Let me be the first to welcome you to Unity Baptist Church! Perhaps you are looking for a church to visit in person or maybe you have been to a service and are now doing a little research. In either case I will take a moment and share a little about us.
As a small country church, we don’t have people directing traffic in the parking lot or a team of greeters to meet you at the front door. But I can promise you this: any visitor will be met and warmly welcomed. Our people will be happy to see you. My wife and I have served at Unity since October of 2014. I cannot write a long list of things our church “has to offer” but our goal is to be the body of Christ in this community. We read and study God’s Word and seek to share the Gospel – Good News – at every available opportunity.
Sunday School begins at 10 am and our worship service is at 11. Singing, praying, reading scripture, giving, preaching and the response to preaching are all acts of worship. We have Discipleship on Sunday evenings which is a small group focused on living the Christian life and a short worship service after that. On Wednesday evenings we have a short Bible study followed by prayer meeting. Throughout the year we have events like Easter Egg Hunts, 4th of July cookouts, Trunk ‘R Treat around Halloween and a Christmas dinner. Visit a few different things to get a good idea of who we and what we’re about. I don’t shove religion down anybody’s throat; I want to introduce to Jesus and tell you more about him. And don’t get the wrong idea – we’re still learning as well, myself included.
You can read about our beliefs, the church’s history and listen to sermons at this website. Contact me via email email@example.com or give me a call (770) 608-7005 to schedule a pastoral meeting or discuss any concerns you may have. Don’t be a stranger. Feel free to drop in anytime we are here.
There’s an old saying about being between a rock and a hard place. In Exodus 14, the children of Israel found themselves between the Red Sea and the Egyptian army led by an angry Pharaoh. This by God’s design as he continued to demonstrate to Egypt who and what he was. Hopefully it’s not a tired cliche: If God brings you to it, he will bring you through it.
The sermon I almost preached last year. Three scriptures from Luke and John’s Gospel accounts in which Jesus sets the example for us to follow. Happy Mother’s Day from all of us at Unity Baptist Church.
When Jesus and his disciples took Passover together for the last time, he gave his followers new meaning to a tradition they knew well. “Do this in remembrance of me.” The Passover meal was meant to remind Israel that God is near. Communion reminds Christian believers today that God is near. Circumcision was an outward sign identifying those in covenant relationship with God. Baptist is our outward sign of an inward change. Neither makes one righteous. Our ordinances of communion and baptism are constant reminders that God is near and that he does for us what we cannot do for ourselves.
We have identified the first nine plagues and read a warning of the tenth. Last week, in the first passage of Exodus 12, the instructions for preparing the Passover sacrifice and eating the Passover meal were given. In this sermon we will not only get to see Israel allowed to leave but commanded to get out quickly. It marked a new beginning for the children of Israel and a night they would always remember as solemn before God.
We had technical issues recording this sermon so there is no audio file. But I don’t want to just skip past it and go on to the next sermon either, so here is a written synopsis.
In the first half or so of Exodus 12 God explains what the Hebrews need to do in preparation of the Passover. First, he tells them to make a new start. They are about to leave Egypt and put everything about that culture behind them. The night they leave Egypt will be the first day of a new month and a new year. Then he tells them about choosing a sacrificial lamb from the sheep or goats. They are to put it up on the tenth day of the month and watch it until the fourteenth. Finally, they are to be ready to go on the night the sacrifice is eaten; belt fastened, sandals on feet, staff in hand. They will be leaving in a hurry.
I spent very little time talking about the displaying the blood on the doorposts or God’s judgement passing over the Hebrews. We will do that on the fifth Sunday in a sermon focusing on communion and baptism. On April 22nd we will continue with the death of the firstborn and the actual Exodus beginning.
Without the resurrection Christianity is just another religion, the Bible is just a book, and believers have nothing but false hope. But since Jesus has the power to lay down his life and the power to take it up again, he is alive and lives forever more!
Jesus described himself as the Good Shepherd, noting that the sheep know the sound of his voice. John the Baptist called him “the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” before his public ministry even began. Jesus is the sheep, the shepherd, the bright and morning star, the pearl of great price, he is the Way, the truth and the life, our great high priest, and more still. All of these symbols and metaphors help us to understand but fall short in describing a love that surpasses our understanding.
On the cross, Jesus was the perfect sacrifice. Matthew 27 describes his death and burial.
Jesus said that he humbled himself so that God could lift him up. He was exalted as he entered Jerusalem but oddly humble, as he rode in on a donkey, at the same time. It had the outward appearance of being his finest hour.
We often say “Moses and the Burning Bush” but I would like to focus on the fact that God was present. God told Jacob he would go down to Egypt with his family. God answered the cry of the Hebrews by calling Moses to lead them out of Egypt. And for each objection Moses raised God had a response that involved his person, presence and protection.
Note: I had a lot of trouble with this quote in the introduction. If you are willing to suffer through it a really good sermon follows. “Some men are born great, others have greatness thrust upon them.” -William Shakespeare