8 November 2020
Call to Worship: Psalm 96:1-3
Opening Hymn: 145D “God, My King, Thy Might Confessing”
Confession of Sin
Almighty God, Who are rich in mercy to all those who call upon You; Hear us as we humbly come to You confessing our sins; And imploring Your mercy and forgiveness. We have broken Your holy laws by our deeds and by our words; And by the sinful affections of our hearts. We confess before You our disobedience and ingratitude, our pride and willfulness; And all our failures and shortcomings toward You and toward fellow men. Have mercy upon us, Most merciful Father; And of Your great goodness grant that we may hereafter serve and please You in newness of life; Through the merit and mediation of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Assurance of Pardon: Isaiah 53:4-5
Hymn of Preparation: Psalm 13 “How Long Will You Forget Me, LORD?”
Old Covenant Reading: Genesis 3:14-19
New Covenant Reading: Colossians 2:6-15
Sermon: Walking in Christ
Hymn of Response: 374 “All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name”
Confession of Faith: Apostles Creed (p. 851)
Doxology (Hymn 568)
Closing Hymn: 429 “Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing”
OT: 1 Kings 17:1-17
NT: Matthew 6:25-34
Provision in the Midst of Judgment
Monday (11/2) Read and discuss Colossians 2:6-15. The cross of Christ reveals an amazing paradox. At the very point when Jesus was being publicly shamed in His crucifixion, He was freeing His people and disarming and shaming the evil forces that are arrayed against us. How can this be? In the words of the beloved hymn, “O For a Thousand Tongues to Sing”, Jesus “breaks the power of cancelled sin”. We see in verse 14 that Jesus cancelled “the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross.” This was the greatest weapon that Satan and the demons held against us. They could bring accusations against us of cosmic treason and demand the death penalty. This fear of death, and the judgment that would follow, is the fear that all tyrants exploit. Yet, by bearing the full penalty of our sin on the cross, this weapon of our enemies has been utterly taken away. Second, the LORD gives us new life by His Spirit. Notice that we are “made alive together with Him (v. 13).” Christ’s own life is a guarantee of our everlasting life with God. Not only that, the Holy Spirit is given to us so that we are no longer in bondage to the power of sin as we were before. We are now enabled by the Spirit to “more and more die unto sin and to live unto righteousness.”
Read or sing Psalm 145D “God, My King, Thy Might Confessing”
MEMORY WORK Q. 83. Are all transgressions of the law equally heinous?
A. Some sins in themselves, and by reason of several aggravations, are more heinous in the sight of God than others.
Tuesday (11/3) Read and discuss Genesis 17:15-27. Iain Duguid writes:
This relationship with God is a relationship that affects your children also. I meet many people who tell me that they want their children to be free to decide for themselves what they think about religion when they grow up. One lad told me that she keeps books from a cult alongside the Bible on her children’s bookshelf, so that they will be free to make up their own minds when they get older. But the message of the Bible is that we are not free to choose our own gods in the way we choose our favorite brand of laundry detergent. It is not simply a matter of “finding the religion that works for you”; it is a matter of surrendering to the covenant-keeping God or facing the consequences. When God chose Abraham, he didn’t choose just him; he chose his children as well. God is not only the God of Abraham, but also the God of Isaac and Jacob. That is why Abraham was to circumcise his children; they needed to know that they were not free to choose their own gods. They were to receive the sign of the covenant to show them that they were part of the covenant people. They belonged to the one true God, and they were to submit to him.
Did circumcision save them? Absolutely not. Ishmael was circumcised on the same day as Abraham (Gen 17:26), yet he showed no evidence of a heart renewed by grace. Although he bore the sign of the covenant, he was not ultimately part of God’s covenant people. As he grew up, he lived “in the face of” God’s covenant people (16:12), not in friendship with them. As Genesis 17:19-20 makes clear, although God’s blessing rested on Ishmael and his descendants, his covenant was with Isaac and his descendants. In a similar way, circumcision pointed Israel’s children to the one covenant God who alone could save them. If they trusted in him, like their father Abraham, they would find refuge in him. But if they refused that God and rebelled against him, their very circumcision would testify against them. They too would be cut off as Ishmael was.
Read or Sing Hymn Psalm 13 “How Long Will You Forget Me, LORD?”
MEMORY WORK Q. 84. What doth every sin deserve?
A. Every sin deserveth God’s wrath and curse, both in this life, and that which is to come.
Wednesday (11/4) Read and discuss Genesis 3:14-19. James Montgomery Boice writes:
All is not lost, though at times it may seem to be. Although sin grows worse and with it, sin’s troubles. God is unchanged and his mercy endures from generation to generation.
We see it in the judgment of Eve and Adam. It is true that Eve and those women who follow her were subjected to pain in childbearing, but sorrow is afterward forgotten for “joy that a child is born into the world.” One of those births produced the Savior. Again, a woman enters into conflict with her husband, but this is not with one who is a stranger or even her enemy but one who loves her and to whom submission is often sweet. As for man, though the ground is cursed for his sake, the land is nevertheless not made entirely unproductive but rather “yields its fruit in season.” Although God curses the ground, he also sends rains and snows to water it, “making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater.” Man sweats, but he revives again. He dies, but he rises to life everlasting.
MEMORY WORK Q. 85. What doth God require of us that we may escape his wrath and curse due to us for sin?
A. To escape the wrath and curse of God due to us for sin, God requireth of us faith in Jesus Christ, repentance unto life, with the diligent use of all the outward means whereby Christ communicateth to us the benefits of redemption.
Thursday (11/5) Read and discuss Matthew 6:25-34. Grant Osborne writes:
Matthew does not intend a totally passive approach to life. It is trust in the provision of God rather than an absence of working to meet our needs. It is trust in God to guide us and provide for us, not a lazy Christianity, that is in view. The emphasis is on the anxiety that a lack of dependence on God produces. Moreover, this promise that God will give “all these things” to us is no guarantee that hard times will never befall us. Rather, it means that in the hard times God will be guiding our steps and making sure that “in all things God works for the good of those who love Him” (Romans 8:28).
When John said “Do not let your hearts be troubled” (John 14:1), he did not mean a troubled heart was a sin, for Jesus himself had a troubled heart (John 11:33); 12:27; 13:21). Rather, he meant that real trust in God will enable us to overcome such anxiety (14:2). The troubled heart will only become a sin when it is allowed to dominate our lives, so that possessions become our god and constant anxiety is the result.
Read or Sing Hymn 374 “All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name”
MEMORY WORK Q. 86. What is faith in Jesus Christ?
A. Faith in Jesus Christ is a saving grace, whereby we receive and rest upon him alone for salvation, as he is offered to us in the gospel.
Friday (11/6) Read and discuss 1 Kings 17:1-17. John Woodhouse writes:
In his 1950s classic Your God Is Too Small J.B. Phillips observed:
The trouble with many people today is that they have not found a God big enough for modern needs. While their experienced of life has grown in a score of directions, and their mental horizons have expanded to the point of bewilderment by world events and by scientific discoveries, their ideas of God have remained largely static. It is obviously impossible for an adult to worship the conception of God that exists in the mind of a child of Sunday school age, unless he is prepared to deny his own experience of life. If, by a great effort of will, he does do this he will always be secretly afraid lest some new truth may expose he juvenility of his faith. And it will always be by such an effort that he either worships or serves a God who is really too small to command his adult loyalty and cooperation.
The problem is still with us. It is not all unusual for a young person to come to a vital (but teenaged) faith in Jesus Christ that persists into the busy, responsible, pressured world of adult life. They may keep coming to church, identify themselves as Christians, and long for their children to experience what they once experienced as teenagers. But sometimes their understanding of and faith in God has not grown up with them. They do not see the relevance of their God all of their adult life. So their faith seems to make little difference to their business practices, political opinions, accumulation of wealth, or decision making. God is for church, family, and a small circle of Christian friends, but not for the “real” world of sophisticated, clever, powerful people, where God seems to have no place.
Is your God too small? If so, it is not God who is too small. It is our understanding of Him, our confidence in Him, our love for Him that may not be “big enough for modern needs.”
Read or sing Hymn 429 “Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing”
MEMORY WORK Q. 87. What is repentance unto life?
A. Repentance unto life is a saving grace, whereby a sinner, out of a true sense of his sin, and apprehension of the mercy of God in Christ, doth, with grief and hatred of his sin, turn from it unto God, with full purpose of, and endeavor after, new obedience.
Saturday (11/7) Read and discuss Colossians 2:6-15. Paul Deterding writes:
In the present letter, Paul presents salvation as our rescue by divine action, attributing nothing to human development or achievement. The agent of this salvation is Jesus Christ as both the last Adam and God incarnate. In other epistles, Paul more fully presents soteriology in terms of Christ as the second Adam, who is the head of redeemed humanity, even as Adam is the head of fallen, dying humanity. In Colossians this same soteriology is latent, since Paul speaks of putting off the “old man” and presenting every “man” as “perfect in Christ.” But the most distinctive feature of soteriology in Colossians is the repeated and uniquely lucid description of the all-sufficient salvation accomplished by the incarnate Son of God, the one in whom the “fullness” of God dwells bodily.
That from which God in Christ has liberated mankind is the obvious contradiction between the way things are and the way things ought to be. Human beings ought to live in the presence of God – but they are alienated from Him through their hostility toward Him. People ought to live together in harmony – but they are divided from one another. Humanity was created for life – but everywhere there is death and destruction. Hence God acted in the conception, life, crucifixion, and resurrection of Christ to heal those contradictions.
By the death and resurrection of Christ, God overcame the powers of destruction and death that tyrannize people’s lives. Those forces of division and alienation were exposed to public view as objects of defeat.
Prayer: Please lift up tomorrow’s morning and evening worship services.