Tag Archives: Sin

“With” or “As,” That Is the Question

If you are old enough to have any memory of 1993, and if you were living anywhere in the Southeast at the time, “Storm of the Century” means something to you.

Like when Kennedy was shot, when Elvis died, or when the planes crashed into the Twin Towers, the Superstorm of 1993 was one that left people remembering where they were, who they were with, and how long they were cooped up.

For some of you, snow is no big deal. Heck, you’ve even got shoes to wear in it. But in the South, where an inch of snow can shut everything down, 19-21 inches of the white stuff practically cataclysmic! And that’s what we got when the “Storm of the Century” came through.

But wherever you get snow, especially if it’s just enough to cover everything with a blanket of white, for a little while everything is so pretty, isn’t it? Even the trashiest places in your neighborhood (like the guy’s yard with all the car parts strewn around the lawn, or the grimy streets of some major, liberal-run city) can momentarily appear sanitary and safe.

Unfortunately, what covers up something doesn’t necessarily make it better, fix the problems, or make it any safer than it was before.

Back in March of ’93, when the snow in my yard was 21 inches deep, we had a blast jumping and falling into it. We had no fear of falling backwards, forwards, or any direction because the snow was just so deep that we would never hit anything hard.

However, what we never considered was that as we did the same thing around the neighborhood the risk of injury was much greater. We never stopped to think that just under the surface of that soft blanket of white could lie a broken bottle, a board with a nail sticking through it, or a pitchfork.

In Psalm 52 we read King David’s sorrowful prayer of repentance following his adulterous affair with Bathsheba and the murder of her husband, Uriah. Throughout the psalm we sense how dirty he felt, begging God to “wash,” “cleanse,” and “purge” him. Then, in verse seven David mentions snow.

Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

Psalm 51:7

Notice, David was wanting his unrighteousness to be washed away so that he would be white AS snow, not covered with it.

The prophet Isaiah also mentioned snow in this context.

Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.

Isaiah 1:18

Snow is the adjective, not the object. The desire is to be as clean and white as freshly fallen snow, not covered with it.

David knew the difference between works and grace. He knew there was nothing he could do to cleanse himself; only God could do that. Yet so many today simply try to cover up their sin with the snow of good deeds, appropriate associations, philanthropy, and religiosity. Sadly, all they really end up with are “whitewashed tombs” full of dead men’s bones.

Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchers [tombs], which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness.

Jesus – Matthew 23:27 (KJV)

Have you ever asked yourself why it is that a snow-blanketed landscape is so beautiful? What about it appeals to us, especially when underneath the white are myriads of color, even if only multiple shades of brown and gray? Could it be that within humanity is desire to be clean? To be free from guilt? To be forgiven? To be “white as snow.”

Could it be that the beauty of fallen snow is more innate than perceived? Could it be that there’s more to it than simple aesthetic beauty, but a spiritual longing?

What is your desire? Don’t try hiding your mess with the snow! May snow itself lie and wish to be as white as the soul redeemed with the atoning blood of Jesus Christ.

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Filed under Christianity, grace, salvation

A Sermon Not Preached Enough

Truth be told, I’m probably setting myself up for a firestorm of hateful comments and threats with the video I’m about to share. I’m tempted not to.

But then what would that make me?

Then again, with a much smaller number of readers than I had a year or two ago, it’s likely that the video I post will only be seen by a few, and most of them (maybe even you) will not watch or listen to all of it.

So, is it worth it? Is it worth sharing?

Of course it is! If it convicts one person . . . If it reaches one heart . . . If it only causes one person to stop for a minute and consider the truth of Scripture . . . then it was worth it.

Then again, it’s not my job to decide the value of a blog post, or even a sermon. My job is to be faithful to the call to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to exposit the Word of God so that others may come to the knowledge of the Truth.

Preached Sunday evening, September 5, 2021, at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Warthen, GA. Dr. Anthony Baker, Pastor.

There are not a lot of people these days using Romans chapter one to describe America and the culture in which we live. No, they are too afraid of the WOKE police and social media censors, not to mention the protestors who scream and threaten as they label Christians as the hateful and bigoted ones.

Too many pastors are afraid of offending, of burning bridges, of losing whatever numbers we have left.

But if we can’t preach the truth, preacher and pastors, we need to just call it quits and go home. I’m sure that we are not too far away from what God spoke through the Prophet Micah:

“I wish one of you would shut the temple doors, so you would no longer kindle a useless fire on My altar! I am not pleased with you,” says the Lord of Hosts, “and I will accept no offering from your hands.

Source: https://bible.knowing-jesus.com/Malachi/1/10

And if, after listening to the above sermon, you think I’m going overboard on the “sex” thing, just a few minutes ago, right before I linked the above video to this post, my wife sent me a story in Messenger.

https://newschannel9.com/news/local/chattanooga-man-among-18-charged-in-tennessee-human-trafficking-operation?fbclid=IwAR3JvOaShXlS4LRRxvEHGbw-lyPayhazJ_OdTWNLPZiBUBJTRlYxzETmhPY

What’s this world coming to?

Read Romans 1.

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Filed under America, Bethlehem Baptist Church, current events, Defining Marriage, Preaching

The Ministry In Thessalonica

Tonight I went into full teaching mode with attitude!

Wow! I just LOVE Acts, and chapter 17 is one of my favorites.

Get a glimpse inside my Sunday nights as you watch this Facebook live edition of me preaching/teaching through Acts 17:1-9.

www.facebook.com/bethlehembaptistwarthen/videos/2893988174156335/

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Filed under baptist, Bethlehem Baptist Church, Bible Study, Church, Jesus, ministry, Preaching, Uncategorized

You Might Be a Sinner If…

(L-R) My paternal great grandfather and grandfather.


I’m a Redneck

Yes, I confess. I am a redneck, especially considering how burned my neck is after standing out in the sun for five+ hours. Which leads me to ask a question of myself…why do I never remember sun screen unless I go to a beach?

And I also know that I am a redneck because Jeff Foxworthy told me so. If you remember, Foxworthy’s comic routine made famous the line, “You might be a redneck.” Here are some that I know have applied to me at least once over the 50-plus years of my life.

You might be a redneck if…

  • You read the Auto Trader with a highlight pen.
  • Every socket in your house breaks a fire code.
  • The taillight covers of your car are made of red tape.
  • Directions to your house include “Turn off the  paved road.”
  • Going to the bathroom at night involves shoes and a  flashlight.
  • You use the term `over yonder’ more than once a month.

I’m a Sinner

Unlike a whole lot of people in this world (and in a world of their own), I can admit that I am a sinner. The only difference is that once I confessed my inability to change my nature, I traded my “filthy rags” for the imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ (Philippians 3:9). Now, I’m still a sinner, but I’m am a saved sinner.

So, based on the actions of Adam and Eve in the third chapter of Genesis, I took a cue from Jeff Foxworthy and came up with my own list of “you might be’s.” From that list I preached a message entitled “You Might Be a Sinner If…

You might be a sinner if…

  •   You have ever talked to a Serpent – and taken its advice (v. 2).
  •   You know the difference between “Naked” and “Necked” (v. 7). Side Note: If you consider fig leaves appropriate attire, you might be a sinner.
  •  You feel like running when the law shows up (v. 8).
  •  God is searching for you, and not the other way around (v. 9).
  •  You feel self-conscious or defensive about anything you’ve ever done (v. 9-10).
  •  You ever play the “blame game” – Others, “The devil made me do it” (v. 11-13).
  •  You were born (Romans 5:12).

Change of Status

Some people try on their own to change their status in life. Sometimes rednecks move away from Redneckville in order to become a different person. But what they find out is that Redneckville never left their heart. They still have those same desires to grill Spam and fish with dynamite.

In the same way, many people think, once they finally realize they are sinners, that change can come with a simple change of atmosphere, or the turning over of a new fig leaf.

The fact is that sinners don’t become “saints” on their own. It takes outside intervention.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. – 1 John 1:9

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Filed under Christian Living, Christian Maturity, clothing, Humor, Preaching, salvation, self-worth

God Did Not Create Another God


Would you take a moment and consider something?

When God created man, He didn’t create another God.

You might think that’s nothing new, but it is a very, very important truth – one that is rarely unpacked when discussing issues of sin and suffering.

There are people who wonder why God, if He exists and is so powerful and wise, created a free agent who could sin (break God’s law).

Others question why Scripture would suggest that Jesus was slain before the foundations of the world (1 Peter 1:19-20).

The answer to these questions and many more is that God did not create another God, only man.

God has certain characteristics that Man could never have simply because he was created. The most obvious are that he is not eternal, omnipotent, immutable, or omniscient. The most important is that Man, no matter how perfect he was at the moment of creation, was not holy as God is Holy.

If God were to create another like unto Himself, then God would not be God. If Man could be created, he couldn’t be eternal.

No matter what God created, His creation could never be Himself, and therefore not God.

God is eternally immutable, unchanging, therefore He cannot sin. On the other hand, Man is not eternal, nor immutable, so even from the beginning of creation, he had the potential, however remote, to sin. Therefore, even though God did not create sin, nor did He cause Adam to sin, sin was inevitable simply because God created a creature that was not Himself.

Why was it part of God’s plan that Jesus would be crucified, even before Adam even sinned? Because simply creating Man brought with it the inevitable possibility, the inevitable reality, that he would need to be redeemed – because he is Man, not God.

In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. – 1 John 4:9-10 KJV

Simply put, the only way sin could have been avoided would have been for God to never create any being capable of freely communing with Him. If he had created a robot, a machine, then sin would not have been inevitable. But since Adam was given the freedom to choose, a will, and since he was not God, the inevitable required an Emmanuel.

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Filed under Christianity, God, grace, Jesus, salvation

An Important Afternoon Devotional: “Cancer Treatment”

On Monday afternoon I did a Facebook LIVE devotional for my church congregation. It became very personal and displayed more transparency than I intended.

But, you know what? Maybe that’s exactly what a lot of people needed. Honesty.

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Filed under Christianity, Family, Life/Death

Sunday Sermons (5/03/20)

Below are links to the sermon and music from Sunday morning and the Bible study I did live in the evening.

Both broadcasts were uploaded to YouTube. The morning service was pre-recorded, uploaded to YouTube, scheduled as a premier, and shared to Facebook.

The evening Bible study in Acts 7 was first done live on Facebook, then saved, then uploaded to YouTube. Fortunately, the in-out focus that usually accompanies the live video (because of our area’s SLOW internet) was not there!

If you are blessed, encouraged, or convicted by either, I would love to hear from you!

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Filed under Bethlehem Baptist Church, Bible Study, Christianity, Church, Preaching

Accepting Forgiveness vs Faithless Unbelief

Just this week I uploaded a daily devotional I do online to YouTube. Then, as I usually do, I posted it to our church’s Facebook page.

The subject of this video is that of accepting God’s forgiveness, even when we don’t feel forgivable.

I would love your feedback.

Sorry for the goofy-looking face 😉

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Filed under Bible Study, Christianity, Faith, Uncategorized

You Might Be a Sinner If…

I’m a Redneck

Yes, I confess it… I’m a redneck.

I know that I’m a redneck because Jeff Foxworthy told me so. If you remember, Foxworthy’s comic routine made famous the line: “You might be a redneck if…” He would then follow with descriptions, examples, qualifiers, etc.

Below are some I know have applied to me at least once over the last 50+ years.

You might be a redneck if…

  • You read the Auto Trader with a highlight pen.
  • Every socket in your house breaks a fire code.
  • The taillight covers of your car are made of red tape.
  • Directions to your house include “Turn off the  paved road.”
  • Going to the bathroom at night involves shoes and a  flashlight.
  • You use the term `over yonder’ more than once a month.

I’m a Sinner

But unlike a lot of people in this world (and in a world of their own), I can also admit I’m a sinner. The only difference is that once I confessed my inability to change my nature, I traded my “filthy rags” for the imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ (Philippians 3:9). Now, I’m still a sinner, but I’m am a saved sinner.

So, based on the actions of Adam and Eve in the third chapter of Genesis, I took a cue from Jeff Foxworthy and came up with my own list of “you might be’s.” From that list I preached a message entitled “You Might Be a Sinner If…

You might be a sinner if…

  •   You have ever talked to a Serpent – and taken its advice (v. 2).
  •   You know the difference between “Naked” and “Necked” (v. 7). Side Note: If you consider fig leaves appropriate attire, you might be a sinner.
  •  You feel like running when the law shows up (v. 8).
  •  God is searching for you, and not the other way around (v. 9).
  •  You feel self-conscious or defensive about anything you’ve ever done (v. 9-10).
  •  You ever play the “blame game” – Others, “The devil made me do it” (v. 11-13).
  •  You were born (Romans 5:12).

Change of Status

Some people try on their own to change their status in life. Sometimes rednecks move away from Redneckville in order to become a different person. But what they find out is that Redneckville never left their heart. They still have those same desires to grill Spam and fish with dynamite.

In the same way, many people think, once they finally realize they are sinners, that change can come with a simple change of atmosphere, or the turning over of a new fig leaf.

The fact is that sinners don’t become “saints” on their own. It takes outside intervention.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. – 1 John 1:9

If you really want to change, only Jesus can do it.

If you ask, He may even give you a hankerin for grits 😉

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Filed under Christian Living, Christian Maturity, clothing, Humor, Preaching, salvation, self-worth

Determined to Share a Mustard Seed

Honestly, I don’t know if the problem is with my computer, the internet, the way we’ve got our blogs set up, or WordPress. All I know is that Jill over at Mustard Seed Blog wrote a about hiding God’s Word in our hearts, and I want to share it with you!

I mean, here I was, excited about how I could post something really encouraging without having to spend any significant time writing, and now look what I am doing!

So, as I wrap some some things here in Chattanooga before starting my first official day at Bethlehem Baptist Church on August 1st, take the time to plant this little mustard seed from a lady with some helpful, godly wisdom, and click on the link below.

Time For a Heart Clear-Out?

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Filed under Bible Study, blogging, Struggles and Trials