Christ


Passion Week: Remembering Christ’s Final Earthly Days

Have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who… made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death — even death on a cross! (Philippians 2:5-9)

The entry of Jesus into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday marks the beginning of Holy Week.

The entry of Jesus into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday marks the beginning of Holy Week.

Passion Week (aka Holy Week) is the time from Palm Sunday through Easter Sunday (Resurrection Sunday). It is so named because of the passion with which Jesus willingly went to the cross in order to pay for the sins of his people.

Follow BCBC in Action this week as we remember Christ’s final earthly days.

Day 1: Palm Sunday

After 2 years of ministry, Jesus begins his final journey to Jerusalem for the Passover. He and the disciples are not alone. Pilgrims from far and wide are entering Jerusalem for the Passover. They meet Jesus along the road and begin to cry “Hosanna!”

“Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest heaven!” (Matthew 21:9).

Hosanna is often thought of as a declaration of praise, similar to hallelujah, but it’s actually a plea for salvation. The Hebrew words yasha (“deliver, save”) and anna (“beg, beseech”) combine to form the word that, in English, is “hosanna.” Literally, hosanna means “I beg you to save!” or “please deliver us!”

Palm Sunday at Bent Creek Baptist Church

Happy the preacher and happy the hearer who find their theme and their attraction in the atoning death of our Lord and Savior. Thomas Griffith

Riding on a donkey to fulfill prophecy, the King of Israel wails loudly and pronounces judgment on Jerusalem.

And when he drew near and saw the city, he wept over it, (Luke 19:41)

Arriving late in the day, Jesus enters Jerusalem through the eastern Susa Gate, directly into the temple courts. Jesus looks around for any who bear the fruits of repentance, and then returns to Bethany with the disciples.

And he entered Jerusalem and went into the temple. And when he had looked around at everything, as it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the twelve. (Mark 11:11)

Tomorrow: Jesus openly proclaims his divinity.


Blessed are the Meek

 

for they will inherit the earth. (Matthew 5:5)

A View of the Sea of Galilee from atop the Mount of Beatitudes

A View of the Sea of Galilee from atop the Mount of Beatitudes

Thousands gathered near the shore of Galilee and then up the mountain to hear Jesus of Nazareth speak the Beatitudes.

Question. Why does Jesus include the meekest among us for blessings? Why not achievers, perfectionists, geniuses, phenomes?

Neither their silver nor their gold will be able to save them on the day of the LORD’s wrath. In the fire of his jealousy the whole world will be consumed, for he will make a sudden end of all who live in the earth. (Zephaniah 1:18)

“Meekness,” says columnist Ed Morrissey, “is not weakness; it is the answer to sinful pride and avarice.” The meek, mourn their own sinfulness; they see the poor among us—the materially poor and those ignorant of the Lord. The meek know the Lord is with them through persecution and ridicule. The meek no longer fear loss of status or damage to pride.

He concludes, “We do not live in meek times, but then again, neither did the people of Jesus’ time.” Through meekness as our guiding principle, we shine the light of the Lord a little brighter. We can receive Christ’s blessings, and be Christ’s blessings in a fallen world.


Rejoice in What We May Become

Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.” (Matthew 4:19)

Charles Spurgeon was a British Baptist preacher who lived during the 19th century. It’s estimated that during his life he preached to around 10 million people and was a prolific writer.

Consider these words from Pastor Spurgeon, which are taken from one of his sermons.

I think I can say to every one of you—If you are already saved, then the work is only half done until you are active in bringing others to Christ.

You are as yet only half formed into the image of your Lord. You have not attained to the full development of the Christ-like life in you unless you have begun in some feeble way to tell to others of the grace of God: and I trust that you will find no rest to the sole of your foot until you have been the means of leading many to that blessed Savior who is your confidence and your hope.

His word is — “Follow me,” — not merely that you may be saved, nor even that you may be sanctified; but, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.”

Be following Christ with that intent and aim; and fear that you are not perfectly following him, unless in some degree he is making use of you to be fishers of men.

This Sunday join us at BCBC for fellowship  at 10:30 am and stay for worship at 11:00 am.


Fear the Lord

continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, (Philippians 2:12)

God the Father and the Sinner. Ladislav Záborský, 2007.

God the Father and the Sinner. Ladislav Záborský, 2007.

The Bible uses the word fear at least 300 times in reference to God. Today, fear usually refers to an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat. And it is used this way in the Bible as well.

Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. (Psalm 23:4)

But there are two sides of fear in the Bible. Yes, there is fear displayed as cowering in dread and terror in anticipation of displeasure. But there is also fear based on awe, reverence, and obedience.

Dr. David Jones in his audio lecture on Christian ethics describes fear of the Lord as reverent submission motivated by love. Love is key. It is love as it might be offered to a parent by a child because the little one knows that all needs will be met and life is safe from harm.

Eugene Merrill, a distinguished professor at Dallas Theological Seminary, assures us that “fear of God lies at the heart of successful living in the world. Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, a fear equated with the ‘knowledge of the Holy One’”.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow his precepts have good understanding. To him belongs eternal praise. (Psalm 111:10)

“To fear God,” continues Professor Merrill, “is to know him and to know him is to fear him. Such healthy fear enables one to praise God.”

He said in a loud voice, “Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has come. Worship him who made the heavens, the earth, the sea and the springs of water.” (Revelation 14:7)

Reverent submission that motivates us to obey him — fear of the Lord — allows us to enjoy his benefits and blessings.

But from everlasting to everlasting the Lord’s love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children’s children — with those who keep his covenant and remember to obey his precepts. (Psalm 103:17-18)

Steadfast obedience that is motivated by love — fear of the Lord — is to rest in peace and security.

They will have no fear of bad news; their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the Lord.  Their hearts are secure; they will have no fear; in the end they will look in triumph on their foes. (Psalm 112:7-8)

Fear that allows us to warm ourselves in his peace and security, offers, in the long run, a satisfying life.

The fear of the Lord adds length to life, but the years of the wicked are cut short. (Proverbs 10:27).

Praise our Lord, and fear him as a child towards a loving parent.

 

 


Make Disciples of All Nations

So those who accepted his message were baptized, and that day about 3,000 people were added to them. And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, to fellowship, to the breaking of bread, and to prayers. (Acts 2:41-42)

Stephen Hyder baptized son, Gracen.

Stephen Hyder baptized son, Gracen.

Jesus said…

Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age. (Matthew 28:19–20)

Last Sunday was a happy time at Bent Creek Baptist Church as 3 more people made a personal and public commitment to Christ through baptism.

Josie White baptized by close "spiritual grandfather," Atticus.

Josie White baptized by close “spiritual grandfather,” Atticus.

Christian baptism is a statement of faith and discipleship. In baptism we confess our faith in Christ who has scoured our soul of sin, giving us a new life. 

It is a practice that goes back to the beginning of the church. An essential part of being Christian. We may debate orthodoxy, but all Christians agree that baptism is an essential part of being united with Christ.

Consider the symbolism associated with being submerged in water to rise again a new person.

We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his. (Rom. 6:4-5)

Dale Butler baptized friend, Linda Price.

Dale Butler baptized friend, Linda Price.

“Baptism is not a requirement for salvation,” says H. Wayne House, at Faith Seminary in Tacoma, Washington. “Rather, it is to faith what words are to ideas.”

Last Sunday, three people stated their commitment to Christ. Hallelujah.

 

 

Thanks to Doug Van Wirt for the photos.


Men, Take Time for Spiritual Renewal

They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. – See more at: http://bible.knowing-jesus.com/topics/Fellowship,-Among-Believers#sthash.LttyGEnM.dpuf

They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. – See more at: http://bible.knowing-jesus.com/topics/Fellowship,-Among-Believers#sthash.LttyGEnM.dpuf
They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. – See more at: http://bible.knowing-jesus.com/topics/Fellowship,-Among-Believers#sthash.LttyGEnM.dpuf

They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. (Acts 2:42)

The annual BCBC Men’s Retreat will take place September 16-17 at Balsam Lake Lodge.  If you can’t make it for the whole weekend, come for part. Call Aaron Creasman (828-777-1272) if you are interested.

Remember, when men take time out for spiritual renewal, the whole church benefits.

BalsamLakeLodge

Balsam Lake Lodge

During the 2016 BCBC Men’s Retreat at Balsam Lake Lodge you’ll catch fish, hike the beautiful North Carolina mountains, eat hamburgers, and — most importantly — be spiritually renewed and refreshed as you share key truths and new perspectives in your walk with Jesus Christ.

Men, take this opportunity to develop unity through fellowship.

Best of all, the benefits continue long after the first fish is caught and last hamburger is eaten. Relationships at home become more positive and hopeful when you find renewal in God.

Therefore encourage one another and build one another up. (1 Thessalonians 5:11)

Join us on Friday, September 16th  to Saturday the 17th  for the BCBC Men’s Retreat.

Speak with Aaron Creasman, or call the church office for more information. 828-667-9818

And, remember you must sign up at the information desk in the church lobby. Space is limited for this event!


Come, Lord Jesus

Pastor Tommy Bridges

Pastor Tommy Bridges

 Look, I am coming soon, bringing my reward with me to repay all people according to their deeds. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End. (Revelation 22:12-13)

In Revelation 21 and 22 we learn that the Lord will return for us. He may come any day, or he may wait 10,000 years. What we can rely on however, is that he will keep his promise.

The Bible teaches that those who believe in Jesus will not be condemned for their sin (Romans 5:8-9 and 8:1, and, John 5:24).

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! (Romans 5: 8-9)

The Bible also speaks of “rewards” given to “everyone according to what they have done” (Romans 2:6 and14:12, 2 Corinthians 5:10, 1 Corinthians 3:12-15, and Matthew 16:27). Click here and here for more articles on this topic.

For we must all stand before Christ to be judged. We will each receive whatever we deserve for the good or evil we have done in this earthly body. (2 Corinthians 5:10)

There are several things to remember in our Christian walk while waiting for Jesus to return.

For Growing Christians

  • Growth is about the direction you are headed, not just the distance you’ve traveled.

For non-Growing Christians

  • Ask the Holy Spirit to arouse a renewed appetite for God.

For non-Christians

  • Know well that Jesus is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:9)

For Everyone

  • And let those who hear say, “Come!” Whoever is thirty, let him come, and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life. (Rev. 22:17)

Live your life in the grace of God, and cling to the Christ who died on the cross and rose victoriously.

Pastor Tommy and the congregation of Bent Creek Baptist Church invite you to join us each Sunday at 11 am in the worship sanctuary. Come early, and join us for Sunday School at 9:30 am.

 

 


Acknowledge Him Before Others

I keep my eyes always on the Lord. With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken. (Psalm 16:8)

Being a role model for others is very important in Christianity. We are to be the light of the world. So, don’t ya just love it when a successful, gifted person puts their faith up front as a natural part of their lives! Not for show. Not to promote. Just a normal part of their existence.

Craig Hawkins

Craig Hawkins

Here’s a talented artist who does just that.

Artist, Craig Hawkins (who lives in Valdosta, Georgia) when asked about his favorite books listed…

  • The Gospel of John by John the Apostle
  • Recapture the Wonder by Ravi Zacharias
  • Refractions by Makoto Fujimura
  • Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis
  • Love Does by Bob Goff
  • You are Mine by Max Lucado

Where do you find inspiration?

hymn99 (1)Sermons, books, podcasts, good conversation, and good art. Scripture, conversations with God, my wife, my kids, good art, and my job as an assistant professor of art.

What was the moment you realized you wanted to be a full time artist?

It became a commitment during my freshman year of college. Up until that point it was something I loved to do and couldn’t see myself not doing, but I didn’t know where to go with it. I became a Christian that same year and my walk with Christ is deeply connected to my art making.

Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Matthew 6:21)

Do you ever get creatively stuck?

Amber Cloud

Amber Cloud

If I believe that we are communal creatures designed for fellowship, then that belief will lead to developing work that shows this concept… For me this happens as my relationship with God grows… My intentional following of Jesus determines what content I entertain and invest my time in at the table of my ideas.

Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. (Matthew 10:32)

“One of the sins of this generation is to make religion a private thing,” says Dave Whitehead, Senior Pastor, GraceNYC.org. “It never was meant to be private, and the discomfort of making our faith public proclaims God’s control in our lives.”

Do not shrink from this opportunity. Fortify yourself. Join us next Sunday at 11 am. Better yet, come to Sunday School at 9:30 am, and meet your new companions in faith.

Credit to Anne Nelson Fine Art in Charlotte for the quotes re-quoted here.