Monday, August 25, 2008

Sermon Texts for Sunday, August 31, 2008

This Sunday we will be observing the ordinance of the Lord's Supper. Following are the sermon texts for August 31, 2008:

Matthew 16:21-28

[21] From that time Jesus began to show to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day. [22] Then Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, “Far be it from You, Lord; this shall not happen to You!” [23] But He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.” [24] Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. [25] For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. [26] For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? [27] For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works. [28] Assuredly, I say to you, there are some standing here who shall not taste death till they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom.”

Romans 12:9-21

[9] Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good. [10] Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; [11] not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; [12] rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer; [13] distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality. [14] Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. [15] Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. [16] Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion. [17] Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. [18] If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. [19] Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. [20] Therefore “ If your enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is thirsty, give him a drink; For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.” [21] Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

For His Glory!
Pastor Joe

Friday, August 22, 2008

Baptist Catechisms

Baptist Catechisms

Catechisms have been used for centuries by Christians to instruct believers in the basics of the Christian faith. Catechisms are most often used to instruct new converts and as a guide for parents to instruct their children in the Christian faith. Many catechisms are available, most adapted from the Westminster Catechism.

John Piper writes concerning the the history of this catechism.
"This is a slightly revised version of 'The Baptist Catechism' first put forth by Baptists in 1689 in Great Britain. It was adopted by the Philadelphia Baptist Association in 1742. It is patterned on the well-known reformed Westminster Catechism. The few comments in the earlier questions are meant to help parents make things plain to their children.

Check out Piper's excellent catechism and guide for making the catechism a part of your family life at

Monday, August 18, 2008

Thoughts on Christian Unity


This past Sunday, I preached from Psalm 133 on the necessity of preserving the unity of the body of Christ. As we begin to implement the Steering and Capital Fund Committee recommendation, unity will be all the more crucial!

What is the basis for unity at HBC? The basis of unity is our Christian faith. As Paul said in Ephesians 4:5, there is “one faith.” We find common ground (unity) around the core teachings of the Christian faith. Among the core teachings of the “faith,” are that we believe in one God who reveals Himself as Father, Son, and Spirit. He is the creator. The world that we live in is fallen and in need of redemption. Jesus lived, died, and rose again to provide this redemption. The Holy Spirit empowers us to be on mission sharing the Gospel of Christ. God will complete this work of salvation when He returns in glory. The Bible records this wonderful story and we seek to live our lives under its authority. These are the essentials of the faith. This is what makes us distinctively Christian. This is what unifies us.

We also find unity around the particular way that we exercise or practice our Christian faith, that’s where are Baptist heritage comes in. Baptists share everything I just mentioned in common with other Christians. However, Baptists have championed other biblical teachings as well. Biblical teachings such as that the church is made up of believers who have professed faith in Christ and followed Jesus in baptism by immersion. All believers are secure in their salvation and are priests before God. Baptists believe in the autonomy of the church and that every believer shares in the decision-making process (the vote last Sunday reflects that conviction). Baptists have stood for the separation of church and state, that there is no creed but the Bible, and have emphasized evangelism and missions as the priority of the church. So we find common ground in our faith and in our practice.

Sometimes problems arise in a church because people do not make distinctions between the essentials of the faith and what is non-essential. Christ as our redeemer is an essential, whether you are a democrat or republican is not. Others do not understand our practice as Baptist Christians. Because Baptists uphold the teaching of the priesthood of the believer, we value and rely on the participation of believers in the body to accomplish God’s work. This means that we encourage you to think, to pray, and to participate in the total life of the church.

Admittedly, this structure can be frustrating for people who like the security of a “top down” hierarchical model; that is, being told “this is what you should believe and do,” or for people who are used to the corporate business model or for people who become easily impatient. Congregationalism can be painfully slow, but it respects the biblical teaching of the Priesthood of the Believer, the Spirit of Christ, and it is the biblical model that we follow.

At this juncture in our history, let’s determine that we are going to continue to keep the main thing the main thing. Let’s move forward together in unity. “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity” (v.1). “Lord, pour out Your Spirit upon us “like . . . precious oil . . . running down” so that all will see Your glory. Lord, let the “dew of Hermon” drench your people – refresh and revive us so that we can bring your life to a thirsty and parched world. Amen.”

For His Glory!
Pastor Joe

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Sermon Text for Sunday, August 24, 2008

Sermon Text for Sunday, August 24, 2008

Romans 12:1-8

[1] I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. [2] And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

[3] For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith. [4] For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, [5] so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another. 6 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; [7] or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; [8] he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Sermon Text for Sunday, August 17, 2008

This Sunday, August 17th we will be voting on the Steering and Capital Fund Committee recommendation that was presented on Sunday, August 10th. Be in prayer this week for the unity that our sermon text for the week speaks of.

Psalm 133

A Song of Ascents. Of David.

1 Behold, how good and how pleasant it is
For brethren to dwell together in unity!

2 It is like the precious oil upon the head,
Running down on the beard,
The beard of Aaron,
Running down on the edge of his garments.

3 It is like the dew of Hermon,
Descending upon the mountains of Zion;
For there the LORD commanded the blessing—
Life forevermore.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Sermon Text for Sunday, August 10, 2008

IMPORTANT: This Sunday the Steering and Capital Fund Committees will bring a joint recommendation presentation during both morning services. Discussion of the proposal will take place Sunday evening at 6:00 p.m. We will vote on the proposal Sunday, August 17th in the morning services.

Sermon Text for Sunday, August 10, 2008

Jesus Walks on the Sea

[22] Immediately Jesus made His disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side, while He sent the multitudes away. [23] And when He had sent the multitudes away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. Now when evening came, He was alone there. [24] But the boat was now in the middle of the sea,[a] tossed by the waves, for the wind was contrary. [25] Now in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went to them, walking on the sea. [26] And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out for fear. [27] But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.” [28] And Peter answered Him and said, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.” [29] So He said, “Come.” And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus. [30] But when he saw that the wind was boisterous,[b] he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, “Lord, save me!” [31] And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” [32] And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased.
[33] Then those who were in the boat came and[c] worshiped Him, saying, “Truly You are the Son of God.”

For His Glory!
Pastor Joe