WIC Weekly January 15th 2023
Warsaw International Church
Mobile +48 601 331 032
Worship every Sunday at ul. Miodowa 21 (near Old Town) at 11:00 AM
Entrance from Schillera Street
WIC WEEKLY 15 JANUARY 2023 FROM PASTOR HARRY
Justification By Faith by Oswald Chambers (1874-1917)
If when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. —Romans 5:10
I am not saved by believing— I simply realize I am saved by believing. And it is not repentance that saves me— repentance is only the sign that I realize what God has done through Christ Jesus. The danger here is putting the emphasis on the effect, instead of on the cause. Is it my obedience, consecration, and dedication that make me right with God? It is never that! I am made right with God because, prior to all of that, Christ died. When I turn to God and by belief accept what God reveals, the miraculous atonement by the Cross of Christ instantly places me into a right relationship with God. And as a result of the supernatural miracle of God’s grace I stand justified, not because I am sorry for my sin, or because I have repented, but because of what Jesus has done. The Spirit of God brings justification with a shattering, radiant light, and I know that I am saved, even though I don’t know how it was accomplished.
The salvation that comes from God is not based on human logic, but on the sacrificial death of Jesus. We can be born again solely because of the atonement of our Lord. Sinful men and women can be changed into new creations, not through their repentance or their belief, but through the wonderful work of God in Christ Jesus which preceded all of our experience (see 2 Corinthians 5:17-19). The unconquerable safety of justification and sanctification is God Himself. We do not have to accomplish these things ourselves— they have been accomplished through the atonement of the Cross of Christ. The supernatural becomes natural to us through the miracle of God, and there is the realization of what Jesus Christ has already done— “It is finished!” (John 19:30).
At last Sunday’s service we were pleased to welcome Hiskiel from Indonesia; Arlen from Mexico; Emanuel from Poland; Micka from Burundi; Tawanarufaro from Zimbabwe; and Josy and Gisele from Rwanda.
The service was followed by our New Year’s potluck dinner, with lots of delicious food to eat. Thank you, all who contributed the food and helped with arranging the tables, serving the dishes and cleaning up afterwards. Can’t wait for the next one!
This Sunday’s service (15 January) will again feature guest preacher Brother Emmanuel Joseph, who will continue his series of sermons on the Father’s Heart. This time Emmanuel will preach on obedience – particularly Jesus’ obedience to God the Father. Emmanuel is a great preacher and I urge all to attend, whether in person or online.
WIC’s Annual Conference will be held on 5 February. From our Treasurer, Piotr Dypczyński:
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Each year, during our Fall Stewardship campaign, we invite our members and regular worshippers to make a commitment of their time and financial resources to enable WIC to do God’s work. Both contributions are important.
Self-supporting Churches, such as ours, are possible because friends and members voluntarily help and pay the bills. Some volunteers help with worship, prepare fellowship events, or serve on the Council. Volunteers are the builders of our Church community.
The Council will work on our budget for 2023 with expenses in the current range of 69,000 PLN. This is the modest budget needed to meet the operational needs of the Church as it functions now. Over the next few Sundays we will be asking you to consider the financial resources you can commit to WIC in the coming year to help us meet this budget, if not exceed it. We are proud of our unique 39-year history and feel that WIC has a lot yet to accomplish in doing God’s work.
Please consider prayerfully what you are able to commit to WIC for the year 2023. Every commitment counts. Annual pledges are deeply appreciated.
Pledge forms will be handed out during the next few Sundays and will be collected during the offering. If you cannot attend worship service in the coming weeks please contact the Treasurer Piotr Dypczyński at email@example.com with your pledge.
Thank you for your help in keeping WIC able to share in God’s work. Yours in Christ,
Piotr Dypczyński Church Council Treasurer
And here is the pledge form. Please pray about it, consider what you can contribute (maybe as part of your tithe), fill it in, and return it as indicated above:
WIC Pledge Form 2023
Warsaw International Church
Stewardship Commitment/ Pledge Form
As an expression of my/our love for God and support of His work
through the ministry of WIC, I/we make the following commitment to
support the work of the Church.
Currency: PLN / USD / EUR / ____
For the calendar year 2023
Amount: ____ every: week / month / quarter in 2023
Note to the Treasurer ___
Phone: ___ Signed: ____
Taxpayers may claim credit for their contributions to WIC.
We are registered in the Polish record of Churches and Religious
Associations – in position 132. Polish contributions for tax
deductions must be made by bank transfer.
Polish bank transfers to:
Warsaw International Church
ul. Willowa 1, 00-789 Warszawa
Bank account: PL 63 1090 1056 0000 0000 0600 9128
SWIFT code: WBKPPLPP
Santander Bank Polska S.A. with its registered office in Warsaw,
al. Jana Pawła II 17, 00-854 Warszawa
We are praying constantly for Ukraine, that this pointless and brutal war may end with the invaders stopping their invasion and withdrawing to their own country. There is a huge danger that the war will escalate into a world conflict – all because a dictator decided to grab some land from another sovereign country. Unfortunately many people in his land still support him and are blinded by his propaganda. I believe this is all foreseen in the Bible in 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12. He and his supporters will be destroyed – but at the cost of a global conflagration. If that so, we are very close to the Second Coming, and should revise our thinking and manner of living accordingly. Christ’s Second Coming needs to be uppermost in our minds. Are you ready?
Please pray for more people to join WIC, and for spiritual growth in our congregation. We want to be ready for revival when it comes. Please let’s make prayer the basis of our daily life. Let Christ reign in our hearts and fill us with His peace. Come to the Lord if you haven’t yet done so, and may He take priority in all our doings. May we learn to discern His providence in what happens to us, as well as His protection and guidance in difficult situations. If we are constantly in two minds and cannot decide between Christ and the world, we are not going anywhere, and need to be made whole in mind and spirit. Pray for the Father’s grace, healing and love to become real to you at all times.
Last Sunday's sermon was preached by Pastor Harry:
Salvation at the cross of Christ (Luke 2:25-35 and Matthew 13:18-23)
When I go out onto the streets with one or two of our worshippers to evangelize, hand out leaflets and talk to people, I realize that each person will say something a little bit different about matters of faith, and bring a new perspective to the conversation. I find that both fascinating and challenging. Try it yourselves, if you haven’t yet done so – it’s fun! In the space of an hour, you could find yourselves talking to atheists, Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims and Jews, not to mention Catholics, Orthodox, Mormons or Jehovah’s Witnesses. It soon turns out that the crucial issue is salvation: you will hear all sorts of opinions on how these people think they can be saved. So the challenge for us is: how can we present the heart of the Gospel message so that it makes sense to others? In fact, what is this “message about the Kingdom” that Matthew refers to so often in his Gospel? If we know what it is, and can present it clearly, we will become evangelists and can help change people’s way of thinking. Each of us should be an evangelist to other people, at least on a small scale.
I’m really fascinated by how excited Matthew gets, when he writes down Jesus’ words about the Kingdom of God. You probably know that Jesus compares the Kingdom to a treasure that a man discovers in a field. The man is so excited to find it, that he hides it again and sells everything he has, to buy the field. Or, we learn that the Kingdom of God is like a pearl. When a trader discovers a pearl, he sells everything he owns, to buy it. Have you ever got so excited to the point where – when you find something amazing – you just want to keep it all secret and enjoy it for yourself? And what can this message about the Kingdom of God be, that would have such an effect on people? Clearly it’s connected with Jesus, isn’t it? But why is it so exciting?
Simeon was an old man, living in Jerusalem, and he was very devout. He was so close to the Lord that he just knew that the Promised One of God was going to come to the Temple. So when Mary and Joseph turned up at the Temple with the baby Jesus, to dedicate Him to the Lord, Simeon knew immediately who He was. Simeon was excited too; but we see that a person’s excitement about Jesus isn’t necessarily shared by others. For everybody else in the Temple, Jesus would have been just another baby. Indeed, Simeon himself realizes this, when he says: “He has been sent as a sign from God, but many will oppose Him”. So some will be excited – but many others won’t be.
For us, what is so special about Jesus is that He has the power and ability to change us completely – into being almost totally new people. But the people we speak to on the street probably won’t share our excitement about Jesus. Actually, maybe we aren’t all that excited either! They and we could be like most of the seeds that the farmer plants, in today’s parable of the seeds. I think the key word for us is in verse 23: “understand”. If a person really understands the message of salvation, then our seed will have fallen on good soil, and that person will change too. From being a tiny mustard seed, the seed we plant will become a wonderful big tree, giving shade and shelter to many.
When we share God’s message of salvation and forgiveness with other people, we will find that they are usually so full of their own opinions that they don’t understand what we are saying. So it pays us first to really listen to what they are saying about how they think they can be saved and forgiven from their sins. Once you understand their idea of salvation, you can point out the inconsistencies in their thinking. And then you can present the treasure in the field – the pearl of great value: the message of salvation and forgiveness according to what Jesus did. What’s so exciting about that? Let me tell you.
First of all, as you should know, salvation is not a question of what we must do, but of what Jesus has already done for us. If you tell other people they must do A, B, C and D to get saved and forgiven, they’ll never do it! The message of the Kingdom is not an instruction manual! You have to start with Jesus, because He is the beginning and the end of our salvation and forgiveness. That’s how we plant the good seed. Start with Jesus.
The Bible teaches us that Jesus redeemed us on the cross. Ephesians 1:7 says that in Jesus “we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our sins, according to the riches of His grace”. “Redemption” is a rarely used word. It’s only used when referring to what Jesus did, or in reference to buying back shares in business dealings. It comes from the Latin, and literally means to “buy back”. In biblical language, it means that, through His death on the cross, Jesus bought us back from otherwise being destroyed, because of all our sins against God. Jesus bought us back by paying the price with His own death. Jesus rescued us – He saved us from eternal death. So “redemption” is actually another word for “salvation”: Jesus the Redeemer is Jesus the Saviour. We use the word “redemption” to refer to Jesus saving and forgiving us on the cross, in order to distinguish it from “salvation” when a person comes to believe in Christ and is born again. But it's one and the same salvation – and it was brought about by Jesus dying for you and me on the cross. When we say that a person “gets saved”, what we really mean is that now they realize, accept and believe that Jesus did actually die for them. They become aware of and accept and believe in something that has already happened – the Holy Spirit reveals it to them, and they become born-again Christians. But they were saved on the cross - not yesterday, or today, or tomorrow.
Now, to me, this is a very exciting message: it’s really Good News to know that everyone’s salvation and forgiveness have already been secured by Christ! This is the pearl of great price, the treasure in the field, that we ourselves firstly need to clearly understand, and secondly to get across to those we are evangelizing. Everybody else expects to maybe get saved some time in the future. Hardly anybody realizes that, when Jesus said on the cross: “It is finished”, He meant it. The salvation and forgiveness package was prepared for us before you and I were born! That’s exciting - because you can talk to an unbelieving person with a tremendous amount of hope for them – and you can pray confidently for them too. They have already received a treasure!
So we see that every single person in the world is actually the field with the treasure in it! Every single person in the world is the shop with the pearl in it! We have already been saved and forgiven: Jesus has redeemed us! What we are seeking, or striving for, has already come about! Don’t get me wrong – it doesn’t mean that everybody will escape God’s judgement and the wrath to come. Most people do nothing with their salvation gift. They never activate it. They never unpack it. They ignore it or laugh at it, and reject it: like some presents which you never open. And that is so tragic, because the Bible says they will perish. But it also gives us our mission in life: the fulfilment of the Great Commission which Jesus gave to you and me – to make others aware of what Christ has already done for them. This year, may we too become strong evangelists! Amen.
Verse for the week: “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9).
Readings for 15 January
New Testament reading: John 12:39-50: For this reason they could not believe, because, as Isaiah says elsewhere: “He has blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts, so they can neither see with their eyes, nor understand with their hearts, nor turn—and I would heal them.” Isaiah said this because he saw Jesus’ glory and spoke about Him. Yet at the same time many even among the leaders believed in Him. But because of the Pharisees they would not openly acknowledge their faith for fear they would be put out of the synagogue; for they loved human praise more than praise from God. Then Jesus cried out, “Whoever believes in Me does not believe in Me only, but in the One who sent Me. The one who looks at Me is seeing the One who sent Me. I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in Me should stay in darkness. “If anyone hears My words but does not keep them, I do not judge that person. For I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world. There is a judge for the one who rejects Me and does not accept My words; the very words I have spoken will condemn them at the last day. For I did not speak on My own, but the Father who sent Me commanded Me to say all that I have spoken. I know that His command leads to eternal life. So whatever I say is just what the Father has told Me to say.”
Old Testament reading: Joshua 1:1-9: God commissions Joshua [Chris reads]
After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, the Lord said to Joshua son of Nun, Moses’ aide: “Moses My servant is dead. Now then, you and all these people, get ready to cross the Jordan River into the land I am about to give to them—to the Israelites. I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses. Your territory will extend from the desert to Lebanon, and from the great river, the Euphrates—all the Hittite country—to the Mediterranean Sea in the west. No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their ancestors to give them.
“Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law My servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
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