Please join us this Lord’s Day for the worship of the living God. We meet at 10:00 am for our morning study and at 4:30 pm for our worship service. Both the study and the worship service will be held in the Willow East Room of the Prince Conference Center at Calvin College.
In the morning meeting we will continue the 2nd of a 5-part series on the Gospel of John: “In Him was life, and this life was the light of men.”
The Lord’s Supper will be administered this Sunday, God willing. Communicant members are encouraged to meditate on the words of I Corinthians 11.23-32. Parents of covenant members are encouraged to read this passage with them.
The law of God recited responsively this week is adapted from Zechariah 7:
The word of the Lord came to Zechariah, saying, “Thus says the Lord of hosts,
Render true judgments, show kindness and mercy to one another,
do not oppress the widow, the fatherless, the sojourner, or the poor,
and let none of you devise evil against another in your heart.”
The requirements of the law – true judgments, kindness, mercy, and a heart free from eveil – are frighteningly clear. But the keeping of those requirements is impossible for us until the Lord has created within us a new mind and heart. The Scriptures are filled with commands that we cannot in any way even begin to keep apart from Christ. Why? To demonstrate our need for grace. Under the law, we were held captive (Galatians 3.24) until the coming faith was revealed, by which alone we are justified.
So how are you living Christian? Do you rely on your works, looking around to see if you are good enough to merit God’s favor? Do your sins haunt and follow you, dredged up memories of all the ways, small and large, that you and I have repeatedly failed a righteous God? Are you like that dog who returns to his vomit (Prov. 26.11), unable to break the pattern of sin but instead foolishly repeating folly?
The good news is this: God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, that we might become his righteousness. This double imputation, this great exchange, is all the basis for our hope: our sins were laid on the perfect Christ, Christ’s perfect righteousness was given to us. “It is evident that no one is justified before God by the law, for “The righteous shall live by faith.” (Gal. 3.11)
And more than that, how can we who were dead to sin live in it any longer? Christ purchased our justification, and he sanctifies us (Phil. 2.13-14). This knowledge fills us with fear and trembling, but not a fear that it won’t be accomplished. No, we tremble with a holy reverence and awe that something inexplicable, something divinely-ordained and accomplished, a true healing is happening within us as God wills and acts to his good purpose. Layers of sin, bad habits, spiteful and mean thoughts and words, God is by his Word and Spirit replacing these in the lives of his dearly beloved children with real fruit: love, joy, peace, hope, patience, gentleness, and self-control (Gal. 5.22-23).
Join with the saints in worship this Lord’s Day as we submit to the Word, feed spiritually on Christ in the Holy Supper, sing and pray together, encourage one another as the day draws near, and are sanctified by “that work of God’s free grace, whereby we are renewed in the whole man after the image of God, and are enabled more and more to die unto sin, and live unto righteousness” (WSC 35).