The Gospel is Christ in me

sevenCitiesMapDuring this quarter at Southern Calvert Baptist Church in our Connect Groups, we are covering some of the epistles of the New Testament. Since January, we have been going back and forth between the Acts of the Apostles and various epistles. Last week, we finished Acts. Now we are returning to the epistles. This lesson will focus on Colossians 1. Our previous lesson was Philippians 1. The title of the lesson is “Preach the Gospel everywhere“. Continue reading

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Paul’s Journey to Rome

acts-pauls-voyage-to-romeThis lesson for our Connect Group classes will carry us to the end of the book of Acts. The book of Acts has a peculiar ending. Actually, it does not end. The book concludes with Paul in Rome preaching the Gospel and teaching the Word of God. The idea is that the ministry has continued uninterrupted until this very moment. In a way, even though Paul went to glory long ago, the ministry that he started still continues on to this day. Some mission movements have named themselves Acts 29 because the modern church is living out Acts 29. Every generation of Christians lives out Acts 29. Continue reading

A faithful witness for Christ

34029276_1644996785569595_5595464263444463616_oOnce again, I sit here studying to prepare for our Connect Group teachers’ meeting coming up this weekend. In our Connect Groups at Southern Calvert Baptist Church, we are picking up our study of the book the Acts of the Apostles. Our focus now, is the faithful ministry of the Apostle Paul. In our previous lesson, we covered Acts 23, learning about the Apostle Paul, the pesky preacher. This lesson is a continuation of Paul’s witness of Christ before his captors. This lesson will cover Acts chapters 24-26. Our goal is to give an overview of these chapters, focusing on how the Apostle Paul stayed faithful to his calling of being a witness for Christ, even in the face of heavy ridicule and persecution. Could the same calling be true for YOU and for ME? The answer is a resounding YES!!! Let’s what insights we can glean from Paul’s faithful example. Continue reading

The Lifestyle of a Child of God

screenshot_2016-12-22-10-05-03-1It has been amazing teaching through the New Testament this quarter in our Sunday School classes. We started the year off with walking through the book of Acts. Since the beginning of this new quarter, we have been studying the epistles in the New Testament. God has much to teach His church in these epistles and we have learned a lot. Some of our previous lessons include: 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

Pastors and Elders; Is there a difference?

jesusisthegoodshepherdI write this article from personal experience. Whatever denomination you are part of, as a follower of Jesus Christ, your local church has a form of “government”. The English word “government” comes to us via Old French, according to Online Etymology Dictionary. The meaning is “control, direction, administration”. The origin of the Old French word is of course the Latin, “gubernare”. The Romans borrowed the word from the Greeks, modifying the Greek word “kybernan” (pronounced cybernan). It was a nautical term for steering a ship in the right direction. A local church is made up of redeemed sinners who still fight a moment by moment battle against their sin nature and as a result, they need to be guided through life. God created man to be led by Him. Once mankind rebelled against God, we traded God’s leadership for the leadership of others. We still need to be led, even to this day. Communities and relationships fall apart if there is not strong leadership. Your local church needs leadership. God has provided leadership in the local church, just like He has established leadership in local, secular government. When God set the guidelines for leadership in the church, He chose mature believers who had certain experience and spiritual giftings to lead. God chooses what spiritual girts we receive upon salvation and He also provides ministry (service) for those gifts in order to build up the body of Christ. Biblically speaking, people do not choose a path to leadership in the church. God equips them and calls them according to His desire. In order to understand church leadership, we need to examine a couple of passages in the New Testament, passages that were written under the inspiration of God and these passages are the heart of God when it comes to church leadership. Continue reading

Grow to maturity in Christ

cropped-13585354-256-k574691I had the privilege of leading a Bible study for a couple of families the other night after we had a wonderful dinner. We took a look at Ephesians 4. I would like to share what we discovered. In order to better understand the context of Saint Paul’s letter to the church in Ephesus, we need a little background information. In Acts 19, we learn about how Paul made disciples in Ephesus and the church was formed. Paul stayed in Ephesus for two years, making disciples. In Acts 20, Paul gives his final instructions to the Ephesians. This is his final teaching that he gave them face to face. He is going to instruct them more through his letter that is to come later. This church is very important because these believers made disciples in Asia Minor. These disciples formed the other 6 churches that the Apostle John writes letters to in the Book of Revelation. Now, let’s take a look at some of what Paul teaches the Ephesian disciples through his letter to them. Continue reading

The Church and the Day of the Lord

file-saint_paul_writing_his_epistles_by_valentin_de_boulogneI am preparing to teach the next lesson in the study of II Thessalonians and we are going to examine the relationship of the church to the Day of the Lord. This is teaching number 4 in the series.

We have seen that it is very important for the followers of Jesus Christ to remain excellent students of the Scriptures so that we will not have our faith shaken by false teachings or by false teachers. Paul is writing to the Thessalonians to encourage them and to get them back on track so that they can remain faithful to the Lord, serving Him by preaching the Gospel in the midst of persecution and suffering. One of the areas in which the Thessalonians had been led astray was in the area of the Day of the Lord. There are many people today who are confused when it comes to the rapture, the Day of the Lord, and the Coming of the Lord. These are three distinct events yet often lead to great confusion for people who attend church or read the Bible. We fully covered the idea of the rapture in the last lesson so I will not get into explaining it in this lesson. Continue reading

The Revelation of Jesus Christ

15390646_1205486506204430_8757812736487532723_nThis coming Sunday, we are going to finish our walk through the entire Bible in 2016. It has been an amazing year. All of us, kids, teachers, and leaders learned so much about the Word of God. The Bible really is all about Jesus. Here are some of the previous lessons that we have learned:

So, the trick in covering Revelation in 45 minutes is deciding what to focus on from the book. There is so much here. Praise the Lord for this amazing book. I decided to break the book up in three parts, focusing on chapter 1, 7, and 19. Continue reading

The Apostle Paul on Leadership (Acts 20)

Leadership-2Yesterday, I was watching a video of a Bible study that our church leadership did a few years ago as we met and planned the upcoming year for us at that time. It was an amazing day. As a leadership team, we hiked about 18-20 miles, visiting villages, sharing the Gospel, doing Bible study, and planning. It was a great day of fellowship and brotherhood. We even found time to take a nap beside a lake under some shade trees during the hottest part of the day. All the memories came flooding back as I watched the Bible study session. I wanted to write an article with the teachings from Acts 20, given to us by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, through the Apostle Paul. I linked to the verses, or, you can open your own Bible and read the account, starting in verse 15 and going through the end of the chapter. As we studied the passage, we looked at what we learned about Paul and the commands Paul gave to the Ephesian elders. From these two aspects, we have much to learn about Biblical leadership.

I. Insights about Paul

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