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

Worship Guide for April 3 2022

3 April 2022

Call to Worship: Psalm 105:1-3

Opening Hymn: 212 “Come, Thou Almighty King”

Confession of Sin

O great and everlasting God, Who dwells in unapproachable light, Who searches and knows the thoughts and intentions of the heart; We confess that we have not loved You with all our heart, nor with all our soul, nor with all our mind, nor with all our strength; Nor our neighbors as ourselves.  We have loved what we ought not to have loved; We have coveted what is not ours; We have not been content with Your provisions for us.  We have complained in our hearts about our family, about our friends, about our health, about our occupations, about Your church, and about our trials.  We have sought our security in those things which perish, rather than in You, the Everlasting God.  Chasten, cleanse, and forgive us, through Jesus Christ, who is able for all time to save us who approach You through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for us.  Amen.  

Assurance of Pardon: Micah 7:18-20

Psalm of Preparation: Psalm 51C “God, Be Merciful to Me” Stanzas 1-4

Old Covenant Reading: Deuteronomy 4:1-14

New Covenant Reading: James 1:5-8

Sermon: The Gift of Wisdom

Psalm of Response: Psalm 147B “O Praise the LORD, for It Is Good”

Confession of Faith: Apostles Creed (p. 851)

Doxology (Hymn 568)

Closing Psalm: Psalm 51C “God, Be Merciful to Me” Stanzas 5-8

Evening Service

Hymns: 265, 86A(stanzas 1-6), 86A(stanzas 7-12)

OT: Psalm 86:1-17

NT: 1 John 1:5-10

Sermon: Great is Your Steadfast Love

Suggested Preparation

Monday (3/28) read and discuss James 1:5-8

James 1:5–8 (ESV)

5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. 6 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. 7 For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

Craig Blomberg and Mariam Kamell write:

James next tells the person lacking wisdom to “ask” of God. This is one “lack that cannot be made up by human effort, for it is a gift of God and must therefore be asked of him” (Sophie Laws, The Epistle of James (London: Black, 1980), 54).

No matter how hard we try to work toward perfection, we cannot fill the lack of wisdom without God’s generosity. The injunction to ask is a third person imperative, a more rhetorically indirect form that still retains the force of a command. The present tense of “ask” suggests possible ongoing action—repeated or continuous prayer—and combined with “it will be given” likely reflects James’s knowledge of the Jesus tradition behind Mt 7:7 already in Greek. We are told to ask of the “giving God.” Here the present participle suggests that “giving” represents a continuous characteristic of God. More surprising, perhaps, is the promise that God gives “to all”, showing his nature as the one who gives whether or not we deserve it.


Q. 82. Is any man able perfectly to keep the commandments of God?
A. No mere man since the fall is able in this life perfectly to keep the commandments of God, but doth daily break them in thought, word and deed.

Tuesday (3/29) read and discuss James 1:1-4

James 1:1–4 (ESV)

1 James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, To the twelve tribes in the Dispersion: Greetings. 2 Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, 3 for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. 4 And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

John Calvin writes:

When he bids us to count it all joy, it is the same as though he had said, that temptations ought to be so deemed as gain, as to be regarded as occasions of joy. He means, in short, that there is nothing in afflictions which ought to disturb our joy. And thus, he not only commands us to bear adversities calmly, and with an even mind, but shews that there is a reason why the faithful should rejoice when pressed down by them.

It is, indeed, certain, that all the senses of our nature are so formed, that every trial produces in us grief and sorrow; and no one of us can so far divest himself of his nature as not to grieve and be sorrowful whenever he feels any evil. But this does not prevent the children of God to rise, by the guidance of the Spirit, above the sorrow of the flesh. Hence it is, that in the midst of trouble they cease not to rejoice.


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.

Wednesday (3/30) read and discuss Deuteronomy 4:1-14

Deuteronomy 4:1–14 (ESV)

1 “And now, O Israel, listen to the statutes and the rules that I am teaching you, and do them, that you may live, and go in and take possession of the land that the Lord, the God of your fathers, is giving you. 2 You shall not add to the word that I command you, nor take from it, that you may keep the commandments of the Lord your God that I command you. 3 Your eyes have seen what the Lord did at Baal-peor, for the Lord your God destroyed from among you all the men who followed the Baal of Peor. 4 But you who held fast to the Lord your God are all alive today. 5 See, I have taught you statutes and rules, as the Lord my God commanded me, that you should do them in the land that you are entering to take possession of it. 6 Keep them and do them, for that will be your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the peoples, who, when they hear all these statutes, will say, ‘Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.’ 7 For what great nation is there that has a god so near to it as the Lord our God is to us, whenever we call upon him? 8 And what great nation is there, that has statutes and rules so righteous as all this law that I set before you today? 9 “Only take care, and keep your soul diligently, lest you forget the things that your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. Make them known to your children and your children’s children— 10 how on the day that you stood before the Lord your God at Horeb, the Lord said to me, ‘Gather the people to me, that I may let them hear my words, so that they may learn to fear me all the days that they live on the earth, and that they may teach their children so.’ 11 And you came near and stood at the foot of the mountain, while the mountain burned with fire to the heart of heaven, wrapped in darkness, cloud, and gloom. 12 Then the Lord spoke to you out of the midst of the fire. You heard the sound of words, but saw no form; there was only a voice. 13 And he declared to you his covenant, which he commanded you to perform, that is, the Ten Commandments, and he wrote them on two tablets of stone. 14 And the Lord commanded me at that time to teach you statutes and rules, that you might do them in the land that you are going over to possess.

Rousas John Rushdoony writes:

These are dietary laws, but they are also laws of holiness. The reason they are given is plainly stated: “For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God, and the LORD hath chosen thee to be a peculiar [or, unique] people unto himself, above all the nations that are upon the earth” (v. 2). The emphasis is holiness. Scripture speaks again and again of the holiness of God. In the song of Moses, we read, “Who is like unto thee, O LORD, among the gods? who is like thee, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders?” (Ex. 15:11). Among other things, Scripture calls attention to the reality of God. He is the living God. As Psalm 96:4–5 declares,

4. For the LORD is great, and greatly to be praised: he is to be feared above all gods.

5. For all the gods of the nations are idols: but the LORD made the heavens.

The God of Scripture is the living God, whereas all false gods are fictions. They are, moreover, fictions which reflect the fallen nature of men. The best known examples of this are the Greek and Roman gods, immoral and often contemptible. There were moral rules in paganism, but their essential source was the state. The gods of paganism were on the whole not moral beings: their concern was power, not morality. To be a god was to be beyond morality. In this they reflected fallen men, whose quest is for power, not morality. In this perspective, power is the great virtue, and morality is for subjects and slaves, not rulers. Even the Latin vir reflects this. Our Latin meaning is usually man, but vir also means soldier, because it implies power.

God as the Holy One is beyond all men’s “virtues.” He is, in fact, the only source of morality and holiness. In Isaiah 40:25, we read, “To whom then will ye liken me, or shall I be equal? saith the Holy One.” God declares, “Sanctify yourselves therefore, and be ye holy: for I am the LORD your God” (Lev. 20:7). Again, “Ye shall be holy: for I the LORD your God am holy” (Lev. 19:2).

God’s holiness mandates man’s holiness, for God created man in His image, which means, among other things, holiness (Eph. 4:24). Man must therefore actively cultivate those things that lead to holiness. Dominion means holiness, righteousness or justice, and knowledge, moral attributes, whereas in paganism an amoral domination is commonly the goal. This is the premise of the laws given in this text.


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.

Thursday (3/31) read and discuss Psalm 86:1-17

Psalm 86 (ESV)

A Prayer of David. 1 Incline your ear, O Lord, and answer me, for I am poor and needy. 2 Preserve my life, for I am godly; save your servant, who trusts in you—you are my God. 3 Be gracious to me, O Lord, for to you do I cry all the day. 4 Gladden the soul of your servant, for to you, O Lord, do I lift up my soul. 5 For you, O Lord, are good and forgiving, abounding in steadfast love to all who call upon you. 6 Give ear, O Lord, to my prayer; listen to my plea for grace. 7 In the day of my trouble I call upon you, for you answer me. 8 There is none like you among the gods, O Lord, nor are there any works like yours. 9 All the nations you have made shall come and worship before you, O Lord, and shall glorify your name. 10 For you are great and do wondrous things; you alone are God. 11 Teach me your way, O Lord, that I may walk in your truth; unite my heart to fear your name. 12 I give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with my whole heart, and I will glorify your name forever. 13 For great is your steadfast love toward me; you have delivered my soul from the depths of Sheol. 14 O God, insolent men have risen up against me; a band of ruthless men seeks my life, and they do not set you before them. 15 But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness. 16 Turn to me and be gracious to me; give your strength to your servant, and save the son of your maidservant. 17 Show me a sign of your favor, that those who hate me may see and be put to shame because you, Lord, have helped me and comforted me.

Mark Futato writes:

When we call on God to save, we do so in the context of a relationship. We are his servants, and he is our Lord. Three times David refers to himself as “servant” (86:2, 4, 16) and once as “son of your maidservant” (86:16) which indicates that he was “born to it,” that being a servant is at the core of his identity. Seven times David refers to God as “Lord” (’adonay). In all seven occurrences David speaks of God as “my Lord.” In the ancient world, the lord was responsible to provide protection for his servant. Servants depended on their lord for help and strength in times of trouble. It is this relationship that provides the context for the prayer for salvation. Often when we think of God as “Lord,” we think of him as “boss,” the one who tells us what to do. Here we learn that our “Lord” is our protector, not only because of the nature of the relationship, but also because of the nature of our Lord.


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.

Friday (4/1) read and discuss 1 John 1:5-10

1 John 1:5–10 (ESV)

5 This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. 6 If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. 8 If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

Commenting on verse 7 John Calvin writes:

But if we walk in the light. He now says, that the proof of our union with God is certain, if we are conformable to him; not that purity of life conciliates us to God, as the prior cause; but the Apostle means, that our union with God is made evident by the effect, that is, when his purity shines forth in us. And, doubtless, such is the fact; wherever God comes, all things are so imbued with his holiness, that he washes away all filth; for without him we have nothing but filth and darkness. It is hence evident, that no one leads a holy life, except he is united to God.

In saying, We have fellowship one with another, he does not speak simply of men; but he sets God on one side, and us on the other.

It may, however, be asked, “Who among men can so exhibit the light of God in his life, as that this likeness which John requires should exist; for it would be thus necessary, that he should be wholly pure and free from darkness?” To this I answer, that expressions of this kind are accommodated to the capacities of men: he is therefore said to be like God, who aspires to his likeness, however distant from it he may as yet be. The example ought not to be otherwise applied than according to this passage. He walks in darkness who is not ruled by the fear of God, and who does not, with a pure conscience, devote himself wholly to God, and seek to promote his glory. Then, on the other hand, he who in sincerity of heart spends his life, yea, every part of it, in the fear and service of God, and faithfully worships him, walks in the light, for he keeps the right way, though he may in many things offend and sigh under the burden of the flesh. Then, integrity of conscience is alone that which distinguishes light from darkness.


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.

Saturday (4/2) read and discuss James 1:5-8

James 1:5–8 (ESV)

5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. 6 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. 7 For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

Craig Blomberg and Mariam Kamell write:

Interestingly, James promises that God does not mock or reproach us when we request wisdom, so there is no need to feel shame when coming to him. He will not belittle our stupidity. Instead, James insists that “[it] will be given” to the one asking. This promise begs the question of what will be given. Does God promise to give us the outline for our lives if we ask, or to give us complete clarity on every decision we might ever need to make? No, he promises wisdom, namely, the ability to discern how he would have us live. This is not an unqualified statement that everything we ask for will be given to us, but rather that we will receive the practical knowledge and understanding we need to endure our trials when we ask the God whom we know gives without hesitation.


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.