The Weekly Epistle 9/7/22

Hi Church,
Suppose you entered a race and as you got set in your starting block you asked the runner next to you, “How long is this race? I mean, how far is it to the finish line?”  What if his answer was, “Oh!  There’s no finish line.  You just keep running.”  Would you bother running?  Who wants to run in a race that has no finish?
Sometimes in the Christian race we lose sight of the finish.  There is a finish line.  You may not be able to see it, but there is one.  
The beautiful part is that the One who has begun the work in us will bring it to completion.  God finishes what he starts.  As I touched on the word, “elect” and “chosen” this past Sunday from 1 Peter 1:1-5, that truth ought to bring comfort to our hearts.  Since it was God doing the work in us to bring us to salvation it is up to God to get us to the finish.  
In Romans 8, Paul says this, “For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.  And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified” (see Romans 8:29-30).  Glorification speaks to the completed work in us when we reach heaven.  What is interesting about this word, “glorification,” is that the tense Paul uses indicates something of the past.  From God’s vantage point, it has already happened.  
The work God has begun in you will reach its completion.  That’s a fact.  I know it raises all kinds of other questions, like what about the one who once professed the name of Christ, yet walked away?  Or, what about the person who took the name Christian but didn’t live like it?  Are these individuals guaranteed a finish? Do we have any part in the process?
Here again we must live in the center of biblical tension (that I have spoken of frequently).  The Bible teaches both free will and God’s sovereignty in our salvation and sanctification.  It may not make sense to us, but both can be true in the mind of God.  Both must be true because the Bible teaches both.  
Also, when we talk about God finishing the work in us, it is speaking to genuine believers.  God offers no assurance of salvation for those who live contrary to His teaching.  Jesus said, “Many will say to me on that day…then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you.’”  A genuine Christian will bear fruit.  A genuine Christian will be repentant over sin.  A genuine Christian will do the good works which God prepared in advance for them to do.  A genuine believer will not trample the grace of God.  
Those who truly belong to God should walk in assurance, not doubts.  Those who are His will be kept to the end.  Jesus says in John 10:27-28, “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they will follow me.  I will give them eternal life and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand” (read all of John 10).  
Believer, God has you!  He will get you to the finish line- carry you over it if He must.  So, keep on running!  
Blessings, Pastor Brian

Looking Forward

Sermon Direction

Painful Joy
I Peter 1:6-12

Link to This Sunday Worship Service



Communion will be celebrated this Sunday

Momentum Announcement

Momentum Youth Ministry will not be meeting in the month of September.

Special Business Meeting

There is a special business meeting scheduled for Thursday September 29 @ 7:00 to vote on joining the Evangelical Free Church, the name change, and the constitution and bylaws that reflect our becoming an Evangelical Free Church.

Revised Church Constitution

Pick up a copy of the revised church constitution and bylaws with changes that reflect our becoming an Evangelical Free Church.  They are available at the ministry counter.


We have a number of “Lost & Found” items now located on the security counter. Please check and see if anything belongs to you. Thank you!!

Mark Your Calendars

Local outreach ministry is hosting a table at this year’s Multicultural Festival in Laconia this Saturday, September 10th from 10-3. 

Please join the OWLS on Saturday, September 24, 2022 at 1:00 p.m. for a Good Old-Fashioned Hymn Sing, accompanied by Mary Collins and Rob Tacker, in Fellowship Hall.  If you are among those who cherish the “Golden Oldies,” you’ll enjoy this rousing round of song, followed by a dessert social.  Please RSVP to Norma Phillips at no later than Friday, September 16th, so that adequate food and materials can be provided.