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CALL TO WORSHIP

LORD WE WANT TO BE HOLY PEOPLE

“Speak to all the congregation of the people of Israel and say to them, You shall be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy." 

LEVITICUS 19:2  

"You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect."

MATTHEW 5:48 

 

Father, 
We have always known that we are not perfect
but we too often use that knowledge
as a cushion to dull the impact of mistakes we willingly make.
But, here today, we see Your Son Jesus calling us to perfection and the Old Testament Law calling us to holiness, to be like You.

 

Father,
teach us this day what it means to be holy and shape us to pursue You above all else so that day-by-day we might come to resemble the children of the Most High which You have called us to be, which Jesus died so that we could be, and which the Holy Spirit dwells in us to make us to be. Amen.

this is the story we need to hear:

THE LORD CALLS us, DIES FOR us, and lives in us to make us holy people who live with the holy god in the holy place 

Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

 

Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.

 1 CORINTHIANS 6:9-11, 18-20

As we conclude our this mini-series, we come in hopes to answer the personal pleas of those who struggle with same-sex attraction: "But what if I truly feel this way? What if I am just born this way? Is it fair that I cannot express myself, live in this identity, and be loved the way I want?" 

To answer these, we will take a wider look at God's view of human sexuality so that we can become better truth tellers, evangelists, disciplers, and loving Christian brothers and sisters to those who struggle with these feelings.

 

Our culture asserts that when it comes to God and sexuality that what we do with our bodies is NOT THAT BIG OF A DEAL and when it comes to the Bible and those who feel desires for the same gender IT IS NOT FAIR. Though we have made this an issue of freedom, expression, identity, and fairness, the Bible looks at all of human sexuality as a matter of holiness. 

We will look at 1 CORINTHIANS 5 and 6 to see that Jesus Christ does believe that we we do with our bodies is a a very big deal and that He alone offers great hope for delivering us from sin to holiness, for repairing our broken sexuality to wholeness, and for providing us with the kind of ultimate satisfaction that no other relationship could ever give us. 

When we are confronted in our sin, we all feel like running away. But we are all broken people in need of Savior who can wash away our sins, make us holy, and keep us growing in His kind of holiness, all by His grace. The story of the Bible is simply this, A HOLY GOD CAME TO RESCUE UNHOLY PEOPLE. THE HOLY ONE HIMSELF, JESUS CHRIST DIED TO MAKE US HOLY SO THAT WE CAN LIVE WITH THE HOLY GOD IN THE HOLY PLACE FOREVER.  When we are confronted in our sin, we all feel like running away. But we are all broken people in need of Savior who can wash away our sins, make us holy, and keep us growing in His kind of holiness, all by His grace.

 

Those who are attracted to the same sex are not terribly unique. They are broken as we all are broken - in sin and rebellion with no hope of fixing ourselves. They, like us, have deep, natural-enough feelings but feelings which are nonetheless sinful and need of washing and transformation. Following Jesus for the same-sex attracted means the same thing it means for every single person - turning our backs on sin - including sexual sin - as we die to ourselves and pick up our cross daily to walk after Jesus.

 

For all of us are called to holiness and to find our ultimate meaning and identity, AS WELL AS our longings for love and desires for joy, fully satisfied in Christ alone. 

 

This is really a matter not of fairness, but rightness - God's rightness as revealed in His word.

 

This is not really a matter of acceptance, but holiness - God's holiness. We accept all people into Christ's church and God's word calls each of us to holiness by God's power and for God's glory. 

 

This is not really a matter of how I feel but what Christ calls me to - Christ's new life by Him and united to Him by which He transforms me into His likeness by washing, sanctifying, and justifying me. 

 

Some questions for your thought and our discussion as we go forward: 

(1) How can we as a church better teach and live out the Bible’s holistic and comprehensive picture of God’s design and purpose for human sexuality?

(2) What would it look like for Grace River to be a local church with very wide front doors, through which everyone is welcomed, and at the same time be a local church with a very narrow, Christ-shaped back door, through which everyone who exits has been radically shaped by God’s washing, sanctifying, and discipling which conforms them to the likeness of Jesus Christ (Romans 8:28-29)?

(3) Of course none of us likes approaching people about sin, but according to God’s word is a very big deal that is our responsibility for the overall health of the church (cleanse out the old leaven, 1 Cor. 5:7). So how can we do this better?

 

 

FOR AN INDIVIDUAL/GROUP BIBLE STUDY WITH APPLICATION ON THIS MATERIAL, CLICK THIS BUTTON

 

FOR FURTHER RESOURCES WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS ABOUT SAME-SEX ATTRACTION CLICK THIS BUTTON  

 

 

NEXT WEEK

WE RETURN TO OUR GENESIS SERIES FAITH FULLY TO FINISH GENESIS 19

 
Grace River Sunday worship reopen

GRACE RIVER

 WORSHIPPING TOGETHER 

SUNDAY WORSHIP in the SANCTUARY  

Join us in person on Sundays at 1030am 

We have been safely enjoying in-person worship in our Sanctuary. To stay healthy and remain in the state guidelines, seating is limited and will need to be reserved ahead of time. Depending on demand, we will continue to increase seating and add another service time. 
CLICK TO SIGN UP

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reserving for worship really helps us stay safe, serve more people, and accommodate new guests. If you have trouble simply call the office (603.542.2344 ) and we will make sure you get signed up!  

 

FOR IN-PERSON WORSHIP 

PLEASE MAINTAIN SOCIAL DISTANCING 

 

MASKS ARE OPTIONAL BUT PROVIDED 

 

PLEASE REGULARLY SANITIZE AND WASH HANDS

 

PLEASE RESPECT OTHERS' WISHES FOR CONTACT AND PROXIMITY 

 

 

BEFORE SERVICE

Please enter through the front entrance.  Our Welcome Team is very happy to help you find a seat.
 

You can choose a color-coded bracelet to announce your comfort level to others. Masks and touchless hand sanitizing stations are readily available. 
 

 

DURING SERVICE

Sit socially distanced 
Bulletins are available online.

Offering can be given in the baskets near the stage or the box near the exit, and can also be given online or mailed.

Bathrooms are open upstairs and are cleaned throughout our service; Families can also use the downstairs Family Bathroom near the Nursery. 

Sanctuary doors heading to the Cafe do not need to be closed. This helps avoid touching. 

The Nursery is available if needed, but not staffed. Please clean up after yourselves. Our Family Ministry downstairs classrooms are closed at this time.

 

AFTER SERVICE

Please exit through the main entrance and Fellowship conveniently on the front lawn. Though we love to fellowship, at this time it is best to not linger in the Sanctuary. This also helps our cleaning team get to work sanitizing the room. If weather permits, try catching up with friends and newcomers outside. 


Prayer is available either in the Sanctuary or if weather permits outside on the front lawn. Simply request if you would like us to wear a mask while praying with you. 

SUNDAY WORSHIP ONLINE

Our Live Stream Is Always Available  

We will always stream our services every week at 1030am to ensure everyone can worship together. If you are feeling ill, not ready to come back, or did not reserve a seat please worship with us online. If the stream is not working, please be patient with us. We will always be striving hard to get the service online to you. 

 

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 We gratefully give our tithes and offerings as worship in response to God’s extravagant grace. The Lord Jesus has given us so much - especially new life - and we faithfully, passionately, and generously respond to Him in praise and trust with all we have.

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TAKE A NEXT STEP AT GRACE RIVER

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GRACE RIVER 
PO BOX 1036
CLAREMONT, NEW HAMPSHIRE 03743

603.542.2344 // office@graceriver.life

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