Lord’s Day Service – October 19, 2014
14.10.19 CTK Service
(General explanation of how we order our services.)
The overarching theme of this service is that God forgives sins and declares righteous those who humbly cry to him for mercy.
The service opens with the words of Psalm 99:
The LORD reigns; let the peoples tremble!
He sits enthroned upon the cherubim; let the earth quake!
The LORD is great in Zion;
he is exalted over all the peoples.
Let them praise your great and awesome name!
Holy is he!
The King in his might loves justice.
You have established equity;
you have executed justice
and righteousness in Jacob.
Exalt the LORD our God;
worship at his footstool!
Holy is he!
Moses and Aaron were among his priests,
Samuel also was among those who called upon his name.
They called to the LORD, and he answered them.
In the pillar of the cloud he spoke to them;
they kept his testimonies
and the statute that he gave them.
O LORD our God, you answered them;
you were a forgiving God to them,
but an avenger of their wrongdoings.
Exalt the LORD our God,
and worship at his holy mountain;
for the LORD our God is holy!
This psalm exalts the Lord for both his holy justice and his mercy toward those who humbly call upon his name.
This leads us to affirm and praise the Lord for his Holiness with the hymn, “Holy, Holy, Holy,” which exalts the God who is both merciful and mighty. This hymn of adoration is followed by a Prayer of Praise and the singing of the Gloria Patri.
Since a primary focus of this service, and especially the sermon, will be humble cries to God for mercy, we will focus an extended time on such humble confession.
This time opens with God’s promise from 2 Chronicles 7:14-16:
If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin . . . Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayer that is made in this place. For now I have chosen and consecrated this house that my name may be there forever. My eyes and my heart will be there for all time.
Although contextually this promise was made to Israel and has specific implication for the nation, its principles describe the everlasting disposition of God toward his people who humble themselves and seek him.
After a period of Silent Prayers of Repentance, we will express such a humble Corporate Prayer of Confession to the Lord, using the words of Psalm 25 interspersed with the musical refrain, “Lord, Have Mercy upon Us.”
Rich mercy is indeed given to those who humbly cry to God for forgiveness, and it is given through Christ, as is expressed in the Declaration of the Good News found in Ephesians 2:4-9:
But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
The Sermon of the day is from Luke 18:9-14, a parable that emphasizes the need for humble prayers for mercy. Those who presume and righteousness based on their own efforts will find themselves condemned. It is only when we look to Christ for forgiveness that we find righteousness given by God.
We respond to these truths with the hymn “Not What These Hands Have Done,” in which we acknowledge that it is God’s grace alone that speaks pardon to us and divine love on which we must rest for forgiveness.
Our service concludes with a request that “God in Mercy Grant Us Blessing,” and a prayer that such blessing will extend to the ends of the earth through the spread of the gospel.