Sunday, October 30, 2022



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Today's message is focused on Reformation Sunday. Each year on the Sunday preceding Halloween at TCC we celebrate the Reformation of the 16th century which gave rise to the Protestant church. It is celebrated on that Sunday because on the eve of "All Saints Day," October 31, 1517, Martin Luther nailed his "95 Theses" to the door of the Castle Church at Wittenberg. With that action, the Reformation was officially begun.

The introduction of today's sermon will briefly deal with three of the five theological distinctives that arose from the Reformation. The main subject matter of the sermon will be a biographical sketch of Martin Luther's life. It is my hope that as we trace Luther's life from his birth through the adult years of his life, we will gain a richer understanding of the significance of his life and ministry and the impact he had upon the history of the church. Though his life certainly was not without flaws, it was the providential will of God to use this "earthen vessel" to rediscover and bring into sharp focus "the righteous shall live by faith" (Romans 1:17). This was the truth that ignited his soul by God's sovereign grace. This spiritual truth brought him from death to life in Christ Jesus. It was this truth that was the spark that set the Reformation ablaze. Today it remains foundational for the church, "the righteous (those who are justified before God and drawn into a loving union with God) shall live by faith" (faith alone) in the redemptive and atoning work of Christ on the cross.

The sermon closes out with a scriptural application concerning righteousness and the believer's standing before God.

May you find encouragement to your faith as we now reflect together upon this man of God, Martin Luther.

Sunday, October 16, 2022



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GENESIS 21:14-34

In Genesis 21:14-21, we continue our study of the account where Abraham sends Hagar and Ishmael away from the community of faith into the wilderness. During our study of these verses we will, once again, consider the immediate obedience of Abraham to the command of God. From there we will contemplate the contrast between the wells of Isaac and the skin of water possessed by Ishmael. This sets before us a contrast between the church and the world.

As the text unfolds from verses 19-21, God upholds His promise formerly made to Abraham and Hagar concerning Ishmael. While Ishmael is given no spiritual promise or blessing, he is given a providential promise that God will supply for him earthly care. The fulfillment of this promise leads us into the exploration of the doctrine of "common grace." "Common grace," as first revealed in Genesis 8 and 9 and affirmed by the Lord Jesus in Matthew 5:45 is that common thread that unites all of humanity, Christians and non-Christians alike. In this life, all mankind is under the providing, sustaining care of the Lord and all of mankind shares in life's trials and sufferings. There is no distinction between the Christian and the world. In varying degrees and measures of provision and trials, individuals, in their life, face this reality all of the days of their life. This is the standard for life itself "while the earth remains." (Genesis 9:22)

May the Lord's sustaining Hand uphold you by the power of His grace as you seek to serve Him.

To God by the Glory.

                                                    Roger and Marsha Melson