Sunday, March 22, 2009

Lent 4

Today's readings were Numbers 21:4-9, Ephesians 2:1-10 (sermon text), and John 3:14-21.

This text is a Lenten one - v. 1 says that we were dead in sin. We were in the family of Satan. This is Law, pure and simple. But Gospel (v. 4ff) necessarily follows.

Law. Paul had in mind pagan Ephesian converts, but we're just as dead. We were enslaved to sin, having no spiritually-related free will. Although it's countercultural (others think of sin as a wound only) to think so, we must accept this truth. We can only hope that Someone resuscitates us. Around us, angels we can't see are battling the world's prince we can't see directly. He is always battling for the souls of God's children to make them children of wrath instead.

Gospel. "But" is the hinge of much of the Bible. Verses 8 and 9 differentiate Christianity from other religions - even our works are God's workmanship! Works should make others praise God, not our flesh. Verses 4-7 are slightly less familiar but still precious Gospel. Let us not take God's life-restoring food and drink for granted. He seats us in the heavenly places - meaning perhaps that we are in Paradise (His presence) already, adopted princes and princesses of God. We've been given precious privileges paid for by Christ's blood. Let that spill over into your life, O child of the Father.

Apologies for decreased posting frequency. The evil in the world is becoming too common.

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