FROM THE DESK OF WILL SPOKES, SENIOR PASTOR
Words For Reflection:
Do you mortify; do you make it your daily work; be always at it while you live; cease not a day from this work; be killing sin or it will be killing you….
Set faith at work on Christ for the killing of your sin. His blood is the great sovereign remedy for sin-sick souls. Live in this, and you will die a conqueror; yea, you will, through the good providence of God, live to see your lust dead at your feet. – John Owen
For next Sunday:
Sermon Text: Genesis 5-9
Christ the Solid Rock - Adoration
Pass Me Not, O Gentle Savior - Confession
Jesus, Lover of My Soul - Grace
O Love that Will Not Let Me Go - Response
God is My Refuge and Strength - Communion
Doxology - Tallis Canon
The Bible Project:
As a way to help you grasp the over-arching story of the Bible, I am going to include each week a link to one of The Bible Project videos that summarizes in a few minutes one book of the Bible.
This week check out the summary of Philippians.
If you are looking for help to read the Bible in a more regular way, you may findthis approach and this app helpful.
Singing To God (Psalm 95:1-5)
Friend of Sinners
Redeemer! wither should I flee,
Or how escape the wrath to come?
The weary sinner flies to Thee
For shelter from impending doom;
Smile on me, Gracious Lord,
And show Thyself a friend of sinners now,
Smile on me, Gracious Lord,
And show Thyself a friend of sinners now.
Bowing Before God (Psalm 95:6-7b)
Prayer of Confession
Merciful Father, forgive us the sins of our tongues—for deception and untruthfulness in our dealings with others; for resentment, coldness, impatience, and ill temper. Forgive us for the sins of our eyes—for impurity in our glances and imagination; for pining after more beauty, comfort, status, and wealth than you have given us. Forgive us the sins of our hearts—for hard-heartedness toward you and our neighbors; for pride, self-absorption, self-pity; and above all for rebelling against you and doubting your love. Father, transform us by your grace to live wholly for your glory. Take away our mourning and replace it with songs of joy, for it is in Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
Words of Grace
My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.
1 John 2:1-2
Hearing From God (Psalm 95:7c-11)
Sermon Text - Genesis 4:1-26
1. The Tragedy of Cain (vs. 1-5, 6-7, 9-10, 13-14, 15, 16, 17-24)
2. The Mercy of God (3:15 + 4:1-2 & 25-26; vs. 6,9,10, 7; Rm. 7:21-25; 6:6-11)
The Heart of the Message
Genesis 4 tells the story of normal human experience following the first disobedience of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. It is marked by jealousy, anger, resentment, despair, murder, hardness of heart, self-interest, refusal, alienation, pride, and violence. At the heart of Genesis 4 is a universal principle and experience of life this side of heaven. “Sin is crouching at [your] door. Its desire is for you, but you must rule over it.” (v. 7) In other words, life is marked by an unending struggle for survival. But here is the question. How can you rule over sin? God gave Cain the right information and strategy but Cain failed. Why? We must not confuse information with transformation. The Apostle Paul describes the struggle of v. 7 like this in Romans 7: 21 So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. 22 For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, 23 but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. 24 Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? We need to be rescued from ourselves. How? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! (Rm. 7:25) Jesus has died to sin once and for all. That means if you belong to him you’ve died to sin. Your old self died with Christ so you would no longer be pounced by sin. You are no longer under sin’s power. (re: Romans 6:6-11, 14) What does this mean? If you belong to Jesus, you are not a forgiven OLD you. You are a forgiven NEW you. We believe we will live with him. We believe we can now walk in newness of life. (Rm. 6:4) You are not destined to live in old patterns of slavery to sin. Therefore, we must consider ourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus (Rm. 6:11)
- What features of this story stand out to you the most? What do you notice about the characters?
- What was Cain’s attitude toward sin in this story? Does it matter?
- What elements of this story can you most relate to?
- Where do you see God’s mercy in this story? Which aspect of God’s mercy do you most need this week?
- How can you rule over sin rather than being ruled by sin?
Confession of Faith: The New City Catechism, 2017
Q. 9. What does God require in the first, second, and third commandments?
A. First, that we know and trust God as the only true and living God. Second, that we avoid all idolatry and do not worship God improperly. Third, that we treat God’s name with fear and reverence, honoring also his Word and works.
It is the Lord your God you shall fear. Him you shall serve and by his name you shall swear. You shall not go after other gods, the gods of the peoples who are around you.