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Heavenly Speech September 20, 2009

Posted by Taylor in Uncategorized.
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“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” – Ephesians 4:29

“He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God.” – Acts 1:3

Christian fellowship has always been an area of interest to me. Although I often fail in promoting good discussion, I love to consider ways to turn our speech towards the things of God. Paul writes that we are to consider the needs of others, and speak about things that will be beneficial to the hearer. If we meet someone who is downcast, we must talk about the glorious grace and love of Christ and the propitiation he has made for our sins. If we meet someone who is proud, we must remind them that God opposes the proud, but shows favor to the humble and oppressed.

Gathering together with the local community of believers, our fellowship is an oasis in the midst of the dream streams of the world. Here we share the water of life with each other, reminding each other of the love of Christ. If our Lord were to ask us “”What are you discussing together as you walk along?”, let us be ready to give the same response as the disciples: “About Jesus of Nazareth” (Luke 24:17-19).

“Then those who feared the LORD talked with each other, and the LORD listened and heard. A scroll of remembrance was written in his presence concerning those who feared the LORD and honored his name.” – Malachi 3:16

Grace and Good Works September 13, 2009

Posted by Taylor in Uncategorized.
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But when God our Savior revealed his kindness and love, he saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He washed away our sins, giving us a new birth and new life through the Holy Spirit. He generously poured out the Spirit upon us through Jesus Christ our Savior. Because of his grace he declared us righteous and gave us confidence that we will inherit eternal life. This is a trustworthy saying, and I want you to insist on these teachings so that all who trust in God will devote themselves to doing good. These teachings are good and beneficial for everyone.

In this passage we see the root of our salvation and the root of our good works. Paul writes that God our Savior did not save us because of righteous deeds we had done, but because of his mercy. Surely if we meditate on our thoughts and deeds, we will not find any merit to bring before God, so we must seek our merit in another. Nor can we quicken ourselves to obedience and love to God, but must be given life by the Holy Spirit.  Ponder the great love shown to us in our salvation: our Father sets his love upon us before the foundation of the world, the Son secures our salvation by his perfect propitiation for our sins on the cross and his victorious resurrection from the dead, and the Spirit gives us a new heart and causes us to cordially embrace Christ.

Not only does Paul teach us how we are forgiven and accepted in the Beloved, but also teaches us how we maintain good works: by meditating on the grace shown to us in Christ. While we were enemies of God, he reconciled us to himself in Christ. Because we have been forgiven much, we can forgive. Because we have been loved much, we can love. Because we have feasted on his grace, we can bring others to the table.