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Revelation 2:4

by Gus Pidal

‘But I have this against you, that you have left your first love. 

The first time I visited Edinburgh, I was astonished by the history of that city. From castles to churches, I was amazed by it all. However, what struck me in my conversations with the residents of that city was how they had become so accustomed to the sights and history that surrounded them, that no one stopped to ponder the beauty that surrounded where they were living. 

In Revelation 2:4, the apostle John is writing a letter to seven churches, the first of which was in Ephesus. This was a church that had a great pedigree; good founders and theology. Yet there was a problem; they had abandoned their first love. 

Sadly, that love was a person. The person of our Lord Jesus Christ. This church was rich, it had a great heritage, but it was missing one thing, the most important thing: love for Christ. They had forgotten Christ and what he did for them on the cross. 

As we train men at the Berea Seminary, we too can be like the church in Ephesus. Even though we should be thankful for our orthodoxy, it must never become dead. We do not worship books, nor doctrines; we worship a person, the God made flesh, the one who ransomed us from the dead, Jesus Christ. 

Examine and ask yourself, am I loving Christ the same way I did when I was first saved? Perhaps you are failing at this, but the antidote for this is simple: repent and believe by remembering who we were before we were saved, and letting our love for Christ be borne out of an appreciation for what he has done for us on the cross

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Praying to the Father

by Jason Park

One of the beauties of the gospel is that we know God and His Son Jesus Christ. In fact, that is Christ’s definition of “eternal life” (John 17:3). 

What’s more, we now know God in Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit. If we have trusted in Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of our sins, then we’re united with Christ, indwelt by His Spirit, and adopted into His family as children of God (Rom 8:16-17). 

This isn’t just some theological notion. God truly is our Father. Think about these gospel-facts. He has born us again by the word of truth, the gospel of Christ (James 1:18). He has placed His Spirit in us, the Spirit of adoption that cries out “Abba! Father!” (Rom 8:15). 

So now we have access to God. Even more, we have boldness and confident access to our Father through faith in Christ (Eph 3:12). And by faith, we can cry to our Father for mercy and grace in our time of need (Heb 4:16). For any need, at any time, in any place. Just as your child can barge into your bedroom at 2am asking for a cup of water or reassurance that there’s nothing to be afraid of in the dark, you can go to your Heavenly Abba for what you need.

And in our neediness, our Father meets us with His love. He loves giving good gifts to His children, gifts perfectly crafted for the person and the need (James 1:17). And best of all, even if we don’t get the request we prayed for, we get Him, our Father rich in mercy and love, who delights over His children. 

Doesn’t that make prayer all the more necessary and wonderful?

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Getting at the Root

by Jon Buck

I’m not a good gardener. Our yard is awash in weeds, and, in spite of my efforts, they continue to proliferate. 

But, in my limited garden experience, weed-pulling requires root removal. Unless you pull out the whole root of the weed, it will continue to grow. It may spring up in a different location, but it will always spring up. 

This is true of sin. Unless we seek out and find the root of our sins, we cannot ever hope to change. Fighting sin is a root battle, and wisdom is needed to find the root. 

Remarkably, in Romans 1:18-32, Paul makes it clear that the root of sin (read the list in vv. 29-31 - LOTS of sins!) is found in how each person views God. 

For Christians, we no longer reject God, or suppress the truth about God, and yet, our view of God can often be anemic. We forget He is sovereign. We forget He loves us, and has proven this at the cross. In our forgetfulness, we turn to other things for security, fulfillment, joy, and power to root out sins. 

For those who don’t know God, Paul says that the root of their sin is their view of God. They have suppressed the truth of God in unrighteousness, and from this root spring all the evils of their lives. 

We need to remember this. When you meet an unbeliever, no matter how heinous his or her sin life might be, remember, you’re seeing the weed. The problem is the root. Like good spiritual gardeners, we must learn to look past the weeds, and seek to point to the root of sin. 

How? 

Through the Gospel. Only in the Gospel does God reveal Himself to the heart of man (2 Cor. 4:4-6). So…proclaim the Gospel. Speak about Christ and His death for sinners. God alone has the power to pull sin by the root through the glory of His Son! 

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…but why?

by Jon Buck

Welcome to the FBC blog! This is the first post of hopefully many to come. But the blog itself begs the question—why blog in the first place? There are several answers, both positively and negatively.

First, we are NOT blogging for anyone except our church. The purpose of the blog is to better serve the people of FBC, in their walk with Christ. That’s the main goal, rather than trying to seek out readers that are outside of our church. 

Second, our goal is to serve you in small increments. While there are many resources available at our church already (first hour, main service, care groups, other equipping classes, etc.), there are topics that don’t often get covered in those venues. Many of those topics can be covered in a relatively short post. In that way, we hope the blog will be helpful. 

Third, our desire is to allow others who are not commonly with us to also share with our church family. For example, our missionaries (Matt, Peter, Gus, Raffaele) can share stories, prayer requests, and encouraging updates in a simple format, as well as their own meditations on Scripture. Also, we can provide suggested resources like books, links, sermons, etc., without flooding your inbox. 

Ultimately, our desire for this blog is to better serve you as our church family. 

With that in mind, if there’s a question you have or a topic that might be helpful to hear about, feel free to email me at jbbuckmine@gmail.com, and we’ll work on getting it answered. 

Thanks in advance for your time.