Glorifying God, Proclaiming the Gospel, Transforming Lives

NEW SERMON SERIES

Essentials of Ecclesiology: “Wherever He Leads I’ll Go: The Word and the Worship of the Church”

Jan 2nd, 2012 | By | Category: NEW SERMON SERIES

This is the first in a series of blog articles from Pastor Cade titled “Essentials of Ecclesiology,” which will examine crucial issues and practices for the life of the local church.

open bible”…devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation, to teaching.” – 1 Timothy 4:13

The first non-negotiable, absolutely essential, fundamentally necessary truth for the local church is the primacy of the Bible for the community of believers. The Bible, the living Word of God gives life to the church, the church does not give it life. The Bible creates the church, the church does not create the Bible. The Bible does not receive its authority from the church, instead the church lives under the authority of the Bible.

The Bible, and the pulpit from which it is proclaimed and taught, is the earthly throne from which God rules his people.

Everything we say, do, and believe is to flow from the truth of Scripture. In all things we are to be wholly devoted to what God is saying to his people through its pages. The Bible sets the agenda for our mission and ministry. The Bible establishes the parameters and the directions of our mission. The Bible exercises absolute authority over all things in the life of the local church. Where this truth is upended or ignored, chaos, confusion, and ultimately catastrophe lies waiting.

The Jews of Berea, spoken of in Acts 17:10-15, still remain an example for our life in this regard. Paul and Silas had been evicted from Thessalonica by an angry mob, and so continuing their mission they journeyed to the next town, Berea. As always, they gathered with the local Jewish community at their synagogue for worship on the Sabbath, and as a visiting rabbi Paul was given the opportunity to teach. So Paul proclaimed the good news of Jesus Christ.

And notice how the Bereans responded:

1. “They received the word with all eagerness.” (v. 11)

2. “…examining the Scriptures daily…” (v. 11)

3. “…Many of them therefore believed.” (v. 12)

Notice how the Bereans responded to the Bible at the birth of the local church in their city:

First, they received the word eagerly. The Bible (at the time for them, The Old Testament) was not a burden. It was not an inconvenience. It was not just one portion or aspect of their worship time together; it was the defining heart of their worship together! They were eager, longing, desirous to hear the Bible. They wanted it taught and explained and proclaimed. They gathered together to hear Paul not just because they were longing for relationships in community, or enjoyed really cool programs, or thought the song styles and service ambiance was to their liking. They gathered together because they wanted the Bible! They wanted to know it. They wanted to understand it. They wanted to live in the light of it.

Second, they examined the Scriptures daily. The Bible was not regulated to being opened for only one hour a week. Not only was the Bible the heart of their corporate worship, but it was the essential lifeblood of their life throughout the week. They understood the truth that Jesus had quoted to Satan in the dusty desert east of the Jordan, “Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD” (Deuteronomy 8:3). Far more than hungering for their daily bread, the Bereans knew that true nourishment existed only by digesting the Bible daily.

And third, they therefore believed. Notice the progression and the wording here. It does not merely say that “many of them believed.” That is true, and that in itself is a glorious truth. But don’t ignore the connections that the words are bound together with. It says, “many of them thereforebelieved.” The Bible, the Word of God, proclaimed and studied was powerful to open blind eyes and transform those who encountered it. The Bible is not a dead and dust-soaked book. It is living. As Spurgeon said, it is a living lion that’s on the loose. Many believed in response and as a result to being eager for the Word and diligent in reading and studying the Word. The Word of God spoke life into a vast void of nothingness at the creation, and in Berea it spoke life into the vast void of nothing and created a community of believers, a local church, living and breathing under the life-giving authority of the Scriptures.

The reading, preaching, teaching, and studying of the Bible is the heart and soul of everything we are and hope to be. Everything else that we do flows out of this passion to obey the Bible, know the Bible, and believe the Bible. Why do we feed the hungry? Because the Bible tells us to. Why do we gather weekly for corporate worship? Because the Bible tells us to. Why do we preach the gospel? Because the Bible tells us to. Why do we disciple believers? Because the Bible tells us to.

Nothing, and I mean nothing, takes the place of or precedence over the Bible for the life of the church. At First Baptist we begin our Sunday morning worship gatherings with a public reading from the Bible. Why do we do that? Is it just a tradition? Is it just a way to get people to quiet down so the worship service can start? No. It is not merely the means by which our service starts, it is the first and agenda-forming act for our worship service. We begin by hearing the Bible read and placing ourselves under its authority. Everything we do flows from that.

Let me be very clear, where the Bible is not preeminent, worship is not practiced.

No matter how entertaining or engaging the service may be, no matter how moving or impactful the music may be, no matter how gifted the musicians may be, no matter how engaging the “preacher” may be, no matter how welcoming the congregation may be, where the Bible is not joyfully proclaimed and taught, believers are not worshipping. Literally everything we do in a corporate service is under the authority of God’s Word.

Why do we pray in our services? The Bible tells us to. (1 Timothy 2:1)

Why do we sing in our services? The Bible tells us to. (Ephesians 5:19 and Colossians 3:16)

Why do we give offerings of money for the work of the ministry? The Bible tells us to. (1 Corinthians 16:2)

Why do we preach and teach? The Bible tells us to. (1 Timothy 4:13)

What do all of these regular and regulative components of an ordinary service have in common? They all exist under the authority of and in obedience to the Bible.

I can remember singing as a child the old hymn, “Wherever He Leads I’ll Go.” It was usually one of the songs that was a part of the ongoing cycle of invitation times at the end of the service. We would stand and sing and respond to the preaching of the Word by singing those words, “Wherever he leads I’ll go, Wherever he leads I’ll go, I’ll follow my Christ who loves me so, Wherever he leads I’ll go.” The point is this. However loudly we might sing those words, a church that is not committed first and foremost to treasuring, hearing, teaching, proclaiming, and obeying the Bible is not willing to follow Jesus wherever he goes. Jesus leads his church through the power and authority of his word. It tells us where to go, and if we are ever to be faithful to him, we must live and follow obediently in response to it.

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2012: New Year, Same Gospel

Dec 10th, 2011 | By | Category: NEW SERMON SERIES

Christmas StarFirst Baptist Church Henryville can look back on 2011 with thanksgiving. There have been struggles, changes, and tragedies, yet through it all our fellowship has been grounded on the life-giving hope of an unchanging gospel. Because of that gospel our church has seen a year of bright hope and promise. Lives have been changed. The story of Christ, his cross, and his love for people has been proclaimed faithfully. Our members have been involved in missions, ministry, service, and as always our focus has been the joy that is ours in Jesus Christ. 2011 has been a very good year.

As we bring 2011 to a close and look ahead into 2012 we are excited as we anticipate all that God will do over the coming months. The next year will bring new sermon series, new Sunday School emphases, new missions opportunities, and new ways for the gospel to be proclaimed to our town, state, and world. 2012 will have youth events, women’s conferences, new Bible studies, new sermon series, and of course the big mission trip to Honduras. Along the way there will be some regular and traditional events, as well as some sorrows, sadness, and pain that are graciously unknown to us today. In the midst of the new, the old, and the painful our church will be upheld by the good news of what God has done for us through Jesus Christ. 2011 has been good, but we hopefully expect that 2012 will be even better, and so as one year passes into another we want to celebrate the unchanging gospel that has given and will continue to give us hope.

Manger2011 will close focused on the story of Christmas. Beginning on December 11, Pastor Toby will be preaching a three-sermon series entitled The Message of the Manger: Following the Star to the Cross of Christ. On December 21st during our Wednesday Worship, we will leave the church and go into the community for a night of caroling. On Christmas Eve (Dec. 24) our annual Candle Light Service will prepare our hearts for the message of a God who entered our world as a tiny baby. Then on Christmas Day (a Sunday this year) we will begin our worship time with a special church-wide Sunday School hour (beginning at 9:45 am) entitled “Breakfast in Bethlehem.” Breakfast will obviously be served, and we will unwrap the greatest gift our world has even been given, a gift delivered not in a silvery sleigh but in a humble and dirty stable. After breakfast we will go upstairs (at 11:00 am) for the last Sunday Morning Worship of 2011.

And then, just a few days later we will ring in 2012 with a weekend of exciting worship. On New Years Eve (Saturday, December 31st) we will gather (at the church) for a time of fellowship, fun, and worship. A few hours later we will return on New Years Day as we gather for our weekly Sunday Morning Worship Service. 2012 will begin exactly where it should begin, with God’s people meeting together in worship. That service will kick-off a brand new sermon series (The Power and the Glory) that will be fully unveiled that morning. That night during our evening worship (6:15) we will gather as a local church for a time of singing, worship, and celebration as we give thanks in song for what God has done in 2011 and our only hope as we step into 2012.

Power and Glory Cross 1We hope that you can be a part of all these exciting weekend worship services. We hope that you’ll invite your friends and family. We hope most of all, however, that as one year ends and another begins, that you will focus your heart and commit yourself not simply to new resolutions (which may be forgotten by March) but to the only source of hope, joy, peace, and life – not a new message of novelty but to an old, unchanging, and glorious gospel of a crucified yet risen savior. He will make all the difference in 2012 and forever.

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From Henryville to Honduras 2012

Jul 4th, 2011 | By | Category: NEW SERMON SERIES

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On Sunday July 3, 2011, First Baptist Church Henryville began to mobilize and join together to participate in an overseas short-term mission trip to the Central American nation of Honduras. Honduras is one of the poorest nations in the Western Hemisphere, and like so much of the world it stands in drastic need of both physical aid and the transforming gospel of Jesus Christ.

Honduras Map

First Baptist Church Henryville is joining together and partnering with other Southern Baptist churches across the United States to bring medicine and so much more to the people of Honduras. We are connecting with a team led by Woodlawn Baptist Church in Vicksburg, Mississippi to send a team of individuals to that nation for a week in the summer of 2012. We will be working through an independent Southern Baptist mission agency called Baptist Medical and Dental International (BMDMI: A link to their website may be found under recommended sites) to work alongside a local Honduran Baptist church to bring in medical and dental care, food, clothing, children’s ministries, and preaching and evangelism.

The trip will be from July 3-10, 2012. We will be flying into the capital city of Tegucigalpa and from there will be heading out into the countryside to a small village to work.  The cost estimate for the trip is $2,000.00 per person and we are asking for a commitment (along with a non-refundable deposit of $200.00) no later than November 13, 2011. Individuals who join with us to go to Honduras will be able to minister and serve in a variety of ways like evangelism, children and sports ministry, medical and dental assistance, pharmacy and give-away ministry, veterinary teams, and team support (i.e. kitchen, variety of jobs, etc.). No matter your age, your interests, or your talents, there is definitely a place for you with our team.

We are excited about what God is doing at FBC Henryville. We are passionately committed to being a church that engages to bring the good news of Jesus Christ to Southern Indiana, the United States, and the other nations of the world. That is our commitment, and we hope that you will come alongside us and make the glory of God and the need of the nations your passion as well.

So how can you be involved? Well, there are three major ways that each person can join with our mission to Honduras:

  1. First, every person can pray. We know that not everyone will be able to physically go with us in the summer of 2012. Everyone, however, can pray. Pray for our church as we seek to make the gospel known among the nations. Pray for our leaders as they seek to guide us in discipleship. Pray for the people of Honduras that we will be serving. Pray for yourself as you diligently seek God’s will regarding your participation in this trip.
  2. Second, we ask that every person support our church in sending a team to Honduras. You can support our mission’s ministry in a number of ways alongside your prayers. There will be opportunities for you to donate clothes and other materials for our ministry there and to give to the people we will be serving. You can help us raise money for the trip. Two thousand dollars can be a daunting amount for a person! Throughout the next year we will be striving to raise money in a number of ways, and we would definitely like all the help we can get! Finally, you can help sponsor another team member by helping to offset the cost of their trip. If you cannot go, we would ask you to prayerfully consider setting aside a certain amount of money to help someone else go.
  3. Finally, you can go. Every Christian is under orders to make the proclamation of the gospel a passionate priority. Some Christians are called to be senders – those who mobilize and support the preaching of the gospel around the world. Others are called to be goers. Those are the only two options other than disobedience. For our mission endeavor in Honduras we are going to need many senders to come alongside us and support this effort, but we also need goers. We hope that you will consider being one of those who goes with us. Nothing impacts a person’s discipleship like participating in missions. It truly is a life transforming moment and we would love for you to be involved. Be warned, however. Count the cost. Making the commitment to go will be costly. The trip may be difficult and exhausting. And finally, it will be addictive. Once you step out in faith and take the love of God to the nations, your life will never be the same. Everything else will pale in comparison.

 We hope you’re excited about this mission opportunity. The leadership here at First Baptist certainly is. We hope to have you join with us this year as we go from Henryville to Honduras.

A Week of Your Life from Ken Summerall on Vimeo.

Honduras Flag

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Missions: The Glory of God and the Need of the Nations

Jun 27th, 2011 | By | Category: NEW SERMON SERIES

On Sunday evening (July 3rd) our church will gather for worship. During that service we will be emphasizing the task of missions for the local church. We will be worshipping the God who commands us to go and beginning a time of prayer as we seek to continue to be a local church that spreads a passion for God’s name among all the peoples of earth.

We will be hearing a mission report from a group that just returned from assisting a local missions group in Tennessee, and we will be unveiling and beginning the prayer and mobilization for a mission trip in the summer of 2012.

Make plans now to attend!

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Taking the Gospel to the Nations

Jul 20th, 2009 | By | Category: NEW SERMON SERIES

Our Lord, before ascending into heaven gave us one last instruction on what He wanted us to do.  Read here what He said in Matthew 28:18-19  And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.  (19)  Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:.

Jesus gave instruction that we are to take the gospel into every nation, and as your pastor I want to lead you to be obedient to this command.  The way I plan to do this is by offering two trips a year.  One trip will be a foreign trip, and the other will be a local trip.

This coming year we will be taking a trip to South East India.  I am really excited that we have 7 people from our church who are going on this trip.  I was apporached by many who wanted to go but could not because of the dates of the trip.  So next year I’m gonna plan a trip durning the summer or spring break so more peope will be able to go.  I’m thinking that we will go to Peru instead of India so that will also make the price a little cheaper as well.

For a home mission trip this year we went to Jelly stone and had a great turn out.  We are still looking at what we will do for home missions next year.  We may go to Eastern Kentucky or West Virginia.  We are in the process of working out when and where that trip will be.

So be praying about being involved and where God wants you to go.  I realize that because of circumstances, health, scheduling, or money that not everyone can physicaly go on these trips, but I want to encourage you to be a part of the trip in some way.  You can pray, give, and encourage those who are going.  I want all of us to be a part of this mission trip.  We are not going as a small group.  We are going as a church.  I can’t wait to see what God does with us.  He is so good to us.

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Missions

May 1st, 2009 | By | Category: NEW SERMON SERIES

I want to thank all of you for your contributions for Pastor Peter’s scooter. It is so awesome to think that he will soon be able to get to the villages with ease. I’m so thankful to be a part of a church who is willing to give for such a cause as this. Thank you so much
In Christ,
Toby

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