The bottom line is that our allegiance is to our God and Creator and to His people. When we sin it is against Him. When we are forgiven it is because of His mercy. When we walk in freedom it is because of His grace. A double portion. This gospel is independent of any nation, tribe, or tongue. We are Christians first. Period. Nothing should come before our unity as Christians.
Song: We All Believe in One True God
Passage: Genesis 1-2:4, Acts 2 14a, 22-36, Matthew 28:16-20
Hello everyone and Welcome to episode #15 of the Anno Domini Podcast. A podcast dedicated to the supremacy of Christ over all things including our days, weeks, and months.
Join me as we explore how Christ is revealed through the cyclical life of the church calendar year. We’ll discover how this calendar once structured culture and how it can again. We’ll also discuss practical ways to observe and celebrate these holy days in our quest to glorify God and live the good life in the midst of all good He has given us.
Last week I said that Pentecost might be the most important day we mark on the Church Calendar. My reasoning is that only with the coming of the Holy Spirit, are those of us who belong to Christ are actually given new hearts. Jesus said that we would be born again by the Spirit. The Father sends the Son. The Son atones for the sins of His people, and the Spirit gives them new hearts so that they can approach the holiness of the Father. It is this beautiful trinitarian reality that we celebrate on Holy Trinity Sunday. Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, living in perfect harmony, three in one and one in three. The triune God head.
Trinity Sunday is here. We are now beginning a new time within the Church Calendar; Ordinary Time. While the first half of the Church year focuses on the Life of Jesus, the second half focuses on the life of the Church now that the Spirit has come and filled our hearts with love of God and love of His people. This is where we get our idea of things being ordinary and special. The first half is special because it is all about the life of Christ, the second half is ordinary, or numbered, because we, the saints that comprised His bride, the Church, are being transformed into a better representation of Him. Ordinary isn’t boring, in fact, without ordinary you don’t have special. Things are only special if they are set against ordinary things. We are now living in the time of Pentecost and therefore we number our weeks as they correspond to the Pentecost Sunday when the Spirit was given to us. In this way we balance our focus on the life of Christ and the life of Christ’s people as they try and become more like Him.
Each episode of the Anno Domini podcast, we try and look at some or all of the readings found in the church lectionary. For those of you who are new, the lectionary is simply a prepared set of readings that are connected in a germane way to the day or week of the Church Calendar. This is a set group of readings that ALL the church is reading together regardless personal devotions. Usually there is an Old Testament Reading, A Psalm, a Gospel passage, and an Epistle reading. These passages usually share commonalities although sometimes you have to work to spot them. For Trinity Sunday the passages are from Genesis 1-2:4, Matthew 28:16-20 and Acts 2:14a, 22-36. I will actually be reading snippets of each of these passages to highlight why they were chosen for Trinity Sunday. Let’s start with the passage from Genesis.
Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”
So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.
And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
As God is creating the world, His creation culminates with the creation of man, the image of God. When God prepares to create man, He refers to Himself using a first person plural pronouns “Us” and “Our.” He does not use the singular “I” or “My” but “Us” and “Our.” This means that God is one God with at least more than one person within the God head. We will see in the next passages that there are in fact three.
Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Christians have been given the task of calling to repentance and discipline, all the nations of the earth. We are to baptize them in a veryspecific way, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Once they’ve been baptized, we are teach them how to obey God in the ways He has commanded us. When we obey Christ in this way, He promises to be with us always.
This Jesus God raised up, and of that we all are witnesses. Being therefore exalted at the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he has poured out this that you yourselves are seeing and hearing…Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified.”
In this passage, Peter is giving His first sermon and He declares that Jesus ascended to the right hand of God the Father where He was given the promised Holy Spirit which He then poured out upon us. There again we see the three members of the Triune Godhead on display. We also see the love of our One God. The Father sends the Son to rescue His people from their sins so He can pour out His Spirit upon them. This in One God in Three Persons.
This week we are going to be examining a hymn from one of my favorite fathers of the faith; Martin Luther. Before we get to the hymn I would like to talk for a moment about this man God used to advance the kingdom here on earth as it is in heaven. Luther of course started his life out as a Roman Catholic but was disturbed by many things he saw taking place within the Roman Catholic church. Martin Luther observed rampant greed, oppression, corruption, and blasphemy, which is the act of speaking falsehoods about God that make Him out to be liar. Martin Luther is one of Christendom’s greatest heroes because he stood against the zeitgeist of the day. Martin Luther was German and so is the word zeitgeist which, to my knowledge, does not have an english equivalent. Zeitgeist is a word that is used to describe the “Spirit of the Age.” Every age, or period has a defining spirit or characteristic. For Luther, that Zeitgeist was a Roman Catholic church steeped in corruption as priests taught the manipulative and unbiblical doctrine of indulgences. Parishioners were deceived into giving extra money to the church outside the normal tithe to “buy their relatives out of purgatory.” The lay people were not allowed to read the bible and had to rely entirely on the clergy to teach them God’s Word. Since it was in the best financial interest of the Roman Catholic church to require indulgences the church grew fat with wealth while the people suffered. This was real oppression with actual victims. This was true institutional oppression. Martin Luther stood up against the prevailing thought of his day and one day courageously nailed his 95 Theses to the church doors at Wittenberg. By going against the zeitgeist, the Spirit of the Age, Martin Luther brought true freedom to a people who were really being oppressed. Martin Luther chose to not follow the crowd and instead took his stand courageously on Scripture. Paul warns us in Colossians 2:8 “See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.”The zeitgeist had its truth, its gospel if you will, hollow as it was. The zeitgeist promised true deliverance but only delivered a false deception dreamt up by the father of lies. The zeitgeist is fickle and is no substitute for true salvation. See the zeitgeist and if it doesn’t submit to Christ and His Word then reject this false gospel.
As we seek practical ways of living a life that is shaped by Trinitarian thought let’s put 3 things at the forefront of our mind:
- Our sin is primarily against God the Father. We are guilty but not because we feel guilty. David didn’t feel guilty until Nathan called out his sin. David, while confessing his sin of adultery and murder confesses to God in Psalm 51 “against You and You only have I sinned.” This doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t confess our sins to others, we absolutely should and must if there is actual sin involved but never forgetting that sin is ultimately against our Holy Father.
- Our sin against God the Father was atoned for by Jesus Christ, God the Son, through His work on the cross. He lived a perfect life, fulfilled the Law of God, and imputes that righteousness to His children setting us free from the power and guilt of sin. If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. Therefore regardless of the sin of your father, or their fathers, if you are in Christ, you are a new creation, the old is gone and you have been set free from that sin. Walk no longer in guilt or shame.
- Our sin having been atoned for, we are given God the Holy Spirit to indwell us. Since God the Son has set us free from the power of sin against the God the Father, God the Holy Spirit gives us power to walk in that newness of life. Those of us in Christ should walk by the Spirit by living lives that reflect this freedom by our willingness to love God and to love those around us who have been made in the image of God. We exhibit this love for others by standing up for truth, goodness, and beauty. We exhibit this love for other by confess our own sin and not the sin of others. We exhibit this love for others by believing and speaking biblical truth in love and not by spreading sweet little easy lies.
The bottom line is that our allegiance is to our God and Creator and to His people. When we sin it is against Him. When we are forgiven it is because of His mercy. When we walk in freedom it is because of His grace. A double portion. This gospel is independent of any nation, tribe, or tongue. We are Christians first. Period. Nothing should come before our unity as Christians. The only solidarity Christians should make primary is their union with the body of believers that comprise the Bride of Christ, the Church. The Father is providing His Son, the bridegroom, with a beautiful and spotless bride. That bride is us and we must not make our allegiance to anyone or anything before our true Husband. As believers in the One True God, We will be spending eternity together in harmony, so let’s start practicing that harmony now. The gospel is grace and freedom for all who come. Let’s treat our brothers and sisters in Christ as if they have actually been set free.
As I said earlier, this weeks hymn comes from Martin Luther in 1524. This hymn was originally set to a chant that is hauntingly beautiful. I have put the song to a new a tune. This is an explicitly Trinitarian song and each stanza is dedicated to a different member of the Trinity. This song is a sung creed. Just as we say the Apostles Creed or the Nicean Creed, we sing this creed. All Christians believe what is within those creeds as they are the foundations for Christianity. Creedal songs such as this are wonderful because even if Christians disagree on many theological topics, we all believe these things to be true and we can gather around our true unity within songs and creeds like these. I will read each stanza and comment briefly on each.
We all believe in one true God,
Who created earth and heaven,
The Father, who to us in love
Hath the right of children given.
He both soul and body feedeth
All we need He doth provide us.
He through snares and perils leadeth,
Watching that no harm betide us.
He careth for us day and night
All things are governed by His might
As I said in the previous segment, Christians have solidarity first with one another. We are Christians first always. The blood of Christ is takes precedent over the blood in our own veins. What do we believe? We believe in the maker of heaven and earth. The one true God. The God is a Father and He calls us His children. He feeds our souls and our bodies and provides us with everything we truly need. He leads us through the many snares and perils that abound in this life and He does this all while watching that no harm happens to us. He is always taking care of us and He is sovereignly in control of everything that happens in this world. He is a good Father.
We all believe in Jesus Christ,
His own Son, our Lord, possessing
An equal Godhead, throne, and might,
Source of ev’ry grace and blessing;
Born of Mary, virgin mother,
By the power of the Spirit,
Made true man, our elder Brother,
That the lost might life inherit,
Was crucified for sinful men
And raised by God to life again.
Christians believe in Jesus Christ who is the Son of God the Father. Jesus possess an equal Godhead. That is to say while Christ submits to the Father, He is fully God in His position and his power. Christ is the source of our joy and happiness. By the Spirit Jesus was born of the virgin Mary and while fully God was also fully man or a true man. As He is one of us, He is our elder brother. Think about that, all those claimed by Christ have them same Big Brother; Jesus. That means we’re all siblings. He was made fully man so that we, His lost sheep, might inherit eternal life. He was crucified for our sins while we were still sinful and unlovely but He was then raised by God the Father to life again on the 3rd day.
We all confess the Holy Ghost,
Who sweet grace and comfort giveth
And with the Father and the Son
In eternal glory liveth;
Who the Church, His own creation,
Keeps in unity of spirit.
Here forgiveness and salvation
Daily come through Jesus’ merit.
All flesh shall rise, and we shall be
In bliss with God eternally.
We all believe in or confess the Holy Ghost who gives us grace and comfort. Jesus calls Him the Comforter. He lives with the Father and the Son in eternity which means He had no beginning and will have no end. The Church is held together in unity by the power of the Holy Spirit’s work in us. We choose one another because we are all a part of the same body. Within the Church is forgiveness and salvation because of the merit or work or Christ. One day all men, women, boys, and girls, literally ALL flesh shall rise for the final judgement. For those found in Christ we will have bliss with God forever.
I will be going on an extended break as we are entering ordinary time on the Church Calendar. Ordinary time refers the time that is marked by ordinal numbers following Pentecost. Trinity Sunday is actually the 1st Sunday after Pentecost. We will have 19 more Sunday’s after Pentecost before we get to our next Church Holiday which is Reformation Day and then the week after will be All Saints Day. I will for sure produce an episode for All Saints Day and probably will for Reformation Day as well. I have some time to think about it though as either of those days won’t be here until the end of October. If I might make a suggestion it would be to download the Lectionary in the show notes so you can continue to read the biblical passages during this beautifully ordinary time.
Anyways, that wraps up our episode on the Trinity. I hope you all have a wonderful Trinity Sunday and I hope you enjoy a new setting of Martin Luther’s Trinitarian masterpiece, We All Believe in One True God and we’ll see you in October.