1. Because It Is Finished…

    March 24, 2016 by Paul Chappell


    Can there be any more startling—or liberating—words in the entire chronicle of human history than those spoken by Christ on the cross just before He died?

    When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.—John 19:30

    It is finished.

    Paid in full.

    What does it mean? More than we can comprehend, let alone write. But this much we can say.

    Because it is finished… (more…)

  2. How a Christian Should Celebrate Easter

    April 3, 2015 by Paul Chappell


    If there is anyone in the world who has reason to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ, it is a born again Christian.

    Although we actually commemorate the Resurrection as we worship as a local church body every Sunday, I appreciate a day—and a week preceding—to give this crowning truth of the Christian life extra emphasis.

    So how should we celebrate?

    1. Meditate on Christ’s sufferings.

    Before Christ rose from the dead, He allowed Himself to experience brutal injustice, horrific pain, and indescribable sorrow. And He did it all for our salvation.

    Meditate on the love of God expressed in this suffering. Read Isaiah 53, Matthew 26–27, Mark 14–15, Luke 22–23, and/or John 13–15.

    There is no way to properly celebrate the joys of the Resurrection without attaching them to the sacrifice of Christ on our behalf. (more…)

  3. Continuing the Celebration: Living in Light of the Resurrection

    April 21, 2014 by Paul Chappell


    This last weekend at Lancaster Baptist Church was full of joy as we celebrated the resurrection of Jesus. Hundreds of volunteers invested thousands of hours in preparation for the Jesus Saves presentation. The Lord blessed as I preached a gospel message, and many people trusted Christ as their Savior. It was thrilling to be part of, and we look forward to following up with these new Christians this week.

    Today, however, is not Easter. In fact, it is a very ordinary day—full of the usual duties of any other weekday, faced with the added fatigue of a full weekend.

    Yet, Christ is as risen today as He was on Sunday! Should not the resurrection influence today with as much power as it did yesterday?

    What does the resurrection of Christ mean for us on a non-Easter day? How should we live every day of the week?

    In my recent devotions, three truths stood out to me concerning how those who know Christ as their risen Saviour should live—every day of the week. Each of these Old Testament commands are amplified through New Testament promises—promises of which we are assured because we serve a risen Saviour!

    How should we live every day of the week in light of the resurrection of Christ? (more…)

  4. Because Jesus Saves…

    April 19, 2014 by Paul Chappell

    (If you cannot see this video in your RSS reader or email, you can watch it here.)

    Every person you talk to today is a person for whom Christ died…and rose…and offers salvation.

    And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.—1 John 2:2

    And He has given you and me the incredible privilege—and responsibility—to share the gospel with them.

    Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.—2 Corinthians 5:20

    Jesus saves! And because He does, we want to tell everyone the good news.

    There’s no better time than Easter to share the gospel with your friends, family, neighbors, and coworkers. Many people who don’t ordinarily go to church will even be willing to go with you on Easter Sunday.

    Over the past ten days, our church family has delivered tens of thousands of invitations for Easter at Lancaster Baptist Church to homes in our community.

    Our church choir and media team have been working for weeks on an original Easter production simply titled “Jesus Saves.” We will present this in three services this weekend, and during each service, I will preach a gospel message on the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. (more…)

  5. What the Passion of Christ Teaches Us about Trials, part 2

    April 17, 2014 by Paul Chappell


    In the previous post we saw that while the empty tomb is a powerful reminder of the hope we have in Christ’s victory, the cross shows us how to bear difficulties until victory comes.

    Specifically, we saw from Christ’s suffering, five truths to remember in times of difficulty.

    1. Remember God is in control.
    2. Remember others are learning from you.
    3. Remember to examine your heart.
    4. Remember to pray.
    5. Remember to surrender to God’s plan.

    We’ll finish this post with five more instructions gleaned from the example of Jesus:

    6. Don’t let the action or inaction of others cause you to quit.

    From the inaction of the disciples (sleeping when they should have been supporting Him in prayer) to the wrong action of Judas (outright selling Christ for personal gain), Jesus was abandoned and betrayed.

    And said unto them, Why sleep ye? rise and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. And while he yet spake, behold a multitude, and he that was called Judas, one of the twelve, went before them, and drew near unto Jesus to kiss him.—Luke 22:46–47

    Sometimes during trials, we become frustrated by either or both of these responses of others. We dwell on the inactivity of some: “No one cares about me.” “No one tried to help me.” And we dwell on the wrong actions (or perceived wrong actions) of others: “Everyone is talking about me.”

    Yet, in spite of both inaction and wrong action from His disciples, Jesus went on. He hurt, yes. But He continued toward Calvary. (more…)