25 August 2019
Call to Worship: Psalm 98:1-3
Opening Hymn: 288 “We Come, O Christ, to You”
Confession of Sin
Most holy and merciful Father; We acknowledge and confess before You; Our sinful nature prone to evil and slothful in good; And all our shortcomings and offenses. You alone know how often we have sinned; In wandering from Your ways; In wasting Your gifts; In forgetting Your love. But You, O Lord, have pity upon us; Who are ashamed and sorry for all wherein we have displeased You. Teach us to hate our errors; Cleanse us from our secret faults; And forgive our sins for the sake of Your dear Son. And O most holy and loving Father; Help us we beseech You; To live in Your light and walk in Your ways; According to the commandments of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Assurance of Pardon: 2 Corinthians 5:1-5
Hymn of Preparation: 351 “How Deep the Father’s Love for Us”
Old Covenant Reading: Isaiah 52:1-2
New Covenant Reading: Romans 13:11-14
Sermon: Put on Christ
Hymn of Response: 497 “More Love to Thee, O Christ”
Confession of Faith: Q/A 1 Heidelberg Catechism (p. 872)
Doxology (Hymn 568)
Closing Hymn: 494 “O Jesus, Joy of Loving Hearts”
OT: 1 Kings 9:1-9
NT: Hebrews 2:1-4
Blessings and Curses
Shorter Catechism Q/A # 105
Q. What do we pray for in the fifth petition?
A. In the fifth petition, which is, And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors, we pray that God, for Christ’s sake, would freely pardon all our sins; which we are the rather encouraged to ask, because by his grace we are enabled from the heart to forgive others.
Monday (8/19) Read and discuss Romans 13:11-14. R.C. Sproul writes:
Paul’s reference to rioting and drunkenness pertains to the pagan religious worship of the god Bacchus, the god of the grape and vine. Bacchus was the sponsor of the ancient Bacchanalia, and orgiastic feast involving gluttony and unbridled sexual behavior. Participants set out to get drunk to silence pangs of conscience so they could engage in unbridled sin. In contrast to that, we are to put on the Lord Jesus Christ and make no provision for our flesh. Paul means that we are not to make or provide opportunities for sin.
And old country preacher said that if we desire to overcome drunkenness, we best not tie our horse to the post in front of the saloon. …. We are not to make provisions for human sin and weakness. Luther put it this way: “I cannot keep sparrows from flying about my head, but I can keep them from making a nest in my hair.” We are not to make provision to accommodate our base desires. Instead, we are to provide for our soul by putting on Christ and walking in daylight.
Read or sing Hymn 288 “We Come, O Christ, to You” Prayer: Please lift up our brothers and sisters at the Presbyterian Church of Cape Cod.
Tuesday (8/20) Read and discuss Romans 13:8-10. N.T. Wright comments:
In this in-between time, where Christians are commanded to live in the present world as citizens of the future one, the time of fulfillment of God’s law. This ‘fulfillment’ has nothing whatever to do with people keeping the law in order to earn either God’s favor or their membership within God’s people or any special status. It simply has to do with them responding to God’s mercy and love in the most appropriate way possible, by loving the way of life which reflects God’s own character – loving it, indeed, in a way which those who have not known God’s love and saving grace cannot understand or appreciate.
Here Paul uses the idea of fulfilling the law, and of doing so in particular through love, as part of his appeal to the Christians in Rome to live attractive lives in the local community, surrounded as they are by the watching stares of puzzled pagans. Don’t get in debt to anyone, he says – a warning our present Western society has done its best to ignore over the last generation – except to regard yourself in debt to everyone, to love them. If you love them you won’t commit murder. If you love them, you won’t steal from them. If you love them you will be delighted that this man has plenty to live on, that this woman has that fine dress, that this couple live in that attractive house; you won’t covet what they have, because you will be glad for them.
Read or Sing Hymn 351 “How Deep the Father’s Love for Us” Prayer:
Wednesday (8/21) Read and discuss Isaiah 52:1-12. We commonly remember Isaiah for the beautiful way in which he presents the good news that God would redeem His people. What makes this good news so striking is that Isaiah gives it long before the LORD is going to send His people into the Babylonian captivity. In order to make this astonishing prophesy easier to grasp, Isaiah points back to the Exodus He accomplished when He delivered His people from Egypt (v. 4). This pattern would be repeated after the coming Babylonian captivity with both the Exodus from Egypt and the deliverance from Babylon serving as types of Christ delivering His people from sin. The redemption of Israel is not God’s plan “B” after His plan “A” had gone badly wrong. The LORD had always intended to redeem and restore His people. In fact, the very purpose of this dramatic redemption was to glorify God’s mercy and His covenant faithfulness. Bryan Beyer writes:
The Lord had indeed restored Zion (52:9-10). When the time of salvation came, the Lord “rolled up his sleeves” (lit. “bared his arm”) before the nations and manifested the salvation of his people before them. The text does not reveal why the Lord wanted all the nations to see him save his people, but probably h displayed his glory so that they too might one day come to share in it (cf. 45:22-23).
God called his people to depart Babylon as a pure people (52:11). As they had purified themselves in earlier days prior to God’s great works (Ex 19:10-15); Jos 3:5), the people were now to leave behind all of Babylon’s impurities. Isaiah’s commands reminded the people they could not fully pursue God’s holiness and at the same time cling to their evil ways.
Finally, God’s people would not leave Babylon in a panic or frenzy (52:12). The Lord would lead them out in an orderly fashion, protecting them front and rear.
All of this pointed forward to chapter 53 which would foretell the deliverance of God’s people from sin through the atoning work of Jesus Christ. We too are called to leave the world behind and to pursue God’s holiness. We too are called not to live in a panic or frenzy but to trust that the LORD will protect us from the world and from the accuser of the brethren.
Prayer: Pray for the young people in our congregation that they would both appropriately be engaged in the world while separating themselves from worldliness.
Thursday (8/22) Read and discuss Hebrews 2:1-4. Tom Schreiner writes:
The reason for the elegant theological argument in 1:1-14 now surfaces. The author warns the readers that they should not drift away from the message they received. The main point of the paragraph is the warning given to the readers. Connections between this paragraph and chapter 1 surface; both emphasize that God has spoken through the son, and thus the readers must heed what was proclaimed to them. Verses 2-4 explain why the warning is so crucial. In verses 2-3 we have an argument from the lesser to the greater. If those who violated the word given by angels were punished with earthly punishments, those who reject such a great salvation will experience even more dire consequences. When we put the pieces together, the main point of the paragraph can be summarized as follows: pay attention and don’t drift away from the message proclaimed by the Son, for there is no escape for those who neglect such a great salvation. The paragraph concludes with an affirmation of the truth received. It was “spoken by the LORD” and confirmed by eyewitnesses. Signs and wonders and other miracles attested to the truthfulness of the revelation. The readers should have no doubts about the veracity of the revelation and therefore must not turn away from the truth.
Read or Sing Hymn 497 “More Love to Thee, O Christ” Prayer: Ask the LORD to cause you to cling more closely to His word.
Friday (8/23) Read and discuss 1 Kings 9:1-9. John Woodhouse writes:
In the Garden of Eden the possibility of disobedience may have seemed remote. Why would the man and woman God had so wonderfully blessed choose to disobey him? What possible reason could there be for doing so? And yet it was acknowledged as a real possibility (“for in the day that you eat of it …, Genesis 2:17), a possibility that was tragically realized.
Here with King Solomon the possibility contemplated does not seem remote. Too much has happened. The people of Israel had repeatedly done what Adam and Eve so foolishly did. Read Samuel’s indictment of the people in 1 Samuel 12:8-17. Consider the failure of King Saul. Consider the wickedness of King David. The possibility of disobedience is no longer remote. It was the possibility that Moses had set before the people before they had entered the promised land.
This possibility is described here in three ways: turning aside from following the LORD, not keeping his commandments and statutes, and going and serving other gods and bowing down to them. Therese are three aspects of abandoning the life of obedience to God that was required of those who had been so blessed by him.
Read or sing Hymn 494 “O Jesus, Joy of Loving Hearts” Prayer: Please pray for the special meeting of our congregation scheduled for Sunday.
Saturday (8/24) Read and discuss Romans 13:11-14. Doug Moo writes:
One of the most important points of application for the contemporary Christian is left unsaid in the paragraphs above, although it is presumed throughout. A great gap can exist between who we are and how we live. Paul has theologized about this fundamental tension in Romans 6, where he argues that our new relationship to Christ rescues us from slavery to sin. Being in Christ means that we now have the power to do what God tells us to do, to live Christianly from morning to night, day in and day out. But even in Romans 6 Paul tells us that this new power is not a magical potion that automatically makes us holy. We have to respond to God’s offer of grace and allow his power in Christ to capture every part of our being at every moment of time. Holiness is both a gift and an accomplishment. God gives it, but we have to accept it and give it pride of place in our affections and intentions.
Prayer: Please lift up tomorrow’s morning and evening worship services.