Saturday, April 27, 2024

Christ Alone! [2024.04.27 Pastoral Letter and Hopewell Herald]

Hopewell Herald – April 27, 2024

Dear Congregation,

Tomorrow, we come to hear about the narrow gate and the confined/difficult way in Matthew 7:14. And the gate is narrow indeed. It is Christ alone!

If we are tempted to rest upon our good works, or good intentions, or sincerity, or even upon our good doctrine, we find that the gate is too narrow to squeeze through with any of that. We can only get through with Christ Himself as all of our merit and all of our hope. Christ alone!

If we think that we can carry with us pleasurable sins, living for self, companionship of unbelievers, or anything else that we felt was at the core of our identity, we find that we must give it all up. Christ alone!

There is a close connection between the Christian gospel and Christian worship. Christ alone!

So much of what God had put into worship to pre-figure Christ to His church “under age” (cf. WCF 19.3), He put an end to after Christ came. So, by the absence of those things, the intentional simplicity of worship under His priesthood shouts to us: “Christ alone!”

Now, when we come to join the heavenly Zion by faith in the Lord’s Day assembly, we must be keenly aware that nothing can come with us, except that which is from Christ Himself. Christ alone!

And when we are there, we are keenly aware that His blood has consecrated us to enter, and His flesh is the new and living way that we enter. How did we come to be gathered unto God Himself? Christ alone!

If we profit from the preaching, we remember that Christ is now the Prophet in Heaven, Who addresses us through earthly mouthpieces. The profit is from Christ alone!

If the Spirit fills us, and the Word of Christ dwells in us richly, then we know that this is because it is Christ is the Priest, Who sings God’s praise in the assembly. In the priesthood of all believers, every one of us now replaces the Levitical choir and the Levitical accompanists, as we admonish one another. But the rising of praise to God and penetration of the Word and Spirit in our heart features Christ alone!

If we draw near to God in the praying, and know that we are heard in Heaven, we draw that encouragement not from ascending smoke or incense but from the risen, ascended Christ alone!

When we come to the table and are nourished and strengthened and assured and gladdened, it is not by the quantity or content of the bread or the wine, but by Christ alone!

If, with God having removed so much from the sights, sounds, smells, and calendar that He Himself had previously instituted, we are tempted to add in anything that man has instituted, the whole of Scripture admonishes us: “Christ alone!”

Looking forward to worship with you, and this particular sermon text, that announces to us, “Christ Alone!”


There will be a brief heads of households meeting, up front, immediately following worship tomorrow (April 28), for the current deacons to advise about diaconal care of non-members.

From the Johnston Family: Save the Date. Thomas Johnston's graduation, Saturday, June 1 at Hopewell

Note the change in tomorrow’s Scripture-memory verse. It is now Mt 7:13 (if you’ve been memorizing v19, you have a head start on next week, Lord-willing)

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

▪Theology Simply Explained — CC90, A Day for Worship 
▪Theology Simply Explained — WSC29, Redemption Divinely Applied by God 
Psalm 118:15–18, “The Rejoicing of Righteous Homes and Hearts
Isaiah 54, “What the Servant Secured for His Bride and His Offspring
1John 3:4–10, “Joining Our Savior's War against Our Sin
Matthew 7:13–14, “Two Gates, Ways, Destinations
Numbers 9:1–14, “The Lord's Covenant Meal

LORD'S DAY – April 28, 2024 

9:50 a.m. Breakfast Line Opens

10 a.m. Sabbath School
We are preparing our minds and hearts for public worship by studying our Confession of Faith from Scripture, affirming that Scripture is our only ultimate authority, but also discovering that what we confess is thoroughly Scriptural.

11 a.m. Public Worship

Children’s Catechism for April 28. Q90 How should the Sabbath be spent? In prayer and praise, in hearing and reading God's Word, and in doing good to our fellow men. [CC 90 Simply Explained: “A Day for Worship”]

Shorter Catechism for April 28. Q29 How are we made partakers of the redemption purchased by Christ? We are made partakers of the redemption purchased by Christ, by the effectual application of it to us by His Holy Spirit. [WSC 29 Simply Explained: “Redemption Applied by God”]

Songs for April 28 morning service:
ARP118C “Loud Shouts of Joy” [mp3]
ARP22D “All Ends of Earth Will Turn to Him” [mp3]
TPH459 “My Hope Is Built on Nothing Less” [mp3]

Scripture Text for first portion of worship service
Psalm 118.15-18

Scripture Readings and basis for confession of sin and petition for help
Isaiah 54
1John 3:4–10

Sermon Scripture text and topic

We will be hearing the sermon from Matthew 7:13–14 about “Two Doors, Two Directions, Two Destinations

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 April 28, Matthew 7:13, Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it.

3:00 p.m Evening Praise and Preaching
We will be singing at least ten Psalm selections and hearing the sermon from Numbers 9:1–14 about “The Lord, His Meal, and His People

Hopewell this Month

Hopewell’s Presbytery Prayer Focus for April
Prosperity ARP in Marion Junction, AL

April Psalm of the Month
ARP22D All Ends of Earth Will Turn to Him

Upcoming Events

Wednesday, May 1, Midweek Prayer Meeting. 6:30 p.m. in the Chapel. We will hear a sermon from Romans 14:1–9 then pray until 8:15 p.m.
• Thursday, May 23, Session Meeting, 6p.m. in the Fellowship Hall.
• Saturday, May 25, Men’s (and future men) breakfast, 7a in the Fellowship Hall

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