September 25-October 1 Family Worship Guide 2022

The Family Worship Guide for September 25-October 1st, 2022

Bible Passage for the Week
Deuteronomy 22:1-12 
Matthew 23:13-39
Galatians 6
Psalm 41

Verse to Memorize
Galatians 6: 14

Catechism Questions
Q. 55. Who will be saved?
A. Only those who repent of sin, believe in Christ, and lead holy lives.

Q. 56. What is it to repent?
A. To be sorry for sin, and to hate and forsake it because it is displeasing to God.

Q. 57. What is it to believe or have faith in Christ?
A. To trust in Christ alone for salvation.

Q. 58. Can you repent and believe in Christ by your own power?
A. No; I can do nothing good without the help of God's Holy Spirit.

Q. 59. How can you get the help of the Holy Spirit?
A. God has told us that we must pray to him for the Holy Spirit.

People to Pray for: 
Church: Trinity Presbyterian Church
               Pastor Andrew Dionne
Ministry: The Daughters in the Church
Civil Magistrate: Jeffersonville Police Department
Song Recommendations:
How blessed is the man who does not
Walk in the counsel of the wicked;
And where the boastful sinners talk
Will he refuse to stand;
He doesn’t join with men who scoff,
He dare not even sit among them,
But his delight is in God’s Law
It is his hope and prayer.
In the Law he meditates
In the Law he meditates
In the Law he meditates
In the night and in the day
He’s planted like a tree that’s rooted
By the streams of living water,
That bears in season its good fruit
For other souls to share;
Its leaves won’t die away or wither;
All he tries to do will prosper,
For his delight is in God’s Law,
It is his hope and prayer.
The wicked are not so, they’re like the
Chaff the autumn winds will scatter;
When judgment starts to blow
They’ll meet the fury of the Day.
The righteous God will know, He’ll see them
On to everlasting harbor;
The wicked, though, not so, God’s wrath
Will drive them far away.
(Chorus x2)
Lead on, O King eternal, the day of march has come;
Henceforth in fields of conquest Thy tents shall be our home:
Through days of preparation Thy grace has made us strong,
And now, O King eternal, we lift our battle song.
Lead on, O King eternal, till sin’s fierce war shall cease,
And holiness shall whisper the sweet amen of peace;
For not with swords’ loud clashing, nor roll of stirring drums,
But deeds of love and mercy, the heav’nly kingdom comes.
Lead on, O King eternal: we follow, not with fears;
For gladness breaks like morning where-e’er Thy face appears;
Thy cross is lifted o’er us; we journey in its light:
The crown awaits the conquest; lead on, O God of might.
Lead on, O King eternal, the day of march has come;
Henceforth in fields of conquest Thy tents shall be our home:
Through days of preparation Thy grace has made us strong,
And now, O King eternal, we lift our battle song.

Notes For Parents

Bible Passage for the Week
The Two Greatest Commandments are to Love God with all your heart, soul, mind, and might and to love your neighbor as yourself.  Upon these two commandments all the law hangs.  In other words the teleos or goal of the law is love.   When you read our passage in Deuteronomy each week, even if you don’t quite understand everything, you need to remind yourself that its purpose is to teach us to love God and love neighbor.   In our passage this week there are several different commandments and each one of them are designed to teach love for God and love for neighbor.   For example take verse 8 “When you build a new house, you shall make a parapet for your roof, so that you will not bring bloodguilt on your house if anyone falls from it.”

A parapet is something like a fence that would go around the edge of your roof.  Now why would you build a fence around the wall of your roof and how is that about love?   You must know that in the days of the Hebrews, the roof of the house was often a place where people would entertain guests.  In cooler weather, it would be warmer.  And in warm weather, it would allow for fresh air.   If you are entertaining guests on the roof of your house, you don’t want them accidentally falling off.  If they fall off, they could die and you would be guilty of negligent manslaughter.   Because human life is valuable and because you love your neighbor as yourself, you will make your house safe and hospitable.   Does this mean that we need to all have a parapet on our roof?  Well, maybe if we still entertain guests on our roof but rather we need to follow the principle from this verse which is that we need to provide for the safety and wellbeing of our guests.  

One application of this command would be to put a fence around your pool.  The point is that you need to love your neighbor by being hospitable and care for his safety.  Here we can all improve in our love for one another.  

We all can be more hospitable.   Many of us would never need to heed this command because we are never in danger of having guests be in danger because we never have guests.  We live to isolated and individualistic.  Your home is given to you by God to be hospitable.  Invite people over.  But you might say, my house isn’t very big?  So what?  Neither were the Hebrew houses which is why they were on the roof.    You can make room.  In good weather you can be on your patio or in your yard.  You can squeeze a lot of people in a small house or apartment.  Just don’t be unsafe about it and go past safe occupancy limits.  But the truth is we all can be more hospitable.  We can all do better at inviting over others from church and from our neighborhoods.   Love God.   Love your Neighbor.

In the Gospel of Matthew, we are looking once again at the 8 Woes.  This week we are looking particularly at 3 out of the last four.   In this indictment of the Pharisees, we see Jesus condemn their hypervigilant focus on minutia and lesser things while neglecting the most important aspects of the Christian walk.  They focused on parts of God’s law that they personally benefited from by neglected the parts that required selflessness and love for others.   The Pharisees also spent their time focused on fixing outward appearances without actually dealing with matters of the heart.  This is a temptation for parents.  As long as their children give outward conformity, that’s all that matters.   You, however, want more than conformity when you are around.  You want your children’s hearts to love Christ.  

Early on in child training, your focus is a lot on outward conformity and rote obedience.  This is necessary.  You must teach your youngest children to obey.  You should not spare the rod nor should you give your child a ton of options.  You don’t always need a long conversation about what they did wrong.  Sometimes a swift spanking and a stern no is all that is needed.  But as your children grow in maturity and you have established this form of obedience, the hard work will really begin.  You must work hard to reach their heart.  This comes through the word of God.  It comes not merely by barking orders but through conversation, setting an example, and much prayer.  Don’t be content just to clean the outside of the cup.  Clean the inside and then the outside will come along.

In Galatians 6, the Apostle Paul gives practical instruction to Christians.  He had taught them that they are not saved by lawkeeping but they are saved for obedience.  They are to put away evil and walk by the spirit.  Now here is the where the rubber meets the road.  Here is some practical instruction.  “Brethren, even if anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, so that you too will not be tempted. 2 Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ.  For if anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself. But each one must examine his own work, and then he will have reason for boasting in regard to himself alone, and not in regard to another. For each one will bear his own load.”

There is bearing one another’s burdens and then there is making sure that you also carry your own weight.  We help each other but we also are not freeloaders.  

Lastly in Psalm 41, the Psalm writer tells us that those who are merciful, receive mercy.  Those who are tender and carry for those who are helpless, will find help in the Lord.  God will be with them in sickness and when enemies surround.   The Psalm writer also makes the point that the one who is merciful is also the one who has relied upon God.   When one trusts in the Lord, one will not be let down and one will not help but be merciful to others.    This psalm should encourage us to be merciful and to rely solely on Christ.

Catechism/ Memory Verse
Our catechism questions remind us that we must have the Holy Spirit work in our lives for us to be saved.    With that in mind, review this comment I wrote earlier in the week in response to a theological quiz that many of you may have taken.

John 16:7-8 7 But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you. And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment;
Jesus promised His disciples that He would send them the Helper or the Holy Spirit.  Notice that Jesus called the Holy Spirit He and Him.  He doesn't call the Holy Spirit-IT.  

When we sing Holy Holy Holy, we end the first line with this great truth- God in Three Persons, Blessed Trinity.  Or when we recited the Apostles' Creed we say we believe in the Holy Spirit.  We also say this when we recite the Nicene Creed-  And I believe in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and Giver of Life; who proceeds from the Father and the Son; who with the Father and the Son together is worshiped and glorified; who spoke by the prophets.

We believe in One God who exists in three PERSONS.    God, the Father is a person.   God the Son is a person.  God the Spirit is a person.   It is easy because the Holy Spirit is immaterial to not think of Him as a person.   Many people have a view of the Holy Spirit as some kind of impersonal force.  But that is Star Wars not Christianity.  The Holy Spirit is a person.   He comes to abide with us.  We are called to live by the Holy Spirit which means we are called to live in relationship with God.  When the Holy Spirit worked in us, this is the work of a person in our lives.   Just like Jesus is fully God, the Holy Spirit is fully God.   Yet the Holy Spirit is not Jesus and is not the Father.  

We don't want to blaspheme the work of the Holy Spirit by relegating His work to some impersonal force that if we just tap into, we can be powerful.  No rather the Holy Spirit as a person must do His work in us for us to be saved.   You cannot be saved without the work of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

The Father elects His people, cares for their needs, and sends His Son.  The Son was sent for our salvation, obeyed the Father perfectly by the power of the Holy Spirit, and purchased our salvation with His death on the cross.    The Holy Spirit is involved in the whole process.  The Holy Spirit was with Christ in His work and in His resurrection.  The Holy Spirit applies the work of Christ in our lives.  He regenerates our hearts bringing us from death to live.  He gives us conviction of sin and repentance.  He gives us faith to respond to the gospel.   The Holy Spirit's work comes first.  We are regenerated-made alive- then we have faith.   No one can have faith before regeneration because before regeneration your heart is dead in sin and unable to have faith.   Therefore the personal work of the Holy Spirit is necessary for your salvation.  
I wanted to share this with you because in the theological exam I shared earlier this week, there were two questions in particular that caused many to stumble.

1`.  The Holy Spirit is not a force.  He is a person.
2.  Regeneration comes before faith not after faith.   Faith is not the cause of our salvation.  It is the instrument by which we receive our salvation and it is a gift from God.  God gets all the glory.

People to Pray for:
Please pray for the work of Trinity Presbyterian Church pastored by Andrew Dionne.  Pastor Dionne has been working to pastor the church and has also been hard at work encouraging the legislature of South Carolina to end abortion.  Pray for soft hearts in his church and in those legislators.  It would be a good homeschool project this week to have the kids make cards encouraging Pastor Dionne.  You can get the church address by clicking the link on this guide.
We are praying for the daughters of this church.  That God would grant them salvation and then that they would fear and love him more than anything this world has to offer.  We are praying that God would keep them from the lies of feminism but give them a gentle and quite spirit.  We are praying for God will give them a heart for children and provide for them husbands in his timing.  

Lastly, we are praying for the Jeffersonville Police Department.  We are praying that God would preserve them in the line of duty and help them to make decisions for the good of the community and in line with God’s just law.  

Church History Spotlight

Greg Bahnsen (1948-1995)
Greg Bahnsen was the scholar in residence at The Southern California Center for Christian Studies where he taught Apologetics from a distinctly Reformed perspective. Bahnsen followed the lead of his mentor Cornelius Van Til and reasoned that, apart from the Christian faith, the unbeliever cannot account for his knowledge. Bahnsen wrote often on God’s law and how it applies to all of life as well as apologetics and postmillennialism. He lectured to a broad range of evangelical Christian groups at many colleges and conferences, in the United States and abroad. His 1985 debate with atheist scholar, the late Gordon Stein, was dubbed The Great Debate, and remains a classic as well as a benchmark in Christian apologetics. His early death came as a result of complications following his third heart surgery in December of 1995.
Here are a couple of notable quotes:

“Imagine a person who comes in here tonight and argues 'no air exists' but continues to breathe air while he argues. Now intellectually, atheists continue to breathe - they continue to use reason and draw scientific conclusions [which assumes an orderly universe], to make moral judgments [which assumes absolute values] - but the atheistic view of things would in theory make such 'breathing' impossible. They are breathing God's air all the time they are arguing against him.”

“Humble submission to God’s word must precede man’s every intellectual pursuit.”

“God either rules as sovereign…over all areas of life or none.”

Highlight from the Westminster Shorter Catechism
Q. 5. Are there more Gods than one? A. There is but one only, the living and true God.

Isaiah 44:6 “Thus says the Lord, the King of Israel and his Redeemer, the Lord of hosts: ‘I am the first and I am the last, and there is no God besides Me.

Today, we scoff at those in other cultures who make statues and bow down to them.  We look back upon the Greek and Romans with their many gods like Zeus, Apollos, Artemis, and Ares, and we think how ignorant those people were.  They certainly were ignorant but are we much more enlightened?

John Calvin famously said ““Man's nature, so to speak, is a perpetual factory of idols.” We constantly turn our heart’s attention and desire to things which are not God.  We are a people with all kinds of gods.  You can list off the usual suspects, money, fame, power, sex, and comfort.  But our pantheon of gods does not end there.  We take the good things that God created and try to turn them into the source of our joy.  We can take even something very good like family and exalt it above God.   Men can be tempted to this as they make sure to defend their authority in the home while refusing to acknowledge God-given authority outside of the home in the church or state.

On the other hand, our culture has turned the State into a god which oversees every area of life no matter how small.  We reject the law of God and replace it anywhere and everywhere with the law of man.  This is because our favorite god to worship is man.  Ultimately, we fashion idols out of things created so that our created gods will serve us, our “one true” god.  The result of this is as the Bible says an utterly foolishness and depraved mind given over to evil.  Rejecting God above leads to foolish thinking.  Those idols whom we think will serve us become slave masters, albeit slave masters without any power to save or to give lasting joy.

Listen how the prophet Isaiah describes those who make idols:
Isaiah 44:9-17Those who fashion a graven image are all of them futile, and their precious things are of no profit; even their own witnesses fail to see or know, so that they will be put to shame. Who has fashioned a god or cast an idol to no profit? Behold, all his companions will be put to shame, for the craftsmen themselves are mere men. Let them all assemble themselves, let them stand up, let them tremble, let them together be put to shame. The man shapes iron into a cutting tool and does his work over the coals, fashioning it with hammers and working it with his strong arm. He also gets hungry, and his strength fails; he drinks no water and becomes weary.  Another shapes wood, he extends a measuring line; he outlines it with red chalk. He works it with planes and outlines it with a compass, and makes it like the form of a man, like the beauty of man, so that it may sit in a house.  Surely he cuts cedars for himself, and takes a cypress or an oak and raises it for himself among the trees of the forest. He plants a fir, and the rain makes it grow. Then it becomes something for a man to burn, so he takes one of them and warms himself; he also makes a fire to bake bread. He also makes a god and worships it; he makes it a graven image and falls down before it. Half of it he burns in the fire; over this half he eats meat as he roasts a roast and is satisfied. He also warms himself and says, “Aha! I am warm, I have seen the fire.” But the rest of it he makes into a god, his graven image. He falls down before it and worships; he also prays to it and says, “Deliver me, for you are my god.”

Again, you are tempted to say, “well of course that is stupid.”  And it is.  The idol maker takes from the creation things meant for him to use rightly and from that very creation he fashions a god, whom he serves.  The prophet Isaiah says its shameful and foolish.  No salvation can be expected from these idols.

In contrast to all this folly, God tells his people “Remember these things, O Jacob, And Israel, for you are My servant; I have formed you, you are My servant (Isaiah 44:21).”  God fashioned us.  He is our maker.  We are designed to serve him.  Unlike our fashioning gods to serve us, God has made us to serve him.  We have one Creator and He alone is God.  He is the first and He is the last.  Before the world was formed, He was.  And after the end of time, He will be.  He is the one living and true God.  He was not made. He is without equal.  He is God.   Because He is living and because He is true, then He can and does hear our prayers and can and will save His people.

Let us shut down that idol-making factory in our hearts. Instead, lift up our heart to the only God who is.