NEW STUDY THIS FALL
FAITH, HOPE and LUCK
Sundays - 11:30 am
Starting on Sunday, September 22, 2013, this 5-week
study will transform your thinking about the
difference between faith and hope. You’ll be
presented with a definition of faith that will shed
new light on both the Old and New Testaments.
Join us for this exciting new study which will be facilitated by Mark and
Maybe it sounds trite to say that “Freedom isn’t free,” but it is true. My father was a soldier in World War II, and many men of his generation died fighting for freedom. They fought for freedoms for Americans, but they also fought for freedom of those in other countries. They fought for freedom against evil leaders such as Hitler and Mussolini. For many, it cost them their lives. Wives lived without husbands, and children grew up without fathers. That freedom wasn’t free.
Since then wars have continued to rage. The 9/11 terrorists attack on our country happened when I teaching school at Ft. Riley, Kansas. All the children in my school had at least one parent who was a soldier. Many had two. The children cried in fear at the idea of losing a parent in war. Many of their parents did go to Iraq and many did die defending freedom. That freedom wasn’t free.
But there is another kind of freedom that isn’t free. That freedom is our freedom from sin that was paid for by the precious blood of Jesus. He who was without sin took upon himself our sins and paid for them with his life on the cross of Calvary. So it was very costly to Him. But strangely enough, He gives it as a free gift to all who believe and put their trust in Him. There was a cost to our spiritual freedom. That freedom wasn’t free either.
Recently I mentioned the often repeated biblical phrase “the name of the Lord” in a message I preached on trusting God. I was preaching on Psalm 20, where the words were repeated three times within a few short verses., ending with “...we trust in the name of the Lord our God.”
This simple phrase is often passed over by those who read the Bible, since it is so commonly found throughout the scriptures. The wording varies slightly from time to time. The phrase is repeated variously as “the name of the Lord”, “the name of the Lord our God”, and “the name of Jesus.” It always means the same.
So why is this phrase such a big deal? Why do Christians today routinely end their prayers in the name of Jesus? Why does this phrase appear in Psalms, a book written generations before Jesus, as well as biblical books written years after he came?
Why does the writer of the book of Acts, which details the exciting lives and times of the first Christian believers quote a prophet in the Old Testament, bringing this phrase across the centuries and across religious boundaries (from Jewish to Christian) with the following:
And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. (Acts 2:21)
Why is it seen embedded in the powerful everyday ministry experiences of the early church?
Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven. (James 5:14-15)
Why does it reach the pinnacle of praise when the Apostle Paul practically celebrates with an enthusiasm usually reserved here in Boston for our over-the-top 4th of July fireworks display on the Charles?
Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:9-11)
Why? Because when we say it we are not believing in a magical phrase that suddenly makes our every whim and wish come true. It is not a good luck charm.
The “name of the Lord” is the Bible’s way of talking about the living presence of our powerful, almighty God. The “name” is a direct link to God’s character, to God’s essence, to God’s core reality. It’s at the very heart of our faith -- the very heart of God. There is power in that name
because there is power in the personal, infinite God of the universe.
And one of the amazing things is that powerful, almighty God cares about you. Our God wants to be involved in your daily life, wants to live personally connected with you. The first step in making that relationship a living reality is calling on the name of the Lord -- the person of Jesus be saved. Have you done that? Are you living right now in “the name of the Lord”?
The First Baptist Church of Arlington will be holding a program to teach health and wellness. It will meet for five Tuesday nights at 6:30 beginning May 28 and will be lead by Dr. Justin Mariano, a chiropractor who is part of First Baptist Church.
It will be based on a program created by three Christian chiropractors called Bonfire Health which was designed to teach people how to develop 39 healthy habits in 90 days and maintain those habits throughout their lifetime.
There will be five sessions:
1. May 28 Introduction: define health, wellness and introduce three basic subcategories about the program which are: how we eat (nutrition), how we move (exercise), and how we think.
2. June 4 How we eat: nutrition and how it relates to our health.
3. June 11 How we move: exercise and how it relates to our health.
No class on June 18.
4. June 25 How we think: stress reduction and dealing with conflict.
5. July 2 How we grow spiritually: some tips on spiritual growth.
This program is free of charge and everyone is invited. For more information visit www.bonfirehealth.com or contact the church at 781-643-3924.