Monday, June 20, 2011

Baptist 21 Egypt Video

Baptist 21 imb Egypt video from imb connecting on Vimeo.

Sunday Sermon

Yesterday morning I preached my third sermon in the gospel series. This sermon was focused on the fact that everyone born of man is a sinner by nature and by practice. No one wants to hear they are a sinner, but we all need to hear this truth. You can listen that sermon here:

The Gospel and Our Sin

During our PM service a friend of mine preached for us. We didn't record his sermon, but the message was about worship. It was a great message. It really challenged me to think about my response to my Savior in worship.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Renewing Your Mind

R.C. Sproul writes:
The key method Paul underscores as the means to the transformed life is by the "renewal of the mind." This means nothing more and nothing less than education. Serious education. In-depth education. Disciplined education in the things of God. It calls for a mastery of the Word of God. We need to be people whose lives have changed because our minds have changed.
True transformation comes by gaining a new understanding of God, ourselves, and the world. What we are after ultimately is to be conformed to the image of Christ. We are to be like Jesus, though not in the sense that we can ever gain deity. We are not god-men. But our humanity is to mirror and reflect the perfect humanity of Jesus. A tall order! 
To be conformed to Jesus, we must first begin to think as Jesus did. We need the "mind of Christ." We need to value the things He values and despise the things He despises. We need to have the same priorities He has. We need to consider weighty the things He considers weighty. 
That cannot happen without a mastery of His Word. The key to spiritual growth is in-depth Christian education that requires a serious level of sacrifice. 
That is the call to excellence we have received. We are not to be like the rest of the world, content to live our lives with a superficial understanding of God. We are to grow dissatisfied with spiritual milk and hunger after spiritual meat.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Sunday Sermon

This morning I preached the second message in the series: The Gospel: The Power of God. The sermon can be listened to or downloaded here:

Isaiah 6:1-7 - The Gospel and God's Holiness

Thursday, June 9, 2011

The Seriousness of Sin

God-willing, I'll preach the second sermon in a series on the gospel this coming Sunday. The sermon for Sunday is "The Gospel and God's Holiness." In preparation for this sermon I picked up a book that has been on my shelf for years, The Holiness of God. R.C. Sproul writes an excellent book with this one. I wish I had read it earlier. In chapter 6, Holy Justice, Sproul writes about the severity of our sin and says:
Sin is cosmic treason. Sin is treason against a perfectly pure Sovereign. It is an act of supreme ingratitude toward the One to whom we owe everything, to the One who has given us life itself. Have you ever considered the deeper implications of the slightest sin, of the most minute peccadillo? We are saying no to the righteousness of God. We are saying, "God, Your law is not good. My judgment is better than Yours. Your authority does not apply to me. I am above and beyond Your jurisdiction. I have the right to do what I want to do, not what You command me to do."

The slightest sin is an act of defiance against cosmic authority. It is a revolutionary act, a rebellious act in which we are setting ourselves in opposition to the One to whom we owe everything. It is an insult to His holiness. We become false witnesses to God. When we sin as the image bearers of God, we are saying to the whole creation, to all of nature under our dominion, to the birds of the air and the beasts of the field: "This is how God is. This is how your Creator behaves. Look in this mirror; look at us, and you will see the character of the Almighty." We say to the world, "God is covetous; God is ruthless; God is bitter; God is a murderer, a thief, a slanderer, an adulterer. God is all of these things that we are doing."

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Sproul on Holiness and Idolatry

God-willing, this coming Sunday I'll preach the second message in our series on the gospel. The title of this sermon is, "The Gospel and God's Holiness." In preparation of this sermon I am reading through R.C. Sproul's The Holiness of God. The book has been excellent in many, many ways thus far. I found the following quote about idolatry one example of this fact:
When we call things holy when they are not holy, we commit the sin of idolatry. We give to common things the respect, awe, worship, and adoration that belong only to God. To worship the creature instead of the Creator is the essence of idolatry.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Sunday Sermons

Yesterday’s sermons are now available. In the morning I began a new sermon series titled “The Gospel: The Power of God” by preaching the first sermon The Gospel of Jesus, which you can find here (or from the sermon player on this blog).

In the evening I continued through our study in Luke’s Gospel by preaching from Luke 9:1-9. You can listen to The Ministries of Mercy and the Word here (or from the sermon player on this blog).

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Praying to the Lord of the Harvest

This past Wednesday evening I finished up a three message series on caring for others. The first week was focused on the challenge from Jesus that His people will love one another. The second message was focused on the need to care for those in our community. The final message was about caring for those all over the face of the earth. In fact, this past Wednesday evening I taught from Matthew 9:35-38. Below are the main points that I made, followed by a question.

First Point - Jesus was concerned about the ministry of the Word AND ministry of mercy. I take this from verse 35, "And Jesus went throughout all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction." In this one verse we see His care for the gospel message. He always proclaimed the good news! However, we also see how Jesus cared for the physical needs of those who were sick and afflicted. I warned our people about exalting mercy ministries to a place where they took precedence over the gospel (since no one is saved without hearing the gospel proclaimed!), but that doesn't mean that we shouldn't engage in mercy ministries.

Second Point - Taking the gospel to the ends of the earth, and meeting needs where we are able, must be rooted in our compassion for them and for the glory of God. This was the motivation for Jesus according to verse 36, "When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd." I asked our church that night about whether or not we had compassion for those around the world who were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Jesus is the only Shepherd they need, but the people of God must let the crowds know this!

Third Point - The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. This is pretty clear. Jesus says in verses 37-38, "The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest." There is much to be said here, but I wanted to drive home the fact that we are providentially located in Fort Myers, FL, and this verse fits our present circumstances in unbelievable ways. However, we also know that we want to get the gospel to those who have no access to the gospel. In other words, we want to reach Fort Myers (and SWFL) with the gospel, but we also want to reach to the ends of the earth where the gospel is not yet proclaimed.

In our present condition as a church, we are able to see this truth plainly. Right now our church is in great transition. We are seeking ways to minister to those around us. We are seeking ways to get the gospel into our community. From the statistics that I've heard, over 93% of Lee County do not attend any sort of worship service. When I see this area I realize the harvest is plentiful. However, as a faith family, we also realize our laborers are few. Seeing how we are in a transition time we know many of our people are unable to do things they once could. Their bodies have aged, and they are now limited. Do not misunderstand me, my people are ready to do what they can in their limitations! I am a blessed pastor. But the reality is here. We not only see the harvest, but we see the lack of laborers.

I told our people last Wednesday that we do not have the right to look out at our opportunities, with a heart of compassion, realize our laborers are few, and decide to do nothing about it. No, we are to pray to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers. That is what we're doing now. We're praying to God that He would do two things with our faith family. The first thing is that He would raise up laborers for us. We want to see new laborers coming into our faith family. The second thing we are asking is that God would enable us to be those laborers as well. In other words, I do not want to simply pray that God gives usother laborers, but that we too will labor for those who need to hear the gospel.

Now to my question. With the need so great in SWFL for the gospel, would you pray about coming and being a part of this? We are praying that God would send out laborers. Would you pray and ask God if you're one to be sent here? Or to be sent here in order to be sent from here?