This coming Lord’s Day, there is a lot going on at First Baptist Church that you need to know about.
- First, this Sunday is Reformation Sunday. We will honor the memory of “those who spoke to us the word of God” (Heb 13:7). More importantly, we will focus on the Reformation doctrines of Scripture that we continue to confess and prize.
- Second, Daylight Savings Time ends this Sunday. Remember to turn your clocks back one hour.
- Finally, we will gather around the Lord’s Table this afternoon at 1:30 PM (instead of Sunday School).
This Sunday, I will be preaching on the doctrine of justification from Galatians 3. Speaking of justification, Martin Luther said, “Nothing in this article can be given up or compromised. . . . On this article rests all that we teach. . . . Therefore we must be quite certain and have no doubts about it. Otherwise all is lost.” I personally love the doctrine of justification, not because it is a Reformation doctrine, but because it is a biblical doctrine. Furthermore, justification by faith in Christ is a doctrine of great evangelical comfort for sinners like me. This doctrine is one of the greatest truths that drive us to reverent worship, as David, the justified and forgiven King of Israel, attests in Psalm 32:
Therefore let everyone who is godly
offer prayer to you
at a time when you may be found;
surely in the rush of great waters,
they shall not reach him.
You are a hiding place for me;
you preserve me from trouble;
you surround me with shouts of deliverance.
In the prayer service, we’ll return to the prayer of Solomon at the dedication of the temple. We’ll begin the Lord’s Day singing together the new hymn for the month of November: Give Praise to God (Gray 51).
The sermon on justification for Sunday comes from Galatians 3. What is justification? Many of you know our catechism. Another good definition can be found in our constitution:
“We believe that the great Gospel blessing which Christ secures to such as believe in Him is Justification; that Justification includes the pardon of sin and the promise of eternal life on the principles of righteousness; and that it is bestowed, not in consideration of any works of righteousness which we have done, but solely through faith in the Redeemer’s blood; by virtue of which faith his perfect righteousness is freely imputed to us of God; that it brings us into a state of most blessed peace and favor with God, and secures every other blessing needful for time and eternity.”
In our Galatians text, Paul confronts all those who would depend on the works of the law to be saved. All those who try to be in the right with God by works, there is condemnation and a curse. But Jesus stepped in and took our curse in our place, and all who believe in him are justified.
Call to Worship: Psalm 32:6-7
Hymn 302 [Gray] A Mighty Fortress is Our God
Congregational Reading: Psalm 32:1-5, 10-11
Doxology: Doxology, Red 283
Hymn 211 [Gray] Amazing Grace
Hymn [Insert] O for a Thousand Tongues to Sing This great hymn was written by Charles Wesley, a man who also loved the doctrine of justification. Wesley testifies to the rich grace of Christ for him personally in these words: He breaks the power of cancelled sin, he sets the prisoner free; his blood can make the foulest clean; his blood availed for me. Can you say this, friend? Can you attest that, though you are “the foulest,” deserving nothing less than God’s curse, that Jesus’ blood has “availed” or conquered sin for you?
Scripture Reading: Leviticus 23:1-22 & Luke 16:18-31
Hymn 150 [Gray] When I Survey the Wondrous Cross
Sermon: Justification: Redeemed from the Curse from Galatians 3:10-14
Hymn 368 [Red] Lord, Keep Us Steadfast in Thy Word
Instead of Sunday School, we will observe Communion together in the afternoon following lunch.