Thursday, March 31, 2016

The Ascension of Jesus (Sunday, April 3, 2016)

“The Jesus I Never Knew: His Ascension”
This Sunday we will conclude our Spring Easter Series, “The Jesus I Never Knew” with a look at the ascension of Jesus. When we speak of the ascension of Jesus, we are referring to the event in the life of Jesus in which he departed visibly from his disciples into heaven (see Acts 1:9-11). The ascension of Jesus became a foundational teaching in the church, and is included in all of the early church’s statements of faith. For example, The Apostle’s Creed, an early church statement of faith says that, “On the third day [He] rose again from the dead, ascended to heaven, sits at the right hand of God the Father almighty, thence He will come to judge the living and the dead” (my emphasis).

After his resurrection, Jesus remained on earth for an intentional 40 day period. During this time, Jesus appeared to different groups of the disciples and He taught them and prepared them for the time when He would go back to the Father and they in turn, would go out into the world with the message of Jesus and His kingdom.

Understanding the ascension of Jesus is critical to our fully experiencing God in our daily lives. Impoverished we will be if we do not grasp the tremendous significance of Christ being seated at the right of the Father. How do we know the Lord whom we cannot see? How do we receive help from God in time of need? How do we communicate with the Lord who is risen and ascended? These questions find their answer in understanding the ascension of Jesus.

This Sunday, April 3rd at Carrollwood Baptist Church we will take a look at the Scripture passages below to “flesh-out” our understanding of the ascension of Jesus and the difference it makes in our lives.

If you don’t have a church home, we would love to have you worship with us at CBC where “All Are Welcomed!” Worship begins at 10:30 a.m. Bible study for all ages is held at 9:15 a.m. CBC is conveniently located at 5395 Ehrlich Road, 1 mile east of the Veterans Expressway and 2.5 miles west of Dale Mabry Hwy. For more information, check out our website at

Looking forward to worshiping the risen and ascended Lord this Sunday!

For His Glory, By His Grace!

Pastor Joe

Sunday’s Scripture Passages:

Hebrews 4:14-16; 10:11-12, 14

John 16:7; 14:16

Romans 8:26-27, 34





Tuesday, March 29, 2016

A Glorious Easter!

I want to thank our folks at CBC for all the extra efforts you put forward to make our Easter weekend events a tremendous blessing. We began the weekend with a moving Good Friday "Thrive" praise and communion service. We had many guests for our Easter Egg Hunt and activities on Saturday morning. Our two well-attended Sunday morning celebration services were awe-inspiring and the pancake breakfast was a great time of fellowship and sharing. All in all, in these events God was glorified, the people of God were encouraged, and the Good News of Jesus' death and resurrection was proclaimed. "To God Be All the Glory!" Looking forward to the days ahead to see what great things He has in store for us at CBC!

Pastor Joe
"I thank my God every time I remember you." Philippians 1:3

Thursday, March 24, 2016

"Why Easter Matters"

“Why Easter Matters”  
John Stott says, “Grace is God loving, God stooping, God coming to the rescue.” And Anne Lamott says, “I do not at all understand the mystery of grace – only that it meets us where we are but does not leave us where it found us.” One of the great Bible passages on God’s grace is found in Ephesians 2:1-10. Paul’s description of salvation by grace shows us “Why Easter Matters.” When the stone was rolled away and Jesus rose from the dead, everything changed!

This Easter Sunday, Resurrection Sunday, March 27th, we will consider this great passage, Ephesians 2:1-10 in two parts: what we might call I. Life Before Easter (2:1-3), our condition on our own apart from Christ, and II. Life Because of Easter (2:4-10), what God has done for us, why Easter really does matter. Below is a copy of this Sunday’s Scripture passage.

If you don’t have a church home, we invite you to join us for one of our Easter Sunday worship services at Carrollwood Baptist Church where all are welcomed! Easter Sunday we will offer two morning worship services, 8:30 and 10:30 a.m. And we will have a free pancake breakfast between the two services from 9:30-10:15 a.m.

Other Easter Events and Opportunities
Join us on Good Friday, March 25th at 6:00 p.m. for a special time of Praise and Communion led by our “Thrive” worship band and College and Career group.

Easter Egg Hunt, Saturday, March 26th, 10:00-11:30 a.m. Babies-5th Grade are invited. Bring your Easter baskets and be ready to hunt eggs, enjoy snacks, make crafts and participate in story time.

I look forward to celebrating the resurrection of Christ, the most pivotal event in history by worshiping the living Lord Jesus with the family of God this weekend! The work on the cross has been completed, the tomb is empty, and Jesus is alive! And because that is true, everything has truly changed. All praise to God “because of His great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions – it is by grace you have been saved” (Eph. 2:4-5).

For His Glory, By His Grace!

Pastor Joe

Ephesians 2:1-10, New International Version (NIV)
Made Alive in Christ
1 As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, 2 in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. 4 But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7 in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. 8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.



Thursday, March 10, 2016

Mountain Top Living for the Valleys of Life

“Mountain Top Living for the Valleys of Life”
All of us have struggles in life. All of us go through some dark valleys. Life is full of them. Jesus Himself faced some dark valleys. In fact he was about to face the biggest valley of His life – the cross! But before the crushing cross came a mountain top experience with the Father. What took place as recorded by Matthew at 17:1-13 is called “The Transfiguration of Jesus.” The word translated “transfigured” gives us our English word “metamorphosis.” A metamorphosis is a change on the outside that comes from the inside. The word is related to the word “transform.”

On the mountain of transfiguration, Jesus received an encouraging visit from some Old Testament saints and the Father’s encouragement and confirmation to fulfill His mission on the cross. It is the mountain top experiences with God and other believers that make walking through the valleys of life more than tolerable, but actually joyful! This Sunday, March 13th we will explore Jesus’ transfiguration and what that means for us in our daily lives. You can find this Sunday’s text below. The mountain top times with our heavenly Father and with God’s people do give us fresh perspective on who we are (identity), where we are (status), and what we are doing (activity).

We invite you to worship with us this Sunday at Carrollwood Baptist Church where all are welcomed! Come prepared to Glorify God and be transformed by the risen Christ. Worship begins at 10:30 a.m. CBC is located at 5395 Ehrlich Road, just one mile east of the Veteran’s Expressway.

Look forward this Sunday to transformative worship in God’s presence and with God’s people!

Pastor Joe
I thank my God every time I remember you.” Philippians 1:3


Matthew 17:1-13, New International Version (NIV)
The Transfiguration
1 After six days Jesus took with him Peter, James and John the brother of James, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light. Just then there appeared before them Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus.

Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here. If you wish, I will put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.”

While he was still speaking, a bright cloud covered them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!”

When the disciples heard this, they fell facedown to the ground, terrified. But Jesus came and touched them. “Get up,” he said. “Don’t be afraid.” When they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus.

As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus instructed them, “Don’t tell anyone what you have seen, until the Son of Man has been raised from the dead.”

10 The disciples asked him, “Why then do the teachers of the law say that Elijah must come first?”

11 Jesus replied, “To be sure, Elijah comes and will restore all things. 12 But I tell you, Elijah has already come, and they did not recognize him, but have done to him everything they wished. In the same way the Son of Man is going to suffer at their hands.” 13 Then the disciples understood that he was talking to them about John the Baptist.






Thursday, March 3, 2016

"Who Is Jesus?"

The Question for the Ages: “Who Is Jesus?”

Just who is Jesus? Who did he claim to be? What did others say about him? What was he really like? It’s the question for the ages, “Who is Jesus?” People today still have varying opinions about Jesus. Some say that Jesus was a prophet or a teacher, or a good man, or a healer, or a wise man. But you might be surprised to know that Jesus never claimed to be any of these, but he did make some astounding claims that can only be chalked up to being God! Even we who make up part of the 2.2 billion Christ followers on earth have varying ideas of who Jesus is, some true but incomplete, others more informed by our culture.

As a part of our sermon series, “The Jesus I Never Knew,” this Sunday, March 6th at Carrollwood Baptist Church we will explore the question for the ages that Jesus presented to His disciples in Matthew 16:13-19. If you do not have a church home, you are invited to join us at CBC where all are welcomed! Worship begins at 10:30 a.m. and we are conveniently located at 5395 Ehrlich Road just a mile east of the Veterans Expressway. For more information, check us out at The Scripture passage for this Sunday is shown below.

Look forward to seeing you this Sunday as we worship the living Lord!

Pastor Joe

Matthew 16:13-28, New International Version (NIV)
Peter Declares That Jesus Is the Messiah

13 When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?”

14 They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”

15 “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”

16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”

17 Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven. 18 And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”