Church Discipline is needed

you-are-that-manDear friends, this is a difficult subject that is not covered much in our modern church. I have written on the subject of Biblical correction and you can read it here. The way that you handle correction reveals your heart. Discipline is a major part of our Christians life. God disciplines us for our own good and for His glory. His discipline conforms our character to the character of Jesus Christ. God has given us His Holy Spirit that responds to His discipline. God also places spiritual leaders in our lives who are to apply discipline for the good of the individual and the entire local body of Christ, also known as the Church. The Apostle Paul was one of those spiritual leaders whom God called to discipline the individuals in the body of Christ in Corinth, along with the local church. We learn about this subject in II Corinthians. Let’s take a moment to read the following verses and then, we will examine two examples from the Old Testament, two men whose sins were confronted and the two very different responses. You probably have guessed the two people. One was the first King of Israel, Saul. The second is the second King of Israel, David. Continue reading

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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

Rebellious against God

rebellious-1Our Sunday School classes at Southern Calvert Baptist Church are walking through the Old Testament book of Exodus, focusing on God’s Great Calling. He is El Roi which means that He sees all things and is not indifferent to what happens to us. God intervenes on mankind’s behalf by calling us to come out of our slavery to sin and learn to worship Him. Some respond to the calling in obedience (Moses) while others respond by hardening their hearts to the message (Pharaoh). Once we respond to this calling, God wants to work in our lives via a spiritual mentor. He also wants to take us and train us to share His message of Good News with anyone who will listen. As we learn to walk with God, our sin nature seeks to dominate us like it once did, before we answered God’s Great Calling. It tries to get us to give in to our fears and not walk by faith. It tries to get us to grumble against our spiritual leaders instead of walking in humble obedience to the Lord by submitting to the leadership whom He has put over us. In our last lesson, we learned the purpose of the 10 Commandments. We learned that the 10 Commandments show us just how sinful we are. Moses had a sin nature just like the people of Israel had a sin nature. Moses was tempted just as the people of Israel were tempted. They both respond very differently to temptation. Continue reading

Remember Christ’s Sacrifice (Exodus 12)

Jesus_crucifiedOnce again, I am preparing to teach our Sunday School lesson at Southern Calvert Baptist Church. I am excited to begin teacher training soon because I love studying the Scriptures with others. There is great fellowship that comes with sitting around the Word of God and discovering Truth directly from the mind of God. Our church has some great Sunday School teachers and I am excited to be part of such an amazing team. As a church, we are walking through the book of Exodus. So far, we have covered the following topics:

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Answering God’s Great Calling

Screen Shot 2017-08-29 at 5.19.31 PMIn our Sunday School classes at Southern Calvert Baptist Church, we are beginning a new quarter this weekend. I am excited because we are diving into the book of Exodus, learning about the great calling that God has. I have heard some people teach that “God has a plan for your life“. That sounds good but I do not see it in the Bible. I see God having a plan and inviting us to be a part of His plan instead of having an individual plan for each life. Each person does have a role to play in God’s overall plan but, it’s all about Him and not about us. I know the difference sounds subtle but, when the implications are carried out, it is huge. Continue reading

Paul making disciples in Rome

fullsizerender-copyOver the past month, we have been taking a detailed look at the life and ministry of the Apostle Paul. It has been eye opening to “walk in Paul’s shoes” as he makes disciples among the Gentiles. We discovered that Paul had a plan on how to make disciples every where he went. If you have not been following the series, take a look at the following articles.

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Choosing a marriage partner

coppia di fediLast night, I was blessed to listen to a sermon preached by my mentor, Vasile Filat. I first heard this message about 11 years ago when I was living in Moldova, learning how to be a missionary. He preached it again a few days ago at a church in Bucharest Romania. Someone was gracious enough to film it and put it online. As I listened last night, I was blessed once again by the message and I was also blessed with memories from my time in Moldova. I would like to share the message with you here and I hope that you will be as blessed as I was.

Choosing a marriage partner is one of the major choices that we all want to make in this life. We generally go through years of schooling to get trained for life yet, this aspect is often neglected. Is there a plan laid out in the Word of God for choosing a marriage partner? Do I just need to hope that I get “lucky” and pick the right one? Am I at the whims and desires of my deceitfully, wicked heart? We say things like, “the heart wants what it wants and I cannot stop it. Besides, you cannot control who you fall in love with”. Let’s take a look at a love story in Genesis 24, the story of Isaac and Rebecka. There are 10 principles that we can learn from this passage about choosing a marriage partner. Continue reading

Striving to live a disciplined life

disciplineIt has been a lot of fun teaching through II Thessalonians. I have taught this book many times and, each time I teach through it, I learn new things about God and new things about myself.

If you have been following this series, you are aware of the previous lessons and what they teach. If you have not been following the series, take a moment to play a little catch up by reading the following articles.

  1. The importance of communication
  2. Genuine faith endures persecution
  3. Concerning the Day of the Lord
  4. The Church and the Day of the Lord 
  5. Praying for your disciples

The previous lesson focused on prayer, specifically, praying for your disciples, that they would grow in their knowledge of the Word of God, that they would grow in their faith, that they would grow in their love, and that they would continue making more disciples.  Continue reading

Praying for your Disciples

is4086rf-00038636-001Over the past month, I have been teaching through II Thessalonians with one of my many Bible study groups. It is so neat to study the Scriptures with others and discover the Truth of the Word of God for ourselves. II Thessalonians teaches us how to plan our time knowing the the Lord will one day return. Here are a few of the things that we have been learning as we have walked through II Thessalonians together.  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