Jesus on Divorce

jesus-teaching-1Over past 2 weeks, I have had an opportunity to teach Matthew 19 several different times. I wanted to share some of the insights with you here. Many people have questions about divorce. Many others have their own opinions on the subject of divorce. In order to find answers, we need to go to the source of wisdom, Jesus Christ, Himself. Jesus teaches on the subject of divorce in Matthew 19. I would like to examine this teaching here in this article. 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

The Gospel Restores Ruined Relationships

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Relationships are hard. Everyone can agree on that. They are hard because relationships involve being selfless. That does not come naturally to us as humans because of our sin nature. By nature, we are selfish. I do not like it but, it is the truth. All of us have suffered at some point or another from ruined relationships. It does not really matter if we are the victim or the aggressor. In either case, God wants to restore relationships. In fact, He is in the business of restoring relationships. God has always been in a perfect relationship as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. When God created mankind, He created us to be in a right relationship with Him and to manifest that right relationship with Him in our relationships with one another. We see this theme run all throughout the Bible. Continue reading

The Church and the End Times

maxresdefaultThis week during our Connect Groups at Southern Calvert Baptist Church, we are going to study two chapters of the Apostle Paul’s first epistle to the church in Thessalonica. Of the subjects covered in this letter, the Apostle Paul attributes much ink to the subject of the end times. The reason that he does so is because false doctrine had wormed its way into the church and had begun to upset the faith of the believers. In Acts 17, we read the story of how the Gospel comes to Thessalonica. The Apostle Paul was on a missionary journey. He visited Philippi and as a result, a church plant was formed from him making disciples. After leaving Philippi, Paul and the team traveled to Thessalonica. While there, Paul and the team began to visit the synagogue and teach the Word of God. Some of the Jews accepted Christ as Lord and Savior. Also, many Greeks accepted Christ as Lord and Savior. The team had a total of three weeks to train these new believers. Paul wanted to stay longer but was forced to flee the city because of persecution. According to II Thessalonians 2:1-12, Paul taught much about the end times during his three week stay. Continue reading

The Gospel Rebuilds Relationships

Screen Shot 2018-06-26 at 12.39.25 PMAs I sit here preparing to teach one of our Connect Groups at Southern Calvert Baptist Church, I am amazed to see how much God values relationships. As a pastor, one of the most frequent problems that I help people deal with is broken relationships. Building and maintaining relationships is very difficult because of our sin nature. God created us to be social creatures. He is social. He has always existed in a perfect relationship as the Holy Trinity. The Father has always had a perfect relationship with the Son and the Holy Spirit. When He created mankind, He created us to be in relationship with Him and with each other. The reason that we have difficulties with relationships is because we are broken by our sin nature. Even after we are born again through faith in Jesus Christ, we still have a sin nature that taints us. Our sin nature causes us to be selfish. By nature, we are egotistical. This egoism causes relationships to break down. God knows of this and He wants to help us learn to live in good social relationships with others. This is the topic of this lesson. We are going to learn how to invest in relationships with others. Continue reading

Paul the pesky preacher

Screen Shot 2018-05-29 at 3.13.05 PMThis coming Sunday, we are going to begin a new quarter in our Connect Groups at Southern Calvert Baptist Church. At the beginning of the year, we dove into the book of Acts. Then we moved into the epistles. Now we are going back to Acts and pick up where we left off. We left Acts after chapter 20 when Paul gave his final charge to the church leaders before heading to Jerusalem where he had already been forewarned of the persecution and imprisonment that awaited him. This is where we are going to pick back up this week, in Acts 23. In order to get caught up with what happened in chapters 21-22, I want to give a quick summary of those chapters. Continue reading

A pastor’s calling

Screen Shot 2018-04-05 at 12.28.50 PMAs I prepare for our teacher training meeting with our Sunday School teachers this Sunday, I was impressed by the depth and clarity of the lesson that we are going to study and then teach to our classes. This lesson is about the calling of a pastor and the results of a pastor living out his calling. In a specific sense, this lesson is for shepherds. All followers of Jesus Christ have been called to be leaders because we have all been given the Great Commission to “make disciples” of all the nations. Having made the above statement, I would like to clarify the fact that not everyone is a shepherd. God calls and appoints shepherds/pastors in the church to teach/lead/equip the members to make disciples. So, this lesson is profitable for every single person who calls himself or herself a follower of Jesus Christ (Christian, disciple etc.), even though these commands are given specifically to pastors, the pastor is going to use these commands to equip every man, woman, and child in the church to be discipled and to make disciples. Our previous Sunday School lesson was about Agape Love in Action. Continue reading

Enduring Identity in Christ

Walking-With-GodAs I sit and study through 1 Peter, I am amazed, once again, at how practical the Word of God is for our daily lives. This Sunday, during our Sunday School hour, we are going to study James 2. I am preparing 1 Peter 2 for our Sunday School teacher training. The Sunday School teachers, along with me, will all teach this lesson in 2 weeks. Continue reading

Set Apart by God for Good Works

Screen Shot 2017-11-08 at 5.12.54 PMThis coming Sunday at Southern Calvert Baptist Church, during our Sunday School hour, we are going to cover how God sets us apart to be a Royal Priesthood so that we can walk in the good works that He prepared from before the foundation of the world was laid. We have been walking through the books of Exodus and Leviticus. Previously, we looked at the daily sacrifices that we offered in Israel on a daily basis. There were 5 sacrifices and 2 of those 5 were dedicated to reminding the children of Israel to be grateful to God and to be grateful to each other. If you do the math, that equates to roughly 40 percent of the sacrifices, dedicated to reminding people to be grateful. Continue reading