People often suggest that Jesus told parables to illustrate the truths he taught. But Jesus, himself, explains in the sermon text for this Lord’s Day that he did not intend for his parables to illumine truth; rather, they concealed the truth. Only those whom the Lord calls into Jesus’ Kingdom will understand it and embrace it. Luke 8:1-15 contains a famous parable and Jesus’ explanation of it. It shows that the gospel “takes root” and grows only in the hearts of those who hold fast the truth of the word of God.
The hymns for this this worship service proclaim the deep love and mercy of God revealed in the gospel. They also highlight God’s gracious initiative in saving us. Thus we begin with a hymn praising the Triune God from whom all blessings flow and conclude with a heart-felt expression of thanks for the saving initiative that involved Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
PREPARATION FOR WORSHIP
Welcome and Call to Worship
Hymn Doxology (5 verses)
Notes: All blessings flow from the Triune God, especially the blessing salvation. This hymn contains three new verses that offer praise to each member of the godhead.
Hymn 249 O the Deep, Deep Love of Jesus!
Notes: “O the deep, deep love of Jesus!” A sense of wonder fills those words. Give praise to God for his love: “vast, unmeasured, boundless, free.”
Scripture Reading: Deuteronomy 7:6-13a
Note: God explains his love for his chosen people, Israel. It did not arise from anything in Abraham or his descendants. It arose from God’s own will. He loved because he loved. Anything beyond that explanation is an unknowable mystery.
Hymn Insert Depth of Mercy
Notes: This moving hymn confesses sin in vivid language. The previous hymn rejoiced in the deep, deep love of Jesus. This hymn describes what Jesus, in love, has done for us. We rejoice that Jesus “disarms the wrath of God” so that now the Father “receives me with his love.”
Message: The Seed That Bears Fruit
Pastor Steven Thomas
Notes: Josiah Conder’s hymn attributes our salvation to God’s gracious initiative: “’Twas thy grace in Christ that called me.” He speaks of the doctrine of regeneration when he says that God’s grace “taught my darkened heart and mind.” The third verse calls us to praise the Triune God, “Undivided adoration to the great Jehovah give.”
Prayer Response: Bill Cunnien
Benediction: John Miles