Luke 16:19-31 contains one of Jesus’ most famous stories, a tale about an unnamed rich man and a poor man called Lazarus. Jesus contrasted the two men in this life and the life to come. The climax of the story condemned the Pharisees for rejecting the Scriptures that point to Jesus, the Christ.
The hymns for our service emphasize the sufficiency of Scripture to bring men and women to saving faith and bring them home to heaven.
PREPARATION FOR WORSHIP
Call to Worship: Psalm 1:1-6
Hymn 49: O God, Our Help in Ages Past
Note: In Jesus’ story, the rich man forgot that that life is short, that “Time, like an ever rolling stream, Bears all its sons away.” But God is the help of those who trust him. And so we sing, “Sufficient is Thine arm alone, And our defense is sure.”
Hymn 333 How Sad Our State
Notes: This classic hymn reminds us of the true human condition. At one time, we were slaves to sin, our minds held captive by Satan (v. 1). But 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 Jesus.
Scripture Reading: Matthew 7:13-29
Note: Jesus taught that the way to eternal life is “narrow.” At the Judgment, He will reject many who trust their own works.
Hymn 610 How Firm a Foundation
Notes: “How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord, Is laid for your faith in his excellent Word!” Jesus’ message is complete and sufficient; we need no other word. We build on him for this life and the next.
Message: The Rich Man and Lazarus: A Story About the Sufficiency of Scripture
Pastor Steven Thomas
Hymn: Thy Strong Word
Note: Rich metaphors layer our final hymn as it describes the work of the Triune God in our salvation. Light is the theme. The first verse echoes Genesis 1, attributing creation to God’s “strong Word,” a double entre for Christ (John 1:1-3). This strong Word created light, but more important was the Light that broke into a world of darkness, an allusion to the incarnation of Christ. The Light, the Word, declares righteous all who embrace the glorious work of the cross. The final two verses offer prayer that God will help us fulfill the Great Commission for the glory of the Triune God. “Give us lips to sing Thy glory, Tongues Thy mercy to proclaim!”
Prayer Response: John Miles
Benediction: John Miles