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The Lord’s Day

May 10, 2015

sermonaudioerbcToday’s CE lesson, “The Family-Part 9”, and sermon, “Does Election Create Pride?” – Romans 11:18-22 are available on SermonAudio. The Scripture readings and sermon details from the Worship Service follow.

CALL TO WORSHIP: Psalm 10:16-18

The Lord is King forever and ever;
The nations have perished out of His land.
Lord, You have heard the desire of the humble;
You will prepare their heart;
You will cause Your ear to hear,
To do justice to the fatherless and the oppressed,
That the man of the earth may oppress no more.
(NKJV)

READING OF THE LAW: Psalm 138:6

Though the Lord is on high,
Yet He regards the lowly;
But the proud He knows from afar.
(NKJV)

Commentary:
1) The first phrase of this verse says,
“Though the Lord is on high…”
There is an infinite distance between the creator and his creation. He is on high. Isaiah 40:22 tells us that
It is He who sits above the circle of the earth,
And its inhabitants are like grasshoppers,
Who stretches out the heavens like a curtain,
And spreads them out like a tent to dwell in.

And Isaiah 40:25 says,
“To whom then will you liken Me,
Or to whom shall I be equal?” says the Holy One.

2) The second phrases says,
“…yet he regards the lowly.”
The word “regard” is also found in Psalm 66:18 which says, “If I regard iniquity in my heart, The Lord will not hear.”
The word “regard” means “to look at, to notice, to pay attention to, or to value.” But who are the lowly that God regards?
In Isaiah 66:2, God says, “But this is the one to whom I will look (or regard): he who is humble and contrite in spirit and trembles at my word.”
So, the “lowly” are those who are humble, full of contrition for sin and who fear God.
3) The third and last phrase is,
“But the proud He knows from afar.”
Why does God distance Himself from the proud? Since He is on high and we are not, pride has no place in our lives. Since God is holy and we are not, pride has no place in our lives.
A) Pride is boastful.
2 Corinthians 10:17-18 says “But he who boasts is to boast in the Lord. For it is not he who commends himself that is approved, but he whom the Lord commends.” (NASB)
B) Pride is self-exaltation.
or, in other words, he who is prideful is “worshipping and serving the creature rather than the creator.” Romans 1:21
The result of this self exaltation is found in Matthew 23:12 “And whoever exalts himself will be humbled,”
But Matthew 23:12 continues and says, “and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”
Supporting Passages:
The Lord is near to all who call upon Him,
To all who call upon Him in truth.
He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him;
He also will hear their cry and save them.
The Lord preserves all who love Him,
But all the wicked He will destroy.
Psalm 145:18-20
The Lord is far from the wicked,
But He hears the prayer of the righteous.
Proverbs 15:29

READING OF THE GOSPEL: Micah 6:6-8

With what shall I come before the Lord,
And bow myself before the High God?
Shall I come before Him with burnt offerings,
With calves a year old?
Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams,
Ten thousand rivers of oil?
Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression,
The fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?
He has shown you, O man, what is good;
And what does the Lord require of you
But to do justly,
To love mercy,
And to walk humbly with your God?
(NKJV)

Commentary: In some of the previous verses in Chapter 6, God, through Micah, charges Israel with ingratitude by relating many of the things He has done for them & yet they rejected Him. In verses 6 & 7, we see questions like: How do I approach God, What does God require of me? Does He want burnt offerings, sacrifices of animals, my first born? As a sinful creature, How can I come before the most High God? God, in turn, reminds them that He has shown them through His covenant what was required of them, but they failed. They are then cut off & the Gentiles are grafted in by His grace. Are we then better than the Jews? As Paul would say, God forbid. He also said in Col. 3:12 Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; When we think upon what sinful creatures we are & then think upon the fact that God chose us from before the foundation of the world, how can we do anything but do justly, love mercy & walk humbly with our God?

SERMON: “Does Election Create Pride?” – Romans 11:18-22

…do not boast against the branches. But if you do boast, remember that you do not support the root, but the root supports you. You will say then, “Branches were broken off that I might be grafted in.” Well said. Because of unbelief they were broken off, and you stand by faith. Do not be haughty, but fear. For if God did not spare the natural branches, He may not spare you either. Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God: on those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness, if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise you also will be cut off. (NKJV)

Summary: As the New Covenant comes into being, it is no longer sufficient to be physically descended from Abraham to be part of the New Israel. Now, Israel is defined as those who possess the faith of Abraham – whether Jew or Gentile. This change of covenant, and the inclusion of the Gentiles, is part of God’s eternal plan to save all of Israel. But does God’s choosing of the Gentiles leave room for them to boast? After all, some Israelites – those of God’s Old Covenant chosen nation – rejected the gospel, so that the gospel might come to the Gentiles. Does this give the Gentiles place to boast that they must be superior to even Old Testament Israel? If so, would this give support to the oft-repeated claim that the doctrine of election creates pride in those who think themselves elect?

BENEDICTORY READING: 1 Peter 5:5-7

Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for
“God resists the proud,
But gives grace to the humble.”
Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, 7casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.
(NKJV)

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