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The latest at First Baptist Church

Stay up to date with the happenings of First Baptist Church by visiting our blog. You'll find information such as announcements, sermon notes and thoughts from our pastor to encourage and challenge your walk with the Lord.

Epaphras: An Example for Us Today

by: Pastor David Huffstutler

07/24/2022

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A little digging in Colossians discovers some details about Epaphras, a minor character in the New Testament, but a main character in Colossae and an exemplary leader for us today. Two passages tell us about him, Colossians 1:3–8 and 4:12–13.

A Faithful Evangelist (Colossians 1:3–8): Paul reminded the Colossians that Epaphras taught them the gospel, noting him to be “our beloved fellow servant” and “a faithful minister of Christ on your behalf” (Colossians 1:7; cf. 1:5). Ep

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Philemon: An Example of Forgiveness

by: Pastor David Huffstutler

07/17/2022

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During Paul’s imprisonment in Rome (Philemon 1; cf. Acts 28:30–31), a slave named Onesimus stole from Philemon and ran away (cf. Philemon 18–19). Philemon’s wife Apphia and his son Archippus would have known about the situation, and the church that met in their house was likely aware as well (cf. Philemon 2). Onesimus’s sins affected many.

As time went on, Onesimus somehow found Paul in Rome, and Paul led him to saving faith in Christ (cf. Philemon 10). As much as Paul want

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Taking Some Tips from Tychicus

by: Pastor David Huffstutler

07/10/2022

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The name Tychicus comes to us five times in Scripture. An examination of each mention gives us a picture of Christian service in the early church, which functions as an example for us today.

The first mention is in Acts 20:4, a list of Paul’s companions on his third missionary journey (AD 52–57), including “the Asians, Tychicus and Trophimus.” 

The second and third mentions were written from prison in Rome (AD 60 or 61). To the Colossians, Paul stated, “Tychicus will tell yo

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Three Characteristics of Followers of Jesus

by: Pastor David Huffstutler

07/03/2022

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Sometimes people never get quite out of the gate to follow Jesus. They see the benefits and blessings of serving Christ and speak of doing so themselves, but they lack true commitment and either stay or stray away. I’m sure we could rifle through Scripture to discover a hundred characteristics of true followers of Jesus, but I’ll limit myself to three as found in Luke 9:57–62.

In this passage, the theme is clearly why people fail to follow Jesus. Whether people say they wil

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A Personal Word on Ecclesiastical Relationships

by: Pastor David Huffstutler

06/26/2022

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As the pastor of our church, I’m sometimes asked if our church is formally associated with any kind of ecclesiastical group. The answer is no, we are not. Our church began in 1838 and joined the Illinois Baptist General Association in 1845. Our association was lumped into the Northern Baptist Convention (NBC) in 1908. Due to liberalism, we left the NBC in 1947 to join the Conservative Baptist Association (CBA) and then left the CBA in 1968 for similar reasons. We joined th

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Preaching the Whole Counsel of God

by: Pastor David Huffstutler

06/19/2022

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Lord willing, we will wrap up Colossians soon and move on to 1 and 2 Thessalonians. How do we determine what to preach from Sunday to Sunday and over the course of time? 

First, we try to get through “everything” every three to five years.

Paul taught the church in Ephesus “the whole counsel of God” in “three years” (Acts 20:27, 31), giving us something of a pastoral philosophy. Every few years should include a full-orbed understanding of the gospel, broader themes in the Bi

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Some Thoughts on Music from Ephesians 5:19 and Colossians 3:16

by: Pastor David Huffstutler

06/05/2022

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First, congregational singing is imperative. Ephesians 5:19 details how the congregation engages in Spirit-filled worship (cf. Eph 5:18), and Colossians 3:16 focuses on how the word of Christ dwells richly among the body in its singing. Singing is an imperative means of how to let the word of Christ dwell richly in us and how to live a Spirit-filled life. 

Second, worship is not entertainment, a performance by some for the enjoyment of a congregation that never participates

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Should We Practice Church Membership?

by: Pastor David Huffstutler

05/15/2022

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The NT indicates that the church should practice what we call church membership. The church knew who its members were and were not by what they believed and how they lived. While this practice may look more formal or informal from one congregation to the next, it is a practice that exists to one degree or another in every healthy, biblical church. Below are a few strands of evidence from the NT that together make a strong argument for church membership.

Lists: The early chu

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Some Reminders on Forgiveness

by: Pastor David Huffstutler

05/08/2022

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Colossians 3:12–13 uses the language of clothing in reference to virtue. In short, we clothe ourselves with Christ (cf. Romans 13:14), and, more specifically, we “put on” virtues like “compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience.” We are also to “put on… bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other.” The Lord’s forgiveness of us is our example for how to forgive one another. 

“Bearing with one another” assum

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Our Definitive and Progressive Sanctification

by: Pastor David Huffstutler

05/01/2022

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Union with Christ breaks the power of sin, diminishes its practice, empowers righteous living, and ensures progress therein. This transfer of power from sin to Christ definitive, and the believer simultaneously begins his progress in practical sanctification. 

A number of passages bear out these truths. First, in Romans 6, “our old self was crucified with Him” in order that “we too might walk in newness of life” (Romans 6:4, 6). On this basis, Paul commands us to consider o

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At the Tomb at the Resurrection and Thereafter: A Summary of Matthew 28:1–10, Mark 16:1–8, Luke 24:1–12, and John 20:1–18

by: Pastor David Huffstutler

04/17/2022

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Early on the first day of the week, it was still dark, and the light had not yet come up. Jesus lay where it was even darker and quieter than outside. Jesus’ body had known no physical decay (cf. Ps 16:10–11). Whether in the tomb or at His resurrection, He had been healed of all but His five wounds (cf. John 20:20, 27). Then, He arose!

Jesus somehow maneuvered out of His linen cloths and left them lying in the tomb. He removed His face cloth, folded it up, and set it in a p

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Living Wisely in a World of Woe

by: Pastor David Huffstutler

04/10/2022

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The prophet Isaiah once spoke of Israel and Judah as worthless vineyard with nothing good to show God (Isaiah 5:1–7). God looked for the fruit of justice and righteousness and found the opposite instead (cf. Isaiah 5:7). Among God’s many “woes” against the nation for her sins (Isaiah 5:8–30), God stated, “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil” (Isaiah 5:20). What God said then is what He could say to America today. It’s sad that it’s so easy to point out examples o

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A Parable of Christ and His Church

by: Pastor David Huffstutler

03/20/2022

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From 1 Corinthians 12:12–26, Ephesians 4:15–16, and Colossians 2:18–19.

Once upon a time, there was a heavenly Head. It cleansed a body for itself with blood and would remove the remains of filth in time. The Head guided the body with its authority, spirit, and words. The body listened to the Head, held fast, and grew stronger every day. Individual parts worked in harmony, wisdom for angels to see—hands and feet, eyes and ears, joints and ligaments and all. The body would w

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The Sabbath, the Lord’s Day, Worship, and Rest

by: Pastor David Huffstutler

03/13/2022

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A Day to Worship: From Saturday to Sunday: In the Old Testament, God created for six days and rested on the seventh. He also blessed this seventh day and made it holy (Genesis 2:1–3). Later, God commanded Israel to remember the Sabbath day by setting it apart for rest and worship, “a Sabbath to the Lord your God” (Exodus 20:8–11; cf. Leviticus 23:3). This day was also to be a sign of God’s covenant with His nation (Exodus 31:12–17).

In the New Testament, the church had a da

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Is Going to War Ever Just?

by: Pastor David Huffstutler

03/06/2022

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Russia is mauling Ukraine, a painful sight to watch. What should America do? We instinctively desire justice and want to cry to our leaders, “Send in the troops!” But the answer is not so simple. At the moment, many countries are attempting to help Ukraine through negotiations and compromise or are using economic measures to deter Russia from its war. These countries applaud Ukraine’s defense of its people while attempting to avoid war for themselves. When is it just for a

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