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Private Confession: By Appointment

Holy, Holy, Holy

June 10, 2017

Verse: Isaiah 6:3

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Christ Lutheran Church
Cleveland, Ohio
June 11, 2017
by: Rev. Dean Kavouras

Trinity
Holy, Holy, Holy

Without question the most important doctrine of Christian revelation is the doctrine of the Trinity.

We believe, teach and confess that the eternal God who lives in unapproachable light has revealed himself to us in the pages of Holy Scripture. That he has made himself known to us in a way that we can understand, albeit much study and thought is required. But be glad for that, dear Christians, because any god who is easily perceived is an idol. But the Triune God is no idol, but he is the God of gods, and the Lord of lords.

God is also a mystery, but a mystery is different from a secret. A secret, once it is known, is exhausted, there’s nothing more to know. But with a mystery each discovery leads to yet another layer; and every door opens to ten more. And because God is eternal, the consolation and satisfaction we obtain from his worship, and from the study of theology, never ends. Literally.

For the last 60 years the program in America is to glorify ignorance. To major in minors. To righteously teach what is least important; and to militantly reject what is most important. But the church refuses to play along. She still uses big words and large thoughts, lifting all boats by her rising tide.

First she confesses that God reveals himself to us as the Trinity. That he discloses himself as the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit; three persons, in one God, of equal majesty and power. Yet there are not three Gods, but one. Be sure to spend time this afternoon studying the Athanasian Creed which we confessed a few minutes ago; your soul will flourish as a result.

She confesses that God is Eternal, Omniscient, Omnipotent, Ubiquitous, and Just (though no one who uses that word today has any idea what it means). But above all we learn from Christian revelation that “God is love.” But that is not just a slogan, or a bromide to make people feel good.

Instead, what St. John states in his first sermon, “God is love” (1 John 4:19) is instantiated on the cross; and substantiated in today’s gospel where we read that: God loved the world in this manner. He gave his one and only Son to be “lifted up” like the Serpent in the wilderness. To draw all men up from the earth to himself. Away from Satanic service, base passions, irrational thought, illogical behavior; and to cancel out the judgment we all merit due to our transgressions. So that anyone who should look to Jesus on the cross; put his trust in Jesus on the cross; have communion with Jesus on the cross, will be saved from the deadly poison of his sins; and spared the wrath of God to come in final judgment.

Instead he will be born anew and begotten from above with God now as his Father, and the Church his mother. To what end? So that we who have been made senseless by our transgressions might recover our souls. And with our souls our minds, intellects, wills, and our capacity to think. All this so that the “eyes our hearts” (Ephesians 1:18) might be opened to perceive true love, true doctrine, pure words, beautiful thoughts and Good deeds. So that, in a word, we might see God as he is, and become like him.

This is why it’s so painful for us to exist in this present age. Christian faith deals in golden truth! But the world is a rotting dumpster of deception. Emotion replaces thought. Feelings pass for reason. But let all who hear this word today know that you will never be happy in this world, never find peace in this world or the next, never rest or find satisfaction if you will not seek the one, true God, the Father who created you, the Son who redeemed you, and the Holy Spirit who calls you into this holy house.

But in her madness the world denies God as Father, as a result order is now broken down. Criminals are lionized, the police demonized, and no one can say anymore what is good or bad. Isaiah prophesied this day when he said, “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!” (Isaiah 5:20) Anyone older than 65 has watched helplessly as this conversion has taken place in a single lifetime.

After Fatherhood breaks down marriage is next to go; followed by gender confusion and the praise of what is unnatural, of the culture of death. And civil discourse is lost in the fray which leaves only one way for people to settle their differences: by violence. But if we wish to be a happy and prosperous people again, America must wake up to God the Father, repent of her sins against him, and place her trust in Christ the crucified before it is too late.

In her glistening pride the world also denies God the Son. While the world might affirm a Jesus it can utilize to promote its political agenda, it cannot abide Jesus on the cross. The Suffering Servant who atones for the sin of the world. Who borne of great love, suffers the fate due us for our sins. Who, in the words of St. Paul, “became sin for us, so that we might become the righteousness of God in him.” (2 Corinthians 5:21)

And if the world doesn’t acknowledge God the Father and God the Son, never will it acknowledge God the Holy Spirit. He who is the engine of our faith. The Spirit of Truth who leads us into all truth. The Lord and Giver of life: Life now and Life forever.

But whatever the culture does or doesn’t do, let the church thank God on this Trinity Sunday that he rescues us from death and the devil by holy baptism. That he wishes not only to redeem us, but to be with us. To commune with us in Holy Communion, which is a foretaste of the Feast to Come. And that he permits us to join in his praise. To address him in the language not only of men, but of angels, as we sing: Holy, Holy, Holy Lord God Almighty, heaven and earth are full of your Glory. Hosanna, Hosanna, Hosanna in the highest. Amen