Trinitarian Congregational Church

Pastor’s Note: If God is for us who can be against us?

In the Reformation tradition, this week’s pastor’s note is the word of the Lord from Romans 8:28-39

This week, allow yourself to meditate on the truths of these majestic words.  By faith in Jesus, our identity (restored glory, Romans 8:30) is secured by Christ’s sacrifice on the Cross (Romans 8:32).  Note that the succession of events, what theologians call “the order of salvation” are all past events (Romans 8:29). These are accomplished realities in the mind of Almighty God who holds past, present and future events before Him (Psalms 139:13-16). Even the Psalmist knows this kind of knowledge is well beyond his grasp (Psalm 139:6).  The purpose of these truths is meant to reassure us that nothing happens to us outside of His grasp and His hand.  In the midst of the storms of life, God remains completely in control of our lives. This is why Paul can affirm twice and without hesitation that nothing will separate us from His love (Romans 8:35 and Romans 8:39). Death ends the first list (“sword” Romans 8:35) and begins the second list of events (Romans 8:38 that have literally zero power to sever this restored relationship with the Living God.

If God is for us, who can be against us?

Virtual Bulletin | Sunday – 13th Sunday After Pentecost (August 28, 2020)

Prelude

  • Hungarian Chorale

Gathering Hymn

  • Immortal Invisible

Verse 1
Immortal, invisible, God only wise,
In light inaccessible hid from our eyes,
Most blessed most glorious, the Ancient of Days,
Almighty, victorious – Thy great name we praise.

Verse 2
Unresting, unhasting, and silent as light,
Nor wanting, nor wasting, Thou rulest in might;
Thy justice, like mountains, high soaring above
Thy clouds, which are fountains of goodness and love.

Verse 3
To all, life Thou givest – to both great and small;
In all life Thou livest – the true life of all;
We blossom and flourish as leaves on the tree,
And wither and perish – but naught changest Thee.

Verse 4
Great Father of glory, pure Father of light,
Thine angels adore Thee, all veiling their sight;
All praise we would render – O help us to see
‘Tis only the splendor of light hideth Thee!

Amen. 


Call to Worship – From Psalm 90

Leader:
Lord, you have been our dwelling place in all generations.

People:
Before the mountains were brought forth,
or ever you had formed the earth and the world,
from everlasting to everlasting you are God.

Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love,
that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.
Make us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us,
and for as many years as we have seen evil.

Let your work be shown to your servants,
and your glorious power to their children.
Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us,
and establish the work of our hands upon us;
yes, establish the work of our hands!


Praise

  • Everlasting God

Prechorus
Our God, You reign forever
Our hope, our Strong Deliverer

Chorus 1
You are the everlasting God
The everlasting God
You do not faint
You won’t grow weary
You’re the defender of the weak
You comfort those in need
You lift us up on the wings like eagles

Verse 1
Strength will rise as we wait upon the Lord
We will wait upon the Lord
We will wait upon the Lord
Strength will rise as we wait upon the Lord
We will wait upon the Lord
We will wait upon the Lord

  • His Mercy is More | Boswell/Papa (2016)

Verse 1
What love could remember no wrongs we have done
Omniscient, all knowing, He counts not their sum
Thrown into a sea without bottom or shore
Our sins they are many, His mercy is more

Verse 2
What patience would wait as we constantly roam
What Father, so tender, is calling us home
He welcomes the weakest, the vilest, the poor
Our sins they are many, His mercy is more

Verse 3
What riches of kindness He lavished on us
His blood was the payment, His life was the cost
We stood ‘neath a debt we could never afford
Our sins they are many, His mercy is more

Chorus 1
Praise the Lord, His mercy is more
Stronger than darkness, new every morn
Our sins they are many, His mercy is more


Congregational Prayer
Sarah Comeau


Offertory

  • Great Is They Faithfulness

Chorus 1
Great is Thy faithfulness
Great is Thy faithfulness
Morning by morning
New mercies I see
All I have needed
Thy hand hath provided
Great is Thy faithfulness
Lord unto me

Verse 1
Great is Thy faithfulness,
O God my Father
There is no shadow
Of turning with Thee
Thou changest not
Thy compassions they fail not
As Thou hast been
Thou forever wilt be

Verse 2
Summer and winter
And springtime and harvest
Sun moon and stars
In their courses above
Join with all nature
In manifold witness
To Thy great faithfulness,
Mercy, and love

Verse 3
Pardon for sin
And a peace that endureth
Thy own dear presence
To cheer and to guide
Strength for today
And bright hope for tomorrow
Blessings all mine
With ten thousand be-side


Scripture Reading – Romans 8:28-39
Shauna Daniels

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.
And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.

What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?
He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?
Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies.
Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?
As it is written,“For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.
For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers,
nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.


Sermon
Blessed Assurance
Tom Petter – Senior Pastor


Song of Response

  • No Longer Slaves

Verse 1
You unravel me with a melody
You surround me with a song
Of deliverance from my enemies
Till all my fears are gone

Chorus 1
I’m no longer a slave to fear
I am a child of God
I’m no longer a slave to fear
I am a child of God

Verse 2
From my Mother’s womb
You have chosen me
Love has called my name
I’ve been born again into Your family
Your blood flows through my veins

Misc 1
(Bridge)
You split the sea so I could walk right through it
My fears were drowned in perfect love
You rescued me so I could stand and sing
I am a child of God


Benediction


Postlude
Rigaudon (Cambra)


TCC Band:

  • Acoustic Guitar – Adam Kurihara
  • Electric Guitar – John Marciniec
  • Mandolin – Ben Keyes
  • Piano – Ben Morse
  • Cello – Kanming Xu
  • Vocals – Adam Kurihara
  • Vocals – Ben Keyes
  • Vocals – Ben Morse
  • Vocals – Elena Lazaridou

Pastor’s Note: Supplementary Oxygen

We need supplementary oxygen

Mountaineers are well-known for their determination, amazing courage and fiercely independent spirits.  Reinhold Messner, arguably the GOAT fits the bill perfectly (check his personal Instagram account).  He was the first, along with Peter Habeler, to summit Mount Everest without supplementary oxygen on May 8, 1978.

Most climbers, however, need supplementary oxygen to make it to the top.  Romans 8 feels just like that.  To make it through the epic and sometime steep climb of walking with the Lord, we all need the supplementary oxygen of the Holy Spirit (spirit is also “wind” in Hebrew. In Greek, we get the “pneumo” word-group).  After coming out of the seemingly hopeless situation of the struggle of the human will against sin in chapter 7, there is now no condemnation anymore.  Christ has vanquished the struggle against sin in the flesh (the human body) in His perfect and sinless life on earth (Romans 8:1-2).  So by faith in Him, the Holy Spirit “dwells” in us (Romans 8:11), alongside the flesh of this “body of death” (Romans 7:20; Romans 7:24). The reality is there is a deep tug of war between the “flesh” and the “Spirit” within us.  Until the “redemption of our bodies” (Romans 8:23), we are stuck in this “suffering” (Romans 8:18, same word translated as “passions” in Romans 7:5).  This is the bad news part.

You’ll never walk alone

Of course by now we know the good news is just around the corner in Romans.  The Holy Spirit “helps us in our weakness”  (Romans 8:26).  We “groan,” (Romans 8:23),  the creation “groans” (Romans 8:22, same word in Exodus 2:23-25 in the Greek Old Testament) until the End, when the glory of God will be revealed.  But as we groan, and painfully so (Psalm 6:6), God the Holy Spirit also groans interceding before God the Father (twice in Romans 8:27-28 and once by God the Son in Romans 8:34).  The message is clear:  God always hears the cries of His children.  He has compassion for us in our weakness and our struggles against the flesh and sin.  Just as FC Liverpool fans hold their signs at the end of every home game at Anfield, “You’ll never walk alone” God comes alongside us in our times of desperation.  He upholds us, appealing our case before our Judge and Redeemer!  What a powerful image that sets up the wonderful declaration later on Romans 8: “if God is for us, who can be against us????”

Time for honesty

So this week we take an honest look at our own weakness. We take an inventory of our own life. And if we can’t seem to find any weakness, we take time to ask around. Folks with the gift of discernment will be more than happy to point out some area (s) of weakness.  This sort of brutal honesty is the first step toward receiving that supplementary oxygen. The second step is to actually accept the weakness, just as Paul did in 2 Corinthians 12:7-10, his “thorn in the flesh.”  So now we see these areas of weaknesses in our lives in a different light. We don’t need to fear them but we see them as instruments that God uses to magnify the sufficiency of His grace in our lives.  These weaknesses remind us that “my power is made perfect in weakness.”  Such outlook toward these long-term struggles allows us to stay dependent on the Holy Spirit and His power to take us all the way to the top.

Virtual Bulletin | Sunday – 12th Sunday After Pentecost (August 23, 2020)

Prelude


Gathering Hymn

  • And Can It Be? | Sagina

Call to Worship – Psalm 27

Leader:
The Lord is my light and my salvation—
whom shall I fear?
People:
The Lord is the stronghold of my life—
of whom shall I be afraid?

One thing I ask from the Lord,
this only do I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
all the days of my life,
to gaze on the beauty of the Lord
and to seek him in his temple.

I remain confident of this:
I will see the goodness of the Lord
in the land of the living.
Wait for the Lord;
be strong and take heart
and wait for the Lord.


Praise

  • Holy Holy Holy | Nicea
  • Lord I Need You | Maher (2011)

Congregational Prayer
Delores Marciniec


Offertory

  • Down in my Heart
    Markey Family

Scripture Reading – Romans 8:18-25
Teddy Sayonkon


Sermon
Hoping and waiting for healing
Tom Petter – Senior Pastor


Song of Response

  • O Sing My Soul

Benediction


TCC Band:

  • Acoustic Guitar – Adam Kurihara
  • Piano – Eric Andersen
  • Vocals – Eleanor Markey
  • Vocals – Emily Pomphrett

Pastor’s Note: Two Households, One Mission

14Although I hope to come to you soon, I am writing you these instructions so that, 15 if I am delayed, you will know how people ought to conduct themselves in God’s household, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth.”   -1 Timothy 3:14-15

In Paul’s letter to Timothy and the Ephesians, his vision for the church, or “God’s household,” is that they would be a foundation and pillar of the truth. As Paul reminds us in 1 Timothy 3:16, the truth about Jesus Christ is both supernatural and historical. Our world is a daunting marketplace of ideologies, but our calling is to support and display the counter-cultural truth of the Gospel. The foundations of great buildings, such as the Temple of Artemis in Ephesus, had to reach deep into the ground to fortify and protect the structure from collapsing.

When the Gospel and Christian theology is challenged by competing worldviews, do we support and bear its message?

The Temple of Artemis had more than 100 pillars, each 60 feet tall. On the pillars rested a magnificent roof of glazed terra cotta tiles. What a display for miles!

Perhaps you’ve heard the saying “faith is personal but not private”? Paul challenges the church to not just support and treasure Christian truth, but to also display the Gospel for the world to see.

As pillars of the truth, how are we displaying the Gospel to our neighbors, co-workers, teammates and loved ones?

In 1 Timothy, the mission of the household of God is realized most importantly within and through our own families. God’s desires for his household have so much to do with the character displayed in your household, and in my household (1 Timothy 3:4,12; 5:4,8,14). For many of us, home is where some of our worst habits and behavior are on display. But through our relationships with our loved ones we are challenged to bear and display the Gospel.

Do we model the attitude of Jesus (Philippians 2:3-8) to our family members? How does the Gospel inform the rhythms and habits of our households?

Pastor Kyle