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January 31st, 2021 - Preparing for the Lord's Day

preparing

Preparing for the Lord's Day

The events of this past year have produced more disunity in our nation, our communities, and in our families than I have ever personally experienced. Differing responses to the COVID pandemic have created a division between those who desire more caution and those who desire less. Differing opinions on politics have created multiple fracture lines that are too many to mention. Tension over racial issues has created divisions on how such issues should be addressed. As a pastor, I have seen how these fault lines have created division within the Church. Emotions run high; fellowship is broken; factions form; social media becomes a minefield of unfiltered grandstanding and name-calling, and brothers and sisters in Christ divide. No doubt a great shuffling will occur within the broader Church because of the events of the last year. 

How then are we to maintain unity in the midst of so many potential points of conflict? In our passage for this Sunday, the Apostle Paul addresses the question of unity in the Church. There were factions in the early Church that demanded outward obedience to the ceremonial law of the Old Testament, including circumcision. Yet Paul insists that to require non-Jewish believers to submit to these laws was to abandon the true gospel. Would this issue split the young Church, or would there be unity within the leadership? What we will see in our passage is that unity in the Church, both then and now, is founded upon nothing else but the gospel of grace in Jesus Christ. To come prepared for the sermon, take time this week to read and to meditate upon Galatians 1:18-2:10, Romans 12:4, 2 Corinthians 8:23, Galatians 5:1, Ephesians 4:1-6, and Westminster Confession of Faith 20. 

As we gather to worship the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit this Lord’s day, we will join our hearts in song, singing the Hymn of Praise “Praise the Lord: Ye Heavens Adore Him,” the Acclamation of Praise, “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross,” and the Hymn of Response “Jesus Shall Reign.” The Offertory Anthem (8:00) the Sanctuary Choir will sing, "Only a Holy God," and (11:00) the Chapel Choir will sing, "Celebrate Today!"

Let us come to worship this Sunday prepared to hear God’s Word, to receive it in faith, to love and treasure it in our hearts, and to practice it in our lives that we may continue to glorify and enjoy Him!  

Sermon Information  

Text: Galatians 1:18-2:10

Title: Gospel Unity

Outline:

  1. We must Maintain Gospel Boundaries (1:18-2:2)
  2. We must Embrace Gospel Freedoms (2:3-5)
  3. We must Recognize Gospel Callings (2:6-10)

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