Preparing our Hearts to Worship
In an effort to help you prepare for the May 12, 2019, Sunday morning corporate worship gathering and to aid you in your own reflections on What God wants us to Believe, Do, and Become. I wanted to pose a few questions and provide a few resources to prayerfully consider over the coming days. Our sermon is entitled, “Spiritual Gifts: Building the Body of Christ”. The main Scriptures for the day is Exodus 35:30-36:1.
(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 17 of Believethis week, this is an edited selection of Scriptures from the NIV that seeks to show how certain beliefs, ways of living and character qualities are elaborated upon throughout all of Scripture.
You may also like to read and reflect upon all the New Testament Passages that speak about spiritual gifts: Romans 12:4-8, 1Corinthians 12:4-31, 1Corinthians 13.
From the Creeds and Confessions
Heidelberg Catechism Q123-124
Q123. What is the second petition?
Thy kingdom come. That is: so rule us by thy Word and Spirit that we may submit ourselves more and more to thee; preserve and increase thy church; destroy the works of the devil, every power that exalts itself against thee, and all wicked counsels conceived against thy holy Word, until the perfection of thy kingdom arrived wherein thou shalt be all in all.
Q124. Q. What is the third petition?
Thy will be done, as in heaven, so on earth. That is: grant that we and all men may renounce our own will, and without any gainsaying obey thy will, which alone is good; that so every one may discharge the duties of his office and calling as willingly and faithfully as the angels in heaven.
Canons of Dordt Main Point I Article 7
Article 7: Election is the unchangeable purpose of God, whereby, before the foundation of the world, he hath out of mere grace, according to the sovereign good pleasure of his own will, chosen, from the whole human race, which had fallen through their own fault, from their primitive state of rectitude, into sin and destruction, a certain number of persons to redemption in Christ, whom he from eternity appointed the Mediator and Head of the elect, and the foundation of Salvation.
This elect number, though by nature neither better nor more deserving than the others, but with them involved in one common misery, God hath decreed to give to Christ, to be saved by him, and effectually to call and draw them to his communion by his Word and Spirit, to bestow upon them true faith, justification and sanctification; and having powerfully preserved them in the fellowship of his Son, finally, to glorify them for the demonstration of his mercy, and for the praise of his glorious grace; as it is written: “According as he hath chosen us in him, before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy, and without blame before him in love; having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved,” Ephesians 1:4,5,6. And elsewhere: “Whom he did predestinate, them he also called; and whom he called, them he also justified; and whom he justified, them he also glorified,” Romans 8:30.
Belgic Confession Article 24
Article 24: Of man’s Sanctification and Good Works.
We believe that this true faith being wrought in man by the hearing of the Word of God, and the operation of the Holy Ghost, doth regenerate and make him a new man, causing him to live a new life, and freeing him from the bondage of sin. Therefore it is so far from being true, that this justifying faith makes men remiss in a pious and holy life, that on the contrary without it they would never do anything out of love to God, but only out of self-love or fear of damnation.
Therefore it is impossible that this holy faith can be unfruitful in man: for we do not speak of a vain faith, but of such a faith, which is called in Scripture, a faith that worketh by love, which excites man to the practice of those works, which God has commanded in his Word. Which works, as they proceed from the good root of faith, are good and acceptable in the sight of God, forasmuch as they are all sanctified by his grace: howbeit they are of no account towards our justification. For it is by faith in Christ that we are justified, even before we do good works; otherwise they could not be good works, any more than the fruit of a tree can be good, before the tree itself is good.
Therefore we do good works, but not to merit by them, (for what can they merit?) nay, we are beholden to God for the good works we do, and not he to us, since it is he that worketh in us both to will and to do of his good pleasure. Let us therefore attend to what is written: when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, we are unprofitable servants; we have done that which was our duty to do. In the meantime, we do not deny that God rewards our good works, but it is through his grace that he crowns his gifts.
Moreover, though we do good works, we do not found our salvation upon them; for we do no work but what is polluted by our flesh, and also punishable; and although we could perform such works, still the remembrance of one sin is sufficient to make God reject them. Thus then we would always be in doubt, tossed to and fro without any certainty, and our poor consciences continually vexed, if they relied not on the merits of the suffering and death of our Savior.
Canons of Dordt Main Point ¾ Article 16
Article 16: But as man by the fall did not cease to be a creature, endowed with understanding and will, nor did sin which pervaded the whole race of mankind, deprive him of the human nature, but brought upon him depravity and spiritual death; so also this grace of regeneration does not treat men as senseless stocks and blocks, nor take away their will and its properties, neither does violence thereto; but spiritually quickens, heals, corrects, and at the same time sweetly and powerfully bends it; that where carnal rebellion and resistance formerly prevailed, a ready and sincere spiritual obedience begins to reign; in which the true and spiritual restoration and freedom of our will consist. Wherefore unless the admirable author of every good work wrought in us, man could have no hope of recovering from his fall by his own free will, by the abuse of which, in a state of innocence, he plunged himself into ruin.
From the songs, hymns and spiritual songs of the Church
For Thoughtful Reflection, Prayer, or further Study
Read and reflect upon Missio of Bezalel and Oholiab.
Read and reflect upon Gifts of the Spirit.
Read and reflect upon CRU’s Understanding Spiritual Gifts.
Watch this short video on Spiritual Gifts.
The Sermon will be available online on May 12, 2019 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.