March 24, 2019
Before We Worship
It just sounds so unfair, doesn’t it? It was Adam who sinned. We weren’t even around when he did. Yet we are considered sinners along with Adam, and suffer the consequences of his sin. Because of what Adam did, we will all die. How is this fair? Is this not a clear evidence of God’s injustice?
But, before we consider bringing accusations against God, let us consider a few things. First, our culture has conditioned us to think the individual is far more important than the community. This mindset often goes unchallenged, and has even crept into the church uncontested. That is why even the preaching of the gospel often takes the form of “having a personal relationship with Jesus.” But have you noticed that the New Testament never preaches the gospel in that way? Rather, the New Testament describes the gospel reality as becoming a part of a community, with each member as different parts of the body that function together (1 Cor 12:12). The individual Christian is also a living stone brought together with other “stones” and corporately being built into a single temple (1 Peter 2:5). That is to say, in God’s way of doing things, what happens to one member of the body happens to the whole. This is particularly visible in the many covenants of the Bible. The covenant head represents the whole community, and his faithfulness or faithlessness to the covenant is considered as the faithfulness or the faithlessness of the whole community. Adam sinned as our covenant head, and the entire mankind, in covenant relationship with Adam, is considered as sinners with him. However, remember that Adam was created in God’s image and likeness. God could not have appointed a better covenant head for mankind. None of us could have done any better in Adam’s place. So, before we accuse God of being unfair, we should rather place the blame on Adam.
Secondly, the covenant relationship that holds true for sin also holds true for grace. Have you ever considered the “injustice” of atonement? How is it that Christ alone fulfilled righteousness, and every believer is counted righteous in him? Have you ever considered how “unfair” this is? If not, why not? Is it perhaps because you think you deserve grace and salvation? But, of course, that cannot be. We daily prove ourselves sinners by our unprompted and free choices. We don’t deserve grace. But God shows us grace by including us under the covenant headship of Christ, so that we are righteous in him and for his sake.
In other words, our daily choices clearly demonstrate us as sinners, and death as our just due. We cannot protest that God is giving us what we deserve when he judges us. However, our daily choices also clearly demonstrate that we are undeserving of grace, and yet God gives it freely. It is, yes, in a sense “unfair.” Why should we receive what we do not deserve? It is a mystery. So we had better keep our silence. Let God’s rich and abundant grace stun us into silence. And let that silence lift up our hearts to God in worship.
Call to Worship
‡ Genesis 3:8–19 (p. 3)
‡ Trinity Hymnal #520 “Jesus, Thy Blood and Righteousness”
‡ Trinity Hymnal #731 “Doxology”
Prayer of Invocation
The Shorter Catechism Qs. 16–18
The Reading and Exposition of the Law
Romans 5:12–17 (p. 940)
Prayer of Confession
The Proclamation of the Gospel
“Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous.” (Romans 5:18–19 ESV)
Song # 20 “Come Ye Souls By Sin Afflicted”
Presentation of Gifts and Offering
The Proclamation of God’s Word
Luke 20:41–44 (p. 880)
David’s Son and David’s Lord
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 #295 “Crown Him with Many Crowns”
Family Devotion for the Week
The Shorter Catechism lesson of the week is posted here: Qs. 70–72.
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.
Join us for “12 for 19” as we read 12 great books in the year 2019. For March we will read Rosaria Butterfield’s “The Gospel Comes with a House Key: Practicing Radically Ordinary Hospitality in Our Post-Christian World.”
March 24 (Lord’s Day): Children’s (Qs 6–8) and Shorter Catechism (Qs. 70–72) lessons will meet after the worship service.
March 31 (Lord’s Day): All communicant members are requested to attend the congregational meeting for the purpose of presenting and adopting the budget for the fiscal year 2019–20.
April 7 (Lord’s Day): Join us as we discuss Rosaria Butterfield’s “The Gospel Comes with a House Key: Practicing Radically Ordinary Hospitality in Our Post-Christian World.”
(Nursery meets in the Conference Room)
March 17: Kelly Rogers
March 24: Liza Beede