What is a church?
by John Holmes on April 19th, 2024
By John Holmes First Baptist Church Moriarty          The local church is not a building but an intentional gathering of two or more visible Holy Spirit-filled believers who, in Jesus' name, mutually agree about His Gospel. It must preach the Word of God and observe the ordinances of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper scripturally. Normatively, when spiritually healthy, church members voluntarily coven...  Read More
He is Risen
by John Holmes on March 31st, 2024
By John Holmes The Empty Tomb (Source: Logos Media)           The phrase "He is risen indeed!" used on Easter morning by Christians has a deep-rooted history in Christian tradition. It serves as a joyful affirmation of Jesus Christ's resurrection from the dead. This tradition is encapsulated in the liturgical practice known as the Paschal greeting, which varies slightly across different languages ...  Read More
What about the Lord's Supper?
by John Holmes on March 3rd, 2024
By John Holmes Communion Plate (Source: Logos Media)           Jesus instructed His disciples to remember His death and resurrection. To help them do so, He gave the church two visible symbols (called “ordinances”). These two ordinances are Baptism and the Lord’s Supper. They are not sacraments, and as such, they do not dispense God’s grace. Ordinances are symbolic and not undertaken for salvation...  Read More
What about Baptism?
by John Holmes on February 15th, 2024
By John Holmes Baptismal Pool at Ephesus (Source: Logos Media)           Christian Baptism is one of two ordinances of the local church. It is an act of obedience to the Lord and provides a public witness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Baptism does not make you a believer; neither does it save you. Baptism testifies that you already believe. As such, every believer should follow in baptism as soon...  Read More
Biblical Sexual Ethics in the Local Church: A Necessary Course of Instruction
by John Holmes on November 28th, 2023
An examination of Paul’s exhortations in 1 Corinthians 3–6 to grow in Christ and guard against impurity by avoiding spiritual immaturity and the folly of human wisdom demonstrates that churches should instruct biblical sexual ethics by teaching God’s design for gender, marriage, sex, and procreation to help Christians respond to the social narratives of gender identity, gender expression, and sexual freedom. By systematically teaching biblical sexual morality, Christians not only grow in Christ and guard against impurity, but they become more equipped to respond to an increasingly hostile and vocal world that does not worship God but instead, themselves.   Read More
Pastor, I Read in This Help Book That...
by John Holmes on September 26th, 2023
The ProblemNo shortage of books exists that promise to offer us 'help' with life's problems.  Marriage, family, children, weight loss, depression, and anxiety represent just a mere sliver of the 'help book' section at most bookstores, even in the Christian ones.  Of course, it's not that books filled with man's wisdom cannot be helpful, as I am thankful for the recipe book with tips and suggestion...  Read More
Authorship of the Bible
by John Holmes on July 6th, 2023
There are two authors of each book of the Bible: God (the Holy Spirit) and the human author. Thus, one can refer to the Pentateuch (Genesis-Deuteronomy) as God's word through Moses, and Romans as God’s word through Paul. This is why at times, you may hear me (your pastor) say, "This is the Word of God, by the Spirit of God, by the Pen of James."  Of course, one can simply refer to it as God’s Word...  Read More
The Prison Epistles
by John Holmes on May 28th, 2023
Philippi - Traditional Prison of Paul (picture above is the entrance)                     The Prison Epistles, also known as the Captivity Epistles, consist of Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, and Philemon. These letters derive their name from the common theme of Paul's imprisonment or confinement in house arrest. Throughout these epistles, Paul refers to himself as "the prisoner for Christ," "...  Read More
Discerning Truth: The (False) Gospels and Other Writings
by John Holmes on April 17th, 2023
          A question sometimes arises within Christian circles today:  What if someone finds another letter allegedly from Paul or another possible Gospel?  Should we add it to the New Testament? The short answer: No!   Now, for a longer, albeit still short, answer...  If you'd like to know more, I'd be glad to chat in more detail.  There is so much more that can be said!                    Now, I...  Read More
Attempting to Harmonize Psychology with Christianity
by John Holmes on March 18th, 2023
Collins, Gary. Can You Trust Psychology? Exposing the Facts and the Fictions. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1988.           Gary Collins, professor of psychology at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (Ph.D. Perdue University), claims to write Can You Trust Psychology? as an attempt to provide a “balanced reaction to psychology’s critics” in the ongoing debate over psychology’s trustworth...  Read More
A Recommended Book: Slave Cabin to the Pulpit
by John Holmes on February 26th, 2023
Peter Randolph. Sketches of Slave Life and From Slave Cabin to the Pulpit. Edited by Katherine Clay Bassard. West Virginia University Press. 2016. 309 pp. $21           If you're looking for a good book Christians will benefit from reading, look no further. Few people today possess a true sense of slavery's evil.  The autobiography of Peter Randolph, a former slave turned pastor-abolitionist and ...  Read More
Sharing Jesus anytime, anyplace, anywhere
by John Holmes on January 27th, 2023
          Throughout the New Testament, readers will discover examples of evangelists who boldly share the ‘good news’ whenever, wherever, and to whomever, as often as possible, relying upon the work of the Holy Spirit. The Apostle Paul is one who embodies exactly this behavior. Because of the Gospel’s divine origin, Paul recognizes God’s Spirit as the agent of salvation.  Paul seeks to snatch men...  Read More