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The Bible calls men to worship God. This is in the first commandment itself: You shall have no other gods before me. But throughout its pages, we see the Scriptures again and again call us to praise. The Scripture call to worship this Lord’s Day comes from Psalm 69:30-32. David cries, I will praise the name of God with a song: I will magnify him with thanksgiving. This is the kind of perspective we must have. The only reason the prohibition against murder makes sense is if our heart recognizes and praises God. Once you deny God, or fail to give him praise, what moral imperative remains to stem violence and murder? The murderous character of modern society is no doubt rooted first and foremost in a theological problem. They fail to acknowledge God and give him glory, and thus men fail to have any real moral grounding to treat properly those creatures made in God’s image. So there is much at stake in our worship. It even touches concerning an issue like murder.
In the prayer service, we will begin singing the hymn, “The Son of God Goes Forth to War” (Red 282). The lesson will come from a portion of Psalm 119.
This Lord’s Day, I preach the Sixth Commandment, You shall not murder. While few of us are literal murderers, this commandment still is important to hear. It speaks powerfully to a culture and country obsessed with death. The sixth commandment reminds us that all men are made in the image of God. God wants his high moral standard proclaimed and upheld. But the sixth commandment goes further than murder itself. In the Sermon on the Mount (Mt 5), Jesus taught the true meaning of You shall not murder. The results are not pleasant for any mortal to consider; it condemns us all. For this reason, the sermon will also consider a very important question: Does God forgive murderers? I hope you’ll join us for worship this Sunday.
Call to Worship: Psalm 69:30-32
Hymn 345 [Red] Come, Thou Almighty King
Congregational Reading: Psalm 10:1-4, 8, 11-12, 16-18
Doxology: Diademata, Red 293
Hymn 8 [Red] Chide Me, O LORD, No Longer
Hymn 62 [Gray] Rejoice, Ye Pure in Heart
Scripture Reading: Exodus 38:1-20 & Revelation 7
Hymn 327 [Red] The Church’s One Foundation I deliberately chose this hymn for this Lord’s Day where we consider the sin of murder. For it is not simply something to consider as God’s moral standard, but we are reminded that we ourselves live in a world where the church of Jesus Christ is under threat of violence and murder. John says in 1 John 3:13, Do not be surprised, brothers, that the world hates you. This hymn reminds us that, though we ourselves can be the objects of men’s hatred and violence, the Church of Jesus Christ will be ever preserved until the Lord returns. The church shall never perish! Her dear Lord to defend, to guide, sustain, and cherish, is with her to the end: though there be those who hate her, and false sons in her pale, against or foe or traitor she ever will prevail.
Sermon: Murder, or Whatever Tends To It from Exodus 20:12
Hymn 84 [Gray] Rock of Ages
For Sunday School, I am extending my series on Revelation 19–20 and the Millennium one additional Lord’s Day.