Men’s Retreat 2018

Life in our busy and distracted world often tempts us to get stuck in the “thick of thin things.” Too easily we get sidetracked from pursuing what matters most. As men we must consider carefully the Apostle Paul’s exhortation:

  • “I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” (Ephesians 4:1–3, ESV)

The men of GBC are invited to gather together Friday – Saturday, March 23-24 for a men’s retreat where we will give focused attention to these life-giving words.

We will camp out at the Allen property in Zephyrhills. If you don’t have camping gear don’t let that keep you away. We can work together to arrange enough tent space for you.  Bring a hunger for good food, Christian fellowship, and God’s Word. Fathers are encouraged to bring their sons who have entered into young manhood.

Please pray for our time together. Ask God for it to be a great time for “iron to sharpen iron” (Prov 27:17)




Friday (3/24)

  • Arrive – 5:30 pm
  • Dinner – 6 pm – 7 pm
  • Music – 7 pm – 7:15 pm
  • Bible Study #1 (Eph. 4:1-6)- 7:15 pm – 7:45 pm
  • Music – 7:45 pm – 8 pm
  • Bible Study #2 (Eph. 4:7-10)- 8 pm – 8:15 pm
  • Prayer – 8:15 pm – 8:30 pm
  • Open fellowship/games – 8:30 pm –

Saturday 3/25

  • Breakfast – 8 am – 9 am
  • Music – 9:15 am – 9:30 am
  • Bible Study #3 (Eph. 4:11-14) – 9:30 am – 10 am
  • Music – 10 am – 10:30 am
  • Bible Study #4 (Eph. 4:15-16) – 10:30 am – 10:45 am
  • Prayer – 10:45 am – 11:00 am
  • Lunch – 11:30 am – 12 pm
  • Open fellowship/games – 12 pm – 2 pm
  • Breakdown

Men’s Retreat March 17-18, 2017

Life in our busy and distracted world often tempts us to get stuck in the “thick of thin things.”  Too easily we get sidetracked from pursuing what matters most.  As men we must consider carefully the Apostle Peter’s instructions:

“For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 1:5-8)

The men of GBC are invited to gather together Friday – Saturday, March 17-18 for a men’s retreat where we will give focused attention to these life-giving words.

We will camp out at the Allen property in Zephyrhills. If you don’t have  camping gear don’t let that keep you away. We have enough tent space for you.  Bring a hunger for good food, Christian fellowship, and God’s Word. Fathers are encouraged to bring their sons who have entered into young manhood. Invite your friends as all are welcome!

Please pray for our time together.  Ask God for it to be a great time for “iron to sharpen iron” (Prov 27:17).

2017 Men’s Bible Study: Ephesians

“Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong” (1 Corinthians 16:13).

In a world full of absent fathers and endless adolescence we need men who are spiritually strong and who will stand firm in the faith.  The book of Ephesians provides astonishing treasures about God’s redemptive work in Christ so that we can become godly men who serve our families and communities to the glory of God.

This year, will you join with the men of Grace Baptist Church to pursue the life-giving truth from the book of Ephesians?

Beginning in March, the men will meet the first Saturday of each month from 9am-11am to study and discuss a section of Ephesians.  The first meeting will be Saturday, March 4 (location TBD).

To prepare, begin reading Paul’s letter to the Ephesians.  Schedule a time to read the entire letter aloud in one sitting (~20 minutes).  Perhaps you can do this with a brother in Christ and invite a friend to join you. All men are welcome.  Who might you invite to join us?

Of course, we must pray.  On our own, we are not able to make ourselves into men who are spiritually strong and who stand firm in the faith.  This is something God must do. Pray!

We would love you to join us for a year entrenched in the riches of Ephesians!

What is the Atonement?


The atonement is the work of Jesus through his perfect life and substitutionary death where he earned salvation for all who will believe in him.  Jesus’ atoning work expresses in perfect harmony the love of God (John 3:16) and the justice of God (Romans 3:25-26).

Atonement: God’s Love and Justice

Whenever you start talking about the atonement the conversation can quickly fall into debate over matters such as “extent.”  While that is a worthy subject to consider it serves us better at this moment to focus on the grand fact that atonement exists.  Atonement didn’t need to exists.  God didn’t need to atone for anyone’s sins.  It wasn’t required that God provide payment for sin and satisfaction for wrath from human sin.  The atonement exists because God’s love and justice exist and he chose to act on that love and justice. Jesus, as the God-man, is the only one who could suffer and die for our sins.

Real Righteousness:

Another sometimes overlooked facet of the atonement is what some call the “active” obedience of Christ.  This refers to Jesus’ perfect life.  The “righteousness” that comes through faith in Christ is a real righteousness (Philippians 3: 9).  It is the perfect and sinless righteous life of Jesus.  Therefore, all who are in Christ share in Christ’s righteousness (1 Corinthians 1:30).

Jesus Bore Our Sins:

An aspect of the atonement that defies my attempts to fully grasp and understand is the non-physical suffering Jesus endured when he became the payment for sin.  I’m not sure what it fully means that Jesus took upon himself the wrath of God for the full payment of sin.  We do get a picture of God’s wrath for sin when we read about eternal punishment in the Lake of Fire.  If those accounts are descriptive of God’s wrath for sin, and Jesus took that wrath for me, I have much for which to be thankful to God in Christ!

What About You?

Perhaps the best question to ask after reading about the atonement is, “Has Christ atoned for your sin?”  The atonement is a grand doctrine but only for those have been delivered from God’s wrath by grace through faith in Jesus.  If you have not found deliverance from your sin in the atoning work of Jesus, repent and believe in him today and be saved!

Let’s Chat:

Our first Men’s Fellowship will occur this Saturday, November 8 at Panera Bread at Wiregrass from 9am-11am.  I hope you can join us.  If you plan on attending leave a comment below so we can be sure to have enough seating. If you haven’t been able to keep up with reading the book don’t let that keep you away.  Men, I hope you are able to join us as we seek to encourage each other’s faith by talking about God’s great character.

Who Is Jesus?


The humanity and deity of Jesus must be equally understood without causing one aspect (deity or humanity) to infringe the other.  Grudem states, “Jesus Christ was, and forever will be, fully God and fully man in one person. And that one person changed the course of history forever.”  Heresy crops up whenever we allow our understanding of one aspect of Jesus to diminish another.  Truly Jesus is a man like none other and he did change the course of history forever.  How?

Jesus – a man like none other

To call his birth ordinary may seem unfair since he was conceived by the Spirit and so much is made of the manger and stable where he was born.  Nevertheless, Jesus was born like every other person.  He grew in the womb and his mother gave birth to him in that stable-delivery room.

That he grew physically is more easily grasped than his mental growth. We expect he must grow since we has born a baby.  But don’t we often think that baby had the omniscient mind of God?  The Scriptures teach he had to learn to walk and feed himself.  Someone taught him reading, writing, and arithmetic.  He increased in wisdom (Luke 2:52).  Think about that – the God-man grew in wisdom!  This is why, “In his human nature he did not know the day he would return to earth, ‘But concerning that day or that hour, no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father’ (Mark 13:32).”  Perhaps the best way to grasp Jesus’ humanity is to remember that he was like you in every respect as a human except he had no sin nature.

Jesus – a God man

Jesus’ true and full humanity did not make him a lesser God.  Jesus was conceived in Mary by the agency of the Spirit of God.  Therefore, he had a human nature and divine nature – no sin nature.  Colossians 2:9 declares him to be fully God.  This is essential because if he was not fully God he could not have fully taken the payment for sin.  That Jesus is God is seen in his authority, power over creation, power over spirit beings (demons), power over death, power over disease, and knowledge of men’s thoughts.

What do you think?

How does Jesus being fully God encourage you?  In what ways are you encouraged by Jesus’ full humanity?  What would cease to be true for you spiritually if either of these aspects were not true?

What is Sin?



What is your greatest regret?  Why do you regret it so much?  Sin is most likely at the center of that regret, regardless if it is your own sin or your experience of regret as a consequence of someone else’s sin.  Grudem is right, “Sin disrupts everything.”

Everyone is a sinner.

The Scriptures clearly present man’s entire being is affected by sin. No person is exempt from sin (Psalm 14:3).  Everyone is guilty of sin (Romans 3:23).  Anyone who says otherwise is a self-deceived liar (1 John 1:8).  Grudem defines sin as “any failure to conform to the moral law of God in act, attitude, or nature.”  This means we are skilled at sinning.  We have the disability to sin not only in action, but also in attitude.   Read more

What is Man?


Our Men’s theology study continues with chapter 7 in Grudem’s “Christian Beliefs.”  That man is created in the image of God for the glory of God are the two main ideas in this theological examination.  Both ideas are profound.  Both ideas could separately fill books.  For the purpose of our study we will briefly interact with the idea of mankind being created for God’s glory.

Man is created for God’s glory:

What does it mean that man is created for God’s glory?  We know it doesn’t mean Read more

What are Angels, Satan, and Demons?

angels and demons_wide_t

In chapter 6 of “Christian Beliefs” we read about the spirit beings of God’s creation: angels, demons, and Satan.  Angels and demons are the same kind of being differentiated by whom they serve.  Angels serve God; demons serve Satan.  Whatever sensational images or ideas may swarm in your mind when you think about spirit beings it is most helpful to restrict our understanding to what the Scriptures clearly teach.  We will be best served by avoiding speculation.  Spirit beings do fascinate.  Yet that fascination should not supplant our adoration and fascination with God.  God alone is the one we should worship (Revelation 19:10).

Angels and Demons: Spirit Beings

Because angels and demons are spiritual beings they do not have physical bodies.  This does not mean Read more

What is Prayer?

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There was a single desire in me after reading through chapter 5 in “Christian Beliefs.”  That desire was, Pray!  Yet as fast as that desire rises up it becomes buried under the myriad of other responsibilities and actions required of us each day. The problem isn’t the other priorities.  The problem is permitting lesser priorities to take the place of the much greater priority of praying.  This chapter helped stir me toward the faith-filled action of praying.

Prayer and Dependence:

If prayer is a measure of dependence on God then you can measure your dependence on God by evaluating your praying.  If you pray little it is safe to say you depend little.  As much as we wish this weren’t true there seems to be no biblical way around this conclusion.  Rather than letting this discovery burden you with guilt let Read more

What is Creation? – Men’s T2 Book Study

in the beginning_wide_t_nv

That God created the universe and from him he gave life to man offers the Christian a juxtaposition of the enormity of creation and the intimacy of creation.  Creation is enormous.  God made everything.  Creation is intimate.  God made man.

Creation and Science:

In regards to the various theories of creation the Christian must not accept scientific theory over and above what the Scriptures state.  Grudem helpfully asserts, “Scientific theories that do not see God as the Creator fail to give us the dignity that is given by the biblical account.”  That dignity also compels us to treat our fellow man with respect.  All people are image bearers of God.  Because people have not always rightly interpreted the Scriptures we are therefore encouraged to… Read more