Good Friday Service
April 2, 2021 – 7 PM (Pacific Time)
(links are in blue font)
Beneath the Cross
Hark the Voice of Love & Mercy (Trinity Hymnal #259)
As we look at case after case of evil people disguised with an appearance of godliness, I wanted to insert this refreshing case of the real thing. True godliness. It is found in the book of Ruth and there, in the person of Boaz. Boaz is an obvious type (symbol) of Christ and of course he and Ruth were in the very linage of the Messiah.
Here is true godliness. This is real Christianity. Here is how genuine people of God respond when a poor, oppressed victim of evil asks for help. Notice in particular that Ruth was a Moabite. A Moabite! From a nation that was an enemy of Israel. She was you could say, unclean. Not to be touched. What Boaz did was, if I am not mistaken, illegal! And yet not only did he rescue her and take her in as his wife, he was blessed by the Lord for doing so!
This is then also an example of how the Word of God is to be interpreted and applied. He requires mercy, not sacrifice. His Word is to be understood and followed according to the spirit in which He gave it, not coldly by “the letter.” This does not mean we make Scripture out to say what we want it to say. No, it means that we interpret it exactly as the Lord intends for it to be understood. This is the very point that Jesus so often went at it in His conflicts with the Pharisees over the Sabbath and other points of doctrine.
How then, according to Christ, is the church to deal with oppressed lambs such as victims of domestic violence? Well, essentially this short portion from Ruth answers that question. Here it is and it is a very appropriate Scripture to read on Christmas day. Christ is born!
1 Timothy 1:8-11 ESV Now we know that the law is good, if one uses it lawfully, (9) understanding this, that the law is not laid down for the just but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who strike their fathers and mothers, for murderers, (10) the sexually immoral, men who practice homosexuality, enslavers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine, (11) in accordance with the gospel of the glory of the blessed God with which I have been entrusted.
What is the gospel? Most professing Christians would say that it is a simple, short sentence. Something like: “Jesus died for your sins on the cross and if you believe in Him as your Savior, you will go to heaven.”
But I can remember, even many years ago, wrestling with this question – “just what is the gospel?” And I can tell you that the answer cannot be condensed down into 25 words or less.