Our text is Acts 13:13-52. We have a long passage this week, but it divides nicely into three main sections: 1) Paul preaches the gospel, 2) Paul applies the gospel, and 3) the response to the gospel Paul preaches. Throughout the book of Acts, Luke is telling us that God is doing something in history that no one, and nothing, can stop. The sovereign hand of God is at work by Holy Spirit. That is what we will see again this week.
Children’s Message: Pastor Chad Sadorf has been including a series of Children’s Messages. In this message series we are going to look at the Fruit of the Spirit found in Galatians 5:22-23. Today’s message is provided as a video; this link appears just after the Gloria Patri in the service (where it would normally occur in our church service). Click on these links for a printable activity page and a children’s bulletin to accompany this message: Faithfulness coloring page and Children’s Bulletin.
Service for Family Worship:
Call to Worship: Psalm 23
1 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters.
3 He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever. (ESV)
Almighty God we bow before you, in awe of your glory and your majesty; the fact that you are high and lifted up—transcendent—outside space and time, eternal and unchangeable in your attributes and character. You are the standard of perfection—holy beyond comprehension.
So how could you relate to us with the intimacy of Psalm 23 and so many other places described for us in your Holy Word?
How could you send your own Son that we might have the privilege of coming into your presence in worship?
Triune God, we come before you asking you to guide us in worship that is pleasing to you.Block out the cares of the world and reveal to us by your Spirit—in the prayers, and singing of hymns, and giving of your tithes and offerings, and in the preaching of your word—reveal to us again this day the resurrected and living Christ. And cause us to place all of our affection upon you: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.
This hymn was written by Timothy Dwight in 1800. He is perhaps best known for his grandfather, Jonathan Edwards. Yet, Timothy had fame in his own right. Graduating from Yale University at seventeen, he became a tutor at Yale in 1769. He served as a chaplain under George Washington during the Revolutionary War and wrote songs and sermons for the men in his regiment. When Dwight returned from military service in 1778, he became a successful farmer, a Congregational minister at Greenfield, Connecticut, a state legislator, and a member of the faculty at Yale, where he was named president in 1795. He not only raised academic standards but also began a spiritual revival, which spread to other institutions in New England. Dwight also was one of the first American hymn writers. He wrote 33 hymns. This hymn was published in 1800 at the beginning of the Second Great Awakening and was an instrument of evangelism designed to persuade the unregenerate and to comfort the converted.
Corporate Scripture Reading: Exodus 20:1-17
1 And God spoke all these words, saying, 2 “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. 3 “You shall have no other gods before me. 4 “You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. 5 You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, 6 but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments. 7 “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain. 8 “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates. 11 For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy. 12 “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you. 13 “You shall not murder. 14 “You shall not commit adultery. 15 “You shall not steal. 16 “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. 17 “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s.” (ESV)
Almighty God, we have so often trivialized the gospel by failing to see the depth of our own sin.
We confess that even the good works we bring to you are defective in both motive and performance. We have also broken your law in order to please ourselves, and other people. We have not loved you with all our hearts, nor have we loved our neighbors as ourselves. Father, forgive us for the totality of our sin. Help us to know the joy of true repentance, as we look to Christ in faith, and rest in his perfect righteousness. Then Father, transform us, and sanctify us through your Word, and by your Spirit. Amen.
Assurance of Pardon: : Psalm 103:8-12
8The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. 9 He will not always chide, nor will he keep his anger forever. 10 He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities. 11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; 12 as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us.
If you are trusting in Jesus Christ, all your sins are forgiven. This is a wonderful promise we have in the gospel.
Affirmation of Faith: The Apostles’ Creed
I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, and born of the virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried; he descended into hell1. The third day he rose again from the dead. He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of God the Father Almighty. From there he will come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic2 church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.
1Christ was under the power of death for a time; he incurred the full penalty for the sins of God’s people.
2Catholic is defined as God’s universal church.
Fruit of the Spirit: Faithfulness (Click here to link to the video of the Children’s Message)
(You may want to take a moment to pray with your child or children for your family, your church family, our country and world.)
Offertory: Proverbs 3:9-10
9 Honor the LORD with your wealth and with the firstfruits of all your produce; 10 then your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will be bursting with wine. (ESV)
(Online giving is now available for your convenience. This link, https://www.faithpresarp.org/give/, will take you to the page that explains this process and includes a button which will redirect you to the secured giving platform.
Sir Robert Grant was born in India in 1779, the son of the East India Company’s director, Charles Grant. He attended Oxford, became a lawyer and at age 29 won a seat in Parliament. He was a strong supporter of world missions and influential among evangelicals in the Church of England. At the end of his life, Robert accepted a high position in the East India Company. He was asked to be governor of Bombay India in 1834. As governor, he had the opportunity to put his social concerns into practice, working to alleviate the poverty and spiritual condition of the people he governed. Reading a 1561 translation of Psalm 104 prompted Robert to write his own version of the psalm. This hymn, written in 1833, has become one of the most familiar to millions of church-goers.
Pastoral Prayer: (Click here for the Pastoral Prayer)
Sermon: Preaching Christ!
Anglican priest and professor Edward Hayes Plumptre composed this hymn in 1865. He was a distinguished scholar of his day. Educated at University College, Oxford, he received his ordination in the Anglican Church in 1846. After serving as a clergyman, he became chaplain and professor of New Testament exegesis at King’s College, London, and dean of Queen’s College, Oxford. His most prominent position as a clergyman was that of dean of Wells Cathedral.
What we miss in modern hymnals is that this is a processional hymn composed for a choir festival to be sung in one of England’s majestic places of worship, Peterborough Cathedral. Such processionals were often made up of choirs from dozens of church communities, all marching up and into a great cathedral. It was not unusual for a cathedral processional to take from ten to thirty minutes, and the hymn that was sung by both the choir and the congregation needed to have enough stanzas for this. Of the original 11 stanzas, six stanzas appear in our Trinity Hymnal. Stanza one refers to the “festal banner” and “Cross of Christ your King,” symbols of the faith that would be carried at the head of such a processional in the Anglican church.
Benediction (Click here to hear this week’s benediction)
Questions for Further Discussion
- Why do you think John Mark went back to Jerusalem?
- What does this first missionary journey teach about the physical challenges of making the gospel known among the nations?
- Explain how Paul was faithful and flexible in evangelism.
- What about Paul’s sermon in Pisidian Antioch most resonates with you?
- What do you learn from the people’s reaction to Paul’s sermon in Pisidian Antioch?
Fruit of the Spirit: Faithfulness
Last week we looked at the fruit of GOODNESS. Today we will learn about FAITHFULNESS.
Galatians 5:22-23, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law”
I. God is faithful
II. God wants us to be faithful
You must choose in your heart to keep your promises if you want to practice faithfulness. We need to be: committed, real, we need to be loyal – to be people of our word.
In fact, we are told to make faithfulness our friend in Psalm 37:3, “Trust in the LORD, and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness.” (ESV)
Make faithfulness your friend by saying in your heart – “I will be true to you God, I will be a person who keeps my promises, I will do what I say!”
God wants us to be full of faith, to love Jesus and serve him faithfully by worshipping him, knowing his Word, obeying his Word, and praying to him.
God will always be faithful to us as his people. He will always keep his Word AND DO WHAT HE SAYS; his promises will never be broken. He wants the same faithfulness from us!