We return to Acts this week as we continue with the story of the early church in chapter 23.  We took a hiatus from Acts at the start of Advent as Paul was about to be taken to Caesarea.  We return to the story at the point in which Paul’s nephew is the Lord’s means of protection for Paul.  In this way, God ensured Paul would “testify also in Rome” as he had testified in Jerusalem.

Come worship with us this Sunday as the Lord strengthens the faith of His people at Christ Community.

Song of Ascent: Nothing But the Blood

Call to Worship: Isaiah 45:22-23

Turn to me and be saved, all the ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other. By myself I have sworn; from my mouth has gone out in righteousness a word that shall not return: ‘To me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear allegiance.’

Song of Praise: Great is Thy Faithfulness

Corporate Confession: Psalm 32:1-2

Leader: Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven,

People: whose sin is covered.

Leader: Blessed is the man against whom the Lord counts no iniquity,

People: and in whose spirit there is no deceit.

Promise of Forgiveness: Acts 13:38-39; Psalm 150:1-2

Leader: “…through this man forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you, and by him everyone who believes is freed from everything from which you could not be freed by the law of Moses.”

People: “Praise the Lord! Praise him for his mighty deeds; praise him according to his excellent greatness!”

Affirmation of Faith:  The Heidelberg Catechism Q. 37-39

Leader: What do you understand by the words, “He suffered”?

People: That he, all the time that he lived on earth, but especially at the end of his life, sustained in body and soul, the wrath of God against the sins of all mankind: that so by his passion, as the only propitiatory sacrifice, he might redeem our body and soul from everlasting damnation, and obtain for us the favor of God, righteousness and eternal life.

Leader: Why did he suffer “under Pontius Pilate, as judge”?

People: That he, being innocent, and yet condemned by a temporal judge, might thereby free us from the severe judgment of God to which we were exposed.

Leader: Is there anything more in his being “crucified”, than if he had died some other death?

People: Yes there is; for thereby I am assured, that he took on him the curse which lay upon me; for the death of the cross was accursed of God.

Song of Rejoicing: What Wondrous Love is This

Scripture Reading: Acts 23:12-35

The Sacrament of Communion

The Response of Praise

Joyful, joyful, we adore Thee, God of glory, Lord of love;
Hearts unfold like flowers before Thee,  Opening to the sun above.
Melt the clouds of sin and sadness; Drive the dark of doubt away;
Giver of immortal gladness, Fill us with the light of day!