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Truth Made Clear

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Matthew 2:1-12 Gold, frankincense and myrrh are well known as the gifts of the wise men.  No doubt, these were meant to be representative of the products of the nation from which they came, and as such, they represent the first homage or respect paid by the Gentiles or the nations to the Jewish King and Messiah.  A day is coming when all people everywhere will acknowledge Him as King and Messiah.  These men were the first from among the Gentiles. The three gifts do not mean there were three wise men, nor do we know their names.  Much ambiguity exists about the visit of the wise men because Matthew's account is brief and therefore limited in detail.  As the first representatives of the Gentiles or nations to give homage to the King of the Jews, these men represent us.  They represent the truth that God has caused light to shine in the darkness.  1 John 4:9 tells us: In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so tha

Good News of Great Joy

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Luke 2:8-20 As we prepare for Christmas, I want to look with you at the shepherds who were chosen to greet the Savior's birth and the message of the angels to those shepherds. The shepherds represent the layperson, the common person.  I will take the simple approach of looking first at the shepherds and then at the good news and how it brings us great joy. Do you have a thankless job? Do you spend all night tending a crying baby?  Or perhaps, you spend all night out in the cold and the elements to provide for your family.  Then again, maybe you are one of the millions in America who spend all day doing a repetitive action on an assembly line. Do your hands have calluses? Does your back ache? Do your feet hurt by the end of your shift? Men and women of all times and ages have worked under varying degrees of difficulty.  Some grow bitter and cynical.  You have all seen this in someone you know. Some give up.  Others live with overwhelming depres

Boasting

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1 Corinthians 1:26-31 From His riches, God has poured out on us an amazing bounty of grace and goodness. As an example of how God gives gifts, let's consider Abraham, who is considered the forefather of us all. We know very little of Abraham's birth.  We know that he came from Ur of the Chaldeans.  Although we do not consider him a Babylonian, that is what Chaldeans were and that is where Abraham came from.  His father was Terah, and was possibly the one who moved Abraham and his family from Ur to Haran.  The Spirit of God says: Yes, think about Abraham, your ancestor, and Sarah, who gave birth to your nation.  Abraham was only one man when I called him.  But when I blessed him, he became a great nation.  ( Isaiah 51:2, NLT ) Because of the call of God, Abraham received promises and blessings beyond measure.  These blessings and promises were received by faith.  While Abraham yet lived, he did not see all the promises and blessings we are talking about.

Wisdom and Power

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1 Corinthians 1:18-25 Our text today divides the world into two classes of people.  It does not divide it by race.  The text does not divide the world by gender, nationality, political affiliation or religion.  It does not divide the world by economic status or intelligence.  All of these things are very important to us, and we spend much of our lives concerned about such things.  Politics and economics are important.  However, are they most important?  Race and gender are significant.  However, are they most significant? Today, we are going to look at the turning point of all history.  We are going to look at what is most important and most significant.  This one thing divides the world into the "haves" and the "have nots."  This one thing divides the world into two classes of people.  This one thing is the cross. Those who are perishing and those who are being saved form the two classes of people. 1 Corinthians 1:18 says: For t

Christ Divided

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1 Corinthians 1:10-17 Acts 11:26 tells us, "It was at Antioch that the believers were first called Christians." (NLT) The word "Christian" means "follower of Christ."  In 1 Corinthians 1:7-9, the Apostle Paul shows us a little of the benefits of being a follower of Christ when he says: Now you have every spiritual gift you need as you eagerly wait for the return of our Lord Jesus Christ. He will keep you strong to the end so that you will be free from all blame on the day when our Lord Jesus Christ returns. God will do this, for he is faithful to do what he says, and he has invited you into partnership with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.  (NLT) With every spiritual gift having been provided and the promise that God will keep one strong, this is a privileged relationship.  One enters into this relationship with Jesus by faith.  As we are told in John 1:12: But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become childr

The Church in Corinth

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1 Corinthians 1:1-9 This week I read the following article on the web: Calvary Baptist Church, a progressive Baptist landmark in the heart of downtown Washington, has named a gay couple as co-pastors. Sally Sarratt and Maria Swearingen were presented to the congregation during worship services Sunday (Jan. 8) and are set to begin their new jobs on Feb. 26. A spokeswoman for the congregation said she didn’t know whether a gay couple leading a church was a first for Baptists. “We look for the best people in the world and that’s who they were,” said Carol Blythe.  “We’re very excited.” [i] Calvary Baptist Church is very proud and happy about their choice.  For us conservatives, this is quite shocking.  We ask, “How has this come about?”  However, this is nothing new.  The Apostle Paul dealt with similar issues in the Church of his day.  Paul, in his letter to the Church in Corinth said: 1 I can hardly believe the report about the sexual immorality going on among