Saturday, October 28, 2023

How Spiritual Pride Devastates Us [2023.10.28 Pastoral Letter and Hopewell Herald]

Hopewell Herald – October 28, 2023

Dear Congregation,

In Isaiah, we come this week to chapter 28, in which we hear the woe against pride. One of the worst things about pride is that, by hiding from our eyes how wretched we are, it hides from our eyes the preciousness of Christ, the Cornerstone.

Isaiah 28:16
Therefore thus says the Lord God:
“Behold, I lay in Zion a stone for a foundation,
A tried stone, a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation;
Whoever believes will not act hastily.

Sadly, for Judah, Ahaz was too busy hoping in his “alliance with death” to hope in the Lord God’s offered cornerstone. We learned about this, back in chs. 7–8, and now in 28:18, the Lord assures them that their proud efforts will fail.

You and I need to heed this word. If we pursue righteousness as if it is by works (cf. Rom 9:32), we will stumble over the stumbling stone (cf. Rom 9:33). We must never trust in ourselves or what we do. We mustn’t treat faith as a saving work—as if our believing is doing the saving rather, than the One in Whom we are believing. We mustn’t treat good doctrine as a saving work—as if an accurate theology of Christ or grace is doing the saving, rather than Christ Himself saving by that grace.

How subtle, how tricky, spiritual pride and self-trust can be!

But there is a telling image for such false hopes in Isaiah 28:20.
For the bed is too short to stretch out on,
And the covering so narrow that one cannot wrap himself in it.

Have you ever tried to sleep on a space that you couldn’t quite stretch out upon? Or tried to cover yourself, on a cold night, with a blanket that was just a touch too small? The promise of comfort and relief is false, leaving you more miserable for having had the hope of any comfort to begin with.

If we are hoping in anything other than Christ Himself, our hope will disastrously fail us. But if we come to God through Christ, we will find Him a precious cornerstone and sure foundation. He will never disappoint.

Looking forward to coming to God through Him together,



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

▪Theology Simply Explained — WSC3, The Scriptures Teach Us to Trust and Obey
▪Psalm 104:16–26, “Imaging God by Worship and Work
▪Isaiah 28, “Woe to Our Pride
▪Titus 3:1–3, “Godly Submission to Rulers
▪Matthew 4:12–25, “The King of Light, Raiding the Kingdom of Darkness
▪Leviticus 15, “Christ Cleanses Us from What Comes Out of Us

LORD'S DAY – October 29, 2023 

9:50 a.m. Breakfast Line Opens

10 a.m. Sabbath School
We will be starting the book Battleplan for the Mind on taking over our thoughts with Scripture.

11 a.m. Public Worship
Children’s Catechism for October 29
Q64. What offices has Christ? Christ has three offices.

Shorter Catechism for October 29
Q3. What do the Scriptures principally teach? The Scriptures principally teach what man is to believe concerning God, and what duty God requires of man.
[WSC 3 Simply Explained: “
The Scriptures Teach Us to Trust and Obey”]

Songs for October 29 morning service: 
ARP104C “The Trees of the Field” [mp3]
ARP48B “Within Your Temple” [mp3]
ARP72C “May Waving Grain on Hilltops Thrive” [mp3] 

Scripture Text for first portion of worship service
Psalm 104.16–26

Scripture Readings and basis for confession of sin and petition for help
Isaiah 28
Titus 3:1–3

Sermon Scripture text and topic
We will be hearing the sermon from Matthew 4:12–25 on “The Good News of the King of Light

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 October 29, Matthew 4:16, The people who sat in darkness have seen a great light, and upon those who sat in the region and shadow of death Light has dawned

3:00 p.m Evening Praise and Preaching
We will be singing at least ten Psalm selections and hearing the sermon from Leviticus 15 on “Salvation from This Body of Death


Hopewell this Month

Hopewell’s Presbytery Prayer Focus for October
Camden ARP in Camden, AL

October Psalm of the Month
ARP48B Within Your Temple

Upcoming Events

Wednesday, November 1, Midweek Prayer Meeting. 6:30 p.m. in the Chapel. We will hear a devotional from Elder Mangum then pray until just before 8 p.m.
• Thursday, November 16, Session Meeting, 6p.m. in the Fellowship Hall.
• Saturday, November 25, Men’s (and future men) breakfast, 7a in the Fellowship Hall

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