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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.

Preaching, Providence, and the Work of God

by: Pastor David Huffstutler

09/19/2021

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After Israel returned to her land from a seventy-year captivity (Ezra 1–2), the nation began to rebuild the temple. The return was in 538 BC. Rebuilding began in 536 BC, the year that Israel finished the temple’s foundation (Ezra 3). However, foreigners in Israel halted the work (Ezra 4:1–5). Foreigners beyond the borders opposed the work later as well (Ezra 4:6–23). 

When Darius replaced Cyrus, however, the work began again in 520 BC (Ezra 4:24). Haggai and Zechariah proph

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Why We Do What We Do When We Meet to Worship

by: Rob Patrick

09/12/2021

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Some churches host elaborate programs to entertain an audience. (Or some churches try this but do it very poorly.) Other churches have a liturgy so formal that only its ministers understand what is going on. Yet other churches may sing hymns, read Scripture, and do biblical things, but only for the sake of connecting with a tradition and not from a love for the gospel. At our church, we seek to obey the Scriptures in simplicity when we meet together, and I hope and pray it...
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A Great Commission Challenge from Israel’s Prophets for Us Today

by: Rob Patrick

09/05/2021

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After 70 years of captivity, Israel returned to her land in 538 BC (Ezra 1:1–4). The nation began to rebuild the temple in 536 BC. When the foundation was complete, some people shouted for joy, but the old men wept because the remembered the first temple and knew that this one was not the same (Ezra 3:10–13). Couple this response with foreign opposition (Ezra 4:1–24), and we understand why Israel stopped working on the temple for 15 years. 

What got them working again? God

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A Great Commission Challenge from Israel’s Prophets for Us Today

by: Pastor David Huffstutler

09/05/2021

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After 70 years of captivity, Israel returned to her land in 538 BC (Ezra 1:1–4). The nation began to rebuild the temple in 536 BC. When the foundation was complete, some people shouted for joy, but the old men wept because the remembered the first temple and knew that this one was not the same (Ezra 3:10–13). Couple this response with foreign opposition (Ezra 4:1–24), and we understand why Israel stopped working on the temple for 15 years. 

What got them working again? God

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Jeremiah’s Prophecy of Judah’s Exile in Babylon for Seventy Years

by: Pastor David Huffstutler

08/29/2021

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Babylon took Israel captive “until the land had enjoyed its Sabbaths… seventy years,” a promise made “by the mouth of Jeremiah” (2 Chronicles 36:21; cf. Ezra 1:1). 

What was Jeremiah’s prophecy, and what were these Sabbaths that were equivalent to seventy years?

Jeremiah 25:11–12 states, “This whole land shall become a ruin and a waste, and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years. Then after seventy years are completed, I will punish the king of Babylon a

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An Overview of Ezra

by: Pastor David Huffstutler

08/22/2021

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Ezra wrote Ezra around 450 BC. Similar to Luke’s writing of Luke-Acts, Ezra wrote history in the third person and then shifts to first person when part of the story (cf. Ezra 7:27–28). Ezra 1:1–3a echoes 2 Chronicles 26:22–23, indicating he perhaps wrote the Chronicles. He likely also wrote Nehemiah. 

As to its contents, Ezra is a story of rebuilding and reform. Chapters 1–6 recall how Israel rebuilt the temple. Cyrus decreed it (Ezra 1:1–4), provided the resources for it (

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The ABC’s of Confrontation

by: Pastor David Huffstutler

08/15/2021

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Forgiveness has been the theme of my posts these past few weeks. Last week we explored when Scripture compels confrontation, repentance, and forgiveness. This week is a biblical and practical look at the confrontation itself. How should it take place? What do we say, and how do we say it?

What follows below are some “ABC’s” that try to capture some basic wisdom necessary when confrontation takes place.

To the one who confronts the sinner:

Affirm your affection. If you are tru

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When Sin Compels a Confrontation and Forgiveness Must Be Formal

by: Pastor David Huffstutler

08/08/2021

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There are times when overlooking a brother’s sin is not an option. There must be a confrontation, repentance, and forgiveness to restore the relationship. This is conditional forgiveness—we cannot forgive the sinner unless he repents for his sin (see Luke 17:3–4). Sometimes love covers sins (1 Peter 4:8), and sometimes rebuke is better than hidden love (Proverbs 27:5–6). Four questions help us to determine whether or not sin compels a confrontation and forgiveness must be

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Philemon: An Example of Forgiveness

by: Pastor David Huffstutler

08/01/2021

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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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The First Step to Forgiving Others: Be Forgiven Yourself

by: Pastor David Huffstutler

07/18/2021

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“We aren’t speaking anymore.” “My sin is too big for God to forgive.” Have you ever heard statements like these? One pastor observes, “Early in my pastoral ministry I noticed an interesting fact: nearly all the personal problems that drive people to seek pastoral counsel are related in some way to the issue of forgiveness.” (MacArthur, The Freedom and Power of Forgiveness, p. 7). He explained his observation further—people didn’t know the forgiveness of God or how to forgi

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The End Of Cain

by: Pastor David Huffstutler

07/11/2021

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Man’s first son, he tilled the ground, but God had no regard. A fallen face, he killed his brother. He wandered from the Lord. Then fire and darkness, sorrow and pain, torment without end. Thousands of years, our present age, and then a thousand to come. 

 

Perhaps he hears the gnashing of teeth from others in this tomb. Perhaps he hears the rattle of chains from demons in darkness and gloom. Perhaps he hears one beg for water and one to tell his kin. Perhaps a ray from Abra

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Interpretive Options Galore: A Quick Look at James 4:5

by: Pastor David Huffstutler

07/04/2021

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James 4:5 is one of the most difficult texts in the NT to translate and interpret. James appears to introduce a biblical quotation but then offers what most call not a quotation but a summary of something taught in the OT. Looking at the second half of the verse, more issues arise. First, grammatically, “the spirit” could be either the subject (1a) or the object (1b) of the verb “yearns.” Second, “the spirit” (2a) could be also be interpreted “the Spirit” (2b). Third, due

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A Summer to Glory in Evil?

by: Pastor David Huffstutler

06/20/2021

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A new movie Cruella apparently shows how Cruella De Vil from 101 Dalmatians became so cruel. Loki, a new series, puts a pansexual and gender fluid demigod (according to the comic books, at least) centerstage to entertain the masses. In the first instance, Cruella follows Disney’s cartoon feature 101 Dalmatians (1961). This prequel informs and entertains its viewers with Cruella’ past in order to see why she is so evil. And, according to our culture, the assumption is that

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Bits of Wisdom from Houses of Mourning

by: Pastor David Huffstutler

06/13/2021

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“The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning, but the heart of fools is in the house of mirth” (Ecclesiastes 7:4).

This verse has often run through my mind this past couple of years. I have provoked many houses to mourning. Others call my fellow police chaplains and me “grim reapers” because we announce to families that a loved one has just died. Sometimes people react in shock, denial, or anger. Eventually they mourn as they accept their loss. 

We sometimes inform fam

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The Fate of Those Who Never Hear

by: Pastor David Huffstutler

06/06/2021

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What happens to people who never hear the gospel?

What an awful question—to consider those who never hear the gospel, die in their ignorance, and suffer for eternity. Their fate is eternal torment by fire. It should make every Christian shudder.

But is it fair for them to be judged in this way? To never hear the gospel and still be punished forever?

Remember that man is sinful and therefore justly condemned by God. God is not obligated to save anyone, and it is a wonder that

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