Saturday, August 29, 2020

The Christian's Calling to Be a Royal Priest (2020.08.29 Pastoral Letter and Hopewell Herald)

 Hopewell Herald – August 29, 2020

Dear Congregation, 

On the Lord’s Day, we heard Numbers 2 preached in the public worship—a chapter quite literally with God at the center, as He carries out His plan of redemption. A redemption that is not just the awarding of an ancient near-eastern tract of land to the descendants of a transplanted Chaldean, but the bringing of Christ into the world to save sinners and reconcile them to God! 

Of course, every single Israelite had a particular place to be and part to play in God’s grand design:

And the LORD spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying: “Everyone of the children of Israel shall camp by his own standard, beside the emblems of his father’s house; they shall camp some distance from the tabernacle of meeting.” […] “Thus the children of Israel did according to all that the LORD commanded Moses; so they camped by their standards and so they broke camp, each one by his family, according to their fathers’ houses.”

(vv1–2, 34)

By making us to belong to a “family” and a “father’s house,” He has woven into the very fabric of society and the church the fact that we do not exist for ourselves. This orderliness calls for sacrificing our willfulness in favor of fulfilling our responsibilities. Living well as a family requires a hundred little sacrifices a day, but we enjoy so much blessing as a result of what God does through the fellowship of each household.

Our families are the nurseries in which the seedlings of our character are designed by God to grow and train so that we may function well and bear fruit in the field of society and the garden of the church.

But none will avail, except it be the Lord Himself at the center as the King by Whose proclamation we are ordered, by Whose power we are enabled, and by Whose pleasure we are contented.

But vv17, 33 remind us that this presents a problem: an entire tribe was assigned to the maintenance and service of the tabernacle, because the holy God cannot dwell among a sinful people except by means of atoning sacrifice and mediation.

For us, not only is Christ the King. He is also the Great High Priest, Who has offered Himself once for all as our atoning sacrifice. In fact, we do not need to “keep our distance” from the presence of God anymore, for He has made us into a kingdom of priests—a royal priesthood that belongs to all believers (cf. 1Peter 2:9).

Once a week, every single member of His church is invited through the veil into the Holy of Holies, by the new and living way of His flesh (Heb 10:19–21). It’s no wonder that we are urged not to forsake this assembling of ourselves together (Heb 10:25)!

Looking forward to that assembly together with you,


LORD'S DAY – August 30, 2020 

9:50 a.m. Breakfast Line Opens

10 a.m. Sabbath School

This week, we continue a series on topics related to important issues that people around us are talking much about right now, continuing this week to study what Holy Scripture teaches us about “Racial Reconciliation.” (This week’s subtopic is A Providential Perspective on Privilege)


11 a.m. Public Worship
Children’s Catechism for Aug 30
Q44. Whom did Christ represent in the covenant of grace? A. His elect people.

Shorter Catechism for Aug 30
Q52. What are the reasons annexed to the second commandment? A. The reasons annexed to the second commandment are, God's sovereignty over us, his propriety in us, and the zeal he hath to his own worship.

Psalms and Hymns
TPH151 “Lord of the Sabbath, Hear Us Pray”   
ARP34C “O Sons and Daughters, Come” 
TPH153 “O Day of Rest and Gladness”

Scripture Text for first portion of worship service
Hebrews 4:6–5:9

Scripture Readings
Isaiah 58:13–14
Hebrews 4
Matthew 12:1–14

Sermon Scripture text and topic
We will be hearing from Exodus 28:8–11 about Christ, the Lord Whose Sabbath We Must Remember and Consecrate

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

1 p.m. Fellowship Lunch & Open Mic Time
Members are encouraged to bring way more than enough, so that there will be plenty for everyone, including any members or guests who are deciding last-minute whether or not to stay.

At open mic time, we’ll begin with birthdays and anniversaries and recitations of the memory verse: (Exodus 20:8Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.

2:30 p.m Psalm/hymn Sing
Carryover song requests from last week:
Blue: 8, 1 |
Red(h): 180 | 153, *265, *375, 230 |
(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. Evening Sermon from Romans 12:19–13:10, The Sky Is NOT the Limit for Civil Authority

Hopewell this Month

Hopewell’s Presbytery Prayer Focus for August:
Bethel ARP in Oak Hill, AL

August Psalm of the Month
ARP34C O Sons and Daughters, Come

Upcoming Events

•September 2, Prayer Meeting, 6:30 p.m.
•September 13, Lord’s Day series begins in the Sabbath School
•September 14, Monthly Session Meeting, 6 p.m.
•September 19, Men’s Breakfast, 6:30 a.m.
•October 2-4, HARPC 200th Anniversary Celebration, with guest speaker Dr. Nick Willborn

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