John tells us in his gospel that grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No man in history has been able to hold together the blessings of God’s truth with a love that is so focused on the wellbeing of sinners. In this, Jesus not only remains our example but, through the Holy Spirit, our power. He is a power who offers a steady rock in the ever shifting cultural sands of modern Australia. As the Uniting Church considers its ministry to the nation regarding marriage, now is the time to fix our eyes on Jesus and be obedient to His grace and His truth. There really is no other hope for any of us.
In this, the last sermon in our current series on Sonship, we will be looking at what a true understanding of our union with Jesus produces in us and through us. A heart that is settled in the Spirit of Sonship will demonstrate love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control. However, this settledness is not a one-time stop. We are continually on a journey of settling our hearts in our Sonship. That’s one of the reasons we need to meet together. There is always a battle between the heart’s competing desires: the desire for its own autonomy and the desire for the freedom Christ offers. Fortunately, the Spirit also desires our freedom and we can lean on and learn from God.
Imagine a Judge adopting the guilty criminal in the trial he is hearing. He not only accepts his blame and pays all his debts, he takes him into his family and treats him as his own natural born heir. It’s really incomprehensible. And yet that is the heart of the good news we proclaim Sunday by Sunday. In the place of God’s anger, God gives us the Spirit of Sonship. This Spirit cries out our deep love to God and equips us with the gifts and graces to share in his life. It’s not just a new beginning, but a whole new life.
These past two weeks we’ve been looking at what it means to be sons and daughters of God; what it means to participate in the relationship that the Son has with the Father.
Join us this week as we build on this and explore our identity as the body of Christ asking what it means to be sons and daughters of God together as a community of believers, and what is community anyway?
In 1747 an English clergy man called Charles Wesley published a hymn called ‘Love divine, all loves excelling’. It includes the phrase: “Let us see your great salvation… lost in wonder, love and praise”. The power behind such great hymns is the fact that the writers themselves were lost in wonder, love and praise. They had understood something about the beauty of God, their own brokenness and the great love that has pulled them out of the pit. No wonder they were lost in wonder, love and praise. There is a great sadness and longing in us when we are no longer “lost in wonder, love and praise”. Only a vision of Jesus as he is will draw praise out of us. Come, Lord Jesus. Grant us the hearts to praise you!