Saturday, December 23, 2023

Enjoying Our Union with Christ Together [2023.12.23 Pastoral Letter and Hopewell Herald]

Hopewell Herald – December 23, 2023

Dear Congregation,

I am ignorant. I am guilty. I am weak and helpless.

These have been the answers to the younger children’s catechism questions the last three weeks. But, praise God, they have only secondarily been questions about ourselves. Primarily, they have been questions about Christ.

Christ is our Great Prophet. By His Spirit, He given us His full and faithful teaching in the Scriptures, through His apostles, prophets, and evangelists (Eph 4:11). And by His same Spirit, He attends the reading and especially the preaching of His Word as pastor-teachers of His own calling and gifting stabilize all His flock in the same doctrine (Eph 4:11–14), so that we may minister well to one another (Eph 4:15–16).

Christ is our Great High Priest. He has offered Himself up, once for all, a propitiation [full atonement] by which our guilt is removed (Rom 3:24–26), and by which we are consecrated for His worship (Heb 10:10, 14, 19–25).

Christ is our Great King. It is He Who subdued us, and brought us to submit to His own righteousness (Rom 10:3–4). He has liberated us from slavery to our own sinfulness (Rom 6:6–13) and from the condemnation of the law (Rom 6:14, 7:1). He now rules us so that we receive the law from Him as the royal law (Jam 2:9) and the law of liberty (Jam 1:25), which we follow from the heart by His Spirit (Rom 7:6). And it is He Who defends us from all evil that is within (Phil 1:6, 2:12–13) and without (2Tim 4:16–18).

A right view of ourselves is necessary, but not primary. A right view of Christ is both necessary and primary. And this knowledge must not remain theoretical but, experimentally, be tested, practiced, experienced.

Blessed be God! In public worship, He gives us to come to Him through Christ, and know and experience Him as our Redeemer—our Prophet, Priest, and King. God became a Man that He might give Himself for us, once for all. But God the Son also became a Man that He might give Himself to us, continually, forever. It is in this union with Him, as those who receive all of our life from Him, that we enjoy the blessedness of having Him as our Prophet, Priest, and King.

So, let us come to worship not only to think right things about ourselves and about Christ, but to know Him experimentally as God and Savior.

Looking forward to our enjoying our union with Christ together,


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

▪Theology Simply Explained — WSC11, God's Personal Providence 
▪Psalm 107:23–43, “Wonders of Love-Driven Providence
▪Isaiah 36–37, “Pride and Prayer Before the One True God
▪James 1:1–18, “Why and How Trials Are All Joy for Believers
▪Matthew 5:10–16, “Exceedingly Glad to Be Persecuted
▪Leviticus 21, “Holy Priests, Prepared to Participate in Holy Worship

LORD'S DAY – December 24, 2023 

9:50 a.m. Breakfast Line Opens

10 a.m. Sabbath School
Mr. Wenneker will lead us in considering chapter 7 of the book Battleplan for the Mind—considering various occasional meditation—Daily; Lord’s Day/Sermons; Sermon (or FW) prep; Life events; Lord’s Supper

11 a.m. Public Worship

Children’s Catechism for December 24
Q72. How many commandments did God give on Mount Sinai? Ten commandments.

Shorter Catechism for December 24
Q11. What are God’s works of providence? God’s works of providence are His most holy, wise and powerful preserving and governing all His creatures, and all their actions.
[WSC 11 Simply Explained: “
God's Personal Providence”]

Songs for December 24 morning service: 
ARP107DE “To Those Who Sail the Sea” [mp3]
ARP40A “I Waited for the Lord” [mp3]
TPH2B “Why Do Heathen Nations Rage” [mp3]

Scripture Text for first portion of worship service
Psalm 107:23–43

Scripture Readings and basis for confession of sin and petition for help
Isaiah 36–37
James 1:1–18

Sermon Scripture text and topic
We will be hearing the sermon from Matthew 5:10–16 on “Rejoice and Shine!

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 December 24, Matthew 5:11, Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake.

3:00 p.m Evening Praise and Preaching
We will be singing at least ten Psalm selections and hearing the sermon from Leviticus 21 on “Sanctity of Worship

Hopewell this Month

Hopewell’s Presbytery Prayer Focus for December
Lincoln Memorial ARP in Fayetteville, TN

December Psalm of the Month
ARP40A I Waited for the Lord

Upcoming Events

Wednesday, December 27, Midweek Prayer Meeting. 6:30 p.m. in the Chapel. We will hear a sermon from Romans 10:5–9 then pray until just before 8 p.m.
• Thursday, January 11, Session Meeting, 6p.m. in the Fellowship Hall. This is also the deadline for deacon candidate recommendations.
• Saturday, January 27, Men’s (and future men) breakfast, 7a in the Fellowship Hall

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