Bethel Pulpit - Primitive Baptist Sermons

By Michael L Gowens

Listen to a podcast, please open Podcast Republic app. Available on Google Play Store.

Category: Christianity

Open in Apple Podcasts

Open RSS feed

Open Website

Rate for this podcast

Subscribers: 10
Reviews: 0


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

Episode Date
Noah: A Father’s Faith for the End Times

This Father's Day (6/19/22) sermon by Michael Gowens looks at Noah as an exemplary father. "By faith," Hebrews 11:7 says, Noah "prepared an ark to the saving of his house [i.e. his family]." In this message, Br Gowens considers Noah's personal godliness, reverence for God, integrity, and leadership qualities. In each of these virtues, Noah stands as a model for fathers that live, like Noah lived, in the "last days." This is message #40 in the Hebrews study.

Jun 28, 2022
Walking With God by Faith

Elder Mike Gowens continues his expository study through Hebrews with this message on the godly man Enoch, from Hebrews 11:7. In an apostate society, Enoch practiced godliness via daily fellowship with God. And God recompensed him in an amazing way: "By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death." This is message #39 in the Hebrews series.

Jun 22, 2022
The Reward of Faith

In this 6/5/22 message (#38 from the Hebrews series), Brother Gowens focuses on the promise of "a great recompense of reward" (Heb. 10:35; 11:6b) from God in response to the exercise of faith. The textual basis of this sermon is Hebrews 11:2-6.

Jun 13, 2022
The Life of Faith

In this sermon from 5/29/22, Michael Gowens takes the congregation into Hebrews 11, the celebrated "faith" chapter of the Bible. This chapter is an embellishment of the principle stated in Hebrews 10:38, "Now the just shall live by faith." Before embarking on the portrait gallery of faithful saints, however, Br Mike focuses in this sermon on the definition and dynamics of faith, spelled out in verses 1-3. This message is #37 in the study of this epistle.

Jun 06, 2022
An Encouragement to Persevere

Elder Gowens continues the study in Hebrews with message #36 from Hebrews 10:32-39. After the sobering warning of the previous verses, the writer once again strikes the note of encouragement, urging his readers to patient endurance and fidelity to Christ. This message was delivered on Sunday, 5/22/22.

Jun 06, 2022
Drawing Closer, Not Back

This message by Mike Gowens was delivered May 15, 2022. Based on Hebrews 10:25-31, Gowens addresses the fourth and arguably most sobering "warning" passage in the epistle. Although the language does not support the false notion that one may lose the gift of eternal life, yet the apostle is clear that a decision to walk away from the true gospel is tantamount to a presumptuous sin. The solution to falling away is to draw nearer to the Lord. This is message #35 in the Hebrews series.

Jun 06, 2022
I Will Not Leave You Orphaned

Elder Gowens' Mother's Day sermon (5/8/22) is based on Psalm 27:10. Even good and godly parents are limited in their ability to care for their children, but the Psalmist expresses confidence in the Lord, who is able to compensate for both the father's and the mother's shortcomings.

May 18, 2022
Drawing Near With the Church

Continuing in Hebrews 10 (vs 25-31), Michael Gowens emphasizes the importance of public worship with the saints in this 5/1/22 sermon. In what is arguably the most sobering warning against apostasy in the New Testament, the inspired writer asserts that the sad harvest of falling away often begins with absenteeism on the Lord's Day. If believers would but realize the tremendous privilege of drawing nigh to God in public worship, however, they may inoculate themselves against the peril of deconversion. This is message #34 in the Hebrews study.

May 09, 2022
How to Live in Babylon

The 4/24/22 message by Elder Gowens takes a look at God's counsel to the exiles in Jeremiah 29:4-13. Comparing popular culture to the kind of challenges the Israelites faced in Babylon, Brother Mike extracts from the text seven priorities for living a faithful Christian life in a fallen world.

May 09, 2022
Drawing Near to God

Elder Gowens' 4/10/22 sermon looks at Hebrews 10:19-25. The privilege reserved for the high priest, and that only once per year, under the Old Covenant, is now, via the merit of Christ alone, available to every heaven-born soul. And how may we draw near to God? This passage answers that question in the context of public worship. This is message #33 in the ongoing Hebrews study.

Apr 25, 2022
Christ the Gardener

Elder Gowens' message on 4/17/22 looks at the account of Jesus' first post-resurrection appearance, a revelation to Mary Magdalene. It is more than intriguing that John records (by Divine inspiration) Mary's supposition that he was "the gardener." Consistent with the use of the literary figure of double-entendre in John's Gospel, Gowens argues that Mary's initial assessment of the man speaking to her was, in fact, very accurate. The garden tomb, consequently, is the happy Gospel sequel to paradise lost in the original garden.

Apr 21, 2022
Perfected Forever

On Sunday, 4/3/22, Mike Gowens continues his look at the Epistle of Hebrews by focusing on Hebrews 10:1-18, especially the contrast between verses 1 and 14. The Law could not make anyone perfect, but Jesus Christ perfected forever those set apart in the everlasting covenant as His own. This perfect salvation originates in the Father's perfect will (vs 5-10), is secured by the Son's perfect work (vs 11-14), and is manifested in the Spirit's perfect witness (vs 15-18). This is message #32 in the Hebrews study.

Apr 16, 2022
The Last Things

The 3/27/22 sermon by Mike Gowens focuses on Hebrews 9:27-28, a passage that frames the eschatological "bad news" in terms of the gospel's "good news." Human history is bracketed by the original appointment with death and final judgment at the end of time. Redemptive history, however, is bracketed by the two comings of Jesus Christ - the first to resolve the problem of death and judgment, and the second to consummate the work of salvation. This is message 31 in the Hebrews series.

Apr 07, 2022
Four Christian Certainties

On 3/20/22, Elder Gowens follows up from the previous week's message by returning to the Savior's final sermon in John 14. In verses four and following, Brother Mike looks at four "ye know" statements, extracting from them four great certainties to stabilize the heart when it is overwhelmed with sorrow and care.

Mar 28, 2022
Let Not Your Heart Be Troubled

The 3/13/22 message by Michael Gowens is taken from the opening words of the Lord's final sermon, recorded in John 14:1-3. Is it even possible in a world of trouble to maintain a calm and composed heart? Jesus' words reveal the answer in five encouraging truths.

Mar 28, 2022
What Did the Death of Christ Accomplish?

Brother Gowens considers Hebrews 9:23-38 in this 3/6/22 message from the Hebrews series. By his sacrificial death on the cross, the Lord Jesus Christ did not merely make salvation possible. He made it a reality. Jesus is an actual Savior, not a mere potential or hypothetical Savior. This is message #30 in the "Exposition of Hebrews" study.

Mar 14, 2022
Nothing But the Blood of Jesus

On Sunday 2/27, Michael Gowens continues the study in Hebrews by looking at Hebrews 9:15-23. The emphasis on "blood redemption" in this passage references the sacrifices outlined in Leviticus 16 on the Jewish high festival called "the Day of Atonement." Gowens explains that "blood" stands for "sacrificial death." This important passage reveals three benefits from Christ's sacrificial death: 1) Expiation of sin; 2) Access to God; 3) Forgiveness.

Mar 14, 2022
Not Made With Hands

Brother Gowens' 2/20/22 message extracts a single clause from Hebrews 9 (vs. 11, 24) as a springboard to the use of this intriguing expression elsewhere in holy scripture. The clause is a single word in the Greek, meaning "not manufactured by man; without human agency," and refers to something miraculous and supernatural. The same Bible that describes the incarnation of the Messiah, the eternal home of the soul, and the final defeat of the Antichrist also employs this expression to describe the work of grace in the heart of one of God's children.

Mar 01, 2022
Cleansing the Guilty Conscience

On 2/6/22, Michael Gowens emphasizes that one of the primary ways the New Covenant is superior to the Old is in terms of its ability to deal with our internal, spiritual needs. The Old Covenant addressed mere external and ceremonial matters. The New addresses the conscience. The text for the sermon is Hebrews 9:9-14. This is message #27 in the "Exposition of Hebrews" series.

Feb 23, 2022
The Symbolism of Tabernacle Worship

Michael Gowens continues the exposition of Hebrews with message #26 in the series from Heb. 9:1-10. Drawing heavily from the contrast between the symbolic and the substantive, the figurative and the real, Gowens shows that the entire arrangement of Hebrew worship in the wilderness pointed forward to Christ, and the superiority of the New Covenant. This message was delivered on 1/30/22. 

Feb 07, 2022
Discipleship in Three Time-Zones

Elder Mike Gowens follows up his message from the previous week with this 1/23/22 sermon employing the same grid. The text for the sermon is Psalm 78:1-8. A healthy church (and balanced Christian life) maintains a three-fold focus: respect for past history, relevance in the contemporary culture, and a readiness for future generations. 

Feb 07, 2022
Salvation in Three Time-Zones

In this 1/16/22 sermon, Mike Gowens considers 2 Corinthians 1:10 in a biblical examination of the verb "to save." References in Scripture to "salvation" (or its synonym "deliverance") do not always speak of deliverance in the ultimate sense. To understand the correct sense in which a particular verse speaks of salvation, it is important to ask the question, "Saved from what?" In this message, Brother Mike looks at a number of examples in which God has saved, does save, and will save in the lives of his children.

Jan 27, 2022
Peter, Example of Spiritual Growth

In this 1/9/22 sermon, Mike Gowens uses 1 Peter 5 to look back at the key events in the narrative of Peter's personal history, showing how Peter communicates the lessons he had learned to others. 

Jan 17, 2022
Blessed are the Seed-Sowers

On 1/2/22, Michael Gowens looks at Isaiah 32:20: "Blessed are they that sow beside all waters." From the agrarian imagery, he draws lessons concerning the purpose of the gospel and the nature of biblical evangelism. Every believer is called to lavishly sow the precious seed of Divine truth, trusting God for the results.

Jan 11, 2022
Faith’s Victory Over Fear

Pastor Gowens' 12/26/21 message is taken from the 56th Psalm. From the historical backdrop of David's asylum in enemy territory, the Psalm develops the crippling power of fear in the believer's life. The focus of Psalm 56, however, is not on fear itself, but how David gained victory over fear by faith in God. As we look forward on the unknown tomorrow, we too may triumph over fear by faith.

Jan 08, 2022
The Song of Mary

Mary's "Magnificat" is one of four songs surrounding the advent of the Messiah, as recorded in Luke 1-2. In this 12/19/21 sermon, Michael Gowens emphasizes the connection of this song of praise to several Old Testament passages, as well as its God-centered tone. The incarnation of Christ is compelling cause for praise and worship to the Lord.

Jan 08, 2022
I Believe in the Virgin Birth

Elder Gowens delivered this sermon on Sunday, 12/12/21. Looking first at the Messianic prophecy in Isaiah 7:14, Gowens moves to the two New Testament narratives connected to this prophecy, the first in Matthew 1 and the second in Luke 1, emphasizing the important role played by the supernatural in the Christian gospel.

Dec 19, 2021
A New & Better Covenant

In this 12/5/21 message, Michael Gowens returns to Hebrews 8:6-13 to look more specifically at the text. He offers several reasons the New Covenant is superior to the Old. This is message #25 in the ongoing exposition of Hebrews.

Dec 19, 2021
Covenant: The Key that Unlocks the Bible

Mike Gowens' 11/28/21 sermon is based on Hebrews 8:6-13. In this message, Gowens develops the important concept of "covenant" as it is used in Scripture. An understanding of this theological idea is critical for grasping the meaning of the Bible, for "covenant" is the unifying theme between the Old and New Testaments. This is message #24 in the Hebrews study.

Dec 09, 2021
The Main Point of Hebrews

On Sunday 11/7, Pastor Gowens considered Hebrews 8:1-6, a passage that highlights the principal theme of the epistle. To the Jews in the first-century Mediterranean world, believers that had left the synagogue for the Christian church had walked away from 1,500 years of rich history and tradition for virtually nothing. They had no church buildings, no special ceremonies, no prescribed festivals, and certainly no priest. But the apostle affirms that Christians do, in fact, have a Priest, and He is the penultimate Priest. In fact, Christians have the reality, not merely the shadow. This is message #23 in the Hebrews study.

Dec 09, 2021
The Beauty of Holiness

This message by Michael Gowens, delivered on 10/24/21, is based on 1 Chronicles 16:29. It explores the third dimension of the triad of philosophical virtues - the good, the true and the beautiful. Gowens describes the importance God places on beauty and proceeds to distinguish beauty that appeals to the senses and the intellect from that which appeals to the soul, i.e. the beauty of holiness. Such beauty is personified in the Lord Jesus Christ, and displayed by His church, the perfection of beauty and the joy of the whole earth.

Oct 31, 2021
The Superior Priesthood of Christ

Elder Mike Gowens' 10/10/21 sermon continues the Hebrews 7 passage concerning Melchizedek and the parallels between that mysterious figure and Jesus Christ. The text is Hebrews 7:11-19. This is message #22 in the ongoing exposition of Hebrews.

Oct 31, 2021
Christ‘s Ancient Priestly Order

The 10/3/21 sermon by Elder Mike Gowens is a look at Hebrews 7:1-10 and one of the most mysterious figures in the Bible, a king-priest named Melchizedek. Going back to the brief historical narrative of Genesis 14, then moving to Psalm 110, Gowens discusses the mystery, the history and the superiority of this fascinating character, and what it means for the priesthood of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Oct 08, 2021
Precious Remedies Against Satan‘s Devices

Using 2 Corinthians 2:11 as a text, Michael Gowens moves to the Old Testament in this 9/26/21 sermon to consider four individuals that had encounters with Satan. From these four episodes, Gowens emphasizes particular tactics employed by the devil and the corresponding resource God has provided to counter the assault.

Oct 05, 2021
The Swelling of the Jordan

Michael Gowens' 9/19/21 sermon focuses on Jeremiah 12:5 and the Lord's surprising answer to the prophet's perplexity. From the contrast between the calm of training and the crisis of battle in this passage, Gowens highlights the Lord's ability to use pressure and tension to mature his servants for greater usefulness in ministry, insisting that the little struggles we are called to endure today may very well be preparations for greater service tomorrow. 

Sep 27, 2021
The Ground of Christian Assurance

This 9/5/21 message by Elder Mike Gowens is based on Hebrews 6:13-20. In this important passage, the writer transitions back to his main theme of the priesthood of Christ by introducing the premier figure in Jewish history, the patriarch Abraham. Just as Abraham's hope was premised on God's covenant faithfulness, so the believer's assurance of final blessedness is grounded on a solid foundation of sovereign grace.

Sep 20, 2021
He Whom Thou Lovest is Sick

The 8/22/21 sermon by Michael Gowens begins with a tender expression from John 11:3, and proceeds to discuss the theme of sickness under three heads: (1) The Surprise of Sickness; (2) The Spiritual Struggle occasioned by sickness; (3) Some Divine Supports for the Sick. 

Aug 30, 2021
The Diligent Pursuit of Assurance

Elder Mike Gowens' 8/15/21 message looks at Hebrews 6:9-12 in a continuation of the exposition of the Epistle to the Hebrews. Gowens believes that assurance is the crown jewel of temporal blessings, the choicest mercy to be had this side of the immediate presence of God in heaven. This is message #19 in the Hebrews study.

Aug 30, 2021
A Warning to the Backslider

Elder Michael Gowens' sermon on 8/8/21 looks at what is arguably the most controversial passage in the New Testament - Hebrews 6:4-9. After presenting arguments against the two most popular interpretations of this passage, Gowens presents a third interpretation that is consistent with what Scripture teaches concerning both the doctrines of eternal security and total depravity.

Aug 17, 2021
It's Time to Grow Up

Elder Gowens continues the study on the Epistle to the Hebrews with this 7/1/21 message on pursuing spiritual maturity from Hebrews 5:11-6:3. This sermon is #17 in the series.

Aug 10, 2021
What Keeps You Going?

In this message from 6/24/2021, Elder Michael Gowens focuses on 2 Corinthians 4, using Paul as an example of perseverance for Christian believers. In spite of various pressures to lose heart ("faint" in 2 Cor 4:1, 16), Paul enumerates several resources that kept him going in gospel ministry. 

Aug 10, 2021
Christ's Obedience & Ours

On July 18, 2021, Elder Mike Gowens returns to Hebrews 5 to consider more carefully verses 8-9. From these verses, he demonstrates the importance of distinguishing between "cause" and "effect" in the interpretation of Scripture. This passage teaches that Christ's obedience is the cause of our eternal salvation. Man's obedience is an evidence of grace. This is message #16 in the Hebrews series.

Jul 26, 2021
Our Sympathetic High Priest

In this 7/11/21 sermon, Elder Michael Gowens considers Hebrews 5:1-10, and the criteria that must be met in order for one to serve as High Priest under the Jewish economy. The passage indicates that Jesus is qualified for this priestly office, chiefly because in his humanity, he identifies sympathetically with our weaknesses. This is message #15 in the Hebrews study.

Jul 26, 2021
Christ Our Banner

On Sunday, 7/4/21, Elder Mike Gowens took the occasion of the day set aside to reflect on political freedom to develop some thoughts concerning what the Bible says about the Christian's "flag." 

Jul 12, 2021
I Am Debtor

Elder E. W. Hooven delivered this message from Romans 1:14 to our congregation on 6/27/21, during Bethel's Communion Meeting.

Jul 12, 2021
The Doctrine of Regeneration

This message by Elder Bernard Gowens, based on John 5:24-25, was delivered to our congregation on 6/26/21 during our Communion Meeting.

Jul 12, 2021
The Brevity of Life

This message by Elder Ronnie Loudermilk from Psalm 39:4 was delivered to our congregation on June 26, 2021, during our Communion Weekend Meeting.

Jul 12, 2021
Approaching the Throne in Prayer

The 6/27/21 message by Michael Gowens is #14 in the Hebrews study. Once more, he looks at Hebrews 4:14-16, this time focusing on the practical application of Christ's priesthood. Because we have a Great High Priest, we have reason to persevere in faithful discipleship, and we have encouragement to pray with confidence.

Jul 12, 2021
You Have a Priest

Michael Gowens' sermon from 6/6/21 is based on Hebrews 4:14. It focuses on the reality and implications of Christ's priesthood in the life of the child of God. This is sermon #13 in the Exposition of Hebrews series.

Jun 28, 2021
The Promise of Gospel Rest

Elder Gowens' 5/30/21 sermon takes a look at Hebrews 4:1-13 in the continuation of the study in the book of Hebrews. This is message #12 in that series.

Jun 13, 2021
Beware A Wandering Heart

Elder Michael Gowens' 5/2/21 sermon looks at Hebrews 3:7-19 and the story of the children of Israel in the wilderness. The writer applies this chapter in Israel's history to believers today, calling upon them to avoid the peril of an unbelieving heart that keeps its distance from the God that promised. This is message #11 in the Hebrews study.

May 17, 2021
A Greater Than Moses

Elder Gowens' 4/25/21 sermon continues the study in Hebrews with a look at Hebrews 3:1-5, and a contrast between Moses, the eminent figure of Jewish history, and the Lord Jesus Christ, the Object of the Christian's faith. This is message #10 in the Hebrews series.

May 10, 2021
Consider Jesus

In this message from 4/25/21, Michael Gowens highlights what many believe to be "the text of the sermon that is Hebrews," Hebrews 3:1. In this fast-moving day of sound-bites and thirty-second infomercials, the discipline of sustained focus is increasingly rare. But such a concentrated gaze on Jesus Christ is crucial to discipleship. Listen as Br Gowens challenges us to focus intently on Christ. This is message #9 in the Hebrews series. 

May 06, 2021
Jesus Christ, Our Older Brother

Elder Mike Gowens' 4/11 sermon is a look at Hebrews 2:6-18 and the comforting message that our Lord is "not ashamed to call us [his] brethren." Jesus Christ is the epitome of the wise man's words, "A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity." By assuming our nature, the Son of God identified with us in every respect of human experience, sin excepted. Through his merit, we have been brought into God's family. This is message #8 in the Hebrews study.

Apr 27, 2021
The Death of Death in the Death of Christ

In this sermon on Resurrection Sunday (4/4/21), Elder Mike Gowens considers Hebrews 2:14-15, and the uncomfortable subject of death. Although popular culture prefers to avoid the topic of death, or at least redefine it in more pleasant terms, the Bible does not soft-peddle the subject. In Scripture, death is an enemy, the king of terrors, the wages of sin and a stinging reality. But the good news of the gospel is that Jesus Christ has conquered it, in each of its aspects, on behalf of His covenant people. Death died at Calvary. The empty tomb is the ultimate proof that death has been conquered. This is message #7 in the Hebrews series.

Apr 27, 2021
Jesus Christ, Superior to Angels (Part 2)

In this 3/21/21 sermon, Elder Gowens continues his look at Hebrews 1:4-14, and the superiority of Jesus Christ to angels. This is message #5 in the Hebrews study.

Apr 12, 2021
So Great Salvation

Michael Gowens' 3/28/21 sermon is a look at Hebrews 2:1-4, the first of five warning passages in the book. This is message number six in the ongoing study in the Epistle to the Hebrews. 

Apr 12, 2021
Jesus Christ, Superior to Angels

On 3/14/21, Elder Mike Gowens returns to the study in Hebrews, focusing on Hebrews 1:4-14. This profound passage affirms that the mystery in the person and work of Jesus is superior to the mystery surrounding the angels.

Mar 23, 2021
The Glory of Christ

In this 3/7/21 message, Michael Gowens returns to the introduction to the epistle to the Hebrews (1:1-3) to consider the elaborate description of Christ in this passage. Particular emphasis is placed on the fact that Jesus Christ is "the brightness of God's glory."

Mar 23, 2021
Christ the Mediator

Michael Gowens continues the series on Hebrews with message #2 in the series, based on Heb. 1:1-3. From this rich, introductory passage, Gowens extracts the munus triplex, or the three mediatorial offices of Christ, showing Him as Prophet, Priest & King.

Mar 23, 2021
An Overview of the Book of Hebrews

Elder Michael Gowens' 2/21/21 sermon is the initial message in a more extended series on the epistle to the Hebrews. This message offers a general overview, or survey, of the book's main themes and structure. If you may safely access a Bible, open with us to Hebrews 1 as we begin this exciting study.

Mar 23, 2021
Learning Theology in Life

In this 2/14/21 sermon, Elder Michael Gowens leads the congregation in a study of Psalm 31. This Psalm of David illustrates the principle that much can be learned about God by the child of God via the experiences of life. The Psalm speaks of fearing God, trusting God, loving God and hoping in God. It was in the trials of life that David learned that God is trustworthy and worthy to be loved for His goodness.

Feb 24, 2021
The Grace & Duty of Spiritual Mindedness

Elder Gowens' 2/7/21 message is taken from Romans 8:5-9. Of course, man by nature is earthly-, not spiritually-minded. Spiritual-mindedness, therefore, is first a gift of God's grace. Once an individual has been born from above, however, the development of a spiritual mind is a duty, as Colossians 3:1ff indicates: "If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things that are above...Set your affection on things above, not on things of this earth."

Feb 24, 2021
All Roads Lead to Romans

Elder Gowens' 1/24/21 message is an attempt to offer a brief overview of Paul's epistle to the Romans. This sermon covers the themes of Sin and Grace as developed in chapters 1 - 5. 

Feb 08, 2021
The Grateful Leper

Elder Gowens delivered a Thanksgiving sermon on 11/22/2020, from Luke 17:11-19. This familiar story speaks powerfully to the hearts of those who have come to see the leprosy of sin in the heart, and the cleansing power of the blood of Jesus to remedy the malady. To all who feel gratitude for the gift of God's amazing grace. may the account of the grateful leper be the incentive to return to give thanks in public worship and a life of obedience.

Dec 30, 2020
King Asa: The God-Seeker

The 11/15/2020 sermon by Michael Gowens is based on 2 Chronicles 14-16. In this first message of a study on the Godly Kings of Judah, Gowens first looks at Asa personally, as a man of godly character, then at the godly influence of his reign upon the nation. Finally he considers and important practical lesson from the latter years of Asa's life. In a day when godly leadership is rare, Asa's example has much to teach us about the importance of holding such a position of influence.

Dec 30, 2020
Jesus is Savior

In this 12/13/2020 message, Elder Michael Gowens considers the most beloved of our Lord's names: the name "Jesus." Pastor Gowens highlights three important facts relative to this precious name: (1) The Source of the Name; (2) The Significance of the Name; (3) The Sweetness of the Name. Open to Matthew 1:21 to follow Brother Gowens in this sublime study.

Dec 30, 2020
Jesus is Lord

Elder Mike Gowens' 12/6/2020 sermon is Part 2 in the mini-series on the "Names & Titles of Jesus." In this message, Br. Gowens considers the second most frequent title ascribed to Jesus of Nazareth in the New Testament. The Lordship of Christ speaks of His deity, His authority and His imperial majesty. What is involved in the confession that Jesus is Lord? Listen to this message for the answer.

Dec 30, 2020
Jesus is the Christ

On 11/29/2020, Elder Gowens begins a mini-series on the "Names & Titles of Jesus." The most frequent title given to Jesus of Nazareth in the New Testament is "Christ," or "Messiah." What is the significance of this title? Listen for the answer.

Dec 30, 2020
The Contemporary Christ

In this message from 11/8/2020, Elder Mike Gowens considers Hebrews 13:8, focusing on the thought, "Jesus Christ...Today." What is Jesus doing for his people today? Camping out in the Hebrew epistle, Gowens discovers five important answers to this question.

Nov 17, 2020
Salt & Light

Elder Michael Gowens completes his exposition of the Beatitudes with this 11/1/2020 message from Matthew 5:13-16. This passage forms a kind of bridge in Jesus' sermon, connecting the section on Christian Character (vs 3-12) with the following section on Christian Ethics (vs 17ff). This passage asserts that Christian discipleship is neither monastic (world-escaping) nor materialistic (world-embracing), but mediatorial, or world-engaging. Christ intends his followers to influence the world with the new standards of the kingdom of God.

Nov 17, 2020
Blessed are the Persecuted

On Sunday, October 25, 2020, Elder Mike Gowens continues his series on the Beatitudes by looking at Matthew 5:10-12. This 8th Beatitude is not, like the others, a distinguishing trait of Christian character so much as the result or consequence for living a Beatitude life. Persecution is the cost of discipleship, but the believer may take comfort to know that when earth opposes, Heaven endorses.

Nov 03, 2020
Remember Thy Creator

In this brief 9/5/20 message, Elder Sam Bryant offers timeless biblical counsel from Ecclesiastes 12.

Nov 03, 2020
God Our Father

The Saturday morning session (8/29/20) of our 5th Weekend Meeting features this sermon by Elder Samuel Bryant. The message is based on the Disciple's Prayer, as recorded in Matthew 6. 

Nov 03, 2020

Guest minister Elder Samuel Bryant considers the subject of "worship" from John 4 in the Friday evening service (8/28/20) of our 5th weekend meeting.

Nov 03, 2020
The Fading Glory of Man

The 9/6/20 sermon by Michael Gowens is based on Isaiah 40:6-8. How comforting to know that though life, health and circumstances change, God's timeless truth does not change!

Nov 03, 2020
Blessed are the Peacemakers

The 10/18/20 sermon by Michael Gowens considers Matthew 5:9, the 7th Beatitude, in the continuing series on "The Distinguishing Traits of Christian Character." Using as his premise that Jesus is the ultimate peacemaker, Gowens proceeds to develop the ideas two main ideas: 1. Peace is the byproduct of righteousness; 2. Peace comes through strength. In this world of conflict and tension, the need for Christian peacemakers is great.

Nov 03, 2020
Living With Your Conscience

Elder Mike Gowens' 10/4/20 sermon looks at Paul's statement in Acts 24:16: "And herein do I exercise myself to have always a conscience void of offence toward God and toward men." Gowens begins by defining the conscience, proceeds to explore a couple of biblical metaphors, and concludes by discussing principles for maintaining a good conscience. 

Oct 13, 2020
Hearing God's Voice

In this 9/27/20 message from 1 Kings 19, Michael Gowens focuses on three ways in which God speaks to His people: 1) the Effectual Call; 2) the Gospel Call; 3) the "still, small voice" of peace and comfort.

Oct 06, 2020
The Strength of Weakness

In this 9/13/2020 message, Michael Gowens considers the experience Paul relates in 2 Corinthians 12 and the paradox that Christ's strength is manifest in our weakness. Gowens traces the "weakness" motif through the two Corinthian epistles, showing that Paul not only acknowledged and embraced his personal inadequacy and weakness, but celebrated it, for in his weakness, Christ was strong. In a culture that values beauty, success and perfection, how refreshing is the reminder that weakness is not only okay but preferable!

Sep 22, 2020
The Joy of Salvation

Every Bible subtheme under the general category of "salvation" is a picture-word, and each contains its own attendant note of joy. In this message from May 2020, Elder Michael Gowens looks at David's prayer of repentance in Psalm 51, focusing on his request that God might restore "the joy of thy salvation" in verse 12. When a person loses the joy of salvation through sin and disobedience, he/she has lost something very precious.

Sep 15, 2020
Blessed are the Pure in Heart

On Sunday, 8/23/2020, Michael Gowens continues his survey of the Beatitudes with this message on 6th Beatitude, recorded in Matthew 5:8. In this message, Pastor Gowens first emphasizes the important role of the heart in the life of Christian discipleship, then proceeds to discuss the two-fold meaning of "purity." Finally, he highlights the particular blessing promised to the pure in heart, namely, a vision of God.

Sep 11, 2020
Encouraging God's Servant

Michael Gowens' 8/9/2020 sermon looks at Paul's arrival in Corinth, as recorded in Acts 18:1-11. Gowens traces the reasons Paul was discouraged and fearful, and the wonderful ways that God encouraged His faithful servant. Whether you are a preacher in the pulpit or a believer in the pew, this episode from the life and labors of Paul has much to teach us concerning God's method of encouraging those that struggle with loneliness, disappointment, fear and spiritual fatigue.

Aug 28, 2020
The Priorities of the Primitive Church

Elder Mike Gowens' 7/26/20 sermon considers Acts 2:42 as an example of the things the early church prioritized. Gowens discusses the regulative principle of church life and worship, and our conviction for conforming church faith and practice, as much as possible, to the apostolic model.

Aug 07, 2020
Ambassadors for Christ

The 7/19/20 message by Pastor Gowens looks at 2 Corinthians 5:20. Listen to explore this rich metaphor and its implications for living the Christian life.

Jul 29, 2020
Fulfilling Your Life Purpose

Elder Lonnie Mozingo, Jr., our guest minister during the 2020 Communion Meeting, delivered this message from John 15 on 6/27/2020.

Jul 29, 2020
The Necessity of the Holy Spirit in Worship

Elder Lonnie Mozingo, Jr. was our guest minister during Bethel's 2020 Communion Meeting. This message from Saturday morning, 6/27, is taken from John 4:19-24.

Jul 18, 2020
Blessed are the Merciful

On Sunday, 7/12/2020, Michael Gowens returns to the study on the Beatitudes, titled "The Distinguishing Traits of Christian Character," with this look at the 5th Beatitude. In a climate of growing hostility and retaliation, the easiest thing in the world is to allow our hearts to grow hard and critical. It is crucial, therefore, that believers model the spirit of Jesus Christ by ministering mercy to the miserable. Is compassion in short supply lately? Listen to this sermon by Pastor Gowens and rediscover tenderness of heart.

Jul 18, 2020
For Love's Sake

The little book of Philemon is the focus for Pastor Gowens' sermon on 7/5/2020. This letter from Paul to an influential and godly Christian man in Colossae concerning a runaway slave who was now a true Christian, has much to teach us about the healing power of God's grace in interpersonal relationships. Here is the gospel in practice.

Jul 13, 2020
Developing a Christian Mind

Elder Michael Gowens takes his text from 2 Corinthians 10:5-6 in this 6/7/2020 sermon. While many professing believers struggle to think Christianly about life and the world, faithfulness to the Lord Jesus Christ in discipleship requires the discipline of bringing every thought into captivity to Christ as Lord. Gowens begins by discussing the important role played by the mind, then proceeds to identify a few of the more salient marks of a Christian mind. The spiritual battle in which the Christian is engaged is in large measure a battle for the mind.

Jun 19, 2020
When Believers Doubt

In this 5/31/2020 message, Elder Michael Gowens looks at the experience of John the Baptist in prison, recorded in Matthew 11:2-17. Doubt is not uncommon in the experience of God's children, especially in seasons of trial and crisis. Yet in spite of our questions and perplexities, Jesus deals with his struggling saints in patience and pity.

Jun 07, 2020
Glory in the Cross

Elder Mike Gowens' sermon on 5/24/2020 is based on Galatians 6:14. This first Sunday back in the sanctuary after over two months of absence (due to public health restrictions due to a virus scare) was a happy time of reunion. Gowens emphasizes the centrality of the cross of Jesus Christ as the believer's rallying point and the message that unites them together.

Jun 07, 2020
Faith's Reward

Michael Gowens' 5/3/2020 sermon is taken from 2 Kings 3:16-18. This Old Testament narrative illustrates how God is pleased to reward an act of obedience to His word when circumstances argue against the propriety of that obedience. While it is true that without faith, it is impossible to please God, it is equally true that God rewards those who diligently seek Him in ways that far exceed what the mind can conceive.

May 13, 2020
Hope Revived by the Savior's Rising

On April 11, 2020, Elder Mike Gowens preaches from 1 Peter 1:1-6. Peter, the pastor of Jerusalem Church, encourages his displaced congregation by reminding them of the two great reasons he himself had to be encouraged in this unfriendly world.

May 02, 2020
A Twilight Prayer to the Risen Christ

This message by Pastor Gowens was delivered via Livecast, due to a public quarantine over concerns for health safety, on Sunday, April 5, 2020. It is based on the text in Luke 24:28-29.

Apr 06, 2020
Blessed are the Hungry

In this 3/15/2020 sermon, Elder Michael Gowens continues the study called "The Distinguishing Traits of Christian Character," a series of messages based on the Beatitudes in Matthew 5. Thus far, the Lord Jesus identifies his true followers by humility, contrition for sin, and an attitude of self-forgetfulness. Now, Beatitude #4, as Matthew 5:6 indicates, identifies true Christians by an attitude of spiritual ardor and longing: "Blessed are they that hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled."

Mar 31, 2020
Blessed are the Meek

Elder Gowens' 3/8/2020 sermon is message #3 in the ongoing "Distinguishing Traits of Christian Character" series, based on Jesus' teaching in the Beatitudes. The grace of meekness is two-dimensional. Toward God, meekness is a spirit of calm and quiet submission. Toward others, meekness is a gentleness of spirit that prefers to suffer than cause offense. Is meekness, then, weakness? Not at all. Gowens insists that biblical meekness is "strength under control." The test for this message is Matthew 5:5.

Mar 23, 2020
Blessed are the Mourners

Elder Gowens 3/1/2020 sermon is taken from Matthew 5:4, and is message #2 in the "Distinguishing Traits of Christian Character" series. Building on the basic virtue of humility, as expressed in the first Beatitude, Jesus now shines the spotlight on the priority of contrition over sin. 

Mar 20, 2020
Blessed are the Poor in Spirit

In this 2/23/2020 sermon, Elder Michael Gowens begins a study of the Beatitudes, called "The Distinguishing Traits of Christian Character." After a brief introduction concerning some of the salient features of Jesus' first sermon, Pastor Gowens looks at the first and most basic characteristic of Kingdom-citizens: Humility. The text for this message is Matthew 5:3.

Mar 07, 2020
The Case of the Dying Thief

Pastor Gowens looks at Luke 23:39-43 in this 2/9/2020 message. The thief on the cross is the epitome of sovereign grace, the tallest monument in history to redeeming love, and the greatest proof that Jesus Christ is mighty to save. For two thousand years, his case has given hope to many who have wrecked their lives by sin; it speaks comfort and cheer to many a poor sinner. Join Michael Gowens as he considers the power of grace, a prayer of repentance, and the promise of paradise.

Feb 14, 2020
The Temptation of Jesus

On Sunday, 2/2/2020, Elder Michael Gowens considers the account of our Savior's epochal battle with the devil, recorded in Matthew 4:1-11. Unlike the first Adam, however, the Lord Jesus Christ was victorious over the Tempter. Gowens explains the three categories of temptation presented to the Lord Jesus, drawing from this account several salient lessons for those who seek to follow Christ in discipleship.

Feb 12, 2020