It's Not My Fault

As a kid I never liked to take the blame for anything. I would always find a way to blame my brother or sister for my actions and get them in trouble for my action so that I wouldn’t have to face the consequences. We see this same kind of occurrence in Genesis 3. Adam and Eve had gotten in trouble with God and instead of taking responsibility for their actions, they dumped the blame on others. Let’s observe who blamed who in Genesis 3: 1) Adam blamed God because He made Eve (3:12) 2) Eve blamed the serpent because she made her eat the fruit (3:13) Adam and Eve tried to play the blame game and what was the result? They got punished anyway (3:14-19). Many of us today are still doing this very

Equipping the Next Generation

In a couple weeks your ministers will be heading to two different camps, Tony to camp Silver Maple and myself to Preacher Training Camp. Though the activities will be different, the goal is the same: train the next generation of Christians. This got me thinking about training younger children in church and what we can do to better equip them for the future. Classes – The most immediate way we can train children for the future is through our Bible classes. Children need the Bible teaching that class provides. It’s important to note though that only some of their training will take place here, most of their training occurs in the other two points. Example – The training of children is seen in

Baptism is the Beginning of Christianity, Not the End

You may have seen that little diagram before about the plan of salvation. It’s a diagram with stair steps that takes you one step at a time until you land in a circle that says “in Christ”. That used to be a diagram I referred to often until I realized it was incomplete. You walk up each step and you go from hear to believe to confess to repentance to baptism and then you’re in Christ. And it’s over. You’re done. That’s not Christianity. That’s a checklist. So many Christians today make it to baptism only to think that there are good from there on out and that’s simply not the case. The New Testament letters are full of examples of people needing to continue on in faithfulness: Paul wrote to

A Picture of True Repentance

The plan of salvation is just that, a plan. God had a plan for how people would receive salvation. This plan includes repentance (Mark 1:14-15; Acts 2:38). Repentance has been described as doing a “180,” which means that you quit following sin and turn to follow God (Acts 3:19-20). The act of repentance is beautifully illustrated in the parable of the prodigal son (Luke 15:11-32). In this parable we see two actions that encompass the all-important act of repentance. Repentance Action 1 The first action of the prodigal is that he was living a life of sin. The prodigal son had a wonderful life at home. He had everything he could have ever wanted, but he grew bored and asked his father for the

A Spiritual Surprise

When we consider great evangelists in the Bible, there is probably none greater than Jesus. Jesus was a master at speaking with others. One reason for this is because of his great ability to turn something physical into something spiritual. Take his conversation with the woman at the well in John 4 for instance. In John 4 we see several contrasts of the spiritual with the physical. Let’s note some: 1) She came for physical water, he offered her spiritual water (4:7-10) 2) She talked about the physical part of worship, Jesus told her about the spiritual side of worship (4:20-24) 3) The disciples discussed physical food, Jesus turned the conversation to spiritual food (4:31-34) These are just

What About the Thief on the Cross?

When you discuss the topic of baptism the discussion always seems to come back around to one man: the thief on the cross. This guy is the go

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