Do I Have Hope If I Sin?

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Sin is failure to do what God wants us to do.  There are greater and lesser sins, but it is hard to deny that, to some degree or another, each of us sins every day.  This thought has disturbed Christians for centuries.  Some have feared that if they sin after being baptized, then maybe the baptism didn’t “take” and they will not be saved. Others turn their anxiety outward and tear down figures of the past because, at some time or another, they committed sin. Others rationalize that “it’s not really sin” if we limit ourselves to gossip and a white lie or two.

The Anglican tradition has always taken a realistic view, as reflected in the following excerpts from the Articles of Religion (1571):

Christ in the truth of our nature was made like unto us in all things, sin only except, from which he was clearly void . . . But all we the rest, although baptized, and born again in Christ, yet offend in many things; and if we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.  [From Article XV]

Not every deadly sin willingly committed after Baptism is sin against the Holy Ghost, and unpardonable.  Wherefore the grant of repentance is not to be denied to such as fall into sin after Baptism.  After we have received the Holy Ghost, we may depart from grace given, and fall into sin, and by the grace of God we may arise again, and amend our lives. [From Article XVI]

The Baptism liturgy includes a prayer for the newly baptized persons, as follows, “That they may persevere in resisting evil, and, whenever they fall into sin, repent and return to the Lord.”  Notice that it doesn’t say “if” they fall into sin, but “when.”  

All of this is firmly based on the Bible. Remember that Jesus’ closest followers ran away and hid when he was arrested and executed. Peter even lied to save himself. But Jesus forgave all of them.

So is sin OK with God? No. Should we go ahead and sin some more, so that God has more to forgive? By no means.

Jesus came to save us from our sins so that we can live forever with God.  The Holy Spirit is available to help us. Therefore we have good reason to hope for the future. What would strengthen that hope? We could get together with other Christians to confess our sins, pray for forgiveness, and participate in the sacrament of bread and wine that Jesus instituted for his followers. Now where could we do that?

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Pet Blessings

pet blessing animals Oct 2019

Pet Blessings!

In honor of St. Francis

Join Us!

Bring your pet for special

Blessings!

 Sunday, October 6th at Noon

St. Barnabas Anglican church

2340 N. 155th

Shoreline, WA 98133

206.365.6565

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Thoughts for Friday

Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time.1

Every one that is proud in heart is an abomination to the Lord: though hand join in hand, he shall not be unpunished.2

O Lord, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand. Be not wroth very sore, O Lord, neither remember iniquity for ever: behold, see we beseech thee, we are all thy people.3 Thou hast chastised me, and I was chastised, as a bullock unaccustomed to the yoke: turn thou me, and I shall be turned; for thou art the Lord my God. Surely after that I was turned, I repented; and after that I was instructed, I smote upon my thigh: I was ashamed, yea, even confounded, because I did bear the reproach of my youth.4 It is good for a man that he bear the yoke in his youth.5

Affliction cometh not forth of the dust, neither doth trouble spring out of the ground; yet man is born unto trouble, as the sparks fly upward.6
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11Pe 5:6; 2Pro 16:5; 3Isa 64:8,9; 4Jer 31:18,19; 5Lam 3:27; 6Job 5:6,7; (Bagster’s Daily Light KJV)

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New Furnace!

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Thanks to generous donations, our project to replace our two aging furnaces is proceeding. The furnace at the north end of the church building has been replaced, just in time for the cooler temperatures of fall. 

Speaking of being strangely warmed, in 1738, John Wesley was attending a church service.  While listening to the preacher who was “describing the change which God works in the heart through faith in Christ, I felt my heart strangely warmed. I felt I did trust in Christ, Christ alone for salvation; and an assurance was given me that He had taken away my sins, even mine, and saved me from the law of sin and death.”  Wesley went on to be a powerful preacher throughout England.  His Methodist movement continues today.

 “Trust in Christ, Christ alone for salvation.”  That message sounds from the earliest writing of St. Paul and gives us hope today.  We can’t save ourselves, but Christ can save us.  If you are asked, “What do they do at that church,” the answer is, “They are learning to trust Christ, Christ alone for salvation!”

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Glory

Our lives are often filled with worries.  What have we done?  What is going to happen to us and to those whom we love?  https://personalitybuzz.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Science-Shows-Anxiety-and-Worry-Linked-to-Intelligence.jpgWouldn’t it be a relief (and so much more than a relief) to find something of great value and just bask in contemplation of that thing?  We get glimpses of this feeling when we climb a mountain and revel in the view from the top, or when we cry because a character in a movie has done an unselfish act, or even (in a small way) when we see a quarterback make a perfect pass despite the giant defenders bearing down.  At such times, we want to cry out, “Glory!” which means, roughly, “That is great!” 

God offers us more than we can ever imagine or hope for.  God created the world, with all of its beauty and wonder, for us to enjoy.  God sustains the world in existence from moment to moment.  God loves us and sent Jesus to save us when we had gone far from him.  In the end God wants us to be in love with him forever.  Our natural response to this is to call out “Glory!”  And we do so on Sundays.  In fact, worship in church is just practice for living in love with God forever.  Come and see what we mean.

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I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills

September 19, 2019 – Thursday Evening

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I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the Lord.1

As the mountains are round about Jerusalem, so the Lord is round about his people from henceforth even for ever.2

Unto thee lift I up mine eyes, O thou that dwellest in the heavens. Behold, as the eyes of servants look unto the hand of their masters, and as the eyes of a maiden unto the hand of her mistress; so our eyes wait upon the Lord our God, until that he have mercy upon us.3 Because thou hast been my help, therefore in the shadow of thy wings will I rejoice.4

O our God, wilt thou not judge them? for we have no might against this great company that cometh against us; neither know we what to do: but our eyes are upon thee.5 Mine eyes are ever toward the Lord; for he shall pluck my feet out of the net.6 Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth.7
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1Psa 121:1,2; 2Psa 125:2; 3Psa 123:1,2; 4Psa 63:7; 52Ch 20:12; 6Psa 25:15; 7Psa 124:8; (Bagster’s Daily Light KJV)

 

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Feast of Saint Matthew

September 21 (Saturday) is the feast day for Matthew, the gospel writer who is regarded, both from internal and external evidence, to have been one of Jesus’ first followers and therefore an eye witness of many of the things he recorded.  It is extraordinary that we have four contemporary accounts of Jesus’ life, from four somewhat different perspectives.  Matthew repeatedly emphasizes his understanding that Jesus was the long-expected Messiah, the one sent by God to save the Jewish people and to bring all people into the right relationship with God, as proved by the miracles he performed.  Matthew’s gospel (the word means “good news”) was evidently written after the Gospel of Mark because some passages in Mark are incorporated into Matthew. The name Matthew, which remains popular today, means “gift of God.”

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Rise of the “Nones”

Polls indicate a growing number of people who answer “None” when asked about their religious affiliation.  The number of non-affiliated people has long been higher in the Seattle area than in other parts of the country.  Even among people who state a religious affiliation, some attend church only rarely, and some admit that they don’t really believe in God but attend church to find other people who share their political or cultural views.  And yet, God is the ruler of the universe whether we acknowledge him or not.

Imagine a group of people goes to a Husky game and is attracted by the tailgate party.  They enjoy the food and drink.  They see the big stadium over there, but have little interest in what happens over there.  Wouldn’t we say, “Really, you need to understand that the reason we all gather for this tailgate party is that an exciting football game is about to take place in the stadium. That’s what brings us together and gives this party its meaning. You are missing the main event!” God is the creator of the world and our own personal creator.  He made us to love him.  Jesus is the savior of the world. When we were separated from God by our sins, Jesus came to bring us home.  God gives this world its meaning.  He is the main event.  In changing and distressing times, the love of God can heal and restore us. These truths are becoming less and less known in our culture. At St. Barnabas, we proclaim these truths and cling to Jesus.  Join us.

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Prayer for Commerce and Industry

On this Labor Day: Prayer for Commerce and Industry   (from the 2019 Book of Common Prayer)

O Lord Jesus Christ, in your earthly life you shared our toil and hallowed our labor; Guide those who maintain the commerce and industries of our land, and give to all who labor pride in their work, a just reward, and joy both in supplying need and in serving you; who with the Father and the Holy Spirit live and reign, one God, world without end.  Amen.

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A Collect for Peace (from the Book of Common Prayer 2019)

O God, the author of peace and lover of concord, to know you is eternal life and to serve you is perfect freedom:  Defend us, your humble servants, in all assaults of our enemies; that we, surely trusting your defense, may not fear the power of any adversaries, through the might of Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen. (BCP 2019)

 This prayer contains many important ideas.  God loves peace. Our eternal life with God will be one of peace and concord.  But how will this happen, given that people have conflicting ideas and interests that create disputes?  The answer is to humble ourselves and follow God.  Human dictators oppress their subjects, but God is a faithful and loving ruler.  Serving God is perfect freedom to become what God made us to be.  Being servants of God does not mean that our lives will be trouble-free; in this as in everything Jesus is our model.  But we ask God to protect us from our enemies, knowing that no matter what happens to us, God’s love lasts forever.  Jesus was killed on earth, but was raised from the dead and now reigns as king of kings and lord of lords.  He is our mighty savior and so we need not fear.

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