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As David writes Psalm 35, he is in the middle of a fight for his life. Verse 1 opens: Contend, O Lord, with those who contend with me; fight against those who fight against me! As he seeks the Lord’s deliverance, he promises God (as so often does) that he will respond with worship: Then my soul will rejoice in the Lord, exulting in his salvation. All my bones shall say, ‘O Lord, who is like you, delivering the poor from him who is too strong for him, the poor and need from him who robs him? The worship is total, both body and soul, complete and entire, both soul and even David’s very bones will exult God when his soul is redeemed. We too have been delivered by God. We too have been saved: saved from sin, the law, and death itself. We have been saved from Satan and his accusations and the fear of death that he holds over us. Now we too should respond with joy, exultation, and praise, from the very center and core of our being. And we will do this together this coming Lord’s Day in our services together.
This Lord’s Day, as we gather together, we will look at another instance of prayer in the book of Acts. To begin the service, we’ll sing together, “The Lamb Goes Uncomplaining Forth” (Red 256).
This Lord’s Day, the sermon returns to the end of 1 Corinthians and its concluding emphasis on love. We will consider the greetings in vv19-20a and the command to greet with a holy kiss in v 20b. These brief verses teach us to have genuine Christian love other churches and Christians outside our local assembly. As we saw in the verses that began the chapter, we see once again the importance of loving our brothers and sisters in Christ. This is a serious obligation for us as believers. But the same truth applies to a local church. We ought to love each other warmly here. This is seen in us even in the way we greet each other. So once again, we see in these verses ways in which we follow the command of v 14: Let all that you do be done in love.
Call to Worship: Psalm 35:27-28
Hymn 55 [Blue] Come, Christians, Join to Sing As we consider the imperative of Christian love, this hymn begins the service on exactly the right sentiment. In the first verse we’re beckoned to praise Christ corporately: “Let all, with heart and voice, before his throne rejoice.” The line, “Praise is his gracious choice,” speaks to the free offer of God’s grace and the delightful duty it is to praise our Savior. The second verse speaks of Christ’s love to us: “He is our Guide and Friend; to us he’ll condescend; his love shall never end.” Then Christian Bateman, the hymn writer, draws our attention to our unity in Christ in heaven: “On heaven’s blissful shore, his goodness we’ll adore, singing forevermore, ‘Alleluia! Amen!’” We love each other as we praise. How much easier is it to love each other as we ought, when we together love the same Savior? How much easier is it to love when we know personally how much Christ has loved us? How much easier it to love each other when we remember that we will forever be together “on heaven’s blissful shore” worshiping Christ together?
Congregational Reading: Psalm 35:1-2, 7-10
Doxology: Doxology, Red 283
Hymn 167 [Red] Lord, from the Depths to Thee I Cried
Hymn 280 [Red] For All the Saints
Scripture Reading: Psalm 6 & Mark 16
Ministry of Music: Jerusalem, My Happy Home
Sermon: A Loving Church, Part 2 from 1 Corinthians 16:19-20
Hymn [Insert] A Prayer for Christ’s Church
This Lord’s Day, we begin a new Sunday School series that will introduce us to the Gospels. We will discuss the backgrounds and purposes and theology of each book, as well as talk about the duty and method of careful harmonization. This Sunday, Eric White introduces to the four Gospels in general.