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Sunday Schedule

10 AM Worship
Scripture: 1 Kings 14; Matthew 23:1-12
Sermon: "The Cure for Hypocrisy"
Songs: PH 463, PH 131A, PH 352, PH 538

6 PM Worship
Scripture: Galatians 3:1-10; Genesis 19:1-29
Sermon: "What Sin Deserves"
Songs: PH 275, PH 149A, PH 389

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Westminster Confession 23.4

It is the duty of people to pray for magistrates,(1) to honour their persons,(2) to pay them tribute or other dues,(3) to obey their lawful commands, and to be subject to their authority, for conscience sake.(4) Infidelity, or difference in religion, doth not make void the magistrates' just and legal authority, nor free the people from their due obedience to them:(5) from which ecclesiastical persons are not exempted,(6) much less hath the Pope any power and jurisdiction over them in their dominions, or over any of their people and, least of all, to deprive them of their dominions, or lives, if he shall judge them to be heretics, or upon any other pretence whatsoever.(7)

(1) 1 Tim. 2:1,2 (2) 1 Pet. 2:17 (3) Rom. 13:6,7 (4) Rom. 13:5; Tit. 3:1 (5) 1 Pet. 2:13,14,16 (6) Rom. 13:1; 1 Kings 2:35; Acts 25:9,10,11; 2 Pet. 2:1,10,11; Jude 8-11 (7) 2 Thess. 2:4; Rev. 13:15-17

God is sovereign over all of history. There are no authorities that he has not put in place. This is difficult for us to understand, since we sometimes think others should have those positions. We read about our brothers and sisters who are persecuted and pray that God would deliver them from their tormentors. What we must always remember is that God is working all things together. Nothing is outside of his control or out of his sight. It's not surprising that the focus of Scripture, when it comes to our duties, is on prayer and obedience to those in authority.

We pray for them, for their salvation. Paul tells Timothy to pray for all kinds of people, including those in authority, because God desires all kinds of people to be saved. We can also pray for them for wisdom, that they would not rise up in pride as Nebuchadnezzar (Daniel 4) and Herod (Acts 12) did and fall under the curse of God. This is all the more important given that the Confession goes on to say these authorities may be unbelievers.

Beyond that, the Confession focuses on paying tribute (taxes) and obedience to lawful commands. Scripture is clear that these things are required of God's people. We are those whose citizenship is in heaven but we sojourn here. We have dual citizenship and God calls us to be faithful in our stations in this life, which includes submitting to those lawful commands. As an aside, we need to be careful that this idea of "lawful commands" doesn't become a giant loophole. The Confession has in mind that Christians cannot obey a law that directly calls them to violate God's Word.

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Dear Congregation and Friends,

I hope you are all doing well!

We resume Sunday school this week. 9 AM classes for all ages!

Ongoing classes/events:
Our men's study will meet on Saturday, November 2nd at 9 AM. We're studying William Gouge's Building a Godly Home.
Our next fellowship dinner will be Sunday, November 10th at 5 PM.
Sunday school classes at 9 AM! The adult class is being taught by Pastor Henes on John Calvin's "Golden Booklet of the Christian Life." Children continue with their "Show Me Jesus" curriculum.
Our Monday night Bible study meets each week at 7 PM at the Pastor's home. This semester we are studying First Peter. The first Monday of each month is a spaghetti dinner at 6 PM.
Dinner & Theology meets each Wednesday at 6 PM. We are discussing the Westminster Shorter Catechism together. Each month one of our midweek meetings will be our Paideia Group.
The women's Bible study meets each Thursday at 7:30 PM at the Stockdale home. See Corrie Church or Joy Peterson for information.

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