A Criminal’s Cross

851339505Last night at Southern Calvert Baptist Church, one of our worship leaders preached a powerful message about the crucifixion. The focus was not on Jesus but, on the two criminals who were crucified with Him. In this story, we get to associate ourselves with one of the three main characters. There is the rebellious sinner, the repentant sinner, and Jesus Christ. As the late Wayne Barber used to say, “there is no vacancy in the Holy Trinity” so, you are not allowed to associate with Jesus in the story. You and I either associate with the rebellious sinner or the repentant sinner. That is why the Apostle Paul quoted from the Psalmist when explaining the state of all mankind: Continue reading

Rahab experiences salvation

cph_30120959831As we have been walking through the Old Testament, focusing on the fact that God has promised to send a Savior to rescue mankind from his greatest enemy, himself, we have seen many different people trust in God’s plan of salvation. Adam and Eve trusted in God’s salvation. Able trusted in God’s salvation. Noah trusted in God’s salvation and he shared the message of salvation with everyone who would listen. Only his family chose to believe him. Abraham trusted in God’s salvation. Isaac trusted in God’s salvation. Jacob trusted in God’s salvation. Joseph trusted in God’s salvation. Moses trusted in God’s salvation. Joshua trusted in God’s salvation. We saw that both Jews and Gentiles experienced God’s salvation.  In this lesson, we are going to see how a lying prostitute named Rahab comes to trust in God’s salvation. This story reveals that God’s salvation is not based on merit. God’s salvation is based on His character, the revelation of His mercy and grace to a world that is far from His presence. Rahab was far from the presence of God yet, in His mercy and grace, He sent out His message to her. Continue reading

Forgiveness, Love, Service, and Salvation

Screen Shot 2019-03-20 at 1.45.25 PMI am getting ready to teach during our AWANA class tonight at church. The subject of our study is Luke 23. We are going to focus on the crucifixion of Christ and the fact that will suffering unjustly, Jesus was still ready to offer to His enemies:

  1. Forgiveness
  2. Love
  3. Service
  4. Salvation

Continue reading

A sanctified soul, spirit, and body

LJ4cgVPhSHuJdSdr3DWc_bodysoulspirit1I am getting ready to teach a lesson to a group of elementary kids this morning and the lesson is supposed to be about the importance of spiritual health and its role in an overall, healthy lifestyle. In this lesson, we are going to come across the English word “sanctified”. It is a translation of the Koine Greek word, “hagios” and it means to be set apart, different. As followers of Jesus Christ, we are to be different from the people who do not follow Jesus. This difference is seen in our intellectual life, our spiritual life, and our physical bodies. What does this look like in reality? Let’s turn to the Scriptures to discover the answer. Continue reading

God’s Provision for Salvation

maxresdefault-11In our previous lesson, we looked at Numbers 13-14, specifically at the contrast between the children of Israel and Caleb and Joshua. The people had the chance to enter the Promised Land and, as a result of their unbelief, they are cursed to wander in the wilderness until they perish. Now, we get to Numbers 21. God is still faithful yet, the people have not changed. Some of our previous lessons are: Continue reading

Is Your Worship Useless?

Useful and Useless directions.  Opposite traffic sign.I imagine that the title is quite provocative. In all honesty, it is not a title that I came up with on my own. I actually borrowed the idea from the Lord. He makes this proclamation in Isaiah chapter 1. I would like to examine the passage to discover what kind of worship is useless in the eyes of God. Could any of this describe us today? Continue reading

The Law of God

surrenderI am so excited to prepare for our Connect Group teacher training meeting on Sunday evening. In our Connect Groups this Sunday, we are going to learn how discipleship is the process of empowering others for ministry. The lesson that follows is about the Law of God given to the children of Israel. In this lesson, we are going to discover the purpose of the Law, but, before we dig into what the Law was for, we have to discuss what the Law is not for. Continue reading

Saint Vasile (Basil the Great)

st basilTomorrow, Eastern Orthodox Christians will celebrate New Year’s Day according to the Old Julian calendar. It is also the holiday to honor Saint Vasile of Caesarea. Unfortunately, many Orthodox Christians venerate Saint Vasile to the point that he is worshiped. God does not share His glory with anyone and it is unfortunate that people worship Saint Vasile. Instead of worshiping him, we should study his life and seek to live the way that he lived. Saint Vasile was a born again Christian. He shared of his conversion in a letter to a friend: Continue reading

The Prince of Peace reigns

Slide06This week during our Connect Groups, we are going to take a look at the first advent of the Messiah. This is our Christmas lesson since Christmas is just around the corner. Christmas is an annual holiday, a tradition that has been passed down from one generation to the next. The tradition is the celebration of the birth of the Promised Messiah. Celebrating the birth of the Messiah has its roots in Genesis chapters 3 and 4. God promised that a male child would be born and He would crush sin and rescue people from their sins. The first celebration of the birth of the Messiah took place in Genesis 4. Eve believed that her firstborn son, Cain, was the promised male child. She was correct in expecting his birth but she was wrong in the timing. This is the first time we see people seeking to celebrate the birth of the Promised Messiah. That happened roughly 4,000 years before the birth of Jesus Christ. For us today, it was about 6,000 years ago. During a 4,000 year period, people placed their faith in the Promised Messiah. The people were looking forward to the coming of the Messiah, the birth of the Messiah. Now, we look back on the fact that the Messiah has come. It has been about 2,000 years since this event. Christians have been celebrating the birth of Christ for almost 2,000 years. The idea of celebrating the birth of the Promised Messiah has been around, as I mentioned earlier, for almost 6,000 years in human history. Continue reading