Nepal Earthquake Victims

Dear Family and Friends,

The Earthquake in Nepal has claimed over 4,000 lives at last report, with many thousands more injured and homeless. But Olivet Presbyterian Church has already been able to respond in providing relief thanks to your generous giving to Mission Outreach (formerly called “Benevolence giving”), and Olivet’s support and partnership with Heifer International. From monies you’ve already given to Missions/Outreach, our committee is sending $900 to Heifer, who already has people on site.

Heifer is a new mission cause added in 2015, one committed to helping lift people out of poverty and become self-sustaining. To learn more about their work that we support, you can click on this link:

Heifer Org2

As God’s people, we should take this as a valuable lesson in giving to support not a budget item, but a ministry that tangibly affects people’s lives. Paul writes to the Corinthian Christians “I thought it necessary to urge the brothers to go on ahead to you, and arrange in advance for this bountiful gift that you have promised, so that it may be ready as a voluntary gift and not as an extortion. The point is this: the one who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and the one who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each of you must give as you have made up your mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” (2 Corinthians 9:5-7).

Let us continue to give not only to the general budget, but to Mission Outreach so that when emergencies like this happen, God’s people are ready to respond generously!

Many Blessings to you all in Christ’s Name!

The First Epistle to the Corinthians

The contents of this Epistle may be divided into five parts:
I. Condemnation of the Factions in the Church, 1:1--4: 21. After a brief introduction in 1: 1-9 Paul states that he had heard of the divisions among the Corinthians, 1: 11-12. In arguing against these he points out that his conduct was free from party spirit, since this is opposed by the gospel and forbidden by the character of Christ, 1:13-31. Moreover he reminds the Corinthians that his preaching had been free from all partisanship which glories in the wisdom of man, because the gospel is the message of divine wisdom, is revealed by the Spirit and is understood only through the Spirit; white party spirit misapprehends the nature of the ministry, 2: 1--3 : 23. He concludes this argument by pointing to his own example, 4:1-21.

II. The Necessity of Church Discipline urged, 5:1--6: 20. The Corinthians are exhorted to cast out the incestuous person, 5:1-13; to desist from lawsuits before the unrighteous, 6:1-11; and to flee from fornication, 6:12-20.

III. Answer to Inquiries sent from the Church, 7:1--14: 39. Here we find a discussion of the lawfulness of marriage and its duties; directions about mixed marriages and an apostolic advice to the unmarried, 7:1-40. Then follows a discussion of Christian liberty in the participation of food
offered to the idols, in which love must rule, and one must beware of any participation in idolatrous practices. The apostle illustrates this principle at length by pointing to his own example, 8:1--11:
1. Next the place of woman in the assemblies of the church, and the proper observance of the Lord's supper is considered, 11:2-34. And finally the spiritual gifts manifest in the congregation come in
for consideration. Their source and diversity, their functions, the superiority of love over the extraordinary gifts, and of prophecy over the speaking of tongues, and the right service of God,--all
receive due treatment, 12:1--14: 40.

IV. A Discussion of the Resurrection, 15:1-58. The apostle shows that the resurrection of Christ is an essential article of the apostolic testimony, and is the pledge of our resurrection; and answers
various objections, describing the nature of the resurrection body and the final victory over death.

V. Conclusion, 16:1-24. In this chapter the apostle commends to the Corinthians the collection for the saints at Jerusalem, bespeaks a good reception for Timothy, and ends his epistle with friendly
admonitions and salutations.

CHARACTERISTICS
1. This Epistle is the most comprehensive of all the writings of Paul. It is just about as long as
the letter to the Romans, and contains the same number of chapters; but, while the Epistle to the
Romans systematically treats a single theme, this letter discusses a great variety of subjects, such
as party spirit, church discipline, marriage and celibacy, Christian liberty, the place of woman in
the church, the significance and use of the charismata, and the resurrection of the dead. And the
apostle treats of these matters in a very orderly way, first taking up the accusations contained in
the report of those from the household of Chloe, and then answering the questions that were put to
him in the letter sent by the Corinthians.

God Could Be A Billionaire….

God could be rich readily enough, if he were more provident, and denied us the use of his
creatures; let him, for ever so short a while, keep back the sun, so that it shine not, or lock up air, water, or fire, ah! how willingly would we give all our wealth to have the use of these creatures again.

But seeing God so liberally heaps his gifts upon us, we claim them as of right; let him deny them if he dare. The unspeakable multitude of his benefits obscures the faith of believers, and much more so, that of the ungodly.

When God wills to punish a people or a kingdom, he takes away from it the good and godly teachers and preachers, and bereaves it of wise, godly, and honest rulers and counselors, and of brave, upright and experienced soldiers, and of other good men. Then are the common people secure and merry; they go on in all willfulness, they care no longer for the truth and for the divine doctrine; nay, they despise it, and fall into blindness; they have no fear or honesty; they give way to all manner of shameful sins, whence arises a wild, dissolute, and devilish kind of living, as that we now, alas! see and are too well cognizant of, and which cannot long endure. I fear the axe is laid to the root of the tree, soon to cut it down. God of his infinite mercy take us graciously away, that we may not be present at such calamities.

God is upright, faithful, and true

God is upright, faithful, and true, as he has shown, not only in his promises, through Christ, of
forgiveness of sins, and deliverance from everlasting death, but also, in that he has laid before us, in the Scriptures, many gracious and comforting examples of great and holy saints who of God were highly enlightened and favored, and who, notwithstanding, fell into great and heavy sins.
Adam, by his disobedience, hereditarily conveyed sin and death upon all his posterity. Aaron brought a great sin upon Israel, insomuch that God would have destroyed her. David also fell very heavily. Job and Jeremiah cursed the day in which they were born. Jonas was sorely vexed because Nineveh was not destroyed. Peter denied, Paul persecuted Christ.

These, and such like innumerable examples, does Holy Writ relate to us; not that we should live securely, and sin, relying upon the mercy of God, but that, when we feel his anger, "which will surely follow upon the sins," we should not despair, but remember these comfortable examples, and thence conclude, that, as God was merciful unto them, so likewise he will be gracious unto us, out of his mere goodness and mercy shown in Christ, and will not impute our sins unto us.

We may also see by such examples of great holy men falling so grievously, what a wicked, crafty, and envious spirit the devil is, a very prince and good of the world.

These high, divine people, who committed such heavy sins, fell, through God's counsel and permission, to the end they should not be proud or boast themselves of their gifts and qualities, but should rather fear. For, when David had slain Uriah, had taken from him his wife, and thereby given cause to God's enemies to blaspheme, he could not boast he had governed well, or shown goodness; but he said: "I have sinned against the Lord," and with tears prayed for mercy. Job also acknowledgingly says: "I have spoken foolishly, and therefore do I accuse myself, and repent."

Gods Work Part II

In the beginning, God made Adam out of a piece of clay, and Eve out of Adam's rib: he blessed them and said: "Be fruitful and increase"--words that will stand and remain powerful to the world's end. Though many people die daily, yet others are ever being born, as David says in his Psalm: "Thou sufferest men to die and go away like a shadow, and sayest, Come again ye children of men." These and other things which he daily creates, the ungodly blind world see not, nor acknowledge for God's wonders, but think all is done by chance or haphazard, whereas, the godly, wheresoever they cast their eyes, beholding heaven and earth, the air and water, see and acknowledge all for God's wonders; and, full of astonishment and delight, laud the Creator, knowing that God is well pleased therewith.

For the blind children of the world the articles of faith are too high. That three persons are one only God; that the true Son of God was made man; that in Christ are two natures, divine and human, etc., all this offends them, as fiction and fable. For just as unlikely as it is to say, a man and a stone are one person, so it is unlikely to human sense and reason that God was made man, or that divine and human natures, united in Christ, are one person. St Paul showed his understanding of this matter, though he took not hold of all, in Colossians: "In Christ dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily." Also: "In him lies hid all treasure of wisdom and knowledge."

If a man ask, Why God permits that men be hardened, and fall into everlasting perdition? let him ask again: Why God did not spare his only Son, but gave him for us all, to die the ignominious death of the cross, a more certain sign of his love towards us poor people, than of his wrath against us. Such questions cannot be better solved and answered than by converse questions. True, the malicious devil deceived and seduced Adam; but we ought to consider that, soon after the fall, Adam received the promise of the woman's seed that should crush the serpent's head, and should bless the people on earth. Therefore, we must acknowledge that the goodness and mercy of the Father, who sent his Son to be our Saviour, is immeasurably great towards the wicked ungovernable world. Let, therefore, his good will be acceptable unto thee, oh, man, and speculate not with thy devilish queries, thy whys and thy wherefores, touching God's words and works. For God, who is creator of all creatures, and orders all things according to his unsearchable will and wisdom, is not pleased with such questioning.
35 Why God sometimes, out of his divine counsels, wonderfully wise, unsearchable to human reason and understanding, has mercy on this man, and hardens that, it beseems not us to inquire. We should know, undoubtingly, that he does nothing without certain cause and counsel. Truly, if God were to give an account to every one of his works and actions, he were but a poor, simple God.
36 Our Saviour said to Peter, "What I do thou knowest not now, but thou shalt know hereafter." Hereafter, then, we shall know how graciously our loving God and Father has been affected unto us. In the meantime, though misfortune, misery, and trouble be upon us, we must have this sure confidence in him, that he will not suffer us to be destroyed either in body or soul, but will so deal with us, that all things, be they good or evil, shall redound to our advantage.

When one asked, where God was before heaven was created? St Augustine answered: He was in himself. When another asked me the same question, I said: He was building hell for such idle, presumptuous, fluttering and inquisitive spirits as you. After he had created all things, he was everywhere, and yet he was nowhere, for I cannot take hold of him without the Word. But he will be found there where he has engaged to be. The Jews found him at Jerusalem by the throne of grace, We find him in the Word and faith, in baptism and the sacraments; but in his majesty, he is nowhere to be found.

It was a special grace when God bound himself to a certain place where he would be found, namely, in that place where the tabernacle was, towards which they prayed; as first, in Shilo and Sichem, afterwards at Gibeon, and lastly at Jerusalem, in the temple.

The Greeks and heathens in after times imitated this, and build temples for their idols in certain places, as at Ephesus for Diana, at Delphos for Apollo, etc. For, where God build a church there the devil would also build a chapel. They imitated the Jews also in this, namely, that as the Most Holiest was dark, and had no light, even so and after the same manner, did they make their shrinesdark where the devil made answer. Thus is the devil ever God's ape.