Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Bethany Bullet - July 31, 2012

If you could ask God anything what would it be?  What ONE thing would you love to grasp, to understand, or to know above all others? 

Why does He allow tragedies?  If that is what you’d like to grasp you would be in good company.  After all, even the prophets pondered, “Why do the evil flourish and the righteous perish?” Maybe you’d simply ask why He doesn’t just visibly and publicly manifest Himself and put an end to all questions?  The desire to grasp that; like the desire to have Him show or prove Himself is common. 

In art, it is the main character in The Grey; looking up to heaven and pleading, “Show yourself, do something, prove it, and I’ll believe in You.” 

In life, it was the people surrounding Christ. While Christ was living on Earth they were demanding He, “Tell them plainly.” When surrounding Christ while He hung dying, “Just come down so that they might believe.”  It is also you and me, surrounded by turmoil and troubles crying out “Why, when and how come?”  To grasp why, God doesn’t just visibly and publicly manifest – His presence is common among man. 

Perhaps what is more important in determining what we would ask…is finding out what God would have us grasp.  Above all things God would have us know how much He loves us! 

Here in Ephesians Chapter 3 we learn just that; rather than understanding…
  • Why God does or doesn’t do this or that? 
  • Why folks see Him here but not there? 
The most important thing to grasp, to understand, and to know is how vast God’s love for us is!

Martin Luther once said, If all the world had remained free from sin except me, God would have done it the same way.” 

Think about what that means - grasp its reality. 
  • Had Adam and Eve never considered that the fruit was pleasing to the eye, let alone tasty to the lips;
  • Had Cain never slew brother;
  • Had Noah’s neighbors been as godly and righteous as he;
  • Had no nation ever enslaved its fellow man, or bowed down to images carved by hand, or strayed from the divine command;
  • Had everyone from the beginning of history clear until the birth of me remained free from sin (and I and I alone feel), God in Christ Jesus would still have come down to suffer and die and redeem this single child of His. 
God’s love is global, He so loved the world. God’s love is eternal, it never ends. Yet God’s love is also deeply personal and individual. He loves me and He loves you enough, that had ‘all the’ world except us been worthy of paradise He would have done it the same way. 

There are many things we would certainly love to grasp, but God’s desire is that we grasp this one and so His apostle’s prayer, a prayer that God Himself inspired, “I pray that you may grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ.”  Ephesians 3:17-18

-Pastor Kevin Kritzer

Monday, July 30, 2012

The One Year Bible- July 30th

Can you believe that July is almost over?  Where has the summer gone?  I hope the busy summer had not got the best of you and your time with God’s Word.  Don’t worry if it has.  Like I have said before, when you get behind (and you will get behind) just try to read two days worth each day until you catch up, or if you would like, you can just pick up the readings on the day you begin again and try to catch the readings you missed next time.  Either way, it is important not to beat yourself up over missing the readings or to get so frustrated that you give up.  Keep up the hard work and let me know how I can help.  On to the study…

Seth’s Thoughts

The Old Testament
This section of 2 Chronicles spent a lot of time listing the various kings, how long they reigned, what they did, etc.. Some kings were good and some were bad. One character that is important in this section is Isaiah. We will be spending quite a bit of time with Isaiah a bit later in the year but try to remember that this is his context: near the end of the kingdom of Judah. We will see some of these stories again when we are in Isaiah. One king to focus on is Hezekiah. He was only 25 when he started his reign and he immediately went to work. The first thing he did was to reopen the Temple. The Temple had become a place for various idols and the worship of false God’s. By reading this section, it is obvious that the Temple was a mess. It took 7 guys 16 days to clean it. If it takes me more than two days to clean my garage, I get a bit upset. At least there was some good motivation for getting the job done. After the job of restoring the Temple was done, it was time to celebrate. For the first time in a while, the people celebrated Passover. Hezekiah did a good job of getting the people back on track. Some Bible scholars think that God was getting his people ready for the exile that was to come soon. With the work of Hezekiah, the remnant would be prepared to return and rebuild the temple. There will be one great story of grace and mercy coming up on August 2nd.  In that reading we heard that king Manasseh did evil in the eyes of the LORD. God even audibly spoke to him but he did not listen. The Assyrian army took Manasseh prisoner, pierced his nose (to mark him as a slave), bound him in chains, and took him to Babylon. While in Babylon, Manasseh realized that he was in trouble and he prayed to YAHWEH, who was moved by his prayer and had mercy on him. Manasseh was brought back to Jerusalem because of God’s mercy. “Then Manasseh knew that the LORD is God.” (2 Chronicles 33:13b NIV).  God’s mercy sure is awesome! 

The New Testament
In our readings from Romans we read these wonderful words from Paul, "
How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!(Romans 10:15b NIV) Paul continues a few verses later by saying that “Faith comes from hearing”. It is not any action that we do, or any magic pill. Faith is a gift of God. It comes in hearing the message of Salvation from Jesus Christ. I had a seminary professor who told us that when his kids were born, the first thing he did was to whisper into their ears that Jesus loved them. I had never thought of doing this before. We also read about one of the great analogies about being in the family of faith. Paul says that the Gentiles (which includes me) have been grafted into the family and now receive all the benefits of being part of the whole. We are now full partners in the blessings of Abraham as we live connected to God’s special olive tree. Paul then moves on to talk about being living sacrifices. This seems contradictory but in view of God’s mercy we offer everything we have to God as an offering to him. This becomes a part of our worship life. Paul then moves to the body analogy. It is not the only place Paul uses this but the point is that we are all part of one body. We are all connected in Christ.
Psalm 22 is known as a Messianic Psalm. Jesus quotes from this Psalm when he is on the cross. Go back and read verses 14 to 18 and think about the story of Jesus on the cross.  We also read the 23rd Psalm which is one of the most well known of all the psalms.  I really like the NLT translation of verse 6, “Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life.”  What a great image, the love of God pursues us!  It does not just follow us, but is actively seeking us out, even in our sinfulness.

Bits and Pieces

The Old Testament
We will finish the book of 2 Chronicles this week and start the book of Ezra. A lot of time will have passed between these two books. We will see the downfall of Judah and their exile to Babylon. If you are dying to know what happens there you can read the book of Daniel. Ezra begins the story of the return of the exiles back to the promised land. This promised “remnant” will provide the opportunity for the fulfillment of Messianic prophecy with the birth of Jesus. Here are the vital stats for the book of Ezra:

PURPOSE: To show the Judeans how God controls the nations of the earth for His saving purposes.
AUTHOR: Not stated but probably Ezra
DATE WRITTEN: Around 450 B.C. recording events from about 538-450 B.C.
SETTING: Ezra follows 2 Chronicles as a history of the Jewish people, recording their return to the land after the captivity.
KEY VERSES: “So the Israelites who had returned from exile ate it [the Passover], together with all who had separated themselves from the unclean practices of their Gentile neighbors in order to seek the LORD, the God of Israel. For seven days they celebrated with joy, the feast of unleavened bread, because the LORD had filled them with joy by changing the attitude of the king of Assyria, so that he assisted them in the work on the house of God, the God of Israel.” Ezra 6:21-22
LAW THEMES: Exile due to sin, persecution, broken faith by illegal marriages
GOSPEL THEMES: God fulfills His promise of mercy, God providence in restoring the temple and its sacrifices of atonement, the hand of God guides history for the sake of His people, the remnant restored.
KEY PEOPLE: Cyrus, Zerubbabel, Haggai, Zechariah, Darius, Artaxerxes I, Ezra
KEY PLACES: Babylon, Jerusalem
SPECIAL FEATURES: Ezra and Nehemiah were one book in the Hebrew Bible, and, with Esther, they comprise the post-captivity historical books. The post-captivity prophetic books are Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi. Haggai and Zechariah both prophesy during the period of the reconstruction.

The New Testament
The book of Romans comes to a close this week with some greetings to some people in Rome. Our journey with Paul will continue with the letters to the Corinthians. Along with Romans, these letters give a good taste of Paul’s theology. Paul wrote these letters to a church that was having some problems. We will spend time with these issues because many are the same that we face today. Here are the vital stats for the book:

PURPOSE: To identify problems in the Corinthian church, to offer solutions, and to teach the believers how to live for Christ in a corrupt society.
TO WHOM WRITTEN: The church in Corinth and Christians everywhere
DATE WRITTEN: About A.D. 55, near the end of Paul’s three year ministry in Ephesus, during his third missionary journey.
KEY VERSE: “ I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought.” 1 Corinthians 1:10
LAW THEMES: Rebukes against divisions, foolish human wisdom, struggles with sexual immorality, idolatry, and spiritual pride; the Lord’s Supper abused; doubting the resurrection.
GOSPEL THEMES: Saved by Christ crucified; God’s wisdom in Christ; the Spirit’s work; Gospel ministry through the apostles; sanctified through Baptism; God’s unity; the Lord’s Supper; resurrection hope.
KEY PEOPLE: Paul, Timothy, members of Chloe’s household.
KEY PLACES: Worship meetings in Corinth
SPECIAL FEATURES: This is a strong, straightforward letter.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Bethany Bullet - July 24, 2012

(Click on the verse for the full text)

We live in a world of exclusion and separation.  We know what it is to be hopeless. We’ve seen actions, if not individuals, who are godless. We know barriers and divisions. We’ve experienced hostility and these are the very things Paul points to in the beginning of our text.  Verse 12 says, “You were at one time separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world.”  And verse 14b, “Behind a barrier, the dividing wall of hostility that had to be destroyed.” 

Quite an image isn’t it. Warring factions – separation –   illegal status – exclusion from the inclusion that is needed to have hope.  This is as bad as it gets.

Theologically the division isn’t merely between some people and others but all people and The Other.  The Holy, pure, and perfect God is forever excluded from fallen, defiled, and profane people.  That division is the division of which Paul ultimately speaks.  That division cannot be ended by our action. There is no peace treaty, no accord or concord that we can sign to make it cease.  No tolerance that can be learned or gained by either understanding truth or ignoring truth, whatever the case may be.  This division can only end by action from the offended; the one who is separated in and of Himself. 

Paul writes because that Holy God has in fact acted.  Verse 13 says, “In Christ Jesus we who were once far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ.”  “For He Himself is our peace (vs. 14) who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility by abolishing in his flesh the law with its commandments and regulations.”   God has ended His separation from sinners; He has broken down the wall that divides heaven and earth.  In Christ Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection – sin’s guilt is forgiven; sinners forgiven through faith in Christ and declared to be the saints of God.  

Since we are now at peace with God, we are also at peace with God’s children, and therefore are called to live in peace with one another.

On account of Christ’s grace, through faith, therein we have peace with God.  Which means the
Presence of the 
Creator we
And because we have peace with God, we have peace with each other. This means…
Cease to be
-Pastor Kevin Kritzer

Monday, July 23, 2012

The One Year Bible- July 23rd

There have been times in my life where I can just feel the presence of God.  At times I can hear his call and he seems close.  But there are also times when God seems distant and far removed from my daily life.  Have you ever felt this way?  Remember that it is all just a matter of perspective.  In reality in our sinfulness we are the ones that drift away.  Sin takes us far from God and in our own minds we try to blame God for leaving us.  Some times I would like God to give me a big sign in the sky to tell me his plan or that he is right there.  The people of the Old Testament got a visual show.  When God’s presence came to earth, the people would see it in the form of a thick cloud.  God revealed himself to his people visually so they could believe.  He did the same when he sent his son Jesus.  Jesus became the walking temple for all of us to see.  Today we can see him every time we partake in the Lord’s Supper, every time we read His Word, and every time he calls another child his own in baptism.  When you think that God is distant, remember that he is right here, closer than you think.  On to the study…

Seth’s Thoughts

The Old Testament
Some good stories this week in the Old Testament. Most of the counting and lists are done with and the narrative picks up in earnest. You may not have even been aware that we started 2 Chronicles this week. Solomon continues to build the Temple for the LORD. It was an impressive structure! There was so much gold used it could not be counted. Silver meant nothing and bronze was almost worthless. It is interesting to note that the curtain of the temple is mentioned. It is what separated the Holy Place from the Most Holy Place. This is the curtain that tore in two (in a different temple mind you) when Jesus died. Jesus’ death brings Holy God and sinful man back into a relationship again. It must have been an awesome sight to see the thick cloud of YAHWEH filling the temple. This was the first time in a while that there had been a physical manifestation of God on earth. Solomon’s prayer was a good one and got the people back on track. God’s response to Solomon was also quite amazing. All was good during the life of Solomon but soon he would be buried with his fathers and his son Rehoboam would become king. Rehoboam did not fare to well. He did not listen to his father’s advisors and soon the kingdom was split. Civil war then raged and the Northern Kingdom went on a road to destruction as they worshiped idols and bowed down to other Gods. King Asa tried to get things right with God but it did not last. Jehoshaphat tried to do what was right but we will soon find out that he has troubles as well. Here are the vital stats for the book of 2 Chronicles:

PURPOSE: To unify the nation around true worship of God by showing his standard for judging kings. The righteous kings of Judah and the religious revivals under their rule are highlighted, and the sins of the evil kings are exposed.
AUTHOR: Ezra, according to Jewish tradition
DATE WRITTEN: Approximately 430 B.C., recording the events for the beginning of Solomon’s reign (970 B.C.) to the beginning of the Babylonian captivity (586 B.C.)
SETTING: Second Chronicles parallels 1 and 2 Kings and serves as their commentary. Originally 1 and 2 Chronicles were one book. It was written after the exile from a priestly perspective, highlighting the importance of the temple and the religious revivals in Judah. The northern kingdom, Israel, is virtually ignored in this history.
KEY VERSE: “If my people who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14 NIV).
KEY PEOPLE: Solomon, the queen of Sheba, Rehoboam, Asa, Jehoshephat, Jehoram, Joash, Uzziah, Ahaz, Hezekiah, Manasseh, Josiah
KEY PLACES: Jerusalem, the temple
SPECIAL FEATURES: Includes a detailed record of the temple’s construction

The New Testament
Paul really gets on a roll in this weeks readings. If you were not convinced you were a sinner before, I bet you are now. Romans six deals with the idea that those who have been united with Christ have been united with him in his death and more importantly in his resurrection. This is great news because now those who are “in Christ” (one of Paul’s favorite phrases) will receive all the benefits of God. Those who are in Christ are dead to sin and alive in Christ. We do not have the freedom to just continue sinning. We are no longer slaves to sin. But then Paul brings up a good point. This is a confusing passage (especially in the NIV) but the NLT (New Living Translation) is a bit clearer for me. “I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead I do what I hate...I want to do what is right, but I can’t. I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway. But if I do what I don’t want to do, I am not really the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it” (Romans 7:15,18b-20 NLT). Paul realizes that in this world, we are so interwoven with sin that it is impossible to extract ourselves. We are in dire straights! We cry with Paul. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death?” (Romans 7:24 NIV). In the end it is all about Jesus. He is the only one that can free us from this problem. His death and resurrection make it possible for us to leave the sin of this world behind and live for Him in all we do. We now live our lives by the Spirit of God and we have been adopted into his family. And we can call him Daddy (Abba, Father). This relationship cannot be broken. It holds firm even when sin attacks. Therefore do not worry about your status in the world. The important thing is that we are part of the family of God. On the 27th we will read that being a member of this family is easy, “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” (Romans 10:9 ESV). Good news indeed!!!  Now this verse has been used by many Christians to support a view that human beings must do something in order to become a Christian.  This is not a new idea.  Now days we call it “decision theology” but this has been with the Faith for a long time.  To use a $2 word it is called syncretism.  This means that in some way we have to cooperate with God in some way shape or form for our salvation.  When we make some sort of an effort towards God then he will have mercy on us.  The point of view goes something like this:  We encounter the message of salvation and then we need to make a decision to accept this good news.  The power of God does not begin in our lives until we make a conscious choice to follow him.  Until then we are lost.  This point of view is prevalent in many Christian circles.  Those who hold this view are big believers in altar calls and praying the “sinners prayer” in order to become a believer in Jesus.   There are two passages that help me understand that this is not how God operates.  Paul writes in 1 Corinthians, Therefore I tell you that no one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says, "Jesus be cursed," and no one can say, "Jesus is Lord," except by the Holy Spirit.” (1 Corinthians 12:3 NIV)  Paul also says in Romans 8, The sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God's law, nor can it do so. Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God.” (Romans 8:7-8 NIV)  When we confess with our mouths that Jesus is Lord, is cannot be an act of a sinful person, because this pleases God.  There must be something that was working in us before we could even do this.  This is the work of the Holy Spirit.  He works in us before we even know who Jesus is.  He comes to us in the waters of baptism before we can even talk.  He starts working on our sinfulness even before we know.  There is no way we can cooperate with God.  Salvation is his action and his action alone.  I could go on and on with this one but I think you get the idea.  Please let me know if you have any more questions about this. 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Bethany Bullet - July 17, 2012

Handwritten notes and letters are becoming a thing of the past. Fortunately, this week, I received a wonderful note with some wonderful handwritten words of encouragement.  It uplifted my spirit and was a joy to read and will be something that I hold on to. Handwritten words of encouragement are of great value and starting today we will dive in to a handwritten letter written to all believers, by the Apostle Paul. His letter to the Ephesians contains some great words of advice and gives great courage to the church. In chapter 1, we will see the foundation of our life of faith.

Paul wrote the letter around 60 AD most likely when he was in prison in Rome. Paul knew the believers in Ephesus well.  The book of Acts tells us that he spent close to three years in Ephesus, working and witnessing. Paul’s main reason for sending the letter was to remind the Ephesians that they were one body, united in Christ and to warn against divisions in the church that would tear people apart.  Ephesus was a religious and commercial center of the province of Asia. The great temple of Artemis there drew tourists and worshipers, and dominated life in the city.  Easy access to waterways and roads made it truly cosmopolitan.  The religious climate of the city created difficulties for the spread of the Gospel, but its location made it ideal to get the message of Jesus to wide area of people in the region.

This text before us is really a doxology, a song of praise to God.  Written in the form of a Jewish prayer, it is all one sentence in the original text.

Here are some key concepts to look for:  
  • From eternity God has had a plan of salvation, 
  • This plan is fulfilled in and through Christ, 
  • Through the work of the Holy Spirit, God gives us unspeakably great and precious blessings and is our reason for praising Him.

While the words “triune” or “trinity” are not found in Scripture, the concepts are, and we will see this clearly in our text.

(3) Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.

What is “Praise?”

This word literally means “good words spoken of.”  We use this same word during a funeral or memorial service. The word is eulogy.  In the New Testament this word is reserved for God alone. 

Paul begins with praise (or good words spoken) of God not unlike worship…let’s continue.

Verse 3 literally says, “Good words be spoken to God the father of our Lord Jesus Christ who has spoken good words to us in the heavenly realms with every good word in Christ.”  It’s that eulogy word three times!

This is the foundational statement that God loved us so much to speak well of us in the Word made flesh, Jesus so that we would be able to say good words to God. 

(4) For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight.

God’s plan of salvation existed before the creation of the world. In Christ, God chose us to be holy and blameless.  It is not that we are holy or do good things and then for that reason God took a liking to us and chose us.  He chose us when we had no righteousness to offer.

Paul told the church in Rome this very thing when he wrote, “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)

He chose us before we were born, before the world existed.

He chose us not BECAUSE we were holy and blameless, but TO BE holy and blameless.

This happens, IN CHRIST.  Every spiritual blessing rests on Christ and His saving merit. This is not how God chooses, He chooses us all!! And then empowers us TO BE holy not because we ARE holy. 

In love (5) he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— (6) to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.

We have to talk about this word “predestination.” 

It is a concept that has been misunderstood in Christian circles for a long time. 

Many use logic to try to understand God and that has its shortcomings.  We logically see that while there are many believers in the church, there are many who do not believe.  If God predestines us, then some people must be predestined for heaven and some for hell.  This is simply not the case when you look at scripture. 

The key in this text is the words prior, “In love.”  In love, God would not send His children to hell.  In love, He has adopted us into His family.  This is one of the spiritual blessings God has given us.  Remember, it was before the creation of the world God chose us to be holy and blameless.

That begs the question, “Why are some saved and some not?”  There is no great answer here but an analogy might help: We are unable to turn the light of faith on, God does that, but we do have the ability to turn it off.  The freewill that got us into the mess of sin, still effects humanity and its relationship with the Creator.

How did this adoption happen?  Through Jesus Christ! 

It was God’s plan to make us members of His family, to bring us into His house as sons and daughters; because of that we are in line for a full inheritance…more about that later.  In Christ, we are a “forever family!”  This is all IN CHRIST!

(7) In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace (8) that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding. (9) And he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, (10) to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillment —to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ.

Our greatest blessing comes here in verse seven, redemption and the forgiveness of sins:  
  • Redemption implies that someone is a slave or captive and needs to be ransomed. 
  • Forgiveness implies that someone has acted improperly toward another and in so doing has incurred guilt that needs to be covered or taken away.

Both require the payment of a heavy price.  This price should be paid by us, for “the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23) “But according with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us,” He did the unthinkable.  God Himself paid the price.  In a million years, we would not have devised such a plan.

This indeed is a mystery but not in a sense that it is incomprehensible but it is a mystery in the sense that we cannot understand it by ourselves.  This is done through the work of the Holy Spirit and proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

(11) In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, (12) in order that we, who were the first to hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory.

Once again we see that everything happens according to God’s plan.  This gives us hope and that hope is a lasting hope that will carry us on when things don’t go according to our plan.

(13) And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, (14) who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.

We see that the grand plan Paul is setting forth involves all three persons of the Trinity.

In ancient times a seal was the sign of ownership.  For a Christian to bear the seal of the Holy Spirit is an indicator that he or she belongs to God.  That is a present blessing.

But Paul points to a future blessing as well.  The Spirit “is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance.”

A deposit, a down payment, is the first installment of a transaction that guarantees the rest of the obligation will also be met.  When you make a deposit for vacation it is because you intend to go, not just because you think it might be nice.  The deposit makes it real.

The fact that God has given His Holy Spirit into our heart by faith, through baptism at the present time is an assurance that the rest of God’s real promise will also be forthcoming.

Jesus said, (1) “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. (2) My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? (3) And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.” (John 14:1-3)

Once again Paul reminds us why God has showered all of these blessings on us, “to the praise of His glory.”

So, what does all of this mean?  Perhaps I can say it this way.

Our life of Faith was:
1.   Planned by the Father
       a. Who blesses us
       b. Who selected us
       c. Who adopted us
2.   Purchased by the Son
       a. Who redeemed us
       b. By Whom we are forgiven 
       c. Who gathers us
3.   Preserved by the Spirit
       a. Who seals us in baptism
       b. Who guarantees our inheritance

-Pastor Seth Moorman

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