All of Christ for All of Life
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Guide for the Preparation for Worship on 13 June 2021

Guide for the Preparation for Worship on 13 June 2021

Call to Worship
Opening Hymn: Hymn 457 “Jesus, Thy Blood and Righteousness”
Confession of Sin
O You whose chosen dwelling is the heart that longs for Your presence and humbly seeks Your love: We come to You to acknowledge and confess that we have sinned in thought and word and deed; We have not loved You with all our heart and soul, with all our mind and strength; We have not even loved our neighbor as ourselves. Deepen within us our sorrow for the wrong we have done, or for the good we have left undone. But You, O Lord, are full of compassion and gracious, slow to anger and plenteous in mercy; there is forgiveness with You. Restore to us the joy of Your salvation; Bind up that which is broken, give light to our minds, strength to our wills and rest to our souls. Speak to each of us the word that we need, and let Your Word abide with us until it has wrought in us Your holy will. Amen.
Assurance of Pardon: Romans 6:23
Psalm of Preparation: Psalm 18B “I Love You, Lord, My Strength”
Old Covenant Reading: Joshua 1:1-9
New Covenant Reading: 1 Timothy 1:12-20
Sermon: Christ Came to Save Sinners
Hymn of Response: Hymn 459 “My Hope is Built on Nothing Less”
Confession of Faith: Nicene Creed (p. 852)
Pastoral Prayer
Closing Hymn: Hymn 213 “Glory Be to God the Father” 

Suggested Preparations

Monday (6/7) Read and discuss 1 Timothy 1:12-20.

 I thank him who has given me strength, Christ Jesus our Lord, because he judged me faithful, appointing me to his service,  though formerly I was a blasphemer, persecutor, and insolent opponent. But I received mercy because I had acted ignorantly in unbelief,  and the grace of our Lord overflowed for me with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.  The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost.  But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life. To the King of the ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.  This charge I entrust to you, Timothy, my child, in accordance with the prophecies previously made about you, that by them you may wage the good warfare,  holding faith and a good conscience. By rejecting this, some have made shipwreck of their faith, 20 among whom are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have handed over to Satan that they may learn not to blaspheme. (ESV).

MEMORY WORK
Q. 50. What is required in the second commandment?
A. The second commandment requireth the receiving, observing, and keeping pure and entire, all such religious worship and ordinances as God hath appointed in his word.

Tuesday (6/8) Read and discuss Philippians 1:19-26. 

Yes, and I will rejoice, for I know that through your prayers and the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ this will turn out for my deliverance, as it is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be at all ashamed, but that with full courage now as always Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me. Yet which I shall choose I cannot tell. I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better. But to remain in the flesh is more necessary on your account.  Convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with you all, for your progress and joy in the faith, so that in me you may have ample cause to glory in Christ Jesus, because of my coming to you again. (ESV)

Having the right goals in life is quite important.  If you can only be happy if you become the CEO of Apple Computer you are probably going to be quite disappointed.  If your desire is to be stunningly beautiful, you will probably be quite discouraged if you live far into middle age. The truth is, even the most beautiful models will eventually see their outward appearance fade away.  On the other hand, if your deepest desire is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever – then you are absolutely in a win-win situation. The Apostle Paul is locked in a Roman prison and facing the possibility of death.  Let’s be honest, most of us would find this to be horribly depressing circumstances. Paul himself recognizes that he faces the most difficult of dilemmas.  In fact, he doesn’t even know which one to chose. On the one hand, death means going to be with Christ – which Paul describes as “far better”. We need to be careful here. Paul is not romanticizing death which he elsewhere describes as “the last enemy”. Death is the brutal consequence of sin and it is something worth weeping over. Remember that Jesus Himself wept over the death of His friend Lazarus whom He was about to raise from the dead. What Paul is getting at is that Christ has taken the sting out of death by turning it from a destination to a passageway for us.  On the other side of death believers will live, free from sin, with Jesus forever. Given the sufferings of this present age, who wouldn’t want to depart and be with Christ now? Nevertheless, there is something that we can do right now that we will not be able to do in heaven. Right now we can serve Jesus by working for the good of our brothers and sisters in Christ and by sharing the gospel with unbelievers. In light of this truth, Paul tells the Philippians “it is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be at all ashamed, but that with full courage now as always Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” May that be our expectation and hope as well.

MEMORY WORK
Q. 51. What is forbidden in the second commandment?
A. The second commandment forbiddeth the worshiping of God by images, or any other way not appointed in his word.

Wednesday (6/9) Read and discuss Joshua 1:1-9

1 After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, the Lord said to Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ assistant, 2 “Moses my servant is dead. Now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, into the land that I am giving to them, to the people of Israel. 3 Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given to you, just as I promised to Moses. 4 From the wilderness and this Lebanon as far as the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites to the Great Sea toward the going down of the sun shall be your territory. 5 No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life. Just as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you or forsake you. 6 Be strong and courageous, for you shall cause this people to inherit the land that I swore to their fathers to give them. 7 Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to do according to all the law that Moses my servant commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may have good success wherever you go. 8 This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. 9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (ESV).

MEMORY WORK
Q. 52. What are the reasons annexed to the second commandment?
A. The reasons annexed to the second commandment are, God’s sovereignty over us, his propriety in us, and the zeal he hath to his own worship.

Thursday (6/10) Read and discuss Philippians 1:27-30. 

Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel, and not frightened in anything by your opponents. This is a clear sign to them of their destruction, but of your salvation, and that from God. For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake, engaged in the same conflict that you saw I had and now hear that I still have. (ESV)

Few things unite a group of people as quickly as a common enemy. It is astonishing how quickly comradely develops in Boot Camp among recruits who are being driven and harassed by the same Drill Sergeants. On a larger scale, nothing brings out a nation’s patriotism like being attacked by a foreign power. Many people today probably forget how much opposition there was in the United States to our country entering World War II. President Roosevelt won re-election, in part, by promising to keep our troops out of the war. Yet all that changed after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. After that attack, one slogan answered all the critics: “Remember Pearl Harbor!” This may seem very removed from today’s text until we take a close look at Paul’s unusual word choice.  Paul tells the Philippians “Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ …” This may not strike us at all except that the normal way that the Hebrew Old Testament spoke of our “manner of life” is to use the word “walk”.  To this day Jewish people speak of the Halakah – which simply means the way that we are supposed to walk. But that is not the expression that Paul uses here.  Instead, he uses the verbal equivalent of citizen. The NLT tries to bring this out by translating the passage, “But whatever happens to me, you must live in a manner worthy of the Good News about Christ, as citizens of heaven.” Paul isn’t telling the Philippians to simply live with excellent morality, he is telling them to live in such a way that everyone can see that their ultimate loyalty (as citizens of heaven!) is to Jesus Christ. In the face of persecution, the Philippians are not to rally to the flag or to the Roman standards but to the cross – that they should “stand firm in one spirit, contending as one man for the faith of the gospel.” Because the United States has had a Christian veneer for a long time it has been easy for Christians to be less attached to their brothers and sisters in Christ and their particular local church than they should be.  Those days seem to be moving into the past. If New England continues to become increasingly secular we will need to become even more committed to standing with resolve together for the truth once and for all delivered to the saints. Paul told the Philippians that “it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe on Him, but also to suffer for Him.” Will this be granted to us as well? Only God knows the answer to that question. Yet there are two things that we know for certain.  (1) First, no one has ever been too committed to Jesus Christ; and (2) Second, “whoever believes in Him will not be put to shame (Romans 9:33).”

MEMORY WORK
Q. 53. Which is the third commandment?
A. The third commandment is, Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain: for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.

Friday (6/11) Read and discuss Philippians 2:1-11. 

So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (ESV)

Wouldn’t it be great to be part of a church where everyone cared more about the needs of each other than about their own desires – where people were like minded in the truth and love for one another?  This is precisely what Paul calls the Philippians to in verses 2 and 3.  The natural question to ask is, “what will happen to me if I live like that and nobody else does?” Paul responds, by asking if we have fully considered the life of Jesus.  He specifically challenges us to imitate Jesus in this way:

Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

Since our lives all had a beginning, we can wrongly think of Christmas as the beginning of Jesus’ life.  But the Son has eternally existed in perfect love with the Father and the Holy Spirit.  From the moment when God created the universe, there have been an innumerable host of angles praising God the Son.  Yet Jesus willingly laid all of that aside to come and redeem sinners like us.  Jesus didn’t lay aside anything of His Deity.  He always was, and ever remains, the Living God. What Christ laid aside was the prerogatives of being the center of the Creation.  In a similar manner, when we sacrificially love – we do not lay aside our dignity as Christ’s ambassadors; in fact, we reflect Christ most fully when we abandon ourselves to His service trusting that God the Father will use, protect, and vindicate our lives.  The humility of the incarnation is not the end for Jesus Christ. In verse 9-11 we read:

Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

In a like manner, God will also exalt all those who humble themselves for Christ’s sake in this world. As the Apostle Peter commands us: “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you (1 Peter 5:6-7).” How can you humble yourself for Christ’s sake today?

MEMORY WORK
Q. 54. What is required in the third commandment?
A. The third commandment requireth the holy and reverent use of God’s names, titles, attributes, ordinances, word and works.

Saturday (6/12) Read and discuss 1 Timothy 1:12-20.

1I thank him who has given me strength, Christ Jesus our Lord, because he judged me faithful, appointing me to his service,  though formerly I was a blasphemer, persecutor, and insolent opponent. But I received mercy because I had acted ignorantly in unbelief, and the grace of our Lord overflowed for me with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost. But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life.  To the King of the ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.  This charge I entrust to you, Timothy, my child, in accordance with the prophecies previously made about you, that by them you may wage the good warfare,  holding faith and a good conscience. By rejecting this, some have made shipwreck of their faith, 20 among whom are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have handed over to Satan that they may learn not to blaspheme. (ESV).

MEMORY WORK

Q. 55. What is forbidden in the third commandment?
A. The third commandment forbiddeth all profaning or abusing of anything whereby God maketh himself known

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