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Downtown Sunday Morning Service (9:30)
March 10 @ 9:30 am - 11:30 am
Announcements & Meditation
– Call to Worship –
Minister: Bless the Lord who forgives our sins.
Congregation: His mercy endures forever.
Minister: Lift up your hearts!
Congregation: We lift them up to the Lord!
Psalm 122, bulletin p. 9
– Confession –
Out of the Depths of Sadness, p. 168
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: Truly my soul waits upon God:
Congregation: From him comes my salvation.
Minister: He only is my rock and salvation.
Congregation: Surely men of low degree are vanity,
Minister: And men of high degree are a lie:
Congregation: To be laid in balance
Minister: They are alltogether lighter than vanity.
With All My Heart My Thanks I’ll Bring, p. 182
– Consecration –
+ SCRIPTURE READING
Genesis 22:1–18; James 1:12–21
Reader: The Word of the Lord.
Congregation: Thanks be to God!
(CC 1st) Victoria Hansen
If Thou But Suffer God to Guide Thee
Opening: Psalm 30:1–3
Thanksgiving: Psalm 30:11
Petitions: Psalm 31:1–2
How Lovely, Lord of Hosts, to Me
CC: Colossians as Cornerstone #5 (Douglas Wilson)Sermon
After someone has called upon the Lord, and has been baptized, he blinks and looks around, and one of the things he sees is all the same people. He is forgiven, which is exhilarating, and he is in fellowship with God, which is a novelty to him, but when he goes back to work, he runs into all the same people. What are we supposed to do? We have to make particular decisions.
“Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them. Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord. Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged. Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God: And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ. But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done: and there is no respect of persons. Masters, give unto your servants that which is just and equal; knowing that ye also have a Master in heaven” (Col. 3:18–4:1).
Summary of the Text
So remember that the entire congregation has been exhorted to put sins to death, whether sins of the flesh or sins of the mouth. All the congregation has been urged to take off the old man, and to put on their Jesus coat. When the apostle comes to particular social relations, he is assuming that everyone he is talking to is behaving as a Christian already. This means a godly Christian can do what Paul tells husbands to do, the same with wives, and so on.
Wives are told to be submissive to their husbands, which is proper in the Lord (v. 18). Husbands are told to love their wives, and not to be bitter or resentful against them (v. 19). Children (meaning dependent children) are to be obedient to their parents in everything, which pleases the Lord (v. 20). Fathers are told not to be provocative (v. 21), and Paul warns against discouraging the kids. Slaves are commanded to do the same thing, obeying their masters in the fear of God (v. 22). Whatever task you are given, act as though the Lord Himself gave it to you, and do it heartily (v. 23). You can do this because you know that the Lord is your actual master, and His rewards will be a just inheritance (v. 24). But if a slave misbehaves in some way, then he will have to suffer the consequences (v. 25). And men in the congregation who owned slaves are commanded to remember that they too are under authority, they also have a master (4:1), and they are told to render to their slaves what is “just and equal.”
Let Onesimus Help Us Out
It is quite striking that slave owners are told to render equity to their slaves here, and Paul does not appear to intend immediate manumission by this. But liberty is very much in view, as we will see. But what Paul is doing is liberating slaves by means of the logic of the gospel, and not by means of fiery revolution.
Remember that Ephesians, Colossians and Philemon were all written at the same time, and were delivered by Tychicus (Eph. 6:21; Col. 4:7) and Onesimus (Col. 4:9). Onesimus also (presumably) delivered the letter of Philemon to his master Philemon, which means that Philemon lived in the area of Colossae, and was part of that church. The general instructions to all were particularly applicable to him, and the particular exhortations.
So remember that Paul has just finished saying that in Christ there is neither slave nor free (Col. 3:11). Here he tells the masters, Philemon included, to treat his slaves with justice and equity (Col. 4:1). At the end of the letter Paul commends Onesimus as a “faithful and beloved brother” (Col. 4:9), and he does the same thing to Philemon in that letter, urging Philemon to receive him as more than a slave, but also as a beloved brother (Phil. 9). He as much as asks for the freedom of Onesimus (Phil 13), but makes a point of saying that it is up to Philemon. In addition, if Onesimus pilfered anything, Paul said he would pay it back.
Christ and Hierarchical Relationships
In the first chapter of Colossians, we learned that Christ has been given the place of all preeminence. Recall that there are three governments among men, all of them supported and sustained by the reality of self-government. They are civil government, the Ministry of Justice, the family government, the Ministry of Health, Education and Welfare, and church government, the Ministry of Word and Sacrament. The enthronement of Christ over all principalities and powers is transformative and necessarily means a qualitative change. When Christ takes precedence over Caesar, Caesar isn’t really Caesar anymore.
In the same way, the coming of Christ transformed the role of the paterfamilias, the head of the Roman household, into that of a Christian husband. This did not eliminate the lines of authority, but it certainly altered how that authority was exercised.
Remember that everyone was to put on the Jesus coat. This meant that you would see Christ in your parents, in your husband, in your wife, in your children, in your slaves, and in your master. And the slaves are explicitly told to consider their work as being done for the Lord (3:24). The principle can and must be extended.
When it comes to our current debates over all this, we have different names for our positions. There is egalitarianism, there is soft complementarianism, there is hard complementarianism, there is soft patriarchy, and hard patriarchy, and with some areas of overlap.
The Font of All True Authority
The world is hierarchical, but the world is also busted. This means that men maintain their positions of authority through a straight right-handed authority.
“And Jesus called them to him and said to them, “You know that those who are considered rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. But it shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant” (Mark 10:42–43, ESV).
This is not servant leadership. It is like Christ—which makes it servant lordship.
CCD: The Love Chapter Part II (Aaron Ventura)Sermon
Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. 2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.
4 Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; 5 does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; 6 does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
8 Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part. 10 But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.
11 When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. 12 For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.
13 And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love (1 Corinthians 13).
Ending with The Lord’s Prayer
When I Survey the Wondrous Cross, p. 267
– Communion –
How Sweet and Awful is This Place, p. 258
Jesus! What a Friend for Sinners!, p. 259
– Commissioning –
+ CLOSING DOXOLOGY
The congregation may raise hands
Gloria Patri, p. 436
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 wth you always. Amen.