Saturday, May 04, 2024

Public Worship in Light of the Sermon on the Mount [2024.05.04 Pastoral Letter and Hopewell Herald]

Hopewell Herald – May 4, 2024

Dear Congregation,

We have learned from the Sermon on the Mount that worship occurs, fundamentally, in the secret place of your heart, where only God sees (cf. Mt 6:1–18). God has given us particular actions by which we offer it, but it is especially your doing it unto Him, Who is your Reward, that is the worship.

This, of course, is one of the great reasons that nothing that man invents can be “worship.” How can man invent that which reaches to God? How can man think that God would accept worship by such actions?

Praise God, He gives us great help in directing our hearts’ attention to Him in heaven. As we heard throughout Leviticus, the other-worldly nature of the tabernacle was combined with other-worldly language about the physical offerings (e.g. “the ascension,” which most English translations oddly translate “burnt offering”).

Now, the earthly simplicity and plainness itself of the worship that He has commanded under Christ turns our attention to Him, where we are seated with Him in the heavenly places. Worship is by faith. Worship is spiritual. Worship is heavenly. Worship is in Christ.

We come to lift up our souls, to know God alone as God, and to pour out our souls to Him directly. How precious, then, is that worship that He has commanded! And how precious, by corollary, the dear ones with whom He gathers us into glory! They are the heavenly ones, the holy ones. All that we need for the public worship of God is the assembly of the saints, a Bible, a flask of wine, a cup, a loaf of bread, and sometimes (God grant that it would be more often!) a source of water.

So, I ask you, dear reader: is that where you worship? Is that where your attention is in the service: where Christ is? From where Christ leads? What Christ Himself is doing? How your heart is engaging with Him? How your heart is engaging God through Him?

Looking forward to this precious worship in the assembly of these precious ones, as we are seated together in heaven in the Precious One,


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

▪Theology Simply Explained — CC91, Why the 5th Commandment Is 5th 
▪Theology Simply Explained — WSC30, The Spirit Brings Us into Christ 
Psalm 118:19–29, “Righteous and Rejoicing, on the Lord's Day, through Union with Christ” 
Isaiah 55, “A Welcome into Full Enjoyment of God” 
1John 3:10–15, “How God Shows Who Are His Children” 
Matthew 7:15–29, “Beware of False Prophets and Professions” 
Numbers 9:15–23, “God with Us to Lead Us and Keep Us” 

LORD'S DAY – May 5, 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 5. Q91 What is the fifth commandment? The fifth commandment is, Honor thy father and thy mother, that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee. [CC 91 Simply Explained: “Why the 5th Commandment Is 5th”]

Shorter Catechism for May 5. Q30 How doth the Spirit apply to us the redemption purchased by Christ? The Spirit applieth to us the redemption purchased by Christ, by working faith in us, and thereby uniting us to Christ in our effectual calling. [WSC 30 Simply Explained: “The Spirit Brings Us into Christ”]

Songs for May 5 morning service: 
ARP118D “Now Open Wide the Gates” [mp3
ARP44A “O God, We Have Heard of Your Works” [mp3
TPH459 “My Hope Is Built on Nothing Less” [mp3]

Scripture Text for first portion of worship service 
Psalm 118.19-29

Scripture Readings and basis for confession of sin and petition for help 
Isaiah 55 
1John 3:10–15

Sermon Scripture text and topic
We will be hearing the sermon from Matthew 7:15–29 about “Beware of False Prophets and False Professions

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 5, Matthew 7:19, Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.

3:00 p.m Evening Praise and Preaching
We will be singing at least ten Psalm selections and hearing the sermon from Numbers 9:15–23 about “The Faithful, Powerful Presence of God

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 8, Midweek Prayer Meeting. 6:30 p.m. in the Chapel. We will hear a sermon from Romans 14:10–13 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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