Preparation for Worship for the Lord’s Day, July 12, 2020


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God created everything. His purpose in creation was to glorify himself. He sustains the life of everything. All that is has come to be through him. We spoiled God’s great purpose for us when our race fell in Eden. Yet his purpose stands. God has sent Jesus Christ to restore all things to this end. So Paul says in Romans 11:36:

For from him and through him and to him are all things.
To him be glory forever. Amen. 

Every time we worship, we do so that we can corporately give glory to the one from whom, through whom, and to whom are all things. We fulfill this great end every time we gather. As we saw last week, this is the great calling of those who have been reconciled to God through Jesus Christ. Further, giving glory to God is only possible through our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. There is no glory to God apart from him. Thus we gather this Sunday in the name of the Lord Jesus to join with saints and angels who ever give God glory.

I hope you’ll come to the prayer service this Sunday. It’s an important time for us together. We’ll begin the day reviewing the hymn we’re learning this month, Angel Voices, Ever Singing (Gray 16). Eric White will bring the lesson.

In the sermon this Sunday, we move from the great call of Col 3:17 to do everything in the name of Jesus to even more concrete ways this is done in our lives, especially in our homes. The text for this Sunday is rather brief—just two short verses—Colossians 3:18-19.

Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.
Husbands, love your wives, and do not be harsh with them. 

The passage is about the duties within marriage of husbands and wives who know the Lord. The passage is something I think most of us who grow up in Christian homes know well. At the same time, the text is very controversial today in the broader culture (as it probably was back in the days of early Christianity, though for different reasons).

Unbelievers mock a passage like Colossians 3:18-19. The evangelical left dismiss it. Liberal Christians deny that Paul even wrote it. Yet for those of us who know Christ, the word of God stands as proven and refined and more precious than gold. If God is the one from whom all things come to be (see Rom 11:36 above), then his instructions for living in this world he has created ought to be followed. After all, our God knows more about marriage than we do. How much more then should we who know the Lord Jesus follow God’s instructions for marriage?

Worship Service
Call to Worship: Romans 11:36
Hymn 63 [Gray] Praise Ye the Father
Congregational Reading: Psalm 123
Doxology: Diademata, Red 293
Hymn 193 [Gray] Majestic Sweetness Sits Enthroned
Hymn 154 [Red] O Come with Thanks, God’s Goodness Praising
Scripture Reading: Leviticus 14:1-20 & Luke 9:18-36
Hymn 234 [Gray] My God, I Love Thee Colossians 3 isn’t the only place Paul talks about marriage. He also addresses marriage in Eph 5, where he says that marriage is a symbol of Christ and the church in the gospel. Echoes of that Ephesians teaching are (without surprise) found in these two short verses in Colossians 3. If we believers are going to have marriages that bear witness to the mystery of Christ and the church to the watching world, then we need to know well the love of Jesus Christ for us, of which this hymn so beautifully states: Not with the hope of gaining aught, nor seeking a reward, but as Thyself has loved me, O ever loving Lord! E’en so I love Thee, and will love, and in Thy praise will sing, solely because Thou art my God and my eternal King!
Sermon: Marriage in the Name of the Lord from Colossians 3:18-19
Hymn 362 [Red] Lord, Thee I Love with All My Heart