chose to create in me an unattractive manner? As an unattractive person myself, I can say life is tough for us. Our opinions and ideas are most often sidelined. We have it tough in offices and schools and colleges. I can’t express in words how difficult it is to be confident.”

I can understand where this person is coming from. My earlier years were – in my young mind – a living hell. I nearly failed first grade until the teacher noticed me squinting at the blackboard. A trip to the eye doctor showed I was not unintelligent, but unseeing – I needed glasses. When the teacher wrote on the blackboard, I couldn’t clearly see what she wrote. Mama asked why I never said anything about it to anyone. The truth is, I was painfully shy, an introvert. A shy child doesn’t speak up!

When I was given eyeglasses, this didn’t solve my problems, but added to them. They were large, black rimmed things that stood out on my face. This gave the bullies a target to aim at. I was a “four eyed freak”. Children… Continue reading

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Have You The Right Faith?

What type of faith have you in Jesus? Do you have the faith of Nazareth, that Jesus is but a good man and a human leader of a religion? Do you have the faith of Galilee, believing Jesus can do miracles – but is not your Lord? Or do you have the nobleman’s faith? I pray that each and every one of you have the nobleman’s faith in Christ Jesus. Jesus is able. He is able to save. He is able to secure. He is able to bless. He is both Lord and Savior to His people. May God bring you to this knowledge through His Word and His Spirit…. Continue reading

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From River To Well To Holy Spirit

As we come to John chapter 4, the Bible focuses on WATER. Water is a very common thing, yet something we desperately need to live.

The average human is approximately 60% water.
Our brains and hearts are roughly 73% water,
and our lungs are around 83% water.
Water regulates our internal temperature,
and keeps blood flowing to our cells.

A typical human can go without food and live for 3-4 weeks, but if you have no water for 3-4 days you will die!

Water is life. I think this is why God uses water baptism as a profession of genuine faith in God.

When John the Baptist began to preach, he baptized believers in God in the Jordan River. Why were believer’s baptized? Their baptism was an outward testimony that they inwardly had repented, and were willing to follow Father God. When John baptized, he told the people:

Matthew 3:11-12 I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance. but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire: 12 Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.

Those baptized by John were professing their faith in the God… Continue reading

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