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What Does it Mean to be Filled With the Spirit? - Ephesians 5:18 - Nov 16, 1997 - 524

The 20th century has been rightly called the “Age of the Holy Spirit.” There are many reasons for this, but the greatest has to do with the rise of Pentecostal and Charismatic churches. It is no secret that many of the fastest-growing churches in the world are Pentecostal and Charismatic ... More

How Can I Be Filled With the Holy Spirit? - Ephesians 5:18 - Oct 24, 2008 - 1169

“Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery.  Instead, be filled with the Spirit” (Ephesians 5:18).During the question and answer time at Cannon Beach Conference Center in Oregon several weeks ago, someone asked the following question: “The filling of the Holy Spirit. ... More

The God We Hardly Know - Sep 22, 2006

David Mains caught me off guard with his question. “If you had to grade your congregation on their knowledge of the Holy Spirit, what grade would you give them?”Up until that moment, the interview had gone well. David and his daughter Melissa had thrown me fast pitches right over the cen ... More

FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions About The Christian Life - Chapter 4 - Jul 9, 2012

Marriage Conference - Various - Jul 19, 1993 - 428

Sobriety: Knowing When to Say No - Nov 17, 2002

SOBRIETY KNOWING WHEN TO SAY NO “Wine is a mocker and beer a brawler; whoever is led astray by them is not wise.” Proverbs 20:1 There are a great many references to wine, strong drink, and drunkenness scattered throughout the Bible. The earliest reference is in Genesis, the last in Revelat ... More

Why I Am Not a Pessimist - Ephesians 5:15-17 - Mar 18, 2009 - 1194

My text today is very short, only three verses. And the verses themselves are short. They are often overlooked because they are sandwiched between two passages that are very well known. As is often the case in the Bible, little verses say a lot. The question posed in the title comes from the middle ... More

The God We Hardly Know: Why I Believe in the Holy Spirit - Various - Oct 29, 1995 - 793

David Mains caught me off guard with his question. “If you had to grade your congregation on their knowledge of the Holy Spirit, what grade would you give them?” The interview, broadcast nationally on the program You Need to Know, centered around my book Names of the Holy Spirit. I g ... More

Water, Wine, Wind, Fire - Four Pictures of the Holy Spirit - Nov 13, 2009 - 1230

Are you spooked out by the Holy Spirit?Perhaps I should say, “Are you spooked out by the Holy Ghost?” Lots of Christians are, you know. They say things like, “I know about God the Father, and I know about Jesus, but the Holy Spirit is a mystery to me.” You may remember the st ... More

Adam's Rib: How God Arranged the First Marriage - Genesis 2:18-25 - May 26, 2002 - 223

Yesterday I performed a wedding ceremony for Chris Hall and Kara Hansen. It was a lovely occassion, as weddings usually are, and everything seemed to go well. As I stood on the platform with the happy couple only two or three feet away, I looked into their hopeful faces, and the same thought I have ... More

Risky Business: The Other Side of Christian Freedom - Galatians 5:13-15 - Aug 12, 2001 - 258

"It is for freedom that Christ has set us free” (Galatians 5:1a). What exactly is this Christian freedom that Paul talks so much about in Galatians? In order to help us understand the answer, I’d like to borrow a definition and an illustration used by Pastor John Piper of Bethlehem Bapti ... More

The Truth About Same-Sex Marriage - Genesis 1:26-28; Revelation 22:17 - Sep 26, 2004 - 267

My story today begins a long way from Oak Park, and a long way from our current controversies. In order to get the proper perspective, let’s go all the way back to the beginning of the Bible. To quote a line from The Sound of Music: “Let’s start at the very beginning, that’s ... More

Every Home a Little Church: - Deuteronomy 6:1-9; 2 Timothy 3:14-17 - May 2, 1999 - 300

As the home goes, so goes the church. Everything we believe begins in the home where we learn to worship, to pray, to sing, and to read God’s Word. When Christian homes are strong, the church is strong. But when the homes are weak, the church cannot make up the difference. Deuteronomy 6:7 tell ... More

The Wind Blows Wherever It Wills - John 3:8 - May 15, 2005 - 200

This is the first in a six-part series on the Holy Spirit called Experiencing God Today. Two months ago I had no idea that I would be preaching on the Holy Spirit once we finished I Peter. But as I thought about the matter, I felt impressed by the Lord that this is the direction we should go. There ... More

Amending Our Church Constitution to Define Marriage - Oct 10, 2004

AMENDING OUR CHURCH CONSTITUTION TO DEFINE MARRIAGE by Ray Pritchard Last spring the elders appointed a task force to work on revising our church constitution in several key areas. This marks the first time since we approved our current constitution in 1992 that we have made any changes. The task fo ... More

The ABC’s of Wisdom: Building Character with Solomon - Sobriety - Jul 31, 2012

The Mysterious Doctrine of the Trinity - Acticle B: The True God - Various - Feb 16, 1992 - 747

My introduction to the doctrine of the Trinity came at a very young age. I first learned it through the music we sang at the First Baptist Church. The great hymn “Holy, Holy, Holy” was number one in the Baptist Hymnal. Over the years the words “God in three persons, Blessed Trin ... More

The Baptism of the Holy Spirit: The Source of Our Power - Acts 1:4-5 - Feb 22, 1998 - 630

“I believe baptism in the Holy Ghost is exactly on the same plane as baptism in water—we never need to repeat it." W. H. Griffith Thomas With this topic we venture deep into the waters of theological controversy. While those outside the church may have no knowledge of it, evan ... More

Is There a Servant in the House? - Ephesians 5:22, 6:4 - Jan 16, 1994 - 534

We live in strange and troubling days. I wonder if a week ago any of us had ever heard of Tonya Harding. Now, we’re all watching this tawdry thing unfold before our eyes wondering how this could have happened. Our hearts go out to Nancy Kerrigan. We hope that she can recover in time for the Ol ... More

Sense and Nonsense About God's Love - 1 John 4:8 - Apr 27, 1997 - 475

I’d like to begin my message with a simple observation. No attribute of God is so widely believed as the love of God. This observation is quite easily testable. Take a microphone to the streets of Chicago and ask them to tell you what God is like. I will assert without fear of contradiction th ... More

Sense and Nonsense about God's Guidance - Exodus 13:21-22; Psalm 48:14 - Sep 12, 1993 - 393

In 1988 something new happened in the American political process. That year, for the first time in a long time, an avowedly evangelical candidate ran for the presidency of the United States.We all remember that George Bush won the election. But if you roll the tape of your mind backwards—bac ... More

This Bud's For You: The Christian And The Use Of Alcohol - Aug 19, 1991

This is not the first time I have addressed this subject. Over the 13 years I have served as a pastor, the subject has come up again and again. A few days before I preached on this subject in my church in Texas, I came into my office and found a brown bag on my desk. It was labeled, “For your ... More

Welcome to the Priesthood - 1 Peter 2:4-10 - Nov 21, 2004 - 592

As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to him—you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For in Scripture it says: “ ... More

Do Not Grieve the Spirit - Ephesians 4:29-32 - Jun 5, 2005 - 204

“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” That’s Ephesians 4:29 in the New International Version. Whenever I read that verse, my mind goes back to a spee ... More

Come Before Winter - 2 Timothy 4:21 - May 27, 2008 - 1155

The Bible has a lot to say about time. The most important thing it says is something we know already—that our time is limited. Time can be used or wasted, it can be invested or squandered, but either way, once used, it can never be regained. Time matters because we have such a limited supply. ... More

The ABC’s of Wisdom: Building Character with Solomon - Marriage - Jul 30, 2012

Something New Under the Sun: Ancient Wisdom for Contemporary Living - 9. EAT DESSERT FIRST - Aug 5, 2012

Jesus On the Job - Ephesians 6:5-9 - Jan 23, 1994 - 536

Where is Jill when you need her? Servants don’t advertise. You’ll never see anybody with a sign up, “Quiet, servant at work.” People don’t put that on their resume; they don’t put that on their business card. It’s not popular to advertise yourself if you&rsq ... More

Balancing Truth and Love - 2 John - Aug 24, 1997 - 458

“Affiliation with the enemies of the Cross spells a lie to all claims to believe the truth.”Robert Lightner This little letter contains one of the strongest warnings in the New Testament. If a false teacher comes to your house, do not receive him (that means, do nothing that appears to g ... More

The Tragedy of Double Vision - Matthew 5:8 - Feb 25, 1996 - 57

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” This beatitude stands alone. It is unlike all the others. In many ways, this is the most unexpected thing Jesus ever said. It is not difficult to believe—like Blessed are the meek. It is not difficult to apply— ... More

Think On These Things - Philippians 4:8-9 - Jul 24, 1994 - 430

Almost a generation ago, when the computer revolution had just begun, the pioneers in the field coined a brand-new word. In those days not many people knew how to operate a computer and those who did made many mistakes. Sometimes the neophyte experts entered the wrong data only to discover a univers ... More

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