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Christ Church Sunday Morning Service (9:00 am – 11:00 am)
March 18, 2018 @ 9:00 am - 11:00 am
Announcements & Meditation
– Call to Worship –
Minister: Bless the Lord who forgives our sins.
Congregation: His mercy endures forever.
Daniel 9:4, 9
Minister: Lift up your hearts!
Congregation: We lift them up to the Lord!
O Come Let us Sing Unto the Lord, pp. 126-129
– Confession –
O Sacred Head Now Wounded, p. 263
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!
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.
Minister: In the Lord I put my trust: How do you say to my soul,
Congregation: Flee as a bird to your mountain?
Minister: The Lord is in his holy temple,
Congregation: The Lord’s throne is in heaven:
Minister: His eyes behold,
Congregation: His eyelids try, the children of men.
Minister: The Lord tries the righteous:
Congregation: But the wicked and he who loves violence his soul hates.
Minister: For the righteous Lord loves righteousness;
Congregation: His countenance beholds the upright.
What Wondrous Love is This? p. 335
– Consecration –
+ SCRIPTURE READING
Jeremiah 4:1-4, Philippians 3:3-14
Reader: The Word of the Lord.
Congregation: Thanks be to God!
Opening: Daniel 2:20-21
Thanksgiving: Psalm 95:1-2
Petitions: Daniel 9:18
Jesus, Priceless Treasure, pp. 356-357
CC: Clothed with Humility, Clothed for Glory (Douglas Wilson)Sermon
Peter comes to his final words of exhortation and encouragement. The holiness under pressure that he has been encouraging them in is a holiness that is arrayed in humility. This humility is characteristic of the entire Christian body, including the head of the body.
“The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed: Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being examples to the flock. And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away . . .” (1 Pet. 5:1-14).
Summary of the Text
Peter concludes his letter by exhorting the elders among them. He does so as a fellow elder, a witness of Christ’s sufferings, and a partaker of the coming glory (v. 1). His charge is that they are to feed the flock, exercise oversight of the flock (v. 2). They should not be compelled to the task, but should be willing for it. They must not be in it for the money, but rather because their mind is ready and eager for it (v. 2). Oversight does not mean “lording” it over the heritage of God, but rather should be offered through example (v. 3). When the Chief Pastor appears, such elders will receive a crown of glory that never fades (v. 4).
While the elders must not domineer, those who are younger should be submissive toward those who are older (v. 5). Yes, and everyone should be subject one to another, and more than that, should be clothed with humility. Why? Because God resists those who are not clothed with humility, and He gives grace to those who are (v. 5). So the clothing of humility must be put on in the presence of God (v. 6), so that you might be appropriately dressed as you wait for your exaltation in due time (v. 6). When you are clothed in humility, it is easy to feel vulnerable. Consequently, cast all your care upon Him. He will carry it; He cares for you (v. 7).
Be sober and pay attention; the devil wants to eat you (v. 8). He is a roaring lion, but when you resist him, you are doing nothing but what your brothers all over the world are also doing (v. 9). Hang tight. The God of all grace will have you suffer for a bit, but after that it is time for you to be established in an eternal glory (v. 10). The glory for all of this goes to Him, forever and ever (v. 11).
Silvanus, a faithful brother, was Peter’s secretary, enabling him to write, exhort, and testify to the true grace of God (v. 12). The church in Babylon, exiles and pilgrims together with the recipients, send their salutation, as does Marcus (v. 13). They should greet one another with the kiss of love, and peace is extended to all who are in Christ Jesus (v. 14).
Back in chapter 2:18, the domestic slaves were told to be subject to their masters (hypotasso). Christ submitted to the will of His Father, and the indignity of suffering at the hands of insolent men (2:21). Wives are told to be in subjection to their own husbands (again hypotasso, 3:1). The husbands are told to treat their wives likewise (3:7). Elders are told to oversee the flock, but in a way that is careful not to be domineering (5:3). The younger saints are told to submit themselves to the older (hypotasso). And then, as the crowning glory, absolutely everyone here is told to be subject to everyone else (hypotasso).
We see something similar in Ephesians, where Paul tells the saints not to be drunk with wine, but to be filled with the Spirit (Eph. 5:18). This filling with the Spirit is followed by a series of participles—speaking, singing, making melody, giving thanks, submitting yourselves one to another (hypotasso). This applies to everyone. Everyone sings and everyone submits. The instruction goes on to tell wives to submit to their own husbands (hypotasso), telling them to be deferential in a particular way.
Clothed with Humility, Clothed for Glory
The word glory comes up in this chapter more than once. Peter spoke to the elders as a partaker of the glory that is going to be revealed (1 Pet. 5:1). The elders are promised that if they discharge their office well, they will receive a crown of glory that will never fade (1 Pet. 5:4). God is a God of all grace, and He has called us into His eternal glory through Christ (1 Pet. 5:10). And the final doxology mentions it as well—to Him be glory and dominion forever (1 Pet. 5:11). Amen.
The idea is referred to in places where the word does not directly appear. “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time” (1 Pet. 5:6). We are not supposed to humble ourselves because we are worms seeking our level, but rather because we are hungry for glory.
True humility is ambitious for glory. What makes it humility is the willingness to pursue glory the way God instructs us to. It is not humility to refuse glory; it is self-centered arrogance. God “will render to every man according to his deeds: To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life” (Rom. 2:6–7).
The Spirit of Glory
The spirit of humility is the spirit of Christ. The spirit of glory is the spirit of Christ. When you clothe yourself with humility, you are putting on Christ. When God clothes you with glory, it will be because you have been completed in Christ. “Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified” (Rom. 8:30).
Apart from Christ, there is no humility. And with Christ and in Christ, the coming glory is inexorable. Do the nations rage? Are the intoleristas filled with spite? Let them be. The spirit of glory and of God rests upon you (1 Pet. 4:14).
CCD: (Ty Knight)Sermon
“For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us[a] to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit, 19 by whom also He went and preached to the spirits in prison, 20 who formerly were disobedient, when once the Divine longsuffering waited[b] in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight souls, were saved through water. 21 There is also an antitype which now saves us—baptism (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God), through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 22 who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, angels and authorities and powers having been made subject to Him” (1 Peter 3:18-22).
Suffering for an End
Peter has called Christians to be like Christ and to be like Christ even in suffering. An understandable question is whether suffering like Jesus is worth it? Peter has us consider two examples from the story of the Flood of delayed judgment and eventual salvation. This story is not only about the salvation of Noah’s family but also the judgment against the fallen angels. Peter points that both the spirits’ judgment and Noah’s salvation come through the victorious suffering of Jesus.
We learn three principles from these verses. Even though God’s judgment may delay for thousands of years, His justice will come like it was declared to the evil spirits. Even in judgment, God saves his people like he saved Noah in the ark. Even though Christ suffered unjustly to death for doing good, that suffering was not defeat but was instead a victory over all angels, authorities, and powers.
The Just for the Unjust (vs. 18)
Peter begins with the suffering of Christ which is the means of our salvation, “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God” (vs. 18). The essence of the gospel is an exchange––Jesus Christ takes our sins and He gives us His righteousness (2 Cor. 5:21). Jesus accomplishes this salvation “being put to death in the flesh, but made alive by the Spirit…”
A Journey through the Underworld
What is death? We know that death results from separation from the living God due to our sin (Eph. 2:1-2). Death is also the separation of the soul from the body. Joe Rigney said, “God made human beings to be embodied souls and ensouled bodies. Death rips this asunder.” We are familiar with what happened to Jesus’ body after his death (Mt. 27:57-60). But what about Jesus’ soul? Where did his soul go during this time? Christ’s soul went to Hades to proclaim his victory.
Prior to Jesus’ death and resurrection, the souls of the dead went to Sheol. In the New Testament, Sheol is translated in Greek as “Hades” which, yes, is the Greek mythological underworld of the dead. Hades was divided into two regions, one a place of paradise (called Elysium/Abraham’s Bosom) and the other of torment (called Tartarus/Hades), and these were separated by a great chasm. This is confirmed in the quasi parable of Lazarus and the rich man (Luke 16:19-31) where both men die and descend to Hades––Lazarus to the Abraham’s bosom and the rich man to torment in flames. Where did Jesus go when he died? To paradise in Hades (Lk. 23:43). And from here, Jesus preaches across the chasm to the imprisoned spirits in Tartarus (2 Pet. 2:4). What was the specific sin that landed these spirits in Tartarus?
Preached Judgment to the Spirits (vs. 19-20)
This takes us back to before the Flood. Genesis 6 begins with man multiplying on the face of the earth. Then, “The sons of God saw that the daughters of man were beautiful. And they took as their wives any they chose” (Gen. 6:2). The phrase “the sons of God” is used to describe angels (Job 2:1). These fallen angels and human woman were breeding, and God responded with a declaration for a fixed lifespan, a definite mortality. This gets at the sin of the rebellious spirits. They tried to generate immortality outside of God––attempting to reach the tree of life without God.
Their rebellion was a big deal in God’s history of the world since they were reserved for judgment (2 Pet. 2:4, Jude vs. 6) and singled out for Christ’s preaching. Jesus triumphed over them that life does not come through rebellion outside of God. How can we live? Peter points to Noah’s ark––only through Christ’s death and resurrection.
Noah and His Saving Baptism (vs. 20-21)
How were Noah and his family saved? There are two right answers––the ark and God. God used the ark as the means to deliver Noah. Those eight souls were saved because they were in the ark. Peter says this is a type of baptism, which now saves us. Jesus Christ is the ark. Those who are in Christ pass though the water of God’s righteous judgment and are saved. We must note that during Noah’s day it was not enough to know about the ark, memorize its blueprints, live in its shadow, stand right next to it every Sunday morning for years while the ark was under construction. You got to be in the ark, just like you got to be in Christ.
Christ’s Victory and Reign (vs. 22)
The ark, which was the scorn of the world, soon came to define the world. Now Christ, the new ark, defines the world. Jesus Christ is the one “who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, angels and authorities and powers having been made subject to him” (vs. 22). And so all these angels, authorities, powers, Caesars, presidents, masters, slaves, husbands, wives, sons, daughters are all under Jesus Christ. We are all under Him, but are we in Him? Christ’s death was his victory. And Christ’s victory is our salvation. And so his victorious suffering should be proclaimed!
Ending with The Lord’s Prayer, p. 411
+ Be Thou My Vision
– Communion –
Stricken, Smitten, and Afflicted, p. 265
I Bind Unto Myself Today, pp. 349-352
– Commissioning –
+ CLOSING DOXOLOGY
The congregation may raise hands
Gloria Patri, p. 436
CHARGE & BENEDICTION
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen. 2 Corinthians 13:14