Sunday, July 31, 2011

July 31, 2011 | John Bayles | The First Dispute: God's Love For His People (Malachi 1:1-5)

"How have you loved us?" The narrowness, the foolishness, the sinfulness of this statement by the nation of Israel. This opening dispute by God's messenger with His holy people is filled with a deep forgetfulness of God's essential nature and His expressed character - God is love! Malachi is filled with a burden ( the oracle) of being the instrument of correction to the nation. They have lost their way, they have sinned, but mostly they have forgotten what God's choice of them has made them to be. They must be reminded as we too must be reminded that they were not chosen because they were worthy of love, but God's choice of them made them unique in the eyes of God and one another. This is a deep lesson to remember. If God never does a single thing for us again, we would already be recipients of a grace that is beyond anything we could ask or imagine. Let us pray that we will continually be people of thanks and praise to the one who first loved us.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

July 24, 2011 | John Bayles | The Longsuffering of God (Malachi 1:1)

To understand what a text of scripture means to us today, we must first understand what it meant to its original hearers. As we begin in our study of the Book of Malachi, historical and literary context are the subject. Some important questions need to be answered: who was Malachi, when did he prophecy to Israel, what was the condition of his audience, and what is the substance of his message? The desire to know what the scriptures mean to us here and now are highly dependent on what they meant to them, then and there. In order to find the riches of the book of Malachi, these questions will be addressed. May the Holy Spirit lead us into truth as we take up the task.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

July 17, 2011 | John Bayles | The Glorious Gospel (Romans 16:25-27)

In this final submission to his epistle, Paul raises his voice in praise of the Gospel that he has so profoundly revealed in the entire Book of Romans. In summary of his treatise, the apostle declares in this three phrase doxology the full extent and nature of the Gospel. This last sermon from the Book of Romans highlights how the preaching of the Gospel not only remains today the most potent, dynamic, and interpretive message of all of history, but continues to be the sword of truth that forges the advance of the Kingdom of God until the return of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

July 10, 2011 | John Bayles | Ordinary People Advancing God's Kingdom (Romans 16:20-24)

The Kingdom of God was not begun by superhuman people, but by people used by our supernatural Savior. In today's text, Paul draws back the historical curtain and gives us a glimpse into the lives of his ministry team. They are not unlike many of us. The key is willingness to be used and obedience to God's calling. When God takes our lives into his will, we see people who change the world.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

July 3, 2011 | John Bayles | Forewarning Against The No-Count Dividers (Romans 16:17-20)

Mixed in with the salute from the New Covenant Divines is a strong warning of the intentions of the No-Count Dividers living in Rome who sought to subvert the message of the Gospel. As Paul brings his epistle to a close, it is important to stress how significant keeping a sharp focus on the classical orthodoxy of Paul's message was to this early expression of the body of Christ. To us today, let us be encouraged to hold the line of orthodoxy and contend for the unchanging truths of God's Word.