The Law of God, righteous and holy, pronounces a ready “guilty!” to all Jews and Gentiles who try to be made righteous before God on its basis. No human being will be justified in God’s sight by the Law, for as holy as it is, it can only point to our error and shortfall; it can provide no remedy for our sinfulness.
The righteousness of God apart from the Law through faith was demonstrated by our Lord’s sacrifice on the Cross. Since all have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory, now on the basis of faith, everyone can be justified before God as a gift of grace through the redemption that is in the Lord Jesus Christ. The Protestant Reformation rediscovered and declared this righteousness, by faith, in the wake of suffocating and unnecessary religious constraints of their day. Thinkers like Luther, Zwingli, and Calvin articulated a salvation by grace alone through faith alone, for the glory of Christ alone, and others like Simons and the great English Reformers reemphasized the need to embrace Christ alone for salvation, and the message of Scripture alone for authority. Today we remember and acknowledge their courage and rediscovery, and bless the name of the Lord for his righteousness, now made available to all who believe in Jesus as Lord.
Invocation: Our Prayer of Acclamation
Dust we are, Lord, and remember that from this dust you made us, and that our race, once lost, was found again. Strengthen me, that I may be capable, give what you command, and then command whatever you will. O holy God, my God, when what you command is done, it is by your gift.
Call to Worship
Blessed are you, O God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. And blessed is your Kingdom, both now and forever, Amen.
Te Deum Laudamus
You are God: we praise you; you are the Lord; we acclaim you; you are the eternal Father: All creation worships you. To you all angels, all the powers of heaven, Cherubim and Seraphim, sing in endless praise: Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might, heaven and earth are full of your glory.
The glorious company of apostles praise you. The noble fellowship of prophets praise you. The white-robed army of martyrs praise you. Throughout the world the holy Church acclaims you; Father, of majesty unbounded, your true and only Son, worthy of all worship, and the Holy Spirit, advocate and guide.
You, Christ, are the king of glory, the eternal Son of the Father. When you became man to set us free you did not shun the Virgin’s womb. You overcame the sting of death and opened the kingdom of heaven to all believers. You are seated at God’s right hand in glory. We believe that you will come and be our judge. Come then, Lord, and help your people, bought with the price of your own blood, and bring us with your saints to glory everlasting.
Praise and Thanksgiving (songs and prayers)
Glory be to the Father, And to the Son and to the Holy Spirit: As it was in the beginning, Is now, and ever shall be, World without end. Amen, amen.
*In the Apostles’ and Nicene Creeds, the term catholic refers to the Church’s universality, through all ages and times, of all languages and peoples. It refers to no particular tradition or denominational expression (e.g., as in Roman Catholic).
Prayers of Confession
Let us now confess our sins to God and receive mercy and grace to help in our time of need.
Assurance of Pardon
Having faithfully confessed and renounced your sin, Christ also has been faithful to forgive your sins and to purify you from all unrighteousness. It is certain, that there is One who has spoken to the Father in your defense, Jesus Christ, the Righteous One who is the atoning sacrifice for our sins and for the sins of the whole world. His grace and peace are with you now. Amen.
Petitions and Supplications, Ending with The Lord's Prayer
Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
--Matthew 6.9-13 (KJV)
Doxology (and/or closing song)
Praise God from whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him all creatures here below;
Praise Him above ye heavenly host;
Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Amen.
~ ~Book of Common Worship, No. 719. p. 812
Affirmation from the Psalms
Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.  Blessed is the man against whom the LORD counts no iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit.  For when I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long.  For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer. Selah  I acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not cover my iniquity; I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD,” and you forgave the iniquity of my sin. Selah  Therefore let everyone who is godly offer prayer to you at a time when you may be found; surely in the rush of great waters, they shall not reach him.  You are a hiding place for me; you preserve me from trouble; you surround me with shouts of deliverance. Selah.
~ Psalm 32.1-7
Pray without Ceasing - Flash Prayer for the Day
Thank you, Lord Jesus, for the men and women who rediscovered the power of your grace, the rightousness of God by faith in your finished work on the Cross.