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Salvation

The famed and feisty psychologist, Fritz Pearls, was once asked by a well-meaning Christian if he was saved. He responded by saying, “I am still trying to figure out how to be spent!” His retort echoes a line from Theresa of Avila who states that once we reach the highest mansion of maturity, we are […] Read More

We use the phrase, “safe and sound,” often enough that it’s easy to think that the two words are almost synonymous and that the distinction is a matter of nuance. But it’s not. Someone once illustrated the difference. “The steamship whose machinery is broken may be brought into port and made fast to the dock. […] Read More

A “Markan sandwich” encapsulates two of my favorite gospel healing narratives. This “sandwich” describes a literary device used often in the Gospel of Mark in which the author tells a story that is interrupted by another story. The second story is told in its entirety, and then the first story is finished. In Mark 5:21-24, […] Read More

Many evangelical pastors conclude sermons by urging non-Christians to “ask, receive or invite Jesus into their heart,” or to pray a version of what some call the “sinner’s prayer.” Some evangelicals, including Baptist pastor David Platt of Birmingham, Ala., in recent years have criticized the sinner’s prayer as unbiblical and superstitious. Surely, Platt argued in a controversial […] Read More

I’m not sure how it happened. I grew up in Baptist churches and attended a Baptist university. Yet, I do not remember learning about Walter Rauschenbusch (1861-1918) – a Baptist pastor who emphasized the social nature of the gospel proclaimed and embodied by Jesus – until my last year of seminary. Maybe I missed it […] Read More

Saved

A sermon by David Hughes, Pastor, First Baptist Church, Winston-Salem, N.C., May 12, 2013 Acts 16:16-34 It’s not easy to explain why the word “saved” has been such a problem for me. After all, it’s a very positive word when you think about it. “A penny saved is a penny earned,” said Benjamin Franklin. “God […] Read More

A sermon delivered by Joel Snider, Pastor, First Baptist Church, Rome, Ga., on October 14, 2012. Luke 15:1-10 Morning Prayer: O God, our Father, we find comfort in the assurance that your kindness is loving and your mercy is tender.  How else could we cast ourselves upon your care or trust you for our salvation?  […] Read More

Some Assembly Required

A sermon delivered by Joel Snider, Pastor, First Baptist Church, Rome, Ga., on December 25, 2011. John 3:16-24 Meditation Text: I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year.                                      —Charles Dickens in A Christmas Carol In the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, there […] Read More

A sermon delivered byWendell Griffen, Pastor, New Millennium Church, Little Rock, Ark., on December 11, 2011. Isaiah 61:1-11 61The spirit of the Lord God is upon me,    because the Lord has anointed me; he has sent me to bring good news to the oppressed,    to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives,    and […] Read More

Now and then we hear someone criticize a preacher for not preaching the “plan of salvation.” The critic is usually concerned that the church’s proclamation is veering away from an emphasis on personal salvation and into theological questions, social issues or (heaven forbid) the economic and political implications of the gospel. We understand that the […] Read More