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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TRINITY SUNDAY – May 27, 2018 – John 3:1-17 “GOD’S 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:

  • This Sunday is designated as “Trinity” Sunday in the church. The church has been celebrating the Triune nature of God with a special Sunday for a long, long time. 
  • Some might ask – “What’s the big deal with the Trinity? Why is it so important for us to understand the ‘Tri-unity’ of God?” 
  • Well, it is part of what God has revealed to us about Himself. And because this aspect of His nature is a mystery, unfathomable to human reason, it is completely unlikely that any human being would have invented this teaching.  Therefore, there is authenticity to this teaching, and to its source, Holy Scripture, the Bible.
  • Furthermore, as we see in our text, all three Persons of the Holy Trinity – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – love us deeply and dearly, and take part in bringing us to salvation.
  • So we owe each Person of the Holy Trinity our thanks and praise, even as we take great comfort in the love that They have for us. This is made clear in our text, for Jesus assures us that:

 

I.  God The Father So Loved The World That He Planned Our Salvation, And Gave Us Jesus, His Son, To Be Our Savior

 

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

 

Statement:  It is a great comfort to know the mind and will of the Father – that the whole world is loved by Him, every person, and that He wills for us to come to faith and eternal life.  How truly grateful we should be to our Heavenly Father, that He has loved us so!

 

Application:  And even as we take comfort in this, because this guarantees that God also loves us, each one of us living today, we should take this reality into consideration when we think about the world around us.  All too often we focus on what is wrong out there in the world, and the people perpetrating and advocating evils, and we are rightly repulsed.  However, we ought not be more repulsed than God Himself, and in spite of what He sees and knows of mankind, He still loves the world.  We must also come to this more positive balance, while at the same time keeping in mind the horrid nature of evil.

 

Transition:  And it is not just the Father Who loves us and desires our salvation, but Jesus makes clear that:

 

II.  Jesus, The Son Of God, So Loves The World That He Took On Human Flesh And Gave Himself Into Suffering And Death For Our Salvation

 

Text:  “God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.”

 

John 1:29  “Behold, the Lamb of God Who takes away the sin of the world.”

 

John 10:17,18  For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it up again.  No one takes it 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 someone lay down his life for his friends.”

 

Statement:  If we understand how truly repugnant all sin is to God, how it is violence toward other people, then we can begin to understand the incredible suffering of Jesus when He laid down His life, taking our sin and guilt upon Himself.  But He did so “for the joy set before Him,” He did so out of love for us and love for the Father’s will. 

Application:  I don’t know how anyone could conclude that Jesus doesn’t love them, given that He has suffered the punishment for their sins and provided them with forgiveness, peace with God, and eternal life.  Now it’s true that many reject this love of God, but that does not mean that they have not been loved and redeemed.  It is as Peter wrote:  “They deny the Lord Who bought them.” [2 Pet. 2:1]  However, such is not the case for us – we who have known and believed God’s great love for us.  We rejoice most highly in Jesus, our dear Savior, and marvel that He could love us, and all mankind, this deeply.  His self-sacrifice is unimaginably unfathomable. 

 

Transition:  But Jesus makes clear that it is not only the Father and the Son Who love us and Who contribute to our salvation, but that:

 

III.  The Holy Spirit Loves The World – Calling Sinful, Guilty, Rebellious People To Faith, New Life, Eternal Life, And Salvation

 

Text:  “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 I 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:  How comforting to know that God the Spirit also loves us, enough to put up with our doubts, our arguments, our rebellion against God, and our ingratitude – all so that we might ultimately come to faith and new birth.  Jesus said, “With man this is impossible.”  [Matt. 19:26]  The Scripture assures us:  “No one can say that Jesus is Lord, except by the Holy Spirit.” [1 Cor. 12:3]  But the Holy Spirit, working through God’s gift of Holy Baptism and through the Word of God, the Gospel, has brought us to faith and new life!  He loves us, and like the Father and the Son, He wills that we come to salvation as well! 

 

Application:  So also we owe a huge debt of gratitude to God the Holy Spirit for all that He has done for us and for our salvation.  Without Him the salvation planned and willed by the Father, and carried out by the Lord Jesus, would remain beyond our reach. 

 

Conclusion:  So you see that all three Persons of the Godhead are vital and essential to our salvation, and all have contributed greatly to us knowing God as He truly is, as the God of love. 

 

Yes, the doctrine of the Trinity is unfathomable, a mystery to our finite and limited minds.  But rather than disturbing us, the teachings of Holy Scripture in regard to the love of God – how the Father loves us, how the Son loves us, and how the Holy Spirit loves us – should give us greater faith and trust in God, and greater joy in His salvation!

 

So we rejoice to celebrate what is a mystery to us, because of the assurances of God’s Word, that we are dearly and deeply loved, and that God wills our salvation.  The Scripture assures us that “God wills all men to be saved, and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” [1 Tim. 2:4]

 

So let us give all praise, honor, and glory to God – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, 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.