Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from January, 2018

Genesis 19 #eebc2018

There are certain parts of the Scripture that have made their way into the public consciousness even among those who do not care for the Word of God. The Good Samaritan, David and Goliath, even Samson and Delilah show up in commercials, movies, politics, and more...but I don't know that any of those match Sodom and Gomorrah. After all, it has only been the last few decades that "sodomy" laws have been stricken from the books in this country.That's a pretty long recollection, and a pretty infamous one. Why would our memory of Sodom and Gomorrah be so long and so angry? A few reasons. First of all, you probably noticed that Genesis 18 ended with Abraham speaking with God about sparing these cities from destruction.After all, a gracious God wouldn't destroy the righteous with the wicked (Genesis 18:25), right? Yet after going so far as to say that He would not destroy the cities if 10 righteous men could be found there...Sodom and Gomorrah are destroyed. And it'…

Genesis 17-18

Note to the reader: Well, I'm way late. I've got excuses but they won't benefit you. As such, I've got apologies. I'm going ahead and writing/catching up so that it's here for future reference.Growing up, one of the TV shows we watched fairly regularly was Dragnet. If you know the show, you're familiar with the line: "The names have been changed to protect the innocent." After all, you'd hate to be blamed for something you didn't do--so a shield of anonymity can be helpful.In ancient cultures, though, name changes weren't typically to hide yourself. They were used to mark significant milestones in your life or to show a new allegiance. Which, of course, to the new king, was a significant milestone in your life.And so we come to the name change for Abram. The Lord Almighty determines that it is time to mark a new beginning for Abram and so renames him Abraham. (An interesting note in one of the newer Greek New Testaments makes the openi…

Sermon Recap for January 28

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!Sunday Morning January 28 (audio download)Audio Player
Video:

John 6:59-7:53 #eebc2018

It's Monday morning, which is when we tend to think life is challenging. Yesterday was hopefully a great day gathered with the Body of Christ, and now is a day to put the rubber on the road, energized by the encouragement from the day. As we start on that, what do we see in today's Scripture passage? The first portion is a challenging moment. Jesus has taught the truth, but the people are not willing to stick around and live it out. The turn to John 7 gives us a peek into the extended dynamics of Jesus' family life. We see that His brothers did not believe Him at the time, though we know that at least two did later. (Read James and Jude...)The CSB gives us an odd translation, especially if you're used to the more traditional 'Feast of Tabernacles' or 'Feast of Booths,' rendering the phrase as 'Festival of Shelters.' It harkens back to the time of the Exodus and the establishment of the nation of Israel (see Leviticus 23 for more information). Go…

John 6:1-58 #eebc2018

John alternates back to sharing the signs of Jesus as the Messiah in this chapter, where John 5 was primarily focused on a discourse. This time, we see signs 4 and 5. These are actually two of the most famous miracles of Jesus. The first one is present in all four Gospels. Outside of the last week of Jesus, the Passion Week, it's a rarity to find something in all 4 Gospels. The birth of Jesus isn't in all four. Several events in John (Nicodemus, Cana, the woman at the well) are only in John...and so forth.There are some useful details here, such as the extended interaction with the disciples about the food situation. It's also from John 6:15 that we see Jesus aware that the crowd wants to make Him king by force...and so He withdraws.Then He walks on water, making the fifth sign. Peter's dip into the waters is not mentioned at all, and then the boat gets where it was going.What do we do with either of these?Put them in context with the teaching passages. Jesus finishes …

Genesis 15 and 16 #eebc2018

Genesis 15 and 16 are today's readings. There's two major events, one for each chapter. First, Genesis 15 provides us with the formal initiation of a covenant between Abram and God. Abram expresses his concern that his household will die out with him. After all, Lot has gone his own way and Abram has no children of his own. The custom of the time suggests that his chief servant would inherit, though I saw one source that suggests this would have been a stewardship until another person of greater social standing came along.That is, if everything had passed to Eliezer, the household would have ceased fairly soon. Either the servants and slaves would have been free to depart or another "great" person would have taken over for him. Either way, it looks to Abram like God's promise is pretty well done for.God, though, has a different purpose. Before we go any farther, though, take note of those small caps where the word "Lord" is (or "God" in the co…

Genesis 14 #eebc2018

Genesis 14 gives us two major events to consider.The first is Abram's rescue of Lot. You should remember that in the last chapter, Lot and Abram had gone their separate ways. Lot had gone toward the cities and the wealth of the region. Abram had gone the other direction. Now, that wealth comes back to be a problem. The local kings rebel against their overlords and, as was typical, the overlords came down to straighten out the situation.Lot is captured in battle. There's no textual indication that Lot had taken part in the battle. He may have avoided it entirely, which would explain his survival. It is likely that, in the process of Lot being captured, he may have lost some of the men in his household in battle. The testimony of Genesis 14:16 would support that, like a good A-Team plan, nobody was lost once Abram got involved. But that doesn't say anything about before he shows up.There's a couple of thoughts to deal with from this, the main one being that wealth is gre…

Genesis 12-13 #eebc2018

I’ll have to be brief here, because you either need a book or two about Abraham and God’s covenant with him, or you need a very brief synopsis. So, since there is no time, I will sum up:1. We have no reason, Scripturally, to believe there was anything about Abram that caused God to call him. In fact, if Deuteronomy 26:5 (and surrounding) is any indication, the Israelites were to remember well that there was not much about their ancestry to boast in. There are scribal and Hebrew traditions that suggest great things about Abraham, including a story that claims his father was an idol-maker by trade and Abram came to believe in monotheism. So, one night, Abram smashed his father’s shop full of idols and left just one standing, putting the hammer beside it. The next day, Terah asked who had done the damage and Abram pointed at the remaining idol and blamed it. Terah said it was impossible, it’s just a statue. Abram said…Why worship it?It’s a great story. It’s not in Scripture and so, as pe…

John 5:33-47 #eebc2018

Monday morning! Time for a new week and a fresh outlook. So, what are we looking at today? John 5:33-47. You’ve got a bit smaller of a passage to read, so take time to chew on it well.Jesus is continuing His discourse (fancy word for “speech that teaches”) that began in John 5:17. He talks about the importance of John and the value of the spoken testimonies given about Him, but that none of the religious leaders seem willing to accept those testimonies.A section that bears particular attention is John 5:39-40. The second-person plural which opens this passage could also be translated as an imperative. That is, Jesus could be commanding the leadership to search the Scriptures. He points out that the Pharisees, the Scribes, et. al., believe that the Scriptures (the Old Testament) hold the key to eternal life.So the goal for them should be to read those Scriptures and see how they point to Jesus!He is either observing that they have been searching the Scriptures or that they need to. Eit…

Sermon Recap for January 21

Well, first of all, thank you to the East End Water Department for working hard through this afternoon, tonight, and however long it takes to get the water working. It’s not your fault—not sure how anyone could be at fault for a big pipe that deep breaking—so thanks for working on it!We didn’t have evening service because the water in East End was out. After discussing it with the deacon chairman and hearing the recommendation of the fire department and water department, we felt it was safer and wiser to not have service. Here’s the logic:1. We are structured around running water for hygiene. Can we leave it at that for “graphic” purposes? And knowing that many folks were in the same no-water situation at home, it seemed prudent not to put them all in one place.2. The fire department uses water to deal with fires. They do not have a different water source than your home or the church building. They have a crisis plan, but really, is it responsible and neighborly to increase the risk o…

John 4:46-5:32 #eebc2018

John continues his Gospel with a look at the next two “signs” of Jesus as the Messiah. The first “sign” was in John 2 (see John 2:11) where the water was turned into wine. Now we come to the next two of the “signs.”Remember that John labels the miracles of Jesus that he reports as “signs,” showing us that he is reporting only those miracles that are needed to make the point. Further, it shows that John knew he had to leave out some events (John 21:25) so his choices were guided by purpose. In modern times, we’d assume that meant he left out parts of the story that didn’t help, but that is far from being certain. Further, what would undo these miracles?The second sign in John is the healing of an official’s son. Jesus has returned to Cana and the first response is a lament over the people’s demand for more signs. Jesus had already done a sign there, but it wasn’t enough.A word of caution: let what Jesus has done be enough, rather than demanding more from Him. His grace is sufficient to…

Genesis 11 #eebc2018

Well, the Tower of Babel is here. And, if you read Genesis 11 in the Christian Standard Bible (CSB), then you saw it labeled the Tower of Babylon. Well, actually, it’s never referred to in the text as the “Tower of” anything. They went to build a tower, and then city came to be called Babel, which can also be translated as Babylon. It’s on the plain called Shinar, which is Babylon. It’s also where the modern nation of Iraq is.The story is fairly well-known, and worth revisiting briefly. What made the tower sinful? Was it the unity of mankind? Or their obstinate desire to stay together instead of fill the earth? Now, I’m of the opinion that Genesis 11:1-9 tells us what happened that led to the division and dispersion described in Genesis 10. We almost always (unless you’re in a Christopher Nolan movie) tell stories linearly—we would not start the Civil War with the Battle of Atlanta, then tell Vicksburg, the Antietam, then Gettysburg. Ancient narratives are not bound by this linear hab…

Genesis 9 and 10 #eebc2018

Good morning! Moving forward, we go past the Flood. The world as we know it was formed partly through this cataclysm. One of the side effects of the Flood is the elimination of the physical location of the Garden of Eden and any other locations (like Nod) from the first chapters of Genesis. So, no, that social media post that claims someone found the Garden of Eden is most likely not right—the destruction of a year under water most likely eliminated any measurable trace.What do we have in Genesis 9?First, we have the establishment of God’s covenant with humanity not to destroy it all by a Flood again. It seems that people have misunderstood this covenant to say that there would never be any judgment, but God is not going to simply ignore sin. He is a righteous God and must deal with sin.That His judgment could come some other way seems to slip our grasp. It might be worth reading 2 Peter 3:1-7Another intriguing point of these chapters is that they raise the first prohibition on murder…

Book: Vindicating the Vixens

Well, if Vindicating the Vixens doesn’t catch your attention as a book title, I’m not sure what would. This volume, edited by Sandra L. Glahn (PhD), provides a look at some of the women of the Bible who are “Sexualized, Vilified, and Marginalized.” As is frequently the case, I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for my review.Let’s take this a stage at a time. First stage: book setup. This is primarily an academic Biblical Studies book. Be prepared to see discussions of Greek and Hebrew words, as appropriate. You’ll also need a handle on the general flow of Biblical narrative, a willingness to look around at history, and the other tools of someone who is truly studying the text. This is no one-day read. It’s a serious study of women in the Bible, specifically those who either faced sexual violence or who have been considered sexually ‘wrong’ across years of study.A quick note: this book is timely, not opportunistic. The length of time to plan, assign, develop, and publish a multi…

Genesis 7 and 8 #eebc2018

Tuesday morning! Time to move back over to the Pentateuch. In church Sunday morning, we ran down the basic outline of Old Testament history. Your first four points on the outline are: Adam, Noah, Abraham, and Moses. We’re at the point of reading through Noah’s story.An important aside is about that word, “story,” which we sometimes hesitate to apply to Biblical texts. After all, Cinderella is a “story,” and it’s not entirely true, is it? So we want to be clear that Bible “stories” are not like other “stories” where there’s a nugget of truth buried in there somewhere. In many books, we’ll see the term “narrative” applied, because that’s a grammatical term that doesn’t carry any baggage. The catch?It basically means “story.” So, if you can learn “narrative,” you can learn that “story” does not mean true or false, but simply means the retelling of events from a perspective. Now, onto the perspective: Genesis 6, 7, and 8, give us the Flood. This is God’s judgment on the world for an exces…

Sermon Recap for January 14

Good evening! Here are the sermons from yesterday:First, this audio player will work through the entire sermon archive, starting with January 14 PM and then you can listen off the list.Sunday Morning (Audio download here, click and save)
Sunday Evening (Audio download here, click and save)

John 3:22-4:45 #eebc2018

It’s Monday! So, we’re back on a Gospel reading. If you’re wondering why we started in John, it’s because I really like John. It’s also because Mathew, Mark, and Luke are usually the first ones read since they come first, but I wanted to mix it up in our reading. There’s a value in making sure we’re not a in a rut as we read.Before we get to the text, it’s worth a stop to think about why the banks are closed today and the mail’s not running. Not too long ago, we as a nation needed a reminder to live up to our ideals, that All men are created equal. That reminder was driven by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and the community he was able to rally on point, and unfortunately it took too many churches a long time to catch up. Remember this truth: God made all of humanity in His image—so let’s take a step back from our “I’m awesome, and if the more like me you are, the more awesome you might be…” approach and see people and their heritage, all the way around, as gifts from God.Now, on to the…

John 1:35-3:21 #eebc2018

Well, there’s a lot to cover in this passage. That’s what comes of using a computer program to generate a reading plan: it may stretch it farther or make it lopsided. You might need to spread out some of the Friday readings.This one moves from the public identification of Jesus by John through the calling of the first disciples and then to the first of the miracles identified by John as a “sign” of Jesus as the Messiah. Then we have the interaction of Nicodemus.Let’s work quickly:1. I find it interesting that you have public action, public action, public action, and then a private conversation with Nicodemus. This is something to watch in John: the balance between public and private actions in John. Note, for example, that the miracle is public though the actual disclosure of how it happened was not.2. There is no linguistic or grammatical reason to think that “wine” means anything other than “wine.” That does not mean that Jesus endorses general alcohol consumption and it’s plain tha…

Genesis 5 and 6 #eebc2018

Today’s reading (I’m certainly going to try and get ahead so these are up earlier in the morning!) comes from Genesis. We’ve already noted how the world has gone from good to bad to worse. Now we come to the first part of Genesis that tends to bog down. Keep in mind that we’re dealing with a story of beginnings, of origins. So you’re going to encounter a genealogy or two along the way. The story of Genesis focuses in, starting with all of creation, then narrowing down to humanity, then it narrows further—by Genesis 12, it’s the story of the family of Abraham and by the end of the book, it’s the Israelite people.So, that’s Genesis 5. Take the long lifespans as they are: it’s possible that these are meant to show extended families, but the simplest reading suggests long life. I think this is illustrative of the effects of sin: it’s like a growing crack or a spreading mold. At first, there’s just one bad spot, but then, over time, it gets worse and worse.Same thing here with the effects …

Genesis 3 and 4 #eebc2018

And now, things go badly. Genesis 1 and 2 left us with a world in good shape. In fact, God had said it was “very good.” Then people turn loose and start making poor decisions. It starts with Adam and Eve being convinced that God didn’t mean what He said about the fruit. There is where we often go wrong. It is a dangerous thing to assume that God did not mean what He said, whether by adding to it or taking away from it.Or by attempting to explain it away. While the value of deep research into the linguistics and backgrounds of Scripture is inestimable, we must be cautious when someone tells us that what the text says plainly isn’t what it means, in fact it’s the opposite. This is the lie Satan started with, and it’s a lie that recurs to this day.Then, things get worse. It does seem that this is the nature of human history—we always find a way to make it worse. Treason against God gives way to murder, murder adds cover-ups and deception, and the community is shattered by the end of Gene…

Daily Reading: Genesis 1 and 2

Today’s reading covers the opening of Scripture. To give a bit of background, the typically accepted view of Genesis in Baptist life is that it was written by Moses as part of the Pentateuch (which Jesus said came from Moses, so unless you want to dismiss what Jesus said or try to explain it away, I’d say we can trust Him). That makes Genesis part of the oldest section of the Bible.(We tend to think Job may be as old, but that’s it.)Genesis covers the beginnings, starting with Creation. The first chapter starts with nothing present but God. There is no discussion of the origin of God because God transcends creation, being the One who is always.That’s the key here: Genesis 1 and 2 are not out to explain the origin of God. The goal is to explain the origin of humanity, more specifically the origin of the Israelites.The other quick thing to note is that these 2 chapters are the only 2 chapters in the Old Testament where everything is alright. They form, with Revelation 21 and 22, the onl…

John 1:1-34

Today’s Bible reading was from John. Specifically, it was John 1:1-34, covering the Prologue of the Gospel of John and the testimony of John the Baptist.I thought I’d give you a few quick thoughts on tis passage for the day:1. John’s view of the beginning of all things is different from most of the world in which he lived. The idea that God the Father and God the Son (later you’ll seem him bring in God the Spirit, but his delay is related to teaching order, not a belief that the Spirit came later) pre-exist all of creation is not echoed in any of the mythologies of his time. Only in the Genesis account do we find a pre-existing God who was and is and is always God. Greece, Rome, Egypt, and many others had gods who had taken the place of other gods, with creation as an after-effect and not a deliberate act.It’s also worth noting when you read Genesis 1 tomorrow that putting John and Genesis together gives you God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit at Creation. John has 2/3, Genes…

Sermon Recap for January 7 2018

Well, we’ve hit the first Sunday of the year.It always feels like I should say more about the change in calendar, but I don’t quite know for sure what to raise. I think I was a bit fragmented both services—there were a couple of things I meant to address but didn’t, though I hit a couple of points I felt were more important.I’ve got the video of both sermons and the audio from the morning. Unfortunately, the background hum is getting worse, despite the fact that it was actually gone for a while, so the evening audio is useless. It’s not uploaded because it really can’t be listened to.Here’s the morning video:Morning Audio:
Evening Video:

Sermon Recap for Dec 31 2017

Well, it’s January 1, 2018, but the sermon is from yesterday. It’s time to start up for next year, but first, of course, we have to wind down last year. Please consider your commitment to the cause of Christ in the new year. And I don’t mean that with any subtext, subterfuge, or ulterior motive—take it at face value: is your goal that 2018 reflect your work for the cause of Jesus?Now, sermons:Here’s the December 24 video as it posted live through Facebook. I’m not sure it turned out with great quality, but it’s tolerable. That’s a tech problem that I haven’t had time to solve:Here is the December 31 AM Sermon (audio link is here)Now, I don’t remember if I posted December 24th’s morning sermon, so here it is:December 24 Audio is here