(920) 733-1307 church.office@stjohn-appleton.org Worship Services: Sundays - 8:00, 10:30 am  Mondays - 6:30 pm

How blessed We are that our Sins are Forgiven!

1How blessed is the person

whose rebellion is forgiven,
whose sin is covered.
2How blessed is the person
whose guilt the Lord does not charge against him,
in whose spirit there is no deceit.

3When I kept silent,
 my bones wasted away as I groaned all day long.
4For day and night your hand was heavy on me.
 My moisture was dried up
 by the droughts of summer. 
5I acknowledged my sin to you,
 and I did not cover up my guilt.
 I said, “I will confess my rebellion to the Lord,”
 and you forgave the guilt of my sin. (Psalm 32:1-5– EHV)

These are the words of David. It appears that this psalm, like Psalm 51, was written to express David’s repentance after the prophet Nathan had confronted him with his sins of adultery and murder, recorded in 2 Samuel 11-12. In case you don’t remember this story, allow me to refresh your memory. One spring, instead of leading his troops in war as Kings were supposed to do, David stayed home. And as the old saying goes, “idleness is the devil’s playground.” One evening David couldn’t sleep and he got up and was walking on the roof of his palace. Then he saw a woman, named Bathsheba, bathing. He sent for her and committed adultery with her; not long later Bathsheba sent word to David that she was pregnant. Soon, David’s act of lust spread to deceit and conspiracy and eventually murder. Fearing that he was going to get caught, he sent for Uriah, Bathsheba’s husband, and one of David’s “mighty men.” David’s hope is that, with Uriah home, he would sleep with his wife and no one would be wise to the fact that Bathsheba’s child was David’s. But the plan failed. So David ordered that Bathsheba’s husband be placed in a position on the battle field that he would most certainly not survive. And once Uriah was killed, David took Bathsheba as his wife so that his secret would be safe.

Or so he thought. The Lord knew. All was fine until Bathsheba gave birth to a son and the prophet Nathan visited the king. Nathan confronted David with his sin. David repented, Nathan forgave him, but the consequence of adultery and treachery and murder was that their son would die. Now read the words above (and all of Psalms 32 and 51) again and notice the angst David had over his sin and the joy and relief he had in forgiveness!

Is it shocking that David, a man after the Lord’s own heart (1 Samuel 13:14), who wrote the majority of the psalms in the Bible, who would be an ancestor of Christ, would commit such horrible sins against the 5th and 6th commandments? We shouldn’t be. In the heat of the moment David didn’t remove himself from temptation when he initially saw Bathsheba. He set aside every red flag that his conscience was waving and fell head-long into sin. And to make matters worse—instead of repenting, he committed other sins to cover up his first.

We can relate. We should have made sure that we never placed ourselves in that situation in the first place. But we did; and we didn’t turn away, instead we went toward it and welcomed it. We are all too familiar with purposely ignoring the warning signs and diving head-long into what we know is against God’s will. We suppress our conscience, and forge ahead in our wickedness in hopes of satisfying our cravings. And, then, after the damage is done, we think it might be good to cover our tracks—lie, deceive, and so on, so that we don’t get caught. Without even realizing it, we are caught up in an entire web of sinful actions that we can’t get out of on our own. That was David, until the prophet Nathan came.

And David confessed his sins and he was forgiven by Nathan. A weight was lifted off of David’s shoulders! Those horrible sins, the web of wickedness that he had weaved, were removed—far from him, never to come back and condemn him. The same stands for us. Our rebellion against God’s commands—forgiven through Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross. The guilt of our sins—covered over by the blood of Christ and the robe of Jesus’ righteousness we received through faith. The Lord is merciful to us—not counting our sins against us or treating us as our sins deserved. Each and every one of our sins—no matter how grievous or numerous, are given freely and fully by Christ! In him we are forgiven; in him we have salvation.

As one reads the words of this psalm, especially knowing the situation in which they came about, you can’t help but feel David’s joy and relief in the forgiveness of the Lord. We share in that same joy of forgiveness—we are blessed for our sins are forgiven!

Pastor Andrew Frey

Church News

Bible Information Class

We are looking to start a new Bible Information Class (BIC), otherwise known as an Adult Instruction Class. We highly encourage our members to attend as a simple review of the Christian faith—or better yet, invite someone new and come with them! If you are interested in attending or know someone who may be, please speak to Pastor Frey.

Bible Classes

Starting this weekend, we will be beginning two topics for our Bible Studies. We pray that you join us as we grow together in the grace and knowledge of God and his Holy Word!

On Sunday mornings, Pastor Frey will be leading a study on the books of Ezra, Nehemiah, and Esther—three books, written at an interesting point in the history of God’s people—and yet three books we probably don’t know much about.

On Monday mornings and Tuesday evenings Pastor Gartner will be leading a study on the distinction between law and gospel. Knowing the difference between these two main teachings of the Bible is of the upmost importance. And yet, knowing when and how to apply these two teachings is something that no one can completely master this side of heaven. This study will more assuredly be a great benefit for all who attend.

NOTE: We do have audio recordings and the Lesson Sheets of these Bible Classes. If you have been unable to attend and would like these sent to you, please email Pastor Frey or Pastor Gartner.

Lent 2020

Ash Wednesday is just around the corner—on February 26th! We will once again be having our midweek Lenten service at 10:30am and 6:30pm. Light refreshments will be served before and after our morning service, while Lenten meals will be served starting at 5:30 before our evening service. Please sign-up on the sheets in the entryway if you are interested in attended the meal each week. Please also note that confirmation class during the Lenten season will be held from 5:00-6:00.

This year our theme is: “The Son of God Goes Forth to War.” When many people picture Jesus they see him as a Gentle Shepherd, a patient teacher, or on his heavenly throne in his full glory. This Lenten season we will be taking a look at Jesus’ role as a warrior. He is the one who was greatly opposed but ultimately won the victory over our greatest enemies.

Roller Skating at Skate City

Plan to join fellow members of St. John and their guests for an evening of roller skating/blading on Sunday, March 15th from 4:30-6:30 pm at Skate City in Kimberly. The cost is $6.00 per person including skates. To reserve the rink, a minimum of 60 people need to attend. Sign up today; a sheet is on the counter in the entryway.


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