This Week’s Theme
The Grace of God Has Appeared
Paul provides Titus a concise summary of the Gospel’s core in Titus 2.11-14. Paul declares that the grace of God has appeared in this age, bringing salvation for all humankind. This salvation-providing grace is not mere assent; rather, it trains and equips us to renounce ungodliness and passions of the flesh and world. Positively, it instructs us how to live in ways that glorify the Lord in our lives as his disciples, i.e., to live “self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age.”
This Gospel of grace that teaches us how to live also teaches us how to hope. It empowers us to wait in confidence and conviction for “our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ” (v. 13). This hope is centered for the Church in the return of a person, “our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ.” He is the one for whom we wait, the very one who during his incarnation “gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works” (v. 14). His desire in his redemption for us was to redeem us from all lawlessness (i.e., to bring together a people of holiness), a people for his own possession (set apart for his use and ownership). This set-apart people would be, in his vision, “zealous for good works,” ready and willing to give all they are and have to adorn their faith with works that glorify his name.
This summary proves the necessity of doctrine in godly living. Faith and practice are essential together. An understanding of God’s grace leads to a zealous demonstration of our knowledge in good works.
Preparing Our Hearts
Invocation: Our Prayer of Acclamation
Eternal God our Father, grant your people a vision of the Gospel of grace, that we can deny worldliness, and live holy lives, waiting for the revelation of Jesus Christ. He gave himself for us that we might become a people set apart for him, zealous for good works. Honor your Word through our lives, for Christ’s 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
Sunday: Rom. 7-9
Lectionary Readings for the Day
Psalm: Ps. 65
OT: Joel 2.23-32
Gospel: Luke 18.9-14
NT: 2 Tim. 4.6-8, 16-18
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, our hope centers on you. We renounce the ungodliness of this world, and desire to live self-controlled, upright lives as we await your return. You are our great God and Savior, who bought us that we might belong to you alone. Purify us that we might be zealous for good works. In your name we pray, amen.
Affirmation for the Day
For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people.
Pray without Ceasing – Flash Prayer for the Day
We await you, our blessed hope, for the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Let God Arise! Seasonal Focus
That We Might Live through Him
1 John 4.7-14
Special Church Year Services
Reformation Day: Thursday, October 31, 2019
All Saints Day: Friday, November 1, 2019