• Biblical,  Sermon/Devotional

    Love Trumps Freedom

    One of the most profound and exciting truths about the Christian faith is that Jesus has set us free; “For freedom, Christ has set us free (Gal. 5:1),””So if the Son sets you free, you really will be free (John 8:36).” We have been set free from the law (Rom. 8:2), sin, and death. With his life, death and resurrection Jesus fulfilled the law. His perfect life fulfilled the righteousness expressed in God’s moral law, and he gives us that righteousness as a free gift since we cannot gain it for ourselves. He also fulfilled all the parts of the law that were designed to foreshadow deep truths about the…

  • Bible study,  Biblical,  Sermon/Devotional

    Decisions Decisions Decisions

    We make decisions every day – without exception. Some of them are important life decisions like who will we marry? Will we get married? What career path are we going to pursue? Should we accept the new position in another city or state? Decaf or full strength? You get the picture. Other decisions carry considerably less weight – chicken or beef? Eastern or Lexington style barbecue? Flip-flops or shoes? No matter what choices we are facing we all have a decision making process that we go through or a framework which guides us in making choices. I would wager that for most Christians if we do think about making a…

  • Biblical,  Sermon/Devotional,  Thoughts/Reflections

    On Holiness

    In the movie O Brother, Where Art Thou there is a scene in which the three protagonists are sitting around a campfire enjoying some barbecued gopher when a group of people clad in white robes passes by the campsite on their way to the river. Naturally, the congregation is headed to the river for baptism. Intrigued, the escaped convicts make their way down to the riverside where Pete and Delmar enthusiastically wade into the water to be baptized, and have their sins “warshed away.” While there are numerous theological rabbits to chase regarding this scene, for now I want to focus on the results of the “baptism.” You see, aside from…

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  • Bible study,  Biblical,  marriage,  Sermon/Devotional,  Tough stuff,  Uncategorized

    Bible in the Bedroom: Toward a Biblical View of Sex

    You should have seen some of the looks I got when I told the congregation I was going to talk about sex. For as long as I can remember (which isn’t very long comparatively speaking) the topic of sex has been more than a little taboo in the Church. To be sure, sex is a very personal and intimate topic that should be discussed with utmost care and sensitivity. However, as our culture has become more and more sexualized we Christians have tended more towards the head-in-the-sand approach. It is as if we think if we ignore it, it will go away. We have done an outstanding job at rejecting…

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  • Biblical,  Sermon/Devotional,  Thoughts/Reflections

    A Good Friday Meditation

    This was originally the message I wrote for our Good Friday Service 2018.  Today is not a day of celebration. Celebration will have to wait. Today we should feel the weight of Jesus, God’s only begotten Son, dying on the cross because of us. On that cross Jesus cried out with the words of the Psalmist, “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?” He was abandoned because of us, because of our sin. He was forsaken so that we wouldn’t have to be. What happened? How did humanity get to a point that we killed the very Son of God? Well, not long after God created them, Adam…

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  • Bible study,  Biblical,  Spiritual warfare

    Take Your Stand

    One of the greatest battles in history was the Battle of Thermopylae in 480 BC. Against hundreds of thousands of Persians a few thousand Greeks stood and fought to defend their homeland from the most powerful empire at the time. The most famous event of this battle was the last stand of the Spartans who numbered 300, along with around 1000 others (Thespians and Thebians). This battle was romanticized in the movie 300 which takes considerable poetic license with the actual history of the battle. The ancient historian Herodotus gives us one of the best, early accounts of the battle and most other histories lean heavily on his work. Now, before…

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  • Biblical,  Sermon/Devotional

    Regaining the Wonder of the Gospel

    I don’t ever want to get over the gospel. I don’t ever want to get beyond the gospel. You might think that’s rather childish or that I don’t want to go deeper in my understanding and knowledge of the faith I proclaim. You would be wrong. You see, I believe there is nothing richer, more profound, or more beautiful than the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Paul reminds us, “For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but it is the power of God to us who are being saved (1 Cor. 1:18).” How could I ever exhaust the wonder of the power of God? How…

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  • Uncategorized

    A Page Has Turned: On the Death of Billy Graham

    As a North Carolinian, and an evangelical Christian I have spent most of my life knowing who Billy Graham was. Whether or not you agreed with him theologically, methodologically, or philosophically you cannot deny the influence and impact he had on the second half of the twentieth century. I’ve spent some time researching his life, enjoyed spending time at his “library” in Charlotte, and watched many hours of documentaries on the man Billy Graham. Today, as we mourn his passing, I have found myself unexpectedly emotional. I don’t know exactly why, since I can’t say I was a personal friend of Mr. Graham. I never went to one of his…

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  • 1 Corinthians 4,  the Church

    Talk is Cheap

    For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power. 1 Corinthians 4:20 I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase, “talk is cheap.” That’s not just a twist on the age-old adage “actions speak louder than words,” it is, in fact, a biblical principle. Let me explain. When Paul wrote his letter to the Corinthian Christians that we call 1 Corinthians, he was writing to address specific issues that were plaguing the church. As a spiritual father to these Christians (see 4:14-17) he had deep concern over the direction they were heading in their walk with Christ as individuals and a community of faith. Despite his love and…

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  • the truth about,  Tough stuff

    Life and Liberty: NIFLA v. Becerra

    North Carolina (my home state) is one of 17 states that has some form of alcoholic beverage control commission. This commission operates a number of ABC stores which, in our parlance, is code for “where you go to get liquor.” This commission comes under the authority of the Department of Public Safety – a part of the state government. According to their website, NC ABC stores generate approximately $1 billion annually through the sale of controlled beverages. That’s a pretty penny, no? Imagine with me for a moment that the State of NC passed a law that required substance abuse rehab centers to post prominent advertisements for the nearest ABC…

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