Friday Epistle – April 27, 2018

April 27th, 2018 by
Fruit or Fire?
Cut Off or Cut Back?
John 15.1-8
Some branches are cut off and others are cut back.
The ones that are cut off are thrown into a fire.
The ones that are cut back bear fruit.
It’s sort of like the passage in DT where God says, This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses.
Life or Death? Blessing or Curse?
It seems obvious doesn’t it? But scripture doesn’t want us guessing,
Now choose life, so that you and your children may live.
As for the branches, the way, the only way, to bear fruit is to remain in Jesus – Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. Jn 15.4
HOW do we  remain in Him?
John gives us 4 ways in chapters 1, 4, 6, 8, and 15.
  1. response … 1.38-42; 4.29, 40
  2. communion… 6.56
  3. continuing in the Word… 8.31-32
  4. keeping his command… 15.9-17
It says in 15.3 that the disciples are clean already – the foot washing from chapter 13. But what about us?  HOW are we cleansed?
  1. by the Word…
  2. by baptism…
  3. by fellowship…
  4. by communion…
  5. by pruning…
We do not presume to come to this thy Table, O merciful Lord, trusting in our own righteousness, but in thy manifold and great mercies. We are not worthy so much as to gather up the crumbs under thy table. But thou art the same Lord whose property is always to have mercy: Grant us therefore, gracious Lord, so to eat the flesh of thy dear Son Jesus Christ, and to drink his blood, that our sinful bodies maybe made clean by his body, and our souls washed through his most precious bloodandthat we may evermore dwell in him, and he in us. Amen.
Blessings to you All,

About this author:

Carl Buffington

Carl Buffington, Rector My ministry at New Covenant began in 1993. Barbara, my wife, and our 3 children moved here from Evergreen, CO, high and dry to low and wet, quite a change. I was brought up in the northeast, a suburb of New York, and Barbara grew up in a suburb of Philadelphia. We met while I was attending The Philadelphia Divinity School in West Philadelphia where I received an M.Div. degree in 1972, and I was ordained a deacon and priest in the same year. I went to seminary directly from college. I earned an A.B. degree from the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, VA. For 5 years of my ministry I was a traveling evangelist, sharing the story of our Lord and his presence and power in a different church every weekend. What I have always loved about New Covenant is the blending of the charismatic, the evangelical, and the sacramental aspects of the Faith. And what still gets me up in the morning is seeing people change, seeing people encounter the living Lord. I just love to see hearts changed by the Holy Spirit. Education: BA from the College of William & Mary 1969 MA in Divinity from the Philadelphia Divinity School 1972 Ordination: Ordained in the Diocese of CT – Deacon and Priest 1972 Ordained and Consecrated a Bishop, Emissary to Boga Diocese, Democratic Republic of the Congo - 2015

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