Lord’s Day 14, 2017
I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord.”
My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world.
By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
For the Law, since it has only a shadow of the good things to come and not the very form of things, can never, by the same sacrifices which they offer continually year by year, make perfect those who draw near. Otherwise, would they not have ceased to be offered, because the worshipers, having once been cleansed, would no longer have had consciousness of sins? But in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins year by year. For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins. Therefore, when He comes into the world, He says,
“Sacrifice and offering You have not desired,
But a body You have prepared for Me;
In whole burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin You have taken no pleasure.
“Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come
(In the scroll of the book it is written of Me)
To do Your will, O God.’”
After saying above, “Sacrifices and offerings and whole burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin You have not desired, nor have You taken pleasure in them” (which are offered according to the Law), then He said, “Behold, I have come to do Your will.” He takes away the first in order to establish the second. By this will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
—1 John 2:1–2, 4:9–10; Hebrews 4:14–16, 10:1–10
Hymn 150. As the 148th Psalm*
The offices of Christ. From several scriptures.
Isaac Watts (1674–1748)
Join all the glorious names
Of wisdom, love, and power,
That ever mortals knew,
That angels ever bore:
All are too mean to speak his worth,
Too mean to set my Saviour forth.
But O what gentle terms,
What condescending ways,
Doth our Redeemer use
To teach his heav’nly grace!
Mine eyes with joy and wonder see
What forms of love he bears for me.
[Array’d in mortal flesh,
He like an angel stands,
And holds the promises
And pardons in his hands;
Commission’d from his Father’s throne
To make his grace to mortals known.]
[Great Prophet of my God,
My tongue would bless thy name;
By thee the joyful news
Of our salvation came:
The joyful news of sins forgiv’n,
Of hell subdued, and peace with heav’n.]
[Be thou my Counsellor,
My Pattern, and my Guide;
And through this desert land
Still keep me near thy side:
O let my feet ne’er run astray,
Nor rove, nor seek the crooked way.]
[I love my Shepherd’s voice,
His watchful eyes shall keep
My wand’ring soul among
The thousands of his sheep:
He feeds his flock, he calls their names,
His bosom bears the tender lambs.]
[To this dear Surety’s hand
Will I commit my cause;
He answers and fulfils
His Father’s broken laws:
Behold my soul at freedom set!
My Surety paid the dreadful debt.]
[Jesus, my great High Priest,
Offer’d his blood, and died;
My guilty conscience seeks
No sacrifice beside:
His powerful blood did once atone,
And now it pleads before the throne.]
[My Advocate appears
For my defence on high;
The Father bows his ears,
And lays his thunder by:
Not all that hell or sin can say
Shall turn his heart, his love away.]
[My dear Almighty Lord,
My Conqueror and my King!
Thy sceptre and thy sword,
Thy reigning grace I sing:
Thine is the power; behold, I sit
In willing bonds before thy feet.]
[Now let my soul arise,
And tread the tempter down;
My Captain leads me forth
To conquest and a crown:
A feeble saint shall win the day,
Though death and hell obstruct the way.]
Should all the hosts of death,
And powers of hell unknown,
Put their most dreadful forms
Of rage and mischief on,
I shall be safe, for Christ displays
Superior power, and guardian grace.
—The Psalms & Hymns of Isaac Watts. Hymns and Spiritual Songs. Book I: Collected from the Holy Scriptures (Soli Deo Gloria, 1997).
* Refers to meter. Hymn tune Darwall’s 148th, as heard in the video below, and Rejoice, the Lord Is King.
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Please don’t miss worshiping with your local congregation if you can possibly help it. But if you’re in need of a good sermon, try these.
What It Means to Be a Christian
What I Believe