Our text is Acts 22:30-23:11. Paul encounters more hostility, as Lysias sets him before the Jewish Sanhedrin. The Sanhedrin included the high priestly aristocracy and the ruling elders, who were mainly Sadducees. The minority of members were Pharisees, who were represented among the scribes. The trial takes a sharp turn when Paul, still in the middle of his speech, brings up the reason for his arrest: “the hope of the resurrection” (verse 6). His words end up “dividing and conquering.”
Children’s Message: Pastor Chad Sadorf has been including a series of Children’s Messages. These messages will parallel the sermons from Acts to help guide the children through the concepts that are taught in the sermon. 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 children’s bulletin and printable activity pages to accompany this message: Children’s Bulletin and First Sunday of Advent Coloring Pages.
Service for Family Worship:
Call to Worship:
1 Corinthians 1:3-9
3 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 4 I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that was given you in Christ Jesus, 5 that in every way you were enriched in him in all speech and all knowledge– 6 even as the testimony about Christ was confirmed among you– 7 so that you are not lacking in any gift, as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ, 8 who will sustain you to the end, guiltless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. (ESV)
Almighty God, we rejoice this morning in our Savior, Jesus Christ, and in the reality that you have given us every spiritual blessing in him. You have also promised to keep us strong till the end.
And it is through our savior that we come this morning to present ourselves to you. We want to worship you in spirit and in truth, to lift up your name, and to proclaim your majesty and infinite worth to our community, and to the whole world.
And as we do that, guided by Holy Spirit and instructed by your word, would you also minister to us through the singing of hymns, the giving of tithes and offerings, in the prayers we offer, and in the preaching of your Word.
We thank you for the privilege of gathering together as your church, and that you set aside one day in seven for corporate worship and rest. Father, we also come to confess our sins and to ask for Holy Spirit to transform us increasingly into the image of your son. Amen.
In the month of November, our congregation will be singing Psalm 89, it is set to the tune, Ode to Joy, from Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. Charles Spurgeon wrote, “We have now reached the majestic Covenant Psalm, which, according to the Jewish arrangement closes the third book of the Psalms. It is the utterance of a believer, in presence of great national disaster, pleading with his God, urging the grand argument of covenant engagements, and expecting deliverance and help, because of the faithfulness of Jehovah.” from The Treasury of David, by Charles Spurgeon, www.spurgeon.org/treasury/treasury/ps089.htm
Corporate Scripture Reading: James 2:10-13
10 For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become accountable for all of it. 11 For he who said, “Do not commit adultery,” also said, “Do not murder.” If you do not commit adultery but do murder, you have become a transgressor of the law. 12 So speak and so act as those who are to be judged under the law of liberty. 13 For judgment is without mercy to one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment. (ESV)
Father, we have so often trivialized the gospel by failing to see the depth of our own sin. We confess that even the good works which we bring to you, are defective in both motive and performance. We have also broken your law, in thought, in word, and in deed, in order to please ourselves and other people. We are so quick to impugn the motives of others and judge them uncharitably, while resisting the loving conviction of Holy Spirit in our own hearts of our own sin.So Father, help us today to know the joy of true repentance, as we look to Christ in faith, and rest in his perfect righteousness. Forgive us for the totality of our sin as you define it. Transform us, and sanctify us by your Word, and through your Spirit, for your glory and for our good. Amen.
Assurance of Pardon:
To all who confess themselves to be sinners, humbling themselves before God and believing in the Lord Jesus Christ for their salvation, I declare this sure promise:
1 There is therefore no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. (Romans 8:1) (ESV)
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.
First Sunday of Advent: Hope (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: Psalm 96:8-9
8 Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; bring an offering, and come into his courts! 9 Worship the Lord in the splendor of holiness; tremble before him, all the earth! (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.
This hymn, originally in Latin, was composed as early as the 12th century. John Mason Neale, the famous architect of the Oxford movement in England, discovered the Latin hymn and translated it in 1851 into the beautiful words we know today with its rich images rooted in the Old Testament.
Pastoral Prayer: (Click here for the Pastoral Prayer)
Sermon: The Hope of the Resurrection
I. Paul before God
II. Paul before the Sanhedrin
III. Paul before Ananias, the High Priest
IV. Paul before Jesus
Civilla Durfee Martin was born in Nova Scotia. She was a schoolteacher with modest musical training. Civilla also penned the text of “His Eye Is On the Sparrow”. The text of our hymn, written in 1905, was inspired by 1 Peter 5:7: “Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you”.
Benediction (Click here to hear this week’s benediction)
Questions for Further Discussion
- Read 2 Corinthians 4:7-12. What is your reaction to this text? How did Paul live out this passage?
- How does it encourage you to know that the Lord uses wounded, broken soldiers in mission? Explain
- Do you think Paul should have allowed himself to be flogged instead of playing his Roman citizenship card? Explain.
- Read Luke 22:63-71 and John 18:10-23. Compare Jesus’ reactions with Paul’s reaction to Ananias. Do you think Paul responded appropriately? Why or why not?
- Read Acts 24:14-16; 26:6-8; and 28:20. Notice how Paul emphasizes the resurrection. How do these passages relate to what Paul told the Sanhedrin in 23:6-10?
First Sunday of Advent: Hope
The word Advent means COMING or ARRIVAL.
Advent is the season for waiting and preparing our hearts and homes for the coming of Jesus. For four Sundays leading up to Christmas, we celebrate the birth of Jesus and we thank God for the hope, peace, joy and love that ONLY Jesus brings to our lives. To celebrate Advent, we light a candle each Sunday. The first candle of Advent is the prophecy candle, the candle of hope, and we light that candle full of hope, and we remember how Jesus brings hope to our lives as our Savior.
But what is hope? Hope is about waiting for, looking for, or wanting something to happen; to expect something good in the future.
For Christians, our hope centers around Jesus. We trust in, wait for, look for, and desire Jesus.
But before Jesus was born in a manger in Bethlehem – the world was in darkness, waiting, looking, praying & HOPING for a Savior!
The question people had was: will God keep his promise to send a Savior?
The Bible tells us about that promise in Isaiah 9:2, 6-7:
2 The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shined. 6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 7 Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore.
The promise of God long ago came true when God the Father sent the great light of His Son into our dark world to be our Savior.
HOPE BECAME REAL WHEN JESUS CAME/ARRIVED AND WAS BORN IN A MANGER!
What do you hope for this Christmas? Hope is the first advent candle and it reminds us that God made good on his promise – God gave us the best gift – the gift of knowing Jesus as our Savior.