Trinity

SERMON LEFTOVERS 7.18.16

‘God is with us, are we with Him?’

John 14:15-24

Jesus Farewell Discourse (John 13-16) is preparing his followers for his departure and their continued service

 

God is with us in his Trinitarian nature

Jesus has already given them implications of his being One with the Father

To trust Jesus is to trust the One who is “the Way, the Truth and the Life” (v6)

He is the fullness and the revealing of the Father (v9)

Throughout chapter 14, Jesus has given reasons why God being with them brings hope and confidence: 

In chapters 14-16, Jesus repeatedly adds that the Holy Spirit will also be with them

Jesus will send “another Helper”. The Greek word for ‘helper’ means “to come alongside”

The Holy Spirit comes alongside to fulfill Jesus’ work in us and through us

Throughout this discourse, Jesus keeps coming back to the Holy Spirit as the “Helper”

He wants to magnify this great reality about God with us

By nature, the Holy Spirit is all God is; and by inclination he is all God intends (Romans 8:9-11)

Jesus also frequently mentions the Holy Spirit in his post-resurrection appearances

When Jesus presents our mission, he adds that the Holy Spirit will enable us (Matthew 28:19-20, Luke 24:46-49, John 20:21-22 & Acts 1:8)

Jesus says, the Spirit who is already with you, will be forever “in” you

The permanent indwelling of the Holy Spirit is a significant difference between Old and New Testament believers

Why doesn’t the Holy Spirit simply help us without indwelling us, as he did in the Old Testament,?

The answer is that God’s great purpose in salvation is to bring us into communion with the Triune God (v20)

The Holy Spirit is the “Spirit of Truth”

Jesus combines these titles three times in this Farewell Discourse

The help brought by the Holy Spirit is not just empowering, it is full truth

We need this because Satan who is called the ‘ruler of this world’ in v30, is also called ‘the Father of Lies’ in John 8:44

Living with a Trinitarian perspective is not theological minutia

This is God’s nature; as a Triune being, he is a relational and communicative person

What a wondrous reality! God, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are committed to us

 

What does it mean for us to be with God?

We are to be as fully committed to God as he is to us

In the middle of assuring the disciples that he would be with them, Jesus says our love for God is shown by obedience (vs 15, 21, 23 & 24)

Why bring that up here?  It is a reminder that God is with us, so we can be with him

God saves us into a relationship; that relationship requires obedience

Disobedience is sin, and sin ‘separates us’ from God

Obedience doesn’t maintain our salvation; it verifies and honors our salvation

God does not leave us as “orphans” (v18), so we should not abandon him

An orphan is without parental care; God will never leave or neglect his covenant responsibilities to us

Jesus repeats the connection between love and obedience four times – this is serious!

We don’t have the freedom to define how we love Jesus. Some Christians minimize biblical teaching by saying “I just love Jesus”

But love is more than feelings; the Bible defines love by its actions

Action Jesus gives is to obey God’s word; these are the only actions we have to give God

Jesus calls us to be obedient as he was 

1.  Compartmentalized obedience is disobedience 

2.  Half-hearted obedience is disobedience

3.  Common disobedience, doesn’t provide any cover

4.  So called “justified” disobedience (when we think we have been mistreated or we deserve a break) is just plain ole disobedience

5.  Oblivious disobedience is still disobedience

God gave us his word and he speaks through it, so we are responsible to know what’s in it

We are also responsible to examine our hearts, because not all sin is easy for us to see   

Jesus moves in only one direction – which is to serve the Father’s eternal purpose

If we live ignoring or disobeying where Jesus is going, we are not with him

But if follow this path, even in weakness the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are with us

DELIGHTING IN THE TRINITY

We don’t talk that much about the Trinity even though it is a foundational truth about God’s very nature. The reason is probably because we think of it as a teaching we could never understand, let alone explain. We treat it as the embarrassing uncle of biblical doctrines.

Michael Reeves book “Delighting in the Trinity” will change how you think about this truth that has great importance for daily life. Without question, this has been the most impacting book I have read this year.

Right from the start Michael challenges our attitude about the doctrine of the Trinity, pointing out that since God is by nature a wondrous and beautiful Being – then this truth about His nature must be a wondrous and beautiful truth!

 

 

EXTRAORDINARY THOUGHTS ON LOVE

I have had some extraordinary new thoughts on love. 

These are not new realities about love; they are just thoughts that I can never remembering hearing or reading until now. I was grabbed by them while reading “Delighting in the Trinity” by Michael Reeves for my Growth Group.

In chapters 2 and 3 are where the treasure was found. There the author points out that we (believers) are part of how the members of the divine Trinity express their love to one another! Michael doesn’t go into much depth on this subject, but I keep going back to it during my morning worship.

God the Father shows his love to the Son by giving Him the people who will be His eternal possession.

The Son demonstrated his love for us and the Father, when He embraced the Father’s will and took the wrath that belonged to us.

The Holy Spirit expresses love to the Son and Father as He transforms us into the glorious Bride of Christ

I don’t know about you, but the thought that I am part of how God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit show their exalted and perfect love for one another, brings amazement beyond words.

May our incredibly loving Lord lead your soul to new heights of rejoicing as you ponder this brilliant and glorious truth!