The Faith-Divide - John 3, HCLD 7

A service plan from Lord's Day 7 of the Heidelberg Catechism focused on the importance of true faith, which grafts us into Christ and provides all his benefits for us, part of a series on the Heidelberg Catechism. This service ends in celebration of the Lord's Supper.

Worship Service

Theme of the Service

Heidelberg Catechism

We complete our study of the first seven Lord's Days of the Heidelberg Catechism begun several weeks ago. You can link to other helpful material about preaching from the Heidelberg Catechism on the website of the Center for Excellence in Preaching of Calvin Theological Seminary. You can also find twelve worship services based on the teachings of the Apostle's Creed as explained by the Heidelberg Catechism (Lord's Days 8-22): http://www.calvin.edu/worship/services/series/apostles_creed/

Theme of the Service

This service focuses on the importance of true faith. The previous Lord's Days asked about where we would be able to find a deliverer and answered by identifying the deliverer must be both human and divine. Now Lord's Day 7 directs our attention to the critical importance of true faith which grafts us into Christ and provides all his benefits for us. Our text from John 3:36 clearly states that true faith makes the difference between receiving eternal life and not seeing such life. The service concludes with an affirmation of our faith at the Table of the Lord.

* * *

As we worship today we renew our commitment to God through Jesus Christ
knowing that we have life in his name.

WE GATHER BEFORE GOD

Prelude: "Jesus, Priceless Treasure" [see music notes]
"I Will Sing of My Redeemer”

Introit: “Come to the Water,” Foley [see music notes]

*The Call to Worship:
We are the community of faith.
We find our new life in Jesus Christ.
We are the people of God,
who are marked by the water of baptism.
We are the body of Christ,
and we are nurtured at the table of the Lord.
We are fed by the Word of God,
given life through the bread of life.
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.
Amen.

*Song: "I Will Sing of My Redeemer" PsH 479:1-3, TWC 492:1, 2, 4, TH 650:1, 2, 4 [see music notes]


WE ARE RENEWED IN GOD'S GRACE

A Litany of Faith:

Are all saved through Christ just as all were lost through Adam?
No. Only those are saved
who by true faith are grafted into Christ
and accept all his blessings.

What is true faith?
True faith is not only a knowledge and conviction
that everything God reveals in his Word is true
it is also a deep-rooted assurance,
created in me by the Holy Spirit through the gospel,
that, out of sheer grace earned for us by Christ,
not only others, but I too,
have had my sins forgiven,
have been made forever right with God,
and have been granted salvation.

What then must a Christian believe?
Everything God promises us in the gospel.
That gospel is summarized for us
in the articles of our Christian faith--
a creed beyond doubt,
and confessed throughout the world.

What are these articles? [see liturgy notes]
I believe in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.

I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit
and born of the virgin Mary.

He suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried;
he descended to hell.
The third day he rose again from the dead.
He ascended to heaven
and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty.
From there he will come to judge the living 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. (The Heidelberg Catechism, Lord's Day 7)

The Call to Confession

Our Prayer of Confession

Anthem: “God So Loved the World,” Stainer [see music notes]

The Assurance of God's Pardon: Isaiah 43:25 [see liturgy notes]

The Passing of the Peace

*Song of Assurance: "O Jesus, We Adore You" PsH 472:1 ,3, TH 255:1, 3
or: “How Vast the Benefits Divine” PsH 497, TH 470

God's Guide for Grateful Living [see liturgy notes]


GOD SPEAKS THROUGH HIS WORD

The Prayer for Illumination

The Reading of Scripture: Isaiah 43:18-25
The Word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God!

The Reading of Scripture: John 3:22-36
The Word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God!

Sermon: "The Faith-Divide"
Text: John 3:36

The Prayer of Application


WE RESPOND TO GOD'S WORD

*Our Sung Affirmation of Faith: "This Holy Covenant Was Made" SNC 173 [see music notes]

The Offertory Prayer

The Offertory
The Offering of Music: “This Holy Covenant Was Made” [see music notes]
We Offer our Gifts for…

The Prayers of the People

The Children's Moment [see liturgy notes]

*A Song of Preparation: “Lift Up Your Heart unto the Lord” PsH 309, SFL 63, TWC 771

The Liturgy for the Lord's Supper [see liturgy notes]

*The Prayer of Thanksgiving


WE GO OUT TO LIVE IN GOD'S LOVE

*Song of Faith: "O Christ, the Great Foundation" PH 443, SNC 177, TWC 709 [see music notes]
or: “Lift High the Cross” PH 371, PsH 373, RL 415, RN 297, SFL 171, TH 263, TWC 229, UMH 159

*The Benediction with Congregational Amen!

Postlude: "O Christ, the Great Foundation” or “Lift High the Cross” [see music notes]

* You are invited to stand.

Sermon Notes:

Two issues immediately surface in writing and preaching this sermon. First, it is the climax of the line of thought that began six weeks ago with the first Lord's Day and continued through our examination of our conviction of sin and redemption through a divine/human Mediator. Therefore, for hearers to fully understand the vital urgency of the call to faith in this message, it would be helpful for them to become aware of the previous messages in this series. Second, the syncretism of our contemporary religious culture resists the claim that there is only one way of salvation. Therefore, it may be difficult for some to accept the claim that the only way we can find eternal life is through faith in Jesus Christ. Be aware of this possible resistance, and present the claims of Scripture unapologetically but very tactfully.

We are a society that draws lines. Often the lines we draw are those that serve our own personal advantage and do not necessarily reflect true reality. Some are unjust and unfair, but some are necessary. Paint crews on highway construction projects paint clear lines down the middle of the road, making it very obvious which side of the road to drive on for the safety both of ourselves and others. The line God draws reflects truth. It's the line of faith, drawn right through the human race, and it determines who lives under the mercy of God and who lives under his justice. Though our text has come from the mouth of John the Baptist, it may be helpful, and wise, to supplement it and reinforce it by citing multiple references from the ministry of Jesus (i.e. John 3:16, 14:6) and from the ministry of the Apostles (i.e. Acts 4:11,12, 1 Timothy 2:5, 6) that also make this claim. This claim is also professed and affirmed by the historic Heidelberg Catechism in Lord's Day 7. The catechism explains the nature and content of true faith (Q&A 21); faith involves knowledge, commitment and assurance.

This claim highlights for us the vital importance of clear personal decisions on the identity of Jesus Christ and our relationship to him. Therefore, this message should include a call and challenge to faith. And when the decision is meaningfully made, it makes the celebration of the Lord's Supper a rich event. At the table of the Lord, we "proclaim" (see 1 Corinthians 11:26) the Lord's death. "Coming to Table" ought to be a high point for all people of faith!

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)

The suggestions for preludes are based on the following two hymn tunes:

JESU, MEINE FREUDE [Jesus, Priceless Treasure]

Organ:
Bach, J. S. The Liturgical Year ( ed. Riemenschneider) Ditson [1933] (E-M)
Leupold, A. W. An Organ Book. Chantry Music Press [1960] (E-M)
Manz, Paul. Ten Chorale Improvisations, set 3. Concordia 97-4950 [1968]
Manz, Paul. Ten Chorale Improvisations, set 5. Concordia 97-5257 [1974]
Marpurg, Friedrich Wilhelm. Twenty-one Chorale Preludes. Augsburg
11-9506 [1967] (E-M)
Peeters, Flor. 30 Chorale Preludes. Peters 6023 [1950] (E-M)

Piano:
Gerig, Reginald. Piano Preludes on Hymns and Chorales. Hope 251 [1959] (M)

HYFRYDOL [I Will Sing of My Redeemer]

Organ:
Barr, John G. Processional Prelude on Hyfrydol. H. W. Grey GSTC 01083 [1992] (E-M)
Callahan, Charles. Partita on Hyfrydol. Concordia 97-5940 [1986] (E-M)
Cherwien, David. Groundings. Augsburg 11-11119 [2001] (E-M)
Cherwien, David. Interpretations, bk. 3. AMSI OR-6 [1983] (E-M)
Cherwien, David. Interpretations, bk. 7. AMSI SP-104 [1988] (E-M)
Childs, Edwin T. Organ Music for the Seasons, vol. 3. Augsburg Fortress
ISBN 0-8006- 7564-9 [2003] (M)
Haan , Raymond H. Welsh Hymn Tune Preludes. SMP KK426 [1989] (E-M)
Honore, Jeffrey. Classic Embellishments. Augsburg 11-11005 [1999]
(could include a solo instrument, E-M)
Krapf, Gerhard. Sing and Rejoice, vol. 2. SMP KK235 [1982] (adaptable to piano, E-M)
Lasky, David M. Partita on “Hyfrydol.” Egan EO-300 [1993] (E-M)
Manz, Paul. God of Grace. Morningstar MSM-10-599 [2004] (M)
Schalk, Carl. Easy Hymn Preludes for Organ, vol. 1 Concordia 97-7001 [2002] (E)
Stearns, Peter Pindar. Twelve Hymn Preludes for General Use. Flammer
HF-5145 [1987] (E-M)
Vaughan Williams, Ralph. Augsburg Organ Library – Epiphany. Augsburg
11-11073 [2001] (M)
Vaughan Williams, Ralph. Three Preludes. Galaxy ( Stainer and Bell) (M)
Willan, Healy. Ten HymnPreludes, set 1. Peters 6011 [1956] (E-M)

Piano:
Wilson, John F. A Sacrifice of Praise. Hope 347 [1994] (E-M)

Handbells:
Crawshaw, Craig. Hallelujah, What a Savior. Jenson 469-08019 [1984] (3 octaves, E-M)
Honoré, Jeffrey. Alleluia Passacaglia. Agape 1552 [1992] (3-5 octaves, E-M)
Hopson, Hal. H. Fantasy on “Hyfrydol.” Agape 1048 [1982] (2 octaves, E-M)
Hopson, Hal. H. Fantasy on “Hyfrydol.” Agape 2078 [1999] (3-5 octaves, E-M)
Tucker, Sondra K. Meditation on Hyfrydol. Choristers Guild CGB-182
[1996] (3 octaves, E-M)

The introit “Come to the Water” by John Foley, S. J. is scored for SATB voices, congregation, piano, guitar and solo instrument. It is published by OCP 9489 [1993] (E-M)

Alternative harmonizations for the opening hymn can be found in:

HYFRYDOL [I Will Sing of My Redeemer]

Alternative Harmonization for Organ:
Ferguson, John. Hymn Harmonizations for Organ, bk. 1. Ludwig O-05 [1975]
Held, Wilbur. Preludes and Postludes, vol. 1. Augsburg 11-9318 [1972]

Alternative Harmonization for Piano:
Cherwien, David. Let It Rip! At the Piano. Augsburg 11-11045 [2000]

The anthem “God So Loved the World by John Stainer is scored for SATB a cappella voices and is published by Schirmer 3798 (E-M).

Alternative Harmonizations for the Sung Affirmation of Faith can be found in:

LASST UNS ERFREUEN [This Holy Covenant Was Made]

Alternative Harmonization for Organ:
Burkhardt, Michael. As Though the Whole Creation Cried. Morningstar
MSM-10-555 [2001]
Burkhardt, Michael. 5 Psalm Hymn Improvisations. Morningstar MSM-10-511 [1997]
Eggert, John. Creative Hymn Accompaniments for Organ, vol. 2. CPH97-6851 [2000]
Ferguson, John. Hymn Harmonizations for Organ, bk. 3. Ludwig O-10 [1986]
Goode, Jack C. Thirty-four Changes on Hymn Tunes. H W Grey GB 644 [1978]
Johnson, David N. Free Harmonizations of Twelve Hymn Tunes. Augsburg
11-9190 [1964]

Alternative Harmonization for Piano:
Porter, Rachel Trelstad. Let It Rip! At the Piano. Augsburg 11-11045 [2000]

The offertory music suggestions, based on the preceding hymn can be found in the following sources:

LASST UNS ERFREUEN [This Holy Covenant Was Made]

Organ:
Burkhardt, Michael. Five Psalm Improvisations. Morningstar MSM-10-511 [1997] (E-M)
Callahan, Charles. Partita on Lasst uns Erfruen. Morningstar MSM-10-700 [1989] (E-M)
Cherwien, David. Interpretations, bk. 5. AMSI SP-102 [1985] (D)
Held, Wilbur. Hymn Preludes for the Autumn Festivals. Concordia 97-5360 [1976] (E-M)
Hobby, Robert A. Three Easter Hymn Settings. Morningstar MSM-10-421 [1999] (E-M)
Kemner, Gerald. Fantasies on Nine Familiar Hymn Tunes. Augsburg 11-5919 [1990] (M)
Krapf, Gerhard. Sing and Rejoice, vol. 2. SMP KK235 [1982] (adaptable to piano, E-M)
Manz, Paul. Ten Chorale Improvisations, set 6. Concordia 97-5305 [1975] (E-M)
Rowley, Alec. Choral Preludes based on Famous Hymn Tunes, vol. 2. Ashdown
[1952] (E-M)
Sedio, Mark. (1996) Augsburg Organ Library – Easter. Augsburg 11-11075 [2000] (E-M)
Sedio, Mark. Organ Tapestries, vol. 2. Concordia 97-6861 [2000] (E-M)

Piano:
Porter, Rachel Trelstad. Day by Day. Augsburg 11-10772 [1996] (M)

Handbells:
Dobrinski, Cynthia. All Creatures of Our God & King. Agape 1737 [1995] (3-5 octaves, M)
Honoré, Jeffrey. Alleluia Passacaglia. Agape 1552 [1992] (3-5 octaves, E-M)
Hopson, Hal. H. All Creatures of Our God & King. Agape 1546 [1992] (3-4 octaves, E-M)

Alternative harmonizations for both suggestions for closing hymn can be found in these resources:

AURELIA [O Christ, the Great Foundation]

Alternative Harmonization for Organ:
Ferguson, John. Hymn Harmonizations, bk. 5. Ludwig O-14 [1992]
Thiman, Eric. Varied Accompaniments to Thirty-Four Well-Known Hymn Tunes.
Oxford ISBN 0 19 323210 3 [1937]

Alternative Harmonization for Piano:
Cherwien, David. Let It Rip! At the Piano. Augsburg 11-11045 [2000]

CRUCIFER [Lift High the Cross]

Alternative Harmonizations for Organ:
Burkhardt, Michael. As Though the Whole Creation Cried. Morningstar
MSM-10-555 [2001]

Alternative Harmonizations for Organ and Handbells:
Moklebust, Cathy and David.Lift High the Cross. Chorister’s Guild CGB 193 [1997]
(3-5 octaves/organ, E-M)

Alternative Harmonization for Piano:
Cherwien, David & Wasson, Laura E.Let It Rip! At the Piano. Augsburg
11-11045 [2000]

Postlude suggestions on either of the closing hymn suggestions are as follows:

AURELIA [O Christ, the Great Foundation]

Organ:
Barr, John G. Three Preludes on Hymn Tunes. H. W. Grey GSTC 01079 [1992] (M)
Burkhardt, Michael. Six General Hymn Improvisations, set 2. Morningstar
MSM-10-534 [1999] (E-M)
Cherwien, David. Interpretations, bk. 5. AMSI SP-102 [1985] (E-M)
Hildebrand, Kevin. Easy Hymn Preludes for Organ, vol. 3. Concordia 97-7052 [2004] (E)
Honore, Jeffrey. Classic Embellishments. Augsburg 11-11005 [1999]
(could include solo instrument, E-M)
Krapf, Gerhard. Sing and Rejoice, vol. 5. SMP KK323 [1984] (adaptable for piano; E-M)
Peeters, Flor. Hymn Preludes for the Liturgical Year, vol. 10. Peters 6410 [1966] (M)

CRUCIFER [Lift High the Cross]

Organ:
Burkhardt, Michael. Six General Hymn Improvisations, set 2. Morningstar MSM-10-534
[1999] (E-M)
Busarow, Donald. Processional on “Lift High the Cross.” Concordia 97-5442 (M)
Callahan, Charles. Partita on Crucifier. Concordia 97-6456 [1994] (E-M)

Piano:
Carter, John. The Wondrous Cross. Hope 1747 [1994] (E-M)

Handbells:
McChesney, Kevin. Lift High The Cross. Lorenz HB 230 [1988] (3-4 octaves, M)

Liturgy Notes:

1. The Service of Renewal begins with our affirmation of the historic truths taught in the Catechism. This affirmation could be spoken or sung. It would be wise to introduce this reading or singing by pointing to the series of sermons on the first seven Lord's Days of the Catechism. Here we testify that we are right with God only through faith in Christ, but we also affirm that through such faith we possess all the benefits of Christ. If you choose to sing the Apostles’ Creed, settings can be found in PsH 518 “In God the Father I Believe” or SNC 175 “I Believe in God Almighty.” The Call to Confession can follow immediately with words such as "Let us now, in full faith, make confession of our sins that we may be renewed in God's grace….."

2. The Assurance of Pardon is given firmly and confidently with the words from Isaiah 43, a passage from the Lectionary which will be read shortly in the service. You may want to include the "Passing of the Peace" at this point in the service unless you prefer to include it within the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper.

3. God's Guide for Grateful Living should be a passage of Scripture that calls us to live gratefully and joyfully. Many suggestions can be found in The Worship Sourcebook, pp. 126-138.

4. We are suggesting that The Children's Moment be placed here so that the liturgist has an opportunity to explain the significance of the Lord's Supper to the children, point them to the meaning of participating in it, and encourage them to make the step of faith.

5. The form of your celebration of the Lord's Supper will be shaped by your local customs and culture. However, you will find many helpful thoughts and passages in Section 8 of The Worship Sourcebook, pp. 305ff.

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