Two new converts will be baptized after our morning worship service. All are welcome to join us down at longwood park in Gainesville, Ga. We will be having our meal afterwards to celebrate. Please come at about 1pm. Please click HERE for directions.
The Widholm family has been with Grace for about six months and this past Sunday three of their members joined with our church family. What a blessing! What testimonies! What grace gifts to Grace Covenant Baptist Church! The Widholms are pictured on the left. Their testimonies are given below. We are all thankful for the Widholms making such a commitment to this little church. Please go to the Elders/Members page for more.
May it be that the Lord is beginning to answer my burden, our burden as a church:
Oh, satisfy us early with Your mercy, That we may rejoice and be glad all our days! 15 Make us glad according to the days in which You have afflicted us, The years in which we have seen evil. 16 Let Your work appear to Your servants, And Your glory to their children. 17 And let the beauty of the LORD our God be upon us, And establish the work of our hands for us; Yes, establish the work of our hands. (Psalm 90:14-17)
Happy New Year! We trust the Lord Jesus would be pleased to use our little church to further advance the kingdom of our God by His grace and for His glory. We are preaching through the book of Jonah. This week we will be discussing the Sovereignty of God in Jonah 1:17. Pastor Chris just finished up with the salvation of the mariners in 1:11-16. God turned the sailors from the fear of the storm and prayer to their gods to the prayer to the Lord and the fear of Him. Interesting note: the sailors realized that their gods were not true gods or expressions of the same god with various names as so often is stated today. Buddha, all the gods of Hinduism, the god of Mormonism are not expressions of the one true and living God. The sailors began to realize this. They called on the LORD, Jehovah God, made sacrifices and vows. The LORD gave them peace at sea while Jonah entered his calamity.
Come and join us for worship!
We are a small band of believers that simply want to grow closer to the Lord in our times of worship and fellowship while growing closer to one another. We pray that the Lord will bless us with growth both spiritually and numerically.
Lord Jesus, may your presence be with us as we desire to worship you in earnest according to the dictates of Holy Scripture under Your Spirit. May Your Name be glorified rather than our Name; may your Kingdom be advanced rather than the kingdoms of our own crafting; and may Your Sovereign will be on display in our lives and upon our lips. We claim no perfection but the perfection that is ours by virtue of our spiritual union with You all by faith. We claim not to have arrived seeing we are still but unworthy and unprofitable servants. We ask for Your mercy to restrain our flesh from sin and waywardness, to buttress our love for You and make it stronger, to strengthen our will and passion for those without Christ and to refine our hearts from our inner impurities.
We are thankful for our new place of worship at 447 N. Bradford St. in Gainesville, GA. See service info page for more information. We rejoice in our good and excellent Shepherd who cares for His sheep. He goes before us and leads us; Jesus leads His dear children along in paths that may be rough and paths that may be smooth. Though our space for assembly is not perfect, we are glad nevertheless for the space.
We are thankful for the space we left. How thankful we are for Chris and Erin who have opened their home for us twice a week for 8+ months. We are honored to have them in our midst; for, they add so much to our worship.
Therefore I (we) will give thanks to You, O LORD, among the Gentiles, And sing praises to Your name. 51 He is the tower of salvation to His king, And shows mercy to His anointed, To David and his descendants forevermore." (2 Samuel 22:50-51) We are David's descendants in Christ our Redeemer.
The more we listen to the gospel, the more we learn the gospel, the more we lean upon the gospel – stand upon the gospel, then is it not true that we also love the gospel, yea, treasure the gospel and delight our souls upon the gospel of God, that is, we 'taste and see that the Lord is good.'
Love the gospel of Christ who died for sinners like ourselves. Then live it out and lip it out! More coming.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year for our neighbors.
We thank you for the privilege to be your neighbors. The Lord has been kind to our little group these past months as we worshiped our Savior here. As we wait on the Lord for direction and income for a more permanent building, we desire to be a witness where we worship week by week. For this reason, please allow us to bring you the good news of the season.
We rejoice at this season for our Lord Jesus Christ who came to earth as the God-Man to be born of the virgin Mary. Jesus lived 33 three years as a man then died under the hands of Pontius Pilate. Of course the religious Jews stirred up the crowds to cry, “crucify Him, crucify Him!” The religious Jews missed the proper interpretation of their own writings; and, in doing so, they actually fulfilled the prophesies of the Old Testament. The Jews by their own actions brought Jesus to His death as a means to fulfill salvation's plan. It was the plan of God before creation. Peter states it well when he spoke to the Jews after Christ had risen from the dead about this plan of God concerning His own Son:
“Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a Man attested by God to you by miracles, wonders, and signs which God did through Him in your midst, as you yourselves also know -- "Him, being delivered by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God, you have taken by lawless hands, have crucified, and put to death; "whom God raised up, having loosed the pains of death, because it was not possible that He should be held by it. (Acts 2:22-24)
One of the most significant Old Testament texts concerning Christ and His death is found in Psalm 22. Many statements of this Psalm are repeated in the New Testament either as statements of Christ or statements made by the crowds and/or the Jews at the time of the crucifixion. Psalm 22 and the New Testament gospels have the following similarities. Here are few samples (the quotes are from Psalm 22 to be compared with the New Testament gospels):
He is despised and rejected by men, A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. (v. 3; cf. John 1:10-11)
Surely He has borne our griefs And carried our sorrows; Yet we esteemed Him stricken, Smitten by God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way; And the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all. For He was cut off from the land of the living; For the transgressions of My people He was stricken. Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief. When You make His soul an offering for sin, ...He shall see the labor of His soul, and be satisfied. By His knowledge My righteous Servant shall justify many, For He shall bear their iniquities. Therefore I will divide Him a portion with the great, And He shall divide the spoil with the strong, Because He poured out His soul unto death, And He was numbered with the transgressors, And He bore the sin of many, And made intercession for the transgressors. (Isaiah 53 )
This is a most significant text that highlights over and over and over that Jesus the Servant of the Lord, the Messiah came as a perfect sacrifice and substitute FOR OUR SINS. Jesus came to offer Himself as a perfect offering to die the death of our transgressions. We deserve to die because we all have gone astray and sinned against our holy God. We have all lied; we have all dishonored the Name of God; we have disobeyed and dishonored our parents; and we have lusted in our hearts and, and, and, and – and the wages of our sin is nothing less than death and separation from God forever in the lake of fire (Romans 6:23; Revelation 21:8). Sin must be punished and paid for. The price of our disobedience must be given justice. God hates all sin and rebellion and He must not over look any sin. Therefore, either we pay for our own sin in hell or we pay for our sin by means of a substitute. Who will pay for our sin debt which is death and separation from God; or, rather, who without sin is able to pay for all the crimes committed by us? Who of us can innocently pay for another's sin? Even Mary needed a Savior (Luke 1:46-47); she too was a sinner in need of a substitute. The Apostle Peter too was a great sinner (Luke 5:8); Paul was a great sinner; in fact, all of God's children who are called saints – were, are great sinners (Romans 7:18, 24). So, who is left to be our substitute before a holy God?
As Isaiah 53 clearly states that it was Jesus our Messiah (anointed king) who is able to be our substitute and to bear the penalty for transgression. Jesus became our curse on the cross so that those who believe in Jesus may have all their sins paid (Gal. 3:13f.; 2:16). The sinner who turns from their sin and trusts in Jesus to be their substitute for their own sins will no longer be under the curse of death – but will be justified, declared righteous (Gal. 2:16). The wrath of God which was over us is now poured out on His Son Jesus at the cross. So, when God poured out His wrath against sin on His own Son, God at that very moment turned His wrath away from those who believe in Jesus and who believe in Jesus alone for their salvation.
Again, God declares us just because Jesus took our sins and gave us His righteousness. Sin is our problem. No amount of righteousness, good deeds, prayers, etc. can cover over our sin. God sees through all our religiosity and sees our sin clearly (Psa. 34:16; 51:9). All lies must be paid for by a perfect person. Since we are not perfect, there can be no payment - no payment, no release from punishment forever. But, praise be to the Lord for a perfect sacrifice by the perfect God-Man who became sin for us so that all who trust in Christ alone may be perfectly forgiven forever. If you trust in yourself or some religious performances, you have no hope. Trust in Jesus as your perfect sin-offering and you have complete hope. Jesus is your perfect sacrifice and therefore your perfect plea before God. Trust Christ as your substitute today. “For He (God) made Him (Jesus) who knew no sin to be sin for us (believers), that we might become the righteousness of God in Him (Jesus).” (2 Corinthians 5:21). Blessed are they who trust in the Lord as their perfect righteousness. Be sure that you can claim what Jeremiah claimed – THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNES (Jeremiah 23:6).
We welcome you to our Savior – to worship Him as your righteousness. We pray that you have trusted Jesus as both your Lord to rule over you and your Savior to be your substitute.
We pray Christ is your life and righteousness.
On Behalf of Grace Covenant Baptist,
Dear Church Family,
During this first Christmas season together, I want to tell you again what a joy and privilege it is to be a part of what we trust will soon become in earnest, Grace Covenant Baptist Church of Gainesville, Georgia. As I look back over this past year, I continue to be amazed at what God has done. In His grace He drew together people from different backgrounds and areas of the country and with so many different gifts, talents, and experiences in order to form the nucleus of a new church. During this time of year when we focus on the birth of our Lord and Saviour, we are being blessed to witness the birth - so to speak - of a new church in Him. What a joy to be called to serve our Lord together in this new work!
As I reflect on the fact that many of us are currently in humble circumstances, I am reminded of the humble circumstances into which our Lord was born. I do not mean to suggest that our low condition, due to financial lack, physical affliction, stress, or other reasons could ever begin to compare with the level of our Lord's suffering in His humility - not at all, but that we are assured of His sympathy with us and His desire and ability to help us (Hebrews 4:14-16). Also, may the presence of need in our congregation move us to continue praying for one another and seeking to help meet one another's needs as the Lord enables us. And finally, let us encourage each other to focus on the glorious, joy-inspiring truth that our greatest need - salvation - has been met by the one whose birth we celebrate. “He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?” (Romans 8:32). We praise God for His faithful, merciful provision.
Brother and sisters, may God our Father richly bless you and may He in mercy grant to all of us a truly Christ-honoring Christmas and a New Year in which He prospers us in the work of His blessed Kingdom!
In Christ's Love,
PS - May I add my two cents, which may not even be worth two cents; yea, they are not worth two cents. We rejoice in the Word, the infinite worth of the Word, who became flesh to live in unspeakable conditions of poverty for those of us who are poor in far more ways than one. We are in desperate need for Christ our Messiah to continue to deliver us from the remnants of remaining sin. I love that passage of Paul that exploits this reality so perfectly:
For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich. (2 Corinthians 8:9)
We rejoice ins Christ. May His Name be glorified above every Name especially during this season. No names of toys or trinkets or family or fun or tradition has any room with Christ. Let us give no room in our hearts for anything less than Christ. As Peter tells us: “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear.” (1 Peter 3:15) In the midst of toys, family, etc. remember Christ in highest honor.
Chris and I love you. We are blessed to be hand in hand with you all and with each other. We are certainly in good company with you who confess Christ so freely. I am personally blessed to have a church family that cares for each other and it has shown with your gifts and talents of love for each other. Thank you again for your rich abundance you have shown to my family. Thank you for being gracious to one another both in word and deed. It is a joy to minister to a people who look out for one another. Thank you for using your gifts in the body. We have so many gifts with so few of us. Thank you for making this season of our lives one of the richest seasons of our lives.
Oh, grace to you; peace to you; joy to you because of Christ.
Come and join us for our sermon series through the book of Titus on Sunday mornings. We are still in the first four verses where Paul gives his introduction to Titus. Paul lays out his overview of the book by bring up the different themes found in the book of Titus. Paul is God's slave for the faith, knowledge and hope of eternal life to the elect. This life was promised by the God who does not lie. God laid the foundation of this hope in ages past and has now committed the message of this hope to the Apostle Paul.
Let us rejoice together in this promise given in Titus by Paul.
Simply put: The church is the entire community, assembly of the Lord purchased of God by His own blood (Acts 20:28).
Summary: The church of God is the chosen people of God (1Pet. 2:9-10) called out of the world (1Pet. 1:1-2; Eph. 1:3-4)
Identity: to be the assembly (Ekklesia) of God (Acts 20:28), the adopted children of God (Eph. 1:5), the body and bride of Christ (Eph. 2:15-16), the pillar and ground of the truth (1Tim. 1:15), and the temple of God (Eph. 2:19-22)
Constituents: which is made up all true believers in the OT who were looking forward to the promised Messiah by faith (Heb. 11; 12:22-24) and which is made up of both Jew and Gentile into one new man by faith in Jesus Christ the Messiah (Eph. 2:10, 15-16)
Purpose: for the purpose of offering up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ as a holy priesthood and a holy nation (1Pet. 2:5); and, as such, that it may proclaim the praises of Him who called His own out of darkness into His marvelous light (1Pet. 2:9-10).