Gehazi’s Leprosy – 2 Kings 5:20-27

Here is a sermon I preached at Bethel Grace Baptist Church. It covers three main points. 1. The danger and lure of sin, 2. The consequences of sin, and 3. The grace of God for the child of God even in the consequences of sin. The mp3 of this sermon can be downloaded here.

God Bless,


Application Without Exegesis: A Destructive Trend

Exegesis is foundational to understand scripture’s application to our lives. The problem is that many in the church want to hear the application without doing the work of the exegete. In many cases this has also been translated into the way many preachers preach. In order to keep congregants happy, they are given large amounts of life application with little if any scriptural content. This puts both the preacher and the congregant in a dangerous position, because now neither the preacher nor the churchgoer is tethered to the text. Two major problems can arise in the life of the church member because of this. First, even if the application of scripture is correct, when it is challenged by those who disagree, the church member is left defenseless when it comes to defending this truth biblically. And second, if the application is not truly derived from scripture, then the church member has been sold some kind self-help scheme as if were a “biblical principle.” And when this self help scheme eventually lets them down, not only will they be disappointed in the church, but they may even start to believe scripture is no longer trustworthy. This is indeed a destructive trend.

-Doug Eaton-

10 Ways Daily Bible Reading Will Enhance Corporate Worship

1. When a scripture is read you will already have some idea of the context of the passage and be able to draw more from it.

2. As you sing songs in worship you will recognize many of the passages of scriptures alluded to in the music, which will enrich the truths they are communicating.

3. You will better understand the significance of the ordinances like baptism and the Lord’s Supper, which will make you be able to see more of the imagery of the law and gospel in them.

4. As you study the text while it is being preached, you will be able to relate it to other passages of scripture not included in the sermon.

5. During discussion times you will better be able to contribute to discussions and edify others.

6. You will have a greater hunger for the word because you have been feeding on it and finding satisfaction in it. This hunger takes away much of the dryness that some people experience when attending church and makes it a pleasure to be in the house of the Lord.

7. In times of fellowship you will be able to apply the scripture to people’s lives as they talk about their daily joys and struggles.

8. It will reveal your sinfulness and give you strength as you fight against the indwelling sin in your own life, and make you better able to strengthen others. And better understanding this struggle produces contrition and begins to eliminate the pride which causes unneeded divisions in many churches.

9. As you desire success for your church, you will better understand what true church success is, and it will keep you trusting in the Lord who gives the increase instead of trusting in worldly tactics as you seek growth.

10. Since the Word moves us to prayer, you will be more prayerful as you spend time in the Lord’s house which is called a house of prayer.

This list is designed to let people know a few of the ways daily bible reading will enhance the corporate worship in bible teaching churches. If you attend a church where the bible is neglected and pop psychology is the main course, attending those types of churches while engaged in daily bible reading will only frustrate you. This is because you will find that motivational “preaching” neglects the main themes that run throughout scripture and replaces theology with therapy and replaces redemption with a self-help regimen. Of course even that frustration is a good thing.

-Doug Eaton-

When Loss is Gain

I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ.   Phil. 3:8

Our hearts are easily lured away by the fleeting shadows of this world, and these shadows have a way of slowly enticing our hearts in ways that are so subtle that we are often unaware of how tightly they have begun to grip us.  Unaware that is, until we find ourselves reeling emotionally from being pulled in two opposite directions.  If we follow the ways of Christ, our hearts break in longing for that which we will have to deny, and if we give ourselves to whatever it is that has our hearts inordinately bound, we know that we will find ourselves disappointed in the long run, even though it seems like it is the very thing we need to give us the peace that seems to be eluding us.

We know in these moments that it truly is impossible to serve two masters, for we will end up despising one of them.   If we were left to ourselves, we would run headlong into sin, but praise God, our savior has ways of showing us our folly.  The things that have held us captive and entranced are often exposed, by some providential means, to be things to which we must bid farewell.  

How does the Lord do this?  Often it is through trials, for when we are tried, we are reminded that this world is not our home, and no matter what it was that we were pursuing, we begin to realize that next to the excellency of knowing Christ, all other things will let us down.  For if we are pursuing youth and beauty, he can remind us of our own frailty through illness and make us to be cognizant of our own end.  If we are pursuing wealth and affluence, even if he allows us to attain it, he can cause us to experience great emptiness in the midst of it all through a time of spiritual depression.  If you have made an idol out of some relationship, he has ways to show you how easily it is to be let down by those we trust or how easy it is to let someone down ourselves.

After the Lord has broken our hearts by showing us the futility of making anything of this world our ultimate treasure, he then reveals to us in even greater ways the unfailing treasure of knowing Him. For anything we may pursue in this life apart from Christ, only leads us to greater condemnation.   Our sin separated us from a Holy God, and no amount of youth and beauty, wealth and affluence, or any earthy relationships could have removed the penalty that we deserved.  But Christ, the Lord of Glory, stepped out of heaven into human flesh to save those who will have faith in him.  He was a man who had no form or comeliness (Isaiah 53:2), and any youth and beauty he did possess was marred beyond recognition as they crucified Him.  Being born in a stable he was not a man of affluence.  He had no place to call his home (Luke 9:58), and even the robe he did own was stripped from his back and gambled away by the roman soldiers.  Finally, he was denied by those closest to him; he was betrayed by Judas, disowned by Peter, and the rest of the disciples scattered as he was being tried and sacrificed for our salvation.   

If Christ denied himself all these things when it was necessary, how much more should we who follow him.  What good would it be if we had all these things, but did not have Christ?  For there was one aspect of suffering Christ bore in order that we would not have to.  While Jesus was suffering on the Cross, he was bearing something much more terrible than the loss of beauty, wealth, and friends.  He was bearing the very wrath of God the Father.  When Jesus told the people, “do not fear those who can destroy the body, but fear Him who can destroy both soul and body in hell,” he knew that he would be bearing that destruction in our place, and the blow would be given by his Father in Heaven.  As he cried, “my God, my God why have you forsaken me,” he was doing more than simply drawing a comparison to the suffering servant of psalm 22.  He was fulfilling its prophecy, and it pleased the Lord to bruise him (Isaiah 53:10).

Now why would Christ, who could have refused the suffering, choose to bear it, and why did the Father, who loved the son, choose to pour his wrath on his only son?  It was so that we could be reconciled to God, through the forgiveness of sins.  The punishment for our sins has been met in Christ, for He loves us with an everlasting love.  In Christ, though we may lose some of what this world calls pleasure, relationships, and maybe even our lives, we will gain all the blessings of God, including eternal life and a friend who sticks closer than a brother.  As we experience these losses, we must remember that those losses will be gain as we find our Savior.  There is no treasure that can compare to the greatness of knowing Christ. 

Doug Eaton

Suffering and Ministry: A Quote by Charles Spurgeon

This is a short quote by Charles Spurgeon to remind us that sometimes suffering is part of our ministry.

“One Sabbath morning, I preached from the text, `My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?’ and though I did not say so, yet I preached my own experience. I heard my own chains clank while I tried to preach to my fellow-prisoners in the dark; but I could not tell why I was brought into such an awful horror of darkness, for which I condemned myself. On the following Monday evening, a man came to see me who bore all the marks of despair upon his countenance. His hair seemed to stand up right, and his eyes were ready to start from their sockets. He said to me, after a little parleying, “I never before, in my life, heard any man speak who seemed to know my heart. Mine is a terrible case; but on Sunday morning you painted me to the life, and preached as if you had been inside my soul.” By God’s grace I saved that man from suicide, and led him into gospel light and liberty; but I know I could not have done it if I had not myself been confined in the dungeon in which he lay. I tell you the story, brethren, because you sometimes may not understand your own experience, and the perfect people may condemn you for having it; but what know they of God’s servants? You and I have to suffer much for the sake of the people of our charge….You may be in Egyptian darkness, and you may wonder why such a horror chills your marrow; but you may be altogether in the pursuit of your calling, and be led of the Spirit to a position of sympathy with desponding minds.”

-Charles Spurgeon-

Four Pitfalls for “Relevant” Pastors to Avoid

There are many pastors that seem to have lost their way a bit by following hard after some kind of “seeker” or “emergent” model. They have such a desire for growth and relevance that they have lost their relevance, which makes their growth questionable. With them in mind, here are four common pitfalls which must be avoided by pastors who desire real growth and relevance. In other words, these are things they should not do.

1. Think that church is about reaching the lost at the expense of feeding the sheep, because you have failed to realize that a church of mature Christians can accomplish more for Christ than one shepherd with malnourished sheep.

2. If you do decide to go deeper into the scriptures for those in your church who hunger for it, give them a class on a weeknight night, because you mistakenly believe that the Lord’s Day is not for the Lord’s people, and instead think it is for giving the unregenerate things that will keep them entertained.

3. In order to emphasize relationship and de-emphasize the commands of God, argue that sin is not breaking rule, it is betraying a relationship, because you failed to understand that you cannot betray a relationship unless there are rules to relationships. Then proceed to make up new principles on how relationships are betrayed that have nothing to do with the word of God.

4. Believe that the church needs to be more experiential and less doctrinal, and think that experience is found by manipulating the lighting, music, and dramatic pauses, because you have forgotten that the word of God can cut to the heart with surgical precision and can comfort its wounds like a soothing balm.

I am sure there are plenty more, but these four seem to plague many churches. My prayer is that all pastors and their churches will experience growth and be relevant, but we must remember that a packed house does not necessarily indicate spiritual health. All we have to do is look at many sporting events or concerts to realize the using natural things to appeal to the natural man can fill a house. The Gospel and the word of God are what are relevant to a sinful world, and to sheep who desire to grow. May we all “preach the word.”

God Bless,


How to Be Irrelevant

What do pulpits, a stool, community, relationships, and the Word of God  have to do with being relevant?