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Sabbath Mornings at Ballymacashon – 9th June 2013

08/06/2013

Ballymacashon Congregational Church

Order of Service:  Sabbath  9th June 2013

Service Theme:  Christian Stability in an Unstable World

Announcements:

Worship at Ballymacashon:

Tuesday PMBS @ 8pm, Next Sunday (16th June)  at 11.30am: Service theme:  THE HEART OF PAUL – A PASTOR’S HEART!

Next Monthly Rally at 3.30pm on 7th July: Ernie Croft

Call to Worship   Psalm 95:1-3  O come, let us sing for joy to the Lord; Let us shout joyfully to the rock of our salvation. Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving; Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms. For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods. 

Praise: Psalm 40:1-4

Prayer:

Reading: Psalm 132:11-18

Children’s Address: Don’t Be Afraid.

Praise: Will Your Anchor Hold

Prayer:

Reading: 2 Corinthians 1:19f

Sermon:  Christian Stability – 2 Corinthians 1:19-22

2nd Corinthians  –  Study 5, Stability & Sealing!

Text: 2 Cor. 1:20- 22.  

Paul was under attack.  He had made some promises, and in the eyes of the Corinthians, he hadn’t kept them.  He hadn’t visited when he said he would, and he had just sent them a letter instead.  If Paul can’t keep his word, in such a simple thing, how can he be trusted?  Paul has made his arguments regarding his frustrated intentions but he now makes a very important point:

1. We are COVENANTED in Christ For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us. 

A pastor, an evangelist, a church leader may well let you down, but Jesus will never let you down!  In fact, in Him, all the promises of God are summed up, and in Him, are delivered to us!  Paul’s argument is that because of this, his preaching and that of his fellow labourers was trustworthy, – it is truly dependable!  It is the truth coming from the very words of the Son of God Himself, and Paul had passed on to the Corinthians the very words of Christ! 2 Cor. 4:5  Acts 9:20 God ALWAYS KEEPS HIS PROMISES TO HIS COVENANT PEOPLE!  He cannot lie, and he has given us his word – His Gospel!  Paul, having mentioned the stability of the divine promises, now makes a digression to illustrate this great and sweet truth, – that all the promises of God, summed up in Jesus, are yea and amen, showing that there are three great blessings that flow from this covenant relationship of unbroken promise…

2. We are ESTABLISHED in Christ!  Now he which stablisheth us with you in Christ

In the midst of this unstable, troubled world, we have a great foundation for our lives, and that foundation is Christ!   We are ESTABLISHED IN HIM!   Notice the importance of this:

    1. Stability is vital for Christian Growth!  To be spiritually anchored in Christ, to be rooted and grounded in faith, is of the greatest importance for the Christian.  Ephes. 3:17-19
    2. Stability is vital for Christian Assurance!  If we are unsure and blown about and vacillating about the truth of salvation, about the faith, we will have no assurance whatsoever.   We will never have any peace, if we are not firmly established in Christ!
    3. Stability is vital for Christian Security!  To waver about and to entertain uncertainty about the faith will lead us to take on board liberal or false notions, or the ideas and philosophies of men, and we will soon apostatise and die spiritually.

So God has given us this great gift of Christian Stability in Christ.  Now, what is the relationship between our stability as Christians and Christ our Saviour?

  • In Christ we can be established in KNOWLEDGE! Knowing Jesus is the essential prerequisite to all forms of Christian teaching and knowledge.
  • In Christ we can be established in FAITH!  In Him our faith can be strong and invulnerable and unfailing! Col. 2:7  
  • In Christ we can be established in LOVE! For in Christ we experience the love of God demonstrated for mankind at the Cross!
  • In Christ we can be established in OBEDIENCE! As sinners, how low is our level of obedience, but Christ’s obedience to His heavenly father was perfect!  In Him we have His imputed righteousness, and God accredits His perfect obedience to us at the Cross!  For us, he came, not to abolish the law, (for God cannot just overlook our sin,) but rather he came to fulfil the law (for us!).  Christians obey God IN CHRIST!

Now, the one who has ordained that Christians would find this stability in Christ is God, and it is a blessing which God has granted to every Christian, to both Paul and his readers!

3. We are ANOINTED in Christand hath anointed us, is God

Now what do we mean when we talk about ‘anointed?’  The Greek word is χριω (chriō)  It means, according to Thayer’s Greek Definitions, an act of consecration.  AMP: and has consecrated and anointed us – enduing us with the gifts of the Holy Spirit; Now, in modern thinking of course, consecration is something that we do but notice here that the ‘anointing’ (the consecration of a believer for service) is something the GOD DOES TO US!  HE SETS US APART, ANOINTS US, TO SERVE HIM!  There are some Biblical examples. So, to be anointed in Christ is to be chosen, set apart and qualified to serve him!  ‘Anointing’ is another blessing that flows from the fact God’s promises are all summed up in Christ!

4. We are SEALED with the Holy Spirit.  Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.

If you are a believer, you have been sealed, marked with the sign of God!  You have been stamped with his image!  There are two specific teachings about the blessing of ‘God’s seal’ here in this text:-

  1. It is a down-payment!  The Greek used here is the well known noun αρραβοων and Thayer points out its meaning, “money which in purchases is given as a pledge or downpayment that the full amount will subsequently be paid.”  So the AMP expands the text, the security deposit and guarantee of the fulfilment of His promise.  So, God gives us his Holy Spirit as a guarantee that his promise will be fulfilled.  Paul explains further in Ephesians 1:14, Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory. God will one day bring us safely to heaven to be with him!  That is his covenanted promise, and he will never break it!
  2. It is having the Holy Spirit in our Hearts!  He has appropriated and acknowledged us as His by putting His seal upon us and giving us His [Holy] Spirit in our hearts.  Now this is a clue to the extent of the promises of God.  In 1st Cor 12:13 Paul writes: For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit..  Every single Christian, born-again believers in Christ, have been baptised into His body, and have the Holy Spirit dwelling within.  We are sealed with the stamp of God at Conversion, and that is the guarantee that God will never break His promises, but, in Christ will bring them to fulfilment for us!

So, all the promises of God are summed up and fulfilled in Christ, and in Him, they are passed to us.  God confirms that promise in three practical ways.  He anchors us securely in Christ, he anoints us for service, and he stamps his mark upon us, as a guarantee that his promise to us will be kept.  Now, notice very carefully, that in all these blessings, God is active and we are passive.  God does them for us.  Let us praise Him for his intervention for sinners who were dead in their sins!

Praise: Standing on the Promises

Benediction.

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