In the eighth chapter of 2 Corinthians, Paul launches into a discussion of an offering he collected as aid for suffering believers in Jerusalem. At first, the transition seems abrupt, but Paul’s delay in coming for this collection played a part in the conflict that prompted the composition of the letter.
In the sermon text, Paul holds forth the Macedonian churches as examples of generosity fueled by devotion to the advance of the Gospel of Christ. Our hymns remind us that Gospel grace has value that infinitely outweighs any earthly possession.
PREPARATION FOR WORSHIP
Call to Worship Psalm 96:7-9
Hymn HBC 33 (1-3) A Lord’s Day Anthem
Notes: This hymn expresses our desire to hear the Word of God and our longing for its transforming work within us. These desires rest upon our faith in the risen Christ, remembered each Lord’s Day
Worship through Giving
Response: Hymn 539 Something for Thee
Notes: Our offertory response beautifully expresses the Bible’s teaching on stewardship. Because of Christ’s great sacrifice of love, we withhold nothing from him. In fact, all that he have and all that we are belong to him.
Hymn 247 Amazing Grace
Notes: John Newton’s beloved work is perhaps the best know hymn in Christianity today. Yet it has several more verses than those commonly sung, including two included in our hymnal:
The Lord has promised good to me;
His Word my hope secures;
He will my Shield and Portion be,
As long as life endures.
The earth shall soon dissolve like snow;
The sun forbear to shine;
But God, who called me here below,
Will be forever mine.
These two stanzas challenge the materialism of our culture. All who tie their hope to the created order trust that which cannot last. But Christians have a transcendent hope secured by the Lord through the promises found in his Word.
Scripture Reading Philippians 4:10-20
Notes: In the sermon text, Paul held forth the churches in Macedonia as examples of generosity. The church in Philippi was one of those churches. In this Scripture reading, the apostle records their generous partnership with him for the sake of the gospel.
Hymn 288 I Hear the Words of Love
Notes: We fine tune our affections by contemplating the great love of Christ. This is the antidote to misplaced love (love for this world and the things of this world—cf. 1 John 2:15).
Message Generosity for the Sake of the Gospel
2 Corinthians 8:1-6
Pastor Steven Thomas
Hymn HBC 33 (4-6) A Lord’s Day Anthem
Notes: Having heard the Word of God “in sermon, song, and prayer,” our hearts “swell with sober joy.” The end result of our time of corporate worship is that we “rise resolved to live as worthy children of our God” (cf. Colossians 1:10).
Prayer Response Steve Eubank
Benediction John Miles