The Introit p. 16
The Gloria Patri
The Kyrie p. 17
The Gloria in Excelsis
The Salutation and Collect p. 19
The Epistle and Gradual
Praise be to Thee, O Christ!
The Nicene Creed p. 22
The Sermon Hymn #462 I Love Thy Kingdom
To Convict the World of Unbelief in Christ, Which Is Sin
The Sanctus p. 26
The Lord's Prayer p. 27
The Words of Institution
The Agnus Dei p. 28
The Nunc Dimittis p. 29
The Benediction p. 31
The Hymn #657 Beautiful Savior
Fourth Sunday After Easter
To Convict the World of Sin, Which Is Unbelief in Christ
- First of all, this is Jesus teaching the disciples in His farewell sermon, not the interpretation of what Jesus taught.
- Secondly, the reporter is the beloved disciple John, the one entrusted to watch over Jesus' mother Mary, taking her home.
- Thirdly, the passage is so powerful that the meaning is largely ignored and fought against, with the excuse of teaching about the upcoming Pentecost.
- Agreement - that means everyone takes this for granted and it did not need to be said.
- Anger - the statement has aroused the wrath of people who realize what it means.
- Silence and "not knowing" - The truth is so revolutionary that the matter cannot be faced or even debated. When nominal Christians say, "We are not even going to discuss this, then they have sensed the danger and reacted accordingly.
9 Of sin, because they believe not on me;
But the Word is consistent and always in harmony. The sin against the Holy Spirit is dying without faith, because faith in Christ brings all the benefits and blessings of His Kingdom. Sinning against the Holy Spirit is sinning against Christ - refusing Him, refusing His grace, doubting and rejecting all He has done.
How strange to think that the Word of God could become incarnate by the Holy Spirit in the Virgin Mary, teach and perform many miracles to show His divinity, die on the cross for our sins, rise from the dead, and ascend to His Father - and yet believing these great wonders have nothing to do with righteousness!
But that is what the mainline, liberal, established denominations teach, as well as the famous modernist theologians. The only dirty word in that crowd is "faith." To use the word "faith" in a personal way or express the need for faith will upset them and get them raving against all kinds of evil. Mockery is piled on mockery and the distinct impression is made - faith is bad.
So how are sins forgiven? The Holy Spirit brings Christ to us through the Word, so that Word dwells in us, and we dwell in Christ. All our sins are forgiven daily because no sin can remain on Jesus, who has swallowed up sin, death, and the power of Satan by His atoning death and glorious resurrection.
7. Now, against this evil God found a remedy and determined to send Christ, his Son, into this world, that he should shed his blood and die, in order to make satisfaction for sin and take it away, and that the Holy Spirit then should enter the hearts of such people, who go about with the works of the Law, being unwilling and forced to it, and make them willing, in order that without force and with joyous heart they keep God’s commandments. Otherwise there might be no means of removing the misery; for neither human reason and power, nor even an angel could rescue us from it. Thus, God has done away with the sins of all men who believe on the Christ, so that henceforth it is impossible for one to remain in sin who has this Savior, who has taken all sins upon himself and blotted them out.
Our sinful condition remains. The remnants of sin continue, but they do not condemn the believer. In fact, a believer feels temptation and sin and avoids both. If anyone doubts this, read some material on the Net and see how grossly people live and how they boast about it. Or ask - why do church officials fall in love with gross, anti-Christian dogma, rejoicing in the evil they do against anyone who has faith? They are unbelievers and every utterance proves how enthusiastically they reject faith while making a plush living by pretending to believe.
When challenged, the apostates always brag about their works and even say, which seems like a satire based on John 8 - We have Abraham for a father. Yes, they can name various obscure Germans and Norwegians who had the misfortune of starting a line of boastful unbelievers - and that is their claim to righteousness. They are children of the flesh, while all true children of Abraham are children of faith.
Justification by faith leads directly into sanctification, which is the Christian life. Forgiveness of sin is the energy by which Jesus through the Spirit/Word moves us to live our lives for others and rejoice in sharing with them.
To grasp this one must see that this forgiveness is complete, received in faith, and not conditional upon works, merit, human will, or any other factor. The Gospel itself plants faith in us, and faith receives this forgiveness and this energy to work for others.
The Epistle lesson is simply another version of this truth -
KJV James 1:16 Do not err, my beloved brethren. 17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. 18 Of his own will begat he us with the Word of Truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures. 19 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: 20 For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God. 21 Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted Word, which is able to save your souls.
I plant hybrid tea roses from time to time, and they all have a graft, a bud union. The roots are a wild rose, much like us, hearty but not very productive. When a rose "goes wild," the plant no longer grows beautiful blooms but still exists. The upper part is the tea rose, which is itself a hybrid of the perpetual blooming rose and tea rose. They are no longer two plants, but one plant - the Peace, Veterans Honor, Double Delight, or Paradise rose. I pull out of the box one rose at a time, not two at a time. The two roses are engrafted, and the bulge shows the union of the two distinct plants, now become one.
Receive is the New Testament word which is parallel to the word believe.
John 1But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
|Building and correcting is the devil's work.|