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Downtown Sunday Morning Service (9:30)
January 13 @ 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!
O Sing a New Song to the Lord, pp. 134-135
– Confession –
Through Every Age, Eternal God, p. 266
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: Save me, O God, by Your name,
Congregation: And judge me by Your strength.
Minister: Hear my prayer, O God;
Congregation: Give ear to the words of my mouth.
Minister: I will praise Your name, O Lord; for it is good.
Congregation: For He has delivered me out of all trouble:
Minister: And my eye has seen His desire upon mine enemies.
Our God Our Help in Ages Past, p. 374
– Consecration –
+ SCRIPTURE READING
Psalm 119:97-104; Luke 2:40-52
Reader: The Word of the Lord.
Congregation: Thanks be to God!
Jess Hartson Hall (CC-2nd)
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.’
Ray, Rhonda, and Radiant Mallery (CCD)
David and Lindsey Madsen (CCD)
Psalm 1, bulletin p. 10
Opening: Isaiah 54:1
Thanksgiving: Isaiah 63:7
Petitions: Isaiah 64:8
I in the Lord Do Put My Trust, p. 12
CC: What It Means to be Forgiven (Douglas Wilson)Sermon
When we are forgiven for our sins, there are two aspects to it. First we are delivered, definitively, all at once, from the penalty of sin. You need to think of this as though the angel of the Lord Himself was appointed as the foreman of your jury, and he entered the heavenly courtroom and read out the verdict. Pointing to the altar where Jesus sprinkled His own blood, he says, in a bright clear voice that the whole cosmos hears, “not guilty.” This is forgiveness proper.
But we are also delivered from the power of sin. There is a stark break with what might be called reigning sin (Gal. 5:24), which is followed by a progressive and unrelenting campaign against all remaining sin (Col. 3:5; Rom. 8:13).
Hear the word of the Lord, ye rulers of Sodom; give ear unto the law of our God, ye people of Gomorrah. To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto me? saith the Lord: I am full of the burnt offerings of rams, and the fat of fed beasts; and I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of he goats. When ye come to appear before me, who hath required this at your hand, to tread my courts? Bring no more vain oblations; incense is an abomination unto me; the new moons and sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot away with; it is iniquity, even the solemn meeting. Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hateth: they are a trouble unto me; I am weary to bear them. And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood. Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil; Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow. Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land: But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the Lordhath spoken it (Is. 1:10-20).
Summary of the Text
The message I have entrusted to deliver to you is a message of free grace, radical grace, nothing but grace. The message of the cross of Jesus, and the resurrection of the Christ, is a message of everlasting and undeserved kindness. That being the case, and because our thought processes are so corrupted by sin, we have a hard time getting our minds around what God is offering us.
Either we say that God is the only lifeguard, and so He must be saving us from drowning by leaving us on the bottom of the pool, or we acknowledge that we must be saved from drowning by getting out of the pool, and concluding that we must by our own efforts help the lifeguard to save us. Being saved by grace means being saved by grace from sin (Rom. 6:14). Being under law means being under condemnation for those sins that have you in bondage. Being under grace means you are liberated from that.
Consider how the prophet Isaiah presents this glorious reality. First, he addresses the Jews under the figure of Sodom and Gomorrah (v. 10). He asks the first what their intentions were in bringing Him sacrifices (v. 11). He asks them (sarcastically) who required you to show up here in my courts (v. 12). He tells them to pack up all their liturgical gear, and get out (v. 13). Solemn meetings and iniquity do not go together. God hates their religiosity (v. 14). When they spread out their hands in a pious gesture, God turns away. Their hands are covered with blood (v. 15). Repent, turn away, learn a different way (vv. 16-17). And then comes the glorious promise—a promise that only God could fulfill (v. 18). God makes them a most reasonable offer. Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be white as snow. Though their sins be like crimson, they shall be like wool. The sins are blood red; the salvation is blood red; the forgiveness is pure white.
If you are willing and obedient, you will eat the good of the land (v. 19). If you are stubborn and kick, then you will be destroyed (v. 20).
Forgiven Means Forgiving
A sheep bleats because it is a sheep. But you don’t become a sheep bybleating. An apple tree produces apples because it is an apple tree. But a bramble bush can’t become an apple tree bygrowing apples. A person rescued from the bottom of the pool will be dried off, but we don’t hand him a towel on the bottom of the pool.
And forgiven people forgive. That is just what happens.
“Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven” (Luke 6:37).
“And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even asGod for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you” (Eph. 4:32).
This is how absolute forgiveness is simultaneously absolute grace, free grace, and at the same time is morally rigorous. This is because God does not just give us cleansing from the defilement of sin, but also from the power of sin to defile. He gives us more, not less.
What It Is Like
“No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of me, saith the Lord” (Is. 54:17).
“I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressionsfor mine own sake, and will not rememberthy sins. Put me in remembrance: let us plead together: Declare thou, that thou mayest be justified” (Is. 43:25–26).
“Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, And passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? He retaineth not his anger for ever, Because he delighteth in mercy. He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; He will subdue our iniquities; And thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea” (Micah 7:18–19).
“As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressionsfrom us” (Ps. 103:12).
CCD: Philippians: Gospel Fellowship (Ty Knight)Sermon
Paul and Timothy, bondservants of Jesus Christ,
To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi, with the bishops and deacons:
2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
3 I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, 4 always in every prayer of mine making request for you all with joy, 5 for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now, 6 being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ; 7 just as it is right for me to think this of you all, because I have you in my heart, inasmuch as both in my chains and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel, you all are partakers with me of grace. 8 For God is my witness, how greatly I long for you all with the affection of Jesus Christ.
9 And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment, 10 that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ, 11 being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God (Philippians 1:1-11).
Ending with The Lord’s Prayer
Sanctus, p. 407
– Communion –
Behold! the Mountain of the Lord, pp. 298-299
Word & Water, bulletin pp. 8-9
– Commissioning –
+ CLOSING DOXOLOGY
The congregation may raise hands
Gloria Patri, p. 436
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.