Jacob Creath, Jr.: Willing to Be Ruined

Jacob Creath, Jr. (1799-1886) was one of many preachers in the nineteenth century who began to question the commonly held doctrines among the denominations of which they were a part. Creath had been associated with the Baptists. In 1826, he received a letter of commendation from the Baptist Church in Great Crossings, Scott County, Kentucky in which he was called a “beloved brother,” a “faithful minister,” and one who “earnestly and zealously contends for ‘the faith once delivered to the saints’” (Memoir of Jacob Creath, Jr., p. 24-25). However, in 1829, Creath received another letter from this same congregation, requesting that he address reports of the “heresy” that he was preaching.

“DEAR BROTHER — I send you the request of the greatest portion of the Crossing Church. Their desire is, that you will give your views of man as a sinner, and how the change takes place, so as to constitute him born again. Or, in our familiar way, as Baptists, we want your views of experimental religion; how a sinner is brought from a state of enmity against the Saviour to be a lover and worshiper of Him.

“This request has grown partly from reports, and partly from a number of brethren, who have heard you preach since your return from the South, conceiving that you had abandoned your old mode and views of preaching, under which their hearts were many times gladdened, and have sat under your ministry with great delight; and we would ask our divine Master to grant you his Spirit, that you may rightly divide the word of truth, giving saint and sinner ‘his portion in due season.’” (Ibid., p. 29)

When Creath’s uncle, Jacob Creath, Sr., heard of the letter, he paid a visit to discuss it and see how the younger Creath intended to respond. Both men were connected to the Baptist Association at that time; and while Creath’s uncle agreed with him on this matter, he wanted to be more cautious in dealing with the issue. When he heard what his nephew planned to reply, the elder Creath said “it would ruin our cause.” The younger Creath answered, “What I had said was true; and if truth ruined us, I was willing to be ruined” (Ibid., p. 30).Continue Reading

Monthly News Roundup (12.23.21)

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Plain Bible Teaching Podcast

This is the last episode for the month of December – time for our monthly news roundup. In this episode, we’ll be talking about the recent tornadoes in Kentucky, a baby who set the world record for the most premature infant to survive, and an increasing number of people turning to the Bible in 2021.Continue Reading

Testifying of Christ

After the Jews began persecuting Jesus for healing a man on the Sabbath (John 5:16), Jesus began discussing His equality with the Father (John 5:17-23), the future resurrection (John 5:25-29), and the proof that He was who He claimed to be (John 5:33-47). This final point was critical. Not every claim that one may make of himself is true. This is why Jesus said, “If I alone testify about Myself, My testimony is not true” (John 5:31). He was not saying that He might make false claims. After all, He “always” did the will of the Father (John 8:29). Yet there was a difference between what Jesus claimed about Himself and what others – His enemies, in particular – claimed about Him.

How could the people know that Jesus was the Christ and not an imposter? They would need to have evidence. Jesus explained that this evidence came in the form of witness testimony that verified His claims. In this passage, He described four witnesses that testified of Him and confirmed His claim as the Christ, the Son of God. Let us notice these briefly.Continue Reading

Lifting Up Our Soul to the Lord

To You, O Lord, I lift up my soul. O my God, in You I trust, do not let me be ashamed; do not let my enemies exult over me. Indeed, none of those who wait for You will be ashamed; those who deal treacherously without cause will be ashamed” (Psalm 25:1-3).

This psalm is about our dependence upon God – something that each one of us needs to be reminded of from time to time. The text describes three areas in which we are dependent upon the Lord.

The psalmist explained this by describing himself as lifting up his soul to the Lord. This denotes a surrender of oneself to Him – a complete trust in God that carried with it a confidence that he would not be ashamed.

Let us consider what this psalm teaches us about our need for the Lord and the three ways in which we are dependent upon what He provides.Continue Reading

Jeremiah and the Parable of the Sower

The Sower

One of the more well-known parables of Jesus is the parable of the sower. It is a simple parable and its basic point can be explained quickly, yet it teaches an important lesson. However, it is also one in which we can draw out other points. In this article, we are going to consider this parable and build upon it with lessons learned from Jeremiah.

And He spoke many things to them in parables, saying, ‘Behold, the sower went out to sow; and as he sowed, some seeds fell beside the road, and the birds came and ate them up. Others fell on the rocky places, where they did not have much soil; and immediately they sprang up, because they had no depth of soil. But when the sun had risen, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away. Others fell among the thorns, and the thorns came up and choked them out. And others fell on the good soil and yielded a crop, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty. He who has ears, let him hear’” (Matthew 13:3-9).

In this parable, Jesus described the sower scattering seed on four different types of soils – the roadside, the rocky ground, the thorny ground, and the good soil. The seed was scattered regardless of the type of soil. However, the results were affected by the soil on which the seed fell.Continue Reading

Daniel Sommer: Caring for Our Bodies Better Than We Do for Our Souls

Daniel Sommer: Caring for Our Bodies Better Than We Do for Our Souls

Daniel Sommer (1850-1940) lived ninety years and spent about seventy of those years preaching the gospel. This would be an amazing feat in our modern time; yet for one who was born in the mid-nineteenth century, his longevity was truly remarkable. However, while there are some who almost idolize their physical health to the neglect of their spiritual health, Sommer saw the folly of that. He recognized that the well-being of one’s soul was far more important than bodily nourishment or outward appearance. He made the following remark in one of his sermons:

“‘Man is what he eats.’ This is an old saying, and it is as true of man spiritually as it is of him physically. Man’s body is made up of that which he eats, or receives into his system by eating, drinking, and breathing. The same is true of him educationally, socially, politically, morally and spiritually. In view of this we do not wish our bodies to be imposed on, nor poisoned, with impure foods. But we are not, generally, so careful about food for our souls. Though, as a rule, we do not take the best care of our bodies, yet we care for them better than we do for our souls. We wash our hands and faces several times each day, and pay some attention to the hairs of our heads. As a rule, we are much more concerned about the appearance of our bodies before mankind than we are about the appearance of our souls before God. If we go into a picture gallery and have a photograph taken of our facial expression we may be so pleased with it that we will order an extra dozen photos made to hand around among our friends. But suppose we could have a picture taken of our souls, especially if we have not fed them well on the word of God. We certainly would not wish the extra dozen of such pictures made. But what avails a well-kept, well-nourished body, if our souls are in a starving condition?” (Plain Sermons, p. 107).

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Road Trip (Part 2): The Road to Emmaus

The Road to Emmaus

As we continue this series, let us notice two men who were traveling the road to Emmaus. As we go along with them, we will learn about recognizing Jesus.

And behold, two of them were going that very day to a village named Emmaus, which was about seven miles from Jerusalem. And they were talking with each other about all these things which had taken place. While they were talking and discussing, Jesus Himself approached and began traveling with them. But their eyes were prevented from recognizing Him. And He said to them, ‘What are these words that you are exchanging with one another as you are walking?’ And they stood still, looking sad. One of them, named Cleopas, answered and said to Him, ‘Are You the only one visiting Jerusalem and unaware of the things which have happened here in these days?’

And He said to them, ‘What things?’ And they said to Him, ‘The things about Jesus the Nazarene, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word in the sight of God and all the people, and how the chief priests and our rulers delivered Him to the sentence of death, and crucified Him. But we were hoping that it was He who was going to redeem Israel. Indeed, besides all this, it is the third day since these things happened. But also some women among us amazed us. When they were at the tomb early in the morning, and did not find His body, they came, saying that they had also seen a vision of angels who said that He was alive. Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just exactly as the women also had said; but Him they did not see.’

And He said to them, ‘O foolish men and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and to enter into His glory?’ Then beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures. And they approached the village where they were going, and He acted as though He was going farther. But they urged Him, saying, ‘Stay with us, for it is getting toward evening, and the day is now nearly over.’ So He went in to stay with them.

When He had reclined at the table with them, He took the bread and blessed it, and breaking it, He began giving it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they recognized Him; and He vanished from their sight. They said to one another, ‘Were not our hearts burning within us while He was speaking to us on the road, while He was explaining the Scriptures to us?’ And they got up that very hour and returned to Jerusalem, and found gathered together the eleven and those who were with them, saying, ‘The Lord has really risen and has appeared to Simon.’ They began to relate their experiences on the road and how He was recognized by them in the breaking of bread” (Luke 24:13-35).

This occasion was one of the post-resurrection appearances of Jesus. Interestingly, even though these men were disciples, they did not recognize the Lord at first. Let us consider some points from this.Continue Reading