Archive for the ‘Order of Worship’ Category

Matthew 7:15-20 – Sermon Manuscript

“Fruit Trees and False Prophets”

15Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. 16You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. 18A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. 19Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20Thus you will recognize them by their fruits (Matthew 7:15-20, ESV).

After instructing his disciples in gate selection, Jesus gives them a warning against false prophets. We find such warnings throughout the Bible. Moses wrote in Deuteronomy,

If a prophet or a dreamer of dreams arises among you and gives you a sign or a wonder, and the sign or wonder that he tells you comes to pass, and if he says, ‘Let us go after other gods,’ which you have not known, ‘and let us serve them,’ you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams. For the LORD your God is testing you, to know whether you love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul. You shall walk after the LORD your God and fear him and keep his commandments and obey his voice, and you shall serve him and hold fast to him. But that prophet or that dreamer of dreams shall be put to death, because he has taught rebellion against the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt and redeemed you out of the house of slavery, to make you leave the way in which the LORD your God commanded you to walk. So you shall purge the evil from your midst (Deuteronomy 13:1-5, ESV).

The Biblical prophets regularly call out the false prophets in Israel with words similar to those used by Jeremiah,

Then I said: “Ah, Lord GOD, behold, the prophets say to them, ‘You shall not see the sword, nor shall you have famine, but I will give you assured peace in this place.’” And the LORD said to me: “The prophets are prophesying lies in my name. I did not send them, nor did I command them or speak to them. They are prophesying to you a lying vision, worthless divination, and the deceit of their own minds. Therefore thus says the LORD concerning the prophets who prophesy in my name although I did not send them, and who say, ‘Sword and famine shall not come upon this land’: By sword and famine those prophets shall be consumed” (Jeremiah 14:13-15, ESV).

 We learn from the Lord’s words to Ezekiel what a prophet was to do.

So you, son of man, I have made a watchman for the house of Israel. Whenever you hear a word from my mouth, you shall give them warning from me. If I say to the wicked, O wicked one, you shall surely die, and you do not speak to warn the wicked to turn from his way, that wicked person shall die in his iniquity, but his blood I will require at your hand. But if you warn the wicked to turn from his way, and he does not turn from his way, that person shall die in his iniquity, but you will have delivered your soul (Ezekiel 33:7-9, ESV).

A prophet was to faithfully communicate the Word of God to the people of God for the glory of God and the good of the people. Prophets could go wrong by message or by motive. They could preach something false, such as calling the people of Yahweh to follow other gods, or promising peace and blessing when there was no peace and blessing. They could preach for their own gain and not for the people’s salvation and good. Often the false prophets did both, they preached false messages that they knew would please the people, and they did so for their own gain.

The people of God were to be looking for and listening to God’s prophets. The people needed God’s Word. They needed to hear from God through his prophets. They had promises in their Torah of a prophet like Moses who would come, as we see in Deuteronomy 18.

The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your brothers—it is to him you shall listen—just as you desired of the LORD your God at Horeb on the day of the assembly, when you said, ‘Let me not hear again the voice of the LORD my God or see this great fire any more, lest I die.’ And the LORD said to me, ‘They are right in what they have spoken. I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brothers. And I will put my words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I command him. And whoever will not listen to my words that he shall speak in my name, I myself will require it of him. But the prophet who presumes to speak a word in my name that I have not commanded him to speak, or who speaks in the name of other gods, that same prophet shall die.’ And if you say in your heart, ‘How may we know the word that the LORD has not spoken?’—when a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if the word does not come to pass or come true, that is a word that the LORD has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously. You need not be afraid of him (Deuteronomy 18:15-22, ESV).

While the people of Israel were to be waiting for and looking forward to a prophet who would come and speak a better word than Moses, God had instructed them to pay attention because he knew false prophets also would come. There were natural checks and balances built in to the system of God revealing himself to his people through his prophets. On the one hand the prophets were to be faithful to proclaim what Yahweh revealed. On the other hand the people of God were to listen with discernment and reject those prophets who lead the people of God away from Yahweh no matter how enticing their message of present blessing may have been.

But I want us to notice something about this passage in Deuteronomy 18. The people of Israel were not just waiting for any prophet, there were waiting for a prophet like Moses who would intercede for them with God. Notice that the Lord says, in response to their wanting someone to go before God for them, “They are right in what they have spoken. I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brothers. And I will put my words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I command him. And whoever will not listen to my words that he shall speak in my name, I myself will require it of him.” God had promised a prophet who would reveal God’s will for salvation, the way of life, to his people, and he says they were right to not try to come before God on their own. The people needed this ultimate mediator prophet, and they needed to not be fooled by false prophets claiming to be him. Hebrews chapter 3 tells us explicitly that Jesus is the One who is better than Moses. The whole book of Hebrews shows us over and over again how Jesus is a better Mediator of a better covenant. Jesus told his followers, in John chapter 5 that he acts and speaks as commanded by and with the authority of his Father, God. Notice the blatant fulfilment we have of Deuteronomy 18 in the New Testament. The promised prophet who would reveal God’s life giving Word is Jesus.

Now, let’s go back to the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus says to the congregation gathered there with him, “Beware of false prophets.” Why is he saying this? Because he knows, he is the one they have been waiting on, and if they lack discernment and follow a false prophet they will miss the One they have been waiting on. Jesus knows that if his followers listen to false prophets they will miss him. Jesus is warning his disciples not to get led astray by false prophets and miss the true prophet standing right before them. “Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, 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” (Hebrews 1:1-2, ESV). Don’t miss Jesus.

And so with Jesus standing right before them, we have to ask, How could they miss him? How could they be so foolish as to follow a false prophet? They’re literally listening to Jesus preach. Well, look at Jesus’ description of these false prophets. “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves” (Matthew 7:15, ESV). False prophets don’t come with horns growing out of their head and a tattoo across their forehead that says “False Prophet.” False prophets don’t come spewing hatred of God and daring people on the internet to take the blasphemy challenge. False prophets don’t come with any of that. They come in sheep’s clothing.

False prophets come in white dress shirts and black ties knocking on your door asking if you’re prepared for Jehovah’s return or talking a big game about family values leaving literature full of pictures of happy, smiling people to infect our minds and hearts over time.

False prophets come with great hair and a disarming Texas draw and a never-ending smile promising you your best life now and questioning your faith if you’re not blessed with what you believe God for.

False prophets come with stellar reputations of piety and an inability to live long with other believers because no one else ever quite measures up.

False prophets come with an inspiring gospel message but can’t cope with any call to holiness because their gospel isn’t actually transformative.

 False prophets come to town with profound personality and gifts of communication on private jets they crowd funded.

False prophets come with a message of love that excludes any possibility of ever telling anyone they are in sin if they are acting in sincerity with how they feel they were created.

False prophets come picketing funerals with signs that say “God hates fags” as if they are taking some grand stand for the glory of the triune of God.

False prophets come, not rejecting the Bible but reinterpreting it to fit contemporary demands.

False prophets come with a thousand demands for great social causes that you dare not question unless you desire to have your own faith questioned and be buried in an avalanche of proof texts for their cause.

False prophets come with values but no hope.

False prophets come questioning your salvation based on how you dress and vote and educate and eat and drink and pray and study and save and spend and work and sleep and breathe,

but Jesus, Jesus comes and looks you right in the eye and says, Oh, you sinner. You great and terrible sinner. You doubting and struggling sinner. Oh, you tired and pathetic sinner. Look. Here are the holes in my hands and feet. Here are the scars on my back and head. Here is the gaping wound in my side where water and blood flowed out. Here is the cross where I breathed my last as I suffered the awesome wrath of God poured out on me for your sin. Here is the grave where my body lay for three days, kept by the power of death, before I rose in victory. Here I am. Come with me, and I will give you rest.

See the false prophets about whom Jesus warned his disciples and us come looking like us. They come with the smiles we wish we had, doing the things we wish we could do, saying the things we wish we could say, and we so desperately want to prove to God and everybody else who we have convinced ourselves are watching that God made a good choice when he chose us that we listen to these false prophets and try to mimic them instead of listening to Jesus and following him. These false prophets come looking just enough like us that they’re able to coax us away from the flock, away from the Shepherd, before we realize they’re actually a wolf.

Paul was aware of these folks and their deceptive ways. He wrote to the Galatians, “But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed” (Galatians 1:8-9, ESV).

And he wrote to Timothy,

Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons, through the insincerity of liars whose consciences are seared, who forbid marriage and require abstinence from foods that God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, for it is made holy by the word of God and prayer (1 Timothy 4:1-5, ESV).

So how can we recognize the false prophets before they have our necks in their jaws? Jesus says, “You will recognize them by their fruits.” Then Jesus explains this analogy in two ways. In the first explanation, in verse 16, Jesus simply points out that a tree bears fruit according to its kind. You don’t get grapes from thorn bushes. In the second explanation, in verses 17-18, Jesus points out that a tree bears fruit according to its quality. Healthy tree? Healthy fruit. Sick tree? Sick fruit. The analogy is simple enough, but what is the fruit? There is one line of thinking that says the fruit is good works, but there are a number of problems with this line of thinking.

The first problem with thinking the fruit is good works is Matthew 7:21-23.

Not everyone who says to me, “Lord, Lord,” will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, “Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?” And then will I declare to them, “I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness” (Matthew 7:21-23, ESV).

If the  was good works, surely prophesying in Jesus’ name, and casting out demons in Jesus’ name, and doing many mighty works in Jesus’ name qualifies. But, Jesus explicitly says it doesn’t. What then is the will of his Father in heaven that they are supposed to do? John records Jesus’ answer to that very question for us.

For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day. For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day (John 6:38-40, ESV).

Doing the Father’s will begins with believing in Jesus whereby we are made a new creation in Christ Jesus, in whom we were created for good works. We can’t circumvent that first crucial step as the false prophets attempt to do. Apparent good works not carried out by faith, even apparent good works done in Jesus’ name but not by faith, are not good works at all and merit nothing and at the end of the day prove nothing.

The second problem with seeing the fruits of Matthew 7:16-20 is that to which the analogy refers. The analogy is referring to prophets. If this analogy were on a standardized test it would say something like, “Trees are to fruit as prophets are to ______.” And there would be the answers: A) Words; B) Priests; C) Works; and D) Miracles. And we would all be tempted to pick C because when in doubt choose C and we’ve been told that is what this analogy is about anyway. But let’s think about this for a second. Trees were called by God to give fruit, so what were prophets called by God to give? Words. That’s the prophet’s job. The tree’s job is to give the fruit. The prophet’s job is to give the Word.

So how do you test a prophet to see if he is a true prophet or a false prophet? By his words. Are his words God’s Word. Or are his words God’s words distorted. That was the issue with the false prophets in the Old Testament that the Lord warned Israel of, their words would lead you away from Yahweh. That is the issue in the New Testament when we are warned against false teachers, their words lead us away from Jesus. That is the issue we have already said was at the heart of Jesus’ warning. Jesus was warning his disciples against false prophets because the false prophets would lead them away from him. Recall the words from Deuteronomy 18:20-22 we read earlier.

But the prophet who presumes to speak a word in my name that I have not commanded him to speak, or who speaks in the name of other gods, that same prophet shall die.’ And if you say in your heart, ‘How may we know the word that the LORD has not spoken?’—when a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if the word does not come to pass or come true, that is a word that the LORD has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously. You need not be afraid of him (Deuteronomy 18:20-22, ESV).

What is the test the Lord gives his people? Are the prophet’s words true? If they are? Listen to him. If not? “You need not be afraid of him.” Don’t sweat him. Jesus is the One whose words came true. He said he would die, he died. He said he would rise, he rose. Any prophet, no matter how compelling his or her words may be, who leads you to rest in anything other than Christ for standing, security, hope, identity, forgiveness, mercy, grace, justification, or anything else promised freely in Jesus Christ is a false prophet. Period. Don’t be fooled. And just like the prophets of the Old Testament would be put to death, so too these false prophets of whom Jesus warns us will be cut down and thrown into the fire in their time.

Now, when we come to the book of Acts, we find this brief story of some believers from a town called Berea who I believe had taken the many biblical warnings to watch out for false prophets to heart. Listen to what they did when the apostles came to town.

The brothers immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea, and when they arrived they went into the Jewish synagogue. Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so. Many of them therefore believed, with not a few Greek women of high standing as well as men (Acts 17:10-12, ESV).

Note two things.

First, they checked Paul and Silas’ words against God’s word.

Second, the result was that they believed.

There are many true prophets who teach us God’s Word faithfully. There will be false prophets who seek to lead us astray. When we take the words of those claiming to be from God back to the text, they will either be confirmed by the text, causing our faith to be strengthened, or they will be revealed for what they truly are and we will be spared the bite of their ravenous wolf jaws. We should heed our Lord’s warning to beware false prophets and rejoice at those he gives us whose words drive us to Jesus and to spur us on to love and good deeds prepared for us in Christ. And we should boldly reject those who lead us anywhere else, no matter how well groomed that hellish destination appears to be. Let us pray.

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Worship Notes 12/30/2012

This High Street Hymns album has several of the songs we will be singing this sunday.

The worship service of Christ Church Conway is structured according to the idea of covenant renewal. First, we hear from our God and acknowledge that he is the sovereign. Second, we hear his law read, acknowledge our sin, and call out to him for mercy. Third, we hear God’s declaration that based on Christ’s fulfillment of God’s law on our behalf, all who believe in Jesus are righteous. Fourth, having been reminded of God’s mercy toward us we call out to God in prayer and sit under the ministry of the Word and Sacrament. Finally, we respond in thanksgiving and praise to the grace our heavenly Father has shown us through his Son and applied to us by his Spirit.

Hark The Herald Angels Sing

Hail the heav’n born Prince of Peace
Hail the Sun of righteousness
Light and life to all He brings
Ris’n with healing in His wings
Mild He lays His glory by
Born that man no more may die
Born to raise the sons of earth
Born to give them second birth
Hark the herald angels sing
Glory to the newborn King


Confession of Sin
The Bible teaches us to confess our sin to one another. Here, having heard the warning and way of salvation, with the help of the Spirit we corporately confess our sins and our need for the mercy of the Father, which comes only through Jesus Christ.

Belgic Confession Article 18

Minister: Brothers and Sisters in Christ, what do you believe?
Congregation: …That God fulfilled the promise, which he had made to the early fathers by the mouth of his holy prophets when he sent his only and eternal Son into the world at the time set by him.

Minister: What do you believe concerning the human nature of the Son, who was truly God?
 The Son took the “form of a servant” and was made in the “likeness of man,” truly assuming a real human nature, with all its weaknesses, except for sin; being conceived in the womb of the blessed virgin Mary by the power of the Holy Spirit, without male participation.

Minister: To what extent was Jesus made like us?
And he not only assumed human nature as far as the body is concerned but also a real human soul, in order that he might be a real human being. For since the soul had been lost as well as the body he had to assume them both to save them both together.

Minister: How is this doctrine summarized with Scripture?
 We confess… that he “shared the very flesh and blood of children”; that he is “fruit of the loins of David” according to the flesh; “born of the seed of David” according to the flesh; “fruit of the womb of the virgin Mary”; “born of a woman”; “the seed of David”; “a shoot from the root of Jesse”; “the offspring of Judah,” having descended from the Jews according to the flesh; “from the seed of Abraham”– for he “assumed Abraham’s seed” and was “made like his brothers except for sin.” In this way he is truly our Immanuel– that is: “God with us.”

What Wondrous Love Is This

 What wondrous love is this, O my soul, O my soul!
What wondrous love is this, O my soul!
What wondrous love is this that caused the Lord of bliss
To bear the dreadful curse for my soul, for my soul,
To bear the dreadful curse for my soul!

Melt My Soul To Love

My dying Saviour’s wondrous love
On earth employs my tongue;
And when I walk in white above
That love shall be my song.

Assurance of Pardon

God has not left us, his people, to wallow in our sin, so we announce and hear the wonderful promises of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

1 John 4.13-17

By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so also are we in this world.


Sermon: John 13.31-16.33


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Worship Notes 9/11/2011

Sermon Text:  1 Corinthians 7
You Are Not Your Own”


 Explanation of the Order of Worship

The regular pattern of the worship service at Christ Church Conway is organized in four cycles: Praise, Acknowledgement of Human Condition, Means of Grace, and Response. The goal of this structure is that God may be glorified as we proclaim who he is (Praise), confess our need for him (Acknowledgment of Human Condition), hear what Christ has done for his people and receive God’s grace (Means of Grace), and respond in praise (Response).

Throughout history, the people of God have sung of the glory of God. The book of Psalms is a collection of some of the songs God’s people have sung. We continue now in the biblical tradition of singing praises to our God.

 Hymn of PraiseTo God Be The Glory
Fanny J. Crosby | William Howard Doane

To God be the glory, great things He has done;
So loved He the world that He gave us His Son,
Who yielded His life an atonement for sin,
And opened the life gate that all may go in.
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord,
Let the earth hear His voice!
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord,
Let the people rejoice!
O come to the Father, through Jesus the Son,
And give Him the glory, great things He has done. 

Stories behind the Hymns :To God Be The Glory

Hymn of Praise :Hallelujah What A Savior

Philip Paul Bliss

Man of Sorrows! What a name
For the Son of God, who came
ruined sinners to reclaim.
Hallelujah! What a Savior!

Bearing shame and scoffing rude,
In my place condemned he stood;
Sealed my pardon with his blood.
Hallelujah! What a Savior!

Guilty, vile, and helpless we;
Spotless Lamb of God was he;
full atonement can it be?
Hallelujah! What a Savior!

Lifted up was he to die;
“It is finished!” was his cry;
now in heaven exalted high.
Hallelujah! What a Savior!

Hymn of Praise :All I Have is Yours
© 2006 Bobby Gilles | Sojourn Community Church (Admin. by Robert E. Gilles, Jr.) |
Bobby Gilles | Rebecca Elliott

Creator, giver of all things:
All I have is Yours.
Accept my humble offering:
All I have is Yours.
When I was chained to greed and pride,
Tight-fisted, destined just to die,
You paid my debt and bought my life –
All I have is Yours.

All I have. All I have. All I have is yours.

This offering is a means of grace.
All I have is Yours.
You show me this to grow my faith:
All I have is Yours.
The more I give, the less I need.
I learn that You’ll provide for me.
’twas blind to this but now I see –
All I have is Yours.



The Bible teaches us to confess our sin to one another. Here, having heard the Law, scriptural warning, and way of salvation, we corporately confess our sins and our need for the mercy of the Father, which comes only through Jesus Christ.

Prayer of Confession

Congregation: Most gracious Father, your Word makes clear that you created us for your glory,
that you have called your people out of the darkness of world to be dwell in your light,
that we have been bought with a price and are not our own.
Yet Father, we stand against you, seeking our own glory, finding hope, satisfaction,
and security in the darkness of this world rather than in the light of your Son, Jesus Christ,
and submitting ourselves again to the yoke of slavery calling it freedom.
Father, remember us according to your everlasting covenant and your steadfast love and mercy.
For the sake of your Son, forgive us our sins. By your Spirit, strengthen us to walk in the freedom of holiness. Amen.

Romans 6.23
23For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Hymn of Response :Pass Me Not
words: Fanny Crosby
music: Lance Johnston & Treva Blomquist

Pass me not, O gentle Savior,
hear my humble cry;
while on others thou art calling,
do not pass me by.

Savior, Savior, hear my humble cry;
while on others thou art calling,
do not pass me by.

Let me at thy throne of mercy
find a sweet relief,
kneeling there in deep contrition;
help my unbelief.

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Click Here to view the entire post and listen to the songs.

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Thinking about Corporate Worship

In the church world (and perhaps especially among the reformed), the quickest way to remove grace from a conversation is to start talking about corporate worship – what we should and shouldn’t do, what styles are godly and ungodly, who the worship service is for, etc., etc., etc. Here are three blog posts (1, 2, 3) dealing with various aspects of the conversation – as you can see, grace is not always what comes to mind.

Corporate worship is something that we need to be be thinking and talking about, and it is not just the preachers and musicians that need to be talking about it. Corporate worship is necessarily something that we should all be involved in, therefore we all need to be thinking and talking about it. I would add, there is a specific aspect that we need to be thinking and talking about and that is the why aspect. Why do we come together and worship? Why do we do what we do? I am not saying this is the most fundamental question in the conversation necessarily, but I do think it is a very important one. How we answer this question directly impacts most of the other conversations and attitudes we have regarding corporate worship.

So, my challenge to you is to think biblically about why we worship? I say think biblically, to keep us all from taking our own personal reasons for why we worship and making them absolute. It may be that we come to the gathering for some sub-biblical reason. It may be that we need to be challenged in our attitudes and motivations toward worship. Perhaps a good place to begin our thinking on this would be the Psalms of Ascent, Psalms 120-134. These were the songs that the Hebrew people sang as they made their way to the temple to worship their God. Spend some time reading and meditating on these wonderful Psalms and be encouraged that we have a God worthy of our worship.

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Worship Notes 9/4/2011

Sermon Text:  1 Corinthians 7

You Are Not Your Own”

32 I want you to be efree from anxieties. fThe unmarried man is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to please the Lord. 33 But the married man is anxious about worldly things, how to please his wife,34 and his interests are divided. And the unmarried or betrothed woman is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to be holy in body and spirit. But the married woman is anxious about worldly things, how to please her husband. 35 I say this for your own benefit, gnot to lay any restraint upon you, but to promote good order and to secure your undivided devotion to the Lord.


God is the sovereign over all creation and is worthy of all glory, praise, and reverence. We gather to worship him because he has called his people to worship him as the true and living God.

Call To Worship:1 Chronicles 16.8-10

8Oh give thanks to the LORD; call upon his name;
make known his deeds among the peoples!
Sing to him; sing praises to him;tell of all his wondrous works!
Glory in his holy name
let the hearts of those who seek the LORD rejoice!

Song of Praise:  Praise to the Lord, the Almighty

Public Domain.
Words: Joachim Neander.
Music: 17th century German tune.

1. Praise to the Lord,
The Almighty, the King of creation!
O my soul, praise Him,
For He is thy health and salvation!
All ye who hear,
Now to His temple draw near;
Praise Him in glad adoration.

2. Praise to the Lord,
Who o’er all things so wondrously reigneth,
Shelters thee under His wings,
Yea, so gently sustaineth!
Hast thou not seen
How all your longings have been
Granted in what He ordaineth?

Just as God has called us out of sin in his Son, Jesus Christ, so also has he called us to glorifying him as God through good works, which are only done by faith in Jesus Christ.

Exhortation: 2 Corinthians 7.1
1Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, bringing holiness to completion in the fear of God.


Song: Be still my soul


Hymn of Response:  
All I Have is Yours

© 2006 Bobby Gilles | Sojourn Community Church (Admin. by Robert E. Gilles, Jr.) |
Bobby Gilles | Rebecca Elliott

1. Creator, Giver of all things,
All I have is Yours.
Accept my humble offering,
All I have is Yours.
When I was chained to greed and pride,
Tight fisted, destined just to die,
You paid my debt and bought my life;
All I have is Yours.

 2. This offering is a means of grace,
All I have is Yours.
You show me this to grow my faith,
All I have is Yours.
The more I give, the less I need,
I learn that You’ll provide for me.
‘Twas blind to this, but now I see;
All I have is Yours.

 (Bridge) All I have, All I have, All I have is Yours.

 3. Your kingdom come Your will be done
All I have is Yours
You’ll finish all that You’ve begun
All I have is Yours
That You would use the gifts I bring
In service of the coming King
Is reason now to praise and sing
All I have is Yours

Closing Hymn: I surrender All

Judson W. Van DeVenter

All to Jesus I surrender;
All to Him I freely give;
I will ever love and trust Him,
In His presence daily live.

  • I surrender all,
    I surrender all;
    All to Thee, my blessed Savior,
    I surrender all.

    Story behind the hymn: “

    It was during this period in my life that a revival was held in the First Methodist Church of which I was a member. I became very interested in these meetings as a personal worker. The Spirit of God was urging me to give up teaching and to enter the evangelistic field, but I would not yield. I still had a burning desire to be an artist. This battle raged for five years. At last the time came when I could hold out no longer and I surrendered my all-my time and my talents. It was then that a new day was ushered into my life. I wrote I Surrender All in memory of the time when, after the long struggle, I had surrendered and dedicated my life to active Christian service for the Lord.

    Van DeVenter’s hymn and hymn story remind us all to be sensitive to the Lord’s leading and consequent surrendering. Plus, the content deserves our fullest attention and should cause us to close our lips and search our souls the next time the hymn is made part of our church experience:”-

    by Bill Dagle

    Heres one for fun


    To listen to the songs and see the full post click here.






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Roots & Wings

Indelible Grace Documentary Trailer: Roots And Wings from Kevin Twit on Vimeo.

We do a ton of Indelible Grace songs at church here is a little bit about them.

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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

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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.




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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.”














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Worship Notes 7/24/2011

Sermon Text: 1 Corinthians 2:6-16 

Wisdom from the Spirit

6 Yet among the mature we do impart wisdom, although it is not a wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are doomed to pass away. 7 But we impart a secret and hidden wisdom of God, which God decreed before the ages for our glory. 8 None of the rulers of this age understood this, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. 9 But, as it is written,

“What no eye has seen, nor ear heard,
nor the heart of man imagined,
what God has prepared for those who love him”—

10 these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God.

Affirmation of Faith:  Isaiah 40:28-31 

28 Have you not known? Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He does not faint or grow weary;
his understanding is unsearchable.
29 He gives power to the faint,
and to him who has no might he increases strength.
30 Even youths shall faint and be weary,
and young men shall fall exhausted;
31 but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings like eagles;
they shall run and not be weary;
they shall walk and not faint.

Song: How Great Thou Art
Lyrics ~ Carl Boberg, 1859 – 1940 English Translation ~ Stuart K. Hine, 1899 - 

O Lord my God,
When I in awesome wonder
Consider all
The works Thy Hand hath made,
I see the stars,
I hear the mighty thunder,
Thy pow’r throughout
The universe displayed;

When through the woods
And forest glades I wander
I hear the birds
Sing sweetly in the trees;
When I look down
From lofty mountain grandeur
And hear the brook
And feel the gentle breeze;

Then sings my soul,
My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art!
How great Thou art!
Then sings my soul,
My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art!
How great Thou art!

In the early 1920’s, English missionaries, Mr. Stuart K. Hine and his wife, ministered in Poland. It was there they learned the Russian version of Boberg’s poem, “O Store Gud”, coupled with the original Swedish melody. Later, under inspiration, Stuart K. Hine wrote original English words, and made his own arrangement of the Swedish melody, which became popular and is now known as the hymn, HOW GREAT THOU ART.

The first three verses were inspired, line upon line, amidst unforgettable experiences in the Carpathian Mountains. In a village to which he had climbed, Mr. Hine stood in the street singing a Gospel hymn and reading aloud “John, Chapter Three”. Among the sympathetic listeners was a local village schoolmaster. A storm was gathering, and when it was evident that no further travel could be made that night, the friendly schoolmaster offered his hospitality. Awe-inspiring was the mighty thunder echoing through the mountains, and it was this impression that was to bring about the birth of the first verse.

Pushing on, Mr. Hine crossed the mountain frontier into Romania and into Bukovina. Together with some young people, through the woods and forest glades he wandered, and heard the birds sing sweetly in the trees. Thus, the second verse came into being.

Verse three was inspired through the conversion of many of the Carpathian mountain-dwellers. The fourth Verse did not come about until Mr. Hine’s return to Britain.       -  the Story of How Great Thou Art

Song: All my Tears
Artist: Buddy & Julie Miller lyrics

When I go, don’t cry for me – in my father’s arms I’ll be,
The wounds this world left on my soul will all be healed, and I’ll be whole,
Sun and moon will be replaced with the light of Jesus’ face,
And I will not be ashamed, for my saviour knows my name.

Song: Help My Unbelief
Taken from the Gadsby Hymnal #278
Words: John Newton, 1725-1807. Music: Clint Wells, 2005.

I know the Lord is nigh,
And would but cannot pray,
For Satan meets me when I try,
And frights my soul away.
And frights my soul away.

I would but can’t repent,
Though I endeavor oft;
This stony heart can ne’er relent
Till Jesus makes it soft.
Till Jesus make it soft.

Help my unbelief. Help my unbelief. Help my unbelief.
My help must come from Thee.




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