June 18, 2017
Before We Worship
Psalm 87 is a celebration of the city of Zion as well as those who live in her. Zion is the name of the fortress in Jerusalem, which David captured from the Jebusites (2 Sam 5:6–10), which subsequently became the “city of David.” Zion, in other words, is the place where Israel’s kings dwell. Later, David’s son Solomon built the temple on Mt. Zion, and Zion was subsequently known also as the place where the Lord dwells. Thus Zion symbolizes the glorious presence of God with his people, and those who dwell in it are most blessed of all peoples.
What is stunning about Psalm 87, however, is that we can all join in the celebration of Zion even if we have never come anywhere near the place where David once fought valiantly and the temple once stood. The earthly Zion has a heavenly counterpart. Thus according to Hebrews 12:22 every believer has “come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable angels in festal gathering”. Revelation 14:1 writes, “Then I looked, and behold, on Mount Zion stood the Lamb, and with him 144,000 who had his name and his Father’s name written on their foreheads.” In other words, the earthly Zion was only the shadow of the reality to come. The true Zion, the true Jerusalem, is heaven where God reigns, and where we belong.
Even though we may have never come remotely close to earthly Zion, we are members of the heavenly city of God because we are in Jesus Christ. John Newton’s famous hymn says, “Savior, if of Zion’s city I, through grace, a member am, let the world deride or pity, I will glory in thy name: fading is the worldling’s pleasure, all his boasted pomp and show; solid joys and lasting treasure none but Zion’s children know.” Indeed, our heavenly citizenship changes everything.
First, our membership in Zion is much more precious than our membership in any earthly city. “And of Zion it shall be said, “This one and that one were born in her”; for the Most High himself will establish her.”” Every nation of this world, including ours, will one day pass away. But the city of God is an eternal city and we have a lasting treasure.
Second, in view of heaven’s glory, “the worldling’s pleasure” cannot possibly anything more than a mist. Don't live, then, chasing after mist. We have something better, for “solid joys and lasting treasure none but Zion’s children know.”
Call to Worship
Psalm 87 (reading responsively from TH p. 815)
“My Faith Has Found a Resting Place” (Bulletin p. 4)
Trinity Hymnal 731 “Doxology”
Prayer of Invocation
The Reading and Exposition of the Law
James 3:1–12 (p. 1012)
Prayer of Confession
The Proclamation of the Gospel
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him.” (Ephesians 1:3–4)
“Here Is Love” (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
Exodus 20:16 (p. 61)
The Ninth Commandment: Free to Speak the Truth
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 #345 “Glorious Things of Thee Are Spoken”
Family Devotion for the Week
The Shorter Catechism lesson of the week is posted here: Q. 12. What special act of providence did God exercise towards man in the estate wherein he was created?.
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.
June 25: The Children’s Bible lesson (First Catechism Qs. 40–43). And adult Shorter Catechism (Q. 13) lessons will meet after the worship service. Today we discuss God’s eternal decree & predestination.
June 18: Michelle Kay
June 25: Yoori Han