More / Book of the Month / Creator, Redeemer, Comforter – "Sermon Series: Believing, Proclaiming, Confessing III" / Acts 2; John 3; Isaiah 6 / Pr. Lucas Andre Albrecht / Sunday, May 30th 2021 / Holy Trinity Sunday

Creator, Redeemer, Comforter – "Sermon Series: Believing, Proclaiming, Confessing III" / Acts 2; John 3; Isaiah 6 / Pr. Lucas Andre Albrecht / Sunday, May 30th 2021 / Holy Trinity Sunday




Creator, Redeemer, Comforter – "Sermon Series: Believing, Proclaiming, Confessing III" / Acts 2; John 3; Isaiah 6 / Pr. Lucas Andre Albrecht / Sunday, May 30th 2021 / Holy Trinity Sunday

Text: Acts 2:22-36; John 3:15-17; Isaiah 6
Theme: Creator, Redeemer, Comforter / Series: “Believing, Proclaiming, Confessing III”
___________________________
Intr(blender). I’ll make a smoothie for us today. (Uses some weird ingredients). Would any of you be willing to taste it? I’m pretty sure you won’t. Now, even if I said that I’ve prepared this with love and care, thinking of you? That I tried to include as much different ingredients I could, and that I would be offended if you would refuse it?

        I’m assured you’ll use your best words to decline the offer, and your reason would be: that doesn’t only taste awfully but it would be dangerous for your health. A smoothie is not a smoothie because we try to be smooth and loving as we make it, but because of the specific ingredients it takes to make one.

        It’s easier to do this when it comes to our physical health. But sometimes we are not as careful when it comes to our spiritual health. We might think that mixing up ingredients, even dangerous ones, to our confession of faith would not be harmful to our spiritual health, for we are in Jesus and in the Church. As if seeing your doctor regularly would allow you to eat anything and everything you want.

        Today is the only date in the Church calendar dedicated to a specific Christian Doctrine – Holy Trinity – and we’ll take the occasion to cap off our sermons series reinforcing what we believe and confess from the biblical teaching about the Creator, Redeemer and Comforter of the World.

1 – Who is God     
        “Our Churches do teach that the decree of the Council of Nicaea concerning the Unity of the Divine Essence and concerning the Three Persons, is true and to be believed without any doubting;  that is to say, there is one Divine Essence which is called and which is God: eternal, without body, without parts, of infinite power, wisdom, and goodness, the Maker and Preserver of all things, visible and invisible; and yet there are three Persons, of the same essence and power, who also are coeternal, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. And the term “person” they use as the Fathers have used it, to signify, not a part or quality in another, but that which subsists of itself.[1]

        He is the Holy, Holy, Holy God as shown in Isaiah 6. He is the only real God, as opposed to any other idol of the World. And as John lets us know, God is Love.


_The Father  
Creator – We believe that our World is not a random happening, but a planned work. It is not nature only, but Creation from the hands of the Father.[2]  
Sustainer – we believe that our life is not guided by fate, but sustained by love.[3]      
Father – A perfect role model of a loving, caring Father figure in a world carrying many poor and irresponsible ones.[4]  

_The Son
Redeemer – we believe there are basically two types of religion in the World: The ones where we have to pay our debts trying to find our way to God. And the One where Someone paid the debt in full in our place. [5] This Someone is Jesus. In the second reading today, Acts chapter 2, we hear Peter bringing a brief, precise summary about His Work in the World.
Reconciliation maker – we believe that God is reconciled to us in Christ. We believe in reconciliation. We believe in peace with God, because Jesus has erased our amount owing on His Cross.[6]
Care Giver – We believe that our life is fully in His Hands, from which we receive Care, Comfort and Love.[7]

        The Gospel for today, John 3, points to the Way God Loved the World: in Christ, the Redeemer, and in Him alone. Whoever believes in Him will not perish, but receive eternal life.

 _The Holy Spirit  
Life changer Comforter – When I go to my gym, I frequently see in the back of the shirt the employees wear there the expression: “Life Changer”. I believe the idea implied there is that by helping you with your body health they help you through a life changing experience.

We believe that the Holy Spirit of God is the true life changer. Faith is a gift that He brings through the Word, and that changes our life. From the spiritual aspect of it – we receive forgiveness and salvation – including our bodies, which we want to take good care of since they are the sanctuary of the very Holy Spirit.[8]
The Holy maker – Did you know you are a holy person? Yes, in faith in Jesus we are made Holy by the Holy Spirit of God.[9] Also,   Jesus promised to send the Holy Spirit and He came, as we also heard in Acts 2. We believe He is our Comforter, strengthening our faith in a fallen world, giving us knowledge a lost world, and giving us the words to share light and love with a World desperately in need of them.   
Health Care provider – We live in a country where we rejoice in having universal health care, even if we could point problems in this type of system. Everybody can have access to it.
We believe that the most complete Health Care provider is the Holy Spirit. He provides Health for our life in Christ, and sustains us healthy in the Word and the Sacrament, giving us wisdom and enabling us to flee evil. And that impacts also our physical health.[10] Also, he provides health care not just for this life, but for the life that will have no end – and no health issues.[11]  

2 – In the World

        In the first sermon of this series we talked about “into the World” - Jesus coming down here to save us. In the second sermon, we conversed about the problems we have in this world, what is the place we go to learn what our problem is, and Who the trouble-shooter is. Now, it’s important to remember that “world” here, in John, refers primarily to people. “The world is in darkness”, “the world has not received Christ”. The World is the place we are, but the World is made of people. Jesus came for them – people – you and I. We are sent into the World, believing in Christ, to confess and proclaim here.
       As we want to do that, we need clarity and precision in the types of ingredients we will add to the mix. We confess God’s smooth Word in a loving way not because we try to be compassionate and include in it whatever is possible, but because of the specific content it has to be shared with the World.
        It is not that we would expect every Christian to be a doctor in Theology, though there are plenty of opportunities for theological learning and growth around us, in many different ways and platforms. It is that we wish we all have, through faith,  clarity and certainty on what matters most: the essence of our faith; the essence of the content which we believe, teach and confess. We can never allow it to be mixed up with all sorts of ingredients, because it will compromise the taste in the end. It will be either extremely salty – Law in its entire rigor, trying to make “holy ones” and good behaving people to be apart from others. Or perhaps it would be too sweet – preaching God’s love in a cheap way, as if he would accept everything and anything we do; worse than that, it’ll be harmful for our spiritual health.

        (back to the blender)We want to add to the mix the ingredients we find in God’s Word. That is the way we know our message will be clear and precise. It’ll be smooth, tasty, and the most important thing: healthy, life saving, and life giving.

 Cc –The Creator, Redeemer and Comforter God: Father, Son and Hoy Spirit. He feeds you in His Word to protect your health; to strengthen you faith; and to save your life.

 _____________________________

[1] Augsburg Confession, Article I.

[2] “…this article refers to the Creation: that we emphasize the words: Creator of heaven and earth. But what is the force of this, or what do you mean by these words: I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Maker, etc.? Answer: This is what I mean and believe, that I am a creature of God; that is, that He has given and constantly preserves to me my body, soul, and life, members great and small, all my senses, reason, and understanding, and so on, food and drink, clothing and support, wife and children, domestics, house and home, etc.” Large Catechism, “The Apostle’s Creed”, paragraphs 16 and 17

[3] “Thus we learn from this article that none of us has of himself, nor can preserve, his life nor anything that is here enumerated or can be enumerated, however small and unimportant a thing it might be, for all is comprehended in the word. Creator. Moreover, we also confess that God the Father has not only given us all that we have and see before our eyes, but daily preserves and defends us against all evil and misfortune, averts all sorts of danger and calamity; and that He does all this out of pure love and goodness, without our merit, as a benevolent Father, who cares for us that no evil befall us.” Large Catechism, “The Apostle’s Creed”, paragraphs 16 and 17.

[4] We ought, therefore, daily to practice this article, impress it upon our mind, and to remember it in all that meets our eyes, and in all good that falls to our lot, and wherever we escape from calamity or danger, that it is God who gives and does all these things, that therein we sense and see His Paternal heart and his transcendent love toward us. Thereby the heart would be warmed and kindled to be thankful, and to employ all such good things to the honor and praise of God.” Large Catechism, “The Apostle’s Creed”, paragraphs 16 and 17.

[5] “He who has brought us from Satan to God, from death to life, from sin to righteousness, and who preserves us in the same. But all the points which follow in order in this article serve no other end than to explain and express this redemption, how and whereby it was accomplished, that is, how much it cost Him, and what He spent and risked that He might win us and bring us under His dominion, namely, that He became man, conceived and born without [any stain of] sin, of the Holy Ghost and of the Virgin Mary, that He might overcome sin; moreover, that He suffered, died and was buried, that He might make satisfaction for me and pay what I owe, not with silver nor gold, but with His own precious blood. And all this, in order to become my Lord; for He did none of these for Himself, nor had He any need of it. And after that He rose again from the dead, swallowed up and devoured death, and finally ascended into heaven and assumed the government at the Father’s right hand, so that the devil and all powers must be subject to Him and lie at His feet, until finally, at the last day, He will completely part and separate us from the wicked world, the devil, death, sin, etc. Large Catechism, “The Apostle’s Creed”, paragraphs 31.

[6] “The second matter in a propitiator is, that his merits have been presented as those which make satisfaction for others, which are bestowed by divine imputation on others, in order that through these, just as by their own merits, they may be accounted righteous. As when any friend pays a debt for a friend, the debtor is freed by the merit of another, as though it were by his own. Thus the merits of Christ are bestowed upon us, in order that, when we believe in Him, we may be accounted righteous by our confidence in Christ’s merits as though we had merits of our own.” Apology of the Augsburg Confession. “XXI – Of the invocation of saints”, paragraph 19.

[7] “…Those tyrants and jailers, then, are all expelled now, and in their place has come Jesus Christ, Lord of life, righteousness, every blessing, and salvation, and has delivered us poor lost men from the jaws of hell, has won us, made us free, and brought us again into the favor and grace of the Father, and has taken us as His own property under His shelter and protection, that He may govern us by His righteousness, wisdom, power, life, and blessedness”. Large Catechism, “The Apostle’s Creed”, paragraphs 30

[8] “For neither you nor I could ever know anything of Christ, or believe on Him, and obtain Him for our Lord, unless it were offered to us and granted to our hearts by the Holy Ghost through the preaching of the Gospel. The work is done and accomplished; for Christ has acquired and gained the treasure for us by His suffering, death, resurrection, etc. But if the work remained concealed so that no one knew of it, then it would be in vain and lost. That this treasure, therefore, might not lie buried, but be appropriated and enjoyed, God has caused the Word to go forth and be proclaimed, in which He gives the Holy Ghost to bring this treasure home and appropriate it to us.  Therefore sanctifying is nothing else than bringing us to Christ to receive this good, to which we could not attain of ourselves.” Large Catechism, “The Apostle’s Creed”, paragraphs 38 and 39

[9] “For there are, besides, many kinds of spirits mentioned in the Holy Scriptures, as, the spirit of man, heavenly spirits, and evil spirits. But the Spirit of God alone is called Holy Ghost, that is, He who has sanctified and still sanctifies us. For as the Father is called Creator, the Son Redeemer, so the Holy Ghost, from His work, must be called Sanctifier, or One that makes holy.” Large Catechism, “The Apostle’s Creed”, paragraph 36

[10] “Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord, and turn away from evil. 8  It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones.(Proverbs 3:7-8)

[11] “Thus, until the last day, the Holy Ghost abides with the holy congregation or Christendom, by means of which He fetches us to Christ and which He employs to teach and preach to us the Word, whereby He works and promotes sanctification, causing it [this community] daily to grow and become strong in the faith and its fruits which He produces.(…) Meanwhile, however, while sanctification has begun and is growing daily, we expect that our flesh will be destroyed and buried with all its uncleanness, and will come forth gloriously, and arise to entire and perfect holiness in a new eternal life. For now we are only half pure and holy, so that the Holy Ghost has ever [some reason why] to continue His work in us through the Word, and daily to dispense forgiveness, until we attain to that life where there will be no more forgiveness, but only perfectly pure and holy people, full of godliness and righteousness, removed and free from sin, death, and all evil, in a new, immortal, and glorified body.” Large Cathecism, “The Apostle’s Creed”, paragraph 53,57,58.

 


Photo by Ylanite Koppens from Pexels


Comments