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Downtown Sunday Morning Service (9:30 am)
December 10, 2017 @ 9:30 am - 11:30 am
Announcements & Meditation
– Call to Worship –
Minister: The Lord is near to all who call upon Him, to all who call upon Him in truth. He will fulfill the desire of those who are in awe of Him.
Congregation: He will hear their cry and save them. Amen.
Minister: Lift up your hearts!
Congregation: We lift them up to the Lord!
– Confession –
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 the fourth petition?
Congregation: “Give us this day our daily bread.” That is: be pleased to provide for all our bodily needs so that thereby we may acknowledge that thou art the only source of all that is good, and that without thy blessing neither our care and labor nor thy gifts can do us any good. Therefore, may we withdraw our trust from all creatures and place it in thee alone.
– Consecration –
+ SCRIPTURE READING
Malachi 4:1-6; Luke 1:5-17
Reader: The Word of the Lord.
Congregation: Thanks be to God!
While Shepherds Watched…………….bulletin pg. 9
Opening: Psalm 108:5-6
Thanksgiving: 2 Corinthians 9:9-11
Petitions: Matthew 21:21-22
CC: Apostles Creed 21 (Douglas Wilson)Sermon
And the Life Everlasting. Amen.
The gospel is given to us so that fellowship with God might be restored. God created us without fault or failing, and yet through our father Adam we all grasped for the fruit, and fell into spiritual death. When we reached for the knowledge of good and evil, we were attempting to seize the rule prematurely. We were already eating from the tree of life, but on account of our rebellion, we were banished from the entire Garden, which included the tree of life. In the gospel, we are invited back to the tree of eternal life (Rev. 2:7).
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:
“Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God’s elect, and the acknowledging of the truth which is after godliness; In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began; But hath in due times manifested his word through preaching, which is committed unto me according to the commandment of God our Saviour” (Titus 1:1–3).
As part of his preamble to the letter to Titus, Paul summarizes his calling and his mission. He is a servant of God, and He was sent out as an apostle by Jesus Christ (v. 1). This lines up with the faith of God’s elect and the knowledge of the truth which is in accordance with godliness (v. 1). All this is undertaken in hopes of eternal life, which God—who cannot lie—promised before eternal times (v. 2). But now, in due time, God has manifested His Word through His preachers, which was committed to Paul through the commandment of God our Savior (v. 3).
Sorting Out the Words:
What is the difference between eternal, everlasting, and forever? Is there a difference?
We are pursuing eternal life, hoping for it, and the word for eternal here is aionios. The word means ages, or world, or era. In v. 2, using the same word, God promised this before the timeless ages, or perhaps before eternal times. In English, everlasting and eternal are distinct—everlasting means temporal succession without end, and eternal means timeless—a forever is like everlasting. One refers to duration and the other to quality. But our English translations are working from the same word in both Hebrew and Greek (compare John 3:15 and 3:16), and so the meaning of the word in Scripture is largely contextual. There is only so much juice that can be squeezed from a lexicon.
“Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began [before eternal times]” (2 Tim. 1:9). In short God gave His grace to us before there was such a concept as before. The one thing we can be sure of is that God’s temporal dealings with us are anchored in decisions He made before the foundation of the world.
Begin with Hope:
Calvin dismisses those men who want us to limit our spiritual considerations to this life, saying they “reduce men to the condition of cattle.” God has put eternity into our hearts (Ecc. 3:11), speaking of our yearning, and if anyone believes in the Son of God He also puts eternal life there (John 3:15-16; 6:54; 10:28; 17:2-3)—speaking of the fulfillment. So what are you yearning for? What is your hope? “To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life” (Rom. 2:7).
The God of Amen:
“Blessed be the Lord God of Israel from everlasting to everlasting! And let all the people say, “Amen! “ Praise the Lord!” (Ps. 106:48)
In Scripture we find three basic uses of amen. The first is that it has the force of a covenant oath (Num. 5:22; Dt. 27; Neh. 5:13). This far stronger than a simple, “Yes, I agree with that.” The second use is a benediction. “Brethren, the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen” (Gal. 6:18; Phil 4:23; 2 Tim. 4:22; Rev. 22:21). And last is the doxological use. Justified men have also been given the privilege of blessing God. When God is solemnly blessed and praised, we conclude it with amen. “. . . the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen” (Rom. 1:25; 9:5; Eph. 3:21; 2 Tim. 4:18; Heb. 13:21; 1 Pet. 5:11). When we say Amen in this context, we are tasting eternity.
In both Old and New Testaments, God identifies Himself with this word. Speaking of the time of the New Covenant, Isaiah prophesies in this way: “So that he who blesses himself in the earth shall bless himself in the God of truth [lit. “God of Amen”]; and he who swears in the earth shall swear by the God of truth [same] (Is. 65:16).
And John the apostle records, “And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write, ‘These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God . . .’ (Rev. 3:14). And Paul teaches, “For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us” (2 Cor. 1:20).
The Final and Ultimate Hope:
“And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent” (John 17:3).
And so all the promises of God culminate in this living and triune Amen. And so we believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of Heaven and earth . . . and in the life everlasting. Amen.
CCD: God As Our Father: Part 4 (Matt Meyer)Sermon
“who, in the days of His flesh, when He had offered up prayers and supplications, with vehement cries and tears to Him who was able to save Him from death, and was heard because of His godly fear, though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered. And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him, called by God as High Priest ‘according to the order of Melchizedek,’”
Remember that the theme in this series has been to “look” at our relationship to God as our Father through the lens of our relationship to our family. In Matthew 7:11, Jesus tells us that we can use parental examples (here) to multiply (how much more) to get to a better picture of how God relates to us. He uses relationships we can understand to leverage our ability to understand His relationship with us.
Marks of a Teenager
We are talking about a stage in life where suddenly our children have the capacity and will to either put into practice everything wrong that is beaconing them from our culture like the foolish woman of Proverbs 9:15-18. Or, they exercise their new found capacity in obedience. This is the issue.
How did Jesus Learn Obedience?
In our sermon text, Jesus prayed with such intensity that sweat formed as great drops of blood on his forehead. And we are told that He was heard because of His godly fear. Jesus prayed with complete trust in both the power and goodness of the Father — that childlikeness that I talked about in the previous message. The problem was not relationship — Jesus was the SON. The problem was not sin — Jesus was sinless. The answer was not due to an improper request or heart attitude — Jesus prayed with godly fear. The answer from the Father was given that Jesus would learn obedience through His suffering.
The Outcome of Jesus’ Obedience
The outcome of Jesus’ suffering had a number of effects: His perfection; the salvation of the world; AND the anticipated perfection of all those who follow Him! How is this? What do I mean by the anticipated perfection or obedience of those who are followers of Jesus, who are found “in Him”? Having the same mind as Christ — submitting to the Father — and suffering in the flesh result in the ceasing of sin or to say this positively — holiness (1 Peter 4:1).
Authority and Submission
The Centurion in Luke 7:6-8 was a powerful man and righteous in the sight of the Jewish elders. He was a compassionate man, seeking the welfare of his servant. Still, he humbles himself personally before Jesus and further demonstrates by his faith and words that he believed that Jesus was not only the higher authority but THE authority over the earth. And, here we have Jesus acknowledge that this is the faith of the Centurion was just the kind of faith that impresses Jesus.
Laying the Groundwork
Then He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was subject to them, but His mother kept all these things in her heart. And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men. Luke 2:51-52
What Jesus “learned” in Hebrews 5 (submission to death), began with submission to parents. This is just the simple principle that if you want to be faithful in big things, you need to start being faithful in little things. Jesus was subject to his parents. This means he was under the rule of his parents in the same sense that rulers have subjects who obey them.
1) Submission is not easy, because real submission is tested when we have to do something we don’t want to do. Jesus demonstrated real submission when His request that his cup be removed was denied. Paul experienced real submission when his thorn was not removed.
2) Submission is not an option. In Romans 6, we learn that we are either slaves to sin or slave to righteousness. In any case, we are submitting to someone. It is just that one leads to death and one to life.
3) Submission is freeing. When we submit, we are handing over the responsibility for the outcome to the other party. A wife to her husband. A young person to their parents. Jesus to the Father. Men to leaders in the church or their organization. When we take the decision into our own hands, then we carry the full responsibility.
+ What Child Is This……………………………………250
– Communion –
Of the Father’s Love Begotten……………………246-47
– Commissioning –
+ CLOSING DOXOLOGY
The congregation may raise hands
Doxology………………………………………………….225 v. 6
Praise to God the Father sing,
Praise to God the Son, our King,
Praise to God the Spirit be,
Ever and eternally.
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