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Sunday, January 6, 2019

January 6, 2019 | Pastor John Bayles | Baptism Into a Fallen Humanity | Mark 1:9-11

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Baptism Into a Fallen Humanity
Mark 1:9-11

    As we study the prologue to the Mark’s Gospel, he continues to introduce the person and mission of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. In these verses today we see a presentation of His redemptive work pictured for us in His baptism. As we begin the question comes prominently to our thoughts, why is Jesus coming to be baptized for repentance and forgiveness of sins? This was sharply John’s own quetion recorded in the Gospel of Matthew: “But John tried to deter him, saying, I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?” (Mat.3:14). In sharp contrast to all the people who came out into the wilderness to hear John and receive his baptism of repentance, the very idea the Jesus, the Messiah, the Son of God would also ask for this same blessing is far outside our understanding of what Jesus needs. It has been asked, Did Jesus need to be baptized? Was Jesus a sinner up until the moment he was baptized? And the more troubling idea: was Jesus’ understanding of his life and mission progressive? That is, did Jesus become aware that he was the Messiah during this moment of baptism, as modern media asserts? In all these questions lies a view that Jesus was something before his baptism and became something after. Today we will see that all these questions are outside the meaning of the inspired truth Mark is presenting.

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Sunday, December 23, 2018

December 23, 2018 | Pastor John Bayles | Again I Say, Rejoice | Philippians 4:4-9

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December 23, 2018 | Pastor John Bayles | Again I Say, Rejoice | Philippians 4:4-9

Fourth Sunday of Advent: Again I Say, Rejoice
Philippians 4:4-9

Joy and particularly rejoicing were at the center of everything Paul shared in his letter to the Philippians. In this text, he returns again to this theme. It is amazing really that Paul repeated this exhortation so often, "rejoice!" This is most particularly true, knowing the historical context from where Paul is writing – a prison in Rome. He makes the case, I rejoice in my captivity and chains, but God has given me the opportunity, the unheard of opportunity to be a witness for Christ to all of the palace guard, and “everyone else!” How often have we felt that we can’t do this or that, because we're hindered by something? We become afraid to some degree. At almost any point of loss, discouragement sets in. Whether unfulfilled hopes and desires, pain and suffering of ourselves and others, what is our response? Anger? Rejection of God? Irritation with others? Fear? Ranting? 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!!!!