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Downtown Sunday Morning Service (9:30)
September 22, 2019 @ 9:30 am - 11:00 am
Announcements & Meditation
– Call to Worship –
Minister: Grace, mercy, and peace to you, from God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Congregation: And also to you.
Minister: Lift up your hearts!
Congregation: We lift them up to the Lord!
Lead on, O King Eternal, p. 312
– Confession –
Through Every Age, Eternal God, p. 266
CONFESSION OF SIN
Congregation is invited to kneel if able
+ ASSURANCE OF PARDON
1 John 2:1-2
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: Before the mountains were brought forth,
Congregation: Or before You formed the earth and the world,
Minister: Even from everlasting to everlasting,
Congregation: You are God.
Minister: So teach us to number our days,
Congregation: That we may apply our hearts to wisdom.
Minister: And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us:
Congregation: And establish the work of our hands for us;
Minister: May the work of our hands be established.
Our God, Our Help in Ages Past, p. 374
– Consecration –
+ SCRIPTURE READING
Ecclesiastes 3:1-11; John 11:1-6
Reader: The Word of the Lord.
Congregation: Thanks be to God!‘
Jordan Clemans (CCD)
God Moves in a Mysterious Way, p. 353
Opening: Psalm 138:1-3
Thanksgiving: Deuteronomy 11:13-14
Petitions: Philippians 4:6-7
O Love, How Deep, How Broad, How High!, p. 317
CC: 1 John: Light (Douglas Wilson)Sermon
As members of a fallen race, we want, we desire. What we want is the world, taken by us outside the framework of God’s character. This is worldliness. Because we want to be unrighteous in this way, but we also want the reputation of righteousness, the only solution is to deceive ourselves, to lie to ourselves. But however much we lie, we cannot cross the chasm that exists between our death and God’s life. The only way to have that life is to receive it as a gracious gift from God. But we must never forget the character of the one who gives this life—He is light.
“This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5).
Summary of the Text
This passage contains one of the few succinct definitions of God as found in Scripture, where the writer tells us that God is xyz. Jesus tells the woman at the well, for example, that God is Spirit. “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth” (John 4:24).
In this passage, we are told that God is light. Because He is light, it follows that in Him there is no darkness at all. This is not a theological triviality; John declares as integral to his message. This is the message we have heard from Him. This is the message we declare to you. God is light. This is crucial, in other words.
But this is no hard, cold, severe light. John introduced this thought in the previous verse when he said, “these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.” God is light, and those who are in fellowship with that light are happy people. Their joy is full and overflowing. To use the apostle Peter’s expression for this, it is “joy inexpressible and full of glory” (1 Pet. 1:8).
The verse following our text is a verse that emphasizes the problem of lying again. Those who claim to have fellowship with the light, while walking in darkness, are lying. They are not doing the truth.
Confession and the Light
Near the end of this short chapter, we are told that if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins (the ones we confessed), and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9). The word for confess is homologeo, which means to “speak the same.” Homomeans the same, and logeo is the verb to speak. To confess your sins means therefore to acknowledge your sin, freely and honestly, no spin control. Spin control is actually sin control.
The consequence of this kind of confession is that God cleanses us (katharizo) from all unrighteousness. But notice that two verses earlier, walking in the light has the same result.
“But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin” (1 John 1:7).
If we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Christ cleanses us (katharizo) from all sin.
Put This All Together
If you are not walking in the light, you are walking in the darkness. If you are walking in the darkness, you are telling yourself lies (v. 6). If you are in the darkness, you can’t see any of your own sin down in there, right? You can then tell yourself that you have no sin. But if you do that, then John says that you are deceiving yourself, and the truth is not in you. If you come into the light, if you confess your sin, then you are cleansed. Not only are you cleansed, but you are also now in fellowship with anyone else who has been cleansed (1 John 1:7).
And if your automatic reflex is to assume that you are not in fellowship with someone else because they are still walking in darkness, then you have said something that could be true, technically, but probably isn’t.
A man is walking in darkness, and his sole comfort in that dark place is something he takes for a teddy bear, his precious, which he strokes as he walks along. But it is not a teddy bear at all, but rather a ten-pound tarantula. You might wonder if such a mistake is possible, but I can assure you that it is. Remember how dark it is in there.
Confession of sin is to flip on the lights, and to walk in that light. You see the sin for what it is, and throw it away from your chest with an anguished gaaa! It is either that or a return to the darkness, and the grotesque comforts found in that darkness.
Bring It Down to Relationships
Remember that to walk in the light is to walk in the way that God is. To walk in the light, “as He is in the light,” is to walk in Christ-light. Again, you are not walking in a material impersonal substance. You are not walking in a force. You are walking in a Person. You are abiding in a Person. And what does this light look like? It looks like love, and does not look like hate. It does not taste like that acrid bitter taste in your mouth.
“Again, a new commandment I write unto you, which thing is true in him and in you: because the darkness is past, and the true light now shineth. He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now. He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him” (1 John 2:8–10).
But as long as you are in the darkness, you can chop definitions lengthwise, and say that you dolove her. You can say that youdolove him. Then why are youmiserable? Why are you unhappy? When you are in the dark, every word you look up in your self-justifying dictionary is pitch black. Allthe words are black down there.
Christ Light, not Christ Lite
But again, this light is a Person. Arise, O sleeper, and Christ will shineon you (Eph. 5:14). But this light . . . this light overwhelms all of our senses. It is light you can drink, like it was a cold mountain stream. It is light that fills the house with the aroma of spiritual bread baking, and then it tastes like that same bread, still hot enough to melt the butter. It is light that cascades over your head like an infinite bolt of unrolling invisible silk. It is light that is a breeze off the ocean. It is symphonic light, with an orchestra and choir made up of myriads of angels, and their billions of human understudies.
And finally it is the unapproachable light that you cannot see for brightness, and the cool clear light by which you see everything else—but especiallyyour brother and sister. If we are walking in the light, we regard no oneafter the flesh (2 Cor. 5:16). I can assure you that if you can’t see your brother and sister rightly, then what you are using for eyes need to be taken back to the worldview shop. If you see Christ, then you can see all the rest of us.
CCD: Ruth #4: From Bitterness to Blessing (Ty Knight)Sermon
But Naomi said to them, “Do not call me Naomi; call me Mara, for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me. 21 I went out full, and the Lord has brought me home again empty. Why do you call me Naomi, since the Lord has testified against me, and the Almighty has afflicted me?” 22 So Naomi returned, and Ruth the Moabitess her daughter-in-law with her, who returned from the country of Moab. Now they came to Bethlehem at the beginning of barley harvest.
8 Then Boaz said to Ruth, “You will listen, my daughter, will you not? Do not go to glean in another field, nor go from here, but stay close by my young women. 9 Letyour eyes beon the field which they reap, and go after them. Have I not commanded the young men not to touch you? And when you are thirsty, go to the vessels and drink from what the young men have drawn.” 10 So she fell on her face, bowed down to the ground, and said to him, “Why have I found favor in your eyes, that you should take notice of me, since I ama foreigner?” 11 And Boaz answered and said to her, “It has been fully reported to me, all that you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband, and howyou have left your father and your mother and the land of your birth, and have come to a people whom you did not know before. 12 The Lord repay your work, and a full reward be given you by the Lord God of Israel, under whose wings you have come for refuge.”13 Then she said, “Let me find favor in your sight, my lord; for you have comforted me, and have spoken kindly to your maidservant, though I am not like one of your maidservants.”
14 Now Boaz said to her at mealtime, “Come here, and eat of the bread, and dip your piece of bread in the vinegar.” So she sat beside the reapers, and he passed parched grainto her; and she ate and was satisfied, and kept some back. 15 And when she rose up to glean, Boaz commanded his young men, saying, “Let her glean even among the sheaves, and do not reproach her. 16 Also let grainfrom the bundles fall purposely for her; leave itthat she may glean, and do not rebuke her.” 17 So she gleaned in the field until evening, and beat out what she had gleaned, and it was about an ephah of barley. 18 Then she took itup and went into the city, and her mother-in-law saw what she had gleaned. So she brought out and gave to her what she had kept back after she had been satisfied.
19 And her mother-in-law said to her, “Where have you gleaned today? And where did you work? Blessed be the one who took notice of you.” So she told her mother-in-law with whom she had worked, and said, “The man’s name with whom I worked today isBoaz.” 20 Then Naomi said to her daughter-in-law, “Blessed behe of the Lord, who has not forsaken His kindness to the living and the dead!” And Naomi said to her, “This man isa relation of ours, one of our close relatives.” 21 Ruth the Moabitess said, “He also said to me, ‘You shall stay close by my young men until they have finished all my harvest.’ ” 22 And Naomi said to Ruth her daughter-in-law, “It isgood, my daughter, that you go out with his young women, and that people do not meet you in any other field.” 23 So she stayed close by the young women of Boaz, to glean until the end of barley harvest and wheat harvest; and she dwelt with her mother-in-law (Ruth 1:20-2:23).
Know any Bitter People?
Boaz’s Grace and Ruth’s Humility (vs. 8-13)
Hospitality at His Table (vs. 14-16)
Provision for Parents (vs. 17-18)
From Bitterness to Blessing (vs. 19-23)
Ministers of Reconciliation
Ending with The Lord’s Prayer
Come, Thou Almighty King, p. 345
– Communion –
At the Lamb’s High Feast We Sing, p. 204
The Lord’s My Shepherd, I’ll Not Want, p. 38
– Commissioning –
+ CLOSING DOXOLOGY
The congregation may raise hands
Amen! Blessing and Glory, bulletin p. 8
CHARGE & BENEDICTION
Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen. Ephesians 3:20-21