Who Was the Apostle Paul?

Apostle PaulThis coming Sunday the saints known as Lake Wylie Baptist Church will begin marching through Paul’s epistle to the churches of Galatia. To help you prepare to read, understand, and apply the message of this book I decided to give you a short introduction to its author. Who was the apostle Paul?

Birth and Early Life: 
Born in Tarsus of Cilicia (Acts 9:11) likely in the first decade of the first century. He was a member of the Israelite tribe of Benjamin (Philippians 3:5). His brith name was Saul after the first king over Israel. Paul was his Roman name. Although he was Jewish by birth Paul was also a Roman citizen; a benefit likely purchased by his parents at the cost of more than a year’s wages.
Training as a Pharisee:
Acts 22:3 tells us that Paul learned Judaism at “the feet of Gamaliel” who was the most influential Rabbi of his day. As a young man Paul viciously persecuted Christians, having them imprisoned and even put to death.
Conversion from Judaism to Christianity:
While on his way to persecute Christians in the town of Damascus Paul converted to Christianity through a vision of the risen Lord and the ministry of a man named Ananias (Acts 9). After spending a few years ministering to various groups, Paul and Barnabas we commission by the church of Antioch as missionaries. Paul would spend the rest of his life planting churches in Asia Minor and Macedonia (modern day Turkey and Greece, respectively).
Apostle to the Gentiles and Author of Scripture: 
As Paul planted churches all over the world he wrote letters of continuing instruction to those churches. The New Testament includes 13 of Paul’s letters to various churches and disciples making up nearly 1/3 of the New Testament. Luke, author of a gospel and the book of Acts, dedicates 16 chapters of Acts to Paul’s ministry (13-28).
Roman Imprisonment and Death:
After causing an uproar in the city of Jerusalem Roman authorities imprison Paul and he appeals to Caesar (Acts 21). Church tradition tells us that Emperor Nero heard Paul’s case and released him. Later in the mid-60s Paul would be arrested an beheaded sometime before A.D. 68.
So much more could be said about this astounding man. If you live in the Charlotte area I hope you’ll consider joining us this Sunday as we kick-off our sermon series in Galatians. If you have any comments or questions I’d love to chat with you in the comments.

Sermon Manuscript: John 11

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Sunday we completed the final week of our series “Who is Jesus?” We’ve been looking at texts from the first half of  John’s gospel. It’s called the Book of Signs because John has carefully selected vignettes from the ministry of Christ which highlight the essence and nature of his Messiahship. This Sunday we examined Jesus as the Resurrection and the Life in John 11. A copy of the manuscript I preached from is available below for your own study.

John 11

Sermon Manuscript: John 6:27-40

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Sunday we completed week 5 of our series “Who is Jesus?” We’ve been looking at texts from the first half of  John’s gospel. It’s called the Book of Signs because John has carefully selected vignettes from the ministry of Christ which highlight the essence and nature of his Messiahship. This Sunday we examined Jesus as the Bread of Life in John 6. A copy of the manuscript I preached from is available below for your own study.

John 6:27-40

Sermon Manuscript: John 4:43-54

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On Sunday we continued a six week series through John’s “Book of Signs.” Our goal in the series is to examine the vignettes John offers in the first half of his gospel account to gain a full picture of who Jesus is and what he means to us. The fourth part of the series was from John 4:43-54, and the sermon manuscript can be found below:

John 4:43-54

Sermon Manuscript: John 2:1-11

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On Sunday we continued a six week series through John’s “Book of Signs.” Our goal in the series is to examine the vignettes John offers in the first half of his gospel account to gain a full picture of who Jesus is and what he means to us. The third part of the series was from John 2:1-11, and the sermon manuscript can be found below:

John 2:1-11

Book Thoughts: Theology of the Reformers

51sk2znqgl-_sx342_bo1204203200_A while back a friend and I began sharing the best quotes and thoughts we had from our personal reading. The idea was to give one another greater access to books without having to read as many. If I read a book, my friend could benefit from reading the quotes I pulled out and any thoughts I shared. For 2017, when ever I read a book I’ll share quotes I like, as well as any major thoughts I have about the book.

I just finished reading Dr. Timothy George’s Theology of the Reformers. This year marks the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. On October 31, 1517 Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the door of the Wittenberg Church. George’s goal is to set forth the distinguishing theological contributions of 5 reformers: Martin Luther, Hulrych Zwingli, John Calvin, Menno Simons, and William Tyndale. I highly recommend this book. It’s like getting 5 75 page biographies in 1 volume.

A few quotes:

Luther’s new insight was that the imputation of Christ’s alien righteousness was based not on the gradual curing of sun but rather on the complete victory of Christ on the cross.

Another aspect of Zwingli’s doctrine of election deserves some special attention: his postulation of the salvation of the so-called “pious heathen.” Zwingli held that even among those who had never heard the gospel, those who lived outside the chronological or geographical bounds of salvation history, God chose some.

On Calvin- The knowledge of God in the natural realm had only a negative function— to render humans inexcusable for their idolatry.

For Menno, following rather than faith was the great word of the Christian life. Or, perhaps more accurately, faith that did not issue in following was ipso facto barren and false.
Tyndale’s 1526 New Testament entered England as contraband and began to circulate in this way. Literacy was on the rise but still not common. Those who did not know how to read gathered eagerly  around others who did to hear for the first time the words of the New Testament read aloud in English.

Sermon Manuscript: John 1:29-34

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On Sunday we continued a six week series through John’s “Book of Signs.” Our goal in the series is to examine the vignettes John offers in the first half of his gospel account to gain a full picture of who Jesus is and what he means to us. The second part of the series was from John 1:29-34, and the sermon manuscript can be found below:

John 1:29-34