Notes from “THIS I BELIEVE” doctrine study


INTRO – Anybody remember this from Bible School when you were a kid?

The B-I-B-L-E
Yes, that’s the book for me
I stand alone on the Word of God
The B-I-B-L-E

I didn’t know there were other verses:

The B-L-O-O-D
That Jesus shed for me;
Christ paid the price, our sacrifice
The B-L-O-O-D!

I’m S-A-V-E-D,
By G-R-A-C-E;
I’m saved by grace, the Scripture says
The B-I-B-L-E!

J.C. Ryle, Anglican bishop in 1800’s – “The Bible – It is still the 1st book which fits the child’s mind when begins to learn religion, & the last to which the old man clings as he leaves the world.”

Isa. 34:16a – “Seek & read from the book of the Lord…”

Baptist Faith & Message statement on The Scriptures:

“The Holy Bible was written by men divinely inspired and is God’s revelation of Himself to man. It is a perfect treasure of divine instruction. It has God for its author, salvation for its end, and truth, without any mixture of error, for its matter. Therefore, all Scripture is totally true and trustworthy. It reveals the principles by which God judges us, and therefore is, and will remain to the end of the world, the true center of Christian union, and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and religious opinions should be tried. All Scripture is a testimony to Christ, who is Himself the focus of divine revelation.”

Let’s look at some Biblical support from the Old Testament for our doctrine of the Bible:

  • Deut. 4:1-2
  • Deut. 17:18-20
  • Ps 19:7-10
  • Ps. 119:11, 89, 105, 140
  • Isa. 40:8
  • Jer. 15:16


“The Bible is God’s Word of revelation to His human creatures. All Christian teachings are based on the Bible. All doctrinal beliefs & statements must be judged by the Bible.” (Disciples’ Study Bible, p. 1677)

The 3rd question in the Westminster Shorter Catechism: “What do the Scriptures principally teach?” “The Scriptures principally teach, what man is to believe about God, & what duty God requires of man.”

Charles Stanley: “The Bible is no ordinary book; it is the unfolding revelation of almighty God. In it He demonstrates His love and concern for us by bestowing amazing promises and fulfilling them. The Bible is where we can find help for every circumstance of life.”

The Bible itself shows us that it is God’s Word to humanity. Some of the verses we read earlier indicated that, as well as these:

  • Ex. 31:18
  • Ex. 32:16
  • Deut. 9:10


God is the Author of the Bible. The phrase, “Thus saith the Lord,” is used 2600 times in the Bible. He said it, & human authors wrote it down. Let’s look at a critical passage that speaks to this – 2 Tim. 3:16-17.

Paul clearly saying here that all Scripture – the entire Bible – is inspired & is profitable. This is the extent of inspiration. Charles Ryrie wrote about this in his theology book (p. 77-78):

The NT uses the word “Scripture” 51 times & always in reference to some part of the Bible.

  • Sometimes it means the entire OT –
    • Jesus on Road to Emmaus – Luke 24:45 – “Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures…”
    • Jesus arguing w/ some Jews – John 10:35 – “If He called them gods to whom the word of God came—and Scripture cannot be broken…”
  • Sometimes is refers to a specific OT passage
    • Luke 4:21 – And he began to say to them, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”
  • Sometimes it refers to a specific NT passage
    • 1 Tim. 5:18 – “For the Scripture says, “You shall not muzzle an ox when it treads out the grain,” [OT] and, “The laborer deserves his wages.” [NT]
  • Sometimes refers to a larger NT portion
    • 2 Pet. 3:15-16 – “And count the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you according to the wisdom given him,16 as he does in all his letters when he speaks in them of these matters. There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures.”
    • Interesting that Peter includes Paul’s writings when he uses the word “Scriptures.” He labeled Paul’s writings as Scripture, showing their early acceptance & their recognized authority.

Even though not all of the NT was finished being written when Paul wrote 2 Timothy 3:16 (2 Peter, Hebrews, Jude, & all of John’s writings were not written at this time), b/c those books were eventually acknowledged as belonging to the finished canon of Scripture, we can conclude that 2 Tim. 3:16 includes all 66 books of the Bible as we know them today. Not any book is excluded, nor is any part excluded – ALL Scripture is inspired by God. As BF&M says, “It [Scripture] has God for its author, salvation for its end, & truth, without any mixture of error, for its matter.”

Ryrie speaks to this, too:

“The entire Bible is God-breathed. This expresses the means of inspiration…meaning the Bible is the result of the breath of God…Our English word ‘inspire’ carries the idea of breathing into something. But this word tells us that God breathed out something, namely, the Scripture. To be sure, human authors wrote the text, but the Bible originated as an action of God who breathed it out.” (p. 78)

The Greek word is theopneustostheos (God) pneo (breathed out) – literally means inspired of God, God-breathed, by the inspiration of God

  • “expresses the sacred nature of the Scriptures (their divine origin) and their power to sanctify believers” (C. Spicq, 2, 193).
  • 2 Tim 3:16: “Each-and-every (3956/pás, singular) Scripture (Gk, singular) is God-breathed (2315 /theópneustos) and profitable for teaching, for convincing, for correction, for training in righteousness.”
  • Thesingular (anarthrous) use of 3956 /pás (“all”) underlines that each part of speech (every inflected word-form, “reflex”) used in the Bible is God-breathed, i.e. inscripturated (written) under divine inspiration.
  • [G. Archer, “2315(theópneustos) is better rendered ‘breathed out by God’ as the emphasis is upon the divine origin of the inscripturated revelation itself” (A Survey of OT Introduction, fn. 7, 29).]

John MacArthur: God’s Word is inspired.

Second Timothy 3:16 speaks of the inspiration of Scripture. “Inspired” is the translation of a Greek word that literally means “God-breathed.” Every word of Scripture is from the mouth of God!

Theologians speak of inspiration as the mysterious process by which God worked through the authors of Scripture to produce inerrant and divinely authoritative writings. Inspiration is a mystery because Scripture doesn’t explain specifically how it occurred. The only glimpse we have is from 2 Peter: “Know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God” (1:20-21).

“Interpretation” speaks of origin. Scripture didn’t originate on the human level but with the Holy Spirit, who “moved” upon the authors to write it (v. 21). “Moved” is the translation of a nautical term that describes the effects of wind upon a ship as it blows against its sails and moves it through the water. Similarly, the Spirit moved on the Biblical writers to produce the Word of God in the language of men.

The human authors of Scripture knew they were writing God’s Word, and they did so with confidence and authority. Often they cited or alluded to one another as authoritative agents of divine revelation (e.g., 2 Peter 3:15-16).

On a personal level, inspiration guarantees that what Scripture says, God says. It’s His counsel to you; so you can study and obey it with full assurance that it is true and will never lead you astray. (

Adrian Rogers – The power of the Word of God:

  • It is saving for the sinner – It will stir the conscience, convict the mind, & convert the soul.
  • It is sweet for the saint – So many times I have found treasure & peace in the W of God. Oh, how precious are the words of God.
  • It is sufficient for the sufferer – How many times people have pillowed their head on the precious promises of the Word of God. I feel sorry for poepel who do not have a Bible to lean on.
  • It is satisfying to the scholar – I have studies the Book, & I would never even dream of saying I’ve come to the bottom of the Word of God. Someone said the Word of God is so deep that the scholars can swim & never touch bottom & yet so precious that a little child can come & get a drink without fear of drowning. Thank God for the Bible, the Word of God!

(What Every Christian Ought to Know, p. 23)

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Sermon notes from 3/18/18 – “Unashamed!”


Message #4 – “Unashamed!”

CWBC – 3/18/18

Jon Daniels

INTRO – Have you ever been ashamed of something? I suppose we all have at one point or another. Like a kid who brags to his friends that he can beat up the skinny new kid in the neighborhood. So he starts taunting the new kid, teasing him, bullying him, until finally one day, the braggart & his posse catch the new kid at a park by himself. They corner him & the braggart now has his chance to show everyone just how tough he is. So he steps up to the skinny kid, bumping him w/ his chest, makes another smart-aleck remark, & before he finishes it, the skinny kid uncorks a right hook to the side of the braggart’s head & lays him out cold. As the skinny kid walks away, the braggart’s buddies are now laughing at him as he starts to come out of the haze, feeling embarrassed & ashamed, since he made such a fool of himself.

Or suppose someone you don’t like at school has a dad who is in jail. And suppose that you make fun of him for this and call him names and point out to people that his dad is a crook. And you boast that your dad is a successful financial officer at a major bank. Then one day you go home to the terrible news that your dad has been arrested and charged with embezzling hundreds of thousands of dollars. The next day you don’t even want to go to school because you are so ashamed – both of your father and yourself.

Or like the time that my 2 brothers & me stole all the money out of the wishing well at LTOK & got caught by my daddy as we were counting out the money on the table in our camper. Daddy made us walk back up to the front desk & confess to what we had done as we returned the money.

We’ve all had those times when we’ve been ashamed of something we had done or something we had said. Maybe it brought embarrassment to us or to our families. Maybe it hurt someone. Maybe it cost us our job, or cost us a relationship, or cost us our reputation.

But today, I want us to think about one thing that we must never be ashamed of – The Gospel of Jesus Christ! You see, when we live a life that is unashamed of the Gospel, God can & will use us to reach others for Him.

EXPLANATION – Take your Bibles & turn to Romans 1:16 (page 939). We’re still in the series, “What Is the Gospel?” And this morning, we are going to consider the importance of living an unashamed life. Stand please as we read this verse of Scripture:

Romans 1:16 English Standard Version (ESV)

16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.

We start our unashamed life when we truly believe the Gospel.

If you want to know what the Gospel – the Good News about Jesus is all about, then get into the book of Romans. It is, without a doubt, the most important book in the NT about our beliefs as Christians. It is THE great letter of Theology w/ Paul as its author. It is the definitive statement of what Paul believed, a statement of his theology & doctrine. He wasn’t writing this letter to attempt to address any specific problems or dangers that the church at Rome was facing. He did that in some of his other letter – 1 & 2 Corinthians, Galatians, etc. But in Romans, he was writing primarily to help the believers in Rome to get their faith grounded as deeply & strongly as they could. He knew that they were living in a strategic region that has explosive potential for the spread of the Gospel. So he recognized the importance of helping them nail down the essential beliefs of the Christian faith. As G. Campbell Morgan wrote, Romans “…is the foundation document of the Pauline system of teaching. It is intended to set forth clearly God’s way of salvation for ruined man” (The Analyzed Bible: Romans, p. 11).

So, exactly what IS God’s way of salvation for ruined man? Paul clearly states it in Romans 5:6 & 8:

“You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the unrighteous…But demonstrates His own love for us in this: While were still sinners, Christ died for us.” When we come to the place in our lives where we truly believe that & accept Christ as our Savior:

  • When we truly understand & believe that we are unrighteous sinners;
  • When we truly understand & believe that Christ died for us, taking our place & taking our punishment on Himself;
  • When we truly understand & believe that the only way we can be saved is to trust Christ alone & accept Him as our one & only Savior;
  • Then we will be saved & begin living our unashamed life for Him!


We live our unashamed life in the power of God.

Rome was a filthy city in Paul’s day. One ancient philosopher called it “a cesspool of iniquity.” This was the environment into which Paul took the Gospel. And it’s very similar to the environment you & I live in today.

There are many people in our world today who will attempt to make you feel ashamed of the Gospel & your commitment to live for Jesus.

  • Our Gospel demands that we live a holy life. Our unholy world totally rejects that & ridicules anyone who lives like that.
    • Tim Tebow
  • Our Gospel demands that we believe in & pray to a God who we can’t see. It demands that we “walk by faith & not by sight” (2 Cor. 5:7). The world of skeptics totally rejects that & ridicules anyone who lives like that.
    • VP Mike Pence – ridiculed by Joy Behar on “The View” for his statement that God speaks to him.
  • Our Gospel demands that we believe, read, study, & obey the commands found in an ancient holy book, written by over 40 different writers, over the course of about 1,500 years. The world of nonbelievers totally rejects that & ridicules anyone who lives like that.
    • Brookhaven

That’s why, in order for us to live an unashamed life for the Lord, we need the “power of God for salvation.” The “power” of God that Paul is talking about here is the power that had changed his life, & he knew that it would change anyone & everyone else who would turn their lives over to Jesus Christ! That’s why he wasn’t ashamed of this Gospel! And the wonderful news for us today is that we, too, are given that power the very moment that we come to know Christ as our Savior & Lord. Listen to these verses:

  • Romans 8:11 – “The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you.”
  • Ephesians 1:19-20 – I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe him. This is the same mighty powerthat raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms.”


We will reach others for Christ when we are living an unashamed life.

Not only does God’s power save us & give us the ability to live an unashamed life, His power also work in us to enable us to share the Gospel w/ others.

The Gospel is for “everyone who believes,” whether they are Jews or Gentiles. God is not going to force Himself on anyone against their will. In order for them to experience the power of God to bring salvation into their lives, they must respond in faith when the Gospel is shared with them. That’s where you & I come into the picture. The message of the Gospel is for all people b/c all people need to be saved! Mark 16:15 says, “Go ye into all the world & preach the Gospel.” And when the Lord gives us a commission like that, He is going to give us the power to fulfill it. The same power that saves us is the same power that makes it possible for us to live an unashamed life. And when we aren’t ashamed of the Gospel, we are going to be much more willing to reach out to others who are lost w/out Christ.

Warren Wiersbe: “God does not ask men to behave in order to be saved, but to believe. It is faith in Christ that saves the sinner. Eternal life in Christ is one gift that is suitable for all people, no matter what their need may be or what their station in life.[1]” You & I are called to live a life that is unashamed of the Gospel & take that Gospel to all people.



 Here’s the thing that I want you to leave here with today: You need to live your life unashamed of the Gospel so God can use you to reach others for Him.

Why? Read article last week that ranked the most evangelical states from 1-50. Just FYI – TN was #1 & Utah was #50. MS was #6 on the list. But here’s the thing that caught my eye: In 43 out of 50 states – fastest growing religion is “unaffiliated.” 15 states have “unaffiliated” as their “Most common religion.” While Mississippi’s most common religion is “evangelical,” (no surprise) the fastest growing religion in Mississippi is also the “unaffiliated” group – up 8%.

We have to wonder if one of the reasons that there are so many people who are “unaffiliated” now is that they are not seeing real Christians living real unashamed lives in our world today. So how do we do this? How do we live an unashamed life? One word: DEDICATE.

DEDICATE YOUR LIFE TO CHRIST. Get saved TODAY! Come to Jesus TODAY before it’s too late!

DEDICATE YOUR LIFE TO GROWTH. One reason why we sometimes find ourselves ashamed & embarrassed is that we simply don’t know what we believe or why we believe what we believe. Dedicate your life to the study of God’s Word. Dedicate your life to the Church where you can be fed & where you can serve. Dedicate your life to a deepening prayer life.

DEDICATE YOUR LIFE TO AUTHENTICITY. Be real! The world needs to see Christians who are real, who own their mistakes, who get dirty, who have kids that throw temper tantrums in the middle of the grocery store, who struggle to pay the bills, who wrestle w/ faith questions in the midst of pain & suffering, who don’t have all the answers, but trust God anyhow. They need to see integrity in every area of our lives, whether that’s at work, at school, on the ball field, at the dance studio, at the hunting camp, or any other place.

DEDICATE YOUR LIFE TO OTHERS. Get out & get involved in some people’s lives. I know you’re tired, & I know you’ve got important things to do w/ your time. But if all of your time is consumed on yourself, then you’re not going to have any opportunities to live that unashamed life & reach others for Christ.

When we live an unashamed life, we will be able to pray St. Patrick’s prayer:

“Christ with me,

Christ before me,

Christ behind me,

Christ in me,

Christ beneath me,

Christ above me,

Christ on my right,

Christ on my left,

Christ when I lie down,

Christ when I sit down,

Christ when I arise,

Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,

Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,

Christ in every eye that sees me,

Christ in every ear that hears me.”

[1] Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). The Bible exposition commentary (Vol. 1, p. 517). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

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Sermon notes from 3/11/18 – “He Took My Place”


Message #3 – “He Took My Place”

CWBC – 3/11/18

Jon Daniels


Good morning, everyone! I’m so glad you’re here today!

Today, I want to start by asking you to think about this:


Suppose you were driving down Siwell Road, going 41 MPH, & got pulled over by an over-zealous rookie police officer. Despite your objections, he writes you a ticket for the speeding violation & informs you that you need to show up in traffic court at a certain time on a certain day, which you do. What an inconvenience, &, in your opinion, totally absurd & ludicrous! You stand before the judge, give your impassioned argument as to why you shouldn’t have gotten the ticket in the first place, & await the judge’s verdict. To your surprise & dismay, the judge pronounces you guilty & orders you to pay a small fine. It’s not a big fine, but it’s a fine nonetheless.

Suddenly, someone in the back of the courtroom steps forward & tells the judge, “I will take his place & pay the penalty for his crime. Take the ticket off of his record & put it on mine.” The judge agrees, pronounces you not guilty, & tells you that you are free to go. You walk out as your innocent substitute pays your fine out of his own pocket. Pretty good feeling, huh?

Suppose you committed a more heinous crime than driving 41 MPH in a 40 MPH zone. Suppose you murdered someone in cold blood. It was a brutal, willful, premeditated act. The police arrest you for first-degree murder, put you in a squalid jail cell where you await your day in court. The day arrives & you stand before the judge, only this time, you don’t owe a small fine, but your very life hangs in the balance. The judge pronounces the guilty verdict & sentences you to death.

Suddenly, someone from the back of the courtroom steps forward & tells the judge, “I will take his place & pay the penalty for his crime. Take the murder off of his record & put it on mine.” The judge agrees, pronounces you not guilty, & tells you that you are free to go. You walk out as your innocent substitute is given the lethal injection of drugs that will end his life.

An old Gospel tract tells this story: An ungodly sea captain on a sailing ship lay in his cabin in mid-ocean, staring death in the face. He shrank back in the presence of “the king of terrors,” the dread of eternity weighing heavily upon him. Captain Coutts sent for his first mate & said, “Williams, pray for me or read me a bit from the Bible. I have been very wicked, as you know, and am soon to die.”

“You know I am not a praying man, captain, so I can’t pray. And I have no Bible to read to you.”

“Then send for Thomas, the second mate, perhaps he can pray a bit.” The second mate was soon in the presence of his dying captain, when he said to him: “I say, Thomas, I am afraid I am bound for eternity this trip. Get down and pray for me. Ask God to have mercy upon my poor soul.”

“I’d gladly do it to oblige you, captain, if I could; but I have not prayed since I was a lad.”

They searched the ship for a man who could pray, but they searched in vain; & for a Bible, but none could be found, until one of the sailors told the captain he had seen a book that looked like a Bible in the hands of the cook’s boy, a little fellow named Willie Platt. They summoned him to the captain’s quarters, & the captain asked him to read.

“Sit down, & find something in it that will help me, for I am afraid I am going to die. Find something about God having mercy on a sinner like me, & read it to me.”

Willie did not know where to read, but he remembered that his mother had him read the fifty-third chapter of Isaiah just before he left home.

Willie turned to that blessed chapter that so fully sets forth the love & mercy of the Lord Jesus Christ in dying for poor sinners such as John Coutts, & began to read. When he got to the fifth verse—”He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; & with His stripes we are healed,” the captain, who was listening for his very life, realized that he was surely having his last chance of being saved: “Stop, my lad! That sounds like it! Read it again.” Once more the boy read over the blessed words.

“Aye, my lad, that’s good—that’s it, sure.”

These words from the captain encouraged Willie, & he said, “Captain, when I was reading that verse at home, mother made me put my name in it. May I put it in now just where mother told me?”

“Certainly, sonny; put your name in just where your mother told you, & read it again.”

Reverently and slowly the boy read the verse: “He [Jesus] was wounded for Willie Platt’s transgressions, He was bruised for Willie Platt’s iniquities: the chastisement of Willie Platt’s peace was upon Him; & with His stripes Willie Platt is healed.”

When Willie had finished, the captain was halfway over the side of his bed, reaching toward the lad, and said, “My boy, put your captain’s name in the verse & read it again—John Coutts, John Coutts.”

He slowly read the verse again: “He was wounded for John Coutts’ transgressions, He was bruised for John Coutts’ iniquities: the chastisement of John Coutts’ peace was upon Him; & with His stripes John Coutts is healed.”

When the boy had finished reading, the captain said, “That will do, my lad; you may go now.”

Then the captain lay back upon his pillow and repeated over and over again those precious words of Isaiah 53:5, putting in his own name each time, and as he did so, the joy of heaven filled his soul.

You see, he realized that Jesus had taken his place.

Open your Bibles to 1 Peter 3:18 & let’s explore the beautiful truth that Jesus took our place. Please stand as we read this verse of Scripture:


1 Peter 3:18 English Standard Version (ESV)

18 For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteousthat he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit


The Biblical truth that we are talking about today is called the doctrine of substitution, or substitutionary atonement. That can be summed up in 4 words: “Jesus took my place.” Look at these 3 phrases in 1 Peter 3:18:

“Christ suffered once for sins” – This could also be translated, “Christ died for sins once for all” (NASB). Same as in Rom. 6:10 – “For the death He died, He died once for all…”

There are many verses of Scripture that tell us about the suffering & death of Jesus as payment for our sins. The last part of v. 18 speaks to that – “…being put to death in the flesh…”

  • 1 Peter 2:24 – “He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree; so that, having died to sins, we might live for righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.”
  • Mark 10:45 – “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
  • Romans 5:6 – “For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.”
  • John 10:11 – “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.”
  • 2 Corinthians 5:21 – “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”

The Word of God is so clear. Jesus endured incredible suffering in order to satisfy God’s legal requirement for the payment & the punishment for our sins. When Jesus cried, “It is finished!” right before He died on the cross, He was declaring that the necessary work had been done, the necessary suffering had been endured, & the necessary price had been paid.

  • There was only 1 person who could pay the price for our sins – Jesus.
  • There was only 1 sacrifice that could pay the price for our sin – His sacrifice.
  • It was a once for all sacrifice.


“the righteous for the unrighteous” – We all know the hymn “Amazing Grace” – “Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me.” Here is the biblical basis for that line in that great hymn – WE are the “unrighteous” wretch in this verse – Jesus is the “righteous” Savior. How many of you understand what a “wretch” is? It’s a despicable person, a person of base character. That’s us! WE are the guilty sinners – He is the innocent sacrifice.

B/c of the grace of God, He sent His one & only perfect, righteous Son to take our place, even though we are imperfect, unrighteous sinners. It’s called, “The Great Exchange” – our sin on Him; His righteousness on us. As John Piper says: “This is the gospel — the good news that our sins are laid on Christ & his righteousness is laid on us, & that this great exchange becomes ours not by works but by faith alone. ‘By grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast (Eph. 2:8-9)’” (


“that He might bring us to God” – The end result of this Great Exchange is that we are brought into an eternal relationship w/ God. This is the definition of “atonement” – We are made “at one” with God only through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ as our substitute – We made “at one” when He took our place!

1 John 2:2 – “He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.”

“atoning sacrifice” – “propitiation”

“The ultimate purpose of Christ’s death was to bring you to God. Jesus died to reach across the gulf between God and humanity. Taking our hand, he leads us across the territory of the enemy into the presence of God the Father. Jesus Christ opens the way & introduces us to God the Father. By removing sin as the cause of our separation from God, Jesus Christ provides access to God & makes us acceptable in his sight.[1]

Martin Luther said, “Either sin is lying on your shoulders, or it is lying on Christ, the Lamb of God – & if it is on Christ, you are free.”

APPLICATION – Here’s where I’m going w/ this message today: The Biblical truth is that Jesus took your place when He died on the cross. But for that truth to come alive in YOUR life, you must commit your life to Him, the One who died in your place to bring you to God.

I was 8 yrs. old when I made that commitment. Vicki was 10 yrs. old. Jim Farrish was 25. Gunner Wilson was 21. Ellie Lynch was 8. Tammie Miller was 15. Mark Sandifer was 12.

What about YOU today? Do you know w/ 100% certainty today that you have truly, completely committed your life to the One who took YOUR place on the cross?

If you & I were sitting together at a table at a coffee shop discussing this, & you told me that you were NOT 100% certain, but you WANTED to be, I would ask you these questions:

  • Do you realize that you are a sinner?
  • Do you realize that you can’t save yourself?
  • Do you realize that only Jesus Christ can save you?
  • Do you realize that you must repent of your sin & turn to Christ alone to save you?
  • Would you like to pray & ask Jesus to save you right now?

In the early days when pioneers were crossing the American prairie heading west, the thing they feared most was a prairie fire. Those things would roar across the plains destroying everything in their paths. Then someone got smart. As soon as they spotted the fire headed their way, they set a backfire. They burned off a plot of ground, then pulled their wagons & animals onto it.  When the fire came, it roared right on around them & went past. Why? B/c the fire had already “fallen” there.  – Well, one of these days, all of mankind will stand before the Righteous Judge & give account. But there is 1 place–& only 1 place–where the fires of judgment have already fallen: the cross where Jesus took our place. Those who are on that safe ground will be forever protected b/c that’s where He took our place!

[1] Walls, D., & Anders, M. (1999). I & II Peter, I, II & III John, Jude (Vol. 11, p. 56). Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers.

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“THIS IS BELIEVE” – Studies in Doctrine & Theology


Start new study series tonight. Going to start digging a little deeper into what we believe as Christians & as Southern Baptists. What’s our doctrine? How important is doctrine? Why do we need to study doctrine?

Going to pull from several different sources as we walk through different subjects.

  • The Baptist Faith & Message
  • Foundations – Tom Holladay & Kay Warren
  • What Every Christian Ought to Know – Adrian Rogers
  • Christian Beliefs: Twenty Basics Every Christian Should Know – Wayne Grudem
  • Some systematic theology books by Grudem, Millard Erickson, Charles Swindoll,, & Charles Ryrie

…just to name a few.

Used to do annual doctrine studies in churches that would focus on individual doctrines within the Southern Baptist denomination. Used to do January Bible Studies that would focus on one book of the Bible for a week or a month. Used to have Training Union, Church Training, then Discipleship Training that focused on discipleship, doctrine, & theology.

But now, we’ve gotten so busy & sophisticated that we don’t do these anymore. Parents more concerned about their kids making the ball team or the cheerleading squad than their kids learning who the Holy Spirit is. Parents more concerned about their teenagers making straight A’s than their teens growing in their understanding of the importance of the Church. Adults are more concerned with making more money than they are about knowing why our Bible is the only true Word of God.

And now, we are reaping what we’ve sown (Gal. 6:7). We see it in our homes & families. We see it in the decline of the importance of the marriage relationship. We see it in our schools & communities. We see it in the cities & in the country. We see it in every level of government. We see it in our media & entertainment. We see it in our churches & denominations (Episcopal Church voted to stop using masculine references to God in their upcoming updated Book of Common Prayer).

Our beliefs inform our behavior. Love what the late RC Sproul said: “Without right doctrine, right living is impossible. We have not really understood Scripture if we are not changed as a result of our study.”


So, let’s think about what DOCTRINE is:


“Doctrine” is not an inherently Christian term. Basic definition from “a particular principle, position, or policy taught or advocated, as of a religion or government: a body or system of teachings relating to a particular subject.”

For instance, the Monroe Doctrine was a policy of the US government back in the 1800’s that opposed European colonialism in the Americas.

But, for our purposes, we will consider what Christian doctrine is. W.T. Conner, prof at SWBTS in early 1900’s gave this definition: “Christian doctrine is the line of study that undertakes to set out the teachings of the Christian religion. It is the organized exposition of the main doctrines of Christianity. It is the setting out in more or less complete & systematic form of the ideas necessary to an understanding of the Christian religion.”

Disciple’s Study Bible: “Doctrine – 1) Carefully formulated statements of teachings on a certain theme 2) Statements of an individual’s or groups beliefs about the Christian Gospel based on the teachings of the Bible. Doctrines are beliefs about God, humanity, creation, & the meaning & destiny of life stated in a formal way. Doctrines, while having individual meaning, are best understood in their relationships to one another & to the whole. For example, what Christians believe about God influences their belief related to humanity, which is informed by their belief in creation, & so on.”

As Christ-followers, we should WANT to know what we believe & why. Not just so we can win the arguments with our coworkers at the office, or with our liberal uncle at the family reunion. It’s not about US winning. It’s so more than that. DOCTRINE gives us these 3 things:

Safety – What you DON’T know can hurt you.

  • If you don’t know that a gun is loaded, then when you’re cleaning it, it can go off & hurt or kill someone.
  • If you don’t know that a bridge is out as you’re going down a road, then the consequences can be disastrous.
  • If you don’t know that your child is playing in the driveway, then when you’re backing out of the garage, the results can be horrendous.

Adrian Rogers – Was bodysurfing in Hawaii when young man. Grew up doing this in Fla. Waves were more awesome than he’d ever seen in Fla. Paddled out to where they were the biggest. But instead of riding the wave in to the beach, the wave rode him & picked him up like a ragdoll & slammed him to the floor of the ocean. Couldn’t move for a moment. Got back to beach & THEN saw sign: NO BODYSURFING – Serious spinal injury may result.”

When we don’t know what you believe & why, you will get body-slammed by the world system.

  • Moral relativism
  • JW’s & Mormons at your door
  • College profs are going to target your kids & grandkids
  • Entertainment industry infiltrating our minds & indoctrinating our kids:
    • Notice how many Super Bowl commercials had references to homosexuality, or that all religions are the same – (Catholic priest, Jewish rabbi, Muslim imam going to football game together – “We are all on the same team.”)

Stability – Our doctrine is our foundation for the living out of our everyday Christian life. What we believe & hold to as the foundation of our faith will affect every area of our lives. If our doctrine is sound, our foundation will be stable. If our doctrine is unsound, our foundation will be unstable.

  • How we relate to our spouses
  • How we raise our kids
  • How we conduct our businesses
  • How we spend our $
  • How we act when we are out with friends
  • How we decide what kind of things to watch on TV, movies to go to, music to listen to, books to read, websites to visit
  • How we interact with fellow believers in the church – serving, worshiping, giving, fellowshipping, supporting, encouraging
  • Our views on marriage, abortion, capital punishment, homosexuality, etc.
  • How we react to storms that come into our lives.
  • How we react to worldly, secular views that are promulgated everywhere through every means of media – print, TV, Internet.
    • Joy Behar on “The View” last week in ridiculing VP Pence’s faith. Behar said, “It’s one thing to talk to Jesus. It’s another thing when Jesus talks to you. That’s called mental illness, if I’m correct – hearing voices.”
    • She has no idea what she is talking about, & has no idea what it means to have Jesus talk to you.
    • 1 Cor. 2:14 (AMP) – But the natural [unbelieving] man does not accept the things [the teachings and revelations] of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness [absurd and illogical] to him; and he is incapable of understanding them, because they are spiritually discerned andappreciated, [and he is unqualified to judge spiritual matters].
    • But knowing what you believe & having the stability of sound doctrine in your life helps you combat the false doctrines, the false teachings, & the lunatics who are espousing all sorts of aberrant ideas, both inside the church & outside the church.

Tom Holladay: “Doctrine is the study of what God has to say. What God has to say is always the truth. The truth gives me the right perspective on myself & on the world around me. The right perspective results in decisions of faith & experiences of joy.” (Foundations, p. 10)

Jesus’ parable of building house on the sand – Matt. 7:24-27 & Luke 6:46-49. “Disciples who build their lives on the bedrock of Jesus & His message of the kingdom of heaven are truly wise, regardless of the shifting cultural or religious fashions” (ESV Study Bible note)

Doctrine gives stability to our lives & to our faith.

  • James 1:6 – “faith” – a settled trust & confidence in God, based on His character & promises as revealed in Scripture.
    • How are we going to have that settled trust & confidence in God? How are we going to know what His character & Scriptural promises are? Our doctrine teaches us those things.
  • Ephesians 4:11-14
    • “equip” – katartismos – adequacy, a preparation or training that fully qualifies
    • Go to fire academy or police academy. Going to have classroom time to get the necessary info & teaching to equip you to handle the stuff that IS GOING TO HAPPEN out on the job.
    • Same true in doctrine study.

Serenity – There is great peace of mind when you are firmly settled in your doctrine. You won’t be “like a wave of the sea that is driven & tossed by the wind…unstable in all your ways” (James 1:6, 8).

  • Today – Kathie Lee Gifford interviewed by Megan Kelly about death of Billy Graham. Complete peace in Kathie’s life when it come to death b/c of her faith in Christ, her beliefs – DOCTRINE – that knowing Christ as personal Savior & Lord assures her & Billy Graham of a place in heaven. Don’t have to fear death when you have that assurance.
  • Know Jesus/Know Peace. No Jesus/No Peace.

Our doctrines give us the serenity of a peaceful mind b/c they are based fully on the One who is the Prince of Peace. Studying doctrine means that we are studying Him, not just to fill our mind with facts & information. But to fill our minds with the Truth, & Truth is a Person, & His name is Jesus.

John 8:31 – Holding to our doctrines also brings the serenity & peace of mind of the freedom that only Christ can bring. Abiding in Jesus’ words & teachings means that we will continue to believe what He has said & will walk in them in obedience. The freedom that Jesus said they would have only comes to those who hold tightly to His teachings – DOCTRINE – & live accordingly. When we do that, we will find that our lives will be much freer from the enslavement of sin, which imparts great serenity to the child of God.

When we hold to sound doctrine, there will be a greater degree of peace & serenity, not only in our personal lives, but in our church, as well. Jim Elliff, brother of Bill Elliff, wrote article, “Why Do Some Pastors Deliberately Avoid Teaching Their Church Doctrine?” Talks about how some pastors avoid doctrine b/c it’s “narrow” & can impede the numerical growth of the church. “Where you will find one person who is attracted to sound doctrine, you will find a hundred who want to allow all sorts of beliefs to be tolerated. I’ve been in such churches where great heresies were listened to as it were perfectly permissible to hold such views as ‘your opinion.’ And I’m not talking about the guest’s view, but the member’s view.” That’s a breeding ground for all sorts of strife & upheaval within a church, & can & will lead to other churches being infected w/ false doctrine.

Elliff: “The apostles began churches w/ the intent to grow them as solidly as possible by means of a steady & meticulous interest in doctrine.” We must not attempt to grow a church w/ theological & doctrinal imprecision, especially if we are going to start new churches (Which I hope we will do).

Phil. 1:27 – “standing firm in ONE spirit…striving SIDE BY SIDE for the faith of the Gospel…”

2 Tim. 2:2

2 Tim. 4:3-4

2 John 10-11

Millard Erickson: “Theology is necessary b/c truth & experience are related. While some would deny or at least question this connection, in the long run the truth will affect our experience [hence, our serenity/peace]. A person who falls from the 10th story of a building may shout while passing each window on the way down, ‘I’m still doing fine,’ & may mean it, but eventually the facts of the matter will catch up w/ the person’s experience. We may continue to live on happily for hours or even days after a close loved one has, unknown to us, passed away, but again the truth will come w/ crushing effect on our experience. Since the meaning & truth of the Christian faith will eventually have ultimate bearing on our experience, we must come to grips w/ them.”

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Sermon notes from 3/4/18 – “What Is the Gospel?” (Part 2)

“WHAT IS THE GOSPEL? (Pt. 2)”     1 Cor. 15:3-4

INTRO – Abby Irwin video

 In WWII when the Marines captured the island of Saipan, the Japanese ordered the inhabitants to kill themselves by jumping off a cliff. Hundreds of feet below were the rocks and waters of the beach. American translators yelled through bullhorns that if the inhabitants would come to the US side, they would be spared. A few did, but most of them jumped.

Many people respond in the same way to the gospel today. The offer of the Good News of the Gospel is made to them, inviting them to come to the Lord’s side for salvation. And yet, so many choose to turn down the offer & go on & live in their sin all the way to their death. How tragic! How sad!

Billy Graham was buried this past Friday. He lived 99 years & spent the bulk of those years inviting lost people to come to Christ & receive the gift of eternal life. I’m 53 years old. I don’t know if the Lord is going to allow me to live another 46 years to 99. I don’t know if He’s going to allow me to live another 46 days, or 46 hours, minutes, or even seconds. But no matter how long He lets me stay here on this earth, I want to spend the bulk of the time I have left sharing the Gospel, the Good News, inviting lost people to come to Jesus Christ & be saved! Who else here today wants to do that, too?

Friends, our time is so limited! Even if we DO live to the ripe old age of 99, that’s still such a short time when compared to eternity.

  • 1 Peter 1:24 – “People are like grass; their beauty is like a flower in the field. The grass withers and the flower fades.” (NLT)
  • James 4:14 – “What do you know about tomorrow? How can you be so sure about your life? It is nothing more than mist that appears for only a little while before it disappears.” (CEV)

We said it last week & we need to say it again today: The Gospel is Good News! It is! It’s the Good News about:


What Jesus did – v. 3-4 – This is the foundation of the Gospel message:

  • Christ died
  • Christ was buried
  • Christ rose again

I love what Paul said there at the beginning of v. 3 – “For I delivered to you AS OF FIRST IMPORTANCE what I also received…” – This is the most important thing that Paul or anyone else could deliver to anyone! This Good News is of utmost priority b/c it’s the utmost promise ever made. It’s not an afterthought or an addendum added onto our message. It’s not some casual everyday headline that we might see, or an “Oh yeah” or a “By the way” kind of statement: “Oh yeah, I meant to tell you something…” or “By the way, there’s something I wanted to tell you…” NO! This is “of first importance”. The NLT says, “I passed on to you what was most important.” God’s Word translation says, “I passed on to you the most important points of doctrine that I had received.” It’s the Good News that through the Gospel, God works to take people from death to life. I love what John Piper said: “The gospel is the good news that the everlasting and ever-increasing joy of the never-boring, ever-satisfying Christ is ours freely and eternally by faith in the sin-forgiving death and hope-giving resurrection of Jesus Christ.” (“What Is the Christian Gospel?” on

What we are – “for our sins” (v. 3) – For us to truly understand the GOOD NEWS of the Gospel, we need to start with the bad news. Here it is: We are sinners & can’t save ourselves. We’re not just pretty good people who make mistakes every now & then. No, we are sinners. R.C. Sproul: “The gospel is called the ‘good news’ because it addresses the most serious problem that you and I have as human beings, and that problem is simply this: God is holy and He is just, and I’m not. And at the end of my life, I’m going to stand before a just and holy God, and I’ll be judged. And I’ll be judged either on the basis of my own righteousness–or lack of it–or the righteousness of another. The good news of the gospel is that Jesus lived a life of perfect righteousness, of perfect obedience to God, not for His own well-being but for His people. He has done for me what I couldn’t possibly do for myself. But not only has He lived that life of perfect obedience, He offered Himself as a perfect sacrifice to satisfy the justice and the righteousness of God.”


What Jesus does – v. 5-8 are important verses b/c they establish the fact that Jesus really did rise from the dead. There were multiple eyewitnesses to this event & Paul wanted to emphasize that fact in these verses.

It’s important for us today to know what Jesus does for us as we continue to live in this world.

  • He intercedes for us – We know that after Jesus appeared to all of these people, He ascended back to heaven (Acts 1) where He is now interceding for you & me – “Therefore He is able also to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them” (Heb. 7:25) Paul said in Rom 8:34 – “…Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.”
  • He convicts us & draws us – We know that He sent the Holy Spirit to come to us to convict us, to draw us to the Father. And when we respond to the convicting power of the Holy Spirit in our lives, Jesus applies His blood to our lives & washes away all of our sin. 1 John 1:7 – “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.”
  • He replaces our filthy righteousness w/ His perfect righteousness. Isa. 64:6 tells us that all of our righteous acts are as “filthy rags.” We can’t be good enough or righteousness enough to earn our salvation. So the Lord Jesus come to us as replaces our empty, filthy, self-righteousness w/ His perfect righteousness. He takes up residence in our hearts & lives. He doesn’t just come in as a guest, but He becomes the owner. He doesn’t just stop by for a visit, but He moves in & takes over. 2 Cor. 13:5 –  Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?”
  • He cleans us up & cleans us out – Rev. 1:5 tells us that Jesus loved us & washed us from our sins w/ His own blood. He seals the deal by stamping His ownership seal on our hearts. Eph. 1:13 – “In [Christ] you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit.”
  • He has started working on our home in heaven – That’s where we will spend eternity when our life here is done. John 14:1-6.
  • He empowers us to do the work of spreading the Gospel & making disciples of all nations – The Gospel itself gives us power.
    • 1 Cor. 1:18 – “For the word of the cross [the Gospel] is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”
    • Paul prayed for the Christ-followers at Colossae in Col. 1:11 that they would be “strengthened w/ all power, according to [the Lord’s] glorious might,” so they could honor the Christ w/ their lives & bear fruit for Him.
    • We also find OT evidence that tells us that the Lord gives us the power we need to live for Him & serve Him. Isa. 40:29 – “He gives power to the faint, & to him who has no might He increases strength.”

So what do we do w/ this power that He gives to us? That brings us to our final point:


What we are to do – v. 11 – “…we preach & so you believed.” This Greek word is different from what Paul said in v. 1. This word means “to tell, to announce publicly.” Paul said it didn’t matter if it was him preaching the Gospel or some of the other apostles. The important thing was that the Gospel was preached & the people believed.

The same is true for us.

  • It doesn’t matter if it’s the Baptists preaching the Gospel or the Methodists or Presbyterians or the Charismatics.
  • It doesn’t matter if it’s the Calvinists or the Arminians or the Traditionalists.
  • It doesn’t matter if it’s the white folks or the black folks or the Hispanic or Asian folks.
  • It doesn’t matter if it’s those of us who make our living as pastors & ministers in the church or those who make their living outside the church.
  • The important thing is that the Gospel is preached & lost people believe it & are saved! It’s EVERY Christian’s job to preach the Gospel so the lost can believe & be saved!

I love what Billy Graham’s daughter, Anne Graham Lotz, said at his funeral: “I pledge to you, Daddy, that in view of His appearing, and in front of all these witnesses, I will preach the Word! I will do the work of an evangelist and I will share the Gospel and I will run my race and live my life so that five minutes before I see Jesus I have no regrets. I will live my life to glorify and exalt the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.”

What about you & me? Maybe it’s time we make that same commitment of our lives today!

  • Read just this week that there are approx. 269 million lost people in the North America.
  • What are we going to do about that 269 million? What are YOU going to do about that 269 million? Contained w/in that 269 million are several thousand who are in the 15-minute driving radius of this church. So I’m not talking about going to other side of the world, or even the other side of the country. I’m talking about going across town or across the street – maybe even across the house.
  • FAITH starts w/ an organizational & training meeting on Sunday, April 8. Then go out & make evangelistic visits for next 6 weeks on Monday nights.
  • Magnolia Bluff outreach
  • “Days of Hope” in Sept. & Oct.
  • Country Oaks Mission
  • Apartment complexes down Raymond Road.
  • If you come to me during invitation today & tell me that you want to do an evangelistic block party in your neighborhood, the church will fully support that & provide the funds you need to do so. I have all the BGEA “My Hope” videos that you can use. We will buy an inflatable outdoor screen for you to use.


It’s TIME to step up! Christ died – Christ was buried – Christ rose again – Let’s go share this GOOD NEWS!

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Sermon notes from 2/25/18 – “What Is the Gospel?”

“WHAT IS THE GOSPEL?”         1 Cor. 15:3-4

INTRO – Title of sermon today: “What is the Gospel?” I love this cartoon that my friend, Joe McKeever, sent to me this past week when he found out the title of my message for today. Seems that sometimes, we pastors can forget that the Gospel is Good News! The quick answer is that the Gospel is Good News! Can’t ever say that without thinking about my preaching prof, Don Wilton – “Jon, my brother, who are you mad at? The Gospel is Good News, my brother!” (Don will be preaching here Oct. 22 – “Days of Hope”) The Gospel is Good News! It’s the message of God’s saving work in Christ & ONLY in Christ! It’s the foundation of our lives, the foundation of the Church, the foundation of our all we do in the name of Jesus Christ.

The Gospel is Good News! There’s also no way we can say that without thinking about Billy Graham, who passed away this past Wednesday at the age of 99. Billy Graham spent his life living out the Gospel & preaching the Gospel. He once said, “The message I preach hasn’t changed. Circumstances have changed. Problems have changed, but deep inside man has not changed, and the gospel hasn’t changed.”

Also said, “The cross shows us the seriousness of our sin—but it also shows us the immeasurable love of God.”

Billy Graham’s life was all about the Gospel, & the same should be true of all of us who are Christ-followers. Our lives should also be all about the Gospel. As Charles Spurgeon once said, “…I have nothing else to rely upon but the fact that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, lived, died, was buried, rose again, went to heaven, and still lives and pleads for sinners at the right hand of God.”

The Gospel is Good News! It gives us meaning & purpose in life. People attempt to rely on so many other things to find purpose & meaning in life.

  • Riches
  • Relationships
  • Religion
  • Right living

Not only do they rely on these things for purpose & meaning in this life, they also rely on these things to give them some hope for their future life – the afterlife. But it’s a false hope b/c hope is found in no one else other than Jesus Christ alone. He’s our only hope in this life & in the life to come. Only He can give us eternal life, & He WILL give eternal life to ANY person who will call out to Him in faith & receive Him as their personal Savior & Lord.

  • I love what Kathie Lee Gifford said this week during an interview w/ Megyn Kelly: “Everyone who dies in Christ goes immediately into the arms of Jesus for all eternity. That is the hope of the Christian faith!…If you had the cure for cancer, would you keep it quiet? Would you hold it & keep it a secret? I have the cure for the malignancy of the soul, & He has a name, & it’s Jesus.”

The Gospel is Good News! Paul is writing to the Church at Corinth here in the 1st century to help them understand this crucial foundational truth. He’s already dealt w/ all sorts of problems & struggles this church was having in the areas of worship, & spiritual gifts, & immorality in the church, & disputes & problems between people in the church.

But when he gets to ch. 15, he zeroed in on the doctrine of the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the grave. Why did he do this? As John MacArthur said, “Just as the heart pumps life-giving blood to every part of the body, so the truth of the resurrection gives life to every other area of gospel truth. The resurrection is the pivot on which all of Christianity turns & without which none of the other turths would much matter. Without the resurrection, Christianity would be so much wishful thinking, taking its place alongside all other human philosophy & religious speculation.” (The MacArthur NT Commentary: 1 Corinthians, p. 398)

  • The teachings of Buddhism are not Good News b/c their leader is dead & gone.
  • The teachings of Islam are not Good News b/c their leader is dead & gone.


But for those of us who are Christians – TRUE Christians who have been truly born again – our Leader, our Savior, our Redeemer is alive today b/c of the resurrection! We celebrate it every Easter! We celebrate it every Sunday! We celebrate it every time we see someone baptized as we did today! That’s why we baptize by immersion, b/c that immersion represents the immersion of Jesus into the tomb. And we come out of that water, we see a picture of the Gospel of the resurrection of Christ Jesus from the dead! He’s alive today! John Gill: “…were [the resurrection] out of the Gospel, it would not be Gospel, or good news; it would be an idle story, faith would be a vain thing, and hoping and believing Christians of all the most miserable.” (

Hallelujah! The Gospel is Good News!

v. 1a – That’s why Paul said that he “preached” the Gospel – Greek word for “gospel” is euangelion. Greek word for “preach” is euangelizo. When you are preaching, you are telling the Good News. If you’re not telling the Good News, then you ain’t preaching!

v. 1b – When the Gospel is preached, then it has to be “received.” You hear it. You learn it. You understand it. You believe it.

v. 1c – When you’ve “received” it, then you “stand” in it. You don’t waver in it, or wander from it. You don’t step away from it, or stray from it. You STAND in it w/ your feet firmly planted there. “On Christ the Solid Rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand.”

v. 2 – When you receive it & stand in it, you “being saved by it.” The Gospel is the Good News that Jesus Christ is the one & only Savior of the world. When you place your faith in Him, eternal salvation is the gift that He gives to you. That means:

  • You have been saved – Regeneration
  • You are being saved – Sanctification
  • You will one day be completely saved – Glorification

v. 2b – When are saved by the Gospel, you “hold fast” to it. You see, the Gospel is not about just praying a prayer one day & then going about your life as if nothing has changed. If nothing has changed, then you’re not saved. That’s what Paul means when he says, “if you hold fast to the word I preached to you” (v. 2b). He’s not saying that your salvation is dependent upon YOUR holding on to it. He’s making it clear that when you are truly saved, you WILL hold fast to the Gospel. It will be one of the evidences of your salvation. As MacArthur says, “Our holding onto Him is evidence that He is holding on to us” (p. 399).

THE GOSPEL IS GOOD NEWS! Has your life been changed by this Good News?

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Sermon notes from 2/11/18 – “Rise & Go!”

“RISE & GO!”                      Acts 8:26-40

 INTRO – I love Buck knives. Very high quality. Bought this one last week. But love something else about these knives & this company. Enclosed in every box is a small card that says this:

“A Message from the Buck Family: As my father Chuck Buck would say, if this is your first Buck knife, ‘Welcome aboard.’ You are now a part of a very large family. We think of each one of our users as a member of the Buck Knives family, & we take care of our own.

Now that you are family, you might want to know a little more about us. Dad said it best when he said, ‘The fantastic growth of Buck Knives, Inc., was no accident. From the beginning, we determined to make God the Senior Partner. In a crisis, the problem was turned over to Him, & He hasn’t failed to help us w/ the answer. Each knife must reflect the integrity of management. If sometimes we fail on our end, b/c we are human, we find it imperative to do our utmost to make it right. If any of you are troubled or perplexed & looking for answers, may we invite you to look to Him, for God loves you.’” – CJ Buck, CEO, Chairman of Buck Knives

Bottom of card: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son; so that anyone who believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” – John 3:16

This past week, Super Bowl LII. Philadelphia Eagles beat New England Patriots. Great game. Lots of offense. Most yards in any game ever in NFL history. Lots of hype about the victory for the Eagles. But there was also a lot of hype about the Christian testimonies given by the coach & some of the players on the Eagles team.

What do the Christians on the Super Bowl champion Eagles football team & the Christians in the Buck family have in common? At some point in their lives, someone shared the Gospel with them & they responded & gave their lives to Christ.

  • Someone shared the Gospel w/ CJ Buck & he gave his life to Christ, & now is using his platform as the CEO of a large company to share the Gospel w/ people all over the world.
  • Someone shared the Gospel w/ Doug Pederson, Eagles’ coach, & he gave his life to Christ. His first words when interviewed after Super Bowl: “I can only give the praise to my Lord & Savior Jesus Christ for giving me this opportunity…”
  • Nick Folse – MVP QB of Super Bowl – “I wouldn’t be out here without Jesus in my life.” Taking seminary classes & wants to be a high school pastor.
  • Zach Ertz – Eagles TE – “Our #1 goal on this earth to make disciples. That’s the only job that we want to do.”

God told Philip in Acts 8:26 to “Rise & go” b/c there was someone who needed to hear about Jesus Christ. And Philip went.


QUESTION FOR YOU TODAY: Are YOU going to “RISE & GO” when it’s time to tell someone about Jesus? Every Christ-follower in this room today has heard & will hear God say to you, “Rise & go.” It may not be those exact words & you probably won’t hear them audibly. But God IS going to tell you to “Rise & go!” He will put you in a situation where He wants to use YOU to tell someone about Jesus, & that will be YOUR “Rise & Go” moment. He will put someone in in your life who needs to hear the Gospel from YOU, & that will be YOUR “Rise & Go” moment.


Here are 4 “Rise & Go” certainties for us to consider today:


GOD ORDERS – v. 26-29 – The Bible makes it very clear that God’s commands – His orders for us are that we must share the Gospel w/ those who are lost. John R.W. Stott: “…we engage in evangelism today not b/c we want to, or b/c we choose to, or b/c we like to, but b/c we have been told to.”

Jesus said it:

  • Matthew 28:19-20
    • “The Great Commission is not an option to be considered, but a command to be obeyed.” (Hudson Taylor)
  • Mark 16:15 – “You are to go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone, everywhere.” (TLB)
  • Acts 1:8 – “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (NLT)

Paul said it:

  • Romans 10:14-15 – How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching?  And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!’”
  • Ephesians 6:19 – “Pray also for me, that the message may be given to me when I open my mouth to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel.” (CSB)
  • 2 Timothy 4:2 – “Preach the message, be ready whether it is convenient or not, reprove, rebuke, exhort with complete patience and instruction.” (NET)

Peter said it:

  • 1 Peter 2:9 – “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.”

Dawson Trotman, founder of the Navigators organization, said, “If we’re not fishing, it means one thing: we’re not following.”  I will get back to that later in the sermon.


WE OBEY – v. 27, 30 – I love Philip’s simple & immediate obedience here.

  • v. 26 – God said, “Rise & go.” V. 27 says Philip “rose & went.”
  • v. 29 – God said, “Go over & join this chariot.” V. 30 says, “So Philip ran to him.”

How amazing would it be in the Church if our obedience was that immediate! But, too often we try to negotiate w/ God. We try to bargain w/ Him. We come up w/ all sorts of excuses & reasons why we can’t obey Him right then. We try to delay our obedience. But delayed obedience is disobedience. The moment to obey God is the moment He speaks. When He says, “Rise & go,” it’s time to do just that. And if we will, we will experience His work in our lives in some unbelievable ways! D.L. Moody: “God wants to find people He can trust. Obedience is literal, prompt, cheerful, willing action. Do what God wants you to do w/out asking any questions. When God finds such people, I believe they become the mightiest power on this earth.”


GOD ORCHESTRATES – v. 27, 30-34 – God put all the parts of this amazing story in motion to ensure that this divine appointment was going to happen. This wasn’t a coincidental, chance meeting that happened on this desert road. This was a “GOD-THING,” just like EVERY witnessing opportunity is a “GOD-THING!”

  • Last week, at the end of the service, I had everyone turn to someone & actually share the Gospel. Put the Roman Road up for all to see (PUT ROMAN ROAD BACK UP). During that time of sharing, Rachael Rice had the huge privilege of leading her 10 y/o daughter, Alyssa, to faith in Jesus Christ right here in this room during the worship service. Long before that worship service every happened, God orchestrated the parts of that divine appointment so that Alyssa would have the opportunity to hear the Gospel & accept Jesus Christ as her personal Lord & Savior.



Jesus – “Come follow me & I will make you fishers of men” (Mark 1:17). He didn’t say, “I will make you more disciplined, or more spiritual, or a better church member, or more successful.” He said, “I will make you fishers of men.” Following Jesus means that we WILL open our mouths & share the Gospel as fishers of men.

Folks who like to fish:

  • Fish in different places – may have favorite spot or fishing hole, but fish everywhere. You don’t stay at home if you’re going to fish. You’ve got to GO!
  • Fish with lots different baits & lures – may have favorite lure, but also have a tackle box full of different lures. You don’t just sit on the bank holding a cane pole or a rod & reel when you’ve got a box full of crickets or a tackle box full of lures.
  • Fish for different kinds of fish – may have a favorite (bass, white perch), but will fish for lots of different types of fish.

Jesus didn’t make disciples so He could just gather a big impressive group of men around Him. He made disciples to make them fishers of men. He didn’t bring them in – He sent them out to open their mouths & be fishers of men!


QUESTION: Are YOU going to “RISE & GO” when it’s time to tell someone about Jesus?

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