Preparation for Worship for Sunday, February 7, 2016

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We gather this Lord’s Day to worship the true God who reigns over all. The call to worship expresses this well: “Sing praises to the LORD, who sits enthroned in Zion!” This expression, that the Lord “sits enthroned in Zion,” expresses at once the universal sovereignty and dominion of Yahweh (“who sits enthroned”), as well as his condescending fellowship in covenant with his people (“in Zion”), just as last week’s call to worship did (“O Lord, our Lord, how excellent is your name in all the earth!”) The God we worship is not a God who is confined to us. He is God over all. But it is the second part of our Scripture call to worship that captures so fittingly the content of this Sunday’s sermon. We should not only sing praises to this transcendent and immanent God, but we should “tell among the peoples his deeds!” As Israel was to spread the great and gracious acts of God to the wicked nations around them, so we are to proclaim God’s great and gracious acting in the gospel of Jesus Christ to those around us. This gospel Paul proclaimed to the Corinthians. As we worship God, out of the deep, overwhelming love we have for him, we should burst out in telling others this good news.

In the prayer service, we will consider another verse from Psalm 119. To open the service, we will sing the hymn we will be learning this month, “See, the Conqueror Mounts in Triumph” (Red 274).

This Sunday we observe Communion in the morning worship service. The sermon text that comes next in 1 Corinthians 15 is very appropriate, for this Sunday we look at why the gospel is so vital for Christians and then begin looking at Paul’s first exposition of the gospel, all from verse 3. In particular, we will consider that “Christ died for our sins.” Jesus himself, when he instituted the Lord’s Supper, made clear the meaning of his death, which is so integral to the good news about Jesus: “This is my body, which is given for you,” and “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.” This gospel is fundamental to our faith. It will be a joy to meditate on the good news of Jesus again.

 

Worship Service

Call to Worship: Psalm 9:11

Hymn 55 [Blue] Come, Christians, Join to Sing

Congregational Reading: Psalm 9:1-2, 5, 7-10

Doxology: Worcester

Prayer

Offering

Scripture Reading: Job 16 & Mark 3:1-12

Hymn 269 [Red] Christ Jesus Lay in Death’s Strong Bands

Sermon: Christ Died for Our Sins from 1 Corinthians 15:3

Hymn 66 [Blue] Jesus, Thou Joy of Loving Hearts In the gospel, Jesus Christ is offered to us. The gospel does not simply offer us the benefits of Christ, but Christ himself, for Christ’s benefits cannot come without Christ. This gospel that Paul received has come to us, passed down through the ages via the church of Jesus Christ and those who proclaimed the good news to us. Bernard of Clairvaux himself rejoiced in this good news, as he expresses in this hymn, which concerns at once the glory of Christ in the souls of believers and the joy they have remembering his grace in Communion: “Thy truth unchanged has ever stood, thou savest those that on thee call; to them that seek thee, thou art good, to them that find thee, all in all.” We “called” on Christ and “found” him because the gospel came to us (Rom 10:13-15). This “truth” that remains “unchanged” is the divine message revealed to the apostles by Jesus Christ himself. When we eat the bread and drink the cup, we rejoice in that unchanging truth, the truth that “Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, and that he rose again on the third day according to the Scriptures.”

The Lord’s Table

Hymn 302 [Red] Great God of Wonders!

Prayer

Benediction

 

In Sunday School, we will consider Edwards’s departure from Northampton.

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