6 May 2018 – The Rev. David Koenig Preaching
Call to Worship: Psalm 105:1-3
Opening Hymn: 45 “Now unto Jehovah, Ye Sons of the Mighty”
Confession of Sin
Almighty and most merciful Father; We have erred and strayed from Your ways like lost sheep. We have followed too much the devices and desires of our own hearts. We have offended against Your holy laws. We have left undone those things which we ought to have done. And we have done those things which we ought not to have done; and there is no health in us. But You, O Lord, have mercy upon us, miserable offenders. Spare those, O God, who confess their faults. Restore those who are penitent; According to Your promises declared to mankind in Christ Jesus our Lord. And grant, O most merciful Father; For His sake; That we may hereby live a godly, righteous, and sober life; To the glory of Your holy name. Amen.
Assurance of Pardon: Psalm 103:17-18
Hymn of Preparation: 558 “That Man Is Blest Who, Fearing God”
Old Covenant Reading: Jeremiah 18:1-17
New Covenant Reading: Ephesians 2:8-10
Sermon: By Grace Alone
Hymn of Response: 521 “My Hope is Built on Nothing Less”
Confession of Faith: Heidelberg Catechism Q/A #1
Doxology (Hymn 732)
Closing Hymn: 441 “Jesus Shall Reign”
OT: 2 Samuel 10:1-19
NT: Matthew 5:21-26
How to Destroy Your Nation
Shorter Catechism Q/A #38
Q. What benefits do believers receive from Christ at the resurrection?
A. At the resurrection, believers being raised up in glory, shall be openly acknowledged and acquitted in the day of judgment, and made perfectly blessed in the full enjoying of God to all eternity.
Monday (4/30) Read and discuss Ephesians 2:8-10. Clint Arnold writes:
The God of all creation is full of mercy, love, and grace. Given the pervasiveness of sin and the prevalence of evil among all the peoples of the world, one could not blame God for wiping out the entirety of his creation in a furious display of his powerful wrath at sin. But this not the full picture of the character of our God. Although angry at sin and transgression, he is also rich in mercy, full of love, abounding in grace, and possessing a heart of kindness. In Christ Jesus, he made a way of escape from the compelling influence of the forces of evil and has bestowed new life upon us. This is entirely a gift of his grace rooted in his kindness. Because of our deadness and bondage to sin, there is no initiative, merit, or effort on our part to acquire his precious gift. It is simply received by faith.
Read or sing Hymn 45 “Now unto Jehovah, Ye Sons of the Mighty” Prayer: Please pray for the Spring meeting of Presbytery which begins today.
Tuesday (5/1) Read and discuss Read Psalm 130:1-8. James L. Mays writes:
[Psalm 130] is based on a fundamental theology. The theology is stated by contrasting an erroneous hypothesis about God and its consequences for the human situation 9v. 3) with the truth about the LORD and its consequences for the community of faith (v. 4). The error is to understand the LROD as a god whose principal way with human beings is to watch for iniquities. If that were the case, there would be no hope for anyone. … None could survive if such were God’s way. The “depths” would be the only possibility. The truth that the song knows and teaches is that “the forgiveness is with the LORD” (forgiveness has the definite article in Hebrew as does steadfast love in v. 7). The sentence means that the authority to forgive and the disposition to forgive belong to the LORD. Sin is essentially a matter of relation to the LORD who alone in his sovereign deity has the right to forgive, choosing to deal with sinners by grace. That much of the truth is inherent in the nature of iniquity and the sovereignty of God. Dependence on the LORD’s disposition to forgive was learned from God’s way with Israel. … The consequence of this truth for those who believe it is that they “fear the LORD.” They can live as “God-fearers,” that is, as people who take the authority and disposition of the LOD as the greatest reality of all and base their living on God without reservation.
Read or Sing Hymn 558 “That Man Is Blest Who, Fearing God” Prayer: Please pray for the Spring meeting of Presbytery as it concludes today and that all those traveling would have safe trips home.
Wednesday (5/2) Read and discuss Jeremiah 18:1-17. J. Andrew Dearman writes:
The meaning of this illustration is clear. Just as the potter may form or reform the clay until he is either satisfied or decides to dump the clay completely, so God can form and reform the house of Israel. “Like clay in the house of the potter, so are you in my hand, O house of Israel.” This affirmation of God’s sovereign right over the people He has formed is followed by the “two-way” formulation of God’s dealings with any nation. If God announces judgment on a nation and that nation repents, then that judgment can be reversed or simply canceled. Correspondingly, if God has announced goodness for a kingdom and it acts faithlessly, then that good can be reversed. …
The two way formulation implies that a wholehearted repentance on the part of Judah can avert the judgment that looms over them. If so, it seems likely that this passage comes from an earlier period in the prophet’s public ministry, when he held out hope that Judah and Jerusalem could make a change in public life. Verse 12, however, puts a quote in the mouth of the people to the effect that they will follow their own stubborn heart.
Prayer: Give thanks that the LORD took the initiative and provided 100% of the grounds of your salvation that you would be secure in His love forever.
Thursday (5/3) Read and discuss Matthew 5:21-26. Sinclair Ferguson writes:
Animosity is a time bomb; we do not know when it will ‘go off.’ We must deal with it quickly, before the consequences of our bitterness get completely out of control. Most human relationships that are destroyed could have been preserved if there had been communication and action at the right time. Jesus says that the right time is as soon as we are conscious that we are at enmity with our brother (Matthew 5:23).
One further point should be noted from this section. Jesus urges us to seek reconciliation when “your brother has something against you” (5:23), or when “your adversary … is taking you to court” (5:25). Jesus is telling us that we should, as far as possible, remove all basis for enmity. But He is not urging us to share every thought in our hearts during the process of reconciliation. Our secret thoughts and sins will not be sanctified by telling others about them. Doing so has led many Christians (and those they have spoken to) into unhappy situations. Jesus is not telling us to “hang out our dirty linen in public,” but rather to deal urgently and fully with all breakdowns in fellowship before they lead to spiritual assassination.
Read or Sing Hymn 521 “My Hope is Built on Nothing Less” Prayer: Ask the LORD to send visitors to our congregation who would be blessed by uniting with our church family and whose gifts would build up our congregation.
Friday (5/4) Read and discuss 2 Samuel 10:1-19. Some commentators have taken Joab’s words in verse 13 as an indication that Joab lacked faith. But this is to misunderstand what Biblical faith is. Dale Ralph Davis writes:
Well, if someone still claims that Joab did not show that he trusted in God, that he was not thoroughly assured of the promises of the Law, the reply to that is that God does not give particular promises about this or that to his children. We certainly have this point which should firmly persuade us that God will never abandon us, and that in the end he will show that our hope in him was not in vain, so that our faith will not be frustrated when it rests upon his mercy and his truth. Nevertheless, we must remain in suspense about many things. For instance, when we ask God for our daily bread, it is not that we are assured that he will send us a good harvest or a great vintage. We should leave that in his hands, and patiently await what please him. When we have any illness, we must rest well assured that he has not forgotten us, and that we have such access to him that, in the end, we will feel that he has looked on us in pity. The promise of God should be fully sufficient in regards to that. However, when we would like to have the word that today or tomorrow he will restore our health, we do not know – we are even in doubt of living or dying.
Read or sing Hymn 441 “Jesus Shall Reign” Prayer: Please pray for our Sunday school teachers.
Saturday (5/5) Read and discuss Ephesians 2:8-10. John Stott writes:
Paul was under no illusions about the degradation of mankind. He refused to whitewash the situation, for this might have led him to propose superficial solutions. Instead, he began this paragraph with a faithful portrayal of man as subject to three terrible powers, namely ‘sin’, ‘death’ and ‘wrath’. Yet he refused also to despair, because he believed in God. True, the only hope for dead people lies in a resurrection. But then the living God is the God of resurrection. He is even more than that: he is the God of creation. Both metaphors indicate the indispensable necessity of divine grace. For resurrection is out of death, and creation is out of nothing. That is the true meaning of ‘salvation’.
Prayer: Please lift up tomorrow’s morning and evening worship services.