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Downtown Sunday Morning Service (9:30 am)
January 7, 2018 @ 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!
Songs of Praise…………………………..bulletin pg. 8
– 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. (Bulletin pg. 9-10)
Minister: Blessed is the man that walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful.
Congregation: But his delight is in the law of the Lord; And in his law he meditates day and night.
Minister: And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper.
Congregation: For the Lord knows the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.
– Consecration –
+ SCRIPTURE READING
Isaiah 60:1-12; Matthew 2:1-12
Reader: The Word of the Lord.
Congregation: Thanks be to God!
CCD: Charles Andrew Doornink, son of Andrew and Maddie (Story) Doornink
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)
Opening: Isaiah 54:1
Thanksgiving: Isaiah 63:7
Petitions: Isaiah 64:8
Song of Simeon…………………………………….428-29
CC: State of the Church #2 (Douglas Wilson)Sermon
The need of the hour is for the church to help establish a defined counterculture. This requires much more than defined denominational boundaries, or sectarian carve outs. There needs to be a defined center (worship) and a defined mission field (the world). In order to accomplish this, we need brick and mortar to build the alternative city walls. We have been doing this for some decades now, and we know how we mix that mortar. Now one of the key ingredients in that mortar is unrelenting antipathy to the ways of the world. Our danger is that any success in this (what people call our community) will attract people who love the walls but do not like how we lay the bricks. They love the fruit but do not care for the orchard. They like how the church works because they are actually assuming the world (at its best) should be able to work that way.
“Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets. But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you, Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you” (Luke 6:26–28).
Summary of the Text:
Jesus teaches that when we finally have that “good testimony” we have been striving for, we ought to see a red danger light blinking on the dashboard. Something has gone terribly wrong.
But objections come immediately to mind. We note that some people know how to get everybody to hate them simply by being jerks. Pagans certainly hate one another (Tit. 3:3), and that doesn’t make the other despised pagan godly. Peter says that we should rejoice when we are persecuted for the sake of Christ (1 Pet. 4:14, 16), but goes on to add that we must be certain that it really is for the sake of Christ and not because we are a being pseudo-Christians.
So how can we tell if we are guilty of this false credit that takes as a badge of honor a sign that we are actually being disobedient? The answer is found in our text. Those who can take legitimate comfort from the fact that they are slandered are those who can love their enemies, do good to their haters, bless those who curse them, and pray for those who are malicious in their mistreatment. They come into your shop to buy something while sneering at it, and so you must give back scriptural change. If you pay them back in their own coin, then this encouragement does not apply. It only applies to those who can do a little jig when they are reviled (Luke 6:23).
Not an Obscure Teaching:
“And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel” (Gen. 3:15). This enmity between the “two seeds” cannot be erased, and attempts to erase it are actually attempts to go over to the other side. “Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God” (James 4:4). If you want to be God’s adversary, then simply make friends with the world. “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution” (2 Tim. 3:12). This means that you cannot strive for Christ-likeness in this dark world without bringing down on your head something of what came down on Christ’s head. “If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you” (John 15:18). Stop acting surprised at things that the Bible talks about all over the place. “Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you” (1 John 3:13).
“. . . And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved . . .” (Matt. 10:21–26).
Tombs of the Prophets:
Jesus pointed out that after prophets are dead and gone, their reputations start to improve. And if enough time passes, the ungodly build memorials to the godly, lined with marble (Matt. 23:29). But whenever a living Christian leader comes back from a hot engagement at the front, with a couple of arrows through his hat, the careful men are quite willing to offer their critiques. It reminds me of Ambrose Bierce’s magnificent definition: “REAR, n. In American military matters, that exposed part of the army that is nearest to Congress.”
Why, the critics want to know, can’t you be more like the saintly men of old, whose marbled tombs grace the avenues of the city that people (not like us at all) built?
Like Spurgeon, who was vilified throughout the course of his ministry? Like Augustine, who wrote his famous Confessions because he was answering a smear campaign that was hindering his ministerial effectiveness? Or like Athanasius who stood contra mundum, that world being the Christian world, the world of accommodating bishops? Examples could be multiplied to the point of being pretty tedious.
The principles don’t change. The names do. This makes unprincipled people think that everything is different now.
Alternative City Walls:
Remember that in our generation, feeeelllings are the queen of the land. People don’t want to know if a Christian apologist has actually wronged someone in the course of his ministry. They just want to know if the other guy felt wronged. And of course it took about ten minutes for the unbelievers to figure out that you could get most Christians to back off just by saying ow ow ow ow!
As for the infidels, our central offense is not the presence of what I call the “satiric bite.” It is not even an offense at all. Are you serious? They don’t care about that. The offense is where the jabs are aimed. These are the people who laugh at the taunting of late night comedians, who host banquet “roasts” that are filled with vile insults, and who otherwise sit in the seat of mockers. But as the old blues song puts it, “it ain’t no fun when the rabbit’s got the gun.”
When David went out to face Goliath, he was not looking for a dialogue partner.
“This day will the Lord deliver thee into mine hand; and I will smite thee, and take thine head from thee; and I will give the carcases of the host of the Philistines this day unto the fowls of the air, and to the wild beasts of the earth; that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel” (1 Sam. 17:46).
And when Nehemiah established a great wall that separated the people of God from the unbelievers, the unbelievers did not take it well.
“And I sent messengers unto them, saying, I am doing a great work, so that I cannot come down: why should the work cease, whilst I leave it, and come down to you? Yet they sent unto me four times after this sort; and I answered them after the same manner. Then sent Sanballat his servant unto me in like manner the fifth time with an open letter in his hand; Wherein was written, It is reported among the heathen, and Gashmu saith it, that thou and the Jews think to rebel: for which cause thou buildest the wall, that thou mayest be their king, according to these words” (Neh. 6:3–6).
You really should give up preaching. And blogging. And publishing. And declaring. And why? Gashmu saith it.
You Can’t Preach Jesus:
The answer is, of course, to preach Christ. But it needs to be observed that it is not possible for a man to preach Christ while simultaneously ignoring the words of Christ. Preaching Christ means preaching both His words and His wounds.
CCD: Elect Exiles and Salvation Inheritance (Ty Knight)Sermon
Text: 1 Peter 1:1-12
God’s Chosen Exiles (vs. 1-2)
Peter addresses this letter to the elect, “eklektós,” the chosen ones. Most translations bump the word “eklektos” to verse two, but it’s the first word after Peter’s introduction, “Peter an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the elect…” The word “elect” was used in the Old Testament to refer to Israel, “For you are a holy people to the LORD your God; the LORD your God has elected you to be a people for Himself, a special teasure above all the peoples on the face of the earth” (Dt. 7:6). Peter echoes this in 1 Peter 2:9. When Peter addresses this letter to the elect, he is not talking about individual persons, but to God’s special people, the new Israel.
But God’s elect––the known, sancified, blood-sprinkled and obedient people, are pilgrims scatterd across the world. The word dispersion means scattering like the scattering of seed and was used in the Old Testament to describe the result for breaking the covenant (Dt. 28:25). Now God’s chosen people are pilgrims who have been scattered in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia––the Roman provinces that make up the region called Asia Minor or modern day Turkey. Peter views this not as a curse but a blessing and cause for rejoicing.
A Psalm of Praise (vs. 3)
Peter starts his letter in worship. He begins with a psalm of praise, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!” There’s not a command to do something, but the acknowledgment and praise for what God has done for you.
The theme for this praise is the salvation inheritance that’s been brought by the abundant mercy of the Father, through the ressurrection of Jesus, and revealed by the Holy Spirit. You were dead in your sins and born as children of wrath, but now because of the Father’s mercy, you are born again to a living hope, a hope of life. And Peter specifically says this happens through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. Your life as a Christian is dependent on Christ. When Jesus was born again to new life, you were born again. And so salvation is bound up with our unity with Jesus. His story is now your story. His life is your life. His death, your death. His family, your family.
Incorruptible, Undefiled, Unfading Inheritance (vs 4-5)
And what comes in a family? An inheritance from your Father. Salvation is life in Christ. And because we share in Christ’s life, we also share in Christ’s inheritance (Rom. 8:15-17). And no one will mess with Christ’s inheritance which is incorruptible, undefiled, unfading, reserved in heaven for you (vs. 4).
Your inheritance is kept secure in heaven, and you are kept secure in the world by the power of God (vs. 5). The word “kept” means guarded, protected by a military garrison. God is the sentinel in the citadel turrets gaurding your life. The Father who knew you before time began, who caused you be be born into his family, who prepares your inheritance, will guard and kept you until you come to Him.
Joyous Salvation (vs. 6-9)
“In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials.” You greatly rejoice even when you are being grieved. Can these emotions of joy and grief, these reactions occur at the same time? (Jm. 1:2)
One of the reasons you can have joy in the pain is because you know the the trials are from the Father and He has a purpose––“so that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” You don’t throw a lump of gold into a fire because you think it’s worthless. Fire is applied to reveal the gold’s value and make it more valuable. But the process of purification is non-too pleasant for the lump of gold, and so love Jesus, believe in Jesus, rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory. God regards your faith and its fire-tested purity as more valuable than gold, more valuable than an easy, comfortable life. Your faith will gleam to the honor, praise, and glory of Jesus Christ.
The Search for Salvation (vs. 10-12)
In these last verses Peter wants his readers to appreciate how valuable the gift is that they hold. The prophets in the Old Testament “searched carefully and inquired of the grace that would come to you.” They wrote the treasure map and investigated but never found the treasure. Peter says been given the treasure, your salvation. And our salvation is “the suffering of Christ and the glories that would follow.” Can you believe that? The ancient mystery was the grace of Jesus as the Christ who would suffer and die. This is the good news not only for you, but for all those who will share in the inheritance of Jesus.
Peter began this letter with a hymn of praise. And so worship must be our first response to what the Father, Son, and Spirit have done for his chosen people. Believe the gospel that you have been begotten again to a living hope. Rejoice greatly that you are kept by the power of God. Preach by the Spirit the salvation to the inheritance of the nations.
– 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
Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace, comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work. Amen. 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17