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Downtown Sunday Morning Service (9:30 am)
September 17, 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!
O Wondrous Type! O Vision Fair…………………..320
– Confession –
Psalm 43………………………………bulletin pg. 9
CONFESSION OF SIN
Congregation is invited to kneel if able
2 Corinthians 5:21
+ 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 ninth commandment?
Congregation: That I do not bear false witness against anyone, twist anyone’s words, be a gossip or a slanderer, or condemn anyone lightly without a hearing. Rather I am required to avoid, under penalty of God’s wrath, all lying and deceit as the works of the devil himself. In judicial and all other matters I am to love the truth, and to speak and confess it honestly. Indeed, insofar as I am able, I am to defend and promote my neighbor’s good name.
– Consecration –
+ SCRIPTURE READING
Ecclesiastes 3:1-11; John 11:1-6
Reader: The Word of the Lord.
Congregation: Thanks be to God!
ADMISSION OF NEW MEMBER:
CCD: Josh Clemans
Let Israel Now Say in Thankfulness………………..162
Opening: Galatians 4:6-7
Thanksgiving: 1 Corinthians 1:4-5
Petitions: Philippians 4:19
CC: Apostles Creed 12 (Douglas Wilson)Sermon
Since the first century, the Christian church has commemorated the resurrection of Jesus from the dead by meeting on the first day of the week, the Lord’s Day (Rev. 1:10). The Sabbath was ordained, as the Old Testament makes abundantly clear, for as long as the old creation lasted. Therefore, nothing would be adequate to shift the day from the seventh to the first short of a new heaven and new earth. And in the resurrection from the dead, this is precisely what we find. THE TEXT: 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:
“Then certain philosophers of the Epicureans, and of the Stoicks, encountered him. And some said, What will this babbler say? other some, He seemeth to be a setter forth of strange gods: because he preached unto them Jesus, and the resurrection” (Acts 17:18).
As we will see, the apostolic proclamation of the gospel centered in an important way on the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. This is apparent in multiple places, and here on Mars Hill it comes out in a curious way. The Greek word for resurrection is anastasis, and the philosophers there thought that Paul was preaching strange gods. Note the plural. They thought this because he was preaching about Jesus and about Anastasis. The resurrection featured so strongly in his preaching that they thought it was one of a pair of gods.
When the disciples replaced Judas, they wanted someone who had been with them since the baptism of John down to the ascension. That apostle’s job was to be witness, together with them, of the resurrection (Acts 1:22). The enemies of the gospel were grieved that the early Christians were preaching the resurrection of the dead through Jesus (Acts 4:2). The orthodox Jews believed in a resurrection of the dead, contra the Sadducees, but the Christians were preaching that this resurrection had surfaced in a strange place, through the resurrection of Jesus. This is why Paul was able to divide the Sanhedrin on this question (Acs 23:6, 8). There would be a resurrection of both the just and the unjust and the Jews knew it (Acts 24:15). But there was something they did not know.
“And when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked: and others said, We will hear thee again of this matter.” (Acts 17:32).
One of the things that the unbelieving heart loves to do is take certain obvious things for granted, in order to suppress and ignore them, and to do this in order to ridicule the coming glories as incredible. One time I was with Christopher Hitchens on Joy Behar’s show, and they were making merry over the fact that I believe the Bible, meaning that I believed in talking animals—like the serpent in the garden, or Balaam’s donkey. “How can you believe in talking animals?” My response was, “But we’re animals, and we talk.” And nobody knew quite what to do. In short, everybody believes in talking animals.
And what about life from the dead? Everyone believes in that too. The evolutionist believes that inanimate matter one day jumped the chasm and became animate—life from death. And it did this all by itself. And Christians believe that God formed Adam from the dust of the ground. When He breathed the breath of life into him, that inanimate matter became a living soul (Gen. 2:7). Everyone believes that life came from death. What our faith in the resurrection means is that we believe it will happen again. But why on earth would anyone declare a miracle an impossibility the second time? Sure, you walked on water once, but a second time is impossible.
INSIDE OUT HISTORY:
Having no doctrine of creation, a common pagan assumption about history involved it in endless recurring cycles. The Jews had a doctrine of creation, and so they had a linear view of history. It was a story with a beginning, middle, and end. The resurrection from the dead would occur on the last day. Jesus said the general resurrection would happen on the last day ( John 6:39-40, 44). Martha expected to see her brother Lazarus at the last day ( John 11:24). Unbelievers would be judged by the words of Christ on the last day ( John 12:48). And this is all true enough, as far as it went.
But the startling thing that God did was this. By doing this, He transformed the entire nature of human history. He punched a hole in the fabric of history, right in the middle of it. That hole was the tomb of Christ. He reached through that hole, grabbed the last days, and pulled them through the tomb. The resurrection of the last days has begun, and it began in the middle of ordinary time. Christ rose in the middle of history, which means that all our reckoning has to be adjusted accordingly.
RESURRECTION ON THE MOVE:
Everything that was entailed in the resurrection of the last day has been accomplished in Christ. He rose from the dead bodily. His resurrection was the down payment on what will be for the rest of us. “For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself ” (Phil. 3:20–21).
The last day will still see wonderful things—our bodies will be transformed then, just as the Jews expected. But because Christ’s body was transformed in the middle of history, what was pulled after this? Christ’s resurrection pulled our regeneration (our spiritual resurrection from spiritual death), and our regeneration pulls our bodily resurrection after it. “And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness” (Rom. 8:10).
But of course it is the hand of God that is doing all the pulling.
CCD: John 1 – Witness of the Lamb (Ty Knight)Sermon
TEXT: John 1:19-37
In this passage, John is asked “Who are you?” and “Why do you baptize?” But as the witness of Jesus, John re-directs the attention to Jesus. Who are you, Jesus? “The Lamb of God.” What do you do, Jesus? “I take away the sins of the world.” As he does this, John fulfills his role as a witness of Jesus and also gives us an example to follow in our own witnessing.
WHO ARE YOU? (VS. 19-22)
The Jewish leaders send a delegation of priests and Levites on a recon mission to John, “Who are you?” John gives testimony of who he is not. “He confessed, and did not deny, but confessed, ‘I am not the Christ’” (vs. 20). This becomes one of the questions that shape the rest of the book, “Are you the Christ?” This is the right question, but directed at the wrong person. And so begins the speed version of 20 questions, “What then? Are you Elijah?” “No, try again.” “Are you the Prophet?” “Wrong again.” The delegation is not simply picking random biblical figures from the Old Testament, “So, are you Nebuchadnezzar?” But they’re probing for information about the Christ (Duet. 18:18, Malachi 4:5). Since they get nowhere with their questions, they hand over the mic to John, “Who do you say you are?”
A VOICE PREPARING FOR YAHWEH (VS. 23-28)
John responds by quoting Isaiah 40:3, “I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the LORD.’” John answers, not with a who, but with a what––a voice. He is preparing the way for the LORD. In the Isaiah passage, “Lord” has all capital letters which signifies that this is the proper name of Yahweh. John emphasizes that the one he is preparing the way for is Yahweh, the covenant God of the Old Testament. Now John is about to use his voice in the wilderness and witness about Yahweh.
BEHOLD, THE LAMB OF GOD (VS. 29-31)
The story picks up the next day when John sees Jesus coming toward him and he lifts up his voice, “Behold, the Lamb of God!” The associations we have with the word “lamb” are different than what a Jew in the first century would have. Lambs in the Knight home are something soft and snuggly and part of the animal collection you sleep with at night. But for these people, lambs are used for meat or for sacrifice. They’re not meant for snuggling but for the slaughter.
Sin always leads to death. This has how it’s been since Adam and Eve were created––“For in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die” (Gen. 2:17). But God in his mercy established a substitute system of death to remove sin. Instead of the sinner dying, an animal, like a lamb, could stand in his place (Lev. 4:32, 35). God accepts the lamb’s death as a substitute for the sinner’s death. But the blood of animals could not really take away sin, “For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sin” (Heb. 10:4). That whole system was pointing forward to what would happen someday in a final sacrifice for sin. And now John points at a man and says, “Behold the Lamb, who takes away the sin of the world.”
This Lamb is without spot or blemish (1 Pet. 1:18-19). How could Jesus be without sin? Every person born in the ordinary way inherited Adam’s sin (Rom. 5:12). And sinners can’t take away the sins of sinners. This is why John states that Jesus is no ordinary man. “This is he of whom I said, ‘After me comes a man who ranks before me, because he was before me’” (vs. 30). The one who takes away the sins of the world must be more than man––the Son of God who became a man. And now John tells us why the Word became flesh, “to take away the sins of the world.”
THE SACRIFICE OF GOD IS THE SON OF GOD (VS. 32-34)
In verses 32-34, John relates to us how he came to know Jesus as the Son of God. “I saw the Spirit descend from heaven like a dove, and it remained on him” (vs. 32). John points to the well known baptism of Jesus. After John baptizes Jesus, the heavens open up and Spirit comes like a dove and a voice thunders, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.” John says that his testimony is not his own decision or discovery. This is what God the Father said. This is what God the Spirit did. “I myself did not know him, but he who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain, this is he who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’ And I have seen and have borne witness that this is the Son of God” (vs. 33-34).
We should remember the glorious truth that we too can become children of God (vs. 12). And now John has told us how we can become children of God. Sinners become children of God because the Son of God became the the Lamb of God. This is the witness of John.
– Communion –
– Commissioning –
+ CLOSING DOXOLOGY
The congregation may raise hands
CHARGE & BENEDICTION
The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face shine upon you, and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up His countenance upon you, and give you peace. Numbers 6:24-26