Sunday Liturgy - July 18
One of the things I love most about Covenant Grace is that before Ben or I stand up to preach the glory of God has been seen in Scripture and song, the law of God convicts us of sin, and the assurance of pardon has been given through the gospel. The preaching comes in the midst of this to deepen our understanding of God and his word and see Jesus more clearly, and in seeing Jesus by faith in the Word through the power of the Spirit we are changed.
Covenant Grace Church Sunday Liturgy
July 18, 2021
Scriptural Call to Worship:
The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?
When evildoers assail me to eat up my flesh, my adversaries and foes, it is they who stumble and fall.
Though an army encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war arise against me, yet I will be confident.
One thing have I asked of the LORD, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to inquire in his temple.
For he will hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble; he will conceal me under the cover of his tent; he will lift me high upon a rock.
And now my head shall be lifted up above my enemies all around me, and I will offer in his tent sacrifices with shouts of joy; I will sing and make melody to the LORD.
Hear, O LORD, when I cry aloud; be gracious to me and answer me!
You have said, “Seek my face.” My heart says to you,
“Your face, LORD, do I seek.”
Hide not your face from me. Turn not your servant away in anger, O you who have been my help. Cast me not off; forsake me not, O God of my salvation!
For my father and my mother have forsaken me, but the LORD will take me in.
Teach me your way, O LORD, and lead me on a level path because of my enemies.
Give me not up to the will of my adversaries; for false witnesses have risen against me, and they breathe out violence.
I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living!
Wait for the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the LORD!
Law, Confession, and Assurance of Forgiveness:
You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’ But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire.
Jesus expanded on the law to show that it is not just our actions but the heart behind our actions!
Assurance of Pardon:
1 John 1:9
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Catechism, Creed, or Confession
Question 41: What benefits do believers receive from Christ at death?
Answer: At death the souls of believers are made perfect in holiness, and immediately pass into glory. Their bodies rest in their graves till the resurrection.
Philippians 1:23 - My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better.
1 Corinthians 1:18–31 (ESV): For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written,
“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,
and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.”
20 Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe. 22 For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, 24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
26 For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. 27 But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; 28 God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, 29 so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. 30 And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, 31 so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”
Preaching and Proclamation
Matthew 7:21–27 (ESV): Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ 23 And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’
Build Your House on the Rock
24 “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. 26 And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. 27 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.”
Jesus is filling his kingdom with wise followers who build their lives on him and obey his commands. To build on anything else is sure destruction.
Jesus continues his conclusion to the sermon on the mount by emphasizing again the two paths all people will walk. We will either enter heaven or depart from God into destruction. The difference between this is whether or not we do the will of the Lord. This sounds on the surface like salvation by works. But when we look at what Jesus meant by doing the will of the Father we see that this indeed is salvation by faith alone. In John 6:29, 40 we see that the will of God is that we believe in his name. Likewise in John 15:4 the will of Jesus is that we abide in him and by doing so we will obey his commands. This is what it means to build our house on the rock. We look to Jesus by faith and then do what he says by the power he provides. By contrast, the false teacher and disciple doesn’t build his house on the rock but proves to be a fool, looking to his external accomplishments rather than the inward work of the Spirit by faith. This is hypocrisy as Jesus described it in chapter 6 and is the work of lawlessness or sin. This promotes false faith and a false foundation. The storms of trial, persecution, hatred, and pain will surely come. But only one foundation can stand. Look to Jesus. Cling to him. And may the words of the hymn ring true in our lives:
“My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness
I dare not trust the sweetest frame
But wholly lean on Jesus name.
On Christ the solid Rock I stand
All other ground is sinking sand.
All other ground is sinking sand.”