Our Treasures in Christ - Ephesians 1

This worship service plan is built on the hope, riches, and power given to us in Christ. Many people come to worship feeling hopeless, empty, and powerless. Paul reminds us in Ephesians of the treasures we have in Jesus Christ.

Worship Service

Theme of the Service

Many people come to worship feeling hopeless, empty, and powerless. Paul reminds us in Ephesians of the treasures we have in Jesus Christ. This worship service is built on the hope, riches, and power given to us in Christ.

* * *

WE GATHER IN THE PRESENCE OF GOD

Prelude (see music notes)

*The Call to Worship from Psalm 146:
Praise the Lord.
Praise the Lord, O my soul.
I will praise the Lord all my life;
I will sing praises to my God as long as I live.
Do not put your trust in princes, in mortal men, who cannot save.
When their spirit departs, they return to the ground;
on that very day their plans come to nothing.
Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob,
whose hope is in the Lord his God,
the Maker of heaven and earth, the sea and everything in them-
the Lord, who remains faithful forever.
He upholds the cause of the oppressed and gives food for the hungry.
The Lord sets the prisoners free,
the Lord gives sight to the blind,
the Lord lifts up those who are bowed down,
the Lord loves the righteous,
the Lord watches over the alien and sustains the fatherless and the widow,
but he frustrates the ways of the wicked.
The Lord reigns forever, your God, O Zion, for all generations.
Praise the Lord.

*Hymn of Praise: "Praise the Lord! Sing Hallelujah!" PsH 146

*God's Greeting

*Mutual Greeting

*Song of Adoration: "Praise Him! Jesus, Blessed Savior" SNC 48 (see music notes)


WE ARE RENEWED IN GOD'S GRACE

Call to Confession

Prayer of Confession
When we have afflicted others,
whether by our own power
or by our silent support of systems
that oppress, enslave, and crush,
break us, Lord.
When we have perplexed others
and purposely confused them for our own gain
or driven them to despair,
break us, Lord.
When we have persecuted others,
casting them out of our community,
leaving them forsaken and alone,
break us, Lord.
When we have struck down others,
casting stones on their dreams and hopes
until they are destroyed,
break us, Lord.
Then broken, we carry in our bodies the death of Jesus
so that the life of Jesus may be made visible in our bodies;
make us, Lord.
With the power that belongs only to you,
make us into your treasure;
make us, Lord.
We are the clay, and you are the potter.
We are the work of your hands;
make us, Lord.
Do not be exceedingly angry
and do not remember our iniquity forever.
Now consider, we are all your people.
Make us, Lord, through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
(The Worship Sourcebook, 2.2.54)

Proclamation of Assurance
Hear the good news of the gospel:
God, who is rich in mercy,
out of the great love with which he loved us
even when we were dead through our trespasses,
made us alive together with Christ-
by grace you have been saved-
and raised us up with him and seated us with him
in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,
so that in the ages to come he might show
the immeasurable riches of his grace
in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
In Christ, by God's grace, we are saved.
Praise God, from whom all blessings flow!
-based on Ephesians 2:4-7, NRSV
(The Worship Sourcebook, O.2.4.1)

*Hymn of Response: "O Christ, Our Hope, Our Heart's Desire" PsH 485, TH 161


GOD SPEAKS THROUGH HIS WORD

Prayer of Illumination

The Reading of Scripture: Ephesians 1:15-23
The Word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God!

Sermon: "Our Treasures in Christ"

*Hymn of Response: "How Vast the Benefits Divine" PsH 497, TH 470


WE RESPOND TO GOD'S WORD

Testimony

Song: "The Blood Will Never Lose Its Power" PsH 552

The Prayers of the People

Offering


WE GO OUT WITH GOD'S BLESSING

*Sending and Benediction

*Parting Song: "Song of Hope" PH 432, SNC 282, SFL 82

* You are invited to stand.

Sermon Notes:

1. Everybody wants to have hope, riches, and power. Hope helps us to survive in this world. Riches and power provide us with the means to achieve our desire and goals. Why are there still people in the world who feel hopeless, empty, and powerless?

2. The passage, especially vs.18-23, shows us that we can have true hope, riches and power only through Christ. We need to see that our ultimate hope is in Christ.

3. Moreover, as God's children we should set our hearts "on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God" (Colossians 3:1). It is only with the attitude of setting our minds on things above, not on earthly things (Colossians 3:2) that we can fully experience the riches of Christ's glorious inheritance in the saints. With Paul, we give praise to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ who "has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ" (Ephesians 1:3).

4. Last but not least, God's power is still at work in our lives now. Whatever our problems or our current situation, we can persevere and take courage because Christ is the head over everything.

5. When we have to deal with the hassles and troubles of this world, we are not alone. We possess true hope, riches, and power. These are the treasures given to us by Christ so that we become what God want us to be.

Music Notes:
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)
TH Trinity Hymnal (Orthodox Presbyterian Church, Presbyterian Church in America;
Great Commission Publications)
TWC The Worshiping Church (Hope Publishing Company)
UMH The United Methodist Hymnal (United Methodist Publishing House)
WOV With One Voice (Augsburg Fortress)

1. There is much variety in the songs and hymns for this service. Consider a wide selection of accompaniment. Organ is appropriate for the hymns. Use piano and other available instruments for "Praise Him! Jesus, Blessed Savior," "The Blood Will Never Lose Its Power," and "Song of Hope." This is wonderful opportunity to use the musical gifts within the congregation. When using a mix of instruments, remember that some instruments require transposed parts.

2. Consider introducing the unfamiliar songs and hymns during the prelude. A solo instrument with piano accompaniment is one way of introducing a new song.

3. "Praise Him! Jesus, Blessed Savior" is a broad and joy-filled gospel song. This song should be sung at a slow tempo to allow space for improvisation. If this song is unfamiliar to your congregation, a soloist, choir, or praise team can sing stanzas one and two. The congregation can join on stanzas three and four.

4. "Song of Hope" reminds us that the hope of God goes with us. In place of a postlude, consider having the pianist and instruments continue to play this song as the worshipers depart.

Liturgy Notes:

1. The Call to Worship gives the congregation an opportunity to recite responsively an entire Psalm. Psalm 146 calls the people to put their hope in the Lord. The second section of the psalm recites righteous acts of the Lord. The liturgist is encouraged to read "the Lord" with emphasis starting at verse 7. Another option is to divide the Psalm into smaller sections to be used in the Call to Worship (vs 1-5), Declaration of Trust (vs 5-6), and Call to Confession (vs 7-9).

2. The Prayer of Confession invites the proud and powerful to become broken and identify with those who have been broken through the circumstances of life. The people then pray to be made into one people through Christ.

3. In response to the sermon, a personal testimony by a member about his/her treasures in Christ may be edifying. The testimony should be brief (3-5 minutes) and emphasize hope in Christ. The person giving the testimony should work with the preaching pastor to find the right tenor. If a personal testimony is not possible, a corporate testimony of faith may be substituted.

4. The Prayers of the People usually have a significant portion dedicated to the needs of the congregation and the world at large. But in light of Christ's love, the prayer should also speak clearly of hope and thanksgiving, echoing the sermon.

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