Showing posts from July, 2019

What is faith?

" Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen ." - Hebrews 11:1 To have this passage fully illuminated in what it is teaching was a real eye-opener for me. For the longest time, I had heard this passage preached and I had read it for myself, but it was not until recently that the weight and glory of this passage truly hit me (and for the better!) Before becoming a full-time pastor, I was a bi-vocational pastor in West Texas. While there, my second occupation was coaching. While coaching, I remember one day discussing some things with one of our coaches on staff, who was not a religious man, and I do not recall how we got on the subject but he made the common statement, "You have faith, but it's really just blind faith if you think about it." He was implying that the faith of a Christian is blind because none of us in present time has seen Jesus, much less seen God. There are things we can point to

True vs. False Salvation (Sermon transcript for 7-14-19)

**I thought it would be fruitful/helpful to post this online for anyone who may be unclear on the Gospel call, what it is and is not, and how one can determine whether or not they are trusting in a true or false conversion experience. (Based upon a study of Romans 10)** To this point, Paul has been dealing with Jewish objections to why God would allow the Gentiles to be saved and why God would not save all the Israelites.  He’s made it clear to them that it was always God’s sovereign plan to call everyone to repent, regardless if they are Jew or Gentile, and that forgiveness and salvation would only come to those who repent and believe – salvation has always come by faith.  Now, Paul moves into chapter 10 of his letter to the Roman Christians, and God directs Paul through the Holy Spirit to write a simple chapter on the nature of the true Gospel call.  What is the Gospel call?  How is it applied?  How are people genuinely saved?  How are people supposed to respond when they hear the

Corinth: An Overview of a Messed-Up Church

To study the early church in Corinth, we must understand first the city itself. Corinth was a cosmopolitan city known for its ethnic diversity, rich culture, commerce, and wealth……however it was also known for its vast paganism and immorality (mostly in terms of being sexually immoral). It was a great port city which saw trade ships and other sea vessels daily, which facilitated all of the diversity both culturally and religiously. The worship of many pagan gods was fueled by sexual immorality which in turn brought about the negative connotation for the name ‘Corinth’, because it was mostly known for its prostitution. Acts of sexual immorality ran rampant in this thriving city. With all of this taking place, Paul saw a great and urgent need for a renewed spiritual health among the Corinthians. What does this city sound like to you today? If we analyze the historical facts, Corinth sounds a lot like America doesn’t it? We are a people full of diversity, we are among the wealthiest nat

Jesus, friend of sinners

" Zacchaeus, come down immediately.  I must stay at your house today ."  - Luke 19:5 This was scandalous and, to both the elite and poor alike, it was downright wrong.  Jesus was traveling through town.  He was a household name with 'rock star' status by this point in His earthly ministry.  He was known all over the region for His miraculous works, signs and wonders and people gathered by the thousands to see just what He would do next. The religious leaders, the Pharisees, scribes and elders, already had major problems and run-ins with Jesus.  They were unequivocally opposed to what He was doing, what He was preaching and the following He was accruing.  He was a threat to their power, authority, and religious system that kept the Jews under their thumb. This scene recorded for us tells the story of Jesus choosing to meet with a notorious chief tax collector named Zacchaeus.  Zacchaeus not only was a tax collector, but he was a "chief tax collector",