Written by Jeremy Pate on . Posted in Youth Minister

Facebook. Twitter. Instagram. YouTube. Online blogs. 24-hour news. Cable television. The internet.

Would it be safe to say that the 1st century church lived in a simpler culture?

Would it also be fair to assume that our constant access to unlimited information has been a bit of a “game changer?” I think that we would all agree that there are both positive and negative elements to this glut of information that we are constantly exposed to.

You Have Not Passed This Way Before

Written by Scott Harp on . Posted in Minister Articles

As the Israelites were about to enter the promise land, Joshua rose up “and commanded the people, ‘As soon as you see the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God being carried by the Levitical priests, then you shall set out from your place and follow it. Yet there shall be a distance between you and it, about 2,000 cubits in length. Do not come near it, in order that you may know the way you shall go, for you have not passed this way before.’”(Joshua 3:3–4 ESV)

Watch as a little girl sits in her chair on the first day of the 1st grade. See the man with no cooking skills in the kitchen with the idea that he is going to make an apple pie. Then, there is the woman who has raised her children as a stay-at-home mom as she walks into her new job in the work force. Or, the young couple, unable to have a baby of their own, waiting, as just the other side of the door is the infant they will take home and raise as their own. Uncharted territory!

Seeing God

Written by Scott Harp on . Posted in Pulpit Minster

What does God look like? Imagine being able to look into the eyes of the Most High God! A number of years ago while working as a missionary in New Zealand, the little church our family was working with were meeting in a school hall. I received a call one Friday from the school saying that over the weekend the floors in the hall were going to be redone. We were told we could use the hall, but everyone had to take their shoes off if they had hard soles; otherwise, they could keep them on when we gathered Sunday morning. So, I reached out to all the members and made them aware of the plan. It just so happened that I had a pair of dress shoes that were soft soled, and I wore them that morning. As I was standing near the door to remind those who may have forgotten, one family arrived and began removing their shoes at the door. The mother told her little five-year-old boy to take his shoes off, but he did not want to do it. A quarrel between them ensued. It was then I heard the boy make what he thought was the perfect argument. He looked at me, pointed to my shoes and said, “Well, god doesn’t have to take his shoes off!” Hmmm!


Written by Jeremy Pate on . Posted in Youth Minister

We have seen very clearly so far that, although our approach towards our salvation should be taken quite seriously, our works do not put God in a position of “owing” us anything whatsoever. We are saved “by grace…through faith…not as a result of works.” (Eph. 2:8-9) This teaching is made crystal clear in a number of other passages, to the point that the “works-based” concept of salvation is seen to be absolutely indefensible and unbiblical.


Written by Jeremy Pate on . Posted in Youth Minister

In Paul’s letter to the Philippian saints, he says to them in 2:12:

“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.”

Thanks a lot, Paul. Everything seemed pretty simple until we got to this verse!


Written by Jeremy Pate on . Posted in Youth Minister

Last week, we began a study on our “works” and their relationship to our salvation/justification. This week, let’s continue this study and see what else we learn.

According to multiple passages in the New Testament, God has made one thing crystal clear: WE ARE NOT SAVED BY OUR WORKS (Eph. 2:8-9; 2 Tim. 1:9; Tit. 3:5). The Bible teaches that there is absolutely nothing that you and I can do to earn, merit, work towards, or deserve the salvation that God has offered. In fact, it is described as a “gift” 8 times in Paul’s letter to the Romans (4 of those instances describe it as a “free gift”)! In Paul’s words (inspired by the Holy Spirit), he explains, “Now to the one who works, his wages are not counted as a gift but as his due” (Rom. 4:4). Let’s break this down, by way of “nailing down” this concept:

What Does The Lord Require Of You?

Written by Scott Harp on . Posted in Pulpit Minster

         What does entering the military, getting a loan, becoming an American president, going to school, buying new clothes, graduating from high school, flying to Argentina, checking out a book at the library, getting a prescription filled at the pharmacy, enjoying a clean house, grocery shopping, and becoming a Christian have in common with one another? Yes, they are all things people do; but even more, they represent things that in order to be experienced must meet certain requirements. The fact is, everything we do in life requires something. Even moving a muscle requires that the brain engages the muscle to move. And, even the brain requires certain things to function. Life and everything in it is filled with requirements.   

Gospel Meetings From My Memories

Written by Scott Harp on . Posted in Minister Articles

            My perspective of gospel meetings in past days comes from various different perspectives. Being that I was a preacher’s kid, gospel meetings were as much a part of life as anything else we did as a family. From my earliest days, I can recall hearing men like Gus Nichols, Guy N. Woods, Alan Bryan, B.C. Goodpasture, Jack Exum, Flavil Nichols, Franklin Camp, Bob Hare, Wendell Winkler, my dad Richard T. Harp, and so many more. One time I went to a meeting where there were two preachers, one was a white preacher by the name of V.P. Black, and the other was a black preacher by the name of I.V. White.



Written by Jeremy Pate on . Posted in Youth Minister

I recently did a word study on the word “works,” as it appears in the ESV translation of the New Testament. The word appears over 100 times in a variety of contexts, but for the purposes of my study, I was looking to learn some specific things:

1.What is a “work?”

2.What is the relationship between my “works” and my salvation?

3. Is there any way in which the “works” that I do for God are contributing factors to being justified/made righteous in His sight?

What I found was enlightening.

5 Minute Devotional?

Written by Jeremy Pate on . Posted in Youth Minister

This past Wednesday night, I was asked to speak as part of the Summer Series at the Piedmont Road church of Christ. In addition to the 40-minute lesson/class that I was asked to teach, I was also asked to present a “5-minute devotional” before Bible classes began. I’ve done dozens of these in the past, and so I fully understood the concept, but then I began to think about it more…

Have you ever heard of a “1-month contract” from a phone/internet company?

What about a “2-day diet” or a “30-second workout?”

This is when I began to really think about the concept of a “5-minute devotional.” Isn’t this an odd title? Isn’t it strange that a word like “devotional,” which comes from the word “devoted,” which typically is associated with longer periods of time, has come to describe 5-15 minutes of our time?