Jean’s Gospel: Make Straight The Way

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10 Responses

  1. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Jean, Good article.
    I would now feel naked and awkward going to the divine service and not have the law preached ‘to me’ – where in a past time, I would not have given it a second thought – heck, I doubt we were led to believe to give it a first thought.

  2. Jean says:

    Thanks MLD.

    And thank you Michael for pairing the article with another cool pic.

    Gloria in excelsis Deo

  3. dusty says:

    Well done Jean.

    I can still remember struggling with the concept that Jesus did it for me….and the day i finally got it!

  4. John 20:29 says:

    interesting to think that the “brood of vipers” knew the Law and yet were not humbled by it…

  5. Jean says:

    Thank you Dusty!

  6. dusty says:

    John 20:29, it is the same today. Sadly.

  7. Jean says:

    “interesting to think that the “brood of vipers” knew the Law and yet were not humbled by it…”

    That is a very perceptive observation.

  8. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    God’s word is always 100% effective – even with the brood of vipers.
    God’s word either converts or it condemns — no other choices. Guess which it did with the brood of vipers. 🙂

  9. Jean says:

    Since the text of the article is from John, we could look at the motif of Light and darkness. Jesus said: “For judgment I came into this world, that those who do not see may see, and those who see may become blind.”

    The Pharisees thought they could see and thought they were Abraham’s children. They knew the Law on the outside (like an actor or “hypocrite”) and thought they kept it. But their circumcision in the flesh never went to the heart (where true circumcision always does its work). Thus, Jesus told Nicodemus about the need to be born again.

    If you preach the Law to someone and they say: “Yeah, the Law’s great; I love the Law; I keep it beyond measure (or at least better than anyone else) and I go around doing God’s work by telling other people how they are falling short”; that person is blind to the actual state of their spiritual sickness. It turns out, they are actually the blind one who doesn’t have Abraham as a father, but the devil instead.

    When you think about the new birth, we are not born from life, but from a death. It is the death of the self; they death of the free will (which opposes God), the death of imposing our wisdom over the wisdom of God, and of our ability to save ourselves. The Law seeks to kill the the old Adam who ate of the fruit which he thought could “make one wise.” But it actually made fools of man. The Spirit uses the Law to kill us, so that the Gospel can raise us up to new life in Christ by faith.

    To have Christ as a Savior is not about making you a better you or helping you trim down from cussing, drinking, smoking or [fill in the blank] too much. He wants to save you from damnation. That is a serious state of affairs. It is a matter of death and resurrection which is imputed to us now in the present in our baptism.

    “Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.”

    “For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.”

  10. dusty says:

    jean, again well done! I really like your teachings

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