Worship Elements for Sunday, August 5

We begin this week a new short series titled “Church: The Called Community.”  God has decreed that his Church would manifest his wisdom to the world. This series will show how, through the teaching, worship, fellowship and outreach of his Church, and Uptown Church in particular, Christ calls to himself and makes holy all those who will be his own.   The Church, “outside of which there is normally no salvation,” is given life by the Holy Spirit, and  so offers life to all. 

THE WORD

Scripture: Psalm 133

Sermon: “The Blessing of Community”

SONGS

Worship Leader: Jeremy D. Goodwyne

In Christ There Is No East or West
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Glorious Things of Thee Are Spoken (arr. Sandra McCracken)
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Kindness
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Christ is Made the Sure Foundation (arr. Dave Latham)
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Psalm 133: How Good and Pleasant (Hine Ma Tov)
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Psalm 133 is the text for this Sunday’s sermon, and it is also a Psalm of Ascent. So it is also a common text Jewish religious culture. This song is an old and popular setting of Psalm 133:1.

Blessed Be the Tie That Binds (arr. Shane Martin)
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RESPONSIVE READINGS

Confession of Faith : Heidelberg Catechism, Question no. 54

Q.                    What do you believe concerning the holy catholic Christian church? 

A.                    I believe that the Son of God, out of the whole human race, from the beginning of the world to its end, gathers, defends, and preserves for Himself, by His Spirit and Word, in the unity of the true faith, a church chosen to everlasting life. And I believe that I am and forever shall remain a living member of it.

SACRAMENT OF BAPTISM

This Sunday, we have the joy to be witness to the baptism of two covenant children. As we do, let us be sure to remember our own baptisms. As we once again are witness to the sacrament of baptism this Sunday, let’s be sure to remember our own baptisms. All the elements of public worship have both a corporate-ness and a personal-ness, and baptism is no exception. Scripture is clear that baptism is to occur to a believer only once, but this is not to say that once a Christian is baptized, they are through with that element. Every time we witness the sign and seal placed on a new covenantal member of Christ’s body, we should participate in this act of worship by remembering our own baptisms. According to tradition, the reformer Martin Luther, when he felt discouraged and oppressed by the Enemy, he would write or proclaim aloud the words “I am baptized!” and take new assurance in this thought. Here’s a brief reflection from J. I. Packer to consider as we prepare for Sunday:

Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. (Rom 6:3-4)

Christian baptism, which has the form of a ceremonial washing (like John’s pre-Christian baptism), is a sign from God that signifies inward cleansing and remission of sins (Acts 22:16; 1 Cor. 6:11; Eph. 5:25-27), Spirit-wrought regeneration and new life (Titus 3:5), and the abiding presence of the Holy Spirit as God’s seal testifying and guaranteeing that one will be kept safe in Christ forever (1 Cor. 12:13; Eph. 1:13-14). Baptism carries these meanings because first and fundamentally it signifies union with Christ in his death, burial, and resurrection (Rom. 6:3-7; Col. 2:11-12); and this union with Christ is the source of every element in our salvation (1 John 5:11-12). Receiving the sign in faith assures the persons baptized that God’s gift of new life in Christ is freely given to them. At the same time, it commits them to live henceforth in a new way as committed disciples of Jesus. Baptism signifies a watershed point in a human life because it signifies a new-creational engrafting into Christ’s risen life.

Christ instructed his disciples to baptize in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit (Matt. 28:19). This means that the covenant relation which baptism formally confers is one of acceptance by, communion with, and commitment to all three Persons of the Godhead. When Paul says that the Israelites were “baptized into Moses” (1 Cor. 10:2), he means that they were put under Moses’ control and direction. Thus, baptism into the name of the triune God signifies control and direction by God himself.

Comments

  1. Baptisms are very special. The scripture from Romans 6 is really great too.

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