Welcome! We're glad you joined us for ToGather. We trust that today's time of worship in song, prayer, Communion, and Scripture will bless you. Whether you are alone or with friends, family, home group, or house church, please know that God's people from all around the world are joining you virtually in worship. (Find out more.)
Our focus today for ToGather is Jesus and his defeat of the evil one. He is victorious over every power that stands against his people. We are not to give in to the demands of the world or the desire of those who want to water down the truth of God. We must not dilute the truth of Jesus in an effort to make his divine identity more acceptable to our critics. We must not give in to those who have rejected Jesus as God's Son who came to earth in human flesh. Jesus was Immanuel, God with us (Matthew 1:23), to bring us grace (John 1:14-18). We rejoice and celebrate that greater is the one who is in us than the one who is in the world!
Let's celebrate this truth with the rousing song "More than Conquerors" by Rend Collective as we celebrate that we are victorious because of Jesus!
Let's continue this praise with the ending of Paul's intercessory prayer for the Ephesians and make it our own praise:
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever! Amen (Ephesians 3:20-21).
Sharing the Supper:
At first, you may find it a little unusual to immediately transition our focus to the Lord's Supper after such a rousing song. However, the early church had a special focus on Communion on the Lord's Day, Sunday, the day of Jesus' resurrection. We remember Jesus' death on the day of his resurrection in anticipation of his coming again! What could be more of a declaration of victory than these truths combined in our holy meal together? No wonder the Supper gives us the strength to fight our battles in this world. Let's prepare our hearts for our victory celebration in the Supper today as we sing "Surrounded" led by Upperroom:
Life and victory were won for us by Jesus in his death, burial, and resurrection. These truths are the heart of the good news we believe and by which we are saved:
Now, brothers and sisters, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.
For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve. After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born (1 Corinthians 15:1-8).
We participate in this gospel as we share in Communion. Notice Robert Reagan's emphasis in our Communion reflection today: Jesus' resurrection!
Because of Jesus' victory over sin, death, and hell, we can declare that "No Weapon" which Satan has formed against us will prosper, but God will stand by us and lead us to victory in Jesus our Lord. Let's sing this truth with Fred Hammond:
Opening the Scriptures:
To prepare to hear Phil's message this week, let's join Phil Wickham in singing "Battle Belongs":
Today's message is rooted in our Verse of the Day:
You, dear children, are from God and have overcome [those who deny that Jesus is from God and who have the spirit of the world], because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world (1 John 4:4).
We want to live faithfully for our Savior because we know that he is faithful. We believe this truth with all our hearts. So, let's join Vertical Worship in singing, "Faithful Now":
Concluding with Joy and Blessing:
Joshua led God's people to enter the Promised Land victoriously because he trusted in the LORD. Jesus, whose name is the same in Hebrew as Joshua's, entered into a better "Promised Land" by his victory through the resurrection. He has demonstrated with power that he is the Son of God and the LORD. He has promised to lead us to victory in life, through death, and into the life to come. Let's praise our LORD who leads us in his triumphal procession of victory as we sing, "The Battle Belongs to the Lord":
Our closing praise helps sums up our joy as we conclude our special time of worship:
[T]hanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. [Amen.] (1 Corinthians 15:57)
May we live in victory as children of the King!