DUE to the COVID-19 pandemic
WELCOME TO OUR VISITORS: Like everyone else, we are trying to avoid COVID-19 among all of us. Some of us are more vulnerable than others. We ask everyone to keep six feet from others and wear a mask so that no one becomes ill by attending worship. Some of us will be participating virtually through Zoom at home and others will be in the building. If in the future you wish to participate on Zoom at home contact Karl Marcussen and he will help you join us.
COVID NOTE: Most of you probably know that Tim Clayton had been hospitalized with the COVID-19 virus. Tim is blind, mentally challenged, and has muscular dystrophy and cerebral palsy. Tim was moved out of the hospital to free up a bed for COVID victims; but, he is in serious condition and has to be fed and is on oxygen. Tim is in a facility where everyone had to wear a mask and stay at a social distance. Even with all those precautions he contracted the virus. Please bear with us as we try to protect everyone. The ZOOM technology has allowed us to continue to worship together. Until we can all get a vaccine, continue to distance and wear masks. By doing so we are being respectful of others as Christ taught us to be. We also want to encourage everyone not to allow the Thanksgiving holiday to cause us to lower our guard. Be safe!
PLEASE DO NOT allow the pandemic to interfere with your relationship to God. If you do not come to the building for worship, join us on ZOOM. If you need a songbook let us know and we will get one to you. If you do not have the elements for communion, we can supply you with a packet that has all you need. If you do not join in the communion when the congregation celebrates together, have a communion service in your home with family or by yourself. We need to focus on the sacrifice of Jesus and on the shedding of his blood which washes away our sins, and this time of isolation should not interfere with that.
INTRODUCTION — The book of Hebrews
A. This is our 4th lesson on Hebrews.I. CHRISTIANITY HAS A UNIQUE FOUNDATION
1. Lesson 1 was a survey of the book.B. Today — Why Christianity? How is it superior?
2. Lesson 2 was on chapter 11 — How we build faith.
3. Lesson 3 was on the superiority of Christ (hebrews 1 – 4).
1. No attempt here to denigrate other choices.
2. Matthew 7:20 — We need to follow this — 1 John 4:1.
3. No defense of institutional Christianity
A. A long line of preparationII. CHRISTIANITY IS TOTALLY NON-POLITICAL.
1. Goes back to Genesis 1.B. Alternative is one event or one person's inspiration. See last week'sesson.
2. Includes women, Gentiles, all races — Galatians 3:28
A. Matthew 22:21III. PURE CHRISTIANITY HAS FRUITS
1. What are the “things that are Caesar's” — Romans 13?B. National religions do not work.
2. What happened when Peter took out his sword?
a. Matthew 26:51-54
b. John 18:10-11
C. John 18:36 — No fighting in Christianity
John 2:15-17 — What is “the world”?
A. What is “pure Christianity” or “biblical Christianity”?
Acts 2:41-47 — What was early Christianity like?B. The Crusades were in contradiction to Christianity. Not the same as “Romans 13 service.”
C. Matthew 25:35-40 — Who does this? Not the government
D. What has Christianity done for women? Luke 8:1-3.
(Alvin Schmidt, Under the Influence: How Christianity Transformed Civilization, 2001)E. What is the end point of Christianity?
1. Other faiths are physical or nonexistent.
2. 1 Corinthians 15:51-58 and 2 Peter 3:10-12
3. What about you? Do you want a new body?
4. Do you look forward to “faith becoming sight”?
Song “It Is Well with My Soul,” especially verse 4
THE BACK PAGE
We are continuing our studies in Hebrews today. What we have been doing is an area that is badly needed in our world today. After surveying the book of Hebrews, a book written to encourage and strengthen Christians (Hebrews 13:22), we looked at the question of faith. There are lot of things to discourage us and cut down our faith in God, in Christ, and in the Bible. Our society is turning away from God — the media and entertainment industry constantly belittle belief in God, increasing a drift into immorality and selfishness. The consequences of that affects us even though we may not participate in it.
Education is the best answer to this, so we started with a review of faith and a careful look at Hebrews 11. The evidence for God's existence and the credibility of Christianity is massive, and Hebrews led us through a brief discussion of that. Last week we looked at how we know Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and the true Savior. I hope you took time to go through the 44 prophecies about Christ and their fulfillment. These are facts and no other religious figure even attempts to show thousands of years between what was said about them and when those predictions were fulfilled.
The first ten chapters of Hebrews deal with the superiority of Christ and with his role of being the eternal sacrifice for our sins. Chapter 10 deals with the way in which Christianity has replaced ancient Judaism. The first nine verses remind us that all of the activities of the past and all the sacrifices did not forgive sins. Hebrews 10:4 says, “For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.” Hebrews 10:6 says that burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin do not please God.
Hebrews 10:9-12 tells us the wonderful news that Christ “took away the first, that he may establish the second” and that “we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Christ once and for all.” Read the rest of chapter 10. Spend some quiet time reflecting on what God calls us to be as Christians. This passage is full of encouragement to Christians. Jesus said his yoke is easy, and loving one another and doing good to others is not hard. Christianity works, and we are blessed to have a part in it.
— John Clayton
Our sign by the street!
Sign saying from www.sayingsforchurchsigns.com.
Scripture links/references are from BibleGateway.com. Unhighlighted scriptures can be looked up at their website.