Each week we webcast Lord's Day Sabbath School at 10a, morning public worship at 11a, and p.m. singing and sermon at 2:30p (sermon at 3:30); and the Weds. Prayer Meeting at 6:30p

Saturday, July 11, 2020

Lord's Day Public Worship as Antidote for Woke-ianity (2020.07.11 Pastoral Letter and Hopewell Herald)

Hopewell Herald – July 11, 2020
Dear Congregation,

What happens when privilege isn’t a blessing for which to be thankful to God and responsibility to be fulfilled in love, but instead is seen as a guilty condition into which we are born?

We end up with a new form of original sin, for which there can be no full or final atonement. And the definers of this new ethic invent continual acts of penance which are often themselves actually wicked.

There have been many such counterfeit moral ethics with counterfeit gospels, and the most recent example is one that even many believers are falling into participating in.

So, how do we protect ourselves against falling for a counterfeit? By constant consideration of the genuine article.

Every Lord’s Day, God gathers those who had begun in the original sin of Adam—not that they might atone for their guilt by repudiation and reparations, but that they might rejoice in Christ, the last Adam who has fully atoned for them, and to thank and love Him with worship that He has commanded.

Then, He sends them out to live lives of thankfulness and love, obeying His commands as a response to complete atonement in anticipation of His completing the application of His redemption unto His glory in the last day.

Yes, reconciliation is something that already exists in Christ. And, we are to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which we have been called. And God’s primary way of informing and forming us is His public worship on the Lord’s Day.

Do you want to participate in and see the application of the reconciliation of Christ? Well, it all begins with public worship!

Looking forward to doing so together,

LORD'S DAY – July 12, 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 to study what Holy Scripture teaches us about “Racial Reconciliation.”

11 a.m. Public Worship
Children’s Catechism for July 12
Q37. What does every sin deserve? A. The wrath and curse of God.

Shorter Catechism for July 12
Q45. Which is the first commandment? A. The first commandment is, Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

Psalms and Hymns
TPH389 “Great God, What Do I See and Hear”   
ARP72A “God, Give Your Judgments to the King” 
TPH508 “Jesus, Priceless Treasure”

Scripture Text for first portion of worship service

Scripture Readings
Old Testament – 1Samuel 13
Epistle – Ephesians 3:20–21
Gospel – Luke 6:39–45

Sermon Scripture text and topic
We will be hearing from Genesis 29:31–35 about the Lord Jesus, Who always sees, Who always hears, Who always cares, Who has attached His people to Himself, and Who is able to do according to all His holy and loving will for us.

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 29:35) And she conceived again and bore a son, and said, “Now I will praise the LORD.” Therefore she called his name Judah. Then she stopped bearing.

2:30 p.m Psalm/hymn Sing
Carryover song requests from last week:
Blue: 46, 1, 99A, 127
Red: 253, 277, 476
(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 3:20–21

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 15, 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; PRAISE for increased work, and prayer that one of her jobs will increase to full time and carry benefits
▪ 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
▪ PRAISE with S&D B for Andrew’s relief, and pray that he would be able to wean off the medicine well
▪ Pray with S&D B and D&D R for Doug and Dianne’s oldest son Dave. He is not a believer, homeless and in despair.
▪ 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)

2020.07.11 Hopewell @Home ▫ Genesis 29:31–35

Questions from the Scripture text: What did Yahweh see in Genesis 29:31? What did He do for Leah? For whom did He not do it? What did Leah do in Genesis 29:32? What does she call her son? Why? What does she hope will happen? What did Leah do in Genesis 29:33? What did she say about her bearing a second son? What did she call his name? What does Leah do in Genesis 29:34? What does she say about her third son? What does she call him? What does Leah do in Genesis 29:35? This time what does she say? And what happens? 
The passage begins with Yahweh seeing that Leah is unloved and concludes with Leah finally seeing Yahweh as her only hope for love.

From Israel’s perspective, God is finally starting to multiply His people. Abraham had one child that ended up being a covenant child in God’s church. Isaac had one child that ended up being a covenant child in God’s church. By the end of these five verses, instead of merely replacing one at a time, we have four. God is bringing about His great plan of redemption!

But the God whose plan works on the grand scale of all of history for all of humanity also notices and addresses His most unnoticed people and their most personal problems.

The shenanigans of the previous ten verses produced a polygamy that is crushing Leah’s heart. Our own hearts ache with her as the Holy Spirit takes us through her baby-name reasoning. “Now therefore, my husband will love me” (Genesis 29:32b). “Because Yahweh has heard that I am unloved” (Genesis 29:33a). “Now this time my husband will become attached to me” (Genesis 29:34a).

But while husbands and their affections may be a great blessing and comfort, it is a trap to look to them for that happiness and security that can only come from the Lord. It is not the sadness of giving up that we read in Genesis 29:35 but the new joy of holy resignation to commit her heart to the Lord. We will see that this is not a perfect and continual state of glad faith for her (what believer in this life ever has that?), but in comparison to the other names, what a glorious name is Judah.

Judah. Praise. She is no longer waiting for Yahweh’s plan to “work.” She’s just praising Yahweh. She no longer needs to be relieved of her affliction to be comforted that Yahweh sees her in the midst of it (Genesis 29:32b). She no longer needs to achieve her husband's love to be comforted that Yahweh hears her in the midst of it (Genesis 29:33a).

Her husband may not be attached to her (Genesis 29:34a), but you know who is? The living, seeing, hearing, womb-opening God! Jacob is not in the place of God (cf. Genesis 30:2); the One Who genuinely does love her is God!

Sometimes, it is only after years of marriage and hoping in a husband’s love, or years in some other difficulty, that the Lord’s attention-grabbing providence finally grips us with the wonderful truths that His Word teaches us. But He is always there, always loving, always seeing, always hearing.

And He is Almighty. He opens and closes wombs. And He does so in the process of bringing Christ into the world to save sinners. Not just sinners generally. But the believing sinner reading this devotional. In her personal pain that no one else seems to see or care about. Is this not a God who is worthy of your trust, security, contentment, and praise?!
What hidden pain do you have? Who sees it? What has He done about it in Christ? What more would you need in order to find contentment in Him and live for His praise?
Suggested songs: ARP73C “Yet Constantly, I Am with You” or TPH508 “Jesus, Priceless Treasure”

Friday, July 10, 2020

The Prayer of Faith That Saves the Sick (James 5:15–16a Prayer Devotional)

The "prayer of faith" is something that the prophet began the letter by talking about, in the context of the eternal hope that gladdens us in the midst of temporal trial. Now at the end of the letter, the prophet affirms that when the elders come and lead the sick believer in this prayer of faith, that prayer is always instrumental and ultimately successful in God's working to give this believer what Jesus has deserved for us.

2020.07.10 Hopewell @Home ▫ Luke 6:39–45

Questions from the Scripture text: What did Jesus speak to them (Luke 6:39)? About what hypothetical situation does He ask in His first two questions? What are their obvious answers? What is a disciple not above (Luke 6:40)? What will he be like? What is the guy looking at in Luke 6:41? Why is that a problem? What is he doing with the speck in Luke 6:42? Why is that a problem? What does he need to do first? Why? What does not bear bad fruit (Luke 6:43)? What doesn’t bear good fruit? How is a tree known (Luke 6:44)? From what does a good man bring forth good (Luke 6:45)? From what does an evil man bring forth evil? What does a man do out of the abundance of His heart?
In the preceding passages, the Lord Jesus has been teaching us to see with eyes of faith. To see genuine, eternal blessedness even in the midst of any trials that might be bringing it about (Luke 6:20-26). And to see true, heart-righteousness as the real evidence of having been forgiven and adopted as God’s children in the earth (Luke 6:27-38).

So, the Lord Jesus’s disciples were not to follow the Pharisees, with whom they would just fall into spiritual disaster (Luke 6:39) and end up just like them (Luke 6:40). But, we are also not to attempt to help one another unless we ourselves are repentantly and humbly following Christ (Luke 6:41). The fruit of this will be an active repentance in which we are mortifying our own sin; only when we are such followers of Christ are we useful to our brothers in helping them follow Christ too (Luke 6:42).

The reason for this is pretty simple. The Lord Jesus isn’t just producing different behaviors on the outside; He’s making an entirely different kind of person (tree, Luke 6:43-44). Though the fruit look ever-so-similar, the Lord Jesus only assesses it as “good” if it has grown out of one of those blessed ones who find Him Himself to be all of their blessedness (Luke 6:20-36).  This is the only kind of “good man” that there is, so if we want to be useful to our brothers, we need to be remade from the heart by the Lord Jesus Himself (Luke 6:45).

This means that there is not a competition between private piety and public action, but a might cooperation. If we think that we have private piety, but the overflow through our mouths is not building up our brethren in faith in Christ, then we are deceived about what was in the heart. If we think that we are building others up by what comes from our mouths, but we are not cultivating a heart of delighted faith and love and hope in Christ, then we are deceived about what is coming out of our mouths.

But, if we are genuinely clinging to Christ, then we will both be cultivating the heart and edifying the brethren. For, this is the kind of tree that He makes out of those whom He saves.
What heart cultivation is happening in your own private/family/public worship? Whom are you edifying?
Suggested songs: ARP1 “How Blessed the Man” or TPH174 “The Ten Commandments”

Thursday, July 9, 2020

2020.07.09 Hopewell @Home ▫ Ephesians 3:20–21

Questions from the Scripture text: What is God able to do above (Ephesians 3:20)? How much above? According to what power? To Him be what (Ephesians 3:21)? In what? By Whom? Unto how many generations? For how long? 
God does according to what His unsearchable wisdom intends and thinks, and prayer reaches out for what God Himself has intended to do, rather than an attempt to change anything to what we would have God do for us.

So, apostolic prayer acknowledges its own limitations. It asks, as well as possible, according to Scripture, but it does not stop there. He is able to do what we ask. He is able to do what we ask or think. He is able to do all that we ask or think. He is able to do above all that we ask or think. He is able to do abundantly above all that we ask or think. He is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think. Here are those unsearchable riches (Ephesians 3:8) of God’s manifold wisdom (Ephesians 3:10)! Prayer, being made by the Spirit through union with Christ, reaches for that which takes its dimensions not from us and our thoughts, but from God Himself!

And behold how God has emboldened us to make such a request: He has already been demonstrating the power by which He will accomplish all that His wisdom has intended! This transformed Pharisee who hated Christ and the nations is now writing not to an individual but to a church that is made up not only of Jews but especially of reconciled believers from those once-alienated nations! Almighty power has accomplished redemption already in Christ. Almighty power is producing a church that will at last be perfectly glorious with the glory of God Himself, having been filled with the fullness of God (Ephesians 3:19).

How can this happen? Because it is not only by the power of God that this is being accomplished but in the second Person of the Godhead that this occurs in the church: “by Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 3:21). That is to say that it is by grace. Union with Christ. Christ’s worthiness as our worthiness. Christ’s power as our power.

But it is not ultimately for the glory of the church that the apostle prays, for the church is not his ultimate and highest love. It is ultimately for the glory of God that a believer must pray, since it is God who must be the believer’s ultimate love.

The apostle prays not only for the saints, but for their God and their Savior. Love issues forth in a desire before God that love’s object would receive what is good and right. And when love's object is God, it prays for His glory. Thus, it is good to end every prayer, which itself is an act of love unto God, with a petition for His infinite and everlasting glory—even as our Lord Jesus modeled for us when instructing us in prayer. Let not just our prayers, but all of our worship, indeed all of our actions, and our very lives and beings, end in His praise!
What place do your prayer limitations have in your prayers? What place does praise have in your prayers?
Suggested songs: ARP98 “O Sing a New Song to the Lord” or TPH100B “All People That on Earth Do Dwell”

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

A Man (Not) After God's Own Heart (Family Worship lesson in 1Samuel 13)

Pastor teaching his family today's Hopewell @Home passage . In 1Samuel 13, we learn that a man after God's own heart is one whose thoughts, feelings, and choices are formed not by his perceptions but by God's Word. Christ is this Man on our behalf, and the King Who makes His subjects like Himself!

2020.07.08 Hopewell @Home ▫ Read 1 Samuel 13

Questions from the Scripture text: How long had Saul been reigning (1 Samuel 13:1)? Whom did Saul choose for himself (1 Samuel 13:2)? How had they been split up? What did he do with the rest? What was Jonathan doing in 1 Samuel 13:3a while Saul did what in verse 3b? What version of the story did Israel hear in 1 Samuel 13:4a? To whom had Israel become odious? What did the Philistines do in 1 Samuel 13:5? How many chariots? Horsemen? Foot soldiers? How did Israel respond in 1 Samuel 13:6-7a? Where was Saul, and what were his people doing (verse 7b)? For whom were they waiting (1 Samuel 13:8)? What were the people doing? What does Saul do in 1 Samuel 13:9? What immediately happens (1 Samuel 13:10)? What is Saul’s explanation for taking it upon himself to offer the sacrifice (1 Samuel 13:11-12)? What does Samuel say about Saul’s action (1 Samuel 13:13)? What will the Lord not do for him now (1 Samuel 13:14)? How many people did Saul have left at this point (1 Samuel 13:15)? Where were he, they, and Jonathan (1 Samuel 13:16)? What did the Philistines do (1 Samuel 13:17-18)? Why didn’t the Israelites have swords and spears (1 Samuel 13:19-22)? Which Israelites did (verse 22b)? Where were the Philistines (1 Samuel 13:23, cf. 1 Samuel 13:16b)?
Man looks on the outward appearance, but God looks upon the heart. That’s the theme of 1 Samuel, and the primary application is that the only way that “God knows my heart” becomes good news is if  what God sees is the character of Christ through faith in Christ, producing obedience to Christ.

For Saul, it is decidedly not good news. We see the dire straits of the Israelites. There’s no second amendment from the Philistines, who currently have the upper hand. The sheer numbers of 1 Samuel 13:5 are much exacerbated by the armament issues of 1 Samuel 13:19-23, which form an inclusio (literary “bookends”) with that verse to draw our attention to Saul’s sin in the middle.

With those bookends, and some emphasis upon the direness of Saul’s rapidly (1 Samuel 13:1-21 Samuel 13:15b) and visibly (1 Samuel 13:6-71 Samuel 13:11) dwindling numbers in we’re a little surprised at how heavily Samuel (and really, Yahweh by the mouth of His prophet) brings down the hammer in 1 Samuel 13:13-14. Who wouldn’t have done the same that Saul did?

God’s Word answers, “someone with a heart after Yahweh’s own” (1 Samuel 13:14). The heart of the matter is the heart!

Numbers, after all, don’t matter so much to God. John Knox (and many after him, such as Luther and Frederick Douglas) said rightly, “One plus God is a majority.” But really, “God plus no one is a majority.” When Joshua meets Jesus outside of Jericho and wants to know if He is for them or for their enemies, Jesus says, “No, I’m the Captain of My own army, so take your shoes.” We’re always fearing Canaanites from Jericho and Philistines at Michmash, when “the only thing we truly have to fear is God’s holiness itself.”

There are times when obedience is hard. In those times, we need to remember that God has given us Christ as Priest to offer Himself as sacrifice, because with any other priesthood or sacrifice, rather than incurring Yahweh’s favor, our worship to God offends His holiness and incite His wrath.

For Saul, that meant waiting for God’s appointed servant to offer God’s appointed sacrifice, both of whom God had ordained to point heart and mind forward to the Lord Jesus.

But like Peter looking down at the water, or Gehazi seeing tens of thousands of Assyrians instead of mountains covered by the warriors of heaven, Saul can’t see Jesus by faith and only sees innumerable well-armed Philistines, and increasingly numerable and poorly-armed Israelites.

So, 1 Samuel 13 points us to the greatness of God’s holiness, and the greatness of that sacrifice that He alone provides, NOT by minimizing the difficulties of our circumstances but by embracing them. And embracing the “greaterness” of God’s holiness and salvation by comparison. If we are going to be undauntedly obedient in daunting circumstances, we need to see God by faith in Jesus Christ, and then what God will see when He looks upon our hearts will be not our disobedience (also innumerable) but the perfect righteousness and sacrifice of His Son (infinitely greater).

A heart thus directed will obey, even with Saul’s six hundred (which, after all, was twice what God gave Gideon, and twice what God had just used to humiliate Nahash the Ammonite).
What obstacles to obedience do you face? Where/when/how does God set His holiness and gospel before you as greater? In what manner will you attend upon His means, to embolden your faith and obedience?
Suggested songs: ARP46 “God Is Our Refuge and Our Strength” or TPH244 “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God”

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

2020.07.07 Hopewell Harbinger

Hopewell This Week, July 6–12, 2020

As far as I know, there is still room left in our van for helping Pastor McLelland unload his things in Clarksville this afternoon. We are planning to leave at 2p.m. from the Hopewell parking lot.

▫Attached is a pdf of Lord’s Day’s Worship Booklet, complete with Hopewell @Home devotionals for this week, in addition to 8.5x11's of the memory verse and catechism questions that can be used as posters to help with memory work.

▫The links are now active for the  morning sermon (Gen 29:13–30, “The Groom's Determination for His Bride”), and evening sermon (Ephesians 3:14–19, “Gospel-Sized (God-Sized) Prayer”) from yesterday, as well as last week’s Prayer Meeting lesson (James 5:14, “Anointed by God's Praying Anointed”). The Sabbath School class was not successfully recorded.

Prayer MeetingWednesday, July 8, at 6:30p.m. The prayer meeting folder is available at https://bit.ly/harpc200708pm (prayer meeting is also live-streamed at both fb.com/hopewellarp and bit.ly/harpclive)

Lord’s Day, July 12: