St. Luke's Church Faribault
6-30-19
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        Prayer Connect

        July 21, 2019 - 5:30 PM - 7:00 PM
        One Church One Body One Heart
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        Prayer Meeting

        June 5, 2019 - 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM
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        Prayer Meeting

        June 5, 2019 - 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM
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        Amazing Love Recovery Group

        June 16, 2019 - 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM
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        Amazing Love Recovery Group

        June 16, 2019 - 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM
        A Christian based group for people in recovery.
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        Bible Study

        June 18, 2019 - 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM
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        Bible Study

        June 18, 2019 - 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM
        The Book of John
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        Men's Coffee

        June 22, 2019 - 7:00 AM - 8:00 AM
        Men's coffee and fellowship.
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        Men's Coffee

        June 22, 2019 - 7:00 AM - 8:00 AM
        Men's coffee and fellowship.
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        Church Council Meeting

        June 23, 2019 - 11:30 AM - 12:30 PM
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        Amazing Love Recovery Group

        June 16, 2019 - 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM
        A Christian based group for people in recovery.
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        Amazing Love Recovery Group

        June 16, 2019 - 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM
        A Christian based group for people in recovery.
      • Psalm 32:1NIV2011

      • Psalm 32:2NIV2011

      • Psalm 32:11NIV2011

  • Blessed Assurance
  • Trust and Obey
  • There Is Power In The Blood
  • When I was a kid I joined some sort of fan club. Did anyone ever do this? I don’t even know if they still have these things. There was an ad in a magazine or something for the club and it explained how great it would be join. You would get all these benefits, such as a sticker, and ID card, and they would even send you a quarterly newsletter. I wanted to prove my loyalty, and belong with like-minded people. I filed out the form. I half expected some questions to prove my loyalty, but all they wanted was my name and address and and membership fee. I saved up my allowance and sent off my application, with crossed finger hoping that I would be accepted into such an exclusive club.
    I watched the mailbox everyday checking for membership. I waited and waited and nothing ever came.I actually even forgot about it. Then one day-very unceremoniously my mom told me a large envelope had arrived for me. It was a bit tattered, and unfortunately the contents weren’t much different. The membership card was bent, and it was perforated on a larger sheet that you had to punch out and fill in your own name. The news letter didn’t really say much, and the sticker was cheap and bent up.
    Nevertheless, I was such a fan, that it meant everything to me. I carefully filled out the membership card, punched it out the card and placed it in my billfold. At that time this was the only thing in my billfold. I carried it around proudly. See on this membership card, it said I was an official member and was entitled to all the rights and privileges thereunto appertaining to this membership. WOW! This was big.
    I showed all my friends my card, to prove I was part of such an exclusive society. This proved my loyalty. They were interested at first, but then they questioned me about what I recieved for my money, and they saw through the scam quicker than I did. It didn’t matter to me that this wasn’t worth anything, I was a fan.
    I don’t know if things like that exist anymore. Fan clubs, and such. There was a stronger sense of wanting to belong years ago. I think today you just like people on facebook and follow them on instagram. Especially in the age of the internet, society has moved away from groups and more toward the individual. But , people still want to belong. Gangs are proof of that. Young people in difficult or dangerous circumstances find strength and acceptance in a group. They find people who will stick by them over there common bond. They enjoy the benefits of belonging.
    In ancient times society was far more group oriented than it is now. Families, clans, or tribes, and nations, were your identity. And that it what we are going to talk about today, open your Bibles with me to Romans chapter 4, and I will begin with a word of prayer.
    pray
    Romans 4:1–12 NIV
    What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh, discovered in this matter? If, in fact, Abraham was justified by works, he had something to boast about—but not before God. What does Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.” Now to the one who works, wages are not credited as a gift but as an obligation. However, to the one who does not work but trusts God who justifies the ungodly, their faith is credited as righteousness. David says the same thing when he speaks of the blessedness of the one to whom God credits righteousness apart from works: “Blessed are those whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the one whose sin the Lord will never count against them.” Is this blessedness only for the circumcised, or also for the uncircumcised? We have been saying that Abraham’s faith was credited to him as righteousness. Under what circumstances was it credited? Was it after he was circumcised, or before? It was not after, but before! And he received circumcision as a sign, a seal of the righteousness that he had by faith while he was still uncircumcised. So then, he is the father of all who believe but have not been circumcised, in order that righteousness might be credited to them. And he is then also the father of the circumcised who not only are circumcised but who also follow in the footsteps of the faith that our father Abraham had before he was circumcised.
    Romans 4-Rhetorical Argument Structure
    If Justification by Faith, than what about Abraham?
    Ch. 4, verses 1-6 Not Justified by works
    Ch. 4, verses 7-12 Not Justified by circumscision
    Ch. 4, verses 13-17-Not Justified by the Law
    Ch. 4, verses 18-25-Summary-Justification gives hope
    In Romans chapter 4, the structure looks like this. Paul has just said that the way to righteousness or goodness in God’s eyes is by faith. Paul knows that people will reject this idea because it is too radical, so he anticipates their arguments and shows them from the Bible how this applies. He uses the example of one of the heroes of the faith Abraham. In verses 1-6 he shows that Abraham is not justified by works, in 7-12 Paul shows that Abraham is not justified by circumscision, and in 13-17 Paul shows that he is not justified by works of the law. Then he summarizes the chapter in the final verses at the end.
    For us, not being of Jewish background this might be a little confusing, so I will explain it a little.
    The Jewish people believed that Abraham was a good guy in God’s eyes because of three things.
    The Jews believed Abraham was Justified:
    By what he did (works).
    By circumscision (Belonging to the Jewish Community).
    By Following the Law (The 10 commandments +).
    The Jews believed Abraham was Justified, or right with God, because of three things. Number 1, by what he did moved his family. by circumscision, or we can think of that as belonging to the jewish community. and by following the law or the 10 commandments plus other laws God specifies.
    Now, As odd as that sounds, we think the same things. I know it doesn’t seem like it, but we do.
    He or she is good person because:
    By what he/she did
    By belonging to church or the sacraments. (Circumscision)
    Following the law (at least outwardly)
    Number one-by what he or she did, How many times have you heard this? She was such a nice lady, or He would give you the shirt off his back, he might not been a church goer, but he was a good man. Or number 2? He was a member of the church, he was baptised and confirmed. She did So much for the church. Then number 3, we all think this right, you know they don’t take the name of the Lord in vain, they go to church most Sunday’s they are honest.
    Here in Romans 4, Paul is taking apart those arguments one at a time. Last week we we looked at number one. the fact that it wasn’t Abraham’s works, but that he believed the Lord and the Lord credited it to Him as righteousness.
    Today we are looking at number 2 Circumscision. Starting at verse 6,
    Romans 4:6 NIV
    David says the same thing when he speaks of the blessedness of the one to whom God credits righteousness apart from works:
    King David is another very important character in Judaism. He is the King God promised. He was the man after God’s own heart, He Ruled with Righteousness according to God’s plan. So Paul if he is going to convince the Jews of righteousness by faith, he better have David on board as well. So, he uses a quote from King David in regard to blessings.
    Now, in the mind of the Jew, being part of God’s community means that you receive all of the benefits of belonging to God’s community. We use the word, blessed.
    Both In the ancient mind and today we really think of blessings in the temporal sense. We are in fear over things we cant control like the weather, the economy or health. So, we think that being, right with God will result in good things or blessings from God. God has blessed us with good weather, or health or jobs etc. We are blessed we say.
    But being blessed means more than that. If we think of blessings in those terms we are being short sighted. Why settle for things that to use Jesus’s words, that moths and rust will destroy? It will be gone anyway. Why not look for better blessings. Permanent blessings, privileges that last an eternity. The benefits of being with a Father in his household and his family, for eternity?
    The word for blessed here in the greek has this broader sense of a relationship with God. Listen to this definition, from the Theological Dictionary of the New Testament. this word for blessed, denotes the transcendent happiness of a life beyond care, labour and death. Whenever it is used It overwhelmingly refers to the distinctive religious joy, which accrues to man from his share in the salvation of the kingdom of God.
    It is about the joy that comes as you are part of the covenant community. And with it comes all the rights and privileges of this relationship with God our Father through the Lord Jesus Christ. What are those benefits, let’s look at verse 7.
    Romans 4:7 NIV
    “Blessed are those whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered.
    This is from Psalm 31, it was written by king Davi. We started service with it this morning. You are blessed by having your sins forgiven, you are blessed by having your mistakes covered over.
    You are blessed, not by a good job or with money, but because your unrighteousness is covered with Christ’s righteousness. Verse 8 says,
    Romans 4:8 NIV
    Blessed is the one whose sin the Lord will never count against them.”
    Being blessed is not having your sins counted against you. Even when the grapes die on the vine and crops wither-being blessed means your sins are not counted against you.
    In the Old Testament there is this idea of blessings, and curses. You were either favored by God, and blessed, or not favored by God and cursed. God’s people were blessed. Abraham, was called out distinctly from the rest of the nations, from the rest of the world to be “blessed by God”. Him and His ancestors. You may remember that from last week.
    In Genesis 15, God came to Abraham and promised him he would be a great nation. Him and his offspring. God would bless him.
    In today’s reading from Genesis some 14 years later God comes to Abraham again, and renews this agreement with him to bless him. God says that He will make Abraham the Father of many nations. That kings will come from Him. God says he will establish his covenant with Abraham, and for generations to come.
    Then God says something odd.
    Genesis 17:10–11 NIV
    This is my covenant with you and your descendants after you, the covenant you are to keep: Every male among you shall be circumcised. You are to undergo circumcision, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and you.
    God wanted to distinguish that these people were somehow different from the rest of the world. You will be circumcised, then as long as you live in your flesh, all the world will know that you are part of this covenant community. Everywhere you go for the rest of your life, this mark will remain on you.
    At 8 days old the male child is marked that he is part of pf the Jewish community. Part of this group that is in with God. A permanent mark in the flesh. There was no mistaking that you part of the blessed community. You are set apart from all other nations. Called out.
    These days circumscision isn’t necessarily thought of as having religious significance outside of the Jewish community. religious, and non-religious people participate. Most of the time it is done by a doctor, shortly after birth in the hospital. Sometimes the parents are not even present. It is done with just a doctor and a nurse.
    For the Jews it is much different. In Hebrew it is called the Brit Milah, or in Yiddish the Bris. It is performed precisely on the eighth day. It will even be done on shabbat, or on the high holidays, need be. It is sometimes done at home or in the synagogue.
    The bris is performed by a mohel. A mohel is a rabbi specially trained to perform the ceremony. It is a very solemn and meaningful ceremony. There is reading from scripture, prayers and singing. They typically invite the whole family and some close friends. Then everyone shares a meal.The meal is not just a meal either, it is part of the bris.
    If you attended our seder meal you remember that there are point in the meal where the leader pronounces some blessings. They do this at the bris as well There are 6 blessings. There is on for the Child one for the Mohel, there is also one to send the Messiah speedily, and the last one to send Elijah so that God’s covenant can be fully re-established with the throne of King David. Interestingly all pointing to Jesus.
    So the sign of circumscision, marked you as part of the covenant community.
    Maybe you can start to see where Paul is going with all this ....in order to be blessed in this way do you have to have that ritual? Is it only for the those that have a mark in their flesh?
    Romans 4:9 NIV
    Is this blessedness only for the circumcised, or also for the uncircumcised? We have been saying that Abraham’s faith was credited to him as righteousness.
    Paul says, that we have been saying that Abraham’s faith was credited to him as righteousness,
    Romans 4:10 NIV
    Under what circumstances was it credited? Was it after he was circumcised, or before? It was not after, but before!
    Just like we learned last week Abraham’s faith was credited to him as righteousness in Genesis 15, verse 6, but Abraham is not circumcised until Genesis chapter 17, two chapters later, and 14 years after. His faith was credited to Him as righteousness, not the circumscision.
    Romans 4:11 NIV
    And he received circumcision as a sign, a seal of the righteousness that he had by faith while he was still uncircumcised. So then, he is the father of all who believe but have not been circumcised, in order that righteousness might be credited to them.
    So he recieved circumcision, not as a way to be part of the blessed community, but because he was already part of the blessed community.
    SO then whether you are part of the community is NOT determined by the sign or the seal, but by whether or not you have faith.
    Romans 4:12 NIV
    And he is then also the father of the circumcised who not only are circumcised but who also follow in the footsteps of the faith that our father Abraham had before he was circumcised.
    Again, all this circumcision talk can seem like it does not apply to us, it seems distant. But it really isn’t. Remember my opening story. My membership card did not make me a fan. I was a fan long before I joined the fan club. I was a fan, then because I was fan i saved up allowance as a demonstration, that I was a supporter, then I recieved the sign or the proof that I was a fan. Anyone could join the club, all you had to do was sign up. Having the card did not make you a fan.
    For us today it can be Church membership, or sacraments. Someone can be a member of the church, someone can receive the sacraments, and not have the faith necessary to be righteous in God’s sight. Being a church member does not make you “blessed”. Believing in the work of Jesus at the cross, that is what makes us blessed.
    The blessings at the bris even today point to Jesus, the Jewish community just doesn’t believe he is the Messiah, they are trusting instead in their circumscision for their righteousness and they are missing the true blessing available through Jesus Christ.
    To be blessed means to be part of God’s covenant community, to have your sins covered over by the righteousness of Christ. To have your transgressions never counted against you. To be blessed like that, which is an everlasting blessing, and a transcendent joy in the salvation of our God, is only available in Jesus.
    You receive that blessing, by faith. It has already been offered to you in the gospel of Jesus christ. He took your sins upon himself when he died on the cross and removed them from you. He rose from the dead three days later to free you to everlasting life. Take your sin to him, and be blessed.
    Perhaps you are already walking in that blessing, and yet your mind is on the temporal needs in front of you. That happens. We want to be blessed physically in the here and now and long or righteousness and justice now. Pray, seek the Lord Jesus, ask Him to help you focus in things aboVe, for blessed are the poor spirit, theirs is the kingdom of heaven, Matthew 5:3
      • Romans 4:1–12NIV2011

      • Romans 4:6NIV2011

      • Romans 4:7NIV2011

      • Romans 4:8NIV2011

      • Romans 4:9NIV2011

      • Romans 4:10NIV2011

      • Romans 4:11NIV2011

      • Romans 4:12NIV2011

  • By His Grace
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  • My Country 'Tis Of Thee (America)
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        Amazing Love Recovery Group

        June 2, 2019 - 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM
        A Christian based group for people in recovery.
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        Prayer Meeting

        June 5, 2019 - 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM
        Please join us for a time of prayer
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        Men's Coffee

        June 8, 2019 - 7:00 AM - 8:00 AM
        Men's coffee and fellowship.
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        Amazing Love Recovery Group

        June 16, 2019 - 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM
        A Christian based group for people in recovery.
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        Bible Study

        June 18, 2019 - 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM
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        Men's Coffee

        June 22, 2019 - 7:00 AM - 8:00 AM
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        Church Council Meeting

        June 23, 2019 - 11:30 AM - 12:30 PM

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