Our text is Acts 17:1-15.
Christians are expected to be a part of the Christ-centered, kingdom-advancing movement. We are to give ourselves over to impacting our community, our nation, and the world for Christ’s sake. We, like the missionaries of Acts, should be dedicated to walking with God in such a manner that he uses us as instruments of change in the spheres of influence in which he has placed us. This idea is at work in Acts 17.
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 coloring page to accompany this message: Children’s Bulletin and Bereans coloring sheet.
Service for Family Worship:
Call to Worship: Isaiah 6:1-5
1 In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple. 2 Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. 3 And one called to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!” 4 And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke. 5 And I said: “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts!” (ESV)
Father, we come before you this morning as your children, through the instrument of faith, and according to the atoning work of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
You are the standard of perfection—devastatingly holy; but by your grace, you have freely justified us.
Apart from the saving work of our Savior, Jesus Christ, we are unable to come into your presence.
But you have so lovingly and graciously given your Son that we might know the one true God.
And we affirm this morning that every circumstance, every event that comes into our lives is for our eternal good, and for your glory because we are your children.
So this morning we simply bow in worship, and in utter submission to you and to your authority over our lives.
And that is such a wonderful and joyous realization.
Will you now block out all the cares of the world, and help us to come joyfully into your presence as your people and honor you above all else, and give you the praise and glory that you deserve.Will you help us to that end by the power of your Spirit, and prepare our hearts even now through the reading of your law to confess our sins and rest in our Savior. Amen.
Benjamin Beddome was born in 1717. His father was a Baptist minister. Beddome originally pursued a medical degree and was apprenticed to a surgeon. However, after his conversion at age twenty, he became a pastor of a Baptist congregation, where he remained until his death in 1795. Beddome wrote more than 800 hymn texts, including the hymn in our Trinity Hymnal – “God, in the Gospel of His Son”. The text of today’s hymn “shouts” the cosmic reign of Christ over all nations, a reign that is joyfully confessed by his chosen people on earth and celebrated by saints and angels in heaven. In the midst of these powerful exclamations of praise to Christ the Lamb comes a prayer for the increase of the church (Stanza 4).
Corporate Scripture Reading: Exodus 20:12
12 “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you. (ESV)
Heavenly Father, God of gods and Lord of lords,
Father to the fatherless, husband to the widow,
Defender of the helpless, judge of all the earth,
forgive us our sins.
We have not sought freedom for the oppressed,
even though you freed us.
We have not bound up the broken,
even though you healed us.
We have not forgiven others,
even though you forgave us.
We have withheld kindness from the needy,
even though you freely gave us your own Son.
We are without excuse,
but not without hope.
Because you have applied your salvation to us by the instrument of faith, and the power of Holy Spirit. We rejoice that through the gospel, you have credited our sins to Jesus, and his righteousness to us.
Transform us so that we may desire what is good,
love what you love,
and do what you command,
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Assurance of Pardon: : 2 Corinthians 5:21
21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (ESV)
If you are trusting in Jesus Christ he has paid for all your sins, and his righteousness has been credited to you. You stand before the one true and holy God clean in his sight.
Affirmation of Faith:
The Westminster Larger Catechism
Q. 126 What is the general scope of the fifth commandment?
A. The general scope of the fifth commandment is, the performance of those duties which we mutually owe in our several relations, as inferiors, superiors or equals.
Q. 127 What is the honor that inferiors owe to their superiors?
A. The honor which inferiors owe to their superiors is, all due reverence in heart, word, and behavior; prayer and thanksgiving for them; imitation of their virtues and graces; willing obedience to their lawful commands and counsels; due submission to their corrections; fidelity to, defense, and maintenance of their persons and authority, according to their several ranks, and the nature of their places; bearing with their infirmities, and covering them in love, that so they may be an honor to them and to their government .
Q. 129 What is required of superiors towards their inferiors?
A. It is required of superiors, according to that power they receive from God, and that relation wherein they stand, to love, pray for, and bless their inferiors; to instruct, counsel, and admonish them; countenancing, commending, and rewarding such as do well; and discountenancing, reproving, and chastising such as do ill; protecting, and providing for them all things necessary for soul and body: and by grave, wise, holy, and exemplary carriage, to procure glory to God, honor to themselves, and so to preserve that authority which God hath put upon them.
Searching the Word of God (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: Luke 19:10[Jesus said,] 10 ” For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” (ESV)
We have the privilege of worshiping God through giving our time, talents, abilities, and resources. May he now receive his tithes and our offerings and use them to glorify himself and advance his kingdom powerfully.
(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.
In the month of September, our focus will be Psalm 46. In introducing this psalm, Charles Spurgeon wrote, “Happen what may, the Lord’s people are happy and secure, this is the doctrine of the Psalm, and it might, to help our memories, be called THE SONG OF HOLY CONFIDENCE, were it not that from the great reformer’s love to this soul-stirring hymn it will probably be best remembered as LUTHER’S PSALM. ” And in the words of Martin Luther, “We sing this Psalm to the praise of God, because God is with us, and powerfully and miraculously preserves and defends his church and his word, against all fanatical spirits, against the gates of hell, against the implacable hatred of the devil, and against all the assaults of the world, the flesh and sin.” from The Treasury of David, by Charles Spurgeon, www.spurgeon.org/treasury/treasury.htm.
Pastoral Prayer: (Click here for the Pastoral Prayer)
Sermon: How Important Is the Bodily Resurrection of Jesus?
Dorothy Greenwell, known as “Dora Greenwell,” was born in 1821. Though she was born into a well-to-do English family, her father died when she was young, and the family estate had to be sold. She struggled with fragile health as she lived alone in London. She asked some hard questions: “Why hadn’t God given her an easier life?” She worked with handicapped and mentally challenged children, so she asked: “Why did they have to suffer so?” When she was 39, she wrote her first book, The Patience of Hope. She was beginning to see how important patience is for dealing with life’s hard questions. But she didn’t want to dwell on the unanswered questions; she preferred to think about God’s glorious exclamations. So when she compiled her book, Songs of Salvation, she included the poem that forms our hymn text, “I Am Not Skilled to Understand.”
Benediction (Click here to hear this week’s benediction)
Questions for Further Discussion
- In what ways might you establish new points of contact for gospel ministry in your community?
- What can we learn about expounding the Scriptures from Paul’s example in Thessalonica?
- Take some time to read 1 Thessalonians. What strikes you about what Paul says regarding the Thessalonians’ heart for the word?
- How did the Bereans study the Scriptures?
- What challenges you the most about the Berean approach to God’s word? What might happen if churches today developed the same habits?
Searching the Word of God
God wants us to search his Word to find him!
In Acts 17:10-11 we read:
10 Then the brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea. When they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews. 11 These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so. (NKJV)
Berea was a smaller city, the people who lived there were called Bereans.
They didn’t have a Bible like a book, like we have today, they had parchments and scrolls.
The Bereans were ready to receive God’s Word, but they also searched the Scriptures to see for themselves if Paul was teaching the truth.
So, what happened when the Bereans searched God’s Word for the truth: Acts 17:12
12 Many of them therefore believed, with not a few Greek women of high standing as well as men. (ESV)
They put their faith in Jesus!
Jeremiah 29:12-14 says about searching for God:
12 Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. 13 And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you, says the Lord, (NKJV)
Jesus said in John 5:39:
39 You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me, (ESV)
Spend time Listening, Searching, Studying and Learning God’s Word! (LSSL)