- This event has passed.
Christ Church Sunday Morning Service (9:00 am)
August 5, 2018 @ 9:00 am - 11:00 am
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!
All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name!, p. 292
– Confession –
O Lord, My God, Most Earnestly, p, 92
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 You, O Lord, I will put my trust;
Congregation: Let me never be ashamed.
Minister: Into Your hand I commit my spirit:
Congregation: You have redeemed me, O Lord God of truth.
Minister: You will hide them in the secret of Your presence from the pride of man,
Congregation: You will keep them secretly in a pavilion from the strife of tongues.
Minister: O love the Lord, all you his saints:
Congregation: For the Lord preserves the faithful.
Minister: Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart,
Congregation: All you that hope in the Lord.
Jesus! What a Friend for Sinners!, p. 259
– Consecration –
+ SCRIPTURE READING
1 Samuel 3:1-10, Matthew 18:1-6
Reader: The Word of the Lord.
Congregation: Thanks be to God!
Psalm 128, bulletin p. 10
Opening: Revelation 3:7
Thanksgiving: Psalm 69:30
Petitions: Psalm 66:16-20
Blessed Jesus, at Thy Word, p. 343
CC: Global Grace, Not Global Indulgence (Douglas Wilson)Sermon
You have heard this stated a number of times before, but it is the kind of truth that all of us need to hear again and again. “Finally, my brothers, rejoice in the Lord. to write the same things to you is no trouble to me and is safe for you.” (Philippians 3:1, ESV). And so here it is: Hard teaching creates soft hearts, and soft teaching creates hard hearts. Calvinism is hard doctrine, but it is hard doctrine for the tenderhearted—not hard doctrine to match the hearts.
“It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger. As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated. What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid. For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy” (Romans 9:12–16).
Summary of the Text
When Rebekah went to an oracle about the conflict that was happening in her womb, she was told that, of the twins, the older would serve the younger (v. 12; Gen. 25:23). This was reinforced centuries later, at the other end of the Old Testament, when Malachi said that God loved Jacob, but hated Esau (v. 13; Mal. 1:2-3). Keep in mind that Jacob here refers to the Jews, and Esau refers to the nation of Edom. But to take this up to a larger scale doesn’t really solve any of our ruffled feather problems. If you were a devotee of free will, would you feel better if somebody told you that God had only predestined that the airliner would crash, not that the passengers would? Now when we are told that God loved Jacob and hated Esau, our natural (fleshly) reaction is to charge God with unrighteousness. And so Paul raises the question. Is there unrighteousness with God (v. 14)? It cannot be. God forbid. And what is the reason given for denying unrighteousness with God? The reason is what God said to Moses when Moses begged to see His glory (Ex. 33:19). God will be gracious to whom He pleases. He will be merciful to whom He pleases (v. 15). Grace is grace, and mercy is mercy. Neither of them can be earned or merited—not a scintilla of merit anywhere in it. So then, we come to the hard conclusion that, rightly understood, hard grace creates tender hearts. But in order to be hard grace, it must be not dependent upon the will of man, or the running of man, but rather upon the mercy of God (v. 16).
No, Really, Not a Scintilla
The heart of man can manufacture merit—something that he can use to argue that God is required to show mercy—out of virtually anything. It is our knock-off of creatio ex nihilo. One of our favorite arguments arises from any mercy shown to others. Because our hearts are naturally envious, this argument seems compelling to us. What God gives to one, He must give the same thing to all others. But grace, by definition, cannot be demanded. For any reason.
Suppose there were two men on death row, and both of them richly deserve to be there. Each one was about as foul as a human being can get. Now also suppose that the governor pardons one of them, and does so for good reason. But that good reason has nothing to do with the worthiness of the one pardoned. It was dirty dozen mission or something. Now here is the question. Has the governor in any way wronged the convict that he did not pardon? Is that convict getting anything but what he deserves? He is getting nothing but justice, while the other is getting nothing but mercy. And mercy to one does not create any obligation within God toward the other. It is not of him who wills, or of him who runs, but of God who shows mercy.
We do not insist on this because we have an emotional need that somebody be damned. Rather, we insist upon it because we want to remember that grace is infinite grace. When God saved me, and when God saved you, He was under absolutely no external obligation to do so. Our need was not His obligation. Our need was made up of our rebellion, our selfishness, our pettiness, our insolence, and our pride. In short, God could have refused to save you, He could have passed you by as He has passed by many others, and He would not have been an iota less gracious. His infinite holiness would not have been diminished at all if the number of the elect had been diminished by one. Subtract me from that throng in front of the throne of God, and the saints would still be able to sing, “Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb” (Rev. 7:10). Walk through that multitude, and you will not be able to find one person who deserves to be there.
Nature and Extent
Why emphasize this? Before we consider the extent of God’s grace, we have to anchor the nature of grace in our hearts and minds. That is because if we do not do this, we will draw false and destructive inferences about grace from the glorious extent of it. This is a filthy, undeserving, rebellious and insolent world—and it will be gloriously saved.
“All the ends of the world shall remember and turn unto the Lord: And all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before thee” (Ps. 22:27).
“The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, Until I make thine enemies thy footstool” (Ps. 110:1).
“For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, As the waters cover the sea.” (Hab. 2:14).
“For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved” (John 3:17).
“And again, Esaias saith, There shall be a root of Jesse, and he that shall rise to reign over the Gentiles; in him shall the Gentiles trust” (Rom. 15:12).
And all of it grace, all of it mercy, all of it Christ.
CCD: Anger (Benjamin Merkle)Sermon
Proverbs 22:24-25, “Make no friendship with an angry man, and with a furious man do not go, lest you learn his ways and set a snare for your soul.”
Proverbs 14:29, “He who is slow to wrath has great understanding, but he who is impulsive exalts folly.”
What a good picture of anger – a hotness in the face. Something doesn’t go your way, seems to be unfair, seems not the way you want it to be, not the way that it should be, and you get hot in the face, and (according to Prov. 14:29) you get stupid.
Notice what this heat in the face is inspired by – some perception of injustice.
Two Kinds of Anger
This means that it is possible for anger to be right and godly. And it is possible for us to be consumed by an ungodly anger.
God is capable of great, righteous anger (Rom. 1:18, 9:22)
But then there is man’s anger (Gen. 4:3-8)
Other great moments in the anger of men –
Jonah 3:10-4:5. “And it got hot.”
Luke 15:28. “But he was angry and would not go in . . .”
Wrath of Man v. Wrath of God
So we see God getting angry with a perfect and righteous and holy anger. And then we see men getting sinfully angry, trying to justify their anger as right and good. James contrasts these two kinds of anger – James. 1:19-20.
First, we tell ourselves that a terrible injustice has been committed and that is what has provoked our anger.
Second, we tell ourselves that our anger, the heat of our outrage, is itself the solution to the problem.
Rather than bring about correction, anger damages the situation. Anger also makes us incapable of letting go. When it is held on to and you refuse to let it go, it becomes bitterness.
Dealing with Anger
So how do we deal with the anger that rages in our hearts? First, we have to understand the difference between the anger of God and the anger of men (Rom. 12:17-19). Once you have a proper perspective, you will find yourself able to name your sin. Then once you’ve identified it, confess it. Now that you’re ready to be done sulking under the gourd tree, go into the party for heaven’s sakes. God didn’t appoint you to wrath, he appointed you to salvation (1 Thes. 5:9).
The Lord’s Prayer, p. 411
+ Father, We Thank Thee Who Hast Planted, 206-207
– Communion –
Ah, Jesus Lord, Thy Love to Me, p. 340
Ah, Jesus Lord, Thy Love to Me, p. 341
– Commissioning –
+ CLOSING DOXOLOGY
The congregation may raise hands
Psalm 134, bulletin p. 12
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 establish you in every good word and work. Amen. 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17