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Articles written by Pastor Spencer Carpenter


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  • Pastor's Corner: Joy in salvation by faith

    Pastor Spencer Carpenter, First Southern Baptist Church, Shafter|Updated Apr 22, 2024

    What do you have to do to be right with God? How can unrighteous guilty sinners be made right before a perfect and holy God? Every person knows they fall short of their own standards of right and wrong, and have some sense of the righteousness of God. Often people think about if they were to stand before God right now, what would happen, what kind of evaluation would they face? The biblical teaching on justification explains the only way to be made right in God’s eyes is by faith in Jesus Christ’s sin-bearing work on the cro...

  • Pastor's Corner: Lifelong wisdom

    Pastor Spencer Carpenter, First Southern Baptist Church, Shafter|Updated Mar 18, 2024

    “Wisdom shouts in the streets. She cries out in the public square… Come and listen to my counsel. I’ll share my heart with you and make you wise.”(Proverbs 1:20, 23). Wisdom in the Bible is available to all, but we must respond and receive it. Biblical wisdom is the practical application of biblical truth obeyed out of love and reverence for God that results in skillful, beneficial and productive righteous living in the world. Essentially, it is effectively living like Jesus Christ in the world. Wisdom in the Bible covers...

  • Pastor's Corner: Pride goes before destruction

    Pastor Spencer Carpenter, First Southern Baptist Church, Shafter|Updated Feb 5, 2024

    Pride, arrogance and self-conceit are at the root of every sin. Pride is the inflated view of oneself that derives pleasure from the self-perceived greatness of one’s own reputation, status, power, influence, abilities, possessions and achievements. Pride is the foolish puffing up of one’s own ego like a balloon, where every self-exalting action inflates it with more air; and yet everyone knows overinflated balloons must eventually pop (1 Corinthians 4:7-9, 18). Pride distorts one’s self-image and conceit creates a self-...

  • Pastor's Corner: Wisely handling anger

    Pastor Spencer Carpenter, Congregational Bible Church, Shafter|Updated Sep 17, 2023

    There were once two brothers, one a shepherd and the other a farmer. One day they gave gifts to their father. The shepherd son gave the best sheep of his flock, while the farmer son thoughtlessly gave low-quality vegetables. The father was delighted with the best sheep but was displeased with the poor produce. The farmer’s son was very angry at his brother for one-upping his gift. These feelings boiled over into rage, and one day the angry son murdered his brother! This is a retelling of Cain’s anger and murder of Abel (Ge...

  • Pastor's Corner: Wisely handling criticism

    Pastor Spencer Carpenter, Congregational Bible Church, Shafter|Updated Aug 5, 2023

    The old saying goes, “Everyone’s a critic!” How true this is in a world where all of us are sinners with keen eyes to find faults in others. Critics quickly pounce on other’s flaws and point out failures. A lesson more valuable than gold is how to handle criticism. “He that refuses instruction hates himself: but he who listens to reproof acquires understanding.” (Proverbs 15:32). There is a difference between constructive criticism and destructive criticism. Destructive criticism notices the faults and failures of others a...

  • Pastor's Corner: Wisdom and adversity

    Pastor Spencer Carpenter, Congregational Bible Church, Shafter|Updated Jul 3, 2023

    We live in a world full of trials, troubles, struggles, hardships, frustrations and disappointments. Adversities happen unexpectedly and are out of our control. Loss of a job, an opportunity, money, health, or a loved one. "Man is born for trouble, as sparks fly upwards" (Job 5:7). The wise Christian expects troubles in our fallen world. God's Word reveals a wise perspective to understand adversity and to make a righteous plan to face it when it inevitably arrives. Adversity turns you to God. Adversity is used by God to turn...

  • Pastor's Corner: Wise conflict resolution

    Pastor Spencer Carpenter, Congregational Bible Church, Shafter|Updated May 30, 2023

    If you desire to live in a world without conflict, then you are living in the wrong world. The sinful nature of humanity will lead to conflicts, disagreements, and divisions. “Now the deeds of the flesh are evident … hostilities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions …”(Galatians 5:19-20). Conflict is a serious disagreement over a difference in opinion, purpose, or preference. Conflict may be caused by misunderstandings, poor communication, different values, goals, priorities, expecta...

  • Pastor's Corner: Wise character qualities

    Pastor Spencer Carpenter, Congregational Bible Church, Shafter|Updated Apr 25, 2023

    Most of us every day want to put on fresh clothes. After one day, we want to take off the old and put on the new. This same picture is used for Christians putting off the old fleshly qualities we lived in before putting on our new righteous character qualities in Christ (Ephesians 4:20-24). Biblical wisdom is tied to Christlike character qualities that transform the heart and character. Biblical wisdom is characterized by truth, purity, gentleness, peacefulness, reasonableness, mercy and sincerity as Christians are a...

  • Pastor's Corner - Jan. 5, 2023

    Pastor Spencer Carpenter, Congregational Bible Church|Updated Jan 8, 2023

    “Without counsel plans are frustrated, but with many counselors they succeed.” (Proverbs 15:22) Success or failure largely depends on the company you keep and the counsel you heed (1 Cor 15:33). Our closest friends and counselors influence our character, behavior and the course of our lives, for better or for worse. The wise person is aware of this and is selective toward choosing influential friends (Proverbs 12:26). The foolish person is undiscerning concerning counselors. One should seek out a few high-quality adv...

  • Pastor's Corner: Communication is key

    Pastor Spencer Carpenter, Congregational Bible Church, Shafter|Updated Dec 8, 2022

    There is a key that will open many doors, like opening the way to new friends, a better marriage, helping your children and better work relationships. This is a key that everyone has, but it works better or worse for different people. Communication is the key. Everyone knows that life is ongoing communication. What is overlooked is that good and God-honoring communication is a skill that needs to be developed according to Biblical wisdom. The difference between wise righteous speech and wicked foolish speech are as night and...

  • Pastor's Corner: Motivation for the momentous

    Pastor Spencer Carpenter, Congregational Bible Church, Shafter|Updated Oct 23, 2022

    Everyone in the world is on a quest for success. Many successful people in history accomplished great things; none more so than King Solomon (990-931 BC). Proverbs is where Solomon wrote divinely revealed wisdom for skillful living and success. Reading Proverbs regularly and repeatedly will bear the life-changing fruit of being able to live righteously and skillfully in this fallen world to the glory to God. Every person seeking to accomplish anything needs motivation that goals can be attained and hope that success will...

  • Pastor's Corner: The wise and foolish paths

    Pastor Spencer Carpenter, Congregational Bible Church, Shafter|Updated Aug 7, 2022

    Life often presents us with choices between two options: good or bad, right or wrong, wise or foolish. Not every choice is black and white, but biblical wisdom proposes that most of life falls into two categories: living wisely or foolishly. Two paths are presented in Proverbs 1:7: [BEGIN ITAL]“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.”[END ITAL] “Fear of the Lord”’ is not being terrified and running away from God; rather, it means reverential awe, humble respect and obedi...

  • Pastor's Corner - March 19, 2020: The virtue of humility

    Pastor Spencer Carpenter, Congrgational Bible Church, Shafter|Updated Mar 19, 2020

    One distinctly Christian characteristic is the virtue of humility. No one naturally likes to be humble, a word that is rooted in ideas of lowliness, poverty, submission or subjugation, and debasement (Prov 22:22-23; Amos 2:7; Zech. 7:10). Everyone wants to be thought of as great, exalted, in charge, answering to no one; this, of course, is pride, which is rightly regarded as the opposite of humility (it comes from a sinful heart; Mark 7:21-23). Humility became a virtue in the Old Testament, focusing on one’s submission and d...

  • Pastor's Corner - Nov. 7, 2019

    Pastor Spencer Carpenter, Shafter Congregational Bible Church|Updated Nov 7, 2019

    Few passages have caused as much fear and anxiety as the verses where Jesus states that there is an unpardonable or unforgivable sin, which is mentioned in all three Synoptic Gospels (see Matthew 12:31-32; Mark 3:28-29; Luke 12:10). Many questions arise in the minds of concerned readers: What exactly is the unpardonable sin? Have I committed the unpardonable sin? Can the unpardonable sin still be committed today? Can we know if someone commits the unpardonable sin, and if so, is there absolutely no repentance from or...