4 November 2018
Call to Worship: Psalm 105:1-3
Opening Hymn: 216 “Praise to the LORD, the Almighty”
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: Ephesians 2:13-16
Hymn of Preparation: 260 “All Mankind Fell in Adam’s Fall”
Old Covenant Reading: Genesis 5:1-31
New Covenant Reading: Romans 5:12-17
Sermon: The Two Adams
Hymn of Response: 474 “If Thou But Suffer God to Guide Thee”
Confession of Faith: Q/A 1 Heidelberg Catechism (p. 872)
Doxology (Hymn 568)
Closing Hymn: 466 “My Faith Looks Up to Thee”
OT: 2 Samuel 23:1-7
NT: 2 Thessalonians 1:5-12
David’s Last Words
Shorter Catechism Q/A #64
Q. What is required in the fifth commandment?
A. The fifth commandment requireth the preserving the honor, and performing the duties, belonging to every one in their several places and relations, as superiors, inferiors or equals.
Monday (10/29) Read and discuss Romans 5:12-17. R.C. Sproul writes:
The Bible teaches that justification is by faith alone, yet ultimately there is only one way anybody is ever saved in the presence of God, and that is through works. The question is not whether we are going to be saved through works; the question is whose works. We are saved through the works of the one who alone fulfilled the terms of the covenant of works. That is why it is not just the death of Christ that redeems us, but it is also the life of Christ.
By one man’s disobedience we were plunged into ruin, but by the obedience of one man, the new Adam, we are justified. Saying that we are justified by faith alone is simply shorthand for saying that we are justified by Christ alone. Justification by faith alone means that we cannot make it on the basis of our works but by trusting in someone else’s works. Our works will never save us, but Christ’s works are perfect, and they meet all the requirements.
Read or sing Hymn 216 “Praise to the LORD, the Almighty” Prayer: Please pray for those who are suffering from physical struggles in our congregation.
Tuesday (10/30) Read and discuss Romans 5:6-11. Michael Bird writes:
Paul’s opening remark (v. 6) is similar to Galatians 4:4, where he wrote that God sent his Son “when the time had fully come,” that is, as the climax to a redemptive-historical sequence beginning with Abraham. But here he proffers the view that Christ came at “just the right time.” What made that time so “right” was that the ungodly were powerless to deliver themselves and were wholly reliant on God to save them from their wretched state. That Christ died for the ungodly obviously harks back to Romans 4:5 where Abraham was the model of the ungodly pagan saved by God’s justifying grace. That Christ died “for’ them is purposive in the sense of dying to make atonement for their sins.
Paul then comments on the extraordinary nature of this act by way of an analogy as to whom we would normally consider worthy of dying for (v. 7). Only “rarely” would someone give up their own life to save the life of a good man or woman. It is conceivable, Paul admits, but such displays of self-sacrifice and altruistic behavior are rare, rarer than a cheap parking spot in Manhattan. If it is uncommon for someone to die for a good person, it is even less likely that anyone would lay down their lives to save an evil person. Giving up your life to save Nelson Mandela is one thing, but who would take a bullet to save Adolf Hitler?
And yet – and this is the shocking and affronting element to the atonement – God shows his love to sinners by sending Christ to die for them, to make atonement for their sin, for their rectification, redemption, and reconciliation (v. 8). Christ does not die for the righteous, he dies to make the unrighteous righteous. This is the topsy-turvy, crazy, freaky, wildly illogical, world-denying, self-giving love that God shows sinners in Christ Jesus.
Read or Sing Hymn 260 “All Mankind Fell in Adam’s Fall” Prayer: Give thanks for the amazing love of God.
Wednesday (10/31) Read and discuss Genesis 5:1-31. Kenneth Matthews writes:
Genesis presents history as the course of human events driven by the sovereign dictates of God. Like creation, which has harmony and progression under the authoritative word of God (1:1-2:3), history also has its order, symmetry, and cohesion. Realization of the blessing is not left to happenstance, nor is it subject to the autonomy of human will. Although history is propelled by the hand of God, Genesis does not make human responsibility extraneous. Those through whom God achieves his purposes for the world are godly individuals such as Enoch, Noah, and Abraham. These three are distinctive figures in their times as people of godly character. Genesis appeals to their examples as evidence that human history has a moral factor that impacts its direction for good or ill. The inevitable tension between divine assurances and human culpability is not suppressed by the Genesis narrative; involvement of human choice only enriches the fabric of God’s mysterious outworking of his beneficent intention for mankind.
Prayer: Ask that the LORD would lead visitors to our congregation who would be blessed by uniting with our church family.
Thursday (11/1) Read and discuss 2 Thessalonians 1:1-12. Sometimes we struggle with seeing the relatively just suffering terribly while those who appear to be more wicked seem to be living the highlife – even while they are persecuting God’s people. This struggle can be found in the Psalms and in every age of the Church. In today’s passage the Apostle Paul addresses this reality. John Stott writes:
On the one hand, Jesus had taught that suffering was the unavoidable path to glory, both for himself and for his followers. Similarly, Paul had insisted that it is only through many tribulations that we can enter God’s kingdom, and that only if we share in Christ’s sufferings will we ever share in his glory. So suffering and glory, tribulation and the kingdom, belong inseparably to one another. Therefore, since God was allowing the Thessalonians to suffer, they could know that he was preparing them for glory. Their suffering was itself evidence of the justice of God, because it was the first part of the equation which guaranteed that the second part (glory) would follow.
On the other hand, although God was allowing the persecutors some rope, it was evidently in the Thessalonians that he was especially at work. He was on their side, sustaining and sanctifying them. He was using their persecutions aas a means through which to develop their faith, love and perseverance, in contrast to the prejudice, anger and bitterness of their persecutors, and so was preparing them for his eternal kingdom. By these qualities they were not ‘made worthy’ (RSV) of the kingdom, in the sense of deserving it, but they were counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which they were suffering. …
Indeed, because God is just, he will vindicate them publically one day. He will reverse the fortunes of both groups, the persecutors wand the persecuted when Christ comes. He will pay back trouble to the trouble-makers and will give relief(from affliction) to those who have been afflicted, including the apostles. … We see the malice, cruelty, power and arrogance of the evil men who persecute. We see also the sufferings of the people of God, who are opposed, ridiculed, boycotted, harassed, imprisoned, tortured and killed. In other words, what we see is injustice – the wicked flourishing and the righteous suffering. It seems completely topsy-turvy. We are tempted to inveigh against God and against the miscarriage of justice. ‘Why doesn’t God do something?’ we complain indignantly. And the answer is that he is doing something and will go on doing it. He is allowing his people to suffer, in order to qualify them for his heavenly kingdom. He is allowing the wicked to triumph temporarily, but his just judgment will fall upon them in the end. Thus Paul sees evidence that God’s judgment is right in the very situation which we might see nothing but injustice.
Read or sing Hymn 474 “If Thou But Suffer God to Guide Thee” Prayer: Please pray our mission work among the Karamojan people.
Friday (11/2) Read and discuss 2 Samuel 23:1-7. Commenting on verse 2, John Woodhouse writes:
The God of the Bible speaks. Frequently he has spoken through human agents, sometimes called prophets. Here David asserts that he is such an agent. The “Spirit” of the Lord is his “breath” (as the Hebrew word is translated in, for example, 22:16). This is what theologians call an anthropomorphism (language that applies characteristics of a human person to God, such as the arm, mouth, ear, or nostrils of the Lord). Just as human words are carried by the person’s “breath,” so, when David speaks by “the breath of the LORD,” then it is his (the Lord’s) word that is on David’s tongue. In this context the word of God and the Spirit of God cannot be separated, any more than the words I speak can be separated from my breath.
What is “his word” that is on David’s tongue as the breath of the Lord speaks by him (23:2)? In 7:21 David called God’s promise he had heard from Nathan “your word” (ESV, “your promise”). The word spoken to David (7:4-17) and the word spoken by David are (as we will see) the same word of God.
Read or sing Hymn 466 “My Faith Looks Up to Thee” Prayer: Ask the LORD to cause His word to take root in your life that it would produce the fruit of righteousness and peace.
Saturday (11/3) Read and discuss Romans 5:12-17. James Montgomery Boice writes:
God appointed Adam the head or representative of the race, so that he would stand for them and they would be accounted either just or sinful on the basis of his obedience to or disobedience of God’s command. This view is called federalism because of the analogy to the way an ambassador might act on behalf of his country. When he signs a document or takes an action, he does so for each of the country’s citizens, and they are therefore bound by what he does.
In this view, the point is not that all people sin, though they do, but rather that Adam stood for them so that, when he sinned, not only was Adam judged but they were judged, too. It is because Adam sinned that death passed upon all. Here is how Lloyd-Jones puts it: “Adam’s sin is imputed to us in exactly the same way that Christ’s righteousness is imputed to us. We inherit, of course, a sinful nature from Adam. … But that is not what condemns us. What condemns us, and makes us subject to death, is the fact that we have all sinned in Adam, and that we are all held guilty of the fact that we have all sinned in Adam, and that we are all held guilty of sin. … It is our union with Adam that accounts for all our trouble. It is our corresponding union with Christ that accounts for our salvation.”
Prayer: Please lift up tomorrow’s morning and evening worship services.