St John UMC
September 11 2022
      • Download

        UMW Flea Market

        October 1, 2022 - 8:00 AM - 2:00 PM
        Are you spring cleaning? Save your gently used household and kitchen items, holiday decorations, tools, baby clothes and toys, linens, sports equipment, furniture in good condition (no mattresses, baby beds car seats or box TVs), etc. please save your donations and bring them to the church the week prior to the sale.  1) Any large items need to be delivered to the CAC as pick ups will not be available.   2) Neither men’s nor women’s clothes will be sold this year, so please take those items to a charity of your  choice.   3) Jewelry, scarfs, hats, gloves, shoes, purses, belts, socks will be accepted.   The Flea Market is the major fund-raising event for UMW and funds are used for needs at St. John as well as outside missions.
      • Donate $100.00 towards General

  • Holy Spirit
  • Freedom through Forgiveness

    So last week we spent some time focusing on forgiveness. What is forgiveness and the necessity for it. I hope that you spent some time this past week in scripture and thanking God for His forgiveness and love being shown to us through His son Jesus Christ.
    As we continue our time this morning I want us to look at the freedom that comes with, or through, forgiveness. But, using the word freedom always implies, at some point, being bound by something.
    So let’s open with a word of prayer.
    I told you last Sunday that we were going to have an anchor scripture. A foundational scripture on which to stand as we study the topic of forgiveness. It is out of Ephesians 4. We started in verse 17 and read through chapter 5 verse 2, but, I would like us to pick up in chapter 4 verse 29.
    Ephesians 4:29–32 ESV
    29 Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. 32 Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
    Again, Paul is clearly contrasting the world and the children of God. 1 Corinthians 6, “and such were some of you.” But we have been washed, we have been sanctified, we have been justified, we have been forgiven! Such were some of you.
    Ephesians 5:1–2 ESV
    1 Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. 2 And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
    So, remember, we are to be imitators of God. We are most like God when we forgive. I know that’s a bold statement but I want you to take that with you this week, as I hope you did last week, and apply it. I cannot stress application enough. Any truth spoken from this platform, whether it’s spoken by me or Carl or Rick, or Judy, or anyone really, has to be applied to your lives. Those with ears to hear let them hear, right?
    Traffic example
    So we forgive because God has forgiven us! There is a freedom that comes with forgiveness.
    Galatians 5:1 ESV
    1 For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.
    But then we have to ask, what are we set free from? What enslaved us? Look back to Ephesians 4:31-32
    Ephesians 4:31–32 ESV
    31 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. 32 Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
    Do you see how all of scripture comes together? The incredible harmony in God’s Word?
    So, we have been set free from the bondage of sin, from the chains of unrighteousness. But, too often, we pick those chains back up.
    We live in a world full of bitterness, anger, rage, slander, and resentment. Don’t believe me? Just turn on the TV or spend about 3 seconds on social media. This is nothing new, however. Look with me at Genesis 4:1-8
    Genesis 4:1–8 ESV
    1 Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain, saying, “I have gotten a man with the help of the Lord.” 2 And again, she bore his brother Abel. Now Abel was a keeper of sheep, and Cain a worker of the ground. 3 In the course of time Cain brought to the Lord an offering of the fruit of the ground, 4 and Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat portions. And the Lord had regard for Abel and his offering, 5 but for Cain and his offering he had no regard. So Cain was very angry, and his face fell. 6 The Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry, and why has your face fallen? 7 If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is contrary to you, but you must rule over it.” 8 Cain spoke to Abel his brother. And when they were in the field, Cain rose up against his brother Abel and killed him.
    So Cain actually murdered his own brother. And this even happened after God Himself warned Cain. See Verse 7.
    When looking at the 10 commandments, who knows what the 6th commandment is? Thou shall not murder.
    Matthew 5:21–24 ESV
    21 “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’ 22 But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire. 23 So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.
    Now this is interesting so I really want you to listen… Notice Jesus started out with, “you have heard it said… but I say to you” Jesus is pointing out that it’s a heart thing and not an action thing.
    You see the teachers of old had watered down the Word of God to where they were simply teaching as a set of rules to follow. Just don’t murder. You can be angry. You can verbally tear down anyone who you disagree with. Just don’t murder them. That’s all. Jesus, however, slams on the breaks. He says...
    reference scripture from Matthew again
    We can now go back to Genesis 4:7
    Genesis 4:7 ESV
    7 If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is contrary to you, but you must rule over it.”
    This was not a to do list. Instead God was, addressing the heart. Sin wants to have its way with you. It wants to bind you and ultimately destroy you. Apart from Christ we are bound by sin. We are enslaved by the chains of sin and death. But, Christ came to set us free.
    This could be a bit of a side note but is still completely within the realm of what we are learning this morning. Hopefully this will help you in your faith journey and as you share Jesus in the world.
    A common question that I always hear, especially from an atheistic point of view, is “how can a good God send someone to Hell?” Valid question but also it’s a question with an answer. The bible, being one of the ways God has chosen to reveal himself to us, teaches that in the myriad of God’s infinite and perfect attributes, one of those is Justice. Then, if God is perfectly just then He cannot and will not let law breakers slide by without there being a payment for that broken law. So, God has clearly stated His law, so far as He has written it on our hearts. Breaking those laws is called sin. God has also revealed to us what the payment for sin is… for the wages of sin is death.
    But Nate hold up… that guy that just got sentenced to 180 years in prison, is that fair? I mean he just made a bad decision. Well, that decision was murdering two people. Do you see how that changes your view of this man? We can water down what he did to try and cover up the severity of his actions but in reality he murdered 2 people.
    This is what Jesus is doing in Matthew. He is clearing up what we try and sweep under the rug everyday. If we are angry at our brother we’ve murdered him. If we look lustfully at a women we’ve committed adultery. Ladies, you don’t get out of this one either. Insert sister or look at a man with lust. What Jesus is teaching goes all the way back to Adam and Eve. From the very first man until Jesus comes back, for all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. BUT, from the foundation of the world, God had a plan. A plan to send His son, He who knew no sin, to become sin… to take on our sin and all of the just punishment, owed to us, upon himself. That is love! That is forgiveness!!! I pray that helps those of you who struggle with that question
    If the forgiveness of God through the blood of Jesus Christ sets us free then so can the forgiveness we show each other. Let me be clear… I am not talking about salvation. Christ and Christ along brings salvation. I’m talking about guilt, shame, depression, and anxiety. Broken relationships and loneliness. Everything we do is in response to what Christ has already done.
    2 Corinthians 1:3–5 ESV
    3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 5 For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.
    When we share in God’s forgiveness others can be set free. When we share in God’s peace those around us will be at peace. When we share in God’s comfort we too can bring comfort to everyone around us.
    But, some of you may be thinking this sounds great and all but I’m just not there. I have too much junk. I feel too much shame and too much guilt. Let me share one last passage of scripture with you this morning.
    Zechariah 3:1–10 ESV
    1 Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right hand to accuse him. 2 And the Lord said to Satan, “The Lord rebuke you, O Satan! The Lord who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you! Is not this a brand plucked from the fire?” 3 Now Joshua was standing before the angel, clothed with filthy garments. 4 And the angel said to those who were standing before him, “Remove the filthy garments from him.” And to him he said, “Behold, I have taken your iniquity away from you, and I will clothe you with pure vestments.” 5 And I said, “Let them put a clean turban on his head.” So they put a clean turban on his head and clothed him with garments. And the angel of the Lord was standing by. 6 And the angel of the Lord solemnly assured Joshua, 7 “Thus says the Lord of hosts: If you will walk in my ways and keep my charge, then you shall rule my house and have charge of my courts, and I will give you the right of access among those who are standing here. 8 Hear now, O Joshua the high priest, you and your friends who sit before you, for they are men who are a sign: behold, I will bring my servant the Branch. 9 For behold, on the stone that I have set before Joshua, on a single stone with seven eyes, I will engrave its inscription, declares the Lord of hosts, and I will remove the iniquity of this land in a single day. 10 In that day, declares the Lord of hosts, every one of you will invite his neighbor to come under his vine and under his fig tree.”
    1709 When John Wesley was only five or six years old, he was trapped in a burning house and was only rescued when one neighbor climbed on another’s shoulders and pulled him out of a window. A picture of the scene was drawn for Wesley and he kept the drawing until he died, and wrote under it Zechariah 3:2: Is this not a brand plucked from the burning?
    There is no amount of junk or filth that keeps God from plucking you out of the fire. What a picture! If you reach into a fire to pull out a stick you get your hands dirty. Jesus Christ left His place in heaven to come to this filthy wretched place to seek and save those who are lost. He doesn’t wait for us to change clothes and get cleaned up first. Jesus Christ died for you and me while we were still sinners, still filthy, and through His forgiveness His blood washes us white as snow. By believing in Jesus Christ and His work on the cross you are forgiven and set free.
    So as we prepare to leave this place, if you want to be free from guilt, free from bitterness and anger, free from broken relationships, and free from loneliness… forgive! Because, there is freedom in forgiveness.
    Let us pray!
      • Ephesians 2.1-2NLT

      • Ephesians 2.3-4NLT

      • Ephesians 2.5-6NLT

      • Ephesians 2.7-8NLT

      • Ephesians 2.9-10NLT

      • Romans 3.22-24NLT

      • Romans 3.25NLT

      • Romans 3.26NLT

      • Romans 3.27-29NLT

      • Romans 3.30-31NLT

      • 1 Corinthians 10.1-3MESSAGE

      • 1 Corinthians 10.4MESSAGE

      • 1 Corinthians 10.5-6MESSAGE

      • 1 Corinthians 10.7-9MESSAGE

      • 1 Corinthians 10.10-11MESSAGE

      • 1 Corinthians 10.12MESSAGE

      • 1 Corinthians 10.13MESSAGE

      • 2 Peter 1.3NLT

      • 2 Peter 1.4NLT

      • 2 Peter 1.5-6NLT

      • 2 Peter 1.7-9NLT

      • 2 Peter 1.10-11NLT

    Let us get to know you!

    Please take a moment to send us your information so that we may stay connected with you. Your information is carefully managed and protected.
    I am a:
    How did you hear about us?