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A Double Blessing - 10

Beacon Baptist / Gregory N. Barkman
The Truth Network Radio
January 30, 2022 6:00 pm

A Double Blessing - 10

Beacon Baptist / Gregory N. Barkman

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January 30, 2022 6:00 pm

Pastor Greg Barkman completes this teaching series in 2nd Thessalonians with Paul's concluding words of encouragement.

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Rose is coming to the conclusion of our study. You first and second Thessalonians 2 of the earliest epistles that were penned by the apostle Paul is guided by the Holy Spirit of God. They are written to the church in Thessalonica, which was founded by Paul on his second missionary journey. Recall that the team consisting of Paul and Timothy and Silas in Luke came to the city of Troy has in Asia minor and were not quite sure where the Lord wanted them to go from there until Paul had a vision and did that vision during the night. He saw a man from over Macedonia calling out to them to come over and help them when he related that to the other members of the team in the morning, they all agreed that this was indeed the Lord God guiding them to leave Asia and to open up a mission in the continent of Europe for the first time. So crossing the Aegean Sea. They landed in the seaport of Neapolis and traveled from there to the significant city of Philippi where they had a very fruitful but very challenging administrative which landed them in prison where God released from prison with the earthquake in the middle of the night and where Paul was invited we might say to leave the city and he did any traveled on a southwesterly direction for about about 100 miles until he came to the largest city in Macedonia Macedonia being the northern part of the Greek peninsula. He came to the city of Thessalonica. There he preach as was his custom in the synagogue for three Sabbath days until is was also we might say his custom wasn't what he planned it would seem to happen this way every time. After a period of ministry in the synagogue. He was invited to leave invited might be too mild a term but nevertheless he was kicked out of the synagogue and so he went out into the community and commit continued his ministry there and we really don't know how long he was there. If you read the book of acts just on the surface, you might conclude that he was only in the city of Thessalonica, for a total of three weeks, but that certainly seems unlikely if not impossible when we read all of the other evidence of what took place while he was there.

The church that was established in the teaching that was done and we realize when we examine the book of acts carefully. The Dr. Luke, the human author of acts, often skipped over large portions of the history and the narrative simply because there was a scarcity of space as it was acts as one of the longest books in our New Testament 28 chapters long, and if he had included everything it would've filled up the whole Bible of that was not appropriate and so were quite confident that Paul was in Thessalonica, for a matter of some months but nevertheless Thessalonica as in nearly every place.

Eventually, persecution drove them out. He went to Brea had a fruitful ministry there. But again persecution drove them out.

He went south I think about 400 miles to Athens after a short ministry there west from Athens to Corinth and there he settled down and ended up staying in the city of Corinth for a year and 1/2 but he was not only ministering to Corinth. He was also touching bases with churches that he had founded in Macedonia and no doubt though city had founded the nation as well, but the church at Philippi. The church of Thessalonica.

The church of Maria, very much on his heart and the church in Thessalonica. We know his communication with them, yet a concern for these people. He knew that they were being persecuted. He knew that they were subject to various temptations. He recognized that they had some misunderstandings about the teaching that he had given them when he was there so he sent Timothy initially to visit them to assess their situation and Timothy came back with a generally favorable report, which greatly encourage the apostle Paul and also gave him more information as to exactly what he could do to best help them. And so he sat down and wrote the first Thessalonian epistle and sent that to them to be a help to them that was sent by a courier we don't know for sure whether that was Timothy, Titus, or somebody else but that courier delivered the letter states some time with them. Probably a matter of a few weeks returned to the apostle Paul with another report of how they were doing and responding to the letter. And again.

That report was generally positive, but one problem kept cropping up. Didn't those people who I identified while I was founding the church is being unwilling to work and expecting to live off the labors resources of others that I commanded to get to work to change their habits didn't change their habits.

While I was there.

Didn't change their habits when I came to Corinth didn't change their habits when Timothy visited them didn't change their habits when I sent the first Thessalonian epistle to them and taught them again what they needed to do and so he comes now to write the second Thessalonian epistle which continues to respond to the information that he had received and he realized that even yet number one, they still had some misunderstandings about the second coming of Christ. And so there's a lot of that in the short three chapter epistle to the second epistle to the Thessalonians that as we know in chapter 3 he says all right, enough's enough times up those of you that I have patiently been teaching and urging to stop loafing and start working. It's time to get with it and if you don't, here's what the church must do to deal with you. You are disorderly in the church has a responsibility to discipline you in the appropriate way that all of that concludes with the three verses were going to look at today which I have called a double blessing because in three verses we have two benedictions not one all of Paul's epistles conclude with some benedictions, some kind of benediction and most of them are very similar. As a general benediction. A general form. Paul followed in all of his epistles not identical wording, but nevertheless a very recognizable form and we see that in the second benediction in the second Thessalonians, but the first one in verse 16 is totally unique to the Thessalonians, and is obviously custom-designed for their particular circumstances.

So in analyzing these three verses. Here's what I have for you today.

Number one, a customized benediction verse 16, number two, a necessary authentication. Verse 17, number three, the customary benediction verse 18 customized benediction verse 16 customary benediction verse 18 a double blessing 16 now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace always in every way the Lord be with you all the customized benediction.

What is a benediction. We hear that term think we know what it is we need to remind ourselves from time to time. A benediction is an invocation of a blessing. Generally, in our experience, it comes at the end of worship service and often the pastor or whoever is leading the service will pronounce a benediction upon the congregation before they depart. The invocation of a blessing. What is an invocation we better get that one straight to. We heard that term and we think we know what it means. What is that mean an invocation is a petition for assistance. Now this is rather interesting, because petitioner suggests prayer and indeed a benediction is very closely intertwined with prayer but it's not exactly a prayer. It's very prayer like it's not a prayer lease not a normal prayer.

It's not an obvious prayer because this this very simple distinction of prayer is direct addressed grid directly to God. But it benediction is addressed to the congregation who was Paul addressing in verse 16 now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace always in every way the Lord be with you.

He is not saying God of peace, bring peace upon the Thessalonians is not saying the Lord of all things, be present with the pet Thessalonians.

He has addressed this to God.

And yet it is so intertwined with his appeal to God because the whole benediction depends upon God doing what Paul is very frankly, appealing to God to do even though he's addressing these words to the congregation so a benediction is not exactly a prayer but is very closely related to prayers almost difficult to separate a benediction from prayer. Sometimes people call a benediction, a Benedict Tori prayer. It's not the normal format of prayer because God is not being addressed directly, but it can't be accomplished without an appeal to God to do something which is a petition to God to accomplish something on behalf of his people, so a benediction is addressed to people with an appeal to God, and they are linked almost inseparably together, but this customized benediction. What can we say about it.

I have several questions to ask and I think that'll make it clear number one what is the primary focus of this first benediction primary focus is peace.

Paul is calling upon God to grant peace to the Thessalonian church now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace always in every way the Lord be with you all. Peace, no doubt, in light of the passage that we have just studied previously. The disorderly busybodies who work not only failing to work, but they were also stirring things up in the church they were getting their nose into the into the business of other people and places where it didn't belong and that of course was creating tension and turmoil and conflict and misunderstanding and uneasiness in the congregation and these disorderly busybodies were disturbing the peace. And so Paul now customizes a benediction to God to bring peace to the congregation. But not only in light of disorderly busybodies, but in light of second coming concerns because we know from studying these two epistles that there were some questions and some concerns about the second coming of Christ, particularly going back to the first epistle and the doctrine of the rapture of the church. There was this question, no Lord comes in raptures living believers. What about those who've already died. They were just unanswered questions and left a little uneasy.

We go to be separated from our loved ones not to be joined to them again. Paul had answered that in the first Thessalonian epistle and then more things about the second coming in the second Thessalonian epistle, but it's clear that there were some some of some areas of misunderstanding in regard to the second coming, which work creating some disturbances in the hearts and minds of the Thessalonians, and so in this first benediction Paul calls upon God to grant them peace and furthermore, it's clear that the Thessalonian church was being persecuted that's mentioned more than once first Thessalonian chapter 2 verse 14 for you, brethren, became imitators of the churches of God which are in Judea in Christ Jesus for you. Also suffered the same things from your own countrymen, just as they did from the Judea were well aware that Jewish Christians were widely persecuted by believing Jew very vigorously persecuted. Paul says the Thessalonian church is being similarly persecuted by your countrymen Gentiles, just like the Jewish Christians are being persecuted by their Jewish countrymen mentions it again in the second epistle chapter 1 verse four, so that we ourselves boast of you among the churches of God for your patience and faith. Notice this in all your persecutions and tribulation that you endure so there is ample evidence of several areas of disturbance, conflict, difficulty, trials, threats to the peace of the church and therefore how fitting for Paul to customize this benediction and call upon God to give them peace. The primary focus of this benediction is peace. Question number two what is peace.

You might think that so obvious that it would need to be addressed, but though there's certainly a good area of overlapping between our normal concept of peace in the way the word was used in the Bible. They are not identical, though they do they do interlocking at the one point but biblically speaking peace both in the Old Testament in the news the way is used where as the word is used have to do more with the cessation of disturbances outwardly, then with the sense of tranquility inwardly.

The first thing that usually comes to our mind when we say peace I want some peace what you mean. I want to be able to get away from things and and feel calm inside not have to feel this conflict that's going on around it. They can't separate what's causing the loss of peace with with the loss of peace, but we usually think inwardly.

First, for some reason we tend to think of our feelings first and then the objective side of things. Second, but in their understanding of peace. It was just reversed similar.

I suppose in the way we view the word love and the way the Bible generally use the word love in our thinking.

Love is almost always a feeling something romantically.

It's something we fall into and fallout of well I fell in love wonderful. I feel so good, though I don't think I lost my fell out of love. Nothing I can do about that.

I guess I just got divorce and move on or something like that. That's kind of the way we look at it by romantic ideas of love is kind like the hiccups we Explain how and when they come in. We don't know how longer-lasting we don't know why they left there. This just happens.

But as we know the Bible definition of love has more to do with our actions, actions of helpfulness actions of giving actions of reaching out on on for the benefit of others.

It is our showing kindness lovingkindness to other that comes first, and then the feelings follow in the idea of love and the same thing is true in peace. The cessation of outward conflict comes first. And of course when that is accomplished, then that does bring tranquility to our hearts and minds. Doesn't it so I'm not saying that they don't have any relationship.

I'm just saying that we need to understand the emphasis of Scripture so biblically speaking peace is the cessation of disruptive circumstances. Plus the beneficial results that follow.

So the cessation of disruptive circumstances.

If were talking about military conflict, war and peace are opposites. War is the ongoing conflict event, the trust comes the war is over the conflict stops in we say we have achieved peace. The Bible probably wouldn't say we have achieved peace when the when the treaty is signed. The pipe Bible would probably say we've achieved peace with enough time has passed for the ravages of war to be restored because were of course damages. Why send families send property jobs in the economy, it disrupts everything it creates problems and peace.

On the other hand, allows prosperity.

It allows work it allows the opposite of of the results of conflict and so peace is the cessation of conflict plus the benefits that come as a result of that in the Thessalonian situation if the busybodies will stop being busybodies then peace will follow. But right now, as long as they are acting in this way, these are the outward circumstances of disturbing the peace.

As long as they continue to act this way. That is not to be peace but once they stop doing that then the peace that is disturbed by that particular conduct will go away and tranquility will come in its place that will be the benefit that follow when their proper understanding of the second coming of Christ is secure, then some of their anxieties concerning that will follow objective. First, the truth will then cause the right result. Things internally. The feelings which everyone would desire to have Sforza persecutions go, that's a little tougher because on the one hand we are to expect persecutions for the cause of Christ.

But there are times when God and his goodness will push those persecutions back and give God's people a period of peace and tranquility in no doubt that is included to what Paul is saying here, prosperity, harmony, tranquility, general well-being define peace. Question number three what is the source of peace in this important course and Paul makes it very clear the source of peace is Christ now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace always in every way the Lord be with you all. The Lord of peace. Christ himself double emphasis upon who is doing this because that's the only source of peace and he's the only one who's able to bring peace. He's not the only one who's able to deal with the circumstances that have caused the lack of peace which brings us therefore asked the question who or what are you looking to fruity people look to all kinds of different things.

If I could just gain a larger income then I would be at peace wrong you think so, but you're wrong will not read about will pay attention to it will read about immensely wealthy people and find their life so miserable that they commit suicide in their lives. They can't stand it anymore money didn't fix their problem. Money didn't take away their lack of peace didn't what are you looking to for peace said well if we could just get the right political party in power, then, are we have peace in our nation. You have learned by now that's not to the work you are looking at things with your eyes wide open.

That's not the solution. You can't look to government you can't look to wealth. You can't look to we could get everybody educated then we would have peace, then we quit having crime then we quit having all these problems in our society wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong you are wrong because at the heart of all these problems is sin. You can be a multimillionaire, but that doesn't deal with your sin, per the problem of your heart, your sin is causing your misery. You can have a favorite political leader in power, but the problem is you're still a sinner and so is he. That's not going to get you very far. How much how much problem-solving are you going to get from a sinful and vivid individual who's trying to govern sinful people, particularly if neither of those groups are looking to God for help.

That's not gonna get you very far education you can you can be an you can be an uneducated crook and you could be an educated group. Some of the some of the biggest cricket schemes have been hatched by people with incredibly high IQs and high levels of education, which enabled them to be particularly clever and successful correct so you can be highly educated.

Cricket still millions of dollars you could be a lonely educated person. And maybe, just a pill for a few dollars from the corner store, but the crook is a crook and education doesn't solve the problem. Does it what's the answer there it is Paul's telling us. Don't miss it. May the Lord of peace himself grant you peace. That's where it comes from question four how is peace acquired what's acquired. According to the apostle Paul is a divine bestowal meant now may the Lord of peace himself give you it must come from him, and he must bestow it as his divine gift. However, the context indicates that there is often times not always a relationship between what Christ grants and the condition of those to whom he grants it, whether they are submitted to him or in rebellion against him. I say not always because Christ obviously a time sovereignly bestows peace upon a nation. When the majority of the people there are not submitted to him. Our nation has experienced relatively speaking, a rather large measure of peace. When you view it historically in comparison with many nations, and that just has to be the common grace of God because we sure don't deserve it but there is a relationship as I've already pointed out until the busybodies stop busybodies in is not to be peace so the Lord of peace is going to grant you peace in that particular situation by working in the hearts of these people change their hearts so they acknowledge their sin, repent of it confess to change it. That'll solve that particular problem, it must come from Christ, but it also involves the obedient response of the people who are disturbing the peace. In that case, it's always a peace acquired by first of all if you if you want to seek peace is acquired by addressing your relationship with God as long as you are on submitted to the Lord Jesus Christ than you don't really have a basis upon which to appeal to God for peace. He may sovereignly and graciously granted torts not deserved what you have no right to appeal to him for, but it begins with a right relationship with God to the Lord Jesus Christ. He continues by submitting every circumstance of life to him.

That's a lifelong process to learn because for some reason we commit these things to him. But then there some things over here that we think we can take care of ourselves that you would rather take care of myself.

Thank you. I bestow these to you all. Lord God to take care of for me but this one and that one I'm going to take care of just fine. I don't need your help. So should we be surprised when God brings things into our lives to show us so yes I do need your help here and here is much as I do over here and here and here.

I need your help in every circumstance of life now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace in every way or every circumstance that is translated in some Bibles.

Every circumstance if he's going to give you peace in every circumstance you are going to need to submit every circumstance to him, your finances, your marriage, your health, your children, your job, and recreation every area of life submitted to him looking to him in every situation in the number five. How is peace maintained its maintained by Christ active presence. Not only does Christ give it but takes the act of presence of Christ to keep it going. Once it has been granted. Peace is not like justification once bestowed its forever without disturbance. Peace is more like sanctification can come and go awaken the kid increasingly can decrease depending on certain things in our lives, so peace is maintained by Christ active presence which Paul indicates by that last phrase the Lord be with you all.

God must be consciously active with you at all times. Obviously he is there, but you must be aware of that. You must respond to that.

You must acknowledge that you must live in the light of that, may the Lord be with you all in every way continually said doesn't continually Lord with you continually, and it's interesting the Lord be with you all say was Paula seven Lord be with y'all.

We love to slip that in the course. It only works in English and there were.

This was was not written in English, but what is interesting is when you get to the second benediction. But I'll bring this part of it to be right now because it's helpful when you get to the second benediction. The standard form the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all see there is that you all again you all and that now cannot help but be significant in the light of its variation from the benediction at the end of the first test on the epistle to Rebecca page you can see what that closing benediction is the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you, but not you all with you. Of course that covers all does that dissents but there seems to be a special emphasis upon all the very same words Word for Word in the second benediction in the second epistle as to the first one, except for the addition of that word.

All so in verse 16.

Lord be with you, not just you but with you all. In verse 18. The same thing again.

The Lord be with you not just with you all will.

What is so significant about that.

This the disorderly members you have to deal with them. You have to bring to bear God designed discipline upon them, but you don't treat them as enemies. You treat them as brothers and therefore this benediction applies to them as well.

The Lord be with you all. Even with the disobedient brotherhood that we are confident if they are in fact brethren were giving them the benefit of the doubt on that now. If they are in fact brethren of the disobedient brethren who need to become obedient, but they are included in this benediction as well. The customize benediction now how is peace rather a necessary authentication for 17 the salutation of Paul with my own hand, which is assigned every epistle so I write here is an authenticating autograph. I Paul wrote this greeting in my own hand. This is the way I write what's so significant about that. It's is significant because he goes on to say it's a distinguishing mark with a sign of every epistle. This is something that he does consistently in every letter. Not only this particular letter. All letters and he makes specific reference to this, and for other epistles, which I will going to now but you will find it at the close of first Corinthians, Galatians, Colossians, Philemon all make reference to Paul taking the pan in writing something in his own hand at the end of the epistle is also interesting as a side issue that this indicates that Paul has written a good many additional epistles. Besides, first and second Thessalonians.

At this point. These are early, as far as our New Testament scriptures are concerned, we would say this is Paul's first and second epistle the first and second one he ever wrote. No, it's the first and second one that the Holy Spirit included in the Canon he'd written a bunch of other clearly salutation up all of my own hand, which is a sign in three epistle he had written first Corinthians, Galatians, Colossians, and Philemon yet been written other epistles in which he was also authenticating them with his handwriting and why was that it was to combat forgery's clear back in the first century as early as Paul's earliest epistles.

They were already people trying to mislead others by writing epistles and saying these are from Paul and they worked. That was a real danger was as easy to authenticate things in that day like we can today that there was a way to do it.

Good old handwriting member in chapter 2 of the same epistle. Second Thessalonians to two Paul says not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, don't be troubled by a letter comes to you as if from us, as though the day of Christ to come. Evidently they had the Savior.

Paul suspected that they had received a letter or letters that had given them misleading information about the second coming of Christ as if Christ had already, Paul says he hasn't. Don't pay attention to any letter that tells you something. The opposite of what I taught you and you can authenticate every letter by looking for my handwriting. At the end you recognize that by now don't you you I been with you long enough you know how I write. He had the distinctive penmanship he said in that which of the of the witch of the epistles I think is Galatians, he said, look how large a letter I write my own hand.

He had a distinctive penmanship than was was not normal, wrote larger than most people.

It was easy to recognize and Paul make sure that in every epistle he wrote he took the pan from the amanuensis. The secretary when he came to the end and he wrote a verse or two in his own handwriting and he said don't you accept any epistle as from me unless you find my handwriting a necessary authentic creation to combat forgery's Patel that brings us to number three.

The customary benediction. That's the last gun from the customized one to the left of the customary one the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen. Familiar sounds like the closing benediction. Virtually all of Paul's epistles sometimes are a few extra words sometimes slightly different vocabulary law follows the same format and all of those primarily focus on grace customize benediction focus is what peace specialized need in a particular situation. Not that it doesn't apply to all of us and that's why it's included by the Holy Spirit in the New Testament scriptures, but it had particular application to the church in their circumstances and so customize benediction focused on peace, but the general benediction that is the one that goes to everybody focuses on grace.

In fact, Paul begins as well as concludes every one of his epistles with grace, grace, grace, grace, how does second Thessalonians begin grace to you and peace from God our father and the Lord Jesus Christ. How does first Thessalonians begin grace to you and peace from God our father and the Lord Jesus Christ go through the epistles of Paul Romans first and second Corinthians, so forth. This is what you're going to find epistles begin with grace, they conclude with grace.

The primary focus is upon grace. There is not a lovelier word in the Christian vocabulary. Grace is God's divine pistol. Grace is what got so freely and lavishly and willingly and delightfully gives to those who are undeserving. There's nothing in our lives that is needed that God's grace can't supply what do you need God's grace can supply God to tell ask for this grace God's grace brings the full blessings of salvation to our daily living. Grateful for the grace of salvation that rescued us out of our death or spiritual death.

The dark destruction God graciously rescued us out of that but I need for grace doesn't end there. We needed every day we live we needed to think like we ought to think needed to act like we ought to act. We to walk like we need to walk as Christians we needed to talk like we need to talk to one another, not just in church, but to our wives and husbands and children in the home. We need the grace of God to be like Christians are supposed to be day by day by day by day and now Paul is calling upon God to grant sufficient grace to them in every area of need. Let me wind up with three lessons in conclusion number one about peace is clear from this context of peace is the expected condition of churches. Churches are supposed to be at peace churches people and churches members of churches are supposed to be at peace with one another. That's the expected condition than we would say the normal condition turmoil in churches is abnormal. In one sense, and yet it's all to normal in another sense, because we are sinners and to send the sad thing is that too often, rather than peace being the norm and disruption of peace being the occasional situation, it will always occasionally happening is no church. This never had anything but peace from beginning to end. Over decade after decade after decade should should be that way.

But it's not. It's a sad thing that so many churches have it completely flipped upside out their normal condition is that there's always something stirring all the time and turmoil is common in pieces rare.

That's not a healthy church that's not a very biblically minded church. Therefore, we ought to pray that our church in God's goodness will reflect the biblical norm. Peace is the expected condition of churches we ought to pray every one of us individually.

Lord, don't let me be the disturber of peace in my congregation protect me from that of Lord. Secondly, we should learn a lesson about the tax upon the truth and we realize that such attacks upon truth are going to be unrelenting as long as the devil is loose and he is. That was true from the very beginning the first century. These counterfeit epistles already circulating attacks upon the truth, trying to distort the truth, trying to undermine the ministry of an apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ who spoke for Christ. That which is one area of attack the persecutions with another attack upon the truth attacks.

Attacks. Attacks upon the truth constantly what was true in the first century is ever much and more true in our day, but the focus of the attack upon truth is constantly changing.

By the time we wake up to it. Attack in this area and start recognizing it, marshaling our defenses against it. The devil is already left that one. He's gone someplace else is attacking us from the other side, and the attacks that are coming today are going to be different from the ones are going to come tomorrow. I mean it could be literally tomorrow.

New attacks will arise. But I alert you to one particular the work is that is alive and well in our nation politically is also working havoc in our churches, which is not to say that there are not some legitimate problems that need to be recognized and addressed with a need to be recognized and addressed in the biblical fashion and the general ideas of localism don't take it in that direction. Unfortunately, there are a lot of Bible leaving Christians who have bought into these un-biblical solutions for what are clearly genuine problems in society. This is an attack upon the truth. It is creating confusion.

It is, is creating problems in some of the some of the significant conservative denominations in our day was so thrilled to three decades ago when Southern Baptists convention seem to pull himself back from the precipice of destruction returned to it Bible believing conservative position and ferreted out most conspicuous unbelievers, apostates and liberals that were controlling the seminaries in the publishing houses and so forth. What a wonderful day that was. Hooray hooray hooray truth one for how long already, attacks are coming from other places are tearing at the very fabric of that large denomination that I could mention others. That's the way the devil operates. He's always attacking attacking attacking, be aware that finally what we learn about grace. Grace is what we need more than anything else we needed for salvation we needed for persevering faith we needed to face trials and temptations we needed to look to God for provision in our lives. Therefore, all of us need to recognize our need and look to Christ for a particularly those who are outside of Christ, or particularly those who recognize serious needs in your life where can I get these needs met. Some people are baffled Christ. Christ. Christ can do it with the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all look to him.

I titled this message.

Bringing it now to enclose a double blessing because there are two benedictions.

Blessed are the sons of God. They are bought with Christ's own blood. They are ransomed from the grave life eternal. They shall have with them numbered.

May we be here and in eternity.

Shall we bow father blesses by your grace, which we do not deserve that we so greatly need. We thank you that you are gracious in giving God a man

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