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Page 272

Read Acts 13:14-16. Is this an examples of preaching the gospel to the congregation after the reading of the law? Why or why not?

But when they departed from Perga, they came to Antioch in Pisidia, and went into the synagogue on the Sabbath Day, and sat down.

And after the reading of the law and the prophets the rulers of the synagogue sent unto them, saying, Ye men and brethren, if ye have any word of exhortation for the people, say on.

Then Paul stood up, and beckoning with his hand said, Men of Israel, and ye that fear God, give audience.

- Acts 13: 14-16

How is the preamble to the Ten Commandments, "I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage, " spiritually true in the lives of God's people?


Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bonds of peace,

There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;

One Lord, one faith, one baptism.

- Ephesians 4:3-5

For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

- Romans 10:10


Do you actively confess soulsaving faith with the church of God when its confession of faith is offered in the worship service?

3. The reading of the law and/or the making of confession of faith - The reading of the moral law, God's Ten Commandments, as part of the liturgy dates back to the Protestant Reformation. It has formed a part of the Reformed churches' worship services since that time.

The reasons for giving such a prominent place to the reading of the law would include the following:

  • It proclaims God's sovereign rule.

  • It testifies of our sin and need for confession of it. (In some churches, a congregational confession of sin takes place after the reading of the law either by means of congregational prayer or song.)

  • It prepares the congregation for the presentation of the gospel. Convicted, guilty sinners are those who realize their need of a Savior.

  • It declares the necessity of thankful obedience. The law teaches how to live according to God's will, how to walk pleasing in His sight from a spirit of true thankfulness. This is emphasized in the preamble to the Ten Commandments, "I am the LoRD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage" (Exodus 20:2); therefore, "Thou shalt..." obey the Lord from a spirit of gratitude.

Consequently, when the moral law is read, all are reminded of God's sovereign rule, their sin, and the call to thankful obedience.

Often the law is read in the morning worship service, and one of the creeds in the afternoon and/or evening service.

The custom of including creedal confession in the church liturgy dates back to the early centuries A.D. From the beginning, all churches of the Reformation assigned the creed a place in their liturgies.

The reasons for congregational reciting of the creed, either by means of group recitation or representative reader, include the following:

  • It expresses the unity of the church's faith (Ephesians 4:3-5), i.e., the unity of belief of the local assembled congregation,

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