January 14, 2018
Before We Worship
One of the Protestant Reformation’s chief convictions is well-stated in the Latin phrase “soli Deo gloria,” which means “to God alone be glory.” When we look at Psalm 115:1, it is easy to see where this conviction came from. “Not to us, O LORD, not to us, but to your name be the glory, for the sake of your steadfast love and your faithfulness!” We would do well to remember this, for many (though, perhaps, not all) theological disputes, personal turmoils, interpersonal conflicts would be resolved if we kept in mind God alone deserves glory. Were we to confess this with all our heart, it would surely change our approach to life.
What, then, does it mean to confess this with all our heart? The rest of Psalm 115 unpacks v.1, and along the way instructs us how to think about God and ourselves. First, the very opening words of v.1, “not to us,” remind us that we often crave the glory that God alone deserves. When things go well in life, do we praise God “for the sake of your steadfast love and your faithfulness” or do we praise our industry and ingenuity?
Indeed, steadfast love and faithfulness set the Lord apart from the idols of our making, “the work of human hands,” which “do not speak…do not see…do not hear…do not feel…”. We craft idols to give us what the Lord alone can provide. But the LORD alone establishes and increases our family (v. 14). He give us place to live and work to do (v. 16). Yet these are the things we hope to attain apart from the Lord (i.e. idolatry). What gives you the hope that things will go well for you? Where do you find comfort when life is chaotic and heartbreaking? Our only comfort is in God’s steadfast love and faithfulness. His steadfast love give us hope for the future. We believe, indeed, know, that he who has loved us in the past will continue to steadfastly love us in the future. Thus we have hope that things will go well for us. And when life is hard, we know that he who has been faithful to us will continue to be faithful in the future. So we are comforted. We give glory to God by acknowledging that he is our everything.
We also give glory to God through praise: “we will bless the LORD from this time forth and forevermore. Praise the LORD!” The man who is stingy with praise to the LORD is a man who lives for his own glory. The woman whose steps do not hasten to worship God is an idolater. But the knowledge of Jesus Christ has made us new men and women. We give glory to God for his steadfast love and faithfulness shown to us in Jesus Christ. And we do not give him glory begrudgingly with hesitation. Rather, our whole being is eager to give him glory. We cannot wait to meet to do so. Indeed, may the glory of God lighten our hearts as we approach God in worship, and quicken our steps.
Call to Worship
Psalm 115 (reading responsively from TH p. 827)
Trinity Hymnal #457 “Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing”
Trinity Hymnal #731 “Doxology”
Prayer of Invocation
The Reading and Exposition of the Law
2 Thessalonians 1:11–12 (p. 989)
Prayer of Confession
The Proclamation of the Gospel
“For you, O Lord, are good and forgiving, abounding in steadfast love to all who call upon you.” (Psalms 86:5 ESV)
Trinity Hymnal #551 “How Blest Is He Whose Trespass”
The Heidelberg Catechism (1563) — Lord’s Day 3
Presentation of Gifts and Offering
The Proclamation of God’s Word
Galatians 3:15–18 (p. 973)
In Christ Alone
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 #34 “The God of Abraham Praise” stanzas 1–3, and stanzas 4–6 during the distribution of the cup.
15 “In Christ Alone”
Family Devotion for the Week
The Shorter Catechism lesson of the week is posted here: Q. 28.
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.
The Catechism lessons for children and adult will resume on January 21, 2018.
Join us for “12 for 18” as we read 12 great books in the year 2018. For January, 2018, we will be reading Sinclair Ferguson’s “From the Mouth of God: Trusting, Reading, and Applying the Bible.”
January 14 (Lord’s Day): The January fellowship meal will be at the Han home. Everyone is invited!
January 21 (Lord’s Day): Catechism lessons for children and adult will resume.
January 28 (Lord’s Day): Join us as we discuss Sinclair Ferguson’s “From the Mouth of God” during the Sunday School hour after the worship service.
(Nursery meets in the Conference Room)
January 14: Kelly & Rebecca Rogers
January 21: Liza Beede