Happy Wednesday, FCC! You are in my thoughts and prayers! AWANA starts tonight—please pray that God's word moves powerfully in young hearts as verses are memorized and children are discipled. Pray for the leaders and leaders in training. Pray for a renewal of the gospel in the next generation!
"Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord"
In the second half of Romans 12, Paul is calling on us in view of God's mercies to love others, and especially return evil done to us with good. To help us repay evil with good, Paul reminds us of the good news of God's vengeance.
How is God's vengeance good news? It is good news because we are reminded that God will right every wrong. When we are tempted to repay evil for evil, Paul reminds us of God’s vengeance. This reminder works two ways. If we repay evil with evil, we are doing injustice against another and we are sinning against God. It works another way, too. We don't have to take out vengeance on another, because God will do it. We are to leave room for the wrath of God and not take vengeance. What we are saying, when we do take vengeance, is God can't be trusted to right this; I have to take it into my own hands.
Ever notice that in action movies God is missing from the worldview? Why? Because the hero of the movie is the action hero who “brings justice.” Notice that the justice always ends with the antagonist receiving death at the hands of the protagonist? In a worldview without a God of justice, it's up to us to do the justice.
But in the real world, one with a just God at the center, we can let the authorities punish wrong doing (Romans 13.4), as God's servant. But even if the wrong doing is not properly punished by the state, God will bring it to rights, so we must not retaliate evil for evil but overcome evil with good. Notice that taking vengeance out on another is not only responding with violence to violence, but can also be as simple as giving the silent treatment to another when wronged. The silent treatment is repaying evil for evil. What is the silent treatment? It is punishing another for their evil to us. Instead, Paul says to do good to others, even in the small day to day evils done to us.
Vengeance is good news as well—because not only does God remind us that he will right all wrongs—it is good news because God's wrath against our sin has been dealt with in Jesus' life, death, and resurrection. So, if we do good to another sinning against us and they don't repent, God will have vengeance on them—so we are not to respond to evil with evil. If the sin committed against us is committed by a fellow disciple of Jesus, that sin is paid for by Jesus' death, just like all of ours are. So, if we are forgiven much sin, and they are forgiven much sin, how can we justify any form of vengeance against another disciple of Jesus?
Pastor Larry Szyman will preach on “The Gospel and Government” (Romans 13:1-7). This text is so helpful because it reminds us of the role for which God has instituted governmental authorities. I am grateful that Pastor Larry will be preaching this text, not only because of his love for us and the Scriptures, but also because of his involvement as a chaplain for the St. Croix County.
LifeShaping is our Sunday morning education hour for Pre-K through 12th grade, and the fall session begins on Sunday, Sept. 24. Find more info and register at fcchudson.com!
SUNDAY, SEPT. 24 – FOLLOWING THE 11 A.M. SERVICE
FCC members will gather on Sunday, Sept. 24, following the 11 a.m. service, to vote on candidates for covenant membership. All are welcome to attend this meeting. If you are interested in becoming a covenant member of FCC, the next Covenant Membership Class is scheduled for Oct. 5 and 12, 5:45 to 8:45 p.m. (attend both dates). Dinner and childcare are provided. This class is our introduction to membership at FCC and is required for anyone wishing to pursue membership. The class covers our purpose, mission, vision, discipleship paths, Missional Community, covenant and statement of belief. Learn more and register for the class at fcchudson.com/registrations.
BRATS, POLKA & PRETZELS!
October 29 marks the 500th anniversary of Reformation Sunday. On Oct 31, 1517, Martin Luther began a reformation of the church by nailing 95 theses to the Wittenberg Door. This event sparked a recovery of the gospel of grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone. As we bring our Romans series (a sermon series on Living and Breathing the Gospel) to conclusion on Oct 29, it seemed fitting to take an opportunity to gather together and have some fun together, while also reminding ourselves of the gospel of God’s grace.
On Sunday, Oct. 29, Faith Community is hosting Reformapalooza, a family Reformation celebration, following the 11 a.m. service. Come enjoy this fun, festive, fall picnic!
Did you know that you can find the announcements shared during the Sunday worship gatherings at fcchudson.com? Check online at the beginning of the week to learn more about what’s happening at FCC. You can listen to the audio recording of the announcements or read a brief written summary.
With the Romans series, we have a schedule for memorizing key verses—together as a church—which are crucial for helping us preach the gospel to ourselves and encourage one another as we seek to live out the gospel in all of life. The verses all come from Romans, and correspond to the preaching schedule. Pick up a memory verse card this Sunday to help you memorize the verses each week:
9 Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. (Romans 12:9)
1 I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. 2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God,what is good and acceptable and perfect. (Romans 12:1-2)