Blossoming Belief: The New Covenant

Blossoming Belief

We live in a New Covenant.

It is a relationship with Jesus.

And the universe rejoices.

Contrary to popular sentiment, spring is here! Once the ground and plants are ready, we will need many hands to make light work of the planting of the starts and seeds. Please know that kids are so welcomed!You have heard Bob say these true words dozens of times as he administers communion:

“This cup represents a new covenant in Your blood.”

Our faith employs symbols, metaphors, and timeless pictures to explain the depth, width, and breadth of God’s love in Jesus. The weight of the glory of all these things will be poured upon us when we move from mortality to immortality. Until then, we embrace these elements as “living” connections to God. They are properly embraced as living, not as antiquated. They grab us and hold us in these shadowlands until we move into the eternal, until we see “face to face.”

Today’s message is in keeping with the past two weeks: Jesus is superior to both angels and devotion to religion; we will discuss that the New Covenant in Jesus is superior to the Old Covenant. Actually, the New Covenant replaces the Old Covenant. The Old Covenant has passed into the New, in the Person of Jesus. This should give us goose bumps!

If we receive this New Covenant properly, it transforms us from one degree of glory to another. And here’s the key: this is God’s covenant, all the promises are His. To live in His “realm,” to understand that His promises are “yes and amen” to us as believers, is to take our lives and place them in His New Covenant Hands – and release them forever.

Sounds like a pipe dream. It isn’t. But, we need to understand that because He keeps the covenant, He knows were are but clay… and He forms and reforms and reforms us. Until that day…

News & Announcements

  • PRAYER GATHERING @ 7:00 p.m., Wednesday
  • Advocate-Bromenn Prayer Partnership: Adult Day Services/Life Enrichment
  • Women’s Bible Study: Mon. 6:00-7:00, Spencer’s
  • Men’s Bible Study: Mon. 6:00-7:00, Dave Park’s
  • Palm Sunday Breakfst, April 13 … 9:00 a.m. @ church
  • Salem4Youth 25th Annual Charity Auction
    April 12, starts at 8:30
  • Miracle Camp wants to communicate directly with families in the church. If you are okay with this, let Bill know.
  • The Everence Sharing Funds provided matching funds to support special needs in our church last year. Bill Matthews serves as the Everence advocate for our congregation. Please contact him for more information.

 

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Blossoming Belief: The Supremacy of Christ Over the Law

Blossoming Belief: The Supremacy of Christ Over the Law…

or Anything Religious Which Might Distract Us from True Faith

How would you depict His Supremacy?

How would you show it artistically?

Must it be abstract because He is Beyond in His Transcendence? Must it be realistic to the nth degree because His Reality is Perfect?

How “religious” are you? Know what? The answer doesn’t really matter. What is your relationship with God? Now, THAT matters. Today, we will study how, according to the writer of Hebrews, knowing Jesus is superior to any and all religious practices. Let’s get this through our thick skulls and hard hearts: faith in Christ is a relationship, not a religious practice. God’s grace overwhelms us not because we adhere to a set of standards, but because He pours Himself over us.

All of life’s good gifts are “common grace.”

All of the believer’s uncommon gifts from God are “particular grace.”

We don’t earn these. We aren’t capable.

I wish we all could take part in the Bible study being held in recent weeks by some of the men of the church. They have been slowly and carefully considering the powerhouse which is the Book of Romans. So strong, so clear, so gospel-centered… and then chapters 9-11.

These chapters teach us about Israel, the Law, the faithless failures of the people of Israel, and God’s love for them anyway. There are truths expressed in those chapters which run so contrary to how we, with our sense of justice, might operate a “chosen people” relationship of rebellious people and a Holy God. Chapter 10:4 summarizes: “For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.”

There are good lessons in all this for us as we consider Hebrews 3-4. Jewish efforts at “righteousness” failed. God’s efforts at righteousness imputed on people begin and end with Jesus. NO MATTER HOW RELIGIOUS, HOW DEVOTED WE MAY BE, JESUS IS THE AUTHOR AND PERFECTOR OF OUR FAITH. We trust Him for everything. He keeps His promises.

News & Announcements

  • PRAYER GATHERING @ 7:00 p.m., Wednesday
  • Advocate-Bromenn Prayer Partnership: Adult Day Services/Life Enrichment
  • Women’s Bible Study: Mon. 6:00-7:00, Spencer’s
  • Men’s Bible Study: Mon. 6:00-7:00, Dave Park’s
  • Palm Sunday Breakfast, April 13 … 9:00 a.m. @ church
  • Dave & Cara McMorris and kids are heading to Africa for a year. We must, with joy, support them. They share their vision with us today.
  • Salem4Youth 25th Annual Charity Auction
    April 12, starts at 8:30
  • The Everence Sharing Funds provided matching funds to support special needs in our church last year. Bill Matthews serves as the Everence advocate for our congregation. Please contact him for more information.

 

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Blossoming Belief: Jesus’ Superiority over Angels

Crocuses are wonderful harbingers that spring is on the way.

Blossoming Belief

Crocuses are wonderful harbingers that spring is on the way. They raise their heads through cold and thatch and shout that life defeats death and beauty overwhelms.
The Book of Hebrews will instruct us for the next five Sundays. This week we take on Jesus… and angels… and His complete superiority over them. The Son made angels, and then became a man. Mankind is “a little lower than the angels.” How does this all work?“Ma’am, do you happen to have a plate of this particular style,” he asked hopefully. “Sorry, but I don’t think so,” my grandma replied. “But, yes, Mama, I think we do, downstairs. Let me go look…” offered my aunt.

I will finish this story for you in today’s message. My extended family came to view this as a potential visit from an angel. Can’t be proven or disproven either way, I suppose. Regardless, it is an encouraging true tale which inspired belief that God entered our family’s need and met it in a very distinct and exacting way.

We all need to have a faith that is founded on the belief that God is nearer than we can ever define, that He loves us more than we could ever imagine, and that He will take care of us, now and in the next life. That’s why we are calling this series, “Blossoming Belief.” Our faith needs to grow in a beautiful way, a blossoming way, just like the crocuses on the cover photo.

This particular photo is what I keep as my phone wallpaper. These crocuses grew in our flower bed. I often need to be reminded that Jesus breaks through the winter of our lives with brilliant life.

The anonymous writer of the Book of Hebrews wants us to understand this. He wants us to grasp the Superiority of our Savior over all of creation and all that happens in our lives. He wants us to understand that Jesus created even the spirit world and rules over it. We are not to be fascinated with the spirit world. We are to be fascinated with Jesus.

Five weeks of Hebrews coming up. May our belief blossom into bright and delightful detail!

News & Announcements

  • PRAYER GATHERING @ 7:00 p.m., Wednesday
  • Advocate-Bromenn Prayer Partnership: Adult Day Services/Life Enrichment
  • Women’s Bible Study: Mon. 6:00-7:00, Spencer’s
  • Men’s Bible Study: Mon. 6:00-7:00, Dave Park’s
  • Palm Sunday Breakfast, April 13 .. 9:00 a.m. @ church
  • Dave & Cara McMorris and kids are heading to Africa for a year. We must, with joy, support them. They will be sharing their vision with us in a few weeks, date yet to be determined. You don’t want to miss this. Invite friends and family, too.

 

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