CERRO GORDO CHURCH OF THE BRETHREN
October 24, 2021
Just Wait a Minute
As Jesus’ ministry gets going in high gear Jesus uses the Sermon on the Mount to make sure everyone has a better understanding of God and what he expects. When we look at what Jesus said in the verses we read this morning, maybe Christians today need more understanding than the people he was talking to on that day did. We often times want to believe the Old Testament law is no longer in effect. Jesus is giving everyone something brand new. However, we see Jesus saying right off the bat, don’t think I have come to abolish the law. Instead, Jesus clearly states that no, I have come to fulfill the law. The law explained in detail what God expects of his people. However, because we are all weighted down by sin, none of us can keep every aspect of the law so Jesus came to do what we could not do for ourselves: keep every single one of the requirements of the law. Every single one of the laws from the most significant to the least difficult will remain intact--10 Commandments and 613 Levitical laws.
The Pharisees loved putting on a good show emphasizing the laws they felt were important or that they were more capable of keeping and yet held over the people some of the laws most people struggled with. They tried to make it look like they had it all together but to the common people, the less informed people, they would lie and deceive to keep them in their place. Jesus saw all of this early on and was calling them out on it. By saying every aspect of the law must be observed and if you fail to do that you have no advantage over anyone else, Jesus is warning to be careful what you say and do, God is watching. Jesus did point out that some believe certain laws to be more important than others and seemingly would say by their actions it is alright to break some of the less important laws. Jesus then goes on to point out those who say some laws are more important to keep than others and teach people it is okay to let them slide will be called least in the kingdom of God. However, those who remain faithful to God, remain consistent on teaching the importance of all of God’s laws, will be called great in the kingdom of God. God knows we are not capable of keeping all of the laws. God knows we will all fall short at different times, but if you acknowledge your shortcomings and are honest about your limitations you will be viewed as great in God’s kingdom. The important thing is do not try to say that, just because you struggle with some of God’s laws, they do not matter or that God does not really believe they are important.
Jesus reminds us all until he returns for his church, his bride, God meant everything he said about the Old Testament law and its importance as a guiding light to us that are in darkness. Jesus also made one more very direct statement. Jesus knew the Pharisees were hypocrites that often times basically lived life by the one old saying, “Do what I say, not what I do.” Yet Jesus also acknowledged they were very serious about their version of how to worship and live for God. Jesus closed out the verses we read this morning by saying, “Unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven. The Pharisees were really sincere about what they believed. Unfortunately, they had convinced themselves that certain things were important and others not so much. In the process they had deceived themselves and were teaching others the same wrong stuff.
So where does that leave us today? Jesus is saying to us, “Just wait a minute.” The Old Testament law that is very detailed was given for a reason. For one thing even back in the Old Testament days some wanted to believe they could be good enough to earn their salvation. Jesus is reminding us all if you want to earn your salvation apart from grace, you have to keep every one of the laws every minute of every day for the rest of your life. Something that is totally and absolutely impossible. Jesus is also telling us that he is doing what we cannot do, which is live a perfect life. Because of that, when we turn over our lives to God by recognizing Jesus lived and died for us, we can have confidence we are saved by God’s grace. Jesus is reminding us to simply live an honest life, which recognizes God’s holy and righteous word. Do the best we can to follow God’s laws knowing we will at times fall short. Be willing to admit we need a Savior because we cannot do it on our own. That is all God asks of us. Maybe, just maybe, others will see our honest love for God and will want what we have. Do not try to be something you are not, while at the same time you seek to accomplish everything God is calling you to do.
Bible Study 9:30 Tuesday
Submissions for November newsletter due Nov. 3.
November 5, 6 District Conference—One delegate still needed
November 10—Board Meeting
November 21—Council meeting after worship
November 28—Walt Wiltschek, our new DE, will preach. Afterwards, we’ll have a soup luncheon, and then we will decorate the sanctuary for Christmas.
College care package snacks due by Nov 14. Let Carol know of any college students. Sadie S., Jordan W., Michelle W. Others?
The women will be taking orders for candy soon. Watch for details.
Offering plates are in the back of the sanctuary. Thank you!
Donation Box: Pastor’s Assistance Fund
First Sundays: food donations for food banks
Pastor Larry Traxler- (217) 454-2362
To keep up on Church of the Brethren news:
Denomination: www.brethren.org/news Sign up for Newsline by clicking link on left side of page.
District: iwdcob.org (click on newsletter link) and on facebook
Our pages: cerrogordocob.com (printed sermon, announcements, & calendar) and on facebook
Keep in Your Prayers
Shirley Krall; Jema; Andy Flenner and family; Mindy Sawyer; Jim (Buck) West; Marlene Schultz; Randy West; Jen Durst; Sarah Rudelick; Sydney (Nancy Gorrell’s niece); Tera Runyan; Carl and Wilma Cable; Marge Starr; Mike Gentry; Larry Albro; Mike McCleery; Mike and Carol Seidenstricker; Sonna Hall; Brittany Wright; Owen Wright; Anna Gentry Thompson; Clyde and Nancy Fansler; Adiline Young; Kim Lehmann; Doug Fansler; Liza Yore; Candy Dobson; Anna Rose Larrick; Shawn Cain; Robert Cripe; Mayo & Darlene Hanaver; Zola Copeland; Patty Cripe; Lauren Gross; Stacie Warren; Nancy Gorrell; many unspoken requests; Coronavirus crisis; healthcare workers and first responders; the families of the 700,000+ people who have died from COVID-19; those who are ill from the virus; the unemployed; school teachers, staff, and students; victims of disasters; victims of shootings; nursing home residents; the Nigerian church; Haitian Brethren
Military and Other Services and their families
Brethren Volunteer Service workers; Disaster project workers
Church of the Brethren vision statement:
Together, as the Church of the Brethren, we will passionately live and share the radical transformation and holistic peace of Jesus Christ through relationship-based neighborhood engagement. To move us forward, we will develop a culture of calling and equipping disciples who are innovative, adaptable, and fearless.
Our Mission Statement:
Love God, grow with others, serve faithfully, reach the lost, find peace.