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In Acts 2:38 Peter told a crowd of people, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” The question we will consider today is this: Was Peter telling the people to be baptized in order to be forgiven or was he telling them to be baptized because they were already forgiven?

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Are We Saved by Faith Alone?

Wes  —  October 4, 2017

As this is a very well-known and oft-used phrase, let’s pretend someone asked me, “Wes, do you believe a person is saved by faith alone?” I actually would not answer with either a “yes” or a “no” answer. Here is how I would answer the question of whether or not we are saved by faith alone.

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If you know me and my family personally, you probably know my nine-year-old son loves baseball. He watches nearly every Texas Rangers’ game on television (or lies in bed listening to them on the radio), he pitches for his Little League team, he could sit and talk about baseball for hours on end, and it’s a rare occasion that he does not have some sort of ball in his hand (even in the house). But I strongly believe Christian families need to exercise caution when their children have athletic talent and passion.

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I find it incredibly difficult to study the Bible without underlining, circling, highlighting, drawing arrows, and writing notes. However, once a passage is all marked up, it’s hard to make any additional notes or highlights. Furthermore, if I am highlighting and emphasizing one particular theme in a book of the Bible, it makes it hard to come back later and emphasize a different theme of that book. So here is a little Bible study “hack” that you might find useful:

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Does the Bible Condone Slavery?

Wes  —  September 6, 2017

When it comes to slavery and the Bible, it can be quite an uncomfortable conversation. Does the Bible condemn slavery? Does it approve of slavery? Were Christian slave-owners in the United States justified in owning slaves? Let’s discuss that topic briefly.

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I just finished preaching a month-long sermon series on love. This series has really impacted the way I think about things. I have not come away thinking that loving people is the only thing in the world that matters, but I have come away thinking that of all the things that matter, love matters most of all. In this brief post, I want to share with you why love matters most.

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Most of you are probably aware of the horrible recent events in Charlottesville, VA. Thirty-seven people were violently injured and one young woman lost her life. It all started with a group protesting the removal of a Robert E. Lee statue. There are obviously many racist hate groups who want to see monuments like these protected. But there are also a lot of well-meaning Christians who stand up for symbols of the Confederacy as well. I want to appeal to my brothers and sisters in Christ to love your neighbors more than you love monuments and flags.

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To be honest, I feel even a little bit guilty typing the words, “Oh my God.” Of course, it is certainly not wrong to use the phrase “Oh my God” when you are actually talking to God or about God (2 Chronicles 6:40). But countless people (including many Christians) use this phrase as an exclamation of surprise or disbelief. Not to mention the popular abbreviation, “OMG.” So, is this practice wrong? What does the Bible say about this?

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I recently heard a podcast interview of Andy Davis, who has memorized 43 books of the Bible. Can you imagine, 43 books of the Bible? His strategy for memorizing Scripture really isn’t complicated at all. It something any of us could do. Yes, even you. In today’s brief post I will share with you Davis’ proven strategy for memorizing Scripture.

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Over the last 16 years in ministry, I have served under the leadership of some wonderful elders. They have done so many things to encourage and shepherd me. Sadly, some preachers get little to no encouragement from the elders under whom they serve. So I thought it might be helpful to share some of the things my elders have done for me over the years, in hopes that other elders would do the same for their preachers.

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