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When you read Psalm 68, you get the impression that David is, on one level, speaking about himself. He begins, “Hear my cry, O God, listen to my prayer.” He calls for salvation. In verses 2-3, he cries to God, Lead me to the rock that is higher than, for you have been my refuge. David asks his God in verse 4 if he can dwell in the holy place of divine worship forever: Let me dwell in your tent forever! Again, all these are prayers for himself. Even verse 6 seems to be about himself: Prolong the life of the king; may his years endure to all generations. Yet there’s a sense in which this seems deliberately ambiguous, and, if not ambiguous, referring to someone else. In 2 Sam 7:16, Yahweh promised David: And your house and your kingdom shall be made sure forever before me. Your throne shall be established forever. I believe that David has this promise in mind when he writes Psa 61. He is asking God to bless his kingly heir in accordance with his promise. Verse 7 makes this even plainer: May he be enthroned forever before God; appoint steadfast love and faithfulness to watch over him! David invokes the promises of God to his seed, asking God to seat his son, the promised Anointed One, on his throne over God’s people. And in establishing the throne of David’s seed, David sees his own salvation and ultimate deliverance. But it also the basis of his praise. He concludes, So will I ever sing praises to your name, as I perform my vows day by day. We too rejoice in the establishment of David’s seed. Indeed, we have seen God deliver David’s seed, our Savior Jesus Christ, from death itself in his glorious resurrection, and thus prolong the life of the king. We know that the Lord Jesus Christ is the one who will be enthroned forever. So we have cause to join with David in ever singing praises to exalt God’s sacred name. As we gather for worship today, the promised seed of David, the Lord Jesus, is surely being exalted in our midst, for we will (likely) witness the baptism of five young people who are publicly proclaiming their confession that our Jesus is both Lord and Christ.

 

We will use part of this Sunday’s prayer service to hear the testimonies of the five young people who are candidates for baptism. We will begin the service by singing “Hosanna, Loud Hosanna” (Blue 107). We will also give ourselves to prayer.

 

The sermon this Sunday is from Romans 6:1-4. This passage is helpful for two reasons. First, it incidentally (yet authoritatively) teaches us about the nature of Christian baptism. I say “incidentally” because Paul does not mean to address baptism per se. Yet, when baptism is so misunderstood by so many Christians, it is good for us to remind ourselves from his teaching here of why we practice baptism the way we do, under the authority of Jesus Christ and the inspired writings of the New Testament by his apostles. The other reason this passage is helpful is found in the subject matter Paul intends to address: the Christological grounding for Christians to live godly lives. Lord willing, we will take devote ourselves to these important matters that touch both on our public entrance into the Christian life and the way we, following our baptism, walk as believers united to Christ.

Worship Service

Call to Worship: Psalm 61:6-8

Hymn 268 [Red] All Glory, Laud, and Honor

Congregational Reading: Psalm 61

Doxology: Doxology, Red 283

Baptisms

Hymn 141 [Blue] Look, Ye Saints! the Sight is Glorious

Prayer

Offering

Scripture Reading: Exodus 8:20-32 & John 4:46-5:17

Hymn 393 [Blue] Take My Life and Let It Be

Sermon: Baptized into Christ from Romans 6:1-4

Hymn 392 [Blue] O Jesus, I Have Promised The final stanza of this hymn by John Bode begins: “O Jesus, Thou hast promised, to all who follow Thee, that where Thou art in glory, there shall Thy servant be.”  Bode is clearly alluding to Paul’s words in Eph 2:4-7, where he says that God in his grace has (among so many other things!), seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. The implication of being seated together with Christ in the heavenly places is that we then have a guarantee of final salvation and glorification through our Lord. This Bode also picks up on as he concludes the hymn with a prayer for grace to follow Christ faithfully al his life: And Jesus, I have promised to serve Thee to the end: O give me grace to follow, my Master and my Friend. The final stanza of this hymn is a nice turn. After imploring Christ to be with him for several stanzas, Bode reminds us that we are actually with Christ because of our spiritual union with him. The hymn is appropriate for our service this Sunday for a couple different reasons. First, as I just pointed out, it touches on the theme of our union with Christ, something that I will address at some length in my sermon. Second, it is a hymn of consecration to Christ, something we’ll be witnessing in the baptisms this Lord’s Day. And as we sing it, let us remember our own baptism and our own commitment to Christ—our promise to serve him to the end. 

Prayer

Benediction

 

In Sunday School, I will teach the final lesson on the Conservative Christian Declaration, from Article 15.

 

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