August 28-September 3rd Family Worship Guide 2022

Family Worship Guide for the Week of August 28- September 3, 2022

Bible Passage for the Week
Deuteronomy 19:14-20
Matthew 22: 34-46
Galatians 2
Psalm 37

Verse to Memorize
Galatians 4:4-5

Catechism Questions
Q. 41. Can any one be saved through the covenant of works?
A. None can be saved through the covenant of works.

Q. 42. Why can none be saved through the covenant of works?
A. Because all have broken it, and are condemned by it

Q. 43. With whom did God the Father make the covenant of grace?
A. With Christ, his eternal Son.

Q. 44. Whom did Christ represent in the covenant of grace?
A. His elect people.

Q. 45. What did Christ undertake in the covenant of grace?
A. To keep the whole law for his people, and to suffer the punishment due to their sins.

People to Pray for:
Church: Church of the King
                Pastor Jacob Mentzel
Ministry:  New Geneva Academy
Civil Magistrate: US Senator Todd Young
Song Recommendations:
From Adam’s rebellion to Moses’ good Law
Death reigned, the master of men
With all of creation held under its claw
Awaiting redemption from sin
But when the Law thundered in earthquake and fire
Weak as it was through our flesh
It could not help conquer our sinful desires
Only tightened the noose round our neck

Still, God remembered His mercy in wrath
And promised a way of escape:
A Lamb to be killed on the people’s behalf
Would trample the head of the snake
But though we would offer our best to the fire
And rivers of blood would be spilt
This could not help with our sinful desires
Nor atone for the depth of our guilt

When the fullness of time had come
God sent us His only Son
Born of a woman, born under law
So that He might a people redeem

With joy set before Him, and love to display
He laid aside His great crown
To share in our nature as creatures of clay
He emptied Himself and came down
And lived like a servant without any home,
He carried our sorrows and griefs
Was spit at, rejected, despised and alone
Accursed, He hung on a tree


We’re no longer slaves, we’ve been bought with a price
Adopted, delivered, we’re sons now with Christ
We stand in His righteousness dressed
To His righteousness free!


So that He might a people redeem.

Rejoice, the Lord is King! Your Lord and King adore;
Rejoice, give thanks and sing, and triumph evermore;
Lift up your heart, lift up your voice;
Rejoice, again I say, rejoice!

Jesus, the Savior, reigns, the God of truth and love;
When He had purged our stains He took His seat above;
Lift up your heart, lift up your voice;
Rejoice, again I say, rejoice!

His kingdom cannot fail, He rules o’er earth and heav’n;
The keys of death and hell are to our Jesus giv’n;
Lift up your heart, lift up your voice;
Rejoice, again I say, rejoice!

He sits at God’s right hand till all His foes submit,
And bow to His command, and fall beneath His feet:
Lift up your heart, lift up your voice;
Rejoice, again I say, rejoice!

Rejoice in glorious hope! Our Lord, the Judge shall come,
And take His servants up to their eternal home.
Lift up your heart, lift up your voice;
Rejoice, again I say, rejoice!

Lift up your voice;
Rejoice, again I say—, re—joice!

Notes for Parents

Bible Passage for the Week
On my computer and phone, I use an app called Trello to help me keep track of tasks that I need to do. It is essentially a glorified “to-do” list. I feel some sense of accomplishment and satisfaction as I click the items off my life.  But just clicking the item off the list in and of itself, doesn’t mean much.  Some people have a “to-do” list approach to salvation and Christian living.  They want a checklist. If I do X, then Y and Z must happen.  The Pharisees and Judaizers had twisted God’s law into such a list.  If I just keep the outward ceremonies than the state of my heart doesn’t matter as much.  But attempting to be saved by law-keeping is an abuse of the law.  God did not establish the law as a means for our justification.  Why then did God give the law?

  •  He gave the law so that we would know the depth of our sin and be driven to trust only in Christ.  When we read God’s law, no one should proudly say “check.”  “I did that part, I’m good.”  No one who is honest with themselves can look at the holy demands of God’s law and think that they have kept it.  Rather God’s law is meant to move us to repentance and faith in Christ.
  • God also gave the law to be a check on the wickedness of mankind.  While the wicked cannot wholeheartedly keep God’s law, the law as it permeates a culture and people has a restraining ability.  Individuals are kept in check by civil government punishing those who break the moral law or by the shame of the broader society, aka peer pressure.  Even in a nation as corrupt as our own, many wicked people are not as wicked as they could be because they fear both being ostracized by their neighbors or facing the police. 
  • The third use of God’s law is to reveal to us Christians how we are to live now that we have trusted Christ.  God’s moral law serves as a standard to show us what pleases God.  We are not saved by lawkeeping but saved so that we can keep God’s moral law.  God’s law reveals his perfect moral character.  As His children, we will want to emulate his moral character.  We will want to be like our Father in heaven.  This obedience to God’s moral law is heartfelt and freely given because we have the Holy Spirit to empower us to righteous living.

These truths about God’s law are important to get right. Getting them wrong leads you into all kinds of errors.  On one hand you can fall into the ditch of the Judaizers leading the Galatians astray. These false teachers were teaching the Galatians that they must obey the ceremonial law in order to be saved.  They were leading them astray by enslaving them to a misuse of God’s law.  The ceremonial law of the Old Testament had been completed in Christ for one but secondly, the law was never meant to be the means of justification.  We are justified by faith.  As you read the book of Galatians this week, notice how Paul speaks about faith vs the law.  He isn’t speaking badly about God’s law but rather against a false teaching that did not understand the first use of God’s law.

A second error would be to then say that because we are saved not by law-keeping that God’s moral law has no more use for us than to point us to Christ.  This error denies the third use of the law and is called antinomianism.  This error seeks to unhitch the gospel from the rest of the bible.  It unhitches our faith in Christ from our bowing to him as Lord.   Faith leads to obedience.  Our passage in Matthew, is helpful in that Jesus summarizes the whole of God’s law. All of God’s law can be summed up in loving God and loving your neighbor.  Those who have been set free from their sin will love God and love their neighbor.  The law of God teaches us how to do that.   You can’t be a Christian and not love.

The second use of God’s law is shown in our passage from Deuteronomy.  Those who are tempted to bear false witness will see the punishment of those who did bear false witness and will be full of fear.  When the civil government bears the sword to punish one evildoer it suppresses many other evildoers.  Church discipline also has the effect.  This is why we as a church must have faith for this work.  Your discipline of your children too will have this effect.  If you consistently discipline, not only will your work be helpful to the one you are disciplining but your other children will see it and grow in the fear of God.  This doesn’t mean however that you should spank your child in front of all your other children or worse in front of everyone out in public.  Most of the time it is unwise to publicly discipline him.  Let him have dignity so that you do not provoke him to anger.  Even if you are discreet in disciplining each child individually, the effect on your other children will still take place.

Our Psalm this week is one of my favorites.  It is a balm to my soul every time I am tempted to look at the wicked world with despair.  We are taught that we can set aside all anger and malice.  We put aside all envy.  We can stop worrying and fretting.  God is in control.  Rather we can simply be faithful.  We can do good.  We can dwell in the land.  We can take comfort that this world doesn’t belong to evildoers. It belongs to God’s people.  God will judge the wicked whether in this life or in the next.  God’s people will be blessed whether in this life of the next.  Have faith and obey.  God has made his covenant and He will not break it.

Catechism/ Memory Verse

Just as Adam represented us in the covenant of works if we are in Christ, Jesus represents us in the covenant of grace.   It is through this covenant of grace that we can be saved.  Christ keeps the law for us and takes our punishment.  It is not by works but by grace we are saved.  

People to Pray for:
This week we are praying for Jacob Mentzel and the Church of the King in Evansville, Indiana.  Jacob will be visiting with us this coming weekend to instruct us on family worship.  The Church of the King is a church plant of our presbytery.  They are growing fast but are in need of qualified men to serve as ruling elders.  Please pray that God provides them with men committed to the word and who will faithfully serve with dignity and fortitude.

We are also praying for the New Genevan Academy.  This is the pastor’s college of our presbytery.  Our own Jon Adams is a student training for pastoral ministry.  Please pray that God provides for all the financial and material needs of the school while supplying all teachers and students with wisdom and strength for the work.  Pray for Jon as he starts his second year.  Pray that God will use this training for the growth of his kingdom and for the good of our church.

Lastly, we are praying for US Senator Todd Young.  He and his wife currently resides in Johnson County, Indiana, and has four young children: a son, Tucker, and three daughters, Annalise, Abigail and Ava. Pray that God would preserve his family as his work surely makes it hard for a strong family life.  Pray that God would give him wisdom to make just decisions.  Pray most importantly for his salvation and that God would give him a sure foundation to stand on.

Church History Spotlight
St. Augustine of Hippo 3 November 354 – 28 August 430
““You have made us for yourself, and our hearts are restless, until they can find rest in you.”-St. Augustine

When you think of influential theologians in church history, you think of Martin Luther and John Calvin but perhaps no one is as influential as St. Augustine of Hippo.   He was born 13 November 354 in North Africa near ancient Carthage. His mother, Monnica, was a Christian and his father for many years a pagan (although he became a Christian before his death). His mother undertook to bring him up as a Christian, and on one level he always found something attractive about Christ, but in the short run he was more interested in the attractions of sex, fame, and pride in his own cleverness.

He developed a love for philosophy at Carthage and then fell into a false religion called Manichaeism. But in 384, Augustine moved to Milan, where he heard the preaching of Bishop Ambrose. Augustine had always considered Christianity intellectually lacking, but Ambrose's application of Christian scripture, presented with Ambrose's famous eloquence, captured Augustine's interest. Augustine had been growing steadily dissatisfied with Manichaeism, and Ambrose's influence encouraged him to make a break with the Manichees.

Meanwhile, Augustine's career was flourishing, and his worldly prospects were bright. His mother had followed him to Milan, and she arranged an advantageous marriage to a Christian girl from a good family, requiring Augustine to send his concubine away. In the fall of 386, he had a conversion experience that convinced him to renounce his career and his marriage prospects in order to dedicate his life to God. He spent the winter with a group of like-minded friends, withdrawn from the world, reading and discussing Christianity. At Easter 387, he was finally baptized by Bishop Ambrose.  He went on to become a bishop himself and to write some of the most influential Christian works in history.

Highlight from the Westminster Shorter Catechism
What rule hath God given to direct us how we may glorify and enjoy him?
A. The Word of God, which is contained in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, is the only rule to direct us how we may glorify and enjoy him.

2 Peter 3:1-2 This is now, beloved, the second letter I am writing to you in which I am stirring up your sincere mind by way of reminder, 2 that you should remember the words spoken beforehand by the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Savior spoken by your apostles.

In the last few lessons on the Westminster Shorter Catechism, we have been looking at the foundation for everything else found in the catechism. That is, we have been looking at the fact that Holy Scripture is the source for what we are to believe and how we are to live.  Before we move on from this discussion, I wanted to back up to Catechism Question #2 and look specifically at the phrase that says, “contained in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments.”   The Apostle Peter in the text above wants up to be reminded of the words spoke by the Holy Prophets (the Old Testament) and of the commands of Jesus which are spoken by the apostles (The New Testament).  A question you might have is how did we get the bible and how do we know what books belong in it?  

 The Apostle Peter tells us in 2 Peter 1 that “no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.”  The Apostle Paul in 2 Timothy 3 tells us that “All scripture is breathed out by God.”  God guided the human authors of Scripture, working in and through their life experiences, personalities, and various writing styles, so that what they produced was exactly what He wanted them to produce. The text is truly the work of holy men of old—God did not typically dictate to them as to a stenographer—and yet God is its primary author.  They exercised their human will and yet God was sovereign over it.

God also oversaw the compiling of the Bible through his good providence.  Even though we think of the Bible as being one book, it is a collection of sixty-six books.  God wrote it and He over saw its compilation through historical processes by which its particular books were gathered together and placed in the one volume that we now know as the Bible.  Throughout the years as books of the Bible were written God’s people received those texts, acknowledged their authority, and submitted to them.   The Old Testament was gathered by his covenant people in the Old Testament.  This process was complete before Christ and did not include the books often called the Apocrypha.  Those books were not received as scripture because they were not written by prophets, did not claim to be the word of God, had errors, and did not have the self-authenticating nature that scripture has.

What about the New Testament? Some have argued that a council got together and put together the Bible deciding what books they would bestow authority upon.  This is not historically accurate.  The Church does not sit over the Bible bestowing authority onto its books.  But rather the Church from the earliest days received the word of God.  When the church was trying to decide what books were canonical, they used the Latin term recipemus, which means “we receive.”  RC Sproul put it this way “What the church said is that we receive these particular books as being canonical, as being apostolic in authority and in origin, and therefore we submit to their authority. It’s one thing to make something authoritative, and it’s another thing to recognize something that already is authoritative. Those human decisions did not make something that was not authoritative suddenly authoritative, but rather the church was bowing, acquiescing to that which they recognized to be sacred Scripture.”

One of the requirements for book to be received is that it had an apostolic origin. Just as Peter above spoke about the work of the Apostles, if a book had no tie to an Apostle then that book was acknowledged not to have the authenticity of Christ.  This also means that the canon of scripture (the lists of books in the Bible) was closed after the apostolic age and no new books can be added to it.

There is much more that can be said regarding how God worked historically to provide us his word.  But I want you to be confident that God has overseen its writing, its compilation, and its preservation.  We can trust it and therefore we should build our lives upon it.  When the storms of life come, if the word of God is your foundation, you will not be washed away.