Friday, May 25, 2018

Trinity

Trinity Sunday
May 27, 2018
John 3:16
Love you forever



Love You Forever is a Canadian picture book. Published in 1986. It tells the story. Of the evolving relationship. Between a mother. And her child.

Whether you are a parent. A sibling. Or a child. You’ve seen this expression of love played out hundreds of times.

A four- year-old. Protested his bedtime.

Upset by his father's refusal to budge. The child. Finally became so frustrated. That he says, "Daddy, I hate you!"

Possessing the presence of mind. The father simply replied, "I'm sorry you feel that way… but I love you."

To which the child replies, "Don't say that!"

Surprised. The father continued, "But it's true -- I love you."

"Don't say that, Daddy."

 "But I love you!"

"Stop saying that, Daddy! Stop saying it! Right now!"

And then. It came. "Now listen to me: I love you...like it or not!"

Even at four years old. The child realized. That in the face of unconditional love. He was powerless. If Dad had been willing to negotiate - "I'll love you if you go to bed nicely" – then the four-year-old would be a player. "Okay. This time, But I'm not eating my vegetables at dinner tomorrow."

But once Dad refused to negotiate.  Once Dad refused to make his love for his son conditional. - Based on something the boy did. - Then - He couldn't do anything. But accept or flee that love.


The same is true with you.  God doesn’t make a one-time, take it or leave it, limited time offer.
If God makes His great love for you conditional. Then you. Suddenly. Have tremendous power.

You can negotiate. You can threaten to reject God's love. You can even tell God to take a hike. If we don't care for His terms.

But when God just loves you. – Completely. And unconditionally.   When the Father sends His son to die for you.  Then. There's just nothing you can do to influence God.

God in Jesus has made God's decision.  And it is. For you. Yes. You can run. But you can't change the fact. That God loves you. That God. In fact. Loves the whole world. More than you can imagine.
This is good news. The best news.  Yet first it's hard. Hard. - Because you're no longer in control.
Hard. - Because it's not up to you.

Hard. - Because every time you hear how much God loves you. - You also know that you had nothing to do with it. You cannot influence it.  And, therefore. You are NOT in control.

On the other hand. Precisely.  Because you are not in control of this connection. This is a bond established wholly by God. You realize it is the one association you can't destroy. God has taken complete responsibility for this one.

Does that mean you have nothing to do? Nothing to contribute? To this most important bond? Definitely not!

Once you have been loved this fully. This completely. You can respond in love. Honoring God. And sharing the news of Christ's love for the world. With all you meet. There's plenty to do.  You are now messengers. Witnesses to what God has done for you. Yet, NOT managers. [1]

All that Jesus is and does is how God loved, and loves, the world. We can open our eyes and allow ourselves to be drawn into the light of that love. Or not. It’s up to you.

“No one is saved by intellectual agreement with a “belief.” One commentator writes.[2] “Salvation is all about the restoration of broken relationships. Being ‘saved’ means being restored. To the proper bond. And trust of true kinship with God.”

If we hesitate. Or don’t bond at all. We don’t become part of the family. And we don’t get our inheritance. The logic of John is NOT: If you believe, then God will love you. And save you. God's salvation is not a reward for belief.

Nor does God withhold His love. Forgiveness and salvation. Until we believe. On the other hand. Since love is not coercive. We do have to recognize the invitation. In order to actually be part of the family. And this resolution. Will have natural consequences.

However. This does NOT mean that God's offer of love and kinship is withdrawn. God does not make onetime, take it or leave it, time limited offers.

Choosing not to be drawn in by God’s love has consequences. It leaves us in the darkness. It leaves us alone. Separated from God. And often from others. Not because that’s the way God would have it. But because we have separated/condemned ourselves to life without.

We do that for all sorts of reasons. Sometimes we’re afraid of what God would think. If He really knew what we’ve been up to. Sometimes we just choose to hang on. To all kinds of stuff. Like pride. Anger. Resentment. Prejudice. And fear. Our relentless pursuit of money. Success. And material things. Sometimes because we’re afraid. Of the changes. That might come our way. If we don’t keep God at a distance. But it doesn’t have to be like that.

God not only sent His Son into the world. But offered Him to the world. Whoever believes in the Son of God. [Be it with a strong or with a weak faith.] May have eternal life.  Worthiness. Does not depend. Upon the greatness, Or smallness. The weakness or strength of faith. Instead. It depends on Christ’s merit. (FC SD VII 70-71).

Christ has died for all. The benefits of His perfect life and death and resurrection are only received through faith in Him.  Make no mistake. There is no salvation outside of Jesus. There is no hope. Beyond this life. Apart from Jesus.  Heaven and hell are NOT determined by how good of people we might be. Or how well intentioned we are. “Whoever believes in Him is not condemned. But whoever does not believe. Is condemned already. Because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.”  It all depends on faith. And upon the faithfulness of Jesus.

 He gives to us salvation and life. So that we may know Him as Father. And to ask Him. As dear children. Ask their dear father.

This is the reality of what the festival of the Trinity means for you.  Because of the Trinity. - We have a Father. Who loves us.  A Son.  Who has died for us. And a Spirit. Who draws us to Himself.  Once you were in darkness. Now you have come to His marvelous light.

Today. You need to be empowered. In making sense of this world. Through the lens of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. You need to know. That you can indeed testify to the God you know. Not for the sake of argument. Not for the sake of winning some biblical war. But for the sake of real conversations. – Concerning matters of faith and life.

Today. The festival portion of the church year draws to a close. Today. We are reminded. That every single person sitting in this room. In this sacred space. Is a witness. You need to know this. Now. More than ever.  You are called to give witness. To the God. In which you believe and trust.

Words-1,260
Passive Sentences -6%
Readability –85.4%
Reading Level -2.7



[1]  Dr. David Lose, the president of the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, and author of Making Sense of Scripture and many other books.  http://www.workingpreacher.org - March 20, 2011


Monday, May 21, 2018

Study notes for Trinity Sunday



Trinity Sunday
THE FEAST OF THE HOLY TRINITY
(27 May 2018)
Series B


Isaiah 6:1–8
Acts 2:14a, 22–36
John 3:1–17

The Glory of the Lord of Hosts Shines in Mercy, Forgiveness and Salvation

When Isaiah “saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up,” he cried out and confessed that he was “a man of unclean lips.” If even the holy angels cover their faces in the presence of “the King, the Lord of hosts,” how can sinful humans stand before Him (Is. 6:1–5)? 


Yet, the glory of the Lord is saving grace, and with “a burning coal” from the altar the angel touched Isaiah’s lips, removing his guilt (Is. 6:6–7).

Likewise, from the altar of Christ’s cross, by the ministry of the Gospel, “the whole earth is full of his glory” (Is. 6:3). For He was crucified, died and was buried, “according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God,” and God “raised him up, losing the pangs of death” (Acts 2:23–24). He “received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:33), and He rises up the fallen world by pouring out His life-giving Spirit upon sinners through His earthly Means of Grace. To give this saving gift, God sent His Son into the world, “that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16–17).

Trinity - John 3:1-17

Almighty and everlasting God, You have given us grace to acknowledge the glory of the eternal Trinity by the confession of a true faith and to worship the Unity in the power of the Divine Majesty. Keep us steadfast in this faith and defend us from all adversities; for You, O Father, Son and Holy Spirit, live and reign, One God, now and forever.

V: 1 Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews.
Ἦν δὲ ἄνθρωπος ἐκ τῶν Φαρισαίων, Νικόδημος ὄνομα αὐτῷ, ἄρχων τῶν Ἰουδαίων

V:2 This man came to Jesus[a] by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with him.”
οὗτος ἦλθεν πρὸς αὐτὸν νυκτὸς καὶ εἶπεν αὐτῷ Ῥαββεί, οἴδαμεν ὅτι ἀπὸ Θεοῦ ἐλήλυθας διδάσκαλος· οὐδεὶς γὰρ δύναται ταῦτα τὰ σημεῖα ποιεῖν ἃ σὺ ποιεῖς, ἐὰν μὴ ᾖ ὁ Θεὸς μετ’ αὐτοῦ.
-          Greek him.

       The terms "night" and "darkness" in John's gospel are key words for doubt, unbelief, questioning, struggle. . 

V: 3 Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again[b] he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
ἀπεκρίθη Ἰησοῦς καὶ εἶπεν αὐτῷ Ἀμὴν ἀμὴν λέγω σοι, ἐὰν μή τις γεννηθῇ ἄνωθεν, οὐ δύναται ἰδεῖν τὴν βασιλείαν τοῦ Θεοῦ

-
-          "Reason and free will are also to live an outwardly decent life to as certain extend. But only the Holy Spirit causes a person to be born anew and to have inwardly another heart, kind and natural desire." [FC SD II 26]

-      Or "from above"; the Greek is purposely ambiguous and can mean both again and from above; see also verse 7

V: 4 Nicodemus said to him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born?”
λέγει πρὸς αὐτὸν ὁ Νικόδημος Πῶς δύναται ἄνθρωπος γεννηθῆναι γέρων ὤν; μὴ δύναται εἰς τὴν κοιλίαν τῆς μητρὸς αὐτοῦ δεύτερον εἰσελθεῖν καὶ γεννηθῆναι;

V: 5 Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.
ἀπεκρίθη Ἰησοῦς Ἀμὴν ἀμὴν λέγω σοι, ἐὰν μή τις γεννηθῇ ἐξ ὕδατος καὶ Πνεύματος, οὐ δύναται εἰσελθεῖν εἰς τὴν βασιλείαν τοῦ Θεοῦ.

 The preposition "of" Gk. "ek" governs both nouns. "Water" and "Spirit" belong together and point to Christian baptism.

The Kingdom of God is best expressed at the cross. See St. Paul, "But we preach Christ crucified..."

V: 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.[c]
τὸ γεγεννημένον ἐκ τῆς σαρκὸς σάρξ ἐστιν, καὶ τὸ γεγεννημένον ἐκ τοῦ Πνεύματος πνεῦμά ἐστιν.

-          The same Greek word means both wind and spirit

V: 7 Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You[d] must be born again.’
μὴ θαυμάσῃς ὅτι εἶπόν σοι Δεῖ ὑμᾶς γεννηθῆναι ἄνωθεν.

-          The Greek for you is plural here

V: 8 The wind[e] blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound/voice, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”
τὸ πνεῦμα ὅπου θέλει πνεῖ, καὶ τὴν φωνὴν αὐτοῦ ἀκούεις, ἀλλ’ οὐκ οἶδας πόθεν ἔρχεται καὶ ποῦ ὑπάγει· οὕτως ἐστὶν πᾶς ὁ γεγεννημένος ἐκ τοῦ Πνεύματος

-          The same Greek word means both wind and spirit

V: 9 Nicodemus said to him, “How can these things be?”
ἀπεκρίθη Νικόδημος καὶ εἶπεν αὐτῷ Πῶς δύναται ταῦτα γενέσθαι;

V: 10 Jesus answered him, “Are you the teacher of Israel and yet you do not understand these things?
ἀπεκρίθη Ἰησοῦς καὶ εἶπεν αὐτῷ Σὺ εἶ ὁ διδάσκαλος τοῦ Ἰσραὴλ καὶ ταῦτα οὐ γινώσκεις;

V: 11 Truly, truly, I say to you, we speak of what we know, and bear witness to what we have seen, but you[f] do not receive our testimony.
ἀμὴν ἀμὴν λέγω σοι ὅτι ὃ οἴδαμεν λαλοῦμεν καὶ ὃ ἑωράκαμεν μαρτυροῦμεν, καὶ τὴν μαρτυρίαν ἡμῶν οὐ λαμβάνετε.

-          The Greek for you is plural here; also four times in verse 12

V: 12 If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you heavenly things?
εἰ τὰ ἐπίγεια εἶπον ὑμῖν καὶ οὐ πιστεύετε, πῶς ἐὰν εἴπω ὑμῖν τὰ ἐπουράνια πιστεύσετε;

V: 13 No one has ascended into heaven except he who descended from heaven, the Son of Man.[g]
καὶ οὐδεὶς ἀναβέβηκεν εἰς τὸν οὐρανὸν εἰ μὴ ὁ ἐκ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ καταβάς, ὁ Υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου.

-          Some manuscripts add who is in heaven

V: 14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up,
καὶ καθὼς Μωϋσῆς ὕψωσεν τὸν ὄφιν ἐν τῇ ἐρήμῳ, οὕτως ὑψωθῆναι δεῖ τὸν Υἱὸν τοῦ ἀνθρώπου,

V: 15 that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.[h]
ἵνα πᾶς ὁ πιστεύων ἐν αὐτῷ ἔχῃ ζωὴν αἰώνιον.

-          Some interpreters hold that the quotation ends at verse 15

-          "Worthiness does not depend on the greatness of smallness the weakness or strength of faith. Instead, it depends on Christ's merit." [FC SD VII 70-71] 

-     "Out of His immense goodness and mercy, God provides for the public preaching of His divine eternal Law and His wonderful plan for our redemption, that of the holy, only saving Gospel of His eternal Son, our only Savior and Redeemer, Jesus Christ." [FC SD II 50]

V: 16 “For God so loved the world,[i] that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
 Οὕτως γὰρ ἠγάπησεν ὁ Θεὸς τὸν κόσμον, ὥστε τὸν Υἱὸν τὸν μονογενῆ ἔδωκεν, ἵνα πᾶς ὁ πιστεύων εἰς αὐτὸν μὴ ἀπόληται ἀλλ’ ἔχῃ ζωὴν αἰώνιον.

-          Or For this is how God loved the world

-          Gk. agapao, used repeatedly in John. God's sacrificial and faithful love for the entire world alienated from God. God not only sent his Son but also offered Him to the world. He became our atoning sacrifice.

V: 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.
οὐ γὰρ ἀπέστειλεν ὁ Θεὸς τὸν Υἱὸν εἰς τὸν κόσμον ἵνα κρίνῃ τὸν κόσμον, ἀλλ’ ἵνα σωθῇ ὁ κόσμος δι’ αὐτοῦ.

1. Vv. 11-14 Who Jesus is

2. Vv. 15-17 What Jesus did

  
I.                    We are born once – born human.

A.      Nicodemus: he was a flesh-born man who could hardly believe it.
B.      Humanity’s shared birth in the flesh – yours and mine
C.      Christ shared this humanity by His incarnation

II.                  We are born twice – born spiritually – born again by Water and the Spirit

A.      The miracle of the Spirit’s work in you: is your Baptism and all that it offers becomes the reality of this second birth
B.      The ground of the Spirit’s work:  is the lifting up of the eternal Son on the cross for our salvation and life.
C.      The author of the Spirit’s work: is God the Father, who sent His Son for your salvation and life.


English Standard Version (ESV)
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
Η ΚΑΙΝΗ ΔΙΑΘΗΚΗ Text, by Eberhard Nestle, courtesy of sites.google.com/site/nestle1904/

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Time in the Word - Trinity

Time in the Word
21- 26 May 2018
Preparation for next week, The Feast of the Holy Trinity


Prayer for blessing on the Word: Lord Jesus Christ, giver and perfecter of our faith, we thank and praise You for continuing among us the preaching of Your Gospel for our instruction and edification. Send Your blessing upon the Word, which has been spoken to us, and by Your Holy Spirit increase our saving knowledge of You, that day by day we may be strengthened in the divine truth and remain steadfast in Your grace. Give us strength to fight the good fight and by faith to overcome all the temptations of Satan, the flesh, and the world so that we may finally receive the salvation of our souls; for You live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.Amen.
Prayer for those outside the Church: Almighty and everlasting God, You desire not the death of a sinner but that all would repent and live. Hear our prayers for those outside the Church. Take away their iniquity, and turn them from their false gods to You, the living and true God. Gather them into Your holy Church to the glory of Your name; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
Prayer for seasonable weather: Lord God, gracious and merciful Father, because You have promised that You will hear us when we bring You our cares, we implore You not to deal with us according to our sins but according to Your mercy. Send seasonable weather so that in due time the earth may yield her increase. Remind us ever to receive with thanks our daily bread, trusting You as our gracious God; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
Prayer for the aged: Almighty God and gracious Father, in Your mercy look on those whose increasing years bring them weakness, anxiety, distress, or loneliness. Grant that they may always know care and respect, concern and understanding. Grant them willing hearts to accept help and, as their strength wanes, increase their faith with the constant assurance of Your love through Jesus Christ, their Savior. Amen.
Prayers from Lutheran Service Book © 2006 Concordia Publishing House.



On Trinity Sunday, we make special note of the work of all three persons of the Trinity who procure and assure our salvation. A good supplemental reading to the readings for the day is to be found in St. Paul’s epistle to the Ephesians, verses 3–11 of the first chapter. Paul explains how the Father chose us in eternity and predestined us for salvation. The work of redemption was accomplished through the shedding of blood—the blood of the Son of God, who assumed flesh, that He might redeem us. The Holy Spirit has brought us the Word of truth, the Gospel of our salvation, that we might trust in the merits of Christ.Blessed be the Holy Trinity and the undivided Unity. Let us give glory to Him because He has shown his mercy to us. (from Sunday’s Introit)

Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power 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)


  
Monday, 21 May 2018Psalm 16:8–11; Antiphon, Liturgical Text—The antiphon for Sunday’s Introit is an ancient liturgical text: Blessed be the Holy Trinity and the undivided Unity. Let us give glory to him because he has shown his mercy to us. The Triune God has first shown His mercy to us in providing for our salvation, and our response is to give glory to Him.

Tuesday, 22 May 2018Psalm 29—This psalm is a hymn of praise to the Lord for all His mighty acts, but especially His mercy in blessing His people with peace. When created, man was in perfect harmony with God. But the fall made us His enemies. We cannot restore peace with God; it is the work of the Holy Trinity alone: the Father, who conceived the plan of our salvation, the Son, who came to earth and died for our transgressions, and the Holy Spirit, who brings us into a right relationship with God through the Means of Grace, Word and Sacrament.

Wednesday, 23 May 2018Isaiah 6:1–8Isaiah received a vision of the Lord enthroned in His majesty and a call to be a prophet of God. Because he is a Son of Adam, and therefore a man of unclean lips, Isaiah is terrified to be in the Lord’s presence, for it spells doom to those under sin’s curse.
But an angel sent by God absolves Isaiah of his sin with a burning coal, and Isaiah accepts the mantle of prophecy. We, like Isaiah, must acknowledge our sin and tremble before a holy God. But we must also trust in the absolution won by the Son of God and pronounced by His called and ordained servants.

Thursday, 24 May 2018Acts 2:14a, 22–36—On the Day of Pentecost, Peter was given power by the Holy Spirit to preach the Word of God faithfully and authoritatively. He proclaims Christ crucified for the forgiveness of sins and the redemption of sinners, and tells his audience, men of Israel, how the Old Testament prophecies are fulfilled in Jesus of Nazareth, the promised Messiah. Here, he quotes Psalm 16, a portion of which serves as the Introit for Sunday.

Friday, 25 May 2018John 3:1–17Another man of Israel, Nicodemus, came to Jesus by night, probably because he feared his fellow Pharisees. He had seen the signs (miracles) that Jesus was able to do, and knew that such a one must have been sent by God. Jesus tells Nicodemus how to be born from above, in Holy Baptism, the washing of water with the Word of God. He also points to His own death, again in fulfillment of the Old Testament Scriptures. As God showed His love to a rebellious, yet repentant people in providing the bronze serpent in the wilderness (Numbers 21:4–9), so He shows His love by providing His Son, to take away a problem far worse than snake bites, which kill only the body: Jesus Christ, lifted up on the cross, takes away the sin of the world.

Saturday, 26 May 2018Sunday’s hymn of the day, God Loved the World So That He Gave (LSB 571) is John 3:16 set to music. Herein is the sweet Gospel clearly proclaimed: Christ Jesus saves your soul from death; That is the firmest ground of faith. The final stanza rightly praises all three persons of the Trinity for their work in accomplishing our salvation.

Collect for Trinity SundayAlmighty and everlasting God, You have given us grace to acknowledge the glory of the eternal Trinity by the confession of a true faith and to worship the Unity in the power of the Divine Majesty. Keep us steadfast in this faith and defend us from all adversities; for You, O Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, live and reign, one God, now and forever. Amen.

Image © Higher Things



Saturday, May 19, 2018

Pentecost


Pentecost
May 20, 2018
John 15:26-27, 16:4b-15
When the Counselor comes
Now I am going to Him who sent me

Today is Pentecost.  It is the celebration of the coming of the Holy Spirit. Promised by the Savior. Jesus refers to the Spirit as the Comforter. Other words that could be inserted here to describe the Spirit might be a helper, a counselor a supporter, a sponsor.

  What does Jesus mean when He says that He will send the Comforter?   The Comforter is often called an Advocate. An advocate is a defense attorney; one who speaks for a defendant before the judge. In a court of law. As Jesus promises us that the Comforter will come this can only be good news for you.  It is the Spirit Himself, which will plead your case before the mercy seat of God.

Jesus reminds us: "And when he comes, he will prove the world wrong concerning sin, righteousness, and judgment." (v.8) When the good counselor comes. He will convict the world.

1. In regards to sin.

The Spirit will convict the world. This is the Spirit’s work through the Law.  He speaks this word. “Because they do not believe in me.” The Lutheran reformers said, "Christ's Spirit must not only comfort, but also through the office of the Law 'convict the world concerning sin.' [FC SD V 11}

It is noteworthy that Jesus says "sin" has to do with the matter of belief. The Spirit teaches us that sin at its heart is not a matter of actions or morality, but has to do with whether and how we will receive and believe in the Son as the one whom God has sent into the world. Yes. Doctrine and teaching is extremely important! 

John the Baptist testifies to the arrival of Jesus the Christ with these words - "Here is the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world."(1:29). Later, Jesus will say, "This is the judgment that they did not believe in the one whom God sent.-John 3:18 

Paul explains to us; “But the natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised.1 Corinthians 2:14 The natural men do not believe in Christ.  In and of himself natural man cannot come to Christ. His sin blinds him to God. 

It will take the Holy Spirit to bring man to the knowledge of salvation. Now man can know naturally that there is a God; namely, that God exists through creation and the conscience. Yet this is a limited knowledge.  Creation tells us that there is a God who has established this world. The conscience tells us that there is a system of justice and natural law common to all men.  

It is only by the Holy Spirit working through His Word that man comes to the right knowledge of God. Which leads to saving faith. This is what we call Spirit directed supernatural or revealed knowledge of God. 

In the final analysis, sin is unbelief and the refusal to trust in God. Yet, despite your sin, God is unshakably, constantly, eternally your friend. Nothing. Not even your sin. Breaks God's bond and loyalty to you. For this reason Christ entered time and space. He entered your world. To be your substitute. To carry your burdens, and your cares. And at the cross. He exchanged your misery and brokenness. To offer you salvation and life. 

Transition:   When the Spirit comes, He will convict the world not only of sin but also concerning righteousness.

2. The Spirit will convict the world in regards to righteousness.

Jesus says, the Spirit convinces us about "righteousness," which has to do with Jesus returning to the Father. “Because I am going back to the Father, where you cannot see me no longer.” Jesus returns to the Father. Which proves His mission on earth is complete.

The glory of the Son of Man has been seen in Jesus’ entering into our world. In His life. His work. His death. His resurrection. In His return back to the Father. In His glorious Ascension. Jesus has fulfilled all scripture.  

How can we discern the will of God for our lives? We find God’s will being perfected in us as He returns to the Father and then the turns us back to His Word. It is there, in the Word, that we see clearly, what the Father would want us to know. It is only in and through the Word that we know the Father’s perfect will. 

Peter reminds us in his second epistle: “no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.”  2 Peter 1:21 or as David reminds us, “Thy Word is a lamp to my feet, and a light to my path.” Psalm 119:105 

Transition:   When the Spirit comes, He will convict the world concerning judgment.

3. The Spirit convicts the world in regards to judgment.

Because the prince of this world now stands condemned. 

The truth about judgment is that living in the light means bringing faults and failures out into the open where they can be healed. Judgment is not just about condemnation. It is about telling the truth, healing and reconciliation.

The Spirit convinces us about judgment. And that judgment is that because of the work and action of Jesus the prince of this world, the ruler of this world, has been condemned.  If there is to be any judgment, it will have to do with those who would not believe in the Son. If there is any condemnation, it will fall on those who refuse to believe in that Good Shepherd who lays down His life for the sheep.

For God sent the Son into the world not for the purpose of standing in judgment over the world but in order that through Him the world might be saved.” John 3:7 

Now the issue of judgment has been met. Salvation has come in Jesus. The Son’s work is done. His mission is fulfilled. Now the Spirit has come. To make good on His promises. To convince those who hear the witness of the Son that indeed this good news is true. 

The Spirit has been sent to convict the world and convince you that Jesus is in charge of your life and your future. He holds you in the hallow of His hand. The Savior rules upon His throne and the Spirit stands as your advocate. To defend and sustain you. This Advocate; the Spirit of truth, the  Counselor, your Helper, convicts the world with respect to sin, righteousness and judgment. He stands for you. To intercede. And plead your case before the Father. All is well.  The Spirit has come. As promised by the Savior.
__________________
Words-1,150
Passive Sentences-9%
Readability- 80%
Reading Level -4.5



Monday, May 14, 2018

Pentecost study notes



THE DAY OF PENTECOST
Study notes
(20 May 2018)
Series B

Ezekiel 37:1–14
Acts 2:1–21
John 15:26–27; 16:4b–15

The Holy Spirit Brings the Dead to Life by the Righteousness of Christ

In returning to His Father by way of the cross and resurrection, Christ Jesus sends “the Helper” to His Church, that is, “the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father.”



The Spirit testifies of Christ and glorifies Him, by taking what is His and declaring it to the world in the preaching of repentance for the forgiveness of sins (John 15:26; 16:7, 14).

He convicts the world of sin by the word of the Law, He forgives sins and justifies sinners by the Word of the Gospel, and He bestows the faith that says “Amen” to this righteousness of God (John 16:8–11).

Therefore, the Lord pours out His Spirit on the apostles, that by their preaching, the Spirit should be given to His entire Church. As the multitudes are gathered from all the nations by “this sound,” that is, by the preaching of “the mighty works of God” in Christ Jesus, so does God the Father pour out the Spirit of His Son “on all flesh” (Acts 2:6, 11, 17).

The Lord God breathes upon the slain, and so shall they live; for so the Lord has spoken, and He shall do it (Ezekiel. 37:5–14).

O God, on this day You once taught the hearts of Your faithful people by sending them the light of Your Holy Spirit. Grant us in our day by the same Spirit to have a right understanding in all things and evermore to rejoice in His holy consolation;

Pentecost Gospel  -John 15:26-27; 16:4b-15

John 15:26 -  Ὅταν ἔλθῃ ὁ Παράκλητος ὃν ἐγὼ πέμψω ὑμῖν παρὰ τοῦ Πατρός, τὸ Πνεῦμα τῆς ἀληθείας ὃ παρὰ τοῦ Πατρὸς ἐκπορεύεται, ἐκεῖνος μαρτυρήσει περὶ ἐμοῦ
When the “Advocate” (comforter, helper, Paraclete) comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who comes from the Father, he will testify on my behalf.

- I will send..."the One who proceeds from the Father."

Jesus is the Spirit of the Son - see Romans 8:9; Galatians 4:6; 1 Peter 1:11 

Western Christians rightly understand this passage to imply a double procession of the Holy Spirit from both the Father and the Son. 

John 15:27 - καὶ ὑμεῖς δὲ μαρτυρεῖτε, ὅτι ἀπ’ ἀρχῆς μετ’ ἐμοῦ ἐστε.
You also are to testify because you have been with me from the beginning.

John 16:4a- ἀλλὰ ταῦτα λελάληκα ὑμῖν ἵνα ὅταν ἔλθῃ ἡ ὥρα αὐτῶν μνημονεύητε αὐτῶν, ὅτι ἐγὼ εἶπον ὑμῖν.
But I have said these things to you so that when their hour comes you may remember that I told you about them.

John 16:4b -ταῦτα δὲ ὑμῖν ἐξ ἀρχῆς οὐκ εἶπον, ὅτι μεθ’ ὑμῶν ἤμην.
I did not say these things to you from the beginning, because I was with you.

John 16:5 - νῦν δὲ ὑπάγω πρὸς τὸν πέμψαντά με, καὶ οὐδεὶς ἐξ ὑμῶν ἐρωτᾷ με Ποῦ ὑπάγεις;
 But now I am going to him who sent me; yet none of you asks me, “Where are you going?

John 16:6 - ἀλλ’ ὅτι ταῦτα λελάληκα ὑμῖν, ἡ λύπη πεπλήρωκεν ὑμῶν τὴν καρδίαν.
But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your hearts.

John 16:7 - ἀλλ’ ἐγὼ τὴν ἀλήθειαν λέγω ὑμῖν, συμφέρει ὑμῖν ἵνα ἐγὼ ἀπέλθω. ἐὰν γὰρ μὴ ἀπέλθω, ὁ Παράκλητος οὐ μὴ ἔλθῃ πρὸς
 Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.
John 16:8 - καὶ ἐλθὼν ἐκεῖνος ἐλέγξει τὸν κόσμον περὶ ἁμαρτίας καὶ περὶ δικαιοσύνης καὶ περὶ κρίσεως
And when he comes, he will prove the world wrong about* sin and righteousness and judgment

- "Convict" - This is the Spirit's work through the Law.

"Christ's Spirit must not only comfort, but also through the office of the Law 'convict the world concerning sin' [FC SD V 11}

Advocate's proving the world wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment (Verse 8) may have been a key in what set the early followers of Jesus apart as a radically transforming faith:

The world is wrong about sin...confessing that Sin is not genetic; it is not inherited; it does not alienate us from God - does not create a chasm between us and God.

The truth about sin is that God is unshakably, constantly, eternally our friend. Nothing, not even our sin breaks God's bond and loyalty to us.

It is noteworthy that Jesus says "sin" has to do with the matter of belief. The Spirit teaches us that sin at its heart is not a matter of actions or morality, but has to do with whether and how we will receive and believe in the Son as the one whom God has sent into the world.

John the Baptist testifies to the arrival of the Son with the words "Here is the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world"(1:29). Later John says, "This is the judgment that they did not believe in the one whom God sent (3:18).

Sin stands exposed precisely at the opportune moment of decision between faith and unbelief. Jesus says that it is always for us the moment of that decision (Greek kairos; see 7:6). The Spirit's role is to bring Christ present for us and so to face us with that point of decision and faith.

John 16:9 - περὶ ἁμαρτίας μέν, ὅτι οὐ πιστεύουσιν εἰς ἐμέ.
About sin, because they do not believe in me;

- In the final analysis, sin is unbelief and the refusal to trust in God

John 16:10 - περὶ δικαιοσύνης δέ, ὅτι πρὸς τὸν Πατέρα ὑπάγω καὶ οὐκέτι θεωρεῖτέ με
about righteousness, because I am going to the Father and you will see me no longer;

The world is wrong about righteousness.
Righteousness (being right with God) is not about paying debts owed to God; it is not about fulfilling obligations to God.

The truth about being right with God (i.e., "righteousness") is that while nothing ever breaks God's bond with us sometimes even the best of friends have to apologize and make up.
Jesus says, the Spirit convinces us about "righteousness," which has to do with Jesus returning to the Father. That Jesus is at the point of returning to the Father is the signal that the role of Jesus in his sending and mission has been completed. Righteousness has to do with Jesus' testimony that all that the Father has given him to do has been accomplished in his death and resurrection. The glory of the Son has been truly seen. God's righteousness has been made known in God's love and sending of the Son. Now the Spirit will be present to continue to convince the disciple community that this is true.
John 16:11 - Ἔτι πολλὰ ἔχω ὑμῖν λέγειν, ἀλλ’ οὐ δύνασθε βαστάζειν ἄρτι
              about judgment, because the ruler of this world has been condemned.

The world is wrong about judgment.
Judgment is not about being condemned eternally; it is not about being forever cut off from God.
The truth about judgment is that living in the light means bringing faults and failures out into the open where they can be healed. Judgment is not about condemnation; it is about telling the truth, healing and reconciliation.

The Spirit convinces us about judgment, and that judgment is precisely that in the actions of the Trinity the ruler of this world has been condemned. If there is then any judgment, that judgment has to do with all that would not believe that what God is about in the Son is to show God's love and to bring that abundant life to those whom the Son has chosen and for whom he has given his life as the good shepherd who lays down his life for the sheep. "For God sent the Son into the world, not for the purpose of standing in judgment over the world, but in order that through him the world might be saved" (3:17).

Now that issue of judgment has been met. Salvation has indeed come in the fulfillment of the Son's mission. Now the Spirit has come to make good on that promise and to continue to convince those who hear the witness of the Son that this is indeed good news and true. Such conviction is also the invitation to join in that witness which is indeed for all the world to hear --  to become agents of that same convincing for those "other sheep" for whom Jesus also died and was raised, to the end that all may be one, even as the Father, Son and Spirit are one in purpose and mission.

John 16:12 - ὅταν δὲ ἔλθῃ ἐκεῖνος, τὸ Πνεῦμα τῆς ἀληθείας, ὁδηγήσει ὑμᾶς εἰς τὴν ἀλήθειαν πᾶσαν• οὐ γὰρ λαλήσει ἀφ’ ἑαυτοῦ, ἀλλ’ ὅσα ἀκούει λαλήσει, καὶ τὰ ἐρχόμενα ἀναγγελεῖ ὑμῖν.
I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.

John 16:13 - ὅταν δὲ ἔλθῃ ἐκεῖνος, τὸ Πνεῦμα τῆς ἀληθείας, ὁδηγήσει ὑμᾶς εἰς τὴν ἀλήθειαν πᾶσαν• οὐ γὰρ λαλήσει ἀφ’ ἑαυτοῦ, ἀλλ’ ὅσα ἀκούει λαλήσει, καὶ τὰ ἐρχόμενα ἀναγγελεῖ ὑμῖν.
When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own, but will speak whatever he hears, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.

John 16:14 - ἐκεῖνος ἐμὲ δοξάσει, ὅτι ἐκ τοῦ ἐμοῦ λήμψεται καὶ ἀναγγελεῖ ὑμῖν.
                      He will glorify me, because he will take what is mine and declare it to you.

John 16:15 - πάντα ὅσα ἔχει ὁ Πατὴρ ἐμά ἐστιν• διὰ τοῦτο εἶπον ὅτι ἐκ τοῦ ἐμοῦ λαμβάνει καὶ ἀναγγελεῖ ὑμῖν.
All that the Father has is mine. For this reason I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.

When the Spirit comes He will convict the world concerning sin, concerning righteousness and concerning judgment.
   
1. In regards to sin
      A. Because men in and of themselves do not believe in Jesus
      B. He’ll talk about sin and the fact that natural men do not believe in Christ

2. In regards to righteousness
      A. Jesus said: “Because I am going back to the Father, where you can not see me no longer.”
      B. He speaks to this world about what is right in God’s sight.

3. In regards to judgment.
      A.      Because the prince of this world strands condemned. 
      B.      The old evil foe- Satan - now stands condemned.   



The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
Η ΚΑΙΝΗ ΔΙΑΘΗΚΗ Text, by Eberhard Nestle, courtesy of sites.google.com/site/nestle1904/