All of Christ for All of Life
Grace Alone, Faith Alone, Christ Alone

Guide for the Preparation for Worship on 20 June 2021

Call to Worship
Opening Hymn: 230 “Holy, Holy, Holy!”
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: John 1:29
Hymn of Preparation: 229 “Holy God, We Praise Your Name”
Old Covenant Reading: Isaiah 49:1-7
New Covenant Reading: 2 Thessalonians 1:11-12
Sermon: Made Worthy for His Glory
Hymn of Response: Hymn 245 “Great is Thy Faithfulness”
Confession of Faith: Nicene Creed (p. 852)
Pastoral Prayer
The Lord’s Supper
Closing Hymn: 520 “What a Friend We Have in Jesus”

Suggested Preparations

Monday (6/14) Read and discuss 2 Thessalonians 1:11-12.

To this end we always pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling and may fulfill every resolve for good and every work of faith by his power, so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ. (ESV)

Leon Morris writes:

“With this in mind” [ESV “to this end”] probably refers to the whole of the preceding section. Paul’s prayer for the Thessalonians grows out of his thanksgiving for them and his contemplation of the wonderful things to come. The prayer is that they may grow in things spiritual, and this is expressed in various ways. First, count you worthy. This is not a prayer that converts will not fall away. Paul’s attention is fixed on the glory at the end time and he prays that they will then be adjudged worthy of having been called, i.e. that during the intervening period they will live in such a way as to ensure this commendation. …

By his power will apply to both the following: Paul prays that the power of God will be seen in the good purpose and also in the work of faith. Neither is to be done in merely human strength. … Paul prays that God will bring about the goodness of will that leads to goodness of action. It is like the Anglican collect for Easter Day, ‘We humbly beseech the, that as by the special grace preceding us thou dost put into our minds good desires, so by thy continual help we may bring the same to good effect.’ … Coupled with this is every act prompted by your faith. Except that it lacks the definite article, the expression is identical with that translated ‘your work produced by faith’ [in 1 Thess 1:3]. Faith is not passive; it is ceaselessly active, appropriating God’s blessings and using God’s power for God’s service.

Q. 56. What is the reason annexed to the third commandment?
A. The reason annexed to the third commandment is that however the breakers of this commandment may escape punishment from men, yet the Lord our God will not suffer them to escape his righteous judgment.

Tuesday (6/15) Read and discuss Philippians 2:12–18.

Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.

Do all things without grumbling or disputing, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain. Even if I am to be poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrificial offering of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all. Likewise you also should be glad and rejoice with me. (ESV)

Gordon Fee writes:

From heaven back to earth; from the worship of the Son and glory of the Father back to Philippi with its suffering and threats of disunity. Thus Paul returns to his present concern – obedience expressed through a common mindset, for the sake of Christ and the gospel – by applying what he has just written to the Philippians’ situation. But the return is not with a thud; rather, this is the reason for telling the story of Christ in the first place: as the model and means for them to continue to work out [their] salvation for the sake of God’s good purpose.

The application is in three sentences, which together form a single appeal with a threefold concern: (1) that they return to their common cause, partly (2) for the sake of the gospel in the world partly also (3) for Paul’s sake, and thus for their mutual joy. The first sentence (vv. 12-13) speaks generally, urging that they show their “obedience” by getting their corporate act together (work out your salvation). And lest he be misunderstood, Paul adds an encouraging theological word: God has committed himself to effecting their “obedience” for his own good pleasure. The second sentence (vv. 14-16) gives specifics: complaining and arguing must cease, for the sake of the crooked and depraved Philippi in which they shine like stars aas they hold fast the word of life. This sentence concludes on the note of Paul’s own ministry among them, which leads to the final sentence (vv. 17-18), where he returns to the theme of his suffering, their faith, and his and their mutual joy.

Q. 57. Which is the fourth commandment?
A. The fourth commandment is, Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work: but the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.

Wednesday (6/16) Read and discuss Isaiah 49:1-7.

Listen to me, O coastlands,
and give attention, you peoples from afar.
The LORD called me from the womb,
from the body of my mother he named my name.
He made my mouth like a sharp sword;
in the shadow of his hand he hid me;
he made me a polished arrow;
in his quiver he hid me away.
And he said to me, “You are my servant,
Israel, in whom I will be glorified.”
But I said, “I have labored in vain;
I have spent my strength for nothing and vanity;
yet surely my right is with the LORD,
and my recompense with my God.”

And now the LORD says,
he who formed me from the womb to be his servant,
to bring Jacob back to him;
and that Israel might be gathered to him—
for I am honored in the eyes of the LORD,
and my God has become my strength—
he says:

“It is too light a thing that you should be my servant
to raise up the tribes of Jacob
and to bring back the preserved of Israel;
I will make you as a light for the nations,
that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth.”

Thus says the LORD,
the Redeemer of Israel and his Holy One,
to one deeply despised, abhorred by the nation,
the servant of rulers:
“Kings shall see and arise;
princes, and they shall prostrate themselves;
because of the LORD, who is faithful,
the Holy One of Israel, who has chosen you.” (ESV)

Willem VanGemeren writes:

These verses portray the various characteristics of the servant of God. The nations are called upon to pay attention to the servant even though he is despised by them.

The servant of God is not to be judged by his present or past status, but rather by his election. Yahweh himself has called and named his servant. The prophet intimates that there is a twofold purpose in the servant’s calling. On the one hand, he is to proclaim the Word, which is likened to a “sharpened sword.” On the other hand, he is to be like a “polished arrow.” The sword speaks of the prophetic ministry in which the servant, filled by the Word of the LORD, speaks that Word which is able to penetrate the hearts and souls of people. The arrow as an instrument of warfare symbolizes God’s judgment on those who do not respond. Yahweh himself will be glorified by his servant. He will continue to use his servant to speak to Israel as well as to the nations. Yahweh’s Word will not return to him void and as such, the servant is guaranteed that his prophetic mission will be successful.

Q. 58. What is required in the fourth commandment?
A. The fourth commandment requireth the keeping holy to God such set times as he hath appointed in his word; expressly one whole day in seven, to be a holy sabbath to himself.

Thursday (6/17) Read and discuss Philippians 2:19-24

I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon, so that I too may be cheered by news of you. For I have no one like him, who will be genuinely concerned for your welfare. For they all seek their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ. But you know Timothy’s proven worth, how as a son with a father he has served with me in the gospel. I hope therefore to send him just as soon as I see how it will go with me, and I trust in the Lord that shortly I myself will come also. (ESV)

Discussing Paul’s commendation of Timothy, James Montgomery Boice writes:

Paul speaks quite eloquently of him: “But I trust in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy shortly unto you, that I also may be of good comfort, when I know your state. For I have no man likeminded, who will naturally care for your state. For all seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ’s. But ye know the proof of him that as a son with the father, he hath served with me in the gospel.”

These verses say four things about Timothy. First, they say that he was likeminded with Paul: “for I have no man likeminded, who will naturally care for your state.” … Second, Paul says that Timothy was concerned for others. He cared for them naturally. In fact, he served them with the disposition of a true shepherd who was faithful in the care and protection of his flock. … The third thing for which Paul praises Timothy is his concern for Jesus Christ. Timothy put Christ first. And in this he stood head and shoulders above those who were around him. It is so easy to put other things first. You can put your own reputation first. You can put your pleasure first. You can give first place to your plans, or your family, or success, or any number of other things. But if you do, all of these things will be distorted, and you will miss life’s greatest blessings. Timothy put Christ first, together with Christ’s interests, and the other things fell into place naturally. The final thing for which the young man Timothy is praised is that he had learned to work with others. Paul says of him, “But ye know the proof of him, that, as a son with the father, he hath served with me in the gospel” (vs. 22). How often we want to be independent! We want to serve God, but the work must be our work. It must be our job, and it must be run according to our conception of things. A real mark of Christian maturity is the ability to work with others cooperatively under the banner and for the cause of Jesus Christ.

Q. 59. Which day of the seven hath God appointed to be the weekly sabbath?
A. From the beginning of the world to the resurrection of Christ, God appointed the seventh day of the week to be the weekly sabbath; and the first day of the week ever since, to continue to the end of the world, which is the Christian sabbath.

Friday (6/18) Read and discuss Philippians 2:25-30

I have thought it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus my brother and fellow worker and fellow soldier, and your messenger and minister to my need, for he has been longing for you all and has been distressed because you heard that he was ill. Indeed he was ill, near to death. But God had mercy on him, and not only on him but on me also, lest I should have sorrow upon sorrow. I am the more eager to send him, therefore, that you may rejoice at seeing him again, and that I may be less anxious. [29] So receive him in the Lord with all joy, and honor such men, for he nearly died for the work of Christ, risking his life to complete what was lacking in your service to me. (ESV)

Peter T. O’Brien writes:

This short paragraph shows Paul to be a man of great tenderness who writes warmly, even glowingly, of his friend and colleague from Philippi. Although his own needs are not entirely forgotten, they are secondary to his concern for the well-being of others, that is, Epaphroditus and the Philippians. “His friendliness appears here in its depth and sincerity, and just as before it has been forged in the service of the gospel, in struggles and suffering (J.F. Collange).”

The apostle focusses attention on this member of the Philippian congregation, not only in order to inform them of what has happened to their fellow Christian and to explain his return with the letter itself, but also to provided them with still another striking illustration of the self-sacrificing service that is demanded of all Christians; in other words, to give a further godly example of the way the Philippians should imitate Christ.

Q. 60. How is the sabbath to be sanctified?
A. The sabbath is to be sanctified by a holy resting all that day, even from such worldly employments and recreations as are lawful on other days; and spending the whole time in the public and private exercises of God’s worship, except so much as is to be taken up in the works of necessity and mercy.

Saturday (6/19) Read and discuss 2 Thessalonians 1:11-12.

To this end we always pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling and may fulfill every resolve for good and every work of faith by his power, so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ. (ESV)

Rick Phillips writes:

In his final statement of chapter 1, in which Paul has sought to encourage the steadfast faith of the persecuted believers, he adds not only that Christ’s name will be glorified in you,” and also “you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.” Having shared in the suffering of Christ in this life, believers share in his glory for all the unbending ages to come after he returns. In Romans 8:17, Paul reasoned that if we are “children, then heirs – heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ.” It is not that Christ gains his great inheritance and each believer gets his or her own little inheritance in glory, but rather that together with Christ, as his coheirs, we inherit the whole of the glory of God. Then Paul adds: “provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.”

When General Douglas MacArthur signed the documents to accept the surrender of Imperial Japan and end World War II, he insisted that he be joined by two generals who had been captured early in the war and suffered terribly at Japanese hands. Finally sitting before the formal surrender, MacArthur took his pen and wrote his first name only: “Douglas.” He then handed the pen to General Wainwright, who added “Mac,” and then to General Percival, who completed the name by adding “Arthur.” In a similar manner, when Christ returns, those who have suffered for him and with him in this present age will partake of his victory and celebrate his glory together with him.

Paul’s statement that Christ is glorified in you “and you in him” echoes the request that Jesus made in his great High Priestly Prayer on the night of his arrest: “Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world” (John 17:24). Jesus did not say merely that he wills for his people to enter heaven, but that they may be “with me.” He longs for fellowship with his people and for us to enter into the glory that reflects his own love relationship with the Father. It is for this that he is returning to. Take us to himself and into his glory.

Q. 61. What is forbidden in the fourth commandment?
A. The fourth commandment forbiddeth the omission or careless performance of the duties required, and the profaning the day by idleness, or doing that which is in itself sinful, or by unnecessary thoughts, words or works, about our worldly employments or recreations.