Sunday, March 28, 2021

Lord's Supper Worship Service

 Intro:  1 Cor. 11:23-26

We celebrate the Lord's Supper to:

      I)  Remember - what He's done for us.

     II)  Proclaim ... (1)  Your belief in His death  AS a substitutionary sacrifice - 2 Cor. 5:21
                               (2)  Your participation in His death.  ie:  "I believe Hi is a substitutionary sacrifice FOR ME!
             and so ...  "I've accepted Him as my Personal Savior and Lord!!

So, on one hand, the Lord's Supper is a very Personal observance but it is traditionally observed in a congregational setting!! 
So.... it expresses your belief in
                           (3)  The Unity of Believers - Eph. 4:3-6 - we may NOT sing in harmony... BUT we all sing the same song!!


Isa. 53:1-7, 10, 12
1 Pet. 2:24-25

Hymn - "O Sacred Head"

Matt. 26:26 

John 6:47-56, 60-69

Hymn - "There Is a Fountain"

Matt. 26:27-28

Matt. 26:30

Closing Hymn - "Crown Him"

Closing Scripture:  Num. 6:24-26

Sunday, March 21, 2021

The Lord's Supper

 (We are interrupting Jeremiah for the Easter Season)

2 Primary Events of Christianity = Christ's Death and Christ's Resurrection = our focus for the next 2 weeks.

In conjunction with His death, we celebrate the Lord's Supper

The Lord's Supper:  origin = "The LAST Supper" - and the origin of the "Last Supper" = Passover - story found in Exodus chap. 11 thru 13.
The Lord's Supper is unique to Christianity.  First took place on the evening that He was betrayed and before His death the next day.   It came out of the Passover.

SETTING:  the tribes of Israel in bondage in Egypt.  Moses sent to deliver them.  Were 10 plagues to convince Pharaoh.  The last plague was "Plague on the 1st. born" - Ex. 11:1, 4-6, 12:1-3, 5-7, 12-14, 23-27
Passover was an ordinance - a ritual God had commanded them to keep.

The exodus happened as predicted:  Therefore, celebrated annually by the Jews.  So..... Jesus and his disciples - Matt. 26:17, 26-28

At His last Passover, Jesus instituted the Lord's Supper for us.

After the Resurrection, the disciples recognized Jesus as the fulfillment of the Passover lamb.  - He WAS the Passover Lamb.

In other words, what the original Passover did for God's people in bondage (Egypt), so the Cross did for God's people in bondage to Sin!  1 Cor. 5:7


A lamb without blemish .... slain for their deliverance
Jesus without sin ... crucified for our deliverance - Matt. 1:21 - Jesus = "the Lord saves"
In other words, the 1st. Passover = literal, historic event .. that SAVED God's people from physical bondage  (Egypt) .. was a Fore-shadowing (a visible prophecy) of a literal, historical event that saves God's people from Spiritual bondage.   1 Pet. 2:24

So ... Paul - 1 Cor. 5:7

(Early) Christians began to celebrate this NEW, True (fulfilled) Passover .. with a ritual observance called ... The Lord's Supper     

1 Cor. 11:23-26 - Three main things out of this passage:

text says:  #1.  do this" - (1 of 2 "church ordinances" - ie.  rites or rituals instructed by Christ  (baptism and Lord's Supper)   These intended to demonstrate a believer's faith)

#2.  "do this in remembrance of Me"

#3.  do this to "proclaim the Lord's death" - that He died for our sins. 
Lord's Supper = picture:  (1)  body broken    (2)  blood poured out    (3)  my association with that

so.... the church has always kept this command by celebrating the Lord's Supper  (communion)

Our Lord's Supper Service  (at OBC)

Why we do it  (1)  in obedience    (2)  in remembrance   (3)  to proclaim His death ... also to renew vows to serve Him

When do we do it = Sunday before Easter, which is as near to Passover time as can get on a Sunday. 
Passover = 1st. full moon of Spring.  Easter = Sunday after Passover

How do we do it = gather, group-up worship.  Pass bread.   Pass wine.  

Who should do it = believers!  so you decide for yourself and direct, instruct the kids!

1 more parallel between Passover then and our faith today!    ie:  they were not saved by the lamb, nor by the blood of the lamb.  But by applying the blood of the Lamb!

Compare to accepting, recognizing Jesus as your only Savior, and your living Lord!  

So.... 1 Cor. 11:27-28 (the manner in which you take the Lord's Supper.  Should be with humility, repentance, sorrow, thankfulness, etc.


Closing Scripture:  1 Tim. 1:15-17

Monday, March 15, 2021

Back to the Potter's House

Jer. 18:1-6

2 things are clear: 
#1)  God Spoke to Jeremiah - ie:   "word of the Lord came to Jeremiah saying,",  "this is the word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord", "the Lord said to me.....", etc. - was common to all the prophets

Question:  How did God speak to him??   audible?  inner voice and impression? dreams and visions?  - ALL 
Answer:  don't know (nothing is stated absolutely)  ..BUT ... is confirmation by fulfilled prophecy!  (one of the tests of a prophet)

#2)  God spoke to the people THROUGH Jeremiah
example:  Jer. 2:1-3 - who's speaking?  Jeremiah or the LORD?  Both!!
God is delivering His message THROUGH audible voice of Jeremiah!! 
This = common to the Prophets!  hence;  2 Chron. 36:15 - (through His messengers)

Question:  Does God still speak to His people?  today?  IF so ... How?  in what way??

(Note:  I feel unqualified and inadequate in addressing this  (how God speaks to you?)
However, it should be addressed AND I'll try to present a Biblical view!!!

First we'll look at the WASM  (how God spoke then)
Then we'll look at the ISM  (how God speaks NOW)

The WASM - how God spoke then.

(1)  God spoke TO the people THROUGH Jeremiah  (we've established that)

(2)  Though they didn't hear the VOICE of God, they did hear the MESSAGE of God.  (is an important distinction) - Jer. 7:1-2, 12-13
On one hand, God was not speaking to them in an audible voice.  However, He was communicating His message TO them!!!  (through the prophets) 

(3)  The people didn't have to hear a VOICE to hear the MESSAGE!  Jer. 36:1-3
The written word carried the same weight as the prophet's voice!

(4)  The MINISTRY of the Holy Spirit was the same THEN as it is NOW!    ie:  to convict, convince, comfort, correct, challenge, chastise, encourage, enable, explain, clarify...

Question:  could God have spoken audibly to each person in Israel in Jeremiah's day???  Yes.

Question:  then why didn't He??  Don't know!  But... in His wisdom and purpose He chose NOT to!!

THE ISM - Does God speak to His people today?  (you and me?)

Answer: - #1).  Yes - example:  John 10:27 - traditional view = call to salvation

#2)  Yes ... AND (possibly) in a greater way (today) - Heb. 1:1-2 - through Jesus Christ and the written Word (carries the same authority as the spoken Word)
example:  Peter - "we have the word of prophets made more sure!!

#3)  Yes ... AND  now we have the indwelling Holy Spirit!  1 Cor. 2:9-10

YES!!! He Still Speaks!!!  BUT.... does that mean 2 way conversations about daily concerns?  ie;  marriage, money, kids, weather, crops and herds, job, career, school, etc.

#1)  He speaks Primarily through His Word in Conjuction with His Holy Spirit.

#2.  IN SCRIPTURE .. conversations that are personal, audible, specific are (almost) always about CALLING, MINISTRY, KINGDOM WORK....
ie:  don't find Jeremiah saying "looks like a good crop this year" and God responding "expect market prices to be good, too..."


Am NOT saying you shouldn't pry about these things.
Am NOT saying God doesn't CARE about these things
Am NOT saying He won't respond (converse) about these things

Just saying .. THAT'S NOT the NORM!!  IN Biblical record!  In the (average) Christian experience!

So you shouldn't feel left out, like a 2nd. class Christian if you dont' experience this! 
AND you shouldn't feel that God is not Speaking to you!!
Have you ever felt (sensed...) God's love? concern? comfort? encouragement? conviction? challenge? chastisement? Ever been informed? enlightened? advised? impressed? inspired? touched? moved? drawn? wooed? experienced enlightenment, clarification, confirmation?

POINT = IF YES THEN He has communicated His message to you Regardless if you've "heard His voice" -
2 Pet. 1:3

The Primary means of communicating will be THROUGH His word ... in Conjunction with the Holy Spirit.

The Primary MESSAGE will be .... Accept Christ
                                                      Follow Christ
                                                      Serve Christ - ... regardless of whether or not you ever "hear His voice".

The term "dark night of the soul" came out of this not hearing the voice of God.   Examples:  Job, Mother Teresa

Closing Scripture:  Rev. 3:20

Sunday, March 7, 2021

Message of the Potter's House

 Jeremiah's Timeline:

Josiah    Jeremiah's Call    1st. Deportation   2nd Deportation   3rd. Deportation        Jeremiah dies in Egypt

640 BC    627 BC               603 BC                 597 BC                 586 BC
                     |    24 years         |      6 yrs.              |    11 years            |
                                           Dan. Deprtd      Ezek. depted.             city destroyed, temple destroyed, etc.

Question:  Where do the messages of Jeremiah fit in?
Answer:  some are identifiable - examples:  Jer. 21:1, 26:1, 27:1

However, some are not identifiable!  Example:  today's text

The book of Jeremiah is not in chronological order.  Can't know for sure where messages fit.

BUT -- this message doesn't need an exact time to find the meaning and application!
Nor do we need exact time to find lessons of application to us today!
Jer. 18:1-12 - message came to Jeremiah from the Lord for his people

So... lessons we find in this text that can be found in multiple Bible texts!!

I)  God is Sovereign - He is ALL Mighty.  Over nations, over individuals
Hab. 1:1-6 - prophesying to same people about the same time.
Daniel 4:28-32 - went in 1st. exile - Daniel interpreting Nebuchadnezzar's dream 

II)  God is Patient  (long-suffering) - with nations, with individuals
Israel had 209 years to turn back to Him, Judah had an additional 136 years.
2 Pet. 3:9

III)  (But....) God is NOT a permissive Grandfather - unconditional love does not mean all behavior is acceptable!

There came  a point where He said "these people WILL go into Exile - don't pray for them"!!
Question:  what about the faithful in the city?
Answer:  (1)  "sins of the fathers" = your sins affect other people!
              (2)  there is sometimes opportunity to avoid the trauma of others' punishment - Jer. 21:8-10

IV)  God gives many warnings
Covenant promises, written word, prophets' messages - 2 Chron. 36:15-17
Plus the convicting work of the Holy Spirit!  (none will stand @ judgment and say they didn't have adequate opportunity!!)

V)  God will (eventually, in His time) ACT on those warnings.  (they are not idle threats!!)
may be active judgment
may be withdrawn Presence  
Either way = punishment and discipline!!
May be letting you have your way!!!   - Rom. 1:28

VI)  God sometimes repents (relents)
Definition:  "Repent" here does not mean sorry for or turn from sin!   Rather = a change of course or action!
Jer. 18:7-10 = grue of Nation, Individual - example:  Jonah and Nineveh
"God is patient, not wanting anyone to perish!!"

VII)  God still speaks - God spoke to Jeremiah, spoke to the people through Jeremiah
As He spoke, warned, called then, SO He speaks, warns, calls NOW!

As some heard, some ignored, some rejected then, so, some hear, some ignore, some reject NOW!!

As individuals had a choice THEN, SO we (you) have a choice NOW!!

Closing Scripture:  Psm. 95:6-8

Monday, March 1, 2021

Jeremiah's Primary Message (continued)

Timeline review:  (see last week's post)

Jeremiah's Primary message - expanded from last week:

1)  You've been unfaithful - (expressed in idolatry, spiritual adultery)  message to a people group

2)  You must return (not just in pretense) - TO Yahweh and His law(s)
                                                           with heart as well as hands - 

3)  IF will go into exile .Jeremiah preaching to Judah
As Israel and Assyria ... So Judah and Babylon

Sometime in Jeremiah's ministry ... add.....
4)  it's too late to turn - NOT too late to repent, turn to God, be forgiven ..., BUT too late to avoid the punishment of the exile!

Text - God's Divorce - Jer. 3:6-14, Jer. 4:1-2, 4-9 - the warning
Josiah was the last good king, and he was a very, very good king.  But, people didn't repent.  Just made a pretense of worshiping Yahweh.

Are 2 recurring themes in Jeremiah:

#1.  Punishment  (judgment on the nation) 

#2.  Restoration - this is not God in a vengeful rage, this = God disciplining His people ... for good!!   zjrt. 29:10-14  Jeremiah = prophet of doom and a prophet of hope.

Question Any parallel to us (as a nation)?  ie:  USA today?
On one hand, we are not God's chosen people  (as was Israel)
However, Biblical promises have eternal significance and can often be generally applied!!!



JEREMIAH'S DAY (and nation)                              OUR DAY (and nation)

Idolatry                                                                    secularism - not a denial of God but granting Him no                                                                                        special place, recognition (intentional failure to recognize)

Child sacrifice to secure 'god's favor'                         abortion - for convenience

Sabbath commerce                                                   Sabbath indifference (neglect)  ie:  to God's day

rampant immorality                                                    rising immorality across the nation

little concern for the poor                                           some concern for the poor

no Godly leaders (after Josiah)                                   some Godly leaders

generations of spiritual decline                                    beginnings of spiritual decline
Ex;  IS = 200 yrs  Judah = 350 yrs.

A few believers (Daniel, Shadrach, Meschach,           many believers
Abednigo, Ezekiel, etc.)

So.... on one hand, we are not now where they were (then).  However, it would be foolish to disregard the parallels!!

A suggestion ... (my thought... )

There is a larger group of undecided and uncommitted people than there are believers/followers, or non-believers/hostile to the faith!

Therefore, where should we focus?  John 4:35 - talking about souls.  has that changed? 

That's national application .. what about personal application?

#1.  A nation is only as faithful as its people.   

#2.  You will not be judged by what America does but by what you do.  

#3.  Self-judgment reduces the need for God's judgment.  1 Cor. 11;31

Closing Scripture:  Psm. 67:1-4