Eternal Savior Lutheran Church

A member of the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod

2688 North Park Drive
Lafayette, CO 80026
303-665-6105
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June 3 Trinity Sunday – The Triune God Of Our Salvation

Introduction:  Grace be to you and peace, from God our Father, and from our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ.  Our text is the Gospel Lesson just read, from John 3.  We begin with prayer.

 

Dear fellow disciples of our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ:

  • I have chosen this rather lengthy Gospel reading as our text for this celebration of Trinity Sunday because it clearly indicates how all three Persons of the Holy Trinity – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – dearly love us and deeply desire our eternal salvation.
  • This is far too much text to deal with in a detail oriented, hermeneutical manner, in a short sermon.  If we had a couple hours we might be able to do that.
  • So instead we are going to look at this text in a broad way, again looking at the Father’s love for us and desire for our salvation, the Son’s love for us and His desire for our salvation, and the Holy Spirit’s love for us, and His desire for our salvation.  And we will look at what each Person has done that we may be brought back into fellowship with God and granted the gift of eternal life.
  • First, we consider that:

 

I.  God The Father So Loved the World That He Gave His Only-Begotten Son To Die For Us And Save Us

 

Text:  “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only-begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.  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.”

Statement:

  • It is somewhat difficult for us to wrap our minds completely around this extraordinary and astonishing reality – that God loves us this much, that He was willing to give His Son into bitter sufferings and death, paying for the sin and guilt of the entire world, every human being.
  • It is difficult for us to grasp that He didn’t send Jesus into the world for the purpose of bringing about our condemnation – this is certainly not His will for us.  Rather, His will is that we might “be saved through Him.”

Application:

  • Anyone who takes these assertions seriously, and who believes them, must have quite a joyful impression about God.  It changes everything that we perceive and experience.  This is remarkable, because we see so much that is wrong, so much that even we condemn, that we understand God’s wrath and anger at human sin, our own included.
  • Yet this was not God’s principle reaction, to condemn; rather He willed to save.  He continues to love, not hate the people of His world, and He sent His Son to save us – to lay down His life for us as “the Lamb of God Who takes away the sin of the world.”

Transition:  This was God’s will for us, and for His beloved Son Jesus Christ.  You remember when Jesus prayed in the Garden, for deliverance from the suffering of the cross, He said:  “Nevertheless, not as I will but as You will.”  He did suffer and die for our sins – this was the Father’s will, His loving and gracious will for each of us!  And though this was immensely difficult:

 

II.  Jesus Christ, The Son Of God, The Son Of Man, So Loved Us As To Lay Down His Life For Us – When He Was Lifted Up On The Cross For Our Salvation

 

Text:  “No one has ascended into heaven except He Who descended from heaven, the Son of Man.  And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him may have eternal life.”

 

John 10:18  “No one takes My life from me, but I lay it down of My own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from My Father.”

 

John 15:13  “Greater love has no one than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”

 

Statement:

  • Everyone knows that Jesus is about love – but few people are willing to recognize just how great His love is for us.  We don’t like it, that such a sacrifice should be necessary for our salvation.  We don’t like to think of ourselves as such nasty sinners, and we don’t really want to be obligated and in debt to anyone quite that much – to owe someone else our whole life.  So we wriggle and squirm – like worms trying to avoid the hook.  And these sins were also paid for by Jesus, our rebellious impenitence and unbelief.

Application:

  • There are no excuses made by Jesus, or justification offered by Jesus, for us to continue on in our sin and wickedness.  No, His love for us is far too great for that.  Rather, He paid the punishment for our sins – so that redeemed from all guilt and sin we might choose a different path, a different way of life, a new set of priorities and compulsions. 

Transition:  And so also Jesus’ love for us is identical to the Father’s love for us.  There is no will of God for anyone to remain in condemnation, and to remain committed to sin.  But we need help in order to experience this change – and this is where we see the Holy Spirit’s great love for us, for:

 

III.  God The Holy Spirit So Loves Us That He Gives Us New Birth To Faith In Jesus – Through Water Baptism, Holy Baptism, So That We Are Born Anew To A New Life By The Spirit

 

Text:  “Truly, truly I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God. . . .  Truly, truly I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.  That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.  Do not marvel that said to you, ‘You must be born again.’  The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes.  So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

 

Statement: 

  • This is what John was referring to when he wrote:  “But to all who did receive Him [Jesus], who believed in His name, to them He gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.” [John 1:12,13]  This is the great work of the Holy Spirit of God – Who is also love, and who so loves us that He provides this great, powerful, and loving blessing within us, to be born again of water and the Spirit, to faith in Jesus Christ, to newness of life, and to everlasting life.

 

Application:

 

  • It is hard for us to imagine, considering all that is legitimately condemnable in us, that the Holy Spirit would do this for us.  But the reality is plain and stark – if He does not do this for us, all would be lost and condemned forever in hell, through unbelief and spiritual death, for “that which is born of the flesh is flesh.”
  • There is mystery in this, that the Holy Spirit would love us this much, for just as “the wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes,” so this blessed work of the Holy Spirit of God is a mystery.  But it is the mystery of God’s great love for us!

 

Conclusion:

 

  • There should be no question in anyone’s mind then, as to the Three Person’s in the One Godhead – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; and there should be no question in anyone’s mind either regarding God’s great love for us.  He does not will to condemn us, or for any human being to go to hell, for “God wills all men to be saved, and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” 
  • So the Father has decreed and acted – He loved us and sent His Son to save us.  So the Son has consented and acted – He loved us and laid down His life for us, for our salvation.  So the Spirit moves, sent by the Father and the Son, to grant us new birth to faith in Jesus Christ, into the family of God, giving us eternal life.
  • It is remarkable, astonishing, and virtually unbelievable.  Yet it is clearly God’s Word – and we should shudder with revulsion at every thought, statement, and teaching which denies or even compromises in the very least this blessed reality.  “God so loved the world.”
  • May He grant each of us inexpressible joy and happiness in His love, and zealous devotion and love for God.  Amen.

 

Votum:  And the peace of God, which surpasses all human understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds in the true faith, which is in Christ Jesus, even unto life everlasting, Amen.