Author: Michael Riley

The Faith of a Child

Many Christians know that Jesus said that we should have the faith of a child. But what does Jesus mean by this comparison? Some have taken Jesus to be advocating simplicity in faith. According to them, we shouldn’t think too much about Christianity. Deep theology is a liability to true faith. But that is certainly […]

Built Up in Love

Paul’s letters share a common format. Most often, he begins with theology. Sometimes his theology is complex and profound, other times direct and simple. In either case, Paul is concerned that we begin with truth. Only after laying a foundation of truth does Paul begin to tell us what to do with truth. The letter […]

Millie

CeCelia Miljevich entered her heavenly rest on Monday, November 20, after 93 years of life. She was the last remaining charter member of Calvary Baptist Church—over 60 years of membership in our church! I had the honor of being Millie’s pastor for only a very short time. I’ve been the pastor at our church for […]

The Folly of Christ

“Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?” This is Paul’s question in 1 Corinthians 1:20. In the surrounding verses, Paul highlights a truth that runs all throughout Scripture. There are two kinds of wisdom: God’s wisdom and the wisdom of this world. And they are incompatible with each other. In either kind […]

Gambling and My Neighbor

Certainly, not every branch of Christianity takes a dim view of gambling, but some have. I belong to a segment of Christendom that has historically opposed gambling. Here, I simply want to offer a brief case, from a Christian perspective, against gambling. My hope is that professing believers will give this argument a fair hearing. […]

Loving Our Enemies

Love is the distinctively Christian virtue. Such an assertion requires explanation, for we live in days in which love is universally lauded. Indeed, the greatest black mark on person’s character today is to be, in the vernacular, a hater. So to say that love, genuine love, belongs exclusively to Christians is an audacious claim. In […]

Jesus Is Lord

As our church has been studying the early chapters of Acts, I’ve been struck with the content of the sermons recorded there. Both Acts 2 and 3 are dominated by sermons of the Apostle Peter. I’m fascinated by what Peter says—and what he doesn’t. Let’s set a bit of context. Jesus had been crucified, raised, […]

Being a Disciple of Jesus

The final words of Jesus before his Ascension give the Christian church its marching orders: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with […]

Taking the Lord’s Name in Vain

What does it mean to take the Lord’s name in vain? In common understanding, the Commandment forbids using the word God as a profanity. And ultimately, this ends up being a legitimate concern, although I have come to believe that it misses the central point of the prohibition. The challenge we have here is that […]

Jesus and the Ten Commandments

All of us are familiar with the Ten Commandments: no other gods, do not murder, etc. But what I want us to consider here is how Jesus read the Commandments. Matthew 5–7 records Jesus’s “Sermon on the Mount.” A significant portion of that sermon (5:17–48) gives us Jesus’s view of the Law. Jesus begins by […]