Chapter 15 of the Baptist Confession of Faith focuses our attention on the theme, “Repentance unto Life and Salvation.” We who were spiritually dead received spiritual life through repentant faith in Christ. That is the beginning of the Christian life. But Christians still struggle against the vestiges of the old nature. Christ, our Advocate, graciously represents us before the Father. Through His work, we confess our sin and persevere through this struggle.
The hymns selected for this service draw our attention to Christ’s ongoing work for God’s repentant children.
PREPARATION FOR WORSHIP
Call to Worship: Isaiah 55:10-11
Hymn 174 Arise, My Soul, Arise
Note: In this hymn, we revel in the security that Christ’s continuing work accomplishes for all who trust him. Because he represents us before the Father, the barrier that separated us from the presence of God has been removed. Thus, we approach God with confidence grounded in Christ.
Worship through Giving
Congregational Response: Doxology
Hymn 288 I Hear the Words of Love
Note: The lyrics of this hymn transport us to the cross of Christ. As onlookers, we hear Jesus’ “seven sayings” uttered as he died and realize that because of “the mighty sacrifice,” we have “peace with God.” This is the gospel. But the author adds that this is “everlasting peace.” “[We] change, He changes not.” We fail Him, but in repentance we turn to the One who will never fail us.
Scripture Reading Luke 6:39-49
Note: We are “disciples” of Jesus, that is, his followers. Jesus’ goal for us is that we will grow to be like him. This disallows the notion of the “carnal Christian,” one whose life never shows signs of true spiritual life. Jesus said, “’Why do you call me Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you?”
Hymn (Insert) Approach, My Soul, the Mercy Seat
Note: John Newton’s heart-felt hymn is a prayer of confession offered with confidence that our Lord hears us and protects us.
Bowed down beneath a load of sin,
By Satan sorely pressed,
By war without and fears within,
I come to Thee for rest.
Be Thou my shield and hiding-place,
That, sheltered by Thy side,
I may my fierce accuser face,
And tell him Thou hast died.
Message: Christ, Our Advocate
1 John 1:10-2:2
Pastor Steven Thomas
Hymn 26 Great God of Wonders!
Notes: This hymn, based on Micah 7:18, is a fitting response to the God who accepts us because Christ, our propitiation, represents us before that throne of grace. What a wondrous assurance we have that our sin can never deplete his grace!
Who is a pard’ning God like Thee?
Or who has grace so rich and free?
Prayer Response: Mark Williams
Benediction: John Miles