In 1 Timothy 1:8-11, the apostle Paul addressed an important aspect of the false teaching taking place in the churches in Ephesus. The issue was the misuse of the Law of Moses. Having instructed Timothy to confront and correct the false teachers (1:3-7), Paul counters their error by stressing that the Law is good when used properly, but it was not intended for the just.
The elements of the service will uphold Paul’s message about the Law by focusing on the justice of our holy God seen in the cross of Jesus, our Savior.
PREPARATION FOR WORSHIP
Call to Worship: Psalm 119:97-104
Hymn 3 Holy, Holy, Holy
Note: Any discussion of the Law of God must rest on the truth of God’s holiness (see Exodus 15:11). The word “holy” is scattered throughout the Law of Moses nearly 200 times. This holy God declared, “be holy for I am holy.”
Worship through Giving
Hymn (Insert) Not What These Hands Have Done
Notes: None of us can ever please God by keeping his Law. “Not what my hands have done can save my guilty soul.” Where, then, is salvation found? “Thy work alone, O Christ . . . Thy blood alone, O Lamb of God.” We respond, “I praise the God of grace; I trust his truth and might.
Scripture Reading Romans 3:19-31
Note: This passage contains the climax of Paul’s indictment of the world (Jew and Gentile) for sin (19-20). It then pivots to explain the fact that the righteousness we cannot achieve through law-keeping is a gift bestowed by God. He declares the sinner righteous because of Christ. Through his righteous life and substitutionary death, God is both Just and the Justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.
Hymn 286 The Perfect Righteousness of God
Note: This theologically rich hymn how law-breakers may receive God’s forgiveness. His “Stern Justice” and Mercy are bound together in the cross of Christ, our Savior:
The sinner who believes is free,
Can say: “The Savior died for me”;
Can point to the atoning blood, and say:
“This made my peace with God.”
We will sing this to the well-known alternate tune DUKE STREET (51).
Message: When the Law is Good
Text: 1 Timothy 1:8-11
Pastor Steven Thomas
Hymn (Insert) Here is Love
Note: This hymn is a wonderful reminder of God’s vast love for us seen in the crucifixion and death of Jesus. Contrary to what some people say, those freed from the Law do not “live however they please.” The third verse expresses the priorities of those who receive this redeeming love, “Let me seek Thy kingdom only, And my life be to thy praise.” The final verse describes the evidence of saving faith, “In Thy truth Thou dost direct me, by Thy Spirit, through Thy Word.”
Prayer Response: John Miles
Benediction: John Miles