The loss of an hour of sleep did not keep a number of members and guests from worshiping God today at Vine Street Baptist Church.
Deaconess Betty Jeffries opened the service with a reading of Psalm 22:1-24, then prayed for the service. Minister of Praise and Worship, Johann Kim, spoke about how the passage from Psalm reflected on the grace of God, then encouraged the gathered to think on the songs being sung.
- When I Survey the Wondrous Cross (including a reading of Matthew 26:59-58)
- There is a Redeemer
- Stand Up, Stand Up for Jesus
- Here is Love
A time was welcome afforded everyone a time of greeting and hugging necks, then the choir ensemble sang “We’ll Work Till Jesus Comes” and the congregation joined by singing a repeat of the first stanza. Interim Pastor, Ben Dockery reviewed the current sermon series on 1 John by bringing attention to the context of the book:
- God already revealed Himself through Jesus
- The Church was established
- The Church was in trouble because of false teaching
- John writes a letter to the Church to correct the teachings
Dockery prayed, first by giving praise and recognition to God for another production of Kim’s composition in another language, and second for several members of the church who were ill or facing surgery. Mickie Bainter Read Romans 5:1-11, then the gathered sang “I Hear the Voice of Jesus Say.” Deacon Joe Gross prayed for the offering, then it was collected.
Today’s sermon opened with a contemporary example of exactly what was happening to the church in 1 John: Last Sunday, Dockery received a “Find It Here” bag from a sister Baptist church near his home. The next day, he received another piece of literature with a picture of Jesus on it and the question, “Do you know who Jesus is?” Inside, this second piece encouraged the reader to come to a meeting a few days before Easter Sunday to learn the answer to the question. The problem, Dockery discovered, is that this item was from the Jehovah Witnesses. Their teaching of who Jesus is does not go along with what God reveals about Jesus through His word. Just like in the early church, others were coming in with false teachings about Jesus.
People can say they are a Kentucky Basketball fan, that they know the team. If John Wall were to walk in the room, would he walk up to someone and start discussing the dinner they had together last week. This is very similar to what John is saying in 1 John 2:3: “Do you follow and obey God?” Where is the proof?”
Some will say you are Christian if:
- you can state the time and date you prayed for Jesus to come into your heart
- you walked down the aisle and prayed with a preacher
- you can speak in tongues and someone can translate
- you will be blessed and accumulate tons of wealth
- you can pass a theological ‘test’ of some of the basics
John says none of these are the conditions. John says the only condition is if you know God, you are obeying God.
A class offered at Southern Seminary is about hospitality. One of the assignments is that the student will get a call from another classmate or the instructor who basically say, “I am on my way to have a visit with you.” Pupils in the class have two choices: be ready and be prepared for the visit at any time, or cower back, fearing the call and the visit. At the end of chapter 2, John is basically asking the same thing about being a Christian: Are we going to be bold and tell God, “I have been obedient” or are we going to shrink back and say, “No, I’ve been wanting to do ____ (fill in the blank).” John says if you are a Christian, you will say, “I have been obedient.”
It is important to remember the correct order of things. You are a child of God, then the evidence comes. For example, a rooster crowing does not cause the sun to rise, it is that the rooster crows as evident that the sun has risen. Having perfectly obeyed God for years and years does not make one a Christian, but being a Christian produces evidence of obeying God.
You can listen to the sermon by clicking on the player, or right-click on the link and save the file to your computer.
March 14, 2010 AM (Ben Dockery)
During the time of response and reflection, the congregation sang “My Faith Has Found a Resting Place.” Bainter returned to the platform and provided a few announcement, and Kim also came to thank the church for praying for his project and praised God for the impact it is beginning to show throughout the world. Dockery closed the service with a benediction reading of a section from 1 John.