First Lesson: Isaiah 6:1-8:
1In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne;and the train of his robe filled the temple. 2Above him were seraphim, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. 3And they were calling to one another: “Holy, holy , holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.” 4At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke.
5“Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty.”
6Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the altar. 7With it he touched my mouth and said, “See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for.”
8Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us? ”
And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”
Psalm 150 on Page 122 in Christian Worship
Praise God in his sanctuary;
praise him in his mighty heavens.
Praise him for his acts of power;
praise him for his surpassing greatness.
Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet,
praise him with the harp and lyre.
Praise him with tambourine and dancing,
praise him with strings and flute,
Praise him with the clash of cymbals,
praise him with resounding cymbals.
Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.
Praise the Lord.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning,
is now, and will be forever. Amen.
Gospel Lesson: John 3:1-17:
1Now there was a Pharisee, a man named Nicodemus who was a member of the Jewish ruling council. 2He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the signs you are doing if God were not with him.”
3Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.”
4“How can someone be born when they are old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!”
5Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. 6Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. 7You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ 8The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”
9“How can this be?” Nicodemus asked.
10“You are Israel’s teacher,” said Jesus, “and do you not understand these things? 11Very truly I tell you, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen, but still you people do not accept our testimony. 12I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things? 13No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven —the Son of Man. 14Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, 15that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.”
16For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
Sermon Text: Romans 8:14-17:
14For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. 15The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.”16 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. 17Now if we are children, then we are heirs —heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.
Introduction: As most of you know, we recently expanded our family by welcoming a new son-in-law. It is always a fascinating thing when that event takes place in a family. The new member learns what the likes and dislikes of all the different family members are. They have to be brought up to speed on the family in-jokes and favorite trips. In turn, the family into which he is marrying finds out what he likes and learns to make some of his favorite things their favorite things. Today, we are talking about one of those deep and weighty parts of Christian teaching: the doctrine of the Triune nature of God. One of the best ways to look at this subject is the way Paul does here. We learn what each of the three persons of the Trinity offer to us as God welcomes us into his family. We learn that…
You Are Part of God’s Family
I. You have the Spirit’s testimony
II. You have the Father’s ear
III. You have the Son’s inheritance
- You have the Spirit’s testimony
- The Apostle Paul had been speaking of the difference between flesh and spirit
- This is the part of Romans that encourages living according to God’s will (sanct.)
- One question they might have is how would they know they were doing this
- Paul answers that they could know they were doing it because the Spirit led them
- The first encounter we have with the Triune God is the person of the Holy Spirit
- He’s the 1 who guides the spread, proclamation, and work of the means of grace
- He is the one who approached us in our baptism or in our hearing of the Word
- He is the one who has given us a solemn testimony in the gospel of who we are
- His testimony is that we are the Children of God because of what God has done
- We have the Father’s ear
- The Spirit’s testimony is that we are not slaves to fear, but set free to God’s love
- The love that the Father has for us is a deep and unconditional love, familial love
- The people to whom Paul wrote were used to being frightened by their gods
- They learned that they had better obey and they had better give their offerings
- What does God the Father ask of them? Nothing. He tells us of his love for us
- We can call him “Abba Father.” This is a term of endearment / loving relationship
- This means that we can come to him in prayer anytime we want to in our lives
- This is why Jesus taught us to call him Father in the Lord’s Prayer: dearly loved
III. We have the Son’s inheritance
- Because we are his children, Paul tells us, we are his heirs, Romans understood
- We have shared a very special experience with our brother, Jesus the Son of God
- We have shared in his sufferings. God considers his sufferings our sufferings
- We also suffer in this life as we face the same sort of rejection that he faced in life
- Because of that, we know that we will share in the glory that he is experiencing
- This means we have been completely brought into the family of the Triune God
- This is why this teaching is so important and also so comforting for us. Amen.