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Downtown Sunday Morning Service (9:30 am)
January 28, 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!
– 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: Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness:
Congregation: Have mercy upon me, and hear my prayer.
Minister: The Lord will hear when I call upon him.
Congregation: Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, and put your trust in the Lord.
Minister: I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep:
Congregation: For You alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety.
– Consecration –
+ SCRIPTURE READING
Ezekiel 18:23-32; Acts 26:12-23
Reader: The Word of the Lord.
Congregation: Thanks be to God!
Psalm 19…………………………..bulletin pg. 10-11
Opening: Psalm 89:11-15
Thanksgiving: Psalm 67:3-7
Petitions: Psalm 66:16-20
On Christ, the Solid Rock………bulletin pg. 12-13
CC: State of the Church #5: Huguenot Hustle (Douglas Wilson)Sermon
According to Scripture, a spiritual man is one who walks in step with the Spirit in this material world (Gal. 5:16). A spiritual man is not an ethereal man, or a wispy man, or a semi-transparent man. A spiritual man is never a worldly man (1 John 2:15), but he most certainly is a down-to-earth man. While there have been people who were so heavenly-minded they were no earthly good, it generally runs the other way. The people who have done the most earthly good have often been the most heavenly-minded. How could deep and intelligent love for ultimate wisdom incapacitate a person?
“Seest thou a man diligent in his business? He shall stand before kings; He shall not stand before mean men” (Prov. 22:29).
“Do you see a man skillful in his work? He will stand before kings; he will not stand before obscure men” (Prov. 22:29, ESV).
Summary of the Text:
The Bible teaches us that cream rises. This is not because cream has anything to boast of, but rather because of how God created and governs His world. We can plant and water, but God is the one who gives the increase (1 Cor. 3:6-7).
The point is to seek the blessings of being cream, and then secondarily, after that, seeking the blessing that comes to cream. And of course, having received such blessings, we are to boast —but we are only to boast in the Lord (1 Cor. 1:31; 2 Cor. 10:17). What do you have that you did not receive as a gift? And if as a gift, then why do you boast as though it were not a gift (1 Cor. 4:7)?
So it is a gift from God to excel in your work. It is another gift from God to reap the benefits of excelling in your work. Though they usually go together (but not always), the two must not be confused, and the order of the two must not be reversed.
One of the great accomplishments of the Reformation was the restoration of the idea of calling or vocation in every lawful endeavor. This abolished the old sacred/secular hierarchy, where it was assumed that if you were really sold out for Jesus you would be in a nunnery, or some other place that was equally high-minded. Being a merchant was kind of a tragic necessity, but somebody had to tithe.
Unfortunately, this medieval mistake is creeping back in, having made great inroads in the evangelical world. What do people who are “sold out for Jesus” do now? We call it “full time Christian work.” But what other kind is there? According to this unhappy assumption, if you don’t enlist in the Navy Seals for Jesus (NSJ), then you can always go into architecture, where you try to pay down some of the guilt for being such a partial Christian by giving donations to the real Christians.
But the doctrine of God’s sovereignty, and Christ’s universal lordship over all things, means that we need to put down this idea for good. If you are a faithful Christian, walking in the will of God, then God is advancing the kingdom of His Son through your film-editing, back-hoe operating, diaper-changing, book writing, music composing, lawn mowing, classroom teaching, study-group organizing, and sermon preparing. All of it is in the palm of God’s hand. Remember—all of Christ for all of life.
Not Kidding Yourself:
But in all of these endeavors, the biblical pattern is clear. First the planting, then the harvest (1 Cor. 3:6). First the race, then the medals ceremony (1 Cor. 9:24). First the cross, then the crown (1 Cor. 9:25). First the death, then the resurrection (Rom. 6:4).
“For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith” (Rom. 12:3).
Because we live in a flattering age, too many Christians have come to think that successful entrepreneurship is their birthright, and all they have to do is be energetic enough to scoop up the rewards. And we try to sanctify the attitude that James describes as evil boasting, and we try to sanctify it with “the will of God.”
“Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that” (James 4:13–15).
Peace and Purity:
When you are engaged, as we are, in seeking to build true Christian community, the first thing that will happen is that an economy will start to take shape. And this means, in its turn, that disputes will arise. Most of the gnarly disputes will be about business or finances. This is borne out in my experience, and in line with the survey we recently sent out to you all.
Test your heart first. When you are thinking about a business opportunity with another member of the church, ask yourself this question first. If your first thought is that because so-and-so is a fellow kirker he might cut you a deal, then I would plead with you as your pastor to go do business with the pagans. You’ll fit in better there. Go buy it in Spokane. That’s how you can maintain the peace and purity of the church. How many Christians think something like this? “Ooo—he has that little fish in his window. I think I’ll add 10% to whatever he invoices. He’s a brother.”
And when the attitude is right, there is only one more thing I would ask you to include. Too many Christians think that regeneration, or good intentions, or having a nice personality will somehow make your memory perfect, or will prevent you from getting hit by a truck. So suppose you get hit by that truck, and your heirs and your partners’ heirs are all trying to figure out what that handshake fifteen years ago meant. Write it down. This does not make you suspicious and unloving. God loves us perfectly, and He still wrote it down.
Christ or Mammon:
If you give yourselves to the pursuit of Mammon, it will do nothing but suck you dry. If Christ gives Himself to you, and you surrender yourself in response, the opposite thing happens. “He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.” (John 7:38).
“The liberal soul shall be made fat: And he that watereth shall be watered also himself” (Prov. 11:25).
This does not take Mammon out of your hands, but it most certainly takes you out of Mammon’s. And Mammon remains a snake, but the Lord promised that we could handle serpents without harm (Mark 16:18). Apart from the sovereign grace of God, you cannot keep money from doing what money always does.
But Christ—in whose hands you are—can keep money from doing what money always does.
CCD: 1 Peter 2:1-10 (Matt Meyer)Sermon
Besides the introduction to the book of 1 Peter, Ty has covered three important themes in the first chapter. The first was our identity as chosen by God as one of His children. The second was the fact that this includes a magnificent inheritance that is guarded for us in heaven. And, what follows from this as the necessary expectation that we live as obedient children before our God who saved us in Christ. Finally, chapter one ends on the assurance that this salvation and inheritance is not a passing fancy. It is fixed securely on the fact that we were born again by God’s incorruptible, eternal word, when we believed the gospel — and what is that Gospel? That all our sins, past, present and future we paid for in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Therefore — get rid of sin:
You’ve been born again by God, therefore as his child purify your soul by getting rid of all malice. What is malice? A simple definition is: the desire to inflict injury, harm, or suffering on another. Proverbs warns against this. In Proverbs 24:17 it reads: Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, And do not let your heart be glad when he stumbles.
You’ve been born again by God, therefore as his child purify your soul by getting rid of all deceit. What is deceit? This problem is so common that we have all sorts of synonyms for it. Let me share just a few: lying, false witness, falsehoods, shading the truth, cheating, all of which can be connected to the hypocrisy of trying to make yourself “look” better than you really are.
You’ve been born again by God, therefore as his child purify your soul by getting rid of all envy. What is envy? On the surface, it is wanting other people’s stuff. But, it would also including everything that others’ might represent in terms of popularity, looks, gifts, intelligence, relationships. Now, this seems somewhat less serious (in terms of sin) than malice and deceit, but don’t deceive yourself! Paul in Colossians 3:5 identifies covetousness (envy) with idolatry: Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.
You’ve been born again by God, therefore as his child purify your soul by getting rid of all evil speaking. We don’t need a definition for evil speaking, but we may need help in identifying when we are doing this. Criticizing others, putting them down, passing on gossip comes so easily that I confess that most of the time we may not be seeing our words in this light. From Ephesians 4:29, “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.only speak encouraging words.”
Therefore … grow:
“as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby,”
God is not just concerned about cleaning house by getting rid of stuff. We don’t want the house cleaned but empty inviting 7 spirits worse than the original to return. We want to put off and then put on. Here, the command is to desire more of the word of God. And, this expectation is built on verse 3 that asks the hypothetical question — IF you have tasted or know that God is gracious!
1 Peter 2:4-5 echoes Paul in Ephesians 2:19-22. In both the Peter and Paul passages, the message is clear. Jesus is the cornerstone, chosen by God. What is a cornerstone? What does that “picture” represent? It is the first stone laid in the building. From it every other stone is measured and aligned and fitted. Everything hangs on Him. Hear the echo in Colossians 1:15: “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.”
Therefore it is also contained in the Scripture,
“Behold, I lay in Zion, A chief cornerstone, elect, precious,
And he who believes on Him will by no means be put to shame.”
Peter is quoting from Psalm 118. Jesus too is recorded as quoting this passage in the synoptic gospels (Matthew, Mark and Luke 20:17) when asked about his authority, and Jesus turns the question of the religious leaders on them asking about John the Baptist. Did you believe him? Jesus challenged them with this question about John and then told them a parable about the wicked vine dressers who rejected the son of the owner when he came to collect the rent. It was here that Jesus quotes Ps 118 connecting his calling and authority from the Father with their unbelief. And for Peter this is not the first time that he has used it. Peter and John testify to the truth of this Psalm when they are called before the council in Jerusalem because they continued to preach Jesus’ resurrection from the dead as the sign of Jesus identity and authority.
Outcome of Belief or Unbelief:
In 1 Peter 2:7-8, God confirms that Jesus is His chosen cornerstone and that this stone not only forms the foundation for those who believe but also stumbles those who don’t believe. This verse was an important junction in my road of understanding this doctrine. It is clear, unambiguous, direct. This all in the context of Peter telling us that God’s salvation was also planned from before the foundation of the world in Chapter 1.
God’s sovereignty messes with our desire to be in control — as it should. And, it messes with our sense of fair play. Many argue that it is simply unfair or capricious on God’s part. Or, they would add that it makes us out to be robots so don’t worry about anything as you don’t have any say in the matter. But, to go here is wrong headed. As for being fair, if God was totally fair, we would all be lost. For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. There is none righteous, no not one. And, the wages of sin are death. This applies to everyone. So, in giving salvation to anyone, God is not being fair and THANK GOD that is so.
Now, having addressed those who deny Christ, what about those who believe?
But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.
As Ty taught from Chapter 1, Peter emphasizes the election/choosing of both Christ for His role in the salvation of the world and also our election in Christ.
Christ’s role is to be that Cornerstone, the key to everything that follows. And what follows is a reaffirmation of our identity in Christ. Like Christ, we are chosen. Like Christ, our role is given in a picture. Instead of the cornerstone or foundation, we are pictured as living stones of a temple and as the King’s priests. God’s own. And as a result we have a purpose. In chapter 1, we have the link of children of God and Holiness in imitation of our Father. Here, we are royal priests, people of God called to proclaim the praises of Him who called us out of darkness, and that sound like a straightforward mission.
+ Malachi……………………………….bulletin pg. 14
– Communion –
– Commissioning –
+ CLOSING DOXOLOGY
The congregation may raise hands
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son,
and to the Holy Ghost;
As it was in the beginning, is now,
and ever shall be, world without end.
CHARGE & BENEDICTION
The peace of God, which passes all understanding, keep your hearts and minds in the knowledge and love of God, and of His Son Jesus Christ our Lord; and the blessings of God Almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, be upon, and remain with you always. Amen.