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• Daniel Baker • Posted in Bible, Sermons

The beginning of everything except God himself is found in this book we call “Genesis.” It is at once thrilling and intimidating to dive into this book, for “the truth—and this may sound shocking—is that almost every important church doctrine is found in ‘seed’ form in the book of Genesis.”[1]

The title of the book is a word that has come to mean “origin” or “source” in English just because of this Old Testament book. It was called genesis in the Greek Old Testament, because the word is found in key places throughout the book (2:4; 5:1; 6:9;…

• Daniel Baker • Posted in Evangelism

Last week in Mike's sermon he offered a set of simple questions that can be used to turn a conversation into a gospel conversation. I mention this for two reasons. One is to serve as a reminder that our sermon pages include a full manuscript of the sermons (at least, most of the time). And second, these questions are really helpful. After an excerpt from Mike's sermon I'll mention an opportunity where you can put these into practice. 

• Claire Talbott • Posted in Mission

Claire Talbott recently wrote a post for Agua Viva about her experience on our trip this summer. We wanted to pass it along to encourage you. 

• Daniel Baker • Posted in Saving Faith

Some sentences in the Bible are absolutely packed with content. Last week's sermon showed us that 1 Corinthians 16:22 is one of these:

If anyone has no love for the Lord, let him be accursed. Our Lord, come!

Paul has a poetic wordplay here lost in the English. Behind the word “accursed” is the Greek word anathema, and behind the prayer, “Our Lord, come!”, is the Aramaic Marana tha. Put together they are "anathema. Marana tha." But more than wordplay, Paul is presenting us with two powerful ideas.

The first sentence is meant to provoke a…

• Daniel Baker • Posted in Sermons, Gender

Recently we looked at 1 Corinthians 11:2–16, where Paul speaks to a related issue, the values we project (and reject) by what we have on our heads. There’s enough complexity in this passage to take a second look at it here.

• Daniel Baker • Posted in Bible, Sermons

“Whoever meddles in a quarrel not his own is like one who takes a passing dog by the ears.” (Prov 26:17)

This is what we call a “proverb,” and it’s from the Old Testament book of Proverbs. This is a favorite part of God’s word, because of verses like this one: you get bite-size nuggets of truth about things that help us know how to live well. Some have even defined the “wisdom” we get from Proverbs and other Wisdom books of the Bible—Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon—as “skill in living.” Given the complexity and unexpectedness…

• Mike Noel • Posted in Church Announcements

The church will be gathering to pray together on Sunday, April 16th at 6:30 pm. Fred Wolfe will be leading us in using the Psalms as a way to pray. We often look at the book of Psalms as the “worship book” of the Bible. And surely it is. It contains a hundred and fifty psalms that inform us about who God is and how we should praise and worship him. But it is also an excellent means of grace to help us pray in a God centered way. That includes prayers for the Lord to be exalted throughout…

• Daniel Baker • Posted in Easter

This year we want John's Gospel to help us encounter the glory of Easter. If you get a chance to read John 12–21 this week, please do. These are the chapters that depict the week of all weeks in human history. 

The Gospel of John presents a very different Easter week than do the Synoptics (Matthew, Mark, and Luke[1]). At times John is silent where the Synoptics speak (like the verbal sparring with the Jewish leaders in Matt 21:23–23:36), and at other times John is verbose where the Synoptics say nothing (like the Upper Room Discourse in John 13–17).…

• Philip Sasser • Posted in Sanctification

In late February, we were in Macon, visiting Kate’s dad and grandmother. Macon is like other cities of its age and size: there is an old, grand, historical downtown caught perpetually between neglect and revitalization, then sprawling miles of cement and asphalt filled with Dollar Generals, gas stations, and metal-roofed Pentecostal churches. The house we stay in when we visit is in a neighborhood between these extremes: neither grand nor poor. 

In one way, though, it is historical, because at the bottom of the hill, about a hundred yards from the Ocmulgee River, there is a small park with a…

• Daniel Baker • Posted in Prayer, Race

Yesterday (Saturday, January 14, 2023) I participated in the MLK Unity March in downtown Apex. It began at the historic Apex First Baptist Church on Salem St. and then proceeded through the downtown to the Apex Town Hall. This is the third year of the event, and in each of the celebrations I have offered one of the prayers. It has been a great representation of the city's government (Mayor Jacques Gilbert, Police Chief Jason Armstrong), local pastors, and Christians from various churches. I continue to be encouraged by the direction of the event. 

This is the prayer I spoke: 

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