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

September 4, 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
Psalm 90:1-2
Minister: Lift up your hearts!
Congregation: We lift them up to the Lord!

 

+ Prayer

 

+ PSALM
From Heav’n O Praise the Lord……………………192 (PS 148.1)

 

– Confession –

Exhortation

 

Psalm
Psalm 6……………………………..bulletin pg. 12-13

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Stephen Heller and Dr. David Erb

Confession of sin
Congregation is invited to kneel if able
Psalm 32:4-5

 

+ Assurance of Pardon
I John 2:1-2
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) (SM 16.1)

 

+ Responsive Reading: Heidelberg Catechism: Question 49
Minister: What benefit do we receive from Christ’s ascension into heaven?
Congregation: First, that he is our Advocate in the presence of his Father in heaven.  Second, that we have our flesh in heaven as a sure pledge that he, as the Head, will also take us, his members, up to himself.  Third, that he sends us his Spirit as a counterpledge by whose power we seek what is above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God, and not things that are on earth.

 

+ HYMN
O Love, How Deep, How Broad, How High…..317 (CR 25.1)

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– Consecration –

+ Scripture Reading
Isaiah 6:8-13; Matthew 13:1-17
Reader: The Word of the Lord.
Congregation: Thanks be to God!

 

Elder Ordination
First Service: Nate Wilson

 

Admission of New Member
Second Service: Luke Dickson

 

PSALM
Psalm 23………………………………..bulletin pg. 14 (PS 23.3)

psalm 23
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Dr. David Erb

 

Congregational Prayer
Opening: Psalm 138:1-3
Thanksgiving: Deuteronomy 11:13-14
Petitions: Philippians 4:6-7

 

+ Psalm
May God Be Merciful and Bless Us…………….98-99 (PS 67.2) 

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Sermon
First Service: And Gave Gifts to Men

Sermon

Introduction:
As our congregation has grown and developed, our form of government has grown more defined along with it. To a certain extent, once we get used to it, we just function the way we function. But whenever we alter something, it generates questions that should always be answered from the Scriptures. Or other times it just occurs to someone to ask, as happened in our recent election of elders who are teachers.

The Text:
“Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men . . . And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ” (Eph. 4: 8, 11–12).

Summary of the Text:
Before Jesus ascended into Heaven, He promised that He would send the Holy Spirit to replace Him. The Spirit’s work is to give gifts to men, and to generate fruit among men. The gifts of the Spirit include things like teaching, administration, exhortation, and so on. The fruit of the Spirit are things like love, joy, peace, patience, etc. The two are supposed to go together, but it doesn’t always happen that way. For example, the church at Corinth had every gift (1 Cor. 1:7), but when it came to spiritual maturity, they were still carnal (1 Cor. 3: 1-4). Someone can have a spiritual gift and be an unspiritual man.

Governed by Elders:
The New Testament teaches that each congregation is governed by a plurality of men, usually called elders (Acts 14:23), and sometimes called bishops (Phil. 1:1). The word translated elder is presbyteros and the word translated bishop or overseer is episkopos. We know these two offices are the same because the New Testament uses them interchangeably. Paul calls for the elders of the church at Ephesus (Acts 20:17), and moments later he speaks of them as bishops (Acts 20:28). Paul tells Titus to ordain elders in every city (Tit. 1:5), and says they must have a high character because a bishop must be blameless (Tit. 1:7). So then the highest authority in a local congregation is found in its session of elders.

Another body of men assists the elders in caring for the church on the practical side. These men are called deacons, from the word diakonos, which means servant.

Different Kinds of Elders:
But within the body of elders, the men have different callings and functions, according to their gifts. When the session votes on things, all the elders have the same role, and they all cast one vote. When the elders fan out to do certain things, they do so according to their assignments, their gifts and their abilities. In the rule of the church, they all have the same office. In the ministry of the church, they have different offices.

For example:

“Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine” (1 Tim. 5:17).

So note that we have elders who rule well (who are to receive payment) but then a distinction is made between them and other elders—the elders who in addition to ruling well work with “word and doctrine.” This means there are elders who rule well who don’t teach. And the implied elders who don’t rule well are probably not elders who rule poorly, but rather elders who come to the meetings and vote, but are not vocationally dedicated to the work. So we have unpaid elders, administrative elders, and teaching elders.

Now if some elder don’t teach, why is it required that elders be “apt to teach” (1 Tim. 3:2)? One possibility is that in the New Testament we have the beginning of a separation between elder and bishop, one that became obvious by the second century. Another possibility is that every elder should be capable of handling questions about doctrine, without having the gift of teaching, kind of like the deacons (1 Tim. 3:9). And a third possibility is that the word didaktikos should be translated “teachable.”

So what about pastors? The word there is poimen, shepherd. In our text from Ephesians, the word is placed together with teacher (pastor/teacher), meaning that pastors also teach. As a shepherd, a pastor not only instructs but also feeds. This is why a pastor is responsible for Word and sacrament.

Now the names of pastor and teacher are frequently used as stand-alone descriptions. For example, teachers are mentioned separately (Acts 13:1; 1 Cor. 12:29; Rom. 12:7).

So some men are simply elders. They participate in the rule of the church. Some men are elders who dedicate enough time to rule that they are administrators (1 Cor. 12:28), and are paid for their work (1 Tim. 5:17). Some men are elders, participating in the rule of the church, but they also teach the body (1 Cor. 12:29). And then last, some men are elders, participating in the rule of the church, but they also teach, preach, and administer the sacraments (1 Tim. 2:7).

We want these things to be clear in our minds, but while remembering that they are also organic.

“The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder [and an apostle], and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed: Feed [verb form of pastor] the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight [verb form of bishop] thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind” (1 Pet. 5:1–2).

A Brief Word About Translations:
In the PCA, there is a basic distinction between ministers who are called Teaching Elders (TE) and the other elders who are called Ruling Elders (RE). Our office of parish elder corresponds to their ruling elder. Our pastors (or ministers) would be TEs in the PCA, and our teachers wouldn’t correspond to anything. In the Reformation at Geneva, where the office of ruling elder was recovered, they were called seniors. The idea there was to include the laity in the governance of the church. At Geneva, they also had the office of teacher, which they called doctor. A distinction between the broader church and local church needs to be kept in mind.

Also keep in mind the distinction between office and function. The word elder is like our word senator. Presbyteros means old guy. Was Apollos ordained as a teacher, or did he just travel around teaching (Acts18:24-25)?

But always remember—all of this is a gift that Christ gave (Heb. 13:7, 17).

Second Service: Reforming Marriage 3

Sermon

Introduction:
Of course husbands and wives have different duties assigned to them in Scripture, but before we get to them, we need to orient ourselves. We need to understand the basic structure of marriage first.

The Text:
“Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord . . . Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it” (Eph. 5:22, 25).

Inescapable Headship
A brief grammar lesson may help explain the nature of biblical authority in the home. When it comes to reading the Scripture, Christians frequently confuse indicatives and imperatives. The reason for rehearsing this distinction is that many Christians find themselves misunderstanding what the Bible is saying because they attempt to turn indicatives into imperatives.

This “grammatical” confusion happens when husbands seek to understand the Bible’s teaching on headship and authority in marriage. The Bible says the “husband is the head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church” (Eph. 5:23). Paul most emphatically does not say that husbands ought to be the heads of their wives. He says that they are. In this verse, the apostle is not telling us how marriages ought to function (that comes in the verses following). Rather he is telling us what the marriage relationship between husband and wife is. Marriage is defined in part as the headship of a husband over a wife. In other words, without this headship, there is no marriage.

Meditating on this is a very valuable thing for husbands to do. Because the husband is the head of the wife, he finds himself in a position of inescapable leadership.

Love and Respect
The second greatest commandment requires that we love our neighbors as ourselves. “And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these” (Mk. 12:31). And, of course, if we ask “who is our neighbor?” the answer Jesus gives is that the person placed in front of us is our neighbor. As the parable makes clear, this includes the stranger by the side of the road, but it also includes those with whom we live. A husband and wife are certainly required by Scripture to love one another.

But when the Bible gives a specific command to husbands as husbands, and does the same for wives as wives, the emphasis in the respective commands is notably different. For example, wives are nowhere specifically commanded to love their husbands. In one passage (Tit. 2:4), the older women are urged to teach the younger women to be “husband-lovers.” But the word is a compound word (philandros), and the form of the word for love refers to a warm affection.

Men, on the other hand, are commanded to love (agapao) their wives to the uttermost. Two examples are given for the men, and both require tremendous self-sacrifice. First, men are to love their wives the same way they love their own bodies. “So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself” (Eph. 5:28). No one ever hated himself, Paul teaches, and this provides us with a good standard in our treatment of others. Second, men are to love their wives as Christ loved the Church. “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her” (Eph. 5:25).

The commands are given to our respective weaknesses in the performance of our duties, and they also address our respective needs.

She Was Made for Him
The Lord had created Adam and given him a task (Gen. 2:15). In addition to taking care of the Garden of Eden, Adam was also to multiply and replenish the earth. There was an obvious need for a helper as he could not multiply the species all by himself. The task assigned to him was that of exercising dominion over the earth; in order to accomplish this task many descendants were needed. But in addition to the obvious help of making Adam fruitful, Eve was also to accompany him in his vocation and assist him in it.

So Paul teaches in 1 Cor. 11 that Adam and Eve provide a paradigm for all marriages; this pattern is normative for the human race. This obviously collides with the idea that men and women both have an equal right to pursue their separate careers as they climb up the professional ladder. The fulfillment of the cultural mandate involves hard work, and men need to be hard in order to do the work. This does not mean they are to be hard on their wives; it means they are to be hard for their wives.

Responsibility
Given this divinely ordered relationship, we can see that feminism is a very destructive form of false teaching. But we should also be able to see that women are not really the true source of feminism. While it is true that the feminist movement is represented by female spokesmen, they are really nothing more than shills, fronting for a male lie. At the foundation, feminism is the handiwork of two kinds of men—destructive, overbearing men on the one hand and wimps on the other. Consequently, feminism is not primarily the work of dissatisfied women; it is the work of ungodly men. A husband who truly wants to imitate the love of Christ must start by assuming responsibility. This is what it means to be an evangelical husband.
Weaker Vessels
The Bible gives some very plain instruction to men on how to live with their wives. Oddly enough, the requirement for husbands to be considerate is phrased in a way that makes the modern reader uneasy. “Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered” (1 Pet. 3:7). The Bible says that the wife, in some sense, is the weaker vessel. The husband is, therefore, to honor her. But all human cultures are hierarchical. Not everyone has the same amount of talent, brains, beauty, intelligence, or education. The Bible does not require the submission of women to men, but rather of a woman to a man. The submission of a woman to a man, far from making her submissive to other men, protects her from obligations to other men.

The Servant’s Heart
So men and women should marry wisely. A woman should marry a man she respects, and a man should marry a woman he is willing to love and lead with a servant’s heart. A man must exercise authority for his wife’s sake, and not for his own. He must wield authority with a servant’s heart. In John 13:13–17, as Jesus washed the feet of his disciples, He taught that any Christian who wants to become the greatest must become the servant of all.

 

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

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Offertory
Prayer
+ Isaiah, Mighty Seer, In Day of Old………….408-09 (SM 15.1)

 

– Communion –

The Bread
Lord, Thee I Love with All My Heart………..362-63

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The Wine
And Can It Be That I Should Gain……………286-87

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– Commissioning –

+ CLOSING DOXOLOGY
The congregation may raise hands
Psalm 134………………………………….bulletin pg. 9

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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

Details

Date:
September 4, 2016
Event Category:
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Organizer

Christ Church
Email:
belmerkle@christkirk.com
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Venue

Logos School Field House
110 Baker St, Moscow, Idaho 83843
Moscow, ID 83843 United States
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