Welcome!

Welcome to the First Baptist Church of Adrian!

We are a community of people dedicated to follow Jesus in all that we do. If you’re looking for a church committed to loving God, loving each other, teaching his word, and worshiping him, then we invite you to come join us at any of our worship gatherings and activities for adults, youth, and children (see our About page and Activities page). Also, if you’re looking to learn more about Jesus and what it means to be his follower, I would love the chance to talk with you (also, see our About page for contact information, or see our Follow Jesus page).

Check out our site, read the blog posts below for news updates and devotional posts, and check out one of our worship gatherings!

~ Pastor Mike

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Be Shining Lights

Do all things without grumbling or disputing, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain. Even if I am to be poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrificial offering of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all. Likewise you also should be glad and rejoice with me. ~Philippians 2:14-18 (ESV)

Paul’s heart for the church at Philippi comes out deeply again in these words. Even in the midst of suffering that could very well lead to death (and Paul, ultimately, did die because of his faith), he took great joy in the church. He also longed for them to finish well. When Jesus returns, Paul desired to stand before him, proud of what the church had done.

So, Paul called the church to “shine as lights in the world.” This is the very same thing Jesus called all his followers to do in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:14-16). The world, Paul wrote, is a dark place—twisted and crooked with sin. In such an environment, we as Christ-followers are to bring hope.

One way we do this is by living “blameless and innocent” as the children of God. Not that we distance ourselves from sinners who need Jesus, but that we distance ourselves from our own sinful ways. We then live to love and serve others as Jesus loved and served us.

With this, we are to “do all things without grumbling or disputing.” Or, to put it positively, we are to do all things with thankfulness and seeking for peace. Paul wrote in Ephesians 5:20 that we should give “thanks always and for everything to God the Father.” Every good thing in our lives is a gift from God’s hand. Even the bad things in our lives, God will correct and turn for good in the end.

Grumbling, then, refuses to acknowledge God’s work and hand in our lives. Disputing is a refusal to disagree well with others. It is arguing our will in order to be right, not giving ear and deference to others in order to serve and edify them. As Christians, we should seek to be free of both negative attitudes.

When we live thankful-to-God lives and seek for peace, it tells the world a better story. We shine a brighter light into the darkness, drawing people from their sin and to Christ.

New posts from this devotional series in Philippians will run most Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays.

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Sunday 02.19.17 (the way of the Father)

This Sunday, we’ll continue our journey through John by taking a look at John 13:36-14:15 and the “way of the Father.” Then on Sunday night we’ll look at God’s attribute of being spirit. Hope to see you there!

Sunday Schedule
@945 Sunday School
@1045 Worship Gathering
@6pm Attributes of God study in the church library

Sermon Notes
The Way of the Father ~ John 13:36-14:15

In response to Jesus’ statement in 13:33 that he was going where the disciples could not come, Peter asked for an explanation. Jesus told him, “You cannot follow me now” speaking of his sacrificial death, “but you will follow afterward” speaking of being faithful to Jesus unto death and then into eternity (13:36-38).

  • The way of the Father is about faith: Believe in God by believing in Jesus (14:1, 4-11)
  • The way of the Father is about eternal hope: Let hope overcome your fear and anxiety (14:1-3)
  • The way of the Father is about prayerful obedience: Pray and go serve others in the name of Jesus (14:12-15)
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Pursue Growth

Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure. ~Philippians 2:12-13 (ESV)

Who is responsible for your spiritual growth? Who sees to your maturity? From what Paul told the Philippians church, the answer is you and God.

In 1:6, Paul wrote, “I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” So, the first spark and the final product in our salvation and maturity comes from God. Bringing us to Christ through faith, God will finish the work he started. Those whom God called will be those whom God glorifies, it’s a guaranteed finish (Romans 8:30).

Yet, this does not make us passive participants in our spiritual growth. Paul wrote that God indeed works in us for his will and good pleasure, and this is the foundation for the command to work out our own salvation. However, if we come to the end of our life on earth and we have not grown spiritually, the problem is not God’s work but our failure to pursue growth.

We must engage ourselves in the Bible to hear God’s voice. We must go to God in prayer, entrusting him with our praises and requests. We must choose to gather with other Christians and edify one another as we sing songs of praise. We must feed ourselves on the word and pursue being fed by godly teachers in his church. But it is God who empowers and accomplishes the growth in our lives as we pursue these things.

Let us not grow complacent or lax in this pursuit, and let us also remember that spiritual growth is a weighty thing. Paul didn’t merely say to work out your own salvation, no, he included the phrase with fear and trembling. We make our pursuit with an attitude of awe and reverence for God, especially because, as Peter wrote, “…you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ” (1 Peter 1:18-20).

It was no light task for Jesus to save us from our sins, nor is it a light task for us to grow to be more like him in love and character. See the glory, the love, and the beauty of God through Jesus. Fix your eyes firmly upon him. Then pursue spiritual growth, and know that all along God is empowering each step.

New posts from this devotional series in Philippians will run most Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays.

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Jesus, Humble and Exalted

Have this mind among yourselves which is yours in Christ Jesus, who though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

Therefore, God has highly exalted him and bestowed upon him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. ~Philippians 2:5-11 (ESV)

Tuesday, we talked about how we fight against the brokenness, disharmony, and bitterness in the world, and instead work for love, joy, and peace by lifting others up and concerning ourselves with what is best for them. Today, we see the second part of walking this better path: Following the example of Jesus.

Paul wanted us to understand three things about Jesus in these verses. First, Jesus is the eternal Son of God. Jesus is deity, co-equal with the Father in all of his attributes. He is God in the fullness of his essence. Second, God the Son chose to set aside his God-privilege in taking on the nature of a human being. He “made himself nothing” or, as some translations put it, “emptied himself” in taking on flesh.

This was not a denial of or reduction of his nature as God. Even as a man, Jesus changed water to wine, walked on a stormy sea, healed the sick, brought the dead back to life, multiplied loaves and fish, etc. He had no issues in using his divine power when necessary. Yet, he also grew hungry, thirsty, and tired. He walked through all the phases of being an infant, toddler, adolescent, teenager, and adult. And more than this, he died.

Third, by dying in obedience to the Father’s plan to save sinners, Jesus was exalted higher than anything or anyone else. Paul wrote that Jesus’ humble obedience led to his great exaltation. Now, every knee will bow before him and every tongue confess his lordship. Some will do this willingly and joyfully as they enter the delight of eternity. Others will do this with broken hearts as they realize their choice of sin has earned its just consequence. But every knee will bow and every tongue will confess.

In this, Paul wrote that Jesus left us an example. We are to have the same mind. We are to see ourselves as servants to others, willing to lay aside our good for their best, just as Jesus took on weakness, limitations, and death for our best.

Again, this isn’t self-abasement, but a refocusing. Our best comes from serving others for their best. Just as in Matthew 20, Jesus didn’t chastise the disciples’ desire for greatness, but he refocused it. “Whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave” (Matthew 20:26-27). True exaltation comes by serving others and building them up.

So, look to this example of Jesus. He gave himself for our best, let us give ourselves for the best of others.

New posts from this devotional series in Philippians will run most Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays.

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Good Reads 02.15.17 (on: prayer, revival, love, and more!)

Here is a collection of good reads gathered from across the internet this past week. Enjoy!

On prayer and revival: Prayer for Revival and Faithful Plodding by Mike Leake

I wonder if this is why we pray so much for revival. Because times of revival aren’t the times of slow plodding. That’s when the wheel is spinning at full speed and you’re just trying to keep up with its produce. What ministry leader wouldn’t want that?

But in my mind our view of revival is a bit like an empty water wheel that just starts spinning by an unseen hand. I wonder if sometimes my prayer for revival is little more than, “Lord, make my job a lot easier”. Am I praying that God would cause the wheel to spin apart from seasons of faithful plodding? Is my prayer for revival just laziness cloaked in spiritual jargon? (click here to read more)

On prayer and parenting: 10 Prayers for Great Parenting by Ron Edmondson

Dear Lord, Help me not to overwhelm my children with unrealistic expectations. Remind me discipline is for their good – and to always administer it in love – not in anger or purely emotion. Keep me from dumping my adult problems on them, while helping me be transparent enough for them to learn from my mistakes. Help me to remember my children’s current age – and respond to them accordingly. (click here to read more)

On love and marriage: The 5 Weightiest Words of Love by Trevin Wax

The cost of the average wedding in America now exceeds $30,000, with prices soaring 16 percent between 2011 and 2015. With all the glitz and glamour surrounding a couple’s special day, it’s easy to focus on the decorations and dresses, while overlooking the most valuable moment of the day—the costliest words spoken between a husband and wife.

“Till death do us part.” (click here to read more)

On discipleship: Seven Costs of Disciple-Making by David Mathis

In disciple-making, we need to remember our aim is to please Jesus, and this will cost us favor with certain persons, especially when we have to say no to our involvement in their program or event or even to discipling them personally, because we’re protecting the space to invest in others. (click here to read more)

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Lift Others Higher

So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interest of others. ~Philippians 2:1-4 (ESV)

We see it too much—the brokenness in relationships, the fighting at home, the rivalries at work, and the long-held bitterness at church. In a world filled with people damaged by sin and clinging to pride, we hurt others and others hurt us. Yet, God calls his people to a different path. He calls us to walk in the ways of love, joy, and peace. So how do we do that?

Paul gave a two-part answer in the first eleven verses of Philippians 2. The answer involves how we view others (today’s post) and how we view Jesus (Thursday’s post). To walk the path of love, joy, and peace, we must learn to view others through eyes of humility and concern.

This flows, first, from our relationship with Jesus. Paul spoke of “encouragement in Christ” and “participation in the Spirit.” He assumed those in the church to which he wrote were people who had committed themselves to follow Jesus through faith. They had experienced his grace and had known the joy of salvation. They had forsaken their life of sin for the everlasting life that Jesus gives. This is what ultimately produces love, affection, and sympathy, the very things that if present among the church would lead to greater joy for Paul as a spiritual leader.

Then, second, it flows from our attitude. Notice that Paul did not tell the Philippians to abandon doing good to themselves. He didn’t say, “put your own interests aside.” Rather, he told them to lift others higher. Humility, then, isn’t about self-abasement, but other-exaltation. Jesus said much the same thing when he told us the second part of the “great commandment”: love your neighbor as yourself.

There is an assumption in the words of Paul and Jesus that we will want to seek our own good and care for ourselves. Yet, at the same time, we’re to seek the good of others. So, Paul wrote: “Count others more significant than yourselves” and “Look not only to [your] own interests, but also to the interests of others.”

So, yes, we have our own will and our own interests but we should ask: What is best for this other person [replace with the name of spouse, child, coworker, classmate, neighbor, friend, etc.]? What can I do to serve them and build them up? And the beautiful thing about this is that in a community of people, whether we speak of in the home or the church, if we each ask these questions and have such an attitude, then each of us will also have our own needs met. As we focus on serving others, there will be others who focus on serving us. Then the edification becomes mutual, then we all gain a taste of the best.

Such an other-focus concern brings greater joy, love, and peace to the places we gather, live, work, and play.

New posts from this devotional series in Philippians will run most Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays.

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A Gospel-Worthy Manner of Life

Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel, and not frightened in anything by your opponents. This is a clear sign to them of their destruction, but of your salvation, and that is from God. For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake, engaged in the same conflict that you saw I had and now hear that I still have. ~Philippians 1:27-30

What does a manner of life worthy of the gospel of Christ look like? Paul painted the picture this way:

Unity. The gospel produces a God-given unity in the followers of Jesus. Not that we always see everything the same or that we agree on every detail this side of eternity. But that we have a strong familial love for one another. We are children, brothers and sisters, of the One God; followers of the One Savior-King; filled with the same Holy Spirit; and focused on the same purpose: the exaltation of Jesus. This unity in our diversity is a beautiful picture of God’s saving power for the world.

Mission. The gospel produces a sense of Christ-centered mission. In unity of spirit and mind, we “strive side by side for the faith of the gospel.” In other words, we make Paul’s aim our aim. We strive to make Jesus known in all places, seeing people turn to him. We have a sense of mission because we realize that life is more than just what we experience in this world. Choices today have eternal consequences beyond death. We will either live with Christ and one another in eternal joy, or we will suffer the consequences of our sin in the hell of eternal torment. We are driven by mission because we want none to taste hell and all to know joy.

Boldness. The gospel also produces a boldness in our faith. There are many gospel-opponents in the world: Those who would rather enjoy the temporary pleasures of sin, those who find faith foolish, Satan and his minions, and war, poverty, and other effects of sin. The Bible reminds us that we live in the midst of a spiritual war. Boldness joyfully and faithfully stands firm in Christ, despite the opponents. If we suffer as Paul did, it’s no strange thing, because Jesus also suffered. But suffering is momentary. Salvation is forever.

Unity, mission, and boldness all manifested in a life that loves and follows Jesus. Here we find the gospel-worthy manner of life.

New posts from this devotional series in Philippians will run most Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays.

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