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Christ Church Sunday Morning Service (9:00 am)
July 9, 2017 @ 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!
– Confession –
Psalm 54………………………………….bulletin pg. 8
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: What is required in the third commandment?
Congregation: That we must not profane or abuse the name of God by cursing, by perjury, or by unnecessary oaths. Nor are we to participate in such horrible sins by keeping quiet and thus giving silent consent. In a word, we must not use the holy name of God except with fear and reverence so that he may be rightly confessed and addressed by us, and be glorified in all our words and works.
Gloria in excelsis……………………………………396-97
– Consecration –
+ SCRIPTURE READING
Isaiah 61:1-11; Luke 4:14-21
Reader: The Word of the Lord.
Congregation: Thanks be to God!
CCD: Caleb James Miller
Congregational Charge: Little child, for you Jesus Christ came to this earth, struggled and suffered; for your sake He crossed Gethsemane and went through the darkness of Calvary; for your sake He cried: ‘It is finished’; for your sake He died and for your sake He overcame death; indeed for your sake, little child, and you—still— know nothing of it. And thus the word of the apostle is confirmed: ‘We love God, for He loved us first.’
(Taken from an old French Reformed Baptism Rite)
Yet I Will Rejoice……………………….bulletin pg. 9
Opening: Psalm 117:1-2
Thanksgiving: Psalm 118:1
Petitions: Psalm 116:1
CC: The Apostles Creed 5 (Douglas Wilson)Sermon
What we now know as the Apostles Creed descended from an earlier form of the creed, known as the Old Roman Symbol. The beginning of the creed dates from as early as the second century. We do not have any direct evidence that it was penned by any of the apostles, but it is an admirable summary of the apostolic teaching.
Although we haven’t mentioned Jesus until this point in the Creed, in another sense, every word in the Creed revolves around Jesus Christ. The reason for that is something for us to explore now.
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.
Summary of the Text:
“Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more. Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (2 Cor. 5:16–17).
We began the Creed by confessing that we believe. Now in Scripture, believing and knowing are intertwined. “But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works: that ye may know, and believe, that the Father is in me, and I in him” (John 10:38). We believe in Jesus Christ, and this is how we come to know Him. When we come to know Him, we come to know the Father, and the only way this is possible is through the Spirit of Jesus, poured out into our hearts.
But we know Jesus in two senses, both of which are reflected in the Creed. The first is the Jesus of history—or as the Creed puts it, born of the Virgin, Mary, and who died under the term of a Roman provincial prefect named Pontius Pilate. If it had not been for Jesus, he would be as historical obscure as his predecessor Gratus, or his successor Marcellus. This is the Jesus who is the historical figure, as much a man of history as Napoleon, or Attila, or Confucius. But according to Paul in this passage, this same Jesus, Jesus of Nazareth, has taken the throne of the cosmos. He is the cosmic Christ. We cannot understand any man without understanding Him.
If Jesus had a last name, the way we have last names, it would have been Jesus Davidson—Jesus ben David. He was born in the house of David, and this was his true human lineage (Rom. 1:3). He had a home town; He had a mother; He went to Nazareth High; He weighed a certain amount; some other men were taller. He was tempted in every point as we are (Heb. 2: 17-18), although keep in mind that this excludes temptations that require a history of sinning behind them.
Remember that Jesus was fully human—not part human and part divine. God did not put on a man suit the way one of us might put on a gorilla suit. He was not “man on the outside, God on the inside.” No, He was fully God and fully man—one person, Jesus of Nazareth, who had two natures, two complete natures. Jesus had a nature that was entirely human, which is our point here, as well as a nature that was fully and completely divine.
I said above that Christ is not the Lord’s last name. The word Christ means anointed, and it is the parallel to the Hebrew word Messiah. The word Christ is a title, like King or Prince. Throughout Scripture, anointing is the rite used to set someone apart to a particular office, and that person assumes the office empowered by the anointing to discharge the responsibilities of that office. The anointing was not so that we would look at Him as the Messiah. The anointing was so that He would do what the Messiah was destined to do, and so that we would recognize Him in His glory.
There were three great offices among men as seen in the polity of Israel—prophet, priest, and king—and men were anointed to all three. “And Jehu the son of Nimshi shalt thou anoint to be king over Israel: and Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abel-meholah shalt thou anoint to be prophet in thy room” (1 Kings 19:16). “And the priest, whom he shall anoint, and whom he shall consecrate to minister in the priest’s office in his father’s stead, shall make the atonement, and shall put on the linen clothes, even the holy garments” (Lev. 16:32).
So when Jesus was anointed as the Christ, He was being established in all three of these offices. That is what it means to be called to be the Christ. He is our great Prophet (Dt. 18:15), our Priest (Heb. 3:1), and our King (John 19:19; Acts 17:7). As priest, He died and rose to put an end to the old world, our old way of being human. As king, He rules the new world, the new heavens and new earth. And as our prophet, He teaches us about both worlds. He is the cosmic Christ—not in some New Agey sense, but in the sense that His name and authority overarch absolutely everything. We will come back to this.
Come to Jesus:
So call upon Jesus. Turn to Jesus Christ. Bow before the Lord Jesus Christ. Partake of Jesus. He offers Himself. The Spirit and the Bride say come, and they say the same thing . . . come to Jesus.
Now when I say this to you, when I issue this invitation—which I am authorized to do, by the way—I am doing so because I am not looking at you “after the flesh.” Look carefully again at this passage. Paul here says that a direct result of having a right vision of the cosmic Christ is that we no longer look at anyone in a mundane way. How could we? Christ is risen. Christ is enthroned. More than this—He is here, and summons you to come.
CCD: Wisdom for a Harvest of Righteousness (Ty Knight)Sermon
Text: James 3:1-18
How do you live as a Christian? It takes wisdom says James and the kind of wisdom that comes from above. Wisdom is working faith does faithful work. James has already spoken about faithful work in your trials and temptations, being quick to listen, slow to speak, caring for the poor and defenseless, loving your neighbor as yourself. James will now have a thing or two to say about how we use our words. Do you get the sense that it’s all important––every part of your life matters. Christ has given you life so Christ should be in all your life. That takes God-given wisdom, the wisdom from above. The result of wisdom––a working faith that does faithful work–– is a harvest of righteousness.
Stumbling Teachers and Tongues (vs. 1-2)
James opens with a general warning to his readers that not many of them should become teachers (vs 1). The reason for this is that teachers will be judged with greater strictness. Teachers have great influence with their position, especially in their use of words, so they should take extra care.
The health of your tongue is an accurate indicator for the health of your body (vs 2). Just imagine that you are now sitting on the doctor’s examination chair with the crinkly paper, and Dr. James wheels up to you and he says, “Stick out your tongue. I want to see the state of your soul.” The words of your mouth reveal the condition of your heart.This prognosis is confirmed by the Great Physician Jesus, “The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks” (Lk. 6:45). Words are eternally important and powerful. And so James wants us to understand what we’re dealing with.
Little, But Powerful (vs. 3-5)
James observes that little tongues do great things. Three metaphors make his point: little bits control strong horses (vs 3), little rudders turn mighty ships (vs 4), little sparks ignite vast fires (vs 5).
Deadly and Untamed (vs. 6-9)
The tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness (vs 6). For James, The world is the structure of life set up in contradiction to God’s life and God’s righteousness. James asks in chapter 4, “Don’t you know that friendship with the world is enmity with God?” James says that pure and undefiled religion before God is to keep yourself unstained from the world (1:27). And yet, we have a world of unrighteousness contained between our teeth that stains the whole body. If the tongue is unchecked, if the fire is not quenched, then your whole life will be consumed and eventually crackle in the fires of hell. The tongue is deadly and is capable of death. And it can’t be tamed. There’s a Crocodile Dundee for every crocodile and a snake charmer for every snake and sea world trainer to every killer whale, but no human can tame the tongue (vs 7-8). Beyond that, the tongue is schizophrenic, blessing God and cursing the image of God (v. 9).
The Source (vs. 10-12)
James asks some common sense questions to get to the source of the problem. “Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and salt water? Can a fig tree, my brothers, bear olives, or a grapevine produce figs? Neither can a salt pond yield fresh water.” Look to the source of the spring, look to the trunk, look to the vine, look to the heart. Good words come from a good heart. Evil worlds from an evil heart. Righteous words from a righteous heart. World-stained words from a world-stained heart.
This should cause both deep fear and great hope. What chance do you have to scrub the stain of sin from your own heart? The problem is not the chunk of muscle and taste buds in your head, but the desires of your heart. This can only be addressed by wisdom from above.
Wisdom from Below, Wisdom from Above (13-18)
“Who is wise and understanding among you?” Wisdom is a working faith doing faithful work (vs 13). What if bitter jealousy and selfish ambition seep from your heart? You don’t have real wisdom even if you claim you do. “This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic” (vs. 15).
Wisdom from above comes first as “pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere” (vs 17). This kind of life produces a harvest of righteousness. What happens to this harvest of righteousness? It is given for the life of others. Life is given when wisdom is sown, and then life is given again when wisdom is reaped.
– Communion –
Ah, Jesus Lord, Thy Love to Me……………………..340
Ah, Jesus Lord, Thy Love to Me……………………….341
– Commissioning –
+ CLOSING DOXOLOGY
The congregation may raise hands
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