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Psalm 20


May the LORD answer you in the day of trouble! May the name of the God of Jacob protect you! May he send you help from the sanctuary and give you support from Zion! May he remember all your offerings and regard with favor your burnt sacrifices! Selah May he grant you your heart's desire and fulfill all your plans! May we shout for joy over your salvation, and in the name of our God set up our banners! May the LORD fulfill all your petitions! Now I know that the LORD saves his anointed; he will answer him from his holy heaven with the saving might of his right hand. Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God. They collapse and fall, but we rise and stand upright. O LORD, save the king! May he answer us when we call. (ESV)

Not Sinners, Sons

Pentecost Tuesday

26 May 2014

We are adopted brothers of Christ through baptism. God's only-begotten Son is the first born among many brothers; and we are those brothers. How remarkable that God has named us sons of God for the sake of His Son. And not only this, but He has made this determination from eternity. This was His eternal will, that we should be called and be brothers of Christ and sons of God, for God's calling makes things to be. Christ has taken our flesh. We share flesh with the incarnate Son, which makes us His blood relatives. We are a family closer than any mere human community, because the church is made not by just ordinary blood, but the blood of God's own dear Son. This blood binds the vast community of saints into one body.


It is hard to conceive of God's eternal decision, that before we were conceived our heavenly Father foreknew us in Christ. We would know nothing of what happened before we were born, unless we were taught by family, teachers, books, etc. We would not have known of this predestination unto election had God not actually put into operation the plan; sending His Son into the flesh  to be offered for us sinners on the tree of the cross. Christ's work was conceived in eternity by our Father and His Son and brought to fruition in time for our sakes. What a deep mystery that our salvation was sealed before time and set before us in the work of Christ. How decisively God works for us. He grudges no effort. Nothing is left amiss either in time or in eternity.


This eternal plan and temporal labor has spectacular results for us sinners. Our name is changed. "Sinners" He no longer calls us, but "sons." What's to doubt? Look at all He has done to accomplish our exalted status.


John Chrysostom


"'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' (Rm 8:29). See what a superb honor! For what the Only-begotten was by nature, they also have become by grace. Yet Paul was not satisfied with this calling of them 'conformed to the image,' but even adds another point, 'that He might be the firstborn.' Even here he does not pause, but proceeds to mention another point, 'among many brothers.' He used all means of making the relationship clear. Now these things you are to take as said of the incarnation. For according to His Godhead He is Only-begotten.


"See what great things He has given to us! Do not doubt about the future. For Paul shows even on other grounds God's concern for us by saying that things were marked out this way from the beginning. Men may derive from things their conceptions about them, but to God these things have been long determined,and from of old He bore good will toward us, he says." 


John Chrysostom, Homilies on Romans, 15.1

Almighty God and Father, because You always grant growth to Your Church, increase our faith and understanding that, rejoicing in our new birth by the water of holy Baptism, we may forever continue in the family of those who You adopt as Your sons; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.


For Louis Cliburn, that the Lord would grant him a full and complete healing


For military veterans, that they would be treasured by our communities and that find joy in their various vocations


For all those who have graduated from institutions of higher learning, that they would serve their communities with the gifts they have received in their education 
Art: DYCK, Anthony van  Pentecost (1618-1620) 

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Memorial Lutheran Church | 5800 Westheimer Rd. | Houston | TX | 77057