The Word: god Revealed
TEXT: John 1:1–5
ONLINE WORSHIP SERVICE (12.13.2020)
CALL TO WORSHIP:
This morning we gather to worship during the advent season. Let’s begin by celebrating God’s incredible goodness to us.
Psalm 103:1–5 Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name! Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
“O Come All Ye Faithful”
So far in our advent readings we have celebrated that Jesus Christ came as a light to dispel the darkness and to establish a kingdom of light. Today, we ask the question: “How did he establish his kingdom? Did he come using physical force?”
Let’s listen to the words of the prophet Isaiah as he describes the ministry of the coming Messiah. In chapter 53 of Isaiah we read, “He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.”
The Light of the World, Jesus Christ, came not to conquer men and women by physically dominating them and forcing them to follow him. Rather he came, in his first advent, to suffer in our place by paying the penalty each of us deserves for our allegiance to the Darkness.
In doing this, he opened wide the doors to his kingdom of light to every man, woman, and child who had previously joined forces with the Darkness. By coming as a suffering servant, he showed us that he seeks to win our hearts by serving us, not by using external force or domination. In fact, in reaching OUT to us, he first reaches INTO us and replaces our Dead, Dark hearts with a new heart that gladly comes to the light.
“O Come O Come Emmanuel”
“What Child is This?”
As we celebrate the coming of our Lord and Savior at Christmas, it’s important that we remember who he really is because if we get his identity wrong we get everything wrong! Thankfully, the Church has composed a number of creeds to protect us from error in this regard. And this morning we will be reading excerpts from one of the lesser known creeds that presses into the mysteries paradox of the Holy Trinity—The Athanasian Creed.
Whosoever will be saved, before all things it is necessary that he hold the Christian Faith.
Which Faith, except every one do keep whole and undefiled, without doubt he shall perish everlastingly.
And the Christian Faith is this, that we worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity.
Neither confounding the Persons, nor dividing the Substance.
For there is one Person of the Father, another of the Son, and another of the Holy Ghost.
But the Godhead of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost is all one, the glory equal, the majesty coeternal.
Such as the Father is, such is the Son, and such is the Holy Ghost.
The Father uncreated, the Son uncreated, and the Holy Ghost uncreated.
The Father incomprehensible, the Son incomprehensible, and the Holy Ghost incomprehensible.
The Father eternal, the Son eternal, and the Holy Ghost eternal.
And yet there are not three eternals, but one eternal.
And also there are not three incomprehensibles, nor three uncreated, but one uncreated and one incomprehensible.
So likewise the Father is Almighty, the Son Almighty, and the Holy Ghost Almighty.
And yet there are not three Almighties, but one Almighty.
So the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Ghost is God.
And yet there are not three Gods, but one God.
And in this Trinity none is before or after another; none is greater or less than another.
But the whole three Persons are coeternal together and coequal.
So that in all things, as is aforesaid, the Unity in Trinity, and the Trinity in Unity is to be worshiped.
“Behold Our God”
O Father we confess that we don’t grasp the true weight of your glorious omnipotence, impeccable Holiness, and your abounding love to us. Our eyes are so often fixed on the world and our hearts callous to your love. We spend so much of our lives pursuing pleasure and joy in everything and everyone but you. No one deserves eternal wrath and punishment like we do.
But, in this we find hope and life: that as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is your steadfast love toward those who in Christ and as far as the east is from the west, so far do you remove our transgressions from us on account of our union with him through repentance and faith.
Father, we thank you for the sovereign work of salvation that you purposed in Christ in eternity past. We wholly-confess that you did not save us as to fill a sense of emptiness in yourself nor did you send your beloved Son to die for us because of any merit in us. No. You saved us for your glory and the praise of your glorious grace alone. Yet in this all this amazing and undeserved favor you not only save us from the penalty our sin but free us power of our sin so that we might find our greatest pleasure and joy in you.
Therefore, as we turn to your Word this morning, I ask that you would captivate our hearts with a clear and compelling vision of your Son and our Savior Jesus Christ. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.
READ SERMON TEXT:
Pastor Ryan Kirchoff
Title: The Word: God Revealed
The Word, as God’s self expression, reveals God to us.
“Your Great Name We Praise”