Archive for August, 2011

Worship Notes 8/28/2011

Sermon Text:  1 Corinthians 6.12-20

12 “All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be dominated by anything.
Thoughts for Reflection and Preparation

“Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name;
bring an offering and come before him!
Worship the LORD in the splendor of holiness;”
-1 Chronicles 16.29, ESV


“Worship is the proper response of all moral, sentient beings to God, ascribing all honor and worth to their Creator-God precisely because he is worthy, delightfully so. This side of the Fall, human worship of God properly responds to the redemptive provisions that God has graciously made. While all true worship is God-centered, Christian worship is no less Christ-centered. Empowered by the Spirit and in line with the stipulations of the new covenant, it manifests itself in all our living, finding its impulse in the gospel, which restores our relationship with our Redeemer-God and therefore also with our fellow image-bearers, our co-worshippers. Such worship therefore manifests itself both in adoration and action, both in the individual believer and in corporate worship, which is worship offered up in the context of the body of believers, who strive to align all the forms of the devout ascription of all worth to God with the panoply of new covenant mandates and examples that bring to fulfillment the glories of antecedent revelation and anticipate the consummation.” -D. A. Carson, Worship by the Book


Song of Praise:  All Creatures of Our God and King

Public Domain.
Words:  Saint Francis of Assisi.
Music:  German tune.

1. All creatures of our God and King,
lift up your voice and with us sing
alleluia, alleluia!
Thou burning sun with golden beam,
thou silver moon with softer gleam,

(Refrain) O praise him, O praise him,
alleluia, alleluia,

Song of Praise: How Deep The Fathers Love For Us

© 1995 Thankyou Music (Admin. by EMI Christian Music Publishing)
Stuart Townend

1. How deep the Father’s love for us,
How vast beyond all measure,
That he should give his only Son
To make a wretch his treasure.
How great the pain of searing loss,
The Father turns his face away
As wounds which mar the Chosen One
Bring many sons to glory.

2. Behold the man upon a cross,
My sin upon his shoulders.
Ashamed, I hear my mocking voice
Call out among the scoffers.
It was my sin that held him there,
Until it was accomplished.
His dying breath has brought me life;
I know that it is finished.

3. I will not boast in anything,
No gifts, no power, no wisdom,
But I will boast in Jesus Christ,
His death and resurrection.
Why should I gain from his reward?
I cannot give an answer,
But this I know with all my heart-
His wounds have paid my ransom.

Mr. Townend tells a little bit about his hymn:

“I’d been meditating on the cross, and in particular what it cost the Father to give up his beloved Son to a torturous death on a cross. And what was my part in it? Not only was it my sin that put him there, but if I’d lived at that time, it would probably have been me in that crowd, shouting with everyone else ‘crucify him’. It just makes his sacrifice all the more personal, all the more amazing, and all the more humbling.”

Acknowledgement of Human Condition

Scriptural Warning
The good news that we have been freed from sin and death by the grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ is a clear reminder that we need to be saved from sin and death.

Romans 6.1-4
1What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? 2By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? 3Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.

Hymn of Confession : Jesus, the Lord, My Savior

Words:  William Gadsby.
Music:  Sandra McCracken.

2. Whate’er I need in Jesus dwells,
And there it dwells for me;
’Tis Christ my earthen vessel fills
With treasures rich and free.

(Chorus) Mercy and truth and righteousness,
And peace, most richly meet
In Jesus Christ, the King of grace,
In Whom I stand complete.

Hymn:  The Christian’s Hope Can Never Fail

Taken from the Gadsby Hymnal #245
Words: Author unknown
words published in the Gadsby Hymnal, 1838 (Gospel Mag. 1799).
Music: Benj Pocta, 2004.

1. We travel through a barren land,
With dangers thick on every hand;
But Jesus guides us through the vale;
O, The Christian’s hope can never fail.

2. Huge sorrows meet us as we go,
And devils aim to overthrow;
But vile infernals can’t prevail;
O, The Christian’s hope shall never fail.

Click here to view the full post and listen to the hymns

| Permalink
Worship Notes 8/14/11

Sermon Text: 1 Corinthians 5

I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— 10 not at all meaning the sexually immoral of this world, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. 11 But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler—not even to eat with such a one. 12 For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? 13 God judges [2] those outside. “Purge the evil person from among you.”

Affirmation of Faith: Psalm 111

Great Are the Lord’s Works

111:1  [1] Praise the Lord!
I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart,
in the company of the upright, in the congregation.
Great are the works of the Lord,
studied by all who delight in them.
Full of splendor and majesty is his work,
and his righteousness endures forever.
He has caused his wondrous works to be remembered;
the Lord is gracious and merciful.
He provides food for those who fear him;
he remembers his covenant forever.
He has shown his people the power of his works,
in giving them the inheritance of the nations.
The works of his hands are faithful and just;
all his precepts are trustworthy;
they are established forever and ever,
to be performed with faithfulness and uprightness.
He sent redemption to his people;
he has commanded his covenant forever.
Holy and awesome is his name!
10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom;
all those who practice it have a good understanding.
His praise endures forever!


Song: Come Ye Sinners

Words: Jo­seph Hart,

Come, ye sinners, poor and needy,
Weak and wounded, sick and sore;
Jesus ready stands to save you,
Full of pity, love and power.

I will arise and go to Jesus,
He will embrace me in His arms;
In the arms of my dear Savior,
O there are ten thousand charms.

Come, ye thirsty, come, and welcome,
God’s free bounty glorify;
True belief and true repentance,
Every grace that brings you nigh.

Come, ye weary, heavy laden,
Lost and ruined by the fall;
If you tarry till you’re better,
You will never come at all.

Prayer of Confession: Genevan Liturgy

Lord God, eternal and almighty Father: We acknowledge before your holy majesty that we are poor sinners, conceived and born in guilt and in corruption, prone to do evil, unable of our own power to do good. Because of our sin, we endlessly violate your holy commandments. But, O Lord, with heartfelt sorrow we repent and turn away from all our offenses. We condemn ourselves and our evil ways, with true sorrow asking that your grace will relieve our distress. Have compassion on us, most gracious God, Father of mercies, for the sake of your son Jesus Christ our Lord. And in removing our guilt, also grant us daily increase of the grace of your Holy Spirit, and produce in us the fruits of holiness and of righteousness pleasing in your sight: Through Jesus Christ our Lord.Amen.




| Permalink
Worship Notes 8/7/2011

Sermon Text: 1 Corinthians 4

14 I do not write these things to make you ashamed, but to admonish you as my beloved children. 15 For though you have countless guides in Christ, you do not have many fathers. For I became your father in Christ Jesus through the gospel. 16 I urge you, then, be imitators of me. 17 That is why I sent you Timothy, my beloved and faithful child in the Lord, to remind you of my ways in Christ, as I teach them everywhere in every church.

Affirmation: The Nicene Creed

We believe in one God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.

And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds, God of God, Light of Light, Very God of Very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father by whom all things were made; who for us men, and for our salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the Virgin Mary, and was made man, and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate. He suffered and was buried, and the third day he rose again according to the Scriptures, and ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of the Father. And he shall come again with glory to judge both the quick and the dead, whose kingdom shall have no end.

And we believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of Life, who proceedeth from the Father and the son, who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified, who spoke by the prophets. And we believe one holy catholic and apostolic Church. We acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins. And we look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.

 It is called Nicene because, in its original form, it was adopted in the city of Nicaea by the first ecumenical council, which met there in the year 325.

Song: For the Beauty of the Earth

Words: Conrad ocher 1838 / Music: Treva Blomquist 2010

For the beauty of the earth,
For the beauty of the skies,
For the love which from our birth
Over and around us lies,
Lord of all, to thee we raise
This our grateful hymn of praise.

For the beauty of each hour
Of the day and of the night,
Hill and vale, and tree and flower,
Sun and moon and stars of light,
Lord of all, to thee we raise
This our grateful hymn of praise.

During his 82 years of life, Folliot Pierpoint published seven volumes of poetry. Many of his writings spoke of his love for nature. He is most remembered for the hymn For the Beauty of the Earth, first published as The Sacrifice of Praise in 1864.  It was sung in the 1994 movie version of Little Women.

SONG: Be Still, My Soul

Public Domain. Words: Katharina A. von Schlege

Be still, my soul; the hour is hastening on
When we shall be forever with the Lord,
When disappointment, grief, and fear are gone,
Sorrow forgot, love’s purest joys restored.
Be still, my soul; when change and tears are past,
All safe and blessed we shall meet at last.

SONG: I Need Thee Every Hour
Words: Annie S. Hawks, 1872.  Music: Robert Lowry


I need Thee every hour, most gracious Lord;
No tender voice like Thine can peace afford.

I need Thee, O I need Thee;
Every hour I need Thee;
O bless me now, my Savior,
I come to Thee.

I need Thee every hour, stay Thou nearby;
Temptations lose their power when Thou art nigh.

I need Thee every hour, in joy or pain;
Come quickly and abide, or life is in vain.

Annie Hawks wrote:

One day as a young wife and mother of 37 years of age, I was busy with my regular house hold tasks. Sud denly, I became so filled with the sense of nearness to the Master that, wondering how one could live with out Him, either in joy or pain, these words, “I Need Thee Ev e ry Hour,” were ushered in to my mind, the thought at once taking full possession of me.

After writing the lyrics, Hawks gave them to her pas tor, Ro bert Low ry, who add ed the tune and re frain. The hymn was first published at the Na­tional Baptist Sunday School Convention in Cincinnati, Ohio, in November 1872. Some years lat er, af ter the death of her husband, Hawks wrote:

I did not understand at first why this hymn had touched the great throbbing heart of humanity. It was not un til long after, when the shadow fell over my way, the shadow of a great loss, that I understood some thing of the comforting power in the words which I had been permitted to give out to others in my hour of sweet serenity and peace.   -

Assurance: 1 Corinthians 1:26-31

26 For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. 27 But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; 28 God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, 29 so that no human being might boast in the presence of God.30 And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, 31 so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”














| Permalink
Sesame Street and Evangelism

A lot of ink has been spilled on the topic of evangelism. How do we share the gospel? With whom do we share the gospel? Do we need programs, services, classes, formulae, tracts? What do we say? Should we get to know people first, or just go in cold-turkey? Can we share the gospel without offending people? In a lot of ways, I think our attempts to answer many of these questions have made this all harder than it is. As far as I can tell, in Scripture, there are always two things present when evangelism takes place: people and the gospel.

Sometimes the the people have known each other a long time and have interacted with one another and the gospel over a long period of time – such was the case with Timothy and his family (1 Timothy 1.5, 3.14-15).

Sometimes the relationship is brand new – such was the case with Phillip and the Ethiopian eunuch (Acts 8).

Sometimes the proclamation of the gospel is in conversation – such was the case with Jesus and Nicodemus (John 3).

Sometimes the proclamation of the gospel is in formal preaching – such was the case with Saul in the synagogues (Acts 9).

Sometimes people understood the gospel and believed in Jesus – such was the case with Lydia (Acts 16).

Sometimes the gospel was utterly rejected – such was the case with Paul in Lystra (Acts 14).

Sometimes the gospel is proclaimed publicly and wonderfully contextualized in response to some cultural phenomenon – such was the case in Athens (Acts 17).

Sometimes the proclamation of the gospel isn’t “engaging” enough to keep people awake (and they fall out of a window and die, just saying) – such was the case with Eutychus (Acts 20).

Sometimes the proclamation of the gospel is somewhat confrontational – such was the case with Peter at Pentecost (Acts 2).

Throughout Scripture, there are all types of circumstantial issues surrounding evangelism, but as we can see, two things are always present: people and the gospel. A lot of time and energy has been spent  studying, analyzing, and systematizing the various contextual issues we find in Scripture surrounding evangelism, and our efforts to grapple with these realities has often overshadowed the non-contextual issues of people and the gospel.

So where do we start? Find someone and tell them the story of Jesus: who he was, why he came, what he did, etc. etc. But who? Well, here’s an idea.


| Permalink