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This Sunday is the fourth of five sermons on the five “solas” of the Reformation. We do this because of the upcoming 500th anniversary of Martin Luther posting of the Ninety-Five Theses. We saw the majesty of the doctrine of the justification by faith alone. We considered the importance of sola Scriptura, the doctrine that the Scriptures are our ultimate and primary authority for what we believe as Christians. Last week, we considered the precious doctrine of Christ alone, solus Christus. He is the exclusive way of salvation, and his work is absolutely sufficient to provide all the spiritual blessings we need. Next week, if the Lord wills, I’ll preach on glory to God alone. This Sunday, the sermon is on grace alone. The call to worship is taken from what Paul says about justification in Romans 5:1-2, Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. This is where grace always tends (compare Ephesians 1): people who worship God and give him glory. We rejoice in worship and holy delight in God because of his grace. This is why we gather this Lord’s Day, because we are a people who rejoice in the hope of the glory of God—because we have access by faith into the riches of Christ’s grace.
In the prayer service, we’ll return to Daniel’s prayer again, this time look at Daniel 9:16. We’ll begin the service singing “Lord, Keep Us Steadfast in Thy Word” (Red 368).
This Sunday, we will consider Ephesians 2, especially verses 8-10, to see the beauty of God’s grace. What a wonderful word grace is. Although grace has become something a buzz word that has come to justify all sorts of abuse in evangelical churches, the Bible’s teaching concerning the grace of Christ and what it means for us believers is still worth articulating and defending. It was J. I. Packer who lamented decades ago that for many evangelical Christians, “amazing grace” has become “boring grace.” May it never be so for us. The Bible tells us that God’s grace or favor is the extraordinary ground of all our salvation. “It is not your own doing, it is the gift of God.”
Call to Worship: Romans 5:1-2
Hymn 17 [Blue] Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing
Congregational Reading: Titus 2:11-14
Doxology: Gloria Patri, Red 436
Hymn 236 [Blue] Amazing Grace
Hymn [Insert] Credo
Scripture Reading: Eoxdus 26:1-14 & John 15:18-27
Hymn 66 [Blue] Jesus, Thou Joy of Loving Hearts
Sermon: Grace Alone from Ephesians 2:4-10
Hymn 258 [Red] How Sweet and Awful Is the Place The Reformation doctrine of grace alone is rightly connected with the doctrine of predestination and total depravity. Rightly so. When we fail to see that grace is not only limited to the free offer of Jesus Christ in the gospel, but extends even to the very faith with which we receive him, we begin to insert some element of human merit into our salvation. Thus this great hymn by Isaac Watts, whereby we rightly wonder, “While all our hearts and all our songs join to admire the feast, each of us cry, with thankful tongues, ‘Lord, why was I a guest?’ Why was I made to hear thy voice, and enter while there’s room, when thousands make a wretched choice, and rather starve than come?” Likewise, the concluding prayer at the end of this hymn that God would fill our churches, is all so that we would together ‘sing thy redeeming grace.’
In Sunday School, Eric White will teach on catechism Questions 46-47:
46. Q. What shall be done to the wicked at their death?
A. The souls of the wicked shall at their death be cast into the torments of hell,1 and their bodies lie in their graves till the resurrection, and judgment of the great day.2
1 Luke 16:22-24 2 Psa 49:14
47. Q. What shall be done to the wicked at the Day of Judgment?
A. At the Day of Judgment the bodies of the wicked being raised out of their graves, shall be sentenced, together with their souls, to unspeakable torments with the devil and his angels forever.1
1 Dan 12:2; John 5:28-29; 2 Thess 1:9; Matt 25:41