The 26th chapter of the Baptist Confession of Faith gives a detailed description of the church. In today’s climate, many Christians fail to understand–or worse, refuse to embrace the importance the Scriptures place on the church. In our sermon this Lord’s Day, we will see that the church lies at the heart of God’s plan for his own eternal glory.
The elements selected for this service focus on the importance of the church and call us to love it as Christ does.
PREPARATION FOR WORSHIP
Call to Worship: Revelation 5:11-14
Hymn 220 Glorious Things of Thee Are Spoken
Note: This hymn uses the imagery of the New Jerusalem (Revelation 21) to describe the future perfection of the church in the presence of the Lord. The fourth verse shows that this confident hope shapes the way we live today.
Worship through Giving
Congregational Response: Doxology
Hymn 221 The Church’s One Foundation
Note: Jesus Christ, is the “Church’s One Foundation.” We who embrace Christ in faith are part of the great church made up of “elect from ev’ry nation, yet one o’ver all the earth.” This hymn reminds us that the church throughout history suffers opposition from within and without (verses 3-4). Even so, we have this confidence: “the church will never perish.”
Scripture Reading Ephesians 3:1-21
Note: In this chapter, the apostle Paul describes God’s eternal plan to bring glory to himself through Jesus Christ. The church lies at the heart of that plan.
Hymn 224 I Love Thy Kingdom, Lord
Notes: The church is the object of Christ’s special affection. We must love the church because He does. Therefore, we sing, “For her my tears shall fall; for her my prayers ascend . . . .” Note: In this song, we use “kingdom” and “Zion” as metaphors for the church, not as a reference to Christ’s future Kingdom.
Message: God’s Plan for Eternal Glory
Text: Ephesians 3:20-21
Pastor Steven Thomas
Hymn (Insert) I Love The Church
Note: Christ leads his church through his word, taught by “undershepherds” (1 Peter 5:1-3) charged to teach us how to understand and obey the word of God (Ephesians 4:11; Acts 20:28; Titus 2:1-2ff.; 2 Timothy 4:1-2). This takes place in community, which is why we love the church. To love Christ is to love the church. This hymn rejoices in these truths.
Prayer Response: Mark Buhr
Benediction: John Miles