Threat of snow couldn’t keep a body of members and guests from attending Vine Street Baptist Church in Louisville KY. Today’s service opened with a reading of Psalm 90 and prayer, both led by Deacon Joe Gross. Focusing on the passage from Psalm, Minister of Worship and Music, Johann Kim, commented that the Psalm talks of Who God is and who we are in front of this awesome God. He lead the gathered in a set of songs that contained this same message.
- Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise
- All Heaven Declares
- There is a Fountain
- O Church Arise
Interim Pastor, Ben Dockery, came to the podium to welcome everyone and to talk a bit more about the Men’s Prayer Breakfast. In addition, Dockery spoke a little about missions, then surprised the congregation with an Internet video call to missionary Nathan Sing. Sing, 24, is currently based in China. Dockery interviewed Sing for a few minutes and Sing gave a testimony of how indigenous believers are already showing Christ-like actions.
After a few minutes of everyone greeting each other with hugs and handshakes, the choir ensemble sang “God, Give Us Christian Homes,” and the gathered joined the singing on the last stanza. Bob Cull read Matthew 20:20-28 and everyone sang “Who is He in Yonder Stall?” “Awesome Power” before the offering was collected. Mickie Bainter presented “Not Guilty” (originally performed by Mandissa) just before the sermon was delivered.
Today’s sermon opened with a reading from Ephesians 6:5-9, then Dockery went straight into the lesson. From his own notes:
The Gospel Transforms our Personal Lives
“Slaves” 3 kinds of slaves we see in Scripture
- Slaves to Men (indentured servants, property, volunteers)
- Slaves to Sin (obeying the desires of the flesh, owned by sinful appetites and subject to their leading)
- Slaves to Christ (see Paul’s life as example)
*Story- imperial Russia gained control over the Caucasus territory and the viceroy of the Czar commanded the local princes to emancipate their house-slaves. Interestingly, the slaves protested. They said it was their hereditary right to be slaves.
The Gospel Transforms how we Work
- ‘Obey’ (same word used for children ‘obeying’ parents) – respect those we work for ‘as to Christ’
- Work for God not Men (work means all work, not just employment – house work, church work, service work…)
- 3 Tests:
- 1) if your work goes unnoticed or unappreciated, your response indicates who you are PRIMARILY working for
- 2) if you fail or disappoint your boss, your response indicates who you are PRIMARILY working for
- 3) if your boss walks in and you have to stop what you are doing (ex. wasting time on internet or your own purposes)- you are working for man not God, God sees everything you do
- 3 Tests:
- The Gospel Transforms how we think about Work
- Work is not a means to an end. We don’t just work to make money and give it away (that is good, but work is good in itself)
- Work is good and we imitate God when we work. We worked before sin and will work in heaven. Sin just makes our work full of trials and struggles. This allows us to constantly be thinking of our lives as an act of worship
- “Masters”- The Gospel makes you change too. You think of others when you make decisions. You are kind not cruel. You are to imitate the character of God when you give oversight and instruction.
- -All you do is worship to God. Doing your job or responsibilities well is an act of worship.
Conclusion: Return to the story of the Slaves who were emancipated, but demanded not to be set free. Why would they do this? What would make someone fight to remain a slave. The answer is the character of the Master. We serve our Master in heaven who is loving and merciful and forgiving. If you are still a slave to sin, Christ is inviting you to be a slave to him. Come work for a Good Master, who is in heaven seeing all we do.
Dockery ended this sermon with prayer.
Due to a technical problem (the program kept crashing) we were unable to record the sermon this week.
As the hymn of response was given, Kim apologized for the confusion surrounding the offetory him, then led the song, “Faith is the Victory. Bainter returned to the platform and gave a few announcements, then Dockery concluded the time together with a reading from Ecclesiastes.