Service Times

Worship Service
Sun. 9:30am - 10:30am

Sunday School
Sun. 10:45am - 11:20am

Prayer Meeting & Bible Study
Wed. 6:30pm - 7:30pm

Crusaders Club (Seasonal)
Thurs. 3:00pm - 5:30pm

Crusaders Teens (Seasonal)
Thurs. 6:00pm - 8:00pm

God’s Righteousness Received (Part 2)

A continuation of our previous week’s message.

Romans 3:27-31

We invite you to join us for worship each Sunday morning at 9:30. You can download our service on iTunes or tune in for “The Good Word” each day on AM 1230 WSAL or on Hoosier Country 103.7 FM just after 8am. Paul now brings his argument for justification by faith to a close. In so doing he asks a series of rhetorical questions and answers that prove justification is received by faith. Paul’s whole point here, and in this entire section, has been that salvation is so magnificently enormous, that no human being could ever begin to pay for it. In fact, from God’s viewpoint, to make any attempt to pay for salvation is, not just an insult, but blasphemy to Him! The idea of salvation from a human standpoint is so “big,” that to think of it as a free gift is almost beyond human reasoning! Why is it that when a gift reaches a certain point on the “WHOA” scale, we think we have to pay for it in some way? Imagine how you would feel if you gave someone a gift that was extraordinarily expensive, and they said to you, “Oh my! How much was this, I’ll pay you for it?” Chances are, you would be terribly hurt and perhaps even a little angry that they would be so arrogant as to think they had to pay for such a gift! Right? Multiply that times infinity and that’s how God feels when we think we can pay God in some way for our salvation! Let’s look at Paul’s concluding paragraph.

  1. FAITH EXCLUDES BOASTING – 3:27. In this instance, “boasting” should not be understood as one author says, “unwarranted self-adulation for meritorious achievement. Rather we should see it as justifiable pride on the part of the Jewish nation for having been chosen by God for a special role in the drama of redemption.” By its very nature, faith eliminates boasting. One author points out: people cannot boast about something they received through no merit of their own.” Boasting/bragging is the outward expression of inward doubt! A person who feels the need to tell others how wonderful they think they are, is telling you they are insecure, and unsure about the truth that God will properly reward them for their achievements! When we are feeling like God has withheld the blessings, remember this: nothing about our salvation relationship to God is based on feelings. It is always based on fact/truth! And that fact or truth is God’s truth! The lost and hypocrites “feel” God has mistreated them (or a loved one) in some way. They feel/think – If God really is a God of love, He would not have let some tragedy happen; or He would have made some situation better to show them His love. Because sin makes us feel so inadequate and undeserving before God (which in fact we are), sin causes us to think/feel we must compensate for our undeserving inadequacy before God by trying to impress Him with our own idea of what is noteworthy to Him. Your idea of covering or removing your sin, isn’t going to get the job done? Only blood can cover sin. Here is an interesting statement one writer makes concerning the relationship of faith and boasting. He says, faith implies the surrender of all self-glory. That is a great one sentence commentary on v. 27. If you believe God can save you from eternal hell, then He can also reward you more than all you can imagine or ask! All you have to do is be patient and leave the boasting to God! One day you’ll be glad you did!

If we can help you with your spiritual questions, call us at 574-643-9419.

God’s Righteousness Received (Part 1)

Romans 3:27-31

We invite you to join us for worship each Sunday morning at 9:30. You can download our service on iTunes or tune in for “The Good Word” each day on AM 1230 WSAL or on Hoosier Country 103.7 FM just after 8am. Paul now brings his argument for justification by faith to a close. In so doing he asks a series of rhetorical questions and answers that prove justification is received by faith. Paul’s whole point here, and in this entire section, has been that salvation is so magnificently enormous, that no human being could ever begin to pay for it. In fact, from God’s viewpoint, to make any attempt to pay for salvation is, not just an insult, but blasphemy to Him! The idea of salvation from a human standpoint is so “big,” that to think of it as a free gift is almost beyond human reasoning! Why is it that when a gift reaches a certain point on the “WHOA” scale, we think we have to pay for it in some way? Imagine how you would feel if you gave someone a gift that was extraordinarily expensive, and they said to you, “Oh my! How much was this, I’ll pay you for it?” Chances are, you would be terribly hurt and perhaps even a little angry that they would be so arrogant as to think they had to pay for such a gift! Right? Multiply that times infinity and that’s how God feels when we think we can pay God in some way for our salvation! Let’s look at Paul’s concluding paragraph.

  1. FAITH EXCLUDES BOASTING – 3:27. In this instance, “boasting” should not be understood as one author says, “unwarranted self-adulation for meritorious achievement. Rather we should see it as justifiable pride on the part of the Jewish nation for having been chosen by God for a special role in the drama of redemption.” By its very nature, faith eliminates boasting. One author points out: people cannot boast about something they received through no merit of their own.” Boasting/bragging is the outward expression of inward doubt! A person who feels the need to tell others how wonderful they think they are, is telling you they are insecure, and unsure about the truth that God will properly reward them for their achievements! When we are feeling like God has withheld the blessings, remember this: nothing about our salvation relationship to God is based on feelings. It is always based on fact/truth! And that fact or truth is God’s truth! The lost and hypocrites “feel” God has mistreated them (or a loved one) in some way. They feel/think – If God really is a God of love, He would not have let some tragedy happen; or He would have made some situation better to show them His love. Because sin makes us feel so inadequate and undeserving before God (which in fact we are), sin causes us to think/feel we must compensate for our undeserving inadequacy before God by trying to impress Him with our own idea of what is noteworthy to Him. Your idea of covering or removing your sin, isn’t going to get the job done? Only blood can cover sin. Here is an interesting statement one writer makes concerning the relationship of faith and boasting. He says, faith implies the surrender of all self-glory. That is a great one sentence commentary on v. 27. If you believe God can save you from eternal hell, then He can also reward you more than all you can imagine or ask! All you have to do is be patient and leave the boasting to God! One day you’ll be glad you did!

If we can help you with your spiritual questions, call us at 574-643-9419.

 

God’s Righteousness Revealed

Romans 3:21-26

We invite you to join us for worship each Sunday morning at 9:30. You can download our service on iTunes or tune in for “The Good Word” each day on AM 1230 WSAL or on Hoosier Country 103.7 FM just after 8am. After having studied Rom. 1:18-thru chapter 3, we have come to see clearly that all mankind stands condemned before God because all have sinned and come short of God’s glory. Paul now turns his attention to the very heartbeat of salvation. Under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, Paul is going to explain exactly what salvation is, how it is received, and how it is revealed. When justification is used in Scripture, it means, “GOD declares a person to be legally released from all charges.” In 3:21-26 Paul explains how justification is received, and in 3:27-31 he explains

  1. HOW JUSTIFICATION IS REVEALED! Paul begins with the negative, telling us how justification is NOT revealed. Justification is not revealed through the Law, but apart from the Law. Notice how Paul wastes no time in setting the most fundamental principle of justification. There is no simpler way to say man can’t earn his salvation. Let me explain to you why the false doctrine of salvation by works is both blasphemous to God, and dangerous to those who practice it.
    1. All people are born already being guilty of breaking God’s law. Read Rom. 3:9-12, 23; 11:32 and Gal. 3:22.
    2. Salvation by works makes Man the giver of justification, not God. The bottom line is the doctrine of salvation by works is blasphemous to God because it ultimately says to Him, Your way of salvation by faith alone is not good enough, I have to add my works to my faith so You will be impressed with me! Do you see how the arrogance of a sinful nature is putting “me” first and making God’s grace secondary? Think about it!
    3. Works allows boasting. Those who have been saved longer can say, I have done more to impress God than you have, so I have a higher standing than you. God is an equal opportunity Redeemer! Furthermore He never withholds any blessing from anyone who deserves it. Even if a person comes to Christ later in life, they can receive more blessing that all they could ever ask or imagine!
    4. Works encourages or promotes bondage to others. Those who say they have been saved longer can, and do, tell others, you haven’t quite got it yet; or you have not worked hard enough, long enough to be where I am; or you aren’t as blessed as you see I am because you are still committing to many sins! Now Paul states positively how justification is received when he says in v. 22 “the righteousness of God is appropriated through faith in Jesus Christ.” Here is the easiest way to see what Paul is saying. But now the (ESV) righteousness of God has been made known, through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. You really don’t have to look all that closely to see the Law has nothing to do with justification. Read Gal. 3:1-25 where Paul explains this same truth to them. In v. 24 he tells them “the law was put in place to lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith.” Eph. 2:8, 9 clearly state justification/salvation is “…a gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” Nothing can be a gift if one has to do anything to earn it. Justification can received only as a gift of God’s amazing grace. Paul also explains justification is:
    5. Available to all as a gift. 23, 24. So just as “all” have sinned, “all” are justified as a gift. Notice that the period comes after “through redemption that is in Christ Jesus.” In order to receive God’s gift of justification you must stop trusting in your own idea of how to get on His good side and doing things you think He will like; and you must start trusting God’s Perfect Son! Paul now tells us justification is revealed
    6. As Acknowledgment of God’s judgment – 25. The 1st word is propitiation which one excellent theologian defines as “a sacrifice that bears God’s wrath to the end and in so doing changes God’s wrath toward us into favor.” God’s forbearance is defined as God restraining Himself from punishing sin to its fullest extent until Christ was on Calvary.” Because Christ hung there in your place and satisfied God’s wrath, He is now able to offer you a full pardon through Justification from God. Finally Paul brings us to the climax of this revelation:
    7. As Announcing God’s Righteousness – 26. In the truth that God’s justice and love meet at the Cross clearly helps us understand, as one writer says, “the problem of how a holy God can receive into His presence those who by nature are unholy has been solved. God offers His righteousness to those who will receive it, not as something to supplement their own good works but as a gift that alone can place them in a right standing with God.” Only a God Who is holy in all His perfections could conceive and execute a plan that would at the same time, completely satisfy the demands of His holy Law, and demonstrate His infinite love for all people everywhere – that would instantly remove their sin, clear their name, and draw them to Christ for salvation.

If we can help you with your spiritual questions, call us at 574-643-9419.

 

Bondslaves to Freedom

John 8:31-33

We invite you to join us for worship each Sunday morning at 9:30. You can download our service on iTunes or tune in for “The Good Word” each day on AM 1230 WSAL or on Hoosier Country 103.7 FM just after 8am. What do you think of when you think of freedom? Webster’s New World College Dict. Defines freedom as “exemption or liberation from the control of some other person or some arbitrary power.” The only way that definition of freedom can be true is for us to be God! If that definition is played out among people in the current state of fallen, sinful humanity, every person would be doing what they thought best to serve their own interests and desires. The reason that is, and must be true is that the effect of sin causes a person to be self-centered, not others centered! In our focal passage today John records Jesus’ words that simply, clearly tell us truth is freedom. Knowledge of that truth makes one free. Let’s look at:

  1. FREEDOM EXPLAINED. The political concept of freedom in secular Greek world meant “to be at one’s own disposal.” It was usually thought of in comparison to the slave. A slave was/is one who does not belong to himself but to someone else. And therein is the rub. In our focal passage for today Jesus tells us Truth is the author/give of real freedom. One very simple “theological” definition of truth is the way things really The writer of Heb. tells us in 6:18 “it is impossible for God to lie.” If God is perfect in every way, and He is, He must be a God of truth, or He cannot be perfect. Read John 17:17. This simple statement is the cornerstone to true freedom. The Bible is Divinely inspired Truth from “In the beginning,” to “the grace of the Lord Jesus be with you all. Amen.” Not only that, it is absolute truth! Denying that Scripture from beginning to end is God’s truth, does not change the fact that all Scripture is God’s truth! In fact all that happens in all creation is God’s truth, whether it is good or evil. Good is the consequence of obeying God’s Word, evil is the consequence of disobeying God’s Word, but it’s all His truth!! So Jesus explains that freedom is truth, and truth is God’s truth. Let’s consider
  2. FREEDOM EMPLOYED! Jesus tells us once we understand that true freedom is found IN God’s truth the next step is to “know” the truth. Knowledge of truth comes in two conscious decisions that Jesus makes clear in His statement in v. 32. Knowledge of truth comes 1st by abiding, remaining, living in God’s Word. The 2nd step takes us to the very heart of true freedom. To be truly free a person must know the Truth! So how do we find truth? Jesus says when HE sets a person free, that person is free indeed, or truly, really, actually free! So which is it that frees a person, the truth or Jesus? Read John 14: 6. Jesus explains that He is the Way – or the path/direction/course by which a person passes from bondage to freedom. He tells us He is the way things really are, or He is Truth. He is that which can be depended on to be reality. He is also the Life that all men seek, but few actually receive because of their stubborn pride. Freedom can be enjoyed only in Christ! Let’s consider then:
  3. FREEDOM ENJOYED. Here is a paradox for you to consider: true freedom is enjoyed only in voluntary slavery! Read 1 Cor. 6:19-20; 7:20-24. In Rome a person who was a slave could work and eventually earn their freedom. When they did so, they then had a choice. They could leave and be free to fend for themselves, or they could stay and continue to be a servant by choice, and the master would continue to take care of them. Christ paid the redemption price for you at Calvary. When you asked Him to save you, you voluntarily chose to “let Him buy you” back out of the slave market of sin. Because you ask for His salvation, and He gave it to you, He now owns you. You are His servant by your own choice. As God Christ always has your best interest at heart. He is the perfect owner, and given you the perfect freedom. That freedom is the freedom from bondage in sin, death, and the freedom from eternal punishment in hell! Biblical freedom does not give us the freedom to do what we want; Biblical freedom gives us the freedom to do what we should! Doing what we should, out of desire is true freedom!

If we can help you with your spiritual questions, call us at 574-643-9419.

God’s Method for His People

Matt. 28:19-20

We invite you to join us for worship each Sunday morning at 9:30. You can download our service on iTunes or tune in for “The Good Word” each day on AM 1230 WSAL or on Hoosier Country 103.7 FM just after 8am. This is the second half of the message centered around the dedication of our new addition. We have learned God has given us a Mandate that instructs us to humble ourselves, to pray, to seek His face, and to turn from our wicked ways. Now we are going to see how God instructs His people to plant and water so Christ Jesus can build His church. We have studied God’s mandate, now let’s turn our attention to:

III. GOD’S METHOD. We believe God will give us the people He has planned to bring to us, but He will only do that through our cooperation with Him. Here are a couple truths you need to remember:

  1. You remember God never asks us to do anything He knows we can’t do, right? He may ask us to do something we have never done before, and that may be hard, even very hard, for us; but if God prompts us to do anything, rest assured it is something we can do!
  2. God also never asks us to do anything without giving us specific, clear, and often detailed instructions.

Read Matt. 28: 17-20. Those verses are Christ’s instructions for us to plant and water, so HE can build HIS church! So what is God’s Method for Planting and Watering?

  1. TO BE GOING! It is stated in the Septuagint, which is the Hebrews OT written in Greek, all human life is a journeying, or going. How often have you read where God says, “if you walk in my ways, walk before Me, walk with Me?” All those phrases and passages indicate that people are always moving from one place to another throughout their lives. Today we often use the phrase, we are constantly on the “go!” To walk in the ways of Yahweh, or to follow His commandments, is fundamental for the faith of Israel. For example Dt. 8:6 = So you shall keep the commandments of the Lord your God by walking in His ways and by fearing Him.” In the NT the concept of “go” has to do with the mission of Jesus Who “goes” to Calvary for the salvation of His people, and all people of all time. Jesus tells The 12 to go to the lost of Israel preaching and teaching the Gospel. Here is the point: Jesus expects us to be involved in all parts of Kingdom work all the time. One reason we are to be continually on the go doing the work of the ministry is:
  2. TO MAKE DISCIPLES. Making disciples can be considered the goal or end-product of teaching. One author says, the main command of Christ’s commission is “make disciples.” The root meaning of the word used for “make” is to be, or to become – a pupil. So one might say a disciple is a person who becomes a student of the Word so they can learn to be a person of the Word. Every member of the Body of Christ responsible for becoming and making disciples. Next, disciples are to:
  3. BE BAPTIZED. Baptism by immersion is a public testimony and declaration of spiritual rebirth into eternal life as an adopted child of God. If you call yourself a Christian and you have not followed The Christ Who saved you in baptism by immersion, you have not yet begun to follow Him! NT baptism by immersion is also in the name of The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit. It is The Father Who chooses and calls to salvation; it is The Son Who redeems; and it is The Holy Spirit Who indwells and guides. Commitment as a true Christian is to all 3! Jesus also tells His disciples to carry on His own mission of:
  4. TEACHING. It is vital we see and understand what Jesus told His disciples to teach all those who become God’s children. Disciples are to be taught – (ESV, NKJV) to observe ALL that I have commanded you; (NIV) to obey everything I have commanded you; (KJV) to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you. Earlier I said a disciple is a person who becomes a student of The Word so they can learn to be a person of The Word. Teaching them is how they become a person of the Word. We teach them to be a man or woman of prayer, study, God, which in turn makes them a man or woman of power.

If we can help you with your spiritual questions, call us at 574-643-9419.

Wanted: Godly Fathers

Deut. 6:4-7

We invite you to join us for worship each Sunday morning at 9:30. You can download our service on iTunes or tune in for “The Good Word” each day on AM 1230 WSAL or on Hoosier Country 103.7 FM just after 8am. According to one survey:  more children will go to sleep tonight in a fatherless home that at any time in American history.  In 1960, 5 percent of the children in the U.S. were living with only their mothers.  By 1990, that number had increased to 25 percent.  Today that number has climbed to an incredible 52 percent.  We’re now living in a day when we have taken down the Ten Commandments and put up metal protectors.  It used to be that schools biggest discipline problems were talking in class, chewing gum, and running in the hallway. Now it’s stealing, violence, and sexual assault. After examining 11,000 crimes, researchers found not correlation between crime and poverty, or crime and race.  But a strong link was found between crime and “father-absent households.” What we need today are godly fathers.  The Bible gives us clear and certain guidelines as to what a godly father must do.

  1. TEACH YOUR CHILDREN THE LAW. Our focal text in Deut. is given specifically to fathers. The 1st 9 vss. of this passage is a good summary statement of a father’s material, or the curriculum he uses to teach his children. Ps. 78:1-8 should be every Christian father’s mission. You teach them to be steadfast in the Lord, by being steadfast in the Lord yourself. In Eph. 6:4. We see a father’s manner in teaching his children. Notice how Paul 1st states a negative manner or attitude to avoid, and he immediately follows that with a positive manner to develop. No dad who expects his children to become men and women of God can continually provoke/beat them down/discourage or belittle them because they don’t do something right or catch on from the 1st Chances are you still don’t get everything right the 1st time. Stop whatever you are doing to provoke your children to anger/frustration /discouragement or a negative self-image, and start telling and showing them how the Lord loves them. You show them by treating them the same way you want The Lord to treat you!! If you look carefully you will see a common truth about all the verses in these passages. That common truth is that to teach Biblical truth a father must spend time with his children! To be a Godly Dad you must also:
  2. TEACH YOUR CHILDREN THE LANDMARKS 22:8 tells us, “do not move the ancient landmark that your fathers have set.” Some of those landmarks include: A. God’s Word. You know Ps. 119:105, Your Word is a lamp to my feet, and a light to my path. Prov. 2 tells us if we search the Scriptures diligently, we will find the wisdom, fear, and understanding God wants us to have. A 2nd landmark is: B. PRAYER. In John 16:23, 24 Jesus tells us we can ask Him for anything in the Father’s name and He will do it for us. Prayer is the most powerful weapon any Christian has. Another landmark is:
  3. FAITHFULNESS IN WORSHIP. One of the most effective principles of life you can teach your children is the art of worship! The NT principle of giving is to give of your 1st fruits to the Lord. That includes the 1st of your week, and listen, the 1st of every day. There is a reason God made worship the 1st Then:
  4. LOVING CHRIST must be a landmark you help your children establish. There is no other person to love more, nor is there any greater love that that for Jesus Christ. Dad’s it is your responsibility to teach your children to love Christ with all their heart, mind, soul, and strength. Finally, Dads help your children establish the landmark of:
  5. LASTING COMMITMENT. As your children watch you every day, what level of commitment do they see in you for Christ? It is important to know, because what they see in you, they will practice when they are grown. There are many more landmarks we could discuss, but you get the idea, don’t you! Don’t you? Dad’s it is an awesome privilege to be a dad! It also carries awesome responsibility and accountability to God. Your best philosophy as a father is this: Be the kind of a dad to your children, God is to you!

If we can help you with your spiritual questions, call us at 574-643-9419.

 

What a Great Thing God Has Done

We invite you to join us for worship each Sunday morning at 9:30. You can download our service on iTunes or tune in for “The Good Word” each day on AM 1230 WSAL or on Hoosier Country 103.7 FM just after 8am. This past Sunday we dedicated the new classroom wing God gave us. I can be configured to be as many as six classrooms, or as few as three. When God provides gifts to His children, He always does it in the very best possible way. One of the greatest blessings God has given Baptist Christian Church is that our new addition is completely paid for. From ground breaking to dedication we never had to borrow one penny! It is also a testimony to God’s great provision that we were able to increase our missions budget as we have always done, we were blessed with new members, and our regular giving never suffered. Ps. 50:10 tells us God owns the cattle on a thousand hills; He also owns the hills! The point is that God never lacks or needs anything. He is a God of giving as demonstrated on Calvary and throughout His inspired, inerrant Word. He desires to share with His people blessings that are given in good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over into your lap! In the verse before that (Luke 6:37) God gives the prerequisites for receiving His blessings. Though the folks at BCC struggle, suffer, experience all the junk and nasties of this sin-filled world that everyone else does, many of them have given their whole hearts to the Lord as the unchallenged Sovereign of their lives. Those individual commitments on their part are the reasons God is able to bless and provide in the Niagara proportions He does. In 2 Chron. 7:11-18 we find God’s Mandate to His people. Now that our new addition is finished, it is our responsibility to continue to follow God in obedience to His Word and commands. The order of the four steps to cause God to hear, forgive, and heal are our guidelines for the future, as they have been! Someone might ask, “So now will you try to grow BCC larger than it is?” The answer is “NO! We won’t!” If you read Matt. 16:13-18 and focus on v. 18 you will understand why we are not focusing on growth. We are focusing on our God-given responsibility as His adopted children, and that responsibility is found in 1 Cor. 3:5-9. I find it interesting that more often than not God gives His adopted children the easy part of ministry, while He takes on the hard stuff! Any true man or woman of God can share with others the truth of God’s saving grace; but only God can grow a heart! If you look closely at the 2 Chronicles passage you will discover it is conditional before it is certain! God says, “IF My people…” As a God of grace He will not force anyone to accept His offer of salvation or blessing or anything else He offers. To force us to do His will would be Law, and we would be puppets! God created us in His image and likeness which means we are creatures of choice! God simply offers us His partnership in our life, and then allow us to choose whether or not we want what He is offering. Now if just saying, “Yes, I want what you are offering” were the only thing, everyone would take what God offers. The “catch” is we must accept what God offers on HIS terms, the way HE offers it, not on our own terms. Pride is the thing that causes most people to think they can tell God when, what, and how they want Him to work and provide for them. Pride is also what will cause people to spend eternity in hell, because they think they can bribe God into letting them into heaven based on their own merits. Here is a truth for you to think about: no human being has any merit before God. Read Romans 1:18-3:20 for all the details. If you haven’t accepted Christ as your Savior, we would be glad to tell you how, so you can then experience the blessings God has for you, and has shared with us.

If we can help you with your spiritual questions, call us at 574-643-9419.