1. 1 Timothy 3: 14-16

    Intro: I want to speak about How we ought to behave in church.a
    ILL – earliest memory of church… basement with mom

    t/s – text speak of the Ought Conduct of a local church.

    When Judgment comes and the foundations crumble, it will not be because lost people acted like lost people; but because people in the church acted like Lost people!

    1 Timothy 3: 14-16

    If we really understood Who we are as church, we would live the way we Ought to Live.

    t/s – When Paul raises the issue of how we ought to conduct ourselves, he does not give a list of rules; he provides three pictures of a local church.

    Live Like the Family of God.
    Exp – Household, not House… Family not Building. We have a corporate identity. We have a Family Reputation!

    ILL – My friend – good student, kind, funny, respectful…
    Teachers treated him differently (sharp words, harsh discipline…)
    His family was a bunch of Drunks, Fighters, Crooks….

    App – As a family, we are judged together! (you impact me…)
    Your way of life impacts your Father’s reputation!
    (facebook posts… not thinking about me)

    Live Like God is Living in your Midst.
    Church = ecclesia = an assembly duly summoned.
    The people of God Called Out Together.
    (To be called out is to be Called together!)Not institution

    Living God = OT description … not a lifeless Idol.
    Present, powerful, pursuing His Purpose!
    ν Joshua, Crossing Jordan river on dry ground. (3:10)
    ν David, running toward goliath with sling (17:36)
    ν Darius, after casting Daniel into the Lion’s Den (6:26)

    ILL – Neil Cole assembled list of actual church names.
    Halfway Baptist Church; Little Hope Baptist Church;
    Harmony Baptist… ½ mile away Harmony Baptist #2
    Church of the Living God!

    App – Caution – Terrible thing to fall into the hands of the Living God.
    Judgment begins in the household of God.

    Confidence – Vitality, Cultural forms of Christianity will crumble; the Church of the living God will Stand.

    Live for the Sake of the Gospel.
    Exp – Pillar – an upright support; stable, strong, dependable.
    Support – Foundation or Bulwark… Bastion (Peterson)
    More the idea of protector or defender…

    We Support and Protect the Truth of Scripture (generally).
    The church must teach and preach the Bible.
    Creation, Justice, Sexuality, Integrity, God work and way.

    We Support and Protect the Truth of the Gospel of Jesus.
    Vs. 16 – Paul gets specific about the Truth by appealing to a hymn about Jesus… (Paul composed…Ephesus sang)

    “By common Confession” = We all agree and sing
    Poetic = parallelism; “th” sound repeated; rhythm Thus, not linear, not exhaustive… About Jesus.

    “Mystery of Godliness” = Deep truth now revealed about God’s redemptive plan… gospel! Morality from Theology!

    His Earthly Ministry: Incarnation, Resurrection; Ascension
    His Work today: Proclamation; Reception; Glory/Reign

    “The Truth” = the Truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ!

    We Live for the Sake of the Gospel!
    We, as a church, exist to support and defend; to uphold and proclaim; the Good News of Jesus Christ. Ultimately, the Gospel is at Stake!

    Questions forming as to How we will make this pastoral transition:
    Who will preach? How will committee be formed? (Who?)

    How Will We Behave in 2018? (Opportunity… Lord’s Work)
    Live like the Family of God.
    Live like He is Alive in Your Midst.
    Live for the Sake of the Gospel!

    Call to Prayer == Grace to Walk in a manner Worthy of our Calling.

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  2. Mark 1:1

    Preface: My candy cane kids sermon… what does Red & White
    Remind us of…. Five year old boy…. Sooners!

    Intro: Have you ever received a text message from an unknown #?
    • Are you going to be home for Christmas?
    • Will not respond until you first ask, “Who Is This?”
    t/s – First, Who Is Jesus?

    Christmas, the Birth of Jesus in NT, is all about Christology.
    What Child Is This?

    Mark 1:1 Read and Review

    Gospel - Rejoice in the work that God has done to set things right.
    Jesus - The Lord is Savior… we need a Savior
    Christ – Messiah; the promised King. Opposition is expected and Vain
    There is no Refuge from Him; only refuge IN Him!
    Son of God

    Son of God is very important to Mark
    Mark 1:11 Baptism – This is My Beloved (unique) Son
    Mark 9:7 Transfiguration – This Is My Beloved Son
    Mark 15: 39 Crucifixion – Centurion saw the way He died
    Surely this must be the Son of God!

    Son of God is Important in the Nativity Accounts of Matthew and Luke
    Luke 1: 31-35

    What are we saying about Jesus when we call Him the Son of God?
    Silent Night, Holy Night, Son of God, love’s pure light
    Son of God is an important Title because it means so many things: Son of God is a Call to Worship!
    ILL – Wise men came to Worship Him!
    Hebrews 1: 1-3

    This morning I want to set two implications of the Son of God….

    Son of God Confronts Us with His Extraordinary Love for Us.
    Exp – Two adjectives are often added to the title Son of God:
    Beloved and Only Begotten… Special, Unique, one & only
    Baptism; Transfiguration
    Language is rooted in a most important OT Story.

    ILL – Genesis 22:2, 12 – your son, your only son, Beloved son.
    Abraham’s Extraordinary Devotion to LORD.

    App – LORD’s extraordinary devotion to US! John 3:16
    What Wondrous Love is this, O My Soul…

    Son of God Confronts Us with His Exclusive Claim on Us.
    Exp – Beloved = special and unique… One and Only!
    Jesus is the Final and Full Revelation of God.
    There is No Other Way! He is the One and Only.

    ILL – When Authorities Questioned His Authority, Jesus told a parable
    (Mark 12: 1-12) – One more to send… Beloved Son!
    1 John 5: 11-12

    Inv. - Not a cosmic game of Dirty Santa… trading/waiting for a better Gift! Jesus is the Greatest Gift, The Son of God.
    (Rejection Is Rebellion)

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  3. Mark 1:1

    Intro: Pearl said, “Four more sleeps until I come to Mimi’s house; and Seven sleeps until Christmas!”
    • One thing culture gets right: Anticipation (expect beforehand)
    t/s – One word best captures that Anticipation --- CHRIST

    Mark 1:1 Read and Review
    The Beginning of the Gospel = Christmas Tells the Good News
    Rejoice in the Work God has done making all things new!
    (Repent = Turn from the status quo of your sinful lives)

    JESUS = The Lord Who Saves… We need a Savior (Light into Darkness)
    (Repent from our prideful self-reliance… Lord, Save Me!)

    Today, Christ == Can’t spell Christmas without Christ!
    Tell the Story of David’s Anointing
    • 1,000 years before Jesus was born, Samuel came to Bethlehem carrying a horn filled with oil.
    • I have selected a king for Myself from the sons of Jesse, and you will anoint him!
    • Eliab (tall good-looking); Abinidab; Five others… No!
    • Youngest, tending sheep… we will wait for him!
    • When Samuel saw David, “Arise, Anoint him, this is him!”
    • Oil from horn poured slowly upon David’s head….. dripping down across face,… edges of rob (Ps. 133)
    • From that day forward, the Spirit of the LORD came mightily upon David, God’s Anointed King!

    When Jesus was born, God’s People were longing for a King Like David. The prophets had promised a King like David --- better than David, a Son of David, who would lead them like a Shepherd, Faithful, Gentle, Righteous, Strong….God’s Anointed One.
    The Anointed One = Messiah (Hebrew) = Christ (greek)
    Come Thou Long-Expected Jesus!

    ILL – Mark 8:29 – Thou art the Christ

    Jesus Is the Promised King.
    Exp – More than anything else the title, “Christ” declares Him King.
    He is the Perfect King, the Forever King, the Promised Kept.
    Themes of Birth Accounts in Matthew and Luke:
    Matt. 1:1 – Jesus, the Messiah, the Son of David.
    Luke 1:32 – Read Gabriel’s word to Mary
    Luke 2:4 – born in the City of David… House of David
    Luke 2:11 – Today in the city of David… Savior who is Christ

    ILL - Matt 2:2 – Where is he who has been born King of Jews?
    Matt 2:4 – Herod inquired where the Messiah would be born
    Bethlehem will produce a Ruler who will be pure,
    Strong, Shepherd King (Micah the Prophet)

    App – Joy to the World… Let earth receive her King!
    t/s - Herod reminds us that not everyone wants a new King.

    Opposition Is Expected.
    Exp – “messiah” is used three times in the OT: Daniel 9 (twice)
    Psalm 2 – Most referenced Psalm in the NT! (Who is Jesus)
    Psalm 2: 1-3

    ILL – Simeon finally saw the LORD’s Christ… held in hands…
    This child is appointed for the fall and rise of many, and
    He will be opposed

    App – Marvel not when the World hates you; It hated me also!
    Opposition to Jesus the Christ is Vain. (pointless, empty)
    Exp – Psalm 2:1 – calls opposition a vain thing!
    Christ = unassailable, undeniable RULE! (authority)

    ILL – The First Christians understood this… confidence! Remember,
    Peter and John in the face of the Sanhedrin… Released…
    They began to realize their power, authority, Impact….
    Acts 4: 23-28
    (note: vs. 27 – Jesus whom You anointed)

    Peter, John and the Church in Jerusalem formed His understanding of Jesus as Christ by studying Psalm 2
    Read Psalm 2: 1-12

    Jesus is the Anointed One; the Messiah; the Christ…the Promised King
    Opposition to Him is Expected.
    Opposition to Him is Vain.

    Derek Kidner, OT scholar and vicar in church of England, Warden of Tyndale House publishers… OT commentaries. Lived until 2008 (95).

    I quoted him Sunday evening, “There is no refuge from Him: only refuge in Him.”

    Actually the last sentence in his commentary on Psalm 2:
    What fear and pride interpret as bondage is in fact security and bliss. There is no refuge from Him: only refuge in Him.

    Concl/Inv.: Is your fear and pride causing you to avoid/reject Jesus?
    He is your Rightful King. You were created to serve Him. Come now in Glad Submission ---
    --- Repent and Believe in the Gospel.

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  4. Mark 1:1

    Intro: “Go Tell It on the Mountain” = Birth of Jesus is Good News!
    • Get thee up on a high mountain and shout it!
    • Use this season to share the Good News.

    Mark 1:1
    Review – The Beginning of the Gospel
    Rejoice! God has Done a New Work to Set Things Right.
    Preview = Christ (title) and Son of God

    This Morning, His Name, JESUS
    There’s just something about that Name
    His Name is Wonderful! Bless that Wonderful Name of Jesus!
    All Hail the Power of Jesus Name!

    t/s – We sing much about the Name, Jesus, because the Bible makes much of His Name! No place makes more of it than his Birth Accounts

    Remember Gabriel did not waste many words when he appeared to Mary in Nazareth. Greeted her… you have found favor with God.
    Luke 1:31

    Matthew tells the same story from Matthew’s perspective. The angel came to Joseph in a dream. Do not be afraid to take her as your wife. Her pregnancy is a miracle of God… from the Holy Spirit.
    Matthew 1:21

    Joseph Obeyed the Lord and he did not forget about the Name.
    Matthew 1: 24-25

    When the day came to formally announce the boy’s name: Luke 2:21
    t/s – To understand and celebrate the birth of Jesus is to understand and celebrate the Name, Jesus.

    Consider What His Name Says about Jesus.
    Exp – Jesus was a common Hebrew name in 1st C. A sentence name.
    Jehovah/YHWH Saves (helps, delivers, rescues)
    Same name as Joshua in OT only shortened (Fred/Frederick)

    In the OT only YWHW Himself Saves… (leaders are His tools)
    “I, even I, am the LORD, and there is no Savior besides Me.”
    Isaiah 43:11

    Matthew 1:21 – Wow! “He Himself” = Emphatic!
    Jesus Saves His People!

    The Angel says to the Shepherd, “I bring you Good News of great joy. For unto you is born this day a Savior! (24 times)

    t/s – Bold, Audacious… If not True; Blasphemous!

    ILL – A few years ago at Christmas, the WSJ ran an article about a church in Manhattan, Redeemer Presbyterian, Tim Keller.
    “His preaching sometimes bothers people”

    Example: Christianity will never be a good religion among many other good religions. Every other religion has a founder who says, “I will show you the way to God. Only Christianity has a founder who says, “I am God, come to save you.” If that is right, He is superior. If it is wrong, Christianity is wrong and inferior. Not a lot of wiggle room there, even on Christmas!

    App – Who Do you Say that I AM? (The Question!)
    Consider What His Name Says about You and Me.
    Exp – “Save” is a word that speaks to His power and our weakness.
    When we call Jesus Savior, we are making a confession;
    Not only a confession about Him, but about ourselves.
    We need to be Rescued.
    There is always a note of desperation in the word.

    ILL – Remember when Peter walked on the Water…
    The wind and waves threatened him… He was afraid, sinking, desperate… He Said?? Lord, Save Me!

    Pride Resists the Savior!
    We are always trying to make Jesus a Teacher, Leader, Helper, Healer; these are easier to embrace. Savior renders us passive and offends our Pride. Do we really Need a Savior?! (are we that bad?)

    ILL – Brought 7th grade girl home after camp…. Mom and boyfriend.
    “Momma, I Got Saved!” (I followed her up onto the porch.)
    Boyfriend, “Saved from what?”

    How would you answer that Question? The Angel already did.
    Matthew 1:21 – He will save His people from their sins!

    Sin is on our hands, our lips, in our hearts… Serving Sin as our Master and the Wages of Sin is Death. We Need a Savior!

    Christmas is not a nice story about a nice couple who had a nice baby who grew to give nice people a nice little boost. At Christmas, we declare the Good News of the Savior born to Rescue Sinners!

    Invitation – The Truth about Yourself (Repent) and Jesus (Believe).
    Call upon the Name of the Lord and be Saved.

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  5. Intro: I read an article last week about Christmas in Japan.
    In the last few decades widely celebrated; not religious.
    Presents, Lights, Cards, Parties… Romantic Night… No Jesus.
    • We have given them Christmas without Christ.
    • We have Christmas without Christ.
    t/s – Christmas is not cultural; Theological… Christological
    Answer the Question, “What Child Is This?”

    Mark 1:1 READ Jesus, Christ, Son of God.

    The Beginning of the Gospel… euangelion = Good News!
    Christmas Proclaims the Gospel.

    ILL – Gabriel to Zachariah –
    “I have been sent to bring you this Good News!”
    ILL – Angel to Shepherds – “Do not be afraid for behold, I bring you
    Good News of great joy which will be for all the people.”

    Mark begins his story of Jesus by declaring, “Good News!”
    (Gospel used 7 times by Mark… more than any other)

    Noel = not sure what it means… something about birth of Jesus
    Gospel = Joy. God’s Work. Radical New Order/Status
    Rejoice! God is making things New, Setting things Right.

    Exp – The word Gospel carries with it a note of Joy!
    Euangellion = Joyful Tidings!
    Joy to the World! Good new of Great Joy!

    ILL – Hobbs, If the Word Gospel was turned into a Newspaper
    Headline, “Something Wonderful Has Happened!”
    App – Not Joy in Family, Gifts, Creating Hallmark moments….
    The Joy of Christmas is the Joy of the Gospel!

    Rejoice in the Work that God Has Done.
    Exp – Gospel is a word that declares the work that God has done;
    Not the work that we must do.

    Isaiah 40: 3-5, 9-11 == Good News (vs. 9 2X)
    “Go Tell It on the Mountain” --- this text!

    Old Theological Dictionary (five volumes) Hebrew Word
    The Public announcement of something Wrought by God.
    “Wrought” = Work… archaic past tense

    ILL – We have made Christmas something we DO.
    Decorate, buy gifts, prepare meals, gather family….

    App – Many of You have made the Gospel something you Do!
    Take the Joy out of the Gospel.
    John 3:16 – Gospel (take your time)

    Making All Things New. (Setting things Right)
    Exp – The Beginning of the Gospel = Creation Language (Gen. 1)
    Romans, evangel = an historical event connected to the Emperor that bring a radically new state of affairs.

    ILL – Board Games at Christmas… Risk… Game of Global Domination
    Take countries and continents… squeeze others off map!
    • Losing; weak, squeezed off map… New Game!
    • Winner; Power and Place; Status… Status Quo!
    App – Christmas is not Good News for people who prefer Status Quo.

    Not Herod, not Innkeeper, not rich young ruler, not Priests,
    Not Pilate, not anyone who had “IT” made.

    Foolishness and weakness to everyone except the people who know they need Saving!

    Good News of the New Work of God. He is setting the World right by setting us right.

    So many Christmas songs sung in a minor key… Longing, dissatisfaction, searching, seeking, yearning… O Come…
    … empty, oppressed, guilty, defeated.

    Rejoice! God is making things New, Setting things Right.

    Conclusion: Mark 1: 14-15

    Jesus came proclaiming the Gospel of His Rule as King.

    Repent (no status quo)
    Believe (Trust God’s New Work)

    Receive the Gospel and Celebrate Christmas the same way:
    Repent, Believe and Rejoice!

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