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My soul makes its boast in the Lord; let the humble hear and be glad (Psalm 34:2). Humankind is astonishingly proud. People glory in their accomplishments. They seek the honor and applause of men. Even in religion, there is a constant bent in men to seek to be saved by their own good works or by their own merit. You ask people, “How will you stand before God?” The first thing they bring up is their own acts of virtue, their own righteousness. But this verse shows the true way of godliness. The godly man boasts in the Lord. His salvation comes from the covenant keeping God. Likewise for us, we were saved not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy (Tit 2:5). We are justified by his grace (Tit 2:6). When we so boast in the Lord, that our all is found in him, that everything we are depends on him, that the only reason we stand is because of the grace given to us in the Gospel, it brings a certain gladness to all our fellow-sinners who like us know in humility that salvation is by God’s grace alone. So, First Baptist Church, as you think about and prepare yourself to worship this coming Lord’s Day, have this great end in view, that you would make your boast in the Lord!
This Sunday, for our prayer service we will return to the series on prayer in the book of Acts. We’ll begin the service by singing, Hail, Thou Once Despised Jesus!
When you read the end of 1 Corinthians, even a cursory reading notices a certain theme right on the surface, and that is love. It all begins with v14: Let all that you do be done in love. The next several sermons will use this verse as the organizing idea, for as the passage unfolds, we see different ways a church can fulfill the great imperative in v 14. As Paul closes the book, he really teaches us how we can be a loving church. This is a message that every church and every Christian needs to hear. You and I are no exceptions. This Sunday in particular, we will consider the imperative to love and especially how we should love our spiritual leaders. Since the sermon is so much about love, the service order returns often to the theme of love:
Call to Worship: Psalm 34:1-3
Hymn 175 [Red] Praise God, for He is Kind
Congregational Reading: Psalm 34:4-10
Doxology: Doxology, Red 283
Hymn 261 [Red] Let Thy Blood in Mercy Poured
Hymn 45 [Blue] Ye Servants of God, Your Master Proclaim This joyful hymn by Charles Wesley is an appropriate response of believers to the saving work of Christ. But it is the last verse that especially brings out our call to “let all that you do be done in love”: Then let us adore and give him is right—all glory and pow’r, and wisdom and might, all honor and blessing, with angels above, and thanks never ceasing and infinite love.” The love we have for God includes with it a love for our fellow man. As we offer to God our infinite love, we love one another too. This is a necessary consequence. So as we pour out our praise and love to our Lord Jesus Christ, who is absolutely worthy of only our “infinite love,” let us do all that we do in love, both as a church and individual believers.
Scripture Reading: Obadiah & Mark 15:21-47
Hymn 366 [Red] My Song is Love Unknown
Sermon: A Loving Church, Part 1 from 1 Corinthians 16:14-18
Hymn 313 [Red] Love Divine, All Loves Excelling
In Sunday School, Eric White will teach catechism question 37:
Q. What is effectual calling?
A. Effectual calling is the work of God’s Spirit,1 whereby, convincing us of our sin and misery,2 enlightening our minds in the knowledge of Christ,3 and renewing our wills,4 he does persuade and enable us to embrace Jesus Christ freely offered to us in the gospel.5
1 2 Tim 1:9 2 Acts 2:37
3 Acts 26:18 4 Ezek 36:26
5 John 6:44-45