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54th Anniversary Special Service

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54th Anniversary Of Faith Baptist Church – Jan 1, 1968-2022

The Vision

The first part of November 1967, Bro. James Gardner, pastor of Moore’s Fork Baptist Church, in Clermont County, was making a hospital visit in Hillsboro. Feeling the Lord’s leadership on the way back home, he sought to find if there was an interest in the Lynchburg area for a sound New Testament Baptist Church. Upon inquiry, interest was found.

God Opened The Door

An empty church building was found on Freiburg & High Streets in Lynchburg, which was leased for two years, with the option of buying at the end of the lease. The work opened with a two-week meeting, January 2-14, 1968, with Bro. Gardner preaching each night, except Thursdays, with Bro. James Head of Wilmington filling in. In spite of the cold, snowy weather, the attendance averaged about 70 each night. On Sunday, January 7, 1968, Bro. Robert Miller of Dayton, KY, preached, at which time there were 5 requests for membership, plus 2 confessions of faith. On January 14 & 28, Bro. Terry Parnell of Dayton, KY, preached. January 21, Bro. Alwin Pflueger of Moore’s Fork preached.

A Pastor Called

On Thursday night, February 1, 1968, in the regular business meeting, Moore’s Fork Baptist Church extended the call to Bro. Robert Miller to pastor the Lynchburg mission. He is to give full time to the work. He is to lead the people there in complete accord with the position of the sponsoring church in all matters of doctrine and practice. At such time that the mission and sponsoring church agree, the mission will be organized into a local Independent Baptist Church. Bro. Robert Miller formally accepted the pastorate of the mission, and with his wife, Cinda, and son, Robby, moved to the rented parsonage in Lynchburg, on February 24, 1968.

An Independent Baptist Church

January 9, 1971, the mission was organized into the Faith Baptist Church, with 32 charter members.

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Where Is He That Was Born King Of The Jews?

He is no longer in Bethlehem’s stable. Shortly thereafter, He was whisked away to Egypt to avoid Herod’s murderous act. From there, He came back to the city of Nazareth in Galilee. He went to the river Jordan to receive New Testament Baptist baptism at the hands of John. Then, He was led of the Spirit into the wilderness unto being forty days tempted of the devil. He ministered in Galilee and Jerusalem. He was betrayed, crucified, and placed in the tomb for three days and three nights, after which, the angel announced: “He is not here: for He is risen as He said.” He made appearances unto His own, and after commissioning the church, He ascended to the Father’s right hand, with the standing promise, “He shall so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go into heaven.”

Jesus is now at the right hand of God, to make intercession for us–WHAT AN INCREDIBLE TASK!

Unselfishly, Jesus left the glories of heaven to sacrifice Himself for our salvation. Ever since then, He has unselfishly devoted Himself, day and night, for approximately 2000 years, hearing every prayer of all His own, and without fail, as our personal advocate, and properly presented them unto the Father.

Only a Saviour of infinite power, compassion, and patience could keep up with and accomplish a task of such magnitude. Just how many prayers do you suppose Jesus hears and mediates every day, without missing or neglecting any, and yet He admonishes us to pray more than we already are?!?! O what a Saviour! O what a High Priest! O what a friend we have in Jesus!

Jesus is still ever so busy about His Father’s business. He was born for us. He died for us. He arose for us. He lives for us. He is coming again for us–ALL FOR US!! Jesus has put us above Himself. He has made Himself to be our Saviour and servant. He works nonstop for us. He has prepared a place for His own in His heavenly estate.

Are you one of His?

If you have been born again, are you rendering unto Him your reasonable service, by presenting yourself to be a living sacrifice, to prove what is that good, acceptable and perfect will of God?

If not, why not? We will all answer to Him.

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We’re Not To Harbor Self With Excuses

“Then Said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” Matthew 16:24

“If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.” Luke 14:26-27

This is not a command to hate people. It is not speaking of hating in the deliberate, malicious sense, but in the indirect sense, the sense of denying all that would interfere with or come between our following the Lord.

An example of this could be Abraham’s response in following God’s order to offer up Isaac, Genesis 22, Hebrews 11:17-19. Abraham could have let his feelings for his son forbid his obedience to God. But he did not. His faith in following the Lord refused the constraints of paternal love, thus hating in the negative sense. But what he did was not driven by any ill will towards his son, Isaac, but rather he acted on the hope and expectations of pure faith.

Fleshly relations, or associations, will afford conflicts of interest with respect to following Christ. Human feelings about our obligations to fleshly relationships has the propensity to excuse oneself from following the Lord, to attend to fleshly relations. Thus, we have to deny the dictates of human feelings, when and where these conflicts arise, to determine the will of God. Instead of being drawn away from doing God’s will, because of the constraints of fleshly love, we are to have a hatred for anything that becomes an object that seeks to prevent our following the Lord, which includes our fleshly relations.

The principle of discipleship is that we develop a personal, spiritual constitution that requires that we obey and follow the Lord, no matter what the conflict of interest, even if it be ourselves.

“For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.” Luke 9:24 No matter what the personal cost in the short term for following the Lord, it will reap a bountiful harvest in the long term. But to lack the faith to put God first, seeking to save ourselves from any personal losses, will backfire with both a failure in this life and an eternal loss.

God honors those who honor Him, 1 Samuel 2:30. To cave into our circumstances, rather than having done all to stand, will not only short circuit Divine favor, but it will wean us away from being dedicated to the Lord. “How shall we escape if we neglect so great salvation.” Hebrews 2:3

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“Remove not the ancient landmark, which thy fathers have set.” Proverbs 22:28

Nations have boundaries. States have boundaries. Cities have boundaries. Every piece of owned property has boundaries. A deed of ownership describes those boundaries. If you own property, you want those boundaries to be known and honored. Thus the need for boundaries has already been established and needs not be debated.

What purpose do boundaries serve? Is it just something to do with the land itself? Will the land sneak off during some dark night unless it is contained by some boundary? Boundaries are for the understanding of the people who live there, not the soil itself.

Boundaries are about human rights and limitations, dos and don’ts. A boundary distinguishes where one can do according to their own will and where they cannot. This is pretty common knowledge with most. BUT this is a matter that must first be taught and then upheld in real practice.

“Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him” Proverbs 22:15 “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6 Just as property boundaries require respectful behavior, so does human conduct require teaching, training, and discipline to develop a good sense of what one can do or shouldn’t do.

For unteachable creatures, people build fences, etc., to keep them within proper boundaries. Otherwise, it is by being shown where the boundaries are and being disciplined to recognize and respect them that proper dos and don’ts are established.

A church must also establish proper boundaries in teaching, practice, and stand. “Teach them to observe.” Matthew 28:20 Compare: 2 Corinthians 10:4-6, 2 Timothy 4:1-2, 1 Corinthians 5:1-7, and 2 Thessalonians 3:6,14.

Just as it is disastrous to let a child run wild and loud, climb walls, ransack the store shelves, etc., and conduct themselves as if they are entitled to unbridled behavior because they are a kid, it is equally disastrous for Christianity to ignore ongoing disobedient spiritual behavior in their midst.

For faith in obeying God’s Word to be the norm, there must be the boundaries of self discipline and accountability in place. Otherwise, the Holy Spirit will be quenched and iniquity will get the upper hand.

Parents, be sure and train your children with the proper respect for boundaries.

Christians, remove not the ancient landmarks set by God’s Word.

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Thanksgiving In Adversity

We associate giving thanks with times and experiences of good fortune. However, this deprives us of the full benefits of thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is about giving glory to God, rather than glorying in the things of this world. It is to focus us on the person and power of God, regardless of our circumstances.

When Job lost all his children and was stripped of all his possessions in one day’s time, his recourse was: “Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.” When David and his men returned home to find their homes burned, with their families and possessions carried away, while David’s men spake of stoning him, “David encouraged himself in the Lord” (1 Samuel 30:6). When Stephen was facing the blood thirsty crowd that would bash and crush his body unto death by stoning, “But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God.” (Acts 7:55)

The Book of Daniel sets forth men who would rather die giving glory to God, than they would live under the favors of a God denying society. In the day of trouble, the Psalmist wrote: “I will be glad and rejoice in thy mercy: for thou hast considered my trouble; thou hast known my soul in adversities” (Psalm 31:7).

In times of adversity, we should be thankful that we have a God who knows all about our troubles: “In the day of prosperity be joyful, but in the day of adversity consider: God also hath set the one over against the other, to the end that man should find nothing after him” (Ecclesiastes 7:14). As we are yielded to and abiding in Christ, God can use our adversity to show us things that we would never realize otherwise–things needed for our spiritual improvement.

Faith and reconciliation with God’s will opens the door to the understanding of appreciating God and what God does through all the circumstances of our lives: “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)

Consider–“Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God” (Philippians 4:6). A person robbed with violence once prayed: “I thank Thee first because I was never robbed before; second, because although they took my purse they did not take my life; third, although they took all, it wasn’t very much; and fourth, because it was I who was robbed, and not I who robbed.”

“In every thing give thanks!” 1 Thessalonians 5:18

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A Needed Perspective

“….I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” Matthew 16:18b

The New Testament Church is not to be in fellowship with the gates of hell. The gates of hell are simply the open doors to sin and doctrinal error. Satan seeks to open these doors up in every New Testament Church, through playing upon the sympathies of good hearted Christians. But his subtle plan is to lead the church into permissiveness towards sin, unto becoming a haven for that which God forbids.

The way a New Testament Church does their part in preventing the gates of hell from prevailing, is to keep the doors shut to willful sin and doctrinal error. The church is to be sanctified and cleansed with the washing of water by the word, that it will be presented unto Christ as a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing, but that it should be holy and without blemish–Ephesians 5:26-27

Thus, a church needs to stand straight and doctrinally sound with Christ. It needs to be understood that membership is a privilege, rather than some inherent right. People can either choose to serve God, or choose to serve self and sin, but not both at the same time: “Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord’s table, and of the table of devils.” 1 Corinthians 10:21

We must not respect individual pride over the truth of God. Due to pride, a person serving sin wants to be accredited with religious sanction and asylum. But the stand with Christ and on the Word of God, is not to be sacrificed in order to save the face of those who have chosen to serve sin. “Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear.” 1 Timothy 5:20. “But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat. In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. 1 Corinthians 5:11,4,5.

In order for a church to keep the gates of hell from prevailing, it must wage a war of faith sufficiently strong enough against sin, that people’s hearts and minds will reject sin, rather than consider sin to be an allowable alternative to God’s will and way. “…Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump? Purge out the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened.” 1 Corinthians 5:6b-7a

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What’s Driving Us?

“Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God….But he that is spiritual judgeth all things.” 1 Corinthians 2:12,14a,15a

It is what spirit we are of that drives how we think and what we do, rather than what we know. Thus, people often find themselves being driven to do things they know is not right. This is evident in the number who know the truth, yet depart from it to follow sinful ways.

The Bible declares the fact of the spirit of our sinful, natural man, which acts independently of, yea, even contrary to, the Spirit of God, ignoring the wisdom of God’s way, in order to gratify the sinful desires of the flesh. Also, there is the spirit which is of God, working within those whose hearts are right with God, affording them the ability to judge all things, due to discerning things that are eternal as well as the temporal.

In a perfect world of perfect minds, people would choose to judge all things in the light of God’s omniscient wisdom, which is comprehensive of all things, rather than resort to the spirit of sinful flesh, which only sees the things of this present world, as well as only seeks those things that bring present gratification to fleshly lusts.

But in this sinful, imperfect world, the spirit of the inherently spiritually dead, depraved, natural man, is in objection to everything that disagrees with just living for the gratification of worldly desires.

Christians BEWARE! Should we fail, or cease to fight the good fight of faith in judging all things by the spirit afforded us by God, the spirit of our natural, sinful man will divert our attention away from the light of the Lord, unto the blindness of seeing only what the flesh wants to see, being the ways of this world that are at enmity with God.

Live Eve was, those raised up in a Christian environment are prone to be naïve and vulnerable when broadsided with temptation that ignites the spirit of the fleshly man. And as they suddenly are being driven by the spirit of the natural man, the truth that they do know will be overridden in their thinking.

What spirit is driving you? Are you judging all things that reveal godliness to be profitable in this life and the life to come, or are you taking a “new look” at what the world’s ways have to offer?

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Freedom & Responsibility

Picture in your mind the soldier at Valley Forge, as he holds his musket in his bloody hands. He stands barefoot in the snow, starved from lack of food; wounded from months of battle, and emotionally scarred from the eternity away from his family. He is surrounded by nothing but death and the carnage of war.

He stands tough, with fire in his eyes and victory in his heart. He looks at us across the centuries in anger and disgust and tells us: “I gave you my birthright of freedom born in the Constitution and now your children graduate too illiterate to read it.

“I fought in the snow barefoot to give you freedom to vote, and you stay at home because it rains. I left my family destitute to give you freedom of speech, and you remain silent on critical issues, because it might be bad for business. You “badmouth” the country because you are irritated at something the politicians do. I orphaned my children to give you a government to serve you, and you are apathetic when democracy is stolen from the people.”

It is the soldier, not the reporter, that gives you freedom of the press. It is the soldier, not the poet, that gives you freedom of speech. It is the soldier, not the campus organizer, who allows you to demonstrate. It is the soldier who salutes the flag, serves the flag, whose coffin is draped with the flag, that allows the protester to burn the flag. Shame! Shame!

“Lord, hold our troops in Your loving hands. Protect them as they protect us. Bless them and their families for the selfless acts of heroism they perform for us in our time of need. Press close to them the hope of just coming home safe.” (copied)

Freedom is not free. The slogan is simple, “You may differ but you can’t divide.” Freedom is responsibility. There is no other definition that correctly displays the real meaning of being free.

“…Christ hath made us free…” “For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.” Galatians 5:1,13. With the liberty in Christ, comes the responsibility to use it for Christ.

As Americans, we all cherish the Bill of Rights. As Christians, we enjoy the privilege to stand for what we believe. But with this freedom comes the responsibility: “But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another.” Galatians 5:15. As we see the folly of those who spit on or burn the flag, let us also be advised against the folly of doing those things that undermine the local New Testament Church.

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The Little Foxes

“Take us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vines.” Song of Solomon 2:15a

Human nature is a complex mixture of inconsistency: “Strain at a gnat and swallow a camel.” (Matthew 23:24)

Every Holy Spirit convicted, repentant, converted, born again sinner, saved by grace, has a deep consciousness of the sinful adamic nature. Every servant of God has a constant warfare with his or her own sinful nature, that must be denied in the course of seeking and carrying out God’s will. “For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.” Galatians 5:17

Whenever we apply this conviction of our sinful imperfection, it will serve us well to keep us vigilant against Satan and sin. But as imperfection is, so imperfection does. Being imperfect, we often imperfectly apply this conviction to what we are and do.

In the course of imperfectly assessing and managing our own imperfection, we may very well allow things to go on in our lives that we know do not measure up to what they should be. These are the little foxes that spoil the vines. These are the little errors that throw off the big equation.

Satan knows that a direct affront to a Christian’s conviction and faith most likely wouldn’t work, but would only put us on the defense against his wiles. So, he works on getting us to allow for some imperfections, that there are no real justification for them, BUT they are gratifying to, or fit well with our imperfect nature. Eventually these allowances will grow unto making more allowances, unto “a little leaven leavening the whole lump” 1 Corinthians 5:6.

Do not err, beloved brethren! It only takes a spark to get a fire going. “Hast thou faith? Have it to thyself before God. Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth.” Romans 14:22

Be circumspect and reject inconsistencies and strive for perfection: “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” Matthew 5:48

“…be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.” 2 Peter 3:14b

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