Wednesday, December 31 2008
Here we are at the end of 2008. As I write this, the events of the last year are running through my head and I have concluded that 2008 was a blessed year. Cornerstone Chapel has had people receive the Holy Ghost at our altar and baptized in Jesus name in our baptistry. We have welcomed new faces to our church with many coming in just the last few months. God is so good.
We look to 2009 with anticipation of all that God is going to do. We know that we will continue to see growth. I know that the sick will be healed and the blessings of God will rain down from heaven. It is not enough to just believe, but I think we ought to expect it for it is promised in His word.
I want to wish each of you a Happy New Year and thank you for reading this blog!
Monday, December 29 2008
I realize that the embedded video on this post is a break from my normal post. As many of you know, I am a firefighter and I came across this video on a blog aimed at firefighters. It is a plea from a mother to put smoke detectors in your home. She makes this plea following the lose of her children in a recent house fire in Philadelphia. The home that her children died in had no working smoke detectors. The message is simple. If you do not have smoke detectors, please install them immediately and if you do have them check and/or change the batteries.
Friday, December 26 2008
In Acts the 6th chapter, we come to know a little about a man named Stephen. The chapter describes a situation within the church where the widows of the Gentiles were being neglected. The Bible says they went to the twelve disciples and were murmuring. Acts 6: 2 -3 reveals to us the decision of the disciples...
2 Then the twelve called the multitude of the disciples unto them, and said, It is not reason that we should leave the word of God, and serve tables.
3 Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business.
Although, the waiting of tables seems to be a menial job and petty, it was important to the disciples to have men serve tables that had the right attitude. These men were simply willing to work in the church wherever God would have them. They had what we now call a servant's heart and the promises of God are always true. In Matthew 25, Jesus tells the parable of the talents given to three servants. It was because of the faithfulness of two of them in the little things that God blessed them...
21 His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
Stephen was a waiter, but he was faithful in his duties and God blessed him. He had been faithful to God and submissive to the leadership of the church even when they asked him to do things that were not exciting and glorifying to him, but it was his attitude that allowed God to use him...
Acts 6: 8 And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and miracles among the people.
Tuesday, December 23 2008
The first sermon preached from the pulpit at Cornerstone Chapel's inaugural service was titled Destined for Greatness. This title is not speaking from a proud point of view, but simply standing on the promises of God. Mark 16 states...
17 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;
18 They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.Matthew 17
The church is a place of refuge for all people. It is the symbolically the ark of our generation. It is within the church that people should find comfort, peace and joy. It is also within the church that miracles should occur. We need to understand that miracles are a promise to the church and should be as common as they were in the book of Acts...
5:12 And by the hands of the apostles were many signs and wonders wrought among the people; (and they were all with one accord in Solomon's porch.
We should see people healed and delivered from the whatever binds them for it is promised in the Word of God. Our lives should be filled with testimonies of the great power of Jesus Christ, but there is a prerequisite to the having the faith it takes to witness the supernatural in our church...
14 And when they were come to the multitude, there came to him a certain man, kneeling down to him, and saying,
15 Lord, have mercy on my son: for he is lunatick, and sore vexed: for ofttimes he falleth into the fire, and oft into the water.
16 And I brought him to thy disciples, and they could not cure him.
17 Then Jesus answered and said, O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him hither to me.
18 And Jesus rebuked the devil; and he departed out of him: and the child was cured from that very hour.
19 Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could not we cast him out?
20 And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.
21 Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.
Thursday, December 18 2008
2 Timothy 3:1 - 5 states (The Message Bible)...
Don't be naive. There are difficult times ahead. As the end approaches, people are going to be self-absorbed, money-hungry, self-promoting, stuck-up, profane, contemptuous of parents, crude, coarse, dog-eat-dog, unbending, slanderers, impulsively wild, savage, cynical, treacherous, ruthless, bloated windbags, addicted to lust, and allergic to God. They'll make a show of religion, but behind the scenes they're animals. Stay clear of these people.
This passage of scripture has always fascinated me. I believe that we can find an example in the news today of each one of these adjectives describing the perilous times (KJV) or what many people to be the end time. The following video from www.foxnews.com reveals the governments allergy to God. It is simply egregious what the state of Vermont is willing to do to keep the Bible from influencing the world we live in. John 3:16 is a positive scripture that gives hope to the world. It is very sad the point we have come to as a nation...
Monday, December 15 2008
This is the sermon preached at Cornerstone Chapel on 12/14/08....
53 Art thou greater than our father Abraham, which is dead? and the prophets are dead: whom makest thou thyself?
54 Jesus answered, If I honour myself, my honour is nothing: it is my Father that honoureth me; of whom ye say, that he is your God:
55 Yet ye have not known him; but I know him: and if I should say, I know him not, I shall be a liar like unto you: but I know him, and keep his saying.
56 Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad.
57 Then said the Jews unto him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham?
58 Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.
59 Then took they up stones to cast at him: but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.
The scripture that I read to you this morning from John 8 documents an exchange between Jesus and the Pharisees. The Pharisees were experts in the law and they especially love the details of the law. They were noted for their self-righteousness and pride and Jesus calls them a “generation of vipers” in Matthew 3:7.
In the conversation that we read in John 8, there are two words that literally rocked the world of the Pharisees. These two words totaling three letters caused so much anger among the Pharisees that they wanted to stone Jesus.
The two words “I AM”, revealed the deity of Jesus Christ and caused them to take up stones to kill Him for what they perceived as blasphemy or His claim to be God. This two-word phrase was significant because at around 1441 BC, God was speaking to a man named Moses and said…
Exodus 3:14 And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.
The term “I AM” means self-existent one, but to the Pharisees it meant that Jesus was claiming to be God. He was claiming to be the one that spoke with Moses in the burning bush and the God that called Abraham to the Promised Land.
Although, the stories of Moses and Abraham may not seem significant to us today but its message rings clear for every generation…
The Bible states…
Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.
The most powerful man in the entire world is the President of the United States, but when he says I am the President of the United States, his power is limited to the authority given to him by the constitution of the United States.
Each of us has titles that limit the power or authority for which we are able to operate. I am a father, a husband and a pastor. These titles cap my responsibilities and describe my relationships, but when God says I AM, He is not capping His responsibilities or abilities. He is saying I AM…
Deuteronomy 10:17 – Lord of Lords
Psalms 89:18 – Holy One of Israel
Proverbs 18:24 – a friend that sticks closer than a brother
Psalms 62:7 – Our Rock
1 Corinthians 14:33 – Author of Peace
Psalms 18:2 - Our deliverer
Psalms 94:22 – Our refuge
Revelations 1:11 – First and Last
Revelations 22:16 – Morning Star
God is not limited to our thoughts or deeds. He is all-powerful, everywhere and all knowing and although He is the most powerful force in the universe, He wants to have a relationship with each of us. His plan to have a relationship with us started before the dawn of time…
1 Peter 1 (God’s Word Version)
18 Realize that you weren't set free from the worthless life handed down to you from your ancestors by a payment of silver or gold which can be destroyed.
19 Rather, the payment that freed you was the precious blood of Christ, the lamb with no defects or imperfections.
20 He is the lamb who was known long ago before the world existed, but for your good he became publicly known in the last period of time.
Thursday, December 11 2008
Acts 4:12 states...
Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
The Message Bible translates it as...
"Salvation comes no other way; no other name has been or will be given to us by which we can be saved, only this one."
Perhaps, there is a question in your mind to what name they are referring. The previous scriptures state...
10 Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole.
11 This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner.
Although, there are those that would debate the doctrine of the Apostles especially concerning baptism. This debate has raged for centuries since the formation of the doctrine referred to as the Trinity. The MSN Encarta Encyclopedia speaks of the Trinity as being formulated well after the death of Jesus Christ...
In the 4th century, the doctrine was finally formulated; using terminology still employed by Christian theologians, the doctrine taught the coequality of the persons of the Godhead.
If we examine the doctrine taught by the first church, we can understand the importance of the name especially in baptism...
Acts 10:48 And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days.
Acts 8:15 - 17 Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost: (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.) Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost.
Acts 2: 38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
Acts 19:5 When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
Romans 6:4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
This is a partial, but compelling list. It is important to know and understand the scripture. The apostles understood the importance of the name. They were there when Jesus said the Holy Ghost would come in His name...
John 14:26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.
I have written several times within this blog on the name of Jesus. We must understand the doctrine of the first church and not become tied into the doctrine that evolved in the fourth century. That is why Paul wrote to Timothy...
2 Timothy 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
Wednesday, December 03 2008
I find myself saying "prayer works" on a regular basis. The reason for this is simple...it does. God answers prayer and it is truly a blessing to see Him work in the lives of people. I found the following video on www.foxnews.com and found it wonderfully refreshing...
Tuesday, December 02 2008
I had the very distinct privilege of baptizing someone in Jesus name on Sunday. Although, this is not the first or the last, I am always excited to be part of such an awesome experience. The Bible states in Luke 15:10...
Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.
The need for baptism is an obvious doctrine in the scripture. Jesus stated in Mark 16:16...
He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.
The Book of Acts documents a conversation between those that were at Pentecost and the disciples. Acts 2:37 and 38 states...
Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?
Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
Peter's answer was very matter of fact. There was no doubt in his mind what those at Pentecost should do. There were no great theological debates on what it took to be saved and the doctrine has never changed. The New Birth experience has never changed, but yet debate rages among the Christian world.
The Apostle Paul is obviously an authority on all things Christian. He was the author of most of the New Testament and his writings are the basis for sermons preached in pulpits across the world each Sunday. If we examine the actions of Paul in the 19th chapter of Acts, we can clearly see his beliefs in action...
1 And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples,
2 He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost.
3 And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John's baptism.
4 Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.
5 When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
6 And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.
Paul preached the same doctrine as Peter on the day of Pentecost. He simply revealed to the disciples of John that they needed more. He built upon their faith by asking Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed?
Baptism in Jesus name is an essential step in our salvation. We must embrace it is as the truth of the Word of God and preach it. We must teach it in our Bible studies and preach it from or pulpits. It must be taught in our Sunday schools and written about in our blogs. It is necessary because Acts 4: 12 states...
Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.