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Thursday, September 24, 2015

October 2015

Going Deeper

We joyfully teach the Gospel at our church. The Gospel is that good news from God which says that all of our sins and everything that would keep us from God has been forgiven and removed by the cross of Jesus. He died in your place, shed His blood for you, and declares you to be righteous before God. All of this is done apart from your work or merit. God gives you Jesus, forgiveness, and salvation all for free! The Gospel says that we are saved by grace.

Now this message changes us. First, it changes our standing before God. We are no longer enemies of God, but we have been reconciled to Him. You are not God's enemy, but His child. Second, it changes how you live. You could say we are saved by grace and shaped by grace. No longer do we live trying to earn something from God. We are free from that sort of effort. In faith, we recognize that all things are ours in life and salvation as a free gift. But, then, how do we live knowing that we are free from having to save ourselves? What is the shape of the disciple's life? How do we live our lives with this gracious God?

Over the next few weeks, we are going to go deeper into what it means to be disciples of Jesus. In fact, this next sermon series is going to introduce a new emphasis here at Faith. All of the activity that takes place here at church, and I pray in your own life as a disciple, will be focused on how God's gracious Word forms us to be the very people He's created us to be. We will begin emphasizing four characteristics of a disciple's life.

1. Hearing the Word
- A disciple is one who listens to what Jesus says. Why? Because faith comes through hearing (Romans 10:17) and is fed and nourished by the Word (Luke 10:38-39, John 6:63). Our faith, our very existence, begins and is sustained by the Word of God. Before we act, we must hear and receive what Jesus has to say. This takes place when we gather for worship and receive what Jesus gives in His Word and sacraments.

2. Meditating on the Word
- A disciple is one who meditates on God's Word. Why? Because the truth of the Word drives out the lies of this world. We are constantly bombarded with messages that run counter to God's Word. Disciples are those whose minds are being renewed by what God says (Romans 12:2) as we pray through, study, and wrestle with His Word (II Timothy 3:16-17).

3. Speaking the Word - A disciple is one who speaks God's Word. Why? Because Jesus gives us something to say (Matthew 28:19-20)! The world is in bondage to sin, death, and the devil. God works through His Word to proclaim freedom to the captives. As disciples, we've been set free to deliver that message. What is more, we've been given words to bring light into the darkness (Matthew 5:14). As Paul says, what we believe with our hearts we confess with our mouths (Romans 10:10).

4. Acting on the Word - A disciple is one who acts upon what he or she hears. Why? Because faith is a living, active thing (Romans 12:1, James 1:22). By recognizing our role in God's world, by working hard in our vocations, by volunteering at church or in the community, by taking part in mission projects, etc., disciples live out their faith in before the world.

Join us for this exciting new emphasis and be on the lookout for ways in which we will help you go deeper in these four areas of your Christian life!

Pastor Bob

The full version of the newsletter is available here:
www.faithmoorpark.com/files/pdf/2015/2015-10-Newsletter.pdf

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Faith Lutheran Church • 123 Park Lane • Moorpark, CA 93021 • (805) 532 1049 • Send Email