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June 6th, 2021 - Preparing for the Lord's Day

preparing

Preparing for the Lord's Day

In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus makes a simple yet profound observation. He says that you will be able to recognize true believers from false prophets by their fruit. How people act is a much better barometer of their spiritual condition than what they say. He explains,

“Are grapes gathered from thornbushes or figs from thistles? So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus you will recognize them by their fruits.” (Matthew 7:16–20 ESV) 

In Galatians 5 Paul takes up this idea to explain the different outcomes of those who live according to the flesh and those who live according to the Spirit. Those who live by the flesh will produce the works of the flesh. Those who live by the Spirit will produce the fruit of the Spirit. People can make verbal declarations of their spiritual status, but you can only recognize them by their fruit, by their way of life. 

We live in a culture in which individuals seek self-definition. However, the labels that we choose do not determine reality. Just because a person publicly claims Christ does not mean that they are truly born again. We must not judge merely by words but by fruit. 

In our passage for this Sunday, the Apostle Paul gives us two lists. One is a list of works of the flesh. They are behaviors and attitudes that result from following the passions of our fallen nature. The other is a list of attributes that equate to the fruit of the Spirit. And in this passage, every Christian is called upon to put to death the works of the flesh and to cultivate the fruit of the Spirit. To come prepared for the sermon take time this week to read and to meditate upon Galatians 5:19-26, Psalm 1, Matthew 7:16-20, Luke 6:43-45, Romans 1:29-31, Colossians 3:1-17, 2 Timothy 3:2-5, and this article on Faith and Fruit

This week we will celebrate the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper during our worship service. As we receive the elements of bread and wine look in faith to the Lord Jesus Christ. As we physically receive the signs of the Lord’s body and blood, spiritually we feed upon him and all his benefits. Our hymns for this week include “Crown Him with Many Crowns,” “Jesus! What a Friend for Sinners! and “All Hail the Power of Jesus Name.” 

Text: Galatians 5:19-26

Title: Fruitfulness 

Outline: 

  1. Every Christian Must Know the Works of the Flesh (vv. 19-21)
  2. Every Christian Must Know the Fruits of the Spirit (vv. 22-23)
  3. Every Christian Must Kill the Works and Cultivate the Fruit (vv. 24-26)

Sunday's bulletin

P.S.

This Sunday, we look forward to returning to morning worship at 8:30 and 11:00.  In resuming our normal schedule, please also join us for the Congregational Meeting beginning at 9:45 am in the Sanctuary.  Sunday school will follow the meeting on campus.   

For the Lord’s Supper, we’ll enjoy the use of the traditional bread and the cup. To minimize contact, the trays will be located in one of four stations on the main floor of the sanctuary and one location for the balcony.  For overflow worship in the John Knox Room and outside by the porte-cochere, and for those with mobility or health concerns, we’ll still have the prefilled and sealed communion cups available. Gluten-free will also be available on the organ side.

Listen carefully to our instructions and enjoy the process. As always, please be in prayer for worship and come expecting to be blessed by Christ.