Saturday, April 15, 2017

Reflection - Good Friday and the Bride of Christ

Source Website: http://www.stpaulsbel.org/PastSermons/2017/22Jan17/sermon.html
Pastor's Sermon, St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church on 22 January 2017
(From John 2:1-11, Old Testament Reading: Exodus 33:12-23, Epistle Reading: Romans 12:6-16, Chief Hymn: In you is Gladness)


PHOTO: The Bride of Christ is conceived of sinful seed, this evil rules her heart and mind and reveals itself outwardly in her words and deeds. God has given us a vivid and concrete picture of just how ugly the Bride of Christ is by nature.

The Lord said to his Prophet Hosea, "Go, take for yourself a wife of harlotry and children of harlotry, for the land has committed great harlotry by departing from the Lord." (Hosea 1:2) The Lord was speaking here about the Northern Kingdom of Israel. But what he said of them is true of all men, including us. Every time we sin - and we sin everyday in countless ways, every time we do evil, speak evil, or even think evil we are no better than a filthy prostitute in the eyes of God. For we have abandoned him who loves us and lives to care for us, to pursue a lover who only wants to use us and then will discard us like a piece of trash. And yet this we continue to do, because in the fashion of those prostitutes who sell their bodies to support their addiction to drugs, we give our body and soul over to Satan to satisfy our addiction to sin.


By the grace and mercy of our God, the Holy One took us, a person covered with the filth of sin and determined to be unfaithful to Him, for His Bride. On Good Friday, the Son of Man shed His Blood to atone for the sins of all men. For as many of us as were baptized into Christ were united to Him as a bride to her husband. It's where His Blood mingled with Blessed Water washed our sins away, and where He clothed us in His righteousness, as a bride beautifully dressed in a white wedding garment.


He who turned water into wine, now uses wine to serve us His Blood, which together with His Body form a Feast that strengthens us in the forgiveness He first gave us at our Baptism.


God took us to be His wife so that we would not be alone, and cares for us as His wife so that unlike any other husband and wife the two of us really will live happily ever after.
Picture posted by rickytre
https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-Ci_RTkkNCdo/WPDO-cwpJFI/AAAAAAAAmpc/V8frMzi39mo0YxWSJA6IiYFoYQrGJ3OwQCLcB/s1600/WOMAN1.jpg
http://digilander.libero.it/rickytre/Giappone/WOMAN1.jpg
http://spazio.libero.it/rickytre/listaamici.php?pag=4



As with the first Adam from whom all life came so also with the second Adam who came to restore life to fallen man. It was not good that he should be alone, not because Jesus was lonely: God doesn't get lonely, but because salvation comes to sinners through a blessed union with the Son of Man.

So Jesus fell into the deep sleep of death. And while he was sleeping, God through a spear opened his side, and from what came out of that opened side created a wife for his Son, just as he had done for Adam in the beginning.



PHOTO: While Jesus fell into the deep sleep of death, God through a spear opened his side, and from what came out of that opened side created a wife for his Son, just as he had done for Adam in the beginning.
Picture posted by Anais Chaine, Best of Wedding Photography (All Weddings, New Zealand)
Alma J wedding dress photoshoot with Hannah Scarr, Natural Beauty Artistry make up and Rosahnag model form 62 agency, Auckland. In Piha beach, New Zealand. Photography by Anais Chaine Photography.
 

https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-faFGNaX-nj0/WPDO9rhGDiI/AAAAAAAAmpI/XFVViwESRv4UiK4pOT0MpA97jza5n7e0gCLcB/s1600/Bare-feet-bride-anais-chaine-photography.jpg
https://www.bestofweddingphotography.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/Bare-feet-bride-anais-chaine-photography.jpg
http://www.bestofweddingphotography.com/blog/bride-moon/


But unlike the wife who was later named "Eve," the Bride of Christ is - well, there's no other way to say it - as ugly as can be. For conceived of sinful seed, this evil rules her heart and mind and reveals itself outwardly in her words and deeds.



The Bride of Christ unlike Eve is conceived of sinful seed, this evil rules her heart and mind and reveals itself outwardly in her words and deeds.
PHOTO: The Bride of Christ unlike Eve is conceived of sinful seed, this evil rules her heart and mind and reveals itself outwardly in her words and deeds.
Picture posted by David Alexander Willis on 01 November 2015 - Trashing the Dress: The anti-bridal wedding photography of John Michael Cooper
https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-bdczqwkX5uE/WPDO9ksFXgI/AAAAAAAAmpQ/9oiXk8Kh3LgPKeHgnFtvqhArh6EBPBVpQCLcB/s1600/John_Michael_Cooper_-_joan.jpeg
https://2.img-dpreview.com/files/p/articles/6382885878/John_Michael_Cooper_-_joan.jpeg
https://www.dpreview.com/articles/6382885878/trashing-the-dress-the-anti-bridal-wedding-photography-of-john-michael-cooper



Of course, this is theological-speak, and theological-speak tends to be abstract, hard to grasp. God understands this, and so he has given you a vivid and concrete picture of just how ugly the Bride of Christ is by nature. I must warn you, it is actually quite offensive. The Lord said to his Prophet Hosea, "Go, take for yourself a wife of harlotry and children of harlotry, for the land has committed great harlotry by departing from the Lord."



(Revelation 19:2) Spiritual prostitution is in the likeness of natural prostitution.
PHOTO: (Revelation 19:2) Spiritual prostitution is in the likeness of natural prostitution.
In the natural, a woman who is sexually engaged and joined to many man and receives payment is called a prostitute, a harlot or plainly a whore.
Likewise spiritually, any one person or a church who is joined to many god-persons (a trinity of gods) and collects tithing 10% payment for her service is called a prostitute, a harlot church or a Babylonian whore (Revelation 17:5).
In the Scriptures the Church of Jesus Christ is called the BRIDE of CHRIST (Revelation 21:2, 9) who stayed pure and faithful to Jesus Christ alone (Revelation 14:12).
Paul said (2 Corinthians 11:2-4) “I have espoused (promised) you to ONE HUSBAND, to Jesus Christ the Lord”.
Posted by Paul G on Sunday, 24 February 2013
https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-AJfXRSKn07c/WPDO8j-99JI/AAAAAAAAmo0/27noDHDRUbcsDhsc0Uk2bOvJv_4ArDEgwCLcB/s1600/555bf4cca43a8.image.jpg
http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/capemaycountyherald.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/9/da/9da1e7c8-e7b8-5783-be3d-c4f5eea556c8/555bf4cca43a8.image.jpg?resize=840%2C630
http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-l2UeRC9WiS8/USn3cCbk43I/AAAAAAAAAE8/Ma9mHDvaLw0/s1600/pics_teen_prostitution_human_trafficking_264011366.jpg
http://puritanbelief.blogspot.sg/2013/02/spiritual-prostitution_24.html



Yes, it's true. The Lord was speaking here about the Northern Kingdom of Israel. But what he said of them is true of all men, including you. Every time you sin - and you sin everyday in countless ways, every time you do evil, speak evil, or even think evil you are no better than a filthy prostitute in the eyes of God. For you have abandoned him who loves you and lives to care for you to pursue a lover who only wants to use you and then will discard you like a piece of trash. And yet this you continue to do, because in the fashion of those prostitutes who sell their bodies to support their addiction to drugs, you give your body and soul over to Satan to satisfy your addiction to sin.



The Lord was speaking here about the Northern Kingdom of Israel.
PHOTO: The Lord was speaking here about the Northern Kingdom of Israel. But what He said of them is true of all men, including us. Every time we sin - and we sin everyday in countless ways, every time we do evil, speak evil, or even think evil we are no better than a filthy prostitute in the eyes of God.
Picture posted by CHAD CALDER ccalder@theadvocate.com on 12 November 2015 at 3:25 am
https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-3CNpPk5UJMo/WPDO9AD_dmI/AAAAAAAAmo8/C7T-PUR9N1M--B7JG6QBFxbWRtKbq38NwCLcB/s1600/5751901f8e4e2.image.jpg
http://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/theadvocate.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/0/60/060ac8a9-9cb3-5d80-9c13-944dc2d9188c/5751901f8e4e2.image.jpg
http://www.theadvocate.com/new_orleans/news/article_e623c402-5c63-5603-b23f-35703867810d.html



I told you it was offensive and utterly disgusting too. But this is the grace and mercy of your God. He instructed Hosea to marry a woman of harlotry not only to provide a vivid description of what all men are in their sinful state, but also to reveal what his only-begotten Son was willing to do in his love for you. Because it was not good that the Man should be alone, not good for you at all, the Holy One took you, a person covered with the filth of sin and determined to be unfaithful to him, for his Bride.



This is the grace and mercy of our God.
PHOTO: This is the grace and mercy of our God. He instructed Hosea to marry a woman of harlotry not only to provide a vivid description of what all men are in their sinful state, but also to reveal what his only-begotten Son was willing to do in his love for us. Because it was not good that the Man should be alone, not good for us at all, the Holy One took us, a person covered with the filth of sin and determined to be unfaithful to Him, for His Bride.
Picture posted by National Radio of the Amazon / Brazilian Amazon on 13 March 2016 at 0600h - Documentary reports sex tourism in Brazil
https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-zNlXKYNiwr8/WPDO80-VOPI/AAAAAAAAmpA/Q0RaM4BrqFsbEXHKtV6zjnA-zys4p-R-wCLcB/s1600/56e186b9c719f3cc890bd3ac1b417381c619cbf126fc4.jpg
http://www.douradosagora.com.br/media/images/5247/46207/56e186b9c719f3cc890bd3ac1b417381c619cbf126fc4.jpg
http://www.douradosagora.com.br/noticias/brasil-mundo/documentario-relata-turismo-sexual-no-brasil



And that brings us to Jesus' first miracle. To many it seems irrelevant in light of his other miracles. To some it is downright embarrassing. Why would Jesus provide more wine to give the guests a greater chance to get drunk? People who think like this don't understand that as were all his miracles, so this one too was a sign that proclaimed a very important message about Jesus and what he had come to do.

Consider those six water pots of stone used for ceremonial washing by the Jews. Though dressed in festive garments, they declared the guests at this feast to be filthy dirty in God's eyes. Though celebrating a joyous occasion, they reminded them that unless cleansed of their sin, they would suffer unspeakable anguish in hell.



Jesus' first miracle, was a sign that proclaimed a very important message about Jesus and what he had come to do.
PHOTO: Jesus' first miracle, was a sign that proclaimed a very important message about Jesus and what he had come to do.
Consider those six water pots of stone used for ceremonial washing by the Jews. Though dressed in festive garments, they are filthy dirty in God's eyes. Though celebrating a joyous occasion, they are reminded that unless cleansed of their sin, they would suffer unspeakable anguish in hell.
Picture posted by Dixie on 8 July 2014 - I’ll Call Her Hannah
https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-A54wcvCxwDY/WPDO8skkLPI/AAAAAAAAmo4/7u2hrpc6F9g-vN4v0-lzs6PFw7oXP-VDgCLcB/s1600/10440802_696494227073693_7724385406213002777_n.jpg
https://reflectionsofgracehome.files.wordpress.com/2014/07/10440802_696494227073693_7724385406213002777_n.jpg
https://reflectionsofgracehome.wordpress.com/2014/07/08/ill-call-her-hannah/



Yet there is hope for you, dear Christian, just as there was for them. For six, which was the number of those stone water pots, is also the number of man who was created on the sixth day. And on the sixth day, the one the Church calls Good Friday, the Son of Man shed his Blood to atone for the sins of all men.



JGood Friday, the Son of Man shed his Blood to atone for the sins of all men
PHOTO: Good Friday, the Son of Man shed his Blood to atone for the sins of all men
Jesus had to be fully human for God established the necessity to shed blood for the remission of sins (Leviticus 17:11; Hebrews 9:22)
Jesus on the Cross Sheds His Blood. This sacrifice was required for the forgiveness of our sins.
Posted by Magno At on 04 June 2015
http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-ZtCPjSn4IzE/VicWvg_vWBI/AAAAAAAAh80/nUpAC_ts_Ws/s1600/the_hour_of_mercy_596114432.jpg
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-LXrf6q4KaSQ/VXBottADXoI/AAAAAAAAF-o/ABRfMUPeZIs/w700-h588/the_hour_of_mercy_596114432.jpg
https://plus.google.com/wm/www.gif.ly-sucks-off-sam-breed/113124279268197912826/posts/4gLecB4VEbM
http://veryfatoldman.blogspot.sg/2015/10/reflection-remember-jesus-christ.html



But forgiveness won is not forgiveness given. Only those who are united to Christ as a bride to her husband have this precious, life-giving gift. And to proclaim this to his disciples, Jesus, who miraculously turned the water that filled those six stone pots into wine, just as miraculously unites his Blood to the water that fills the font. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ were united to him as a bride to her husband. It's where his Blood mingled with Blessed Water washed your sins away, and where he clothed you in his righteousness, as a bride beautifully dressed in a white wedding garment.



But forgiveness won is not forgiveness given.
PHOTO: But forgiveness won is not forgiveness given. Only those who are united to Christ as a bride to her husband have this precious, life-giving gift. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ were united to him as a bride to her husband. It's where his Blood mingled with Blessed Water washed your sins away, and where he clothed you in his righteousness, as a bride beautifully dressed in a white wedding garment.
Picture posted by Karina Karina on Friday, 01 June 2012 at 10:48
https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-C6U7PbCua68/WPDO9IyGWHI/AAAAAAAAmpE/0sm4rEx4aeEDmf1WBJSdrQ56mAUNN1h2ACLcB/s1600/925a5a5572da12ab50cbabf2d00dfdb5-d12179z.jpg
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-_d5j9Rzqsl8/T8jHae9esDI/AAAAAAAAAVU/FRJNtnmr1g4/s1600/925a5a5572da12ab50cbabf2d00dfdb5-d12179z.jpg
http://cocacolaquente.blogspot.sg/2012_06_01_archive.html



And now to consummate this blessed union, Jesus unites himself to you in a most intimate way. He gives you his Body, which is in miraculous communion with Blessed Bread, and his Blood with Blessed Wine. How about that for a twist on this miracle! He who turned water into wine, now uses wine to serve you his Blood, which together with his Body form a Feast that strengthens you in the forgiveness he first gave you at your Baptism.



To consummate this blessed union, Jesus unites himself to us in a most intimate way.
PHOTO: To consummate this blessed union, Jesus unites himself to us in a most intimate way. He gives us His Body, which is in miraculous communion with Blessed Bread, and His Blood with Blessed Wine. A Feast that strengthens us in the forgiveness he first gave us at our Baptism.
Photograph by Amber Davis Photography - An Early Morning Dream Engagement Session Filled With Ponies, Cool Water & Love
https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Myvtr00nGXM/WPDO9tNQo7I/AAAAAAAAmpM/fa3iZL9uegYVnxBRddvsU1FemjhlfJjpgCLcB/s1600/Lauren-Kappel-early-morning-Rustic-Engagement-Session-Amber-Davis-Photography-8-1.jpg
http://storyboardwedding.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/Lauren-Kappel-early-morning-Rustic-Engagement-Session-Amber-Davis-Photography-8.jpg
http://storyboardwedding.com/an-early-morning-dream-engagement-session-filled-with-ponies-cool-water-love/



Now do you understand what a wonderful miracle Jesus' first miracle really was, how in a certain way it is more comforting than all the others? Here the second Adam shows you how he took you to be his wife so that you would not be alone, and also how he now cares for you as his wife so that unlike any other husband and wife the two of you really will live happily ever after.

In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.



Jesus' first miracle really was a wonderful miracle
PHOTO: Jesus' first miracle really was a wonderful miracle
God took us to be His wife so that we would not be alone, and cares for us as his wife so that unlike any other husband and wife the two of us really will live happily ever after.
Picture posted by HD Wallpapers on 28 November 2016 - Into the Light, Long Road Desktop Background
https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-vTGZifhyx_s/WPDO-ErjwkI/AAAAAAAAmpY/Ms7ecBZLCH0hkELDYuxITBnn-OyoAuu7QCLcB/s1600/Long-Road-with-girl-walking-HD-Wallpapers.jpg
http://111wallpapers.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Long-Road-with-girl-walking-HD-Wallpapers.jpg
http://111wallpapers.com/long-road-hd-wallpapers/



Dear Lord, We, The Bride of Christ is conceived of sinful seed, this evil rules our heart and mind and reveals itself outwardly in our words and deeds.
PHOTO: "Dear Lord, We, The Bride of Christ is conceived of sinful seed, this evil rules our heart and mind and reveals itself outwardly in our words and deeds. You has given us a vivid and concrete picture of just how ugly the Bride of Christ is by nature.

We have abandoned You, who loves us and lives to care for us, to pursue a lover who only wants to use us and then will discard us like a piece of trash. And yet this we continue to do, because in the fashion of those prostitutes who sell their bodies to support their addiction to drugs, we give our body and soul over to Satan to satisfy our addiction to sin.


By Your grace and mercy You took us, a person covered with the filth of sin and determined to be unfaithful to You, for Your Bride. On Good Friday, the Son of Man shed His Blood to atone for the sins of all men. For as many of us as were baptized into Christ were united to Him as a bride to her husband. It's where His Blood mingled with Blessed Water washed our sins away, and where He clothed us in His righteousness, as a bride beautifully dressed in a white wedding garment.


He who turned water into wine, now uses wine to serve us His Blood, which together with His Body form a Feast that strengthens us in the forgiveness He first gave us at our Baptism.


Thank You for taking us to be Your wife so that we would not be alone, and cares for us as Your wife so that unlike any other husband and wife the two of us really will live happily ever after.


Through Lord Jesus Christ we pray, Amen!
"
Photograph by Amber Davis Photography - An Early Morning Dream Engagement Session Filled With Ponies, Cool Water & Love
https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-sm-FvVzQ42Y/WPDO-JEfE2I/AAAAAAAAmpU/yC82uBcKBWY-HcdzzGOPJx8ImfFKbPxMACLcB/s1600/Lauren-Kappel-early-morning-Rustic-Engagement-Session-Amber-Davis-Photography.jpg
http://storyboardwedding.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/Lauren-Kappel-early-morning-Rustic-Engagement-Session-Amber-Davis-Photography.jpg
http://storyboardwedding.com/an-early-morning-dream-engagement-session-filled-with-ponies-cool-water-love/



But forgiveness won is not forgiveness given.
PHOTO: But forgiveness won is not forgiveness given. Only those who are united to Christ as a bride to her husband have this precious, life-giving gift. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ were united to him as a bride to her husband. It's where his Blood mingled with Blessed Water washed your sins away, and where he clothed you in his righteousness, as a bride beautifully dressed in a white wedding garment.
Picture posted by Karina Karina on Friday, 01 June 2012 at 10:48
https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-shM3Sd5scNc/WPWcR-4DQ1I/AAAAAAAAmr8/QhQa_o0mIvo_DOHLn027DksMYZCOoAq-wCLcB/s1600/925a5a5572da12ab50cbabf2d00dfdb5-d12179z%2B-2.png
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-_d5j9Rzqsl8/T8jHae9esDI/AAAAAAAAAVU/FRJNtnmr1g4/s1600/925a5a5572da12ab50cbabf2d00dfdb5-d12179z.jpg
http://cocacolaquente.blogspot.sg/2012_06_01_archive.html


Pastor's Sermon, St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church on 22 January 2017
(From John 2:1-11, Old Testament Reading: Exodus 33:12-23, Epistle Reading: Romans 12:6-16, Chief Hymn: In you is Gladness)
 


Reference
[1] St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church, Pastor's Sermon, posted on 22 January 2017, http://www.stpaulsbel.org/PastSermons/2017/22Jan17/sermon.html

New International Version (NIV), Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

2 Corinthians 11:2-4 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2+Cor.11%3A2-4&version=NIV

Exodus 33:12-23 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Exodus+33%3A12-23&version=NIV

Hebrews 9:22 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Hebrews+9%3A22&version=NIV

Hosea 1:2 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Hosea+1%3A2&version=NIV

John 2:1-11 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John+2%3A1-11&version=NIV

Leviticus 17:11 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Leviticus+17%3A11&version=NIV

Revelation 14:12 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Rev.14%3A12&version=NIV

Revelation 17:5 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Rev.17%3A5&version=NIV

Revelation 19:2 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+19%3A2&version=NIV

Revelation 21:2, 9 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Rev.21%3A2%2C9&version=NIV

Romans 12:6-16 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Romans+12%3A6-16&version=NIV