View From The Pew​


Submitted by Mark Johnson
September 18, 2016


A Sabbath Confession

(Part 4)
The Ten Commandments
~ or ~
The Decalogue (continued)

(To read all previous parts of this submission click here.)



It has often been said that the first four commandments of the Decalogue concern God, Himself.  I do not believe that is quite accurate.  The fourth commandment concerns both God and...the Church.  The Fourth Commandment’s purpose, among other things, is to uniquely identify, or mark, God’s special relationship with his Bride, the Church/Israel.  Consider the following:

“You are to speak to the people of Israel and say, ‘Above all you shall keep my Sabbaths, for this is a sign between me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I, the LORD, sanctify you.’” (Exodus 31:13 ESV)

“Moreover, I gave them my Sabbaths, as a sign between me and them, that they might know that I am the LORD who sanctifies them.” (Ezekiel 20:12 ESV)

Remember, the Sabbath existed before it was included in the Decalogue at Sinai.  The Hebrews were keeping Sabbath while they were in bondage in Egypt and later during their wanderings before Mt. Sinai.  The Sabbath was given to Israel/Church at the marriage ceremony at the base of Mt. Horeb as a sign of the marriage covenant, of their unique joining to God.  It was the ring on the bride’s finger!

And, it should be noted that the Sabbath is an eternal gift, just as a wedding ring is for the life of a marriage.  So the Sabbath, and the entire Decalogue, stand as long as God’s divine union stands -- and that is forever.  Consider the following:

“Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, declares the Lord. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people.  (Jeremiah 31:31-33 ESV)

The term “New Covenant” can be a bit misleading, to say the least.  The New Covenant is not new in its nature, as the New Covenant was first mentioned in the Old Testament by the Prophet Jeremiah, but it is new in the sense that the Law, the Decalogue, the words that God personally spoke to His bride Israel/Church, are now chiseled not only into stone, but now also onto the hearts of men, God now puts His Law of love and liberty within His chosen people, and it is the same law that was spoken by God at Sinai, but it is now, however, newly written on the hearts of his people. And whereas God’s chosen people violated their marriage vows which is the Decalogue thus earning death as a result, Jesus, himself the bridegroom, paid the penalty for our lack of faith and commitment, and enables us to now fulfill our marriage vows, the Law of Liberty, in honor and commitment to our husband, God!  Simply put, we are not saved by keeping the Law. It was never the Law’s purpose to save us, for no one will be justified by works, but we may now fulfill, to live out, the Law because we have been redeemed from the penalty of our previous unfaithfulness.

I will not, in this essay, address Paul’s writings in his letter to the Romans on how the Decalogue is good and perfect and holy and that we are no longer under its penalty of death.  For as James points out, we, being justified by Christ, are not under the Law as transgressors but sanctified as doers of the Law -- and doers of the Law from a heart of flesh and not a heart of stone.  Moreover, we are assured by the Psalmist:  The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple; the precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes; (Psalm 19:7-8  ESV)

As noted, the Sabbath commandment had a very special purpose and position in the Decalogue. It's purpose was to uniquely identify God’s chosen people as a special and sanctified people, a people solely His. As previously mentioned, the Sabbath was (and still is) as a wedding ring in a wedding ceremony, identifying, to the bride and groom first and then to all others, that the two display a special mark, an eternal mark of their intimate and enduring relationship.  

No, no my dear reader, the Sabbath is not abolished.  It is the sign of our very special and eternal relationship with God. And thus, a very real reason why the Roman empire and the ancient Church of Rome, as soon as it could, labored to discontinue the keeping of the seventh day Sabbath. And that matter, itself, will be explored in a later essay.

So far we have examined, in part, what the Ten Commandments are, how they were first introduced and by whom. We have also touched upon a special purpose of the fourth commandment, the Seventh Day Sabbath. There is more, however, much more. So, in our next essay we will explore the Sabbath’s strategic position, its actual placement as the fourth commandment and what else, or better said, Who else the Sabbath Day Commandment speaks of.

Mark Johnson
Lay Leader
North Salem United Methodist Church


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Submitted by Joanne Maguire

Sept. 17, 2016


"​Just viewed chuck knows church lamb of God. loved it." 



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Submitted by Priscilla Mills

Sept. 11, 2016


My Cross


I wear a cross around my Neck.

It gives me great comfort as it lays gently

against my heart.


It reminds me that God and

Jesus are always with me as I move on 

about my life.  Guiding me in ways of which

I am aware and in many others of which I

am not.


My cross reminds me that I am

A Christian and try to follow the ways and

teachings of my Lord and Savior

throughout my life.


To try to be a blessing to

someone each day, be it large or small.

To remember that random acts of kindness

are special both to the giver and the receiver.

To be forgiving of others for

I know not what inner turmoils they may be facing.


My cross also reminds me of the 

beautiful cross that graces the alter in my 

wonderful new church.

The church whose minister and congregation have

warmly welcomed me into their midst from my

very first day.

They have become my wonderful friends and a very

special part of my life.


Sunday Sermon September 18, 2016

Some of us may not fully understand all of the traditions and customs of the United Methodist Church.  Many may have questions about how or why certain practices are conducted or what days are of importance to the Church. To inform any seeking to know anything about our Tradition, Chuck, has all the answers.


Yes, Chuck Knows Church is an online video resource where inquiring minds may go to learn about the UMC.  Chuck attempts to teach the ins and outs of Methodism through humor and with the goal of teaching and making disciples for Christ.


Chuck Knows Church may not be for everyone, but it certainly is a good resource to find Methodist related information.


Check it out!




Hey! Check it Out!  

We have a new Page!  It's a Movies Page and it's up and running right now.

Currently, the movies, "The Gospel of John" and "The Life Of Apostle Paul" are available to view.  This movies ar full-length HD movies of excellent content, and that is exactly what is hoped this new page will provide; quality movies of quality content for Christian understanding and encouragement.


So, when you have a chance, click on "Movies" in the menu above and you will be whisked away to view:


"The Gospel of John"

or

​"The Life Of Apostle Paul"


You will also find a brief review of the presented movies as well.  Comments from viewers are always encouraged.  So please, if you have a comment or two after the movie, we'd love to hear them!


Enjoy!

A Bit of History?!

We have recently come across some interesting history of the North Salem United Methodist Church.  To check out some milestone dates and a list of past and present pastors...



​​Thoughts From our Pastor

Rev. Carroll C. Moore



September 22, 2016


SPENDING TIME




 Time isn't anything we can say we possess but as move into Fall and say goodbye to Summer  I think of how I spent the summer.  It was filled with many events in our lives that I am certainly thankful for will savor in times ahead.
      A regret of many at the time they say their final farewell to a loved one is I did not spend enough quality time with her or him.  Time is neutral but were invited by our Maker to invest our time wisely in ways that will deepen our ability to love.  We are invited to spend time in prayer, in scripture reading, in worship, in service, and in keeping a sabbath time for ourselves.  
       I invite each of us to take a Fall Inventory about how we are spending our time and to ask the question, "Is this what God wants from me?"  Jesus in a parable, Luke 12:13-21, tells of someone who spent his time in the wrong way.  I invite you to reflect on this parable during this week asking "What does God want me to do?"

Blessings
Carroll



It's not a secret...

...but do you know about God's Week, God's seven day/seven thousand year Week?  Consider what Peter wrote in his letter: 2 Peter, Chapter 3:3-4,8-9


"...scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires. They will say, 'Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.' "


And more:


"But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness..."


To read a series of essays on this fundamental and important doctrine of God's biblical 7000 year plan for mankind:




North Salem United Methodist Church

A View From the Pew?

"View From The Pew" is here for you!  With this spot you, the user of this site, may write in to have posted a spiritual, social or biblical thought, an observation or an idea on just about any topic at all. The intent of this is to give voice to our membership - you.  Here it is hoped you will be encouraged to share your thoughts, feelings and/or understandings with us, your brethren.  An exchange of ideas and an understanding of the thoughts and views of others will undoubtedly edify and strengthen our church community.


To submit your thoughts, ideas or comments, fill out the from below and click "SUBMIT". (Pasting a message from a word processor is very convenient.) In a day or two your message will appear here on our Home Page following Pastor Moore's Weekly Devotional, "Thoughts From Our Pastor".