October 15, 2017
Before We Worship
There are some things about God’s ways that are at first hard to reconcile. In Psalm 25:7 we read “Remember not the sins of my youth or my transgressions; according to your steadfast love remember me, for the sake of your goodness, O LORD!” This prayer expresses David’s earnest desire for the LORD to forget his sins. David was asking for the impossible. How can the all-knowing God really actually forget anything? And yet in Isaiah 43:25, for example, the LORD answers that impossible request: “I, I am he who blots out your transgressions for my own sake, and I will not remember your sins.”
And, yet, as we have read in numerous psalms, for example, in Psalm 106, and now in Ps 107, Israel’s sins are recorded in all their sordid detail and preserved for all to see. The paradox, therefore, is that the LORD who promised to forget our sins also remembers them eternally. So what can we make of this paradox?
The answer, of course, is what does it mean for God to remember? When Scripture says God remembers, it means he acts in keeping with what has either been promised or done. Thus when people pray, “Remember me,” they are asking the LORD to act in keeping with his promises. Likewise, when the psalmist prays “Remember not the sins of my youth” or when we read “I will not remember your sins,” it does not mean the LORD’s mind somehow blanks out, but rather that he will not act in accordance to what we have done. Indeed, that is what God’s steadfast love means. He will not act according to what our sins deserve, but according to his gracious and merciful nature. That is why Ps 107 begins Israel’s list of sins with “Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!”
So, then, we are not really dealing with a paradox after all. God does not remember our sins in that he does not act as our sins deserve. But Scripture also lists our sins as the context of understanding God’s steadfast love. That is how the Holy Spirit uses our sins for our sanctification. In the remembrance of our sins we see fresh evidence of God’s steadfast love. And in the remembrance of our sins we remember why we sing our songs of thanks.
Call to Worship
Psalm 107:1–22 (reading responsively from TH p. 824)
16 “How Deep the Father’s Love for Us” (bulletin p. 4)
Trinity Hymnal #731 “Doxology”
Prayer of Invocation
The Reading and Exposition of the Law
1 Thessalonians 4:2–8 (p. 987)
Prayer of Confession
The Proclamation of the Gospel
“Seek the LORD while he may be found; call upon him while he is near; let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the LORD, that he may have compassion on him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.” (Isaiah 55:6–7 ESV)
20 “Come Ye Souls By Sin Afflicted” (bulletin p. 10)
Confession of Faith — The Apostles’ Creed
I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, and born of the virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried; he descended into hell. The third day he rose again from the dead. He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of God the Father Almighty. From there he will come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.
Presentation of Gifts and Offering
The Proclamation of God’s Word
Galatians 1:11–24 (p. 972)
Rev. Ken Han
The Sacrament of The Lord’s Supper
We participate in the Lord’s Supper weekly. We welcome to the Lord’s Table all baptized believers who have sincere faith in Jesus Christ, and regularly worship in a Reformed or evangelical church.
The Lord’s Supper is a sign and a seal of the new covenant blessings. When we participate in the Lord’s Supper with faith, it strengthens our bond with our covenant Lord, Jesus Christ. Thus we participate properly when we come to our Savior with faith and repentance as we renew our resolve to forsake sin and live for his glory.
The Lord’s Supper also renews our bonds with God’s covenant community, the body of believers in the local church. As we receive the Lord’s Supper, we renew our pledge to give ourselves away in loving service.
During the distribution of the bread we will sing Trinity Hymnal #647 “How Sweet the Name of Jesus Sounds” stanzas 1–3, and stanzas 4–6 during the distribution of the cup.
Trinity Hymnal #605 “All the Way My Savior Leads Me”
Family Devotion for the Week
The Shorter Catechism lesson of the week is posted here: Q. 26..
We have some new resources for you at the information table, including several new CCEF mini books, as well as other edifying books. Be sure to check them out!
Upcoming Events and Notices
Every Lord’s Day 10:15 AM: Please join us for Hymnsing, a time of preparing our hearts for worship in praise, and for learning new hymns for worship.
October 15: The Children’s Bible First Catechism lessons will meet (Qs. 58–60). The adult catechism class will resume following the conclusion of the “A Survey of Church History: 100–600” study series.
October 15 (Beede Home): We continue our Sunday study series, “A Survey of Church History: 100–600.” Each study will consist in watching a short video lesson taught by W. Robert Godfrey, with a discussion to follow. If you would like to host a meeting (need TV and DVD player), please let pastor Ken know. We will meet for a light potluck lunch before the study. Also: Oct. 22, and Nov. 5.
October 29 (Lord’s Day 6 PM): This year marks the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther posting the 95 Theses, thus beginning the Protestant Reformation. Please join us at the Ligtenberg home as we celebrate with a lesson, food, and fellowship.
(Nursery meets in the Conference Room)
October 15: Kelly Rogers
October 22: Liza Beede