Saturday, May 11, 2024

How Much Sanctification Is Enough? [2024.05.10 Pastoral Letter and Hopewell Herald]

Hopewell Herald – May 10, 2024

Dear Congregation,

How much sanctification is enough? Scripture’s answer is that we must be perfect as our Father in heaven is perfect—holy as the Lord our God is holy. And the grace-transformed heart enthusiastically agrees. For, we long to see the Lord, and without holiness we cannot see Him.

But we can understand how such a question would come from our flesh, which is why Heb 12:1–13 urges so strongly that we press on in sanctification so long as we are in this life, strengthening the drooping hands and feeble knees, and making straight paths for our feet.

Until we are in glory itself, we must continue growing in holiness.

Analogously, how much reformation is enough? Suppose that the externals of worship were thoroughly reformed. Suppose that the actions of our worship were reformed to the point that we only did those actions that Scripture commands (which I hope is the case). Suppose that the content of those actions was only that scriptural content that the Lord has provided (which is more and more the case). Suppose that even the circumstances necessary to the worship actions were arranged so as most wisely to serve those actions and forms and the reality of the nature of spiritual, heavenly Christian worship (though there is nearly always room to improve in this area).

Even in such a mature state of external reformation, the worshipers ourselves would still only be partially sanctified. So long as we are in this world, we are continually fighting to kill the flesh and seeking grace by which to grow in offering ourselves unto God as slaves for righteousness. There is nowhere that this battle is more intense, or more necessary, than in worshiping God rightly from the heart.

This side of glory, we must not be satisfied with giving God anything less than the best in either the externals or internals of worship. This side of glory, we must not be satisfied with giving God anything less than the best in the whole of our life. How much holiness is enough? The holiness that Jesus died for; the holiness that Jesus lives for. And, praise God, He has both atoned for all of our falling short in worship and guaranteed that we shall be perfected at last.

Looking forward to worshiping in the beauty of holiness with you,


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

▪Theology Simply Explained — CC92, What Honoring Authorities Looks Like 
▪Theology Simply Explained — WSC31, The Call That Awakens Our Soul 
Psalm 119:1–8, “Delighting in God's Law Because It Is His” 
Isaiah 56:1–8, “The Lord's Day for the Lord's Family” 
1John 3:16–23, “True Love, Truly Expressed, Truly Assures” 
Matthew 8:1–17, “Trusting Jesus's Ability, Authority, and Atonement” 
Numbers 10:1–10, “Gathered, Mobilized, and Remembered by the LORD

LORD'S DAY – May 12, 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 May 12. Q92 What does the fifth commandment teach us? To love and obey our parents and teachers. [CC 92 Simply Explained: “What Honoring Authorities Looks Like”]

Shorter Catechism for May 12. Q31 What is effectual calling? Effectual calling is the work of God’s Spirit, whereby, convincing us of our sin and misery, enlightening our minds in the knowledge of Christ, and renewing our wills, He doth persuade and enable us to embrace Jesus Christ, freely offered to us in the gospel. [WSC 31 Simply Explained: “The Call That Awakens Our Soul”]

Songs for May 12 morning service: 
ARP119A “How Blessed Are Those Above Reproach” [mp3]
ARP44A “O God, We Have Heard of Your Works” [mp3]
ARP30 “O Lord, I Will Exalt You” [mp3]

Scripture Text for first portion of worship service
Psalm 119.1-8

Scripture Readings and basis for confession of sin and petition for help
Isaiah 56:1–8
1John 3:16–23

Sermon Scripture text and topic
We will be hearing the sermon from Matthew 8:1–17 about “Identifying the Saved, by How They Identify the Savior

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 May 12, Matthew 8:17, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying: “He Himself took our infirmities and bore our sicknesses.”

3:00 p.m Evening Praise and Preaching
We will be singing at least ten Psalm selections and hearing the sermon from Numbers 10:1–10 about “The God Whose Calling Gathers, Mobilizes, and Gladdens Us

Hopewell this Month

Hopewell’s Presbytery Prayer Focus for May
Riverside ARP in Prattville, AL

May Psalm of the Month
ARP44A O God, We Have Heard of Your Works


Upcoming Events

Wednesday, May 15, Midweek Prayer Meeting. 6:30 p.m. in the Chapel. We will hear a sermon from Romans 15:1–7 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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