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Christ Church Sunday Morning Service (9:00 am – 11:00 am)

December 31, 2017 @ 9:00 am - 11:00 am

Announcements & Meditation

 

– Call to Worship –

 

+ ADORATION
Minister: The Lord is near to all who call upon Him, to all who call upon Him in truth. He will fulfill the desire of those who are in awe of Him.
Congregation: He will hear their cry and save them. Amen.

 

SCRIPTURE
2 Corinthians 1:3-4
Minister: Lift up your hearts!
Congregation: We lift them up to the Lord!

 

+ PRAYER

 

+ HYMN

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– Confession –

 

EXHORTATION

 

HYMN

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CONFESSION OF SIN
Congregation is invited to kneel if able
2 Corinthians 6:17

 

+ ASSURANCE OF PARDON
Isaiah 32:17 
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 128 & 129
Minister: How do you close this prayer?
Congregation: “For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory, forever.” That is: we ask all this of thee because, as our King, thou art willing and able to give us all that is good since thou hast power over all things, and that by this not we ourselves but thy holy name may be glorified forever. 
Minister: What is the meaning of the little word “Amen?”
Congregation: Amen means: this shall truly and certainly be. For my prayer is much more certainly heard by God than I am persuaded in my heart that I desire such things from him.

 

 

 

 

 

+ PSALM

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– Consecration –

+ SCRIPTURE READING
Micah 5:2-4; Luke 2:1-20
Reader: The Word of the Lord.
Congregation: Thanks be to God!

 

 

 

HYMN

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CONGREGATIONAL PRAYER
Opening: 2 Corinthians 6:18
Thanksgiving: 2 Corinthians 2:14
Petitions: Matthew 7:7

 

 

+ HYMN
Lo, God, Our God……………………….bulletin pg. 9

 

 

CC: State of the Church #1: Our Culture, What Remains of It (Douglas Wilson)

Sermon

 

Introduction:
Instead of a stand-alone “state of the church” message this year, as has been our custom, I want to spend a number of weeks on the topic. Lord willing, I intend to drill down into the subject, and I trust that the reasons for doing so will become increasingly apparent as we work through the series. The point of these messages will be to help you, as members of Christ Church, to better understand the crisis of our times, along with the demeanor we as Christians are called to cultivate in the course of such a crisis.

We also must address an explication of the basic strategy that we have been using here in our community for a number of decades now. This is because we have been greatly blessed in our community, and so we need to equip ourselves in two areas. We must educate the immigrants, and we must educate the next generation. If we do not do this, then we will be faced with two disasters. The first is what might be called “Californians moving to Texas, but continuing to vote like Californians.” The second is the son of a billionaire growing up without ever breaking a sweat, or knowing what having calluses might be like.

As If There Were No Text:
As you know, at this place on the outline, it is our practice to quote the text that the message is designed to unfold and apply. There is no text here today, not because we will not be bringing Scripture to bear shortly, but rather to illustrate the fundamental disease of our time. As a people, we have pretended to ourselves that a secular order is even possible. We have pretended that a people can exist without a transcendent Word. The deeper we descend into this folly the higher our impudence grows. To be without God is to be without hope in the world (Eph. 2:12).

In the spirit of having no text, here is a text:

“Behold, the days come, saith the Lord God, That I will send a famine in the land, Not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord: And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the Lord, and shall not find it” (Amos 8:11–12).

A Minister’s Task:
The message a minister is appointed to proclaim is the basic gospel message—the life, death, burial and resurrection of Jesus (1 Cor. 15:1-4)—oriented, as it necessarily must be, to the whole counsel of God (Acts 20:27). But the wisdom of God is not placed in our trust so that we may speak it into a void. The preacher is not supposed to learn what he is supposed to say the same way a parrot does, or an answering machine, and then say that, regardless of the circumstances.
No. Preachers of the gospel must also be students of the culture they are sent to. A minister must be a student of the Word, but he must also be a student of men. He must study them—not just men generally, but the men of his own era, the men to whom he is charged to bring the gospel. When the Lord speaks to each of the angels of the seven churches of Asia, the message for each church is different. Same gospel, different sins, different message applying that gospel.

And men are not to be studied so that the minister might best know how to flatter them. “For we never came with words of flattery, as you know, nor with a pretext for greed—God is witness” (1 Thess. 2:5, ESV). Rather, they must be studied because their sins are different, their blind spots vary, and this is why their fortifications against the Spirit of God must be attacked differently.

“For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ” (2 Cor. 10:3–5).

A man who is charged with pulling down strongholds must be a student, therefore, of two things. He must be a student of the gear he is using, and he must be a student of the tower he is toppling. He must know the gospel, and the Scripture that houses it, and he must also know the state of the current imaginations. He needs to know where to attach the ropes.

Our Culture, What Remains of It
We are in the midst of a massive religious/political/cultural transformation. But we cannot assume that this is all downside. God shakes what can be shaken so that what cannot be shaken may remain. In the meantime, speaking of traditions, there are no pacifist traditions left. All traditions must be militant in order to survive this time of upheaval.

In such a time, Christians must be conservative when it comes to everything that the Spirit has accomplished in the history of our civilization. And we must be progressive with regard to all the things He has yet to do.

The Sinful Symptoms:
It is difficult to make it through the evening news without encountering multiple examples of our contemporary follies—the blood guilt of abortion on demand, the insanity of transgenderism, the idea that more government can save us from the weather, the acceptance of socialist collectivism, the indulgence of snowflakes, the incompetence of modern educators, the epidemic of food guilt, and more. The disease lies within, but the splotches on the skin are pretty ugly.

The Disease Within:
The root of every rebellion (in every culture) must always be identified as pride, and the lust for autonomy. But this central sin manifests itself in different ways in different times, using different methods, concepts, and techniques. These are the tools that are currently being used on us. Please be aware that there are areas of overlap between these.
Secularism—the idea that a culture can be religiously neutral;
Darwinism—the idea that we somehow arrived here by ourselves, and which makes secularism a scientifically respectable concept;
Egalitarianism—the idea that blessings for others are tantamount to oppression for me;
Value/Fact Distinction—the idea that “reality” is divisible;
Admiration of the Cool Kids—the idea that what matters is copping a pose.
Some might worry that I am adding “intellectual” requirements to the simple gospel of Christ. Don’t worry—it is actually the reverse. You generally need a couple years of grad school before you can really buy into any of these mistakes.

 

 

 

CCD: God As Our Father #5 (Matt Meyer)

Sermon

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:25-29

God’s Revelation to His Children
Like Jesus, we too can praise the Father, who is the Lord of heaven and earth. We can praise Him first because He is Lord. He is in control. He is not disturbed at what has happened or is happening nor is He wondering what is next to come. He is Lord.

Second, we can praise the Father because we are included in the moniker of “little children” if we too are recognizing God as our Father, not like the “wise” of this world, this age, who are both mocking God and those who call Jesus Christ their King, but also recklessly and many time ruthlessly seeking to control the world through political or material means. Thankfully, they are blind and we see because this is what the Father is pleased to do.

God’s Living Example
As little children, let me remind you of the theme of these messages of God as our Father, with His character revealed through the dynamics of family relationships, looking one last time to Matthew 7:11:

If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!

So we come now to my 5th and final message carrying this theme of examining God as our Father. And, if you’ve been keeping track, you will know that I’ve taken snapshots of the fathering that happens at different ages as a means of highlighting characteristics of God’s character in ‘growing’ us.

In the last message we looked at the question of submission of the will as the true test of teenagers and how God has given us as parents the responsibility to help them learn submission both by our example and by our rule in the home. Today, I’m moving on to what we could call the age of adulthood, which we may associate with our children moving out of their teen years. The key distinction of being an adult is understanding that responsible work is what separates them from their carefree teenage years. As Jeremiah records in Lamentations 3:27, “It is good for a man to bear the yoke while he is young.”

God’s Invitation
If you are honest about your sin — even those of you having been raised in godly Christian homes, then you can assure your hearts with Jesus’ promise. “I will give you rest.” I will give you rest. I will cleanse you. I will give you a new heart. And then I will give you a call to action.

And here in Jesus’ command to us to come, he adds “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me.” In mentioning my text to Ty, he remarked that it was common for an inexperienced or young ox to be yoked with a more mature and stronger ox to train the younger ox. But before we explore the nature and purpose of the yoke, we must remember that Biblically, we don’t have an option about a yoke, only which yoke based on Romans 6:16-18.

Nature of the Yoke
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

As parents raising our children, we reach a glorious horizon when our children, the fruit of our labors, are ready and willing to take up a yoke with us — a yoke of purpose to serve side by side in our Father’s kingdom.

Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, The fruit of the womb is a reward.
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, So are the children of one’s youth. Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them; They shall not be ashamed, But shall speak with their enemies in the gate. Psalm 127:3-5

So, what is the purpose? What is our yoke hooked to? In John 3, Jesus tells us plainly that He came not to condemn the world but that the world through Him might be saved. And, we know that this salvation of the world was more than just a rinse and dry cycle. Jesus describes the process in terms of growing degrees: a small seed growing into a tree, yeast pervading through three measures of dough, a kingdom that grows but not always visibly or according to “worldly” measures of power and prestige.

And this kingdom is not about territory but about people. Paul tells us that every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord. Knees and tongues are the property of people. Peter tells us that this kingdom is made up of stones, living stones, people, all being built up into a holy temple.

Just as the stones on the temple mount were hewn and sawn for fit, we as living stones are to undergo the same process by learning from Jesus. His saving the world involves the fashioning of us into perfect stones that are conformed to His image. Doing what He is doing just as He does just what the Father is saying and doing. This is God’s purpose for us such that when we are like Jesus we will in fact be a perfect temple calling attention to God’s goodness, grace and glory for the all the world to see.

Slowing Down the Oxen
In closing, let’s just review one thing to avoid. From Deuteronomy 22:10, we read, “Do not plow with an ox and a donkey yoked together” and its parallel verse in 1 Corinthians 6:14

We have only Christ’ yoke to take on. And when we take this on, we are rejecting all other yokes. Those yokes are by nature, corrupt and of the darkness. Christ’ yoke is that of holiness, light and truth. All other yokes must be rejected. True wisdom “hates” wickedness. Don’t be deceived. When we try and hang onto things of the world, things that our consciences reject but which we still cling are choking our progress. They are tangling the lines of the harness and tripping up our feet. The extra weight is heavy and makes us like dead weight to the Lord Jesus as He not only pulls the cart but drags us (sometimes unwillingly) along.

Conclusion
Our children transition into adults when they take up the responsibility of working for themselves and their families. Jesus invites us to take up His yoke and learn from Him instead of shouldering this burden under the yoke of slavery to sin. He teaches us that His yoke is easy and light as we are learning the will of His Father who sets before us salvation and true joy. Together with the Lord Jesus we are learning to be God’s children tasked with calling all of His children to join with us in this yoke.

And finally, God warns us to cast away every sin that clings and tangles looking to the Lord Jesus for your direction with every thought and move anticipating His joy at the completion of the task.

 

 

 

PRAYER

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OFFERTORY

 

 

PRAYER
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– Communion –

 

 

THE BREAD
A Boy is Born in Bethlehem………….bulletin pg. 10

 

 

THE WINE

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– Commissioning –

 

+ CLOSING DOXOLOGY
The congregation may raise hands

Doxology……………………………………………225 v. 6

Praise to God the Father sing,
Praise to God the Son, our King,
Praise to God the Spirit be,
Ever and eternally.

 

 

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

Details

Date:
December 31, 2017
Time:
9:00 am - 11:00 am
Event Categories:
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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