A Love To Die For

Sermon: Romans 5:6-11

(6) For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. (7) For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. (8) But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (9) Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. (10) For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. (11) And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.

A Love To Die For

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Unto Us a Child is Born

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Fourth Sunday in Advent

Sunday, December 21, 2014 (9:00 a.m.)

Opening Hymn 93 – “O Lord, We Welcome Thee” 

Welcome and Invocation

P: Dear brothers and sisters in Christ: It is time to…“Arise, shine; for your light has come! And the glory of the LORD is risen upon you.

C: “For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and deep darkness the people; but the LORD will arise over you, and His glory will be seen upon you.” [Is. 60:1-2]

All: Hail to the Lord’s Anointed, Great David’s greater Son!
Hail, in the time appointed, His reign on earth begun!
He comes to break oppression, to set the captive free,
To take away transgression, and rule in equity. [TLH 59:1]

P: It is time to make confession of our sins and to be assured of God’s absolution: “God is light and in Him is no darkness at all.”

C: “If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.”

P: “But if we walk in light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ cleanse us from all sins.”

C: “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.”

P: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” [1 Jn. 1:5-9]

ALL: “Have mercy upon me, O God, according to Your lovingkindness; according to the multitude of Your tender mercies, blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin…. Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow…. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, and uphold me by Your generous Spirit.”

[Ps. 51:1-2, 7, 12]

ALL: He comes with succor speedy to those who suffer wrong;
To help the poor and needy and bid the weak be strong;
To give them songs for sighing, their darkness turn to light,
Whose souls, condemned and dying, were precious in His sight. [TLH 59:2]

P: It is time to live as the redeemed children of God: “Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.

C: But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful.

P: Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.

C: And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him. [Col. 3:12-17]

ALL: Kings shall bow down before Him and gold and incense bring;
All nations shall adore Him, His praise all peoples sing;
To Him shall prayer unceasing and daily vows ascend,
His kingdom still increasing, a kingdom without end. [TLH 59:5]

P: It is time to praise our Lord: Worthy is the Lamb who was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom, and strength and honor and glory and blessing!”

C: “Blessing and honor and glory and power be to Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, forever and ever!” [Rev. 5:12, 13b]

ALL: O’er every foe victorious, He on His throne shall rest,
From age to age more glorious, all blessing and all-blest.
The tide of time shall never His covenant remove;
His name shall stand forever—that name to us is love.” [TLH 59:6]

Epistle Reading – Romans 1:1-7

Gospel Reading – Matthew 1:18-25

The Apostles Creed (Page 12 in Hymnal)

I believe in God the Father almighty, Maker of heaven and earth; And in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, Who was conceived by 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 rose again from the dead; He ascended into heaven And sitteth on 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 Ghost, the holy Christian Church, the communion of saints; the forgiveness of sins; the resurrection of the body and the life everlasting. Amen.

Hymn 60 – “Hark, A Thrilling Voice is Sounding”

The Sermon……………………………………………………………… Isaiah 9:2-7

The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned. 3 You have enlarged the nation and increased their joy; they rejoice before you as people rejoice at the harvest, as warriors rejoice when dividing the plunder. 4 For as in the day of Midian’s defeat, you have shattered the yoke that burdens them, the bar across their shoulders, the rod of their oppressor. 5 Every warrior’s boot used in battle and every garment rolled in blood will be destined for burning, will be fuel for the fire. 6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 7 Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this.

Unto Us a Child is Born

  1. To bring light to our darkness
  2. To shatter our enemies’ weapons

III. To bring us peace forever

“Create In Me” (Page 12 in Hymnal)

Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me, Cast me not away from Thy presence; and take not Thy Holy Spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with Thy free spirit.

Hymn 106 – “The People That in Darkness Sat” (see end of bulletin)

The Advent Offering and Prayer

The Lord’s Prayer

Our Father, Who art in heaven. Hallowed be Thy Name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation. But deliver us from evil. For Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever and ever. Amen.

Benediction Amen, Amen, Amen

Closing Hymn 50 – “Lord, Dismiss Us with Thy Blessing” 

Silent Prayer And Announcements

I Have Made You a Watchman

The Sermon:  Ezekiel 33:1-11

Again the word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Son of man, speak to the children of your people, and say to them: ‘When I bring the sword upon a land, and the people of the land take a man from their territory and make him their watchman, when he sees the sword coming upon the land, if he blows the trumpet and warns the people, then whoever hears the sound of the trumpet and does not take warning, if the sword comes and takes him away, his blood shall be on his own head. He heard the sound of the trumpet, but did not take warning; his blood shall be upon himself. But he who takes warning will save his life. But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet, and the people are not warned, and the sword comes and takes any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at the watchman’s hand.’ “So you, son of man: I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; therefore you shall hear a word from My mouth and warn them for Me. When I say to the wicked, ‘O wicked man, you shall surely die!’ and you do not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at your hand. Nevertheless if you warn the wicked to turn from his way, and he does not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you have delivered your soul. 10 “Therefore you, O son of man, say to the house of Israel: ‘Thus you say, “If our transgressions and our sins lie upon us, and we pine away in them, how can we then live?”’ 11 Say to them: ‘As I live,’ says the Lord God, ‘I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn, turn from your evil ways! For why should you die, O house of Israel?’

“I Have Made You a Watchman”

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The Love of Jesus is Reflected by the Child of God

The Sermon……………………………………………………….. Romans 12:9-21

Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good. 10 Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; 11 not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; 12 rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer; 13 distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality. 14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. 16 Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion. 17 Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. 18 If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. 19 Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. 20 Therefore “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is thirsty, give him a drink; For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.” 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

The Love of Jesus is Reflected by the Child of God

  1.   A love that is active, very active, full of activity
  2. A love that flows out to others, especially the unlovable

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