Fellowship of the Believers

Back in January we had a preaching series called Sent into the world. That series opened the semester and introduced the overarching theme for the following months. We talked about what it means to not belong to the world yet still be in it and called to love it, about christian faith in relation to other religions and faiths, about the reality of suffering, about obedience and about what it means to be a christian in a culture that has pleasure and well being as a core value. At the same time we went through the book of Romans and got to know our Bibles a little bit more.

Then came the summer holidays, when we took time to listen to some of the parables Jesus told and learn about the teachings they convey. But now the summer holidays are coming to an end, people are starting to arrive in town, back from their holidays or brand new to the city, and we in OiC want to start looking into our focus for this semester.

Being sent into the world is a fundamental aspect of christian life. But there is a risk when we listen to this challenge, which is particularly strong in the culture and context we are set in right now. The risk is that we will take the challenge to our hearts as individuals, but not to our heart as a community, as a congregation. It is very hard for us to do otherwise. Most of us were bred with a strong notion of the value of the individual burned deep into the core of our cultural upbringing. In the end of the day the vast majority of our decisions and choices have to do with what I believe is best for me. It can sound even wrong, morally unacceptable, to expect someone to sacrifice something of their individuality. I am not, of course, speaking of explicitly wrong and bad things. Very few people would defend a notion of individuality where it’s ok for someone to kill, steal or harm others just because they would like to. But to deny yourself something that is not understood as inherently bad, and which is not generally seen as harmful? And to do that because of something beyond oneself, or even worse because some faith community asks it? To many that would be plainly absurd!

Yet the Christian faith seems to do precisely that. To ask those who belong to the christian community to deny themselves. It asks us to love our enemies, forgive those who hurt and even persecute us, share the wealth we rightfully earned with others and to not expect anything in return. It asks us to be hospitable even when it’s not convenient, to consider the impact of my personal decisions in the life of the community, to abstain from excess of alcohol and from any sort of addiction, to abstain from sex outside marriage, and so on. It is rather shocking really! And still the christian faith insists that this process does not destroy or diminish the worth of the individual, but rather sets it in the course of true joy.

All of this is connected to who God is, and who He wants to form us, as His children, into being. But it is also connected to what the fellowship we are grafted into looks and is called to look like. Our christian identity is deeply and irrevocably connected to what Luke, in Acts of the Apostles, called the fellowship of the believers. And it is very much in the setting of this fellowship that God works in our lives, and it is in this setting that we are sent into the world.

So this semester we want to look more into what it means to be a part of this fellowship of the believers. We want to look into what it means to be a church, how being a church is a powerful witness to the world, about why the Bible talks about us as being brothers and sisters and what that means for us. And of course we want and need to do this on a solid biblical foundation. So bring your Bibles along as we look into different parts of it; and especially as we take time get to know the books of 1 John and Ruth better.

May God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit guide us through figuring out how to be His People today!

Maicon Steuernagel

8th of December: Advent Celebration

This day, we will spend a longer day together. We be at Lyder Sagens Gate 7 from 13:00!

NOTE: there will be no service at Gamlebyen Kirke this day, church service will be at Lyder Sagens Gate 7 at 17:00!

We will make christmas decoration, christmas cards, have dinner and fellowship together.

Program:

13:00: Doors are open! 
15:00: Putlock dinner
17:00: Sunday Service

Come and spend the day with OiC!

Bring food for either dinner or church coffee, and bring a friend!

Week 20 – Syttende Mai (Norwegian Constitution Day) events and Ending the OIC Value Series with “Move/Serve”

Sunday, 20th of May 2012 at 5:00pm

OIC Values: “Move/Serve”

After 5 weeks on the “OIC Values Series” we end it with a practical and application note focusing on the value “Move/Serve”. OIC Board leader and theology student Stian Holtskog will share.

Service is held at Gamlebyen Church and we have Sunday school

Join us and bring some friends!

Thursday 17th of May 2012 at 10:00am and 6:00pm

Norway Constitution day – Breakfast, Parade and Grill!

It is customary for OiC to spend time together during syttende mai or the Norwegian Constitution Day, and we have a busy day lined up.

  • Starting 10am: We meet for a simple Norwegian breakfast hosted by KIA (Christian Intercultural Association) at Café Ichtys at Tullins Gate 4, and gather to walk the parade after that.
  • Starting 6pm: Barbeque and games evening at Lyder Sagens Gate 7. We provide the fire and drinks, you bring something you want to grill for yourself and a few friends.

For more information about syttende mai, check out theWikipedia page, or some pictures from last year’s eventon Facebook.

Contact Bodil (952 49 197) or Maicon (469 13 628) if you have any inquiries or need for direction on that day.

OIC Annual Meeting and New Series on Values

Sunday, 15th of April 2012 at 5:00pm
We hope that the celebration of Easter has brought you closer to the love and relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ.

Let us continue to live a life worthy of His calling, and perhaps we can take some cue as Kasper Tangen shares in our new series this week – OIC Values.

We will also hold our OIC Annual Meeting where we report on matters concerning the church for the year that had just passed, and take the opportunities to elect new board members.

We appreciate your prayer concerning the following:

  • Clear vision for church in the coming year
  • For a church board, leaders and ministry that will serve the Lord and his people
  • God’s providence in areas of finance, talents, and resources to be the church He has called us to be
Church service resumes as usual at Gamlebyen Church at 5:00PM, with Sunday School on.

Easter Celebration

This week, we remember the death, crucifixion, and celebrate the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.
At OiC, we have special events and arrangements for Easter:

6th April – Starting 3:00PM

We celebrate Good Friday at Stian’s place with meeting up, food, games and perhaps songs.

Do bring: a) some food b) yourself and much laughter c) friends

Address: Skøyenbakken 3B

Facebook Event URL: https://www.facebook.com/events/136305949832321/


8th April – Easter Sunday at Lyder Sagens Gate 7

We start with Barbeque and Grill at 1:00PM, do bring some food for it 🙂

This is followed by Church Service at 5:30PM. Maicon Steuernagel will share the word.

Please note service is not held on Gamlebyen Church and will start at 5.30PM

Address: Lyder Sagens Gate 7

BACKGROUND STORIES – The empty tomb part 2

The second Sunday in our series ”The empty tomb”, Maicon brought us more background stories from The Old Testament so that we better can understand the coming Easter. First we will take a look at the preaching of John the Baptist.

The preaching of John the Baptist

John the Baptist was preparing the way for Jesus. He preached to the people to repent, and he then pointed the people to Jesus.

The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!  – John 1:29

So Jesus “takes away the sin”, but why? And what exactly does that mean?

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. – Rom 6:23

God is the very giver of life! Sin is turning away from God. So this verse is about more than just punishment. The essence of sin is to have greater love for other things than for God, and thereby turning away from life itself. The consequence is death.

To shed more light over this, we shall go to some of the important background stories in the Old Testament:

 Story 1 – The testing of Abraham

In this story God is testing Abraham’s faith by asking him to sacrifice his son Isaac. They went up the mountain and his son thought they were going to sacrifice a lamb. When Isaac asked him, Abraham answered: “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.”

Just before Abraham is about to kill Isaac, The Lord stopped him. God did provided a ram to be slaughtered instead of Isaac. The story is pointing forward to a time when God will fully provide for everyone.

Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son. – Gen 22:13

 

Story 2 – The Passover  

The second story is what we have already looked at; the Passover.

And when your children ask you, ‘What does this ceremony mean to you?’ then tell them, ‘It is the Passover sacrifice to the LORD, who passed over the houses of the Israelites in Egypt and spared our homes when he struck down the Egyptians.’” Then the people bowed down and worshiped. Ex 12:26-27

Isaiah 53 can also be mentioned here. It’s a prophecy of the suffering servant that was going to come and take the sin upon Him. He is here compared with a lamb.

Story 3. – Daily atonement sacrifice

Thirdly the people of Israel were instructed to make daily sacrifices of animals to atone for their sin. It was teaching them and reminding them how serious sin is and what the consequence is.

 These stories were a very important part of the identity of The People of Israel.

Jesus the perfect sacrifice

Jesus was perfect and without sin, therefore he was also the perfect sacrifice. The author of the letter to the Hebrews conclude as follows:

Unlike the other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself.  – Heb 7:27

The root of sin is choosing our selves before God. The solution is to give our selves up and die. But the problem is that we cannot die and still live.

Jesus takes the death that we deserved. He does not simply take away our sin, but also the root of sin. He does not only cure the symptoms, but also the disease itself.

So what does this mean to us? What are the implications? Faith is to identify with Jesus death, to die with him so that we can live with him. We are called to repent and identify, to embrace Jesus sacrifice for us.