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"A Good Conscience" - Preparing for Worship, 2016-01-22

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Morning Worship

How’s your conscience? Do you listen to it? Do you ignore it? Does it nag at you? Is it clear? The conscience is a gift from God, given to guide and direct us, and yet sense the fall that guidance is not without complication. Paul says his conscience is clear; how is he able to say that?

Passages for Meditation

  • 1 Peter 3:15-16. How might “having a good conscience” effect one’s ability to “give a reason for the hope that is within you?”
  • Hebrews 9:13-14. How does the blood of Christ grant us a clear conscience?
  • Acts 22:30-23:35. Describe Paul’s situation. What is the function of his conscience within the logic of his argument? Why might that be such a big deal to him?

Questions for Consideration

  • Do you let your conscience guide your decisions?
  • How do you treat your conscience? Is it a trusted advisor? A nag? An annoyance? An accuser?

Hymns for Proclamation

  • 122- God all Nature Sings Thy Glory
  • 695- By Grace I am an Heir of Heave

Evening Worship

We’re moving gradually through the book of Hebrews, which is unpacking in chapter 2 the logic of Christ’s humiliation. Why did Jesus need to become human in order to save us?

  • Psalm: 115. Why is the psalmist so confident that God will bless Israel?
  • Sermon Text: Hebrews 2:10-18. Why is it “fitting” that Jesus become like us in every respect?

Some of you may have noticed that I’ve been using poetry lines as sermon titles. Here’s the last two stanzas of the poem that will be referenced in the evening sermon, with the title highlighted. John Donne was deathly ill when he wrote this hymn, and met his Lord 8 days later. You can find the whole thing here.

Hymn to God, My God, in My Sickness, John Donne

….

We think that Paradise and Calvary,

    Christ’s cross and Adam’s tree, stood in one place;

Look, Lord, and find both Adams met in me;

    As the first Adam’s sweat surrounds my face,

    May the last Adam’s blood my soul embrace.

 

So, in His purple wrapp’d, receive me, Lord;

    By these His thorns, give me His other crown;

And as to others’ souls I preach’d Thy word,

    Be this my text, my sermon to mine own,

    “Therefore that He may raise, the Lord throws down.”

Tags: conscience, incarnation, worship

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