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Psalm 50:1-6
 
The Mighty One, God the LORD, speaks and summons the earth from the rising of the sun to its setting. Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God shines forth. Our God comes; he does not keep silence; before him is a devouring fire, around him a mighty tempest. He calls to the heavens above and to the earth, that he may judge his people: "Gather to me my faithful ones, who made a covenant with me by sacrifice!" The heavens declare his righteousness, for God himself is judge!
(ESV)
God Will Never Forget Us
Thursday After Reformation Sunday
29 October 2015
If we deny the holy Trinity, into whom would we be baptized? Immersion into the divine name covers us with the blessings of the holy Trinity and the divine promises which God the Trinity delivers to the world in Christ, the eternal Son in the unity of the Holy Spirit. If we are re-baptized, into whom are we baptized the first time? If there is one God, there is but one baptism (Eph 4:5). If we are re-baptized, we are baptized into another god. God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit stand behind the gift given in baptism. He has committed Himself with an oath at the rite of baptism. There is no stronger promise to us than one sealed by the divine name. He swears to us by Himself (Gn 22:16). What could be better than this? How could we ever improve this benefit from our gracious heavenly Father? He will never retreat from this promise. Nothing you do will ever cause our God to defect from His promise to us in Christ. You can defect from God's promise, but God will never go back on His.
 
Today, people describe themselves as "spiritual," even if they are unbelieving. But for us Christians spirituality is not a self-designation. You don't make yourself spiritual. Our own calling does not make things so. Only God's calling makes things so (Gn 1:3). God the Holy Spirit gives us new birth. God chooses us, not we Him. We become truly spiritual when the Holy Spirit is given to us. Jesus binds us to the Spirit in the Trinitarian sacrament: "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit" (Jn 3:5-6). Water and Spirit are inseparable. In the water is the giving of the Spirit.
 
If we were baptized as an infant it is highly unlikely that we will remember the event. But our memory does not define God's grace to us. The person who has been baptized has the Spirit. God's grace is not limited, or it would not be grace. A gift that is forgotten or not appreciated is still a gift. The local Unitarian-Universalist community near the congregation I serve displayed these words on its marquee: "Grace is almost always unmerited." Uh huh. What kind of grace would be merited? No grace at all. Baptism is a gift of grace. In it we have renounced Satan and his works. In it we have confessed God, who is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. He will never forget us.

 

Gregory Nazianzus

"The Father will not endure to be deprived of the Son, nor the Son of the Holy Spirit. Yet that must happen if they are confined by time, and are created beings. For that which is created is not God. Neither will I bear to be deprived of my consecration [by baptism]; one Lord, one faith, one baptism (Eph 4:5). If this is cancelled, from whom shall I get a second baptism? What do you say, you who destroy baptism, or repeat it? Can a man be spiritual without the Spirit? Has he a share in the Spirit who does not honor the Spirit? Can he honor Him if he is baptized into a mere creature and a fellow-servant? This cannot be so; for all your talk.
 
"I will not play You false, O unoriginate Father, or You O Only-begotten Word, or You O Holy Spirit. I know whom I have confessed, and whom I have renounced, and to whom I have joined myself. I will not allow myself, after having been taught the words of the faithful, to learn also those of the unfaithful; to confess the truth, and then array myself with falsehood; to come down for consecration and to go back to what is even less holy. Having been baptized that I might live, I am killed by the water, like infants who die in the very birth pains, and receive death simultaneously with birth. Why make me at once blessed and wretched, newly enlightened and unenlightened, partaker of the divine nature and godless, that I would make shipwreck even of the hope of regeneration? A few words will suffice. Remember your confession. Into what were you baptized? The Father? Good. But Jewish still. The Son? Good. But not yet complete. The Holy Spirit? Very good. This is complete. Now was baptism into these simply, or some common name of them? The latter. What was the common name? Why, God. In this common name believe, and ride on prosperously and reign, and pass on from hence into the bliss of heaven. And that is, as I think, the more distinct apprehension of these; to which may we all come, in the same Christ our God, to Whom be the glory and the might, with the unoriginate Father, and the life-giving Spirit, now and forever. Amen."

Gregory Nazianzus, Theological Oration, 33.17
 
Prayer
Almighty Father, You have sent us the Son through the power of the Holy Spirit in the sacrament holy baptism. Keep us in our baptism so that we never defect from it. Give us the courage to believe that you will never defect from Your promises in Christ. Amen.
 
For Paul Lodholz, that he would be strengthened in his body
 
For Leslie Doiron Roch, who is undergoing therapy for cancer, that the Lord Jesus would strengthen her and grant healing
 
For all Christian pastors, that the Lord would continue to grant them a clear confession of Christ
Art: Dürer, Albrecht  The Adoration of the Trinity (1515) 

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