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, September 11, 2021

2021.09.11 Hopewell @Home ▫ Luke 22:66–71

Read Luke 22:66–71

Questions from the Scripture text: For what were they waiting to start the trial (Luke 22:66)? Who are gathered together? What is the first question about the identity of Jesus (Luke 22:67)? How does Jesus answer? What explanation does He give for not cross-examining with His own questions (Luke 22:68)? What does He declare about His identity and His future instead (Luke 22:69)? Now what do they ask about His identity (Luke 22:70a)? What is His answer in Luke 22:70b? What question do they ask in Luke 22:71? What point are they making?

Jesus is the Christ (Luke 22:67a). This, all will be sure of, when they see Him sitting at the right hand of the power of God (Luke 22:69). But why don’t they believe now? It is not for lack of information—those who pretend so would not believe if they were told (Luke 22:67b). Nor is it for lack of persuasion—the Lord Jesus makes plain that they would not be responsive if He took the lead to persuade them (Luke 22:68).

This reminds us how utterly necessary the New Birth is. Christianity is perfectly reasonable. In fact, Christianity is the only reasonable way to understand all of reality: God, ourselves, salvation, everything. But no one can be merely reasoned into the kingdom. In fact, the Lord Jesus testified that He spoke in parables not so that all could understand but so that seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. When you or someone else does not believe that Jesus is the Christ, the problem in the head has its roots in the heart, and it is the root that must ultimately be dealt with.

Yes, the Lord Jesus is the Great Prophet like Moses, who was to arise. Yes, the Lord Jesus is the Great High Priest to Whom even Aaron pointed forward, and in Whom all believers are to be united (cf. Psalm 133). Yes, the Lord Jesus is the Son of David, that great Forever-King to Whom all the Davidic kings pointed forward. 

But there is something even more at issue than Jesus being the Christ. What’s at issue is that the Christ turns out to be God Himself. That’s the point that Jesus makes by referring to Himself as the Son of Man. In Ezekiel, the Son of Man is a human figure. But in Daniel, the Son of Man is clearly divine—a theophany of God Himself, for it is He Who comes on the clouds in glory. When Jesus identifies Himself as the Son of Man in these terms, the Jewish religious elite all know what He is claiming: He is the Son of God. 

Truly, in order to be our Savior, Jesus had to be both. If He is merely man, He cannot save at all. If He is merely God, He cannot die in order to save. But it is this latter part of His claim for which He is condemned to die. The religious leaders believe themselves to have come into very good fortune, for they perceive Him to have made a blasphemously false claim to divinity: “What further testimony do we need?” (Luke 22:71).

How will you respond to the claims of Christ? You may tell yourself that He has not sufficiently proved Himself to be the Christ Who is God. But, if that’s what you think, the problem is actually in you and not the evidence. And you will not be able to make such a claim when you stand before Him. 

But the good news is that He to Whom all worship properly belongs gave Himself to be executed for making that claim, because He went to die not merely as a victim of injustice but as a willing substitute to bear what His sinful people justly deserved. If you find that you can’t bring yourself to believe in Him, you are correct. But He can bring you to that faith. Cry out for His Spirit to give you that certainty that Jesus is God, Who died for you. Look to Him, and be saved!

Whom do you know that is having difficulty with these claims of Christ? What can be done for them? How does the validity of Christ’s claims give the possibility of hope, even for many who do not currently recognize them?

Sample prayer:  Lord Jesus, You are our Lord and our God. Forgive us for how much our resistant hearts keep our minds from recognizing glorious truth about You. Grant Your Spirit’s powerful, merciful work to convince us—which we can ask, because You our God have been executed as an atonement for our sin, so we ask it in Your Name, AMEN!

Suggested songs: ARP110B “The LORD Has Spoken to My Lord” or TPH270 “At the Name of Jesus”

Friday, September 10, 2021

The Greatness of Our God, Our Troubles, and His Response (Family Worship lesson in 2Samuel 22:1–20)

Why am I in such big trouble, and what am I to do? Pastor leads his family in today’s “Hopewell @Home” passage. 2Samuel 22:1–20 prepares us for the evening sermon on the coming Lord’s Day. In these twenty verses of Holy Scripture, the Holy Spirit teaches us that as those in whom the Lord delights in Christ, the greatness of our troubles is meant to provoke us to cry out to our greater God, so that His greater response will result in His everlasting praise.
(click audio title within player for a page where you can download mp3/pdf files of this lesson)

2021.09.10 Hopewell @Home ▫ 2 Samuel 22:1–20

Read 2 Samuel 22:1–20

Questions from the Scripture text: To Whom is David speaking (2 Samuel 22:1a)? In response to what (verse 1b)? What nine things does he call Yahweh in 2 Samuel 22:2-3? What has Yahweh done (verse 3b)? To what will Yahweh respond by doing this again (2 Samuel 22:3-4)? What had been David’s circumstances in 2 Samuel 22:5-6? What did he do (2 Samuel 22:7a–b)? How does verse 7c–d communicate the personal nature of God’s response? How does 2 Samuel 22:8a–b indicate the intensity of God’s response? How does 2 Samuel 22:8-9 indicate the attitude of God’s response? How do 2 Samuel 22:10-13 communicate the power of God’s response? What specific action do 2 Samuel 22:142 Samuel 22:16c describe Yahweh as taking? With what results, (2 Samuel 22:15-16)? But what is the nature of His interaction with His servant (2 Samuel 22:172 Samuel 22:19b)? From whom does He deliver him (2 Samuel 22:18-19a)? Why (2 Samuel 22:20)? 

This chapter is found, almost verse for verse, in Psalm 18. Coming at the end of the Samuel material, it seems that this was a Psalm that David originally wrote upon deliverance from Saul, but had much more opportunity to sing over the rest of his life. 

In this first third of the Psalm, the focus is upon how good the Lord has been to David. In the next section he sings especially of the Lord’s graciously sanctifying him, and then in the last section of the Lord’s graciously strengthening him. But in this section, it is especially the Lord being good in almighty strength. 2 Samuel 22:2-4 overflows with gushing praise to God.

The heart of this section is how David finds himself on earth in very dramatic trouble (2 Samuel 22:5-6), but when he cries out to God (2 Samuel 22:7), God’s response in heaven is described in terms that are even more dramatic (2 Samuel 22:8-16).

David is in very dramatic trouble. When we consider prayers and songs like this that God has given us, we mustn’t be surprised when we find ourselves in intense trouble. Death and the grave are closing in on David like a noose (2 Samuel 22:5a, 2 Samuel 22:5a). It comes in waves (2 Samuel 22:5a), while the tide of ungodliness arise to swallow him like a flood (verse 5b), and death latches onto his legs like a snare to pull him down (2 Samuel 22:6b). Dear believer, don’t expect life in this world to be easy or painless! 

But one thing the most dramatic trouble can’t do is cut off the believer’s access to the Lord. Romans 8 famously embraces how nothing can separate us from the love of Christ, or the love of God that is in Christ Jesus. But here in 2 Samuel 22:7 we see that neither can death or Sheol separate the believer from the ears of God that are ours in Christ Jesus. However low the believer may find himself, when he calls upon Yahweh (2 Samuel 22:7a) and cries out to God (verse 7b), He hears us from His temple. There is no trouble so deep that the saint’s cry can be stopped from ascending all the way to the ears of his God!

And that spells great trouble for the trouble! It is difficult to convey the intensity of God’s response in 2 Samuel 22:8-18 to the crying out of this individual human in 2 Samuel 22:7. The images conveyed by the poetry are great in their own right. Just read them in a voice that attempts to reflect the image, and “see”! But behind them is a much greater amplification than poetry: theology. 

The images here are mixed in from the creation, from the flood, from Sodom and Gomorrah, from the Red Sea crossing, from Sinai, and from the Tabernacle. Lightness upon dark waters. Brightness before Him. Waters separated to expose the land. Quaking and fire and smoking and thunder. Brightness and cloud. It’s like the Holy Spirit was wadding up into one all of the greatest displays of the power of God thus far, and reminding us that it is this very God Who is pleased to move to action by means of our prayers. 

In our pride and unbelief we sometimes think to ourselves as if things might be different if God would only take notice how intense our circumstances are on earth. But how very different would our hearts be, if we would only take into account by faith the infinitely greater intensity of our God and His response in heaven! And so, in this Psalm, the Holy Spirit pulls back the curtain to rub our noses in this glorious reality!

Dear believer, how great is your God! And how great is His power and His work as He responds to your Christ-borne prayers! Yahweh Himself is your support (2 Samuel 22:19), because having chosen you in Christ, He delights in you with His delight in Christ (2 Samuel 22:20)!

What troubles have surprised you with their intensity? What intense troubles have you perhaps downplayed? How does this portion of the Psalm free you to own how great your troubles are, without despairing over their greatness? What are you able to do, no matter how great the trouble is? How does the greatness of God’s response compare, no matter how great the trouble is?

Sample prayer:  Lord, we praise You, our Rock, our Fortress, our Deliverer, our God, our Trust, our Shield, our Horn of salvation, our Stronghold, our Refuge, our Savior! Whenever Your people have cried out to You from great trouble, they have found You and Your response to be infinitely greater than the trouble. Yet, in our unbelief, we often feel and act as if we have somehow discovered the first difficulty that is simply too great. Forgive us! And grant that when we need it, Your Spirit would bring this Word readily to mind, so that we might call upon Your Name in Jesus Christ, through Whom we ask it, AMEN!

Suggested songs: ARP18A “I Love You, Lord” or TPH520 “What a Friend We Have in Jesus”

Thursday, September 09, 2021

Delivered from All Evil to Give God All Praise (2021.09.08 Prayer Meeting lesson in Psalm 30)

The saints of the Lord are delivered only by the grace of the Lord from all evils—even from the pride of overconfidence in their own strength. And the purpose of this deliverance is the praise of the Deliverer.
(click audio title within player for a page where you can download mp3/pdf files of this lesson)

Christ-Sized Thanksgiving for Christ-Sized Grace (Family Worship lesson in Colossians 1:3–8)

What should prayers of thanksgiving for other believers look like? Pastor leads his family in today’s “Hopewell @Home” passage. Colossians 1:3–8 prepares us for the second serial reading in morning public worship on the coming Lord’s Day. In these six verses of Holy Scripture, the Holy Spirit teaches us that biblical thanksgiving for other believers is Christ-sized thankfulness that rejoices over the measure of God’s grace, the means of God’s grace, and the ministers of God’s grace.
(click audio title within player for a page where you can download mp3/pdf files of this lesson)

2021.09.09 Hopewell @Home ▫ Colossians 1:3–8

Read Colossians 1:3–8

Questions from the Scripture text: What does the apostle give to Whom (Colossians 1:3a)? When doing what (verse 3b)? For what two things is he thankful and toward whom, respectively (Colossians 1:4)? What has been the foundation of this faith and love (Colossians 1:5)? Where did they hear of this hope? Where did this gospel come, and to where has it now gone (Colossians 1:6)? What is it bringing forth? What did they hear and know, that produced this fruit? From whom, also, had they learned this grace (Colossians 1:7)? What two things does the apostle call Epaphras? What else has Epaphras declared, to whom (Colossians 1:8)?

Just as he testifies that he always does when he prays for them, so the apostle here also does as he writes to them: he gives thanksgiving to God. Let us learn to be full of thankfulness to God, so that it comes out in everything that we do!  Especially when we are going to be rebuking or warning of danger, as the apostle will be against Jewish legalisms and Greek philosophizing, we can have and communicate a right attitude if we begin with whatever thanksgiving we can give for whatever true evidences of grace we can see. By offering thanksgiving not only in his prayers but also here in the letter, the apostle models for us three great subjects of thankfulness in our prayers: the measure of God’s grace, the means of God’s grace, and the ministers of God’s grace.

First, we are to be thankful for the measure of God’s grace. Indeed, to measure this is to measure God Himself. As not only our Father in Christ, but Christ’s everlasting Father within the Godhead (Colossians 1:3), we see that in His Son, God has given Himself to us and for us. So when we praise God for giving them faith (Colossians 1:4a), and love (verse 4b), and hope (Colossians 1:5), we do so knowing the great cost at which these have all been purchased: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten Son!” Jesus is “our” Lord because His Father gave Him to be so.

Second, we are to be thankful for the means by which God’s grace is given us. This great gift of God Himself, with its great fruit in their lives of faith and love and hope, has come to them in a very simple fashion. True words entered their ears (Colossians 1:5b). What a marvelous gift God gives us, when He gives us to hear the words of the truth of the gospel! What extraordinary blessing He bestows on us and wonders He works in us through such an ordinary means as preaching! And it was like this not only in Colossae but in the whole world; it was the preaching of the gospel that bore this fruit (Colossians 1:6). How important, then, to stick to this preaching and reject the false self-advancement either of moralism like the Judaizers or humanistic philosophy like the Greeks.

Finally, we are to be thankful for the ministers by whom God’s grace came to us. Paul had not planted the church at Colossae; Epaphras had. Still, the apostle piles up the affectionate (“beloved fellow-slave”) and commendatory (“faithful servant of Christ”) language. There is no spirit of rivalry here—only joy over another’s labor and a desire that those who have benefited would also be grateful to God for him. He gladly affirms to the Colossians Epaphras’s Christ-wrought service. For his part, Epaphras had done quite similarly, telling Paul of the Colossians’ Spirit-wrought love. Let us learn to incubate thankfulness for believers’ graces when speaking to God, so that our speech to one another may be filled with mature thanksgiving for one another.

What gives God’s gifts to you their true measure? How does your thankfulness reflect the greatness of God’s gift of Christ? What place does this give preaching, prayer, and the sacraments in those things for which you are thankful? How do you practice fostering and expressing your thankfulness for other Christians?

Sample prayer: Our gracious God—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—how glorious is Your goodness to the children of men that for us You have given God the Son! Every one of your good gifts to Your adopted children in Him come in that love—but especially that Christian faith, love, and hope that we have in heaven with Him. We bemoan before You how small our thankfulness has been—both for Your grace and for those means by which You give it to us. Help us to treasure  Your means of grace, and those believers with whom You have united us in grace, especially in the Son of Your grace, Jesus Christ, in Whose Name we ask it, AMEN!

Suggested songs: ARP22C “I’ll Praise You in the Gathering” or TPH433 “Amazing Grace”

Wednesday, September 08, 2021

Encouraged by Our Planned and Prophesied Troubles (Family Worship lesson in Exodus 4:27–5:19)

What is the Lord doing in Pharaoh's refusal to let Israel go? Pastor leads his family in today's "Hopewell @Home" passage. Exodus 4:27–5:19 prepares us for the first serial reading in morning public worship on the coming Lord's Day. In these twenty-four verses of Holy Scripture, the Holy Spirit teaches us that God has planned even (and especially) our troubles for His glory and our good, and He has told us about it in advance so that the troubles themselves would encourage us about the reliability of His Word.
(click audio title within player for a page where you can download mp3/pdf files of this lesson)

2021.09.08 Hopewell @Home ▫ Exodus 4:27–5:19

Read Exodus 4:27–5:19

Questions from the Scripture text: To whom had Yahweh spoken (Exodus 4:27)? What did He tell him to do? What did Aaron do (cf. Exodus 4:14)? What two things did Moses tell him (Exodus 4:28)? Then what did they do (Exodus 4:29)? And what two things did Aaron do (Exodus 4:30)? What do the people think of what they hear (Exodus 4:31a, cf. Exodus 3:18a)? And how do they respond to Yahweh (Exodus 4:31b)? Then to whom do Moses and Aaron go (Exodus 5:1)? What do they say to him? How does Pharaoh respond—what question does he ask and answer (Exodus 5:2, cf. Exodus 3:19)? What do they add to the request in Exodus 5:3? What is Pharaoh upset about in Exodus 5:4-5? What new command does he give (Exodus 5:6-8)? What rationale does he give? What does he hope to accomplish by this (Exodus 5:9)? Who do what in Exodus 5:10? What do they say (Exodus 5:10-11)? What do the people have to do now (Exodus 5:12)? What is the outcome of this new policy (Exodus 5:13-14)? Who go to whom in Exodus 5:15? What do they say (Exodus 5:15-16)? How does Pharaoh answer (Exodus 5:17-18)? What do the Israelite officers now see (Exodus 5:19)? 

Believers often miss how encouraged we ought to be by our troubles! If such a sentence sounds strange to us, then it’s because we’ve strayed from the faith of the apostle in Acts 14:22. In order to give us peace(!) Jesus told us that in this world we would have trouble (cf. John 16:33). When we actually have trouble, isn’t it an encouragement that our Lord’s Word holds perfectly true? We often fail to see that, but this passage in Exodus can help.

The Hebrew stem of the verb translated “said” in Exodus 4:27 (most?) often communicates past-perfect tense. “Now, Yahweh had said to Aaron…” This is likely, because of what the Lord had said in Exodus 5:14 and because Aaron “met him on the mountain of God.” This shows not only that the Lord’s Word is true, but also that He had already provided the response to Moses’s wickedness and weakness before Moses even made his complaints. Our Lord is not surprised by our failings but has already prepared His perfect response to them.

Secondly, just as Yahweh had prophesied, Aaron is glad to see Moses, as evidenced by the kiss at the end of Exodus 4:27. One might have expected otherwise. Moses not only enjoyed the benefits of ruling-class upbringing, but for these last forty years while Aaron had suffered in bondage, Moses had lived in comparatively great liberty and comfort. How easily the sentiment could have been resentment rather than fondness! But again, the Lord’s Word holds true.

Next, Moses briefs Aaron on what to say and do (Exodus 4:28), and they come and tell the elders of the children of Israel (Exodus 4:29-30). Based upon the way the people later act, and how Moses has already been treated by them (cf. Exodus 2:14),  Moses’s concern about their reception of him does not seem unfounded. Indeed, by the time we get to know this people well, we might consider the positive reception here to be almost miraculous. But the Lord had told Moses that the people would heed his voice (cf. Exodus 3:18). So it is; in Exodus 4:31, they believe, and they worship. Again, the Word of the Lord has held true. How perfectly reliable is the Word of the Lord!

Now, we come to the part that is instructive for when we run into those troubles about which the Lord Jesus has forewarned us. For, that is exactly what the Lord had done for Moses. He had told him in Exodus 3:19, “But knowing, I know that the king of Egypt will not let you go.” In fact, He had even told Moses some of the reasons behind this refusal: so that the Lord’s wonders would be displayed (cf. Exodus 3:20) and so that the people would not be sent away emptyhanded but rather plunder the Egyptians (cf. Exodus 3:21–22).

So here we are in Exodus 5:1–19, and things are just as Yahweh had told Moses. Pharaoh doesn’t just refuse to let the people go; he positively states it as a refusal to acknowledge Yahweh (Exodus 5:2), which sets up the display of Yahweh’s wonders against him. And the increased squeeze by Pharaoh, trying to get as much as he possibly can out of the Israelites (Exodus 5:6-19) sets up the reverse situation about which the Lord had told Moses: that this was the means by which Yahweh would enable the Israelites to squeeze as much as possible out of the Egyptians.

Knowing how this story ends, we can see that the Lord is indeed doing exactly as He has said. Shouldn’t the Israelites be encouraged that Pharaoh responds exactly as predicted? When we get to next week’s passage, we’ll find that neither they nor Moses respond well. 

But don’t we also know how our own story ends? And don’t we know many of the saint-sanctifying, Christ’s-victory-glorifying reasons for our own troubles? Shouldn’t we be encouraged that our lives are so much like the Lord told us they would be? But even if we often fall short of this, we can yet be encouraged not only that His Word does in fact hold true, but that it does so even in the lives of those who are discouraged because they fail to see that this is what is happening. What a faithful, merciful Lord we have in the midst of our troubles.

In what troubles do you find yourself? What has the Lord said about them? How does this encourage you? Where can you find mercy if you have failed to be encouraged?

Sample prayer:  Lord, we praise You for Your perfectly true Word and marvelously patient mercy. For, we are often forgetting how our troubles themselves show You to be true, and we look to You for patient mercy as we confess our unbelieving discouragement. Glorify Yourself by growing us in faith and peace and joy, we pray, through Jesus Christ, AMEN!

Suggested songs: ARP23B “The Lord’s My Shepherd” or TPH243 “How Firm a Foundation”


Tuesday, September 07, 2021

How Sweet (and Strong) the Name of Jesus Sounds (Family Worship lesson in Psalm 23)

What do we learn about Jesus when we recognize Him as our Good Shepherd? Pastor leads his family in today’s “Hopewell @Home” passage. Psalm 23 prepares us for the opening portion of morning public worship on the coming Lord’s Day. In these six verses, the Holy Spirit teaches us that Jesus is our God, Who became a Man to lay down His life for the purchase of the inexhaustibly abundant blessedness of belonging to Him.
(click audio title within player for a page where you can download mp3/pdf files of this lesson)

2021.09.07 Hopewell @Home ▫ Psalm 23

Read Psalm 23

Questions from the Scripture text: Who is our Shepherd (Psalm 23:1)? What shall we not do? In what does He make us to lie down (Psalm 23:2)? Beside what does the Lord lead us? What does He restore (Psalm 23:3)? In what paths does the Lord lead us? For what reason? Through what valley will we walk (Psalm 23:4)? What will we not fear? Why—who is with us? What two things of His comfort us in verse 4? What does the Lord prepare for us (Psalm 23:5)? Where? What does He do to our head? What happens to our portion of the cup of blessing? What shall goodness and steadfast love surely do (Psalm 23:6)? How many of the days of our lives will they do this? Where will we dwell/return forever?

Next week’s Call to Worship, Prayer for Help, and Song of Adoration all come from Psalm 23, so that we will see that we are singing God’s thoughts after Him with How Sweet the Name of Jesus Sounds

Yahweh is the believer’s Shepherd, the good Shepherd. Because there is so much in this Psalm that our Good Shepherd does for us, we can confidently declare that, with Him as our Shepherd, it is impossible for us to lack anything needful. In Him, we have abundant rest (Psalm 23:2), abundant restoration (Psalm 23:3), abundant reinforcement (Psalm 23:4, even in the face of death), and abundant refreshment (Psalm 23:5, even in the face of enemies).

Psalm 23:6 lets us in on the energizing forth of all of this provision: Yahweh’s goodness and steadfast love “follow” the believer all the days of his life. The word for “follow” is actually a word that means to hunt down, or even persecute. God’s goodness and God’s covenanted-love relentlessly pursue the believer every moment of every day, his whole life long.

When the Messiah comes in the fullness of time, we find out why this must be true as a theological certainty: Yahweh Himself is the Christ. Psalm 23 has told us that Yahweh is the believer’s Shepherd, and Ezekiel 34 clearly distinguishes between all human shepherds and Yahweh Himself as the Good Shepherd. So, it is rather stunning to have a Man in John 10 declare Himself to be the Good Shepherd. But we quickly find out why it was necessary that Yahweh become a man: the Good Shepherd must lay down His life for His sheep (cf. John 10:11, John 10:16).

Jesus gives God a literal human face. It is in the wake of referring to Himself as the Good Shepherd and to His people as His sheep that Jesus answers a question about whether He is Messiah with some pretty clear statements that He is every bit as much God as the Father is (cf. John 10:28–30). When the Jews try to execute Him for this, Jesus’s answer is that not only is the kind of language of Sonship to God permissible (cf. John 10:34–36), but that His deity and the Father’s are reciprocally equal (cf. John 10:37–38). So, it’s not surprising when later in that book, Jesus uses the same language to tell Phillip that He is so completely Yahweh Himself that if you have seen Jesus, there is nothing more of God to be seen (cf. John 14:8–11). So, Jesus gives God a literal human face.

This is why the Name of Jesus is so precious to us. All of the provision of Yahweh as our Shepherd from Psalm 23 we know to be the personal provision of Jesus Himself. Goodness and covenant-love relentlessly pursue us, entirely by grace unto us. But it is a grace that came at the cost of this Shepherd laying down His life for us sheep. Jesus has atoned for our sin. Jesus is the worthiness of our blessing. Jesus is God, Who has committed Himself to us. And in Jesus, we know that God is as committed to our good as He is to being good!

Jesus’s Name, literally “Yahweh, saving,” brings all of this precious truth immediately to mind. When wounded, or fearful, or troubled, or hungry, or weary, or in danger, or in need of supply, or seeking purpose, how sweet then the Name of Jesus sounds! He is everything to us as our Creator and Redeemer, and it is our life’s work—our eternity’s work!—to praise and proclaim His Name and His love.

In what circumstances or ways do you most feel your need of the Lord as your Shepherd right now? How can you be certain that He is abundantly supplying that need? How does the Name “Jesus” communicate that to you? How sweet is it to you?

Sample prayer: Our Lord and our God, we adore You as our Creator and Redeemer. How marvelous it is that You have laid down Your life for us, Your sheep! Forgive us for our wicked forgetfulness of You that causes us so much anxiety, and grant that Your Spirit would minister the sweetness of Your Name unto us that we might rest upon You as our Shepherd, in Whom we see the Father, and in Whose  Name we ask it, AMEN!

Suggested songs: ARP23B “The Lord’s My Shepherd” or TPH492 “How Sweet the Name of Jesus Sounds”

Monday, September 06, 2021

Great Is God's Faithfulness to Us, through Us, for Us, and Especially in Christ (2021.09.05 Evening Sermon in 2Samuel 21:15–22)

God is faithful to us when we are weak, in His chosen One, through servants 'great' and small, and for the sake of His Name.
(click title within audio player for a page where you can download mp3/pdf files of this sermon)

Jesus Our Perfect Prophet, Priest, and Substitute. A Help for Stumbling Saints (2021.09.05 Morning Sermon in Luke 22:54–65)

The Lord Jesus shows Himself to have predicted exactly Peter's denial, for which our Lord's intervention was the perfect solution, because our Lord Himself is our perfect Substitute.

(click title within players for a page where you can download video/mp3/pdf files of this sermon)

"Of Repentance unto Life" part 13, WCF 15.6.3, The Duty of Confession to One Another

Those who are righteous by faith in Jesus Christ have the duty of glorifying His forgiveness by confessing sin to one another, and praying for one another upon that reconciliation.
(click audio title within player for a page where you can download mp3/pdf files of this lesson)

2021.09.06 Hopewell @Home ▫ Luke 22:54–65

Read Luke 22:54–65

Questions from the Scripture text: Where did they bring Jesus in Luke 22:54? Who followed at a distance? What had the mob done in Luke 22:55? Who sat down among them? Who saw him (Luke 22:56)? What did she do and say? What did Peter do and say in Luke 22:57? Who does what when in Luke 22:58a? What does Peter say (verse 58b)? About how long passes in Luke 22:59? Who does what with what words? What does Peter say in Luke 22:60? Then, what happens when? Who does what in Luke 22:61a? What does Peter remember (verse 61b)? What does Peter do in Luke 22:62? What four things do  the men do to Jesus in Luke 22:63-64? What do they say to Him to do? What does Luke 22:65 add?

The Lord Jesus is our perfect Prophet. In Luke 22:34, He had told Peter that this would happen, and it was exactly as He had said. The wicked guards cry “Prophesy!” in Luke 22:64, but the irony is that it comes in the context of one of His very specific prophecies coming exactly true. 

His Word is perfectly reliable! Never is this more important than in telling us about His own identity as the God-Man, His work in giving His life for us, and the certainty of the completion of our salvation in Him. Every proof of the reliability of His Word should stir up our confidence in these things.

The Lord Jesus is our perfect Intercessor. When the Lord looked at Peter (Luke 22:61a), you would think that look of love would send him running in, retracting his denials, eager to die with Christ. But, it was not time yet for Peter to be restored, and he instead goes outside and cries (Luke 22:62). Still, we know that this isn’t the end of Peter’s story, and that he will both return and then strengthen his brethren. How do we know? Christ has prayed for him (cf. Luke 22:32). Indeed, we can almost be certain that He is praying for him even with that look. We can even be certain, when we are failing Him, that He is at that moment praying for us (cf. Hebrews 7:25). 

The Lord Jesus is our perfect Substitute. It seems unfair that Peter isn’t the one in there getting mocked and beaten in Luke 22:63-65. He deserves all that and worse! But isn’t that just the point? Jesus, the One Who is remaining faithful (cf. 1 Timothy 6:13, 1 Peter 2:22–24), is the One receiving the just desserts of wickedness. He saves a sinful people first and foremost by receiving what they deserve as their Substitute. The next day, being our Substitute will require that He endure the assault of God Himself. Amazing love, amazing grace, amazing salvation!

In what situation do you most need to remember a particular promise of Christ? What promise of His is most relevant to it? How does the timing of a rooster’s crow help you here? When you are in the midst of failing Jesus, what is He doing for you? What do you deserve? Who has received it? What won’t you receive if you are His? What will you receive instead?

Sample prayer:  Our perfect Lord and Savior, You are worthy of all glory and honor and praise! Indeed, You deserve all blessing and blessedness. We deserve only wrath, and have often failed You and even mistreated You. But You have taken upon Yourself the wrath that we deserve, and You are praying for us on the basis of Your own worthiness for us. So, grant unto us to rest in You and rejoice over You, and finish that work of making us like Yourself so that we will then perfectly glorify You and fully enjoy You forever, which we ask in Your Name, AMEN!

Suggested songs: ARP22A “My God, My God” or TPH274 “Jesus, My Great High Priest”