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Christ Church Sunday Morning Service (8:30 am & 11:00 am)

August 21, 2016

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.

Scripture
1 Samuel 2:1-2
Minister: Lift up your hearts!
Congregation: We lift them up to the Lord!

+ Prayer
+ Psalm
O Come, Let Us Sing unto the Lord………….126-29 (PS 95.1)

– Confession –

Exhortation
Psalm
Psalm 43……………………………….bulletin pg.  10 (PS 43.2)

Confession of Sin
Congregation is invited to kneel if able
Is. 64:5-7
+ Assurance of Pardon
Prov 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. 

+ Responsive Reading: Heidelberg Catechism: Question 46

Minister: Then, is not Christ with us unto the end of the world, as he has promised us?
Congregation: Christ is true man and true God.  As a man he is no longer on earth, but in his divinity, majesty, grace, and Spirit, he is never absent from us.

+ HYMN
The Son of God Goes Forth to War……………….282 (CY 54.1)

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– Consecration –

+ SCRIPTURE READING
1 Kings 4:21-34; Matthew 12:38-42
Reader: The Word of the Lord.
Congregation: Thanks be to God!

HYMN
Lord, Teach Us How to Pray Aright………………372 (CR 61.1)

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Congregational Prayer
Opening: Ps 80: 1-3
Thanksgiving: Ps. 75:1
Petitions: Phil. 4:6-7

+ HYMN

Why Do the Heathen Nations Vainly Rage?…….4-5 (PS 2.1)

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Sermon
First Service: Liturgical Confession
Introduction

As part of our emphasis on practical Christian living, we have emphasized the importance of confession of sin for many years. We have taught (and continue to teach) that confession is nothing less than honesty before God, and that such honesty is always to be ongoing and immediate. But something else we do might seem to be in tension with this first emphasis, and that is our weekly practice of confessing our sins together in the worship service. How do these two emphases relate to one another? Can they?

The Texts:

“He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: But whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy” (Prov. 28:13).

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).

Summary of the Texts:

As just mentioned, confession of sin is a simple matter of honesty before God. It is the recognition that God is utterly holy, absolutely omniscient, and one who cannot be gamed. When we seek to delude Him about our spiritual state, we are only deluding ourselves.

When we try to cover our own sins with our own provision for sin (i.e. lame excuses), we will not prosper. But if we confess them and forsake them, then God will show mercy. If we “speak the same thing as” God does about our sin (homologeo), He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we confess, God promises to forgive. This means that we ought not to confess and then beg and plead with God to forgive us, as though He might break His word.

If you don’t do this, the death of Jesus is unaffected. If you don’t do this, your justification is untouched; it is as perfect as it ever was. But you, in your day-to-day sanctification, are struggling along in your race with 150 pounds of unconfessed sin in your most unnecessary backpack. “Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us” (Heb. 12:1). Confession of sin is what lays that weight aside.

Unbelief on Your Knees:

If you confess a particular sin over and over and over again, this is not an exercise in piety, but rather an exercise in unbelief. Christ died for us, once for all (Heb. 10:10). God imputes the righteousness of Jesus Christ to us at our conversion, and He does so once for all (Rom. 8:1). Whatever we do in our ongoing confession of sin needs to reinforce these glorious truths, and not undermine them.

So What Does Liturgical Confession Mean?

How does it work? How are we supposed to use it?

1. When we confess in the worship service, we are confessing our sins using the words of Scripture. This is a pattern that Scripture requires of us—for example, when Paul says that we are regularly to address one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs (Eph. 5:19; Col. 3:16), he is using the Greek words for the three headings in the LXX Psalter. Now if God wants us to sing the entire Psalter, then this means He wants us to include the penitential songs. But how can I sing Ps. 32 or 51 if I haven’t personally committed murder or adultery? God sees a benefit in it. Maybe we should trust Him. Our task is not to tailor Scripture to fit with our experiences, but to bring our experiences to Scripture in order to be fitted. We want to point to a particular sin and say “that doesn’t apply to me.” Don’t worry—keep that attitude up, and it will.

2. When we confess in the worship service, most of the confession is corporate. This means that we do not necessarily have our own personal sins in view. In the ninth chapter of Daniel, the prophet makes a profound prayer of national confession (Dan. 9:4-5), and he mentions any number of sins that he personally had not committed. But he identifies with his people nonetheless, and confesses with them, and on their behalf. This is a pattern we seek to emulate in our time of confession—first the sins of our nation and generation, then the sins of the church, and then finally our own personal sins.

3. When we confess in the worship service, the prayers of confession are paradigmatic and instructive. As we pray together, we are helping to shape and mold our responses. What do we do when sin occurs in our lives? The Bible says to imitate those who lead you, and this includes how they lead in worship. “Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith” (Heb. 13:7, ESV). The issue may not be last Wednesday, but rather next Wednesday. The lesson is never “wait until Sunday.” The lesson is let “what we do on Sunday” shape your instinctive responses. We read Scripture in worship also, but not so that you don’t have to. We confess our sins, but not as a substitute for personal, immediate confession.

4. When we confess in the worship service, the prayers of confession are invitational. This time provides you with an opportunity to “drill down.” “Search me, O God, and know my heart: Try me, and know my thoughts” (Ps. 139:23). We often confess honestly but still inadequately. If you confessed a sin on Wednesday, don’t confess the very same sin on Sunday. But if you sinned grievously on Wednesday, the chances are pretty good that you don’t understand yourself yet. You might think you were done because you plucked the dandelion out of your yard when God wanted that stump from the old oak tree to come out.

5. When we confess in the worship service, we are picking up the stragglers. Although we should confess our sins right away, not everyone does. It is a shame to put off to Sunday what you should have done right away (Heb. 3:7). But it is a worse shame to be prompted and nudged on Sunday and still put it off again.

A Suggested Prayer:

“Father, You know all things, and You know my heart. I know You have forgiven me the sins I have confessed already, and I thank You for it. I pray that You would now bring to mind anything I have not yet made right with You so that I might do so. I am eager to do so. If there are any continuing areas where I am self-deceived, I ask that You would reveal them to me now. I thank You for the forgiveness You have promise, and I thank You in Jesus’ name.”
Second Service: Reforming Marriage

Second Service: Reforming Marriage 2 - A Practical Theology of Marriage
Introduction:

God is the Lord. He is central to the coherence of all things, including marriage. A mature Christian is one who understands that it is the duty of all human creatures to glorify God in all things. It therefore stands to reason that a mature Christian man will be a mature husband. Likewise, a mature Christian woman will be a mature wife. Maturity in the Lord is a prerequisite to maturity in marriage.

The Text:

“Male and female created he them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created” (Gen. 5:2).

The Covenant

In other words, God created Adam and his wife male and female, He blessed them, and called them Adam. She was, from the beginning, a covenantal partaker in the name of her husband. God does not call her Adam on her own, He calls her Adam with him.

Adam first noticed the lack of a suitable helper after naming the animals (Gen. 2:20–21). When Adam was naming the animals, he was not just attaching labels randomly. In the ancient world, names were extremely significant and represented the nature and character of that which was named. This significance is very clear in the Genesis accounts of the naming of Adam’s wife. In naming the animals, Adam saw none who could be appropriately named as a helper suitable for him.

After the creation of his wife, Adam receives her, and names her. “And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh” (Gen. 2:23–24).

The word for woman is Ishshah, not Eve, and they were a paradigmatic couple. They were not just any two individuals. When the Lord Jesus taught on the subject of divorce, He appealed to the creation ordinance of marriage found in the early chapters of Genesis. When God joined them together, He was joining together every man and woman who has ever come together sexually in a covenant bond.

So in this passage of Genesis, we are taught that Adam’s reception of the woman, and his naming of her, were to be a pattern for all marriages to come. “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother.” Now at this point Adam had not yet named his wife Eve. Adam gave his wife two individual names. The first was Ishshah, or Woman, because she was taken out of man. The second was Chavvah—life-bearer, or as we say it in English, Eve. “And Adam called his wife’s name Eve [Chavvah], because she was the mother of all living” (Gen. 3:20).

In both passages where she is named, it is clearly stated that her two names reveal a significant truth about her. The first reveals her dependence upon man—she was taken out of man. The second reveals man’s dependence upon her—every man since is her son. Millennia later, the apostle Paul teaches us that we are continually to remember these two truths in our marriages. Each wife is an Ishshah, and each wife is a Chavvah. Each is Woman, and each is Eve (1 Cor. 11:11–12). Notice that the progression of Paul’s thought follows the same pattern seen in Genesis. God is the one who called our first parents by the collective name Adam. Now Adam is also a generic term for man or mankind. Our English use of the generic man and mankind follows this biblical example exactly.

Three Purposes for Marriage:

With this basic framework for understanding the marriage covenant, we may turn to consider the basic purposes of marriage. The Bible sets forth three basic earthly reasons for marriage. They are, in turn, the need for helpful companionship, the need for godly offspring, and the avoidance of sexual immorality.

Helpful Companionship

The Bible teaches that God placed Adam in the garden and gave him a task to perform. But the man was incapable of accomplishing that task alone. Adam needed help, and the woman was created to meet his need (Gen. 2:19–24). Adam could not name any of the animals as a suitable helper.

In the verse immediately prior to this passage God had said that it was not good that man should be alone. Throughout the process of creation, whenever God completed a work, He then pronounced it good. Obviously, such a pronouncement from the Creator indicates completion. But the Lord’s statement that it was not good that man be alone is a clear indication that the creation of man was still incomplete (Gen. 2:18). Adam was incomplete because he lacked a companion, one who would be a helper comparable to him.

The New Testament applies this truth in a very interesting way. “Nor was man created for the woman, but woman for the man” (1 Cor. 11:9). As a result of the creation order, men and women are oriented to one another differently. They need one another, but they need one another differently. The man needs the help; the woman needs to help.

Godly Children:

One of the things which man obviously cannot do alone is reproduce, and this is a second purpose for marriage. In filling the earth, which is what God commanded, a man alone is completely helpless. So the prophet Malachi tells us that another stated purpose of marriage is the blessing of godly offspring (Mal. 2:15).

God tells us quite plainly here that one of the purposes of marriage is procreation. Further, if it is a godly marriage, it should be godly procreation. God has said that He wants godly offspring. The prophet Malachi states, as a means to that end, the importance of treating wives with honor. If a man is treacherous to his wife, it will clearly have a negative effect on the children. Godly children are not said to give purpose to parenting, but rather they are a purpose of marriage.

Sexual Protection

The first two purposes of marriages mentioned above are not necessarily related to the presence of sin. But the third reason why Christians should marry is connected to the realities of sin and temptation (1 Cor. 7:2–3).

We live in a fallen world, and, as a consequence, Christians frequently struggle with temptations to lust, fornication, and adultery. The Bible does not teach that such temptations will always painlessly go away through a mysterious process of “trusting God.” Unfortunately, the struggle against sexual sin seems to many to be more like sweating bullets than “letting go and letting God.” The Bible teaches us that this experience is not surprising. Peter says that we are to “abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul” (1 Pet. 2:11). Paul uses the same kind of violent imagery when he says that Christians must “put to death [their] members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry” (Col. 3:5). Now God has provided a very practical help for Christians as they struggle with sexual temptation; that help is called lawful and robust sexual activity.

If Christian couples come to understand that the ultimate purpose of their marriage is to glorify God, they have taken an important first step. If they then seek to define the secondary purposes of their union as defined in Scripture, they will be equipped to consider the biblical instruction concerning the attitude they should have about marriage, and to receive general and particular instruction from God’s Word concerning their particular duties in the home.

Prayer
Ending with The Lord’s Prayer………………………411 (SM 21.1)

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Offertory Prayer
+ Psalm 132………………………..Bulletin pg. 11-13 (PS 132.1)

– Communion –

The Bread
Only-Begotten, Word of God Eternal………………216 (CR 83.1)

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The Wine
Word & Water………………………….bulletin pg. 14 (CR 82.1)

– Commissioning –

+ CLOSING DOXOLOGY
The congregation may raise hands
Psalm 134……………………………….bulletin pg. 13 (PS 134.2)

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Charge & Benediction
Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which hth loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace, comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work.  Amen.

Details

Date:
August 21, 2016
Event Category:

Organizer

Christ Church
Email:
belmerkle@christkirk.com
Website:
christkirk.com

Venue

Logos School Field House
110 Baker St, Moscow, Idaho 83843
Moscow, ID 83843 United States
+ Google Map
Website:
christkirk.com