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Weekly sermons by Elder Michael Gowens and others from the pulpit of Bethel PBC, Calabash, NC.

Weekly sermons by Elder Michael Gowens and others from the pulpit of Bethel PBC, Calabash, NC.
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Weekly sermons by Elder Michael Gowens and others from the pulpit of Bethel PBC, Calabash, NC.




Communion With Christ

June 23, 2019 was Communion Sunday at Bethel PBC, and Pastor Gowens brought a truncated message conducive to the occasion from 1 Corinthians 10:16-17. In the sermon, Elder Gowens discusses the soul-cheering privilege of fellowship with the Lord himself via (1) Prayer, (2) Meditation on God's Word, (3) the Corporate Worship of the Church, and (4) the Observance of the Communion service. Communion with Christ in the communion ordinance is an unspeakably precious benefit afforded to those who...


Joseph's Blessing

Elder Michael Gowens' 6/16/19 sermon is taken from Genesis 49:22-26. Jacob's dying benediction concerning Joseph's character and influence serves as a fitting summary of his entire life. In the vivid imagery of these verses, the Holy Spirit sketches a tale of trial and triumph, of adversity and advancement. And in reviewing the life of the patriarch Joseph, we too may find encouragement in the reminder that the mighty God of Jacob who strengthened and elevated this man from his sore...


The Word Above All Earthly Powers

In the 6/9/19 message, Elder Michael Gowens considers the scene recorded in Revelation 10, in which a giant angel is depicted as holding in his hand a little book. From the details observed in this scene, Pastor Gowens proceeds to develop a bibliology, elaborating on the Authority, Preservation, Sufficiency, and Transparency of Scripture. Revelation 10 is an especially encouraging picture. It reminds us that nothing is more relevant and important in our day than the faithful and consistent...


An Arrow of Divine Justice

On Sunday, June 2, 2019, Elder Mike Gowens considers an intriguing text recorded in 1 Kings 22:34: "And a certain man drew a bow at a venture and smote the king of Israel between the joints of the harness." Gowens insists that this act that appeared on the surface to be purely random was, in fact, a providential expression of God's perfect justice. For people who frequently struggle with the apparent injustices and inequities of life in this world, the truth that God, in His time, will...


Christian, This is Your Life

Elder Mike Gowens' 5/26/19 sermon is taken from Ephesians 2:1-10, arguably the most comprehensive passage in the New Testament concerning the Doctrine of Regeneration. Gowens exposits this key passage by discussing (1) What We Were (vs 1-3), (2) What We Are (vs 4-6, 8-9), (3) What We Shall Be (v. 7), and (4) What We Ought to Be (v. 10). If a person once grasps the fact of native depravity and helplessness to remedy that tragic plight, he must necessarily agree with Paul that salvation is by...


Paul the Christian

What can a preacher do when he no longer has a platform for ministry? How may any believer find incentive to keep going when the circumstances of life are adverse? Paul's personal affirmation of the meaning of life in Philippians 1:21a captures the surprising answer to these questions in terms of the great privilege of pursuing life as a genuine and sincere Christian. Although Pastor Gowens' May 5, 2019 message on this text did not properly record, he spoke on the same theme two weeks later...


The Way of Peace

On 5/19/19, Lic. Andrew Herrin delivered the message in the pastor's absence. His message from Matthew 5:9 urges believers to pursue a lifestyle of peace and reconciliation in interpersonal relationships, taking their cue from the Lord Jesus Christ, the penultimate Peacemaker.


A Love Surpassing Motherhood

In this 5/12/19 sermon, Elder Michael Gowens looks at the compelling analogy in Isaiah 49:15-16 - a comparison between a mother's devotion to her infant child and the Lord's covenant commitment to His people. Though we can think of few bonds as strong in the realm of nature as that between a mother and her child, yet God's covenant love for His children is stronger still. That inviolable loyalty to the objects of His everlasting love is the basis of both their eternal security and temporal...


Making Sense of Suffering

In James 5:10-11, Job is given as an example of someone that persevered in suffering. But how, we wonder, did he keep going in the face of so many setbacks? In this 4/28/19 message, Elder Michael Gowens seeks to answer that question as he turns to the Old Testament book of Job to consider four great supports to faith in the midst of adversity. Job's case teaches us that we don't live by explanations. We live by faith.


The Significance of Jesus' Resurrection

In morning worship on 4/21/19, Elder Michael Gowens begins with the inspired, historical record of the resurrection of Jesus in Mark 16:1-14. He then proceeds to ask how the fact of the resurrection is relevant to believers today. Why is the resurrection of Jesus important? Brother Mike answers the question in three ways: (1) It is theologically significant; (2) It is pastorally significant; (3) It is eschatalogically significant. In other words, the relevance of the resurrection of Jesus...


Imitate Your Heavenly Father

Elder Mike Gowens turns to Ephesians 4:31 - 5:2 to encourage the cultivation of loving, interpersonal relationships in this 4/14/19 sermon. Who has not felt the sting of relational tension? Who has not frequently felt defeated as he/she fails to interact Christianly with other people in the home, the church, the work place and the community? No area of life has the capacity to produce greater happiness than healthy relationships with the people that God has placed in our lives. Equally true...


Remember Your Humble Beginnings

In this 4/7/19 sermon, Elder Mike Gowens looks at Isaiah 51:1-3 and the exhortation to God's people to reflect on their humble and inauspicious beginnings. Why is it important to frequently reflect on one's roots? What is the benefit of recalling one's personal history in weakness and helplessness and sin? The benefits of remembering where you came from and comparing it to the place God has brought you are two-fold: (1) It keeps one grounded in humility and gratitude; (2) It provides...


The Transfiguration of Jesus

In this 3/31/19 message, Elder Mike Gowens looks at the narrative in Matthew 17:1-9 to extract from it a Biblical Christology, or doctrine of the Person and Work of Christ, as well as a pastoral application concerning the bright future that awaits every heaven-born soul. Unlike Peter, James & John who witnessed this supernatural transformation of Jesus' appearance, we presently live by faith, not by sight. One day, however, we will see Him as He is, in all of his glory and splendor. Until...


The New Garden-City of God

In this 3/24/19 message, Elder Michael Gowens returns to Genesis 11 to complete the study on Genesis 1-11 by considering the contrast between the city of man in Genesis 11 and the hope for the city of God, the development of which theme begins in Genesis 12. This eschatological note of paradise restored is integral to the Biblical worldview, and is the basis of the believer's future hope even though the present order of things is in such confusion and disarray. This final "big idea" - the...


The City of Man

On Sunday, March 17, 2019, Elder Mike Gowens continued his studies in the first eleven chapters of Genesis by considering the narrative of Babylon and the building of its great tower, recorded in Genesis 11:1-9. This scene demonstrates the negative effect sin exercises on civilization and society. Since the Fall (recorded in Gen. 3), every part of God's world has been corrupted, even culture. Fallen man wants nothing more than to be left alone--to live his life and pursue his plans apart...


A Tale of Two Adams

The 3/10/19 sermon by Michael Gowens draws from the narrative of Genesis 3:1-15 concerning the Fall of man into sin. This chapter is really the thesis statement of the entire Bible. Apart from an understanding of Genesis 3, it is impossible to make sense of why the world is in its present condition of conflict and tension, and to answer the question of why suffering and pain is so prevalent in human history. Genesis 3, consequently, is basic and fundamental to a theistic, or Biblical,...


Created With Purpose

In this 3/3/19 sermon, Michael Gowens continues the survey of Genesis 1-11 by considering the creation narrative in Genesis 1 and 2 from the philosophical perspective of meaning and purpose. Gowens argues that the fact of creation presupposes that life is purposeful, then proceeds to insist that the intricate design in the universe - both on a macro and a micro scale - reinforces the idea of purpose. Finally, he focuses on the creation of man and explains the four-fold purpose of human...


True Faith is Personal

Elder Mike Gowens begins his 2/24/19 message by looking at Matthew 16:13-15 and drawing from this passage an important biblical principle, namely, true faith is a personal matter. Until a person overcomes the temptation to fit in with the crowd, follow opinion polls and to court the approval of the world, he will never be an authentic disciple of Jesus Christ. The question that ultimately matters is not "what do people think?" but "what do I believe?"


Toward a Biblical Worldview

On 2/17/19, Elder Michael Gowens continues the study he began last week, returning to Genesis 1-11 to glean from these important chapters the basic emphases intrinsic to a Biblical Worldview. In this message, he deals primarily with theology proper, the queen of the sciences and the foundation for everything else. Because our world refuses to begin at the beginning, nothing else makes sense. But when a person begins with God, everything else around him begins to make sense. Do you possess a...


All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Genesis

In this 2/10/19 sermon, Mike Gowens considers the first chapter of Genesis as the foundation of social order. Relativism, the idea that there is no concrete foundation for either truth or ethics but that personal preference and the situation governs thought and behavior, is wreaking havoc on our world. Pastor Gowens takes on the godless philosophy of relativism by arguing for the premise that because God exists as Creator of all, philosophical and moral absolutes also exist. Reality demands...