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Christ Church Sunday Morning Service (8:30 am & 10:30 am)

November 6, 2016 @ 8:30 am - 12:30 pm

Announcements & Meditation



– Call to worship –



+ Adoration
Minister: Grace, mercy, and peace to you, from God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Congregation: And also to you.



Psalm 99:2-3, 9
Minister: Lift up your hearts!
Congregation: We lift them up to the Lord!



+ Prayer



+ Hymn

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– Confession –






I Waited for the Lord…………………………………….74 (PS 40.1)



Confession of sin
Congregation is invited to kneel if able
Proverbs 6:16-19



+ Assurance of Pardon
Proverbs 29:25
Minister: Your sins are forgiven through Christ.

Congregation: Thanks be to God!

+ Confession of Faith: Apostles creed
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. (Bulletin pg. 10-11)



+ Responsive Reading: Heidelberg Catechism: Question 60
Minister: How are you righteous before God?
Congregation: Only by true faith in Jesus Christ.  In spite of the fact that my conscience accuses me that I have grievously sinned against all the commandments of God, and have not kept any one of them, and that I am still ever prone to all that is evil, nevertheless, God, without any merit of my own, out of pure grace, grants me the benefits of the perfect expiation of Christ, imputing to me his righteousness and holiness as if I had never committed a single sin or had ever been sinful, having fulfilled myself all the obedience which Christ has carried out for me, if only I accept such favor with a trusting heart.



+ Hymn

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– Consecration –



+ Scripture Reading
Isaiah 65:17-25: 2 Peter 3:1-13
Reader: The Word of the Lord.
Congregation: Thanks be to God!



Profession of Faith Baptisms
Second Service: Abraham & Owen Boyd
Congregational Charge: Our brothers, for you Jesus Christ came to this earth, struggled and suffered; for your sake He crossed Gethsemane and went through the darkness of Calvary; for your sake He cried: ‘It is finished’; for your sake He died and for your sake He overcame death; indeed for your sake, our brothers, and this is what you have heard and believed. And thus the word of the apostle is confirmed: ‘We love God, for He loved us first.



Psalm 87………………………………bulletin pg. 14 (PS 87.1)



Congregational Prayer
Opening: Psalm 84:8-9, 11
Thanksgiving: Psalm 107:21-22
Petitions: Psalm 116:1-2



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First Service: Themes in Proverbs 5


When we think of the phrase self-control, the first thing that comes to mind is control of the bodily appetites. We think of resisting temptations to lust or to gluttony. But that is not the only concern of Proverbs when it comes to learning how controlling oneself. Many of the passages dealing with lack of self-control have to do with the control of temper.

The Text:
“He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls” (Prov. 25:28).

Summary of the Text:
Notice that a man who is not self-governed is compared in the first instance to a man who is defenseless. Not having rule in his own spirit, which means he does not have rule over his own spirit, means that the walls of his “city” are little more than rubble. Now this means that self-control is a wall, a bulwark, and you should want walls like Babylon had, where four chariots could drive abreast around the top of them. Now that’s a wall. But there is more. The man who has “no rule” is a man who has no rule over his spirit. In other words, the problem is that his soul is tempestuous. He lets others live in his head rent-free. This is the man who is defenseless.

Someone who is self-controlled in his spirit is someone who is a warrior. His city is not defenseless, but this control is not just a defensive posture. Note what Proverbs tells us elsewhere. “He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; And he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city” (Prov. 16:32).

A man with self-control in his spirit can defend his city, but more than this, he can take a city.

Northern European Stock
Now this is decreasingly true, but this congregation is still largely made up of Northern European stock. So I would like to speak to that for a moment. One of the ways we sons of the north lie to ourselves, or make excuses for ourselves, is by saying that we are “not very emotional.” Right. Like anger is not an emotion?
We are “not very emotional” when it comes to giving the kids a hug, or an affirmative attaboy. That is what we say. But we forget all that when someone crosses us and we find ourselves in the middle of an incandescent warp-spasm. And as the berserker is laying waste to the living room, and to all who dwell within it, many of them are thinking that it is a good thing “we’re not an emotional people.” What would this little drama be like if we were?

Folly Does Not Know How to Defend Itself:
When you are angry, it is extremely easy to make foolish decisions, decision you will later regret. Anger is not only unkind, it is also stupid. “He that is soon angry dealeth foolishly: And a man of wicked devices is hated” (Prov. 14:17).

Being slow to anger is described as wisdom. The trait of being “hasty of spirit” means being hasty into anger. And to be that way exalts folly. “He that is slow to wrath is of great understanding: But he that is hasty of spirit exalteth folly” (Prov. 14:29). When you exalt folly, you promote it. You enthrone it. You crown it. And because you are hasty in spirit, you rush to do so.

Strife Confuses Everything:
One of the things that strife does is that it complicates things. And the more complicated they are, the easier it is for everything to go wrong. But this is what happens. “A wrathful man stirreth up strife: But he that is slow to anger appeaseth strife” (Prov. 15:18). Anger and strife go together, which is why anger and bad decisions go together. The man who is slow to anger keeps things calm. He appeases strife, and this means that things are kept manageable.

Everything is calm beforehand, when it seemed like a good idea, but things are not nearly as calm after you blow up the dam. “The beginning of strife is as when one letteth out water: Therefore leave off contention, before it be meddled with” (Prov. 17:14). Many people have unleashed destructive forces that they had no idea were coming.

True Honor
One of the tricks that the hot-tempered have used over the centuries is the idea that senseless quarrels should be construed as affairs of honor. And while there is a time and a place for conflict—and the wise know when and where—the whole idea of conflicts over trifles is antithetical to biblical wisdom.

“The discretion of a man deferreth his anger; And it is his glory to pass over a transgression” (Prov. 19:11).

Notice. It is a glory to overlook an insult. This is not universally true (these are proverbs, after all), but there are many occasions when it is in fact true.

“It is an honour for a man to cease from strife: But every fool will be meddling” (Prov. 20:3). “An angry man stirreth up strife, And a furious man aboundeth in transgression” (Prov. 29:22). It is honorable, Scripture says, to walk away from strife. Have nothing to do with it. Walking away from strife in this sense is what a warrior does.

Why Does This Keep Happening?
“Make no friendship with an angry man; And with a furious man thou shalt not go: Lest thou learn his ways, And get a snare to thy soul” (Prov. 22:24–25).

People learn how to become angry easily, and they learn how to put up with it when other are angry. If you are friends with an angry man, you will become like him. In other words, there is the anger, and there is the social reinforcement. There are the people who get angry, and there are the people who pick up after them, making excuses. “He’s a little cranky. He hasn’t had his nap today.” “But he is twenty-five.”

“A man of great wrath shall suffer punishment: For if thou deliver him, yet thou must do it again.” (Prov. 19:19).

No Rider But Christ
James tells us that it is hard if not impossible to get a bit and bridle on the tongue. This is borne out by the book of Proverbs. “Whoso keepeth his mouth and his tongue keepeth his soul from troubles” (Prov. 21:23). “A fool uttereth all his mind: But a wise man keepeth it in till afterwards” (Prov. 29:11). “Seest thou a man that is hasty in his words? There is more hope of a fool than of him” (Prov. 29:20).

In fact, it does seem impossible to us. But what is impossible with men is not impossible with God. And He has sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts to teach us self-control. This is either the grace of the Lord Jesus, or it is nothing at all.

Second Service: Surveying the Text:
The Pastorals


In the pastoral epistles, the apostle Paul has, near the end of his life, turned to the crucial business of “institutionalization.” He knows that the institution of the church is inevitable, and he, more than anyone, knows the temptations that will beset that institution. But the fact that temptations will necessarily come to the best-planned institution is no argument for planning the whole thing poorly.

If the temptations finally overwhelm the poor little ecclesiastical functionaries, and they go the way of all flesh, a well-planned set of institutional blueprints (as we find in the pastorals) will provide the marching orders for the inevitable reformers. If the Temple falls into disrepair, we may still take heart—a copy of Deuteronomy remains in its shambles of a library, and Josiah will find it.

The Text:
“But God’s firm foundation stands, bearing this seal: ‘The Lord knows those who are his’” (2 Tim. 2:19a; cf. Num. 16:3-11).

Summary of the Text:
It is not possible to have a biblical form of government without having that form of government challenged by somebody. A naive person might assume that the more biblical the form of government was, the less likely a challenge would be. This is not at all the case. Moses had to fight off a challenge to his authority in the wilderness, and Paul, who knew exactly what that felt like, quoted Moses from the episode of Korah’s rebellion. Our text is what Moses said, and it was echoed by Paul.

Consider also the follow-up comment in that same verse—“Let everyone who names the name of the Lord depart from iniquity” (2 Tim. 2:19)—which contains echoes of Proverbs 16:6.

A bit later in 2 Timothy, we find out the name of one of Paul’s adversaries. We are not told a great deal about him, only his name, the fact that he was a coppersmith and that he did Paul great damage. We do not know if he was within the Church or outside it, but given the nature of Paul’s concerns in this letter, I would be inclined to mark him down as a New Testament Korah. “Alexander the coppersmith did me great harm; the Lord will repay him according to his deeds” (2 Tim. 4:14).

As we consider what are called the pastoral epistles, it is important to contextualize them. Reconstructing the chronology of the New Testament, we may conclude that Paul was probably imprisoned in Rome twice. The first is found at the end of the book of Acts, after which he was released, and during which time he wrote 1 Timothy and Titus (c. A.D. 62-66). When he was imprisoned again (at the end of which time he was executed), he wrote 2 Timothy. It is fashionable for many modern scholars to dispute the Pauline authorship of these epistles, and, also sadly, it is common for more conservative scholars to argue for the Pauline authorship without reference to chapter one, verse one. “Paul, an apostle . . .” If we believe in the inspiration of Scripture, as we do, it follows that we should believe God is not lying to us. If the letters claim to be from Paul, this is a truth claim. As a truth claim, if it is the Word of God, it needs to be true.

Back to Leadership and Loyalty:
The Church was about to enter the period that “answered to” the books of Joshua and Judges. They had come to the end of their forty years in the wilderness—the time between the Ascension of Jesus and the destruction of the Temple. During those forty years a number of remarkable things had happened to both Israel and the Church. Both had extraordinary government (Moses and the apostles), both had ordinary government taking shape (elders and elders), both had to withstand challenges to their extraordinary rulers (Korah and Paul’s enemies), and so on. Given the circumstances, it is not surprising that what typology we do see has to do with government and rule.

We can see this awareness in how the Old Testament is quoted and applied in the pastorals. The first citation has to do with the payment of ministers. “For the Scripture says, ‘You shall not muzzle an ox when it treads out the grain,’ and, ‘The laborer deserves his wages’” (1 Tim. 5:18; cf. 1 Cor. 9:9). This is a citation from Deut. 25:4. The second part of the verse is from Luke 10:7, cited alongside Deuteronomy as “Scripture.” We can see how, within the space of the first generation of Christians, one of the apostles is talking to them about their future budgets. Not only so, but a passage from one of the gospels is cited authoritatively as Scripture, right alongside Deuteronomy.

The next quoted verse sets up the threshold for entertaining charges against elders (1 Tim. 5:19), and does so by quoting the requirement of Deuteronomy 19:15. Everything must be established in the mouth of two or three witnesses. This is another procedural governmental requirement, one essential to a healthy institution.

The Next Generation
The apostle Paul is nearing the end of his life. In these epistles we find the kind of instruction that would naturally arise in such a circumstance—Paul is concerned with the next generation, and he is making sure the foundation is true and straight. Ephesus was the kind of place where this would be most important. The church there was a significant church in a significant place—Paul had ministered there for two years in the hall of Tyrannus. The ministry was very effective there. “This continued for two years, so that all the residents of Asia heard the word of the Lord, both Jews and Greeks” (Acts 19:10). And it was no small work: “So the word of the Lord continued to increase and prevail mightily” (Acts 19:20).

So many people were converted there that the idol-makers felt constrained to counterattack—because “that not only in Ephesus but in almost all of Asia this Paul has persuaded and turned away a great many people, saying that gods made with hands are not gods” (Acts 19:26).

Now all this was almost ten years before Paul commissioned Timothy to oversee the churches there, which had to have been a real going concern during his ministry there. John wrote to the church at Ephesus right around that same time—in fact, it is even possible that Timothy was the “angel” of the church at Ephesus (Rev. 2:1). While the church there had declined from their first love, it was still clearly a robust and orthodox church (Rev. 2:6).

Titus was established as the apostolic representative on Crete, and many of the concerns that Paul shares with him resemble the issues Timothy had to deal with.

An Institution of Living Stones:
At the same time, for all the work that Paul is doing in preparation for “the church as institution,” we can clearly see that he is not resigning himself to an inevitable downgrade when it comes to holiness. If institutionalization is inevitable, then holiness must be able to take an institutional form. God is the one “who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works” (Titus 2:14). This appears to be a collage of Ps. 130:8, Eze. 37:23, and Deut. 14:2.



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+ Song of Simeon…………………………………….428-29 (SM 23.1)



– Communion –



The Bread
From All Thy Saints (1-7)………….bulletin pg. 12



THE wine
From All Thy Saints (8-14)………..bulletin pg. 13



– Commissioning –



The congregation may raise hands
Doxology sung to Deo Gracias

.  .  .
Praise God from Whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him, all creatures here below;
Praise Him above ye heav’nly host;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen.



Charge & Benediction
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen. 2 Corinthians 13:14


November 6, 2016
8:30 am - 12:30 pm
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Christ Church