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We gather together to worship Jesus Christ. In the early second century, a Roman official named Pliny the Younger wrote a letter to Emperor Trajan that has been very important to understanding the earliest forms of Christianity in the West. Pliny was critical, so that makes what he says even more important. He wrote Trajan about the Christians, “They asserted, however, that the sum and substance of their fault or error had been that they were accustomed to meet on a fixed day before dawn and sing responsively a hymn to Christ as to a god.” We do worship Christ, the son of God who is himself fully God, of one essence with the Father. One of the most important passages affirming this true is Heb 1:1-4, our call to worship this Lord’s Day. Of Christ we read, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. This passage goes on to speak of the redemption we have through Christ’s blood: After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high. This is our salvation in a nutshell. The Son of God who is the radiance of the Father’s glory, who upholds all that is, is the same who suffered for our sins so that we might be pure through him. This Lord’s Day, as we gather to worship our Jesus with the Father and the Spirit, we also gather around our Lord’s Table and partake of the emblems of his body and blood.
During the prayer service, we will continue to look at Nehemiah 9 and the Levite’s leading Israel in confession of sin. We will begin the day singing a new hymn for April: Hark! The Voice of Love and Mercy (Gray 166).
This week, we look at another famous passage in the book of Exodus. This is the account of Moses’s shining face after meeting with God. This is a passage as fruitful in application as it in raising interpretative questions. Most of us are familiar with the story. After Moses spoke with God on the summit of Sinai for forty days and forty nights, he descended with a shining face. This shining face frightened the Israelites at first. In this passage we learn about Moses as Israel’s mediator, but we also learn about the Word of God. I encourage you to read through Ex 34:29-35 and consider it carefully.
Call to Worship: Hebrews 1:1-4
Hymn 120 [Red] How Lovely, LORD of Hosts, to Me
Congregational Reading: Psalm 119:129-136
Doxology: Doxology, Red 283
Scripture Reading: 2 Samuel 2:1-11 & Romans 15:1-13
Hymn 255 [Gray] Love Divine, All Loves Excelling One of the clear take-aways from Exodus 34 is that after extended time in God’s presence, men become like God. This great hymn by Wesley touches on this principle. Wesley probably originally meant this hymn (at least in part) to teach his doctrine of perfectionism (with respect to sanctification). Nevertheless, the words echo Scripture principles clearly and leave the wrong teaching of perfectionism vague enough that I think we can sing it confidently as an offering to God. This hymn expresses well the desire we all should have to be like our Savior. The final stanza in particular reminds me of Moses on the mount and our promise that when we see Christ, we will be finally like him: Finish then thy new creation, pure and spotless let us be. Let us see Thy great salvation perfectly restored in Thee. Changes from glory into glory, till in heav’n we take our place, till we cast our crowns before Thee, lost in wonder, love, and praise.
Sermon: The Shining Face of Moses from Exodus 34:29-35
Hymn 278 [Gray] Thy Broken Body, Gracious Lord
The Lord’s Table
Hymn 224 [Gray] Before the Throne of God Above
In Sunday School, I will be teaching catechism questions 85 and 86:
85. Q. To whom is Baptism to be administered?
A. Baptism is to be administered to all those who actually profess repentance towards God, and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, and to none other.
86. Q. Are the infants of such as are professing to be baptized?
A. The infants of such as are professing believers are not to be baptized, because there is neither command nor example in the Holy Scriptures for their baptism.