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God’s Love for Sinners

Good Shepherd Evangelical Lutheran Church

An Independent Lutheran Congregation
“Holding Fast the Word of Life”

2305 S. Dixieland Road/P.O. Box 2335
Rogers, AR 72757
479-310-5501

www.goodshepherdrogers.org

Third Sunday After Trinity
June 28, 2020

Prelude and Lighting of the Altar Candles
The congregation is seated and quietly prepares for worship.

Liturgy: LSB 184 “Divine Service, Setting Three”

Hymns: (from the Lutheran Service Book)
LSB #606 “I Lay My Sins on Jesus”
LSB #568 “If Your Beloved Son, O God”
LSB #632 “O Jesus, Blessed Lord, to Thee”
LSB #527 “O Savior, Precious Savior”

Psalm: Psalm 103 A Psalm of David.
1 Bless the Lord, O my soul; and all that is within me, bless His holy name! 2 Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits: 3 Who forgives all your iniquities, who heals all your diseases, 4 Who redeems your life from destruction, who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies, 5 Who satisfies your mouth with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. 6 The Lord executes righteousness and justice for all who are oppressed. 7 He made known His ways to Moses, His acts to the children of Israel. 8 The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in mercy. 9 He will not always strive with us, nor will He keep His anger forever. 10 He has not dealt with us according to our sins, nor punished us according to our iniquities. 11 For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is His mercy toward those who fear Him; 12 As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us. 13 As a father pities his children, so the Lord pities those who fear Him. 14 For He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust. 15 As for man, his days are like grass; as a flower of the field, so he flourishes. 16 For the wind passes over it, and it is gone, and its place remembers it no more. 17 But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear Him, and His righteousness to children’s children, 18 To such as keep His covenant, and to those who remember His commandments to do them. 19 The Lord has established His throne in heaven, and His kingdom rules over all. 20 Bless the Lord, you His angels, who excel in strength, who do His word, heeding the voice of His word. 21 Bless the Lord, all you His hosts, you ministers of His, who do His pleasure. 22 Bless the Lord, all His works, in all places of His dominion. Bless the Lord, O my soul!

Collect
O God, the protector of all who trust in You, without whom nothing is strong and nothing is holy, multiply Your mercy on us that, with You as our ruler and guide, we may so pass through things temporal that we lose not the things eternal; through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

Catechism Lesson: The Apostles’ Creed (Article 1)
109. Why do we here call the first Person “the Father”? Because He is the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, and also our true Father.
196) John 20:17. Jesus said … “I am ascending to My Father and your Father, and to My God and your God.”
197) Mal. 2:10. Have we not all one Father? Has not one God created us?
198) Eph. 3:14-15. For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named.
110. Why is God the Father called “Almighty” and “Maker”? Because He has by His word made all things out of nothing.
199) Gen. 1:1. In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
200) Heb. 11:3. By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.
201) Ps. 115:3. But our God is in heaven; He does whatever He pleases.

Old Testament Lesson: Micah 7:18-20
18 Who is a God like You, pardoning iniquity and passing over the transgression of the remnant of His heritage? He does not retain His anger forever, because He delights in mercy. 19 He will again have compassion on us, and will subdue our iniquities. You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea. 20 You will give truth to Jacob and mercy to Abraham, which You have sworn to our fathers from days of old.

Epistle Lesson: 1 Timothy 1:12-17
12 And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord who has enabled me, because He counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry, 13 although I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an insolent man; but I obtained mercy because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. 14 And the grace of our Lord was exceedingly abundant, with faith and love which are in Christ Jesus. 15 This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief. 16 However, for this reason I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show all longsuffering, as a pattern to those who are going to believe on Him for everlasting life. 17 Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, to God who alone is wise, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.

Gospel Lesson: Luke 15:1-10
1 Then all the tax collectors and the sinners drew near to Him to hear Him. 2 And the Pharisees and scribes complained, saying, “This Man receives sinners and eats with them.” 3 So He spoke this parable to them, saying: 4 “What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost until he finds it? 5 And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. 6 And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!’ 7 I say to you that likewise there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance. 8 “Or what woman, having ten silver coins, if she loses one coin, does not light a lamp, sweep the house, and search carefully until she finds it? 9 And when she has found it, she calls her friends and neighbors together, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the piece which I lost!’ 10 Likewise, I say to you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”

Sermon: “God’s Love for Lost Sinners” Luke 15:1-10/1 Tim. 1:12-17

ANNOUNCEMENTS

We welcome you and pray that you are built up and strengthened in your faith through the hearing of God’s Word among us and invite you to join us again. If you would like one of our pastors to call or visit, please speak to him after the service, or call, or contact him by email at pastor@goodshepherdrogers.org. We ask our visitors to fill out a guest information card at the table near the door.

Holy Communion will be administered during our worship today. Since Christ Jesus offers and gives us to partake of His body and blood, given and shed for us upon the cross for the remission of sins, since the Bible calls upon us to examine ourselves before partaking of Christ’s Supper and since partaking of the altar is a profession of agreement with the doctrine proclaimed among us, we practice “closed communion” and ask that only communicant members of this congregation who have examined themselves come forward to partake of the Lord’s Supper (cf. 1 Cor. 11:23ff.; 10:16ff.). Any others desiring to commune with us are asked to speak to the pastor about receiving instruction and becoming a member of the congregation by a public profession of faith.
Upcoming Events: Wednesday Evening Bible Study meets at the church, or online via Google Meet, at 7 p.m. each Wednesday. The link is posted in the church calendar on the church website. For other scheduled events and cancelations, check the church website at https://goodshepherdrogers.org and click on the Calendar tab.

Online Services will continue via Facebook Live and recorded YouTube videos each week. Our Sunday bulletin will be emailed to members and made available online. Since our Sunday services at the church use the Lutheran Service Book and many of the hymns and the liturgy are subject to copyright protection, we suggest that members and guests order a copy of the hymnal on Amazon or at CPH.org to follow along with hymn verses and the liturgy. If members or guests need assistance in obtaining a copy, please call Pastor Moll at 479-233-0081 or email him at pastor@goodshepherdrogers.org. Copies may also be borrowed from the church.

Holy Communion — Members desiring the Lord’s Supper but not comfortable attending services during the COVID-19 pandemic may call Pastor Moll at 479-233-0081 or email him at pastor@ goodshepherdrogers.org and he will arrange a time to bring the Sacrament to them (to the front porch or to a suitable location at members’ homes, or at the church when no one else is there).

“Chief of Sinners”

12 And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord who has enabled me, because He counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry, 13 although I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an insolent man; but I obtained mercy because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. 14 And the grace of our Lord was exceedingly abundant, with faith and love which are in Christ Jesus. 15 This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief. 16 However, for this reason I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show all longsuffering, as a pattern to those who are going to believe on Him for everlasting life. 17 Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, to God who alone is wise, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen. 1Timothy 1:12-17

God was indeed merciful to Saul of Tarsus — we know him as the Apostle Paul — for he was a persecutor of the Church of Jesus Christ!

Being zealous for the Jewish Faith but misguided, Saul spoke against the Lord Jesus Christ and arrested, imprisoned and even put to death followers of Jesus (Acts 7:58; 8:1-3; 9:1-2). But the Lord Jesus showed mercy to Saul when He met him on the road to Damascus and then washed away his sins in Holy Baptism (Acts 9:3ff.; 22:16).

When the risen and ascended Christ converted Saul and made him Paul, a preacher of the Gospel, he could testify: “This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief. However, for this reason I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show all longsuffering, as a pattern to those who are going to believe on Him for everlasting life.”

Paul testified to the truth that Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners; and Paul could also say, “If Jesus could be merciful to me and save me, He can also show mercy to you and grant to you salvation.”

What a comfort this truth is to us and all people! “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.” As sinners, we qualify! Since we too are sinners, we know that Christ Jesus came into the world to save us!

By His holy life and innocent sufferings and death upon the cross, Jesus has redeemed you and me. He paid in full the punishment for our sins and the sins of the whole world that God might be merciful unto us and grant to us eternal salvation through faith in His Son (John 3:16; Col. 1:19-23; 2:11-14; Tit. 3:3-7).

And do you know what? With Paul, we can also say, “If Jesus can save me, a sinner, He can save you as well.” Why? “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.”

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ is indeed “exceedingly abundant”!

Because of Christ Jesus and His innocent sufferings and death in our stead, we can pray with David (Psalm 86:3-5): “Be merciful to me, O Lord, for I cry to You all day long. Rejoice the soul of Your servant, for to You, O Lord, I lift up my soul. For You, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive, and abundant in mercy to all those who call upon You.”

Dear Lord Jesus Christ, we thank You for coming into the world to redeem us — for paying the just penalty for our sins — and we thank You for showing mercy to us and bringing us to trust in You. Graciously keep us in Your mercy throughout our earthly lives that we may receive the eternal joys which You purchased for us when You shed Your holy and precious blood on Calvary. Amen.

God’s Love for Lost Sinners

1 Then all the tax collectors and the sinners drew near to Him to hear Him. 2 And the Pharisees and scribes complained, saying, “This Man receives sinners and eats with them.” 3 So He spoke this parable to them, saying: 4 “What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost until he finds it? 5 And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. 6 And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!’ 7 I say to you that likewise there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance. 8 “Or what woman, having ten silver coins, if she loses one coin, does not light a lamp, sweep the house, and search carefully until she finds it? 9 And when she has found it, she calls her friends and neighbors together, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the piece which I lost!’ 10 Likewise, I say to you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” Luke 15:1-10

How important are lost souls to you? When publicans, those who collected taxes for the Roman government and overcharged to make their living, and other sinners came to Jesus to hear Him and learn of the forgiveness of sins and eternal life which He offered to all, the Pharisees and scribes were critical of Jesus for associating with such sinners. And, what do church-going people say today if their pastors associate with and invite known sinners to attend their services?

Jesus told the two parables in Luke 15 to point out that it is perfectly normal for anyone who loses something to seek it until he finds it. A shepherd with one hundred sheep who loses one does not say, “I still have ninety-nine,” and then forget about the one that is lost. Even the scribes and Pharisees would not do such a thing! Nor would a woman with ten silver coins who lost one of them just forget about the one lost coin and be content with the nine. Both the shepherd and the woman in these two parables would seek out and find that which was lost. Then they would rejoice because they had found that one lost sheep or one lost coin. Wouldn’t we also act in the same way if we were to lose something of ours?

So also every lost soul is extremely important to the Lord Jesus. Our God created man to live for Him and serve Him in eternal righteousness. Because man fell into sin, He sent His only- begotten Son into this world a true man, that He might fulfill the righteous demands of God’s Law and suffer and die for our sins. Jesus Christ came into this world to save sinners. During His earthly ministry, He sought out all sinners and turned away none who came to hear His saving Gospel.

Since He had come into this world to redeem fallen mankind by His innocent sufferings and death, it gave our Savior great joy, along with the angels of God in heaven, when a lost sinner repented and turned to Him for forgiveness and life everlasting. Our Lord Jesus was not afraid to associate with sinners; He shed His blood to redeem them!

Since Christ died to redeem us, should we not also live in daily repentance, being truly sorry for our sins and trusting in our Savior for forgiveness and eternal salvation? It gives our risen Savior, as well as the angels in heaven, great joy when we hear His Word and live in daily repentance. We certainly should not, as did the scribes and the Pharisees, consider ourselves righteous and in no need of repentance (cf. 1 John 1:8-9; 2:1-2; Prov. 28:13).

Like our Savior, we should also seek out lost souls and rejoice when they are brought to repentance. We should not be satisfied if 99 percent of our members are continuing in the truth and only one is gone astray; we should seek that one until he is found and returns to the fold. The same is true of the lost souls who are not under the care of our congregation. We should, in the love of our Savior, seek out the lost and seek to bring them to the Good Shepherd by sharing with them the saving truths of God’s Word.

Christ Jesus shed His holy, precious blood to redeem them. We also ought to care enough for their souls to share with them the good news of forgiveness and life everlasting through faith in the Savior. Never should we be ashamed to be seen sharing the Gospel with lost sinners, no matter how bad their past reputation!

O gracious God, as You have shown mercy to me, a lost sinner, grant that I show mercy to others and share with them the good news of Christ’s redeeming sacrifice and of pardon and peace through faith in His name. Amen.

[Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.]

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Good Shepherd Evangelical Lutheran Church

An Independent Lutheran Congregation
“Holding Fast the Word of Life”

2305 S. Dixieland Road/P.O. Box 2335
Rogers, AR 72757
479-310-5501

www.goodshepherdrogers.org

Prelude and Lighting of the Altar Candles
The congregation is seated and quietly prepares for worship.

Liturgy: LSB 184 “Divine Service, Setting Three”

Hymns:
LSB #609 “Jesus Sinners Doth Receive”
LSB #823 “May God Bestow on Us His Grace”
LSB #628 “Your Table I Approach”
LSB #917 “Savior, Again to Thy Dear Name We Raise”

Psalmody: Psalm 34:11-22
11 Come, you children, lis | *ten to me; I will teach you the fear | *of the Lord. 12 Who is the man who de | *sires life, And loves many days, that he | *may see good? 13 Keep your tongue from | *evil, And your lips from speak | *ing deceit. 14 Depart from evil | *and do good; Seek peace and pur | *sue it. 15 The eyes of the Lord are on the | *righteous, And His ears are open | *to their cry. 16 The face of the Lord is against those who do | *evil, To cut off the remembrance of them | *from the earth. 17 The righteous cry out, and | *the Lord hears, And delivers them out of all their | *troubles. 18 The Lord is near to those who have a | *broken heart, And saves such as have a contrite | *spirit. 19 Many are the afflictions of the | *righteous, But the Lord delivers him out | *of them all. 20 He guards | *all his bones; Not one of them is | *broken. 21 Evil shall slay the | *wicked, And those who hate the righteous shall | *be condemned. 22 The Lord redeems the soul of His | *servants, And none of those who trust in Him shall | *be condemned. Glory be to the Father and | to the Son * and to the Holy | Spirit; as it was in the be- | ginning, * is now, and will be forever. | Amen. 11 Come, you children, lis | *ten to me; I will teach you the fear | *of the Lord. 12 Who is the man who de | *sires life, And loves many days, that he | *may see good?

Collect
O Lord, since You never fail to help and govern those whom You nurture in Your steadfast fear and love, work in us a perpetual fear and love of Your holy name; through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

Catechism Lesson: The Apostles’ Creed (Article 1)
108. Why do we in each of the three Articles say, “I believe,” and not, “We believe”? Because no one can be saved by another’s faith, but every one must believe for himself.
194) Hab. 2:4. But the just shall live by his faith.
195) Luke 7:50. Your faith has saved you. Go in peace.
B.H. Matt. 25:8-12. The foolish virgins.

Old Testament Lesson: Proverbs 9:1-10
1 Wisdom has built her house, she has hewn out her seven pillars; 2 She has slaughtered her meat, she has mixed her wine, she has also furnished her table. 3 She has sent out her maidens, she cries out from the highest places of the city, 4 “Whoever is simple, let him turn in here!” As for him who lacks understanding, she says to him, 5 “Come, eat of my bread and drink of the wine I have mixed. 6 Forsake foolishness and live, and go in the way of understanding. 7 “He who corrects a scoffer gets shame for himself, and he who rebukes a wicked man only harms himself. 8 Do not correct a scoffer, lest he hate you; rebuke a wise man, and he will love you. 9 Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; teach a just man, and he will increase in learning. 10 “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.

Epistle Lesson: Ephesians 2:13-22
13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 14 For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, 15 having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, 16 and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity. 17 And He came and preached peace to you who were afar off and to those who were near. 18 For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father. 19 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 corner- stone, 21 in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, 22 in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.

Gospel Lesson: Luke 14:15-24
15 Now when one of those who sat at the table with Him heard these things, he said to Him, “Blessed is he who shall eat bread in the kingdom of God!” 16 Then He said to him, “A certain man gave a great supper and invited many, 17 and sent his servant at supper time to say to those who were invited, ‘Come, for all things are now ready.’ 18 But they all with one accord began to make excuses. The first said to him, ‘I have bought a piece of ground, and I must go and see it. I ask you to have me excused.’ 19 And another said, ‘I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I am going to test them. I ask you to have me excused.’ 20 Still another said, ‘I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.’ 21 So that servant came and reported these things to his master. Then the master of the house, being angry, said to his servant, ‘Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in here the poor and the maimed and the lame and the blind.’ 22 And the servant said, ‘Master, it is done as you commanded, and still there is room.’ 23 Then the master said to the servant, ‘Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled. 24 For I say to you that none of those men who were invited shall taste my supper.’ ”

Sermon: “What’s Your Excuse?” Luke 14:15-24

ANNOUNCEMENTS

We welcome you and pray that you are built up and strengthened in your faith through the hearing of God’s Word among us and invite you to join us again. If you would like one of our pastors to call or visit, please speak to him after the service, or call, or contact him by email at pastor@goodshepherdrogers.org. We ask our visitors to fill out a guest information card at the table near the door.

Holy Communion will be administered during our worship today. Since Christ Jesus offers and gives us to partake of His body and blood, given and shed for us upon the cross for the remission of sins, since the Bible calls upon us to examine ourselves before partaking of Christ’s Supper and since partaking of the altar is a profession of agreement with the doctrine proclaimed among us, we practice “closed communion” and ask that only communicant members of this congregation who have examined themselves come forward to partake of the Lord’s Supper (cf. 1 Cor. 11:23ff.; 10:16ff.). Any others desiring to commune with us are asked to speak to the pastor about receiving instruction and becoming a member of the congregation by a public profession of faith.

Upcoming Events: Wednesday Evening Bible Study meets at the church, or online via Google Meet, at 7 p.m. each Wednesday. The link is posted in the church calendar on the church website. For other scheduled events and cancelations, check the church website at https://goodshepherdrogers.org and click on the Calendar tab.

Online Services will continue via Facebook Live and recorded YouTube videos each week. Our Sunday bulletin will be emailed to members and made available online. Since our Sunday services at the church use the Lutheran Service Book and many of the hymns and the liturgy are subject to copyright protection, we suggest that members and guests order a copy of the hymnal on Amazon or at CPH.org to follow along with hymn verses and the liturgy. If members or guests need assistance in obtaining a copy, please call Pastor Moll at 479-233-0081 or email him at pastor@goodshepherdrogers.org. Copies may also be borrowed from the church.

Holy Communion — Members desiring the Lord’s Supper but not comfortable attending services during the COVID-19 pandemic may call Pastor Moll at 479-233-0081 or email him at pastor@goodshepherdrogers.org and he will arrange a time to bring the Sacrament to them (to the front porch or to a suitable location at members’ homes, or at the church when no one else is there).

“Come, For all Things Are Now Ready”

“Then He said to him, ‘A certain man gave a great supper and invited many, and sent his servant at supper time to say to those who were invited, “Come, for all things are now ready….”’” Luke 14:16-17 (Read Luke 14:15-24)

You have been invited to the greatest banquet of all! Even though you are a sinner and deserving of God’s eternal wrath and punishment, He sent His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, to fulfill the righteous demands of God’s Law in your stead, and then to suffer and die on the cross and bear the full punishment for your transgression and sin. God calls you through the preaching of the Gospel and invites you to receive His pardon and forgiveness and to take part in His everlasting kingdom.

The Bible tells us that “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). It tells us that “Jesus Christ … loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood” (Rev. 1:5); that “in Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace” (Eph. 1:7); and that “Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God” (1 Pet. 3:18).

And, the risen Lord Jesus even now is preparing a place for all who believe in Him, in the mansions of His Father’s house (John 14:1-3). Through the preaching of this good news, God calls you to come to Him and receive the everlasting blessings of His kingdom.

Even now, as you read these words, God’s Spirit calls you to “come, for all things are now ready” (Luke 14:17); and to “believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved” (Acts 16:31).

Jesus told the Parable of the Great Supper (Luke 14:15-24) to admonish His hearers for rejecting the salvation God was providing for them in His Son.

The Jews had the Old Testament Scriptures, which promised eternal salvation through the coming Messiah and Savior; but when Jesus, God’s Son, came into this world to accomplish the salvation God had promised of old — when the Gospel invitation went out: “Come, for all things are now ready” — the Jews excused themselves for various reasons. They were too busy with the things of this world to come to Christ Jesus and receive from Him forgiveness for their sins and eternal life. One bought a piece of land and wanted to go and see it; another had bought a yoke of oxen and wanted to try them out; and another had just gotten married and could not come (cf. Luke 14:18-20).

What about you? This same Gospel invitation has gone out to you: “Come, for all things are now ready.” Do you have time to come to Jesus and learn of Him and the eternal blessings He has won for you? Do you come to hear His life-giving Word and learn of God’s offer and promise of forgiveness for all your sins and of the everlasting joys of heaven? Or, are you too busy with the cares and concerns of this life?

What is your excuse? Are you too busy checking on land or property? Do you have to try out that car or truck or tractor? Do you have to try out that new tool or toy? Are you too busy with work or school or business to come to Jesus? Have you married a wife and become too busy with family concerns to take time for church services and the hearing of God’s Word? What is your excuse?

The excuses in Jesus’ parable angered the man who made the great supper (v. 21). He said, “None of those men who were invited shall taste my supper” (v. 24).

Will God accept your excuse? Is not this a warning to us not to become so busy with other things in this life that we neglect that “one thing [that is] is needed” (Luke 10:42).

Jesus admonishes us to “seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness” (Matt. 6:33). And Jesus warns: “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?” (Mark 8:36). “How shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him…” (Heb. 2:3)?

What did the master of the house in Jesus’ parable then do that his house might be filled with guests? He sent his servants out into the streets and lanes of the city to bring in the poor, the maimed, the lame, and the blind. And, when there was yet room, he sent them out into the highways and hedges (where the poor often camped) to compel those there to come in (Cf. Luke 14:21-24.)

It is by the grace of God that we have heard the Gospel of Christ and come to trust in Him for forgiveness and life (Eph. 2:4-9); but “STILL THERE IS ROOM” (v. 22)! Our Heavenly Father sends His servants out into the streets and lanes, and to the highways and hedges, to compel them to come in — to call upon all, whether rich or poor, healthy or handicapped or sick, to come to Christ Jesus and partake of the blessings of His kingdom.

Jesus commands His disciples to “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15). They are to preach “repentance and remission of sins … in His name to all nations” (Luke 24:47). They are to say: “Come, for all things are now ready!” (Luke 14:17). And, Jesus tells us: “He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned” (Mark 16:16).

Dear LORD God, our Savior, grant that we not neglect and excuse ourselves from partaking of the salvation so graciously provided for us through the innocent sufferings and death of the Son, Jesus Christ. Fill us also with Your love for lost sinners that we may obey Your command and send men into all the world with Your saving Gospel and compel them to come in! In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.

[Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.]

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Good Shepherd Evangelical Lutheran Church

An Independent Lutheran Congregation
“Holding Fast the Word of Life”

2305 S. Dixieland Road/P.O. Box 2335
Rogers, AR 72757
479-310-5501

www.goodshepherdrogers.org

First Sunday After Trinity
June 14, 2020

Pastor Randy Moll 479-233-0081 / Deacon Marty Jackson 479-899-2807
Ron Wellander – Music Director / Lois Wellander – Choir Director
Lee Allen and Wolfgang McKenzie – Acolytes

Prelude and Lighting of the Altar Candles
The congregation is seated and quietly prepares for worship.

Liturgy: LSB 184 “Divine Service, Setting Three”

Hymns:
LSB #565 “Thy Works, Not Mine, O Christ”
LSB #713 “From God Can Nothing Move Me”
LSB #633 “At the Lamb’s High Feast We Sing”
LSB #922 “Go, My Children, With My Blessing”

Psalm: Psalm 33
1 Rejoice in the Lord, O you righteous! For praise from the upright is beautiful. 2 Praise the Lord with the harp; Make melody to Him with an instrument of ten strings. 3 Sing to Him a new song; Play skillfully with a shout of joy. 4 For the word of the Lord is right, And all His work is done in truth. 5 He loves righteousness and justice; The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord. 6 By the word of the Lord the heavens were made, And all the host of them by the breath of His mouth. 7 He gathers the waters of the sea together as a heap; He lays up the deep in storehouses. 8 Let all the earth fear the Lord; Let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him. 9 For He spoke, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast. 10 The Lord brings the counsel of the nations to nothing; He makes the plans of the peoples of no effect. 11 The counsel of the Lord stands forever, The plans of His heart to all generations. 12 Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, The people He has chosen as His own inheritance. 13 The Lord looks from heaven; He sees all the sons of men. 14 From the place of His dwelling He looks On all the inhabitants of the earth; 15 He fashions their hearts individually; He considers all their works. 16 No king is saved by the multitude of an army; A mighty man is not delivered by great strength. 17 A horse is a vain hope for safety; Neither shall it deliver any by its great strength. 18 Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear Him, On those who hope in His mercy, 19 To deliver their soul from death, And to keep them alive in famine. 20 Our soul waits for the Lord; He is our help and our shield. 21 For our heart shall rejoice in Him, Because we have trusted in His holy name. 22 Let Your mercy, O Lord, be upon us, Just as we hope in You.

Collect
O God, the strength of all who trust in You, mercifully accept our prayers; and because through the weakness of our mortal nature we can do no good thing, grant us Your grace to keep Your commandments that we may please You in both will and deed; through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

Catechism Lesson: The Apostles’ Creed (Article 1)
107. What is it to believe in God? It is to know and accept as true what the Scriptures say of God, and with firm confidence to trust and rely in God.
186) Rom. 10:14. And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?
187) Rom. 10:17. So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
188) John 17:3. And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. (Knowledge.)
189) John 5:46. For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me; for he wrote about Me.
190) John 3:36. He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him. (Assent.)
191) Heb. 11:1. Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
192) 2 Tim. 1:12. I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day. (Confidence.)
193) James 2:19. You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe — and tremble! (Faith of the head and mouth.)
B.H. Luke 7:1-10 — The centurion of Capernaum; John 4:47-53 — The nobleman. Matt. 15:21-28 — The woman of Canaan.

Old Testament Lesson: Genesis 15:1-6
1 After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision, saying, “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward.” 2 But Abram said, “Lord God, what will You give me, seeing I go childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?” 3 Then Abram said, “Look, You have given me no offspring; indeed one born in my house is my heir!” 4 And behold, the word of the Lord came to him, saying, “This one shall not be your heir, but one who will come from your own body shall be your heir.” 5 Then He brought him outside and said, “Look now toward heaven, and count the stars if you are able to number them.” And He said to him, “So shall your descendants be.” 6 And he believed in the Lord, and He accounted it to him for righteousness.

Epistle Lesson: 1 John 4:16-21
16 And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him. 17 Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world. 18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. 19 We love Him because He first loved us. 20 If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? 21 And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also.

Gospel Lesson: Luke 16:19-31
19 “There was a certain rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and fared sumptuously every day. 20 But there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, full of sores, who was laid at his gate, 21 desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table. Moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. 22 So it was that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s bosom. The rich man also died and was buried. 23 And being in torments in Hades, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. 24 “Then he cried and said, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.’ 25 But Abraham said, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things; but now he is comforted and you are tormented. 26 And besides all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed, so that those who want to pass from here to you cannot, nor can those from there pass to us.’ 27 “Then he said, ‘I beg you therefore, father, that you would send him to my father’s house, 28 for I have five brothers, that he may testify to them, lest they also come to this place of torment.’ 29 Abraham said to him, ‘They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.’ 30 And he said, ‘No, father Abraham; but if one goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ 31 But he said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead.’”

Sermon: “To Whom Should We Listen?” Luke 16:19-31

[Except where otherwise noted, Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.]

ANNOUNCEMENTS
We welcome you and pray that you are built up and strengthened in your faith through the hearing of God’s Word among us and invite you to join us again. If you would like one of our pastors to call or visit, please speak to him after the service, or call, or contact him by email at pastor@goodshepherdrogers.org. We ask our visitors to fill out a guest information card at the table near the door.

Holy Communion will be administered during our worship today. Since Christ Jesus offers and gives us to partake of His body and blood, given and shed for us upon the cross for the remission of sins, since the Bible calls upon us to examine ourselves before partaking of Christ’s Supper and since partaking of the altar is a profession of agreement with the doctrine proclaimed among us, we practice “closed communion” and ask that only communicant members of this congregation who have examined themselves come forward to partake of the Lord’s Supper (cf. 1 Cor. 11:23ff.; 10:16ff.). Any others desiring to commune with us are asked to speak to the pastor about receiving instruction and becoming a member of the congregation by a public profession of faith.

Upcoming Events: Wednesday Evening Bible Study meets at the church, or online via Google Meet, at 7 p.m. each Wednesday. The link is posted in the church calendar on the church website. The Church Council will meet at 7 p.m. on Thursday via Google Meet. For other scheduled events and cancelations, check the church website at https://goodshepherdrogers.org and click on the Calendar tab.

Online Services will continue via Facebook Live and recorded YouTube videos each week. Our Sunday bulletin will be emailed to members and made available online. Since our Sunday services at the church use the Lutheran Service Book and many of the hymns and the liturgy are subject to copyright protection, we suggest that members and guests order a copy of the hymnal on Amazon or at CPH.org to follow along with hymn verses and the liturgy. If members or guests need assistance in obtaining a copy, please call Pastor Moll at 479-233-0081 or email him at pastor@goodshep- herdrogers.org. Copies may also be borrowed from the church.

Holy Communion — Members desiring the Lord’s Supper but not comfortable attending services during the COVID-19 pandemic may call Pastor Moll at 479-233-0081 or email him at pastor@ goodshepherdrogers.org and he will arrange a time to bring the Sacrament to them (to the front porch or to a suitable location at members’ homes, or at the church when no one else is there).

The Rich Man and Poor Lazarus

“There was a certain rich man, who was clothed in purple and fine linen and fared sumptuously every day. And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, who was laid at his gate, full of sores and desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table. Moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. And it came to pass that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom. The rich man also died, and was buried. And in hell, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off and Lazarus in his bosom….” Luke 16:19-23 KJ21; Read Luke 16:19-31

We should note first of all that Jesus’ illustration of the rich man and Lazarus may be much more than a parable, for it is told by Jesus as if it is a true and factual account. Whether an actual historical event or a parable, we can still learn much from Jesus’ telling of it.

The rich man is not identified by name; but the poor beggar’s name was Lazarus, which means “God is help.” Even though Lazarus was poor and full of sores, we know that he was a true believer in God, as his name indicates, because he was taken to heaven when he died.

Even though the rich man was greatly blessed by God in material things, he did not believe or listen to the Word of God (Moses and the Prophets). This can be seen by the fact that there were no fruits of faith in his life in regard to poor Lazarus, who was laid at his gate, and by the fact that his soul went to hell when he died.

In addition to teaching that one’s soul goes either to heaven or to hell when he dies, Jesus warns against living life solely for the enjoyment of the good things of this world. One’s first concern should be to heed the Word of God and repent, turning away from sin and the selfish use of this world’s goods to faith in Christ, who died to redeem us from sin and death.

As a fruit of true repentance, we will then put to death our selfish and sinful desires and use the goods of this world to help those in need. We will not close our hearts to the poor and needy but will do all we can to help them.

One more important truth should also be learned. If one does not heed the Word of God during his lifetime, there is no other hope for repentance; for the Holy Ghost works through the Law to convince us of our sin and the punishment we deserve and through the Gospel to reveal our Savior and to assure us of eternal salvation through faith in Him.

If one, during his lifetime, refuses to turn from his sins to Christ Jesus, his Savior, there will be no more opportunity for repentance. His torment in hell will be forever!

But when one, by the grace of God, heeds the Word and repents, trusting in Christ for forgiveness and life, he is forgiven by God and his soul, at the time of death, will be transported by angels to the bosom of Abraham.

O Jesus, who my debt didst pay and for my sin wast smitten, within the Book of Life, oh, may my name be also written! I will not doubt; I trust in Thee, from Satan Thou hast made me free and from all condemnation. Amen. (The Lutheran Hymnal, Hymn 611, Verse 5)

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Good Shepherd Evangelical Lutheran Church

An Independent Lutheran Congregation
“Holding Fast the Word of Life”

2305 S. Dixieland Road/P.O. Box 2335
Rogers, AR 72757
479-310-5501

www.goodshepherdrogers.org

Trinity Sunday – June 7, 2020

Pastor Randy Moll 479-233-0081 / Deacon Marty Jackson 479-899-2807
Ron Wellander – Music Director / Lois Wellander – Choir Director
Lee Allen and Wolfgang McKenzie – Acolytes

Prelude and Lighting of the Altar Candles
The congregation is seated and quietly prepares for worship.

Liturgy: LSB 184 “Divine Service, Setting Three”

Hymns:
LSB #507 “Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty”
LSB #505 (1-3) “God the Father Be Our Stay”
LSB #623 “Lord Jesus Christ, We Humbly Pray”
LSB #506 “Glory Be to God the Father”

Creed: Athanasian Creed, Page 319

Introit Psalm 8:1–2a, 3–5; antiphon: Liturgical Text
Blessèd be the Holy Trinity and the undivided | Unity. * Let us give glory to him because he has shown his mer- | cy to us. O | LORD, our Lord, * how majestic is your name in | all the earth! You have set your glory above the | heavens. * Out of the mouth of babes and infants, you have es- | tablished strength. When I look at your heavens, the work of your | fingers, * the moon and the stars, which you have | set in place, what is man that you are mind- | ful of him, * and the son of man that you | care for him? Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly | beings * and crowned him with glory and | honor. Glory be to the Father and | to the Son * and to the Holy | Spirit; as it was in the be- | ginning, * is now, and will be forever. | Amen. Blessèd be the Holy Trinity and the undivided | Unity. * Let us give glory to him because he has shown his mer- | cy to us.

Collect
Almighty and everlasting God, You have given us grace to acknowledge the glory of the eternal Trinity by the confession of a true faith and to worship the Unity in the power of the Divine Majesty. Keep us steadfast in this faith and defend us from all adversities; for You, O Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, live and reign, one God, now and forever. Amen.

Catechism Lesson: The Apostles’ Creed (Article 1)
105. Who is the true God? The Triune God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, three distinct Persons in one divine Essence.
180) Deut. 6:4. Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one!
181) Matt. 28:19. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit….
182) 2 Cor. 13:14. The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
Num. 6:24-26. The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face shine upon you, and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up His countenance upon you, and give you peace.
B.H. Matt. 3:16-17. The baptism of Jesus.
106. How are these divine Persons distinguished from each other? The Father has begotten the Son from eternity; the Son is begotten of the Father from eternity; the Holy Ghost from eternity proceeds from the Father and the Son. — To the Father especially is ascribed the work of Creation; to the Son, the work of Redemption; to the Holy Ghost, the work of Sanctification. (Internal and external difference.)
183) Ps. 2:7. The Lord has said to Me, “You are My Son, Today I have begotten You.”
184) John 15:26. But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me.
185) Gal. 4:6. And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!”

Old Testament Lesson: Isaiah 6:1-7
1 In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and the train of His robe filled the temple. 2 Above it stood seraphim; each one had six wings: with two he covered his face, with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. 3 And one cried to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of His glory!” 4 And the posts of the door were shaken by the voice of him who cried out, and the house was filled with smoke. 5 So I said: “Woe is me, for I am undone! Because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.” 6 Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a live coal which he had taken with the tongs from the altar. 7 And he touched my mouth with it, and said: “Behold, this has touched your lips; your iniquity is taken away, and your sin purged.”

Epistle Lesson: Romans 11:33-36
33 Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out! 34 “For who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has become His counselor?” 35 “Or who has first given to Him and it shall be repaid to him?” 36 For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen.

Gospel Lesson: John 3:1-17
1 There was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. 2 This man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, “Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.” 3 Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” 4 Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” 5 Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ 8 The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.” 9 Nicodemus answered and said to Him, “How can these things be?” 10 Jesus answered and said to him, “Are you the teacher of Israel, and do not know these things? 11 Most assuredly, I say to you, We speak what We know and testify what We have seen, and you do not receive Our witness. 12 If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things? 13 No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven. 14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. 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. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.

Sermon: “The Holy Trinity” John 3
1. What do we confess in the Nicene and the Athanasian Creeds and Why?
• Deut. 6:4; Matt. 28:19

2. Who is the God that created the heavens and the earth?
• Genesis 1:1
• Elohim, bara, Heb. 11:3
• Jehovah, Jehuvah, Jahweh, YHWH, LORD, Gen. 2:4
• Spirit – Gen. 1:2, Psalm 33:6
• Son – John 1:1-4; Col. 1:15-17; Heb. 1:2-3
• Three/One God – Gen. 1:26-27; 1 Cor. 8:6; Neh. 9:6; Deut. 6:4; Isa. 6:3; 1 John 5:7

3. Who is the God who provided salvation for us and how?
• The Father – John 3:16; 1 John 4:9-10
• The Son – John 3:14-15; 1 John 2:1-2
• The Spirit – John 3:3-8; Eph. 5:26; Tit. 3:5-7
• The Trinity – Matt. 28:19; 1 Pet. 1:2

ANNOUNCEMENTS

We welcome you and pray that you are built up and strengthened in your faith through the hearing of God’s Word among us and invite you to join us again. If you would like one of our pastors to call or visit, please speak to him after the service, or call, or contact him by email at pastor@goodshepherdrogers.org. We ask our visitors to fill out a guest information card at the table near the door.

Holy Communion will be administered during our worship today. Since Christ Jesus offers and gives us to partake of His body and blood, given and shed for us upon the cross for the remission of sins, since the Bible calls upon us to examine ourselves before partaking of Christ’s Supper and since partaking of the altar is a profession of agreement with the doctrine proclaimed among us, we practice “closed communion” and ask that only communicant members of this congregation who have examined themselves come forward to partake of the Lord’s Supper (cf. 1 Cor. 11:23ff.; 10:16ff.). Any others desiring to commune with us are asked to speak to the pastor about receiving instruction and becoming a member of the congregation by a public profession of faith.

Upcoming Events: Wednesday evening Bible Study meets at the church, or online via Google Meet, at 7 p.m. each Wednesday. The link is posted in the church Calendar on the church website. For other scheduled events and cancelations, check the church website at https://goodshepherdrogers.org and click on the Calendar tab.
Online Services will continue via Facebook Live and recorded YouTube videos each week. Our Sunday bulletin will be emailed to members and made available online. Since our Sunday services at the church use the Lutheran Service Book and many of the hymns and the liturgy are subject to copyright protections, we suggest that members and guests order a copy of the hymnal on Amazon or at CPH.org to follow along with hymn verses and the liturgy. If members or guests need assistance in obtaining a copy, please call Pastor Moll at 479-233-0081 or email him at pastor@goodshepherdrogers.org. Copies may also be borrowed from the church.

Holy Communion — Members desiring the Lord’s Supper but not comfortable attending services during the COVID-19 pandemic may call Pastor Moll at 479-233-0081 or email him at pastor@goodshepherdrogers.org and he will arrange a time to bring the Sacrament to them (to the front porch or to a suitable location at members’ homes, or at the church when no one else is there).

Who is the Creator?

Who is the Creator? The Bible, which is God’s inspired account, tells us that “in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Gen. 1:1).
And, who is this God? The Hebrew word Elohim, which is the plural form of God, is the name used to describe the Creator (cf. Gen. 1:26-27). He is also called by the name Jehovah (some pronounce it Yahweh or Yehuvah), often translated LORD. “This is the history of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens” (Gen. 2:4).

The Bible further defines God, when it says: “Yet for us there is one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we for Him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, through whom are all things, and through whom we live” (1 Cor. 8:6). Thus, we see that all things were created by God the Father through Jesus Christ.

God’s creation account also tells us that, in the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth, “the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters” (Gen. 1:2). And so we see that the Holy Spirit, too, was active in the creation of all things.

The opening verses of John’s Gospel tell us: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men” (John 1:1-4). And so, we learn that the Word, Jesus Christ, identified in verse 14 as God Himself in the flesh and the only-begotten Son of the Father, created all things and is the giver of life, both physical and spiritual.

In St. Paul’s letter to the Colossians, the inspired Scriptures say of Christ Jesus, that “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist” (Col. 1:15-17).
So, who is the Creator? It is God, the God the Scriptures identify for us as God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.

Though God is one – “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one!” (Deut. 6:4) – God is also three – thus, the command to “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matt. 28:19).

This is why the God of the Bible is often called the Triune (three/one) God, because He is one God and yet three distinct Persons. The Father is God, the Son is God and the Holy Spirit is God. Yet, there are not three Gods, but one God.

The Bible also tells us “there are three that bear witness in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one” (1 John 5:7).
Though beyond our ability to comprehend, this is how God has revealed Himself to us – it is His account and His word. And it is this God who has created all things and given us life.

[Scripture is taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.]

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