With the sun shining bright, members and guests gathered in the Worship Center for a blessed time of being together, singing praises and learning about God.
The service opened with a reading of Psalm 38 and prayer, led by Deaconess Betty Jeffries. Minister of Worship and Praise Johann Kim reflected on the Psalm in that it reminds the reader of the agony and anguish of the cross. He continued, “Christ took all the sings on Himself at the cross.” With that, Kim led the gathered in songs covering this thought.
- The Old Rugged Cross
- The Glory of the Cross
- Merciful God
- Down at the Cross
A time of welcome was followed by the choir ensemble singing “O Sacred Head, Now Wounded.” Before his pastoral prayer, newly appointed Pastor Ben Dockery expressed his thanks for the members putting confidence in him and talked about the added responsibilities that comes with taking on the position, a responsibility he does not take lightly. Chandler Bainter followed the prayer with a reading of Romans 5:12-21. The congregation sang “His Name is Wonderful,” then the offering was collected.
Pastor Ben returned to the platform and presented a study from God’s Word.
I John 2:7-11, 3:11-18, Assurance of Faith, the Social Test
Intro: The test for this week is, “Who has a good memory? Who has the ability to memorize phone numbers? Specifically, the test is do you know your brother or sister’s phone number?” There is a guy back in my home town who has a really unique ability to memorize things. If you meet him and tell him your name and address, he can tell you what your phone number is because he has memorized the phone book. I asked, How…. Why… How does he do that? The answer, that is just who he is, that is just what he does. It is an amazing ability that he has because of a condition that he was born with.
John is not writing about memorization or giving a test on phone numbers, but he is writing to this church about a condition they have. Verse 7 says I am not writing you a new command, but later says it is a new command.
Not New: Leviticus 19:18…love your neighbor as yourself
Dueteronomy 6:5… love the Lord your God
John also would have taught them to love one another when he first shared the message of Christ with them
3 ways it is new from Old Testament to the New
1- Emphasis: Jesus says these two commandments are the greatest
2- Quality: In John 13, Jesus says, A new command I give to you – love one another, even as I have loved you. The standard changed from loving as ‘yourself’ to loving as ‘Jesus loved’
3- Extent: neighbor is redefined in the story of the Good Samaritan to show us that our neighbor is anyone (regardless of race, age, gender…) in need
The command to love is contrasted to the action of hate. Love-light, Hatred-darkness (reckoning back to chapter 1, God is light and in him there is not darkness)
The application of the commandment to love one another is seen in Chapter 3:11-18
2 Parallel Examples: Hatred and Love
The example that John gives is Cain. He is the prototype of hatred.
Cain seeks his brother’s harm. Eventually, this harmful intent results in loss of life
The second example John gives is Jesus. He is the prototype of love.
Jesus seeks his brother’s good. Eventually, this good intent results in the giving of life
What is love? Verse 16 says this is how we know love: Jesus gave his life for us
If you think back to the guy I mentioned in the beginning, the first time I encountered him, I asked how or why he did what he did. Well, the same question might be asked of Jesus if you encountered him for the first time… How, Why did you give your life for me? The answer would be, that is who he is. That is what he does. That is love. Jesus is love.
The question for us, is when someone meets us, when they hear our story – when they see our life, do they think – How or Why do they live like that? Would they look at you and say you are loving?
John ends this second test by saying that if we say that we have the love of God but we don’t meet the needs of someone we run into, we are not loving.
We are to love not in word/speech.
We are to love in deed/truth.(the cross is the ultimate example of deed and truth)
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 21, 2010 AM (Ben Dockery)
During the time of reflection and response, the gathered sang “All Praise to Thee.” Mickie Bainter presented several announcements, after which Pastor Ben ended the service with a quote from John Stott, “loving everyone in general is often the cause for loving no one in particular” and again read from 1 John.