The First Baptist Preacher

1 March 2014

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The last verse of the song of Zacharias describes the duties of his son John as the forerunner of Christ.

And thou, child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest: for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways; to give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission of their sins, Luke 1:76-77

The message of John will turn the religious world upside down. The doctrines taught among the Jews had become so polluted by man's opinion that the learner could no longer recognize what was God's word and what was man's opinion. It was as if the hearers were sitting in darkness and had no way of knowing the truth. John’s preparation is not so that Jesus will be able to accomplish something, but to make it possible for the people to overcome the false doctrines of the Pharisees and truly see Who Jesus is.

The purpose of the preaching of the gospel in John’s case, and so in ours today, is not to give remission of sins or even to apply a general remission to specific hearers. The purpose of the gospel is to give knowledge about what God has done for His people in salvation.

The remission of sins is by the “tender mercy of God,” as seen in the next two verses.

through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us, to give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace. Luke 1:78-79

Remission of sins is by the “tender mercy of God” and nothing else. It is by His sovereign act of mercy that any will be saved. God loved His children so much that He sent His Son Who appeared like the dawning sun for the elect. Without God’s amazing grace, everyone would perish in darkness and be separated from God forever. Jesus came as the Prince of Peace, and His life and ministry teach us how He purchased peace for us on the cross and how we can walk like Him now.

Verse 79 may also be applied to gospel preaching but not to the extent of giving remission of sin, as I have already stated. The gospel brings to “light” that which God has already done for us and in us (2 Timothy 1:10).

And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, and was in the deserts till the day of his shewing unto Israel. - Luke 1:80

Luke gives an epilogue to the song of Zacharias and describes the upbringing of John. It seems he did not go to Jerusalem to be taught by the important Rabbis of the day. He stayed at home with his family in the Hebron area until it was time for him to start preaching publicly. Why would he go? The doctrine they taught was rotten. It would not help him preach the message he had from God!

We could all learn a lesson about the popular schools of our day. I am not against a good education or higher education. But we need to make sure that the doctrines of the world that permeate public and private education do not cause us to forget the true doctrines of Holy Writ!

Tags: gospel_of_luke, harmony_of_the_gospels, john_the_baptist, mercy, zacharias


Brentwood Hills Primitive Baptist Church is a community of believers working together to transform our lives to the image of Jesus Christ. We believe it is our duty and privilege to live the gospel of the doctrines of grace in such a way as to edify the families within our church and other children of God in our community. Through regular worship based on strong Biblical principles, fellowship, admonishment, and outreach, we glory in the grace of the sovereign God working in our lives thereby showing the Spirit of God in the world.

Brentwood Hills was organized in 1906 in Fort Worth, Texas as Laodicea Primitive Baptist Church. You can find much of the history of the church, as well as other churches here: Primitive Baptist History Database

We identify ourselves as an old-line Primitive Baptist church. If you read our Articles of Faith, you’ll see that we hold to such doctrines as the inspiration and inerrancy of the Bible. We recognize the King James Version (KJV) as the only English translation worthy of being called the Bible. We believe in salvation solely by the grace of a sovereign God. We believe that Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, came to the earth to do the will of His Father, which was to deliver from the sentence of death all those the Father gave Him before the world began. We believe that Jesus fully satisfied the Father by atoning for all the sins of all His people. In time, we believe the Holy Spirit comes to each person that belongs to Jesus and regenerates them. Then (and only then) can anyone have faith, which is a fruit of the Spirit, by which you are able to believe the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ. Whether or not you ever hear the gospel, or believe it if you did hear it, or obey it if you did believe it, rest assured that Jesus will remain forever faithful to you because, if He died for you, He will never deny that you belong to Him.

We believe that everyone for whom Christ died will without fail be raised again from the dead to a glorified life. Even if we are alive when He returns to raise the dead, we shall be changed to a glorified life. All the Redeemed will meet the Lord in the air. Then He will take us to Heaven and there we shall forever be with the Lord. The wicked will be raised at the same time as the righteous, but the wicked shall go away into everlasting punishment along with Satan and his angels. Until that glorious day when Christ returns to raise the dead, He has provided a place for His people to find rest for their souls. This place is the Church. Jesus Christ set-up His church on this earth before His death on the Cross. The church is there for those of His people who have come to believe that God saved them by His Son, Jesus Christ. To believe that Christ “paid it all” gives believers the strongest motivation to serve Him. Once enlightened to this glorious truth, then the child of God should feel an obligation to become and remain an active member of the His church. To serve the Lord in His church makes for one of the great blessings to experience this side of Heaven. It fulfills you to serve in His church and it gives your life purpose and meaning.

Elder Ward Rowell named Pastor

Brentwood Hills Primitive Baptist church is happy to announce that Elder Ward Rowell of Arlington, TX has accepted the church's call to be its Pastor. Elder Ward has been visiting Brentwood Hills regularly this year as we looked for a new pastor. His love, dedication and liberty while preaching to us over the last several months showed the Holy Spirit working.

Elder Rowell has been a member of Old School Primitive Baptist Church since 2000 faithfully serving under Pastor Mike Montgomery. After joining Grace Primitive Baptist Church in Houston, TX in June of 1972, he was ordained to the office of deacon in September of 1983. Elder Rowell was ordained to the ministry by Old School Primitive Baptist Church in November of 2006. He and Cathy were members of Houston Primitive Baptist Church for eight years prior to moving from Houston to the Dallas area.

We are truly thankful for the prayers of our sister churches during this time. It has been a blessing as God continues to be patient and kind to his people in this place. We pray that he will continue with us as we strive to serve the Lord together.

Living in Liberty

Elder Bryce Lowrance