Paul laid out the truth that the Law of Moses has been annulled, displaced by a glorious new covenant (2 Corinthians 3:6-11). In the sermon text for this Lord’s Day, he further explains that those who try to come to God through the Law are blind. But the Spirit of God shines the light of truth on all who turn to Christ. The text climaxes with a description of the Spirit’s transforming work in the lives of all who believe, changing us from glory to glory.
Our hymn selection helps us remember that Christ came for this purpose: to set free those bound by sin; that the Spirit works to save and sanctify all who trust the Lord.
PREPARATION FOR WORSHIP
Prepared Music: Rejoice!
Call to Worship: John 4:13-14
Hymn 111: Angels from the Realms of Glory
Notes: The sermon text reminds us that the Spirit of the Lord gives us freedom, but that freedom comes through the work of Jesus Christ. This beloved Christmas hymns speaks to doomed sinners to declare that through Christ “Justice now revokes the sentence, Mercy calls you, break your chains.”
Worship through Giving
Congregational Response, Hymn: Doxology
Hymn Insert: I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say
Notes: The second verse of this hymn depicts Jesus offering living water to those with “thirsty” souls. It is a reference to Jesus’ encounter with the woman at the well (John 4). In context, that passage connects his offer of “living water” with the work of the Holy Spirit who applies the work of Christ to those who turn to him. And so we sing, “My thirst was quenched, my soul revived, and now I live in Him.”
Scripture Reading: John 1:1-18
Notes: The prologue of John’s Gospel describes the first advent of Jesus in terms of grace and glory. In him the grace of God was fully revealed, displacing the law of Moses (1:17). John emphasized the fact that we receive the benefit of Christ’s gracious work by the work and will of God (1:12-13). According to the sermon text, “this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit” (3:18).
Hymn HBC 36: Here Is Love
Notes: This hymn brings together the themes of Christ’s gracious provision of salvation and the Spirit’s application of his work. It reminds us that the Spirit transforms us (“from glory to glory”) through the agency of his word: “In Thy truth Thou dost direct me By Thy Spirit through Thy Word.”
Message: Transformed from Glory to Glory
2 Corinthians 3:12-18
Pastor Steven Thomas
Notes: Sung to a familiar tune, the hymn responds to the sermon by entreating the Holy Spirit to apply the saving, transforming work of Christ to us. This is the continuous work of Christ through his Spirit: “Yes, in me, in me He dwelleth: I in Him and He in me! And my empty soul He filleth, Here and thro’ eternity.”
Prayer Response: John Miles
Benediction: John Miles