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Elect by the Trinity - part 2

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Altar Prayer

·         My Brother said something last Sunday that stayed with me all week.  We need more teaching on the Holy Spirit

·         And to that statement I say Amen!  My amen affirm what was said.  “So let it be”

·         I thank the Lord for meditation and prayer

·         For the Lord laid this passage on my heart

·         Ephesians 4:11-16
11 And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, 14 so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. 15 Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love. ESV

·         New Hope we are getting ready (and perhaps it has started) to go through what I would like to call a ‘Paradigm Shift’

·         This hard head of mine has to be knocked around a bit before I can say “I get it!”

·         I (and I feel that I can say we) as pastors can’t do it all and here is where the paradigm shift becomes real –

·         We need your help!  Even with plurality, we need your help!

·         We do this in our families without much pain and confusion but it is needed here.

·         Have we grown New Hope?  And your answer is?

·         And with growth there are larger needs and concerns

·          Guess what, when I started pasturing New Hope, I was 32 years old – Philip Woodmore would be born in October of that year.  And if the Lord wills, I will be 59 in September of this year.  And I just can’t do what I use to do.

·         And that is contrary to the tradition that if the pastors don’t do it it hasn’t been done right.

·         A ‘Paradigm Shift’ where you exercise your spiritual gifts in a more direct way (not that you are not exercising them now but realizing that this is for our further growth)

·         Just like spreading and sharing the responsibility and work load in the home.  Listen

Romans 12:3-8
3 For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. 4 For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, 5 so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. 6 Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; 7 if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; 8 the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness. ESV

·         Brother Ernest, you are one of our growth group teachers and your conviction is right on, now I ask you and the fellowship to pray about the Lord leading you to join in the teaching of this topic on the Holy Spirit.

·         Are we aware that many of our books of faith are not authored by pastors but in many cases lay people.

·         I know Brother Reed with the work he has done in his career could prepare and present lessons that will benefit the fellowship.

·         To my homeschooling parents, have you thought and prayed about putting your experiences down in book form that could be helpful to other come after you who may be lead to homeschool.

·         Your homeschooling has been blessed and a benefit. 

·         Brothers and sisters of the boys fellowship why not make the presentation from our college & post-college young men a calendar item that we do on a regular basis and while I am here, what about our girls?

·         Don’t they need to hear from our college and post-college young women?

·         Here is why I am saying this

·         If the shift does not happen then we will continue to say; ‘we need’, ‘it would be nice to have’, ‘I would like to learn more about’

·         I will say “I hear you and I agree with you and we will put that one on the list and we pastors will talk about it”

·         And yes, we really do talk about it – But

·         We need your help and your spiritual gifts because just like our families have grown and there is a need for help and sharing it is the same with New Hope – Amen!

·         It would be a blessing to be able to say that for the next several ‘growth group meetings’ or as part of the afternoon service – brother or sister (place your name there) will be teaching on, leading a discussion on, giving a talk about a specific topic

·         As the Ephesians’ passage I read ends listen again

·         Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love. ESV

This is what I want us to meditate on as we pray today.

1 Peter 1:1-2
1
Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who are elect exiles of the dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, 2 according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in the sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and for sprinkling with his blood: May grace and peace be multiplied to you. ESV

·         My subject is ‘part two of elect by the Trinity’

·         Recall that this portion of the passage give four points, one is implied and three are stated

·         Last week in my first point, we talked about the Trinity and we started off with our belief statement about God

We believe that there is one, and only one, living and true God (an infinite, intelligent Spirit) whose name is JEHOVAH, the Creator, Sustainer, and Supreme Ruler of the heavens and the earth.  We believe that He is inexpressibly glorious in holiness and worthy of all possible honor, confidence, and love; revealed under the personal and relative distinctions of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  Our true God is equal in every divine perfection and executing distinct but harmonious offices in the great work of redemption.

·         We pointed out that in our belief statement we state three affirmations

·         First, Monotheism – We believe that there is one, and only one living and true God

·         Second, There are three Divine Persons – the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit

·         Third, The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are coequal and coeternal – Our true God is equal in every divine perfection and executing distinct but harmonious offices in the great work of redemption.

·         My first point was; The Holy Trinity is implied here in Peter’s greeting

·         Peter gives a Trinitarian statement to the elect without distractions

·         But in our arrogance we feel that we can come up with a good illustration of what the Holy Trinity is and our illustrations are actually examples of practical modalism and that brings about distractions.

·         There are times we may even use ourselves as an illustration to define the Trinity such as I am the Father of Kimberly, Amira, and Jamelle; I am the husband of Geraldine and the son of Mother McCreary three in one.

·         This is an example that illustrates modalism and not the Holy Trinity, for even with these modes one could argue why stop with three, for in this very illustration, I am also the pastor of New Hope Baptist Church and that is a different mode from being a father, husband, or son; I am also a Mathematics teacher in the Parkway school district and even that is a different mode from the other four.

·         Not only is that arrogant, it is also conceited the nerve of me or anyone for that matter comparing themselves with ‘I am’ statements to the one who says ‘I am that I am’!

·         Lord in heaven forgive us and have mercy on us!

·         Others that you may have heard would be something like this;

·         A clover leaf with three leaves; however each leaf is only one third of the whole

·         An egg where you have the shell, the white, and the yoke; my only comment to that is the next time you eat eggs eat the shell along with it.

·         All examples of practical modalism and fall short

·         As I stated last Sunday, there are no analogies of the Holy Trinity in Nature, God is unique and there is nothing in the universe like Him.

·         My second, third and fourth points look at the persons of the Holy Trinity involved being the elect.

·         That is to those who are elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father

·         Elect in the sanctification of the Spirit

·         Elect for obedience to Jesus Christ and for sprinkling with His blood

·         Point number two – elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father.  This speaks of his eternal foreknowledge which effectively issues in the circumstances of history

·         Let me say this – God is beyond our understanding

·         The people Peter writes to and we who are the elect today are more than people that God had information, data, or observations about

·         It is more than God looking into the future and seeing what we would or would not do and making his plans based on that observation

·         It is more than God looking out and seeing the people of Peter’s day and seeing that they would be strong under stress or their background information

·         But God chose them and us according to or consistent with His plans and purpose long before God formed a people to be His own

·         Again listen to the Word

Romans 8:29
29
For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. ESV

Ephesians 1:4-5
4
even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love 5 he predestined us for adoption through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, ESV

·         But also look at 1 Peter 1:20

1 Peter 1:20
20
He was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was made manifest in the last times for your sake, ESV

·         This verse and verse two are related

·         Listen even before creation, before; “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth”, God had (past tense) chosen both the people who would be redeemed and the agent who would redeem them

·         And it happened in the fullness of time.  This reality caught up with God’s reality

·         Man did this – NO WAY!

·         We who are the elect are in the church not merely by our own decision, but by the initiative of God who has called them

·         God did this – ALL THE WAY!

·         Here is Peter’s point to the hearers and readers of this letter and the same point is made to us today; God’s divine initiative has operated in their lives even before they were aware of it.

·         Humbling isn’t it?

·         Kiara, Bethany, and others who will come all these years for your reality to catch up with God’s reality.

·         Peter and the receivers of this letter died a long time ago but this purposeful plan of God is larger than an individual’s life.

·         But by it and obtaining a better understanding of it, it forms the ultimate foundation for the hope and encouragement that Peter is about to offer these exiles and by it we too can be encourage as we continue to pray and supplicate for our love ones and not so love ones but we pray to God

·         And notice what the passage says according to God the Father

·         Verse 3 tells us that yes He is the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ but

·         We can pray to Him as our Father because we have been adopted into His family

John 1:12-13
12
But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. ESV

·         Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father; Peter reminds his readers that God who took the initiative in their lives has drawn them into an intimate, loving, and redemptive relationship with Him, but also one in which God has claimed supreme authority over their lives. 

·         He is Lord of lords and being elected reminds us of this.

·         God picked us from the top of our heads to the bottom of our feet.

·         Such reminders are needed at times when the elect are trouble by the circumstances in which they find themselves, confused about how to live, and tempted to doubt God’s goodness or faithfulness.

·         And my brothers and sisters, we don’t live in Asia Minor, nor are we in the first century.  In fact we live in a blessed country and most of us are not in need like our brothers and sisters of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia but when issues come upon us they are real, and they are just as frustrating.

·         And sometimes in our case more so because we are blessed we expect a blessing.  Because we are educated we expect all that we think comes with being educated.  Because we have a few dollars we expect the happiness to come also

·         But people are funny, things don’t work like they suppose to work, and sometimes I get sick, sometimes I get tired and sometimes I get them both sick and tired. 

·         I can get in today’s world confused about how to live and tempted to doubt God (Emphasize this)

·         But listen to this quote from John Owen;

 “When God planned the great work of saving sinners, He provided two gifts.  He gave His Son and He gave His Spirit.  In fact each Person of the Trinity was involved in this great work of salvation.  The love, grace and wisdom of the Father planned it; the love, grace and humility of the Son purchased it; and the love, grace and power of the Holy Spirit enabled sinner to believe and receive it.”

·         And it is to that reminder that I can say Amen

·         Elect in the sanctification of the Spirit

·         The electing power of God is made real by the faith of the believers, but that faith is itself a completely gracious act of the Holy Spirit

·         It is the Spirit who first stirs in the heart a reaching toward God,

·         Quickens one’s understanding of the gospel

·         Convicts of sin

·         Reassures of pardons

·         And transforms the character by his fruit of virtues

·         It’s the Holy Spirit who applies this to our hearts and lives

John 14:16-17
16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, 17 even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you. ESV

John 16:12-15
12 “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. 13 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. 14 He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. 15 All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you. ESV

·         It is like this before time God elect his people who would focus on His Son in a moment of time (in the fullness of time Jesus died, rose, and returned to the Father) but it is the Holy Spirit who operates in time to bring our reality to the true reality that is without and outside of time

·         The Holy Spirit is the one who brings all of this about in the right order and at the right time.  He is busy working in the world bringing the elect and dealing with the elect.

Listen to this passage

1 Corinthians 12:1-11
1 Now concerning spiritual gifts, brothers, I do not want you to be uninformed. 2 You know that when you were pagans you were led astray to mute idols, however you were led. 3 Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking in the Spirit of God ever says “Jesus is accursed!” and no one can say “Jesus is Lord” except in the Holy Spirit. 4 Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; 5 and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; 6 and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone. 7 To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. 8 To one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, 10 to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. 11 All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills. ESV

·         Elect for obedience to Jesus Christ and for sprinkling with His blood – this is a hendiadys (hen-di-a-dis) = expressing a single idea by two words

·         We need to go to the Old Testament to get the meaning

Exodus 24:3-8
3 Moses came and told the people all the words of the Lord and all the rules. And all the people answered with one voice and said, “All the words that the Lord has spoken we will do.” 4 And Moses wrote down all the words of the Lord. He rose early in the morning and built an altar at the foot of the mountain, and twelve pillars, according to the twelve tribes of Israel. 5 And he sent young men of the people of Israel, who offered burnt offerings and sacrificed peace offerings of oxen to the Lord. 6 And Moses took half of the blood and put it in basins, and half of the blood he threw against the altar. 7 Then he took the Book of the Covenant and read it in the hearing of the people. And they said, “All that the Lord has spoken we will do, and we will be obedient.” 8 And Moses took the blood and threw it on the people and said, “Behold the blood of the covenant that the Lord has made with you in accordance with all these words.” ESV

Ezekiel 36:24-28
24 I will take you from the nations and gather you from all the countries and bring you into your own land. 25 I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you. 26 And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules. 28 You shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers, and you shall be my people, and I will be your God. ESV

Fulfilling this through the gospel of Jesus Christ

What do I say to all of this?  I speak the same Words of Peter; Now may grace and peace be multiplied to you.

·         The unmerited favor that causes you to be friends with God may it do more than increase may it be multiplied doubled or triple

·         We can address the people of God with grace and peace

·         Give more as lead by the Spirit.





 

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