Category Archives: Sermons/Easter

Sermon: I Corinthians 15:29-34, Fifth Sunday of Easter

People of God, this is the fifth Sunday of Resurrection. We are journeying in this Easter glory. But the beauty of the Gospels is that after Easter glory there is more glory in the Ascension, and then Pentecost descends upon us like fire, and Reformed people become Pentecostals for a day.

Every part of this journey is important. We cannot overlook one for the sake of the other. The work of Jesus and His bride are one work. The Bride is not working separately from Jesus, rather Jesus comes along and strengthens the bride/church to fulfill her mission. The story of the world is the Husband and the Bride working together to bring glory to the Father by the work of the Spirit.

These events are all a part of the overall plan of God to redeem the world and his people, but particular events like the Resurrection possesses a certain key to unlock the mysteries of God’s work in the world.

Jesus’ resurrection sets into motion the events that will ultimately lead to his giving the Father the kingdom. The Father raises the Son from the dead, and the Son gives the Father the kingdom. Paul says in verses 24-26 of  I Corinthians 15 that Jesus “must destroy every rule and every authority and power and reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet.” This is our End-of-the-world map. The Apostle does not enter into speculations about the End, because he knows that the plans of God are higher than his own plans, and what we see is not always a picture of what is truly happening. We have a limited view of what is happening in the world. We tend to view the world through our own erroneous lenses when we are called to read the world through the eyes of faith; to believe that Jesus is doing what he said he would do. Continue reading Sermon: I Corinthians 15:29-34, Fifth Sunday of Easter

Fourth Sunday of Easter: The Empty Threat of Death, Part III, I Corinthians 15:20-28

First Sermon

Second Sermon

People of God, this is the Fourth Sunday of Resurrection! We are still immersed in this season of joy and celebration. And we have chosen I Corinthians 15 as the background theme to this feast. Why? Because the resurrection is God’s response to death and Caesar. God does not make false promises. He fulfills His creation purpose: to renew all things and to make the Light the center of His universe. Namely, that Light is Jesus. The Light is so powerful that the darkness of the tomb cannot contain it.

The great Princeton Seminary professor, B.B. Warfield, enjoyed saying to his students: “Gentlemen, I like the supernatural.[1] We are believers in a supernatural God who made an unknown tomb to be the center of a supernatural faith.

Out of this empty tomb God is making something new. We call it the New Creation . This New Creation  was not the invention of man; it was the entrance of God’s kingdom into this world. It was not the Church that created a story to keep their dying faith alive, it was the resurrection of Christ that created and sustained the Church. As F.F. Bruce wrote:

“The early Christians did not believe in the resurrection because they could not find his dead body. They believed because they did find a living Christ.[2]

The tomb is empty because the threats of death are empty. And this is the apostolic goal in this chapter: to re-affirm and to revel in the resurrection of the Messiah. Continue reading Fourth Sunday of Easter: The Empty Threat of Death, Part III, I Corinthians 15:20-28

Third Sunday of Resurrection: I Corinthians 15:12-19,The Empty Threat of Death, Part II

People of God, this is the Third Sunday of Resurrection! We will continue our study through Paul’s narrative in I Corinthians 15. This is Paul’s resurrection magnum opus; it is the Bible’s greatest treatment of the bodily resurrection of Jesus, the Messiah.

This new creation, this new Church has its root in this glorious event in history. The Church did not create the resurrection story, the reality is the resurrection of Christ created the Church.[1]As F.F. Bruce once stated:

“The early Christians did not believe in the resurrection because they could not find his dead body. They believed because they did find a living Christ.”[2]

The tomb is empty because the threats of death are empty. In fact, the threats of death are so foolish that Paul goes so far as to taunt and mock death at the end of this chapter: “O Death, where is your victory? O grave, where is your sting?”[3]  Paul is pushing the idea that if there is no resurrection, then death will have the final word. In fact, I Corinthians 15 is structured in a way that explains this resurrection theme through various perspectives and angles. “Christ is risen, so we have hope.” “Christ is risen, so you may live a resurrected life.” “Christ is risen, so you are no longer in your sins.” These are the implications of the resurrection. This is why Paul takes such time and care to teach this immature congregation in Corinth why the resurrection is central. Continue reading Third Sunday of Resurrection: I Corinthians 15:12-19,The Empty Threat of Death, Part II

Easter Sermon: The Empty Threat of Death, I Corinthians 15:1-11

People of God, this is the day of Resurrection! From this day to May 20th, we will celebrate the Easter Season. It is a remarkable pity that most evangelicals limit the Easter celebration to one Sunday. The reality is: this season goes all the way to Pentecost. When Jesus rises on the third day, he remains with his disciples until he ascends into the heavens. For the next few weeks we are going to explore the nature of the Resurrection. This day is not like any other day. The exalted and glorified Messiah no longer stands at the mercy of corrupt judges, but now He is the Judge of the world. N.T Wright summarizes well the preeminence of the resurrection:

Take Christmas away, and in biblical terms you lose two chapters at the front of Matthew and Luke, nothing else. Take Easter away, and you don’t have a New Testament; you don’t have Christianity; as Paul says, you are still in your sins.[1]

The resurrection is the proof that we do not live in Lent forever; that a life of glory, celebration, and hope is present here and now. We do not wait until death to experience joy; joy is ours in the resurrection of the Son of God.

I had the opportunity to have lunch with Pastor Mickey Schnider and his successor, Ben Rossell, a few days ago. Pastor Schnider invited our waiter for a sunrise service. The waiter became very defensive, and began to give us a glimpse of his world view. He told us that he is divorced; that he has to work day and night; that he sees his children only on the weekends, and that he believes that his faith is private, and as long as he does good to people, then he will be in heaven when he died. We encouraged him to come and visit, and find a message of hope in the church. But his reaction to our request gave us a distinct sense that he prefers his life as it is. After he left, we reflected, and concluded that this man is living as if Christ had not been raised from the dead. He is living in despair; hopeless. There is no empty tomb of relief in his future, but only death.

What Easter Sunday teaches us is that the gospel is more than an intellectual assent to the empty tomb, the gospel is transformative. It changes us; it is a message of hope to the sinner and the needy; the broken-hearted and the one who despairs.

On this holy day, and the next few weeks, I would like to draw our attention to Paul’s perspective of the resurrection. In previous years, we have seen the women’s perspective on the Easter narrative in the gospels, but today we will delve briefly into Paul’s resurrection magnum opus. And we are drawn immediately to that poetic and powerful chapter in I Corinthians 15.

Chapter 15 may appear to be an abrupt change of subject matter from the previous 14 chapters, but Paul is very purposeful. In essence, he is saying: “What is the use for any of these instructions? What is the use of discipline, what is the purpose for tongues in the church, of order and decency, community, love, and gifts if there is no resurrection?”

So, in 58 verses Paul answers that question. He answers it in three parts:[2]

In verses 1-11, he re-establishes their commonly held belief that Christ was raised from the dead. In verses 12-34 he answers two contradictory ideas: belief in Christ’s resurrection and a denial of their own. Paul says that if you believed Christ was raised from the dead, then you cannot deny the inevitability of your own resurrection at the end of history.  First the head is raised, that is Christ, and then the body, his chosen people.

Finally, in verses 35-58, Paul answers the question: “In what form are we raised?” Paul says our physical bodies are raised at the resurrection.

This Lord’s Day we will focus on the first 11 verses:

Paul begins with a reminder in verses one and two:

 Now I would remind you, brothers,of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you— unless you believed in vain.

We know that the Corinthian Church is troubled in many levels. There is immorality and a vast abuse of the gifts given. The body is broken and fragmented; the saints have lost a sense of perseverance, and so Paul re-orients their attention. Paul is saying: “Let me tell you where the source of your faithfulness lies?” In chapter 14, Paul rebukes them for their ignorance. Now, he begins by reminding them of “the gospel he preached.” Paul wanted them to embrace and receive this gospel. The apostle says “this gospel is your salvation provided you hold fast to it.” The Corinthians are familiar with the Easter narrative. What Paul is telling the Corinthians is what has been said by Cephas, Apollos, and by others who had visited the Corinthian church.[3] “This is a message you can rely on,” says Paul.

He continues in verses 3-5:

For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ[4]died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve.

Paul is arguing that this is no novelty; that this message is rooted in something beyond his words. I Corinthians was written in the early 50’s, and Paul is saying that he is simply carrying this great message of hope that occurred only 20 years earlier. And that this is not simply a message among messages, but a message of first importance: “… that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures.” This truth was well formed before Paul came on the scene.[5] This is what he received and passed on. Some things needed clarification in the last twenty years: like the new relationship between Jew and Gentiles, or the dispute over circumcision, but the death of Christ and his resurrection, these are the basic elements of the faith.

Would you like proof of this? He appeared to Cephas, and then to the twelve. Paul is saying that Jesus appeared to the foundational characters. This is not hear-say, this is proven beyond a shadow of a doubt by those who even doubted our Lord after his death, like Thomas.

But Paul also says that the events—the death and resurrection—had consequences for the entire world order. Notice that Paul does not say “Jesus died for our sins,” rather he says “Christ died for our sins.” Why is this important? It is important because Christos is the word for Messiah. This is very intentional. “Messiah” is a royal designation. When the prophets spoke of a coming Messiah they were making a statement of his worldwide kingly rule.[6] “It is because Jesus is Messiah that his death represents the turning point in history.” In his death, we are rescued from the present evil age; and in his resurrection, we are made new in a new creation; in a new world. The empty tomb is empty because the threats of death are empty threats. Continue reading Easter Sermon: The Empty Threat of Death, I Corinthians 15:1-11

The Dance of the Trinity, John 14:15-21; Sixth Sunday of Easter at Providence Church

Introduction: People of God, the Trinity is a way of life. By imitating the Father, Son, and Spirit we enter into this life. This is what Jesus says in our Gospel Lesson.

Prayer: May the words of my mouth, and the meditations of our hearts be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, our Rock, and our nearest Kinsman. Amen.

Sermon: When we look at the beauty of God’s revelation–the poetry, the music and the movement—it is simple to conclude that there is a kind of dance involved; a sacred dance.[1] The Bible is rhythmic. It provides a flow. It is not frozen portrait for us to analyze.

We know this to be the case because the Father, Son, and Spirit are constantly involved in creation. They are always moving in perfect harmony. The dance of the Trinity is a dance of glory.

What we find in the Gospel of St. John is a display of a perfect dance. We confessed this dance this morning in our Creed: “We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son. With the Father and the Son he is worshiped and glorified.” In our Gospel Lesson, each Person of the Trinity has a unique role in redemption. The Spirit of God though always playing a role throughout history now takes a center stage in history as Comforter of God’s people. But though the Son is physically absent, He is not uninvolved. He is ruling and reigning over His people as King. It is now the Spirit who will comfort the people of God. He will continue what our Lord began.

The Father sends, the Son accomplishes, and the Spirit comforts. There is a connectedness in mission. The purpose of the Father is also the purpose of the Son and the Spirit. There is no disagreement in the Godhead. So, this dance is perfect. The Trinitarian God invites us to enter into this dance. The way we enter into this dance is by loving and obeying God’s Only Son, Jesus Christ.

Jesus says in verse 15 that “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” There should be no controversy on this passage. Jesus’ logic is quite simple: “If you claim to love Me, then necessarily you must keep my commandments.” Love and obedience are drawn together. We live in a day and age where obedience and love are seen as two difference things, but biblically, there is no such thing as an obedience-less love or a loveless obedience. To love is to do; to act. We love the idea of love, but with love comes responsibilities. Husbands cannot love their wives without sacrificing for them; children cannot claim to love their parents without obeying them.

Earlier in John 14, Jesus makes the explicit statement that He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, and No one comes to the Father, except through Him. Jesus is building on that claim in verse 15. Just as in the first century, our call remains: If we affirm the uniqueness of Jesus in salvation, then we must affirm the unique calling to be His disciples. To be a disciple of Jesus means living out your love for Him in obedience. Lest you think that Jesus is being a legalist, the same John writes in I John 5: “In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensome…” The way we enter into this Trinitarian dance is by moving towards God in our actions. Any act of love and devotion to the Son is also an act of love and devotion to the Father and the Spirit.

But this obedience to the Son is obedience by grace; the grace given by the Spirit:

16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever,17 even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.

Christ will give strength for His disciples to obey His commandments. He will not allow them to remain destitute of assistance. He will be present with them by His Spirit.[2] He will send the disciples another Helper; a Comforter; an Advocate; someone who will guide us in a way that Jesus guided His followers. And just as Jesus said He will never leave or forsake His own, the Spirit is also said to be with us forever, in verse 16. In this way, the Deity/Personhood of the Spirit is confirmed. Jesus abides with us and He is divine, the Spirit abides with us, so He is divine also. What Jesus did, the Spirit continues to do. The Spirit who Comforts is also the Spirit who is Truth. In John 14:6, Jesus says I am the Truth! Now in John 14:17, the Spirit is Truth. How does one come to the Truth? By the work of the Spirit. The Spirit is the Communicator of Truth. Why? Because He will remind the disciples of the words of Jesus. Whereas on earth, Jesus spoke on behalf of His disciples, now through the Spirit His disciples speak as His representatives on earth. Christ’s followers are His royal speakers. When we speak in the sight of man, we are speaking as Spirit-led people.

As those who carry the message of God in our words and actions, we need to acknowledge that what we learn, what we grasp of truth, does not come from reason, our sublime intellect, rather, it comes from the operation of the Spirit. As John Calvin writes: “Yet Christ’s words show that nothing which relates to the Holy Spirit can be learned by human reason, but that He is known only by the experience of faith.”[3] When our reason is not controlled by the work of the Spirit through faith we are operating in a godless fashion. If you assume you can find neutral ground with unbelievers you are fooling yourself. When a Christian says to an unbeliever: “Let’s assume there is no God for the sake of conversation;” the Christian has just failed his task as a Spirit-led person. God cannot be outside the story precisely because He is the story. And when we intellectually give in to the demands of unbelievers, we are surrendering the work of the Spirit within us. Let me make this exhortation clear to you: Do not place your reason above God’s revelation. Every time you intellectualize, every time you discuss an issue—whether political or social—you must never think God out of the process of thinking. When Paul reasoned in Mars Hill the basis of his reasoning was the good news of Jesus and His resurrection. Paul believed in reason, but a gospel and resurrection reason; a reason that assumes these fundamental truths. Thinking Trinitarianly means thinking biblically.

Verse 18 is at the very core of this Trinitarian dance:  “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.” Jesus knows that if He ascends and leaves His little children orphans, they will be swallowed up by deceitful men. Jesus will not leave His disciples without a Master. He will not leave them without an Advocate.[4] Literally, He will not leave them bereaved. Their joy will not dissipate at the Ascension of Jesus; rather they will receive further abundant joy through the ministry of the Spirit. Jesus will come to us through the Third Person of the Trinity. Our union with the Triune God is what compels us to love and obey Him.

This full picture will be revealed to us one day; the day in which heaven and earth will become one will be the day in which we will understand most fully this dance; this profound unity the Son has with the Father and the Spirit, and our union with the Resurrected Christ.

As C.K. Barrett writes: “…because the disciples love one another they will appear to men as members of a divine family.”[5] It is our love for one another that gives evidence to the world that we are part of another family; a Triune family. In loving one another we demonstrate that the Father, Son, and Spirit are One in mission. In fact, our loving one another proves the Trinity. When we imitate the Godhead we are acting Trinitarianly. The Trinity is the very foundation of society. Our goal is to understand as much as it is within our grasp how the Persons of the Trinity interact and engage with One another, so that we may learn to apply that divine relationship to our own lives.

It is my contention that the reason so many Christians are naïve about their faith, and easily prone to adopting theological heresy is because they lack a basic Trinitarian theology. Many evangelicals are modalists[6] in their thinking. Modalism was one of the most dangerous theological errors in the early part of history, but it is surprising how many Christians today define God in exactly those terms. For the modalist, God is a single person that reveals himself in three modes or forms. In Old Testament times God was the Father, then at the incarnation God was the Son, and when the Son ascended God took the mode of the Spirit. “In other words, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit never all exist at the same time, only one after another.”[7]

In Modalism, God is not Three in One, but One who manifests Himself in there modes.

But the Bible teaches that the Trinity is in harmony. They are not separate modes, the

Three Persons are working together in the work of renewing the world and bringing many sons to Glory. And what we see in John’s Gospel is that Jesus is not going to take on the mode of the Spirit, as Modalism teaches, rather He is going to ascend to the Right Hand of the Father. The fact that Jesus is not physically present on earth does not mean that He is not ruling. He is ruling even now by sustaining His people in grace, by being an advocate, and by building His kingdom through the work of the Spirit. The way we participate in this great Trinitarian work is fundamentally through obedience to His revelation by the work of the Spirit. As we read in verse 21: “Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.” Verses 15-21 form a unique structure. It begins and ends with a call to obedience. You may wonder why Jesus stresses obedience twice in this short narrative; the reason is that He knows that obedience to His commands is the declaration to the world that the Trinitarian God lives. By showing love to the Son in obeying His commands, we are also showing love to the Father who sent the Son, and the Spirit who has become our Comforter and Helper.

How Shall We Then Live?

The Triune God provides for us a model for living. Notice how in verse 21 Jesus says “whoever keeps my commandments.” These are the commandments of the Lord. Since the Trinity works together, the commandments of Jesus are the commands of the Father and the Spirit. What are these commands? Everything that God has told you to do are His commands. Jesus does not replace Moses, He becomes the Greater Moses. His laws—like in the Old Covenant—are still a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our paths. We are to be a law-abiding people. When we forsake the laws of Jesus we are ceasing to love Jesus. “If you love me, keep my commandments,” are the words of our Lord; not some legalist, not some works-righteousness teacher, but of Jesus, our King. The way to show our loyalty to our king is by obeying Him. Obedience is truly an extension of our gratitude. The King has been sacrificed for us, so we might be sacrificed for others. The King is not asking us to do anything He has not already done. The King loved, the King obeyed, the King suffered, the King died, and the King was raised. Are you prepared and willing to obey your King? Are you prepared to undo years of habitual sin by taking action towards abandoning sin? The answer to this question depends on how much you desire to enter into the purity of the Trinitarian life. Do you desire to see the Spirit do His work of transformation? It’s possible that at times we want change, but we have no interest in pursuing the One who can change us. In order to enter into this Trinitarian life and to live in it faithfully, God demands your loyalty. It is what the covenant demands. It is what you are called to do if you love Him.

In the Name of the Father, Son, and Sprit. Amen.

[1] A similar Greek word, perichoreuein, which means “to dance around,” has been used as a metaphor for the relation of the Persons. Thanks to Leithart.

[2] John Calvin, Commentary on John’s Gospel.

[3] Ibid.

[4] It is possible that there is a double meaning here where Jesus may also be referring to His Second Coming.

[5] Barrett, Google Book. Limited commentary edition.

[7] Ibid.

Third Sunday of Easter; Luke 24:13-35: Resurrection Perplexity and Gospel Confirmation


Introduction: People of God, in this gospel lesson we see the end of history breaking in in the middle of history in the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Prayer: May the words of my mouth, and the meditations of our hearts be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, our Rock, and our nearest Kinsman. Amen.

Sermon: On this third Sunday of Easter, we are confronted and challenged by a strange conversation. The context of this conversation is the empty tomb. The women have come to apply spices to the body of Jesus. The Jewish Sabbath prohibited them from doing this, so they came on the first day. Notice right from the beginning that there is a movement. The Jewish world is passing away, and the new world is emerging. In Luke, the women are perplexed. As they are wondering what may have happened to the body of our Lord, the Bible tells us that two men stood by them in dazzling apparel. This is not the first time the angels appear. They appeared to bring glad tidings of the birth of our Lord and they appear again to bring glad tidings of the new birth of our Lord from the dead. Continue reading Third Sunday of Easter; Luke 24:13-35: Resurrection Perplexity and Gospel Confirmation

Glorified, Bodily Resurrection

From this Sunday’s sermon on Luke 24:

Jesus is not some ghostly presence sitting at the right of the Father; He is the bodily, ascended Lord. Jesus is our resurrection model. For us, this means that any image we may have of eternal life that entails a ghostly appearance, a heavenly existence separated from our bodies is wrong, and we need to immediately rid ourselves of this conception. Our eternal life is a glorified, but bodily life. We will eat, we will play, we will worship, and we will feast for all eternity. The reason we know this is because of Jesus’ resurrected body.

Sermon: John 16:23-33, Prioritizing Prayer and Peace

Audio Sermon

Sermon: People of God, Christ is Risen! He is Risen Indeed! As we come to the last two Sundays of the Easter Season, we begin to get a sense of the surpassing greatness of the resurrection. In our passage, Jesus is preparing His disciples, so they may persevere and believe.[1]

Jesus has been with them throughout His ministry and now He promises not to abandon them. This preparation is precisely what they will need when Jesus dies at the cross. This Upper Room Discourse is filled with contrasting language. The language of going and coming, grief and joy, tribulation and peace, asking and receiving, seeing and not seeing, parable and open speech, unbelief and faith, the world and God.[2] This language is used to describe precisely the emotional state and the response of the disciples when Jesus would depart from them, but at the same time it would reflect the disciples’ response when Jesus would be with them “in a little while.”

The Lord Jesus will be arrested and betrayed. It is important that they grasp what our Lord is about to say, so their faith will not falter; that they will be strengthened to endure what is ahead. Continue reading Sermon: John 16:23-33, Prioritizing Prayer and Peace

Sermon: The Great Reversal; John 16:12-22

Sermon Audio

Sermon: People of God, Christ is Risen! He is Risen Indeed! We continue to look at St. John’s gospel. We have looked through several resurrection events and accounts. This morning we will take a step back and look into the Thursday before the Resurrection.

Notice first in verse 12 that Jesus begins by stating that He still has many things to tell them, but that they are not able to bear it now. That is to say, there are many truths that need to be developed and the disciples were not yet ready for them. They are not able to bear these truths until they experience them first. Though the disciples are not yet able to bear these things, Jesus is able to bear these things by dying on the cross, even to death. Jesus is not simply referring to a great body of truth that He needs to clarify or impart to His disciples; Jesus is speaking of His body, which must bear the pain of Calvary for the sake of His people. Truth is not merely intellectual propositions, it is tangible and physical. Jesus is the way and the truth, and the life, because He endured the Way, He became Truth, and He has become life for us. One commentator has written that:

“The entire, full truth is a heavy burden for him who is not yet ripe and strong enough for it.”[1]

The disciples are not yet ready to know the purpose and full implications of Jesus’ ministry and their own labors. But they will know soon enough.

In verse 13, we see why St. John has been called the gospel of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit of truth will come and He will guide the disciples into all truth. But notice that He is not bringing some new message, rather He is speaking what the Father and the Son says. The Spirit is the One who confirms and validates the work of the Son. The text also says that He will guide you into all truth. It is a sad matter that some have interpreted such verses to say that we no longer need the institutional church or we no longer need undershepherds to guide us.[2] John has already declared that God ordains under-shepherds to guide His people from false doctrine. Teachers are called by God to instruct His people, as Paul says. In the Church, God manifests and reveals the mysteries of the gospel to His people. In the Church we find a pattern, so we may live throughout the week. The liturgy of the church is the liturgy of life. John is not calling us to intellectual anarchy, He is calling us to see that all truth is in Jesus Christ, but furthermore, all truth is embodied in the New World that Christ brings in His resurrection. The Spirit, in verse 13, will declare to you the things that are to come. What are the things to come? If we take this as a reference to the manifestations of the resurrection, then it is simple to see that John is referring to the kingdom of God. The things that are to come will fundamentally re-shape the present world. The disciples will see this re-shaping when they see the Resurrected Lord. And they will see the Spirit poured upon them at Pentecost.

In verses 14 & 15, the Bible says that the Spirit will declare what is Christ’s and declare it to the disciples when they are prepared. Calvin writes:

“Nothing, therefore, is bestowed on us by the Spirit apart from Christ, but he takes it from Christ, that he may communicate it to us.”[3]

Once again we see a declaration of deity.  What the Father possesses belong to the Son. The riches of the Father are equally the Son’s. This is certainly true, but the other side to this is that John is speaking of the Spirit as the great gift to humanity. The Spirit is the gift of the Father to the Son and that becomes the proclamation of the New World. The declaration to the disciples is not just that Jesus will be raised from the dead, though this is central in this narrative, but it is also that the Spirit is being given to the disciples from the Father.  In summary, John is telling the readers that the Father is sending the Spirit to reveal and declare the glory of the Son. The Father, Son, and Spirit are working together to accomplish for the world what the world could never accomplish for itself. Continue reading Sermon: The Great Reversal; John 16:12-22

Sermon/Easter: The Shepherd/King; John 10:22-30

Sermon Audio


Sermon: People of God, Christ is Risen! He is Risen Indeed! While we profess this great truth in this Resurrection Season, others call it foolishness. The Gospel of the death, burial, resurrection, and ascension of Christ is a divisive declaration. Calvin once wrote that while the teachings of Christ gained many disciples, He also gained many adversaries.[1] It was true in the first century and it is true today. “(Jesus) was always asserting the truth and defending it, even when doing so placed his life in danger. Here he spoke the truth, unwelcome as it was, and the Jews picked up stones to stone him because his denial of their cherished but absolutely false religious opinions.”[2]

John 10 is a familiar passage. It echoes our Psalm 23 reading. In our passage, truth is that the Great Shepherd promises only to protect those in His own care, under His protective Hands. Continue reading Sermon/Easter: The Shepherd/King; John 10:22-30