In the sermon text for this Lord’s Day, Paul explains what it looks like when the love of Christ “controls” us and, thus, we live only for him (cf. 5:14-15). Paul’s worldview had undergone a radical transformation so that he no longer viewed Christ—or anything else—from a worldly outlook. Being united with Christ changed everything. A central element of that change was an understanding of the Christians’ mission to serve as Christ’s ambassadors entrusted with the message of reconciliation.
The songs selected for this worship service highlight the work of Christ that reconciles sinners to God.
PREPARATION FOR WORSHIP
Call to Worship Isaiah 25:1
Hymn 81 Hail, Thou Once Despised Jesus!
Note: Reconciliation between rebel sinners and a holy God takes place only through the merit of Christ’s life and the atonement of his death. Second Corinthians 5:21 describes both these necessary aspects of the work of Christ. Therefore, we sing, “By Thy merits we find favor; Life is given through Thy name” and “All Thy people are forgiven Through the virtue of Thy blood.” Thus, by his life and by his death, “Peace is made ‘twixt man and God.”
Worship through Giving
Congregational Response: Hymn Doxology
Hymn HBC 7 His Robes for Mine
Note: By faith we, like Paul, are united with Christ. Christ’s righteousness is credited (imputed) to us and our sin was laid on him (imputed). Martin Luther called this a “marvelous exchange.” This hymn describes the significance of this grand gospel truth. (We should view the line in the chorus “God estranged from God” as a poetic expression of the mystery of the incarnation that emerges at the cross. Technically, the Son was never estranged from the Father).
Scripture Reading Colossians 1:15-23
Note: In this passage Paul further elaborates on our “message of reconciliation.”
Hymn 174 Arise, My Soul, Arise
Note: The work of Christ saves us and keeps us, as described throughout this beloved hymn. And so we sing in conclusion:
I now am reconciled;
God’s pard’ning voice I hear,
He owns me as His child,
I can no longer fear.
Message “Be Reconciled to God”
2 Corinthians 5:16-6:2
Pastor Steven Thomas
Hymn Insert Come, Ye Sinners, Poor and Needy
Note: As he did with Paul, God makes his appeal through us: be reconciled to God. In this final hymn, we implore:
Come, ye sinners, poor and needy
Weak and wounded, sick and sore
Jesus ready, stands to save you
Full of pity, love and power
Prayer Response Mark Buhr
Benediction John Miles