Ten Years of Gospel Unity!

On Sunday, March 12th, 2017 we (Corydon Baptist Church) celebrated our 10th Anniversary!  The history of CBC is unique.  In 1994, First Baptist Church of Corydon had an ugly split that resulted in a group leaving and forming Cross of Calvary Baptist Church.  But in 2007, by a mighty act of God’s grace and power, those two churches reunified under the banner of Corydon Baptist Church!  We pray that our unique history will become commonplace, as churches that were once at odds lay down their offenses at the Cross and unite for the sake of God’s glory in the gospel of Jesus Christ!

To open the celebration this past Sunday, I read John 17, and spoke these words:

We gather here today to celebrate!  We celebrate Jesus, our Lord and Savior.  We celebrate God the Father who sent Him to us.  We celebrate God the Holy Spirit who imparts His eternal life to us.  We celebrate the Triune God.  He is a Tri-Unity.  And we celebrate unity.  True unity.  Not unity that the world celebrates.  But unity in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

By God’s Grace, Ten Years ago, two churches that had once been at odds made a decision.  To honor God and His Gospel above all.  Above all other differences.  Above all other preferences.  Above all other offenses.  And Corydon Baptist Church was born!  It was Gospel Unity birthed in hearts by the Holy Spirit that brought this church into being.  And it is the Gospel which unites us still.

The Gospel of a Holy, Sovereign, Righteous, Just and Loving Creator God.

The Gospel of unholy, sinful, rebellious, fallen man. 

The Gospel of mankind helplessly and rightly condemned by God and spiritually dead before God. 

The Gospel of the God-Man, Jesus Christ, living a perfectly righteous life, dying a substitutionary death in our place, rising from the dead to justify His people before God, and ascending to reign at His Father’s right hand until His enemies be made His footstool. 

The Gospel of the Sweet Holy Spirit convicting men and women of their sin and powerfully, irresistibly drawing them to faith in Jesus and granting them repentance of sin. 

The Gospel of the Loving Rule and Reign of Christ in and through His New Covenant People, the Church, as He sanctifies us and sends us out to make Him known in Corydon and to ends of the earth.

This is our unity!  This is our identity!  The Good News that God rescues and forgives sinners through the Person and Work of His Son, Jesus.  This is our heartbeat.  Let all lesser things never come between us.  And while not every Christian who comes our way wants to be a part of God’s work among us, we must stay the course of living to please God and not men!  Because we are Gospel People, first, foremost and always.  This is how the world knows that God sent Jesus – a oneness that defies all worldly explanation.  A family resemblance that comes only through a common commitment to let Jesus get bigger while we all get smaller.

O God thank You for making us one!  Make us one still.  Let this Church be known, be marked by one thing and one thing only – The Glory of God in the Gospel of Jesus Christ!  Hallelujah!  Amen.  

 

 

 

 

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Jane Roe – A Real Hero

Jane Roe was not her real name.  That’s just the name the feminists gave her when they hijacked her life and her story to foist abortion on America.  They called her Jane Roe (Roe v Wade).  But as Pastor Jim Garlow recently quipped:

  History will remember her as “Jane Roe.” But eternity will forever know her as Norma McCorvey, a child of God.

While Norma lived the first half of her life as a pro-abortion advocate, she gave the last half of her life to the pro-life cause.  And even better, she gave the last half of her life to the Lord Jesus Christ.  God used Pastor Flip Benham (yes, the Benham brothers’ Dad) to lead her to faith in Christ.  Flip befriended her with love, and began pouring the gospel into her life.  She was stunned.  She had been told pro-lifers were mean and hateful.  By the grace of God, love won out in Norma’s life!

In the summer of 1995, Norma repented of her sins and trusted in Jesus as Savior of her broken life.  Not only was her identity “stolen” by the abortion lobby, she also was essentially forced into giving her baby up for adoption. (Ironic, isn’t it, that she never even had an abortion?)  But the blood of Jesus can wash the vilest sins from the worst of sinners!  Norma McCorvey was living proof.  Upon learning of her repentance and faith in Christ, Metroplex Chapel in Euless, TX, embraced her with the loving arms of Jesus.  Pastor Garlow describes it well:

Norma McCorvey, the “Jane Roe” of the infamous Roe v. Wade case had not only experienced the love and forgiveness of Jesus. She had now experienced the love and forgiveness of the body of Christ—the church. 

And that’s as it should be!

Recently, one of the Pastors I am privileged to serve with here preached from Ephesians 2.  He spoke of our past, present and future.  And he noted that while past sins may be forgiven, our actual actions in the past simply cannot be changed.  But when the saving grace of God in Christ sweeps into our lives, our present and future are altered radically!  We receive a new history.  His story becomes our story.  We are wrapped up in Christ Jesus.  Seated with Him in the heavenly places.  Destined for an eternity of giving Him glory.  With all of the redeemed people of God in Christ.

Norma  – Jane Roe – is now experiencing the glorious eternal future ordained by God for those He saves.  Norma passed from death into life February 18, 2017, at age 69.  She is now and forever a trophy of God’s amazing grace.

If you or someone close to you is suffering from the after effects of an abortion, or if you are pregnant and need help, please contact Choices Life Resource Center: http://choiceslrc.org/

For more detail on Norma’s life, visit http://www.charismanews.com/opinion/63139-norma-mccorvey-s-first-church-experience-as-a-believer.

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If That Isn’t Love

February.  The month for lovers.  

Fat cupid babies shooting arrows not-withstanding, Valentine’s Day can actually be a great opportunity to share the meaning of true love with someone.  If we can get our minds off chocolates and exciting date nights just long enough, we might just find creative ways to talk about Jesus with lost friends, neighbors and co-workers this month.

While creativity has never been my strong suit, I’ll still venture to offer a few ideas.

  • Type or write a letter to a family member expressing your gratitude for their love over the years.  And take the opportunity to explain a few ways their love mirrors the greatest love of all – the sacrificial, condescending love of God in Christ.
  • Make sweet treats for neighbors and include a card with an evangelistic Scripture on it.  On the back side of the card, put something like “Jesus is the sweetest person I know.  Ask me why!”
  • At a lunch with co-workers ask everyone to define “love.”  Use the opportunity not to poke fun at their definitions, but rather to offer your own using 1 John 4:7-11.  (I recommend memorizing this passage and a brief two minute explanation of it.)
  • Text John 3:16 to friends and family and remind them that there is no greater love than that of God’s Son laying down His life for us, even though we are “sinners condemned unclean.”
  • Go visit someone in a nursing home, or an elderly shut-in or a widow.  Be a doer of the Word, not just a hearer. Go love the lonely, hurting, and sick.

One of my fond childhood memories is of my Mom singing a song written by Dottie Rambo titled “If That Isn’t Love.” Soak up these lyrics and then go share this amazing love with others this month.

He left the splendor of heaven
Knowing His destiny
Was the lonely hill of Golgotha
There to lay down His life for me
(Chorus)
And if that isn’t love
Then the ocean is dry
There’s no stars in the sky
And the little sparrows can’t fly
Yeah if that isn’t love
Then heaven’s a myth
There’s no feeling like this
If that isn’t love
Even in death He remembered
The thief hanging by His side
Then he spoke of love and compassion
And He took him to paradise

(Repeat Chorus)

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When Pro-Lifers are Only Mostly Pro-life

abortion“Abortion Stops a Beating Heart!”

We’ve seen this bumper sticker on cars for decades now.  I’m not sure where the slogan came from, but it’s certainly true.  Medical research is now showing an unborn baby’s heartbeat can be detected at 12 weeks from conception, and sometimes even weeks earlier.  That means the brain has already developed enough to be “telling” the heart to beat!

One would think that someone who claims to be pro-life would unequivocally support the notion that “Abortion Stops a Beating Heart.”  And one would think a pro-lifer would then desire to do whatever he or she could to keep as many of those little hearts beating as possible.  It makes so much common sense.

But not if you’re Governor John Kasich.

Last week he vetoed the “Heartbeat Bill” which would have banned abortions in Ohio once a heartbeat was detected. And what’s worse, the Ohio Right to Life supported his spineless decision!  The Ohio RTL cited potential difficulties getting such a bill to stand before the Supreme Court.

I think we can call that “fear of man.”  Since when do we pro-lifers allow judicial viability to drive our decisions?  I thought we stood to defend the right to life!  Period.

And the Governor himself had the pathetic audacity to mention his concern about the cost of defending the Heartbeat Bill in the courts.  Did I just hear you correctly, Mr. Governor?  Saving babies is a great goal, but only if it doesn’t cost too much?  Well, because of your cowardice and moral depravity, rest assured thousands of unborn boys and girls will continue to pay the ultimate price.  Your evil will cost them their lives.

While I was quite public in my lack of support for President-elect Donald Trump, I can now say, “Thank you Lord that John Kasich did not win the nomination.”  I am hoping and praying Mr. Trump will demonstrate a true moral and ethical spine in the matter of the pro-life cause.  God make it so.  O Lord, remove this scourge from our culture.  How can we ever hope to glorify You as Creator and Sustainer of life when we continue to snuff it out in its most innocent and harmless form?

At this time of year, Christmastime, it is worth remembering and celebrating that our Mighty God did not ask Mary her opinion.  God did not give Mary the “right to do what she wanted with her own body.”  Rather, He declared what would be!  He would use her to bring Himself great glory and to bless the peoples of the earth with His salvation in Jesus Christ.  With His sovereign, almighty Spirit, He simply “overshadowed” her and “therefore the child to be born will be called holy – the Son of God” (Luke 1:35).

Thank You God for being a Rock of Life.  Forgive our national cowardice.  And replace our yellow-bellied leaders with men and women of genuine, biblical convictions.  For the sake of Christ’s fame among the nations.  Amen.            

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If I Only Had a Brain!

jesus_creator_in_creationMy latest edition of Vanderbilt magazine just arrived.  (Yes, I know it’s hard to imagine I managed to graduate from Vandy, but God’s grace works miracles!)  As usual, I turned quickly to the Science section.  I always find amusement there somehow.

On page 22, an article titled “Brain Food” appears.  It details the research of Suzana Herculano-Houzel, associate professor of psychology and biological sciences.  Others were engaged in the research, but Professor Houzel is the primary author.

Anyway, Professor Houzel has been busy studying.  Using her brain.  Her brain that’s not exceptional.

I mean no personal insult or injury to her!  This is her own assertion!  Not mine.  While she admits the human brain is “unparalleled in the animal kingdom” this in no way makes it exceptional, she claims.  In her way of thinking, our brain is just a primate brain.  On steroids.  The major difference in human brains and brains of various primates is merely the number of cortical neurons.  16 billion in humans, compared to 9 billion in gorillas and 7 billion in chimps.

Ho-hum.  Makes us humans seem so insignificant.  So very ordinary.  But please note that apparently those extra 7 billion neurons make quite a difference.  I’m not aware of any gorillas doing research on their own brains!  And then publishing scientific journals on their findings!

Professor Houzel claims to know why our brains are bigger and better, too.  Her answer?

Cooking.

That’s right.  You read it correctly.  Somehow, she posits, in our primate past, we learned how to slice, dice and boil.  That singular skill gave our mostly-monkey-soon-to-be-almost-human ancestors vastly more nutrition.  A cooked carrot, for example, is far more easily digested and nutrients extracted than if we eat said carrot raw.  The increased nutrition caused our brains to grow.  And voila!  Here we all are, some of us with titles like “Professor of Biological Sciences.”

Now, let me get this straight.  Even though we had monkey brains, in that state of monkey-headedness we somehow figured out how to cut up, smash, whip, stir and prepare food, build a fire, find cooking utensils that conducted heat, and fry that piece of fish?

But how did we figure that out if our brains were still only firing a mere 7-9 billion neurons?  Present day gorillas are still firing 9 billion neurons, but for some reason known only to Darwin, not a single one of them knows how to cook! Oh, if only naturalistic evolutionists could find that colony of baboons tucked away in the jungle that is conducting cooking classes!

Pardon me, Professor Houzel.  I mean no personal offense.  But this hypothesis is fit for only monkeys.  How is it that we humans can be so smart and so stupid all at the same time?  

Our Creator God answers:

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them.  For since the creation of the world, His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.  For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened.  Professing to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures (Rom 1:18-23).

Professor Houzel has the same problem we all have.  A spiritual deadness and dumbness that blinds us to God’s truth and reality.  Here’s praying that God reaches down to her and transforms her mind, gives her a new heart, and turns her gaze upward to the Christ of Calvary who came and died for the sins of humans.  Not glorified monkeys.

To which of the primates has God said:

Come now and let us reason together says the Lord.  Though your sins are as scarlet, they will be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they will be like wool (Isa 1:18).

God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created them.  Male and female He created them (Gen 1:27).

 

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