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Paul Bawden

Paul Bawden is married and served in the pastoral ministry for 45 years, retiring in 2011. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a B.A. in Speech and attended Dallas Theological Seminary, receiving a Master of Theology. He has taken counseling courses at Trinity Evangelical Seminary in Deerfield, Illinois. Paul is a lifetime member of the Evangelical Free Church of America, as well as being a member of Interim Pastor Ministries (IPM), which serves churches during their time of transition in searching for a new pastor. He writes for Union Gospel Press, as well as being a volunteer writer for GotQuestions.org. Paul likes to write, read, bike, and work in the yard. The Bawdens have had the privilege to travel to Mexico and Romania on mission trips and visited various countries in Europe.

Dads, We Are Needed!!

June 3, 2017

By Paul Bawden

A son at college wrote his dad, “No mon, no fun, your son.” The dad wrote back, “Too bad, so sad, your dad.”

Being a dad is not always easy, but it is one of the highest privileges that a man can have. In fact, the title that dad has, father, means the founder or progenitor of a race or a people, and his title, father, comes from the biblical God who is called Father, and the Creator of us all. This means that the earthly father actually has the opportunity to represent God the Father to his children, which is an awesome thought to say the least.

Of course, such thinking is far removed from the popular ideas that condition us to think otherwise in our society today. With absolutes obsolete in our culture today, we are given the impression that a family can be anything you want it to be. The traditional family, and what’s that? — is not necessary for a society to have stability.

Such is far from the truth. Josh Mc Dowell, a writer and researcher on the family and conference speaker, reported a study done a while ago by Columbia University on the disconnected generation.

(1) A single parent home, where the mother was the head of the home, 30% of the children became involved in drugs, alcohol, crime and violence.

(2) In the two parent where there wasn’t a good relationship with the father, 68% of the children were likely to get involved in alcohol, drugs, crime and violence.

(3) In a two parent family with an excellent relationship with the father, .06% of
the children became involved in drugs, alcohol, crime and violence.

Yes, both fathers and mothers are needed in the family. O.R. Johnson in his book, “Who Needs The Family?” points out the necessity of the mother to bring love, nurture, support and direction. Then he points out, quoting from Eickhoff, that father poverty undermines the security of the child and his ability to face the unknown or great excitement with that optimistic confidence of a safe landing natural to the well fathered child. Certainly, dad and mom need to work together to make the family what God intended it.

In this month of June when dads are honored, I want dads to know how much they are appreciated, but also how much they are needed in their family. I also want to honor dads who have to fill the role of both father and mother.

Obviously a dad has many things to do, but his family should have top priority. His person and time is what his wife and children need. Dad needs to play with his children when they are young. When they are older, he should spend quality time with them. He should praise his children, listen to his children, pray for his children, and provide loving leadership for his children.

Above all, a dad should provide a lasting spiritual basis upon which his children can build their lives. I believe that Jesus Christ is that foundation, for through His death burial, and bodily resurrection, He won for us His forgiveness and new life. I trust that, as a dad, you know Him personally and are seeking to lead your family in the paths of righteousness. (cf. John 3:16; Ephesians 6:4). Happy Father’s Day!

Paul Bawden is married and served in the pastoral ministry for 45 years, retiring in 2011. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a B.A. in Speech and attended Dallas Theological Seminary, receiving a Master of Theology. He has taken counseling courses at Trinity Evangelical Seminary in Deerfield, Illinois. Paul is a lifetime member of the Evangelical Free Church of America, as well as being a member of Interim Pastor Ministries (IPM), which serves churches during their time of transition in searching for a new pastor. He writes for Union Gospel Press, as well as being a volunteer writer for GotQuestions.org. Paul likes to write, read, bike, and work in the yard. The Bawdens have had the privilege to travel to Mexico and Romania on mission trips and visited various countries in Europe.

BAWDEN ARCHIVES

The Ongoing Battle

May 16, 2017

By Paul Bawden

As we watch the happenings in our world, we can only ask, “Will evil ever end?”

Even for ourselves, we can ask, “Will we ever be able to stop making choices between good and evil?”

To make those statements for some means that one is out of touch with reality. What do you mean that there is evil in our world, or that we have to make choices between good and evil? After all we are all good people and we just make some mistakes at times, and some make greater mistakes.

Of course, that is one way to look at what is happening in our world and what we do as individuals at different times. It is a very hopeless way, for there is no solution to what is really happening in our world and in our lives.

But when we move from a humanistic viewpoint to a biblical viewpoint, we discover an entirely different and life-changing solution in the midst of hopelessness.

The Bible tells us that we are in a spiritual battle between the forces of the evil one and the forces of the biblical God (Ephesians 6:10ff). It also tells us that our minds are spiritually blinded (II Corinthians 4:6), so that we can’t do that which pleases the biblical God. In fact the Bible tells us that all of us have sinned, missed God’s mark of holiness (Romans 3:23).

The Bible, then, tells us why there is evil in the world where people want to control and even kill others. The Bible also tells us why we say words that depreciate others, why we covet, why we have feelings of hatred and anger, and why there is immorality in different lives. Our spiritual lives are filled with unrighteousness and sin. In fact, Christ pointed that out very clearly (Mark 7:21-23).

But the Bible doesn’t just tell us why there is evil in the world and why we do things that are wrong, the Bible also gives us the solution to that problem.

That solution is found in Jesus Christ. In His death for us on the cross, He paid the penalty for our sin, the breaking of God’s law, which is death. Then He was buried, and rose again bodily the third day. What for? To provide for us His forgiveness and eternal life through faith in Him. The believer in Jesus Christ, then, receives a new kind of life, actually Christ’s resurrection life, along with God’s power, the indwelling Holy Spirit, to experience and show His love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control (Galatians 5:22-23). The text adds, “against such there is no law.”

Did you get that? If everyone in the world knew Jesus Christ personally, and depended on the Holy Spirit’s indwelling power, there would be no need for law enforcement. Of course, such could never be now for not everyone knows Christ personally, and sometimes believers in Christ don’t act like Christ as well. But in the Lord’s new heaven and earth, eternity, there will be no need for law enforcement, for Christlikeness will be evident in every believer’s life. That will be a grand and glorious day!

In the meantime, back on planet earth, the challenge for the believer is to say “No” to sin and “Yes” to righteousness, as he or she submits one’s life to the Lord in order to live in His victory. For, as there is a battle going on in the world between the forces of the biblical God and the forces of the evil one, the believer is in a battle personally to resist the evil one and to obey the Lord so that His life is evident in the believer’s daily life. The Scripture encourages each believer to “Be strong in the Lord, and the power of His might” (Ephesians 6:10). Eventually, Christ will return and put down all evil and establish His 1000 year reign of peace on this earth. After which, He will create a new heaven and earth for all believers of all ages to live with Him forever. The ongoing battle against evil will be over. Righteousness and peace will never end!

Paul Bawden is married and served in the pastoral ministry for 45 years, retiring in 2011. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a B.A. in Speech and attended Dallas Theological Seminary, receiving a Master of Theology. He has taken counseling courses at Trinity Evangelical Seminary in Deerfield, Illinois. Paul is a lifetime member of the Evangelical Free Church of America, as well as being a member of Interim Pastor Ministries (IPM), which serves churches during their time of transition in searching for a new pastor. He writes for Union Gospel Press, as well as being a volunteer writer for GotQuestions.org. Paul likes to write, read, bike, and work in the yard. The Bawdens have had the privilege to travel to Mexico and Romania on mission trips and visited various countries in Europe.

BAWDEN ARCHIVES

The Power of Words

April 21, 2017

By Paul Bawden

Trent and Smalley in their book, “The Blessing,” tell of Mean Mike.

His name was really Mike, but his parents started calling him mean Mike as a toddler because he had a terrific grip. If anyone would try to take something away from him, he would snarl and hold on for dear life. This nickname, mean Mike, became a humorous way to picture his bulldog tenacity in holding unto something. But his nickname, mean Mike, became more than a nickname. It became a way of life.

When he became older, he became a bully at home and school. Everyone at home still called him mean and he lived up to his name. His name, mean Mike, may have given him the edge in football as he was a very good linebacker. It wrecked, though, his personal relationships. He was always too tough to get too close to anyone. Sad, to say, Mean Mike eventually ended up on the state prison in Arizona.

Our words are powerful. The proverb says that life and death are in the power of the tongue (18:21).

Words like this are said, “What’s the matter with you, can’t you ever be happy” instead of saying, “Have I done something to hurt you.”

“What have I said this time? Are you ever sensitive?” Rather than saying, “I see I’ve upset you. I think I’ve said something that hurt. I’m sorry.

“I’ll dress the way I want to, You wouldn’t know when things match and when they don’t anyhow.” Rather than saying, “You know, I haven’t paid as much attention as I could to dressing neatly. Thanks for calling to my attention the mismatch between my shirt and tie.”

“I’m always putting gas in your car. Once in a while I’d like to use some of it.” Instead of saying, “As you say, it was careless of me to overlook putting gas in the car.”

How do we use our words? Do we speak words of blessing and encouragement, or words that tear down, deceive, and curse? If you are in a family relationship, do your words offer encouragement to build up the self-esteem of your mate or your children? Our children need to learn to speak words that build up as well. How about in our employment, do we use words of encouragement rather than negative comments?

Jesus taught that we would be judged some day by our words (Matthew 12:36). Why? Our words reveal our true character. On the other side of the coin, Jesus said that the words that He spoke were spirit and life, and whoever believed in Him would not perish but have eternal life.

Jesus, then, set the example of what words of blessing and encouragement were all about. But more than that, He offers to us the words of eternal life. How so? Through His death and bodily resurrection, He has won for us His forgiveness and life everlasting. It is up to you and me to accept His word about Himself and His work for us on Calvary and the open tomb.

Have you made that decision for Christ? Read Romans 10:9-13. If Jesus Christ is your personal Savior, in His power, speak His words of blessing and encouragement to others.

Paul Bawden is married and served in the pastoral ministry for 45 years, retiring in 2011. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a B.A. in Speech and attended Dallas Theological Seminary, receiving a Master of Theology. He has taken counseling courses at Trinity Evangelical Seminary in Deerfield, Illinois. Paul is a lifetime member of the Evangelical Free Church of America, as well as being a member of Interim Pastor Ministries (IPM), which serves churches during their time of transition in searching for a new pastor. He writes for Union Gospel Press, as well as being a volunteer writer for GotQuestions.org. Paul likes to write, read, bike, and work in the yard. The Bawdens have had the privilege to travel to Mexico and Romania on mission trips and visited various countries in Europe.

BAWDEN ARCHIVES

The Eternal Spring

April 12, 2017

By Paul Bawden

As I look out the window in our great room, our flowers in our rock garden are beginning to push up through the sod. The other day I noticed a couple of robins looking for food, while our lawn begins to turn green. There is no doubt that spring is in the air – the newness of life – resurrection is taking place. Spring is always a wonderful time of year.

At the same time, we know that eventually spring will turn to summer, to fall, and then to winter. It’s the same in the life cycle. We are born, spring. We mature, summer. We grow older, fall, and eventually there is winter, where we pass from this life.

Is there an answer to this life cycle? May I suggest to you that is what Easter is all about. I know we have the Easter bunny and the egg hunts for the children, along with the freshness and joy of spring, while many may get together with family, or attend the yearly Easter service at a church. But is that all there is to Easter?

To some that may be the case. But the individual who searches out what Easter entails, that person discovers Easter is the reality that death has been conquered. In fact, reliable eyewitnesses report to us that it happened, for the person who died, appeared to them in His resurrected body. Only one individual in all of history has done that, and He conquered the grave bodily for the world, for death affects everyone.

I’m referring to Jesus Christ, the God-man, who died on the cross to pay the penalty to God the Father for our breaking His law, was buried, and rose bodily from the grave. Now forgiveness of sin and eternal life are available to anyone who will respond in faith to Jesus Christ, accepting Him as one’s personal Savior (John 3:16).

The eternal life Christ has won for us is actually His resurrection life. It’s the kind of life that doesn’t grow old, but remains new, as the individual grows old, meaning it’s not affected by the cycles of life. It’s the kind of life that provides the believer the privilege to live with eternal meaning on planet earth, to know that what he or she does here is not just for time but it counts for eternity. It’s the kind of life that guarantees that when one’s body dies, one’s spirit or personality goes to be with the Lord. When the Lord returns, the believer’s body will be resurrected and joined with one’s personality that was with the Lord. All believers in Christ will live with the Lord in eternity forever.

Spring is in the air. But don’t miss the eternal spring – the resurrection life in Jesus Christ. It’s not a fairy tale or a nice story. Resurrection life in Christ is real like He is, for He is resurrection life (John 14:6). Don’t miss what the Lord has for you. If Jesus is your personal Savior, your eternal spring, celebrate Easter with joy. He is risen. He is risen indeed!!

Paul Bawden is married and served in the pastoral ministry for 45 years, retiring in 2011. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a B.A. in Speech and attended Dallas Theological Seminary, receiving a Master of Theology. He has taken counseling courses at Trinity Evangelical Seminary in Deerfield, Illinois. Paul is a lifetime member of the Evangelical Free Church of America, as well as being a member of Interim Pastor Ministries (IPM), which serves churches during their time of transition in searching for a new pastor. He writes for Union Gospel Press, as well as being a volunteer writer for GotQuestions.org. Paul likes to write, read, bike, and work in the yard. The Bawdens have had the privilege to travel to Mexico and Romania on mission trips and visited various countries in Europe.

BAWDEN ARCHIVES

The Greatest Week in History

April 6, 2017

By Paul Bawden

There is one week in time, which is the greatest week in history – Passion Week.

Passion Week had its beginning on what is called Palm Sunday, with Jesus Christ fulfilling prophecy by riding into Jerusalem on a donkey presenting Himself to Israel as their King. The crowd accompanying Him went wild exclaiming, “Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord; Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David; Hosanna in the highest!” (Mark 11:9-11). The people thought that Jesus would be their deliverer from Roman oppression.

On Thursday of Passion Week at the Passover meal, Jesus established Himself as the new and eternal Passover by taking the bread and the grape juice in the cup, and teaching that those elements would represent Him in His upcoming death, burial, and bodily resurrection, through which He would win eternal redemption for the world.

But on Friday of Passion Week, the people, who honored Jesus as their Deliverer, had changed their exuberant celebration to malicious condemnation, and cried out, “Crucify Him! Crucify Him!” The Lord was delivered to be crucified, and was flogged with a leather strap embedded with a bone or metal thongs. He was spit upon, ridiculed, a crown of thorns was placed on his head, and was hung on a cruel cross, the most awful way to die, with nails driven into his hands and feet. Amazingly, in the midst of His indescribable suffering, Jesus asked His heavenly Father to forgive His accusers. He died. A sword pierced His side, blood and water flowed, and He was buried in a tomb. On the first day of the week, Easter Sunday, Christ rose bodily from the grave.

Some today think that what happened during Passion Week has no significance whatsoever. It’s just a nice story with no reality. Some may admit that Jesus died but did not rise from the grave bodily. Others try to say that there is some kind of a spirit of resurrection that brings a newness of life on Easter Sunday. Still, others believe that all the events of Passion Week actually happened in time. Who is right?

The reality of Passion Week resides in the eyewitnesses. The Gospel writers were not reporting fairy tails. They reported accurately what they saw. But the bottom line in Passion Week is this: Did Jesus Christ actually rise from the grave bodily? Taking the eyewitnesses at their word, Jesus did rise from the grave bodily. That means that what He said and did while on planet earth have eternal ramifications. For through His death on the cross, His burial and bodily resurrection for us, He won for us His forgiveness and eternal life, which we desperately need.

A person, then, has a choice to make. One can reject Jesus Christ, and even be neutral about Him, which is really rejecting Him. OR a person can become a believer in Jesus Christ and receive His forgiveness and eternal life. An individual can’t be on the fence about Jesus Christ. You are either against Him or for Him. I trust you are a believer in Jesus Christ, and you are enjoying serving Him in His power (Colossians 3:23).

Knowing Christ as your personal Savior, you know as well that Passion Week is the greatest week in history!

Paul Bawden is married and served in the pastoral ministry for 45 years, retiring in 2011. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a B.A. in Speech and attended Dallas Theological Seminary, receiving a Master of Theology. He has taken counseling courses at Trinity Evangelical Seminary in Deerfield, Illinois. Paul is a lifetime member of the Evangelical Free Church of America, as well as being a member of Interim Pastor Ministries (IPM), which serves churches during their time of transition in searching for a new pastor. He writes for Union Gospel Press, as well as being a volunteer writer for GotQuestions.org. Paul likes to write, read, bike, and work in the yard. The Bawdens have had the privilege to travel to Mexico and Romania on mission trips and visited various countries in Europe.

BAWDEN ARCHIVES

What Is Truth?

March 15, 2017

Famous words of Pilate to Jesus, after Jesus had said to Pilate, “Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice” (John 18:37-38).

What does the word, truth, aletheia, mean? It is the state of not being hidden; the state of being evident. It also means factuality or reality.

Pilate, then, was questioning not just the meaning of truth, but also he was questioning Jesus’ claim of being the truth, for Jesus said that everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.

As we observe the happenings in our world today, without making a hasty generalization, it appears that the question Pilate asked of Jesus is no longer relevant. What has happened is that there is no longer any pursuit of what truth is, and we are living in the days of the Judges in the Old Testament, where everyone did what was right in his own eyes (Judges 17:6; 21:25).

This is seen in state institutions of higher learning, where a certain dogma is presented without any discussion of what truth is. It is happening in the news media where some are more interested in promoting their bias rather than telling what the truth is, the actual facts of the situation. It is seen in the government where some are promoting ideas that tear down a country. In regard to morality, there is no longer any standard, as the individual makes up his mind as to what he wants his lifestyle to be.

In spite of this lack in our society of pursing what is truth, we need to ask Pilate’s question again, “What is truth?” In the definition of truth given above, truth is that which is factual, that which is real. This means for truth to have any validity, it must be that which is completely verifiable. It must not be fake but real, having taken place in time. As we live in time’s box, as I call it, the only ones who can speak truth and verify truth are humans, like you and me. The challenge is that you and I do not always speak the truth. We can change the truth to something it is not, which is lying, or we can outright lie.

Since we are people who can lie, it becomes quickly obvious that we can’t be relied upon to be people of truth. This means we need somebody outside of time’s box who can be depended upon all the time to be truthful, really the personification of truth.

The only one I know who fills this description is Jesus Christ who spoke to Pilate, “Everyone who is of the truth hears my voice.” That is why Jesus Christ also said, ”I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life, no one comes to the Father but through me” (John 14:6). Through His incarnation, Jesus Christ broke into the time box we live in, and through His death, burial, and bodily resurrection for us, He won for us His forgiveness and eternal life, which we desperately need. In so doing, He demonstrated conclusively that He is the embodiment of Truth and His words are Truth. He cannot and will not lie (John 8:44-45).

One can deny who Jesus Christ is and what He has done for each person. But that in no way destroys who He is and that He is the Truth. For the believer in Him, He provides true direction and guidance for human behavior that is pure and God honoring (Matthew 5-7; John 15:1-17; Acts 1:8). As well, He provides the believer hope beyond the grave (John 14:1-6). It is time to discover that true Truth is found in none other than Jesus Christ, the Savior, the king of Kings and lord of Lords!

Paul Bawden is married and served in the pastoral ministry for 45 years, retiring in 2011. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a B.A. in Speech and attended Dallas Theological Seminary, receiving a Master of Theology. He has taken counseling courses at Trinity Evangelical Seminary in Deerfield, Illinois. Paul is a lifetime member of the Evangelical Free Church of America, as well as being a member of Interim Pastor Ministries (IPM), which serves churches during their time of transition in searching for a new pastor. He writes for Union Gospel Press, as well as being a volunteer writer for GotQuestions.org. Paul likes to write, read, bike, and work in the yard. The Bawdens have had the privilege to travel to Mexico and Romania on mission trips and visited various countries in Europe.

BAWDEN ARCHIVES

Foolish?

March 3, 2017

By Paul Bawden

On January 8, 2017, was the 61th anniversary of the five missionaries who were martyred in Ecuador on January 8, 1956.

Jim Elliot along with Nate Saint, Ed McCully, Peter Fleming, and Roger Youderian had committed their lives to the Lord Jesus Christ to take His gospel to the unreached Auca Indians, more properly referred to as the Huaorani, in Ecuador.

On January 8, 1956, the five men were martyred, leaving behind wives and families. Certainly, their deaths were tragic, but in the light of these deaths and God’s providence, many were drawn to and called to missions. Even though we don’t understand the workings of God many times, God used the death of these dedicated men to advance His kingdom eventually to the Auca Indians and to encourage all believers around the world. Like Jesus, His gospel was advanced through death, bringing life to those who would believe in Him.

At the time of their tragic deaths, there was much discussion even criticism of what the men did. And from a purely human viewpoint, such a venture was useless and ridiculous, for here were five men full of vigor and vision with great potential having their lives snuffed out for the cause of the gospel of Christ, leaving their wives and children. It’s easy to add. What a waste! How foolish!

But Jim Elliot made this famous statement in his life, which diametrically opposed any humanistic thinking:

“He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.”

Such a statement described so vividly the heart of these five men.

To them, it was foolish to reject the biblical God and His forgiveness of sin and eternal life provided in Jesus Christ. To them it was foolish to live for the world and follow its sirens rather than accepting Christ and serving Him with enthusiasm, even if it meant giving their lives in following Him to make the Lord’s gospel known. What happened to them was not the issue. They knew whether they lived or died they belonged to the Lord – for heaven was their ultimate home, and the Lord their eternal reward.

How about you? What’s your commitment to Jesus Christ? I trust that it’s not rejection of Him, which is being foolish. Or, if you know the Lord personally, perhaps you are living a life of low commitment, which is really living a foolish life as well.

May each of us who knows the Savior personally, be so committed to Him to “give what we cannot keep to gain what we cannot lose.”

Let’s take up the Lord’s cross daily, putting to death selfishness in the Lord’s power, while serving Him with gladness and enthusiasm!!

The Greatest Love

February 6, 2017

By Paul Bawden

February is the month of love.

As we observe all the hatred in our world and the divisiveness brought about through political rhetoric and uprisings, love seems to have lost its meaning.

But what is love? Is it some fuzzy feeling? Is it showing some kind of affection to or care of someone. Is it some kind of an emotional sensation? Is love fulfilling one’s sexual desires?

To find out what love is, we need to find the true source of love. Let’s start with man. Could he be the true source for love? Obviously not, for even though he shows some kind of love, he also displays selfishness, jealousy, hatred, even committing murder. Obviously, man can’t be the true source of love. Since man’s understanding is limited to himself, he is stuck in life’s box, as I call it, with his love that is plagued by that which is really sin.

Such is a meaningless and a hopeless way to live. Unless, unless there is an eternal source for love outside of man’s life box. Hear these words, “God is love” (I John 4:8). What God is that? The biblical God who is eternal (Psalm 90;2). The biblical God, then, can only be the true source of love. He is also light or holy (I John 1:5), meaning that the biblical God’s love is holy, that is pure without selfishness, jealousy, hatred, gossip, or any of the negative characteristics that man displays.

The amazing aspect of the biblical God’s love is that He doesn’t keep His love to Himself. Rather, He breaks through our life box, and expresses His eternal love ultimately to each of us. How so? That’s what Christ’s dying on the old rugged cross, His burial, and bodily resurrection are all about (I John 4:9-10). Through His death and bodily resurrection, Jesus paid for our sin, not loving as we should, which is the breaking of His law, and He won for each of us His forgiveness and His eternal life of love. Now the believer in Christ possesses His new dimension for loving like Him, for the very love of Christ resides in the believer (Rom. 5:5). Is Christ your Savior? Read Romans 10:9-13 in the Bible.

Activated in the believer, by his relying on the indwelling Holy Spirit’s strength, Christ’s love is radical stuff – for His love is patient, kind, not jealous, doesn’t brag, is not arrogant, doesn’t act unbecomingly (inappropriately), doesn‘t seek its own, is not provoked, doesn’t take into account a wrong suffered, won’t rejoice in unrighteousness, but will rejoice in the truth, bears all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails (I Cor. 13:4-8a).

There is no doubt that Christ’s radical love is also a supernatural love. Why so? Christ’s love is a pure love and a committed love that comes directly from Him. In relationships, Christ’s love values the life of the unborn child, while treating each person with dignity and honor, respecting one’s property, and asking forgiveness if needed. It means that premarital relationships are not love but are lust and sin needing God’s forgiveness. It means the love of Christ establishes that true marriage is between a man and woman (Eph. 5:22-33), where they are committed to each other for life. In the family, the husband and the wife are a team where the husband is the servant leader and the children obey their parents (Eph. 6:1-4). Indeed! Christ’s love is needed in every area of our society, in individuals, in the family, in our communities, in our government, yes, in the world — for Christ’s love is the greatest!! (I Cor. 13:13).

Life, No Value?

January 19, 2017

By Paul Bawden

Sanctity of Human Life Sunday was, January 15, 2017 commemorating 44 years since the January 22, 1973 Roe v. Wade U.S. Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion in our country. Since 1973, however, more than 58 million unborn children have died in legalized abortions — a tragedy of incredible dimensions that stands in sad contrast to the belief that each life is sacred.

To think that the number of children aborted is tenfold the number of Americans lost in all our Nation’s wars. These beautiful children will never laugh, never sing, never experience the joy of human love, and never have the opportunity to contribute to society. Abortion has denied them the first and most basic of human rights, and we are certainly poorer because of it.

I understand that over 92% of abortions are performed for social or “other” reasons – because the woman does not want to have the baby. Less than 1% of abortions are performed because the mother’s life is in danger or for cases of rape or incest, while 64% of women report feeling pressured into having an abortion; women also have reported being forced to abort.

Abortion is such an evil procedure. It is the direct killing of a baby in a mother’s womb by ripping the baby apart, dismembering the baby, injecting a lethal substance into the baby or other similar means. Then, there is a coordinated high-tech industry operating for the purpose of obtaining and selling high-quality baby organs for research.

It’s hard to believe that such is happening in our country. How long can the biblical God stay His judgment when a nation has lost its moral compass? Does not the blood of the babies cry out for justice? Obviously, when a human egg is fertilized by sperm, a new human being has come into existence. All information concerning the child’s sex, hair color, eye color, and much more is present from the very beginning.

In fact, the biblical world-view makes it clear that life begins at conception. David, in Psalm 139:16 recorded the words, “My unformed substance.” The word, “unformed” conveys the idea of being rolled up or folded up like a blanket or mantle. It has the idea of being “undeveloped.” Obviously, David was referring to his tiniest embryonic form at the time of his conception when all the members of his body were folded up, or undeveloped, before they began to take on their form and proportions. Note also the word, “my,” as David understood that he was a person at the time of conception.

Certainly, the abortion issue has created a great divide in the United States among those who are against abortion, and those who are for abortion. It’s all about women’s rights according to those for abortion, but what about the rights of the unborn? Who will stand up for the voiceless? Will a national human life amendment eventually be passed? Perhaps Planned Parenthood will be defunded from federal funds and have to rely on private contributions. At the same time, adoption must be encouraged, and God’s grace and forgiveness offered to those who have had abortions.

The bottom line is that legislation will not stop abortion. Education on the perils of abortion can help. Organizations that are pro-life provide services to those contemplating abortion. Actually, only a change of heart by the grace of God experienced by the believer in Jesus Christ will a person truly understand that the Creator God has created life eternally valuable from conception to the end of life on this planet. That’s why Jesus said that He came to give life in surplus. He was the Creator of life (Colossians 1:16), and He would provide eternal life for the believer in Him (John 3:16). So Jesus gives double value to life – physically and spiritually. I trust you know Him personally through faith, and are enjoying the eternal life He gives you, while upholding the lasting value of physical life that Jesus gives to everyone.

Time or Eternity?

December 31, 2016

By Paul Bawden

How do we value ONE YEAR? Ask a student who failed a grade.

How do we value ONE MONTH? Ask a Mother whose baby arrived prematurely.

How do we value ONE WEEK? Editor’s of weekly newspapers know.

How do we value ONE HOUR? Ask someone who lies terminally ill waiting for a loved one who is late.

How do we value ONE MINUTE? Ask someone who missed a plane, a train, a very important engagement that would never be rescheduled.

How do we value ONE SECOND? Ask an Olympic Medalist, someone who just missed having an accident, or someone saying good by to a loved one they will never see again.

Yes, time slips through our fingers like sands through the hour glass. Once it’s
gone, it can’t be replaced.

That’s why at the beginning of the New Year or at any time of the year, it’s wise to ask ourselves if there is any other entity besides time? Is there a kind of stuff
that doesn’t wear out, doesn’t need to be replaced, and is not affected by death?

I’m glad there is an answer. It’s found not in us but in the God-man, Jesus Christ, whose birth we just celebrated. He came and won for us His forgiveness and eternal life through His death and bodily resurrection for us. That’s why He said that whoever believes in Him would not perish but have eternal life.

Many scoff at such a reality, but such denial doesn’t destroy the reality that
anyone who accepts Christ as one’s personal Savior possesses His kind of life,
eternal life (John 3:16). The person who makes that decision to follow Christ has eternity living in his or her life, having God’s help, stability, peace, and encouragement now, with the promise of being with God forever after this life.

It’s not time or eternity. Rather, it’s having eternity in your life now, so you can
live in time with eternal purpose and hope every day of the New Year!

Celebrate The Grand Miracle!!

December 13, 2016

By Paul Bawden

Christmas is always an exciting time, especially for the children, yes, it’s a time of great anticipation.

I remember that my sister and I could hardly wait for Christmas morning to come to find out the presents we received for Christmas.

Even if one doesn’t celebrate Christmas, or believe in the reality of Christmas, there is something about “the spirit of Christmas” – the giving and receiving of gifts, gathering with family, and reaching out to help the less fortunate.

But is Christmas fact or fiction? Actually, there can only be two responses – either Christmas is a reality or it isn’t a reality.

C. S. Lewis, prolific Irish writer and scholar, once an atheist, embraced the living Christ as his Savior. He called Christmas the “Grand Miracle.” Obviously, he accepted the historical reality of Christmas. Why did Lewis call Christmas the “ Grand Miracle?” He called Christmas the “Grand Miracle” because Christmas is the incarnation, the uniting of Deity and sinless humanity in one person – the God-man – the Lord Jesus Christ.

To our human reason such seems impossible in our high-tech scientific world. Of course, that doesn’t mean the incarnation didn’t happen. In fact, if the incarnation never happened, there would be no solution to sin, guilt, selfishness, and death in our world.

The truth is, as the trustworthy writers of Sacred Writ testify, through Christ’s death on the cross, His burial, and open tomb, He paid our penalty for the breaking of God’s law, which is death, and conquered the grave bodily, winning His eternal life and forgiveness for each of us, which life includes selflessness, eternal meaning and purpose for living now, and the guarantee of being in God’s presence after this life.

So the choice is ours. We can believe that Christ died in our place and conquered the grave bodily to provide us His forgiveness and eternal life, or we can reject who He is and what He has done for us. As the poet Goethe said, “Choose well. Your choice is brief yet endless.”

And the one who, by faith, believes in Christ, has the “Grand Miracle” take place in his or her life. What do I mean by that? The believer in Christ has His Spirit live in one’s life spiritually (Colossians 1:27), so that now the believer can display on a daily basis the very life of Christ in His power.

It’s been put this way that the biblical God is still walking in men, and wherever He walks He acts like Himself. . . . and in so doing Christ will act the same way as He did in Galilee and Judea. His disposition will be the same – holy, righteous, compassionate, meek and humble. He will be the same in the believer – friendly, kind, loving, prayerful, worshipful, sacrificial as He walks (lives) in the believer.” Have a wonderful Christmas celebrating and living the Grand Miracle!!

One Day A Week God??

November 27, 2016

By Paul Bawden

I’m sure you have noticed that there are those who like to keep the biblical God out of the public arena, out of our schools, out of the work place, and out of our government.

It is well to keep in mind that since the biblical God (Psalm 139) is able to be present everywhere at the same time, it is impossible to keep HIM from being anywhere.

This means that the biblical God’s presence is always there regardless of what is happening in our lives. Even the promoters of the separation of church and state cannot stop the biblical God from being present in the church or the state.

In fact, those, who push the separation of church and state in the United States, use what is called the Jeffersonian “wall of separation between church and state.” The problem with this is that the United States Constitution says nothing about the separation of church and state. The first amendment of the Constitution is clear that Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, meaning that there is to be freedom of religion not freedom from religion. The Framers did not want any one religion to become the state’s official religion to the detriment of others. Jefferson’s desire was to protect religious liberty from an over reaching government. Jefferson, and the other framers of the Constitution, did not want to restrict religious conscience and activity.

Furthermore, if a person takes time to review all 50 State Constitutions, one will discover the acknowledgment of God or Divine guidance in all of the Constitutions. Those having influenced some federal courts to act to take God out of the United States society in different ways and places are faced with the prospect of being wrong. It’s no wonder that William Penn has said, “Those people who will not be governed by God will be ruled by tyrants.”

The reality that the biblical God is everywhere means that He is more than a one day a week God, depending on the day one meets to worship. Regardless, He cannot be kept boxed up in a place of worship for one day a week.

We need to acknowledge that the biblical God is always present at all times. Our
challenge is that we want to be our own god. We think we can run our lives solely by our reason. Could this be why the United States has so many problems? But even more than that, we need to let His presence be part of our personal lives, for without Him in our personal lives we have no lasting purpose in this life and no hope beyond the grave.

How does that happen? Only one way that I know. By acknowledging that only Christ has paid our penalty for our breaking God’s law through His death, burial, and bodily resurrection. Through faith in Christ, He comes to live spiritually in the believer (Colossians 1:27). By relying on His indwelling power, the believer can now love like He does, unconditionally, selflessly, offering forgiveness as needed. Then it will be evident through the believer that God is present in his or her life every day of the week!