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Advent Week 3 Day 6

As we approach Christmas, it is the season that church has, historically, called Advent. I thought I would re-share some old thoughts about Christmas in this time. Hymn numbers are from the 2008 Baptist Hymnal (which the Apostle Paul would not have used, since he didn’t speak English), but it was the hymnal I had when I wrote this. Apart from Scripture quotes, the copyright on this completely mine.“And so, dear brothers and sisters, we can boldly enter heaven’s Most Holy Place because of the blood of Jesus. By his death, Jesus opened a new and life-giving way through the curtain into the Most Holy Place.” Hebrews 10:19–20 (NLT)The last point about Jesus as our sacrifice is that He is the sacrifice without replacement. There is no substitute for Him to be found in heaven, on earth, or under the earth. Without holding to this truth, Christmas becomes less than just another day. It ends up as a colossal drain on your energy and a big mess at the mall for no good reason.This idea bears bo…

Advent 2017 Week 3 Day 5

As we approach Christmas, it is the season that church has, historically, called Advent. I thought I would re-share some old thoughts about Christmas in this time. Hymn numbers are from the 2008 Baptist Hymnal (which the Apostle Paul would not have used, since he didn’t speak English), but it was the hymnal I had when I wrote this. Apart from Scripture quotes, the copyright on this completely mine.“The Word gave life to everything that was created, and his life brought light to everyone. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.” John 1:4-5 (NLT)The lead-in to Christmas, the time when we celebrate Advent, is many things in our culture. Not all of these things are positive. This time of year, the ‘holiday season’ seems to also be that time of year when the guilt-machine in society is turned up an extra notch or two in intensity. During Christmas, we gather with people that we avoid throughout the year, we sandwich in trips to distant relatives that in …

Advent 2017 Week 3 Day 4

As we approach Christmas, it is the season that church has, historically, called Advent. I thought I would re-share some old thoughts about Christmas in this time. Hymn numbers are from the 2008 Baptist Hymnal (which the Apostle Paul would not have used, since he didn’t speak English), but it was the hymnal I had when I wrote this. Apart from Scripture quotes, the copyright on this completely mine.
“I will not take what is yours for the LORD  or sacrifice a burnt offering that costs me nothing.” (King David) 1 Chronicles 21:24It is easy for us to picture Christmas in light of the Hallelujah Chorus and sing “Wonderful! Counselor! The Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace!”  This is certainly the celebration of the overall character of Jesus of Nazareth, whose birth in Bethlehem anchors our celebrations. Yet Christians recognize not one Advent but two. The second is the one yet to come: when He returns and initiates the visible Kingdom of God in all things. The first Ad…

Advent 2017 Week 3 Day 3

As we approach Christmas, it is the season that church has, historically, called Advent. I thought I would re-share some old thoughts about Christmas in this time. Hymn numbers are from the 2008 Baptist Hymnal (which the Apostle Paul would not have used, since he didn’t speak English), but it was the hymnal I had when I wrote this. Apart from Scripture quotes, the copyright on this completely mine.“For a little while longer the Light is among you. Walk while you have the Light, so that darkness will not overtake you; he who walks in the darkness does not know where he goes.” John 12:35 (NASB95)The sensation that is myrrh, though, does not stop in everyday use. Myrrh was a portion of the anointing oil of the Tabernacle. In fact, it was the largest portion of this oil. Exodus 30 records this oil and its purposes. Whatever was touched by this oil was considered holy. It was to be used on the priests and the implements of sacrifice. It was used on the altar and on the Ark of the Covenant.…

Sermon Recap for December 17

Here’s the sermon from yesterday. We also have the arrangement of the Little Drummer Boy that Jade and Caleb put together.Here is what you'll find: after each sermon title, there's an "audio" link that allows you to play or download that sermon's audio file. Then there should be an embedded Youtube Link to the sermon.Sunday December 17 AM (Audio)If you'd like, you can subscribe to the audio feed here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/east-end-baptist-church/id387911457?mt=2 for iTunes users. Other audio feeds go here: http://eebcar.libsyn.com/rssThe video is linked on my personal Youtube Page here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJBGluSoaJgYn6PbIklwKaw?view_as=publicSermons are stockpiled here: http://www.doughibbard.com/search/label/Sermons

Advent 2017 Week 3 Day 2

As we approach Christmas, it is the season that church has, historically, called Advent. I thought I would re-share some old thoughts about Christmas in this time. Hymn numbers are from the 2008 Baptist Hymnal (which the Apostle Paul would not have used, since he didn’t speak English), but it was the hymnal I had when I wrote this. Apart from Scripture quotes, the copyright on this completely mine.“All Your garments are fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia; Out of ivory palaces stringed instruments have made You glad.” Psalm 45:8 (NASB95)For now, lay aside the thought of myrrh as a burial spice. Instead, let us consider myrrh and its place among the fragrances of intimacy, of relationship, of celebration. Myrrh carries a picture in the Old Testament that is quite different than what we see in the few references to it in the New Testament.In the Old Testament, myrrh is a part of the marriage celebration. The Scripture above, from Psalm 45, is a good reference point for that use. Th…

Advent 2017 Week 3 Day 1

As we approach Christmas, it is the season that church has, historically, called Advent. I thought I would re-share some old thoughts about Christmas in this time. Hymn numbers are from the 2008 Baptist Hymnal (which the Apostle Paul would not have used, since he didn’t speak English), but it was the hymnal I had when I wrote this. Apart from Scripture quotes, the copyright on this completely mine.
“Then their father Israel said to them, ‘If it must be so, then do this: take some of the choice fruits of the land in your bags, and carry a present down to the man, a little balm and a little honey, gum, myrrh, pistachio nuts, and almonds.” Genesis 43:11 (ESV)Coming to the last gift, we find myrrh. Myrrh, like frankincense, was an all-purpose spice. It is another agricultural product. Well, more like a silvicultural product since it comes from trees, but you get the point. It is not something valuable because it is rare. It is instead valuable because people liked it.How do I know people l…

Advent 2017 Week 2 Day 6

As we approach Christmas, it is the season that church has, historically, called Advent. I thought I would re-share some old thoughts about Christmas in this time. Hymn numbers are from the 2008 Baptist Hymnal (which the Apostle Paul would not have used, since he didn’t speak English), but it was the hymnal I had when I wrote this. Apart from Scripture quotes (next time, I’ll probably use CSB all through…just kidding) the copyright on this completely mine.“For there is one God; there is also one mediator between God and humankind, Christ Jesus, himself human, who gave himself a ransom for all—this was attested at the right time.” 1 Timothy 2:5-6 (NRSV)Now we come to the crux of the matter. Jesus is certainly the Priest above all religion, practices, problems, and divisions. Yet what about you? Do you recognize that Jesus is alive to be your High Priest? It is not enough to say that He is greater than all else. Doing so would be true, but it remains a distant truth. I readily recognize…

Advent 2017 Week 2 Day 5

As we approach Christmas, it is the season that church has, historically, called Advent. I thought I would re-share some old thoughts about Christmas in this time. Hymn numbers are from the 2008 Baptist Hymnal (which the Apostle Paul would not have used, since he didn’t speak English), but it was the hymnal I had when I wrote this. Apart from Scripture quotes (next time, I’ll probably use CSB all through…just kidding) the copyright on this completely mine.“Moses said to his father-in-law, “Because the people come to me to inquire of God. When they have a dispute, it comes to me, and I judge between a man and his neighbor and make known the statutes of God and His laws.” Exodus 18:15-16If a train leaves New York at 0545 traveling 60mph on the same track to Philadelphia as a train leaving Philadelphia leaves for New York at 0600 headed to New York traveling 45mph leaves on, how much time does the dispatcher have to warn both trains to stop?Sound like a major issue? Maybe not if you live…

Advent 2017 Week 2 Day 4

As we approach Christmas, it is the season that church has, historically, called Advent. I thought I would re-share some old thoughts about Christmas in this time. Hymn numbers are from the 2008 Baptist Hymnal (which the Apostle Paul would not have used, since he didn’t speak English), but it was the hymnal I had when I wrote this. Apart from Scripture quotes (next time, I’ll probably use CSB all through…just kidding) the copyright on this completely mine.“God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” John 4:24 (NASB95)If you live in the South, you probably realize that many Southerners do love football. Especially college football. The traditions and excitement that surround Saturdays between September and December overtake even the most casual of fans, and cause some of the sanest of people to do some rather crazy things.The traditions of college football are as diverse as the crowds that do them. In Oxford, Mississippi, the well-dressed members of the …

Advent 2017 Week 2 Day 3

As we approach Christmas, it is the season that church has, historically, called Advent. I thought I would re-share some old thoughts about Christmas in this time. Hymn numbers are from the 2008 Baptist Hymnal (which the Apostle Paul would not have used, since he didn’t speak English), but it was the hymnal I had when I wrote this. Apart from Scripture quotes, the copyright on this completely mine.“For there is one body and one Spirit, just as you have been called to one glorious hope for the future. There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and one God and Father, who is over all and in all and living through all.” Ephesians 4:4-6There are, unfortunately, divisions among those who claim the name of Christ. We tend to argue about things great and small. Where else can you find arguments so bitter that a person will not speak to someone five feet away?Some of the arguments are necessary. It often happens that we take our eyes off the Cross and get greatly distracted. When that happens…

Book: Mark through Old Testament Eyes

Well, it’s time for another book. This one is provided to me by Kregel Academic. As always, a free book doesn't buy a slacker review. Of course, I get to pick the books I review and do have a tendency to pick ones that look good to me.Mark through Old Testament Eyes, by Andrew T. Le Peau, presents a different type of focus for a commentary. The goal is uncover the Old Testament background of the New Testament text. The perspective is that the original authors and audiences would have known the Old Testament, so a special focus on that background is valuable.Le Peau’s Mark volume is the first one in this series, which I hope to see come to a full set.Mark opens with a great introduction. Le Peau starts with the movie Toy Story, works through Star Wars and then hits Lord of the Rings. From that point, I knew this was my kind of book: one that delves deep while also providing a light touch. The introduction does not disappoint, using these movies and other popular culture items to il…

Advent 2017 Week 2 Day 2

As we approach Christmas, it is the season that church has, historically, called Advent. I thought I would re-share some old thoughts about Christmas in this time. Hymn numbers are from the 2008 Baptist Hymnal (which the Apostle Paul would not have used, since he didn’t speak English), but it was the hymnal I had when I wrote this. Apart from Scripture quotes, the copyright on this completely mine.“Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6 (NIV)The first place our minds go when we hear that Jesus is a “priest” is down the road to religion. Left to that path, we are headed to an unmitigated disaster if we do not put some hedges and explanations on that. The truth carries a much tighter focus than many of us like.Most religions build on a structure of priesthood. The structure is this: there is something beyond what normal people understand, but there are a few that grasp the full truth. Those few then serve as int…

Sermon Recap for December 10

Good evening! It’s time to roll through the sermon recap. I’ve got to rebuild the template for these posts, but I think this has it:Here is what you'll find: after each sermon title, there's an "audio" link that allows you to play or download that sermon's audio file. Then there should be an embedded Youtube Link to the sermon.If you'd like, you can subscribe to the audio feed here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/east-end-baptist-church/id387911457?mt=2 for iTunes users. Other audio feeds go here: http://eebcar.libsyn.com/rssThe video is linked on my personal Youtube Page here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJBGluSoaJgYn6PbIklwKaw?view_as=publicSermons are stockpiled here: http://www.doughibbard.com/search/label/SermonsHere is the audio player for playing all the sermons via web:
Sunday Morning, December 10 (Audio Link)Sunday Evening, December 10 (Audio Link)
As a bonus, here’s one of my favorite singers:

Advent 2017 Week 2 Day 1

As we approach Christmas, it is the season that church has, historically, called Advent. I thought I would re-share some old thoughts about Christmas in this time. Hymn numbers are from the 2008 Baptist Hymnal (which the Apostle Paul would not have used, since he didn’t speak English), but it was the hymnal I had when I wrote this. Apart from Scripture quotes, the copyright on this completely mine.
“Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of a heavenly calling, consider Jesus, the Apostle and High Priest of our confession;” Hebrews 3:1The next gift mentioned in Matthew is called frankincense. This is where a good many of us get lost, since we do not often have much sense regarding scents. It is obtained from balsam trees, specifically ones that are indigenous to regions of Arabia and the Horn of Africa. In ancient times, it held a great value because of the localization of the economy.Today, though, frankincense does not seem to be that big of a deal. At this moment, I can order a pound of…

Advent 2017 Day 6

“For unto us, a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6 (NRSV)The work of God through Jesus Christ was not merely for Him to come and remind us that He is the rightful King of Creation because He did the creating. He did not come just to check up on the spiritual portion of His kingdom, nor to merely reclaim the throne in Jerusalem. His time on earth was not spent to establish supremacy over other earthly kings. In fact, the only encounters with earthly kings and governors were disastrous: Herod the Great initiated the slaughter at Bethlehem, Herod Antipas does nothing, and Pontius Pilate orders Him crucified.
His work here was not simply to reclaim those titles. He was and remains the King of Kings. He came for a specific purpose that could not be accomplished through any other means. He came for you. He came for me. The Apostle Paul put it…

Book: Christ-Centered Exposition John

It’s time for another book. Why? It’s the Christmas season and you may know Bible and book nerds. So, I’m going to clean up my review stack and push through as many as I can, dealing with the backlog that takes up a large corner of my desk. Nearly every book I review was provided by someone…these aren’t all the books I read but I don’t review everything I read. Who has that kind of time?
Today, let’s take a look at theJohnvolume of the Christ-Centered Exposition series. This commentary set is, generally, about half-way between a commentary and a really deep Bible study. It’s intended for sermon and lesson preparation.
First, as a note on the series, I’m coming to like it more and more. I have several volumes of the Christ-Centered Exposition commentaries and while some of the earlier ones seem to be forcing the interpretation into a specific viewpoint, the later ones seem to be much improved. All of them keep the idea of “Exalting Jesus in…(Insert Bible Book),” it’s just that the more r…

Advent 2017 Day 5

“The Lord is King forever and ever…” Psalm 10:16It is not enough to think of Jesus as King of the world by virtue of creation. It is crucial to think of Him also as the coming King of God’s People. That has two things that need to be considered: the Kingdom of Israel and the Kingdom of God.To consider, first of all, the Kingship of God over Israel, we must look back at the Old Testament. Beginning with Exodus, we see God as the King of Israel in opposition to Pharaoh, King of Egypt. Pharaoh has oppressed the Israelites and they have cried out to God. God sends Moses, not to rule over Israel, but to be His spokesman to Pharaoh. The whole showdown is a 15th Century BC equivalent of a showdown between powers. What Pharaoh does not grasp is that he is not the Superpower in the situation. At the time, Egypt is the power in the Mediterranean region, exerting influence around the area, up the Nile, and as far away as the Iberian Peninsula. He has known no king that can stand up to him. Typ…

Advent 2017 Day 4

“Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God.” Romans 13:1 (NASB)
Now, let’s establish something up front: placed in context, this verse does not demand that we always obey earthly kings and governments. Whether you compare it only to Acts 5:29 where Peter and the Apostles insist that obedience to God supersedes obedience to men or also to the grand context of Scripture where injustice and evil are to be resisted no matter the source, you cannot bandy this verse about to beat people into submission. This verse reflects that we ought to recognize that governing authority derives from God, but it does not require one to not try to improve the situation.
That being said, let us look more into this idea. Jesus is not an absentee King of this world. He is the King who reigns above all earthly powers. Whether you live in a representative democracy or an oppressive dictatorship, and fo…

Book: James: A Commentary on the Greek Text

Review: James: A Commentary on the Greek Text William Varner Fontes Press, softcover, 423 pp.
The Epistle of James is one of those Bible books that we like to proof-text out of, but it's sometimes a bit tough to digest it as a complete book. It is fairly easy to grab a verse or two and not deal with the content. However, in the process, we risk missing the beauty of the book as a whole. James did not write, after all, in just verses. He wrote an entire letter. How should we go about understanding the book as a whole?
Enter the new work from William Varner, James: A Commentary on the Greek Text. While it is not the only recent commentary on James (Dr. Varner has recently released a more devotional-type commentary himself), the newness of this volume allows it to take full advantage of newer resources in Greek studies. That includes access to the newest Greek lexicon and the recently published Greek New Testament from Tyndale House.
The text is focused on understanding James from the Gree…

Advent 2017 Day 3

“Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them.” Job 1:6There are things around us that we cannot see. Some people do not accept this to be true because the idea of invisible reality is too much. Most of us lean in this direction, though we do not like to admit it.We are, generally, cynical people who barely trust our own senses. Scrooge inspires us when he attributes Marley's Ghost to underdone potato above truth. Down in, though, we fear that we're wrong. We worry about shades and specters, the paranormal and the supernatural.These scare us because we cannot see them. What we cannot see, we do not understand. What we do not understand, we will never control. Fear is often that: the human response to lacking control.Yet Jesus is King of the Spiritual World as well as the visible, material one. His time here demonstrated that, as stories of casting out demons and stifling unclean spirits show. Even before Ch…

Sermon Recap for Dec 3 2017

Here is what you'll find: after each sermon title, there's an "audio" link that allows you to play or download that sermon's audio file. Then there should be an embedded Youtube Link to the sermon.If you'd like, you can subscribe to the audio feed here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/east-end-baptist-church/id387911457?mt=2 for iTunes users. Other audio feeds go here: http://eebcar.libsyn.com/rssThe video is linked on my personal Youtube Page here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJBGluSoaJgYn6PbIklwKaw?view_as=publicSermons are stockpiled here: http://www.doughibbard.com/search/label/SermonsThanks!
Morning Sermon: 1 John 1:1-5 (audio)
I put the video of the Advent Candle Lighting in with the sermon video, but it’s not on the audio. Somehow, it seems lighting a candle doesn’t radio play as well.

Evening Sermon:There’s just video here, because we forgot to record the audio.