Happy Wednesday, FCC! Please pause and pray for AWANA, the Refuge, and the Elders meeting tonight!
...If one has a complaint
forgiving each other;
as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. (Colossians 3.13)
As we are learning from Paul's letter to the Romans, we have been forgiven richly because of Jesus' life, death and resurrection. Jesus has paid our debt with his life and death. Because the foundation of our relationship with the Living God is grace and forgiveness, one of the chief virtues that is to mark our lives with one another is forgiving one another.
Until we see Jesus face to face, we will still sin against one another. As followers of Jesus, we seek to love each other so well that we don't sin, but regrettably we will still sin against one another. So we must learn how to forgive as we have been forgiven.
Over the next few weeks I will invest the gospel reminder toward gospel instruction on how to forgive one another our sins against one another. What does it mean to truly forgive another from the heart?
Today, I want to start at the beginning. Where does forgiveness toward another begin? It doesn't begin with knowing another's sin against you. Where does it begin? It begins in knowing and experiencing the great forgiveness we have been given by God in Jesus our Lord. If we start with how big another's offense against us is, forgiveness will feel impossible. But if we begin by reminding ourselves of the offenses we have been forgiven by God, we get power to forgive. This is why the commands to forgive one another are grounded in the Lord's forgiveness of us.
Remind your heart today of the Lord's forgiveness of your sins. Ask the Lord to remind you of his grace extended to you. Cherish the abundance of grace God has lavished on you in forgiving your sins. Ask God to melt your heart with his grace toward you. It is in this position—the position of being justified by grace—where we get power to forgive the sins of others against us.
Sunday, Sept 24, was an encouraging time for me. First it was encouraging to commission Zack and Angie Szyman. Second, it was encouraging to affirm new members into covenant membership with us—Jim and Sue Endle, Brenda Everson, Chris and Lindsey Hudson, and Paul and Dawn Merialtt. Please pause and pray for the Szymans and for the new members!
I will be back preaching this Sunday on “The Gospel and Acceptance” (Romans 14). In this section of Romans, Paul will help us keep the main thing the main thing as a church made up of people of various backgrounds and degrees of maturity in faith. It is easy for our hearts to move from the essentials of following Jesus to arguing about secondary matters. When we do this, we are tempted to either judge one another or look down on one another. When this happens, we forget that we belong to one another, because we firstly belong to Jesus. Paul directs us to the gospel power to help followers of Jesus accept one another, especially when we have strong disagreements about secondary matters. What matters most is how we disagree and live in unity, a unity that Jesus purchased with his life.
In this passage, Paul brings up matters of conscience. If you haven't thought much about your conscience and what the Bible says about it and disagreements regarding matters of conscience, I highly recommend the following two resources. The first one is free and the second one will be available in our café area for purchase:
Thank you for your interest in the resources recommended by Pastor Larry during his sermon last Sunday. We apologize that we were short on the number of copies needed. We now have more copies of “Gospel Fluency” available for purchase in the cafe area, along with “The Art of Neighboring” and many other titles. Thank you!
HOW TO START A DISCIPLESHIP RELATIONSHIP – Panel led by Diane Bennett
Gary and Angela Nourse and Jill Willeke
THIS SUNDAY, OCT. 1, AFTER BOTH SERVICES IN ROOMS 9 AND 10
At FCC, our mission is to make more and better disciples, and we want to follow Jesus’ example. We believe God is calling us to trust that we can, by the power of the Spirit, equip one another to more effectively make disciples together as we go. We’re offering a workshop after both services on Sunday, Oct. 1, to come learn how to get started with discipleship and mentoring. There’s no cost for the workshop, and no need to register.
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!
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:
Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. (Romans 13:8)
Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. (Romans 13:1)