November 12, 2017
Before We Worship
We have all bought something that looked really wonderful in their advertisements, only to discover with frustration that the advertisement both overpromised and underdelivered. Naturally, we feel cheated. So we promise ourselves we will never fall for false advertisement ever again.
The problem, however, is that the Bible sometimes seems to overpromise and underdeliver. For example, Psalm 112 lists the expected blessings of “the man who fears the LORD, who greatly delights in his commandments!” The promised blessings include healthy and successful children (v.2) and “wealth and riches” (v.3). What’s more, “the man who fears the LORD” can expect his life to go smoothly: “It is well with the man who deals generously and lends” (v.5) and “the righteous will never be moved” (v.6). These promises stand in a stark contrast against the experiences of many God-fearing people in the Bible who suffered much. We can think of the Old Testament prophets and the New Testament apostles, for example. Who feared God more than they did? Yet their lives were full of difficulties and trials. We see the same reality in the history of the church, where many faithful men and women suffered precisely because of their faith (not because of the lack of their faith). We know in our own lives God-fearing people who grieve for their children, who toil through difficult life. In view of such realities Psalm 112 seems to overpromise and underdeliver. What is to be done about this, then?
We always have to interpret one particular Scripture passage in light of the entire teaching of the Bible. The idyllic promises of Psalm 112 are thus not seen in their isolation, but against the backdrop of trusting God through many seasons of stormy providence. Nevertheless, such glowing language of blessing conveys to us in no uncertain terms God’s evaluation upon righteousness and fearing him. He is saying to us, in effect, “If you would be blessed, fear me.”
Additionally, these promises draw our eyes to their ultimate fulfillment in the fullness of God’s kingdom. In other words, they have an eschatological thrust. They help us to connect the dots of all that will happen when God’s kingdom is the only kingdom left standing. For then, surely and only then, these promises will find their utter fulfillment. So we do not lose heart. Psalm 112 does not overpromise and underdeliver. What it promises will be fulfilled in due course of time. And we will see that God has never made a promise that he has not kept.
Call to Worship
Psalm 112 (reading responsively from TH p. 826)
Trinity Hymnal #32 “Great Is Thy Faithfulness”
Trinity Hymnal #731 “Doxology”
Prayer of Invocation
The Reading and Exposition of the Law
1 Thessalonians 5:14 (p. 988)
Prayer of Confession
The Proclamation of the Gospel
“He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities.”(Psalms 103:10 ESV)
6 “The Lord Will Provide” (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 2:17–21 (p. 973)
Our Death and Life in Jesus Christ
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 #519 “Fountain of Never-Ceasing Grace”
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 12: Please join us for our monthly fellowship potluck lunch after the worship service.
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.
(Nursery meets in the Conference Room)
November 12: Kelly Rogers
November 19: Liza Beede