Last month, we began our study on this most important and foundational topic of justification. Martin Luther said, “if we lose the doctrine of justification, we simply lose everything.” This doctrine really is “the hinge on which religion turns”, as Calvin said. It is absolutely rudimentary and crucial as everything else is built upon it.
Take the Sabbath for instance. We rest on the Sabbath in a spiritual sense because of the perfect and finished work of Christ or his work of justification. Or take baptism. When one is baptized, they are “baptized into Christ” and should accept that they have already “died” in Him, and indeed that is the reason they are not to “continue in sin.” We also noted that to understand the gospel we must understand the “two realities”- that which we are objectively “in Christ” and are to be, personally, in our subjective experience.
In 2 Timothy, Paul proclaims a truth worth dying AND worth living for (Indeed nothing else is). In the reformation, this was the key truth for which many did lose their lives. Lets examine what Paul says there: “This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation. For therefore we both labor (to exhaustion) and suffer reproach (agonize), because we trust (have confident hope) in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of those that believe. These things command and teach (vs. 9-11).
First of all, Paul says that this is a saying that is trustworthy or quite literally, “faithful is the word”. No doubt, everything he said was trustworthy but a special emphasis is being applied here. It is “worthy” or “deserving” to be fully, completely (not in pieces) accepted. Indeed, it is this that lay as the foundational motivation for all his work that he carried out with intensity. We could say, for this reason, he “worked his fingers to the bone”.
Along with this, he says that what he is about to say is his encouragement in suffering. The word “agonize” is at the root of the Greek word here and so we could surmise that, when Paul was receiving a scourging, this is what kept him going. With this as a build up, and the words “command and teach” at the end, you know something important is about to be said! And here it is- “Because we trust in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially those that believe.”
There is a play on words here in the Greek, and the construction looks like this:
2. is the Word
3. worthy of full acceptance
4. for this indeed we labor (to exhaustion) and suffer reproach
3. we have hope (a constant and confident expectation) in a living God
2. the Savior of all men, especially those who are
And so to summarize- Paul is exhorting his son in the faith Timothy (and us) to have an always living hope in an always living God, who is a) the Savior of all men and b) especially the Savior of the faithful. Here we have clearly the objective work of God for the whole world (all men) as their Savior. He is the Savior of all men in the sense that He saved, delivered and redeemed all men “in Christ”.
This is why the book of Hebrews tells us that He “tasted death for all men” (Hebrews 2:9). Remember now, this is the “in Christ” reality. To be true in them personally (subjectively), what must happen? They must believe or have faith! Do you have that living hope today? You can because God and His word are faithful! Have a great month and until next time, may God grow your faith like that mustard seed spoken of in the Bible!
"Mama, I do not like rain!" Lily whined to me on a recent morning when she awoke to find a cloudy, stormy day. For a child, summertime must always be sunny. Rainy days impede park visits and riding bikes on the patio. I tried to explain to Lily that the garden and the flowers need the rain. I pointed out how brown our yard was because of the lack of rain. Lily mentally ascended to these facts but earnestly requested that it be sunny after her nap.
"...I will cause showers to come down in their season; there shall be showers of blessing. Then the trees of the field shall yield their fruit, and the earth shall yield her increase..." Ezekiel 34: 26-27. Rain is essential for life on this earth. Just sunshine without the rain will cause draught. Often the Holy Spirit is attributed to rain in the Scriptures. He is the One who brings the refreshing power to our lives.
There is something especially beautiful about a summertime rain: the coolness it brings on a hot day and the freshness in the air. Just as our land need that refreshing, we need that refreshing in our spiritual lives. I encourage you to take the time apart from our busy days and hectic schedules to stop and pause, read the Word, pray and absorb the refreshing of the Spirit to your soul.
June 2018 statement totals:
Revenues: $23,128.11; Expenses: $30,386.16
giving a loss of $7,258.05
Year-to-date ending June 2018:
Revenues: $466,743.17, Expenses: $352,397.34
giving a gain of $114,345.83
Atlantic Natural Foods labels make cents for your church. Only eligible UPC/labels from canned goods begin with the number 45561 are counted. They may be turned in monthly with your Sabbath School offerings. Reimbursement is 25 cents per label.
There was excitement at the Tabernacle on July 28th. Twelve Zomi youth were baptized and joined the Tabernacle family. Their names are Pau Kap Mung, Mung Khual Lal, Ning Muan Hau, Thang GenThan Khup, Kap Khan Thang, Mung Kim Nawl, Ciin Tawi Zun, Niang Deih Piang, Khup Tawi Lian Sang, Khup Khual Kim, Nang Sian Muan, and Cing Len Nuam.
Pastor SB Nhaih Cin of the Grand Rapids Myanmar SDA Company and Battle Creek Zomi SDA group, was also installed by Elder Royce Snyman, the Director of the Ministerial Department, Michigan Conference. This ceremony, praying and laying on the hands by the elders was sacred.
The extended church service was recorded and live streamed, which may be viewed on our you-tube channel (Battle Creek Seventh-day Adventist Tabernacle).
A beautiful Sabbath evening was spent as a church family. The evening picnic was at the Kiwanis Youth Conservation on 15 mile road near Bellevue. About 60 church members and friends came to enjoy good food, Bible quiz time, singing and praying together. Many also enjoyed the nature trails, birds, and country setting.
BATTLE CREEK ACADEMY ANNOUNCEMENTS: We will be having their annual "Back to School Night" on August 13, from 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM. Come out and meet our new staff, see your classroom, get your class schedule, get questions answered and spend some time fellowshipping with your classmates.
BCA's first day of school will be August 15, at 8:00 AM. (half day) Please keep the staff, administration, and students in your prayers as we lead up to and begin this new school year.
BCA will be having a used book sale again this year. If you have books to donate, you may bring them to the school at any time. The proceeds from the sale will go to "Special Projects" for each classroom. The sale will be held November 1st.
ADVENTIST COMMUNITY SERVICES EVENTS:
August 7; ACS volunteers 10:30 to 11:30 AM (Orientation for all volunteers for the upcoming Fall classes and services. Opportunities to pioneer and share our experience with GC, NAD, and ASAP as they will be working with us to put together a template that other refugee ministries can find helpful. Many have not had the experiences we have been privileged to have here.) Step one.
August 14; ACS open meeting 10 AM to 12 PM (Staff from ASAP will by picture and stories share their recent trip to a refugee camp in Thailand to give us a virtual mini mission trip. Step 2. Any one interested can attend this program.
Every Tuesday from 10 AM to 2 PM clothing distribution.
August 15 10 AM to 2 PM; Bill Wells will be coming to guide us through the process of formalizing our ideas . He is director of projects in the US for ASAP. He has been working with Pastor Cin in Grand Rapids. This will be only for those who are involved already in ACS.
Introduction to Disaster Response will be at the Urbandale Church September 1, in the afternoon.
FACEBOOK FRIENDS: Please “share” Battle Creek Tabernacle events and happenings…spread the word.