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Christ Church Sunday Morning Service (8:30)

September 2, 2018 @ 8:30 am - 10:30 am

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
1 Samuel 2:1-2
Minister: Lift up your hearts!
Congregation: We lift them up to the Lord!

 

+ PRAYER

 

+ PSALM
All Peoples, Clap Your Hands for Joy, p. 87

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– Confession –

 

EXHORTATION

 

PSALM
Psalm 120, bulletin p. 10

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Dr. David Erb

 

CONFESSION OF SIN
Congregation is invited to kneel if able
Isaiah 64:5-7

 

+ ASSURANCE OF PARDON
Proverbs 29:25
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.
+ PSALM 35: Abbreviated Responsive
Minister: Plead my cause, O Lord, with them that strive with me:
Congregation: Fight against them that fight against me.
Minister: Take hold of shield and buckler,
Congregation: And stand up for my help.
Minister: All my bones shall say,
Congregation: Lord, Who is like unto You?
Minister: I will give You thanks in the great congregation:
Congregation: I will praise You among many people.
Minister: And my tongue shall speak of thy righteousness.
Congregation: And of thy praise all the day long.

 

+ HYMN
Rejoice, the Lord is King, p. 326

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– Consecration –

+ SCRIPTURE READING
Song of Solomon 2:4-7; Ephesians 5:22-23
Reader: The Word of the Lord.
Congregation: Thanks be to God!

 

PSALM
Why Do the Heathen Nations Vainly Rage?, pp. 4-5

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CONGREGATIONAL PRAYER
Opening: Psalm 80:1-3
Thanksgiving: Psalm 75:1
Petitions: Philippians 4:6-7

 

 

+ HYMN
Christ Is Made the Sure Foundation, p. 344

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CC: Psalm 91: Under the Shadow of the Almighty (Douglas Wilson)

Sermon

Introduction

According to a tradition among the Jews, if a psalm is not attributed to anyone, then the credit should go to the author of the previous psalm. This is no basis for being dogmatic, but this would mean that Psalm 91 was composed by Moses. The reason this is suggestive is that the theme of this psalm fits the experience of Israel in the wilderness in remarkable ways. In addition, it is striking that the devil quotes from this psalm when Jesus was being the victorious Israel, during His temptation in the wilderness.

The Text

“He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: My God; in him will I trust. Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, And from the noisome pestilence. He shall cover thee with his feathers, And under his wings shalt thou trust: His truth shall be thy shield and buckler . . .” (Psalm 91:1–16).

Summary of the Text

The shadow of the Almighty is a safe place to dwell (v. 1). But do not assume that it is obvious to a carnal mind; it is a secret place. The Lord Himself is the fortress; to be in that fortress is to trust Him (v. 2). Like a rabbit to his hole, like a bird to his thicket, we take to the Lord. What will He deliver us from? From the snare of the fowler—that is, from our devious enemies, and from the deadly pestilence (v. 3). Then comes a striking metaphor. We will be safe under His feathers, under His wing. His truth will be our armor (v. 4). There is no need to fear night terrors, or arrows in the day (v. 5)—or epidemics by night, or wasting destruction by day (v. 6). The reference to arrows here is probably still meaning pestilence. When thousands are falling all around you, as they did in Egypt, and a few times in the wilderness, there is yet no need to fear (v. 7). You will see with your own eyes what happens to the wicked (v. 8). Because you have made the Lord your refuge and place of habitation, the plague cannot touch you (vv. 9-10). You dwell under the protection of the cloud and fire. Why is this? Because God will order His angels to protect you (vv. 11-12). You will trample lions underfoot, along with adders, young lions and dragons (v. 13).

God promises to deliver the one who truly loves Him, the one who knows His name (v. 14). When He calls, God will answer (v. 15). God will honor Him with long life, and will show Him His salvation (v. 16).

The Devil’s Exegesis

Now this is the psalm that Satan quoted to Jesus in the course of tempting Him. He cited vv. 11-12 while tempting Jesus to throw Himself off the pinnacle of the Temple. He was saying, in effect, that if You manifest Yourself in a dramatic act of power, then these verses will apply. God will keep You from falling down and dashing Your foot on a stone. But the reply from Jesus was telling:

“And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God” (Matt. 4:6-7).

Jesus was not saying that the devil shouldn’t be tempting Him, the Lord Jesus. (Although that is also true.) Rather, He was saying that if He, Jesus, did what the devil was suggesting, then He, Jesus, would be tempting the Lord His God. Jesus was submitting Himself to the authority of Scripture. But why would it be tempting God to throw Himself off the Temple height?

The Lord was a more honest exegete than the devil, which should not be surprising. But can we see that honesty in the text? Three things jump out. The first is what Jesus said in reply. He said He would in fact be testing or tempting God if He were to do that. That leads to the second point, which is that the promise was that God’s angel would protect Him in all His ways, and the context shows that these are the ways God assigned or appointed. If the Most High is your habitation, “there shall no evil befall thee” (vv. 9-10). The promise was not that one couldn’t dash his foot against a stone, whatever he might be doing. No. This is a promise that holds under the feathers. It holds under the shadow of the Almighty.

But most striking thing about this exchange is this. The devil was trying to get Jesus to “not dash” His foot against a stone. This was a complete diversion—what was the faithful one going to do in this psalm? What is in the next verse. He was going to tread on lions, serpents, and dragons. The point of this passage was not primarily what He was not going to walk on, it was what He was going to walk on.

Christ came in fulfilment of the promise God had made to the serpent in Gen. 3:15. This exchange between Jesus and the devil was a continuation of an earlier conversation.

“And the Lord God said unto the serpent . . . I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel (Gen. 3:14–15).

The Faithful One in Christ

So Christ is the only one who ever fulfilled the terms of this psalm perfectly. He is the one who could say, “My God” (v. 2), even from the cross. He made the most High His habitation (v. 9). He set His love upon His Father (v. 14). He knew the name of God (v. 14). And so God would deliver Him (v. 15), and the long life given was the power of an indestructible life (v. 16). And He displayed all of this in the wilderness, while being tempted, and on our behalf.

But those of us who believe in Christ have found that He who found the secret place is the secret place. He who dwelt in the habitation of God is the habitation of God. He who knows the name of God is the name of God. Take refuge in Him, and every last one of these promises is yours as well.

“Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you” (Luke 10:19).

“And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen” (Rom. 16:20).

CCD: Faithfulness for the Next Generation: Calvary’s Law (Ben Zornes)

Sermon

Introduction

Most parents, at some point, experience giving clear instructions to their children, and then, as soon as they’ve left the room, hearing the children misbehave. The apparent absence of the parent revealed the rascals for who they are. Whatever is in a tea bag comes out only when it’s put in boiling water. The hot water revealed what had always been there.

The Text

“These words the LORD spake unto all your assembly in the mount out of the midst of the fire, of the cloud, and of the thick darkness, with a great voice: and he added no more. And he wrote them in two tables of stone, and delivered them unto me. And it came to pass, when ye heard the voice out of the midst of the darkness, (for the mountain did burn with fire,) that ye came near unto me, even all the heads of your tribes, and your elders; And ye said, Behold, the LORD our God hath shewed us his glory and his greatness, and we have heard his voice out of the midst of the fire: we have seen this day that God doth talk with man, and he liveth. Now therefore why should we die? for this great fire will consume us: if we hear the voice of the LORD our God any more, then we shall die. For who is there of all flesh, that hath heard the voice of the living God speaking out of the midst of the fire, as we have, and lived? Go thou near, and hear all that the LORD our God shall say: and speak thou unto us all that the LORD our God shall speak unto thee; and we will hear it, and do it. And the LORD heard the voice of your words, when ye spake unto me; and the LORD said unto me, I have heard the voice of the words of this people, which they have spoken unto thee: they have well said all that they have spoken. O that there were such an heart in them, that they would fear me, and keep all my commandments always, that it might be well with them, and with their children for ever! Go say to them, Get you into your tents again. But as for thee, stand thou here by me, and I will speak unto thee all the commandments, and the statutes, and the judgments, which thou shalt teach them, that they may do them in the land which I give them to possess it. Ye shall observe to do therefore as the LORD your God hath commanded you: ye shall not turn aside to the right hand or to the left. Ye shall walk in all the ways which the LORD your God hath commanded you, that ye may live, and that it may be well with you, and that ye may prolong your days in the land which ye shall possess” (Deuteronomy 5:22-33).

Summary of the Text

The “second giving” of the Law took place in territory east of the Jordan river; this land had previously been inhabited by the giant kings: Og & Sihon (Deut. 4:44-49). Moses summons the congregation to not only hear the Law, but in hearing it, be compelled to obey it (5:1). The covenant the Lord made with them applied equally to this generation (5:2-3); Moses reminds them that the Lord made this covenant “face-to-face” with them, and they requested that Moses function as their mediator (Deut. 5:4-5). He then repeats the Ten Commandments (5:6-21).

Moses then returns to an expanded narration of how the Lord spoke personally to the congregation at Horeb, and how this elicited their request for a mediator. Moses describes the awful scene of darkness & fire descending on Sinai when God wrote the Ten Commandments, and spoke them to the elders of the people (5:22-23). After hearing the Lord’s voice, the congregation declared their reverence for the glory of the Lord (5:24); but, fearing for their lives, they request that Moses become a mediator for them, promising to listen & obey what God spoke to them through him (5:25-27). The Lord says they have spoken well, and expresses––in human terminology––a longing that they would live with such reverence at all times (5:28-29).

God grants their request, sending the people back to their tents; but Moses is commanded to stand by God to hear His commandments, in order to then instruct the people (5:30-31). Moses then comes to the application part of his sermon: obey the Lord––no veering to the right or left––and thus enjoy the blessing of life which God promised (5:32-33).

The Fear of the Lord

You’ll never find a section of the local Christian bookstore devoted to the fear of the Lord. But Solomon tells his son, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom & instruction (Pro. 1:7).” The reason foolishness abounds in the modern church is that we have minimized the holy terror which God’s Law is intended to strike within us. Spurgeon points out that “If the giving of the law, while it was yet unbroken, was attended with such a display of awe-inspiring power, what will that day be when the Lord shall, with flaming fire, take vengeance on those who have willfully broken His law?”

The Israelites beheld the mere outskirts of the Lord’s infinite holiness, and they feared for their lives. Modern believers can often drift into a sort of chumminess with God, never reflecting on the great power, grandeur, holiness, and sheer “otherliness” of the Lord. If we would be wise we must learn the lesson which thunders from Sinai: fear God.

This is what the Law is intended to teach us. First, the Law is a restraint on evil; in this way the Law functions as God’s border patrol for mankind. Secondly, the bright holiness of the Law functions to reflect back to mankind his deadness & depravity; it is like a mirror which shows us the truth about ourselves.

Reverence in Lip & Life

God approves of the Israelite’s request for a mediator. But He goes on to express in visceral terms, that He longs for the people to have such a heart at all times. We know that while Moses is on Mt. Sinai for forty days––fulfilling the mediatorial role the people requested––they turn to worship a golden calf (Cf. Ex. 32). The reverence they expressed with their lips was entirely disconnected from reverence in their life.

Jesus once rebuked the Pharisees for exactly the same inconsistency, “Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me (Mk. 7:6).” The requirement of worshipping God with reverence is not somehow “lifted” in the New Testament; it is heightened! We are receiving an unshakeable & eternal kingdom, and we are adjured to “have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: For our God is a consuming fire (Heb. 12:28-29, Cf. Heb. 4:1).”

The Mediator of a Better Covenant

The outer rind of the Law is, in one sense, passive; it simply is intended to restrain evildoers. The inner shell is a hard husk which reveals our unrighteousness; it’s supposed to make you feel miserable. But the pith of the Law is that it reveals the life found in Christ.

The glory displayed on Sinai preceded the Israelites’ cry for a mediator. Indeed, we all shall one day stand naked before the pure light of God. All of our excuses, justifications, and lies we told ourselves and others laid bare. The horror of seeing the dingy gray of your sinfulness in light of the white holiness of God should compel you to cry out for a Mediator. As John Newton’s hymn puts it:

Let us love and sing and wonder. Let us praise the Saviors name.
He has hushed the laws loud thunder, He has quenched Mount Sinai’s flame.
He has washed us with His blood. He has brought us nigh to God

The Law was always about giving life to dead sinners (Lev. 18:5). But God intends to give you that life, not through your paltry attempts to fulfill His Law, but all on the basis of a perfect Mediator. One who stands in your stead, and when He speaks to God the Father it is this, “This one is mine.” Moses mediated a temporal covenant which was a schoolmaster to lead us to Christ, who would fulfill all the righteous demands of the Law, and offer justification on the basis of His obedience. The Law threatens, “Obey or die.” The Gospel replies, “Believe and live.” Sinai’s Law was glorious indeed; it showed the depth of your infinite need. Calvary’s Law is simply this: by grace you are saved through faith.

 

 

 

PRAYER
The Lord’s Prayer, p. 411

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OFFERTORY

 

 

PRAYER
He Who in Evil Does Rejoice, pp. 66-67

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– Communion –

 

 

THE BREAD
Soul, Adorn Thyself with Gladness, p. 214

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THE WINE
Soul, Adorn Thyself with Gladness, p. 215

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– Commissioning –

 

+ CLOSING DOXOLOGY
The congregation may raise hands
Gloria Patri, p. 436

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CHARGE & BENEDICTION
Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, And to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, to God our Savior, Who alone is wise, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and forever. Amen. Jude 1:25

Details

Date:
September 2, 2018
Time:
8:30 am - 10:30 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