Monday, October 16, 2017

October 15, 2017 | Pastor John Bayles | Prayers of St. Paul: Living a Life Worthy of the Calling | 2 Thessalonians 1:1-12


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October 15, 2017  | Pastor John Bayles | Prayers of St. Paul: Living a Life Worthy of the Calling | 2 Thessalonians 1:1-12

Prayers of St. Paul: Living a Life Worthy of the Calling
2 Thessalonians 1:1-12

The historical context of this letter is Acts 17: Paul’s second missionary Journey; the inclusion of the author, Luke (see the sudden use of the personal pronoun “we” in Act.16, showing the moment Luke joined the team in Macedonia. The four of them visited Philippi and then set out south-west toward Thessalonica. There a huge disturbance started when Paul’s message that Jesus was the Christ enraged some Jews in the synagogue and over the course of a few days left the city at night in fear of being killed. He traveled on to Berea, then Athens and finally Corinth. From Athens Paul sent Timothy back to Thessalonica to find out if his Gospel message had born fruit. Timothy found Paul and Silas (and Luke) in Corinth where he wrote the first letter to the Thessalonians. Because they stayed in Corinth eighteen months, Paul later sent a second letter to Thessalonica specifically explaining why God allows persecution, instructing them that the appearing of Christ would come after the great rebellion Christ declared in Matthew 24; and the coming of the lawless one, the Antichrist; and finally, that they must guard against being idle in the presence of the task of fulfilling Christ command to go into all the world. In this text, the Apostle Paul not only instructs the Thessalonians, but prays for them that they will be a clear reflection not of what they are believing or doing for God, but that they may be a clear reflection of who God is and what he has done for them thorough Christ.

October 8, 2017 | Pastor John Bayles | Prayers of St. Paul: For the Israel of God | Romans 10:1-13




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October 8, 2017 | Pastor John Bayles | Prayers of St. Paul: For the Israel of God | Romans 10:1-13

Prayers of St. Paul: For the Israel of God
Romans 10:1-13

The prayer we will look at today is produced by a lifestyle left behind by the Apostle Paul. That life was once his passion; that life was once his obsession; that life was once his hard taskmaster. Paul is not longing to return to a life of a Pharisee, nor the broader life of Judaism. His longing is for those within these circles who are his family, his kin, yet now foreigners to him and faith in Jesus Christ. Though Paul seems to reminisce about the pleasure of their companionship, he does not drift too far from the realization that they are in two separate worlds and captivated by two covenants. From this new covenant context, Paul prays that his former brethren might be turned from turn their zeal for hypocritical righteousness – “I’m better than you,” to the righteousness of God provided by the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Within this prayer is a model for us to follow. May the great Father of Hosts draw as only He can, the hearts of those for whom we too long to come into His marvelous Kingdom light.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

October 1, 2017 | Pastor John Bayles | Prayers of St. Paul: Praise God for His Work of Redemption |




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October 1, 2017  | Pastor John Bayles | Prayers of St. Paul: Praise God for His Work of Redemption | Romans 11:33-36

Prayers of St. Paul: Praise God for His Work of Redemption
Romans 11:33-36

Throughout the Epistle to the Romans, Paul has spent eleven chapters outlining, illustrating, and defending God's plan of salvation. God has closed a door: it is impossible for any person to please God, have a whole relationship with God or communion with God on the basis of his/her personal righteousness as he proclaimed – "There is none righteous, no not one" (Rom.3:23). God has opened a door: it is possible for a person to please God, have a whole relationship with God, and communion with God through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ – "3 For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man, 4 in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit" (Rom.8:3,4). God has ended an Old Covenent relationship: The Jews, though historically God's people, cannot come into a relationship with God by keeping the law, even though they are precious to Him and have a historical relationship to Him, they are hopelessly lost and under God's wrath. Gentiles cannot come into a relationship with God by becoming Jews or keeping the law. They are also hopelessly lost and under God's wrath. God has initiated a New Covenant relationship: Through Christ's atoning death and victorious resurrection, both Jews and Gentiles can come into a righteous relationship to God, but only through belief in the saving work of Christ's death, confessing Him as Lord and expressing belief in His resurrection from the dead. All of these mercies were accomplished before we were even aware that they existed: “1As 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” (Rom.2:1-3). This act of grace took place so that God alone might receive the glory for His kindness toward us. Only by grace can we enter. Only through the door, Jesus Christ. Paul now turns to offer a prayer of glorious thanks and praise to God for His work of redemption.

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Sunday, September 24, 2017

September 24, 2017 | Pastor John Bayles | The Prayers of St. Paul: Asking for Wisdom, Revelation, Calling and Power | Ephesians 1:15-23



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September 24, 2017 | Pastor John Bayles | The Prayers of St. Paul: Asking for Wisdom, Revelation, Calling and Power | Ephesians 1:15-23

The Prayers of St. Paul: Asking for Wisdom, Revelation, Calling and Power
Ephesians 1:15-23

In this passage the Apostle Paul is absolutely filled with thanks, wonder and praise. The Gospel is real. It is filled with its own substance, the completed work of Jesus Christ through His utterly righteous life, His deep suffering, His violent death, His powerful resurrection, His glorious ascension, His majestic session and His by dispatching, with the Father, the Holy Spirit into the world to regenerate His redeemed, so that they might preach the Gospel and thereby participate in the full gathering of the elect. What we need is wisdom, revelation, calling, and power. The Apostle knows that only God can provide these powerful tools to the life of the believer. He is both captivated by what God has already done in the lives of his audience (the Ephesians and us) and he is equally motivated to pray that they will finish the course, the calling to which God has set them apart. Let us listen and receive the marvelous treasures of Paul’s prayers today.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

September 17, 2017 | Pastor John Bayles | Experiencing Together the Love of God | Ephesians 3:16-19



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Experiencing Together the Love of God
Ephesians 3:16-19

We have all experienced God’s love through emotional, overwhelming feelings of kindness, mercy, and correction. We have read the Word and have been impressed about love. We have experienced the grace God has extended to each of us. We have watched as people who we thought had every right to be angry, unforgiving, and even justified to show revenge, responded with forgiveness and love toward others. Only God’s love could bring about such a reaction. In our lives we have failed to live up to our standards of behavior and known the forgiveness and love of God. Often the thought, “How could God love me?” In this text Paul is praying for us. He is praying that we will come to know the love of God even more fully. Today my hope is that we can all grasp more fully how wide and long and high and deep is the love of God.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

September 10, 2017 | Pastor John Bayles | The Calling to Discipleship | Proverbs 2:1-11



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The Calling to Discipleship
Proverbs 2:1-11

In this text we will hear the heart of God regarding discipleship. Set in the context of wisdom literature, the hope for this study today is the same as that of the original author – that the man and woman of God will take seriously the task of refining the treasurers of God’s word within their souls so that they might become powerful witnesses of the Gospel to a lost world. My hope is that you will be inspired and energized by the Word of God. May this text fill us with a senses of purpose: to obey the Lord’s command found in Matthew 24: “And he will send his messengers with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other” (Mat.24:31); and Matthew 28: “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Mat.28:19, 20). This is the holy calling of the equipped disciple of Christ. As stated in the Romans epistle: “14 How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? 15 And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” (Rom.10:14 ,15). May our response be like the ancient cry of Isaiah: “Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, Whom shall I send? And who will go for us? And I said, Here am I. Send me!” (Isa.6:8).

Sunday, August 27, 2017

August 27, 2017 | Pastor John Bayles | Contending for Fellowship, Favor and Forgiveness | Philemon 1-25



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August 27, 2017 | Pastor John Bayles | Contending for Fellowship, Favor and Forgiveness | Philemon 1-25

Contending for Fellowship, Favor and Forgiveness
Philemon 1-25

This letter to Philemon. like Colossians, is another close up look at the process of restoration of relationships. Only here in this first verse Paul describes himself a s prisoner of Christ Jesus. This is an appeal to freedom found in Christ. Paul is pleading with Philemon, a Christian, to receive Onesimus, a Christian as a brother in Christ not as a former slave in chains. We will see in this passage a difficult appeal to literally live in a new covenant context.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

August 20, 2017 | Pastor Roger Melson | Part 2: Off With The Old, On With The New | Genesis 9:1-17


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August 20, 2017 | Pastor Roger Melson | Part 2: Off With The Old, On With The New | Genesis 9:1-17

Part 2: Off With The Old, On With The New
Genesis 9:1-17

This message is Part 2 of last week's message; Off With the Old, On With The New. It deals with the details of the Noahic Covenant covering four main points: 
1. Provision for mandate fulfillment 
2. Provision for sustaining life 
3. Provision in the protection of life 
4. Provision in the covenant ratified/confirmed

                                          
                                                
                                                    Roger and Marsha Melson

Sunday, August 13, 2017

August 13, 2017 | Pastor Roger Melson | Off With The Old, On With The New | Genesis 8:20-9:17



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August 13, 2017 | Pastor Roger Melson | Off With The Old, On With The New | Genesis 8:20-9:17

Off With The Old, On With The New
Genesis 8:20-9:17

The text for the sermon today is taken from Genesis 8:20-22. It begins with a review of the times of Noah, the deluge of the flood and Noah's exit from the ark. Verses 20-22 of chapter 8 introduce the covenant God made with Noah, his sons and all flesh.


                                                 
                                                      Roger and Marsha Melson

Sunday, August 6, 2017

August 06, 2017 | Pastor John Bayles | Final Greetings, Instruction and Encouragement | Colossians 4:2-18


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August 06, 2017 | Pastor John Bayles | Final Greetings, Instruction and Encouragement | Colossians 4:2-18

Final Greetings, Instruction and Encouragement
Col.4:2-18

In these final verses, Paul completes the letter to the Colossians. It was a common custom for a letter in the first century to by closed with a greeting section, however the name of the author was almost never mentioned again after the opening salutation. However here, we see Paul stating that this section was written by the means of his own hand. This of course indicates that Paul had dictated the bulk of the letter. This is not to suggest that the former letter was not the very words of the apostle, this sections makes it clear that Paul was the author of the letter and here, by his own handwriting appearing in the final section underscores this fact. Let us listen as the historical lens context widens here. A lens opens to reveal the familiar faces of his apostolic team at work. The instruction on prayer and witness are perhaps some of the most intimate and helpful in all of Paul’s writings. Let us lean in and listen to the master craftsman’s words of final greetings, instruction, and encouragement.