October 1, 2017
Before We Worship
John Newton was once asked how one might go about building a useful theological library. It was, and remains, a great question. Already during Newton’s days there were countless books being published, some helpful, and others not so helpful, for the man and the woman interested in the condition of their souls. The problem has only become more urgent in our day, as there are numerous books being published, and even reach a best-selling status, whose merits are at best dubious and at worst detrimental to our faith.
Interestingly, Newton did not answer the question with a particular bibliography of books. Rather, he urged a diligent study of 4 “volumes.” The first volume is Scripture. The second, the “volume” of creation. The third, the “book” of providence. And lastly, the “book” of our own heart. Newton wrote, “whoever is well read in these four books, is a wise person, how little soever he may know of what men of the world call science. On the other hand, though a man should be master of the whole circle of classical, polite, and philosophical knowledge, if he has no taste for the Bible, and has no ability to apply it to the works of creation and providence, and his own experience, he knows nothing yet as he ought to know. I have pointed out a treasure more wroth than all the volumes in the Vatican.” Newton was himself very well-read, and his intent was never to discourage reading at all. But the study of many books without these four “books” would not benefit us at all. But if we have first learned, and continue to learn from these four “books” then we will benefit tremendously from reading other books.
Psalm 104 is a prolonged reflection upon God as the Creator and the world as his creation. Newton wrote, “The works of creation may be compared to a fair character in cipher, of which the Bible is the key; and without this key they cannot be understood.” How right and wise he was! For without the Bible the entire creation is baffling, for it is both beautiful and ugly. It creates life and takes it away. It inspires and haunts. Studying the Creation without the word of the Creator is a sure way to lose one’s mind.
So consider carefully the words of Psalm 104. Be awed and humbled before your Creator, and say “May the glory of the LORD endure forever; may the LORD rejoice in his works, who looks on the earth and it trembles, who touches the mountains and they smoke! I will sing to the LORD as long as I live; I will sing praise to my God while I have being.” Amen.
Call to Worship
Psalm 104 (reading responsively from TH p. 822)
Trinity Hymnal #111 “This Is My Father’s World”
Trinity Hymnal #731 “Doxology”
Prayer of Invocation
The Reading and Exposition of the Law
1 Corinthians 1:10 (p. 952)
Prayer of Confession
The Proclamation of the Gospel
“I, I am he who blots out your transgressions for my own sake, and I will not remember your sins.” (Isaiah 43:25 ESV)
Trinity Hymnal #551 “How Blest Is He Whose Trespass”
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 1:1–5 (p. 972)
The Apostolic Message of Grace and Peace
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 #251 ”Beneath the Cross of Jesus”
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 1: The Children’s Bible First Catechism lessons will meet (Q. 57). The adult catechism class will resume following the conclusion of the “A Survey of Church History: 100–600” study series.
October 1 (Han 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, Nov. 5, and Nov. 19.
October 8 (Lord’s Day): Please join us for our monthly fellowship potluck lunch.
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 1: TBA
October 8: TBA