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

A Picture of Faith

faithI am getting ready to teach at our AWANA group tomorrow evening. I am so excited to work with these kids. I have been teaching them since last Fall. It is so neat to see what happens when kids learn to study the Word of God for themselves. Last week, we learned about Running the race of faith. This week, we are going to see a picture of what faith is. Our text to consider this week is Luke 9. In this lesson, we are going to see an example of faith’s actions, a need for adjustment along the journey of faith, and finally, we are going to examine faith’s acknowledgment (confession). 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

Run the Race to Win

Man Running Reaching Finish LineThe title of this article is what the Apostle Paul wrote the the Christians in Corinth. One of the things that I really like about Paul is the fact that he was a very practical teacher. As the old pastor says, “that guy likes to go down deep but, he comes up dry”. The Apostle Paul was not like that. He does not get lost in the weeds. He is what we call a “prac app” guy today. In I Corinthians 9, the Apostle Paul deals with the importance of sharing our faith with the people around us. The final command that Jesus left for His disciples was, “go and make more disciples”. This command has rung true throughout the generations. As followers of Christ today, we are also called to make disciples. In order to make disciples, we have to share our faith, in other words, preach the Gospel with the people around us. This is true for every generation and this is something that has to be taught to each new generation. Let’s discover how the Apostle Paul uses himself as an example, the analogies that he uses to challenge the Corinthians, and then take a look at the practical advice for us today. First, take a moment to read I Corinthians 9:19-27. Continue reading

Joseph: A picture of steadfastness

Screen Shot 2018-11-28 at 3.37.53 PMThe Gospel transforms us. It is the most amazing miracle of all time. It has been happening every day over the past 2,000 years. Not only does the Gospel transform us, It also equips us for daily life. Many people are influenced by the circumstances of life. When things are going well, they respond well. When things begin to go poorly, they do not respond well. The Gospel makes us stable in all of our ways. This is exemplified in the life of Joseph. Early on in his life, things were going well. Joseph was loved by his father. He was walking with the Lord. God revealed His plan to Joseph. Joseph was living to accomplish the will of the Lord. The dark spot was the fact that his brothers did not like him. By the end of Genesis 37, Joseph is at a low point in his life. His parents thought he was dead. He was sold into slavery. This is a test for Joseph, to see what he is really made of and to see if he really trusts in the power of God. Let’s see what we can discover about Joseph’s response and what that teaches us about the power of the Gospel. 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

Why we all have a sinful nature

10_principle-rebellionThis weekend at Southern Calvert Baptist Church, we are going to study Genesis chapter 3 and learn about the fall of mankind into sin. Because of this fall, all of us have a sinful nature. This is important to understand because the world as it is right now is not the way that God created it. People are not the way that we were created to be. In Genesis 1 and 2, we learn that God created a perfect world and that He created people to be His image, His reflection, not in the way that we look, but, in our character. Our attitude, actions, and words are to reflect God’s attitude, actions, and words. This is not the case for the majority of people around us. If you have ever asked why things are the way that they are, the answer is found in Genesis 3. Let’s take a look at this chapter and a portion of chapter 4 to see what we can learn about why we are the way that we are. Before Genesis 3, mankind existed in perfect relationship with God and with each other. Because of the events in Genesis 3, everything changed. Here is how it happened. Continue reading

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

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

Resolving serious conflict

AAEAAQAAAAAAAAz6AAAAJGM0NmY4MTA1LTAyMGEtNGJjOC1hNzVlLWI2YjMxYzVhMGRlYgIn our Sunday School classes at Southern Calvert Baptist Church, we have been walking through the book of Acts. It has been an awesome series as we have learned the secret to the success of the early church. They were led by the Holy Spirit. What does that look like in a practical manner? The answer is found in the book of Acts. Continue reading