Sunday, December 30, 2012

December 30. 2012 | John Bayles | What, Then, Shall We Say in Response to This? (Romans 8)

It has often occurred to me that the Bible is not a textbook for outlining all the actions we should perform for God to secure our faith (such as prayer, service, witnessing, worship, fellowship with other believers and giving of money). The "Good News" is that GOD has acted first. He has secured our faith by Himself and for Himself. It is not what we can do for God that saves us, but what God has done for us through Jesus Christ that saves us.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

December 23, 2012 | John Bayles | The Good Shepherd (John 10:1-21)

Today is the fourth Sunday of Advent. In a specific focus, it is the Sunday in the Advent calendar that we celebrate the visitation of angels to the shepherds on the night Jesus was born.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

September 9, 2012 | S. Molla | Sin and Hell: The Key to Understanding and Appreciating Salvation

Salvation, the central message of the gospel, is the single most important subject in the Bible. Unfortunately, the concept of salvation is often misunderstood, leading many to fall far short of living holy lives.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

August 26, 2012 | John Bayles | Securing the Good Deposit (2 Timothy 2:1-13)

Paul begins and ends this encouragement to Timothy with statements about the nature of the Gospel. The seriousness of the apostle's charge is a compelling lesson for us today. If the true message of the Gospel is lost, then no matter how noble the replacement, it will not burn with the power of God, the souls of the elect will not be awakened by new birth, and the kingdom of God will not advance.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

August 19, 2012 | John Bayles | Going On When You’re All Alone (2 Timothy 1:12b-18)

The nature of this second letter is quite unique from Paul's first one to Timothy. It is riddled with the personal reflections of a man who has languished in prison for perhaps seven years, and now the effects of isolation are beginning to take their toll. In addition to this stretch, Paul reflects that he has been abandoned by all those in Asia (Ephesus) who for one reason or another have given up on the faith in Paul's long absence from the church there.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

August 12, 2012 | John Bayles | Courage in Weakness (2 Timothy 1:6-14)

Though the general tone of 2 Timothy differs from his first letter, the apostle continues to build up his young assistant in his task of confronting the false teachers in Ephesus. Paul turns from the four reminders of the opening verses and sets before Timothy four imperatives: fan the flame of your calling, be courageous, don't be afraid to suffer for the Gospel, and guard the deposit within you.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

August 5, 2012 | John Bayles | The Last Time (2 Timothy 1:1-5)

This is not only the last letter Paul will write to Timothy, but also the last letter that the Apostle Paul will ever write (that has survived). The letters to Titus and Philemon follow the writing of Paul’s first letter to Timothy. The tone is changed dramatically.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

July 29, 2012 | John Bayles | Entering Into The Storm (1 Timothy 6:11-21)

Though we are coming to the end of this letter, the task of implementation is just about to take place in Timothy's life and in ours. The illusive part of studying the Bible is that we some times believe that once I have read and/or studied the text my task is ended. In reality the reading and studying are the preliminary parts of the overall process. As the Psalmist states, "Thy work have I hid in my heart that I might not sin against God" (Psalms 199:11). And again the letter from James states, "Be doers of the word and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves."

Sunday, July 22, 2012

July 22, 2012 | John Bayles | Slavery to Men and Money (1 Timothy 6:1-10)

Two classifications of slaves are outlined in today’s text: those who have unbelieving and likely difficult masters, and those who have masters who are believers. Rome was absolutely dependant upon the institution of slavery by means of national dominance or personal indentureship. As a result, these characteristics are not only irrelevant to our historical experience, but strangely not in view in Paul’s message.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

July 15, 2012 | John Bayles | Time-Tested Testimony (1 Timothy 5:21-25)

In this text the Apostle Paul takes a moment to give Timothy a personal instruction in leadership development. It’s simple, really: don’t place a person in leadership too quickly.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

July 8, 2012 | John Bayles | The Hard Task of Church Discipline (1 Timothy 5:17-21)

Some people have a very strong bias against the Apostle Paul. He is described as a chauvinist, someone who is rigid about sin and soft about social ills such as slavery. In the following section that we will look at over the next few weeks, the historical record will not only disagree with these impressions, but will in fact break out against each of them.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

June 24, 2012 | John Bayles | Reasonable Benevolence (1 Timothy 5:3-16)

Jonathan Edwards once wrote that those who do not want to give can rarely find anyone in need, yet those who want to give seem to find people to help no matter where they are. The idea that people have needs and that we can help them should be enough for us to consider in the order of benevolence.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

June 17, 2012 | Father's Day | Joe Porter | 1 Corinthians 15:10

Over the past few years River of Life Church and Twinbrook Community Church have worshiped together of Father’s and Mother’s Day each year. This is a wonderful time of mutual sharing, communion, worship, and preaching.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Stan Telchin: 1924 – 2012

I had the privilege of working with Pastor Stan Telchin in the late 1990's for a church merger in Germantown, Maryland. As we brought the two churches together (Living Word Fellowship and Grace Fellowship), my family entered the trial of my oldest son suffering a spinal stroke. Though Stan had taken the role of Pastor Emeritus, in my absence he stepped forward again and ministered to me, my family, and the merging congregations. Shortly before he and Ethel moved to Florida, we worked together again in another church merger which brought his previous congregation, mine, and Halpine Baptist Church together, forming Twinbrook Community Church.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

June 10, 2012 | Roger Melson | The Sovereign King (John 18:1-14)

In this text we see Christ not as a victim, a martyr subject to the will of man, but as a Sovereign King and Lord embracing the path predetermined that He walk in obedience to the Father. The scene is a garden where the second Adam triumphs, and it reminds us of another garden where the first Adam failed. Here we see the inherent blindness of man concerning Christ and who He is. Today, it is essential for us to realize that it is only through the Sovereign will of the Father that we come to a true knowledge of the Savior.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

June 3, 2012 | John Bayles | Who Has Believed? (Isaiah 53:1-12)

From time to time it is important for us to review the foundational teaching of the Gospel. This is not a new message, but one that dates back to the beginning of time. From the foundation of the earth it was God’s plan to reveal Jesus Christ as the God-man and the great redeemer. Today’s sermon is an affirmation and a declaration to this truth.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

May 27, 2012 | Memorial Day | John Bayles | Now, To Him Who Is Able (Ephesians 3:20,21)

We often think of God's power in the timeframe of the past: what He has done, both in the historic biblical context: the flood, the rescue of Israel from bondage through the Red Sea on dry ground, the plagues, the fall of Jericho and we think of how He has worked in our own personal past in some amazing way. Or, we may share a deep hope that God will act in our future in a powerful way to bring about an expectation or request.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

May 20, 2012 | John Bayles | The Dignity of Community (1 Timothy 5:1-2)

In chapter 4:12 Paul told Timothy, “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young.” This might well be the tendency on a shallow level of relationships. “Who does that young fella think he is?” Statements like these are the natural tension that exits in the general interaction between the young and the old, especially when the younger have authority over the older.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

May 13, 2012 | John Bayles | The Living Witness (1 Timothy 4:9-16)

We live in a “gotcha” age. You know, just after a person has gone into great detail outlining the best parts of an idea, the interviewer says, “Yes, but in some past time (and embarrassingly on tape) didn’t you say the following?” Then the tape, or worse the videotape, is played, the contradiction is highlighted, and then in response the accused person says, “I never said that!” It’s the kind of thing that makes me yell at the TV - though, of course, as you know, I never do that.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

May 6, 2012 | John Bayles | Truth: The Safe Anchor (1 Timothy 4:1-8)

Where does grace begin and where does it end? There is little doubt that the genuine Christian believes that he/she was saved by the grace of God. We lived in the beauty of those early days of faith and the accompanying thanksgiving of seeing clearly that though we are sinners, Christ’s death and resurrection has made us whole and acceptable to God.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

April 29, 2012 | John Bayles | Calling to the Servants (1 Timothy 3:8-16)

These instructions are the second section in the category that the Apostle Paul presents: "Here is a trustworthy saying...." His first trustworthy saying addresses the overseers (elders) in Ephesus, and today we will consider the servants (deacons).

Sunday, April 22, 2012

April 22, 2012 | John Bayles | Calling to the Overseers (1 Timothy 3:1-7)

This text of scripture is one that is truly a gift to the church, for few things have a more profound impact on a congregation than its leadership. Throughout church history there has been a consistent emphasis upon what a leader does for the church, what is the function of leadership? But sadly, far too many times it is not the responsibility of a leader that comes into question, but the character of the leader that is in view.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

April 15, 2012 | Art Sanborn | International Adventures

We welcome our long-time brother in the Lord and missionary, Art Sanborn. Art and his wife, Ellen, have been missionaries with Youth With A Mission since 1980. Art’s book, “A Walking Miracle”, chronicles dozens of miracles they have witnessed, including Art’s miraculous recovery after a bodysurfing accident that left him a quadriplegic.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

April 8, 2012 | Easter Sunday | John Bayles | O Death, Where Is Your Sting? (1 Corinthians 15:50-58)

The resurrection is the summum bonum (greatest good) reality of the Christian faith. Without the resurrection Paul tells us that we should be pitied above all people, for if Christ is not raised from the dead, we are placing our faith in a myth and a false hope. "But now is Christ raised from the dead!" This the reality that separates Christianity from all other world religions and the reality that defines orthodoxy and cultism.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

April 1, 2012 | John Bayles | On the Way to the Cross (John 12:12-19)

Isaiah 53:6 states, “We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.” Who are these people? What do they think is happening? What are their expectations? Who do they think Jesus is? What do they think he is doing? Where do they think he is going? And what is he trying to accomplish?

Sunday, March 18, 2012

March 18, 2012 | John Bayles | Calling False Teachers To Faithfulness, Part 1 (1 Timothy 3:1-16)

A traditional view of this text is that it outlines the qualifications for elders in the church. As if it were a manual for a local church to use when considering those who should be chosen for leadership. Or perhaps, more accurately it has been used to examine the lives of those who are in the candidacy stage of moving toward leadership and, if qualified in the ranges of the provisions, they then are presented for ordination by the local church. These are good uses for the text, but very probably this was not in the Apostle Paul’s mind as he wrote to Timothy.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

March 11, 2012 | John Bayles | Listening to the Text (1 Timothy 1 & 2)

There is a problem when interpreting a text of scripture: we bring ourselves to the process! Does it surprise us how often a scripture is used to underline our viewpoint of an issue? We believe in something: for example, the role of women, husband and wife relationships, end times issues, or a theological orientation. In these familiar subjects most everyone has his/her view of what they believe about the subject and then the Scriptures are applied which reinforce our opinions. This is unfortunate because this means that interpretation brings forth the dynamic between "my view," "your other/wrong view," or sometimes "my pastor's view," verses again, "your or your pastor's other/wrong view."

Sunday, March 4, 2012

March 4, 2011 | John Bayles | A Word to Women: Godliness and Submission to Learning, Part 2 (1 Timothy 2:9-15)

Today's text is one of the most controversial passages in the Bible. As a qualifier to this strong statement, it must be said that the message itself is not hard to understand. The language is tricky, but it is far from impossible to read it and know exactly what is being said. The greater challenge is accepting what the message states.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

February 26, 2012 | John Bayles | A Word to Women: Godliness and Submission to Learning, Part 1 (1 Timothy 2:8)

In this text Paul is being proactive with a specific goal in mind - women seeking to be godly. Yes, he does mention some examples of abuses of clothing and attitudes, but more vivid is his emphasis upon what women CAN do, not on what they should do, or must do, or must not do. Seeing this emphasis today is not enlightening, for we live in the aftermath of Paul's pioneering work. But for the first century woman who lived in a far more hostile and confined world, his instruction was shocking and fully counter-cultural.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

February 19, 2012 | John Bayles | The Faithful and Righteous Prayer (1 Timothy 2:8-15)

This is perhaps one of the most difficult texts in all of the scriptures. The difficulty is not because the message is not clear. The difficulty lies in the method of coming to the inspired meaning of the text and that so many conclusions about current behavior have been based upon this text.

In our current day the first response to the meaning of the text drudges up responses like "It has to do with the authority of women in the church" or "It shows us that women cannot be pastors" or "It teaches us that women cannot hold teaching positions in the church except as it pertains to teaching younger women" or "It clearly shows us that women cannot have authority over their husbands, that they must be submissive."

Sunday, February 12, 2012

February 12, 2012 | John Bayles | The Universal Gospel (1 Timothy 2:1-7)

How often have we heard the argument for the meaning of the phrase "all men", discussed using this text as a proof from one side or the other? Despite such modern arguments, the Apostle Paul is holding to his original discussion of correcting false teachers in Ephesus. We have previously seen that they were misusing the Old Testament as a means of drawing people into a works-based pursuit of righteousness, and he describes their teaching as "not knowing what they are talking about."

Sunday, February 5, 2012

February 5, 2012 | John Bayles | The Blessed Assurance (1 Timothy 1:12-20)

Does the scripture give us any hope of salvation? This seems like an easy question to answer, but only because passages such as this one not only give us an answer, but a concise and convincing answer. In truth, we need what the apostle is sharing in this text today. We have tasted salvation, the forgiveness of sins, but we have also experienced the dread of coping with sin after we first believed. We have come to the stark reality that, though we are made alive by Christ and all of our sins are forgiven, the “ALL of our sins” are not only those in our past, but continue to be committed in our present and may/will continue in our future.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

January 29, 2012 | John Bayles | The Definition of Law and Grace (1 Timothy 1:3-11)

In the last verse of today's text the Apostle Paul speaks about the "glorious Gospel." Here we discover a critical point of distinction between the purpose of the Old Testament law and the message of the New Testament Gospel. The former identifies the lawbreaker; the later sets the lawbreaker free from his captivity.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

January 22, 2012 | John Bayles | Equipping the Soldier for Battle (1 Timothy 1:1-2)

There is a common argument that because of the uniqueness of Paul’s opening greeting to Timothy, the letter is not Pauline. For instance, the use of the opening phrase order, “Christ Jesus”, versus, “Jesus Christ”, as in other letters of Paul’s. Paul uses the strong word statement, “by the command of God” unlike other uses of “the will of God” to describe his apostolic calling. And the use of the closeness of his relationship to Timothy by the words, “my true son in the faith” is close, but non-similar to other descriptions of the apostle. And finally Paul’s inclusion of the word “mercy” here in the introduction is uncommon to most of the openings of his letters.