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

Guide for the Preparation for Worship on 30 October 2022

30 October 2022
Call to Worship: Psalm 98:1-3
Opening Hymn: Hymn 227 “How Great Thou Art”
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: Psalm 130:7-8
Psalm of Preparation: Psalm 22B “All You That Fear Jehovah’s Name”
Old Covenant Reading: Isaiah 42:1-9
New Covenant Reading: Matthew 5:13-16
Sermon: Salt & Light
Psalm of Response: Psalm 15B “Who, O LORD, with Thee Abiding”
Confession of Faith: Apostles Creed (p. 851)
Doxology (Hymn 568)
Closing Hymn: Hymn 538 “Take My Life, and Let It Be”

PM Worship
Hymns: Psalm 8A, 277, 265
OT: Jeremiah 33:1-16
NT: Romans 8:1-4
Sermon: We Couldn’t, God did!

Adult Sunday School: Heidelberg Catechism – Lord’s Day 5

Q. According to God’s righteous judgment
we deserve punishment
both now and in eternity:
how then can we escape this punishment
and return to God’s favor?
A. God requires that his justice be satisfied.
Therefore the claims of this justice
must be paid in full,
either by ourselves or by another.

Q. Can we make this payment ourselves?
A. Certainly not.
Actually, we increase our debt every day.

Q. Can another creature—any at all—
pay this debt for us?
A. No.
To begin with,
God will not punish any other creature
for what a human is guilty of.
no mere creature can bear the weight
of God’s eternal wrath against sin
and deliver others from it.

Q. What kind of mediator and deliverer
should we look for then?
A. One who is a true and righteous man,
yet more powerful than all creatures,
that is, one who is also true God.
Suggested Preparations

Monday (10/24) Read and discuss Matthew 5:13-16.

“You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet.

“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. (ESV)

Grant Osborne writes:

The citizens of the kingdom must be salt and light, and their goal is to reach the world with the light of the gospel. … Hearing must lead to doing, and … good deeds are the heart of the discipleship. This is where Jesus surprised His disciples (and hearers) with His teaching. He never continued the status quo; He demanded that His followers go out and change the world. No passivity here; He demanded change, for God’s righteousness to enter the world in such a way that it would never be the same.

The coming of God’s kingdom is so much more than just being kind to others and performing good deeds. There is a demand to be different and to act differently, that is, to be right with God and to act the way God demands, by following Jesus in countercultural directions. Change is the name of the game, and it must occur at the ontological level (who we are) and at the functional level (how we live and act).

Read or sing Hymn 227 “How Great Thou Art”

Tuesday (10/25) Matthew 5:7-12.

“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.

“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

“Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. (ESV)

Sinclair Ferguson writes:

The Beatitudes are not haphazard in their order. They begin and end with the assurance that the kingdom of heaven is ours through Jesus Christ. But giving reason for the order is not at all easy. If it were, the commentators would have offered fewer explanations of it!

The ultimate blessing is to be called a son of the living God. Does this seem to be an anticlimax after the promise that we shall see God? In fact, it is a wonderful climax, for there is no higher privilege we could ever experience than this – to see God as our Father. The blessing implies that in the kingdom of God we are restored to what we were meant to be – children of God. We see Him as children who love and trust their Father, and who know that He will supply all their needs.

Jesus develops this point at great length in the middle section of his challenging sermon. Being aware of this particular blessing will set us free, He says, from both hypocrisy and paralyzing anxiety about temporal concerns. Best of all, since sons inherit their father’s riches as well as their father’s characteristics, this beatitude summarizes all the beatitudes. It tells us that God speaks to us in these words:

My son, … you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. (Luke 15:31)

Blessed, indeed, is the man or woman who has heard God say that!

Read or sing Psalm 22B “All You That Fear Jehovah’s Name”

Wednesday (10/26) Read and discuss Isaiah 42:1-9.

Behold my servant, whom I uphold,
my chosen, in whom my soul delights;
I have put my Spirit upon him;
he will bring forth justice to the nations.
He will not cry aloud or lift up his voice,
or make it heard in the street;
a bruised reed he will not break,
and a faintly burning wick he will not quench;
he will faithfully bring forth justice.
He will not grow faint or be discouraged
till he has established justice in the earth;
and the coastlands wait for his law.

Thus says God, the LORD,
who created the heavens and stretched them out,
who spread out the earth and what comes from it,
who gives breath to the people on it
and spirit to those who walk in it:
“I am the LORD; I have called you in righteousness;
I will take you by the hand and keep you;
I will give you as a covenant for the people,
a light for the nations,
to open the eyes that are blind,
to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon,
from the prison those who sit in darkness.
I am the LORD; that is my name;
my glory I give to no other,
nor my praise to carved idols.
Behold, the former things have come to pass,
and new things I now declare;
before they spring forth
I tell you of them.” (ESV)

Alec Motyer writes:

Everything that speaks of Jesus delights the heart. He identified Himself as the ‘Servant of the LORD’ whom Isaiah foretold. He is the perfect Servant of the LORD, the revelation of truth and light for the whole world, the answer to our hopelessness, darkness, and bondage. But because He is the perfect Servant, He is also the model Servant, the true pattern for all who, through Him, are the LORD’s servants today. Very well then – first, the LORD’s servants are the LORD’s delight. On the one hand, this is our ambition and target, but on the other hand it is the truth about us, for once we belong to Jesus we are the Father’s delight, ‘accepted in the Beloved’ (Eph. 1:6). Secondly, the servant is first and foremost the servant of the Word of God. Do remember that this is what ‘judgment’ [ESV = ‘justice”] means in [verses] 1, 3, and 4: the decision He has made, the things He has declared to be true (in brief, what He has revealed to His people what we possess as the Word of God). The servant’s task is to bring this Word of truth to those bereft of the truth, making sure that it is God’s Word in all its truth (42:3) that is being shared, not some merely human opinion, church tradition or personal whim and fancy. Thirdly, the servant of the LORD does not give up on the job, but perseveres till the truth is fully established. Like Paul said (2 Corinthians 4:1): because we have received mercy we have received ministry, and we must not ‘lose heart,’ that is, leave the work half done, abandon the task, go soft like a decaying apple. How true all this is of Jesus: the Father’s delight, in His fidelity to the Word of God, carrying the job through until He could shout ‘It is finished!’ Every servant covets to be made like the Son of God in everything.

Sing or Read Psalm 15B “Who, O LORD, with Thee Abiding”

Thursday (10/27) Read and discuss Jeremiah 33:1-16.

The word of the LORD came to Jeremiah a second time, while he was still shut up in the court of the guard: “Thus says the LORD who made the earth, the LORD who formed it to establish it—the LORD is his name: Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known. For thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, concerning the houses of this city and the houses of the kings of Judah that were torn down to make a defense against the siege mounds and against the sword: They are coming in to fight against the Chaldeans and to fill them with the dead bodies of men whom I shall strike down in my anger and my wrath, for I have hidden my face from this city because of all their evil. Behold, I will bring to it health and healing, and I will heal them and reveal to them abundance of prosperity and security. I will restore the fortunes of Judah and the fortunes of Israel, and rebuild them as they were at first. I will cleanse them from all the guilt of their sin against me, and I will forgive all the guilt of their sin and rebellion against me. And this city shall be to me a name of joy, a praise and a glory before all the nations of the earth who shall hear of all the good that I do for them. They shall fear and tremble because of all the good and all the prosperity I provide for it.

“Thus says the LORD: In this place of which you say, ‘It is a waste without man or beast,’ in the cities of Judah and the streets of Jerusalem that are desolate, without man or inhabitant or beast, there shall be heard again the voice of mirth and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, the voices of those who sing, as they bring thank offerings to the house of the LORD:

“‘Give thanks to the LORD of hosts,
for the LORD is good,
for his steadfast love endures forever!’

For I will restore the fortunes of the land as at first, says the LORD.

“Thus says the LORD of hosts: In this place that is waste, without man or beast, and in all of its cities, there shall again be habitations of shepherds resting their flocks. In the cities of the hill country, in the cities of the Shephelah, and in the cities of the Negeb, in the land of Benjamin, the places about Jerusalem, and in the cities of Judah, flocks shall again pass under the hands of the one who counts them, says the LORD.

“Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will fulfill the promise I made to the house of Israel and the house of Judah. In those days and at that time I will cause a righteous Branch to spring up for David, and he shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. In those days Judah will be saved, and Jerusalem will dwell securely. And this is the name by which it will be called: ‘The LORD is our righteousness.’ (ESV)

Bill Arnold and Brian Beyer write:

The LORD had just given Jeremiah a command he did not understand (32:7). Now, He promised to show the people marvelous things they [have not known] (3:2-3)! Judgment would come first, of course, but voices of joy and celebration would one day resound in the land again. Jeremiah reinforced his prophecy by repeating his earlier words. God would give His people a King – the Branch of David’s line. Furthermore, the LORD promised to bless the priesthood. Corrupt kings and priests were to blame for much of the nation’s depravity, but one day, these two offices would serve the LORD faithfully. The New Testament declares that Jesus Christ fulfills both aspects of Jeremiah’s prophecy.

Friday (10/28) Read and discuss Romans 8:1-4.

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. (ESV)

Michael Bird writes:

Paul’s climatic assertion is that for those in Christ there is “no condemnation.” The verdict of the final day has been declared and the verdict is “righteous” for those belonging to Christ. The verdict cannot be changed, and thus we face the judgement day with complete assurance that what lies ahead of us is not a life-or-death assessment of our deeds but the divine disclosure of acquittal.

The concept of assurance is close to the heart of the Protestant faith. Indeed, for the Reformers, a major part of their protest against medieval Catholicism was their claim that it was possible for persons to have a complete sense of assurance that the Father loved them, the Spirit was in them, and Christ truly died for them. They could really, truly, deep own, and fully know without any hesitation that they were saved. God’s love in Christ, stretching from eternity to eternity, had seized hold of them and would never let them go. Such assurance was the joy and comfort of those who believed in Jesus Christ. The ground of assurance is not in ourselves or even in our experiences, but in the gospel, in the grace offered us in Christ, and in the mercy of God. We can rest rather than be restless about our eternal state. We can have assurance rather than carry anxiety about the future. We can be at peace rather than worry ourselves to pieces about how it will turn out for us before our Judge and Maker. We can take our final breath knowing that all will be well [emphasis added].

Read or sing Hymn 538 “Take My Life, and Let It Be”

Saturday (10/29) Read and discuss Matthew 5:13-16.

“You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet.

“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. (ESV)

Sinclair Ferguson writes:

When salt loses its saltiness, it is worthless. Jesus says that I should be thrown out and become part of the pathway. Instead of influencing men’s taste, it is trodden under their feet. The same is true for those of us who profess to be Christians. Cease to be different and we cease to be Christians.

How slow we often are to learn this lesson. At times we fall into the trap of being blackmailed by a world that says, ‘Unless I find your life attractive on my own terms, I will not respond to the message of the gospel.’ But if we yield at that point, we become prisoners to perpetual blackmail.

I have sometimes heard Christians witness to people in these terms: ‘You mustn’t think being a Christian takes away your fun. I am enjoy doing the same things you do. Being a Christian isn’t a series of don’ts!’ Much of this may be true, but why should the church be so concerned to tell the world that it is not really very different from the world? The church then becomes both powerless and pointless.

Jesus emphasizes that our ability to preserve the world in order that it may see Christ depends on our being different. That does not mean the Christian will always be saying, ‘Look at me. I’m different.’ No, instead he ‘lets’ his light shine before men; he does not need to switch it on and off to draw attention to the fact that he is unashamedly different.

Prayer: Please lift up tomorrow’s morning and evening worship services.