#DailyDevotion Positive Christian Thinking Is Believing What Happened To Jesus Will Happen To You

#DailyDevotion Positive Christian Thinking Is Believing What Happened To Jesus Will Happen To You

Matthew 1021“A brother will betray his brother to death, and a father his child. Children will turn against their parents and kill them. 22Everyone will hate you because of My name. But be faithful to the end, and you will be saved. 23When they hunt you in one town, flee to another. I tell you the truth, before you have gone through all the towns of Israel, the Son of Man will come. 24“A pupil isn’t above his teacher, nor a slave above his master. 25A pupil should be satisfied to share his teacher’s lot and a slave to share his master’s. If the master of the house was called Beelzebul, how much more certainly the members of his household! 26So, don’t be afraid of them.

So much of what passes for Christianity today is nothing more than nineteenth century theosophical positive thinking which is for all basic purposes the occult. If you think Christianity is about speaking your positivity into being or your wealth and happiness into being, what you have is the occult. It isn’t from God. It isn’t from Jesus.

You know what Jesus is positive about? He is positive that whatever happened to him in his suffering and death it is going to happen to you. His family often thought he was crazy. You family will think you are crazy for following Jesus (and by following I mean not only trusting he exist and saved you but you put into practice what he taught you do in your life). People hated Jesus. People will hate you. But make sure if people hate you it is people of your proclamation that trusting in Jesus is the only way to the Father and not because you are being a jerk.

Look, when you put your trust in Jesus as the only means to salvation, when you believe the way of life he has given us to live is the right and only way to live, when you think like Jesus thought, not only will the people of the world hate you but you will be an enemy of Satan. Satan is going to go after you through the people of the world. I am positive about it. We are not above our teacher and master, Jesus. We are called to share in our Lord’s lot in life. He was betrayed by one friend and abandoned by the others in his darkest moment. He had a kangaroo court trial and sentenced to death for who he is. You should be satisfied to suffer the same fate. St. Paul writes 2 Cor. 15“As Christ’s sufferings overflow to us, so Christ makes our comfort overflow.” Yes, Christ’s sufferings will overflow into our lives and so will his comfort.

Jesus promised the twelve apostles that before they went through the towns of Israel the Son of Man would have come. Indeed, the Son of Man was the one sending them. Jesus is the Son of Man. Jesus had come. The apostles may have thought he would have come as Daniel seven presents him at that time. But Jesus, as the Son of Man, must first come and reveal himself also as Isaiah’s Suffering Servant. Indeed, Jesus, the Son of Man will come in glory one day and judge everyone according to what they have done. Those who trusted in him will have done good and will sit on his Father’s throne, i.e. the Ancient of Days, and rule with him and the Father over creation. Those who rejected Jesus as the Son of Man will have done evil and will suffer what is their fate.

Just as Jesus suffered, died, rose from the dead and sits at the right hand of the Father, those who put their trust in him being the Son of Man will suffer, die, rise from the dead and sit at God’s right hand. Since this is so, don’t be afraid what man will and can do you. It is only temporary. But the Father’s reward for those who trust in Jesus is eternal. Be faithful to Jesus. Jesus promises if you remain faithful to him through all loss, you will be saved. You can be positive about that.

Gracious God and Father, you have ordained that all who trust in your Son Jesus Christ will suffer with him and also be rewarded with eternal life with him. Grant us your Holy Spirit so that we if we suffer and lose all, we do not lose faith so we do not lose our reward. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

#DailyDevotion Now That You Are Freed From Sin, What Do You Want To Do?

#DailyDevotion Now That You Are Freed From Sin, What Do You Want To Do?

Romans 615What then? Are we going to sin because we are not under the Law but under grace? Certainly not! 16Don’t you know if you give yourselves to anyone to obey him as slaves, you are his slaves? Either you are the slaves of sin and will die, or you obey God resulting in righteousness. 17But thank God! Although you once were the slaves of sin, you have heartily obeyed the pattern of teaching to which you were entrusted. 18Freed from sin, you were made the slaves of righteousness. 19I talk in a human way because you are naturally weak. But just as you once let uncleanness and wickedness use the parts of your body as slaves to do wrong, so now let righteousness use the parts of your body as slaves in order to live holy.

If when you present the Gospel to someone and they don’t ask you if that means you can sin all you want then, then you probably haven’t presented the Gospel correctly or purely. Because that is the response to the Gospel by someone who simply hasn’t had their minds converted by the Gospel or is still thinking in worldly terms. Here by the middle of chapter six, in response to everything that has come before this, he gets this response, “Are we going to sin because we are not under the Law but under grace?” Well, certainly not!

The response to the free gift of God, justification, righteousness, and life without any merit of our own is not to make the Gospel a license to sin. We have been not only freed from the accusation of our sins but also free from sin. We were born slaves to sin. We had to obey its passions and lusts. In baptism we have been freed from sin. We don’t have to listen to it anymore. To freely give ourselves back to sin which used to enslave us would to enslave ourselves all over again to sin and its consequences, eternal death. Now we are slaves of God. To obey God here is to believe the good news, we have been freed from sin but the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Such faith results in righteousness.

You belong either to sin and death or Christ and his righteousness. You cannot belong to both. Does that mean we’ll never sin? No, but it does mean when we sin we do not do it with our wills and intent. We are simply overcome by it at times because of the weakness of our flesh. We hate it. We confess it and expose it to the light. We repent of our sins and turn to Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior.

We have a new pattern of thinking now that we have been freed and given the Holy Spirit. We used to hate the pattern of sound teaching handed to us by the apostles. Now we heartily give ourselves to this sound teaching. We thought living in sin was freedom and the teachings of Christ bondage. Now we believe, know and understand that to be in bondage to Christ is the true freedom of humanity and living in sin is being in bondage to sin, the fear of death and the power of the devil. Yes, the freedom of the gospel calls us to use the parts of our body as slaves to righteousness, trusting in Jesus Christ for our salvation and loving our neighbor as ourselves.

We have been made the temple of God through our baptism. As temples of the Holy Spirit we have not been called to use our bodies and its members to live unholy lives but holy lives. Paul already demonstrated in chapter one what unholy living looks like; using our bodies for sexual immorality (all sex outside the bounds of marriage [the union of one man and one woman]), wrongdoing, wickedness, greed, malice, envy, murder, quarreling, treachery, viciousness, gossip and slander, hating God, being insulting, proud, boastful, inventing new evils, disobeying parents, being foolish, breaking their promises, and having no love or mercy. The list isn’t exhaustive. Trusting in the forgiveness of sins, we use our bodies to serve our neighbor. We show people grace, mercy and peace which have been given to us.

Merciful God and Father, you have freely forgiven us in Christ Jesus. Grant us now your Holy Spirit so we may use our bodies in service to you and our neighbor. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

#DailyDevotion Don’t Let Sin Rule Over You

#DailyDevotion Don’t Let Sin Rule Over You

Romans 612Then sin should no longer rule in your dying bodies and make you do what they wish. 13Don’t let sin keep on using the parts of your body as tools for doing wrong. But as people who have come back from the dead and live, give yourselves to God, and let God use the parts of your body as tools for doing what is right. 14Sin will never rule over you, because you are not under the Law but under grace.

These verses follow the passage in Romans concerning baptism. In baptism, we have been united with Christ Jesus in his life, suffering, death, burial and resurrection. We have been united with him not only symbolically but in reality and truth just as Jesus Christ has been united with our sin and death through his baptism. Since this is true, Paul says, “because you are in Christ Jesus, think of yourselves as dead to sin and living for God.”

Because we are doing that, thinking ourselves dead to sin and living for God, we should not let sin rule in our dying bodies, controlling us. You see Christian, because you have already died with Christ in baptism, sin, the fear of death and the power of the devil have no control over you. Yes, yes, sin still rules your flesh but you should not let it rule over you. You no longer have to listen to its passions, its urges or its loud voice telling you to comply. For you have been born from above and are no longer subject to it. You have been given the Holy Spirit who empowers you to just say no to sin.

I know, I know, it sure seems difficult at times, which is why we are called to watchful and mindful in prayer, devotion to God’s word and to participation in the sacraments. It is why we are called to confession and absolution and to gather with other Christians so we may expose the sin within us so it may lose its control over us. If we try to keep the sin within our flesh a secret it gains control over us. Exposing it to the light of Christ by confession of the same to other Christians makes it lose its power over us. Even if you can’t find a Christian to expose your passions that are trying to take control over your body, you still outwardly tell them to Christ and to remind those passions of the flesh, you belong to Jesus now.

Yes, since we are one with Jesus now in baptism, we are called to use the members of our bodies not for doing wrong but for doing good. We have come back from the dead with Jesus. The Law which used to threaten us with death can no longer threaten us because we died already in baptism. Sin, which uses the Law to excite our passions, we don’t have to listen to anymore. Instead we give ourselves to God, daily, regularly, sometimes minute by minute to use us, to use our body to do right, mainly serving our neighbor as Christ has served us.

You see, if we focus on the Law, which we are not under, sin in our flesh will use that against us. Focusing on doing the Law gets our eyes off of Jesus, just as the serpent got the woman and the man to take their eye off the tree of life and focused them on the command of God, they fell into sin. We are under grace. We have been given an new life, a new heart, new affections and desires by the Holy Spirit in Christ Jesus. When we focus our hearts and minds on what Jesus has done for us all by his grace, then that grace, that gospel, compels us and changes us into people who bear the fruit of the Spirit. Do you want to not let sin rule over you? Then focus on what God has done for you in Christ Jesus when he baptized you. Remember he joined you with Christ life and works. Remember how he put to death the flesh you live in. Remember how he has raised you spiritually from the dead and how he will raise you bodily on the Last Day.

Heavenly Father, having been born of your Spirit in the waters of baptism, we give ourselves, our bodies to your service this day. Call to mind for us the gifts given in baptism when we are tempted so sin may not rule over us but rather your grace. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

#DailyDevotion Can A Christian Ask For Vengeance?

#DailyDevotion Can A Christian Ask For Vengeance?

Jeremiah 2010I hear many whispering, on every side terrifying me, “Denounce him! We’ll denounce him!” All my friends are watching to see me make a false move, saying, “Perhaps he will be misled; then we’ll take him and avenge ourselves on him.” 11But the LORD is with me like a terrifying warrior. That is why those who pursue me will fall and can’t win. They will fail badly because they don’t act wisely. Their everlasting shame will not be forgotten. 12O LORD of armies, You test the righteous and search their inmost thoughts — I want to see You take vengeance on them because I’ve laid my case before You. 13Sing to the LORD.  Praise the LORD because He saves the life of the needy from the hands of the wicked.

Today we continue with Jeremiah’s lament to God. We might want to remember from yesterday his call from God in chapter one, 17“But you get ready for action. Tell them everything I order you to say. Don’t let them terrify you, or I will terrify you in their presence. 18 Today I make you a fortified city, an iron pillar, and a bronze wall to stand against the whole country, against Judah’s kings and officials, priests and people. 19 They will fight against you but will win no victory over you, because I’m with you to rescue you.” Jeremiah was hearing lots of voices around him actually terrifying him. Even his friends were against him because of his prophesying. They were looking to see if he would mess up so they could avenge themselves on him. This promise from the LORD in his call brings forth the response to Pashur who had thrown him in prison and had now let him out.

He had told Pashur, “The LORD doesn’t call you Pashhur but Magor-Missabib [Terror-All-Around).” I guess this is poetic justice for Pashur and his company were after Jeremiah. Now Jeremiah prophesies the Babylonians would be a terror around Pashur and his family. They would eventually be carted off to Babylon and die there like the Israelites who died in the wilderness who did not trust the LORD. Jeremiah was told to not let his opponents terrify him. The LORD would be with him and his enemies would fall and not win.

It may seem unchristian to us for Jeremiah to ask the LORD to provide vengeance upon his enemies. The LORD had promised as much to Jeremiah in his call. Jeremiah in his lament to God was simply calling the LORD to remember his promise. But what about you? Certainly as a Christian you are not to go about getting revenge on your enemies. Paul writes in Romans 1217“Don’t pay back evil for evil. Be concerned with things that everyone considers noble. 18As much as you can, live in peace with everyone. 19Don’t take revenge, dear friends, but let God punish, because the Bible says: ‘I alone have the right to avenge. I will pay back,’ says the Lord. 20But, ‘if your enemy is hungry, feed him. If he is thirsty, give him a drink. If you do this, you’ll heap burning coals on his head.’ 21Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil with good.” As Christians we are called to leave vengeance up to God. If we must we can ask the LORD to provide vengeance upon our enemies. Calling upon him to do it is the proper thing to do. But when we do that we are also called to do something else. We are called, in as much as it depends on us to live at peace with them. Instead we are called to show love to our enemies by feeding them, giving them something to drink and overall just being good to them. In doing these things we hope to win them over and have them repent of their hatred of us. If they don’t repent then there is always the LORD Jesus waiting for them on the Last Day. Jeremiah in his lament also expresses hope in the form of praise. He believes the LORD Jesus will fulfill his promise from his call and will hear his prayer of lament and do something. He praises the LORD because, “He saves the life of the needy from the hands of the wicked.” We may not always see this in our life. It may have to wait for the day of resurrection. We should remember Matt. 1028“Don’t be afraid of those who kill the body and can’t kill the soul, but fear Him who can destroy soul and body in hell.”

Almighty God, may we always turn to you for help and may live our lives according to the word of Jesus. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

#DailyDevotion Ever Feel Abandoned By God?

#DailyDevotion Ever Feel Abandoned By God?

Jeremiah 207LORD, You have misled me and I let You mislead me. You grabbed me and conquered me. I’ve been a joke all day long. Everyone mocks me. 8Whenever I talk I have to cry out, calling, “Violence and destruction!” Speaking the Word of the LORD has brought me only disgrace and mockery all day long. 9When I think I will not mention Him and say no more in His name, then His Word is in my heart like a burning fire, shut up in my bones. I try hard to hold it in but in vain –I can’t do it.

These words from the prophet Jeremiah come after he was imprisoned by a high official, in Jerusalem because of the word of the LORD given him to proclaim. That word of the LORD given him to speak was death and destruction to Jerusalem and all its inhabitants. The LORD was warning them to repent of their unfaithfulness to him. As a reward for being faithful to the LORD’s word Jeremiah is thrown into prison on the charge of treason. Having been let out of prison Jeremiah prays this prayer.

It is a psalm of lament. It is probably kind of shocking to hear a prophet of the LORD to pray in such a way. If you heard a fellow Christian say such things you may try to shush them, but don’t. Jeremiah’s prayer of lament is a prayer of faith. He is talking to the LORD God whom he believes in. He’s bringing his complaint to the only one who can do something about his plight. Some people may say, “There’s no use in complaining. No one wants to listen to it.” Yet the LORD our God, Jesus Christ does want us to come through him to the Father to hear our complaints. He is glorified in them.

Jeremiah says, “LORD, You have misled me and I let You mislead me.” Seriously, how had the LORD mislead Jeremiah? Well he really hadn’t. However, Jeremiah maybe wasn’t looking at his call as a prophet but a child of Abraham. Perhaps he thought because of the covenant promises these bad things shouldn’t be happening to him. Many Christians often get the wrong idea that if they follow Jesus and believe in him, everything will be honkey dory in life. Then like Jeremiah everything goes wrong. Yet the LORD Jesus Christ’s promise still avails, he is with us always in everything he brings us through. Jesus promised us a cross. The LORD had told Jeremiah when he called him in chapter one, 17“But you get ready for action. Tell them everything I order you to say. Don’t let them terrify you, or I will terrify you in their presence. 18 Today I make you a fortified city, an iron pillar, and a bronze wall to stand against the whole country, against Judah’s kings and officials, priests and people. 19 They will fight against you but will win no victory over you, because I’m with you to rescue you.”

Jeremiah was indeed mocked and ridiculed on every side. He was opposed violently for the LORD’s word. He apparently at times tried not to speak the word of the LORD but it burned within him. Jeremiah could not hold it in. He had to speak the LORD’s word even if it meant disgrace and mockery from all sides. Jeremiah would endure much because of it. Many faithful pastors often feel this way. They have a word from the LORD. It’s right there in the lectionary readings assigned for the Sunday they preach. It will accuse members of his flock, powerful and influential people. They will be offended by his calls to repentance for their sins. They will speak behind their backs, stir up dissention and try to have the pastor removed from office. Sometimes they succeed. Yet the man of God needs to remember the LORD Jesus is with him and will bless him for his faithfulness. Sometimes perhaps you think the LORD Jesus has abandoned you. You may wonder why he lets you go through the difficult, most painful times. Yet we forget Jesus promised us a cross. When you feel abandoned and lied to cry out with faith like Jeremiah. The LORD Jesus hears and answers you.

Heavenly Father, it often feels like you have abandoned us and oppose us. Give us faith to turn our complaint to you and hear us. Grant us strength to be faithful to Jesus in all our afflictions. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

#DailyDevotion Is The Kingdom Of Heaven Worth It?

#DailyDevotion Is The Kingdom Of Heaven Worth It?

Matthew1014If anyone doesn’t welcome you or listen to what you say, leave that house or town, and shake the dust off your feet. 15I tell you the truth, on Judgment Day it will be easier for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah than for that town. 16“You see, I’m sending you like sheep among wolves. So be shrewd as snakes and innocent as doves. 17Be on your guard against men, because they’ll hand you over to their courts and whip you in their places of worship. 180n My account you’ll be dragged before governors and kings to testify to them and to the nations. 19But when they hand you over to the authorities, don’t worry how you’ll speak or what you’ll say. When the time comes, you’ll be told what to say, 20It isn’t you speaking but your Father’s Spirit speaking through you.

Well so much for the lovey-dovey post-modern Jesus. Jesus tells his apostles that they should shake off the dust on the feet as a witness against should that town reject the message of the apostles. It will be easier for the towns of Sodom and Gomorrah than for those towns. Well that doesn’t sound very loving or kind. People today would just suggest Jesus should just leave them be. But Sodom and Gomorrah did have the LORD’s witnesses going to them to bring them the good news of the kingdom of God. Jesus in his kindness and mercy was sending them such messengers so they could hear, repent and believe the good news.

In speaking about people who have heard the good news and returned back to their old ways St. Peter writes 221“It would have been better for them never to have known the way of righteousness than to learn it and then turn their backs on the holy commandment that was given them.” So God is a good and just God. We see here he is more merciful to those in the judgment who did not receive the Gospel and continued in their sins that those who heard the good news and rejected it. There are varying levels of punishment on Judgment Day. It’s not the joke I see where an Eskimo asked the priest if it wouldn’t have been better if he had heard the good news. No good news, you still get eternal punishment, but it will certainly be worse for you if you heard the good news of Jesus Christ and rejected it.

As far as we know verse seventeen did not happen to the apostles before Pentecost. But Jesus is warning them and us that because of our faith in him, who is the kingdom of heaven, we may be persecuted and brought before governors to be punished or even in places of worship. They and we are given this promise, the Holy Spirit will speak for us and defend our faith for us.

Just what is worth being dragged into courts and whipped? What is worth being brought forth before kings and governors and being killed by them? The good news of the Kingdom of God. The good news God sent his only begotten son into the world to redeem if from its sin. The good news the Father’s Messiah, his Christ, has begun to take reign overcoming sin, death and the power of the devil and setting us free from their rule and dominion over us. The good news Jesus will raise us up bodily to live and reign with him and the Father eternally in the world to come. The good news God the Father has reconciled himself to us and no longer holds our trespasses against us. It is this good news we share, believe and are willing to suffer and die for. The world which rejects us can only affect our short period of time on earth in our body. The God, the Messiah who accepts us, effects our whole being and for eternity.

Heavenly Father, you saw our sore plight and sent your Son Jesus Christ with your word so that we could be saved from it. He saw our plight and sends men with the good news of the kingdom of heaven so we may liven and reign with him there. Grant us ears that hear and hearts that will believe and remain true to this message until Christ Jesus reveals himself again to us on Judgment Day. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

#DailyDevotions Jesus Provides The Fallen World With Shepherds

#DailyDevotions Jesus Provides The Fallen World With Shepherds

935Then Jesus traveled through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness. 36As He saw the crowds, He felt sorry for them, because they were troubled and helpless like sheep without a shepherd. 37Then He said to His disciples, “There’s much grain to be harvested, but there are only a few workers. 38 Ask the Owner of the harvest to send out workers to bring in His grain.” … 105Jesus sent these twelve out with the following instructions: “Don’t go among the Gentiles or into any town of the Samaritans. 6But go to the lost sheep of Israel. 7As you go, preach, “The kingdom of heaven is here.’ 8Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, drive out demons. Give these things as you received them — without pay.

In Jesus’ ministry upon the earth he went out among the town and villages teaching and preaching the good news of the kingdom. On the one hand he taught the Law of God in its truth and purity, correcting the bad, the incorrect and false teaching that had been handed down which sometimes made the law too easy and sometimes too hard. We see that in his sermon on the mount. That was only good news in so far as it freed the people from a lot of unnecessary duties God never gave them. On the other hand it is mostly in his parables that the free gift of the forgiveness of sins and the Father’s love in seeking out the lost is taught. Jesus then backed up his teaching, showing he had authority to teach what he taught by healing every disease and sickness. He cast out demons. He raised the dead. On occasion he even forgave people directly their sins. He showed to the people the mercy of God. Looking at the crowds he felt sorry for them. They “were troubled and helpless like sheep without a shepherd.” The religious leaders of their day did not help. They weren’t taught the truth and so they themselves only continued teaching the false teaching which oppressed the people of God. The good news of the mercy and kindness of God was not being taught to sinners. Yet, if that good news would be preached they would hear and repent. He needed help. He tells to crowds to pray for harvesters.

Jesus then answers his own prayer by gathering twelve of the crowd to be his apostles. They had been with him and he had called them to follow him from the beginning. They would be the new patriarchs of Israel. Through these twelve men Jesus would correct the erring ways of the traditions of the fathers and preach and teach the truth of God’s word to his fallen people. In this pre-crucifixion mission they were only to go to the lost sheep of Israel, for the word and promises of God belong first to the people God the LORD made a covenant with him on behalf of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. They were to preach the kingdom of heaven is here. That is to say, the messiah has come, their redeemer and savior had come. The LORD had fulfilled his promise of salvation. They would teach the Law as the LORD Jesus had intended for it to be kept. They would preach the parables in which the forgiveness of sins and the acceptance of God for all who repented of their sins. They baptized the people with a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. They went out with Jesus’ authority to back up their preaching by healing the sick, casting out demons and raising the dead. They were freely taught these things by Jesus. They would freely do these things for the crowds without pay. They would however be supported by one household wherever they went to take care of their needs.

Well the harvest is still ripe. All people, not just the Jews need to hear the good news of Jesus Christ. We keep praying for harvesters and God keeps providing them. God provides for us pastors, evangelist and missionaries to preach and teach the kingdom of heaven is here. Repent and believe the good news. God is merciful and kind to us on account of his messiah, Jesus Christ of Nazareth.

Heavenly Father, continue to provide pastors, evangelists and missionaries to the world to gather your people to Jesus Christ, to teach us your will, your kindness and mercy found in Jesus, your son, so we may not be lost but found by him. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

#DailyDevotions A Tale Of Two Adams Part 2

#DailyDevotions A Tale Of Two Adams Part 2

Romans 515But the gift is more than the sin. If one man’s sin brought death to all people, we are all the more certain God’s grace and the gracious gift of the one Man, Jesus Christ, have been richly poured out on all people.

The first Adam brought sin and death into the world. Through him all are made sinners and all die. His children are brought into the world subject to death. Yet the gift of God in Christ Jesus is greater. The gift is a free gift, not earned or merited by those who daily rebel against the LORD their God and Creator, which sinning just doubles down on our death sentence. The gift is great because the one who gives it is greater. The gift is not free. No it was purchased and won for us at a great price. The work, the obedience, the merits, the shame, the humiliation, the death of God made flesh, Jesus Christ of Nazareth purchased and won it for us. He offers it to us for free.

Yes the first Adam won for us eternal death and damnation. The second Adam, Jesus Christ, won for us eternal life with God. More than that, while the sin of Adam brought us to the depths of hell, the obedience of Jesus lifts us up to the right hand of the Father. While the sin of Adam gave us mortal bodies and souls/spirits that were dead, Jesus assumes our flesh and our flesh is assumed into the Godhead.

We are all the more certain of God’s grace and the gracious gift of the one man Jesus Christ. We can be all the certain because God’s grace and the gift of Jesus has been poured out on all people. Now some may object, in the Greek its says, “pollous,” which means many. Certainly, but that same word is used when speaking of sin bringing death to all people. You wouldn’t say sin brought death to many people. No everyone born from the seed of man receives in themselves the sin of Adam. You might note, Jesus was conceived of the seed of the woman, Mary and not from the seed of Joseph her husband.

So if all have been poured upon by the grace of God in Christ, well you cannot get more certain than all. You might remember on Pentecost Peter quoting Joel, 217“In the last days,” God says, “I will pour out My Spirit on all people.” Pentecost is the fulfillment of verse fifteen. You may object, “Why doesn’t everyone believe then?” Jesus says in John 159“But if I go, I’ll send Him to you. He will come and convict the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment: of sin because they don’t believe in Me; 10of righteousness because I’m going to the Father and you won’t see Me anymore; 11of judgment because the ruler of this world is judged.” The Spirit, the gracious gift of the Man, Jesus Christ has been poured out on all so that all may believe.

Jesus doesn’t want us having any doubt. He died for us all. He poured out his Spirit upon all. He has opened heaven for all. He has won salvation for us all. He has gotten eternal life for us all by the shedding of his blood. Yet the Spirit convicts some because they do not believe. They reject the gift, the gracious gift, the free gift of Jesus Christ the LORD. Jesus has not put any barriers in their way. He keeps the wicked one, for now, from keeping them from believing. But from the hardness of their hearts they reject Jesus and his gift of life eternal. But you, you have received the gift in baptism. You have believed on the LORD Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit has made you his dwelling and while death may capture your body temporarily, it may not touch your soul. As Christ Jesus has risen never to die again so you who believe in him will like him rise.

Merciful God and Father, your richly give us the free gift of salvation and pour out your Holy Spirit upon us freely. May we ever rejoice in your perfect graciousness and live and reign with you and Jesus Christ forever, in whose name we pray. Amen.