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Sermon Prep Notes: Your Fruit is Found in Me

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Inspired by Geerhardus Vos' sermon, The Wonderful Tree (Grace & Glory: Sermons Preached at Princeton Theological Seminary, 1922)

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Possible illustration: the love between my graduate school advisor and his wife.

Context: Overview of Hosea

Historical Context

Given a pretty clear historical context (vs.1)
Hosea a contemporary of Amos but most probably followed him in sequence
Conditions were bad… however, it appears that they had gotten worse after Amos (p. 129 Hailey, Commentary on the Minor Prophets)
Hosea has a lot to say about conditions in the land:
(, see specifically )

The concept of “covenant” is the foundation for Hosea as it is for all Scripture

Hosea 6:7 NKJV
“But like men they transgressed the covenant; There they dealt treacherously with Me.
“Covenant”, differing from “contract”, establishes a relationship between parties
It defines the relation that exists between the covenant parties
It, of course, has legal ramifications for the obligations that are assumed in it
But, especially in Scripture, it is not first and foremost to be viewed from a “legal” (e.g. “works”) point of view
Its purpose is to establish the relation and to reveal the status of the parties with respect to one another.
God’s Covenants were designed, and exist, to reveal the blessed & loving relation between Himself and the parties within the covenant.
The Covenant of Redemption - the relation between God and the Christ, the 2nd Person of the Trinity Who was incarnated in Jesus of Nazareth
The Covenant of Works - the relation between God and Adam as the Federal Head of created man
The Covenant of Grace - the relation between God and the elect, in union with Christ as their Federal Head
the Covenant with Creation - the relation between God and His created universe as fallen in Adam to be restored in Christ
The point of God’s covenants is to define how man is to “enjoy God and glorify Him forever”:
both in His fulfillment of His obligations in the covenant(s) and how man is to purposefully live “in covenant” with God,
either for Adam in the covenant of works, Jesus in the covenant of redemption or the elect in their regenerated state as having been restored in God’s image.

Marriage to an Adulterous Wife = Metaphor for God’s Relation to Israel in Hosea

Israel is a “type” of the New Covenant Church
Hosea’s marriage is a metaphor for God’s temporal covenant with the New Covenant Church ()
AND especially for God’s eternal covenant of grace with the elect saints in the Church (, cf. ; Beale, A New Testament Biblical Theology, p. 41; Rushdoony, R. J. (1994). Systematic Theology in Two Volumes (Vol. 1, p. 653)).
Rushdoony, R. J. (1994). Systematic Theology in Two Volumes (Vol. 1, p. 653). Vallecito, CA: Ross House Books.)
God “married Israel” because He loved her… *cf. Homer Hailey, A Commentary on the Minor Prophets, p. 128 for an excellent development of the tenderness of God’s love for Israel being the thrust of Hosea versus Amos’ passionate vindication of God’s justice in dealing with Israel)
There are significant parallels with the main thrust of the parable of the prodigal son ( cf. ; ; ; (I will love them freely, without holding their prodigality against them))
In both the “son” is chastised” for departing from the “Father” in pursuit of the pleasures of the surrounding culture. ( , cf. )
in both the “son” does not return to the “Father” until they “acknowledge their offense” ()
in both the “Father” rejoices when the “son” repents and returns to covenant relationship with Him. (cf. - their sin in “transgressing God’s covenant, - “let us return to the LORD” / - “I will arise and go to my father… etc.)
“in the days of her youth, … when she came up from the land of Egypt” ()
“in the days of her youth, … when she came up from the land of Egypt” ()
He loved her with a greater passion than Solomon for his beloved in ;
His love was not just a legal arrangement, it revealed how deeply, tenderly and warmly He cared for her.
At first Israel was “faithful” and loved Him in return
but, over time, she committed adultery
she was tempted by the prosperity and power and life style of the surrounding nations
like the church in every age, she became “double minded” (, cf. ; , )
giving lip service to her legal duties within the covenant of marriage
but in her heart and in her activities, she loved the world and its gods more that her Husband.
God reveals to Hosea that Israel had “transgressed the covenant”, as did Adam (; Ho 8:1)
therefore He will chastise His wife… and put her away from Him for a time
but the main theme of Hosea is that God’s love would not allow Him to put her away forever
but rather, His love would drive Him to restore Her as His wife
He would betroth her again () and she would again “know the Lord” as a faithful wife to Him.

Fallen Condition: Double Mindedness as the Fatal Sin of Adultery ()

Do we love God for his own sake, and find in this love the inspiration of service, or do we patronize Him as an influential partner under whose auspices we can better conduct our manifold activities in the service of the world ? Vos, G. (1922). Grace and Glory: Sermons Preached at Princeton Theological Seminary. Reformed Press.
Vos, G. (1922). Grace and Glory: Sermons Preached at Princeton Theological Seminary. Reformed Press.
From this overview of Hosea, we can draw this fundamental conclusion.
The Church in every age… and each Christian within the Church
is susceptible to the sin of idolatry… in many forms
but one particularly egregious form of idolatry, specifically seen in Hosea
is when the people of God fall out of love for God… as a Person, for Himself as a Person
and begin to see Him almost exclusively in terms of “what can God, what can Jehovah, do for me?)
When the world around is telling us that this is how we should live our lives...
this is how we should think… this is the way we should live…
these are the things which will bring us joy, prosperity, health, relationships, etc.
in other words, the things that make our secular lives fulfilling and delightful
then brothers and sisters, what the “surrounding nations” are advertising to us..
is the worship of Mammon, a false god ()
and as Jesus Himself tells us: “no one can serve two masters, for he will either hate the one and love the other, or else he will loyal to the one and despise the other”
The Israelites “loved “ the gods of the surrounding nations… that’s where their heart was..
that’s where their heart was..
and they only gave lip service to Yahweh...
they didn’t want to completely, overtly, break away from Him…
but they only threw Him a bone now and again… they tried to have it both ways...
Israel tried to serve God on the Sabbath, but during the week, their heart belonged to Ba’al.
they tried to have it both ways...
And this God hates…
Brothers and sisters this is just as big a problem today as it was when Hosea wrote this prophecy.

Main Point

The study of this will teach that there are four outstanding features to Jehovah's gift to Israel of the fruition of Himself. We find that it is eminently personal, exclusive, individual, and transforming in its influence.

The question this sermon is intended to answer is this: “What do we do, as individuals and as a church, when we find this form of idolatry to be true of us… whether in part or in whole?”
The answer is: “Repent of this sin… and remember, as Hosea teaches us, that God’s love for us is and always will be, greater than our love for Him. God’s purpose in calling us to Himself, is to give us the greatest gift of all - Himself, and the truly repentant heart, will discover in God, in His Person, that nothing the world can offer can surpass living and finding our delight, in Him, as He is revealed to us in Jesus Christ our Lord.

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