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Downtown Sunday Morning Service (9:30)
March 3, 2019 @ 9:30 am - 11:30 am
Announcements & Meditation
– Call to Worship –
Minister: The Lord is near to all who call upon Him, to all who call upon him in truth. He will fulfill the desire of those who are in awe of Him.
Congregation: He will hear their cry and save them. Amen.
Minister: Lift up your hearts!
Congregation: We lift them up to the Lord!
From Heav’n O Praise the Lord, p. 192
– Confession –
Chide Me, O Lord, No Longer, p. 8
CONFESSION OF SIN
Congregation is invited to kneel if able
+ ASSURANCE OF PARDON
Minister: Your sins are forgiven through Christ.
Congregation: Thanks be to God!
Minister: Christian, what do you believe?
Congregation: I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ, his only begotten Son, our Lord. He was conceived by the Holy Ghost, and born of the virgin, Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into Hades. On the third day He rose again from the dead, ascended into Heaven, and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence He will come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Ghost, the holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.
Minister: Hear my cry, O God;
Congregation: Attend unto my prayer.
Minister: From the end of the earth will I cry unto You, when my heart is overwhelmed:
Congregation: Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.
Minister: For You have been a shelter for me,
Congregation: And a strong tower from my enemy.
Minister: So will I sing praise to Your name forever,
Congregation: That I may daily perform my vows.
To All My Brothers I’ll Declare, p. 34
– Consecration –
+ SCRIPTURE READING
Esther 9:18-28; 2 Timothy 4:16-18
Reader: The Word of the Lord.
Congregation: Thanks be to God!
(CC 1st) Brian Points, Curtis Spencer
(CC 2nd) Greg and Elizabeth Landis and family
Lord, Teach Us How to Pray Aright, p. 372
Opening: Isaiah 54:1
Thanksgiving: Psalm 95:1-2
Petitions: Psalm 25:1, 4-5
Psalm 149, bulletin p. 10
CC: Colossians as Cornerstone #4 (Douglas Wilson)Sermon
In the Scriptures, we are given a high theology, a high Christology. Christ has ascended into the highest Heaven. He is seated at the right hand of God the Father, and He is Himself the infinite waterfall of holy pleasure that cascades at that right hand (Ps. 16: 11). That waterfall of infinite joy has no top, no bottom, no sides, no front and no back. Christ is all, and Christ is all in all.
But this is not the kind of high theology that puffs up. Quite the contrary. “For thus saith the high and lofty One That inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones” (Is. 57:15). As we shall see, we should measure the height of our theology by how low it can stoop.
If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God . . . (Col. 3:1-17)
Summary of the Text
So if you have been raised with Christ, you ought to yearn to be where Christ is, which is at the right hand of God (v. 1). Set your affections where you actually are (v. 2). This is because your earthly identity is dead and your heavenly identity is alive (v. 3). When Christ—our life—appears then we will also appear in shared glory (v. 4). Because of that, it is necessary to mortify your members which are on the earth, which can be described under the one word lust(v. 5). These are things that the wrath of God rests upon (v. 6), and you used to walk that way yourselves (v. 7). So take off the coat of all foul attitudes (v. 8). Stop lying to each other, since you have taken off the coat of the old man (v. 9). But it is not enough to take off the foul coat, you must also put on the coat of the new man, the Jesus coat (v. 10). When we wear that uniform, previous differences fade—Jew, Greek, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free (v. 11), and Christ is everything. Putting on the Jesus coat means putting on a number of other things as well—mercy, kindness, meekness, forgiveness, all of that (vv. 12-13). Don’t forget to put on love, which is the bond of perfection (v. 14). What do you do when this is all done? You let the peace of God rule—among all of us—and you show gratitude (v. 15). Let the word of Christ dwell in your richly—teaching and admonishing one another through psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs (v. 16). And whatever you do, remember whose coat you are wearing, and be grateful (v. 17).
Mortify Your Members
Remember that Paul began this letter by saying that the Colossians were “saints and faithful brethren” (Col. 1:2). These saints and faithful Christians—like all Christians since—were summoned up into the heavenly places. They are called to straddle H Like the great angel in Revelation had one foot on the land and one of the sea, so we also have one foot on the rock of the heavenly places and one foot on the miry clay of this earth and its lusts. Paul tells these saints to put their leprous passions to death. There are two things we can derive from this instruction. One is that true Christians can be afflicted with these lusts. The second is that true Christians are instructed to execute them. And if you have to do it again, well, then, do it again.
Remember the three stages of mortification, which means putting to death or executing. The first is what all true believers have done, which is putting yourself to death to the world and the world to you (Gal. 6:14; Rom. 6: 3). The second is found here in Colossians 3, and it refers to putting significant sins to death, and it is a definitive event. The third is an ongoing task, a daily task, and refers to the mortification of the deeds of the body, and it is an ongoing responsibility (Rom. 8:13). It is like weeding your garden every morning at 5 am. You will always find something.
Slave or Free
We live in a time when racial animosities are festering and growing. Just the other night I saw a candidate for president saying that we needed to pay reparations for slavery. What this must mean to us is really straightforward—these people need Christ. The slavery of two centuries ago was awful. In fact it was so awful that nothing devised by the wit of man can even come close to dealing with it. Roman slavery was also atrocious, and when believers put on the Christ coat, what does Paul say about it? He says that slave/free distinction becomes meaningless. The fact that we are still trying to fix slavery a century and a half later is a testament to our apostasy from Christ. We are a lost people—not because we want racial reconciliation, but rather because we cannot obtain it through our own wisdom, not for love or money.
The Devil in Your Mouth
The sins of verse 5 are the corrupt and grimy ones, the ones we rarely mention at church. As professing Christians, we are ashamed of them. That’s good, so long as we make sure to go on to slaughter them as instructed. But the sins of verses 8 and 9 are often the sins that we commit at church. To be sure, when we do this, we have decorate our anger, our malice, our accusations, and we have even gotten adept at making it all seem like a zeal for righteousness.
Dwell in You Richly
And this section closes Paul says that we are to have the word of Christ dwell in us richly, and there is a particular kind of overflow. The overflow is musical—psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. This is place where we can profitably compare parallel passages in Ephesians and Colossians because Paul says something very similar in both places, at least in terms of the fruit. By “fruit” I mean the psalms, and hymns, and spiritual songs.
In Ephesians this overflow is the result of the filling of the Spirit. Many translations make this sound like the Spirit is the “fluid” we are filled with, but a better translation would be “filled by means of the Spirit.” He is the agent, the one doing the pouring, not the one being poured. And what is being poured? We see that here in Colossians—it is the word of Christ. Put this all together. “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly through the agency of the Holy Spirit, resulting in musical and scriptural gratitude.”
One last comment. This passage makes plain that all Christians are to be musical. Music is not optional for us because gratitude is not optional, and grateful people sing. But stack these things in the proper order. I say this because I am addressing a congregation that contains a great deal of musical talent, and we will be tested in this area, particularly as musical literacy spreads in our midst, becoming commonplace. The Spirit leads to music, but it not the case that music leads to the Spirit. You can be a Christian and you can be a musician, and yet not be a Christian musician. If you are ungrateful, or unkind, or sour, or critical, or competitive, or envious, or conceited, or vain, then you might be a musician . . . but not Christian in your music.
Christ is all, and is in all. And this means that He is in all the music.
CCD: Philippians: Christ’s Workers (Ty Knight)Sermon
“But I trust in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you shortly, that I also may be encouraged when I know your state. 20 For I have no one like-minded, who will sincerely care for your state. 21 For all seek their own, not the things which are of Christ Jesus. 22 But you know his proven character, that as a son with his father he served with me in the gospel. 23 Therefore I hope to send him at once, as soon as I see how it goes with me. 24 But I trust in the Lord that I myself shall also come shortly.
25 Yet I considered it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus, my brother, fellow worker, and fellow soldier, but your messenger and the one who ministered to my need; 26 since he was longing for you all, and was distressed because you had heard that he was sick. 27 For indeed he was sick almost unto death; but God had mercy on him, and not only on him but on me also, lest I should have sorrow upon sorrow. 28 Therefore I sent him the more eagerly, that when you see him again you may rejoice, and I may be less sorrowful. 29 Receive him therefore in the Lord with all gladness, and hold such men in esteem; 30 because for the work of Christ he came close to death, not regarding his life, to supply what was lacking in your service toward me” (Philippians 2:19-30).
Ending with The Lord’s Prayer
I to the Hills Will Lift Mine Eyes, p. 159
– Communion –
Ah, Jesus Lord, Thy Love to Me, p. 340
Ah, Jesus Lord, Thy Love to Me, p. 341
– Commissioning –
+ CLOSING DOXOLOGY
The congregation may raise hands
Gloria Patri, p. 436
CHARGE & BENEDICTION
The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face shine upon you, and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up His countenance upon you, and give you peace. Numbers 6:24-26