Preparing our Hearts to Worship
In an effort to help you prepare for the November 5, 2017, Sunday morning corporate worship gathering and to aid you in your own reflections on the Epistle of 1st John. I wanted to pose a few questions and provide a few resources to prayerfully consider over the coming days. Our sermon is entitled, “Antichrists.” The main Scripture for the day is 1 John 2:18-27. The other passages are either referenced in the message or provide additional insight for reflection.
(Pick and choose from the many resources and options, which I have tried to make available for your devotional life.)
From the Scriptures
Read and prayerfully reflect upon some or all of these Scriptures. Ask God to shape your life and your church’s life to match the heart of God:
Read or listen to 1John 2:18-27, 4:2-4, 14-15, John 8:44, Matthew 16:18.
(You can read or listen to all of these passages in a variety of translations at Bible.is.)
From the Creeds and Confessions
Whoever desires to be saved should above all hold to the catholic faith.
Anyone who does not keep it whole and unbroken will doubtless perish eternally.
Now this is the catholic faith:
That we worship one God in trinity and the trinity in unity,
neither blending their persons
nor dividing their essence.
For the person of the Father is a distinct person,
the person of the Son is another,
and that of the Holy Spirit still another.
But the divinity of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is one,
their glory equal, their majesty coeternal.
What quality the Father has, the Son has, and the Holy Spirit has.
The Father is uncreated,
the Son is uncreated,
the Holy Spirit is uncreated.
The Father is immeasurable,
the Son is immeasurable,
the Holy Spirit is immeasurable.
The Father is eternal,
the Son is eternal,
the Holy Spirit is eternal.
And yet there are not three eternal beings;
there is but one eternal being.
So too there are not three uncreated or immeasurable beings;
there is but one uncreated and immeasurable being.
Similarly, the Father is almighty,
the Son is almighty,
the Holy Spirit is almighty.
Yet there are not three almighty beings;
there is but one almighty being.
Thus the Father is God,
the Son is God,
the Holy Spirit is God.
Yet there are not three gods;
there is but one God.
Thus the Father is Lord,
the Son is Lord,
the Holy Spirit is Lord.
Yet there are not three lords;
there is but one Lord.
Just as Christian truth compels us
to confess each person individually
as both God and Lord,
so catholic religion forbids us
to say that there are three gods or lords.
The Father was neither made nor created nor begotten from anyone.
The Son was neither made nor created;
he was begotten from the Father alone.
The Holy Spirit was neither made nor created nor begotten;
he proceeds from the Father and the Son.
Accordingly there is one Father, not three fathers;
there is one Son, not three sons;
there is one Holy Spirit, not three holy spirits.
Nothing in this trinity is before or after,
nothing is greater or smaller;
in their entirety the three persons
are coeternal and coequal with each other.
So in everything, as was said earlier,
we must worship their trinity in their unity
and their unity in their trinity.
Anyone then who desires to be saved
should think thus about the trinity.
But it is necessary for eternal salvation
that one also believe in the incarnation
of our Lord Jesus Christ faithfully.
Now this is the true faith:
That we believe and confess
that our Lord Jesus Christ, God’s Son,
is both God and human, equally.
He is God from the essence of the Father,
begotten before time;
and he is human from the essence of his mother,
born in time;
completely God, completely human,
with a rational soul and human flesh;
equal to the Father as regards divinity,
less than the Father as regards humanity.
Although he is God and human,
yet Christ is not two, but one.
He is one, however,
not by his divinity being turned into flesh,
but by God’s taking humanity to himself.
He is one,
certainly not by the blending of his essence,
but by the unity of his person.
For just as one human is both rational soul and flesh,
so too the one Christ is both God and human.
He suffered for our salvation;
he descended to hell;
he arose from the dead;
he ascended to heaven;
he is seated at the Father’s right hand;
from there he will come to judge the living and the dead.
At his coming all people will arise bodily
and give an accounting of their own deeds.
Those who have done good will enter eternal life,
and those who have done evil will enter eternal fire.
This is the catholic faith:
one cannot be saved without believing it firmly and faithfully.
Heidelberg Catechism Q31
Why is he called Christ, that is, Anointed?
Because he has been ordained by God the Father, and anointed with the Holy Spirit, 1 to be our chief Prophet and Teacher, 2 who has fully revealed to us the secret counsel and will of God concerning our redemption; 3 our only High Priest, 4 who by the one sacrifice of his body has redeemed us, 5 and who continually intercedes for us before the Father; 6 and our eternal King, 7 who governs us by his Word and Spirit, and who defends and preserves us in the redemption obtained for us. 8
From the songs, hymns and spiritual songs of the Church
For Thoughtful Reflection, Prayer, or further Study
Read and reflect on Heresies about the Incarnation.
Who is the antichrist and what does the antichrist do?
John says the antichrist divides the church (1jn 2:19), denies the Trinitarian nature of God (1Jn 2:22), denies Jesus’ incarnation, messiahship and Son of God status (1Jn 2:22, 4:2-3, 14-15, 2Jn 7) and tries to deceive people from believing the truths of God and Jesus (1Jn 2:26). Are there any other central teachings of Scripture that if denied, rid the gospel of its power?
The Sermon will be available online on November 5, 2017 at 12:30 pm.
Disclaimer: Reference to a particular article or website does not constitute endorsement or agreement with everything in that article or on that website.