The New Family

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The New Family

Traditionally, there are seven sentences that Jesus says on the cross. We call them “the seven last words.” Three of them are in John. One of them is about family that turns into community. Woman, behold thy son; son behold thy mother. (John 19:26-27) If you know about Jesus’ family, you understand the power of this […]

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Neighboring

It seems like every week when I open the paper or watch the news, I’m catching First Baptist in action around the community. These surprises come in all shapes and sizes. Each one shares out of a heart of love for Christ. With the successful completion of the Montgomery House, Gary and J.C. Montgomery are […]

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Friends

Jesus only uses the word “friend” three times in Matthew. The parable of the vineyard in Matthew 20:13. The parable of the wedding banquet in 22:12-13. In Gethsemane in Matthew 26:50. None of them describes the ideal friendship needed for a community; all of them point to one person. When we get together with friends, […]

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Washing Feet

Washing Feet

Imagine you are in the upper room with Jesus. He grabs a towel and a basin. He begins to wash feet, and you’re next. We know how Peter feels. He wants no part of this. If Jesus is washing feet, that makes Jesus a servant. If Peter is going to follow a servant, that makes […]

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The Status Quo

The Church of the Holy Sepulcher is the traditional site in Jerusalem marking Jesus’ crucifixion and burial. Roman Catholics, Armenians, and Eastern Orthodox (primarily Greek Orthodox) share custodial responsibilities of the site. Each takes turns worshiping in various parts of the compound, but they can’t agree on its operations. They rely on a local Muslim group […]

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Holy Week

Holy Week

In Matthew 28:6-7, the angel says to Mary Magdalene and the other Mary, “Come, see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples.” This Easter, I invite you to Come and See the witness of the resurrection at First Baptist. During Holy Week April 13-20, our staff has planned several great […]

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Life Groups

The earliest churches in Acts used communities to reach people for Christ. As the gospel spread from the temple, it also moved house to house, reaching people of all backgrounds through the power of the resurrection. The church became what their biological families could not. They shared Someone in common, preaching the good news from […]

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Prayer and Hospitality

When I walked into the conference room to defend my dissertation at Baylor, one of my professors, Dr. Charles Talbert, was the first to arrive. He greeted me in his usual, professional manner. We engaged in the usual nervous smalltalk that most intimidated graduate students have with biblical scholars known worldwide. I asked him how […]

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From Acting to Authenticity

Our word for “actor” comes from the Greek word hypocrite. The ancient Greek theater often used a small ensemble of actors who played many parts. They changed characters by wearing different masks. Jesus described pious people like Greek actors. They wore the masks of piety outwardly but failed to meet the standard of Christ’s righteousness. […]

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Spiritual Gifts

In Ephesians 4:11-14 Paul says, He gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the […]

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