The Fundamentals of Thanksgiving

November 26th, 2019

Think of that little band of people who crossed the Atlantic in a boat that was 26 feet by 112 feet and landed on the New England coast during a bitter cold winter. At times that first year the daily ration of those who were well was only five grains of corn. In early New England, it was the custom at Thanksgiving time to place five kernels of corn at every plate as a reminder of those stern days in the first winter when the food of the Pilgrims was to depleted that only five kernels of corn were rationed to each individual at a time. The Pilgrim Fathers wanted their children to remember the sacrifice, sufferings, and hardships through which they had safely passed — a fitting hardship that made possible the settlement of a free people in a free land. They wanted to keep alive the memory of that sixty-three-day trip taken in the tiny Mayflower. They desired to keep alive the thought of that stern and rock-bound coast, its inhospitable welcome, and the first terrible winter which took such a toll of lives.

They did not want their descendants to forget that on that day in which their rations was reduced to five kernels of corn, only seven healthy colonists remained to nurse the sick, and that nearly half their members lay in the windswept graveyard on the hill.

They worked seven years to repay London the loan for their trip. That was before the days of credit cards. After suffering every kind of hardship, they had a harvest of 21 acres of corn and in the fall of 1621, they immediately offered thanks to God for His blessings. This little group led by Gov. William Bradford marched triumphantly through the cornfields singing, “The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof, the world and they that dwell therein.” Then they sat down to a meal in gladness and joy. They were giving thanks to God no matter what.

From a sermon by Gerald Steffy, Thankful No Matter What, 10/14/2009

Tomorrow we will take a break to stop our regular routine, gather with our loved ones, and give thanks.  Even unsaved folks realize they should have gratitude… but to whom and for what?  Tomorrow our thoughts should transcend our immediate family and personal bounty.  It should focus on our Great God who bestows unmerited favor on us moment by moment, and day by day.  As we reflect upon our passage this evening, let us meditate upon the fundamentals of Thanksgiving.

To Whom Should We Give Thanks?

Psalm 95:1 KJV

O come, let us sing unto the Lord:

Let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation.

•    To the Lord- Jehovah

Exodus 3:14 KJV

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 Rock of our Salvation

1 Corinthians 10:4 KJV

And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.

•    The Great God

•    The king above all

Psalm 95:3 KJV

For the Lord is a great God,

And a great King above all gods.

•    Our Maker

Psalm 95:6 KJV

O come, let us worship and bow down:

Let us kneel before the Lord our maker.

•    Our God

Psalm 95:7 KJV

For he is our God;

And we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand.

To day if ye will hear his voice,

How Should We Give Thanks?

King James Version Psalm 95

      O come, let us sing unto the LORD:

King James Version Psalm 95

Let us make a joyful noise

King James Version Psalm 95

And make a joyful noise unto him with psalms.

King James Version Psalm 95

Let us

•    Corporate Worship

King James Version Psalm 95

worship and bow down:

King James Version Psalm 95

kneel before the LORD

Why Should We Give Thanks?

Because God is Great -focus on Him not on how we are made happy by Him.

Psalm 95:3 KJV

For the Lord is a great God,

And a great King above all gods.

Because His Power is Great

King James Version Psalm 95

In his hand are the deep places of the earth:

King James Version Psalm 95

The strength of the hills is his also.

King James Version Psalm 95

The sea is his, and he made it:

King James Version Psalm 95

And his hands formed the dry land.

Romans 1:20 KJV

For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:

Psalm 19:1 KJV

The heavens declare the glory of God;

And the firmament sheweth his handywork.

Because His Love Is Great

King James Version Psalm 95

      For he is our God

2 Corinthians 6:17 KJV

Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,

2 Corinthians 6:18 KJV

And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.

King James Version Psalm 95

And we are the people of his pasture

Psalm 23:1 KJV

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

King James Version Psalm 95

and the sheep of his hand.

John 10:27 KJV

My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:

John 10:28 KJV

And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.

John 10:29 KJV

My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.

John 10:30 KJV

I and my Father are one.

Dramatic and significant is the story of the Pilgrims. On December 21, 1620, the voyaging Mayflower dropped anchor in Plymouth Bay, with Captain Christopher Jones at her helm. It had been a grueling voyage, taking the one-hundred-twenty-ton-capacity ship sixty-six days to make the perilous crossing. There had been disease, anxiety, and childbirth among the 102 courageous passengers. Furthermore, they arrived on the bleak New England shore during a hard winter which ultimately claimed half of their number. However, when spring came and the captain of the Mayflower offered free passage to anyone desiring to return, not a single person accepted.

The fidelity of the forty-one men, who while still aboard the Mayflower had signed the famous Compact beginning with the words, “In ye name of God Amen,” was taking on visible meaning. These chivalrous souls had dedicated themselves to the total causes of freedom. They had come to a wilderness to carve out a better way of life. Faith prompted the voyage; faith sustained the Pilgrims and their religious convictions constrained them to raise their voices in praise. Their hardships, sacrifice, devotion, concept of government, and vigorous religion all remind us of those who sought a country.

So tomorrow, as we reflect, let us thank God for who He is, for who we are in Him, and for His grace to our forefathers seeking a place to worship, and for the privilege of living in a country founded in Thanksgiving.


G. Curtis Jones, 1000 Illustrations for Preaching and Teaching (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1986), 43–44.

The Long Awaited Wedding

October 5th, 2019

Pastor Don Carpenter / General

Uncomfortable: The Awkward and Essential Challenge of Christian Community / Marriage of the Lamb; Bride of Christ; Victory / Revelation 19:4–9

A young boy was waiting after church for his family. The pastor saw him standing around and struck up a conversation. Since the boy had just come from Sunday school, the pastor decided to ask him some questions to determine just how much the children were learning there. He said, “Young man, if you can tell me something that God can do, I’ll give you a big shiny apple.” Thoughtfully the boy replied, “Sir, if you can tell me something God can’t do, I’ll give you a whole box of apples.”

Michael P. Green, 1500 Illustrations for Biblical Preaching (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2000), 170.

As we conclude our series entitled Uncomfortable: The Awkward and Essential Challenge of the Christian Community, we must cast our eyes on the end game.  We serve an Almighty God!  We serve a victorious God!  We serve on the winning side!  Yes we fight the world, the flesh , and the devil every day, but one day the trumpet will sound, our Savior will split the Eastern sky, we who are saved will be changed, and Jesus our Savior will ultimately claim the throne that is rightfully His.  The ground lost at the garden of Eden will be reclaimed, the Devil will be banished and we will reign with our Savior.

Jesus tells that His relationship with the universal church, which will have her charter meeting in the clouds at the rapture, is like the relationship between the groom and the Bride.  After the rapture as as the Kingdom is established, there will be a wedding… the long awaited union between the Church and her Husband, Jesus Christ.  As we fight through the sadness and setbacks in this world,  let us keep our minds on that blessed day when we will be a part of the long awaited Wedding between Jesus and the Church.

We Will See That the Lord Omnipotent Reigns!

Revelation 19:4 KJV

And the four and twenty elders and the four beasts fell down and worshipped God that sat on the throne, saying, Amen; Alleluia.

Revelation 19:5 KJV

And a voice came out of the throne, saying, Praise our God, all ye his servants, and ye that fear him, both small and great.

Revelation 19:6 KJV

And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.

•    This is after the greatest persecution believers have ever endured.

•    This is after the Beast made most of mankind doubt God’s goodness and strength.

•    This is after Babylon the Great fell.

•    This is as the Beast and the Devil were about to fall.

•    This is just before the Kingdom is ushered in.

???????????, ???? m (a title for God, literally ‘all powerful’)—‘the Almighty, the One who has all power.’ 1

The Lord God Omnipotent Reigns!

????????b: … to be in control in an absolute manner—‘to reign, to control completely.  – Louw/ Nida

Johannes P. Louw and Eugene Albert Nida, Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament: Based on Semantic Domains (New York: United Bible Societies, 1996), 473.

Revelation 11:15 KJV

And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.

We Will See that the Bride Made Herself Ready!

Revelation 19:7 KJV

Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.

Philippians 1:6 KJV

Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:

Whatever the Bride becomes, Jesus made her that way!

Ephesians 5:25 KJV

Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;

Ephesians 5:26 KJV

That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,

Ephesians 5:27 KJV

That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.

 Joni Eareckson Tada, who since a diving accident as a teenager has lived from a wheelchair, wrote about the day of her wedding: “I felt awkward as my girlfriends strained to shift my paralyzed body into a cumbersome wedding gown. No amount of corseting and binding my body gave me a good shape. The dress just didn’t fit. Then, as I was wheeling into the church, I glanced down and noticed that I’d accidentally run over the hem of the dress, leaving a greasy tire mark. My paralyzed hands couldn’t hold the bouquet of daisies that lay off center on my lap. And my chair, though decorated for the wedding, was still a big, clunky gray machine with belts, gears, and ball bearings. I certainly didn’t feel like the picture perfect bride in a bridal magazine. I inched my chair closer to the last pew to catch a glimpse of Ken in front. There he was, standing tall and stately in his formal attire. I saw him looking for me, craning his neck to look up the aisle. My face flushed, and I suddenly couldn’t wait to be with him. I had seen my beloved. The love in Ken’s face had washed away all my feelings of unworthiness. I was his ‘radiant’ bride. How easy for us to think that we’re utterly unlovely- especially to someone as lovely as Christ. But he loves us with the bright eyes of a Bridegroom’s love and cannot wait for the day we are united with him forever.”

We Will See the Bride Has Been Given A Beautiful White Dress

Revelation 19:8 KJV

And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.

Revelation 19:9 KJV

And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.

After all the struggles, stumbles, and even falls, the Bride is Holy complete and spotless.  Just as we were destined to be!

Romans 8:29 KJV

For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.

1 Corinthians 6:9 KJV

Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,

1 Corinthians 6:10 KJV

Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.

1 Corinthians 6:11 KJV

And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

The Holy Bride is the result of God’s Handiwork.

Philippians 2:13 KJV

For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

We struggle, fight and sometimes fail now, but keep your eyes of faith pealed on the Sky… someday our Groom will come!  Someday  We will be changed, sinless and glorified.  Someday believers on this side of Calvary will be in that Long Awaited wedding.  Are you prepared?

Charles Spurgeon said, “Climb ye up to heaven, and behold the snow-white host, glittering like the sun in spotless purity. I ask them whence came they? The reply is that they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. It is most true that Jesus saves his people from their sins–earth knows it, hell howls at it, and heaven chants it; time has seen it, and eternity shall reveal it. There is none like to Jesus in saving power. All glory be to him! When he shall come from heaven with a shout, and all his hosts shall be with him, when the day of the supper of the Lamb shall come, and the bride hath made herself ready, and she that is the queen all glorious within, wearing her raiment of wrought gold, shall sit down at the table of God with her glorious husband then shall it be seen that he has saved his church, his people, from their sins.”

Me? Submit to HIM??

September 18th, 2019

Pastor Don Carpenter / General

Some Assembly Required / Family; Wives in Ephesus; Submission / Ephesians 5:22–24; 1 Peter 3:1–6

A judge was interviewing a woman regarding her pending divorce, and asked, “What are the grounds for your divorce?”

She replied, “About four acres and a nice little home in the middle of the property with a stream running by.”

“No,” he said, “I mean what is the foundation of this case?”

“It is made of concrete, brick and mortar,” she responded.

“I mean,” he continued, “What are your relations like?”

“I have an aunt and uncle living here in town, and so do my husband’s parents.”

He said, “Do you have a real grudge?”

“No,” she replied, “We have a two-car carport and have never really needed one.”

“Please,” he tried again, “is there any infidelity in your marriage?”

“Yes, both my son and daughter have stereo sets. We don’t necessarily like the music, but the answer to your questions is yes.”

“Ma’am, does your husband ever beat you up?”

“Yes,” she responded, “about twice a week he gets up earlier than I do.”

Finally, in frustration, the judge asked, “Lady, why do you want a divorce?”

“Oh, I don’t want a divorce,” she replied. “I’ve never wanted a divorce.

My husband does. He said he can’t communicate with me.”

This evening we are continuing our series on the family entitled “Some Assembly Required”  Tonight we cover that often misunderstood and misused concept of wives submitting to their husbands.  As we have read … it is in there…  but how can this be?  Husbands can be boneheads at times!  Tonight we are going to study the Word and discover that there is a very sound answer when an exasperated wife asks “Me? Submit to HIM???”

Ephesians 5:22 KJV

Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.

hupotasso (????????)= primarily a military term, “to rank under” (hupo, “under,” tasso, “to arrange”), denotes (a) “to put in subjection, to subject”

“Wives, obey your husbands.” Submit is a very mild word. It is a loving word. It means to respond to your own husband as unto the Lord. The way we respond to the Lord is that we love Him because He first loved us.1

1 J. Vernon McGee

Submit to Him Because it is Good For You.

Ephesians 5:23 KJV

For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.

•    He is there for your guidance

1 Corinthians 14:35 KJV

And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.

•    He is there for your protection

Ephesians 5:25 KJV

Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;

•    He is there for your purity

Ephesians 5:26 KJV

That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,

Ephesians 5:27 KJV

That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.

•    He must give an account to Christ for how he led you.

Hebrews 13:17 KJV

Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.

John 17:12 KJV

While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled.

A little boy finally sat down after first resisting his parents’ command to do so. He said to his parents, “I’m sitting down on the outside, but I’m standing up on the inside.

Michael P. Green, 1500 Illustrations for Biblical Preaching (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2000), 26.

Submit to Him Because it is Good for the Church

•    Believers are joined to Christ

Ephesians 5:30 KJV

For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.

•    Wives are joined to their Husband

Ephesians 5:31 KJV

For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.

Your marriage is a picture of the mysterious union between Christ and the Church.

Submit to Him Because it is Good for Him

•    Win him without words

1 Peter 3:1 KJV

Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives;

Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament based on Semantic Domains 41.3 ?????; ?????, ??; ????????????; ?????????, ??

?????; ?????, ?? f; ????????????; ?????????, ?? f: to conduct oneself, with apparent focus upon overt daily behavior

** Translated 13 times “Conversation” in the King James

•    Win him with your manner of life

1 Peter 3:2 KJV

While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear.

1 Peter 3:3 KJV

Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel;

1 Peter 3:4 KJV

But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.

•    Win him like Holy women of old did.

1 Peter 3:5 KJV

For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands:

1 Peter 3:6 KJV

Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement.


A poll was taken a few years ago asking, both men and women this question, “Should wives submit to their husbands?”

(In 1998, the Southern Baptists also sparked controversy with their statement that wives should “submit graciously” to the “servant leadership” of their husbands. At that time, when asked if they concurred with that statement exactly as quoted, 69% of the public disagreed.)

Wow, nearly 70% disagree with what the Bible teaches.

Its one thing for the unchurched and Biblically ignorant… but those of us who have been paying attention now know the answer to the question: “Me, submit to HIM?”….  YES You… YES to Him.

How To Behave In Church

September 13th, 2019

Pastor Don Carpenter / General

Uncomfortable:  The Awkward and Essential Challenge of Christian Community / Pride; Humility; Church: Fellowship and Unity / Mark 8:34

Often when we see children acting childish in church, sometimes the thought crosses our minds, “someone should teach those children how to behave in church.”  But wait a minute… has anyone taught us how we are to behave in church?  Sure, we dutifully sit quietly, keep to ourselves, speak when spoken to, smile and then leave.  Any interaction is with our circle of friends and acquaintances.

As we continue meditating on our series: “Uncomfortable: The Awkward and Essential Challenge of Christian Community”, we should ask ourselves how Jesus wants us to behave in church.  Our passage this morning gives a simple outline of how we as His disciples are to behave, and certainly it applies to how we are to behave in church.  If we apply these simple life principles in church, we will thrive as a group, and become less disgruntled as individuals.

Whosoever will come after Me. “Will” is thel? (????) “to desire.” It is “Whosoever desires to come after Me.” “Come” is erchomai (???????). The word is used in John 5:40 where our Lord speaks of the fact that certain will not come to Him that they might have life. The word is used here in the sense of becoming a disciple of Jesus, one who follows His instruction and enters into His fellowship. Likewise, to come after Jesus means to become His disciple, follow His teachings, and enter into His fellowship.

Wuest, K. S. (1997). Wuest’s word studies from the Greek New Testament: for the English reader

Deny Yourself

Mark 8:34 KJV

And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.

Let him deny himself. The word is aparneomai (??????????). When used with the reflexive pronoun as it is here, it means “to forget one’s self, lose sight of one’s self and one’s interests.” The verb is ingressive aorist, speaking of entrance into a new state or condition. It is “Let him at once begin to lose sight of himself and his own interests.”

Negatively, one must deny himself decisively (“deny” is an aorist imper.) saying no to selfish interests and earthly securities. Self-denial is not to deny one’s personality, to die as a martyr, or to deny “things” (as in asceticism). Rather it is the denial of “self,” turning away from the idolatry of self-centeredness and every attempt to orient one’s life by the dictates of self-interest (cf. tdnt, s.v. “arneomai,” 1:469–71). Self-denial, however, is only the negative side of the picture and is not done for its own sake alone.

Grassmick, J. D. (1985). Mark. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Vol. 2, p. 141). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

Romans 15:1 KJV

We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves.

Romans 15:2 KJV

Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good to edification.

Romans 15:3 KJV

For even Christ pleased not himself; but, as it is written, The reproaches of them that reproached thee fell on me.

Philippians 2:3 KJV

Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.

Philippians 2:4 KJV

Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.

1000 Illustrations for Preaching & Teaching Beyond Self

During the early days of the Confederacy, Robert E. Lee was severely criticized by General W. H. C. Whiting. Most persons would have retaliated. One day, President Jefferson Davis invited General Lee to share with him his appraisal of General Whiting. The noble Virginian commended Whiting in highest terms. Whereupon, an officer took General Lee aside to remind him of General Whiting’s verbiage against him. To which Lee replied: “I understood that the President desired to know my opinion of Whiting, not Whiting’s opinion of me.”

Take Up Your Cross

Mark 8:34 KJV

And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.

Cross-bearing was not an established Jewish metaphor. But the figure was appropriate in Roman-occupied Palestine. It brought to mind the sight of a condemned man who was forced to demonstrate his submission to Rome by carrying part of his cross through the city to his place of execution. Thus “to take up one’s cross” was to demonstrate publicly one’s submission/obedience to the authority against which he had previously rebelled.

Jesus’ submission to God’s will is the proper response to God’s claims over self’s claims. For Him it meant death on the cross. Those who follow Him must take up their (not His) cross, whatever comes to them in God’s will as a follower of Jesus. This does not mean suffering as He did or being crucified as He was. Nor does it mean stoically bearing life’s troubles. Rather, it is obedience to God’s will as revealed in His Word, accepting the consequences without reservations for Jesus’ sake and the gospel (cf. 8:35). For some this includes physical suffering and even death, as history has demonstrated.

1 Corinthians 9:16 KJV

For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!

1 Timothy 1:15 KJV

This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.

John 9:25 KJV

He answered and said, Whether he be a sinner or no, I know not: one thing I know, that, whereas I was blind, now I see.

1000 Illustrations for Preaching & Teaching Call Me Eccentric

When narcotic detectives raided a loft apartment in a depressed neighborhood in New York City, their eyes and hearts were shockingly opened. The dark corridors and dingy rooms were crowded with twisted, ill-fed, and ill-clothed derelicts. Out of this human scrap heap, the police arrested six men for carrying hypodermic needles and heroin. Apprehensive of the host of this heterogenous company, the detectives charged him with harboring drug addicts.
At police headquarters, the meek-looking and mild-mannered man claimed that he had chosen to live among these people to provide them with food, shelter, and clothing. His door was open to all. He did not realize he was breaking the law in extending compassion. Investigation revealed that the operator of this strange hostel was neither a vagrant nor a drug habitue. The dedicated man turned out to be John Sargent Cram, a millionaire, who had been educated at Princeton and Oxford. To avoid the “rigmarole” of organized charity, he had moved into the undesirable neighborhood and had gone to work.
After his trial and acquittal, Cram was admonished not to take in drug addicts. Later he said to a reporter, “I don’t know if my work does any good, but I don’t think it does any harm.… I’m quite happy, you know. I am anything but a despondent person. Call me eccentric. Call it my reason for being. I have no other!”


Follow Jesus

Mark 8:34 KJV

And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.

In Jesus’ words, Follow Me, “follow” is a present imperative: “(So) let him keep following Me.

Luke 9:23 KJV

And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.

Follow Me. The word “follow” is akolouthe? (?????????) “to take the same road as another does.” It is used with the associative instrumental case. It is, “Let him follow with Me.” The idea is not that of following behind another, but that of accompanying the other person, taking the same road that he takes and fellowshipping with him along that road. The first two imperatives are aorist, giving a summary command to be obeyed at once. The “coming after” and the “taking up” are to be obeyed at once and are to be a once-for-all act. That is, these acts are to be looked upon as a permanent attitude and practice of life. The whole life is to be characterized by an habitual coming after and taking up of the cross. After having once for all given over the life to the Lord, the believer must hence-forward count it ever so given over. He is not his own anymore. He belongs to the Lord. He is the Lord’s property. The word “follow” however, is in the present imperative, which commands the doing of an action and its habitual, moment by moment continuance. The first two imperatives give direction to the life. The last speaks of the actual living of that which has been given direction by two once-for-all acts.

Wuest, K. S. (1997). Wuest’s word studies from the Greek New Testament: for the English reader (Mk 8:34). Grand Rapids: Eerdmans.

1 John 3:16 KJV

Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.

750 Engaging Illustrations for Preachers, Teachers and Writers 698: Surrender

In The Wonderful Spirit Filled Life, Charles Stanley writes:

  In water-safety courses a cardinal rule is never to swim out to a drowning man and try to help him as long as he is thrashing about. To do so is to commit suicide. As long as a drowning man thinks he can help himself, he is dangerous to anyone who tries to help him. His tendency is to grab the one trying to aid him and take them both down in the process. The correct procedure is to stay just far enough away so that he can’t grab you. Then you wait. And when he finally gives up, you make your move. At that point the one drowning is pliable. He won’t work against you. He will let you help.

The same principle holds true in our relationship with the Holy Spirit. Until we give up, we aren’t really in a position to be helped. We will work against him rather than with him.

Teach What You Learned

September 11th, 2019

Pastor Don Carpenter / General

9/11 Anniversery / Comfort; Remember / 2 Corinthians 1:3–4

2 Corinthians 1:3 KJV

Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort;

2 Corinthians 1:4 KJV

Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.

The worst attack on America since Pearl Harbor December 7 1941 occured 18 years ago today when the towers fell.  18 years ago!!!  That means anyone under 25 probably has little or no first hand recollection of the events of that fateful day.  That also means that we must remember those events and what we learned.  It means we must not only remember, but pass on what we learned.

Our passage this evening tells us that the God of all comfort comforts us as believers.  He protects.  He Leads He Guides.  He does that so that we can in turn comfort, teach, lead and guide others.  This evening are going to remember some major lessons from that day and teach the next generation what this generation learned.

Life is Temporary

James 4:14 KJV

Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.

1 Peter 1:24 KJV

For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away:

Genelle Guzman McMillan wanted a change from her home in Trinidad, so she moved to New York in 1998. In order to stay in New York, McMillan knew she needed to get a good, steady job. She couldn’t believe it when she was hired at one of the World Trade Towers and was excited as she began her first day there on January 19, 2001. She made many friends through work–including live-in boyfriend, Roger–and spent each weekend partying.

On the morning of 9/11 she went to her job on the 64th floor. She and her coworkers heard a loud crash and the building moved. They stayed on the 64th floor until it became known what had happened.

Genelle and a coworker started down one of the stairwells and made it to the 13th floor. That is when the whole building collapsed. Amazingly, steel and concrete had pinned her where she was; she was injured, but she was alive. She lay there unable to move, rethinking her life.

Twenty-seven hours after the building collapsed, she was able to push her hand through a few inches of rubble above her head and felt someone’s warm hand close around hers. Then she heard a male voice say to her: “I’ve got you, Genelle. My name is Paul,” he told her. “You’re going to be okay. They’re going to get you out soon.”

She heard other voices, sirens and a light. “They’re here,” Paul said. “I’m going to go and let them do their jobs and get you out.”

Genelle was the last survivor pulled from the World Trade Center. There were three things she promised God she would do as soon as she got out of the hospital: get baptized, marry her boyfriend Roger, and find Paul, the one who first held her hand.

On November 7, after 6 weeks in the hospital, 4 surgeries and hours of physical therapy and rehabilitation, she kept two promises she made while trapped under the rubble. She and Roger got married at City Hall, and Genelle was baptized that evening into Jesus Christ.

But Paul? She never found him. Who was he? No one knew, no one had ever heard of him. She called her preacher and asked him. They discussed another Paul, the one in the Bible who was totally in the dark, like Genelle, and fought against God until he saw the light.

Adversity Unites Us

James 1:2 KJV

My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;

James 1:3 KJV

Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.

James 1:4 KJV

But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.

Ephesians 4:3 KJV

Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

I’m the daughter of a nurse and an FDNY rescue officer. When the first plane hit, I called my father. He assured me Rescue 1 would get there and everything would be fine. When both towers were in flames, I called again, urging him to put the TV on. “I have to go,” he said. I knew he was headed there.

I wouldn’t have contact with him again until I saw him on the 12th with pebbles in his eyes, covered head to toe in dust, soaking wet and shaking. He was one of many who had inhaled toxins for hours, as they dug with their hands, to get to a man trapped dozens of feet in the debris pile. The rescue was successful. But I remember the sick, hollow feeling I had at that moment, as I wondered if my father and his fellow heroes had even thought about the magnitude of their own loss.


We remember the desperate calls to loved ones, the heartfelt concern for people in harm’s way. We remember what it felt like, as a nation, to lose our innocence.

And we remember what we did in the face of it all.

We united. That might seem implausible in these divided days, but we really did unite. Everyday people joined together to help one another. We began to restore our hope and faith in humanity together.

On our nation’s darkest day, goodness prevailed. The everyday hero in all of us made sure of it. We came together through acts of kindness in ways we never imagined.

It’s important to share these stories with children, so they remember.

We remember storeowners providing shelter, health-care providers tending to the wounded, first responders and members of the military risking their lives, desperately searching for survivors.

We remember the U.S. Coast Guard’s call to boaters and the many who responded to help hundreds of thousands of people to safety that day.

We remember people creating tributes across cities and states and our American flag being hoisted over Ground Zero by three FDNY members. It would be an early warning signal to the world: Our American spirit wouldn’t be shattered.

We remember the people waving flags outside of Ground Zero and holding signs that said, “God Bless America,” “Thank you,” and more.

We remember iron, steel workers, electricians, members of other trades and civilians alongside first responders through the recovery efforts. We remember the first responders from across the U.S. and the world coming to help and the overwhelming outpouring of love and support.

We remember countless volunteers in various capacities helping complete strangers. We found the everyday hero in all of us and harnessed our strengths to positively impact the people around us.

On America’s darkest day, goodness triumphed. Acts of great courage and compassion overshadowed the evilest of deeds.

It’s difficult to talk about because discussing it takes us right back, as if 18 years haven’t passed and a generation of kids haven’t been born after it.

But talk about it we must, so children can remember goodness as the victor. We must etch these stories into the being of future generations so our stories live on for centuries to come. We owe it to the fallen.

In such divided times, we can all benefit from the retelling of stories of unity and the fortitude of our American spirit.

SEP 11, 2019 | 5:00 AM

We All Need God

Psalm 63:1 KJV

O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee:

My soul thirsteth for thee,

My flesh longeth for thee

In a dry and thirsty land, where no water is;

Psalm 63:2 KJV

To see thy power and thy glory,

So as I have seen thee in the sanctuary.

Christian retailers and publishers have reported Bible sales skyrocketed 20%-30% in the wake of the 9/11 attacks. Some industry leaders say this is a time for aggressive ministry outreach, and not the time to shave marketing and advertising dollars because of a softening economy. (CBA Online 10/8/01)

We Must Stand As A Nation Against Evil

Romans 13:3 KJV

For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same:

Right after the 9/11 attacks, the president addressed the nation. He said, “A great people have been moved to defend a great nation. Terrorist attacks can shake the foundations of our biggest buildings, but they cannot shake the foundation of America” In other words, “even though we just experienced one of the worst days in American history, we’re going to make it We’re going to survive Because this nation is built on something solid This nation has a sure foundation”

Greater Love Was on Display

John 15:13 KJV

Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

FDNY Captain Jay Jonas and five other firefighters from Ladder 6 responded immediately to the attacks on the World Trade Center on 9/11. When they entered the lobby of the north tower, the south tower was hit. Carrying 100 pounds of gear, they began to ascend the stairwell of the south tower. When they reached the 27th floor, the building began to shake. Jonas ordered his men to evacuate. When they reached the 20th floor they saw a woman, Josephine Harris, standing in the doorway who was paralyzed in fear, crying. Instead of leaving her, they decided to carry her down. When they reached the 4th floor, the bldg caved in around them. They survived because they were still in the stairwell. Ironically, their lives were saved because they risked their lives for another, “whoever wants to save his life will lose it, whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.”

A Peculiar People

September 7th, 2019

Pastor Don Carpenter / General

Uncomfortable:  The Awkward and Essential Challenge of the Christian Community / Adoption; Regeneration; Election; Church: Nature / 1 Peter 2:6–9

Church attendance is commanded by scriptures.  It is part of God’s design for those who have been saved by Grace.  Jesus built the church, the called out assembly, because we not only need Jesus, we need each other.  Fellowship is not always natural.  Some folks are odd.  Some are awkward.  Some are not as mature as others.  Some are judgmental or even hypocritical.  How can I be expected to be involved with folks like that?

Today we are beginning a series entitled “Uncomfortable: The Awkward and Essential Challenge of the Christian Community.”  We will be discovering what God had in mind when He prescribed fellowship with other recovering sinners as a key for us to also recover from our sin and become more like Christ.

The church is not:

* An ark for the saving of a select few.

* A ferryboat to take effortless passengers to the shores of heaven.

* A life insurance company, with no obligation on policy holders except the payment of a small annual premium.

* A social set, welcoming certain people and excluding others from its fellowship.

* A Sunday pleasure club for the providing of pleasant occupation on the day of rest.

The church is:

* A lifeboat for the rescue of sin-wrecked and perishing souls.

* A family, in which love and service are expected from each member to each member.

* An organized community, with constant activities and continual growth and development.

* A company of believers who have found the one way of life and obey the one Lord of life.

* A union of those who love for the benefit of those who suffer.

* A center of social worship, in which the spiritual life of each is helped by the spiritual life of his fellow.

* The representative — the “body” — of Jesus Christ on the earth, reflecting his spirit and controlled by his will.

True members of the church are blood bought saved sinners who have been adopted into the same royal family.  When we come together to fellowship, we are gathering with folks, although diverse in culture and personalities, are bound together as brothers and sisters in Christ.  According to our text this morning one of the most compelling reasons for us to be intimately involved in Christian fellowship is that in Christ we are all peculiar people.

Who  Are You People?

1 Peter 2:9 KJV

But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:

chosen generation

›    show chosen wheel

eklego (?????????, 1586), “to pick out, select,” means, in the middle voice, “to choose for oneself,” not necessarily implying the rejection of what is not chosen, but “choosing” with the subsidiary ideas of kindness or favor or love1

1 W. E. Vine, Merrill F. Unger, and William White Jr., Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words (Nashville, TN: T. Nelson, 1996), 100.

“Generation” is from a Greek word meaning “a race, a body with a common life and descent.” It does not mean here a group of individuals living within the span of a lifetime.1

1 Kenneth S. Wuest, Wuest’s Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: For the English Reader, vol. 11 (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1997), 56.  

royal priesthood

Revelation 1:5 KJV

And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,

Revelation 1:6 KJV

And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

›    show royal Lowe Nida

The word “royal” is the translation of the Greek word for “king.” The Levitical priesthood were only priests. Believers in this dispensation are king-priests, associated with the Lord Jesus who is a priest after the order of Melchisedec, a king-priest.1

1 Kenneth S. Wuest, Wuest’s Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: For the English Reader, vol. 11 (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1997), 56.

Didymus the Blind: Under the old dispensation, the priesthood and the kingship were two different things. No one could be both a king and a priest. But afterwards came the gospel, which united these two offices in Christ. From this it follows that the people whom he has chosen will be both royal and priestly at the same time. Some people wonder how it is possible, seeing that we are called from all the nations on earth, for us to be regarded as one holy people. The answer to this is that although we are from many different nations, the fact that we have all repented of our sins and accepted a common will and a common mind gives those who have repented one doctrine and one faith. When there is a soul and heart common to all believers, then they are called one people. Commentary on 1 Peter.1

1 Gerald Bray, ed., James, 1-2 Peter, 1-3 John, Jude, Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2000), 87.

holy nation

The word “holy” in the Greek text means literally “set apart for the service of Deity.1

1 Kenneth S. Wuest, Wuest’s Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: For the English Reader, vol. 11 (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1997), 56.

›    show Holy wheel

Deuteronomy 7:6 KJV

For thou art an holy people unto the Lord thy God: the Lord thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth.

peculiar people

The word “peculiar” here is used in a way not often seen today. The Greek word means literally “to make around,” that is, to make something and then to surround it with a circle, thus indicating ownership. The same verb is used in the Septuagint translation of Isaiah 43:21 which reads, “This people have I formed for myself.” The word “peculiar” today usually means “odd, strange.” But it is not so used here. The Greek word speaks of the unique, private, personal ownership of the saints by God. Each saint is God’s unique possession just as if that saint were the only human being in existence.1

1 Kenneth S. Wuest, Wuest’s Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: For the English Reader, vol. 11 (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1997), 56–57.

What Should You People Be Doing?

…that ye should shew forth the praises…

•    Show forth praises.

The words “show forth” in the Greek text refer to a spoken message.1

1 Kenneth S. Wuest, Wuest’s Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: For the English Reader, vol. 11 (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1997), 57.

•    These praises should be directed to the One who called you.

The word “praises” is not the translation of the Greek word customarily used to indicate praise, but of one which means “excellencies, gracious dealings, glorious attributes.” 1

1 Kenneth S. Wuest, Wuest’s Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: For the English Reader, vol. 11 (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1997), 57.

Why Should You People Be Doing It?

Ephesians 5:8 KJV

For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:

•    You were called out of darkness.

•    You were called into His light. 

The word “into” refers here not merely to locality, but to a result, that of the saints being participants of the light that God is in His nature. We are made creatures of light.

Kenneth S. Wuest, Wuest’s Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: For the English Reader, vol. 11 (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1997), 57.

It can be uncomfortable form time to time to come to church and be confronted with people who have different tastes than we do, have been raised in different cultures, or are at different stages of Christian maturity than we are.  One thing we should know.  If you are saved and they are saved, you both are part of a chosen generation, both part of a royal priesthood, both part of an holy, set apart nation, and you are both peculiar, or owned by God.  Therefore let us unite shoulder to shoulder declaring public praise for the God that redeemed and united us ,  Let us unite as we let the light shine in us that called us both out of darkness.  After all, we are all peculiar people.

A Firm Foundation

September 4th, 2019

Pastor Don Carpenter / General

Some Assembly Required / Family; Love; Holiness / Ephesians 5:1–16

 An ideal marriage’s foundation is not find entirely in a couple’s romanticism, but in their commitment to live a holy life according to God’s will. Application Point: Learning to love as an individual will help you love your spouse.

Have you ever seen a product on a showroom floor and marveled at how awesome it looked? That shiny new all-terrain bike, or that beautiful contemporary desk for your home office call out to your consumer inclinations. Have you ever broken down and made the purchase, only to get a heavy box full of parts with the words “some assembly required” stamped on it? Why can’t it be simple and come out just the way you see it on the showroom floor? Why do you have to put in work instead of conveniently having everything all in place?  Wouldn’t it be great if life was like that? Especially when it comes to marriage. But marriage does require work. Paul understood that as he helped the believers at Ephesus recognize marriage required putting the proper pieces together 2. Ephesians 5:21–33 is a common biblical text used to outline the roles of husbands and wives. The first twenty verses of chapter 5 are significant to a   couple to understand how to conduct themselves as Christians in general. Before Paul wrote about marriage roles, he wrote about Christian roles couple to understand how to conduct themselves as Christians in general. Before Paul wrote about marriage roles, he wrote about Christian roles.   This evening we are going to discover that in order to build a good Christian home, we need a firm foundation.

Walk In Love

Ephesians 5:1 KJV

Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children;

Ephesians 5:2 KJV

And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.

•    Follow God’s example of love and tenderness toward each other.

•    Walk in love as Christ sacrificially loved us.

•    Lots of family issues would resolve if we learned from Christ our example about self sacrificing love.

1000 Illustrations for Preaching & Teaching Greater Love Has No One …

Various persons have observed that no one has any more religion than he or she can demonstrate in an emergency. This was certainly true of Arland D. Williams, Jr., a bank examiner with the Federal Reserve System in Atlanta, who was aboard the ill-fated Boeing 737 that crashed in the frigid Potomac River shortly after taking off from Washington’s National Airport, January 13, 1982.
Identification of the hero was announced in June of 1983. Representatives from the Coast Guard said when a helicopter lowered a line to survivors, Williams indicated he was trapped (it was later discovered his seat belt was jammed) and passed “the line on to other injured persons.” By his not grabbing the rescue line, thus saving valuable time, other passengers were saved.
In presenting the medal to Williams’s mother, Virginia L. Williams, Mattoon, Illinois, his teenage son, Arland D. Williams, III, and daughter, Leslie Ann Williams, President Reagan said: “You can live with tremendous pride in your father.”

Walk In Purity

Ephesians 5:3 KJV

But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints;

Ephesians 5:4 KJV

Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks.

Let it not once be named among you:

•    Fornication

The term porneia (???????) (fornication) is to be taken in its proper sense and is not to be restricted to any one particular form—the license practiced at heathen festivals, concubinage, marriage within prohibited degrees, or the like. The moral life of the Graeco-Roman world had sunk so low that, while protests against the prevailing corruption were never entirely wanting, fornication had long come to be regarded as a matter of moral indifference, and was indulged in without shame or scruple, not only by the mass, but by philosophers and men of distinction who in other respects led exemplary lives.” The word porneia (???????) was used of illicit sexual intercourse in general.

Wuest, K. S. (1997). Wuest’s word studies from the Greek New Testament: For the English reader (Eph 5:3). Grand Rapids: Eerdmans.

•    Uncleanness

uncleanness: ceremonial and moral, Lev. 169a; consequence of sin (S T) Lev. 234; God’s deliverance. Jer. I 347; its removal, Lev. iv c; Passover requirements, Num. 74a; spiritual, Jer. I 347


•    Covetousness

The word “covetousness” is pleonexia (?????????), “greedy desire to have more, avarice.” “Not once” is m?de (????), “not even.” Expositors says: “The strong negative m?de (????) gives it this force—‘Not to speak of doing such a thing, let it not be even so much as mentioned among you.’

Wuest, K. S. (1997). Wuest’s word studies from the Greek New Testament: For the English reader (Eph 5:3). Grand Rapids: Eerdmans.

•    Filthiness

obscenity (aischrot?s, “shameless talk and conduct”

Walvoord, J. F., Zuck, R. B., & Dallas Theological Seminary. (1985). The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Eph 5:4). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

“Filthiness” is aischrot?s (?????????), “obscenity, shameless, immoral conduct.”

Wuest, K. S. (1997). Wuest’s word studies from the Greek New Testament: For the English reader (Eph 5:3). Grand Rapids: Eerdmans.

•    Foolish Talking

foolish talk (m?rologia, lit., “stupid words”)

“Foolish talking” is m?rologia (?????????), from m?ros (?????), “foolish” in the sense of the lack of forethought and wisdom. impious, godless, because such a man neglects and despises what relates to salvation, and logos (?????), “a word, speech.” Vincent says: “Talk which is both foolish and sinful. It is more than random or idle talk.” “Words obtain a new earnestness when assumed into the ethical terminology of Christ’s school. Nor, in seeking to enter fully into the meaning of this one, ought we to leave out of sight the greater emphasis which the words fool, foolish, folly obtain in Scripture than elsewhere they have or can have. There is the positive folly as well as the negative to be taken account of, when we are weighing the force of m?rologia (?????????): it is that talk of fools which is foolishness and sin together

Wuest, K. S. (1997). Wuest’s word studies from the Greek New Testament: For the English reader (Eph 5:3). Grand Rapids: Eerdmans.

•    Jesting

coarse jesting (eutrapelia, “vulgar, frivolous wit”)

Walvoord, J. F., Zuck, R. B., & Dallas Theological Seminary. (1985). The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Eph 5:4). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

Jesting” is eutrapelia (??????????). Vincent says: “Only here in the n.t. From eu (??), ‘well’ or ‘easily,’ and trep? (?????), ‘to turn.’ That which easily turns and adapts itself to the moods and conditions of those with whom it may be dealing at the moment. From this original sense of versatility it came to be applied to morals, as time-serving, and to speech with the accompanying notion of dissimulation. Aristotle calls it chastened insolence. The sense of the word here is polished and witty speech as the instrument of sin; refinement and versatility without the flavor of Christian grace. ‘Sometimes it is lodged in a sly question, in a smart answer, in a quirkish reason, in shrewd intimation, in cunningly diverting or cleverly retorting an objection: sometimes it is couched in a bold scheme of speech, in a tart irony, in a lusty hyperbole, in a startling metaphor, in a plausible reconciling of contradictions, or in acute nonsense … Sometimes an affected simplicity, sometimes a presumptuous bluntness giveth it being. Its ways are unaccountable and inexplicable, being answerable to the numberless rovings of fancy and windings of language’ (Barrow).”

Wuest, K. S. (1997). Wuest’s word studies from the Greek New Testament: For the English reader (Eph 5:3). Grand Rapids: Eerdmans.

Walk In Good Company

Ephesians 5:6 KJV

Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.

Ephesians 5:7 KJV

Be not ye therefore partakers with them.

“Partakers” is sunmetochos (??????????) from metech? (??????), “to hold with” another, and sun (???) “with,” the compound word meaning, “partaking together with one.” The prohibition is that the saints should not participate with the sons of disobedience in the vices mentioned in verse 5 The prohibition is in the present imperative with the negative m? (??), “Stop therefore becoming joint-partakers with them.”

Ephesians 5:11 KJV

And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.

“Reprove” is elegch? (??????), “to reprove or rebuke so as to bring out conviction or confession of guilt.” Trench says that the word “implies not merely the charge, but the truth of the charge, and further the manifestation of the truth of the charge; nay, more than all this, very often also the acknowledgment, if not outward, yet inward, of its truth on the part of the accused; it being the glorious prerogative of the truth in its highest operation not merely to assert itself, and to silence the adversary, but to silence him by convincing him of his error.”

Wuest, K. S. (1997). Wuest’s word studies from the Greek New Testament: For the English reader (Eph 5:11). Grand Rapids: Eerdmans.

1500 Illustrations for Biblical Preaching Holiness

Many trees appear to be healthy when we see them in summer. But, in the winter, after their leaves have all fallen off, we sometimes find that hidden underneath the lush green of the summer foliage was a parasitic plant called mistletoe, which had been slowly sucking away some of the tree’s vitality.
We as Christians sometimes have hidden sins, which—like the mistletoe—slowly suck away our spiritual vitality. Although not always evident in times of outward spiritual health and fruitfulness, we must always examine ourselves for those small, often unseen, parasites of sinful habits that will sap our vitality. And we must also remember that just because they are not apparent now does not mean that in another season of our life God will not reveal them for all to see.654

Walk Circumspectly

Ephesians 5:15 KJV

See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,

Ephesians 5:16 KJV

Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.

“Circumspectly” is akrib?s (???????), “exactly, accurately, carefully.”

Wuest, K. S. (1997). Wuest’s word studies from the Greek New Testament: For the English reader (Eph 5:15). Grand Rapids: Eerdmans.


There was once a middle aged man who was considering going back to school to get that degree he had always wanted. But he was balking at the idea because he was now over 50 and what good would it do him now.

He went to his dad for advice and his dad asked him how long it would take to get the degree. The man told his dad it would take 3 years of going to school full time. His dad then asked him how old he would be when he graduated after those 3 years. The man said 53. Then his dad asked him, “Son how old will you be then if you don’t get the degree?”

The point of the story is that TIME marches on. Regardless of any decisions we make in our lives — Time marches on!

Therefore walk accurately, in love, in purity, and in good company.  This is the family’s firm foundation.

Single But Not Second Class

June 7th, 2019

Pastor Don Carpenter / General

The Let Down / Singleness; Loneliness / Psalm 145:14–21; 1 Corinthians 7:25–40

One of the scariest possibilities for some people is that they will be cursed to be single for their whole life.  Does God have a place for single believers?  Is it a curse?  The answer to surviving singleness lies not on trying to do what it takes, what ever it takes to end the single state, but rather to focus upon surrendering to the God who allowed you to be in this situation in the first place.  You are single, but not second class.

Satan’s worldwide convention:

Satan called a worldwide convention. In his opening address to his devils, he said, “We can’t keep Christians from going to church. We can’t keep them from reading their Bibles and knowing the truth. We can’t keep them from forming an intimate, abiding relationship with Jesus. Once they gain that connection with Jesus, our power over them is broken. So, let them go to their churches, let them have their conservative lifestyles, but steal their time, so they can’t gain that relationship with Jesus. This is what I want you to do. Distract them from gaining hold of their Savior and maintaining that vital connection throughout their day!”

“How shall we do this?” shouted the devils. “Keep them busy in the nonessentials of life and invent innumerable schemes to occupy their minds. Tempt them to spend, spend, spend and borrow, borrow, borrow. Persuade the wives to go to work for long hours and the husbands to work 6 to 7 days each week, 10-12 hours a day, so they can afford their empty lifestyles. Keep them from spending time with their children.

As their family fragments, soon, their home will offer no escape from the pressures of work! Over stimulate their minds so that they cannot hear that still, small voice. Entice them to play the radio or CD player whenever they drive. To keep the TV, VCR, DVD, PC, Game Boy, and their XBoxes going constantly in their home. See to it that every store and restaurant in the world plays non-biblical music constantly. This will jam minds and break that union with Christ.

Fill the coffee tables with magazines and newspapers. Pound their minds with news 24 hours a day. Invade their driving moments with billboards. Flood their mailboxes with junk mail, catalogs, sweepstakes and every kind of newsletter and promotional offering free products, services and false hopes.

Keep skinny, beautiful models on the magazines so their husbands will believe that external beauty is what’s important and they’ll become dissatisfied with their wives. That will fragment those families quickly!

Even in their recreation, let them be excessive. Have them return from their recreation, exhausted, disquieted and unprepared for the coming week. Don’t let them go out in nature to reflect on God’s wonders. Send them to amusement parks, sporting events, concerts and movies instead.

Keep them busy, busy, busy! And when they meet for spiritual fellowship, involve them in gossip and small talk so that they leave with troubled conscience and unsettled emotions. Go ahead, let them be involved in soul winning; but crowd their lives with so many good causes they have no time to seek power from Jesus.

Soon they will be working in their own strength, sacrificing their health and family for the good of the cause. It will work! It will work!

It was quite a convention. The devils went eagerly to their assignments, causing Christians everywhere to get busy and be more rushed than ever before. I guess the question is: Has Satan been successful at his scheme?

1 Corinthians 7:33 KJV 1900

But he that is married careth for the things that are of the world, how he may please his wife.

1 Corinthians 7:34 KJV 1900

There is difference also between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit: but she that is married careth for the things of the world, how she may please her husband.

1 Corinthians 7:35 KJV 1900

And this I speak for your own profit; not that I may cast a snare upon you, but for that which is comely, and that ye may attend upon the Lord without distraction.

As we continue our series “The Letdown: When People Disappoint You”, we are going to focus for a few minutes on the subject of singleness. Some folks are single  because they are not yet ready to marry.  Some because they are old enough and stable enough, but have not found a relationship that held together long enough to make that commitment.  Some folks are single because they did get married, but for one reason or another the marriage did not last.  There are others that are married, but their spouse has become invalid and so they care for them as a good spouse would, but their heart aches like a lonely single person would.

 One of the scariest possibilities for some people is that they will be cursed to be single for their whole life.  Does God have a place for single believers?  Is it a curse?  The answer to surviving singleness lies not on trying to do what it takes, what ever it takes to end the single state, but rather to focus upon surrendering to the God who allowed you to be in this situation in the first place. 

Rather than focusing on the tragedy of our singleness and how unfair it is that though we try and try, we are still alone… we need to focus on the Character of God.  In Psalm 145, the Psalmist David gives us some unchangeable truths upon which we should meditate in order to align our thinking and our wills with the apparent providential will of God.  You are single, but not second class and God has a purpose for you right now.

The Lord Will Help You To Your Feet.

Psalm 145:14 KJV 1900

The Lord upholdeth all that fall,

And raiseth up all those that be bowed down.

•    Those who fall – perhaps singleness has come because you have stumbled in your walk with the Lord… this condition need not label your life.  God can cause you to rise up again.

The Lord upholdeth all that fall. The word here used is a participle, literally, “The Lord sustaining;” that is, the Lord is a Sustainer or Upholder of all that fall. The allusion is to those who have no power to go of themselves; who would sink under the burdens of life if they were not supported. The idea is, that it is a characteristic of the Lord, that he does sustain such; that all such may confidently look to him to uphold them.  Albert Barnes, Notes on the Old Testament: Psalms, vol. 3 (London: Blackie & Son, 1870–1872), 322.

Proverbs 24:16 KJV 1900

For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again:

But the wicked shall fall into mischief.

•    Those who bow down – those bending under a tremendous burden… perhaps that burden is loneliness and unfulfilled desire.

And raiseth up all those that be bowed down. The word here also is a participle: “he is lifting up;” that is, he is a lifter up. The reference is to those who are bent and bowed under the duties, the cares, the trials of life; who go bowed down under those burdens. God is able to strengthen them so that they can bear those burdens without being crushed under them.1

1 Albert Barnes, Notes on the Old Testament: Psalms, vol. 3 (London: Blackie & Son, 1870–1872), 322.

•    The Lord will provide the sustenance you need.

•    The Lord will open His hand of provision

Psalm 145:15 KJV 1900

The eyes of all wait upon thee;

And thou givest them their meat in due season.

Psalm 145:16 KJV 1900

Thou openest thine hand,

And satisfiest the desire of every living thing.

The Lord Is Righteous in His Dealings.

Psalm 145:17 KJV 1900

The Lord is righteous in all his ways,

And holy in all his works.

•    What ever state you find yourself in, God has not been unfair to you.

•    There may be things you do not yet understand.

Isaiah 55:8 KJV 1900

For my thoughts are not your thoughts,

Neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.

Isaiah 55:9 KJV 1900

For as the heavens are higher than the earth,

So are my ways higher than your ways,

And my thoughts than your thoughts.

•    There be some things that you need to surrender to.

Psalm 37:4 KJV 1900

Delight thyself also in the Lord;

And he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.

Proverbs 3:5–6 KJV 1900

Trust in the Lord with all thine heart;

And lean not unto thine own understanding.

In all thy ways acknowledge him,

And he shall direct thy paths.

•    It is all a part of His providential plan.

Romans 8:29 KJV 1900

For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.

In How Life Imitates the World Series, Dave Bosewell tells a story about Earl Weaver, former manager of the Baltimore Orioles. Sports fans will enjoy how he handled star Reggie Jackson.

Weaver had a rule that no one could steal a base unless given the steal sign. This upset Jackson because he felt he knew the pitchers and catchers well enough to judge who he could and could not steal off of. So one game he decided to steal without a sign.

He got a good jump off the pitcher and easily beat the throw to second base. As he shook the dirt off his uniform, Jackson smiled with delight, feeling he had vindicated his judgment to his manager.

Later Weaver took Jackson aside and explained why he hadn’t given the steal sign. First, the next batter was Lee May, his best power hitter other than Jackson. When Jackson stole second, first base was left open, so the other team walked May intentionally, taking the bat out of his hands.

Second, the following batter hadn’t been strong against that pitcher, so Weaver felt he had to send up a pinch hitter to try to drive in the men on base. That left Weaver without bench strength later in the game when he needed it.

The problem was, Jackson saw only his relationship to the pitcher and catcher. Weaver was watching the whole game. We, too, see only so far, but God sees the bigger picture. When he sends us a signal, it’s wise to obey, no matter what we may think WE know.

The Lord Is Near Them That Call On Him

Psalm 145:18 KJV 1900

The Lord is nigh unto all them that call upon him,

To all that call upon him in truth.

•    Those that call on Him in truth

To all that call upon him in truth. In sincerity; not hypocritically; worshipping him as the true God, and with a sincere desire to obtain his favour. Comp. Notes on John 4:24. We can have no hope that God will hear us unless we are sincere in our worship. He sees the heart, and he will act towards us as we are, and not as we profess to be.1

1 Albert Barnes, Notes on the Old Testament: Psalms, vol. 3 (London: Blackie & Son, 1870–1872), 323–324.

•    Those that call with a broken heart.

Psalm 34:18 KJV 1900

The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart;

And saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.

•    The Lord will preserve them

Psalm 145:20–21 KJV 1900

The Lord preserveth all them that love him:

But all the wicked will he destroy.

My mouth shall speak the praise of the Lord:

And let all flesh bless his holy name for ever and ever.

Serve God because you are single, not in spite of it!

1 Corinthians 7:20 KJV 1900

Let every man abide in the same calling wherein he was called.

1 Corinthians 7:21 KJV 1900

Art thou called being a servant? care not for it: but if thou mayest be made free, use it rather.

1 Corinthians 7:22 KJV 1900

For he that is called in the Lord, being a servant, is the Lord’s freeman: likewise also he that is called, being free, is Christ’s servant.

1 Corinthians 7:23 KJV 1900

Ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men.

1 Corinthians 7:24 KJV 1900

Brethren, let every man, wherein he is called, therein abide with God.

A little girl walking in a garden noticed a particularly beautiful flower. She admired its beauty and enjoyed its fragrance. “It’s so pretty!” she exclaimed. As she gazed on it, her eyes followed the stem down to the soil in which it grew. “This flower is too pretty to be planted in such dirt!” she cried. So she pulled it up by its roots and ran to the water faucet to wash away the soil. It wasn’t long until the flower wilted and died.

When the gardener saw what the little girl had done, he exclaimed, “You have destroyed my finest plant!”

“I’m sorry, but I didn’t like it in that dirt,” she said. The gardener replied, “I chose that spot and mixed the soil because I knew that only there could it grow to be a beautiful flower.”

Often we murmur because of the circumstances into which God has sovereignly placed us. We fail to realize that He is using our pressures, trials, and difficulties to bring us to a new degree of spiritual beauty. Singleness is an opportunity, not a curse.  You are a chosen servant of God, not a second class citizen.

The Essence and Attributes of God

June 7th, 2019

God’s First Responders / 1 Timothy 1:17

1 Timothy 1:17 KJV 1900

Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.

I. The Essence of God

Essence = that which underlies all outward manifestation; the reality itself, whether material or immaterial; the substratum of anything; that in which the qualities or attributes inhere.

A. Spirituality

John 4:24 KJV 1900

God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

1. He is immaterial and incorporeal.

That is why images are forbidden

Exodus 20:4 KJV 1900

Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth:

2. He is invisible.

Exodus 33:20 KJV 1900

And he said, Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live.

John 1:18 KJV 1900

No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.

1 Timothy 6:16 KJV 1900

Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen.

3. He is alive.

Joshua 3:10 KJV 1900

And Joshua said, Hereby ye shall know that the living God is among you, and that he will without fail drive out from before you the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Hivites, and the Perizzites, and the Girgashites, and the Amorites, and the Jebusites.

1 Samuel 17:26 KJV 1900

And David spake to the men that stood by him, saying, What shall be done to the man that killeth this Philistine, and taketh away the reproach from Israel? for who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?

Psalm 84:2 KJV 1900

My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of the Lord:

My heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God.

Psalm 115:3 KJV 1900

But our God is in the heavens:

He hath done whatsoever he hath pleased.

4. He is a person

a. intellect (Gen. 18:19; Exod. 3:7; Acts 15:18)

b. sensibility (Gen. 6:6; Ps. 103:8–14; John 3:16),

c. volition (Gen. 3:15; Ps. 115:3; John 6:38).

d. speaking (Gen. 1:3)

e. seeing (Gen. 11:5)

f. hearing (Ps. 94:9)

g. grieving (Gen. 6:6)

h. repenting (Gen. 6:6)

i. being angry (Deut. 1:37)

j. jealous (Exod. 20:5)

k. compassionate (Ps. 111:4)

B. Self-Existence

Exodus 3:14 KJV 1900

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.

John 8:58 KJV 1900

Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.

Isaiah 41:4 KJV 1900

Who hath wrought and done it,

Calling the generations from the beginning?

I the Lord, the first,

And with the last; I am he.

Revelation 1:8 KJV 1900

I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.

C. Immensity – not limited to space

1 Kings 8:27 KJV 1900

But will God indeed dwell on the earth? behold, the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain thee; how much less this house that I have builded?

2 Chronicles 2:6 KJV 1900

But who is able to build him an house, seeing the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain him? who am I then, that I should build him an house, save only to burn sacrifice before him?

D. Eternity – not limited by time

Genesis 21:33 KJV 1900

And Abraham planted a grove in Beer-sheba, and called there on the name of the Lord, the everlasting God.

Psalm 90:2 KJV 1900

Before the mountains were brought forth,

Or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world,

Even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.

Isaiah 57:15 KJV 1900

For thus saith the high and lofty One

That inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy;

I dwell in the high and holy place,

With him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit,

To revive the spirit of the humble,

And to revive the heart of the contrite ones.

II. The Attributes of God

A. The Non-Moral Attributes

1. Omnipresence. – everywhere present

1 Kings 8:27 KJV 1900

But will God indeed dwell on the earth? behold, the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain thee; how much less this house that I have builded?

Psalm 139:7–10 KJV 1900

Whither shall I go from thy spirit?

Or whither shall I flee from thy presence?

If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there:

If I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.

If I take the wings of the morning,

And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea;

Even there shall thy hand lead me,

And thy right hand shall hold me.

2. Omniscience. – Infinite knowledge

Proverbs 15:3 KJV 1900

The eyes of the Lord are in every place,

Beholding the evil and the good.

Psalm 147:5 KJV 1900

Great is our Lord, and of great power:

His understanding is infinite.

3. Omnipotence. – All Powerful

Genesis 17:1 KJV 1900

And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the Lord appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect.

Revelation 4:8 KJV 1900

And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.

Job 42:2 KJV 1900

I know that thou canst do every thing,

And that no thought can be withholden from thee.

4. Immutability. Unchangeable

James 1:17 KJV 1900

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.

Malachi 3:6 KJV 1900

For I am the Lord, I change not;

Therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.

B. The Moral Attributes

1. Holiness

Joshua 24:19 KJV 1900

And Joshua said unto the people, Ye cannot serve the Lord: for he is an holy God; he is a jealous God; he will not forgive your transgressions nor your sins.

2. Righteousness and justice.

2 Chronicles 12:6 KJV 1900

Whereupon the princes of Israel and the king humbled themselves; and they said, The Lord is righteous.

Ezra 9:15 KJV 1900

O Lord God of Israel, thou art righteous: for we remain yet escaped, as it is this day: behold, we are before thee in our trespasses: for we cannot stand before thee because of this.

Genesis 18:25 KJV 1900

That be far from thee to do after this manner, to slay the righteous with the wicked: and that the righteous should be as the wicked, that be far from thee: Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?

Psalm 89:14 KJV 1900

Justice and judgment are the habitation of thy throne:

Mercy and truth shall go before thy face.

3. Goodness. (Love, Benevolence, Mercy, Grace)

Mark 10:18 KJV 1900

And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God.

4. Truth.

1 John 5:20 KJV 1900

And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.

Jeremiah 10:10 KJV 1900

But the Lord is the true God,

He is the living God, and an everlasting king:

At his wrath the earth shall tremble,

And the nations shall not be able to abide his indignation.

The DNA of Our Mission

April 7th, 2019

The DNA of Our Mission

Pastor Don Carpenter / General

DNA – The Core of the Local Church / Evangelism; Discipleship / Matthew 28:18–20

Today we launch a new sermon series:  DNA – The Core of the Local Church.  DNA is the genetic code that determines the core makeup of a living creatures.  The DNA will determine color of eyes, hair, and skin.  Every major aspect of how a creature is put together is determined by the DNA code.  It is the blueprint to how we are made and how we are designed to function.

In the next several weeks we will be studying the organism known as the Local Church.  The Bible teaches us that the Local Church is the physical manifestation of the Body of Christ here on earth.  She is a living organism.  In the next few weeks we will look at how the church is designed and how it is supposed to function.  We will examine her DNA and discover the core of the Local Church.

In our passage this morning, the church that Christ started was assembled. Jesus would soon be ascending back to the Father. Today’s passage contains the marching orders for the Church that Christ built. He told those apprehensive leaders that His power would be with them. He then gave the blueprint that every local church is to follow. These orders are known as “The Great Commission”.

A pastor once told the story of an experience he’d had with his dad, a skilled contractor and carpenter. One day, when he was a teenager, his father asked him to come to work and build houses with him. The boy replied, “But Dad, I don’t know anything about building houses.” At that, his father said, “That’s okay son. I know how to build houses; I just need you to bring me the wood.”

Often God’s people become discouraged because they have an inaccurate perception of their responsibilities. Many folks are fixated upon the need to grow the numbers of the local assembly. Today we will study the Great Commission and together we will discover what is part of this commandment and what is not.

I. Our Mission is Not:

A mandate to force people into a profession of faith

1. We are not responsible for our hearers’ response to the message

Ezekiel 33:7 KJV 1900

So thou, O son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore thou shalt hear the word at my mouth, and warn them from me.

Ezekiel 33:8 KJV 1900

When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand.

Ezekiel 33:9 KJV 1900

Nevertheless, if thou warn the wicked of his way to turn from it; if he do not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul.

2. The sinner’s prayer does not save – true faith behind that prayer saves

Romans 10:13 KJV 1900

For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

Romans 10:14 KJV 1900

How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?

 A mandate to build the membership of the church

Matthew 16:18 KJV 1900

And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

II. The Great Commission is:

 A mandate to go

Matthew 28:19 KJV 1900

Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

1. Because you are being sent by Christ’s mighty power

Matthew 28:18 KJV 1900

And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.

2. Go to the whole world

Mark 16:15 KJV 1900

And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.

Acts 1:8 KJV 1900

But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

A mandate to make disciples

1. Lead them to Christ

a. They will receive saving faith after hearing the Word of God

Romans 10:17 KJV 1900

So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

b. This must be a life priority

John 4:35 KJV 1900

Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.

1 Corinthians 9:19-22 – 19 For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more. 20 And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law; 21 To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law. 22 To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.

2. Baptize them

Romans 6:3-4 – 3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? 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.

Acts 2:41 KJV 1900

Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.

Acts 8:36-38 – 36 And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? 37 And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. 38 And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him.

Acts 16:31-33 – 31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. 32 And they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house. 33 And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway.

3. Teach them = “to give instruction”

Deuteronomy 5:32-33 – 32 Ye shall observe to do therefore as the LORD your God hath commanded you: ye shall not turn aside to the right hand or to the left. 33 Ye shall walk in all the ways which the LORD your God hath commanded you, that ye may live, and that it may be well with you, and that ye may prolong your days in the land which ye shall possess.

Acts 2:42 – And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.

2 Timothy 2:2 KJV 1900

And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.


A proper understanding of the Great Commission will affect the emphasis and philosophy of every ministry in the church. Instead of asking the question, “Will this help us gain members?” we are to ask, “Will this help us go, evangelize, baptize, and teach people?”