Saturday, September 23, 2023

Jesus Loves You SO Much, and You Should Obey God [2023.09.23 Pastoral Letter and Hopewell Herald

Hopewell Herald – September 23, 2023

Dear Congregation,

I asked 5yo S- what to write you, since I’m running on fumes. She said, “Jesus loves you SO much, and you should obey God.”

She’s not wrong. Of course, we would want to clarify that Jesus is God, and that He is both the One Whose obedience has been counted for us through faith, and the One Whose life in us is the only way that anyone can ever come to love or obey God. But one could almost summarize the teaching of the morning sermon passage for tomorrow (Mt 3:1–12) in her words.

Jesus does love us SO much. It is His everlasting love that refused to let us perish in our sins (v3 in light of Hos 11, Jer 31, Isa 53 from last week and Isa 40 this week). In everlasting love, He came into the world to save us from them (v12). In everlasting love, He pours out His Spirit, not just to give us the life that we desperately and urgently needed, but to dwell in us as our Helper and Hope (v11).

And you should obey God. Participating in religious movements about salvation (v7a), or receiving sacramental signs of salvation (v7b), or membership in a people of salvation (v9) are not such indicators of union with Christ or the indwelling of the Spirit as bearing fruit in keeping with repentance (v8).

As those who sometimes feel our desperate need of conversion, we need to hear, “Jesus loves you SO much,” and to hear what He has done (and is doing) for us in that love. And as those who sometimes feel self-assured in externals, we need to hear, “You should obey God,” and to hear that Jesus Himself, by His Spirit, is our hope of that as well.

Looking forward to gathering to Him together tomorrow,


Audio lessons to help you prepare for the Lord’s Day:

▪Theology Simply Explained — WSC105, Praying to Be Forgiven Forgivers 
▪Psalm 102:12–17, “What to Do When Overwhelmed
▪Isaiah 23, “Don't Fear Wealthy Conglomerates
▪Titus 2:3–5, “The High Calling of Godly Women
▪Matthew 3:1–12, “Christ Our Hope of Conversion
▪Leviticus 10:1–7, “Uncommanded Worship Is Christless Worship

LORD'S DAY – September 24, 2023 

9:50 a.m. Breakfast Line Opens

10 a.m. Sabbath School
We continue building a Biblical Theology of the Diaconate, picking up where we left off in 1Timothy 5:9 with the character required for a woman to be added to the roster of supported widows.

11 a.m. Public Worship
Children’s Catechism for September 24
Q59. How can you get the help of the Holy Spirit? God has told us that we must pray to Him for the Holy Spirit.

Shorter Catechism for September 24
Q105. What do we pray for in the fifth petition? In the fifth petition, which is, And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors, we pray that God, for Christ’s sake, would freely pardon all our sins; which we are the rather encouraged to ask, because by His grace we are enabled from the heart to forgive others.
[WSC 105 Simply Explained: “
Praying to Be Forgiven Forgivers”]

Songs for September 24 morning service: 
ARP102B “My Days Like Evening’s Shade” [mp3]
ARP94B “Who for Me Withstands the Wicked” [mp3]
TPH391 “Come, O Come, Thou Quickening Spirit” [mp3]

Scripture Text for first portion of worship service
Psalm 102:12–17

Scripture Readings and basis for confession of sin and petition for help
Isaiah 23
Titus 2:3–5

Sermon Scripture text and topic
We will be hearing a sermon from Matthew 3:1–12 on “Spirit-ual Hope of Conversion

Lord’s Supper! (Please see the section at the end of the Worship Booklet on how rightly to prepare for and take it).

1 p.m. Coffee Fellowship and Catechism Class

1:30 p.m. Fellowship Lunch
Memory Verse for September 24, Matthew 3:11, I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry.

3:00 p.m Evening Praise and Preaching
We will be singing at least ten Psalm selections and hearing a sermon from Leviticus 10:1–7 on “The Danger of Christless Worship

Hopewell this Month
Hopewell’s Presbytery Prayer Focus for September
Bethel ARP in Oak Hill, AL

September Psalm of the Month
ARP94B Who for Me Withstands the Wicked

Upcoming Events

Wednesday, September 27, Midweek Prayer Meeting. 6:30 p.m. in the Chapel. We will hear a sermon from Romans 8:28–30 then pray until just before 8 p.m.
• Thursday, September 28, Session Meeting, 6p.m. in the Fellowship Hall.
• Saturday, October 28, Men’s (and future men) breakfast, 6:30a in the Fellowship Hall

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