Bethlehem Lutheran Church

The Heart of Bay Ridge
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Sunday Service 10:30am
4th & Ovington Avenues
Brooklyn NY  11209
Rev. Paul H. Knudsen
Pastor Paul's January Message 
Bethlehem Lutheran Church ®  |  4th & Ovington Avenues, Brooklyn NY 11209  |  718.748.9502
A member of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA)

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Dear Members and Friends,

​The theme of my Christmas message this year was, “Jesus changed everything.” God broke into this world, because God’s people had lost their way. They didn’t know how to be religious anymore. They didn’t know how to be Spirit-filled anymore. They didn’t know how to think and act. Their religion had become steeped in meaningless traditions that were not pleasing to God. So, Jesus came. And, Jesus changed everything.

We still teach the 10 Commandments in Confirmation class. These commandments are still great rules for living. It is good to have no other gods, not take God’s name in vain, remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy, and honor your father and mother. It is good to refrain from killing, committing adultery, stealing, bearing false witness, and coveting your neighbor’s possessions. If we follow these commandments we will basically live in peace and harmony with each other.

However, something changed when Jesus came. If you read the bible from cover to cover, there is a significant shift from Old Testament to New Testament. The world through the eyes of the New Testament is different from the world as seen in the Old Testament. Jesus changed everything.

Rather than the Old Testament 10 Commandments presented to Moses, I would like to be so bold as to provide the 10 Commandments for living the Christian life as extracted from Paul’s letter to the Colossians. From Colossians 3:12-17 we have these “New Testament 10 Commandments.”

1)Clothe yourselves with compassion and kindness.

2)Clothe yourselves with humility, meekness and patience.

3)Forgive each other, just as the Lord has forgiven you.

4)Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.

5)Let the peace of Christ rule your hearts.

6)Be thankful.

7)Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly.

8)Teach and admonish one another in all wisdom.

9)With gratitude in your hearts, sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God.

10)And, whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus.

What great rules for living. And, you can sense the difference. God’s Holy Spirit is working in a brand new way. Jesus changed everything. This is the Christian life.

In God’s Service,