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.