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On Sunday 7/8/18, Elder Michael Gowens looks at Acts 7:54-60 and the account of Stephen's dying testimony. In the middle of the greatest trauma of his life, Stephen found help and strength by means of a special blessing. He was granted a sight of the risen Christ in His ascended glory and majesty, and the triumphant reality he witnessed so completely superseded the tragedy of his present circumstances that his presence was almost angelic. Subsequent accounts of faithful martyrs in Christian history duplicate Stephen's narrative so that we may safely say that Christ gives special assistance to His people when the world turns against them.

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Love in Action

Pastor Michael Gowens looks at 1 Corinthians 13 in this 7/1/18 sermon. More than a mere feeling or emotion, biblical love is a way of behaving toward another person. Paul's divinely inspired description of charity, or love in action, stands in stark contrast to the way the Corinthians were behaving toward each other. If we want fulfilling, lasting and God-honoring relationships, whether in marriage or in the church, it is imperative that we rediscover the priority of Biblical love.

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In the concluding service of our Communion Meeting (Sunday, 6/25/18), Elder Marty Smith (GA) expounds Romans 1:1-8. He contrasts Paul's comments in verse 8 ("Your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world") with Acts 28:22 ("...for as concerning this sect, we know that every where it is spoken against."), showing that the world's opinion of those who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ is frequently the very opposite of the Lord's assessment. It is preferable to have God's endorsement rather than man's approval and applause.
 

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Loving Life

In the evening service of our 6/24/18 Communion Meeting, Elder Marty Smith (GA) took his text from James 3:10-11. He begins the message by addressing the importance of godly speech and a passion for peace. Then, he proceeds to distinguish between the life we are to love and a life we are to abandon for Christ and his gospel. 

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We were thankful to have Elder Marty Smith (GA) with us as the guest minister during our 2018 Communion Meeting. His first message on Saturday afternoon, 6/24/18, is based on Abigail's counsel to David in 1 Samuel 25:29. When God's child is cognizant of the rich blessings bestowed upon him from a loving God, he has incentive to resist the urge to retaliate against those who have wronged him. 

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Help My Unbelief

On Father's Day 2018 (6/17), Elder Michael Gowens takes an intensive look at the story of one father's internal battle as he seeks help for his afflicted son, recorded in Mark 9:14-29. This sermon focuses on the profound admission of need in verse 24: "Lord, I believe; but help thou mine unbelief." Pastor Gowens insists that this plea for help is the reality in which each of us lives--a reality in which both genuine faith and grievous fear coexist in the heart. How wonderful to know that we have a heavenly Helper in the Lord Jesus Christ, who is able both to remedy the maladies that concern us, and to strengthen our own frail faith! 

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In this 6/10/18 sermon, Elder Michael Gowens explores the Song of Solomon 2:2-5 as an illustration of the mutual love relationship that exists between Christ and His bride, the church. The message is premised on the principle that building a husband/wife relationship on the two-dimensional model of Christ's love for the church and her loving admiration for Him is the secret to a successful, God-honoring conjugal love.

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Who is My Neighbor?

In this message from June 3, 2018, Michael Gowens considers the juxtaposition of two stories in Luke 10:25-42--the parable of the Good Samaritan and the account of Jesus' visit to the home of Mary and Martha for supper. These inspired sequence of these two accounts in Luke 10, Gowens argues, is intentional. Together, they give us a complete answer to the question, "Who is my neighbor?" The parable of the Good Samaritan answers, "My neighbor is anyone out there with a need that I am able to meet." The account of Mary and Martha answers, "My neighbor is anyone with whom I live on a day to day basis, i.e. my own family, my own fellow believer in the local church." This passage defines the parameters of the important principle of "neighbor love."

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This message was delivered by Elder Mike Gowens on Sunday 5/27/18 to the congregation of Winter Garden Primitive Baptist Church, Winter Garden, FL. The text of the sermon is Matthew 11:1-11. Elder Gowens looks at the biblical titles ascribed to John--the Forerunner, a Burning and Shining Light, a Voice, the Friend of the Bridegroom, and one who was more than a prophet--to explain the reasons behind Jesus' statement, "Among them that are born of women, there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist."

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On Sunday 5/20/18, Elder Michael Gowens expounded Psalm 146, the first of the "Hallelujah Psalms" in the Psalter. This Psalm was the basis of the familiar hymn by Isaac Watts, entitled "I'll Praise My Maker While I've Breath." It develops a pertinent contrast between frail and fallible man and the sovereign, covenant-keeping God as an object of hope and trust. Pastor Gowens builds his message around this startling contrast, urging believers to cease to look to man as a source of help and to discover the blessedness of a life of total dependance on the One who alone is able to satisfy man's need.

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