CALL TO WORSHIP
WITH GOD THERE IS TRUE JOY
IN HIS PRESENCE IS REAL PLEASURE
We know that God is always with us, so we come this morning to remind ourselves to faithfully be with God in trusting, loving worship. In this time of worship,
May our hearts be glad;
May our souls rejoice;
May our bodies rest secure.
God show us the path of life!
As there is so much fullness of joy in God’s presence,
we are so glad to be together now with Jesus and with our brothers and sisters in Christ.
I bless the Lord who gives me counsel;
in the night also my heart instructs me.
I have set the Lord always before me;
because He is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.
Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices;
my flesh also dwells secure.
For You will not abandon my soul to Sheol,
or let Your holy one see corruption.
You make known to me the path of life;
in Your presence there is fullness of joy;
at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
THE LORD'S covenant REVEALING vv.1-8
When Abram was ninety-nine years old the Lord appeared to Abram and said to him, “I am God Almighty; walk before me, and be blameless, that I may make my covenant between me and you, and may multiply you greatly.” GENESIS 17:1-2
After 13 years of apparent silence, the LORD returns graciously and powerfully to appear and speak directly to Abram. Here God reveals so much about who He is, what He desires, and what He will do for Abram and his offspring. God gives us:
The Creator of the Covenant - God Almighty initiates (vv.1-2) That I may make My covenant between Me and you.
The Purpose of the Covenant - God is not just making rules but forming relationship. This is a personal covenant between the living God and His people built on ongoing relationship (walking) of purity (blameless) in which God is their sole Lord (v.7) God reveals Himself (vv.1-3) and calls Abram to know Him.
The Content of the Covenant - A solemn promise of what the LORD will do in and through Abram, including:
making him the father of a multitude of nations and kings,
giving the land of Canaan (land of your sojournings),
making him exceedingly fruitful,
and being God to Abraham and his offspring
The Conditions of the Covenant - God calls Abram (and covenant people) to:
stay walking before God in ongoing relationship (v.1),
be blameless, morally upright (v.1),
keep the covenant (v.9),
circumcise every male 8 days old, every male among you, incl. Foreigners and slaves/workers (vv.12-14)
Those not circumcised will be cut off from the covenant people (v.14)
The Duration of the Covenant - It is an everlasting covenant (vv. 7, 8)
The Recipients of the Covenant - Abraham and his family, his descendents, all those who are circumcised in belief and acceptance of the covenant promises, in particular with Isaac who will come through Sarah (vv.7, 12-14, 21)
The Sign of the Covenant - All males circumcised in the flesh (vv.10-11)
And next week we'll look into The Response to the Covenant - Abraham immediately complies and fulfills his part. That very day Abraham and his son Ishmael were circumcised. And all the men of his house. (vv.23-27)
THE LORD'S COVENANT SEALING vv.9-14
This is my covenant, which you shall keep, between me and you and your offspring after you: Every male among you shall be circumcised. You shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskins, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and you. GENESIS 17:10-11
THE MEANING OF THE SIGN OF CIRCUMCISION
The purpose for God’s people is a spiritual sign of an inward faith in God alone that marks the special relationship between God and His set-apart people.
SIGNIFICANCE 1 - I don’t trust in my flesh, but only in God.
Circumcision is a cutting away of the flesh and an appropriate sign of the covenant for those who should put no trust in the flesh but only put their trust in the LORD. Symbolically, the flesh is put away. Abram had acquired a son by the use of his reproductive organ. Now he submitted it to God. This has particular meaning for NT Christians (see Colossians 2:6-15)
Look out for the dogs, look out for the evildoers, look out for those who mutilate the flesh. For we are the circumcision, who worship by the Spirit of God[b] and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh— though I myself have reason for confidence in the flesh also. (no confidence in the flesh - Philippians 3:2-3)
SIGNIFICANCE 2 -God will bring about a people, His people! -
As circumcision deals with the organ of procreation, it was a reminder of the special seed of Abraham, which would ultimately bring the Messiah. It demonstrates on the organ of procreation God’s lasting promise to bring about a multitude of nations. No Israelite could ever engage in the sex act without being reminded of the fact that he belonged to God.
The mark would not normally be seen by anyone but is in a “secret place.” It would be seen by the man’s wife, particularly as they are naked before one another (Gen. 2) and procreate in one-flesh union. They would be constantly reminded that God keeps His promises and God will fulfill and increase the covenant people through His blessing of fruitfulness.
SIGNIFICANCE 3 - We are those people, Your people Lord!
Most importantly, the sign signifies a response by people to actively trust in the LORD. Circumcision distinguished those who believed in the importance and veracity of the divine promises to Abraham from those who did not believe.
Circumcision of infant sons did not save them but evidenced the faith of the father and mother in the God of Abraham. As that young child grew up, his circumcision was a sign to him that he was different from other boys—he belonged to God. He was marked with a sign that would forever remind him of God's calling for relationship and what God required to enjoy the benefits of His covenant.
Just as it was not circumcision that made someone a part of the covenant (faith did), rejection of circumcision was a faithless rejection of the covenant. The act also involved the parents who must faithfully submit their child to the covenant. Children that were begotten were to be brought up according to God’s Word.
SIGNIFICANCE 4 - Covenant relationship is open to all who will believe and enter in through faithful belief in God and His promises!
As the covenant sign was given to all male members of the household, the covenant crosses all lines of race as it is not about establishing racial purity but includes foreigners and those not in Abraham’s biological, ethnic line.
Also since there is no distinction drawn between Abraham’s biological/marriage family and those who work for him (bought, slaves, workers), the covenant crosses lines of social status and is open to all classes. It crosses gender lines as all women were included through the male head of the household.
In the New Testament church, where some Jewish believers argued that physical circumcision was necessary for salvation, Paul contended that righteousness comes through faith and that circumcision of the heart is what matters (see Rom. 2:25-29; 1 Cor. 7:18-10; Gal. 6:15). While not the same (contra Reformed theology), baptism is similar for Christians as circumcision was for Old Testament Israel - it is an outward sign of an inward commitment to follow Jesus Christ. Just as circumcision did not save you, baptism does not not itself make you clean or a follower of God, but publicly displays an inward, spiritual trust in the living God.
JESUS' GOSPEL NAILING colossians 2:6-15
And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. COLOSSIANS 2:13-14
Let us look upon our precious Lord Jesus dying on the cross:
His flesh cut and bruised so that we could be forgiven,
His life cut apart so that we could be made whole,
the perfect Son dying and raising so that we could be made everlasting children of God!
May our hearts flutter and overflow in joy at the wonderfully good news of how Jesus Christ made us alive when you we once dead in our trespasses and the uncircumcision of our flesh (Col. 2:13) by nailing your debt to the cross (Col. 2:14)!
Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving. COLOSSIANS 2:6-7
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WE CONTINUE IN OUR SERIES - FAITH FULLY
SUNDAY WORSHIP in the SANCTUARY
Join us in person on Sundays at 1030am
We have been safely enjoying in-person worship in our Sanctuary with one service. 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 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 sanitation are readily available.
Sit socially distanced (3 chairs = 6' apart)
Bulletins are available online.
Offering can be given dropped in the baskets near the stage or the box near the exit, and can also be given online.
Bathrooms are open in the Cafe (and are continually 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.
Please exit through the main entrance and Fellowship conveniently on the front lawn. It's best if we do not stay lingering together in the Sanctuary.
Prayer is available outside on the front lawn under the tent shade. Simply request if you would like us to wear a mask while praying with you.
SUNDAY WORSHIP ONLINE
We will continue to stream our services every week 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.
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