Fruitful Lips - Hebrews 13, HCLD 36-37
A service plan focused on the privilege of knowing the name of God and the element of Christian obedience in knowing how to use and speak his name in a way that is honoring to him in a series on the Ten Commandments, as explained in the Heidelberg Catechism.
Also in this Series
Shaping our Gratitude
This series of worship services explores the Ten Commandments.
Theme of the Service
The third commandment treats both the holiness of the name of God and the manner in which we take it upon our lips. Therefore, this service is built around the privilege of knowing the name of God (because he has chosen to reveal himself and his name to us) and the element of Christian obedience in knowing how to use and speak his name in a way that is honoring to him.
We suggest a number of resources that will be valuable tools for you in this study of the Ten Commandments.
- Each week we will provide references for you from the Heidelberg Catechism and both the Larger and the Shorter Westminster Catechism.
- The website of the Center for Excellence in Preaching at Calvin Theological Seminary also provides sermon ideas for each of these commandments and Lord's Days.
- Comfort and Joy: A Study of the Heidelberg Catechism, Andrew Kuyvenhoven, Grand Rapids: CRC Publications, 1988.
- Our Only Comfort: A Comprehensive Commentary on the Heidelberg Catechism (vol. 2), Fred Klooster, Grand Rapids: Faith Alive Christian Resources, 2001.
- The Ten Commandments: Manual for the Christian Life, Jochem Douma, tr. Nelson D. Kloosterman, Phillipsburg, NJ: P & R Publishing, 1996.
- Mere Morality: What God Expects from Ordinary People, Lewis B. Smedes, Grand Rapids: Eerdmans Publishing, 1983.
Heidelberg Catechism, Lord's Day 36, 37
Westminster Larger Catechism, Q.111-114
Westminster Shorter Catechism, Q.53-56
WE GATHER IN THE PRESENCE OF GOD
Prelude: "All Glory Be to God on High" [see
The Call to Worship
*Song: "All Glory Be to God on High" PH 133, PsH 247, RL 620, TH 102 [see
*Our Declaration of Trust and God's Greeting:
Congregation of Christ, who do you trust?
Our help is in the name of the Lord who made heaven and earth.
Grace, mercy and peace to you in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
*Song of Response: "In the Presence of Your People" SFL 25, PsH 160, RN12, TWC19, WOV 720 [see
or: "Bless His Holy Name" PsH 627, RN 16, TWC 36, WOV 798
WE ARE RENEWED IN GOD'S GRACE
The Call to Confession
What is the great and first commandment?
Love the Lord your God with all your heart
and with all your soul and with all your mind.
What is the second commandment like it?
Love your neighbor as yourself.
What does this mean?
Love is the fulfilling of the law.
To what does this call us?
To a life of faith working through love. (The Worship Sourcebook, 2.7.5, based on Matthew 22:37-40)
Our Prayer of Confession [see
O Great God,
We are grateful that you have told us your name
and by doing so have given us knowledge of your self.
We know that your name is holy for you are holy.
Yet we must ask your forgiveness for when we have misused your name.
Cursing has come from our lips.
We have blasphemed your name in careless speech.
We have taken your name on our lips so thoughtlessly.
And we have been silent when we should have spoken it.
We are sorry, O Lord our God,
and we ask for your mercy,
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
The Assurance of God's Pardon
The Call to Grateful Living: Psalm 145:1-7
Song of Response: "The Ten Commandments" PsH 153: 1, 4, 9
GOD SPEAKS TO US THROUGH HIS WORD
The Children's Moment [see
*Song of Preparation: "Tell Your Children" PsH 588
The Reading of the Heidelberg Catechism: Lord's Day 36-37 [see
The Prayer for Illumination
The Old Testament Reading: Exodus 20:1-7
The Word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God!
The New Testament Reading: Hebrews 13:15-21
The Word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God!
Sermon: Fruitful Lips
Shaping Our Gratitude 5
Text: Hebrews 13:15
The Prayer of Application
WE RESPOND WITH OUR RENEWED COMMITMENTS
Anthem: "The Majesty and Glory of Your Name," Fettke and Johnson [see
*Our Renewed Vows of Obedience [see
*Hymn of Response: "Holy God, We Praise Your Name" PH 460, PsH 504, RL 619, TH 103, TWC 3, UMH 79 [see
The Offering of Music: "Holy God, We Praise Your Name" [see
We offer our gifts for..
The Prayers of the People
WE GO OUT TO WALK WITH GOD
*Words of Sending: Psalm 34:1-3
*The Benediction with Congregational Amen!
*Sung Response: "Lord, Our Lord, Your Glorious Name" PsH 8 TWC 319, Alternative Tunes: PH 163, RL 83, TH 114
Postlude: "All Glory Be to God on High" [see
or: "Holy God, We Praise Your Name"
* You are invited to stand.
Someone once said that one of the greatest tragedies that exists among long-time Christians is that they no longer realize what a treasured gift it is to know the name of God. The sacred becomes common. It is through his name, given to us, that God comes to more completely reveal his character and person. Indeed, the Aaronic benediction (see Numbers 6:24-26) concludes with the statement, "so they will put my name on the Israelites and I will bless them" (v.27). The Israelites were called to travel, live, and die with a sense of privilege for bearing the name of God.
You may choose to review a number of the key names of God, but what is most important is that hearers understand that God reveals himself to us through his names and that his names are holy/sacred. For that reason one of the commandments deals with his name(s) and our use of them. This is true of the names of God as well as the names by which Jesus Christ is made known to us. It may strike us as overly severe that this sin may be punished with the death penalty (see Leviticus 24:10-17) according to Old Testament laws, but our culture has gone to the extreme in the other direction. Most don't even flinch at such misuse today.
One matter that should be dealt with in this sermon is the types of misuse of God's name that occur. A study of the commandment, Scripture exhortations, and both the Heidelberg and Westminster Catechism will identify many possibilities. Some of these misuses will be associated with active expressions of the name of God in ways that violate its holiness. Others will be "passive misuses" in that nothing intentional is done: God's name is used carelessly, or we are silent when we ought to be speaking it. Your knowledge of your community will help you to determine which issues require addressing.
The other side of the issue is to grow in our personal obedience by becoming more faithful in the proper uses of this name. Careful study of Hebrews 13 will uncover what he means by a "sacrifice of praise" (v.15). We make our grateful offerings to God in the obedient use of his name. Being ashamed or embarrassed can also be misuse. Our prayers, our professions, our testimonies, our worship and our witness all constitute these "sacrifices of praise." (This could be a good service to incorporate the personal testimony of one or more worshipers in the worship service.)
Glossary of Hymnal Abbreviations:
PH The Presbyterian Hymnal (Presbyterian Church USA; Westminster/John Knox Press)
PsH The Psalter Hymnal (Christian Reformed Church; Faith Alive Christian Resources)
RL Rejoice in the Lord (Reformed Church in America; W.B. Eerdmans Publishing Company)
RN Renew! (Hope Publishing Company)
SFL Songs for LiFE (children's songbook; Faith Alive Christian Resources)
SNC Sing! A New Creation (Calvin Institute of Christian Worship, Christian Reformed Church,
Reformed Church in America; Faith Alive Christian Resources)
SWM Sing With Me (children's songbook; Faith Alive Christian Resources)
TH Trinity Hymnal (Orthodox Presbyterian Church, Presbyterian Church in America; Great
TWC The Worshiping Church (Hope Publishing Company)
UMH The United Methodist Hymnal (United Methodist Publishing House)
WOV With One Voice (Augsburg Fortress)
Suggestions for prelude and alternative harmonizations for the opening hymn can be found in the following resources:
ALLEIN GOTT ["All Glory Be to God on High"]
Albrecht, Timothy. Augsburg Organ Library - Easter. Augsburg 11-11075  (E-M)
Armsdorff, Andreas. Music for a Celebration, set 4. Morningstar MSM-10-579  (E-M)
Bach, J. S. The Biggs Book of Organ Music. H. W. Grey GB 645  (E-M)
Edmundson, Garth. Seven Classic Preludes on Old Chorals. Fischer F. E. 7466 (POP; E-M)
Haan, Raymond H. Festival Hymn Preludes. SMP KK329  (E-M)
Held, Wilbur. All Glory Be to God on High. Morningstar MSM-10-706 
(a suite of 3 movements; E-M)
Manz, Paul. Ten Chorale Improvisations. Concordia 97-4554  (E-M)
Marpurg, Friedrich Wilhelm. Music for a Celebration, set 4. Morningstar MSM-10-579 
Marpurg, Friedrich Wilhelm. Twenty-one Chorale Preludes. Augsburg 11-9506  (E-M)
Pachelbel, Johann. Selected Organ Works, vol. 2. Kalmus 3761(adaptable for piano, E-M)
Scheidt, Samuel. Second Volume of the Sacred Hour at the Organ. Fischer O 3809 
Sweelinck, Jan Pieterszoon. Music for a Celebration, set 4. Morningstar MSM-10-579 
Alternative Harmonization for Organ:
Johnson, David N. Free Harmonizations of Twelve Hymn Tunes. Augsburg 11-9190 
Wood, Dale. New Settings of Twenty Well-Known Hymn Tunes. Augsburg 11-9292 
Alternative Harmonization for Piano:
Maynard, Lynette. Let It Rip! At the Piano, vol. 2. Augsburg ISBN 0-8006-7580-0 
Additional verses to the opening response song "In the Presence of Your People" can be found in SFL 25.
The anthem "The Majesty and Glory of Your Name" by Tom Fettke and Linda Johnson is scored for SATB voices and piano and is published by Word 3010122160  (E-M).
A choral resource and suggestions for offertory music based on the hymn following the sermon can be found in:
GROSSER GOTT ["Holy God, We Praise Your Name"]
Ferguson, John. Holy God, We Praise Thy Name. GIA G-3167 
(SATB, congregation, organ and opt. brass quartet; M)
Burkhardt, Michael. Praise and Thanksgiving, set 4. Morningstar MSM-10-754  (E-M)
Dahl, David P. Hymn Interpretations. Augsburg 11-10972  (E-M)
Held, Wilbur. Hymn Preludes for the Pentecost Season. Concordia 97-5517  (E-M)
Wiltse, Carl. Holy God, We Praise Your Name. Stained Glass SGM-136 (4 octaves [3-4 octaves
hand chimes], level 4)
Postlude suggestions are given based on the opening hymn of the service or the response hymn following the sermon.
ALLEIN GOTT ["All Glory Be to God on High"]
Burkhardt, Michael. Praise and Thanksgiving, set 2. Morningstar MSM-10-752  (E-M)
Held, Wilbur. All Glory Be to God on High. Morningstar MSM-10-706  (last movement;
Leupold, A. W. An Organ Book. Chantry Music Press  (E-M)
Peeters, Flor. 30 Chorale Preludes, set 2. Peters 6024  (E-M)
GROSSER GOTT ["Holy God, We Praise Your Name"]
Bish, Diane. The Diane Bish Organ Book, vol. 1. Fred Bock B-G0548  (E)
Hobby, Robert A. Three Hymns of Praise, set 5. Morningstar MSM-10-760  (E-M)
Manz, Paul. God of Grace. Morningstar MSM-10-599  (D)
Manz, Paul. Ten Chorale Improvisations, set 8. Concordia 97-5342  (D)
Peeters, Flor. 30 Chorale Preludes, set 3. Peters 6025  (M-D)
1. Children are able to understand the importance of language and words. They are also able to identify with the pain that comes when someone "calls us names." It's good to warn them against some sinful uses of the name of God, but so much better to use positive illustrations and examples of how to honor God by using his name in faith.
2. You will notice that the Prayer of Confession is tailored to the content of the third commandment. This may be read by the worship leader as representative of all, or it may be read in unison by all worshipers.
3. The Call to Grateful Living is a Psalm that calls us to testify to our thanks to God. Any number of such passages could be used, perhaps even a variety of them read by a variety of readers. Each would reinforce the other.
4. We suggest that the words of the Heidelberg Catechism be read responsively: either the worship leader reads the question and the congregation responds with the answer, or vice versa. Because this commandment is discussed in two separate Lord's Days, we have included only selected portions of the material. To reprint for personal use, a ministry setting, or classroom use, include this credit line: © 1987, CRC Publications, Grand Rapids MI. www.crcna.org. Reprinted with permission.
Q. What is God's will for us in the third commandment?
A. That we neither blaspheme nor misuse the name of God
by cursing, perjury, or unnecessary oaths,
nor share in such horrible sins
by being silent bystanders.
In a word, it requires
that we use the holy name of God
only with reverence and awe,
so that we may properly confess him,
pray to him, and praise him in everything we do and say.
Q. Is blasphemy of God's name
by swearing and cursing really such serious sin
that God is angry also with those
who do not do all they can
to help prevent it and forbid it?
A. Yes, indeed.
No sin is greater,
no sin makes God more angry
than blaspheming his name.
That is why he commanded the death penalty for it.
5. For each Sunday in this series, the service will include a section after the sermon entitled "We Respond with Our Renewed Commitments." The worshiper should feel led to such a response after the Word has been spoken. The Commandments, in one of its forms, should be the substance of this commitment. There is a variety of resources you may draw from. Section 2.7 of The Worship Sourcebook (pages 127-137) provides a variety of resources for this purpose. The Psalter Hymnal (pages 1013-1018) provides additional responsive readings of the Ten Commandments.
To reprint responsive readings of the Ten Commandments for personal use, a ministry setting, or classroom us, include this credit line: © 1987, CRC Publications, Grand Rapids, MI. www.crcna.org . Reprinted with permission.