In our sermon text for this Lord’s Day (Luke 7:1-10), we encounter a “wonderful” faith in an unexpected person: a Roman centurion. Several important themes are woven into the story. It foreshadows the universal scope of the gospel message. It enlarges the picture of Christ’s mighty power. It stresses our unworthiness to approach Christ. But, the heart of the text is verse 9 where Jesus pronounced his approval of this man’s trust and used it to instruct the crowd about what faith looks like.
We begin our service with a hymn that reminds us of the who Jesus is: Lord and King! Hymns that follow remind us of our unworthiness and inability to change our condition. We will conclude the service with an expression of faith in Jesus.
PREPARATION FOR WORSHIP
Welcome and Call to Worship
Hymn 13 Rejoice, the Lord is King!
Notes: Jesus is Lord. This is not a trite saying; it is a profound statement that changes our outlook on everything. Our sermon text puts on display the authority of Jesus, our Lord.
Hymn 333 How Sad Our State
Notes: This hymn reminds us of the true human condition and expresses a spirit of repentance. Just as the centurion was helpless to change his situation, we are unable to change our spiritual state. However, 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.
Scripture Reading: Ephesians 2:1-10
Note: The apostle Paul declares our unworthiness to come God. And yet God, saves us because of his incomprehensible love. All that he requires is faith—and even that comes from him!
Hymn Insert Not What My Hands Have Done
Notes: The cross unmasks our proud independence and exposes our inadequacy; we can never please God on our own. “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.”
Message: “Wonderful” Faith
Pastor Steven Thomas
Hymn Insert I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say
Notes: Horatius Bonar, 19th century minister in Scotland, left a rich legacy of hymns. This is, perhaps, the best known. He framed it as description of the response of faith. Each verse begins, “I heard the voice of Jesus say” and then concludes, “I came/looked to Jesus.” Notice v. 1 “I came to Jesus as I was.”
Prayer Response: Steve Eubank
Benediction: John Miles