God knows us, loves us

“God’s omniscience is all-knowing love, and is brought closer to our hearts and clothed in gracious tenderness in Christ whose ‘eyes were as a flame of fire,’ but whose love is more ardent still, who knows us altogether, and pities and loves as perfectly as He knows.”

Alexander MacLaren, 19–: Expositions of Holy Scripture (New York: Hodder & Stoughton, George H. Doran Company), Vol. 1, p 120.

Salvation

From the time sin entered the world (Romans 5:12), people have been in need of salvation. According to the Bible, it is God’s will that everyone be saved (I Timothy 2:3-4). But the Bible also says that not everyone will be saved (John 3:17). And that we can ‘know that we have eternal life’ (I John 5:13). So how does one ‘get saved’? Since the Bible is chock full of teaching about how a person is saved, there are a number of ways to explain it. But they all point to one thing: faith in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who loved us and gave himself for us. In this series of posts, we’ll present several explanations as to how that deliverance comes about in the life of a man, woman or child who realizes they are a sinner in need of salvation.

Our hope is that you, the reader, either already know that you are saved, or will soon come to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

November 24, 2013

Helmers Street Baptist Church
November 24, 2013

Sunday School: 10:00 a.m.

Memory Verse:
Genesis 15:6
“And he believed in the Lord; and he counted it to him for righteousness.”

Morning Worship: 11:00 a.m.

Order of Service:

Welcome

“Now Thank We All Our God” 18

Scripture Reading
“A Call to Thanksgiving” (page 470) 15

“Come, Ye Thankful People” 526

Worship with tithes and offerings

“We Gather Together” 21

Special

Sermon by Joe Banghart

Invitation
“Thank You, Lord” 221

We sing from the hymnal

Great Hymns of the Faith

Yes, we sing from the hymnal. The tried and true songs and hymns have much to teach us, and the more biblical they are, the more we learn from them. It’s amazing how much depth there is in the verses and refrains, and yet how sing-able they are.

We know that many churches have abandoned hymnals in favor of putting the words up on a video screen, but in keeping with the word ‘traditional’ in our tagline, we will continue to use the hymnal, learning the many wonderful poetic works of praise to God’s grace that it contains, and following along with the notes and timing that represent one of God’s most gracious creations, music.

He believed in the Lord

Genesis 15:6 “And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness.”

This is the first absolutely clear indication in Genesis that we are saved through faith, and not through any deserving righteousness. It’s very simple. Abram believed Jehovah, and Jehovah counted Abram righteous because of it. The one thing God asks us in return for counting his righteousness as ours, is that we trust, have faith, believe, in Him.

In I Corinthians 15 Paul tells us about “the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; by which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain…how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures…and so ye believed.” It does matter what you believe, and it does matter in Whom you believe. “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.” Acts 16:31.

Our memory verse is such a clear testimony of salvation by faith in the righteousness of Christ that those who don’t believe the Bible is God’s Word have decided that it was added in much later. How much better to understand it as an early indication of God’s grace at work in the life of a man, who, however far from perfect, was the ‘father of the faithful’.

Abraham’s biography word cloud

Color Abraham

This word cloud (wordle.net if you want to do some of your own) is of Abraham’s life story from Genesis 12 through the first section of chapter 25. His life at a glance. Notice the largest word: “Unto”. It’s talking about people and places. The personal pronouns thee, thou, thy, tell us that it’s a personal story. And then the personal names: Abram to Abraham; Sarai to Sarah; the LORD (Jehovah), God, Lot, Hagar, Ishmael, Isaac, Rebekah, Abimelech, Heth, Ephron. And the places: Mamre, Sodom, Zoar, city, country. And the words that deal with God’s promises: behold, brought, gave, covenant, spake, seed, born, sons, daughters, children, land, heaven, blessed. And those that deal with every day life: water, pitcher, well, drink, plain, dwelt, time, pass, old, young, lad, wife, men, tent, came, went, took.

Who were these people? Ordinary people. How did God deal with them? In extraordinary ways. How has He blessed us through them? As He promised, through the seed of Abraham and Sarah, by sending the Messiah, Jesus Christ the Son of God, to save us from our sins: living a perfect life, dying in our place, and rising from the dead in victory.

Attuned to the Voice of God

“Note that when God called Abraham, Abraham obeyed the call. He answered, “…Behold, here I am.” Abraham was a man whose ear was in tune with the Voice of God. No character in the Old Testament or in all of history is more interesting than Abraham. He is reverenced by the Jews as their father through Isaac, and by the Arabs as their father through the son of Hagar. He is also called the father of the faithful (Galatians 3:7).”

Bob Jones, 1973: Old Testament Sermons: The Pentateuch (Greenville, South Carolina: Bob Jones University Press, Unusual Publications), p 24.

November 17, 2013

Helmers Street Baptist Church
November 17, 2013

Sunday School: 10:00 a.m.

Memory Verse:
Genesis 15:6
“And he believed in the Lord; and he counted it to him for righteousness.”

Morning Worship: 11:00 a.m.

Order of Service:

Welcome

“How Great Thou Art” 37

Scripture Reading
“God and Country” (page 491) 58

“In Tenderness He Sought Me” 480

Worship with tithes and offerings

“Let the Lower Lights Be Burning” 371

Special

Sermon

Invitation
“Nothing Between My Soul and the Savior” 323

Advice for speakers

“There is advantage in giving a preview. If you are a teacher your class will keep up with you. To use a simple farm illustration, don’t hitch your horses too far from the wagon, but get them close to the “double-tree” if you want them to pull a heavy load. A lot of us get up beating away, and the deacons go to sleep. I never preach until I know I have my congregation. I have sense enough to know that they are not going to quit thinking immediately about their income tax, or a family row. A lot of people will sit and look at you but that doesn’t mean that they are paying attention. So be sure you have your audience.”

J. Frank Norris, 1945?: Practical Lectures on Daniel (Plano, Texas: Calvary Baptist Publications), p 7.