- This event has passed.
Christ Church Sunday Morning Service (8:30 am & 11:00 am)
October 2, 2016
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!
With All My Heart My Thanks I’ll Bring……….182 (PS 138.1)
– Confession –
Along the Streams of Babylon, in Sadness…..178-79 (PS 137.2)
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!
+ 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. 8-9)
+ Responsive Reading: Heidelberg Catechism: Question 54
Minister: What do you believe concerning “the Holy Catholic Church?”
Congregation: I believe that, from the beginning to the end of the world, and from among the whole human race, the Son of God, by his Spirit and his Word, gathers, protects, and preserves for himself, in the unity of the true faith, a congregation chosen for eternal life. Moreover, I believe that I am and forever will remain a living member of it.
– Consecration –
+ Scripture Reading
2 Chronicles 34:1-10; James 4:1-10
Reader: The Word of the Lord.
Congregation: Thanks be to God!
First Service: Paulina Lucia Skaug
Congregational Charge: Little child, 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, little child, and you—still— know nothing of it. And thus the word of the apostle is confirmed: ‘We love God, for He loved us first.’
(Taken from an old French Reformed Baptism Rite)
Blessed the Man that Fears Jehovah……………….166 (PS 128.2)
Opening: Ephesians 2:17-18
Thanksgiving: Revelation 7:11-12
Petitions: Psalm 20:5
First Service: Themes in Proverbs 1
As we begin a short series of messages on “themes in Proverbs,” we begin with the topic of wisdom—wisdom and the wise. This book is part of what is called the Wisdom Literature of Scripture, and so in one sense everything the book teaches falls under the heading of wisdom. But I want to focus on wisdom and the wise specifically in this first message. Consider it a crash course in a subject that does not admit of crash courses.
“Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: And with all thy getting get understanding” (Prov. 4:7).
Summary of the Text:
With all your doing, do wisdom. In all your singing, sing wisdom. In all your getting, get wisdom. In all your purchases, purchase wisdom. In all your hunting, hunt wisdom. And why? Because wisdom is the principal thing. Whatever else you do, do not neglect wisdom.
Those who do not get wisdom are pursuing something else instead. It might be pleasure, or rules, or partial wisdom, or self-righteousness, or superficial wisdom. But whatever it is, if it is not true wisdom, wisdom all the way down, it is not worth the time or trouble.
Many volumes could be written on what Proverbs alone says about wisdom—it is a mountain range with many boulders. My purpose here is simply to point out some of the major peaks.
Wisdom Is Valuable:
The value of wisdom is seen in our text—wisdom is the principal thing. Get it. Make sure you get it. The value of wisdom is highlighted in other ways as well. It shines against one of its chief competitors. “How much better is it to get wisdom than gold! And to get understanding rather to be chosen than silver!” (Prov. 16:16).
Wisdom Is Not Self-Referential:
Modern man is told, ad nauseam, to “believe in himself.” Dig down deep. We knew you had it in you. Go for your dreams, whatever they are. “He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool: But whoso walketh wisely, he shall be delivered” (Prov. 28:26).
For creatures like ourselves, wisdom cannot be something we autonomously generate. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: But fools despise wisdom and instruction” (Prov. 1:7).
Yardsticks don’t measure themselves. Scales don’t weigh themselves. Tests don’t grade themselves. “Be not wise in thine own eyes: Fear the Lord, and depart from evil” (Prov. 3:7).
But the temptation to a self-referential wisdom is a strong one. It is a foundational lie, and it is used as often as it is because it works so well. “Seest thou a man wise in his own conceit? There is more hope of a fool than of him” (Prov. 26:12).
Christ is the wisdom of God. There is no hope of wisdom apart from Him, or outside of Him. “There is no wisdom nor understanding nor counsel against the Lord” (Prov. 21:30).
Wisdom Is Open to Reproof:
In this fallen world, one of the ways wisdom is gained is through openness to reproof and correction. This means that without humility, there can be no wisdom. There might be intellect, but that is simply a measurement of the brain’s horsepower. It does not matter if you can make the mental tachometer bounce if you are on the wrong road, in the middle of the night, and the bridge is out. “Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate thee: Rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee” (Prov. 9:8).
And reproofs are harder to hear from certain quarters, your parents for instance. But Scripture says: “A wise son heareth his father’s instruction: But a scorner heareth not rebuke” (Prov. 13:1).
If you want to live among the wise, then let the reproof of life speak to you plainly. “The ear that heareth the reproof of life abideth among the wise” (Prov. 15:31).
Wisdom Is Attached to the Tongue:
And we see that wisdom governs the tongue in both directions—in what it does not say, and in what it does. “In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin: But he that refraineth his lips is wise” (Prov. 10:19). And positively: “The heart of the wise teacheth his mouth, and addeth learning to his lips” (Prov. 16:23).
Wisdom Is a Peacemaker:
Wisdom knows when to fight, and when not to. Wisdom does not stumble into conflicts accidentally, or unnecessarily. “Scornful men bring a city into a snare: But wise men turn away wrath” (Prov. 29:8).
Wisdom Is Evangelistic:
Wisdom understands folly in a way that folly cannot reciprocate. The wise know why the lost are driven the way they are. And the wise are righteous enough to do something about it. “The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; And he that winneth souls is wise” (Prov. 11:30).
Wisdom Is Most Practical:
Wisdom is found in the next step. It is located on the workbench in front of you. It is there in the next room. Wisdom does not live in the clouds. “Wisdom is before him that hath understanding; But the eyes of a fool are in the ends of the earth” (Prov. 17:24).
Wisdom Is Something That Sweats:
Many think that wisdom is always holed up in the library. No, not exactly. Not really. “He that gathereth in summer is a wise son: But he that sleepeth in harvest is a son that causeth shame” (Prov. 10:5).
Wisdom Is Marvelously Mundane:
Wisdom is commonplace, and wisdom is beyond all description. It soars and it crawls. “There be four things which are little upon the earth, But they are exceeding wise: The ants are a people not strong, Yet they prepare their meat in the summer; The conies are but a feeble folk, Yet make they their houses in the rocks; The locusts have no king, yet go they forth all of them by bands; The spider taketh hold with her hands, and is in kings’ palaces” (Prov. 30:24–28).
Wisdom Is Jesus:
Although there are various challenges in interpreting the Wisdom of Proverbs 8 as referring to Christ, there is a long and healthy history of doing so. “While as yet he had not made the earth, nor the fields, Nor the highest part of the dust of the world. When he prepared the heavens, I was there: When he set a compass upon the face of the depth” (Prov. 8:26–27).
Christ is our wisdom. Christ is the tree of life. Christ is our salvation. “But he that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul: All they that hate me love death” (Prov. 8:36). If you hate wisdom, you love death. The only alternative is to love death on the cross.
Second Service: The Good News of Living Water (Ty Knight)
A Woman, a Well, and a Wedding
There is a biblical pattern of a woman at a well meeting her future husband. A woman in need comes to the well. The strange man removes the need and provides water for the woman. The father of the woman gives his daughter to the man and they get married. This is the pattern with Jacob and Rachel in Genesis 29 and Moses and Zipporah in Exodus 2. And now a Samaritan woman in need comes to a well, one of Jacob’s wells, and meets a stranger. This combination of a woman plus a well resulting in a wedding gives a little more insight into the disciples’ shock when they return after ordering sandwiches from the roadside diner (vs. 27). They’re astonished because they know what happens next…a wedding! And in once sense, the disciples are correct in their judgement. Here is a woman at a well in deep need. She has just meet the man who will satisfy her lifetime thirst. And Jesus does this by offering her the good news of living water.
Journey though Samaria (vs. 1-9)
Jesus along with His disciples trek from Judea to Galilee and stop at a well outside the Samaritan town Sychar. Since it’s around lunchtime, Jesus sends all the disciples to the town to get food probably because the Sons of Thunder were getting fussy (vs. 8). A Samaritan woman comes alone to the well to draw water. Culturally, most women draw water in the cool of the morning. Her arrival at noon reveals a clue of her situation. She’s on the outskirts of the Samaritan social scene. If the Samaritans shun you, you’re really hurting. Jesus asks the woman for a drink (vs 7). This breaks a bunch of Jewish/Samaritan taboos that have been constructed over the past 750 years. Jesus sits down with a sledge hammer and asks a Samaritan woman for a drink.
Living Water and Cracked Cisterns (vs. 10-15)
Jesus continues with His surprises, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that said to you ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water” (vs. 10). The woman responds respectfully but skeptically distances herself from the stranger. Maybe she’s thinking that’s He’s been out in the sun too long or has been imbibing on something else than well water. Jesus initiates with a known desire of the woman—water. This woman is an expert on the water in this well. She knows the stats of how deep it is. She’s heard the urban legend that Jacob sat right there. And this woman, who trudges to this same well everyday, especially understands the preciousness of water. Gently, Jesus begins to reveal to her that she is the one in need. Jacob’s water may sustain life, but Jesus’ water provides eternal life (vs. 13-14). Jeremiah the Prophet also compares living water and cracked cisterns, “For my people have committed tow evils: they have forsaken me, the fountain of living water, and hewed out cisterns for themselves, broken cisterns that can hold no water. (Jer. 2:13). Living water is found in the Lord, and in Him alone. Those who refuse to drink from this source must dig their own wells. But these cracked wells don’t hold water and leave their drinkers thirsty.
Husband Thirst and Father Worship (vs. 16-26)
“He told her, ‘Go, call your husband, and come here” (vs 16). She responds with a half truth and a partial confession (vs. 17). Jesus confronts her spiritual thirst by pointing out that she has had five husbands and now a live-in boyfriend. The woman is dumbfounded that Jesus knows the details of her life and assumes He is a prophet. A prophet reveals a person’s place in the eyes of God and the way to make things right between God and man. The woman recognizes her sin and the necessity of repentance which she hopes can be fixed at a temple on the mountain (vs 20). This woman has been looking to satisfy her thirst with husbands. But each one has left her thirsty. This thirst can only be satisfied in the worship of the Father. When was the last time she experienced a father? Over the years, she has experienced men, but not a Father. She needs someone to stand as her Father. And this new Father will give her as a bride to a new husband. God the Father is seeking worshippers, and He has sent His Son, the Christ (vs. 26). Jesus is the answer to her desires about about sin, about a husband, about water.
At the beginning of this story, Jesus appears to be the one in need, “Can you give me a drink?” But Jesus reveals the deep thirst of the woman. Like all sinners, she has tried to sip enough water from her broken cisterns to survive, but is always left thirsty. Now a Stranger offers the gift of living water, speaks of a new Father who is seeking for her, and reveals Himself as her Messiah. Have you needed salvation and forgiveness? Then I will be your Messiah (Isaiah 53). Have you needed to be loved? Then I will be your Husband and you will be part of my bride (Isaiah 54). Have you thirsted? Then I will give you my living water (Isaiah 55). This is the Gospel of Jesus, your Savior. This is the Gospel of Jesus, your Husband. This is the Gospel of Jesus, your Living Water.
+ Yet I Will Rejoice…………………….bulletin pg. 10 (SM 4.1)
– Communion –
How Lovely, Lord of Hosts, to Me………………….120 (PS 84.1)
– Commissioning –
+ CLOSING DOXOLOGY
The congregation may raise hands
Doxology…………………………………………………….437 (SM 13.1)
Charge & Benediction
Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which hath 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. 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17