Covenant Words
Covenant Words

Episode · 1 year ago

Jesus and the Father


Galatians 4:4

This morning to glaciers, chapter four, to hear God's word. Glaciers for versus four through seven, glaciers for verse four. But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the spirit of his son into our hearts, crying Abba father. So are you know? So you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God. Amen, may bless his word to us. He may be seated. Well, I mentioned this morning, we are, over the next two weeks, or this week and next week, looking at these four clauses, these four phrases in glacians for verse for the fullness of Time, when the fullness of time had come. That's number one, which we considered this morning. Number two we consider this evening. God sent forth his son and the next week born of a woman and then born under the law. These phrases help us to understand Jesus's mission. They give us a backstory, in a way, the origin of our hero, of our victor. This beginning helps us to understand who he is and why he came. And today, as I mentioned, or tonight, focus on this second phrase, God sent forth his son. Now, as I've mentioned to you many times before and various settings, one of the questions I'm always asking myself as I read the Scriptures is do I reflect in my own thinking and my own life the way that the scriptures themselves speak? In my theology and the categories that are in my head? Am I reflecting? Do I manifest in myself the things that are there in the word? And I was challenged again, as I often am this when preparing for this sermon, in this way, just a little bit. The word says that God sent forth his son, and I noticed, when thinking about this phrase, how often that I speak of the coming of Jesus. And that's not...

...exactly the way that this is put, is it? This is more about the sending of Jesus in a way. Now, these two ideas, the coming of Jesus or God sending his son, are not opposed at all to one another. They speak of exactly the same thing. This language of the coming of Jesus is, of course, based on scripture. It's a scriptural truth. We sang this morning. Oh come, oh come, Emmanuel, Zachariah, Zachari and I nine. For example, we have this prophecy. Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion, Shout Aloud, oh daughter of Jerusalem, behold, your king is coming to you righteous and having salvation. Is he humbled and mounted on a donkey, on a cult the full of a donkey. So it is most certainly a good and true thing to speak about the coming of Jesus, but Paul does approach this from a different angle and speaking about the birth of the sun, the incarnation of the Lord, he speaks of it in terms of his relationship to the father and makes it clear that his coming is also ascending. So here a sending, sending. So here again with the scripture to say when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his son. So the question I want to ask tonight and reflect on with you, is what exactly does this mean and why does it matter? First, what does it mean? What does it mean that God sent forth his son? Well, it means a lot of things, which I am not going to be able to cover all, but I do want to think of one or maybe two important things that this means with you tonight. One thing that it mean, not means, is that it means that the mission of Jesus was the mission and the work of God, the father. This is important for us to remember. Many people would think of do think of Jesus has just a man, a man who maybe even according to his own purposes, according to his own plans. I did, yes, some amazing things, but he was not really from God. The scriptures and Jesus himself directly contradict this. It is not true. Jesus is mission, his work in the world was one who was sent from God, and this is a big deal, because it is God whom we have offended. That he sent his own son to save sinners is a very marvelous thing. The fact that God is the one who took initiative to save us is a really big deal. Have you ever been, for example, hurt by someone, hurt really bad and in such a way where you didn't do anything wrong,...

...or maybe what you did was really minimal, and yet they are refusing to reconcile to you? You're the one who's been harmed, you're the one who's been hurt, and yet they're staying silent, they're not repenting, they're not saying sorry, they're not asking for your forgiveness, and then you decide that you're going to be the first one to go and try to make it right, the first one to try to reconcile, not apologize, of course, for something you didn't do, but taking the initiative to draw this one close who has hurt you so badly. That's a hard thing to do. That's something that many of us are, frankly, unwilling to do. But yet this is exactly what God did, and the Scriptures spreak speak frequently to this point. Isaiah fifty three six, for example, says all we, like sheep, have gone astray. We have turned everyone to his own way, and the Lord has an laid on him. That is, Jesus, the iniquity of us all. We went astray and then our punishment was placed on him. That's his way. This is how God reconciles us to himself. Or consider first Peter Three eighteen, for Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit. Or First John for nine. In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only son into the world so that we might live through him, the righteous for the UNRIGHTEOUS, the shepherd for the sheep, the father for disobedient, unloving children, loving us in such a great way. First John for ten in this is love, not that we have loved God, but that he loved us and sent his son to be the propitiation for our sins. There's three different verses in row, four different verses in a row, that all speak of the love of God for sinners in the sending of the son. This is an amazing thing that God has done. It is John, as John Puts it, how we even know what love is. This is love. Now we have to be careful to think of this in a biblical way. We don't want to think of the father sending forth the son as the father throwing the son under the bus or, as other people will sometimes say, cosmic child abuse. Some people accuse God of loving and quotes loving us in but in such a way that he abuses someone else to make that happen, and therefore the conclusion is it's not really love,... it? That's the accusation of God or against God. But this idea wrongly imputes to God our own sinful behaviors. It's not what the scriptures teach. In fact, when we remember that the father is not divided against the son, but united with the son in their love for us, our sense of the depth of the love that he gives should grow. Let me put it this way. When we think about the love that the father has for the son and the father sending that son, his son out of love for us, it shouldn't lead us to conclusions about an unloving God. Remember the love that we have for one another, the love that we have for God, finds its source in God himself. God is love, as John says, we don't love or enjoy love or have a relationship of love except through God, who is love himself. And God, who is love, is not just love in the son or love in the spirit or just love in the father. This love, this innerpre interpenetrating love, is between all the persons of the Trinity, fully in God himself, and stay with me here, this love is essential to his divine nature. This love that God has with himself is held equally and fully, without divisions, between all three persons of the Trinity. The father is not more loving than the son and the spirit. The spirit is not more loving than the father and the son, and the son is not more loving than the spirit and the father. All three are together as one God love. Love is shared by all three completely and fully, not even divided into thirds, each one fully possessing all of love, all of in this essential attribute of God. On top of that, the scriptures also speak of love between the persons of the Trinity. Here Jesus's words and John Thirty Five, the father loves the son and has given all things into his hand. If I didn't throw the son under the bus. The father loved the son and has given all things into his hand. Jesus will say there's nothing that he doesn't have, that hasn't been given to him by the father. If we are willing, therefore, to say that Jesus is good, that Jesus is love, then by Jesus is own's...

...words, we have to say all of that of the father as well. We can't impute an evil thing to the father, but say something good of the son when Jesus says the father loves the son and has given all things into his hand. So we hear in these words and the words of Jesus himself, who is the word of God, of the perfect love that they have. The son of God has all that he has, including his nature, eternally from the father. What the father has, the son has. What the Son has, the father has. And how was it given? What does John say or what does Jesus say? How did all things come into the hand of the son? I'll read it again. The father loves the son. So not only does he have all of the love of God from God himself, but he has it in an action of love. It's like love on top of love, on top of love. There's a layers and layers and layers to this. It is impossible, therefore, for there to be anything but love in the sending of the son. In addition to this, the love between the father and the son, each eternally before creation, before time, manifests itself in the will of God for the salvation of ungodly people. This, this love that belongs the inside, that we might say, inside the Trinity, inside of God himself, then manifests itself outside in the works of God in the world. Again, we know this from the scriptures. John Seventeen. For this reason, the father loves me, because I laid down my life that I may take it up again. You see, it's impossible to say that Jesus was loving in his death for us, but the father was not in the sending of the son. It's just the opposite. Here's what Jesus says again and now in John Fifteen nine. As the father has loved me, so I have loved you, as the father has loved me, so I have loved you. Imagine that. Just reflect and ponder for a moment what Jesus might possibly mean when he says, as the father loved me, as God is love and loves himself infinitely and perfectly and eternally. So I have loved you. If we are willing to accept the love of Jesus and Dying for the ungodly, we must also accept the love of the father who sent his son to die for the ungodly. And this acceptance is not a mere okay, well, I guess I have to say this, but this is our rejoicing, this is our praise.

The father sending the son is an expression of his great and infinite love for us, even as it is for the son so in these various verses, and we could add many, many more, we learn that the work of Christ was not the result of some unloving action from the father. Know, the work of Christ on the Cross was the result of the perfect love of God and himself, the perfect, infinite in the eternal love between the persons of the trinity that, if existed, has existed from all eternity, a love that was expressed in the will of his salvation for us, even ungodly, rebellious sinners. The coming of Christ, then, as the sending of the father, reminds us of this deep love into which we are drawn. We are like drops of love put into an ocean of God's love. We experience, in the abiding of God's love, something that is inexhaust stable. It will never run out, it will never run dry. There is no getting to the end of it, or or even close in fact, the unity, this unity, but in of us and the and the Lord Jesus speaks of again in John Seventeen, in John Seventeen twenty three, when he prays this to his father, he speaks to them and he says I Jesus, says I in them, meaning us, and you in me. That they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me. In some way, we could describe Jesus's whole mission to the world as the announcement of the father's love for the son. In some ways, that's what it's all about, God expressing his love in himself, of God revealing his trying nature, and this, this try unity of love. That's Jesus's mission to the world, and he brings that mission about by saving US and drawing us into it, that we might love and abide in this love and him forever. Amazing. So when we think about the coming of Christ, we ought not to think of Jesus alone or Jesus by himself. We have to remember that he is the son of God, is the one who was sent and who willingly came all because of love, and so when we abide in him, we abide in love and we abide in God. These truths ought to make a huge difference... our lives. For one, you reminds us that, while our salvation is a rejection from God, are our salvation, or, I'm sorry, our our damn nation comes from our rejection of God. Our salvation comes from abiding in the love of God. What is sin? Sin is a refusal of of God, it's a refusal of his love, it's a refusal of his life, it's a rejection of him. No wonder it results in death when he himself is life. So what happens when Emmanuel, when God with us, comes into the world, when the light and the life of God comes and reveals himself to US and wraps us up in his arms, we find salvation. And that's what Paul says. Coming back to Galatians, for when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive as adoption, as sons. And because you are sons, God has spent the spirit of his son into our hearts, crying Abba father. So you no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God. Because the love God happens in this world not by random chance, but is grounded in God's own internal Trinitarian life. We gain definition about love, we gain certainty about love, even though there is much mystery there and infinite expansions of love. There is also some definition there. Love is not just this feeling, although it's partly that. Love is not just where our emotions happened to be leading. Love is something that is grounded in the life of God himself. And so salvation unto love or and so our salvation, as we see in glacians, for results in this love, this family and adoption as sons by whom our carts cry out to our father, Abba father. Finally, I think this also makes a big difference for us. In this way, as we receive this love of God in Christ, as we are wrapped up into this family, in the sending of the sun and the loving sending of the sun, we also gain a model for how God wants us to live our lives. We get direction and clarity about how we ought to live. The fuesians five, one through two, puts it this way. Therefore, be imitators of God as beloved children, the imitators of God as what kind of children,...

...beloved children, and he goes on and he says and Walk in Love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, the love that we express to one another, the love that we have for one of the the giving of ourselves. What is it grounded in? It's grounded in our redemption. It's grounded in Christ giving himself up in the sending of the sun so that we might be adopted as beloved children in God. So if we want to understand how to live our lives, if we want direction on how we ought to act, on what we ought to do, we can look to this. And if we want the power for those things as well, if we want assurance of that we can do those things and that God is with us again, we can look to this Gospel and this good news to us in Christ. Let's pray our heavenly father. We thank you that you have s.

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