The Feast of the Holy Trinity
Delivered By
Pr. Mark D. Lovett
Delivered On
June 15, 2014
Central Passage
John 3:1-15

In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit.

The only true God, the only God, is Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. There are no gods beside Him. When one thinks on God, the true God, one must naturally be thinking of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. To think on a god without this blessed, eternal, and most holy Trinity is to think on a false god, an unreal god.

So when you’re reading facebook or some Hallmark card or some thing else that passes for godly wisdom these dark and later days, and you read something about God, His love, patience, kindness, gentleness, and so forth, unless it flows from and to the most blessed Trinity then it is a false, misleading dream. Which means unless it is fruit of the cross of Christ it is wicked and not of God. For we preach Christ crucified, who is the image of the invisible God, who is Himself God of God and very God of very God. Unless the wisdom and knowledge flow from and back to Christ Jesus, it is worldly wisdom and useless knowledge, for Jesus is the wisdom and the knowledge of God. All theology – all talk of God – is Christology, talk of Jesus, or else it is not of God.

Take, for example, “God loves you.” Simple enough. Plain enough. But which God? Or, better still, how does God love you? Even if the god mentioned in “God loves you” loves you by helping you through your sin or difficulties, it still is not the true God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. For that God – that is, the true God – doesn’t help you through your sin but puts sin to death by the resurrection of Jesus. God doesn’t make you stronger to withstand the onslaught of greater and more maleficent sins; God – the true God – puts sin to death precisely because you cannot win the battle against sin. The true God doesn’t give you strength to face or even defeat sin. That is why Jesus died on the cross. He alone faced and defeated sin. He is the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world – your sin, which is your unbelief.

And He has given you His Holy Spirit, born again by water and the Spirit. And by His Holy Spirit you are called sons of God, children of the Most High. By His Spirit you are confirmed in the faith and participate in the life of Christ, the risen and ascended Lord. It is the Spirit that strengthens you, not to stand against sins of the flesh, but to stand against temptation which leads to death. Temptation isn’t simply or merely temptation to commit sins – so called sins of omission or commission – but to disbelieve; to stop believing that your heavenly Father gives you all things and blesses you will all good. That is the faith of the Christ and that is the faith of those that share in His Spirit.

You are tempted by the devil and his demons to stop believing that your heavenly Father is the source of all that you need, all that you have; to stop believing that He gives you all things for your salvation – whether good or bad in the eyes of men. You are always tempted to begin to look to this world and the Mammon of this world as the source of all that you need and as the object of your desire and happiness.

Now someone might object: I’m tempted to commit all sorts of sin all the time! No, you are not tempted to commit this or that sin. You are tempted to the only sin: unbelief. You are tempted to call God a liar. That is the only true temptation and the only true sin. Everything else that we call “sin” is because it does not come from the truth which calls upon God as our heavenly Father and looks to Him and expects from Him all good and blessings. All your sins – be they habitual or premeditated or even hidden from you – all your sins flow from disbelief; they flow from the lie that God is not your heavenly Father and that you are not children of God, born of water and the Spirit.

But you have died to sin, having been crucified with Christ in holy Baptism. Sin no longer reigns in you, you are under grace. Therefore, rejoice and give thanks to God in Christ for all things! You have been set free from sin – free from unbelief – and have become slaves of God, not disbelieving but believing! And now the fruit you get from your belief, from your faith in Christ that you are children of God for His sake, the fruit you get from your belief leads to sanctification and eternal life.

That is why a person needs to be born again. To be killed and brought to life, quickened by the Spirit of God so that what they do they do in faith and not in unbelief. For those who believe and are baptized shall be saved, but those that do not believe will be condemned. And what is it that we believe? We believe that God sent forth His only begotten Son, even Jesus Christ our Lord, not to condemn the world but to save the world; that whoever should believe on Him should have eternal life and be called the children of God. And so you are.

+ In Nomie Iesu +