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Sermons

How to Obtain A Blessing | 1 Peter 3:8-12

August 24, 2021
By H.B. Charles Jr.
A wealthy man took a journey carrying a great treasure. A thief joined him to steal the treasure. But the rich man was wise enough to be careful of newfound friends. At night, they stopped at an inn. The rich man let the thief bathe first. Then he hid the treasure under the thief’s pillow. As the rich man bathed, the thief searched for the treasure in vain. He finally gave up. As he departed, the rich man said, “The treasure was closer than you thought.”  This is a sad parable of how many Christians seek to obtain a blessing. In too...
Sermons

Weeds in the Field | Matthew 12:24-30

August 13, 2021
By H.B. Charles Jr.
Matthew 13 records seven parables Jesus told about the mystery of the kingdom of God. The first is the Parable of the Sower. The Parable of the Wheat and the Tares is the second kingdom parable. Both parables draw agricultural pictures of sowing and reaping. But there are critical differences between the two parables.  The Parable of the Sower is about good seed in good and bad soil. The Parable of the Weeds is about good and bad seed in good soil.  A landowner sowed seed in his field. In the darkness of the night, his enemy planted weeds in the field. As...
Sermons

The Lord’s Supper | 1 Corinthians 11:17-34

August 6, 2021
By H.B. Charles Jr.
The New Testament church practices two ordinances: Baptism and the Lord’s Supper.  Baptism is a rite-of-initiation that celebrates Christian conversion. The Lord’s Supper is an ongoing practice that celebrates Christian fellowship.  We call baptism and the Lord’s Supper ordinances, not sacraments. They are rituals Christ has commanded the church to observe. They do not provide, renew, or secure salvation. Ephesians 2:8-9 says, “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” Baptism and the Lord’s Supper are symbols of salvation. But...
Sermons

The Picture of a Loving Husband | 1 Peter 3:7

August 2, 2021
By H.B. Charles Jr.
The first thing that jumps out is that Peter says six times more to wives than husbands. It is a matter of inspiration, not inequality. In Ephesians 5:22-33, Paul devotes three verses to wives, nine verses to husbands. Regardless, the gravity of a text is to be measured by its content and context, not verse count numbers. Paul and Peter had different agendas. Paul wrote to Christian couples, instructing husbands and wives to mirror the relationship between Christ and the church. Peter exhorted Christians to live with hope in a hostile society. Hostile opposition may come from civil authorities, workplace leaders, or family members....
Sermons

VIDEO: The Power of a Submissive Wife

July 30, 2021
By H.B. Charles Jr.
Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives,  when they see your respectful and pure conduct. Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God's sight is very precious. For this is how the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves, by submitting to their own...
Sermons

The Power of a Submissive Wife | 1 Peter 3:1-6

July 23, 2021
By H.B. Charles Jr.
A culture war broke out in the Roman Empire. Christians were “on the wrong side of history.” An “cancel culture” maligned Christians who refused to fit in. Many Christians would be martyred during the persecution that was soon to come. Peter wrote this letter to encourage the church the stand firm in this spiritual warfare. His counsel was offensive, not defensive. 1 Peter is not a survival guide. It is a battle plan. The apostle was more concerned about their witness than their welfare.  1 Peter 2:12 says, “Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as...
Sermons

VIDEO: “The Suffering of Christ

July 22, 2021
By H.B. Charles Jr.
He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly. He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls. - 1 Peter 2:22-25 The Suffering of Christ | H.B. Charles Jr.
Sermons

The Suffering of Christ | 1 Peter 2:22-25

July 16, 2021
By H.B. Charles Jr.
Our text is a part of Peter’s call to Christian submission.  Verses 13-17 instructs Christians to be subject to civil authorities. Verses 18-25 instructs servants to be subject to their masters.  This exhortation to Christian servants was personal. Many of Peter’s readers would never deal with Roman government officials. But most of them were servants who lived under the authority of their masters. This exhortation was also difficult. They were not just to submit to masters who were good and gentle. The character of the master was not an excuse for rebellion. They were also to submit to masters who were unjust....
Sermons

VIDEO: “A Message for the Mistreated”

July 15, 2021
By H.B. Charles Jr.
Servants, be subject to your masters with all respect, not only to the good and gentle but also to the unjust. For this is a gracious thing, when, mindful of God, one endures sorrows while suffering unjustly. For what credit is it if, when you sin and are beaten for it, you endure? But if when you do good and suffer for it you endure, this is a gracious thing in the sight of God. For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps....
Sermons

A Message for the Mistreated | 1 Peter 2:18-21

July 9, 2021
By H.B. Charles Jr.
We, who are African Americans, naturally bristle at texts like this. The suffering of our forebearers during America’s history of chattel slavery makes us uncomfortable with the subject of servants and masters. The matter is worsened by “slave theology,” in which slaveholders used passages like this to keep slaves in bondage. But we must not allow the difficulty of the subject or the misuse of the text to cause us to ignore, minimize, or reject what the Spirit says to the church. 2 Timothy 3:16 says, “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction,...
Sermons

A Radical Call to Civil Obedience | 1 Peter 2:13-17

July 2, 2021
By H.B. Charles Jr.
Local churches scattered throughout the Roman province of Asia Minor faced growing cultural hostility. The Roman government would soon ban the practice of Christianity. It would lead to genocidal persecution that would last for centuries. How should these Christians face the current opposition? How should these Christians face the coming persecution?  Peter wrote this letter to answer these questions. This middle section of the letter addresses how Christians should live in a hostile society. 1 Peter 2:11-12 says, “Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul. Keep...
Sermons

The Blessed Life | Psalm 128

June 25, 2021
By H.B. Charles Jr.
There is a general sense in which every person is a recipient of the kindness of God that sustains life. But it is a far greater thing to be enriched by divine favor. In this regard, some of blessed; others are not. Deep down, every human soul desires to be blessed by God. Many do not acknowledge, understand, or embrace this longing. They spend their lives seeking worldly blessings that do not satisfy. Proverbs 10:22 says, “The blessing of the Lord makes rich, and he adds no sorrow to it.” What is the blessed life? Psalm 128 answers.  The ascription reads: A Song of Ascents. Psalms 120-134...