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Christ Church Sunday Morning Service (8:30 & 10:30)

September 23, 2018 @ 8:30 am - 12:00 pm

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
Philippians 2:9-11
Minister: Lift up your hearts!
Congregation: We lift them up to the Lord!

 

+ PRAYER

 

+ PSALM
Psalm 149, bulletin p. 9

 

– Confession –

 

EXHORTATION

 

PSALM
The Sacrifices of God Are a Broken Spirit, p. 414

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CONFESSION OF SIN
Congregation is invited to kneel if able
2 Corinthians 5:21

 

+ ASSURANCE OF PARDON
Isaiah 6:7
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 38: Abbreviated Responsive
Minister: O Lord, do not rebuke me in Your wrath:
Congregation: Do not chaste me in Your hot displeasure.
Minister: For my iniquities have gone over my head,
Congregation: As a heavy burden they are too heavy for me.
Minister: For in You, O Lord, do I hope:
Congregation: You will hear, O Lord my God.
Minister: For I will declare my iniquity;
Congregation: I will be sorry for my sin.
Minister: Make haste to help me,
Congregation: O Lord my salvation.

 

+ PSALM
God the Lord Is Known in Judah, p. 115

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– Consecration –

+ SCRIPTURE READING
1 Kings 18:20-40; Matthew 17:10-13
Reader: The Word of the Lord.
Congregation: Thanks be to God!

 

HYMN
O God of Earth and Altar, p. 369

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CONGREGATIONAL PRAYER
Opening: Galatians 4:6-7
Thanksgiving: 1 Corinthians 1:4-5
Petitions: Philippians 4:19

 

 

+ HYMN
If Thou But Suffer God to Guide Thee, p. 354

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CC: (Toby Sumpter)

Sermon

Introduction

Christians are called to contentment not merely because this is a good thing, but because it is a central component of joining God’s mission, of establishing His Kingdom here in this world, and learning to fight like Christians.

The Text

Paul is writing in a context of intense struggle in Philippi. There are enemies outside and there are challenges inside the Church, and Paul urges the Philippians to rejoice in all of it (Phil. 4:4). A Christian should be known for being calm and stable because they know that the Lord is present and near to them (Phil. 4:5). And therefore, we fight all anxiety through prayer: casting our cares on Christ, with thanksgiving (Phil. 4:6). When we pray like that, God’s promise is that His peace which passes all understanding will guard our hearts and minds through Christ (Phil. 4:7). This joyful resting in Christ is marked by a disciplined thought life: keeping a common place book of all the good things, true things, just things, lovely things, etc. (Phil. 4:8). This attentiveness should include imitating mature Christians like Paul – this is the path of God’s peace (Phil. 4:9). Finally, Paul models this joyful contentment by expressing his delight in the gift he recently received from the Philippians (Phil. 4:10). He was truly thankful but certainly not desperate for the gift because he had learned to be content in every situation because Christ strengthens him (Phil. 4:11-13).

Knowing God

Contentment in God requires that you actually know the God you are content in. Christian contentment is not contentment in whatever you imagine God to be like. You can say the word “contentment” a whole bunch, but if you are not resting in who God actually is, you are not actually learning Christian contentment. So, who is this God? He is the God who is set on taking this world from glory to glory. We see this beginning in the very first chapter of the Bible. God creates something good, and then He comes back the next day and restructures it and improves it (Gen. 1). If you had been there watching, you might have been tempted to urge God to stop. If the Light was good, why make the firmament or the sun, moon, and stars? If the dry ground and seas were good, why add animals and fish? What we see in the creation week is the beginning of God’s pattern of taking good things and making them better. This is the God we rejoice in and remain calm in. This is God is not far off. He is near.

The same pattern follows through the rest of Scripture, particularly in God’s covenantal dealings with His people. The covenant with Noah grows into the glory of the covenant with Abraham, and that glory grows into the covenant with Moses, and that glory grows into the covenant with David. The glory of the covenant with David grows into the glory of the covenant under Ezra and Nehemiah, and Christ is the culmination of all the covenants in the New Covenant. Paul says that when we see the gospel unfolding and culminating in Christ, we are being “changed into the same image from glory to glory” (2 Cor. 3:18). The whole Bible is the story of Christ: “Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory? And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself” (Lk. 24:26-27). The center of Christian contentment is the cross of Jesus, in which God broke the best thing in order to make an even better one.

How Does Covenantal Contentment Pray?

Paul says that Christian contentment is learned through prayer (Phil. 4:6). The pattern for Christian prayer is laid out in the Lord’s Prayer: “Our Father” means that we approach God as the One who made us and cares for us. He is not detached or distant. “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” means that we entrust our stories to His story. He has a plan that He is carrying out in this world that is wonderful, glorious, and all together lovely. His Kingdom and Will are taking this world (and us) from glory to glory. It’s in that context that we are invited to ask God for our daily bread. It’s actually pretty audacious of us to think that we know what we need, but God is our Father and He wants us to ask for what we think we need. But we are to do so first of all “with thanksgiving” (Phil. 4:6). This recognizes that what we have today is already from God’s hand, and whatever God gives for our daily bread is good. Nevertheless, we do want to be learning to pray in the will of God, toward the will of God. We want to pray, as far as we can help it, for those things that we see that would work toward the coming of Christ’s Kingdom. And this is why it is important that all of our requests include a spirit of surrender: yet not my will by Thy will be done (Lk. 22:42, Js. 4:15).

Militant Christian Contentment

Christian contentment is not apathetic, not stoic. Christian contentment, grounded in the mission of God, is militant. “And the God of peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you” (Rom. 16:20). It is not merely that it’s a nice thing to have God’s peace. It is the peace of God that crushes Satan under your feet. When we pray with contentment, the promise is that the peace of God, which passes all understanding will guard our hearts and minds (Phil. 4:7). The peace of God is our armor, our fortress. Paul says elsewhere that we need to wear the gospel of peace on our feet (Eph. 6:15). The peace of Christ is what takes us into battle. You cannot fully participate in the mission of God without the peace of God. This is because the conquest of the gospel is a mission of healing and restoration, not destruction. The gospel is very disruptive to the old world, the old man, the old systems of sin, death, and the devil. But it destroys that slavery, those strongholds in order to establish freedom, joy, and peace. And therefore, you cannot be a peacemaker if you are not already a fortress of peace and contentment. One of the greatest meditations on Christian contentment is The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment by the puritan pastor Jeremiah Burroughs, who preached this series of sermons in the middle of the English Civil War.

Conclusions

At the center of our text, Paul says to meditate on the true, honest, just, pure, and virtuous things. In fact, the word means to reckon or impute. It can simply mean to think about, but this is how the word is frequently used: Abraham believed God, and He reckoned it to him as righteousness (Rom. 4:22). Paul goes on: “Now it was not written for his sake alone that it was imputed to him, but also for us. It shall be imputed to us who believe in Him who raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead…” (Rom. 4:23-24). God imputes the righteousness of Christ to us who believe in Him, and if you understand that, you begin to imitate that, which is gospel war.

 

 

CCD: More Highly Than He Ought (Douglas Wilson)

Sermon

Introduction

God has given us eyes to see with and, even with a mirror, it can be difficult to look at them. The same thing is true—and in spades—when it comes to the eyes of our soul. We use these eyes to look at absolutely everything . . . except the act of ourselves, looking. We see everything except how our seeing is colored by our circumstances. To grow past partial blindness is a profound step in spiritual maturation.

The Text

“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith. For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith; Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching; Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness” (Rom. 12:1-8).

Summary of the Text

We are encouraged here to submit ourselves to the Lord, in both body and mind. We are told—in the name of God’s mercies—to present our bodies as a living sacrifice to God (v. 1). And as a sacrifice offered to Him, it must not be defiled—not by porn sites, not by immodest dresses, not by lascivious entertainment, and not by unclean joking around. If your body is constantly on the altar, and it is, then make sure it is not a blemished offering. The second thing is to present your minds to God, for Him to shape them. The alternative is that of having the world shape your mind. Offering your mind to Him in order to be shaped will prove the will of God (v. 2). Notice that the world wants to defile your body, but wants to shape your mind. Having told us not to have our minds molded by the world, he then goes on to tell us what it would look like if our minds were to be shaped by the world (v. 3). It would look like each man thinking of himself more highly that he ought. We can see from this that the world is a lying flatterer, and is whispering constantly. Go ahead. Believe in yourself. You can do it.

God’s alternative to this comes to us in the reality of body life. We are many members of one body (v. 4). We all, being many, make up one body (v. 5), which means that we are members of one another.

We have gifts that differ, Paul says (v. 6), and they differ according to the grace of God. This is important—note it well. If we are prophets, let us do that by faith. If it is ministry or service, then let us do that (v. 7). If it is teaching, then we should be teaching. If exhortation, then our duty is exhortation (v. 8). The same goes for generosity, but keep it simple. A ruler should rule, and with diligence. Someone with the gift of mercy should make a point to be cheerful.

What Paul Did Not Say

Ours gifts do not differ according to the obstinacy of that other fellow over there, doggedly exercising a gift different from mine. Imagine the cussedness of an ear that refuses to see, as everyone knows we all must (1 Cor. 12:14-21). “And if they were all one member, where were the body?” (1 Cor. 12:19).

Notice what Paul did not argue:

“Having then gifts that differ according to others refusing to be like us, if you are a prophet, then all should prophesy; if you are in service, then you must demand that all pitch in the same way you have done; if you are a teacher, then it is necessary to complain about how ignorant everyone is; if you have the gift of exhortation, then exhort everyone to join with you in exhorting; if you are generous, then this is the baseline for everyone else’s generosity, and make sure to keep track of it all; if you are a ruler, then use the laziness of others as an excuse; if you are in mercy work, make sure to complain about how unloving all the regular Christians are.”

Our temptation is to measure other Christians by the length of our own gifts. First, recognize your gift. Then inflate that assessment. Then take stock of how far ahead of other Christians you are. You might not see as well as you think, but you do see way better than the ear does. But actually . . . perhaps not.

Recognize that when you see a need, this is not given to you so that you might blame everybody else for not meeting it. Your ability to identify a need should be taken by you as an indication from God on what you ought to be doing. If you look around at the body, and see a bunch of discouraged saints, then perhaps you have the gift of encouragement. If you see doctrinal ignorance, then perhaps you have the gift of teaching. If you see dirty bathrooms, perhaps you have the gift of helps.

More Highly Than He Ought

Now it is not possible to turn away from the shaping lies of the world without simultaneously turning toward Jesus Christ. The more you love and honor Jesus, the more you are becoming like His Father. And the more you love and honor Jesus, the less certain things will be happening.

Turning toward Christ means that you will be . . .

  • Less inflated in your self-assessment;
  • More sober in your self-assessment;
  • Less competitive with Christians with differing gifts;
  • Less autonomous and independent;
  • And finally free from the besetting sin of envy.

 

 

PRAYER
The Lord’s Prayer, p. 411

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OFFERTORY

 

 

PRAYER
Isaiah, Mighty Seer, in Days of Old, pp. 408-409

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– Communion –

 

 

THE BREAD
Jesus, Thy Blood and Righteousness, p. 260

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THE WINE
Behold! the Mountain of the Lord, pp. 298-299

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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 do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen. Ephesians 3:20-21

Details

Date:
September 23, 2018
Time:
8:30 am - 12:00 pm
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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