Monday Reverb – 10January2022

SERMON REVERB

 

Made Extraordinary by Jesus

Luke 3:15-17, 21-22

Have you ever been so committed to a cause or relationship that you felt nothing could stop you?  We only get a few of those moments — falling in love, going on a mission trip, having kids, finding our vocation — that fill our veins with purpose.  You find yourself with strength you never knew you had.  Boldness, stamina, focus seem to come out of nowhere.  For a few moments, you seem to walk on air.

These supercharged connections are some of life’s great blessings and we only get so many.  It’s like you don’t need to sleep or eat anymore.  You are consumed with purpose.

John the Baptist was consumed with purpose.  By the time we see him, he’s in the white-hot center of his vocation, living in the desert, wearing rags.  He has a singular focus.  Today we’ll look at Jesus’ baptism and John’s part — or lack of part — in it.  We’ll look at how John’s vocation gave way to Jesus’ vocation and the beginning of the adventure we call the gospel — our vocation.

The vocation of John

One of the first things we hear John say is:

…but he who is mightier than I is coming, the strap of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. (Luke 3:16 ESV)

John refers here to the slave’s work of untying someone’s sandals.  Slaves were everywhere in the ancient world, and since everyone wore sandals, this would have been a common situation in those days and one of the lower duties of being a slave.

John says he isn’t worthy to do this for Jesus.  This is a verse we are familiar with, but it would sound completely strange to them.  John looked to them like a prophet — one of God’s messengers they hadn’t heard from in centuries.  They even thought he might be the long-awaited Messiah.  He looked like everything they’ve been waiting for.  And one of the first things he says is, “I’m not your guy.”

This is an important moment.  John embodied everything they’d come to expect about God moving.  He ate, dressed and talked like Elijah, the prophet hero of their culture.  And he says, It’s not me

This meant that the new movement of God wasn’t going to look like the old movement.  The prophets of all the centuries, symbolized by John in this moment, were not even worthy to approach Jesus, only to point to him.  Then they are to leave the stage.

The Gospel of John portrays the Baptist saying this with its trademark stylistic language: “He who comes after me ranks before me, because he was before me” (John 1:15 ESV)John the Baptist is a prophet just like the prophets of old, but he is not here to declare political victory for Israel, nor is he here to declare the age of military peace and harmony.  John is here, like the prophets, to declare the entrance of God.

We’ve seen this in our own lives as well.  Think of all the times that we’ve been doing things like we always do, business as usual, and Jesus arrives on the scene in a new way.  Maybe you’ve been praying for someone, and you see that prayer start to take hold and their life and situation start to change.  Are you ready to walk away and give the glory to God?  Or will you steal the moment for yourself?

Maybe you’ve been pouring yourself into someone’s life who is just learning about faith, and you see the Spirit take hold of them.  They are given the energy and insight and freedom that comes with Jesus being present.  Will you bask in that moment, congratulating yourself for your evangelism efforts, or will you join in the greater glory of giving that honor to God?  Will you watch them grow, even surpass you, and be used by God to do great things, or will you sink into jealousy?

At the same time, we’ve seen that rush of faith in our own lives: The way we used to do things has passed away; behold the new has come.  Over and over we see this throughout our faith lives, as we grow from “glory to glory,” as Paul put it (2 Corinthians 3:18, KJV).  We see the old way we were doing things no longer working.  The old gossip sessions ring hollow, the drinking doesn’t give us the same escape, we start to see our enemies as three-dimensional people with their own problems – it is the approach of Christ, and he’s burning the chaff off of you.  Behold, the new has come.

The footnote to this is that our lectionary reading this week actually leaves out a few verses.  Luke interjects the story of John’s imprisonment by Herod right in the middle of this.  It’s a strange interlude, and some people believe it was added in later.

But I believe it was there from the beginning. John’s imprisonment and death was tragic, but in the end,  he wanted nothing more.  His disappearance from the stage was certain to be violent, and the contrast is vivid.  The old way, represented by John, is dead and the new way, Jesus, is alive and unkillable.

 

The vocation of Jesus

Now when all the people were baptized, and when Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, (Luke 3:21 ESV)

When scholars approach this moment in Scripture, they often question why Jesus was baptized at all.  John’s baptism, as is said in other places, is a baptism of “repentance.”  It is a baptism of renewal and realignment with the purposes and character of God.  It’s a revival of law-keeping and walking away from sin.

The issue arises: Jesus never sinned, so why is he being baptized?  He’s the sinless Lord, why would he need the baptism of repentance?  He wrote the law, so why would he need to re-declare his allegiance to it?

We need to think about the purpose of John’s baptism with a little more dimension.  Yes, he was offering them a way to declare their allegiance and turn away from sin, but all that was part of declaring they were part of what God was up to.  John the Baptist is orienting them toward God, calling them to pass through the waters, as the ancient Israelites did on their way to the promised land.

Jesus comes not as the detached observer or the gloved surgeon to the human story.  He dives right in.  For him to join in the baptism was for him to declare that he was not only one with God’s purposes and movement in the world; he was declaring that he, as the Son of Man, is one with us.

Baptism, especially as John practiced it by immersing people in water, is a bit like death.  It’s meant to be.  We are never quite so helpless as we are when we’re underwater — we can’t breathe, and we have to trust the person who put us in there to get us back out.  When we rise from the water, we are wet —mascara-streaked, toupee floating on the surface behind us.  We are humble and fresh and a bit helpless, like a newborn baby.

For Jesus to participate in this death and re-birth was for him to declare himself part of the pathetic and beautiful story of humanityHe wasn’t baptized just into water; he was baptized into us.

This fact can be an immense comfort to us.  When God became one of us, he didn’t take the easy track.  You can’t read more than a paragraph of Jesus’ life in which he wasn’t challenged, exhausted, misunderstood and finally killed.  For him to be baptized into the human condition meant that he was immersed in the fatigue, boredom and heartbreak that comes with it.  Remember, “Jesus wept” (John 11:35).

The heavens were opened, and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form, like a dove; and a voice came from heaven, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.” (Luke3:21-22 ESV)

Jesus’ baptism was a frighteningly vivid Trinitarian moment.  The Father, Son and Holy Spirit are there right next to each other.  Luke tips his hat in several directions to the Old Testament writers, accenting the different imagery present.

  • The heavens are opened – This is similar phrasing to the description of the Genesis flood; the heavens being opened and torrents of rain coming down.
  • The dove descends – This is an allusion to the dove returning to Noah after the flood with the olive branch in its mouth, showing him that the flood was receding, and the promise was coming to be.
  • I am well-pleased – Here Luke echoes the Genesis account, in which God says over and over that “it is good” and he was well-pleased with all he created.

All this Genesis imagery in one place speaks about Jesus’ vocationre-creation.  Jesus’ “job” is not just to do everything better, but to start it over.  There are several examples of this kind of Genesis language used about Jesus.  God is starting over again — like the flood, like the original creation — giving us a new heart and putting his own Spirit in us.

One early indicator of the kind of world Jesus is re-creating is with John himself.  Jesus is making a world in which the last shall be first, and the weak will be made strong.  He’s making a world in which a powerful, popular figure like John lives his whole life to introduce Jesus . . . and then disappear.  John is one of the first residents of the new Jesus world.  Instead of living for himself and his own ego, he lives only to introduce Jesus . . . and then immediately go to the sidelines.

What freedom!  John is one of the first to be made “free indeed” by Jesus, delivered from his own ego and drawn into God’s amazing purpose.  This is the “upside down kingdom” of Jesus.

  • Instead of being slaves to our insatiable egos, God delivers us to be part of his great plan.
  • Instead of status, he gives us purpose; instead of solitary narcissism, he invites us to be part of a family.

He is re-creating, making all things new, and that includes the way we as human beings interact with each other and treat ourselves.

 

Your vocation

Theologian Frederick Buechner said it beautifully: “The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.”  This is about vocation — which comes from the root word “vocal,” — meaning calling.  This is much more than your job, although it can include your job, but it is what God has called you to in his overarching purpose in humanity — the meeting of your gladness and the world’s deep hunger.

That vocation can mean a history-shaking post like John the Baptist or Billy Graham or Corrie Ten Boom.  It can also mean joyfully serving that special-needs child or overcoming the abuse you’ve endured in your life by stopping the cycle and showing kindness.  Those moments of vocation can bring you to the rugged strength of John the Baptist, the unflinching obedience of Peter, the joyful participation of Mary.  These were not extraordinary people.  They were made extraordinary by Jesus.

Where is the extraordinary he’s calling you to today?

 


DOCTRINAL REVIEW

 

SALVATION

 

14.5 What is salvation? 

      • 2 Corinthians 5:17-19   Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. 18 Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, 19 that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.
      • Colossians 1:13-14   He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, 14 in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins. 
      • Galatians 4:4-7  But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, 5  to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.   And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!” Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.  
      • Ephesians 2:19-21   Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, 21 in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord,    
      • Romans 6:3-5   Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.  For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection,  
      • Titus 3:4-5    But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, 5  not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit,  
      • John 3:16  For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.  
  • It is the restoration of human communion with God and the deliverance of the entire creation from the bondage of sin and death.
  • In saving us, God grants us reconciliation with him, forgiveness of sins, adoption into his family, citizenship in his kingdom, union with him in Christ, new life in the Spirit and the promise of eternal life.

 

14.6 Why is salvation needed?  

  • Ever since the first human beings, the human race has rebelled and distrusted the perfect goodness and holy love of the triune God and therefore alienated themselves from their Creator and rejected the fellowship they were created to have with him as their God.  As a result, the human race has:
      • cut itself off from the source of its life and existence, resulting in physical death and subjecting itself to eternal spiritual death.
      • promoted a lie about the nature and character of the triune God their maker, bearing false witness to God’s name and reputation by rejecting his faithfulness, goodness, grace and holiness.
      • undermined and at times even attempted to destroy the faith, hope and love for God and so stop the good, right and life-giving worship of the triune God by others, thereby incurring spiritual guilt and shame before God, which only God himself can remedy and has done so in the atoning work of Christ.
      • exposed itself to being manipulated by and enslaved to the power of sin from which it cannot free itself, leading to the corruption, warping and twisting of human nature itself, which it cannot undo.
      • experienced disharmony between the human soul, mind and body, leading to broken and even destructive and evil relationships between parents and children, between men and women, between nations and ethnic groups, and between human beings and the natural environment.

 

14.7 How are people saved?  

      • Romans 8:21-23   because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. 23 Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body.  
      • Romans 6:18  And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.   
      • Romans 6:22-23  But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.   
      • 1 Corinthians 1:9   God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.   
      • 1 Timothy 2:3-6  For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time,  
      • Matthew 3:17    And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”   
      • Colossians 3:1  If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God.   
      • Ephesians 2:4-10  But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.  
  • Salvation is accomplished for us through the life and sacrificial death of Jesus Christ on the cross.
  • Salvation is freely given to us by the grace of our triune God.
  • It is personally received and experienced through faith in Jesus enabled by the ministry of the Spirit.
  • It is not earned by good works or through personal merit.

 

14.8 Is there any way of salvation other than through Jesus Christ?

      • 1 Timothy 2:5   For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus,
  • No.  The apostle Peter said of Jesus that “salvation is found in no one else” (Acts 4:12).
  • Jesus is the only one who can save us from our damaged and twisted nature and reconcile us to God so that we can live according to God’s ultimate purposes for human beings.
  • He is the only one who can enable us to share in God’s eternal life, free from the power of evil and its consequence, which is death.

 

14.9 Will all people be saved?

      • Hebrews 10:31    It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.  
      • Romans 11:32  For God has committed them all to disobedience, that He might have mercy on all.  
      • Matthew 18:12-14    “What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them goes astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine and go to the mountains to seek the one that is straying? 13 And if he should find it, assuredly, I say to you, he rejoices more over that sheep than over the ninety-nine that did not go astray. 14 Even so it is not the will of your Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.   
      • Ephesians 2:8    For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,  
      • 1 Timothy 2:3-4  For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.   
      • John 3:17-18  For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.  18 “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.  
      • Ezekiel 18:32  For I have no pleasure in the death of one who dies,” says the Lord God. “Therefore turn and live!”  
      • 2 Corinthians 5:14-15    For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died; 15 and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again.  
  • All who call upon the Lord will be saved.  No one who seeks after God will be turned away.
  • God’s work of atonement was accomplished for the benefit of all.
  • Jesus is Lord and Savior over all persons, though Scripture does not say that all people will necessarily receive the salvation that is theirs in Christ, or that none will irreversibly reject the ministry of the Holy Spirit to unite them to Christ.
  • Salvation is the fruit of a relationship with the triune God — a gift that is complete in Jesus and that must, through the work of the Spirit, be personally received in order for its benefits, especially eternal life in eternal communion with God, to be fully enjoyed.

 

14.10 Through salvation, do humans eventually become God?

  • No.
  • Though ultimate salvation does not make us God (or parts of God), it does give us a full sharing in the sanctified and glorified humanity of Jesus Christ.
  • We remain human, becoming fully and truly human as Jesus was and still is.
  • Through the incarnate Son of God, we enjoy union and communion with the whole of God, while remaining fully human.

 


TEACHING NOTES … 

 

Why do we need to be saved?

  • Without the ministry of the Holy Spirit, humans do not trust wholeheartedly in God as Lord who alone is worthy of worship. By nature, we do not welcome being God’s creatures, nor do we embrace God’s design for human life and the wisdom of following his ways. We do not implicitly trust in God’s goodness and judgments about what is evil. We do not freely receive God’s grace, as our dependence upon him offends our pride of self-sufficiency. We do not gratefully receive all of his blessings, including daily lifelong communion with God and a share of God’s own goodness and rightness, justice and mercy to pass on to others. God must work individually in our lives through his Son and by his Spirit to give us renewed hearts, minds and wills set free from bondage to our self-will, our prideful commitment to autonomy, and our distrust and unbelief in God our creator and redeemer.

Will all be saved?

  • The Holy Spirit’s ministry is to set all free with the freedom won for them in Jesus Christ. But the biblical warnings require us to take seriously the almost impossible possibility that some people might somehow refuse the freedom the Spirit brings to them to surrender to the grace of God in Jesus Christ and receive all the benefits of living in a good and right worship relationship with God in which we receive his forgiveness by faith and accept his free gift of salvation daily and so live under his lordship. The limits to salvation, whatever they may be, are known only to God. Three truths above all are certain: 1) God is a holy God who is not to be trifled with, 2) no one will be saved except by grace alone, and 3) no judge could possibly be more gracious than our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. If some do manage to resist the Holy Spirit and reject God’s forgiveness and grace stored up for them in Jesus Christ, it will not be due to any lack or limits to God’s gracious provision made for all.

 

From The GCI Statement of Beliefs:

  • Salvation is the restoration of human fellowship with God and the deliverance of the entire creation from the bondage of sin and death.
  • Salvation is given by the grace of God
  • . . . and experienced through faith in Jesus Christ,
  • . . . not earned by personal merit or good works.

God calls on every person to enter that divine fellowship, which has been secured for humanity in Jesus Christ and is embodied by him as the beloved of the Father at the Father’s right hand.

Here are GCI articles that address the topics in this section:

 


Above is what GCI believes.   Let’s notice some particular words and phrases in the responses …

 

14.5 What is salvation? 

      • 2 Corinthians 5:17-19   Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. 18 Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, 19 that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.
      • Colossians 1:13-14   He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, 14 in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins. 
      • Galatians 4:4-7  But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, 5  to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.   And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!” Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.  
      • Ephesians 2:19-21   Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God20 having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, 21 in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord,    
      • Romans 6:3-5   Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.  For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection,  
      • Titus 3:4-5    But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, 5  not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit,  
      • John 3:16  For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.  
  • It is the restoration of human communion with God and the deliverance of the entire creation from the bondage of sin and death.
  • In saving us, God grants us reconciliation with him, forgiveness of sins, adoption into his family, citizenship in his kingdom, union with him in Christ, new life in the Spirit and the promise of eternal life.
    • Re: “restoration” … Acts 3:19-21 (NKJV)    Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, 20 and that He may send Jesus Christ, who was preached to you before, 21 whom heaven must receive until the times of restoration of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began.  
      • According to Strong’s Concordance … 
        • “restoration of all things” – from the Gk, apokatastaseōs,
        • Transliteration: apokatastasis
        • Phonetic Spelling: (ap-ok-at-as’-tas-is) … pronounced apo-kata-stasis 
        • Definition: restoration 
        • Usage: restitution, reestablishment, restoration.

 

14.6 Why is salvation needed?

  • Ever since the first human beings, the human race has rebelled and distrusted the perfect goodness and holy love of the triune God and therefore alienated themselves from their Creator and rejected the fellowship they were created to have with him as their God.  As a result, the human race has:
      • cut itself off from the source of its life and existence, resulting in physical death and subjecting itself to eternal spiritual death.
      • promoted a lie about the nature and character of the triune God their maker, bearing false witness to God’s name and reputation by rejecting his faithfulness, goodness, grace and holiness.
      • undermined and at times even attempted to destroy the faith, hope and love for God and so stop the good, right and life-giving worship of the triune God by others, thereby incurring spiritual guilt and shame before God, which only God himself can remedy and has done so in the atoning work of Christ.
      • exposed itself to being manipulated by and enslaved to the power of sin from which it cannot free itself, leading to the corruption, warping and twisting of human nature itself, which it cannot undo.
      • experienced disharmony between the human soul, mind and body, leading to broken and even destructive and evil relationships between parents and children, between men and women, between nations and ethnic groups, and between human beings and the natural environment.

14.7 How are people saved?

      • Romans 8:21-23   because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. 23 Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body.  
      • Romans 6:18  And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.   
      • Romans 6:22-23  But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.   
      • 1 Corinthians 1:9   God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.   
      • 1 Timothy 2:3-6  For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truthFor there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesuswho gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time,  
      • Matthew 3:17    And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”   
      • Colossians 3:1  If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God.   
      • Ephesians 2:4-10  But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesusthat in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.  
  • Salvation is accomplished for us through the life and sacrificial death of Jesus Christ on the cross.
  • Salvation is freely given to us by the grace of our triune God.
  • It is personally received and experienced through faith in Jesus enabled by the ministry of the Spirit.
  • It is not earned by good works or through personal merit.

 

 

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