This Week in Grace – Dec. 10-16, 2012
This Week in Grace …
The First Word
28 “Truly, I say to you, all sins will be forgiven the children of man, and whatever blasphemies they utter, 29 but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin”—30 for they were saying, “He has an unclean spirit.” (Mark 3:28-30)
In Mk. 3:28 we have panta ta hamartemata, – literally “all the sins. Here is the great promise that all of our sins will be lumped together as one and forgiven – utterly and completely removed from our account forever and sent away so they can never be charged against us again – in a moment of time all at once. That’s pointing us to the Gospel! This is what Jesus accomplished on the cross for all who come to Him in repentant faith. There He took all of our sins – past, present, and future and died owning their deserved condemnation as His own. He who knew no sin became sin for us. And in fulling paying and satisfying the damning debt, Jesus has removed all of our sin – altogether – as far as the east is from the west, and we are totally and completely forgiven!
Verse 30 makes it clear that all sins of everyone are not automatically forgiven. The Holy Spirit was sent to convict you of sin, and righteousness and judgment and leads you to Jesus so that you can repent and be forgiven your sins (see John 16:7-14). If an individual rejects the Holy Spirit’s conviction to come to Jesus and find forgiveness then that person has said no to the only place you can get forgiveness and no to the only One who can lead you to the One of forgiveness.
If you refuse to repent (repentance only comes through the Holy Spirit) – and refuse to come to Jesus for forgiveness – there is no forgiveness any other way – so you will never be forgiven.
The good news – if you are hearing his voice today – is that you can receive Jesus and it is not too late. God is still welcoming you, through the blood of Jesus you can be completely forgive of every sin – past, present, and future. Jesus will take them away from you – away from your account – and put it on his so that they are fully paid and removed from you forever. Christian, our guilt is gone. We are forgiven by the highest authority in the universe!
You can listen to this entire message on Mark 3:22-30 here: The Unforgiveable Sin You can get the community group discussion questions in pdf there as well.
A big thank you to Clay’s Gospel Community for their help in the set-up and take-down! The “out of town” groups are on for this Sunday. This Sunday could be a little crazy because “The Hobbit” opens this weekend. We will likely have to take down fairly quickly right after our service.
This Sunday’s gathering will conclude with everyone gathering in the auditorium at 11: 35 am. (including our helpers and kids in the nursery and Grace Kids) to celebrate together the adoptions of Cece and Elijah Burlando (Elijah will soon be brought home from China). IF you would like to share in the giving of a cash gift to the Burlando family, please pass it on to Pearl Tseona no later than 10:10 am. Sunday morning.
We are also collecting monies for our benevolent fund. We want to be able to support Sanum to the tune of around $450 so that she is able to go to a mission conference in Vancouver with Power to Change during the Christmas break. As a U of S student from Ghana, we are her only family here and we want to be able to bless her. Please pass on your donations to Clay (or place them in the giving box on Sunday) and designate them for our benevolent fund. If we take in more than the $450, we will begin to build up a fund that can be accessed to gift people in need.
Our second annual surprise Christmas pageant will be Sunday, Dec. 23. So far only two people have let me know of their participation. I need to know no later than this coming Sunday, Dec. 16th who is participating and what you will be doing – ie. devotional from Scripture, drama, reading, song, video etc. so that I can put the program together. Remember this is not about being a “professional” – this is a family Christmas – celebrating the Savior who has come into the world and accomplished our redemption.
If anyone needs a ride on Sunday mornings, please call ahead and we can arrange that. Don’t let a lack of a ride be the reason you miss out!
Parents, if you have children in the Gospel Project, don’t miss the story cards and material found below that you can use at home to review the lessons with your kids!
Grace and peace,
- Prayer – Sunday mornings at 9:30 am. Join a number of us who gather at the Galaxy Theatre to pray for God’s purposes and fame each Sunday from 9:30 am until around 10:00 am. usually in theatre #6.
- Christmas Pageant – Sunday, Dec. 23rd at the Galaxy. Let Murray know what you, your family, or community group will be bringing for the edification of the church family!
- Partnership Sunday and Pizza lunch – Sunday, Jan. 6 is our partnership Sunday as we enter into a new year. This is a great opportunity to partner with us in our vision to be Jesus’ family as servants on His mission of making disciples in and through the Gospel of His amazing grace.
The Gospel Project for Grace Kids
- We have lost a couple of volunteers and will soon lose a few more for a time as some of them are pregnant! So we could use a few more volunteers to round out the schedule, but we are thankful to each of you who volunteer your time to minister to our families and guests in this way. In setting aside your own agenda to love others in this way, you are a picture of the Gospel.
- Parents’ take home letter can be found HERE. A Unit review for families can be foundHERE (Unit 3). Print off a copy to use with your child (ren) at home during the week.
- Have you been connecting with us, and believe God is calling you to be a part of Grace Fellowship. Consider making it “official” and partnering with us. You can find out more about partnering with us HERE.
Gospel Community Group Life
Not in a Community Group? We have groups that meet in various places in the city. To get plugged-in connect with us here.
The City Helps
Make sure to update your profile on the city to help people get to know you. Include a picture (that is so helpful for everyone trying to match faces and names and family connections). Some of you have moved or have new phone numbers – please update those as well.
(If you’re not on The City yet click here to get an invitation. You must enter “kiosk” as the user name and “jesussaves” as the password)
From the Blog
The Last Word
11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.
(Luke 2:11 ESV)