This Week’s Theme
The Gospel Is the Power of God
Paul’s letter to the Romans reveals his deep desire to preach the Gospel to those who were in Rome (v. 1.15). His explanation of the Gospel in verses 16 and 17 serves as a summary of the entire book’s teaching. As one commentator suggests, Romans 1.16-17 forms the transition between the opening of Romans (1.1-15) and the main body of the letter (1.18-15.13). Paul makes it clear that he is not ashamed of the Gospel, the Good News of salvation in Christ, for it is the very power of God for salvation to everyone who believes. His confidence in and his commitment to the Gospel stem from his knowledge of its power to save everyone who believes its message.
To be saved, the term “salvation” in this context, points to being delivered from the judgment of sin, along with its power and all the evils associated with the Fall and the Curse. Everyone can be saved, with a priority for those of Jewish lineage – the heirs of the promise and physical descendants of Abraham. Gentiles are also granted access to this salvation, regardless of their religious or ethnic background. In this Gospel Paul declares that God’s righteousness is revealed to both Jews and Greeks (non-Jews), “from faith for faith,” since “the righteous shall live by faith” (cf. Hab. 2.4). Right standing with God is not based on what we do or our efforts to please God but rather our faith in Christ, whose righteousness is made available to the believer, through faith. Let us embrace this salvation through the Gospel, this right standing with God granted to every person who clings by faith to Christ as Savior and Redeemer. It is free and final for all who receive it.
Preparing Our Hearts
Invocation: Our Prayer of Acclamation
Thank you, eternal God and our Father, for the Gospel which is the power of salvation to everyone who believes, which provides your right standing in your presence apart from our efforts to keep your law. This Gospel is for both Jews and Greeks, and in it your righteousness is imparted to the one who just believes in you. Make us agents of this Gospel in all we do and say. For your sake, amen.
Call to Worship
Blessed are you, O God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. And blessed is your Kingdom, both now and forever, Amen.
Praising Our God
Te Deum Laudamus
You are God: we praise you; you are the Lord; we acclaim you; you are the eternal Father: All creation worships you. To you all angels, all the powers of heaven, Cherubim and Seraphim, sing in endless praise: Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might, heaven and earth are full of your glory.
The glorious company of apostles praise you. The noble fellowship of prophets praise you. The white-robed army of martyrs praise you. Throughout the world the holy Church acclaims you; Father, of majesty unbounded, your true and only Son, worthy of all worship, and the Holy Spirit, advocate and guide.
You, Christ, are the king of glory, the eternal Son of the Father. When you became man to set us free you did not shun the Virgin’s womb. You overcame the sting of death and opened the kingdom of heaven to all believers. You are seated at God’s right hand in glory. We believe that you will come and be our judge. Come then, Lord, and help your people, bought with the price of your own blood, and bring us with your saints to glory everlasting.
Praise and Thanksgiving (songs and prayers)
Glory be to the Father,
And to the Son and to the Holy Spirit:
As it was in the beginning,
Is now, and ever shall be,
World without end. Amen, amen.
Listening to His Voice
Chronological Reading for the Day
Thursday: Zeph. 1-3; 2 Chron. 35.20-27; 2 Kings 23.29-30; Jer. 47-48
Lectionary Readings for the Day
Psalm: Ps. 16
OT: 1 Kings 19.15-16, 19-21
Gospel: Luke 9.51-62
NT: Gal. 5.1, 13-25
Reflection: Silence and/or Journaling
Responding in Faith
The Apostles’ Creed
I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth; and in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried; he descended into hell; the third day he arose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven and sits on the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic* church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.
*In the Apostles’ and Nicene Creeds, the term catholic refers to the Church’s universality, through all ages and times, of all languages and peoples. It refers to no particular tradition or denominational expression (e.g., as in Roman Catholic).
Prayers of Confession
Let us now confess our sins to God and receive mercy and grace to help in our time of need.
Assurance of Pardon
Having faithfully confessed and renounced your sin, Christ also has been faithful to forgive your sins and to purify you from all unrighteousness. It is certain, that there is One who has spoken to the Father in your defense, Jesus Christ, the Righteous One who is the atoning sacrifice for our sins and for the sins of the whole world. His grace and peace are with you now. Amen.
Petitions and Supplications, Ending with The Lord’s Prayer
Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
~ Matthew 6.9-13 (KJV)
Doxology (and/or closing song)
Praise God from whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him all creatures here below;
Praise Him above ye heavenly host;
Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Amen.
Departing to Serve
Lord Jesus, through your death and resurrection we have access to your Gospel, the word of salvation for both Jews and Gentiles. Thank you for your death on the cross, and the message of hope that flows from your work, this Gospel that provides those who believe with right standing with the Father. We owe you everything, and give you our love. In your name we pray, amen.
Affirmation for the Day
The power of God to deliver and to save is anchored in the message of the Gospel.
Pray without Ceasing – Flash Prayer for the Day
We are not ashamed of the Gospel, Father, for it is your power to deliver for all who believe in Christ through its saving message.
Let God Arise! Seasonal Focus
The Harvest Is Plentiful, the Laborers Few
Finley, Reformation in Foreign Missions
Our Corporate Disciplines
Book Discussion: Monday, July 1, 2019