The Sermon Notebook Released As A PC Study Bible Module

I have been absent from this blog for quite a long time. I have it in my heart to do a better job of keeping you informed. I have a ton of issues I want to write about. Pray that I will find time to spend on this page.

I just wanted to inform everyone that in December Biblesoft, the makers of PC Study Bible released The Sermon Notebook as part of their PC Study Bible collection. If you are a PC Study Bible user, please go to their site and check it out here.

As always, our content remains free here on The Sermon Notebook website. However, I am grateful for the opportunity to have my sermons published with both WordSearch and now PC Study Bible. If you use either of those products, take a look at what that have done with the material on the web site here and here.

I hope you enjoy a manifestation of the Lord’s power in this Lord’s Day.

Alan

Good Meeting At Calvary

We’ve been having a great meeting at Calvary this week. Evangelist Tom Gilliam has been leading us through the book of Ruth each service. In his preaching Brother Tom has been unfolding the great theme of grace as it appears in Ruth.

In case you never noticed, the book of Ruth is tremendous picture of the grace of God in salvation.

Consider Ruth, she is from Moab. She is a cursed descendant of a cursed people. She is dead in trespasses and sins, and she is headed for Hell.

She is headed for Hell, that is, until God intervenes in her life. He butts into her situation, opens her eyes, converts her, and leads her out of Moab into Israel. Once there, she is brought by the providence of God, into the field of a man named Boaz.

She thinks she is there the glean a little grain to satisfy her hunger. God has her there to satisfy an even deeper need in her life. In that field, Ruth catches the eyes of a wealthy land owner named Boaz. Through a series of God-sized, providential, sovereignly ordained events, Ruth and Boaz are married.

A woman who was doomed is redeemed through grace. An outcast is taken in. She is brought out of darkness into light. She is delivered from death into life. She is delivered from sadness into joy. She is delivered from poverty and given wealth. She is delivered from loneliness and given a family. She is even brought into the ancestral line of the Lord Jesus Christ. Oh, how amazing the grace of God in this woman’s life. I thrill when I read of the power, the providence, the electing, redeeming, and life changing grace of God in the life of Ruth.

What thrills me, when I stop to think about it, is the fact that I have experienced that same grace in my life. Hallelujah!

There was a time when I lived in Moab. I was lost in sin. I was headed to Hell. I was helpless, hopeless, and completely lost. I was the living embodiment of Eph. 2:1-3, which says, “And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.

That was me! That was my testimony! I was dead! I was deceived! I as depraved! I was doomed! That’s where I should have stayed. I deserved to die in my sins and I deserved to go to Hell. That’s why I am thankful for the first two words of Eph. 2:4, which say, “But God…!” I just want to praise God that He “butted” into my situation.

I was lost, but God! I was dead, but God! I was deceived, but God! I was depraved, but God! I was doomed, but God!

Like Ruth, I have been delivered from my past. I have a new life in Jesus. In fact, according to Eph. 5-6, I have been quickened together with Christ, raised up with together with Christ, and seated together with Christ in heavenly places. You get that? In Romans 6, Paul says that when Jesus died, we died. When He rose from the dead, we rose with Him. When He ascended back to Heaven, and sat down at the right hand of the Father, we went with Him and sat down with Him in glory! Does that sound crazy to you? Read Romans 8:28-30. We are told there that even our glorification is a past event.

What does this all mean?

It means that those who are redeemed by Christ are saved, sealed, and secure!

It means that He has delivered us from the spiritual poverty of our past, and He has lavished the riches of Christ on us! “For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.” (2 Cor. 8:9)

It means that every redeemed saint of God ought to fall down before Him in worship, adoration, and praise. That is the attitude of Heaven: “And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth. And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands; Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing. And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever. And the four beasts said, Amen. And the four and twenty elders fell down and worshipped him that liveth for ever and ever.” (Rev. 5:9–14)

May that same attitude manifest itself in the lives of every redeemed child of God.

Think about it!

Alan

Good Service Last Night

The first night of the meeting at New Buffalo Baptist Church is Grover, NC went very well. The church is an excited, vibrant congregation of redeemed people who love the Lord Jesus Christ. Their Pastor, Brother Adam Green is exuberant and charismatic (No not that kind!). He has an infectious passion for the Lord and for the church. To say the least, it was an exciting evening. The capstone of the service came at the end when a woman, probably around the age of 70, was gloriously saved by the grace of God. Hallelujah! Please keep praying for the rest of the meeting. I am looking for the Lord to do great things among us this week.

Alan

Meeting in Grover, NC

Lord willing, I will be preaching today through Friday at New Buffalo Baptist Church in Grover, NC. The Pastor is brother Adam Green. Please pray for the meeting at New Buffalo Baptist Church. The services begin at 7:00 PM each evening.

I was with these folks last June and the Lord gave us a good week. I trust He will meet with us as we seek Him for revival this year. If you are in the area, please drop to visit. For more information about New Buffalo Baptist Church, you can visit their web page here.

Alan

The Sermon Notebook Released As A Wordsearch Module

The Sermon Notebook has been published by Wordseach as an add on module for both Wordsearch and Quickverse Bible study software packages. This project has been in the works for about two years. My contact at Wordsearch, brother Mike Cooper, and his team have worked very hard to format and index my sermons and to make them available to Wordsearch and Quickverse users who would like to utilize those sermons as part of their Bible study and sermon preparation workflow.

If you would like to read more about The Sermon Notebook on Wordsearch and Quickverse, or if you would like to order a copy for your own use, here is the link to the product information page. The folk at Wordsearch have also produced a video that describes the The Sermon Notebook module and shows it in action. Take a moment to check it out.

I am grateful to the team at Wordsearch, which is a division of Lifeway, for their interest in making The Sermon Notebook available in this new format. Thank you to all the regular users of The Sermon Notebook over these past 16 years. The web site has enjoyed more success than I ever imagined, and I thank the Lord for that. I am looking forward to seeing how the Lord will continue to use the web site in the future. Pray for us and for the ministry here.

If you are not a Wordsearch or Quickverse user, please take the time to look at all the exciting Bible study products they offer. The people at Wordsearch have a heart for preachers and others who regularly study the Bible and share the fruits of their study with others. They are continually searching for, and developing new content designed to aid preachers and teachers of the Word of God in their respective ministries to the body of Christ.

Those who visit The Sermon Notebook on a regular basis should know all of our content will continue to remain here at sermonnotebook.org. The software being released by Wordsearch is designed to simplify and facilitate your ability to utilize the sermons on The Sermon Notebook through the Wordsearch interface. The product sold by Wordsearch is not the same as the DVD or flash drive I make available here. In other words, what I make available will not work with Wordsearch. Check out the video above for more information.

Thanks again for your prayers and support over all these years. God bless!

Alan

I Am A Baptist

I am a Baptist! That’s what the sign in front of our church says. It says Calvary Baptist Church. I was saved in a Baptist church. I was baptized into the membership of a Baptist. I was called to preach in a Baptist church. I was licensed and ordained in a Baptist church. I have had the privilege of being the pastor of three Baptist churches. I have preached in hundreds of Baptist churches over the years. I am a Baptist. I have the credentials and the scars to prove it. As one man said, “I was Baptist born, I was Baptist bred, and when I die, I’ll be Baptist dead! I am a Baptist!” That’s me! I am a Baptist!

One reason I am still a Baptist, after dealing with Baptists for thirty years, is that Baptists are a people of the Book. We believe the Bible to be the Word of God. We preach the Bible. We teach the Bible. We believe the Bible is the very Word of God. We accept the Bible as the inspired, infallible, and inerrant Word of the Living God. For true Baptists, the Bible is the foundation of everything we believe and it is the catalyst for everything we do.

While we are a people of the Book, there is more to being a Baptist than just believing the Bible. Out of our belief in, and fidelity to, the Word of God, come certain distinctives that identify true, biblical Baptists. There are some things that all Baptists believe, if that is, they are truly Baptist.

I thought I would share those distinctive marks of being Baptist with you in the form of an acrostic built around the word Baptist. This acrostic isn’t original to me. It comes from All About Baptists, and I bring it to you with very little editorial comment. My comments appear in parenthesis.

Begin Quote!

 

B – Bible Authority

The Bible is the final authority in all matters of belief and practice because the Bible is inspired by God and bears the absolute authority of God Himself. Whatever the Bible affirms, Baptists accept as true. No human opinion or decree of any church group can override the Bible. Even creeds and confessions of faith, which attempt to articulate the theology of Scripture, do not carry Scripture’s inherent authority.

“For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.” ~ 1st Thessalonians 2:13

 

A – Autonomy of the Local Church

The local church is an independent body accountable to the Lord Jesus Christ, the head of the church. All human authority for governing the local church resides within the local church itself. Thus the church is autonomous, or self-governing. No religious hierarchy outside the local church may dictate a church’s beliefs or practices. Autonomy does not mean isolation. A Baptist church may fellowship with other churches around mutual interests and in an associational tie, but a Baptist church cannot be a “member” of any other body.

“And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.” ~ Colossians 1:18
P – Priesthood of the Believers

Every born-again believer has direct access to the throne of God. Therefore, since every child of God shares in the priesthood of the believers, all have the same right as ordained ministers to communicate with God, interpret Scripture, and minister in Christ’s name. This is first and foremost a matter of responsibility and servanthood, not privilege and license.

“Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.” ~ 1 Peter 2:

 

T – Two Ordinances of the Church

We practice only believer’s baptism by immersion, which is the only acceptable mode for baptism because it alone preserves the picture of saving truth. No other form pictures the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ (Romans 6:1-5).

We believe that the Lord’s Supper is a symbolic ordinance, picturing Christ’s body broken for our sins and His blood shed for our redemption. It is not a saving ordinance, but helps us remember His death, and inspires us while looking forward to His coming. It is to be observed by regenerate, obedient believers.

“For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.”
~ 1 Corinthians 11:23-24

 

I – Individual Soul Liberty

Every individual Christian has the liberty to believe, right or wrong, as his/her own conscience dictates. While we seek to persuade men to choose the right, a person must not be forced to into compliance, realizing that it is not always the larger group who holds the truth when, in fact, our heritage as Baptists has demonstrated the worth of every individual believer.

(No Baptist should ever force another believer into walking in lockstep with every tiny detail of their personal belief system in order for them to loved, accept, affirm that other believer as a brother or sister in Christ. Baptists believe that all believers have the liberty to believe as the Lord leads them, even if their viewpoint differs from ours. No Baptist should have to fear being attacked, vilified, or ostracized simply because he or she doesn’t believe like some other Baptist does on any given issue. This is especially true, if that issue is a secondary matter not related to a biblically defined, fundamental doctrine of the faith, e.g. The Virgin Birth of Jesus, the deity of Christ, the sinless nature of Christ, the substitutionary atonement of Christ, the victorious resurrection of Christ, the ascension and return of Christ, the inspiration of scripture, and salvation by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, to name a few.

In my humble opinion, this is the primary area where many Baptists have ceased to be Baptist-like in their practice. Far too many Baptists have the opinion that they have, and they alone, have the truth. They give the impression that they have the right to determine what should be believed by every other believer. Anyone who disagrees with them is attacked, vilified, demonized, and marginalized. This is a cult-like mentality that has no place in Baptist life and practice. Those Baptists who react in anger and malice toward those with whom they disagree are not walking in Christlike love toward the brethren. Jesus said that love among the brethren would be the defining mark of His people, John 13:34-35.

As far as I am concerned, as long as we can agree on the fundamental doctrines of the faith, we can have fellowship. What a person believes about the rest of it is between them and the Lord. It certainly isn’t up to you or me.)

“So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God. ~ Romans 14:12

 

S – Saved and Baptized Church Membership

Local church membership is restricted to individuals who give a believable testimony of personal faith in Christ and have publicly identified themselves with Him in believer’s baptism. When the members of a local church are believers, a oneness in Christ exists, and the members can endeavor to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

“Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.”…”Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.” ~ Acts 2:41, 47

 

T – Two Offices of the Church

The Bible mandates only two offices in the church–pastor and deacon. The three terms–“pastor,” “elder,” and “bishop,” or “overseer”–all refer to the same office. The two offices of pastor and deacon exist within the local church, not as a hierarchy outside or over the local church. (Some Baptists view the Pastor/elder role somewhat differently. Again, that is their prerogative.)

“This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work.”…”For they that have used the office of a deacon well purchase to themselves a good degree, and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus.” ~ 1st Timothy 3:1-13

 

S – Separation of Church and State

God established both the church and the civil government, and He gave each its own distinct sphere of operation. The government’s purposes are outlined in Romans 13:1-7 and the church’s purposes in Matthew 28:19 and 20. Neither should control the other, nor should there be an alliance between the two. Christians in a free society can properly influence government toward righteousness, which is not the same as a denomination or group of churches controlling the government.

End Quote!

If we Baptists would get back to being Baptists and start loving the Lord, and each other, like we should, we might actually see the Lord begin to bless us once again. As long as we continue to argue among ourselves, the world will see nothing attractive in us, nor will the Lord see anything He can use or bless for His glory. I believe that God will bless His people, but only when we live like we are His people. 

Alan

Glorious Service Last Night

We started our meeting at Pleasant Hill Baptist in Conway, SC. The Lord showed up in a powerful way. I preached from 2 Samuel 9 about the grace of God in salvation, using the story of David and Mephibosheth as the canvas. The Lord honored His Word. It was such a blessing to be in a service where the power of God was in such evidence. Please pray for the rest of the meeting. When you begin on such a high note, sometimes it is hard to get there again. Of course, that is in the Lord’s hand and I trust He will continue to meet with us as we seek Him for revival.

Alan