Greetings in the Name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and welcome to the Friendship Bible Church BLOG, your source for announcements and information about what's happening at FBC.

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Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Forget Not!

Wednesday's at 6:30!
EVERY Wednesday at 6:30!
And remember, it's your last chance to participate in 2015!

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Twas the Night Before Christmas...

... And candles were burning at the Friendship Bible Church. Carols were being sung about the Babe Who would become the King.

It started at 6:30. It ended at 7:30 and all went to their homes carrying a gift, and worshipping the One that it's all about!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

'Twas the Night Before the Night Before...

... and PRAYER MEETING was cancelled, having been replaced by the Christmas Eve candlelight service on Thursday. Will you join us then?

Friday, December 18, 2015

Twas the Weekend Before Christmas

... And all through the church - LOT'S OF STUFF WAS GOING ON. Don't miss any of these great opportunities this weekend:

Friday -
Christmas Cantata Dress Rehearsal - 7:00 PM

Saturday -
Packing and distributing gift baskets for those in need - 10:00 AM
Filling gift bags for Christmas Eve service - 10:00 AM
Christmas Cantata Performance - 7:00 PM

Sunday -
Sunday School for all ages - 9:30 AM
Worship Service - Is God Still With Us? - 10:30 AM
Christmas Cantata Final Performance - 7 :00 PM

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Penultimate Prayer Meeting!

Only two more prayer meetings remain in 2015. If you've been procrastinating, you're running out of time!

Join us this evening at 6:30 in the sanctuary for our last regular prayer meeting of 2015. There will be no prayer meeting next week, as it is cancelled in favor of the Christmas Eve service on Thursday. That will leave only one more chance in the year, the last Wednesday in December.

Will you join us this evening? 6:30? Sanctuary?

Wouldn't it be wonderful to round out the year by praying with your brothers and sisters? Wouldn't it be terrible to end the year having to say you had attended ZERO prayer meetings in 2015? Erase that statistic tonight and join us. We will pray for you. We will pray with you. You can pray with and for us.


Saturday, December 12, 2015

All ready for caroling!

Sunday evening at 5:00.
Wanna ride along?
We will be singing carols to some of our shut ins.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

What is the Solution?

PRAYER is the solution!!!!!

Join us this evening, Wednesday, at 6:30 for our midweek prayer meeting.
Sitting in your easy chair won't solve anything.
Watching television won't solve anything.
ONLY PRAYER will solve the problems we see around us.

PRAYER is the solution!!!!!

So will you be with us this evening for prayer? One hour of power that can change your life... your family... your community... your relationships... your finances... your health... your country... and your world.

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (Philippians‬ ‭4:6-7‬)

Friday, December 4, 2015

Hope For America

It won't be found in an election... or in a candidate.  Hope for America will only be found when America turns it's heart back to God.  I read this this morning and was struck by how timely it is:

Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, The people He has chosen as His own inheritance. The LORD looks from heaven; He sees all the sons of men. From the place of His dwelling He looks On all the inhabitants of the earth; He fashions their hearts individually; He considers all their works. No king is saved by the multitude of an army; A mighty man is not delivered by great strength. A horse is a vain hope for safety; Neither shall it deliver any by its great strength. Behold, the eye of the LORD is on those who fear Him, On those who hope in His mercy, To deliver their soul from death, And to keep them alive in famine. Our soul waits for the LORD; He is our help and our shield. For our heart shall rejoice in Him, Because we have trusted in His holy name. Let Your mercy, O LORD, be upon us, Just as we hope in You. (Psalms‬ ‭33:12-22‬ ‭NKJV‬‬)

Thursday, November 26, 2015

As I sit here on this Thanksgiving Day, 2015...

... waiting on family and friends to arrive and for the festivities to begin...

I ponder some things for which I am so thankful.

I'm thankful that there is a God. In the beginning God... (Genesis 1:1) He exists. I'm so thankful that the evil and chaos I see in the world around me in increasing measure is not the ultimate reality. God is. I'm thankful.

I'm thankful that God loves me. I have loved you with an everlasting love... (Jeremiah 31:3) Why He would love me, I cannot imagine. But for the unbelievable fact that He does love me, I am so thankful.

I'm thankful that God has only good planned for me. I, like many I know, have been through a few things, and there are times when the world crowds in. There are times when pain is more prevalent than peace. There are times when hurt feels stronger than hope. There are times when tears outweigh smiles. But at those times, I have the promise... the reality, of God's Word. For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. (Jeremiah 29:11)

I'm thankful that the hope and joy and peace and wonder that I experience everytime I ponder these truths, can be yours, and anybody's who will simply ask for it. Whoever shall call upon the Lord shall be saved. (Romans 10:13)

There are just so many things for which I'm thankful on this Thanksgiving Day, 2015. The list could go on and on and on. But let me close with a Scripture I just read a few moments ago, and which the Lord really blessed my heart with. Let me set the stage first. You see, last evening I watched the beautiful full moon rise in the east. As I watched it, my mind went to Genesis 1:16 where God tells us that He created it to rule over the night. I went to bed last evening thinking about that. Then this morning, I arose and did a little searching of my Bible, looking for what it has to say about the moon. I found this wonderful passage:

Give the king Your judgments, O God, And Your righteousness to the king’s Son. He will judge Your people with righteousness, And Your poor with justice. The mountains will bring peace to the people, And the little hills, by righteousness. He will bring justice to the poor of the people; He will save the children of the needy, And will break in pieces the oppressor. They shall fear You As long as the sun and moon endure, Throughout all generations. He shall come down like rain upon the grass before mowing, Like showers that water the earth. In His days the righteous shall flourish, And abundance of peace, Until the moon is no more. (Psalms 72:1-7)

I'm so tired of bad news. I'm so tired of the hopelessness that seems to pervade our world. I'm so tired of the increase of evil and the desperation that it breeds in our world.

But I'M SO THANKFUL THAT MY KING REIGNS... THAT HE CAME ONCE AND WILL COME AGAIN... AND THAT in His days the righteous shall flourish, and abundance of peace, UNTIL THE MOON IS NO MORE.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

What do you have to be thankful for?

Prayer and THANKSGIVING meeting tonight,
Wednesday, November 25 at 6:30 PM.

Join us...
Pray with us...
Praise with us...
Give thanks with us.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Thanksgiving Baskets

Don't forget - our deacons and deaconesses will be assembling and distributing baskets to those in need.  Your helping hands will make the task easier!  

Will you join them Saturday morning at 10:00 AM in the Fellowship Hall?

Dear God of all feasts,
Bless our food, and those who have provided it. 
May the gifts and blessings we have received,
Be the same gifts and blessings we share
With those who go without this day.  Amen

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

We Pray

We pray because the Bible teaches us to pray.
We pray because Jesus taught us to pray.
We pray because Jesus modeled prayer.
We pray because God hears us when we do.
We pray because God answers when we do.
We pray because we believe the Bible's promises about prayer.
We pray for ourselves.
We pray for one another.
We pray for our neighbors... our friends... our family... 
We pray for our nation... our world... our culture...
We pray for our president... our governor... our leaders...
We pray for God's will to be done...
We pray for our faithfulness to God's plan...
We pray silently.
We pray aloud.
We pray...

Will you come and pray with us?  
Tonight and every Wednesday evening at 6:30 PM, until Jesus comes.

Pray without ceasing! (1 Thessalonians 5:17)

Operation Christmas Child - The Clock is Ticking!!

A couple reminders about this year's Operation Christmas Child effort at Friendship Bible Church:

Our goal for this year is 350 shoeboxes!

Deadline to bring boxes in if you are packing your own box - THIS SUNDAY, November 15th!!

Date for the packing party this year is THIS SATURDAY, November 14th, 11:00 AM at the Randolph Town Hall.

Join us in reaching young lives, and the lives of their families and friends, for Jesus.  Make a child smile this Christmas, and give them something to smile about for eternity.  

A final note - this effort is open to any and all who wish to participate.  If you don't attend FBC but want to share in the outreach, bring your shoebox(es) to the church before this Sunday, or just drop in at the Town Hall and join the packing party fun!

Friday, November 6, 2015

It's Haven Time!

You can join us as we serve those less fortunate at the Haven of Rest in Akron. Meet at the Haven at 10 AM Saturday morning, and experience the joy of serving Christ by serving others. Oh... don't forget... WEAR A HAT.

FBC101 Is On

Don't forget. We will be starting another round of this class Sunday at 9:30 in the new conference room. We have plenty of books and plenty of room so join us if you would like to know more about FBC.

FBC101 is an introduction to what we believe and who we are at Friendship Bible Church. Want to know more? Join us Sunday at 9:30.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

The Church Gathers

We do it every Lords Day. We gather to worship our risen Savior on the Lord's Day - the first day of the week.

AND we do it every Wednesday. We gather to praise and pray.

Guess what? It's Wednesday! And this evening we will gather at 6:30 for prayer. Will you be a faithful part of that gathering this evening? We will be praying for you. Join us... Pray with us.

LORD, I have loved the habitation of Your house, And the place where Your glory dwells. (Psalms 26:8)

Friday, October 30, 2015

Don't Be Early!!!!


Don't forget we are seeking some to share their testimonies in morning worship during the month of November! We have had no volunteers to date, and need somebody for this coming Lord's Day.

Let the redeemed of the Lord say so!

If you have questions about what is involved, please contact the pastor.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015


It's that time of year!  Every year during the month of November we share testimonies of what God has done in our lives.  Primarily, we are looking for testimonies of salvation, but others are welcome as well.  

Would you be willing to share your testimony with your brothers and sisters during one of the Sunday services in November?  You have no idea how your testimony will encourage others!  

See the pastor or contact the church office A.S.A.P. if you are willing to share what God has done in your life.  We need somebody for this coming Lord's Day, so will you be that person?

Friday, October 23, 2015

"One more thing..." as Steve Jobs used to say

I forgot one very important announcement for this weekend.  We will be having a meet the missionary fellowship immediately following the worship service.  The church is providing the majority of the vittles, but it would be helpful if some of you would bring a side dish or salad to pass.  You'll really enjoy this couple, so I hope and pray for a good number to stay and fellowship with them.

We will gather immediately following the worship service in Fellowship Hall.

Weekend Update - Big things happening!

Several updates regarding the weekend:

PRAYER BREAKFAST - Men, don't miss out on this monthly phenomenon.  Meet in Fellowship Hall at 8:00 for food, fun, food, fellowship, food, prayer, food, Bible study, and food.  Bring somebody who hasn't yet experienced one of these prayer breakfasts with you.

MOTORCYCLE MANIA - We have a fall foliage ride planned for Saturday, but at this point it's looking unlikely.  Final call will be made at prayer breakfast Saturday morning, but this is probably cancelled due to weather.

MISSIONARY - And don't forget John and Alysse Stavropoulos will be with us in the worship service this weekend.  John and Alysse are missionaries with New Tribes and serve in Africa.  You won't want to miss hearing their story.

Friday, October 16, 2015


This Saturday, October 17 at 5:00 PM is your final opportunity to join us for a Campfire Fellowship this year!

This final gathering will bett at the home of Lee and Gail Gibbons. And since it may be cold, we will be meeting in their beautiful barn!

The campfire fellowships are a wonderful way to get to know your church family outside of the church walls.  We eat... we talk... we laugh... we eat... we play games... we fellowship... we eat (did I already say that?)... and we get to know our friends from Friendship Bible Church better each time.  Will you join us as we fellowship one last time for 2015?

All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals (including the Lord’s Supper), and to prayer. (Acts 2:42 NLT)

Bring a lawn chair to sit on, and a dish to pass!

Friday, October 9, 2015

New Adult Electives for Fall

Don't forget we that with October comes new classes during the Sunday School hour. FBC will be offering 4 different adult classes between October and December. Hopefully, you will find one that interests you. And don't hesitate to try them all! You are encouraged to try different teachers and different classes.

Here are the offerings for the October - December quarter:

Bill Johnson / Carl Clark - The pastor will teach for four weeks on the Ten Commandments, and Carl will then round out the quarter teaching on Galatians. These classes will be held in the sanctuary.

Mark Salisbury - Mark has been working through a study of the book of Judges, and will continue that study. This class meets in the Fellowship Hall.

Bill Johnson - FBC101 - The next round of this class will begin as soon as the Ten Commandments series concludes, and will meet in the new conference room downstairs.

No matter who you are, or where you are in your walk with Christ, you need to be continuing to study the Bible. Nobody arrives at the place where that is unnecessary. So choose your topic and jump in!

Sunday School is at 9:30 AM every Lord's Day.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

I wonder what would happen if...

... Christians decided to turn off their television sets on Wednesday evening for 60 minutes, and pray.
There is an interesting story in Genesis 18:16-30. God was fed up with Sodom and had decided to judge the sin of its people. But Abraham cared about at least some of those people, because Lot, his nephew, lived there.

So Abraham prayed. And in his prayer for Lot and Sodom, he asked God how many righteous people in Sodom might cause Him to forego His judgement.

"50?" asked Abraham. "I won't destroy Sodom if there are 50 righteous there," said the Lord.

"45?" "Nope. Not if there are 45."





God would have stayed His judgement if there were but 10 believers present there.

What would God do in Randolph if 50 people turned off their TV sets tonight and came to prayer meeting and prayed? What about if 45 came? 30? 20? Even 10?

Prayer meetings occur every Wednesday evening from 6:30-7:30. Join us!

Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart... (Luke 18:1 NKJV)

Friday, October 2, 2015

God Knows

In studying for this Lord's Day's sermon on Romans 8:31-39, I came across this wonderful thought from Chuck Swindoll:

God knows. It is a great truth of Scripture that God knows everything. He is omniscient. God is not discovering, God is not learning, God is not watching and then adapting His plan to fit what might help make us comfortable. His plan is set. His knowledge is thorough. He gives purpose to every chaotic circumstance of this fallen, corrupted world. Moreover, He loves us completely—more than any one can love us, even ourselves. Therefore, we can rest in His plan. As musician Michael W. Smith said in a recent concert, “God is still God and I’m still not.”

I'm comforted, encouraged, and strengthened by this wonderful truth. May you be, too.

As We R Ministries - Special Music This Sunday!

You won't want to miss our special musical guests this Sunday - As We R Ministries.

This southern gospel husband and wife team will be with us in the morning worship service.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015


Let us pray for our land.
Let us pray for our community.
Let us pray for our neighbors.
Let us pray for our husbands.
Let us pray for our wives.
Let us pray for our sons.
Let us pray for our daughters.
Let us pray for our coworkers.
Let us pray for our employers.
Let us pray for our president.
Let us pray for our congressmen.
Let us pray for our senators.
Let us pray for our judges.
Let us pray for our police.
Let us pray for our fire and rescue personnel.
Let us pray for Randolph.
Let us pray for Atwater.
Let us pray for Rootstown.
Let us pray for AMERICA!
Let us pray for our world.
Let us pray for our brothers and sisters around our world.
Let us pray for our CHURCH.
Let us pray for our SELVES.


“No man can progress in grace if he forsakes prayer.” —Charles Spurgeon

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7)

Friday, September 25, 2015


8:00 Saturday Morning - Prayer Breakfast in Fellowship Hall. FOOD, Fellowship, Prayer, FOOD (did I already say that?)  JOIN US MEN!

5:00 Saturday Evening - Campfire Fellowship at the Weber/Goodyear Ranch.  FOOD, Fellowship, Fun, Fantastic Friends, FOOD (did I already say that?)  JOIN US EVERYBODY!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Special Prayer Meeting tonight!

Even if you don't normally join us for prayer on Wednesdays, join us this evening if you can, for Sue Givens, a missionary to Paraguay, will be with us and presenting her ministry there.

We love, support and send missionaries at FBC because, How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent? (Romans 10:14-15 NKJV)

Join us at 6:30 PM!

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

My Jesus has done all things well!

Praise God for what He’s done for me!
Once I was blind, but now I see;
I on the brink of ruin fell,
Glory to God! I’m out of hell.

The Lord has pardoned all my sin,
And now to praise Him I’ll begin;
I never praised the Lord before,
But now I’ll praise Him more and more.

I spurned His grace, I broke His laws,
But Jesus undertook my cause;
Bad as I was, He cleansed my soul,
Healed my disease, and made me whole.

Praise God for what He’s done for us!
He’s turned our hearts to praise Him thus,
And now He cries, “Go on, go on!
I’ll crown you when your work is done.”

And above the rest this note shall swell,
This note shall swell, This note shall swell,
And above the rest this note shall swell,
My Jesus has done all things well.

(Author unknown)

Our God has done so many good things for us.  Let us praise Him together this evening in the midweek prayer meeting.  Have you attended lately?  Make tonight the revival of your faithfulness of prayer meeting.  Turn off the television.  There's nothing on it as useful to your soul and heart as prayer meeting.  Step out of the easy chair. You won't find near the rest for your body there as you will at prayer meeting.

JOIN US - 6:30 this evening and every Wednesday.  
We will meet this evening in the sanctuary, 
and we will be finished by 7:30.

Saturday, September 12, 2015



Because My people gave forgotten me... (Jeremiah 18:15)

FOOD (Did I already mention that?)
FOOD (Did I already mention that?)

10:30 is when it all starts (Note - no Sunday School)
Friendship Bible Church is where it all happens. 


Friday, September 11, 2015


Yes... 41

That's how many hours remain before 
at Friendship Bible Church

Because My people have forgotten me,,, (Jeremiah 18:15)

Thursday, September 10, 2015

It Is Almost Here!

Because My people have forgotten me... (Jeremiah 18:15)

September 13, starting at 10:30 AM

Friday, September 4, 2015

Work, for the night is coming...

Don't forget - 9:00 Saturday morning - we will be finishing up a couple tasks around the church and finishing the paint job on the ramp. Join us if you can!

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Lowry / Martin in Concert

Several of us will be traveling to the Canton Baptist Temple on September 18 at 7:00 PM to hear Mark Lowry and the Martins in concert.  If you'd like to join us, you need to sign up a.s.a.p. for tickets -

If enough of us are going, we will take the bus.


Join us this evening (Wednesday) from 6:30 - 7:30 for our midweek prayer meeting.

Our world needs prayer so badly.
Our country needs prayer so badly.
Our community needs prayer so badly.
Our schools need prayer so badly.
Our leaders need prayer so badly.
Our churches need prayer so badly.
Our local church needs prayer so badly.
Our homes need prayer so badly.
Our fathers need prayer so badly.
Our mothers need prayer so badly.
Our sons need prayer so badly.
Our daughters need prayer so badly.
I need prayer so badly.
YOU need prayer so badly.

Will you come? Will you pray with us?

“No man can progress in grace if he forsakes prayer.”  (Charles Spurgeon)

"More things are wrought by prayer than this world dreams of." (Alfred, Lord Tennyson)

Friday, August 21, 2015

Hey FBC Men! Guess What?


Tomorrow, Saturday, August 22 you can join us for the monthly feast of food and fellowship.  We'll meet in Fellowship Hall at 8:00 AM and there will be plenty of breakfast fixings for you and anybody you care to invite.

Join your FBC brothers!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

What can you do Wednesday evening for 30 minutes that will last for eternity?

Here's an idea!  Join us after prayer meeting for our stamping party.  At 7:30 PM we will gather in Fellowship Hall to stamp and label 2500 postcards inviting neighbors and friends to Old Fashioned Sunday.

Join us?  Many hands make light work, and historically we've been able to complete this process in 30-45 minutes if we have a good group of helpers.  Every stamp... every label, represents a soul for which Christ died.  And you can help influence that soul by placing that stamp... that label, on a postcard that will reach them!

OLD FASHIONED SUNDAY - September 13, 2015
Because my people have forgotten me... (Jeremiah 18:15)

It's FREE. You did hear me right? FREE!!

Don't forget! This evening (Tuesday) at 6pm, we will be offering a Preview Session for our upcoming Financial Peace University course. This session is for anyone who is still unsure about officially registering. There will be light refreshments, a short video presentation, and a Q&A session. Length should be around 45 minutes. Please consider attending!

 Normal is broke. Be weird.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Baptistery Disappearing Act

The old baptistery, which has lived in Don Richard's dad's barn since we took it out, has been placed with another church. Praise the Lord someone can use it!  We could use a few stout men to help load it up, tomorrow (Friday) evening at 6:00. Meet Don and the crew at 2150 New Milford Rd. if you can help. Thanks!

Thursday, August 6, 2015

If you're not joining us at the VOM conference...

... maybe you could spare some time to help with a short work day (afternoon) at FBC?

Several brothers and sisters will be gathering at the church this Saturday, August 8th at 1 PM to work on a few minor outstanding tasks.  There will be refreshments for the volunteers!

If you can help with any of these, even for just a short amount of time, meet at the church at 1:00PM.  Some of the tasks needing completion include:
  • Painting of the handicap ramp
  • Hang the fire extinguisher on the second floor 
  • Hang the money deposit box in the counting / old office room 
  • Hang the free resources board in the lobby area across from the coat rack where the sound room used to be
  • Hang roller shade in kitchen pass thru window
  • Hang stainless paper towel holder to the left of the kitchen sink
  • Replace red exterior windows around the soundroom with those removed from other areas of the building
I know your works, love, service, faith, and your patience; and as for your works, the last are more than the first. (‭‭Revelation‬ ‭2:19‬)

Wednesday, August 5, 2015


Come, my soul, thy suit prepare:
Jesus loves to answer prayer.
He himself has bid thee pray,
Therefore will not say thee nay.

Thou art coming to a King,
Large petitions with thee bring.
For his grace and power are such,
None can ever ask too much.
-- John Newton

Join us for midweek prayer meeting this evening? We meet every Wednesday at 6:30. We meet for 45 minutes. We open the Word, we share from the heart, we pray for each other. We pray for you. Will you pray with us?

Friday, July 24, 2015

A Prayer for the Dry Times

We all come across dry stretches, don't we? Times when the circumstances of life seem to crush in upon us, and the comfort we would seek from our Savior seems to disappear. I'm guessing most Christians, at least those with any miles behind them in their walk, can relate. I know I can.

This morning, as I pondered a sense of dryness that has been present with me for a while, I picked up my copy of "The Valley of Vision", A Collection of Puritan Prayers and Devotions. I opened it at random and saw this prayer. It helped me. May it help you, if you are in a desert today:

Sovereign Commander of the Universe,

I am sadly harassed by doubts, fears, unbelief, in a felt spiritual darkness. My heart is full of evil surmisings and disquietude, and I cannot act faith at all. My heavenly Pilot has disappeared, and I have lost my hold on the Rock of Ages; I sink in deep mire beneath storms and waves, in horror and distress unutterable.

Help me, O Lord, to throw myself absolutely and wholly on thee, for better, for worse, without comfort, and all but hopeless. Give me peace of soul, confidence, enlargement of mind, morning joy that comes after night heaviness; water my soul richly with divine blessings; grant that I may welcome thy humbling in private so that I might enjoy thee in public; give me a mountain top as high as the valley is low.

Thy grace can melt the worst sinner, and I am as vile as he; yet thou hast made me a monument of thy mercy, a trophy of redeeming power; in my distress let me not forget this.

All-wise God, thy never-failing providence orders every event, sweetens every fear, reveals evil's presence lurking in seeming good, brings real good out of seeming evil, makes unsatisfactory what I set my heart upon, to show me what a short-sighted creature I am, and to teach me to live by faith upon thy blessed self.

Out of my sorrow and night give me the name Naphtali - 'satisfied with favour' - help me to love thee as thy child, and to walk worthy of my heavenly pedigree. (from "The Valley of Vision", A Collection of Puritan Prayers and Devotions)

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Weekend Reminders

Don't forget the campfire fellowship today (Saturday) at the Bauers' home. Bring a lawn chair and a dish to pass and come join your FBC family for some fun, food, and fellowship. Festivities start at 5:00!

And if you're interested in helping us plan for Old Fashioned Sunday, which is coming up in September, we're having another planning session Sunday evening at 6:30. Join us?

Of course, in all your weekend planning, remenber that Sunday is the Lord's Day. Take time Sunday morning to gather with the church and worship. Sunday School starts at 9:30 and worship at 10:30. Join us?

Friday, July 10, 2015

Dirt and Donuts

Several of our faithful servants will gather Saturday, July 11 at 9:00 to spend a couple hours working on the landscaping around our new facilities.

Would you like to help?  If so, come dressed for dirt and meet at FBC at 9:00.


Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Shaking Up Prayer Meeting

Has the need for prayer ever been greater?  Has our world ever needed it more?  Has our country ever needed it more?  Have you ever needed it more?

Well... we will be gathering Wednesday evening as we always do, to pray for these things... to pray for one another.  But there is something new to think about as you plan your Wednesday evening activities this week.

Prayer Meeting will have a new look. Rather than meeting in the sanctuary as we have been, we will be gathering around the tables in Fellowship Hall!

Will you join us from 6:30-7:45, as we gather for this most important activity?

“Either worrying drives out prayer, or prayer drives out worrying.” – Don Carson

Friday, June 26, 2015

A Sad Day... A Glad Day

Today the Supreme Court of the United States decided to ignore God, Christianity, and the Bible. Today the Supreme Court of the United States decided that they have the ability, right, and power to overturn truth that God has declared from the very beginning of creation.  Today the Supreme Court of the United States decided that same-sex marriage is legal in all 50 states.

It is a sad day for America.

Although it's been true for some years now that the United States as a nation is non-Christian, it has never been more clearly confirmed than it was today.  And that confirmation brings a sense of profound sadness to those of us who love our country and weep over its downward spiral.  Where once we were boldly declared to be "one nation under God" we now find ourselves living in the land of the Judges, where "there was no king... and every man did that which was right in his own eyes."  And sadly, any student of history knows that no such nation survives long.  A Godless nation is a weak nation without His protection and guidance, and many are the foes circling and watching as it grows weaker and weaker.  Sodom and Gomorrah are but two examples of places where God's rule was supplanted by man's, to man's destruction.

The Old Testament book of Judges described how "every man did that which was right in his own eyes", but not to glorify it.  Rather it showed the resulting distress in vivid colors, as anarchy and bloodshed and immorality grew stronger and stronger to the destruction of its architects.  Over and over the downward spiral would occur as men and women turned away from God until the resulting judgement made them realize their mistake and drove them back to Him.  And over and over when they would turn to Him, He would heal their pain.  The book of Judges is clear that man's way brings destruction, and only in turning to God is there hope and peace.  But today, SCOTUS declared that there is no God... no King... and that they each will do what is right in their own eyes.  A sad day.

The first chapter in the book of Romans describes how this has always been the progression of sin, both in nations, and in individuals.  It is a downward progression... a downward slide... and it results in nothing good, and in the judgment of God.

It is a sad day for America, for it confirms what we already believed, that we live in a nation where there is no God, and where "every man does what is right in his own eyes."  It is a sad day in America, for it seems we now live amongst a people whom God has "given over" (Romans 1) to their sin.


It is a GLAD day for Christians... for believers in the Lord Jesus Christ... for His church here in America!

How can that be?  Well I can think of several reasons to consider it a good day for the church:

1.  The church will be sifted, and therefore strengthened.  Only fools believe that the Supreme Court ruling will have no impact on the churches in America.  It will affect every church, and we will have to decide whether we will conform to the gods of this land (SCOTUS) or to the God of all lands when it comes to marriage.  Some Christians and churches will follow SCOTUS, and will be revealed as the tares they have always been.  Others will follow the God of the Bible and will be revealed as the wheat they have always been.  The result will be a stronger and purer church, albeit at the cost of persecution and trial.

2. The opportunities for Christians to witness will only increase.  Last week a deranged gunman walked into a church and killed 5 people.  The Christians who suffered such devastating loss and pain were soon seen publicly offering forgiveness to the killer.  And the world was stunned that such would be the response.  Just like the world is always stunned when the love of Christ is shown against the dark backdrop of this sin deadened world.  And as the agenda of the same-sex crowd continues to move forward with its ultimate goal of pushing God completely out of their lives and world, the church will continue to proclaim the love of God, and the saving grace of Jesus Christ, and the hope that only the gospel brings.  Jesus "could not be hid" when He walked on this earth, despite the best efforts of the SCOTUS of His day.  Neither will His gospel be hid today.  The darker it gets, the brighter that gospel will shine.

3. The church will be raptured soon.  So soon now.  Since the United States of America is nowhere mentioned in the Biblical end-time narratives, and since it is incongruous to think that the greatest nation on earth would be absent from the worldwide conflicts described therein, it seems clear that the "greatest nation on earth" must not be around when those prophecies are fulfilled.  Or at least it must have declined into a state of irrelevancy.  As we sorrow over the destruction of America... as we watch its once-so-great status disappear before our eyes... as we listen ashamedly to our leaders turn their backs on and thumb their noses at God... we realize that we are seeing something that must happen, happen!  America must decrease, if the Biblical prophecies are correct.  They are correct.  America is declining into irrelevancy on the world stage and the rapture is just around the corner!

What should Christians do in light of today's Godless ruling by the Supreme Court?

1.  Keep praying for America.  Even though it seems too late to turn the country back to God, we know that nothing is too hard for our God.  And we also know that God's Word says "first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior. (‭1 Timothy‬ ‭2‬:‭1-3‬)  Pray, Christian.  Never quit praying.

2. Continue to stand for the truth.  The Supreme Court does not define what is right, God does.  The Supreme Court does not have the final say, God does.  Stand on God's Word.  Order your life around it just as you always have.  Determine what is right and wrong by what it says, and not by any other means.  Stand.  And having done all, STAND!

3. Keep loving people to Jesus.  There will be increased opportunity to show those confused by same-sex error that Jesus loves them, and we love them.  It is the height of stupidity to suppose that disagreement over an issue indicates a lack of love.  Disagreement often is a result of concern and love, and we will find increased opportunities to prove that.  We need to stand unblinkingly against error, and we need also to love unendingly those for whom Christ died.

4. Look up!  Watch the clouds.  There are endless headlines today declaring victory for those who don't want God in their lives.  But the real victory is just around the bend - Jesus is coming soon.  We've all read the end of the book and we know the ultimate truth - we win.  Jesus has already won the victory.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

What Would You Like?

In Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream by night: and God said, Ask what I shall give thee. (‭1 Kings‬ ‭3‬:‭5‬ NKJV)

If God were to appear to you and ask the same question He asked Solomon, how would you answer?  We will talk about this tonight in Prayer Meeting.  Will you join us?  FBC prays together as a church every Wednesday evening at 6:30.  It's a vital 45 minutes in each week... vital to our church... vital to each of us who participate.

We pray for one another.  We pray for our country.  We pray for our church.  We pray for our world.  We pray for our neighbors and friends.

We pray.  Will you pray with us tonight?

Saturday, June 20, 2015

One More Night

This evening is your last opportunity to experience Willie's Redneck Rodeo. Join your friends at 6:00 for the last installment of VBS this year!

Friday, June 12, 2015

Weekend Update

Saturday Afternoon - CHICKs Tea - 1:30 in Fellowship Hall.

Sunday Services - We continue with our flood-adjusted schedule for one more week. Adult classes will combine in the auditorium, and the kids classes will meet upstairs.

Sunday Afternoon - Fire up the hog and meet us at the church at 1:30. We will head south for a few hours of riding in the twisties and hills. Bring some money for lunch, as we will stop somewhere along the way. We will be back well in time for the men's Bible study at JohnsonAcres. See the pastor, or Jay Comyns for details / questions.

Sunday Evening - Men's Summer Bible Study Under The Sky - Brothers, join us as we meet at JohnsonAcres around the fire pit and study the scriptures together. Bring your Bible and a lawn chair.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Weekend Update

Some important information for this weekend's activities:

Friday Evening - Don't miss the first Campfire Fellowship of 2015.  Gather at Johnson Acres at 6:00 PM.  Bring a lawn chair and optionally a dish to pass.  The fish will be biting in the pond, so bring a fishing pole if that interests you.  And you may find yourself challenged by the horseshoe, corn hole, or volleyball games!  Get to know your church family!  

Saturday morning - It's the first Saturday of the month, and so we will be serving at the Haven of Rest in Akron.  Meet us there at 10:00 and help us serve the homeless of the area.  You'll be done by 12:00 knowing you served the Savior by serving others in need.  Oh... wear a hat.

Saturday morning - Men's Prayer Breakfast is CANCELLED for June, due to the flooding in Fellowship Hall.

Sunday morning - We will follow the same procedures for Sunday School and Jr. Church as last Lord's Day.  All adults will meet in the sanctuary for a combined class, and the children will meet upstairs.  There will be no Jr. Church.

Sunday morning - We will be baptizing at the conclusion of the worship service.  If you have questions about this service, please contact the church office.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Let Us Pray

One of the most important days of the week is upon us - PRAYER MEETING DAY. Will you set aside 45 minutes this evening and join us?

God PROMISES to hear and answer prayer. He PROMISES that when Christians join together in prayer, He pays special attention. Imagine what He might do if our entire church family gathered and prayed together.

6:30 in the sanctuary.

We will share. We will learn. And we will PRAY.

Will you join us?

Monday, June 1, 2015

Amazing Grace - as originally written by John Newton

Amazing grace! (how sweet the sound) 
That sav'd a wretch like me! 
I once was lost, but now am found; 
Was blind, but now I see. 

'Twas grace that taught my heart to fear, 
And grace my fears reliev'd; 
How precious did that grace appear, 
The hour I first believed! 

Thro' many dangers, toils and snares, 
I have already come; 
'Tis grace has brought me safe thus far, 
And grace will lead me home. 

The Lord has promis'd good to me, 
His Word my hope secures; 
He will my shield and portion be, 
As long as life endures. 

Yes, when this flesh and heart shall fail, 
And mortal life shall cease, 
I shall possess, within the vail, 
A life of joy and peace. 

The earth shall soon dissolve like snow, 
The sun forbear to shine; 
But God, who call'd me here below,
Will be forever mine.

Friday, May 29, 2015

RESCHEDULE - Mens' Prayer Breakfast

Due to the flooding of the church basement this week, the prayer breakfast must be rescheduled.  Join us NEXT Saturday (June 6) at 8:00 for your monthly intake of food, fellowship, Bible study, and prayer.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Attention all VBS actors and Drama Team!

Don't forget about our upcoming drama rehearsal and video shoot Sunday May 31st starting at 3pm at the Salisbury's. Several costume items have been ordered and should be here this week but some of you already volunteered costume items so please be sure to bring those with you. 

Hope you've been reading and practicing those lines!! It will be a fun afternoon. You're not gonna want to miss it!  

If you have any questions about your parts, costumes or anything else related to the drama...please get in touch with Amy J. as soon as possible.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Howdy Y'all!

Willie's Redneck Rodeo is comin' to town!

Come on down to Friendship Bible Church for three evenings of rough and rowdy Vacation Bible School fun! 

We will be "lasso"ing three of Jesus' parables and enjoying games, crafts, music, and down home cookin'.

Ages: 4-12
Cost: Free!
Dates: June 18-20 
Check In Time: 5:45pm (Rodeo starts at 6pm SHARP!)
Check Out Time: 8:30pm

Registration can be done online at or by calling the church directly at 330-325-7836

Hope to see y'all there!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

When we pray...

Do we ask or tell?  Do we seek what God wants, or tell Him what we want?  Join us tonight for prayer at 6:30.  We will explore these questions and more from the Scriptures. 

Midweek prayer meeting is vital.  Will you set aside 45 minutes and participate in this important ministry this evening?  Remember the Word of the Lord - Men ought always to pray!

Thursday, May 7, 2015

As the National Day of Prayer winds down...

Will you pray as Charles Spurgeon prayed:

We ask Thee, O God, at this time to revive religion in our land. Oh, that Thou wouldst be pleased to speak by the Holy Ghost that the gospel’s power may be known; there be many that run away from the truth; Lord, hold us fast to it, bind us to it. May there be a people found in this place, and throughout this land, that will abide by the doctrines of the gospel, come what may. May we not be ashamed to be old fashioned, and to be thought fanatical. May we not wish to be thought cultured, nor aim to keep abreast of the times. May we be side by side with Thee, O bleeding Saviour; and be content to be rejected, be willing to take up unpopular truth, and to hold fast despised teachings of sacred writ even to the end. Oh, make us faithful–faithful unto death. -- C.H. Spurgeon

Let Us Plant!

A whole bunch of plants and shrubs will be arriving at the church at 8:00 Saturday morning and we will gather then to get them in the ground and work on the landscaping around the new addition.  If you would like to join us, we could use the help - 8:00 Saturday morning.  If several help, it won't take long!

Monday, May 4, 2015

Regular Wednesday Prayer Meeting Cancelled

We will cancel the regular prayer meeting on Wednesday, as it is superceded this week by the National Day of Prayer on Thursday, from 5-9 PM.  See you there!

Lord Hear!

Join us this Thursday from 5-9 PM as we open the church for prayer.  There is no program, just opportunity - opportunity to come and pray for America... either by yourself or with others.  Prayer guides will be provided,  and you are encouraged to come anytime between 5-9 PM. Stay for as long as you want.


Sunday, May 3, 2015

Birthday Praise

This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief. (I Timothy 1:15 NKJV)

I've published this same blog posting for the last few years. Each year it gets more precious. Praise the Lord.

It was May 3, 1970. In just 24 hours one of this area's most well-known historical events would occur - the shootings at Kent State University. But on May 3, something happened that didn't make the news, and is unknown to all but a select few now. On that day, a twelve year old boy experienced the most important event in his personal history. That boy was me, and on May 3, 1970, I trusted Christ as my Savior. I am, spiritually, 45 years old today. And so it is a special day as I look back over the journey Christ has led me on so far - a journey that has included both ups and downs, successes and failures, victories and defeats. But one thing is certain. I am more sure today of His love for me than I have ever been. He promised, "I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee." (Hebrews 13:5) I can testify after 45 years of walking with Him, that He never has, and He never will.

“Although my memory's fading, I remember two things very clearly: I am a great sinner and Christ is a great Savior.” (John Newton)

Thursday, April 30, 2015

From the FBC Pulpit

We are currently studying in Romans. This sermon was preached on April 12, 2015:

Justified By Faith

Read - Romans 3:21-31

Key Verse - Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law. (‭Romans‬ ‭3‬:‭28‬ NKJV)

Key Thought - The only way to be justified in the mind of God, no matter who you are, is by faith in Christ's accomplishment on the cross.


Let's sum up what we have learned in Romans so far:

  1. Mankind is lost apart from Christ. Universally depraved and without hope, even and including that group that is most privileged -the Jews.

  2. The great advantage the Jews had was their possession of the law - God's revealed Word.

  3. But that law doesn't save because it's impossible to keep the law. Rather the great advantage of the law is that it reveals the lost condition of its readers. It is our schoolmaster (Galatians) showing us our need and pointing us to Christ who alone is the solution.

  4. So… the next logical question is, “If salvation does not come by keeping the law, how can we be saved?”  And the answer is, BY FAITH.  The only way to be justified in the mind of God, no matter who you are, is by faith in Christ's accomplishment on the cross.

    Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law. (‭Romans‬ ‭3‬:‭28‬ NKJV)

    This is the antithesis of what every other religion in the world teaches. Consider a few examples:

    Hinduism has about 330 million gods who must be appeased through some type of ritual.  Hinduism is a system of works–things that one must do to reach moksha , the Hindu heaven. It involves the practice of yoga, which, contrary to what many have heard, has never been for improvement of one's health but is rather a means of dying to one's body in the hope of delivering oneself from the physical realm. This is supposed to yoke one to Brahman, the Supreme Deity of Hinduism. Reincarnation, a system that supposedly enables one to work one's way to heaven through many births, deaths, and rebirths, is one of the teachings of this religion.
    Buddhism is also all about works. Buddha believed that the key to reaching Nirvana, which is allegedly the state of perfect peace and happiness, is through an  understanding of the Four Noble Truths and by practicing the Noble Eightfold Path.
    In essence, the Four Noble Truths declare that we endure suffering because of our desires or cravings. These “Truths” claim that suffering will stop when we cease trying to fulfill those desires. According to Buddhism, we can achieve this by following the Noble Eightfold Path, which has the elements of “right view, right intention, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, and right concentration.” This is all done by man's achievement , i.e., “doing things right” in order to reach Nirvana.
    In Islam, paradise is attained when Allah weighs a follower's good works against his bad deeds on a scale at Judgment Day. The Qur'an declares: “For those things that are good remove those that are evil” (Surah 11:114). It's a quantitative process. Good deeds need to outweigh or blot out evil deeds. From the Qur'an again: “The balance that day will be true:  Those whose scale [of good works] will be heavy, will prosper: Those whose scale will be light will find their souls in perdition” (Surah 7:8,9).
    Here's an interesting example of what a Muslim faces to get into paradise: On April 3, 1991, the Egyptian magazine, Akher Saa , recorded a heated debate between four female journalists and Sheik Doctor Abdu-Almonim Al-Nimr, who holds a high position at Al-Azher Islamic University. One of the journalists asked him: “Is the hijab [veil or head covering] obligatory for women in Islam? If I do not wear the hijab, shall I go to hell in spite of my other good deeds? I am talking about the decent woman who does not wear the hijab.”
    Dr. Al-Nimr replied, “The ordinances in Islam are many, my daughter, Allah made us accountable to each. It means if you do that ordinance you earn a point. If you neglect one, you lose a point. If you pray, you earn a point; if you do not fast you lose a point, and so on.” He continued, “I did not invent a new theory…for every man there is a book in which all his good and evil deeds are recorded…even how do we treat our children.”
    The journalist said: “That means, if I do not wear the hijab, I will not enter the hell fire without taking into account the rest of my good deeds.” Dr. Al-Nimr replied: “My daughter, no one knows who will enter the hell fire…I might be the first one to enter it. Caliph Abu-Bakr Al-Sadik said: 'I have no trust concerning Allah's schemes, even if one of my feet is inside of paradise who can determine which deed is acceptable and which is not.' [See TBC , 10/91] You do all that you can do …and the accountability is with Allah. You ask him for acceptance.”
    In Judaism, heaven is attained by keeping the Law and its ceremonies. Obviously, that isn't consistent with what the Old Testament teaches, yet that has been the practice of Judaism for millennia.
    There are also a number of “Christian” denominations and cults that stress works as necessary for salvation. Jehovah's Witnesses, Mormons, Seventh-Day Adventists, the Church of Christ adherents, Roman Catholics, Eastern and Russian Orthodox members, Lutherans, and many others all include something that needs to be accomplished or is necessary for salvation, whether it's baptism, the sacraments, or joining their particular organization and fulfilling their requirements.[]

    To all of these Paul says an emphatic NO.  We are either saved by works or we are saved by grace. We are either justified by what we do or we are justified by what Christ already did. It cannot be both. Notice his statement in the next chapter - Now to him who works, the wages are not counted as grace but as debt. (‭Romans‬ ‭4‬:‭4‬ NKJV) We will see him make a similar point in chapter 11 - And if by grace, then it is no longer of works; otherwise grace is no longer grace. But if it is of works, it is no longer grace; otherwise work is no longer work. (‭Romans‬ ‭11‬:‭6‬ NKJV)

    It cannot be both ways. We are either saved by what we do, or by what Christ did. And these two ideas are mutually exclusive. Both are not true. Both cannot be true. And the Scripture is clear which IS true.

    Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law. (‭Romans‬ ‭3‬:‭28‬ NKJV)

    Justification by faith. It's the only way any of us are justified. It's the only way any are saved.

    The only way to be justified in the mind of God, no matter who you are, is by faith in Christ's accomplishment on the cross.

    • He made this point quite strongly just a few verses earlier - vss. 20-22.

    • He will say it again in chapter 5 - Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, (‭Romans‬ ‭5‬:‭1‬ NKJV).

    • John taught this truth - “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life. (‭John‬ ‭5‬:‭24‬ NKJV) And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day.” (‭John‬ ‭6‬:‭40‬ NKJV)

    • This was Paul's message when he preached in the synagogue at Antioch in Pisidia. Therefore let it be known to you, brethren, that through this Man is preached to you the forgiveness of sins; and by Him everyone who believes is justified from all things from which you could not be justified by the law of Moses. (‭Acts‬ ‭13‬:‭38-39‬ NKJV)

    • It was his message to the Galatians - knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified. (‭Galatians‬ ‭2‬:‭16‬ NKJV) But that no one is justified by the law in the sight of God is evident, for “the just shall live by faith.” (‭Galatians‬ ‭3‬:‭11‬ NKJV)

    • He said the same thing to the Phillipians, and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; (‭Philippians‬ ‭3‬:‭9‬ NKJV)

    • Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law. (‭Romans‬ ‭3‬:‭28‬ NKJV)

      The question we must each ask is this, “What am I trusting in for my salvation? What do I believe will get me to heaven?”  And there is only one right answer. The only way to be justified in the mind of God, no matter who you are, is by faith in Christ's accomplishment on the cross.

      Justification by faith. It is the grand doctrine that permeates every chapter in Romans. Every other truth Paul discusses builds on this doctrine.

      Well, in the last part of chapter 3 Paul mentions three consequences of this truth:

      Justification by faith - nobody can boast

      Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? Of works? No, but by the law of faith. (‭Romans‬ ‭3‬:‭27‬ NKJV)

      If it is all due to Christ's accomplishments, and none due to mine, then what do I have to boast about?  And if it is all due to Christ's accomplishments, and none due to your's, then what do you have to boast about?  Answer - NOTHING!

      Now think about this. If we are justified SOLELY based on the merits of another - Jesus Christ, completely divorced from any of our own feeble attempts at fulfilling the law, then we  can boast in NOTHING with respect to salvation.

      I remind you of the question we all need to be asking ourselves - “What is it that I'm trusting in to justify myself before God?”  It might help you to answer that if you rephrase it slightly, and ask it this way, “What is it that I inwardly take pride in as my source of righteousness… what do I inwardly boast about?”

      James Montgomery Boice, in his thoughts on this passage,  mentions several areas where people tend to boast… or something they think sets them apart, or justifies them before God:


      Some people really do live, from a human perspective at least, lives more moral and upright than others. Some people really do live cleaner lives, purer lives, more outwardly moral lives than others.

      Jesus told of one such:

      Also He spoke this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other men—extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess.’ And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me a sinner!’ I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” (‭Luke‬ ‭18‬:‭9-14‬ NKJV)

      Now there is no reason to believe the Pharisee was lying. He really did do the things he said he did. He did not mistreat or cheat others, he was just in his dealings, he was chaste and pure in his sexual relations, he was meticulous in observing the requirements of his religion.  He really WAS more moral than the publican he compared himself to.

      But his problem was that he was comparing himself to another man. God, I thank You that I am not like other men! We might be able to do that and come away boastful and proud. We might we able to say, as he did, “I am better than this guy.”

      But no, we cannot boast of our own morality. Try comparing yourself to the only true standard of righteousness that ever lived, Jesus. You suddenly find you cannot live up to that level of morality at all.  Suddenly you find you are not clean, but dirty… you are not right but wrong… you are not good but bad… you are not righteous, but rather a sinner.  If your boast is in your morality, you are not saved.


      Some people trust in and boast of some feeling or feelings they have experienced. Maybe they sat through a particularly moving church service, and were emotionally moved by it. Maybe they sat across a table from somebody who shared the gospel with them, and the truths they heard about touched their emotions and made them cry. I recall sharing the gospel with a woman at my kitchen table one evening.  As I  read the scriptures describing how Jesus Christ died in her place… how He became her substitute, taking her sins upon Himself and paying the sin debt she owed, she became quite emotional and tears flowed down her cheeks and dripped onto my table. She bowed her head that evening and trusted Christ and was saved.

      But it was not her feelings… not the intensity of emotion she felt that saved her. It was Christ, and Christ alone.

      “How do you know you are saved,” I might ask you. “In what are you trusting?  Share with me your testimony.” And you might respond, as many do, “Well Pastor, I was in a service where the music was moving and the sermon was convicting, and I felt like the preacher was aiming right at me. Such an overwhelming feeling came over me that I knew it must be real. I have never felt a feeling like that.”

      But feelings don't save us, Jesus does. If you are boasting in some feeling you are not saved.

      Charitable works, or good works

      The Pharisee Jesus spoke about is an example of this wrong view, just as he was an example of the wrong view that superior morality counts for something. We cannot boast that our morals are better than others, and neither can we boast that our deeds are better than others, because our works, even if they are predominantly good… even if they are better than anybody else's on earth, don't / can't save us. It is Christ's work that saves us, not ours.

      For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. (‭Ephesians‬ ‭2‬:‭8-9‬ NKJV)

      So many people think that if a person does good things they will go to heaven. Its like the example from Islam we read about earlier - good works earn points, and when we get to judgement day it will be a simple matter of math. If you have more good than bad points you are in… justified.

      Paul says, nope - your good works are not worthy of boasting either. Because no matter how good, they aren't good enough. Remember what he said a bit earlier? There is none righteous, not one.

      Is Mother Theresa in heaven today?  Few people bubble higher up the list of people who did good things… charitable deeds, than Mother Theresa. And many look at her record of sacrifice and accomplishment and think “If Mother Theresa isn't there, nobody is getting there, because who ever did more good things than her?”

      But Isaiah said that we are all like an unclean thing, And all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags (‭Isaiah‬ ‭64‬:‭6‬ NKJV).  The very best works we can muster are insufficient… the cleanest we can be is still dirty with God.

      Years ago a sweeper salesman came to my home. Beth and I sat and listened to the amazing presentation from this man about the virtues of his superior sweeper. We watched in awe as he dumped a pile of dirt onto our clean carpet and then swept it up with his wonderful tool. Then he said, “You are probably thinking that your sweeper would do the same thing, aren't you?” He proceeded to dump dirt on the carpet and sweep it up with our existing pitiful sweeper. “You probably think the floor is clean now, don't you?”  “Looks clean to me,” was our reply. And then we were amazed as he swept the same area  again with his miracle sweeper and got a bunch more dirt out of the same spot he had just cleaned with our sweeper. That floor looked clean to me… it looked clean to Beth… but it wasn't clean.  And then in our naïveté we wrote him a check and I still have that sweeper today.

      Mother Theresa may have done a lot of good things… a ton of charitable works, but if she was trusting in them rather than in Jesus, then the answer is “No, she is not in heaven today.”

      And if you are trusting in and boasting about the good things you do… the charitable works you perform, then you are not saved.

      Bible Knowledge

      You can know the Bible inside and out and still die and go to hell. You can know Hebrew and Greek. You can understand theology. You can memorize and quote extended passages of Scripture.

      But if you are boasting in such an intellectual superiority as your hope for heaven, then you are not saved. Hell is your destination.

      Jack Van Impe is an evangelist you may have seen on your television. He is from Michigan and is sometimes referred to as the “Walking Bible” because he claims to have memorized most, if not all of the Bible.

      Years ago I took a bus load of teens to the Bill Rice Ranch for a week. Every day there were chapel services, and I recall one speaker sharing how he had, just like Van Impe, memorized large portions of the Bible. In his case it was prompted by fear and necessity, for his doctor had told him his eyesight was failing and he would eventually go blind. So he frantically set out to memorize as much as he could. I listened in awe as this man quoted passage after passage after passage from memory, never once opening his Bible.

      Will these guys be in heaven?  If their boast is in their superior knowledge of Scripture, the answer is NO.

      “The devil understands doctrine far better than we do, yet he is perishing.”[Boice, James Montgomery, “Romans, Volume 1: Justification By Faith (Romans 1-4): An Expositional Commentary”]

      Now hear this this morning because it is so vital. If you are trusting in and boasting in ANYTHING other than what Christ did in the cross in your place, then you are not saved.

      Let me say that again, just to make sure you heard it - If you are trusting in and boasting in ANYTHING other than what Christ did on the cross in your place, then you are not saved.

      Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law. (‭Romans‬ ‭3‬:‭28‬ NKJV)

      That phrase “apart from the deeds of the law” is interesting. It means “WITHOUT, besides, independent from.” It means that our justification is by faith COMPLETELY SEPARATE FROM the deeds of the law. WITHOUT the deeds of the law.  INDEPENDENT FROM the deeds of the law.

      “In other words, the meriting cause lies wholly in Christ, and wholly outside the man’s conduct.”[Moule, H.C.G., “The Epistle To The Romans”]

      All the examples mentioned this morning are examples of  works in which we might boast. And if they describe what we do trust in… what we do boast about, then we are yet lost.  

      If we are justified by faith in the finished work of Christ on the cross, then there is NOTHING for us to boast about.

      But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. (‭Galatians‬ ‭6‬:‭14‬ NKJV)

      Jesus did it all.

      And so I ask you again, my friend, “What are you trusting in?”

      Well, Paul makes two more observations here based on this doctrine of “justification by faith.”

      Justification by faith - everybody is saved the same way. Only one way!

      Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law. Or is He the God of the Jews only? Is He not also the God of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also, since there is one God who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith. (‭Romans‬ ‭3‬:‭28-30‬ NKJV)

      I'll just mention this and leave it for you to consider more fully in your own study of the Scripture.

      • There is only one way to heaven.

      • There is only one way to God.

      • All religions do not lead to the same God.

      • All roads do not lead to salvation.

      • ONLY ONE WAY. It is not arrogance that prompts me or any other Bible believing Christian to make such a claim, for it is TRUE.  Whether JEW or gentile, you are justified the same way, for there is one God who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith. (‭Romans‬ ‭3‬:30‬ NKJV)

        “Preacher, I find the teachings of Buddha enlightening and interesting. He might use different words, and talk about nirvana rather than heaven, but I prefer his way.” Then my friend, according to the Bible, you are lost and headed for hell. Please don't take offense at me when I say that, because I'm simply trying to tell you what God said in His Word… what Jesus said so clearly. There is only one way to heaven… one path to salvation… one means of justification, for there is one God who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith. (‭Romans‬ ‭3‬:‭30‬ NKJV)

        Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it. (‭Matthew‬ ‭7‬:‭13-14‬ NKJV)

        Jesus said to him, I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. (‭John‬ ‭14‬:‭6‬ NKJV)

        Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” (‭Acts‬ ‭4‬:‭12‬ NKJV)

        This is not a restriction at all, as some might consider it. Think about it!  As we have been learning about the universal LOSTNESS of mankind, here Paul explains the universal OPPORTUNITY of mankind.  ALL have sinned equally, and all may be saved equally.

        Justification by faith - the only way the law is fulfilled.

        Do we then make void the law through faith? Certainly not! On the contrary, we establish the law. (‭Romans‬ ‭3‬:‭31‬ NKJV)

        We cannot fulfill the law. That much has been made clear over and over up to this point in Romans. But Jesus DID fulfill the law. And when we believe in Him… when we trust in His finished work on the cross rather than our own insufficient works… w-Then we are justified by faith, and then the law IS fulfilled - in Him.

        In the next chapter we will learn a wonderful word - imputation. If something is imputed to me it is “credited to my account.”  We will learn that we can be justified by faith, because when we believe in Christ, His righteousness is imputed to us… credited to our account. His complete fulfillment of God's law is imputed to us, as well. We fulfill the law through His fulfilling the law.

        I'll leave you to chew on that and we'll talk about it more in chapter 4.


        Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law. (‭Romans‬ ‭3‬:‭28‬ NKJV)

        Let's finish where we started, with this question - “What are you trusting in to get you to heaven my friend?”

        If it is ANYTHING other than Jesus, you are trusting in a lie, and when you close your eyes in death here, you will open them in hell there. Oh how I pray you will throw aside every objection and just turn to Christ today.  Call upon Him.  Ask for the salvation He offers.  Believe Him and only Him today. Bow your head right now and say something like “Lord Jesus, I know that I'm a sinner and lost. I know that you died for me… in my place. I believe You Lord, and from this moment on my trust is in You. Nothing in my hand I bring.  Simply to thy cross I cling.”

        Pray that… Believe that… Be justified.