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Downtown Sunday Morning Service (9:30am)
May 7, 2017 @ 9:30 am - 11:30 am
Announcements & Meditation
– Call to Worship –
Minister: The Lord is Risen!
Congregation: He is Risen, indeed!
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. (Bulletin pg. 7-8)
Minister: What is the birth of the new self?
Congregation: Complete joy in God through Christ and a strong desire to live according to the will of God in all good works.
Minister: But what are good works?
Congregation: Only those which are done out of true faith, in accordance with the Law of God, and for his glory, and not those based on our own opinion or on the traditions of men.
Gloria in excelsis…………………………………..396-97
– Consecration –
+ SCRIPTURE READING
Jeremiah 33:10-16; John 2:1-11
Reader: The Word of the Lord.
Congregation: Thanks be to God!
Opening: Deuteronomy 10:22
Thanksgiving: Deuteronomy 11:13-14
Petitions: Matthew 7:7
Weeds and Grains
Genesis 2:4 marks the beginning of a new section in the book of Genesis. However, to many it doesn’t just look like a new section, but it actually looks like a section that contradicts the previous section. Gen. 2:7 appears to put the creation of Adam as after the creation of plants, contradicting Gen. 1, where plants are created on the third day and man is created on the sixth day.
However, a closer read of the text shows that 2:5 is actually referring to a much more specific kind of plant. 1:11-12 refers to “grass” and “herbs yielding seed” (grain). But 2:5 refers to “plant of the field.” The Hebrew for “plant” here is not a super common noun, but one that usually refers to the wild shrubs found out in the desert (Job 21:15). This would mean that 2:4-7 is telling us that Adam was created at a moment in time before there were weeds in the ground and before grain had begun to sprout.
Before the Curse
So why is there a need to specify this particular moment? We have to look at the curse in order to understand this. Look at 3:17-19. When the ground is cursed, the result is that man will now have to work to eat from it. In chapter 2, the author of Genesis focuses on the trees that God provides to Adam for food (2:9, 16 and 3:2). But after his sin, Adam is told that now he will toil to get his food from the ground (3:17). He will have to fight weeds and he will have to sweat (v. 18).
Dust to Dust
Adam having to till the ground for grain was a consequence of his fall (3:23). After the fall, our work for food requires that we work in the dirt. You will eat from the ground (3:18), eating grain (3:18), and eating bread (3:19). God cursed the ground and made us farmers.
Why farming? Adam was made from dust (2:7). And because Adam sinned, he was going to die and return to dust (3:19 and 23).
You are Seed
But when a farmer cuts open the earth to put the seed in, he doesn’t do so in grim defeat. He actually does so with great hope. He looks to a harvest. And Scripture carries over this hope to us. Yes, we are all going into the ground, because we are all mortal. But we go into the ground as seed (1 Cor. 15:35-37, 48-49). Grain is provides food, just like a fruit tree. But the grain must die first. It must go into the ground to die, before returning in glory. And that is what man, after the fall is. We are creatures that must die first, but will live eternally.
But the hope in Genesis 3 is even stronger than that. We always are quick to point out that when God gave the curse, he also gave the promise of the coming Messiah to deliver us from the curse. But how was that Messiah described? The Messiah was the coming seed of the woman (3:15). In fact, all of Scripture points to this one true seed, the seed whose death and resurrection makes possible our eternal life.
No Going Back
Notice that God did not solve Adam’s sin by giving him means by which he could undo the damage that he had done. Death has not been removed, but rather conquered. Our tendency, when we see the consequences of our sin, is want to find a way back to before our sin, to undo it. But that is never an option. The cross was not a time machine. Instead, God took Adam’s sin and all its consequences and turned it into another path for walking into God’s glory.
CCD: Every Good and Perfect Gift (Ty Knight)Sermon
Text: James 1:1-18
This is a challenging and powerful passage for how we can view, receive, count as joy hard things. We will look at how faith receives trials as the good and perfect gifts from our Father. This combination of joy in trial is evident in Hugh Latimer’s charge to his burning friend, “Be of good cheer, Master Ridley, and play the man, for we shall this day light such a candle in England as I trust by God’s grace shall never be put out.” Why could Latimer call for rejoicing? He trusted that God had a purpose for this trial. In faith, he saw the torching of their bodies as the spark God kindled that would continue to burn in England. Be of good cheer, for your trials are the good and the perfect gifts from God your Father.
Jesus Character Course (1-4)
In verse two, James rolls up his sleeves and gets to business, “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kind…” James says that the flat tire when you’re already late, the roommate who doesn’t do her dishes, the back pain, the discovery of a brain tumor, another miscarriage, the inability to have children should all be considered joy. The reason you can have joy is because the trial has meaning. The trial is for your maturity––that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing (vs. 3-4).
When you become a Christian, you begin the life long process of becoming like Jesus, which is called sanctification. You are enrolled in the “Jesus Christ Prep-School of Character.” When the teacher gives you tests, you should not sigh, roll your eyes, or walk out of the class. One of the regular things being tested is our faith––Can you properly see and identify? Here’s a car accident or an angry child or cancer. What is this?
Asking for Wisdom (5-8)
If any of you lacks wisdom, specifically for what’s going on in this process of maturity, then you can ask God, and he will give what you need and give generously (vs. 5). God is willing to back up the dump truck of wisdom for how to joyfully live in trials. But when the truck has backed into your driveway and dumped half its load, you shouldn’t wave your arms and shout, “Actually, I don’t want this. Can you take it back?” Everyone wants wisdom, but we are not as keen on the process to gain wisdom. But this is a double-minded man (vs. 6-8).
The Long View of Faith (9-12)
The faith required for Christians can seem confusing up close, but becomes clearer with the long view. James gives a specific example of faith in finances (vs. 9-11). The poor can boast in his exaltation because true riches are not his own but come from another, and the rich can boast in his humiliation because true riches are not his own but come from another. Faith looks ahead to the promised end and lives like it in the present moment. The man with faith on the long view is the blessed man. Happy is the one who remains steadfast in the pain for he receives the crown of life (vs. 12). This is at odds with our culture that preaches, “Happy are those who take it easy.” Happiness comes not through the lack of trials, but from triumphing over them. A thirty-nine year man snuggled in his bathrobe that hasn’t come off since Y2K is not an exhibit of happiness.
Testing Not Tempting (13-16)
James anticipates several likely flair ups and explains the difference between testing and tempting. God can not be tempted and he does not tempt anyone, so God is not the source of the problem for temptation (vs. 13). The wagging finger is pointed back at each of us (vs. 14-15). Adam and Eve were lured by their desires, and these desires gave birth to sin and sin grew up and killed them (Gen. 3:6).
But God put them in the garden with the no-touchy tree. How was this not a temptation? God tests us but he does not tempt us. The temptation of Jesus in the wilderness helps to clarify. Both the Spirit and Satan are planning something for Jesus. The situation is the same––Jesus alone in the wilderness. But the Spirit and Satan have different objectives––Satan wants to tempt Jesus, the Spirit wants to test Jesus. Same situation, different objectives. Satan tempted Jesus to sin in order to disqualify him from being the Savior. The Spirit tested Jesus in order to confirm him as the Savior (Heb. 4:15).
Jesus Christ: The Good and Perfect Gift (17-18)
God the Father gives every good gift and every perfect gift (vs. 17-18). Look around your life, and see the gift boxes stacked from floor to ceiling. God gives generously, so we receive gratefully. Faith believes that nothing comes to us except by God’s will. By faith we know that everything that comes to us is for our good.
We must end with the Father’s greatest gift. For God the Father so loved the world that he gave a gift. You unwrap it and you discover Jesus, your Savior. All of this is yours because Jesus received the trials from his Father as good gifts in faith. And now he says to you, “Be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
+ Psalm 148………………………….bulletin pg. 9-10
– Communion –
– Commissioning –
+ CLOSING DOXOLOGY
The congregation may raise hands
Doxology (to the tune of That Easter Day with Joy was Bright pg. 271)
Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him, all creatures here below;
Praise Him above, ye heav’nly host;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
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. Ephesians 3:20-21