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This Lord’s Day is the third of five Sundays celebrating the Reformation in anticipating of the anniversary of Martin Luther nailing the Ninety-Five Theses to the church door in Wittenberg. After faith alone and Scripture alone the first two weeks, this week the sermon is on Christ alone. In rightly moving the focus off the merit of men to faith in Christ crucified, that also emphasized that Christ–and Christ alone–was himself completely sufficient for our eternal salvation. Accordingly, Christ has transformed everything, including our worship. He is rightly our object of worship (John 20:28), but he is also the one through we offer worship to God. We worship in the name of Jesus. Thus Colossians 3:15-17 we receive the command: And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. All that we do as a church is by the authority of Christ, in the name of Christ, for the glory of Christ. His Word fills our assembly; his praises our hearts. He is our all. We draw near to God through him, and through no other. He has in his substitutionary death made us the righteousness of God. So everything we do is in his name. Having received his grace, we return thanks to God through him. So let us gather together and exalt this Lord’s Day, not only in the Reformation doctrine of “Christ alone,” but in Christ himself!
In the prayer service, we will look at Daniel 9 again. We’ll begin the service singing, “Lo, He Comes with Clouds Descending.”
Since the sermon this Sunday looks at the doctrine of Christ alone, Christ naturally is the theme of the service. Our Savior is alone the way we are justified before God. There is no other way to be saved. His is not only our exclusive Savior, but his salvation is sufficient. I’m planning on reading this quote during the sermon, but it’s just good enough to give to you hear as you prepare for worship. A. W. Tozer said, “Let me tell you straight out that Jesus Christ will never stand at the right side of a plus sign. If you will insist upon adding some ‘plus’ to your faith in Jesus Christ, He will walk away in His holy dignity. He will ever refuse to be considered the other part of a ‘plus’ sign. If your trust is in the plus—something added—then you do not possess Jesus Christ at all.” Christ alone is our Savior.
Call to Worship: Colossians 3:15-17
Hymn 282 [Red] The Son of God Goes Forth to War We learned this hymn just a few months ago. I selected it for two reasons. First, it reminds us that we are following Christ. To believe on Christ is to take up our cross and follow him patiently through trial and temptation, hoping in him that he has overcome the world. Second, the hymn speaks of the saints of ages past—like the Reformers—who hoped in God as we do and suffered for the gospel we believe and preach: A noble army, men and boys, the matron and the maid, around the Savior’s throne rejoice in robes of light arrayed. They climbed the steep ascent to heav’n, through peril, toil and pain; O God, to us may grace be giv’n to follow in their train.
Congregational Reading: Hebrews 1:1-4
Doxology: Gloria Patri, Red 436
Hymn [Insert] Before the Throne of God Above
Hymn 20 [Blue] We Praise Thee, O God, Our Redeemer
Scripture Reading: Exodus 25:23-40 & John 15:1-17
Hymn 307 [Red] How Sweet the Name of Jesus Sounds
Sermon: Christ Alone from John 14:1-7
Hymn 294 [Red] At the Name of Jesus
This Sunday afternoon we will hold our 3rd quarterly business meeting.