Preparing our Hearts to Worship
In an effort to help you prepare for the February 4, 2018, Sunday morning corporate worship gathering and to aid you in your own reflections on the God’s Story of Salvation. I wanted to pose a few questions and provide a few resources to prayerfully consider over the coming days. Our sermon is entitled, “New Commands and New Covenant” The main Scriptures for the day are Exodus 19-40. The other passages are either referenced in the message or provide additional insight for reflection.
(Pick and choose from the many resources and options, which I have tried to make available for your devotional life.)
From the Scriptures
Please read through Chapter 5 of The Story this week, this is a lightly edited selection of Scriptures from Exodus 19-20, 24-25, 32-34, 40 that seeks to maintain the broad story line of the Scriptures.
(You can read or listen to all of these passages in a variety of translations at Bible.is.)
From the Creeds and Confessions
Westminster Confession of Faith, Chapter 7
Of God’s Covenant with Man
The distance between God and the creature is so great, that although reasonable creatures do owe obedience unto Him as their Creator, yet they could never have any fruition of Him as their blessedness and reward, but by some voluntary condescension on God’s part, which He has been pleased to express by way of covenant.
The first covenant made with man was a covenant of works, wherein life was promised to Adam; and in him to his posterity,upon condition of perfect and personal obedience.
Man, by his fall, having made himself incapable of life by that covenant, the Lord was pleased to make a second, commonly called the covenant of grace; wherein He freely offers unto sinners life and salvation by Jesus Christ; requiring of them faith in Him, that they may be saved, and promising to give unto all those that are ordained unto eternal life His Holy Spirit, to make them willing, and able to believe.
This covenant of grace is frequently set forth in scripture by the name of a testament, in reference to the death of Jesus Christ the Testator, and to the everlasting inheritance, with all things belonging to it, therein bequeathed.
This covenant was differently administered in the time of the law, and in the time of the Gospel:under the law it was administered by promises, prophecies, sacrifices, circumcision, the paschal lamb, and other types and ordinances delivered to the people of the Jews, all foresignifying Christ to come;which were, for that time, sufficient and efficacious, through the operation of the Spirit, to instruct and build up the elect in faith in the promised Messiah, by whom they had full remission of sins, and eternal salvation; and is called the Old Testament.
Under the Gospel, when Christ, the substance,was exhibited, the ordinances in which this covenant is dispensed are the preaching of the Word, and the administration of the sacraments of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper:which, though fewer in number, and administered with more simplicity, and less outward glory, yet, in them, it is held forth in more fullness, evidence, and spiritual efficacy, to all nations, both Jews and Gentiles; and is called the New Testament. There are not therefore two covenants of grace, differing in substance, but one and the same, under various dispensations.
Heidelberg Catechism Q114-115
Q & A 114
But can those converted to God
obey these commandments perfectly?
In this life even the holiest have only a small beginning of this obedience.
Nevertheless, with all seriousness of purpose,
they do begin to live
according to all, not only some,
of God’s commandments.
Q & A 115
Since no one in this life can obey the Ten Commandments perfectly, why does God want them preached so pointedly?
First, so that the longer we live the more we may come to know our sinfulness
and the more eagerly look to Christ for forgiveness of sins and righteousness.
Second, so that we may never stop striving, and never stop praying to God for the grace of the Holy Spirit, to be renewed more and more after God’s image, until after this life we reach our goal: perfection.
From the songs, hymns and spiritual songs of the Church
Jeremiah 31:31-34 (Mui): Video
The Greatest Commandment: Video
For Thoughtful Reflection, Prayer, or further Study
If you could give humanity 10 rules to live by, what would they be?
How would you deal with people who didn’t keep your rules?
Compare your rules and your justice to God’s rules and his justice.
The Sermon will be available online on February 4, 2018 at 12:30 pm.
Disclaimer: Reference to a particular article or website does not constitute endorsement or agreement with everything in that article or on that website.