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Downtown Sunday Morning Service (9:30 am)
June 18, 2017 @ 9:30 am - 11:30 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 –
Chide Me, O Lord, No Longer…………………………8
CONFESSION OF SIN
Congregation is invited to kneel if able
1 Timothy 6:11-12
+ 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 idolatry?
Congregation: It is to imagine or possess something in which to put one’s trust in place of or beside the one true God who has revealed himself in his Word.
Minister: What does God require in the second commandment?
Congregation: That we should not represent him or worship him in any other manner than he has commanded in his Word.
– Consecration –
+ SCRIPTURE READING
Exodus 12:1-14; 1 Corinthians 5:6-8
Reader: The Word of the Lord.
Congregation: Thanks be to God!
CC: Sydney Anne Sapphire Shannon
CCD: Vera Joy Knight
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)
Psalm 131………………………………..bulletin pg. 8
Opening: James 5:16
Thanksgiving: Philippians 4:6-7
Petitions: I John 5:14-15
To Thee, O Lord Who Dwellest in the Height……..161
CC:The Apostles Creed 2 (Douglas Wilson)Sermon
God the Father
So we begin the Creed with the statement “I believe.” Believe in what or whom? We do not believe in a generic deity, with details to be filled in later. We begin with the confession that we believe in a personal God, identified by name, and revealed in His Son. I believe in God the Father.
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:
This phrase in the Creed is not a stand-alone name. It is defined and filled out a moment later when we add that we believe “in Jesus Christ, his only begotten Son, our Lord.” In other words, we are not confessing our faith in a Deity who is in some vague metaphorical sense like a father. No, we believe in God the Father of Jesus Christ. This is a confession that is most specific.
The Structure of Salvation:
Speaking of the new unity between Jew and Gentile, the apostle Paul admirably summarizes the structure of salvation within the compass of one brief verse. “For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.” (Eph. 2:18). In a paraphrase, we would render it this way. “Through Christ we have access to the Father by means of one Spirit.” If I might employ something of a homely metaphor, the Father is the place we are driving to, the Son is the road, and the Holy Spirit is the car. The Father is where we are all going, Jesus is the way we get to Him, and the Spirit is the power that enables us to take that way to Him.
And this is why Jesus spoke of Himself in this way, “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6). Jesus is the way (hodos)—road or path—and the Spirit empowers us to travel on that road. We do not walk in the flesh, but in the Spirit (Rom. 8:4). We are instructed to walk in the Spirit (Gal. 5:16), and then again (Gal. 5:25). The Father is where we go, the Son is the way we go, and the Spirit is how we go.
When We Pray:
This is why, when Jesus taught us to pray, He taught us to pray to the Father (Matt. 6:9). This is how Christian prayer is supposed to function. We pray to the Father, in the name of the Son, in the power of the Spirit.
We are not neglecting the Son or the Spirit because we are not addressing them directly. It is a travesty of prayer when we separate out the persons of the Godhead and create factions in the church according to our separations. In some ways, this is far worse than “I am of Paul, I am of Apollos.” Liberals says they believe in the brotherhood of man, fatherhood of God (BOMFOG). But if you don’t have the Son, you don’t really have the Father (1 John 2:23), whatever you say. And charismatics focus on the Spirit—but the Spirit points away from Himself. It is the Spirit’s task to glorify Son (2 Cor. 3:18), whose task it is in turn to glorify the Father (John 17:1). Evangelicals focus on Jesus—but Jesus came to bring us to the Father.
In our glib unbelief, we say things like this—“We all have experience with human fathers, and so our ancestors naturally enough invented a ‘sky father,’ who would protect us, terrify us, provide for us, etc. But we have grown past that stage where we project our image into the heavens.”
In our arrogance, we think we have created God in our image. But the Scriptures say that God created us in His image (Gen. 1:27).
If there is no God, we are an inchoate mess. We are a shapeless lump of protoplasm, and have no image to project. We are what these chemicals would always do under these conditions and at this temperature. We cannot project our image onto the screen of the heavens because we have no projector, and no movie. We are nothing.
In our arrogance, we think that we have fashioned a heavenly Father out of our earthly fathers. But again, it is the other way around. “For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named” (Eph. 3:14–15). We derive our faint reflections of masculinity and fatherhood from Him, and most emphatically not the other way around.
Fatherhood as Ultimate Reality:
The central point of all reality is ultimate, infinite, absolute masculinity. Fatherhood is at the center because the Father of Jesus is at the center. But this overwhelming. We cannot handle absolute Fatherhood. He dwells in unapproachable light (1 Tim. 6:16). We would crater under the slightest glimpse of it.
We cannot have the Father “raw,” but we must have the Father. What are we to do? Remember, he who has the Son has the Father. Remember what Jesus said to Philip. “Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Show us the Father?” (John 14:9).
But we preach Christ, not as a stand-in for the Father, but as the appointed and divinely fashioned way to the Father.
CCD: The Lord of Glory Not Partiality (Ty Knight)
Text: James 2:1-13
James addresses a problem he saw in the early church and one that still rots relationships today––the sin of partiality. Partiality is a sneaky sin that James exposes with the Gospel. Because Jesus is the Lord of glory who gives glory, then don’t show or seek the false glory from partiality.
The Lord of Glory (1-4)
The command is this: don’t show partiality (vs. 1). Partiality is your treatment or attitude toward someone based on the wrong value you place on them. By wrong value, I mean the value assigned by the world’s judgment and not by God’s judgment. James gives an example in verses 2-3. Suppose two men come into the church meeting, one is a swanky guy with nice threads and blinged out with jewelry and the other is poor man in stained clothes. If the greeting team shows special treatment to the rich guy while ignoring or insulting the poor man, they’ve shown partiality.
James says this is inconsistent with the faith you hold in the Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of Glory (vs. 1). Your playing favorites and your faith in Jesus are not compatible. This is because they are competing sources of glory––glory from the Lord and glory from man. As a Christian, Jesus is your glory—all the glory you need.
What’s so bad about partiality then? Partiality attempts to replace or supplement God’s standard of judgment with another standard that man creates. God’s standard says sinners are accepted because of the work of the Lord Jesus Christ. Partiality looks to add something for that guy to be accepted by you. You look to the clothing, the hair style, the personal hygiene, the car, the different church, or any external criteria, and then, based on that additional standard, make a judgement on the value of that person and so make “distinctions among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts” (vs. 4).
The Poor Made Rich (5-7)
James lists a couple reasons why partiality is contrary to the Gospel. God has chosen the poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom (vs. 5). Jesus wasn’t a spiritual snob so you can’t be one. If Jesus valued the poor enough to die for them, then you need to value them enough to talk to, eat with, encourage, love. “But you have dishonored the poor man…and don’t you realize what these rich guys do you?” (vs. 6-7) Those with wealth and power and position are the ones who harass Christians. They oppress you, drag you to court, and blaspheme the honorable name by which you were called. And you want to buddy up to these guys?
The Lord and His Royal Law (8-11)
James reinforces his charge by appealing to the royal law. “You shall love your neighbor as yourself” is quoted from Leviticus 19:18. The royal law is based on the character of the Lord. God says, “I am the Lord, therefore love your neighbor as your yourself.” In the first verses, James says to not show favoritism among Christians, and now he expands this beyond the bounds of brothers. You are to love your neighbor. We need to think in the categories God uses instead of the labels we slap on people. This is because your judgments often justify your actions. If you label the people down your street as “the druggies,” then you justify staying safely behind the curtains judging away. But if they are “your neighbors,” then what should you do? You love them, which fulfills the royal law.
You can’t pick and choose the laws you want to keep (or break). The law is like a large plate of glass. If there’s a single hole or crack anywhere in the glass, then the whole plate is broken (vs. 11).
Judgment of Mercy (12-13)
James concludes, “So speak and so act as those who are to be judged under the law of liberty” (vs. 12). Remember what law this is? This is the law of liberty, the perfect law of James 1:25. You will still be judged, but you will be judged in mercy. You will be judged as one already assured of the verdict that you are free. So live in the liberty of this law which says “Do not show partiality.” Those who make distinctions, acting as judges, ought to remember that they themselves will also be judged. The standard you have applied to others will be applied to you. Has your judgement of others been harsh? Then you will be judged harshly. Have you been merciful? Then look for mercy. The final statement is good news. For those who hold their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of Glory, mercy triumphs over judgment.
– Communion –
Let All the Earth with Loud Rejoicing………….94-95
Let All the Earth with Loud Rejoicing…………96-97
– Commissioning –
+ CLOSING DOXOLOGY
The congregation may raise hands
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