A New Future - A Future Renewed by Christ
There was a time when you stood before this congregation to make confession of your faith in Jesus Christ.
I wonder what the story of your life has been since that time. Has it been a story of confessing Christ with ever-increasing boldness, or has it been a story of denying Christ, as you have drifted away from Him?
Whatever the past may have been, the future can be a new future, a future renewed by Christ, a future of confessing Christ as your Saviour and Lord.
Some of you made confession of your faith when you brought your children for baptism. At that time, you confessed your faith in God as your Heavenly Father, in Jesus Christ as your Saviour and Lord, and in the Holy Spirit as your Sanctifier.
You promised, in dependence on divine grace, to teach your children the truths and duties of the Christian Faith. You promised that, by prayer, precept and example, you would bring your children up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, and in the ways of the Church of God.
Do you now renew the faith you confessed and the promises you made at the time of your children’s baptism?
May the Lord bless you and your children and give you grace to be faithful in your fulfilment of these promises.
Some of you made confession of your faith when you were baptized as an adult. At that time, you confessed your faith in God as your Heavenly Father, in Jesus Christ as your Saviour and your Lord, and in the Holy Spirit as your Sanctifier. You repented of your sins with a humble and contrite heart. You put your trust in the mercy of God, which is in Jesus Christ. You promised to make diligent use of the means of grace - worshipping regularly, reading God’s Word faithfully, praying faithfully. You promised to be a faithful member of the Church of God, giving a fitting proportion of your time, talents and money for the Church’s work in the world. You promised, depending on the grace of God, to confess Christ before men, to serve Him in your daily wotk, and to walk in His ways all the days of your life.
Do you now renew renew the faith which you confessed and the promises you made at the time of your baptism?
May the Lord bless you and keep you in the faith of Christ crucified. May you be Christ’s faithful soldier and servant until your life’s end.
Some of you made a public confession of faith in Christ when you were admitted to full Church membership. At that time, you confessed your faith in God - the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. You acknowledged Jesus Christ as your Saviour and Lord. You promised, in dependence on divine grace, to serve the Lord and to walk in His ways all the days of your life. You promised to make diligent use of the means of grace - speaking to God in prayer and allowing Him to speak to you through His Word. You promised to share dutifully in the worship and service of the Church. You promised to give of your substance, as the Lord prospered you, for the advancement of His Kingdom throughout the world.
Do you now renew the faith which you confessed and the promises which you made when you were admitted to full Church membership?
May the God of all grace, who has called you to His eternal glory, confirm you to the end, that you may be blameless at the day of our Lord.
As we, the congregation, have heard your confession, we are saying to you: This is not only your faith. It is also our faith. It is the faith.
The confession of our faith is one element of what happens when we gather together to celebrate the Lord’s Supper: “For as often as you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes” (1 Corinthians 11:26).
In the Lord’s Supper, we confess our faith in Christ by recalling that He is the foundation of our faith.
The faith, which we confess, involves two things:
First, there is believing the truths of the Christian Faith, as they are taught in God’s Word.
Second, there is practising the duties of the Christian Faith.
Together, we confess our faith and renew our vows.
First, we will confess our faith in the words of the Apostles’ Creed. After this, we will, together, renew our vows to the Lord.
(1) The Apostles’ Creed
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 Catholic (universal) Church;
The Communion of Saints:
The Forgiveness of sins:
The Resurrection of the body,
And the Life everlasting.
(2) Let us offer ourselves anew to Almighty God. let us recall and renew the vows and promises we have each made as members of Christ’s Church.
We believe in one God Father, Son and Holy Spirit
We confess Jesus Christ as our Saviour and Lord /
We promise to worship regularly with our fellow Christians on the Lord’s Day/
We promise to be faithful in reading the Bible and in prayer
We promise to give a fitting proportion of our time talents and money for the Church’s work in the world /
We promise depending on the grace of God to confess Christ before men to serve Him in our daily work and to walk in His ways all the days of our life.
These things we have each vowed and promised. Let us acknowledge before God our failure asstewards of his grace, asking that He will forgive what we have been, change what we are, and direct what we shall be.
Let us all pray:
Lord, we believe in You Increase our faith Renew our hope Help us to live in lilove through Jesus Christ our Lord / Amen.
Having confessed our faith in Christ and renewed our commitment to Christ, let us now come, in faith and obedience, to Him, as we come to His Table.