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!!!!


Sunday, April 22, 2018

April 22, 2018 | Pastor John Bayles | Revaluing all Values | Philippians.3.4-7


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April 22, 2018 | Pastor John Bayles | Revaluing all Values | Philippians.3.4-7

There is a German phrase: “Umwertung aller Werte” which means Revaluing all Values. In today’s text we will look briefly into the effects of the conversion of the Apostle Paul and the profound effects it had upon his life. New birth is a life-changing event. Jesus said “3 Very, truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again” (Joh.3:3). Jesus also stated that “11 From the time of John the Baptist until now, the Kingdom of Heaven has been forcefully advancing, and it brings a violence upon those entering it” (Mat.11:12 emp. added),” That violence of new birth is radical. Paul wrote that new birth is equivalent to being resurrected: Paul himself places a similar emphasis upon the action of the Kingdom of God upon those awakened by new birth: “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” (Eph.2: 4, 5). Also in the letter to the Colossians Paul said: “13 For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves” (Col.1:13). The word translated “brought us” means to transport, to move from one place to another.

In our the text today: "...we put no confidence in the flesh” (3:3), Paul is going to expand upon the effect conversion had upon his entire life-view. Truly he was radically changed, violently, by the touch of the Holy Spirit at his conversion. This text outlines the full nature of that change as he was transported from the kingdom of death into the Kingdom of life. From the Kingdom of darkness into the Kingdom of God. He truly came into a place of Revaluing all Values.

Sunday, April 1, 2018

April 1, 2018 | Pastor John Bayles | The Great Foundation of the Faith | 1 Corinthians 15:1-11


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The Great Foundation of the Faith
1 Corinthians 15:1-11

Today, Easter Sunday, let us again affirm the amazing Grace of God, revealed in the birth, life, suffering, death, burial, resurrection, ascension, session, and sending of the Holy Spirit – all according to the Father’s will, the Sons work, and the Spirit awakening. Summarized in the Resurrection of Christ.

Sunday, March 25, 2018

March 25, 2018 | Pastor John Bayles | The Power of Unity | Philippians 2:12-19


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March 25, 2018 | Pastor John Bayles | The Power of Unity | Philippians 2:12-19

The Power of Unity
Philippians 2:12-19

In this text the Apostle Paul turns from the principle section of the letter to the practical. Theology or orthodoxy must be active. We cannot simply be hearers, or knowers the truth, we must finally be doer of the truth. As Gordon Fee, on of my dear professors at Gordon-Conwell said often, “The final task of Exegesis is obedience!” The world will not judge us by what we know, but by what we do. Jesus said, “You are my witnesses” (Act.1:8), not “you are my theologians.” This of course is not an argument for setting aside sound Theology and Orthodox Scriptural teaching – these lead us to the truth of how we ought to live. But they are married to one another as the Psalmist said, “10 Love and faithfulness meet together; righteousness and peace kiss each other. 11 Faithfulness springs forth from the earth, and righteousness looks down from heaven” (Psalm 85:10, 11). Paul’s message to us here is that our unity in the Faith is our greatest witness to the world.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

February 25, 2018 | Pastor John Bayles | The Unity of Christian Citizenship | Philippians 2:1-4


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February 25, 2018 | Pastor John Bayles | The Unity of Christian Citizenship | Philippians 2:1-4

The Unity of Christian Citizenship
Philippians 2:1-4

In one, very likely, spoken sentence the Apostle Paul outlines the full expanse of the Christian community experience. Being well-versed in the Hebrew forms of parallelisms and meter, the four “if” statements held over against the resulting “then” responses, bring these stanzas into a form selected for substance by repetition and perhaps even lyrical singing. The Hebrew covenant structure is seen as Paul begins with the four “if” statements and responds with the resulting four “then” statements.

We must recognize what perhaps is obvious. Paul is not setting up a covenant statement of action-response. That is if you do these four things, then you will become God’s people. Never! He is working within the context of what he established in the preceding verses in which he discussed Christina citizenship. His admonition here is given in the context of what the cross has established, already for the Philippian community. His dialog is a set of statements that Christ has already established for them. Therefore, they can participate in the actions Paul describes. Christ has set you in community, Christ has give you the redemptive tools to maintain and encourage relationships in Him, and Christ has set His Spirit among you the guide you into these behaviors, in order that you may fully shine forth as a light to the lost world around you.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

February 18, 2018 | Pastor John Bayles | Maintaining Christian Citizenship | Philippians 1:27-30


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February 18, 2018 | Pastor John Bayles | Maintaining Christian Citizenship | Philippians 1:27-30

February 18, 2018

Maintaining Christian Citizenship
Philippians 1:27-30

In the past few verses of Philippians chapter one, Paul has reflected upon several ideas.
1. The complex circumstances which brought him to Rome have served to give Paul the unique opportunity to share the Gospel with the whole Praetorian guard and the highest levels of the Palace population.
2. The advance of the Gospel in the impossible context of his imprisonment has stirred up the faith, like-mindedness and boldness of the believers in Rome to do the same;
3. As he faces the possibility of death under Roman judicial system, he presents his disposition as one of joyful anticipation of life with Christ weather he lives or dies. In these next verses, the apostle’s reasoning hope is that he will be released and soon return to Philippi and to joyful participation in ministry with his dear friends. However, he makes a turn to a foundation truth that must be observed and maintained no matter whether Paul lives or dies in Rome. That truth? Observe, guard, and maintain your true identity: Citizens of Christ’s Kingdom. This is the prism through which Paul addresses the Philippian audience then and us, his audience here today. Tear away the foundation and the structure will fall. Notably, the apostle is very likely reflective upon the words of his Savior: “(24) Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. (25) The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. (26) But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. (27) The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash” (Mat.7:24-27).

Sunday, February 11, 2018

February 11, 2018 | Pastor John Mazariegos | Looking through the Windows of Life from God’s Perspective | Acts 17:26-28



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February 11, 2018 | Pastor John Mazariegos | Looking through the Windows of Life from God’s Perspective | Acts 17:26-28

Looking through the Windows of Life from God’s Perspective
Acts 17:26-28

Today Pastor John Mazariegos, Missionary to San Luis Potosí, Mexico will present a God-centered World-view. From this firm foundation He will affirm and challenge how we think and act in every aspect of our lives. The way we look at all aspects of life is charicterized as looking through windows. As we look through the windows of life: relationships, morality, personal and world events, God and His Word adjusts what we see and how think and act. This gives precision to our sense of who we are and what is our purpose in God’s world.

For video: click here.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

February 4, 2018 | Pastor John Bayles | The Joyful Courage | Philippians 1:27-30




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 February 4, 2018 | Pastor John Bayles | The Joyful Courage | Philippians 1:27-30

The Joyful Courage
Philippians 1:27-30

        In today’s text, Paul comes to the subject of courage. It is placed in the crossroad between life and death. He has stated that for him "To live is Christ and to die is gain. If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body” (Phi.1:21-24). With these two options before him, It is important to note that Paul “eagerly expected and hoped that he would have sufficient courage to face either options. Today we will seek to discover the source of Paul’s expectation and hope. With his hearers in Philippi, let us also take hold of that which took hold of Paul and gave him courage and hope in this time of life and death.

For video: click here.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

January 28, 2018 | Pastor John Bayles | The Joyful Hope | Philippians 1:20-26



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January 28, 2018 | Pastor John Bayles | The Joyful Hope | Philippians 1:20-26

The Joyful Hope
Philippians 1:20-26

Joy is the product of Paul’s assurance to the Phillipian church that he is more than safe in Rome. Ultimately, by the strength of their prayers and the presence of the Holy Spirit of Christ, His circumstances have brought him into the very bowels of the imperial palace. His imprisonment has given him the unique opportunity to preach the Gospel to the entire Praetorian guard and the word of this has spread throughout the entire imperial network. Paul is filled with joy over what has taken place in his recent past.

And Paul continues to be filled with joy because his heart is set on a continued deliverance with the view toward even returning to Philippi and coming into reunion with his dear friends, sharing the victories of the past and pressing on to even more fruitfulness of the Gospel in the future. But Paul’s trial and final sentence by Rome is the Elephant in the room. He goes on in today’s text to carefully express his joyful hope for an ultimate reunion with the Philippian believers, weather in this life or in the life to come.

For video: click here.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

January 21, 2018 | Pastor John Bayles | The Joyful Dilemma | Philippians 1:19-26



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January 21, 2018 | Pastor John Bayles | The Joyful Dilemma | Philippians 1:19-26

The Joyful Dilemma
Philippians 1:19-26

Paul transitions to a new thought, but it is built upon what he has already discussed. It is built upon a renewal of joy within the apostle, because of the fruit his message has produced during his imprisonment in Rome. He is even more filled with joy, for the clarity, conviction and courage his message has produced in his disciples. They have come into a new relevance of their message and a calling, with boldness, to share the Gospel. Here is the fruit of his calling: That he might see disciples of Christ rise up an grow in personal belief and be fortified to share what they have received. As he stated in the letter to the Corinthians: “14 For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. 15 And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again. 16 So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! 18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 20 We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. 21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:14-21). 

For video: click here.