Sunday, July 22, 2018

July 22, 2018 | Pastor John Bayles | Looking for the Light | Titus 1:5


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July 22, 2018 | Pastor John Bayles | Looking for the Light | Titus 1:5

Looking for the Light
Titus 1:5

In this verse, Paul launches into the first purpose of his letter – instruction to Titus for choosing elders and teachers for the new church plants in Crete. As before, we will see that Paul is not going to give Titus a detailed commentary of who are these persons are or what each of the qualifications he presents mean. He is reminding Titus of what to look for in leaders and teachers using this short summary or outline. This is expressly because Titus is well aware of the qualifications for leadership having confronted and taught leaders in Corinth in Paul’s absence there. Today, we will try and discover what Titus might be looking for in the life of leaders and teachers in Crete: the light of Christ in their lives.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

July 15, 2018 | Pastor John Bayles | Into the Deep Water: Part Three | Truth, Godliness and a Blessed Hope | Titus 1:1-4


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July 15, 2018 | Pastor John Bayles | Into the Deep Water: Part Three | Truth, Godliness and a Blessed Hope | Titus 1:1-4

Into the Deep Water: Part Three - Truth, Godliness and a Blessed Hope
Titus 1:1-4

Paul concludes his opening salutation to Titus with the instructive words of truth, godliness and the promise of eternal life. Though he does not go into the detail that he did in his earlier letter to Timothy, Paul presents an outline for his co-laborer Titus. This shows us two very important points: 1st. Titus is an older man than Timothy (possibly closer to Paul’s age) and that was already a seasoned minister of the word and pastoral ministry. 2nd As a result, Paul is giving Titus, within his salutation, an outline of the truths that Titus must focus upon as he interviews and places men and women in oversight and teaching position in the churches in Crete. In Timothy’s case, Paul’s correspondence was a tool to authorize Timothy in his task of correcting elders that Paul had already placed in Ephesus and give him a detailed description of actions and teachings to present. In Titus’ case, Paul’s correspondence was tool to instruct him to set in place overseers and elders in Crete and give him an outline of doctrinal truths, the details of which were already farmiliar to him. These bulltet points were ones which Titus was both familiar with and able to present. The letters of Paul to Timothy and Titus find a new emphasis for us today. Timothy and Titus accomplished their instructions in their militaries. They are in heaven today. Today, by the ongoing inspiration of the Holy Spirit, these letters are written to us today. Let us take them up and bring sound doctrine for correction and sound action for developing the church. These letter are now ours to read and follow.

Sunday, July 8, 2018

July 8, 2018 | Pastor John Bayles | Into the Deep Water: Part Two | The Faith and Knowledge of God’s Elect | Titus 1:1-4


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July 8, 2018 | Pastor John Bayles | Into the Deep Water: Part Two | The Faith and Knowledge of God’s Elect | Titus 1:1-4

Into the Deep Water: Part Two
The Faith and Knowledge of God’s Elect
Titus 1:1-4

There is not a great deal of information about the life of Titus. We first see a glimpse of his early life in the letter to the Galatians where Paul mentions that he took Titus with him to Jerusalem during his second visit to discuss the vision God had given him to preach the gospel to the Gentiles. He was Greek and a Gentile. It was not uncommon for Greeks to travel all over the Roman world. This is perhaps the key to why Titus was a convert of Paul’s preaching in Antioch. This is stated in v.4 “To Titus, my true son in our common faith.” However, this conversion did not likely take place until after Paul’s first missionary journey with Barnabas. He may have been one of Paul’s early converts in Antioch, later joining him in ministry. Though he was a convert of Paul, he was likely not a young man when came to Christ. In his second letter to the Corinthians, Paul mentions Titus on several occasions as the one who took the letter to the church there and worked on-site to counsel, build up and teach the church. In this sermon we will look in detail at Paul’s guidance to Titus to build up God’s elect in their faith and knowledge of God.

Sunday, July 1, 2018

July 1, 2018 | Pastor John Bayles | Into the Deep Water: Part One | A Servant of God and an Apostle of Jesus Christ | Titus 1:1-4


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July 1, 2018 | Pastor John Bayles | Into the Deep Water: Part One | A Servant of God and an Apostle of Jesus Christ | Titus 1:1-4

Into the Deep Water
Part One | A Servant of God and an Apostle of Jesus Christ | Titus 1:1-4
Titus 1:1-4

Paul opens his letter to Titus using precise language about himself and the faith. The letter is written to urge Titus to organize the leadership structure of the churches in Crete and to encourage them to teach sound doctrine. Doctrine embraced and taught by mature and godly leadership is at the heart of his message. He is not sending Titus a few lightweight, simple instructions on how to be an effective pastor. Titus himself had already attained that status. He cut his ministry teeth working with the Church in Corinth - no easy task. Now he is focused on setting up a leadership structure and building up those who have very likely grown cold in their faith, because they have become idle regarding Christ’s teaching. Paul laid a foundation, but he now presses the church through Titus to move beyond their initial experience of coming into the faith and go on to experience the faith itself. Most of us know that the more detailed and difficult teachings of the faith cause people to become amazed. These doctrines can also cause people to become disturbed. Yet these teachings of Christ lead into the deep waters of the Christian faith. This opening greeting reveals where Paul is heading in the letter - into the deep water. Patience! Courage!

Sunday, June 24, 2018

June 24, 2018 | Pastor John Bayles | Supremacy of Christ | Colossians 1:15-23


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June 24, 2018 | Pastor John Bayles | Supremacy of Christ | Colossians 1:15-23

Supremacy of Christ
Colossians 1:15-23

The text today is one of the greatest Christological presentations found in the Scriptures. The inspiration of the Holy Spirit is clearly visible in these lines as both the words and the literary form bring forth the beauty and magnificence of Christ. As Psalm 65:8 so beautifully states: “The whole earth is filled with awe at Your wonders; where morning dawns, where evening fades, you call forth songs of joy.” Surely David envisioned praise for the person and work of Christ. The prophet Jeremiah also stated: “This is what the Lord says: You say about this place, It is a desolate waste, without people or animals. Yet in the towns of Judah and the streets of Jerusalem that are deserted, inhabited by neither people nor animals, there will be heard once more the sounds of joy and gladness, the voices of bride and bridegroom, and the voices of those who bring thank offerings to the house of the Lord, saying, Give thanks to the Lord Almighty, for the Lord is good; His love endures forever! For I will restore the fortunes of the land as they were before, says the Lord” (Jer.33:10, 11). May the magnificent words of Colossians take wing and form a living song in our hearts today of the Supremacy of Christ!

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Sunday, June 3, 2018

June 3, 2018 | Pastor John Bayles | Farewell? | Philippians 4:21-23


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June 3, 2018 | Pastor John Bayles | Farewell? | Philippians 4:21-23

Farewell?
Philippians 4:21-23

Would this be that last letter of the Apostle Paul to the believers in Philippi? As the internal evidence shows, Paul is conflicted as to weather or not he will be released from the prison system of Rome and continue his journey to Spain, back to Greece (evangelize Crete), then travel north through Macedonia to Philippi and perhaps even on to Asia, Galatia and finally to Palestine and Jerusalem. History, has kept the final days of Paul’s life a deep secret. However, one thing is clear, Paul has now written again to his beloved Philippian friends and urges them on in the struggle and adventure of sharing the Good News of Christ with renewed joy. In these closing words to the Church in Philippi, joy in the Gospel and one another continues to be the banner Paul lifts up before himself and his dear friends.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

May 27, 2018 | Pastor John Bayles | Gift, Givers and The Great Giver | Philippians 4:10-20


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May 27, 2018 | Pastor John Bayles | Gift, Givers and The Great Giver | Philippians 4:10-20

Gifts, Givers and the Giver
Philippians 4:10-20

We live in a time when giving gifts is very common. Gifts to non-profit ministries is a huge part of the process. Our nation appreciates this generosity and gift dollars are tax deductible. In Paul’s day, especially in the Greco-Roman Patron context, gifts were mostly given to purchase status and favor. As a result gifts often flowed from the head rather than the heart. Favor was curried, lives were given political status, influence and power were the result. Here Paul is sending a thank you note to a group of people who lived in this context, but unlike the politically motivated, the Philippian church gave from their hearts to a man they loved. However, Paul’s comments in this text have been viewed by many as frosty and even ungrateful. This is far from the truth. He is pointing his attention to the Savior who is the greatest gift that he and his friends have received. In addition he is asking in response to their generosity that the Great Gift Giver will place these gifts on eternal display as a continuing reminder of the Lord’s mercy, faithfulness and generosity.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

May 20, 2018 | Pastor John Bayles | Again I Say, Rejoice | Philippians 4:4-9


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May 20, 2018 | Pastor John Bayles | Again I Say, Rejoice | Philippians 4:4-9

Again I Say, Rejoice
Philippians 4:4-9

Thanksgiving and particularly rejoicing have been at the center of everything Paul has shared in this letter. He again returns to this theme. It is amazing really that Paul has repeated this exhortation so often, rejoice! This is most particularly true knowing the historical context of where Paul is writing from – prison. He has made the case, I rejoice in my captivity and chains, but God has given me the opportunity, the unheard of opportunity to witness to all of the palace guard, and “everyone else!” How often have we felt that we can’t do this or that, because we are hindered by something? What is Paul’s response to that? We will see in this text that the answer is don’t be anxious about anything, let your gentleness be evident to all, pray, and continue to pray about everything, keep a keen eye out for every evidence of the Lord’s presence in everything, follow the example of others who have walked where you’re walking now, and remember to rejoice, because the Lord is very near. And, just in case you forgot, remember to rejoice and again don’t forget, rejoice!!!!