Sunday Recap Vol. 1.13

FROM THE DESK OF WILL SPOKES, SENIOR PASTOR

Jesus, The Lord, My Savior Is

Verse 1
Jesus, the Lord, my Savior is, 
My Shepherd, and my God; 
My light, my strength, my joy, my bliss; 
And I His grace record.
Mercy and truth and righteousness, 
And peace, most richly meet
In Jesus Christ, the King of grace, 
In Whom I stand complete.

Verse 2
What’e'er I need in Jesus dwells, 
And there it dwells for me; 
’Tis Christ my earthen vessel fills
With treasures rich and free.
Mercy and truth and righteousness, 
And peace, most richly meet
In Jesus Christ, the King of grace, 
In Whom I stand complete.

Welcome to the Red Mountain Sunday Recap! 

The Sunday Recap is a brief fly-by of what we did during Sunday worship. Did anything land with you from worship on Sunday? What did it make you think? How did it make you feel? What did you find especially sweet or challenging from God's word? What did we sing, read, or pray that left an impression on you?

Food For Thought:
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. – 2 Timothy 3:16-17

The sufficiency of Scripture applies to all matters pertaining to our salvation. We need go nowhere else--we cannot go anywhere else--to find the way of salvation. This applies too for all matters of faith--all Christian doctrine is to be derived from the Bible alone. And the Scriptures are sufficient for life too.... The sufficiency of Scripture for life does not deny that we need constant extensive information and supplies from the created world in order to live. Of course we do. Scripture is sufficient in the sense that no further special revelation from God is needed to guide us through life other than the revelation graciously available to us in the Bible. – Chad Van Dixhoorn
 
If Jesus rose from the dead, then you have to accept all that he said; if he didn't rise from the dead, then why worry about any of what he said? The issue on which everything hangs is not whether or not you like his teaching but whether or not he rose from the dead. – Tim Keller

Q&A: Westminster Shorter Catechism

Q. 15. What was the sin whereby our first parents fell from the estate wherein they were created?

A. The sin whereby our first parents fell from the estate wherein they were created, was their eating the forbidden fruit.

Genesis 3:6-8
So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruitand ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her,  and he ate. Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths. And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden.

Colossians 3:1-4
If then you have been raised with Christ, seekthe things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

Listen To This Weeks Sermon: "Religious Tradition"

Sermon Text: Mark 7:1-13

1 Now when the Pharisees gathered to him, with some of the scribeswho had come from Jerusalem, 2 they saw that some of his disciples ate with hands that were defiled, that is, unwashed. 3 (For the Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they wash their hands properly, holding to the tradition of the elders, 4 and when they come from the marketplace, they do not eat unless they wash. And there are many other traditions that they observe, such asthe washing ofcups and pots and copper vessels and dining couches.) 5 And the Pharisees and the scribes asked him, “Why do your disciples not walk according tothe tradition ofthe elders, but eat withdefiled hands?” 6 And he said to them, “Well did Isaiah prophesy of youhypocrites, as it is written,

   “‘This people honors me with their lips,
   but their heart is far from me;
7 in vain do they worship me,
   teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’

8 You leave the commandment of God and hold to the tradition of men.”

9 And he said to them, “You have a fine way ofrejecting the commandment of God in order to establish your tradition! 10 For Moses said, ‘Honor your father and your mother’; and, ‘Whoever reviles father or mother must surely die.’ 11 But you say, ‘If a man tells his father or his mother, “Whatever you would have gained from me is Corban”’ (that is, given to God) — 12 then you no longer permit him to do anything for his father or mother, 13 thus making void the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down. And many such things you do.”

Sermon Outline

  1. The Plausibility of Religious Tradition (v. 1-5)
  2. The Progression of Religious Tradition (v. 8,9,13)
  3. The Undoing of Religious Tradition (v. 8, re: 1:40-45; 2 Thessalonians2:15)

Sermon Summary

What role does God's word play in your life? What does it mean to say that in the scriptures we find all we need to live life in communion and fellowship with God and one another through faith in Jesus Christ?

These questions emerge from Jesus' statement in verse 8 speaking to the Religious Leaders of his day. "You leave the commandments of God and hold to the tradition of men." In other words, the Religious Leaders were adding to God's word their own words and traditions.

Now why might this seem plausible to do? The Religious Leaders of Jesus' day believed in God's word and that it was to be obeyed. In an effort to help God's people live for God, they developed a vast oral tradition that regulated virtually every aspect of personal and corporate life. Why did this seem like a good idea? It was intended to show that all Israel was devoted to God and his Law in response to God's command, "You shall be holy, for I am holy." (Leviticus 20:26) Therefore, the oral tradition - the traditions of the elders - was a like a fence around God's Law to safeguard the people from breaking God's Law.

However plausible this may seem, Jesus clearly and repeatedly shows the inevitable result of adding to God's word as a way to obey God or experience a growing, vital relationship with him. How does he show the inevitable progression? He uses two groups of three words, that taken together show the movement away from God's word to man's word. The first group of three describes the movement away from God's word: neglect (v. 8) to rejection (v. 9) to making void (v. 13). The second group of three describes the movement toward human religious tradition: holding fast (v. 3,4,8) to establishing (v. 9) to handing down (v. 13). The irony of this passage is the very traditions intended to help God's people end up distorting God's word and leading God's people away from a true relationship with Him according to His word.

The result of this progression is what Jesus calls "hypocrisy," which is, pretending to appear to be something that in reality you are not. Or to quote from Isaiah 29:13, hypocrisy is the gap between our hearts and our lips that inevitably results when human religious tradition is put alongside or replaces the role of God's word in our lives.

Now why is this so dangerous? Why does Jesus so firmly and trenchantly confront the Religious Leaders and their traditions? The question the Religious Leaders pose to Jesus in verse 5, together with the other washings in verses 3-4, assumes our acceptance with God is something we can do. It puts the focus on our performance and piety as the crucial element in our relationship with God rather than his covenant promises and grace to undeserving sinners. That is why Jesus is so firm in his denouncement of the Religious Leaders and their tradition! The Religious Leaders have turned a relationship with God into an achievement rather than a gift freely given and worked out in our lives by grace through faith in Jesus...according to scripture.

Of the many questions this passage puts to us, consider just one: what religious traditions have we added to God's word or put alongside God's word in order to show our commitment or deepen our assurance?

I am not sure how what Jesus says here strikes you. But it's vitally important that we see why Jesus takes this issue head on. So far, implicit in the story line of Mark's Gospel we've seen a growing tension between the traditions of the elders and Jesus, especially around ritual purity...acceptance with God. Jesus has already "violated" a number of purity laws. Jesus touched and healed a leper (1:40-45). Jesus ate with tax collectors and sinners (v. 2:13-17). Jesus ministered to Gentiles (5:1-20). Jesus was touched by a woman with irregular bleeding (5:25-34). Jesus touched a corpse (5:35, 41). What's the point Jesus is making? Jesus has come to do for sinners everything human religious tradition tries to do but can't! Jesus came to take our impurity, defilement, uncleanness, upon himself in order to give us his purity, his righteousness.  You see Jesus came not only to be our pardon but also our worthiness. Therefore, Jesus frees us from any and all human ideas or traditions to draw closer to him or deal with our sin and guilt. 

For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. (Galatians 5:1)

So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the traditions that you were taught by us, either by our spoken word or by our letter. (2 Thessalonians 3:15)

Reflection Questions

  1. What was new or compelling to you? What stood out to you from this passage?
  2. What questions does this passage raise for you?
  3. Was there anything that bothered you?
  4. How would you describe the problem Jesus confronts in this passage? 
  5. How would you see this passage applying to our situation today? 
  6. What is the good news Jesus is zealous to protect and proclaim through this passage?

Suggested Resources & The Week Ahead

This week I want to share with you a very helpful little prayer book. It is calledDaily Prayers. The name says it all. Each prayer is two or three sentences. Meg and I have found it very helpful not only personally but also in praying with our boys. Here is an example taken from November 18.

Heavenly Father, I thank you
for the gift of your Son,
who is the pearl of great price, the
hidden treasure that makes the soul
rich forever, the delight of heaven,
the glory of his church, the all-sufficient
portion of his people.


Songs for this week:
Come Christians Join To Sing
Dearly We're Bought
O Love That Will Not Let Me Go
Fountain Of Grace

Until next time,

Will
 

Jesus, The Lord, My Savior Is

Verse 3
As through the wilderness I roam, 
His mercies I’ll proclaim; 
And when I safely reach my home, 
I’ll still adore His name.
Mercy and truth and righteousness, 
And peace, most richly meet
In Jesus Christ, the King of grace, 
In Whom I stand complete.

Verse 4
"Worthy the Lamb,"” shall be my song, 
"“For He for me was slain;"” 
And me with all the heavenly throng
Shall join, and say, “"Amen."”
Mercy and truth and righteousness, 
And peace, most richly meet
In Jesus Christ, the King of grace, 
In Whom I stand complete.