In 1 Corinthians 3:16, Paul asks, Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? A Christian church is a holy place, by virtue of the grace of Jesus Christ. Our Lord, having sent his Spirit into his body, has rendered his church holy by his atoning imputation (1 Cor 1:30) and the spiritual reality of gracious presence of the Spirit. As a holy temple in Christ, as we gather together we are a place for true worship. This is perhaps one of the greatest treasures of God’s grace, that as we gather together for worship, God himself dwells within us by his Spirit, receiving our worship, and calling us his own. To be a worshipper of the true God through Christ means, among so many other precious truths, that we have true fellowship with him. We belong to him by grace and by grace He is ours.
As is our custom, we will begin our worship this Lord’s Day with an hour devoted to corporate prayer. As we prepare for our time of prayer, we will consider our Lord’s prayer on the Mount of Olives from Luke 22:41-42. We will sing together “How Brightly Beams the Morning Star” (Red 220).
In the worship service, the morning message will close out 1 Corinthians 14:6-19. The sermon for this Sunday considers God’s Word in the final few verses of those paragraphs. Paul continues to show the Corinthians and us what the ministry of edification looks like. The Apostle continues to show us not only the nature of tongues, but how the “corporateness” of Christian worship ought affect the content of that worship. Our Lord never intended his body to gather together for individualized, strictly personal acts of devotion. The worship of the Almighty is always done so that the whole body is benefited by that worship and so that all the believers are drawn up into that worship. And as the Word goes forth coherently before Christ’s body, it benefits that body in multiple ways. The service order reflects these themes, as well as the hope of Jesus Christ represented in the advent season.
Call to Worship: Isaiah 41:14, 16
Hymn 227 [Red] O Come, O Come, Emmanuel
Congregational Reading: Psalm 1
Doxology: Doxology, Red 437
Hymn 219 [Red] Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus
Hymn 326 [Red] Rejoice–the Lord is King!
Scripture Reading: Job 7 & 2 Corinthians 11:1-15
Hymn 374 [Red] Our God, Our Help in Ages Past
Sermon: Tongues & the Benefits of Christian Worship, Part 4 from 1 Corinthians 14:6-19
Hymn 333 [Blue] May the Mind of Christ, My Savior First Corinthians 14 teaches that love/edification and the clear communication of God’s Word go hand in hand. This hymn by Kate Wilkinson well sets forth the intertwining role of Christian love and the proclamation of Jesus Christ. Several lines ask for Christ’s love to be manifest in the congregation: “By his love and power controlling all I do and say”; “May the love of Jesus fill me”; “May his beauty rest upon me.” In turn, this hymn voices our desire to magnify Christ through the proclamation of his grace to others: “All I do and say”; “May the Word of God dwell richly”; “As I seek the lost to win.” We love best when we glorify God through the proclamation of Christ to others.
The Sunday School hour will be a Quodlibet, where I try to answer whatever questions you have.