November 19, 2017
Before We Worship
Psalm 113 is a reflection of God’s transcendence and immanence. Transcendence means God is highly exalted and far above man and all other creatures. Immanence means that God is near and approachable. Transcendence and immanence describe the seemingly polar opposite natures of God, as one who is so beyond our grasp and one within our reach. They are, however, not contradictions, but give us a fuller picture of who God is.
First, God is “exalted” (NIV) or “high above” (ESV) all nations (Psalm 113:4). It takes us back to Genesis 11. Following God’s judgment flood that covered the highest mountains (Gen 9–10) men gathered in Gen 11 to “build ourselves a city and a tower with its top in the heavens”. The Tower of Babel was the work of unbelief. They built a tower that can’t be submerged in another flood, an attempt to escape God’s judgment by their works. The Tower also defied God’s promise “never again shall all flesh cut off by the waters of the flood, and never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth.” In an act of defiance they built the Tower “with its top in the heavens”. But see what God did. “And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower” (Gen 11:5). What men considered “top in the heavens” was actually so far below God, that he had to come “down to see”. Thus with a few simple words God put unbelieving men in their place. They made the fatal mistake of thinking lowly of God. Ps 113 teaches us to see God in his transcendence: “Who is like the LORD our God, who is seated on high, who looks far down on the heavens and the earth?” The LORD is highly exalted.
At the same time the LORD is immanent, near to the lowly and the insignificant: “He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap, to make them sit with princes, with the princes of his people. He gives the barren woman a home, making her the joyous mother of children.” The proud cannot approach God, and their best efforts to exalt themselves falls laughably short of God’s majesty. And yet the lowly and the humble can draw near and find God to be their comforter, keeper, and provider. The transcendent God who is not immanent would leave us in despair of ever knowing him. The immanent God without transcendence would leave us unsatisfied and bored. But God is both, and fills us with both awe and comfort. Indeed, this psalm gives us a written description of Jesus Christ, the exalted God over all creation who became a man. The transcendent God has drawn near us in Jesus Christ, and he is the friend of all in need, who humbly seek his gracious presence.
Call to Worship
Psalm 113 (reading responsively from TH p. 826)
Trinity Hymnal #3 “Give to Our God Immortal Praise”
Trinity Hymnal #731 “Doxology”
Prayer of Invocation
The Reading and Exposition of the Law
1 Thessalonians 5:15 (p. 988)
Prayer of Confession
The Proclamation of the Gospel
“As a father shows compassion to his children, so the LORD shows compassion to those who fear him. For he knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust.” (Psalms 103:13–14 ESV)
7 “There Is A Redeemer” (bulletin p. 4)
Confession of Faith — 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 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 is seated at the right hand of the Father; and he shall come again, with glory, to judge both the living and the dead; whose kingdom shall have no end.
And we believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and giver of life; who proceeds from the Father and the Son; who with the Father and the Son together is worshiped and glorified; who spoke by the prophets; and we believe in 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.
Presentation of Gifts and Offering
The Proclamation of God’s Word
Galatians 3:1–6 (p. 973)
Foolish and Bewitched No More
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 “Behold the Lamb” (bulletin p. 10) stanzas 1–2, and stanzas 3–4 during the distribution of the cup.
Trinity Hymnal #34 “The God of Abraham Praise”
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.
November 19: The Children’s Bible First Catechism lessons will meet (Qs. 66–67). The adult catechism class will resume with Shorter Catechism Q. 26, where we will learn the Redeemer’s work as our King.
November 26: The Children’s Bible First Catechism lessons will meet (Qs. 68–70). The adult catechism class will go over Shorter Catechism Q. 27, where we will consider Christ’s incarnation.
(Nursery meets in the Conference Room)
November 19: Liza Beede
November 26: Michelle Kay