Calvary Baptist Church
Tuesday, January 22, 2019
Lifting Up Jesus

The Pastor's Heart

One of my recent devotional readings included  Leviticus 20:13  "'If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They must be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads."  NIV 
It happens to stand out at this time because of a raging debate in the news and in online discussions.  It seems that several court cases have arisen dealing with Christians' refusal to provide services like photography, flowers, and cakes at same-sex weddings.  Though I said online discussions, these things quickly turn into online arguments.  In the comment thread of one of these articles, someone asked why Christians are making such a big deal out of homosexuality, when there are so many other sins also sanctioned in the Bible.  The following (partial) answer was one the best I have seen:
"It seems to me that homosexuality is "the defining sin" because, for one reason, I haven't seen one perpetrator of any of those other sins (gluttony, pride, etc.) coming out in public to define him/herself by that sin; flaunting the sin in every way imaginable and even ways reasonable people could never imagine; or trying to force others to accept the sin or even participate in it ....  Who else holds parades in which they prance and dance as close to naked as is legally possible ....?  Who else demands not only 'tolerance' but also complete acceptance and even embrace of their activities, ...?  Who else has insidiously and sinuously woven themselves into our children's education ... quietly integrating information into classrooms and libraries to convince young minds that homosexuality and lesbianism is worth trying! ...."  
Another article on the same issue is Al Mohler's "Caesar, Coercion, and the Christian Conscience: A Dangerous Confusion," found at     Also see Andrew Walker's "Of Consciences and Cakes: A Response to Kirsten Powers," at
There is a good video documenting the transforming power of the Gospel in Papua New Guinea at
It's only 15 minutes and well worth a view.
We are happy to welcome Cheryl Daniels to the Calvary family.  2-16-2014.
Congratulations to Jesus Torres, who accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior recently.
Are you up for a challenge?  There's one in 2 Corinthians 13:5-- "Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves.  Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you--unless, of course, you fail the test?"
Paul issued this challenge because the church of Corinth was so sinful, it was obviously full of weeds--the fake Christians Jesus warned about in Matt 13:24-43.  But it's a challenge we can all stand to take.  Do you have confidence you are in the faith?  Here are some questions by which to test yourself:
  • When and where did you make a commitment to follow Jesus?
  • At what church have you been worshiping and serving the Lord?
  • Who are some people who can verify you have been living Christianly?
  • Where is the evidence of the Holy Spirit's fruit in your life?  In what ways have you been loving, joyful, peaceful, patient, kind, gentle, good, faithful, and self-controlled (Galatians 5:22)

Other evidence of being "in the faith" includes:

  • Confessing that Jesus is God's Son and the Savior (1 John 2:23, 4:15)
  • Love for other Christians (1 John 3:14)
  • Practicing righteousness (do the right thing) as a lifestyle (1 John 2:29)
  • Overcoming the world and doing life as God wants (1 John 5:4)
So, do you pass the test?  Are you in the faith?  If not, here is what you should do about it:
A.  Admit you (along with all people) have sinned and come short of God's original purpose for you.
B.  Believe in Jesus, the Son of God, who died to take your guilt and was resurrected to show all your guilt is gone.
C.  Confess "Jesus is now my Lord.  I am going to follow Jesus."
When you do this, you will be saved.  Saved from judgment in the future at resurrection.  And saved from the control of sin and evil in everyday life.  Then you will be "in the faith." 
Questions?  Feedback?  Contact me at
Hal Dixon
Rosaria Butterfield was a tenured English professor at Syracuse University, and a gay activist.  While doing research for a book on fundamentalist Christians, she read the Bible in large chunks.  And the Gospel transformed her completely.  She relates her story in The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert, which demonstrates that the Gospel is still "the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes it"  (Romans 1:16).   Her most recent Gospel Coalition article is found at 
"Five Lies About Your Body" is an excellent article about body image.  You can find it at: