With biting sarcasm, Paul calls out his opponents in Corinth for their self-promotion. In contrast, Paul’s desire for commendation from Christ alone shaped his philosophy of ministry in ways that we will explore this Lord’s Day.
The hymn selection for this service will remind us of the reason we have no right to promote ourselves—our state was very sad apart from the Lord’s saving grace and we would still be in that state had He not set his affections on us. Because he transformed us, we give praise to him alone.
PREPARATION FOR WORSHIP
Call to Worship Psalm 145:3-9
Hymn Insert I Greet Thee, Who My Sure Redeemer Art
Note: Notes: We begin the service with this beautiful anthem attributed to John Calvin. It rejoices in Christ, our Redeemer, and proclaims his indisputable and exclusive sufficiency for our salvation: “Our hope is in no other save in thee.” The third verse describes his loving demeanor and prays that we might mirror what we see in him: “O grant to us the grace we find in Thee, that we may dwell in perfect unity.”
Worship through Giving
Response: Psalm 116b
Hymn 333 How Sad Our State
Note: Saving faith is inseparably linked to biblical repentance. This hymn reminds us of the true human condition and expresses a spirit of repentance. Yet, this repentance does not constitute a meritorious work because God took the initiative to do for us what we could never do for ourselves. His “voice of sov’reign grace [sounded] from the sacred Word” to call us to faith in Christ and submission to this “victorious King.”
Scripture Reading Matthew 13:1-17
Note: Paul declared that his opponents in Corinth lacked understanding. He used a word that appears in several places to describe a specific spiritual condition. Lack of understanding is not simple ignorance of facts, but active rejection of truth. In this passage, Jesus applies the term to those who refuse to listen to him.
Hymn Insert Lord, ‘Tis Not That I Did Choose Thee
Note: Our state was sad, indeed. However, the Lord mercifully took pity on us. He initiated our salvation and ordained that we should live for him. It is all of grace; He deserves our “undivided adoration”—a focus that leaves no room for self-promotion.
Message Seeking the Lord’s Commendation
2 Corinthians 10:12-18
Pastor Steven Thomas
Hymn HBC 40 Give Praise to God
Note: Quoting Jeremiah 9:23-24, Paul encapsulated the difference between his opponents and himself. They boasted in themselves, he boasted in the Lord. Therefore, we respond to the message by declaring our intent to “give praise to God alone.”
Prayer Response Mark Buhr
Benediction John Miles