MVOPC 30 October 2016
Call to Worship: Psalm 100:1-5
Opening Hymn: 2 “O Worship the King”
Confession of Sin
Most holy and merciful Father; We acknowledge and confess before You; Our sinful nature prone to evil and slothful in good; And all our shortcomings and offenses. You alone know how often we have sinned; In wandering from Your ways; In wasting Your gifts; In forgetting Your love. But You, O Lord, have pity upon us; Who are ashamed and sorry for all wherein we have displeased You. Teach us to hate our errors; Cleanse us from our secret faults; And forgive our sins for the sake of Your dear Son. And O most holy and loving Father; Help us we beseech You; To live in Your light and walk in Your ways; According to the commandments of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. Assurance of Pardon: Isaiah 1:18
Hymn of Preparation: 49 “More Love to Thee, O Christ”
Old Covenant Reading: Amos 9:11-15
New Covenant Reading: John 4:27-42
Sermon: Christ the Great Evangelist
Hymn of Response: 646 “Jesus, Thou Joy of Loving Hearts”
Confession of Faith: Heidelberg Catechism Q/A #1
Doxology (Hymn 732)
Closing Hymn: 426 “Til He Come”!
OT: Genesis 30:1-24
NT: Colossians 1:15-23
“God Has Taken Away My Reproach”
Adult Sunday School: Larger Catechism
Shorter Catechism Q/A #66
Q. 66. What is the reason annexed to the fifth commandment?
A. The reason annexed to the fifth commandment is a promise of long life and prosperity (as far as it shall serve for God’s glory and their own good) to all such as keep this commandment.
Monday (10/24) Read and discuss John 4:27-42. F.F. Bruce writes:
But for the woman’s witness her fellow townsfolk would never have come to know Jesus; but they could not rely on her witness alone: They must know him for themselves. Second hand acquaintance with Christ or hearsay belief in him cannot be a substitute for personal knowledge and saving faith. Now they were able to prove for themselves that all she sad about him was true. He was not only the prophet like Moses, but also the Savior of the world. This title appears twice in the Johannine writing (the other instance being 1 John 4:14); it is in line with the statement of John 3:17, that God sent his Son into the world ‘in order that the world might be saved through him.’ The use of the title in this context suggests that the Samaritan mission represents the first outreaching of Jesus’ grace beyond the confines of Judaism. The same pattern is repeated in the apostolic history, in conformity with Jesus’ own direction: ‘you shall be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and to the end of the earth’ (Acts 1:8).
Read or sing Hymn 2 “O Worship the King” Prayer: Give thanks that the LORD has called you to participate in the ongoing mission to bring the Gospel to the ends of the earth.
Tuesday (10/25) Read and discuss 2 John 7-13. “Look before you leap!” But, of course, “He who hesitates is lost.” Both of these proverbs are good advice. The challenge comes in knowing when to apply each one of them. As Christians we face a similar problem in how to deal with people who are teaching bad doctrine. On the one hand we know that doctrine is important. On the other hand, we want to be loving. Doesn’t this mean that we should welcome anyone and everyone into our fellowship? Regretfully, this is not a challenge that was overcome once and for all in the first century church. Throughout history, Bible believing Christians have bent over backwards to be charitable to false teachers only to find that they have infected our institutions and even taken over administrative control of our churches. Given this historical pattern, we should not assume that the solution will be easy. Nevertheless, it is in principle clear. First, we should note that John is talking about false teachers. He is not talking about confused individuals who enter our congregations but are willing to be taught. Most Christians begin with really bad theology. Not only is that o.k. it is normal. Second, John is not talking about people who have different views (even clearly wrong views) from us on minor issues. He is dealing with false teachers who are denying the Incarnation (that Jesus is God who has come in the flesh). Third, if we confront such teachers (and we inevitably will), we are to do the loving thing as God defines the loving thing: That is, “we are to walk according to His commandments (v. 6). The key hurdle to overcome is the tendency for such people to want to pass themselves off as Christians. According to John, such individuals are false teachers and antichrists. If we remember that, we will be far less tempted to want to become partakers with them in their evil deeds. Read or sing Hymn 49 “More Love to Thee, O Christ” Prayer:
Wednesday (10/26) Read and discuss Amos 9:11-15. Gary Smith writes:
The coming day of hope is set somewhere in the unknown future [i.e. “unknown” to the first people who heard Amos]. It points to that ideal day when the LORD will take direct control of the people’s destiny and graciously act on their behalf. In a series of first-person unconditional promises, God announces: “I will restore/raise p David’s fallen tent/booth.” … The consequences of this Davidic revival will impact other nations so that they may gain inclusion into the future kingdom (9:12). The reference to the “remnant of Edom” may stem from Uzziah’s restoration of parts of Edom to Judean control during the time of Amos. The final rebuilt empire will not only include the remaining portion of Edom but many other nations that God will control (these are the people who will be called by his name). If they go by God’s name, they are part of his possession and his people. Amos here foresees the conversion of many Gentile people groups to God, an insight that helped the New Testament church decide to include Gentile converts into their fellowship in Acts 15.
Prayer: Please Pray for Missionary Mark Richline as he meets with our congregation this evening to share what the LORD is doing in Uruguay.
Thursday (10/27) Read and discuss Colossians 1:15-23. Are you a servant of the gospel? The degree to which we can answer that question with a resounding YES depends largely on how well we understand the greatness of that good news. It would be a mistake to think that Paul is merely trying to convince the Colossians that Christ is preeminent in simply abstract terms. As we read this text we notice that Paul begins with the concrete reality of Christ’s preeminence over all creation and over all human and spiritual powers (16-17). Then, in verse 18, Paul begins by saying that Christ is the head of the church. Does it surprise you that the Apostle transitions in mid-sentence from the church to speaking of Christ’s resurrection from the dead? This is the central (and often overlooked) point. Just as Christ is the head over creation He is also head over re-creation which flows from Christ being raised from the dead. The surprising thing about Christ’s resurrection isn’t that it happened. Anyone who believed in the Old Testament would believe that God would raise both the righteous and unrighteous up on the last day. At that time, the LORD would usher in the age to come. The astonishing thing about Christ’s resurrection isn’t that it happened, but that it happened in the middle of history. The age to come has already crashed into this world and those who trust in Jesus partake (in part) of that age right now. We, who were alienated from God both in our thinking and in our actions, have been reconciled “in the body of His flesh through death.” Now, because God has given Christ to be the Head of the church, we already share in the new creation which He inaugurated through His resurrection – looking forward to the day when we too will be raised incorruptible. The good news isn’t simply that God has rescued some of humanity from hell. It is better than that. The good news is that Christ is making all things wonderfully new. He is re-creating the present world to be even more than what Adam and Eve enjoyed in the Garden of Eden, and He has entrusted to us the gospel by which He reconciles fallen men to Himself. Paul became a servant of this good news. What about you? Read or Sing Hymn 257 “Stricken, Smitten, and Afflicted”. Read or sing Hymn 646 “Jesus, Thou Joy of Loving Hearts” Prayer: Please ask that the LORD would bring visitors to our congregation who would benefit by uniting with our congregation and whose gifts would be a blessing to our local church.
Friday (10/28) Read and discuss Genesis 30:1-24. Bruce Waltke writes:
Embedded in this agonizing story of people’s emptiness and self-inflicted pain is God’s gracious gift of hope. These people have half-lives, blocked by sorrow, hostility, and competition. Leah has children but not the love of her husband; Rachel, the love of her husband but no children. Roop offers, “To those caught in half a life, the Bible offers not reproach or platitudes but God’s remembering. To those longing for love or stagnated by a sterile world, the faith offers not blame or jargon but on who has come that we might have a full life (John 10:10). … Some folks, maybe all, will find themselves living in a situation which blocks them from reaching the fullness of life. They know the anguish of Leah and the hostility of Rachel. Ministry, like the Bible, takes that agony utterly seriously even while offering a word of hope.”
Prayer: Please pray for the work of our congregation’s outreach committee.
Saturday (10/29) Read and discuss John 4:27-42. Andreas Kostenberger writes:
As with Nicodemus, but much more explicitly, Jesus, in reaching out to the Samaritan, serves as the paradigmatic “sent one” shoes activity his followers are called to emulate. This is made [clear] in the skillfully interposed section John 4:27-38, where Jesus instructs the disciples about his mission of bringing in a harvest of souls and of reaping he fruit of the labor of others. It is also implicit throughout Jesus’ entire conversation with the woman as the Messiah is revealed: as the one who expresses God’s love to a sinful woman (see 3:16), as the one who came to seek and save that which is lost (see Luke 19:10), and, significantly, as “the Savior,” not only of the Jewish people, but “of the world” at large (John 4:42, the punch line of the mission theme, which culminates in the commissioning scene in 20:21-22 but is proleptically foreshadowed already here and elsewhere earlier in the gospel.
Read or sing Hymn: 426 “Til He Come”! Prayer: Please lift up tomorrow’s morning and evening worship services.