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Connecting...

to Christ and His Church at Monmouth

God's Word for the coming week...

Galatians 5:6  What does it mean to you for “the only thing that counts” is “faith working through love”?
Dates To Remember...

  • October 24th,  Elders/Deacons Meeting directly following our morning services.
Remember in Prayer...

  • Bobbie Imlay is in Care One, Holmdel-Room #19.  Stop by and visit her or drop her a card.
  • John & Patricia Pierson ask for prayers of healing concerning their health issues, her knee and his back and headaches.
  • Those in the congregation who continue to deal with health issues.
  • Continue to keep the “Funding Drive” in your thoughts and prayers.

The Only Thing That Counts


“For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value.  The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.”   Galatians 5:6, NIV

Christ has set us free from slavery to law as a means of earning righteousness before God.  The way to be “right with God” is revealed in the gospel:  by faith.   In the Galatian church, it was very difficult for some to 'let go' of laws that were not only means of “being righteous” but also markers of identity as the “people of God” (such as circumcision).  Thus, to seek to be justified by law is to “fall from grace” (Galatians 5:4).    Paul goes on to say that, “By faith we eagerly await through the Spirit the righteousness for which we hope.” (Galatians 5:5).

For some, in the Galatian context, circumcision was “everything.”  It was thought impossible to truly be a person of God and not adhere rigorously to the law, practice, and identity regarding circumcision. Yet, on this very important issue, Paul says, that neither circumcision nor un-circumcision means anything!  “The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.”  Such an assertion would have been an offense to some Jewish Christians.  But it is precisely that offense Paul says is characteristic of the cross!  “Brothers, if I am still preaching circumcision, why am I still being persecuted?  In that case the offense of the cross has been abolished.”

The faith of which Paul speaks is not an empty faith, a simple “belief,” or a mere “mental assent” to the existence of God, Jesus, the Spirit, and the gospel.  Faith actively trusts God and responds in obedience.  Paul's emphasizes that this “obedience” to faith is love.  We don't continue on in indulging the sinful nature, but instead, we love others as a response to the gospel.  Such love is what counts! 

The question before us is this:  where do we “fall from grace”?  Where do we “invent” for ourselves “another gospel”?  Where do we rely on something else other than “faith expressing itself through love” as being the essential life response to the gospel?  Is it a habit, a theological system of thought, a particular view point or conviction about a religious practice, an ordinance, a ritual, a way we “should be,” or anything else that stands in the way of the gospel being all sufficient for our salvation?  There is certainly nothing wrong with any of these things in and of themselves.  Yet, when elevated too high, they (like circumcision) can “become” another gospel, something which we begin to “rely” on to be the “essential” point of salvation.  In so doing, we fall from grace. 

What counts?  Faith expressing itself in love.

Period.

Connecting ... to the church family at Monmouth & the community


Introductory Class- Biblical Hebrew
Friday Evenings, 7:00-8:30PM
Rix Home


An introductory class Biblical Hebrew will begin on Friday, October 1st.  The class is designed to give an high-level overview of how the language works and implications for translation and study of the Old Testament. 


Several in the congregation have already signed up and are ready to go! 


If you are interested in joining the class please contact Charles Rix.

 

 

October Hostess of the Month - Natasha Vazquez

Cleaning Team for coming week - Team  Ciliento