Preparing our Hearts to Worship
In an effort to help you prepare for the May 3, 2020, Easter Sunday morning corporate worship gathering and to aid you in your own reflections on The Epistle to the Philippians. I wanted to pose a few questions and provide a few resources to prayerfully consider over the coming days. Our sermon is entitled, “To the Saints in Christ Jesus” The main Scripture for the day is Philippians 1:1-2.
(Pick and choose from the many resources and options, which I have tried to make available for your devotional life.)
From the Scriptures
The Scripture references are quite significant this week, these will give you the historical context to the book of Philippians.
Please read through these passages All of Philippians, Acts 8-9, 15-16.
From the Creeds and Confessions
Belgic Confession Article 20
ARTICLE 20: THAT GOD HATH MANIFESTED HIS JUSTICE AND MERCY IN CHRIST JESUS.
We believe that God, who is perfectly merciful and just, sent his Son to assume that nature, in which the disobedience was committed, to make satisfaction in the same, and to bear the punishment of sin by his most bitter passion and death. God therefore manifested his justice against his Son, when he laid our iniquities upon him; and poured forth his mercy and goodness on us, who were guilty and worthy of damnation, out of mere and perfect love, giving his Son unto death for us, and raising him for our justification, that through him we might obtain immortality and life eternal.
2nd Helvetic Confession Chapter 10 selections
Of the Predestination of God
and the Election of the Saints
GOD HAS ELECTED US OUT OF GRACE. From eternity God has freely, and of his mere grace, without any respect to men, predestinated or elected the saints whom he wills to save in Christ, according to the saying of the apostle, “God chose us in him before the foundation of the world” (Eph. 1:4). And again: “Who saved us and called an with a holy calling, not in virtue of our works but in virtue of his own purpose and the grace which he gave us in Christ Jesus ages ago, and now has manifested through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus” (II Tim. 1:9 f.).
WE ARE ELECTED OR PREDESTINATED IN CHRIST. Therefore, although not on account of any merit of ours, God has elected us, not directly, but in Christ, and on account of Christ, in order that those who are now engrafted into Christ by faith might also be elected. But those who were outside Christ were rejected, according to the word of the apostle, “Examine yourselves, to see whether you are holding to your faith. Test yourselves. Do you not realize that Jesus Christ is in you? — unless indeed you fail to meet the test!” (II Cor. 13:5).
WE ARE ELECTED FOR A DEFINITE PURPOSE. Finally, the saints are chosen in Christ by God for a definite purpose, which the apostle himself explains when he says, “He chose us in him for adoption that we should be holy and blameless before him in love. He destined us for adoption to be his sons through Jesus Christ that they should be to the praise of the glory of his grace” (Eph. 1:4 ff.).
WE ARE TO HAVE A GOOD HOPE FOR ALL. And although God knows who are his, and here and there mention is made of the small number of elect, yet we must hope well of all, and not rashly judge any man to be a reprobate. For Paul says to the Philippians, “I thank my God for you all” (now he speaks of the whole Church in Phillippi), “because of your fellowship in the Gospel, being persuaded that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. It is also right that I have this opinion of you all” (Phil. 1:3 ff.).
From the songs, hymns and spiritual songs of the Church
Great comforts it must needs afford: Lyrics
For Thoughtful Reflection, Prayer, or further Study
Read and reflect upon Got Questions article Jesus Christ or Christ Jesus.
Read and reflect upon John Piper’s Six things it means to be ‘in Christ’.
Read and reflect upon Greg Herricks The Greeting (Philippians 1:1-2).
The Sermon will be available online on May 3, 2020 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.