Covid-19 Update: We are meeting for Sunday School at 10 AM and worship at 11:00. There are no evening services or other activities scheduled at this time. If you choose to join us there will be hand sanitizer and masks by the front door, please observe social distancing in the sanctuary. Sermons are also posted online. Be safe, stay well, and God bless.
After the Holy Spirit filled the house on the day of Pentecost, Peter preached what may be considered the first Christian sermon. We will look at his sermon from Acts 2 in two parts, beginning this week and finishing up next Sunday. Click here to read the text via Bible Gateway, click here to see the bulletin notes I often refer to.
“Gospel” is a word we borrowed from New Testament Greek that means good news. The good news of Jesus Christ is that he died to offer salvation. He loved us when we were still in our sins and unlovable. Those who have not heard the gospel or have not yet believed need to hear the gospel and consider its message. Christians need to hear the gospel to keep us on course. Without hearing and sharing the gospel on a regular, ongoing basis we run the risk of turning church into just another activity or social club. We are called to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world. The Great Commission along with Acts 1:8 reminds us what we are to be doing, talking the gospel to the whole earth and being witnesses to who Jesus is and what he has done.
I could talk about the gospel all day but there is a new page, in the row of tabs below the banner image, titled What is the Gospel? That article, originally appearing on The Resurgence, outlines the gospel message. The truths we believe from scripture, forming the basis of Christian theology, is laid out in an organized fashion with many scripture references linked to support each point. That page is a permanent addition to our church website. Use it as a reference, a study tool or refer people to it that want to know more about our faith. Churches have all sorts of programs, ministries are designed for different age groups and demographics, and worship is comprised of many activities designed to honor God and stir our spirits. No matter how much we have going on we must never get too far away from the gospel.
Jesus appeared to numerous disciples and believers over 40 times following the resurrection. At the time of his ascension he told them to wait in Jerusalem for the promise. Last week we read about a promise made; Acts 2 begins with a promise fulfilled.
We’ve spent the past few weeks looking at the post-resurrection appearances of Jesus. This is the last one, from Acts chapter 1. He tells his disciples to remain in Jerusalem, wait for the promise, then when they receive power from the Holy Spirit they will be his witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. As he ascending into heaven two men in white robes said he would come back the same way. That is the promise we are waiting for.
To put it simply, everything is functioning now the way it should. The website is up and running, the email address firstname.lastname@example.org can send and receive email, if you had problems over the weekend those should be resolved.
The full story is more involved but for anyone interested: the website we share on our promotional products, business cards and so forth is http://www.unitybaptist.church (or just unitybaptist.church). We renew a contract annually for that URL. The actual website is hosted by WordPress. I found plainvilleunitybaptistchurch.wordpress.com to be rather long and complicated. It wouldn’t look good on a bumper sticker. So the simple to use and remember domain does a redirect to the actual website location.
Last summer I lost my wallet. That was the cause of many headaches, I don’t recommend it. I was carrying the church debit card at the time and that had to be replaced in addition to all my personal cards and documents. When it came time for 1&1 Ionos to renew our contract, the old debit card had been cancelled and the transaction did not go through. I didn’t know anything was wrong until Saturday morning when a friend IRL asked about the website.
In the past, the unitybaptist.church domain did a frame redirect. No matter which post or page you went to on the site, the URL address did not change because you were looking at a frame. Since I had to set that up again we went with an http redirect. Now when you type unitybaptist.church you can tell that’s a shortcut to a longer web address. If you want to share the link to a particular sermon, article or page on the website that will work. It is also better for SEO or Search Engine Optimization (which is not a major concern for a non-profit but improving our web presence may help people find us and there is no reason to hide).
If you noticed a problem, it has been corrected. If you used the Facebook page or the RSS feed on The Master’s Table to get here then you probably never notice a problem at all. If you are reading this we’re glad you found us.
1 Timothy 3:16 is another text that provides a succinct description of who Jesus is. The mystery aspect will be explained at the end.
Note: Somewhere in the middle of this sermon I get confused by my own notes. I wrote down Romans 6:10-11 and it should have been Romans 8:10-11. I knew what it said but had planned to read a couple of verses to provide context. I resorted to “the Bible says” and that’s not the kind of reference I like to give.
Jochebed was the mother of Moses. He had an older brother and sister but Exodus 2 details the events of his birth and his mother’s love. She loved her son and chose to fear and obey God rather than Pharaoh.
In John 20 Jesus breathes on the disciples and tells them to receive the Holy Spirit. If they were not receiving the promise of the Comforter at that time (and they were not, that’s the day of Pentecost after the ascension) then what exactly is happening? We’re going to start in Genesis 2 and get there. We’ll get there.