Member Care

BY JIM WINTERS   Have you ever heard someone say, “I don’t know, and I don’t care”? Perhaps you have uttered that phrase yourself (I know I have). There may have been what we’d consider a justifiable reason or some circumstances that prompted this outburst. Years ago, there was a popular secular song that contained the […] READ MORE


Christ-Centered Preaching Apologetic

BY MAX FERNANDEZ   This piece was originally written as an apologetic for expositional preaching — a kind of preaching that has been both misrepresented and consequently misunderstood. In this paper, I will argue that expositional preaching is the soundest means of effectively communicating God’s Word. The support for this thesis statement will be presented in the […] READ MORE


1 John – Review and Resources

BY MAX FERNANDEZ   Theory, Critical Theory, Standpoint Theory, Expressive Individualism, and Cancel Culture are all phrases that we continue to hear through news outlets and pop culture media. These terms are also being used within church congregations. Last year at Grace Baptist Church, we completed the epistle of 1 John; and there were several […] READ MORE


Resources for the Church

FROM THE GBC PASTORAL STAFF   Spiritual growth is a key marker in the Christian life. The ministry here at Grace is about enabling and encouraging our people in that growth. As you personally grow, below is a list of resources that may help you in seeing the history behind local church ministry here in […] READ MORE


1 John – The Root of All Uncertainty

From the Series: Certainty – Absolute Truths That Bring Joyful Assurance BY MAX FERNANDEZ   Let’s imagine that we were interviewing the Apostle John, and he had just finished speaking to us the entire letter of 1 John. If we were to ask John to summarize the entire letter in one sentence, what do you think […] READ MORE


1 John – Keep the Crucifixion

From the Series: Certainty – Absolute Truths That Bring Joyful Assurance BY MAX FERNANDEZ   If there were one part of Christianity that we would be tempted to remove, humanly speaking, it would be the crucifixion. It is gruesome, barbaric, and counterintuitive. The crucifixion is the death of the One we call God in the flesh. […] READ MORE


1 John – Evidences of Victorious Faith

From the Series: Certainty – Absolute Truths That Bring Joyful Assurance BY MAX FERNANDEZ   Everyone believes something, and even Christians need to assess their faith and the Object of their faith. The question is whether the faith you are actively exercising is in Someone or something that has guaranteed true, ultimate success or not. THE FAITH […] READ MORE


Loving Jesus Above All Else

BY LAURA JACKSON   If someone asked your child what their parents love most, what would your child say? Maybe they cannot articulate it yet, but where would they see you finding your joy? Where do your children see their mom and dad turning when trials enter the home? Or what about their teachers and those they look up […] READ MORE


1 John – Secure Identity, Sacred Duty

From the Series: Certainty – Absolute Truths That Bring Joyful Assurance BY MAX FERNANDEZ   For people to feel secure, they need to have an identity that they are sure of. They need to know who they are. The problem is that most people look to themselves to find out who they are. The real issue […] READ MORE


1 John – Arriving at Reliable Knowledge

From the Series: Certainty – Absolute Truths That Bring Joyful Assurance BY MAX FERNANDEZ   One of the earliest threats to early Christianity was Gnosticism. This teaching featured the “need for additional knowledge” or to “be in the know” in order to communicate with or know God. The teachings included: “men of God” who were uniquely […] READ MORE


1 John – A Perfected Love

From the Series: Certainty – Absolute Truths That Bring Joyful Assurance BY MAX FERNANDEZ   Often on Mother’s Day, there is much talk of “a mother’s love.” Sometimes we hear or make the statement that “there is nothing like a mother’s love.” John is going to present a truth that will confront our idea of a […] READ MORE


Biblical Education Amid Cultural Revolution

A Response to “Dismantling Racism in the Classroom” BY VICTORINA HOLDING   The current melee in our country over irreversible past colliding with unresolved passion is a testimony to our love for life itself and to the validity of the phrase “to form a more perfect union” expressed in the Preamble to the United States Constitution. These […] READ MORE


Gospel Centrality

BY TOM DEPEW   If you were to ask one hundred Americans what the gospel is, you would no doubt hear many different answers. If you were to ask that same question to the same number of professing Christians, you might hear something more related to Jesus’ salvific work on the cross. However, if you were […] READ MORE


1 John – Confessing Christians in a Confused Culture

From the Series: Certainty – Absolute Truths That Bring Joyful Assurance BY MAX FERNANDEZ   Part of the frustration with Christian churches (generic term) is that you may find their messages to be quite different. When someone is looking for the true, authentic Christian message, these differences can be confusing. Then there is the confusion that […] READ MORE


1 John – God Is Greater Than Our Heart

From the Series: Certainty – Absolute Truths That Bring Joyful Assurance BY MAX FERNANDEZ   John is exposing a problem that is common to all mankind: our hearts can mislead us. In the context of John’s hearers, they had witnessed some hurtful words and actions from those who had left the body. In experiencing this, they […] READ MORE


1 John – Expressive Individualism vs. Gospel Love

From the Series: Certainty – Absolute Truths That Bring Joyful Assurance BY MAX FERNANDEZ   Who am I, and how am I sure that’s who I am? Carl Trueman has put together a wonderful book entitled The Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self: Cultural Amnesia, Expressive Individualism, and the Road to the Sexual Revolution. In […] READ MORE


God Speaks. We Listen.

BY JARED BERRY   As a child, there were two things that always grabbed my attention and solicited a response. One was my dad’s whistle, which meant it was either time to leave the house or dinner was ready. The second was when my dad would simply say the word “booooyyyy” with a slight tilt of the […] READ MORE


1 John – Avoiding Religiopolitical Deception

From the Series: Certainty – Absolute Truths That Bring Joyful Assurance BY MAX FERNANDEZ   Religiopolitical is a word that combines religious and political deception. The problem with this kind of deception is that it is difficult to catch. For Pluckrose and Lindsay, the answer to Critical Theory is Secularism – separation of church and state (Cynical […] READ MORE


1 John – Visible Birthmarks

From the Series: Certainty – Absolute Truths That Bring Joyful Assurance BY MAX FERNANDEZ   Any truth claim must be examined to determine if belief in that truth claim will cause me to not believe in the fullness of who Jesus Christ is. For example, Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: […] READ MORE


1 John – Truth, Trump, or Theory: Believe in This Jesus Above All Else

From the Series: Certainty – Absolute Truths That Bring Joyful Assurance BY MAX FERNANDEZ   There are Christians who are attempting to find assurance in what they think is Jesus pure and simple, but they keep having these experiences that seem to jolt their confidence. I believe one of the reasons this happens is because of the […] READ MORE


1 John – What the Gospel Provides That ‘Cancel Culture’ or Political Conservatism Cannot

From the Series: Certainty – Absolute Truths That Bring Joyful Assurance BY MAX FERNANDEZ   We all have to find a way to deal with the reality of the past, the temptations of the present, and the planning for the future. One way that this is being dealt with in our society is by what has […] READ MORE


Be a Barnabas

BY RODNEY HEDGE   Think of the feeling you get when you walk into a church for the first time. Facility cleanliness, smiling faces at the front door, and clearly marked signage is what we and many would call a good first impression. But in reality, a good first impression is more than a great looking […] READ MORE


Ten Reasons You Need to Read “Revival and Revivalism”

BY MAX FERNANDEZ   Murray, Iain H. Revival and Revivalism: The Making and Marring of American Evangelicalism, 1750-1858. Carlisle, PA: The Banner of Truth Trust, 1994. Who should read this? If you are a member of Grace Baptist Church and value the truth of independent, fundamental Christianity, then you should read this book. If you are […] READ MORE


1 John – Evident Love or Secret Knowledge

From the Series: Certainty – Absolute Truths That Bring Joyful Assurance BY MAX FERNANDEZ   In the time of John, there was a group of people, later termed Gnostics, who taught that our souls were pure and like a prisoner trapped inside the body. For them, it was inconceivable to think that God would have a […] READ MORE


1 John – Evidence Proves Identity, NOT Identity Creates Truth

From the Series: Certainty – Absolute Truths That Bring Joyful Assurance BY MAX FERNANDEZ   We must be able to give clear, objective truth. In our culture, it is becoming increasingly accepted that a person’s oppressed identity is the better source of truth rather than reason and evidence: “Social Justice scholarship takes umbrage with anything that […] READ MORE


1 John – Standpoint Theory and Its Impact on the Sufficiency of Jesus Christ

From the Series: Certainty – Absolute Truths That Bring Joyful Assurance BY MAX FERNANDEZ   Everyone has a standpoint. How do you think of your experiences? One of the alternative ways of thinking within the Critical Theory worldview is called Standpoint Theory: “the belief that knowledge comes from the lived experience of different identity groups, who […] READ MORE


Ministry and Education – Part 3

BY MAX FERNANDEZ   We believe that we should be a ministry committed to the highest level of Christian education possible. Since Middletown Christian Schools is a ministry, spirituality is the most fundamental value and really the only value that matters. This means that we can let academic excellence and physical development take a back seat […] READ MORE


Book Review: Stop Trying by Cary Schmidt

BY MAX FERNANDEZ   Stop Trying: How to Receive—Not Achieve—Your Real Identity, by Cary Schmidt. Chicago: Moody Publishers, 2021. Cary Schmidt presently serves as the pastor of Emmanuel Baptist Church in Newington, Connecticut. Prior to moving to Connecticut, Schmidt served in a fruitful ministry for twenty years in Lancaster, California. Schmidt’s extensive ministry experience, along with his […] READ MORE


1 John – An Unchanging Message in the Midst of Postcolonial Revision

From the Series: Certainty – Absolute Truths That Bring Joyful Assurance BY MAX FERNANDEZ   Who God is has never changed. Our security is attached to what we believe to be true. If we believe that ultimate security is attached to education, money, or happiness, then any time our belief about those things is shaken, we […] READ MORE


1 John – Something Critical Theory Can Never Offer You

From the Series: Certainty – Absolute Truths That Bring Joyful Assurance BY MAX FERNANDEZ   As Christians, we are not only students of the Word of God, but we are also students of the culture around us. The changes in culture seem to have accelerated with the propagation of what has been called Critical Theory. “Theory” […] READ MORE


1 John – An Introduction to 1 John and Critical Theory of Our Society

From the Series: Certainty – Absolute Truths That Bring Joyful Assurance BY MAX FERNANDEZ   1 John 1:4 “And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.” Our joy is incomplete without assurance about the complete truth about Jesus. There is no complete jubilation without God’s self-revelation, fellowship with God in Jesus Christ, […] READ MORE


Ministry and Education – Part 2

BY MAX FERNANDEZ   We believe that Christian education is one form of ministry where we (the school) support the parent’s pursuit of the spiritual, academic, and physical maturity of children. The mystery that was hidden in the Old Testament of the scriptures was the church. The church is the place where the Lord brings about […] READ MORE


Ministry and Education – Part 1

BY MAX FERNANDEZ   We believe ministry is Christlike service in every sphere of the believer’s life. The greatest in the kingdom of heaven is the one who humbly serves. There is no greater example of this than Jesus Christ, who humbly washed his own disciples’ feet on the eve of his Passion. So, without argument, the ultimate service […] READ MORE


Remembering Christ in My Bible Reading

BY MAX FERNANDEZ   A few years ago, I gave several lessons regarding scripture study and interpretation. As part of those lessons there were questions which I encouraged the church family to ask each time they read the Bible. Here is a sample that may be of help to you.   TEXT: ISAIAH 43:1–13 What is […] READ MORE


What Is One Good Reason Why God’s People Do Not Have to Fear?

BY MAX FERNANDEZ   Notice what Isaiah 41:10 says: “Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.” Historical Setting As we look at this passage, it is […] READ MORE


Marriage: An Eternal Perspective

BY MAX FERNANDEZ   Introduction Marriage is a shadow of what is an eternal reality–that reality being the Triune God. The Trinity is the doctrine that God has eternally existed as one God, yet three distinct persons. God, as eternal Creator, created the institution of marriage, but how is marriage a shadow of an eternal reality? […] READ MORE


Marriage: Divinely Designed

BY MAX FERNANDEZ   Introduction Companionship is one of the blessings of marital covenant. Implicit within the thought of companionship is the assumption that aloneness is not good. From where did this assumption come, and who made the solution for aloneness? The purpose of this first lesson will be to establish that God is both the […] READ MORE


Galatians for the Christian Institution

BY MAX FERNANDEZ   How does Galatians 1:1-5 help administrators within a Christian institution?   It is hard to imagine that such an old writing like the book of Galatians may actually be relevant within Christian administration, but Galatians is tremendously relevant for administrators within a Christian institution. It will be the purpose of this short article to set […] READ MORE


Is Christianity Relevant?

BY ALEX FLANAGAN   “God is dead, and we have killed him.” That is what the philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche concluded in his seminal parable entitled The Madman. Although this simple yet profound statement was written well over one hundred years ago, it seems that the ideology behind it has never been more popular than it is […] READ MORE


What Does the Bible Say Happens When Someone Dies?

BY DON OVERPECK   What happens when you die depends on what happens before you die. Hebrews 9:27 declares, “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.” The only opportunity you will ever have to get right with God, is the opportunity God affords you right now. When those who […] READ MORE


Mom Life: One of God’s Greatest Ministries Is Being a “Mom”

BY VAL BUSSELL   There are many important, loving people in a child’s life; however, since I am a mom, we will approach this subject from that point of view. Regardless of whether you are an adopting mom, foster mom, step-mom or biological mom, everything said here will relate to you. So, a little about me…… […] READ MORE


Jesus and the Defeat of Racism

BY JAKE TAUBE   One of the great wonders of our modern era is that I can safely assume essentially every reader agrees that racism is evil and all people, whatever their ethnicity, have equal dignity and value. This would not have been the case in nearly every society of the past! As concerned as we may be about the […] READ MORE


Motherhood: An Identity Crisis

BY ELIZABETH BERRY   We are created in the image of God. Our lives are designed to reflect—to image—pure perfection: the Creator Himself. The human identity was always intended to be found in Him. The curse of sin has ruined many things for mothers—we experience infertility, miscarriage, difficulties in childbirth, heartbreak, death, and so much more—but […] READ MORE


How Do Christians Cope with Uncertainty and Stress?

BY DON OVERPECK   Stress is generally caused by fear of the unknown or a real or perceived loss of control in one’s life. How will I pay my bills? How will I cope with my disease? Sometimes we do things we should not, which creates stress. I must speed and weave through traffic unsafely to […] READ MORE


Is Jesus the Only Way to God?

BY ALEX FLANAGAN   To say that there are a multitude of different worldviews in our modern society is certainly a given. A quick glance at the world around us is all that is needed to confirm it. Indeed, differing ideas and opinions seem to be almost as plentiful as there are people. Amidst all these, […] READ MORE


Is Jesus Truly God?

BY JAKE TAUBE   Christians affirm that Jesus is God. Sound a little superstitious? After all, Jesus lived a long time ago, and we can’t really put this claim to the test, can we? What proof do Christians have that Jesus is God? But, really, how long ago Jesus lived isn’t the biggest problem. If some […] READ MORE