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Showing posts from March, 2012

Word 2, Land (3 Words to Help You Understand the Bible)

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This week I am sharing three words that will help you better understand the Bible.  These three words hold the story of the Bible together and keeping them in mind will prevent us from reading the Bible in a haphazard, random way.  The three words are son, land, and blessing.  Today I want to share with you what I mean by the word “land.” The Bible begins with a garden and a command for man to subdue the earth (Gen. 1:28).  The garden of Eden was the best of the earth.  It represented life under God’s control.  It was a life giving place of abundant blessing.  As the image of God man was to grow the garden.  He was to spread out upon an otherwise wild planet, cultivate it and do what God did, bring forth life. In the fall man not only lost the garden, but he also lost the blessing of the land (Gen. 3:17-19).  Now the earth was cursed and subduing it would be no easy task.  A new tension now enters the story.  God wants to give man land, but man will struggle to keep it.

Word 1, Son - (3 Words to Help You Understand the Bible)

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This week I am sharing three words that will help you better understand the Bible.  I believe these three words hold the story of the Bible together and that keeping them in mind will prevent us from reading the Bible in such a haphazard and random way.  The three words are son, land, and blessing.  Today I want to share with you what I mean by the word “son.” The way the Bible reads it seems as if we only made it to early Sunday afternoon of the second week of existence before Adam and Eve royally blew it.  The bad news was that the LAND (hint, hint) would be cursed adding pain and toil to human life that would eventually end in death.  The good news is that a SON would be born to the woman who would deal such a blow to the serpent that he would be defeated and life would be redeemed.  Adam certainly interpreted God’s pronouncement this way and changed the woman’s name to Eve, celebrating the fact that from her a son would be born that would give us life (Gen. 3:14-20).  

3 Words to Help You Understand the Bible

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Most people understand the Bible to be 66 disjointed books full of random religious sayings and stories.  Even if this is not our understanding of the Bible, most of us read the Bible as if this is indeed what it is.  We skip around, pick and pluck, and often approach it in a random fashion with no intent to engage the plot of the story at hand.  The end result is that we may find a verse here and there that seems to have something meaningful to say.  Yet even then, our interpretation of the golden nugget we find is not faithful to the context; and as for the context, it is categorically ignored and the rest of what we do not take time to understand is flushed into the abyss of the Bible scholar.  Scholars may find the blessing in the obscure passages, but there is no meaning in them for the rest of us.  I assure you, this was not God’s intent and it is simply not the case.   This week I want to share with you three words that will help you better understand the story of the Bibl

The Church Emerging from the Reformation (Church, Who? What? How?)

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Though there have been attempts to construct a successionist lineage of Baptists back to the Apostles or even John the Baptist, these constructions are revisionist at best and often end up as simply poor historical scholarship.  Doctrinally these attempts do more harm than good as they are heretical attempts to prove that the Baptist church is the only, true church.  In the end these attempts are dishonest and unnecessary. The historical truth is that Baptists emerged not from a single stream, but more from the convergence of several movements that stemmed from the Protestant Reformation of the 16th century.  Therefore, to properly understand Baptist history one must examine the context of the Reformation.   Background of the Reformation In our previous session we discussed two of the major challenges of the Patristic or Early Church; persecution and heresy.  Both of these issues raised major questions as to who are the people of God, or who is the church?  In respons

Conversational Gospel (Video)

Conversational Gospel from Brian Branam on Vimeo . Because the church does not rightly interpret the Great Commission it has institutionalized evangelism. The result is that WE ARE NOT MAKING DISCIPLES. If we are not making disciples we cannot call ourselves a GREAT COMMISSION CHURCH no matter how many people attend.

The Church from Jesus to Constantine (Church Who, What, How?)

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The Vision of Christ for the Church Jesus referred to the church twice, Matthew 16:18 and 18:17. Matthew 16:18 (ESV) And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church , and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. Matthew 18:17 (ESV) If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church . And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. So what exactly did Jesus mean when He said He would build His church? Old Testament ancestry - At its core the church is a gathering of God’s people.  An important theme in Scripture is the work of God to gather a people for Himself. Genesis 12:2-3 - the call of Abraham Exodus 6:7, 19 and 20 - In the Exodus story we literally see God “pull out” a group of people who would establish their identity in worship, morality, and in civic life according to His ways.  In their days, their moral codes, their ethics, and in their worship habits Israel

Georgia Lottery Players Are Nation's Biggest Suckers

Here is an excerpt from an article published today on Bloomberg passed on to me by David C.  $1 wins you 63 cents!  I'll give you 75 cents for your $1 if you still want to play! _______________________ Georgia (STOGA1) ’s lottery players are the biggest suckers in a nation buying more than $50 billion a year in tickets for state-run games, which have the worst odds of any form of legal gambling. Players in  Georgia , whose per capita income is about 10 percent below the U.S. average, are doing the most damage to their personal finances. They spent the second-highest chunk of their income on the lottery, which funds college scholarships and pre-kindergarten, according to the Sucker Index created by Bloomberg Rankings. read the rest at  http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-03-14/georgia-lottery-players-suckers-spending-most-for-least.html .

Bringing Life Back to Our Town (Signs Series, Sermon Manuscript)

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The main road through Chatsworth is dedicated to G.I. Maddox.  Do you know who G.I. Maddox was?  The following statements are excerpts from the bio of G.I. Maddox as it appears on the Georgia Agriculture Education Hall of Fame website. Mr. G. I. "Shorty" Maddox's love of teaching agriculture was exceeded only by his love of students. After eight hours in the classroom, he visited his students' homes and farms, applying and reinforcing principles taught in the classroom. He taught at Murray County High School for 34 years. Many of Mr. Maddox's students were elected state FFA leaders, including a state FFA president. Several students received national FFA recognition, including the American Farmer Degree. Chapter members showed more cattle at the Atlanta Steer Show than any other chapter as long as the chapter exhibited. One of Mr. Maddox's major contributions was the establishment and operation of the Murray County cannery, which was named in hi

The Curse (from the "Dirt" series, Gen. 2 & 3)

The Curse from Brian Branam on Vimeo . Adam and Eve's decision to eat the forbidden fruit brought death to humanity and exposed the greatest lie ever told, "you will not die." Yet we still become angry with God when life is traumatic. Though these feelings of anger are natural it is important for us to realize, God was the only one who was honest that life would be like this.

Conversational Gospel (The Real Meaning of the Great Commission) Part 5

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(Continued from Thursday) To further demonstrate my point of the conversational nature of proclaiming the gospel I want to offer you some simple observations about the conversational nature of spreading the gospel.  I give you two examples: The prophet Jeremiah - The Book of Jeremiah is unique in that he is one of the premier prophets, yet there are no visions and there are no miracles.  The nature of His calling and His messages is really rather common.  All of Jeremiah’s prophecies are based on simple observations of everyday life.  Jeremiah 1:11 - What do you see?  Jeremiah answers, an almond branch.  This means he is simply walking a path he has probably travelled many times before, but God calls his attention to see a message in something he has grown accustomed to seeing everyday.  Jeremiah 1:13 - What do you see?  Jeremiah sees a boiling pot.  This is probably someone out in the open doing some sort of work that boils water and it is either boiling over or spilli