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““‘Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the LORD.”

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The penguin is a common favorite among children and adults, bird lovers, and cartoonists. Here are some fun facts about a fun bird on Penguin Awareness Day.
For many churches and pastors, abortion is a difficult issue, but our churches are full of wounded people who can and must be helped.
The hoatzin is a very unique bird, a conglomeration of traits typical of birds, reptiles, and mammals. Its most unique features are distinctly un-birdlike.
 Pastor's Blog 
Saturday, February 10 2018

A very highly debated topic is with regard to the subject or act of baptism and it’s relationship to Salvation. We all would agree it is mentioned throughout the Bible and often associated with the conversion experience. This further brings about the question, is it for the literal remission of sins or a symbolic representation of what Jesus Christ has already done.  We further would agree baptism is an act that represents the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

The first point to make is that it is the blood of Jesus that was shed on the Cross that saves us. Anything but the blood of Jesus will not forgive our sins.  The Bible tells us that every ritual of the law and animal sacrifices that were made under the old covenant does not save us it only represented things to come. They were acts of obedience to God. In a similar way baptism represents what has already taken place that would have no significance except when associated with Faith. Good to first consider what Faith does. Romans 10 tells us that If we will believe in the Lord Jesus Christ with all of our heart, and shalt confess with their mouth and believe God raised Him from the dead, Thou Shalt be Saved. If a person did this in the absence of baptism, would they be saved? The scripture says so. In John chapter 3 we read that God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son so that whosoever believes in Him would not perish but will have everlasting life. The same chapter says He that hath the Son has passed from death to life. Again, scripture is clear about the element of faith.

Keeping that in mind Acts 2:38 says Repent and be baptized for the remission of sins. On the surface one could claim that baptism is necessary for Salvation. However, the scriptures mentioned earlier seem to indicate not. So what happened during the conversions mentioned in Acts 2? Would it not stand to reason that it was the result of Faith. So then baptism is an outward expression of an inward conversion brought about by Faith that represents the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Should a person be Baptized, I believe yes, it is an act of obedience to our Lord, but such obedience is not what saves us.

Why do so many argue the subject just be baptized because Christ was and it is taught in scripture as a beautiful act that represents what the Lord has done for us by Grace.

While we are on the subject, Ephesians chapter 2 tells us we are saved by Grace through Faith not works. Sincere faith moves us to serve God and do what He commands us.

We should live our Salvation with joy based on what Christ has done. Nothing but the blood of Jesus can atone for our sins. All else is what we do in gratitude and service to God based on the the finished work of His Son.

Pastor Cedar Plains Christian Church Falkville, AL.

Posted by: Rev Phillip Gilbert AT 07:17 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, January 22 2018

Grace is a Gift from God for those who believe and call upon Jesus Christ for Salvation.

This is possible by the shed blood of Jesus Christ that He gave for our sins at the Cross where He died on our behalf.

"One act of sin exposed the whole race of men to God's judgment and condemnation, but in contrast one act of perfect righteousness presents all men freely acquitted in the sight of God. One man's disobedience placed all men under the threat of condemnation, but one man's obedience has the power to present all men righteous before God. This obedience by the Lord Jesus results in our Salvation for those who confess that Jesus is Lord and believe in their heart that God raised Him from the dead.

For by one man Adam sin entered into the world, one act of perfect righteousness by Jesus Christ makes peace and salvation with God possible for those who will believe in their heart that He is Lord.

Ephesians 2:8-9 For you are saved by grace through faith not of works lest anyone can boast for salvation is a gift from God.

So then, does this relieve Christians from good Works? Simply No.  Works are evidence that we are truly Christians.

However, works do not save us, Jesus Christ saves us by His Grace.

So then, can people do what they want without consequences, No.

God convicts us when we need it and He also teaches us the way we should walk with Him.

Walk in the Light as He is in the Light, how we live matters to God, a true faith Is when a person has a heart for Jesus Christ and strives to do right in His sight.

Works do not save us but they certainly are the result of our Salvation.

Amen

Posted by: Rev Phillip Gilbert AT 04:07 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, December 05 2017

Fear is often something we all struggle with; yet even in the best of times, we need God to step in and say “Fear Not”.

This is very true in part of the Christmas Story, consider the following passages of scripture.

Luke 1

11 “Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him, (that is Zechariah a Priest) standing at the right side of the altar of incense. 12 When Zechariah saw him, he was startled and was gripped with fear. 13 But the angel said to him: “Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard”.

Another part of scripture also in the Christmas Story is:

Luke 1

29 “Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30 But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God”.

Often in scripture a divine message begins Fear Not:

Fear. One of the enemy’s most popular weapons that he uses against us. Worry, anxiety, fear…can overwhelm us with a thick shadow of darkness, controlling our every move and decision.

Even In the Christmas Story, a beautiful time when the Angel Gabriel appeared to Zechariah to announce he was promised a son John the Baptist and when the Angel later appeared to Mary to announce she had been chosen by God to birth His Son, the Savior of the World, Jesus Christ, they still feared when clearly an Angel of the Lord appeared to them.

It shows we are not alone, but God is there for us too, to say “Fear Not”.

Hope begins when you stand in the dark and look up and see a great light. That Light being Jesus.

We have all been there, and need not be afraid.

Even when we might Fear, it could actually be that Great things can occur which tells us we never had to fear.

When life’s road seems uncertain, and we begin to doubt, then look to that Great Light Jesus and place your hope in Him.

We should have Great Hope especially during the Christmas season as we reflect on the true meaning of Christmas.

Afterall, God left Heaven and came to us, first in Jesus Himself and later through His Holy Spirit.

Posted by: Phillip Gilbert AT 12:08 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, October 03 2017

Too often people shy away from studying the book of Revelation because of the level of difficulty.

Yet this is an important book to study and to see the big picture of the story that is being told.

In summary, the book describes how God has overcome evil and how He is control of all things great and small.

It also shares the good news that the Lord is coming back again to take His people to the New Heavens and New Earth.

The purpose of the book is provided in the book of Revelation 1:19:

19 “Write, therefore, what you have seen, what is now and what will take place later.

What about your life?  What have you seen and experienced, what is going on in your life now, and what do you plan to take place later no matter what your circumstances. Perhaps it should be to be faithful to God in all things.

Let me encourage you to study the book from the perspective of what God may be speaking to you.

Posted by: Phillip Gilbert AT 03:21 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, May 05 2017

Grace truly works! The same grace that saves us also changes us.

Ephesians 2:8-9

"For you are saved by Grace through Faith not of works lest any man (or woman) should 

boast, it is a Gift from God. We were created as God's workmanship even before the foundation 

of the world".

We are God's workmanship which means we were created to do good things in the Name 

of Jesus.

Let's encourage one another to make a difference in this world, no matter how small or large,

everything is large to God when we do good things especially for others.

At any age at any time let's serve God by being His hands in encouraging one another and

helping others.

To God be the Glory. Today do at least one random act of kindness and see if you feel better and

if God blesses you for He surely will!

Posted by: AT 12:24 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, March 02 2017

Successful Prayer (Is your prayer hindered; steps to correct)

Does God always hear prayers? First let us note, He desires to listen and Christ has bridged the gap of sin that separates us from God.

However, God loves us enough that He wants us to approach Him in a right relationship or seeking forgiveness for any unconfessed sin.

As such, it is always good to approach God realizing our need for forgiveness and our desire to offer thanks for mercy and grace.

What does the Old Testament say about approaching God with sin in our lives?

Psalm 66:16-20

Come and hear, all you who fear God;
    let me tell you what he has done for me.
17 I cried out to him with my mouth;
    his praise was on my tongue.
18 If I had cherished sin in my heart,
    the Lord would not have listened;
19 but God has surely listened
    and has heard my prayer.
20 Praise be to God,
    who has not rejected my prayer
    or withheld his love from me!

Isaiah 59:2

But your iniquities have separated
    you from your God;
your sins have hidden his face from you,
    so that he will not hear.

What does the New Testament say?

Luke 18:10-14.

10 Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican.

11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.

12 I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.

13 And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.

14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.

Looking at the Old and New Testaments it is obvious that God wants us to seek Him from a perspective of our appreciation of mercy and grace and acknowledging any sin in our lives.

Perhaps a good start to unhindered prayer should be to realize we need to seek God with a heart of humility, repentance and thanksgiving of mercy and grace.

Let us look at things that could hinder our prayer life, and understand them; the good news is that we will know what to do in our lives and prayers.  Even before we look at these, keep in mind that the grace and mercy that comes from God is greater than we can fully understand; God always stands ready to forgive and listen to us. Let's also remember Christ has atoned for our sins. Let’s look at 6 things:

I - Unconfessed Sin.

Being in a relationship with God is important.He has saved us and called us into a relationship with Him. As part of that relationship, we should be mindful that He is not only full of grace and mercy, but He is Holy.

Sin separates us from God, but Jesus Christ brings us into fellowship with God based on what He has done. We are told that when we sin, we have an advocate and mediator with God who is Jesus Christ.

The great promise from God:

I John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness”.

Instead of allowing sin to cloud our conscious or interfere with our prayer life; let us ALWAYS in our prayers, practice asking God for forgiveness.

According to Scripture, all our sin was paid for when we accepted Jesus’ sacrifice on behalf of us.  2nd Corinthians 5:21 says, “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” When we make that divine exchange at the cross, God chooses to see us as righteous. It is not our righteousness but the righteousness of Christ that God sees.

Titus 3:5 “He saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit,”

We have the full approval and acceptance of God through Jesus Christ but we also have a responsibility to confess our sins as part of our relationship with God. 

II - Lack of Faith (Doubting)

The Bible says we should trust that God is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

Hebrews 11:6 “But without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him”.

This is VERY positive for us to know that God blesses our obedience to Him, even in prayer.  Let our hope and faith be strong.

James 1:6 “But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind”.

III – Unwilling to Forgive.

God is looking for us to show others mercy and grace, He does for us, and we are to do the same.

Matthew 6:14-15 NIV

“For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins”.

Be ready to forgive over and over again.

Matthew 18: 21-22 NIV

Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times? “Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.”

Let me break the news to you, you are not the only person that has to forgive other people; we all deal with the same things; it’s a choice to forgive.

Matthew 5:23,24 says "Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift."

IV – Little Regard for Others (especially the Poor).

We are not only supposed to love people but part of that love is to care about the burdens that people have. We are to regard and respect both the poor and the rich.

Proverbs 21:13 says "Whoever shuts his ears to the cry of the poor will also cry himself and not be heard."

V – Wrong Motives (you must honor and glorify God).

Ask for the things in God's will, the outcome of which is to honour and glorify God. James 4:3 says "You ask and do not receive because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures."

This should not preclude us from asking for good things because God says make all things known in prayer and supplication.

VI – Lack of Asking.

You have not because you ask not.

Matthew 7:7-12 "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.

9 "Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11 If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! 12 So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets."

Note: This blog is not intended to address the full scope of whether God hears or doesn't but is a means to help us offer unhindered prayers. The other topic will be through another blog.

Although I will offer Christ intercedes for us and the Holy Spirit intercedes for us when we don't know what to pray even forgiveness.

As a Christian we should grow in our prayer life to where acknowledging sin is a normal part of our prayers which just makes good sense.

Posted by: AT 10:48 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Sunday, February 19 2017

...Pray All The Time... 

Recapping over the past week, we praise God, confess our sins, show appreciation, and make our needs known, all in prayer.

Philippians 4:6-7 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.

I Thessalonians 5:16-18 Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

  • pray always
  • make time for God
  • He makes time for us

I - Time for Prayer (Psalm 55:17 As for me, I will call upon God, And the Lord shall save me.  Evening and morning and at noon I will pray, and cry aloud, And He shall hear my voice).

  • Mark 6:46 After bidding them farewell, He left for the mountain to pray.
  • Romans 12:12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.

II - On the spot Prayer (Ephesians 6:18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people).

  • pray when you start something (Psalm 17:6 I call on you, my God, for you will answer me; turn your ear to me and hear my prayer).
  • whenever you have a problem let that need prompt you to pray.
  • pray with confidence.
  • always deal with sin through forgiveness
  • as God provides, protects, forgives, and guides you, thank Him: no need to wait.
  •  take them to the Lord. (Galatians 6:2 Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ).
  • (Psalm 50:15 Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me.)
  • turn worry into prayer. (James 5:13 Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise).
  • if anyone lacks wisdom let them pray...

Posted by: AT 09:41 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, January 13 2017

REAL Christianity (Relationships, Encouragement, Affirmation, and Love).

Posted by: Phillip Gilbert AT 10:02 am   |  Permalink   |  Email

    ABOUT US:

    We are a small Church with a huge heart that loves God, people, and our community.

    CONTACT:

    Cedar Plains Christian Church
    930 Cedar Plains Road
    Falkville, AL 35622

    Pastor: (256) 232-8212

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