Volume 8 / Issue 4 | April 2021
The Apologetics Newsletter
of the Missouri Baptist Convention
In this issue: Jesus as the firstborn ... The church at Ephesus ... Lead a study on the Trinity ... and more!
What does it mean that Jesus is the firstborn?
When Paul writes that Jesus is "the firstborn over all creation" (Col. 1:15), what does he mean by firstborn? Does he mean Jesus is the first and best creation of God, as Jehovah's Witnesses declare? Or does Paul have something entirely different -- and far more glorious -- in mind?

The letter to the church at Ephesus
Jesus commends the church at Ephesus for its doctrinal purity and perseverance. Yet he rebukes believers in this large and influential Roman city for having abandoned the love they had at the beginning. What's happening here to attract both a commendation and a condemnation from the lips of our Lord?

Jesus as the only begotten
What does Jesus mean when he says, "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son ..." (KJV)? In what way is Jesus begotten? We need to look carefully at the Greek monogenes to arrive at a biblically faithful answer.

The letter to the church at Smyrna
Although materially poor, the believers at Smyrna are spiritually rich, holding a treasure far more valuable than silver or gold. Even so, Jesus warns of severe persecution to come, then urges Christians in Smyrna to be faithful until death in order to receive a crown of life.

Lead a study on the Trinity
In a recent Ligonier/Lifeway survey, 65 percent of Americans with evangelical beliefs agreed with this statement: "Jesus is the first and greatest being created by God." Say what? Our churches desperately need to teach a biblically faithful understanding of the Trinity. We want to help by offering What Every Christian Should Know About the Trinity at the deeply discounted price of $5 per copy plus shipping. Email cdowell@mobaptist.org to order copies for your church or small group, and download the free six-part study guide here.
What good is Christian apologetics?
"Christian apologetics" is simply defined as the practice of offering a reasonable defense of the Christian faith. The apostle Peter reminds us that all followers of Jesus should be ready at all times to defend the faith with gentleness and respect (1 Pet. 3:15-16). But, practically speaking, what good is Christian apologetics?

Now on Audible: Jesus Before Bethlehem
High Street Press, the publishing imprint of the Missouri Baptist Convention, now offers its newest resource, Jesus Before Bethlehem: What Every Christian Should Know About the Angel of the LORD, as an audio book on Audible. This 335-page resource explores dozens of Old Testament Christophanies, or appearances of the preincarnate Christ. Written for pastors and laypersons, the study is designed to show how the eternal Son of God has always taken a personal interest in those He created to be His imagers on earth.

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