Saturday, July 04, 2020

True Liberty (2020.07.04 Pastoral Letter and Hopewell Herald)

Hopewell Herald – July 4, 2020

Dear Congregation,

As American freedom has much eroded and been much surrendered, it is amazing to consider that what remains is still much more than the vast majority of this world has ever had. This is because what we have has come upon backs that were bent by minds captivated by the true freedom that belongs to those liberated by King Jesus and have no ultimate King but Christ!

What is true liberty?

True liberty is to be set free by the Holy Spirit from the blindness into which we are all born by nature, to behold the glory of God in Jesus Christ. And to know that He is infallibly determined to reproduce the image of that glory in those whom He saves.
“But their minds were blinded. For until this day the same veil remains unlifted in the reading of the Old Testament, because the veil is taken away in Christ. But even to this day, when Moses is read, a veil lies on their heart. Nevertheless when one turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.”
2Corinthians 3:14–18

True liberty is to be set free from the guilt and power of sin by the Son of God.
“Jesus answered them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever. Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.”
John 8:34–36

True liberty is to have as our law, not the moralisms of men or even our own preferences and predilections, but the decrees of King Jesus. To embrace wholeheartedly all that Scripture commands us to do.
“But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does… If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself,’ you do well.”
James 1:22–25, 2:8

True liberty is to have, as our hope for keeping this law, not the efforts of the flesh or the law itself, but the Holy Spirit, Who has indwelt all whom Jesus has freed from being bound to sin and death and condemnation by joining them to Himself.
“There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.”
Romans 8:1–4

True liberty is to groan in the midst of a world in bondage, with the absolute certainty and confidence that sin’s days are numbered, not only in ourselves but indeed in the whole creation.
“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.”
Romans 8:18–21

True liberty is to know that we need not fear to unleash freely our whole hearts in public worship, and know that it is genuinely unto God in Christ that our hearts draw near, because we accept for true worship only what Jesus has commanded.
“ ‘These people draw near to Me with their mouth, and honor Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’ ”
Matthew 15:8–9

Looking forward to worshiping God FREELY together,


Dear family and friends,

We would be delighted to have you join us this Saturday, July 4th, at 3:30-8:00 for a time of fellowship, swimming, pot luck dinner and family worship!  Bring a dish to share and either lawn or folding chairs .

<contact info redacted for the web; if interested, please contact the church>

Moving Help Needed!
Pastor Alan McLelland (our ARP chaplain currently at Ft Rucker) needs help Tuesday afternoon in Clarksville unloading / unpacking his family’s things. Pastor Hakim will be taking a van from the church around 2p.m. Any able-bodied folk who wish to come with him please let him know. If you wish to go up on your own, please contact for the address.

LORD'S DAY – July 5, 2020

9:50 a.m. Breakfast Line Opens
10 a.m. Sabbath School
This week, we’re beginning a series on topics related to important issues that people around us are talking much about right now, continuing this week by our first class on what Holy Scripture teaches us about “Racial Reconciliation.”

11 a.m. Public Worship
Children’s Catechism for July 5
Q36. What is that sinful nature which we inherit from Adam called? A. Original sin.

Shorter Catechism for July 5
Q44. What doth the preface to the ten commandments teach us? A. The preface to the ten commandments teacheth us that because God is the Lord, and our God, and redeemer, therefore we are bound to keep all his commandments.

Psalms and Hymns
TPH385 “Lo, What a Glorious Sight Appeared”   
ARP72A “God, Give Your Judgments to the King” 
TPH548 “Oh Blest the House”

Scripture Text for first portion of worship service

Scripture Readings
Old Testament – 1Samuel 12
Epistle – Ephesians 3:14–19
Gospel – Luke 6:27–38

Sermon Scripture text and topic
We will be hearing from Genesis 29:13–30 about the Lord Jesus as the Groom Whose determination for His bride overrules all others’ plans, desires, and purposes.

12:45 p.m. Coffee Fellowship and Catechism Class

1 p.m. Fellowship Lunch & Open Mic Time
There will be plenty for everyone, but as with breakfast, those who are uncomfortable eating from the line are encouraged to bring their own food that they keep separate.

At open mic time, we’ll begin with birthdays and anniversaries and recitations of the memory verse:
(Genesis 29:19–20) And Laban said, “It is better that I give her to you than that I should give her to another man. Stay with me.” So Jacob served seven years for Rachel, and they seemed only a few days to him because of the love he had for her.

2:30 p.m Psalm/hymn Sing
Carryover song requests from last week:
Blue: 72A, 119S, 23B, 160, 32AB, 98
Red: 180, 216, 384, 375
(if you wish to make this week’s requests in advance, please feel free to reply to this email, and let me know!)

3:30 p.m. P.M. exhortation from Ephesians 3:14–19

Hopewell this Month

Hopewell’s Presbytery Prayer Focus for July:
Riverside ARP in Prattville, AL

July Psalm of the Month
ARP72A God, Give Your Judgments to the King

Upcoming Events
•July 8, Prayer Meeting, 6:30 p.m.
•July 18, Men’s Breakfast, 6:30 a.m.
•July 20, Monthly Session Meeting, 6 p.m.
•August 30, Sermon to “launch” class series on delighted consecration of the Lord’s holy day
•September 13, Lord’s Day series begins in the Sabbath School
•October 2-4, HARPC 200th Anniversary Celebration

Congregational Prayer Requests (new/updates in bold)

▪ Alan McClelland and his ministry at Ft. Rucker
▪ Repentance of the Church and the Nations for general rejection of the Kingship of Christ
▪ Comfort and provision for the LeeAnn Billings family as they grieve, especially for new work, as the university just eliminated her position from the department
▪ Pray for the Jeffers family, whose granddaughter Isabelle (14) and then her mother Norma both attempted suicide; there’s a long way to go medically, financially, and especially spiritually for all involved; please keep praying for them and for Sue’s ministry to them
▪ Pray for Rebecca Sterling, whose condition seems to be deteriorating again, and who would like to not end up back in the nursing home

▪ Pray with D&L L for her 85yo mother and her heart issues
▪ Pray with P&D W for his mom who fell, and for their return trip back out there to situate her more safely and with proper care
▪ Pray with S&D B for Andrew, who is in the midst of another flare, that the new dose would help his kidneys and give him relief
▪ Pray with KC for her acquaintance Linda who doesn’t seem to know the Lord, and just lost 21 year old son; and, for her dear friends who need to live a life of faith and devotion to the Lord; and for friend Patty, a believer, that she will continue to do well after treatment for uterine cancer

▪ Pray with D&M G that her mother would continue healing well and not smoking; for Sean; for Jeremiah and Julianna
▪ Pray with W&C G for her mother’s health and caregivers; and for spiritual (and total) well-being of son Greg
▪ Pray with J&H H for his father’s cancer; for sweetness in his parents’ remaining time together; for his youngest brother, and the same brother’s son (with CP, and recovering from hip surgery) and daughter
▪ Pray with R&M J for Meredith, young daughter of M’s college friend Ashely (and husband Brad), who’s taking medicine to shrink her brain tumor; and for Meredeth and baby, due in January
▪ Pray with O&A L for her unbelieving mother w/heart condition, and her family’s grieving over her brother
▪ Pray with CM for friend Michael Duval and his recovery from knee surgery
▪ Pray with C&T P for the conversion of her brother Todd; and for her dad and family in the loss of his wife Jolene
▪ Pray with AR for friend Caleb Figura w/mysterious but debilitating gut illness
▪ Pray with D&K R for their family’s growth in godliness, especially dying to self, godly speech, and Lord’s Day keeping; for Micah, Rachel, and baby girl due in July; and for local pastor/constable Darryl Thrasher, who has an aggressive, malignant brain tumor
▪ Pray with GR for friend Abby to come to faith in Christ
▪ Pray with JeR for believing friend Jeanette Cary’s CHF, Fibromyalgia, & slow-healing wound
▪ Pray with J&M R for baby Bentley, and their family’s adjustment and future with him
▪ Pray with J&S R for the situation with his work furlough; her nephew, who needs life in Christ; and for her and her family in the loss of her father, especially spiritual impact on her sisters and nephews; for his whole family, and especially his mother, as they grieve the passing away of his father; and sister Kathy, who just lost her husband; and for Celeste and her ministry to her professing friend who has decided that homosexuality isn’t wrong
▪ Pray with S&V Y for his parents and siblings as they deal with his father’s declining health and his mother’s dementia; and for her niece Carina and her husband Luke and their newborn daughter Callaway who was born with an acidemia and is recovering from an extended period of high ammonia in her blood
▪ Please pray with Riverside ARP in Prattville, AL, throughout the month of July
▪ Please pray for the TN-AL Presbytery to be enabled to plant a faithful church with the resources available and earmarked for that purpose

▪ Please pray for all ARP presbyteries, churches, and agencies

▪ Please pray for our nation, state, community and all the officials thereof 

Prayer, with thanksgiving, being one special part of religious worship, is by God required of all men: and, that it may be accepted, it is to be made in the name of the Son, by the help of his Spirit, according to his will, with understanding, reverence, humility, fervency, faith, love, and perseverance; and, if vocal, in a known tongue. (WCF 21.3)

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