Home > Gesimatide > The Seed Bears Fruit According to its Kind–Sexagesima Sermon (edited) (2013)

The Seed Bears Fruit According to its Kind–Sexagesima Sermon (edited) (2013)


franz joseph 3This is the shorter version, something like what I actually preached.  It was about 25 minutes.  I’m going to post the first draft because even I can’t believe how long it was. 

Sexagesima

St. Peter Lutheran Church

St. Luke 8:4-15

February 3, 2013

“The seed  bears fruit according to its kind”

 

Jesu juva!

 

Dear Congregation:

Grace and peace to you from God our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

Our kids get their DNA from their mom and dad, so they are different from their parents.  But not that different.  Look at pictures of your great-grandparents and great-great grandparents and see.  Seeds produce fruit according to their kinds.  A pine cone never grows into a lemon tree.  And human beings conceived in the womb always grow up to be the kind of seed they are—Adam and Eve seed.  What we are when we’re full grown is the same as what we were at conception; fallen man.  A creature that once had the glorious image of God but exchanged it for shame and a curse, for death and God’s anger.

 

The world we live in is full of quiet witnesses to the wisdom, power, and goodness of God.  He is able to concentrate abundant life into the tiniest of containers, as He does with seeds.  And He does it all the time.  But the world doesn’t tell us that God who is able to make life will restore life to humankind.  It tells us that each new human seed that grows up in the world dies just like the one before it.  How could it be different?  An unclean seed can only produce seeds like itself.  The first man’s nature was hostile to God when he took the fruit God commanded must not be eaten.  That was the only kind of life Adam could pass on—life that begins in rebellion against God and ends in death.

 

The Bible tells how as soon as the first man and woman confessed their sin, God promised that the seed of a woman would come and destroy the one who holds the power of death—the liar, the ancient serpent.  God would plant His Son into the midst of the human race, and He would bring forth offspring in His image—seed not hostile to God, but well-pleasing, sharing His life.

 

Jesus is that seed.  He is true man and true God.  He is a new man, not corrupt from birth like Adam and his seed.  He is innocent and not under judgment.

 

He comes to bring forth other sons of God.  And to do this, He sows the seed of His Word.  Jesus sows His life giving, fruitful seed among us—the Word of His death and resurrection.  The seed produces fruit according to its kind.  Just as a tree brings forth other trees like itself through its seed, Jesus brings forth other sons of God like Himself through the seed of His Word.

 

 

  1. How the seed works

If you lived two thousand years ago and wanted to grow wheat, you had to sow.  This was not a scientific process.  You just threw handfuls of seed around your field as you walked through it. Then some would land in the dirt and start growing.

  1. Faith

Jesus’ Word works the same way.  The Word is the Word of Christ—it is the Word that tells about Jesus.  More than that, Jesus Himself is in the Word, like the future plant is “in” the seed.

 

Where Jesus’ word is received in faith, the seed of Christ’s Word is growing.  Wherever it is growing, Christ’s kingdom is present.  The person who believes in Jesus is a son of God in the image of Jesus, a co-worker and co-ruler with Jesus.

 

  1. Fruit—Christ does His work in us

Usually when a sower goes out to sow seeds in a field, he doesn’t want these plants to just produce a stalk and leaves.  He wants fruit—tomatoes, or cucumbers, or corn, or grain.

 

Jesus is the same when He scatters His seed.  He’s not satisfied just to have the Word fall on your ears, or even to have it take root in your heart and begin to grow.  He wants it to come to maturity, to completion.  He wants it to bear fruit.

 

i.      Fruits of the Spirit

The seed of His Word begins to grow when it is heard and believed.  “You are justified by Christ alone,” the Gospel says, and immediately in the one who hears and believes new life begins.  It is the new life that is in the seed—the new creature that you are in Christ instead of the old creature born from Adam’s seed.

A seed that has germinated starts living and growing immediately.  But you don’t see it.  It takes several days before the little green shoot pushes through the dirt.  And it takes a long time for that little shoot to grow to the point where you can be reasonably sure it’s going to survive.  Even after that, a lot of things can happen that might keep it from successfully bringing forth fruit.

 

That’s the way it is with the life of Christ in us.  When faith begins, immediately His life starts to grow in us.  Virtue, knowledge of God, self-control, joy, peace, patience, steadfastness, godliness, kindness, gentleness, goodness, love—they begin to grow the way a seed grows into roots and a stem—all aiming toward the mature plant that bears fruit.

 

  1.                                                                         ii.       Co-rulers and co-workers with Jesus

 

The seed of the Word reaches maturity when we are completely new and nothing remains of the nature of Adam.  We are our new selves in Christ.  We have died and risen again.  In the meantime we grow.  We grow in Christ.  But that means our old nature dies.  “Even though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed day by day,” St. Paul says in 2 Corinthians (4:16). 

 

That dying of the old and rising of the new is a process.  But Christians don’t live hoping that the process will continue to its completion; we live by faith in Jesus.  In His death and resurrection we are already complete.  We don’t simply live hoping that we will one day become fully grown sons of God.  We are already “Sons of God through faith in Jesus Christ, for all of [us] who have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ” [Galatians 3].  We already call God “Father” as though we were already completely renewed in Christ.

 

“If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come,” St. Paul tells us  [2 Corinthians 5:17].  We are justified.  Our sins are not counted to us.  They were accounted to Jesus on the
cross.  Now His righteousness is counted to us.  So we pray to the Father as sons together with Jesus.

 

“The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ…” [Romans 8:16-17].  We are co-heirs with Christ and also co-rulers and co-workers with Him.  He does His work in us and through us.

 

  1.                                                                         iii.      Whatever you ask in my name…

“If you abide in Me and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish and it will be done for you.  By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be My disciples.”  Jesus says this to His disciples in John 15 [:7-8].

 

We bear much fruit when, as children of God, we pray with the access Jesus have given to the Father.  Those prayers that come from faith in Christ’s Word receive whatever they request from the Father.  Because we know the Father and are His children, He hears us.  Because the Holy Spirit teaches us through the Word of Christ, we not only are changed into the image of Christ, but we learn to pray according to God’s will.  We learn what God has promised and what He has commanded, and we pray for the things He has promised.

 

In this way we bear “much fruit.”  We don’t merely do human work. We are working together with Christ.  He works in us to pray for what He sees is needed by the Church, the world, and our neighbors.  The faith in Jesus that starts to grow when the seed of His Word in our hearts makes us participants in Jesus’ work as priest and king.  The fruit that comes from this prayer is fruit that endures to eternal life, because it is the fruit of Jesus Himself coming forth in us.

 

 

  1. Failed sowing

Yet according to Jesus, in 3 out of 4 types of hearers, His Word does not result in fruit.  Why is that?  It’s not because there was something wrong with the seed.  The seed of the Gospel says “Your sins are forgiven through Jesus’ blood.”  It is not an uncertain word.  It is a word of salvation.  In every case where the seed of the Gospel does not result in a person coming to maturity in Christ and reaching eternal life, it is because the hearer does not allow it to do its work.

 

The Gospel is not received.  Or it is received, but only as long as things feel good and look good.  Or it is received by faith but is stunted and choked by all the other concerns of this world.

 

It’s not that Jesus doesn’t earnestly desire the full salvation of everyone who hears the Word.  He sows it everywhere; He lets the good news of the forgiveness of sins fall on hard hearts that don’t listen, and on those who are unwilling to keep His word unless everything is nice, and on those who refuse to trust His Word alone, but divide their loyalty between Jesus and the wisdom of this world.

  1. Good soil
    1. Are you good soil?

So then we have to ask ourselves—“What kind of soil am I?”  A seed, from the time it germinates, is always growing.  If it stops growing, it is almost certainly going to die.  And a Christian, from the moment faith begins, also is growing.  He prays constantly that the Lord would bring him to the goal—maturity in Christ and everlasting life.

i.      How all three are evident in us.

So what kind of soil are you?  How do you hear Christ’s word?  As soon as you hear it, do you forget it?  Does it have any affect on you?  Or do you barely listen to it?  Does Satan snatch away the word?  This not only happens to people who only hear the Word occasionally, but also to those who hear it frequently.  There are many times when Christians who have not yet fallen away simply don’t listen to the Word, or don’t receive it as God’s Word, and the word that Jesus has planted in their ears is snatched away by the devil.

 

When hardship comes, do you still trust God?  When you have no feeling of joy about the Gospel, do you still pray for God to bring forth fruit in you?  Do you still faithfully do what God has called you to do?  Or do you turn away from the Word and seek comfort somewhere else?  Are you willing to be faithful and stay with the Word even though it means suffering for you—even though people call you evil?  Are you willing to stand with those who suffer for the sake of the Word of God?  Or do you back off and find ways to avoid confessing Christ?

 

Do you find that you don’t have time to give much attention to God’s Word, or that many times there are other things you would rather do?  Do you often live as if the Word of God is fine as long as it is kept in its proper place and not allowed to spill out into other areas of life?

ii.      We do not love the Word

Oh, the characteristics of the soil in which Christ’s living word does not grow and produce fruit will be evident in your heart if you are honest.

 

True Christians love the Word of God.  Yet even in them there is much opposition to God’s word, much unwillingness to suffer, much idolatrous worry and seeking after the world, and much despising of God’s Word.  The flesh of Adam is not gone in anyone, whether they believe or not.  And the heart we were born with is naturally bad soil, totally inhospitable to the seed Christ sows, the Gospel of the forgiveness of sins through His cross.

 

iii.      We can’t make ourselves good soil

How can we get an “honest and good heart” that will hold on to the word and produce fruit?  We can’t.  Dirt doesn’t plow itself, dig out rocks, or pull weeds out of itself.  It is what it is.

 

Christians engage in combat with their hearts.  They mourn over their sins and cry out to God for forgiveness and deliverance.  But they themselves are not able to make their hearts good.

 

A good and honest heart is good and honest because it confesses that it has nothing good in it, and no power to make itself good.  An honest and good heart is honest and good because it looks only to Jesus and His promise in the Gospel and sacraments for assurance of salvation and deliverance from bondage to sin.

  1.  “He became sin for us that in Him we might become the righteousness of God”

There is good news for those who recognize their terrible bondage to sin, that their hearts always want to reject the Gospel.

 

The evil of our hearts cannot be destroyed by us.  But it has already been perfectly destroyed outside of us.  Jesus sows the good news of His cross.  That good news also says this—our sinful nature, which still lives in us and is not completely destroyed, has been destroyed in Him.

 

“God made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.”  [2 Corinthians 5:21]  Jesus sows this seed on our hearts.  Not only has He made atonement for our sins.  He also put our sinful nature to death.  We can’t understand this.  How can my sinful nature be put to death when the law shows me sin at work within me every day?

 

It’s not something to be understood, but to be believed, because the Word of God says it clearly and repeatedly.  One of the most beautiful passages is Romans 8:1-4:

 

8 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. 3 For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, 4 in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

 

Sin was condemned in the flesh of Jesus.  It died there.  When it rises up within us we pray to God for help and we resist it, saying, “You are dead.”  When Satan shows us how much sin lives in us, we can say, “Yes, but it is really dead.  I am free from the law of sin and death.  Christ has done what the law could not do because of my sinful flesh.  In His innocent flesh He put to death my sinful flesh.  So there is no condemnation for me.”

 

If you willfully live in sin, there is condemnation for you.  But when you struggle against it and seem to be overcome again and again, there is no condemnation, because Christ was condemned for you.

 

And so when you see the characteristics of the bad soil within yourself, it doesn’t mean that you have no faith.  Look to Jesus and say, “Lord, you promise that you have finished my salvation.  I fear that my sinful heart has already destroyed your life within me, or that it will.  But you have said that you have already completed my salvation.  So I put my trust not in the growth or fruits I see in my heart, but only in Your cross, which you have proclaimed as being for me in Your Word.”

 

A growing plant does not turn around to see if it is growing.  It faces the sun and stretches toward it.  Look to Jesus Christ crucified, who is the true light that gives life to men.  In Him you are already perfected.  In Him you are already righteous and have risen from the dead and been seated at the Father’s right hand.

 

  1.  He baptized you into Jesus’ death.

Christ has not only proclaims His death for you on the cross in the preaching of the Gospel.  He also has baptized you.  And Paul declares that in Baptism Jesus made you good soil.  He made you dead to the old Adam and alive to God, passively trusting Christ alone.  Do you not know that all of you who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death?  We were therefore buried with Him by baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life (Romans 6:3-4). 

 

We have already died and been raised.  Christ died for you on the cross.  You were crucified with Him in Baptism.  Therefore when we see our sinful nature rise up, we cry to our Father in heaven with that promise: “You have called me by your name.  You have joined me with Jesus, put my old nature to death and raised me from the dead!  Let sin no longer have dominion over me!”

 

It is to this that we fly when the wicked unbelief of our hearts seems to make it impossible that our hearts could be receptive to the word—

We flee to Jesus only.  We flee to His promise in the Word, in Baptism; and we take that promise to the Father for forgiveness and for deliverance from sin.

This is what private confession and absolution is good for; those things that show how your heart is bad soil.  You go confess them, and Christ Himself speaks about it; “Your sins are forgiven.”

  1.  His Word will accomplish that for which He sends it.
    1. Comfort for when the Church struggles—do we have His Word?  Then it will do its work despite our failures.
    2. Comfort for ourselves: Will we persevere?  Good soil simply is the passive recipient of the Seed.  The seed will do its work.  The seed bears fruit according to its kind.
    3. “thy kingdom come, thy will be done.”  Certainty of prayer/certainty of faith.

 

 

 

Soli Deo Gloria

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  1. February 5, 2013 at 6:42 am

    Jesus carries the DNA of his heavenly father, Jehovah God, but that does not make him into the God, the same as we carry the DNA of our parents and may be in the likeness of our father, our mother, our grandfather or grandmother, but never would make us to be that grandparent or our father or mother. There is only One God, the Elohim Jehovah, and Jesus is His beloved son, without whom Jesus can do nothing.

    “21 and it happened in the baptizing of all the people, jesus also being baptized, and praying, and the heaven was opened. 22 and the holy spirit came down in a bodily shape, like a dove on him. and a voice came from heaven, which said, you are my son, the beloved; I am delighted in you. 23 and jesus himself was beginning to be about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) son of Joseph, [son of] of Heli,” (Luke 3:21-23 MKJV)

    • February 6, 2013 at 8:05 pm

      Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.” (John 8:58)

      “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me; and I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish, and no one shall snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.” John 10:27-30

      In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without him was not anything made that was made…and the Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us, and we have beheld His glory, glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:1-3, 14

      In many and various ways God spoke of old to our fathers by the prophets; but in these last days he has spoken to us by His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, and through whom He also created the world. He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of His nature, and he upholds the universe by the Word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right had of the Majesty on high, having become as much superior to angels as the Name (ha shem) which He has inherited is more excellent than theirs. For to which fo the angels did God ever say: “You are my Son, today I have begotten you?” Or again: “I will be to Him a Father, and He will be to me a son?” And again, when He brings the firstborn into the world, He says, “Let all God’s angels worship Him.”…But of the Son He says, “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever, the scepter of uprightness is the scepter of your kingdom. You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore God, Your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness above your companions.”

      And, “You, Lord, laid the foundatin of the earth in the beginnning, and the heavens are the work of your hands; they will perish, but you remain; they will all wear out like a garment…but You are the same, and your years will have no end.” And to which of the angels has he ever said, “Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet?” Hebrews 1

      If anyone teaches a different doctrine and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching that accords with godliness, he is puffed up with conceit and understands nothing. 1 Timothy 6:3-4

      Waiting for the blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works. Titus 2:13-14

      At that time Jesus declared, “I thank you, father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal Him. Come to me, all who labor and are haeavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matt. 11:25-30

  2. February 13, 2013 at 4:18 am

    Dear Mr Hess when you answer your phone or a receptionist ans say “I Am” I do hope you do not think no the other person would think you are God. Jesus gives a reply that he is that person, not God in many occasions. Here in the quote he has it of the provision made by his Father. The thing Jesus was addressing to the Jews in that conversation was who he was; Gods Son and as such, the light of the world, the savior. The Jews were vasilating all over the place; first they said Abraham was their Father then they said God was their Father and then they mention Abraham as their Father again. When they mention Abraham as their Father to reject who Jesus was, Jesus simply said ‘Well, if you’re going to say Abraham is your Father, you have to know Abraham believed and rejoiced in God’s promise of a coming savior. As was God’s promise to you as well, so should’ve you – more than bragging about “Abraham is OUR Father”. What’s more, Abraham didn’t live to see the promise fulfilled yet he rejoiced in its coming. Here I am – right in front of you – and all’s you wanna do is reject me!?’. Again, that’s more or less the sense of the text.
    Interestingly, these same kinds of conversation go on today.

    “In a beginning was the Word, and the Word was with the God, and a god was the Word.” (Emphatic Diaglott – interlineary side)
    Yah Chanan (#Jo 1:1-3): In the beginning the Word having been and the Word having been unto God and God having been the Word he having been, in the beginning, unto God all through his hand became: and without him not even one being whatever became.
    Aramaic New Covenant; ANCJ Released: 1996 Contents: New Testament Source Used: Exegeses Bibles (1996) Location: Tyndale House, Cambridge, United Kingdom

    “In [the] beginning the Word was, and the Word was with God, and the Word was a god.” (NWT)
    “The Word was in the beginning, and the Word was with God, and the Word was a God.” (The New Testament in An Improved Version)

    Jesus as a god (an important person like the Pharaoh was also a god) was planned from the beginning. In the Garden of Eden when the first humans made their first big mistake Jehovah, the God of gods, foresaw a solution, which was in His son Jeshua (Jesus). Jehovah spoke and as such His Word came into being. When the Power of God (the Holy Spirit) took care that Jesus was implanted in the womb of Miriam (Mary/Maria) the long before existing promise became reality and the Word (God His spoken promise) became flesh … a foetus becoming the child, a human being coming out of a (virgin) mother.
    “So the Word became flesh¹ and tented² among us, and we viewed his glory – a glory³ like that of a father’s only-begotten¹¹ son. [This Son] was brimming with unmerited favor¹² and truth.¹³” (20th Cent/ MHM Nazarene Bible) Only-begotten: The Greek is MONOGENOUS, that is the only one genetically related to, monogenetic. Compare # Luke 8:42; John 1:18; 3:16, 18; Hebrews 11:17; 1John 4:9.
    Romans 1:3 about his son, jesus christ our lord, who was made of the seed of David according to the flesh,
    Galatians 4:4 but when the fullness of the time came, god sent forth his son, coming into being out of a woman, having come under law,

    As it clearly says;“and the word became flesh, and tabernacled among us. and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of [the] father, full of grace and of truth.” (John 1:14 MKJV)

    Jesus is the only one son of God born in such a special way. god, who is not a liar also said about this Jewish man:
    “and lo, a voice from heaven, saying, this is my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased.” (Matthew 3:17 MKJV)

    “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.” (John 3:16 MKJV)

    We do have to believe in the son of God, which is not equal to “god the son” like many people call him. But Jesus knew very well he was not the God. He was also not schizophrenic, so that he would pray to himself. No Jesus prayed to his Father in heaven, the only One God to be worshipped. He also learned his pupils to pray to his Father as “Our Father”, the person without Jesus could do nothing.

    “but now, O Jehovah, you [are] our father; we [are] the clay, and you [are] our former; and we all [are] the work of your hand.” (Isaiah 64:8 MKJV)

    “then jesus answered and said to them, truly, truly, I say to you, the son can do nothing of himself but what he sees the father do. for whatever things he does, these also the son does likewise.” (John 5:19 MKJV)

    “you have heard how I said to you, I go away and I am coming to you [again]. if you loved me, you would rejoice because I said, I go to the father, for my father is greater than I.” (John 14:28 MKJV)

    “but I would have you know that the head of every man is christ; and the head of the woman [is] the man; and the head of christ [is] god.” (1 Corinthians 11:3 MKJV)

    Nobody can see God and live, but many could see Jesus and still live. God is an eternal Spirit, who has as such no beginning and no end and can not die. Jesus had a beginning, being born, had an end, really died. Jesus stood not up from a fake death, but was risen by the Power of the Father. Afterwards he still walked some time on this earth and showed his wounds to the unbelievers saying that it was really him who died, being not a spirit but a human from flesh and blood.

    Jesus stayed without sin, though he was tempted many times (while God cannot be tempted), he only became tempered a few times, defending the house of his father, but always kept truthful to that Father and always said the truth. (So he did not lie either about his position nor about his being).

    You yourself rightly quote the Bible passages in which the special Father – son relation is shown. (Read carefully the texts and you will not see that Jesus says “I” but “the Father” = an other person than he.)Though you forgot to mention that the son will hand over again the Kingdom to his Father (so he will not keep it to himself as god). Jesus also sits at the right hand of his Father (not on the chair of God) and has become the mediator between God and man. (In case Jesus is God he can not mediate between himself and some one else.) It is the man Jesus who talks with his Father (the Spirit) on our behalf.

    “for god [is] one, and [there is] one mediator of god and of men, [the] man christ jesus,” (1 Timothy 2:5 MKJV)
    “but now he has obtained a more excellent ministry, by so much he is also the mediator of a better covenant, which was built upon better promises.” (Hebrews 8:6 MKJV)
    “and to jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than [that of] Abel.” (Hebrews 12:24 MKJV)

    In case Jesus would have been God, what would God proof than with His fake death. The point of the discussion from the first humans, disputing the right of God to rule and to direct everything would not be solved, instead you can wonder why God let humanity suffer than such a long time before making an end to all evil.

    Jesus proofed that a man was able to be upright and to be faithful to its Creator. As a pure Lamb of God, Jesus offered himself for all humanity, to become the second Adam, the first of the new generation or the first one of the New Creation. He was the beginning and the end of that (New) Creation: the alpha and the omega. The apostle John throughout his writings, lies the link to Genesis, the Creation of the universe and the full-ending of that creation with the realisation of the Christos (Christ), the Messiah and the >New Creation of the Kingdom of God.

    • February 13, 2013 at 9:11 pm

      You are warped and self condemned. May God convert you, or shut your blasphemous mouth.

      One response to your foolish post, which shows that you understand nothing in the Scripture:

      Jesus is given “the name above every name”–YHWH’s name. That is not because He did not have it from eternity, but as true God and man He humbled Himself, taking the form of a cursed son of Adam, a slave–in order to redeem us. He didn’t claim His rights–He obeyed the law in our place, fulfilled it for us by His death, and then received the name above all names in His human nature for our sakes. That’s why Paul says at the Name of “Jesus” every knee shall bow. They shall bow at the name of the man–Jesus–because the man is also true God.

      Secondly, Jesus tells his disciples to baptize in the NAME of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, claiming that all authority in earth and heaven has been given to Him.

      Again, all authority was His from eternity, and by rights from the moment God became incarnate in the womb of the virgin, but taking our place, He submitted to the Father as Adam had not done in order to redeem us.

      So now He tells the disciples to baptize in the NAME (singular, not “names”) of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Every Jew knows that God’s name is holy. God’s Name makes Him present. That’s why they call Him “HaShem”–the Name, instead of invoking the name “YHWH”. When God puts His name in a place or on something, it brings His blessing (Nu 6) and His presence (1 Kings 7 or 8).

      So it is utterly impossible that Jesus would say go baptize in the (one, singular, NAME–not “names”) of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit–unless the three persons all shared the one Name above all names. For the same reason you would never say, “Go drop a bomb on Iran in the Name of the President of the USA, Barack Obama, and of Jimmy the garbageman down the street and of the janitor of my school in third grade.” But you could say, “Impose sanctions on North Korea in the Name of Russia, UK, China, France, and the USA” in that they are five different and distinct nations, but they are one UN security council.

      If the Son shares the same name as the Father, as God, then He is God. If not the statement is nonsensical as well as blasphemous.

      Anyway may God grant you repentance. But in the meantime I can’t cast anymore pearls before swine.

  3. February 13, 2013 at 5:06 am

    Rev. Karl Hess :
    Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.” (John 8:58)
    The passage of the writer who relates everything to the Genesis book is connected with Exodus 3:14 where God says to Moses, “I am that I am.” From these references two conclusions are drawn:

    a)Since Christ was before Abraham, Christ must have existed prior to his birth on earth.

    b)Since Christ says, “I am” he is alluding to the divine name, thereby in effect telling the Jews that he is “Very God.”

    1.Christ’s reference to Abraham is to affirm his (Christ’s) pre-eminence, not pre-existence. The Jews had claimed that Abraham was their father (Jo 8:39) and so Christ establishes his pre-eminence in the divine purpose by stating that before Abraham was, “I am.” the great problem is that many people here do misread and consider that is written or said “before Abraham was, I was”.
    The Jews, like modern-day trinitarians, misunderstood Jesus. He was not claiming to be literally older in years than Abraham. This is indicated by his prior remark: “Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad.” (Jo 8:56). Abraham, to whom the gospel was preached (Ga 3:8), “saw” the day of Christ through the eye of faith. Christ was “foreordained before the foundation of the world, but manifest in these last times.” (1Pe 1:20). He was foreordained in the divine purpose, but not formed. Similarly in the divine purpose he was the “Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” (Re 13:8) but literally he was not slain until his crucifixion in the time of Pilate.

    2.There is no proof that Christ alludes to the divine name (imperfectly rendered by the A.V., “I am that I am”). Jesus simply uses the present tense of the verb “to be.” Even if this verse were intended to be read as an allusion to the divine name, this is not proof that Christ was claiming to be “Very God.” The divine name declared “I will be what I will be.” (Ex. 3:14) (R.S.V. mg.).

    And Elohim said to Mosheh, “I am that which I am.”1 And He said, “Thus you shall say to the children of Yisra’ĕl, ‘I am has sent me to you.’ ” Footnote: 1The Heḇrew text reads: ’eyeh ’asher ’eyeh, the word ’eyeh being derived from hayah which means to be, to exist, but the Aramaic text here in v. 14 reads: ayah ashar ayah. This is not His Name, but it is an explanation that leads up to the revelation of His Name in v. 15, namely: יהוה {Jehovah}.
    (Exodus 3:14 The Scriptures 1998+)

    2 And Elohim spoke to Mosheh and said to him, “I am יהוה. 3 {Jehovah} “And I appeared to Aḇraham, to Yitsḥaq, and to Yaʽaqoḇ, as Ěl Shaddai. And by My Name, יהוה{Jehovah}, was I not known to them? (Exodus 6:2-3 The Scriptures 1998+)

    The name was a prophetic declaration of the divine purpose. Jesus Christ was “God manifest in the flesh” (1Ti. 3:16), “the word” (Greek: logos) “made flesh.” (Jo 1:14). As such, he was the expression of the divine character, “full of grace and truth” (Jo. 1:14) (cf. #Ex 33:19). and became the “firstborn among many brethren.” (Ro. 8:29). Christ was the result of the word made flesh, not the originator of the dvine plan. As he himself said, “I proceeded forth and came from God neither came I of myself, but he sent me.” (Jo 8:42).

    • February 13, 2013 at 11:52 am

      I’m only publishing your responses in order to plant God’s Word in your ear that has, along with your mind and heart, been taken captive by Satan. Also in order to point out the grave danger that comes from false doctrine. However, I don’t intend to debate you forever in comments. I may write a post in response though.

      With Christians who believe or teach erroneous doctrines that do not overthrow the foundation–the free forgiveness of sins for Jesus’ sake, it is charitable to believe that despite being in error here or there, or even in grave error, their sin comes from weakness, not from a hard and unbelieving heart.

      However, in the case of those who deny the Son or the Holy Trinity, it’s not possible to hold out that hope for them. “No one who denies the Son has the Father.” A person who denies that Jesus is very God of very God, Lord, kurios, YHWH, understands nothing of the Scriptures. “These are the Scriptures which testify of me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life.” (John 5)

      Really, the entire Scriptures testify to someone other than God? That would mean the Scriptures are idolatrous. Jesus wants people to come to Him to receive life? But only God is the life-giver. That would be idolatrous.

      When John 1 says, “In Him was life…” it means that He is lifegiving. Similarly in John 6 Jesus says, “The words I have spoken to you are Spirit and life.” The Words are lifegiving because they are God’s words. Jesus has life in Him because He is God. He was in the beginning with God means He is eternal. There are not two eternals, but one eternal.

      I quoted about 20 other passages which you did not respond to. That is because you cannot, and even the responses you’ve given here are absurd and show that you understand nothing of the Scriptures.

      I urge you to repent and believe in Jesus, your God, who suffered and shed His blood to redeem you from your sins, and be baptized in the name of the Holy Trinity, because “no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit.” (John 3)

      Finally, may Christ open your eyes with these verses from John’s epistles.

      “We know that the Son o fGod has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true; and we are in him who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life. Little children, keep yourselves from idols.” 1 John 5:20-21

      For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not confess the coming of Jesus Christ in the flesh. Such a one is a deceiver and the antichrist….Everyone who goes on ahead and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God. Whoever abides in the teaching has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house or give him any greeting, for whoever greets him takes part in his wicked works. 2 John 7-11

      From this point forward I will not publish any more of your comments or respond to you, lest your godless blasphemies of Jesus Christ get any publicity from me, and like John said about Cerinthus, the roof collapse on my head. God have mercy on you and give you repentance for blaspheming his beloved Son. Woe to you if you do not repent, and woe to anyone who listens to you.

  1. February 4, 2013 at 8:01 pm
  2. February 7, 2013 at 5:42 am
  3. February 8, 2013 at 10:17 am
  4. March 4, 2013 at 5:25 pm

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