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The Church as New Covenant Levites (Numbers 25; Malachi 2

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I am __________. In individualistic cultures, these words are usually filled with various accomplishments, activities, or vocations. I am amusician. I am adoctor. I am a (recovering)alcoholic. However, in more communal cultures, this sentence is more likely completed with relational predicates. I am ason. I am amother. I am ahusband. Of course, studies that have employed...

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Answered Prayer and God's Heart for the Fatherless

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Answered Prayer This week God has answered a long-standing prayer request and given Occoquan Bible Churchcause to celebrate joyfully. The adoption of two precious girls by a family from the church has been finalized after a nearly five-year journey to give the siblings a home and family. The timing couldn't be more perfect as this Sunday November 11 we will observe Orphan...

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A Kingdom of Priests: Washed, Worshiping, Working, and Witnessing (Exodus 19:6; 1 Peter 2:9)

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Are you a royal priest? How do you know? What is a kingdom of priests? And how does that really apply today? Is this title for individuals? Or should it be a community identity? Many questions swirl around the biblical idea of priesthood. And on Sunday we considered Peter's words to the church: "You are a royal priesthood" (1 Peter 2:9). In examining his words, we learned...

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Our Great High Priest (Exodus 28

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Last week we celebrated the Reformation Day (October 31) and the recovery of the gospel brought about by men and women like Martin Luther and Katherine von Bora. Both of these Reformers fled the monastic life in order to follow Christ. Yet, in departing the Roman Catholic system of priesthood, they did not abandon the priesthood of Christ nor the priesthood of believers. ...

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Living Scripture

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This year a group of 15 from OBC attended the Christian Counseling Educational Foundation (CCEF) 2018 National Conference in Virginia Beach, VA. The theme of the conference was "Living Scripture." David Powlison, Executive Director of CCEF, described the topic as one that is at the very center of why we exist and what we do. "Scripture is the living Word of the living God...

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You Were Made For This: An Introduction to the Priesthood (Genesis 2:4

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But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood,a holy nation, a people for his own possession,that you may proclaim the excellencies of himwho called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. 1 Peter 2:9 From Genesis to Revelation, the themes of priesthood and kingship overlap and intertwine in the history of redemption. In this new sermon series we are examining how ...

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Take up and Read: Ten (or more) Recommended Authors for Women

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In a world where we fill our spare minutes with tidbits of info instantly accessed on our phones, it's far too easy to neglect reading longer books. In fact, because some have convinced themselves they don't have time to take on an entire book, they settle for short summaries, quotes, or whatever internet candy clickbait that's trending today. Still, there are others who ...

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A Family of Royal Priests

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"You were made for this!" This phrase seems to be thrown around quite a bit these days: Sports commentators talk this way about athletes; teachers about pupils; mentors about those they coach. In short, it is a way of speaking that comes from a recognized "authority" on someone who is ascending in their field. It is language meant to boost esteem and put everyone on alert...

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From Covenant-Breakers to Covenant-Keepers: How Christ Redeems Marriage and Divorce (Matthew 5:31

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What does the Bible say about divorce? Unfortunately, it says quite a bit. As a book that gives us everything we need for life and godliness, the Bible gives instructions about marriage and warnings about divorce. But that is not all that it says. If our minds jump too quickly, we may only remember the words of Malachi 2: God hates divorce. But we can't read that prophet...

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Cornerstone: Finding Life in the House of the Lord (Matthew 7:24

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Hurricanes. Tornados. Floods. Fires. Earthquakes. In our world, not a week goes by that we are not confronted with extreme and life-threatening weather. Yet, there is a storm coming that exceeds anything that we have ever known. It is the storm of the Lord that will purify everything on the earth on the way to making all things new. On Sunday, our last sermon from Matthe...

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