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

Guide for the Preparation for Worship on 9 October 2022

Call to Worship: Psalm 105:1-3
Opening Hymn: Hymn 222 “O God, Our Help in Ages Past”
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: Galatians 2:20
Psalm of Preparation: Psalm 118A [Stanzas 5-8] “O Thank the LORD for All His Goodness”
Old Covenant Reading: Isaiah 35:1-10
New Covenant Reading: Matthew 4:23-25
Sermon: Signs of the Messiah
Hymn of Response: Hymn 288 “We Come, O Christ, to You”
Confession of Faith: Nicene Creed (p. 852)
Doxology (Hymn 568)
Closing Hymn: Hymn 281 “Rejoice, the LORD is King”

PM Worship
Hymns: 216, 474, 466
OT: Genesis 2:15-25
NT: Romans 5:12-17
Sermon: The Two Adams

Adult Sunday School: Lord’s Day 3
Q. Did God create man so wicked and perverse?
A. No.
God created man good1 and in his own image,
that is, in true righteousness and holiness,
so that he might
truly know God his creator,
love him with all his heart,
and live with God in eternal happiness,
for his praise and glory.
Q. Then where does man’s corrupt nature come from?
A. From the fall and disobedience of our first parents,
Adam and Eve, in Paradise.
This fall has so poisoned our nature
that we are all conceived and born in sin.
Q. But are we so corrupt
that we are totally unable to do any good
and inclined toward all evil?
A. Yes,
unless we are born again
by the Spirit of God.

Suggested Preparations

Monday (10/3) Read and discuss Matthew 4:23-25.

And he went throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction among the people. So his fame spread throughout all Syria, and they brought him all the sick, those afflicted with various diseases and pains, those oppressed by demons, those having seizures, and paralytics, and he healed them. And great crowds followed him from Galilee and the Decapolis, and from Jerusalem and Judea, and from beyond the Jordan. (ESV)

Grant Osborne writes:

The list of illnesses moves from the broad to the narrow in v. 24, and its purpose is to show that the Son of God has authority over every kind of illness, including demon-possession. This will become even greater when Matthew adds nature miracles in chapter 8 and raising the dead in chapter 9. He wants his readers to understand the absolute authority Jesus has over everything in this world. This is summed up in Dan 7:13-14 to show that Jesus is the Son of Man from this prophecy and that he has universal dominion over everything.

Read or sing Hymn 222 “O God, Our Help in Ages Past”

Tuesday (10/4) Read and discuss Matthew 4:17-22.

From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

While walking by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon (who is called Peter) and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Immediately they left their nets and followed him. And going on from there he saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee and John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets, and he called them. Immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him. (ESV)

Jeffrey Gibbs writes:

The most prominent feature of these verses is the overwhelming authority of the call of Jesus. In 4:18, Matthew recounts the normal, everyday activity of Simon Peter and Andrew. In 4:19, Jesus speaks, “Come on after me, and I will make you to be fishers of men.” In 4:20, they immediately leave their nets and follow him. The pattern of Jesus’ powerful call is repeated with James and his brother John; again, they immediately respond (4:21-22). … To try to make the fishermen’s sudden response to Jesus more humanly reasonable or understandable runs the risk of lessening Matthew’s point. No one becomes Jesus’ disciple by his own initiative. Jesus calls, and only then can and do people respond. Many have underscored this point by contrasting Jesus’ call with what was apparently the normal procedure for a first century rabbi, who gained disciples when they sought him out. Jesus breaks this pattern, and in that sense he is operating with the freedom of God, who calls human beings to trust and serve him.

Read or sing Psalm 118A “O Thank the LORD for All His Goodness”

Wednesday (10/5) Read and discuss Isaiah 35:1-10.

The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad;
the desert shall rejoice and blossom like the crocus;
it shall blossom abundantly
and rejoice with joy and singing.
The glory of Lebanon shall be given to it,
the majesty of Carmel and Sharon.
They shall see the glory of the LORD,
the majesty of our God.

Strengthen the weak hands,
and make firm the feeble knees.
Say to those who have an anxious heart,
“Be strong; fear not!
Behold, your God
will come with vengeance,
with the recompense of God.
He will come and save you.”

Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened,
and the ears of the deaf unstopped;
then shall the lame man leap like a deer,
and the tongue of the mute sing for joy.
For waters break forth in the wilderness,
and streams in the desert;
the burning sand shall become a pool,
and the thirsty ground springs of water;
in the haunt of jackals, where they lie down,
the grass shall become reeds and rushes.

And a highway shall be there,
and it shall be called the Way of Holiness;
the unclean shall not pass over it.
It shall belong to those who walk on the way;
even if they are fools, they shall not go astray.
No lion shall be there,
nor shall any ravenous beast come up on it;
they shall not be found there,
but the redeemed shall walk there.
And the ransomed of the LORD shall return
and come to Zion with singing;
everlasting joy shall be upon their heads;
they shall obtain gladness and joy,
and sorrow and sighing shall flee away. (ESV)

In order to rightly understand this passage, we have to remember Isaiah’s original call to be a prophet. Isaiah was given an extraordinary vision of God’s glory. Isaiah responded by volunteering to be God’s messenger to proclaim the holiness of God to Israel. The LORD then commissioned Isaiah with these surprising words:

And he said, “Go, and say to this people:
“‘Keep on hearing, but do not understand;
keep on seeing, but do not perceive.’
Make the heart of this people dull,
and their ears heavy,
and blind their eyes;
lest they see with their eyes,
and hear with their ears,
and understand with their hearts,
and turn and be healed.”

Because of their rebellion, God chose not to bring revival to Israel in Isaiah’s day. His preaching would bear no immediate fruit. Yet, chapter thirty-five holds out the promise of a coming day when God will bring great blessings upon His people. In verses 1-2 He promises to change their environment. In verses 3-4, He says that we should comfort and encourage one another to live faithfully in the present in light of the future deliverance. The really remarkable part comes in verse 5 where God promises He will reverse the hardheartedness of the people revealed in Isaiah’s original call. The opening of the eyes of the blind and unstopping the ears of the deaf in chapter 35 is a direct reversal of the condition of the people in Isaiah 6:9-10. This casts a great deal of light upon the miracles of Jesus. When He opens the eyes of the blind and the ears of the deaf, He is not merely doing remarkable miracles. Jesus is doing signs that point to the fact that He is the Messiah and beginning the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecies. The end of Christ’s work is found in verses 7-10 where all things are made new in holiness and security for God’s people.

Sing or Read Hymn 288 “We Come, O Christ, to You”

Thursday (10/6) Read and discuss Genesis 2:15-25.

The LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it. And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”

Then the LORD God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” Now out of the ground the LORD God had formed every beast of the field and every bird of the heavens and brought them to the man to see what he would call them. And whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name. The man gave names to all livestock and to the birds of the heavens and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper fit for him. So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. And the rib that the LORD God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. Then the man said,

“This at last is bone of my bones
and flesh of my flesh;
she shall be called Woman,
because she was taken out of Man.”

Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed. (ESV)

Twice in today’s passage the woman is spoken of as “a helper fit for him.” What exactly does that mean? It might be helpful if we first ruled out what “helper” doesn’t mean. It doesn’t mean that the wife is inferior to her husband (after all the term helper in the OT is most frequently applied to the LORD!) nor does it mean that the wife is to wait on her husband hand and foot. Instead, if we ask what Adam needed help with the answer becomes obvious: Adam needed help in keeping God’s commandments. After-all, Adam couldn’t be fruitful and multiply all by himself. Furthermore, the woman was to tend the garden (perhaps even “guard” the garden) and to reflect God’s image into the world along with the man. Yet, against a radical type of egalitarianism, the fact that men and women are of equal value and dignity before God does not mean that they are entirely interchangeable. Instead of a boring uniformity, the LORD created male and female to complement one another. As Paul will point out in this week’s sermon text, we honor God’s design by acknowledging the distinct roles given to men and women:

For man was not made from woman, but woman from man. Neither was man created for woman, but woman for man. That is why a wife ought to have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels. Nevertheless, in the Lord woman is not independent of man nor man of woman; for as woman was made from man, so man is now born of woman.

The great Old Testament commentator, Bruce Waltke, brings out a beautiful aspect of verse 23 for us that is worthy of sustained contemplation:

Here we read Adam’s only recorded words before the Fall. With poetry, he celebrates the bond and equality of man and woman. In naming her “woman” he also names himself “man”. The narrator names him by his relation to the ground, but Adam names himself in relation to his wife. A man and a woman are never more like God than on their wedding day when they commit themselves unconditionally to one another.

Friday (10/7) Read and discuss Romans 5:12-17.

Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned—for sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law. Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sinning was not like the transgression of Adam, who was a type of the one who was to come.
But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if many died through one man’s trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift by the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many. And the free gift is not like the result of that one man’s sin. For the judgment following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses brought justification. For if, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ. (ESV)

Why does every human being – including at times infants in their mother’s womb – die? Why does death reign on earth? Let’s go back to verse 12 and look at Paul’s logic again. Verse 12:
Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned …

If “all sinned” doesn’t refer to the individual sins of every person who ever lived, what can it refer to? The short answer is, that when Adam sinned the guilt of his sin was imputed to all of his posterity. That is, Adam was not simply the first man he was the representative man. When the LORD constituted humanity, He created us in such a way that we would be connected to one another – so that one person can act legally on another person’s behalf. We are actually quite familiar with this reality. This coming Tuesday is election day in the United States. It is a day on which we will be electing individuals to represent us in civil government. Whether you vote for particular Congressmen or not, those elected to serve as our representatives have the legal right to make decisions that will impact our lives – perhaps for years to come. They have the authority to write the tax law and to borrow money to pay for things above and beyond the revenues that come in through taxes. Do you know who owes the debt that they vote to borrow? We do. All of us do – even though none of us personally made the decisions which resulted in the U.S. government borrowing more than twenty trillion dollars. Or to use a more dramatic example, when the Japanese Emperor ordered his Navy to attack Pearl Harbor – the resultant war wasn’t between the Japanese Emperor and the President of the United States, nor was it between Japanese and American navies. Japan had declared war on the United States and the two nations were at war. This is because the Emperor in Japan, and the President and Congress in the United States, legally represent their respective countries so that they had the authority to make legal decisions that dramatically impacted the citizens of both countries. Paul is saying that the LORD did something like this with Adam. The LORD constituted humanity so that Adam was our legal representative. When Adam was put on probation, he was put on probation for the entire human race. If he had remained faithful to God, Adam and all of his posterity would have been confirmed in that righteousness. But because Adam rebelled against God, not simply as an individual but as our representative, Adam and every human being born through a human father became guilty in Adam and therefore all of us were conceived under the reign of sin and death. Now some of you might be saying to yourself: “That’s not fair! How can I be held responsible for the decisions of a representative that I didn’t choose – who acted long before I was born.” If you are thinking like that, you had better be careful. Actually, you had better repent.

[For] who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will the creature say to its Creator “Why have you made me like this?”

And, if you cut off the possibility representative whom you didn’t choose acting on your behalf before you were born – don’t you see that you have cut off the only way in which you can be saved? Before we insist on being treated entirely on the basis of your own actions, let’s remember that “he who stands alone stands condemned.”

Read or sing Hymn 281 “Rejoice, the LORD is King”

Saturday (10/8) Read and discuss Matthew 4:23-25.

And he went throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction among the people. So his fame spread throughout all Syria, and they brought him all the sick, those afflicted with various diseases and pains, those oppressed by demons, those having seizures, and paralytics, and he healed them. And great crowds followed him from Galilee and the Decapolis, and from Jerusalem and Judea, and from beyond the Jordan. (ESV)

Jeffrey Gibbs writes:

The church today must avoid extremes in order to interpret faithfully Jesus’ healing miracles and exorcisms. One extreme element in modern Christianity sees demonic forces as directly responsible for every physical and mental health ailment. But Jesus cast demons only out of some of the sick people whom He healed. Another extreme is represented by faith healers who promise God’s physical healing now for all who will simply believe hard enough. They have neither read the Scriptures carefully nor understood their eschatological, “already but not yet” message. Yet another extreme is the naturalistic, “scientific” view that every ailment has a purely medical explanation and hence a potential medical cure, with no room for either demonic activity or supernatural healing. We must not live, preach, and pray as if the kinds of maladies and miracles in our text only happened back then – as if the demonic powers can have no real effect on our lives today, and as if the reign of God could not break in today with miracle and sign and power and healing. All claimed experiences, whether of demonic influence or of miraculous healing, must be subject to scriptural scrutiny, and nothing can violate the great truths of biblical theology. Yet when we pray, “Thy kingdom come,” who knows how the risen and reigning Christ may answer, even as the promised final healing and fulfillment of the Day of the reign of God continue to tarry?

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