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I just finished preaching 10 sermons on the Decalogue. If the Law did anything, it showed all of us (including me) our great need of a Redeemer. We see our utter sinfulness and depravity. We feel exposed before the all-seeing, all-knowing God. The last thing we want to do is draw near to God. Yet, we can draw near. We have been redeemed by the blood of Christ. We have full access to God through our Mediator. So we sinners, having been reconciled to God through Jesus Christ, are commanded to draw near and worship our God. Hebrews 10:19–22 Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, 20 by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. So, my fellow saints, having these precious promises, let us gather together this coming Lord’s Day, and draw near to our God in Christ.
In the prayer service, we’ll sit in the school of prayer, taking up another of the great prayers of Scripture. We’ll begin the service singing a paraphrase of Psalm 23, “My Shepherd Will Supply My Need” (Gray 320).
The sermon this Sunday looks at the fearful apprehension of the Israelites after God spoke to them his holy Law from the top of the Mt Horeb. I will preach from the remainder of chapter 20. A key phrase appears in this passage that I think is crucial to understanding what’s going on. Twice the Scripture says that the people stood far off. When we realize our sinfulness, our natural response is to withdraw from God in shame and fear. But God wants us to draw near in holy fear. We will consider how sinful men can draw near to God according to Exodus 20:18-26.
Call to Worship: Hebrews 10:19-22
Hymn 253 [Gray] Come, Thou Fount
Congregational Reading: Psalm 38:1-2, 5-8, 17-22
Doxology: Diademata, Red 293
Hymn 206 [Gray] Arise, My Soul, Arise If there is any hymn that well expresses God’s welcome to sinners to draw near to him through Christ, it is this masterful verse by Charles Wesley, set to the bold tune LENOX by Lewis Edson. Recall how the first verse calls to our trembling, fearful spirit with a courageous call to approach our God in adoring worship: Arise, my soul, arise; shake off thy guilty fears; the bleeding Sacrifice in my behalf appears: before the throne my Surety stands: my name is written on His hands. These are stunning truths for sinners to hear. Glory be to Jesus Christ, who has brought us sinners nigh to God.
Hymn 193 [Gray] Majestic Sweetness Sits Enthroned
Scripture Reading: Psalm 11 & Revelation 13
Hymn 355 [Red] In God, My Faithful God
Sermon: The People Stood Far Off from Exodus 20:18-26
Hymn 261 [Red] Let Thy Blood in Mercy Poured
In Sunday School, I will teach the second lesson in our series on Spiritual Growth. This lesson will cover the goal of spiritual growth. If you purchased Don Whitney’s Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life, please read chapter 1.