10 Questions

March 31, 2008

Here are ten good questions to ask if yourself from time to time regarding your Christian walk – especially if you are a leader in the church. These come from Craig Groeschel.

1. What did I learn in God’s word this week?

2. Is my burden for prayer growing or diminishing?

3. Does my heart break for the things that break the heart of God?

4. Have I grown accustomed to or accepted sin in my life?

5. Am I doing ministry out of an overflow of God’s work in my heart or out of my own strength?

6. Has my teaching and ministry deepened, changed, or evolved in a positive way in the last year?

7. Do I have a sincere peace that I’m living an authentic life of spiritual integrity?

8. Is my heart growing larger for people and God or is it shrinking?

9. Am I closer to God today than I was a year ago?

10. Do others comment that they can clearly see evidence of God’s work in my life?

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Oprah’s New Age Gospel

March 28, 2008

Check out this article. Make sure to read the quote about the Brooks Brothers employee…frightening.

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Baptism

March 25, 2008

Here is a clip from Mars Hill Church in Seattle of a baptismal service that they had during Easter weekend. Being able to be a part of a baptism first hand is one of the most humbling and and most magnificent aspects of what I do. How humbling it is to be a part of a person’s profession of faith. How magnificent it is to have a hand in watching the incredible imagery of a person dying to his sins and coming alive in the newness of eternal life.

We had four children make professions of faith at the end of our Easter service here at First Baptist. Praise the Lord!

Baptisms – its what the church is all about.

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Here are the notes from Wednesday’s study on the Holy Spirit:

#7 – What do Baptists believe about the Holy Spirit?

Many Christians know very little about the Holy Spirit. This is sad because throughout the Bible the Holy Spirit is identified as the divine agent behind many of the most important events in God’s dealings with humankind. The Spirit has a role in many aspects of our salvation. The Holy Spirit is a person, not an inanimate or depersonalized force. There are three aspects of the Holy Spirit that we believe:

“The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God, fully divine. He inspired holy men of old to write the Scriptures. Through illumination He enables men to understand truth. He exalts Christ.”

1. The Holy Spirit Inspired God’s Word – Through verbal plenary inspiration God used various people, their gifts, talents, and personalities to write Scripture. The human authors wrote exactly what they wanted to write and the Holy Spirit moved the authors to write exactly what He wanted them to write. The Holy Spirit works within believers to accomplish His sovereign purposes (unlike Islam’s dictation from Allah to Mohammed)

2. The Holy Spirit Ministers to People – The HS has many different purposes and responsibilities

“He convicts men of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment.”

a. He convicts of sin – We know what is right and wrong because the HS convicts. Question: Does the HS convict people who are not saved? Yes, somehow – Read John 16:5-11

“He calls men to the Savior,”

b. He calls unbelievers to salvation – The HS having convicted the sinner of sin, calls the sinner to Christ.

“…and effects regeneration.”

c. He brings regeneration – The HS effects regeneration, or a new birth, as He calls us to faith in Christ.

“At the moment of regeneration He baptizes every believer into the Body of Christ.”

d. He indwells believers – Peter said at Pentecost, “Repent … and be baptized, each of you, in the name of Jesus the Messiah for the forgiveness of sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 2:38) Because we believe this we reject the Pentecostal and Charismatic doctrine of the second blessing which states that the baptism of the HS is separate from the gift of the Spirit at the moment of regeneration.

“He seals the believer unto the day of final redemption.”

e. He seals believers – You cannot lose your salvation. “Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of god, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.” (Eph. 4:30) Therefore, one is lost, saved, or grieving the HS. Question: How long can one grieve the HS?

“His presence in the Christian is the guarantee that God will bring the believer into the fullness of the stature of Christ.”

f. He illuminates truth – The HS illuminates believers’ spiritual discernment so that they understand truth. “We have not received the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, in order to know what has been freely given to us by God. We also speak these things, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual things to spiritual people.” (1 Cor. 2:12-13). Criswell said that the HS takes the place of Jesus in the flesh. When we possess the HS we possess the HS

g. He teaches believers – The HS works within believers to produce and understanding of spiritual things. He opens our spiritual eyes. He is our constant teacher, opening our understanding to the things of God. “When the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all the truth. For he will not speak on His own, but He will speak whatever He hears. He will also declare to you what is to come.” (John 16:13)

h. He intercedes for believers – He intercedes with “groanings too deep for words.” (Rom. 8:26)

“He cultivates Christian character, comforts believers, and bestows the spiritual gifts by which they serve God through His church.”

3. The Holy Spirit Builds the Church
– The HS also works within the church.

a. He brings unity – Unity is one of the HS’s greatest gifts to the church. Paul instructed us to keep “the unity of the Spirit with the peace that binds us. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope at your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all and through all and in all.” (Eph. 4:3-6)

b. He bestows spiritual gifts – Every believer is given at least one gift as God wills, but no one gift is given to all believers.

Next week is a week off for spring break and then the class will return in April as we discuss the doctrine of man.

Complex

March 18, 2008

“You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb.

Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous – and how well I know it.

You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.

You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book.

Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.” (Psalm 139:13-16, NLT)

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It’s amazing to think about how involved God is with his creation. Every person that has been born, God has known about and has been active in their formation. He is, and always has been, in complete control of our lives. What a comforting thought that is! No matter what we go through or what evil afflicts us, God is always in control and active in his creation.

EggFest 08

March 17, 2008

Here is a picture from the successful EggFest 08 this past Saturday

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Children

March 14, 2008

“Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward.

Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth.

Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them!

He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.”

Psalm 127:3-5