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Guide for the Preparation for Worship on 17 June 2018

17 June 2018

Call to Worship: Psalm 96:1-3

Opening Hymn: 24 “Vast the Immensity, Mirror of Majesty”

Confession of Sin

O eternal God and merciful Father, we humble ourselves before your great majesty, against which we have frequently and grievously sinned. We acknowledge that we deserve nothing less than eternal death, that we are unclean before you and children of wrath. We continually transgress your commandments, failing to do what you have commanded, and doing that which you have expressly forbidden. We acknowledge our waywardness, and are heartily sorry for all our sins. We are not worthy to be called your children, nor to lift up our eyes heavenward to you in prayer. Nevertheless, O Lord God and gracious Father, we know that your mercy toward those who turn to you is infinite; and so we take courage to call upon you, trusting in our Mediator Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. Forgive all our sins for Christ’s sake. Cover us with his innocence and righteousness, for the glory of your name. Deliver our understanding from all blindness, and our hearts from all willfulness and rebellion, we pray through Jesus Christ, our Redeemer.

Assurance of Pardon: Titus 3:4-7

Hymn of Preparation:  44 “How Great Thou Art”

Old Covenant Reading: Jeremiah 2:4-12

New Covenant Reading: Romans 1:18-25

Sermon: Idolatry

Hymn of Response: 123 “God of Everlasting Glory”

Confession of Faith: Ten Commandments

Diaconal Offering

Doxology (Hymn 732)

Closing Hymn: 426 “Till He Come”!

PM Worship

OT: 2 Samuel 13:1-22

NT: Luke 12:1-3

Corruption in the Royal Line

Shorter Catechism Q/A #44

Q. What doth the preface to the ten commandments teach us?
A. The preface to the ten commandments teacheth us that because God is the Lord, and our God, and redeemer, therefore we are bound to keep all his commandments.

Suggested Preparations

Monday (6/11) Read and discuss Romans 1:18-25. R.C. Sproul writes:

Immanuel Kant, the great philosopher of the eighteenth century and perhaps the greatest agnostic of all time, revolutionized the world of philosophy by giving a systematic and comprehensive critique of the traditional class arguments for the existence of God. Kant argued that you cannot reason from the visible things of the world back to the invisible God. According to Kant, God is in a realm not known through theoretical reason or empirical investigation. If Kant was right, then the apostle Paul was wrong. If Paul was right, then Kant was wrong. It is time that the Christian church stopped rolling over and playing dead at the feet of Immanuel Kant and started showing the error of Kant’s reasoning. In Romans Paul sets forth plainly that the invisible God, even though he cannot be seen because he is invisible, is clearly seen. God is not seen directly, but he is seen through the things that are made.

God reveals His eternal power and Godhead to the whole world. This revelation does not give us all the specific details about the character and nature of God, but it certainly gives us knowledge of God in general. This revelation includes God’s eternal power. God’s self-existent, eternal being has been revealed in every leaf, every page, every raindrop, and every inch of the cosmos since the beginning of time. The temporal world is the vehicle of divine revelation, and by it all people are able to know that God exists. God’s eternal power and his inherent attributes – immutability, omniscience, omnipresence, and all that fits deity – are made clear through nature. God is also revealed by his moral perfection, holiness, righteousness, and sovereign right to impose obligations upon his creatures without their permission or ascent. God inherently has the right to command from his creatures what is pleasing to him. Paul says that all these things are made clear to us.

Read or sing Hymn 24 “Vast the Immensity, Mirror of Majesty” Prayer: Please be in prayer for the General Assembly of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church as it convenes today in Wheaton, Illinois.

Tuesday (6/12) Read and discuss Psalm 118:14-29.  Commenting on “the stone the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone,” John Calvin writes:

David proceeds to repeat that it is erroneous to estimate the kingdom of Christ by the sentiments and opinions of men, because, in spite of the opposition of the world, it is erected in an astonishing manner by the invisible power of God. In the meantime, we ought to remember, that all that was accomplished in the person of Christ extends to the gradual development of his kingdom, even until the end of the world. When Christ dwelt on the earth, he was despised by the chief priests; and now, those who call themselves the successors of Peter and Paul, but who are truly Ananiases and Caiaphases, giant-like wage war against the Gospel and the Holy Ghost. Not that this furious rebellion ought to give us any uneasiness: let us rather humbly adore that wonderful power of God which reverses the perverse decisions of the world. If our limited understandings could comprehend the course which God follows for the protection and preservation of his Church, there would be no mention made of a miracle. From this we conclude, that his mode of working is incomprehensible, baffling the understandings of men.

Read or Sing Hymn 44 “How Great Thou Art” Prayer: Give thanks that Jesus Christ is building His Church and therefore the gates of hell cannot prevail against it.

Wednesday (6/13) Read and discuss Jeremiah 2:4-12. Elmer Martens writes:

A court lawsuit is underway. It is the Lord Yahweh versus Israel. God the Prosecutor claims that Israel’s behavior is unprecedented. Were one to go west to the island of Cyprus in the Mediterranean or east to the Kedar tribes in Arabia, one could not find an example of a pagan people switching allegiance to another god. Israel’s action is irrational. She has exchanged God, with his deliverance at the exodus, his law at Sinai, his care of the people in the wilderness, and his blessing of Canaan, for a god of no worth. It is a bad bargain. The move is shocking. The heavens are court witnesses.

Israel is like a man who decides to dig for water despite the artesian well on his property. Beyond the hard work of digging the cistern and lining it with plaster, he faces the problem of leaky cisterns, not to mention stale water. The unsatisfactory “cisterns” are described in verses 14-19. Living (fresh) water is at hand. Enough has been said to dispose the court in favor of God and against Israel.

Prayer: Lift up the young people in our congregation and ask that the LORD would cause them to drink deeply from His word rather than exchanging the glory of God for the world’s cheap substitutes.

Thursday (6/14) Read and discuss Luke 12:1-3. William Hendriksen writes:

Not only is hypocrisy dishonesty, it is also folly. As is stated over and over again in Scripture: the truth will come out, perhaps already in this life; but if not, then certainly on the day of the final judgment.

As Solomon says at the end of Ecclesiastes:

The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgment, with every secret thing, whether good or evil.

Read or Sing Hymn 123 “God of Everlasting Glory” Prayer: Ask the LORD to make you a more faithful servant in the everyday details of your life.

Friday (6/15) Read and discuss 2 Samuel 13:1-22. Tony Cartledge writes:

If the death of Bathsheba’s firstborn to David began the fulfillment of Nathan’s dark prophecy, the actions of Amnon and Absalom brought it to a full flowering that would ultimately bear even more bitter fruit in Absalom’s revolt. Nathan had predicted that Yahweh would raise up adversity for David out of his own house and that David’s secret sins would be reproved in the light. Kenneth Chafin has pointed out the way in which Amnon and Absalom fulfilled this forecast by reenacting David’s own sins. Amnon replicated David’s calculated killing of Bathsheba’s husband. Uriah. David’s knowledge of this may have impacted his inability to punish Amnon: it was not only his love of Amnon as his eldest son that stayed David’s hand, but the awareness that he was also guilty of a similar deed and had set a poor example for his son. It is difficult to punish children for imitating their parents’ behavior.

One way in which the sins of the fathers are visited upon subsequent generations is that God allows children to observe and learn from their parents, and many learn negative lessons rather than positive ones. Amnon and Absalom had learned about unbridled passion and premeditated murder from their father – and the victims of their crimes were their own sister and brother. Thus, trouble rose up within David’s own house, and he could not avoid the knowledge that the responsibility lay at his own feet.

Read or sing Hymn 426 “Till He Come”! Prayer: Please be in prayer for the General Assembly of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church as in concludes its business.

Saturday (6/16) Read and discuss Romans 1:18-25. Robert Haldane writes:

The wrath of God … was revealed when the sentence of death was first pronounced, the earth cursed and man driven out of the earthly paradise, and afterward by such examples of punishment as those of the deluge and the destruction of the cities of the plain by fire from heaven, but especially by the reign of death throughout the world. It was proclaimed by the curse of the law on every transgression and was intimated in the institution of sacrifice and in all the services of the Mosaic dispensation. In the eighth chapter of this epistle the apostle calls the attention of believers to the fact that the whole creation has become subject to vanity and groaneth and travaileth together in pain. This same creation which declares that there is a God, and publishes his glory, also proves that he is the enemy of sin and the avenger of the crimes of men. … But above all, the wrath of God was revealed from heaven when the Son of God came down to manifest the divine character, and when the wrath was displayed in his sufferings and death in a manner more awful than by all the tokens God had before given his displeasure against sin.

Prayer: Please lift up tomorrow’s morning and evening worship services.