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Happy Reformation Day today!

On Saturday there will be Pilates at 7:00 AM at The Meeting Place, Men’s Breakfast at 8:00 AM at Phil Wagler’s, Prayer Meeting at 8:00 AM at The Meeting Place, Worship Team Rehearsal and Sound Training from 9:15 AM to noon at The Meeting Place.

Sunday at 10:45 AM is of course the high point of our week! Don’t forget to set your clock back one hour on Saturday night!

The next Mission Class for those interested in pursuing membership at Immanuel will be on Sunday, November 9th, after the service.

Pick up a copy of Joining the Mission and go through it before the class.

Lunch will be provided. Please RSVP.

PRELUDE – “Oh! Great Is Our God” by Brian Eichelberger

WELCOME & CALL TO WORSHIP

Song –

Oh! Great Is Our God” by Brian Eichelberger

CONFESSION OF SIN – Luke 18:9-13

To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everybody else, Jesus told this parable: “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men – robbers, evildoers, adulterers – or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’ “But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’

ASSURANCE OF PARDON – Luke 18:14

Jesus said, “I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

AFFIRMATION OF FAITH – From Heidelberg Catechism Question 60

Q. How are you righteous before God?

A. Only by true faith in Jesus Christ.

Even though my conscience accuses me

of having grievously sinned against all God’s commandments,
of never having kept any of them,
and of still being inclined toward all evil,

nevertheless,

without any merit of my own,
out of sheer grace,

God grants and credits to me
the perfect satisfaction, righteousness, and holiness of Christ,

as if I had never sinned nor been a sinner,
and as if I had been as perfectly obedient

as Christ was obedient for me.

All I need to do
is accept this gift with a believing heart.

Songs –

Let Us Love and Sing and Wonder” by John Newton

How Can I Keep From Singing” by Chris Tomlin, Ed Cash, and Matt Redman

PRAYER

CHILDREN’S BLESSING & DISMISSAL – New City Catechism Q 21 & Q 22

Song –

Make Us One” by Twila Paris

SCRIPTURE READING – Numbers 18:1-32

SERMON – “Supporting the Priests and Levites”

LORD’S TABLE

Songs –

Before the Throne of God Above” by Charitie Lees Bancroft and Vikki Cook

O My Soul, Arise” by Charles Wesley and Eric McAllister

OFFERING

Song –

Amazing Grace” by John Newton

BENEDICTION

ANNOUNCEMENTS

POSTLUDE – “Every Praise” by Hezekiah Walker

by Jeremiah Hill

We believe that Repentance and Faith are sacred duties, and also inseparable graces, wrought in our souls by the regenerating Spirit of God; whereby being deeply convinced of our guilt, danger and helplessness, and of the way of salvation by Christ, we turn to God with unfeigned contrition, confession, and supplication for mercy; at the same time heartily receiving the Lord Jesus Christ as our Prophet, Priest and King, and relying on Him alone as the only and all sufficient Savior.

Faith

“[Isaac] will never forget that in one hundred and thirty years you got no further than faith.”[i] Abraham’s journey to Moriah with Isaac is one story among many in Hebrews 11 which the writer intends to use as an example for us because, “Without faith it is impossible to please him.”[ii] Faith is the apprehension of God in the person of Christ. Faith is the apprehension of Christ in everything we do and thus becomes the upward thrust and God-glorifying telos (end) of each moment of our life. Thus Paul writing to the Corinthians, “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God,” (10:31) and also to the Romans, “For whatever does not proceed from faith is sin,” (14:23) is Paul in essence expressing the very same idea. This of course assumes that faith is so defined with Jesus Christ as its object.

That Jesus Christ is the object of saving faith means several things as we discuss here. First, faith includes a level of true knowledge about the object. Faith must be based upon a biblical knowledge of Christ and his provision for us. A faith devoid of this content is nothing other than superstition (eg. transubstantiation) or nicely-dressed error (eg. JW’s, Mormons). Faith must also contain belief that agrees with the testimony of Scripture about Christ, namely that he provides salvation for those who call on him. Finally, faith must go beyond an intellectual assent and agreement to a trust and commitment to the object. In the case of faith, all of these find as their object, Jesus Christ. The formula for faith includes the knowledge of, agreement with, and trust in the person of Jesus Christ as the one mediator who provides unfettered access to God.

The oft used phrase, “I really grew in my faith by…” is perhaps overused, but not out of place. What someone should mean in using this language is that they have progressed in any one of these areas. We grow in our faith as we understand not only that Jesus Christ made a provision for us, but expiated our sins through the cross, redeemed our humanity through his life, and even meets with us as we partake in his word and sacrament. Throughout our lives and through sanctification, the very same truths that we understand intellectually, progress from a passive agreement further to an awe-filled and hearty ‘amen.’ This expresses itself further as these truths move through our souls in such a way that we trust more strongly in Christ not just for salvation, but for our very sanctification.

This faith is more than just a flippant hope (“I hope I remembered to turn off the oven!”), although they are related. Both look outward within bleak circumstances, but where hope looks forward, faith steps forward. All people make this step toward their hope. The problem mainly is that people hope in white teeth or a hunk of metal on wheels. If these are our salvation, our faith will look oddly similar to that of the world, pursuing all manner of worldly possessions seeking everything…or anything at all that can placate the hunger within. Let us rest in that our faith is in none of these! Let us praise in that our salvation is more than just, “well I hope that I am saved!” We believe in Christ and trust in him for salvation confidently.

Repentance

If faith is the trust in God, repentance is the act whereby our previous faith, which rested solely on the self, is repudiated. Repentance is the move from self and faith completes the move by reaching to Christ. Repentance in the biblical sense is radical. We should understand repentance in any single event as the dashing to pieces of an idol and replacing it with the true God once again (or for the first time). It is in this sense no mere change of mind, but powerful enough to rip away our faith from an idol and redirect it to Christ.

Like faith, there is a necessary formula to produce an act of repentance. There must first of all be recognition of the divine standard being broken by the one repenting. An awareness of the rupture in the relationship between God and man must always be present. Also, as difficult as it will be to nail down, there must be an emotive element. The attitude toward what has been committed cannot be neutral. In any particular instance, the attitude felt when one confesses, “I have mutilated the glory and name of God,” must never be equivalent to stating, “I am sitting in my living room right now.” There is an involvement in confession that includes a healthy hatred and shame in having done it. I say healthy to emphasize this is very often done in an unhealthy way. We must not, as the early Luther did, be consumed with our own sin. Repentance is not attrition – it is not self-preoccupation with no sense of remorse. This indeed is the final ingredient in biblical repentance, resolve. This is the point in repentance where volition brings us away from the trust in sin and self to faith, where Christ is apprehended. Repentance without resolve to forsake the old life is pure misery.

Repentant Faith

These two distinct movements, as it has already been shown, are uniquely related. They are distinct movements, but not divided. In any given instance of faith or repentance, the other is present. There is a tremendous amount of overlap between the two and they should probably be understood as occurring at the same time. Distinction without division (Chalcedon) is a helpful way to imagine these movements.

As Christians, this is a lifelong movement and can be a sort of pendulum swing. As we begin, our repentance is done without much understanding of God’s holiness or with a comprehensive understanding of who he is toward us. As we age, our knowledge of his love and the depth of his holiness begin to loom large. We also begin to sin differently – where we once committed many sins without much filter, we are given over to a holier mind as Christ reigns in our bodies. Yet even though we sin less, we grieve more because we understand the depth of our offenses even further in light of his identity. In either end of our personal timelines, the depth of our repentance and strength of our faith are not what saves us. It is the strength of the hand which grasps us, not ours on him, which brings the provision of salvation to fruition within us.

 

Select Bibliography

The Cross and Salvation – Demarest

Berkhoff – Systematic Theology

Fear and Trembling – Kierkegaard

Institutes 3 – Calvin

· Pilates is CANCELLED

· Saturday Morning Prayer Meeting is at 8:00 AM at The Meeting Place.

· Women’s Bible Study is this Saturday at 10:00 AM at Abby’s (contact women at immanuel dash baptist dot net with questions)

· And of course the highlight of our week – gathered worship with preaching and eating at the Lord’s Table is at 10:45 AM on Sunday at The Meeting Place

PRELUDE – “Here is Love” by Fernando Ortega

WELCOME & CALL TO WORSHIP – Psalm 103:1-5

Praise the LORD, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

Song –

Come Thou Fount” by John Wyeth and Robert Robinson

CONFESSION OF SIN ASSURANCE OF PARDON – Psalm 103:8-13

The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever; he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us. As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him.

Songs –

At the Cross” by Darlene Zschech and Reuben Morgan

10,000 Reasons” by Jonas Myrin and Matt Redman

AFFIRMATION OF FAITH – The Apostles’ Creed

We 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 and on the third day he rose again from the dead. He ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty, from thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead. We 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.

PRAYER CHILDREN’S BLESSING & DISMISSAL – New City Catechism Q21

Song – “Lord I Need You” by Christy Nockels, Daniel Carson, Jesse Reeves, Kristian Stanfill, Matt Maher

SCRIPTURE READING – Numbers 16:36 – 17:13

SERMON – “Remembering Atonement”

LORD’S TABLE Songs –

The Power of the Cross” by Keith Getty and Stuart Townend

And Can It Be?” by Charles Wesley and Thomas Campbell

OFFERING

Song –

One Thing Remains” by Brian Johnson, Christa Black Gifford, and Jeremy Riddle

BENEDICTION

ANNOUNCEMENTS

POSTLUDE – “Te Amo” by Israel Houghton

by Jeremiah Hill

We believe that, in order to be saved, sinners must be regenerated, or born again; that regeneration consists in giving a holy disposition to the mind; that it is effected in a manner above our comprehension by the power of the Holy Spirit, in connection with divine truth, so as to secure our voluntary obedience to the gospel; and that its proper evidence appears in the holy fruits of repentance, and faith, and newness of life.

The Nature of Regeneration

Regeneration tells us that God the Trinity is profoundly and personally interested in us. A lawyer springs the guilty free through crafty fact-bending, but even upright lawyers and judges dismiss the innocent upon the resolve of a case. God, upon our legal resolve and our being justified, does just the opposite. In salvation, God not only justifies us, he invades our very life and decisively changes us. It is not unheard of in Christianity today to reduce the gospel to legal-reckoning. This vitally important aspect of salvation can never be overlooked, but no one aspect of salvation can suffice to contain it all. God’s saving action is beautiful and manifold.

The first aspect of salvation which we actually experience is our being regenerated. In regeneration, we are ‘born-again’ (see John 3). This new life into which we are placed is more than just a new paradigm or perspective – it actually provides for us some measure of ability to do meaningful and worthwhile actions with our own two hands. However, this ‘new life’ in which we now live is no abstract form of spiritual batteries on which we now run. This power is the Holy Spirit himself as he indwells us and gives us the benefits of Jesus Christ. In the event of regeneration, we are given new life, namely the Holy Spirit, from which our new desires are shaped.

This event is also passive, in that it is solely brought about by God – an event in which we do not bring about by any effort of our own. That said, it is by no means a haphazard moment. God brings about salvation in the context of the preaching and hearing of Scripture. There is no formula for God to save other than his inscripturated-gospel message. Gospel preaching ushers in the Holy Spirit who regenerates our hearts and enables us to respond to the beckon of the preacher.

Many in the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Church espouse a kind of baptismal-regeneration by which the mark of our sinful nature is wiped clean (though not given much real content). Extended treatments of this can be found in many evangelical systematic theologies. Suffice it to say here that all theology is related. What you say about one part of theology will nearly always affect others. If one holds baptismal regeneration, the pressure is often to separate this event from the other events of salvation such as sanctification and justification. In Catholicism, justification is achieved through lifelong sanctification which is rooted in baptismal regeneration. While their doctrine of baptismal regeneration is not the cause of this mishap, it is a result of the underlying problems with a poorly constructed theological system.

The Regenerate Life

For every part of our human nature that experienced the effects of the fall (every part) there will be a reversal. This reversal begins in our regeneration. Our will, intellect, emotions, relationships, and moral compass are all torn and twisted. In the giving of new life, God begins the process of reparation to these. Lest we be discouraged that new life means a kind of explosive and fanatical response to the gospel, we must realize that the giving of new life does not mean we are perfect, but changed. In the process, we desire more and more the presence of God. We realize continually that God is our perfect Father and that he is for us. We love others more intensely and feel rancor less powerfully. We begin to care for others and feel around us the immensity of evil in the world. Note Paul’s list in Galatians 5 and the context in which each of these fruits will be expressed. He touches on nearly every part of our life in this short list. This is the effect of the Spirit, the reformation of our soul. Yet we do continue in a kind of duality. Though the stain of sin has been lifted, brash and stupid desires remain within us. In this vein Paul writes, “Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death” (Rom 7:24)?

It would be a mistake for us here to observe the moral compasses of unbelievers and compare them with our own. We do much damage by discouraging ourselves as we sink into nail-biting fits of comparison. We are, every one of us, a work in progress. Regeneration is not about being made moral, it is about being the recipient of Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit. Our sights are not to be held on moral impeccability but on knowing and cherishing Christ more. What regeneration helps us see is that the Christian life is not about grasping God more, but being grasped by God more. Though our regeneration and new life is given decisively, the Spirit continually wreaks fruit within us.

Select Bibliography

Saved by Grace – Hoekema

The Cross and Salvation – Demarest

Theology for the Church – Akin

Institutes 3.3 – Calvin

The Koinonia ministry is pulling together a collection of favorite recipes within the church. Instead of printing a cookbook, they’ve created a blog where you can share your signature dishes with the rest of us.

Check out Immanuel Table and the first recipe – “Greek Yogurt Bisquits.” YUM!

Saturday:

Pilates with Bethany – 7:00 AM at The Meeting Place. Email Bethany if you’re planning to come.

Prayer Meeting – 8:00 AM at The Meeting Place.

Men’s Breakfast – 8:00 AM at Phil Wagler’s. Email men at immanuel-baptist.net for more information.

Sunday:

Weekly Worship – 10:45 AM at The Meeting Place. Check out https://immanuelblog.wordpress.com/2014/10/15/liturgy-1019/ to prepare.

     Table Talk – Stick around after service for food and discussion about what people have been reading lately.

Just a reminder that there’s a Men’s Breakfast this Saturday at 8:00 AM at Phil W’s. Every man is invited! Contact men at immanuel dash baptist dot net for more info.

From @immanuelchicago on Twitter

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