Message for March 17 - To Protect and to Save

Hello family and friends.  I hope you have found God’s blessing this week and have shared it with those around you.  We had such a special time last Sunday.  We shared from our hearts and I know that the Lord was there working among us.  Let it be the start of a new depth of relationship within our body.

Linda and I are having to use DART paratransit services right now and since we ran long last week we had to hurry off.  I hate that we weren’t able to capture Pastor David’s message on forgiveness because it goes well with what I want to share with you this week.  If you have a good memory, you might remember that you’ve heard this before, but I think it is something we need to understand.  It was one of the first sermons I preached here and I’d like to revisit it in light of the things we’ve been learning over the past few months.

One of the things we like to emphasize when we study the scripture is how it all goes together.  One thing we should remember when we read our Bible is that the chapters and verses were added for convenience long after the original text was written.  The chapter and verse breaks don’t always fall in the best places to help us understand what the text is saying.  Matthew 18 is not one of those cases.  I think it’s just right.  I’m also not a big fan of the subheadings many translations add, especially when they stray into the realm of commentary.  However I’m going to provide my own for this chapter, “To Protect and to Save.”

Jesus is telling us many things in this chapter, but we will focus on some main themes.  Protect the weak and the innocent.  Address sin with love.  Strive always for redemption.  Forgiveness is essential.  I hope this will help us to understand why it is so important that we deal with sin in our lives and in our church body as well as the redemptive purpose that is ever present throughout God’s word.  I look forward to seeing you there!


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