Sep 24, 2023
Johnathan and the Young Lad (I Samuel 14:6)
  • Sep 24, 2023Johnathan and the Young Lad (I Samuel 14:6)
    Sep 24, 2023
    Johnathan and the Young Lad (I Samuel 14:6)
  • Sep 17, 2023A Father’s Faith (Mark 9:14-29)
    Sep 17, 2023
    A Father’s Faith (Mark 9:14-29)
    Nothing feels quite so awful as seeing your child suffer and knowing there is nothing you can do to stop it. If you have ever been in a situation like hat, then you understand the utter helplessness that one feels in that situation. Suppose, then, that you took your child to an expert who was supposed to be a specialist in fixing your child’s problem, but even they could not solve the issue. Your disappointment would be doubled, and you would be on the verge of despair. If you can imagine such a scenario, then you can begin to imagine how the father we meet in Mark 9 must have felt. His son was possessed by a devil and there was nothing he could do for him. He brought his son to Jesus’ disciples to be cured, and there was nothing they could do for him. He was on the verge of despair when Jesus arrived. When he asked Jesus to heal his son, Jesus responded by saying, “If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.” That was not the answer the man was looking for, and in desperation, he cried, “Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.” Jesus did help that man’s unbelief. He healed the son, and that man’s faith grew that day because he learned that faith is not just believing that God can do whatever you need, but He is the only one who can do whatever you need, and He will meet your needs when you have Faith in Him.
  • Sep 10, 2023The Cost of Discipleship (Mark 8:34-36)
    Sep 10, 2023
    The Cost of Discipleship (Mark 8:34-36)
    How hard is it to be a follower of Jesus? In an effort to persuade people to accept Christ as their Savior, we can mistakenly give people the idea that there is no cost involved in being a disciple of Jesus. The reality is that it is not easy to be a follower of Jesus. It costs something to be a disciple.
    In Mark 8:34 -36, Jesus gave His disciples a lesson on the cost of following him. He made it clear that the process of being a disciple is costly. There must be a denial of self, a decision to bear the burden of discipleship, and a daily commitment to keep following.
    The payoff, however, is more than worth it. If we willingly surrender our lives to God and the ministry of the gospel, then we are actually saving it. If we try to save our lives for ourselves, then we will lose it. For this reason, following Christ should be a priority over pursuing material gain or earthly pleasures.
    As high as the cost of discipleship is, the penalty for not following Jesus is even higher. Jesus said He would be ashamed of those who were ashamed of Him. Whether you follow Jesus or not, you will pay a price, but the cost of following Jesus is well worth it.
  • Sep 3, 2023Beware of the Leaven (Matthew 16:1-12)
    Sep 3, 2023
    Beware of the Leaven (Matthew 16:1-12)
    We are constantly surrounded by things that would kill us if they could. There are many creatures and organisms that are deadly to us if they attack us. There are chemicals and substances all around us that are potentially fatal. The world’s most deadly toxin, according to many scientists, is so poisonous that just one nanogram per kilogram of body weight is enough to kill a person. For this reason, we take reasonable precautions to protect ourselves. We cook our food to kill any potential germs that would make us sick. We wear bug spray to keep parasites from attacking us. Most of us do not go swimming with sharks. We are very good at protecting our bodies from things that would harm us. But what about our souls? Are we careful to guard against things that are potentially harmful to our souls? In Matthew 16, Jesus warned His disciples to be on guard against the evil influences that surrounded them. The language He used, however, left them wondering what He really meant. He said, “Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.” They thought at first that He might have been referring to real food. But what Jesus was really talking about was the teachings of the scribes and Pharisees. Their false doctrine was like leaven because just a small amount would permeate a large loaf. We cannot afford to let our guard down when it comes to false doctrine. Any belief that contradicts scripture must be avoided at all cost, because it will eventually taint many other beliefs and behaviors.
  • Aug 13, 2023How To Have Compassion (Mark 8:1-10)
    Aug 13, 2023
    How To Have Compassion (Mark 8:1-10)
    Humans are naturally selfish creatures. Left to our own devices we will always turn inward, doing the things that make us happy and that satisfy our desires. We will view our relationships with others as a means to achieve a self-serving goal. Because of our sinful, selfish tendencies, it is hard for us to have true compassion. Even acts of kindness that we do can be motivated by a selfish desire to feel good about ourselves or be viewed positively by others for what we have done. Jesus had no selfish tendencies, therefore everything He did was motivated by the holy desire for the good of others. He is the model of true compassion. In Mark 8:1-10, we find a record of one of the two famous miracles when Jesus fed the multitude by turning a tiny amount of food into an abundant feast. We often focus on the material aspect of the story, how seven loaves and a few fish could become a feast for 4,000, and we sometimes overlook Jesus’ motivation for the miracle. He stated that motivation in Mark 8:2 when He said, “I have compassion on the multitude.” If we follow that line of thought we find details in this story that show us how to have true compassion. Having true compassion means paying attention to other people and to their needs. It means taking the time to get to know them personally. It means
    you are willing to sacrifice what little you have for their good, trusting God to stretch your resources so that neither you nor they will end up empty handed. Having true compassion means that you are not living for yourself, but that you honor God by genuinely caring for others.
  • Aug 6, 2023The Glory Of God (Jude 24-25)
    Aug 6, 2023
    The Glory Of God (Jude 24-25)
    Philadelphia Baptist Church has been in existence for over 85 years. The church has its roots near downtown Atlanta at the intersection of Cameron Street and DeKalb St. Today, you’ll find houses and I-20 on the land that once belonged to Cameron Street Baptist Church, as we were then known. We are not sure when the church actually began, but the earliest records we have on file are from 1931. By 1936, our name had been changed to McDonald Memorial Baptist Church. In October of that year, our total offerings were $21.46. $16.15 of that went toward the mortgage and $2.00 was spent to purchase coal to heat the building. By 1959, the church name had been changed to Philadelphia Baptist Church and the decision had been made to become an independent Baptist church. During the next few decades, the church saw many blessings. A new property was purchased and the church relocated to Conyers, GA in 1973. Also in the 1970’s, Philadelphia Christian School was started, which remained in existence until 2013. God’s blessing was evident as souls were saved and disciples were made. In 2007, another chapter was opened for the church when an old school building on 26 acres in Rutledge, GA was given to the church. Eventually, both church and school were relocated to Rutledge and we are still here today, continuing our mission of seeking the lost and training disciples. Throughout the history of our church, there has been only one constant. Our name has changed, our location has changed, our leadership has changed and our membership has changed. But there is One who has not changed  the Lord Jesus Christ, and He is still the head of our church to this day. As we celebrate the history of our church, we want to give all the glory to Jesus, the only One who deserves it. This is the LORD'S doing; it is marvellous in our eyes. (Psalms 118:23)
  • Jul 30, 2023He Hath Done All Things Well (Mark 7:37)
    Jul 30, 2023
    He Hath Done All Things Well (Mark 7:37)
    “And were beyond measure astonished, saying, He hath done all things well: he maketh both the deaf to hear, and the dumb to speak.” -Mark 7:37-
    In the creation account of Genesis 1, we read that at the end of each day God reviewed what He created and saw that it was good. We learn a foundational truth in those brief statements. God is a doer, and everything that God does, He does well. Some believe that God is impersonal and disconnected. They do not think that He takes a personal interest in our lives or cares about the details. They imagine that He is more of a spectator than the sovereign Author of history. This is not true. God is a doer. He is actively working His sovereign plan in each of our lives. Everything that happens to us then is part of God’s perfect plan. There are no surprises to God. He is not reacting to plot twists as the main character of your favorite story might. Even when we are affected by the consequences of sin, everything is still under God’s sovereign control. Whatever God does, He does well. Because He is good, He does good. (Psalm 119:68). That is why we can confidently affirm that all things will work together for good. (Romans 8:28). God does not make mistakes, and He does not overlook details. You can trust God in every situation because “He hath done all things well.”
  • Jul 23, 2023The Tomb of the Unknown Prophet (I Kings 13:1-34)
    Jul 23, 2023
    The Tomb of the Unknown Prophet (I Kings 13:1-34)
    The mistake of the unknown prophet was to go against the clear revealed will of God. His story teaches us that no matter who we are and no matter what we are told, we must obey God's Word. While God may not strike you dead the instant you disobey, failing to obey God always results in tragedy.
  • Jul 16, 2023Humble Faith
    Jul 16, 2023
    Humble Faith

    The Lord Jesus Christ was known for his gracious speech. "And all bare him witness, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth." (Luke 4:22) But there were a few times that Jesus' words appear to be harsh and unkind. Such is the case with Jesus' conversation with a Gentile woman, recorded in Mark 7. This woman had a problem she couldn't solve. Her daughter was possessed by a devil. She heard that Jesus had come to town, so she went to Him because she knew that Jesus could heal her. When she found Jesus, she fell at His feet and begged him to cast the devil out of her daughter. 

    Jesus' answer seems cold and callous.
    "Let the children first be filled: for it
    is not meet to take the children's
    bread, and to cast it unto the dogs."
    Did Jesus call her a dog? Was He
    refusing to answer her prayer? 

    Many people would have been so
    offended by that kind of an answer
    they would have turned around
    and left, but not this woman. She
    knew who she was and that she
    did not deserve anything help
    from Jesus. But she also knew who
    Jesus was. Just a crumb of his
    power was enough to deliver her
    daughter, and that's all she asked
    for. In response to her humble faith,
    Jesus healed her little girl.

    True faith is always humble. It does
    not demand of God what it wants,
    nor does it think it deserves to get
    what it wants. Humble faith admits
    that for God to help us, He must
    stoop to where we are. It realizes
    that whatever good thing God gives
    us is better than we deserve. The kind
    of faith that honors God is humble faith. 

  • Jul 9, 2023The Sins of the Elder Son
    Jul 9, 2023
    The Sins of the Elder Son
    The story of the prodigal son is one of the most well-known parables that Jesus ever told. Most people are familiar with the prodigal’s part of the story. He was discontent with living and serving in his father’s house, so one day, he demanded his inheritance early. The father gives it to him, and he leaves home and wastes all the money on wicked living. After some time, famine came to the land, and the prodigal had to find work feeding pigs to survive. Finally, he comes to his senses and returns home. Instead of being angry and holding a grudge, his father happily receives him back into the family. But the prodigal son had a brother, also mentioned in the story. The story concludes with an exchange between the father and the elder son. The elder son never left home. He was hard-working. He obeyed his father’s instructions. All of these are admirable traits, but there was something wrong with the elder brother’s heart. He was proud, bitter, and envious, and he proved it by refusing to join in celebrating his brother’s return. How we react when the lost are found reveals what is truly in our hearts. If we are unmoved by a sinner’s profession of faith in Christ or cynical about a backslidden Christian getting right with God, we are acting like the prodigal’s big brother. We must confess our pride, bitterness, and envy and rejoice with the Father when a prodigal returns.  
  • Jul 2, 2023Giving As An Act of Worship
    Jul 2, 2023
    Giving As An Act of Worship
    “Give unto the LORD the glory due
    unto his name: bring an offering,
    and come before him: worship the
    LORD in the beauty of holiness.”
    (1 Chronicles 16:29) Everyone is
    worshipping something. Even the
    most irreverent, ungodly atheist
    engages in worship. Webster
    defines “worship” this way: “To
    adore; to pay divine honors to;
    to reverence with supreme respect
    and veneration.” Worship is when
    you demonstrate your devotion to
    someone or something by giving the
    most and the best of your time and
    treasure to it. The idea of giving is
    so connected with worship that we
    cannot even imagine a form of
    worship that doesn’t involve some
    aspect of giving. Even those who
    do not worship the true God
    understand that worship involves
    giving of offerings and sacrifices.
    They do it to appease their false
    gods and earn their favor, but it
    shows that God has put into the
    conscience of man the knowledge
    that giving is a part of worship. As
    Christians, we too should give as
    an act of worship to the Lord. We
    should give thanks, we should give
    praise, and we should give money.
    We do not give to earn God’s favor,
    nor do we give expecting God to
    bless us with great and greater
    wealth. We should give to the
    Lord because God means so
    much to us. When we give tithes
    and offerings in obedience to
    the teachings of God’s Word, we
    are showing that we take God
    seriously and that He means
    enough to us that we are willing
    to part with our hard earned
    dollars to honor Him.
  • Jun 18, 2023What’s In Your Heart?
    Jun 18, 2023
    What’s In Your Heart?
    There are two sides to every person: the inside and the outside. Or in the language of the Bible, there is the “inward man” and the “outward man.” (2 Corinthians 4:16) Each of us chooses which will receive our focus and attention. Either we will focus on the external things that other people can see and notice or on the internal things that may go unrecognized. Which one we make a priority determines the direction of our life takes. If you believe that perception is more important than reality, then your focus is on the outward man. If you believe that if you fake it, you can make it, then the outward man is your priority. If you do what you do “to be seen of men,” then external things are paramount to you, and that is a problem. It is a problem because Jesus said that what is in your heart is more important than what people see on the outside. The heart is the real you, and it determines what will come out of your life. The most religious people in Jesus' day were consumed with maintaining an appearance of godliness, but in reality, their heart was far from God. Their heart was evil, and the result of an evil heart will be an evil life. They were meticulous about ensuring that nothing went in their mouth that would “defile” them, but they ignored the corruption that was in their heart. The inward man is the most important part of us because that determines who we really are. We must be sure that we keep our hearts clean, and when we do that, our whole lives will be pure.
  • Jun 11, 2023Tradition!
    Jun 11, 2023
    A tradition is a ritual or belief handed down from one generation to another. Many people like traditions because they can give a sense of stability, consistency, and connection. Not all traditions are bad. In fact, many traditions are very good and helpful because they are based on Biblical principles. If, however, a tradition is at odds with God’s commands, we must reject that tradition so that we can obey God. Sadly, many people confuse traditions and God’s commands. They assume that because something has “always” been done, it must be right. They are not humble enough to admit that they and those who have gone before them might have been wrong. This was one of the glaring problems of the Scribes and Pharisees in Jesus’ day. To them, keeping the traditions of the rabbis and elders of bygone days was more important than truly obeying God’s word. Their teaching was particularly tricky because those traditions were often loosely based on the scripture. They were traditions of men presented as the doctrines of God. In Mark 7:1-13, Jesus was confronted by the religious leaders about His disciples not keeping the tradition of ritual hand washing before meals. Jesus turned the question back on them, pointing out that they were breaking the commands of God to keep their traditions. But it is not just the Scribes and Pharisees who have been guilty of elevating tradition above the commands of God. If we are not careful, any of us could fall into the same trap. We like to think that we have had it right all along, but only God’s Word is infallible. When our traditions contradict the Bible, we must give up those traditions and obey God.
  • Jun 4, 2023Secret Sins (Psalm 90:8 KJV)
    Jun 4, 2023
    Secret Sins (Psalm 90:8 KJV)
  • May 28, 2023Growing Pain
    May 28, 2023
    Growing Pain
    One of our church themes this year is growing. God created us to grow physically. But with that growth often comes times of pain. We call it growing pains. A baby might experience teething pain. We may feel pain while lifting weights to build muscle. Muscles grow stronger by working them harder. Our church should be exercising its spiritual muscles to grow as well.
    Christians can expect to experience growing pains in spiritual growth as well. God allows these growing pains of hardship, suffering and even hurt because He loves us and according to Romans 8:29 He is conforming us to the image of His Son Jesus. As God allows our church to grow, we can expect growing pains. The early church dealt with hardship, persecution, and suffering as part of God’s plan to build His church. We are going to have growing pains, by living our life God’s way, times of pain will bring the growth God desires to see in our church.