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In the sermon for this Sunday, we look at two remaining responses of Israel to the Lord’s redemption of them from bondage in Egypt: hopeful memory and devoted consecration. It is this latter aspect that leads to our taking the Scripture call to worship from 1 Corinthians 6:19-20. The passage is plain: You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God with your body. Just as God laid claim to his people Israel in the redemption of the firstborn, so he has a right and proper claim to us. God redeemed the firstborn of Israel from death by the price of the blood of the pascal lamb. By redeeming the firstborn, he was teaching Israel that he owned them all. They were no longer their own. The way of salvation he would eventually provide would necessitate that God lay claim to all this world his own. Now in Jesus Christ the basis for this redemption of the world from sin and death has been revealed, and the actual price of redemption has been spent—the death of the Messiah. And so for us, God has purchased us for himself. He owns us. He has given us his Holy Spirit. So we ought to glorify God with our bodies, and this most certainly means that we glorify God as we as a church gather together for worship on the first day of the week.
In the prayer service, we’ll return to Daniel 9. We’ll begin the service by singing, “How Blest is He Whose Trespass,” a fine paraphrase of David’s beautiful penitential psalm, Psalm 32.
Last week’s sermon considered three appropriate responses of the redeemed to their Redeemer: obedient faith, reverent discrimination, and living purity. As I said above, this week we look at two more: hopeful remembrance and devoted consecration. The LORD God wanted his people to remember him with tangible markers that pointed their minds back to his glorious works and gracious salvation. This is why he gave not only the Passover, but the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Of course, this same principle is why our Lord Jesus gave his church Communion. Christ wants us to remember him and his great redeeming love by eating the bread and drinking the cup. He has given us baptism as a reminder of the profound spiritual realities that are ours in Christ. But God not only wants our memories and minds, but he demands our entire lives to be consecrated wholly to him. This is the lesson of the consecration of the firstborn we see in 13:1-2 and 11-16. God owns his people. We must never forget this.
Call to Worship: 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
Hymn 305 [Red] Holy, Holy, Holy
Congregational Reading: Micah 6:6-8
Doxology: Doxology, Red 437
Scripture Reading: Exodus 22:1-15 & John 12:20-36a
Hymn 335 [Red] What Wondrous Love is This?
Sermon: Unleavened, Part 2 from Exodus 12:42-13:16
Hymn 255 [Red] Ah, Holy Jesus This hymn Johann Heermann (beautifully translated by Robert Bridges) is one of my favorites. It’s appropriate for our service this Sunday for at least three: (1) according to my records, we haven’t sung it in a morning worship service in far too long; (2) the hymn gloriously portrays the deep sacrifice Christ’s obedience demanded so that he could become our sacrifice for sin—a great truth to remember as we approach the Table together; and (3) the hymn wonderfully articulates in the final stanza the consecration we the redeemed must render to our Savior: Therefore, kind Jesus, since I cannot pay Thee, I do adore Thee, and will ever pray Thee, think on Thy pity and Thy love unswerving, not my deserving. Having been so graciously redeemed by Christ’s blood, we owe him the greatest part of us: our adoration—our affections and loves. It would have been “easy” for the Lord to demand of us this act or a certain part of our belongings. Instead, God demands of us our all: our love. At the same time, as the hymn indicates, our love never becomes what makes us acceptable to God. Our position before God is always in Christ and his love and grace, “not our deserving.”
The Lord’s Table
Hymn 206 [Red] Father, We Thank Thee Who Hast Planted
In Sunday School, Eric White will teach on Catechism Question 41:
- Q. What is sanctification?
A. Sanctification is the work of God’s Spirit,1 whereby we are renewed in the whole man after the image of God,2 and are enabled more and more to die to sin, and live to righteousness.3
1 2 Thess 2:13 2 Eph 4:24 3 Rom 6:11