Preparing To Rejoice In Him // April 15, 2018




“God’s greeting and welcome is a gracious way of reminding us of our utter dependence, cutting against the grain of myths of self-sufficiency that we’ve been immersed in all week long. This dependence and lack of self-sufficiency is then affirmed horizontally, as it were, by encouraging the congregation to greet one another, expressing welcome and extending blessing. We extend mutual greetings because God has welcomed us. As recipients of God’s greeting, we become imitators of God by extending welcome to our neighbors and brothers and sisters.” – James K. A. Smith, Desiring the Kingdom


“Anyone who is to find Christ must first find the church. How could anyone know where Christ is and what faith is in him unless he knew where his believers are?” ~Martin Luther


WORSHIP IN SONG :: This I Believe

Our Father everlasting
The all creating One, God Almighty
Through Your Holy Spirit, conceiving Christ the Son
Jesus, our Saviour

I believe in God our Father, I believe in Christ the Son
I believe in the Holy Spirit, our God is three in One
I believe in the resurrection, that we will rise again
For I believe in the Name of Jesus

Our Judge and our Defender
Suffered and crucified
Forgiveness is in You
Descended into darkness, You rose in glorious life
Forever seated high

I believe in life eternal, I believe in the virgin birth
I believe in the saints’ communion and in Your holy Church
I believe in the resurrection when Jesus comes again
For I believe in the Name of Jesus


GOD CALLS US TO WORSHIP :: Colossians 3:16–17

[16] Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. [17] And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. (ESV)



I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth; and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord:
Who was conceived of the Holy Ghost, 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 at 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.



*When saying “He descended into hell” it is not saying that Christ literally went into hell. It is expressing our belief that Christ died a physical death, was buried in a tomb and underwent the spiritual torment of all of God’s wrath on our behalf.

**The word “catholic” refers not to the Roman Catholic Church, but to the universal church of the Lord Jesus Christ.


Below is a very good excerpt from John Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion concerning the phrase “He descended into hell”.



“But we must seek a surer explanation, apart from the Creed, of Christ’s descent into hell. The explanation given to us in God’s Word is not only holy and pious, but also full of wonderful consolation. If Christ had died only a bodily death, it would have been ineffectual. No — it was expedient at the same time for him to undergo the severity of God’s vengeance, to appease his wrath and satisfy his just judgment. For this reason, he must also grapple hand to hand with the armies of hell and the dread of everlasting death…“the chastisement of our peace was laid upon him,” “he was wounded for our transgressions” by the Father, “he was bruised for our infirmities”. By these words he means that Christ was put in place of evildoers as surety and pledge — submitting himself even as the accused — to bear and suffer all the punishments that they ought to have sustained. All — with this one exception: “He could not be held by the pangs of death”. No wonder, then, if he is said to have descended into hell, for he suffered the death that, God in his wrath had inflicted upon the wicked!…The point is that the Creed sets forth what Christ suffered in the sight of men, and then appositely speaks of that invisible and incomprehensible judgment which he underwent in the sight of God in order that we might know not only that Christ’s body was given as the price of our redemption, but that he paid a greater and more excellent price in suffering in his soul the terrible torments of a condemned and forsaken man.” ~John Calvin


GOD’S WORD PREACHED :: Philippians 4:21-23

[21] Greet every saint in Christ Jesus. The brothers who are with me greet you. [22] All the saints greet you, especially those of Caesar’s household.

[23] The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. (ESV)

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