Worship Service 8 October 2017
Audio
Delivered By
Pastor Doug Groen and Laverne Wiginton Accompanist
Delivered On
October 8, 2017 at 10:00 AM
Central Passage
Matthew 21:33-46
Subject
The Self-Defining Holy Community
Description

Scripture

 

Exodus 20:1-4, 7-9, 12-20                      

Psalm 19:1-14                                           

Philippians 3:4b-14                           

Matthew 21:33-46 

Exodus 20:1-4

God Gives His People the Ten Commandments

20 Here are all the words God spoke. He said,

“I am the Lord your God. I brought you out of Egypt. That is the land where you were slaves.

“Do not put any other gods in place of me.

“Do not make for yourself statues of gods that look like anything in the sky. They may not look like anything on the earth or in the waters either.

Exodus 20:7-9

“Do not misuse the name of the Lord your God. The Lord will find guilty anyone who misuses his name.

“Remember to keep the Sabbath day holy. Do all your work in six days.

Exodus 20:12-20

12 “Honor your father and mother. Then you will live a long time in the land the Lord your God is giving you.

13 “Do not murder.

14 “Do not commit adultery.

15 “Do not steal.

16 “Do not be a false witness against your neighbor.

17 “Do not want to have anything your neighbor owns. Do not want to have your neighbor’s house, wife, male or female servant, ox or donkey.”

18 The people saw the thunder and lightning. They heard the trumpet. They saw the mountain covered with smoke. They trembled with fear and stayed a long way off. 19 They said to Moses, “Speak to us yourself. Then we’ll listen. But don’t let God speak to us. If he does, we’ll die.”

20 Moses said to the people, “Don’t be afraid. God has come to test you. He wants you to have respect for him. That will keep you from sinning.”

Psalm 19

For the director of music. A psalm of David.

The heavens tell about the glory of God.
    The skies show that his hands created them.
Day after day they speak about it.
    Night after night they make it known.
But they don’t speak or use words.
    No sound is heard from them.
Yet their voice goes out into the whole earth.
    Their words go out from one end of the world to the other.

God has set up a tent in the heavens for the sun.
    The sun is like a groom leaving the room of his wedding night.
    The sun is like a great runner who takes delight in running a race.
It rises at one end of the heavens.
    Then it moves across to the other end.
    Everything enjoys its warmth.

The law of the Lord is perfect.
    It gives us new strength.
The laws of the Lord can be trusted.
    They make childish people wise.
The rules of the Lord are right.
    They give joy to our hearts.
The commands of the Lord shine brightly.
    They give light to our minds.
The law that brings respect for the Lord is pure.
    It lasts forever.
The commands the Lord gives are true.
    All of them are completely right.
10 They are more priceless than gold.
    They have greater value than huge amounts of pure gold.
They are sweeter than honey
    that is taken from the honeycomb.
11 Your servant is warned by them.
    When people obey them, they are greatly rewarded.

12 But who can know their own mistakes?
    Forgive my hidden faults.
13 Also keep me from the sins I want to commit.
    May they not be my master.
Then I will be without blame.
    I will not be guilty of any great sin against your law.

14 Lord, may these words of my mouth please you.
And may these thoughts of my heart please you also.
    You are my Rock and my Redeemer.
            

Philippians 3:4-14

I have many reasons to trust in who I am and what I have done. Someone else may think they have reasons to trust in these things. But I have even more.

I was circumcised on the eighth day. I am part of the people of Israel. I am from the tribe of Benjamin. I am a pure Hebrew. As far as the law is concerned, I am a Pharisee. As far as being committed is concerned, I opposed and attacked the church. As far as keeping the law is concerned, I kept it perfectly.

I thought things like that were really something great. But now I consider them to be nothing because of Christ. Even more, I consider everything to be nothing compared to knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. To know him is worth much more than anything else. Because of him I have lost everything. But I consider all of it to be garbage so I can know Christ better. I want to be joined to him. Being right with God does not come from my obeying the law. It comes because I believe in Christ. It comes from God because of faith. 10 I want to know Christ better. Yes, I want to know the power that raised him from the dead. I want to join him in his sufferings. I want to become like him by sharing in his death. 11 Then by God’s grace I will rise from the dead.

12 I have not yet received all these things. I have not yet reached my goal. Christ Jesus took hold of me so that I could reach that goal. So I keep pushing myself forward to reach it. 13 Brothers and sisters, I don’t consider that I have taken hold of it yet. But here is the one thing I do. I forget what is behind me. I push hard toward what is ahead of me. 14 I push myself forward toward the goal to win the prize. God has appointed me to win it. The heavenly prize is Christ Jesus himself.

Matthew 21:33-46

The Story of the Renters

33 “Listen to another story. A man who owned some land planted a vineyard. He put a wall around it. He dug a pit for a winepress in it. He also built a lookout tower. He rented the vineyard out to some farmers. Then he moved to another place. 34 When harvest time approached, he sent his slaves to the renters. He told the slaves to collect his share of the fruit.

35 “But the renters grabbed his slaves. They beat one of them. They killed another. They threw stones at the third to kill him. 36 Then the man sent other slaves to the renters. He sent more than he did the first time. The renters treated them the same way. 37 Last of all, he sent his son to them. ‘They will respect my son,’ he said.

38 “But the renters saw the son coming. They said to one another, ‘This is the one who will receive all the owner’s property someday. Come, let’s kill him. Then everything will be ours.’ 39 So they took him and threw him out of the vineyard. Then they killed him.

40 “When the owner of the vineyard comes back, what will he do to those renters?”

41 “He will destroy those evil people,” they replied. “Then he will rent the vineyard out to other renters. They will give him his share of the crop at harvest time.”

42 Jesus said to them, “Haven’t you ever read what the Scriptures say,

“ ‘The stone the builders didn’t accept
    has become the most important stone of all.
The Lord has done it.
    It is wonderful in our eyes’? (Psalm 118:22,23)

43 “So here is what I tell you. The kingdom of God will be taken away from you. It will be given to people who will produce its fruit. 44 Anyone who falls on that stone will be broken to pieces. But the stone will crush anyone it falls on.”

45 The chief priests and the Pharisees heard Jesus’ stories. They knew he was talking about them. 46 So they looked for a way to arrest him. But they were afraid of the crowd. The people believed that Jesus was a prophet.

Pastor's Summary of Exodus 20:1-20

The giving of the Ten Commandments marks the starting point of Isreal as a self-defining community. They form a covenant between God and Israel but, unlike God's agreements with Noah and Abraham, here, both parties have a stake in it, and either can break it.

The Israelities have arrived at Mount Sinai. They clear themselves physically and ritually, but it it Moses and Aaron who ascend the mountain. God speaks to all, to the whole community. He enters into the pact because "you shall be for me a...holy nation" (19:6). They are to have "no other gods before (or beside) me" (v. 3). In the ancient Near East, people commonly encountered gods in sculpted images, but the Israelites are not to do this (v. 4), because God is different; he demnds loyalty to him alone (v. 5); he punishes for a long time those who intentionally reject him, but rewards with compassion those who love him and follow his ways. Those who use God's name for a false or evil purpose (e.g. for casting spells, doing magic) will not be acquitted (v. 7) or held harmless. Each week, time is to be reserved for praying to, and worshipping, God. The Israelites must honor older people; doing so will contribute to their own longevity. Then vv. 13-17: life, marriage and property are sacred. Testifying falsely against another (or even spreading innuendos) is prohibited. Even coveting, desiring greatly, the possessions of others is prohibited. This scene of God's presence among humans ends as it began (in 19:16-19) with "thunder and lightning" (v. 18), trumpet blasts and "the mountain smoking". There being no evidence of vulcanism on the Sinai Peninsula, scholars think the description is poetic rather than literal: perhaps of a mountain storm in which God is present. In 19:2-25 God has appointed Moses as intermediary; in v. 19, the people accept Moses' role.