John 3:16-18; Ephesians 1:3-10

The audio above is from the morning service.


In the name of the Father and of the +Son and of the Holy Spirit, Amen. 

The Eternal Father (He who is God, He who is the source, the Unbegotten One) somehow begot—as a Father begets or creates a child—His Son. Though His Son is uncreated and eternally existing. (John 1:1-3, 14) Yet, He is a Son. Thus, He is begotten of the Father. And by this Father all fatherhood is known. (Eph. 3:14-15) For true fatherhood is only that which bears witness to the Eternal Father who in His Son shows us a Father’s love. Before the foundation of the world this Father from a love so deep, so high, so profound that we can not imagine it—just as until love for a paramour seizes you you can’t fathom it; or maybe more profoundly, love for a child begotten of your own substance which would move you to sacrifice possibly more than even your love for your husband or wife; or maybe equal to that, the love which you has been born in your heart out of faith for your God, your saviour, and by extension and through the use and acquaintance of many years association the love which forms for your fellow family members, physical or spiritual, especially those with whom you commune on our Lord’s body and blood year in and year out. Out of such love He planned for His Son to come to save His creatures, His offspring—not of the substance of the Father before all worlds in the same way as the Son, but by fashioning Adam from the dust of earth (Gen. 2:7), knitting you together carefully in mother’s womb (Ps. 139:13), and breathing His breath of life into you. So that you became His beloved, for whom He has sacrificed the brightest Jewel of His crown. 

So that He who is uncreated, who is not a creature, willingly out of love for His Father came to save us fallen creatures. He did it out of love. Love for Him who is His Father. Love for you who are His brother. His sister. His family. He is the Firstborn of the Father. The Firstborn of all Creation (Col. 1:15) in the sense that He is the Father’s one and only Son. The Son eternally begotten of Father through whom all things were created, and apart from Whom not one thing has been made that has been made. (John 1:2-3)

And so the Father planned within the Godhead, within the internal counsels of the Holy Three, and said, “It’s time to compassion.” And sent Jesus, born of a virgin, born under Law, to redeem those under the Law. (Gal. 4:4-5) For “God had seen [your] wretched state Before the world’s foundation, And mindful of His mercies great, He planned for [your] salvation. He turned to [you] a father’s heart; He did not choose the easy part But gave His dearest treasure.” (LSB 556 “Dear Christians, One and All, Rejoice,” st. 4) 

“God said to His beloved Son: ‘It’s time to have compassion. Then go, bright jewel of My crown, And bring to all salvation. From sin and sorrow set them free; Slay bitter death for them that they May live with You forever.’” (LSB 556 “Dear Christians, One and All, Rejoice,” st. 5)

And so the eternal Son, “of the Father’s love begotten  Ere the worlds began to be,” (LSB “Of the Father’s Love Begotten,” st. 1) “obeyed His Father’s will, Was born of virgin mother; And God’s good pleasure to fulfill, He came to be my brother. His royal power disguised He bore;  A servant’s form, like mine, He wore To lead the devil captive.” (LSB 556, st. 6)

For God loved the world in this way: that He gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him should not die eternally but have everlasting life. (John 3:16) A life that will not end. For though your perishing body gives way He has redeemed your soul and will keep your soul safely in His keeping, in His eternal kingdom, until the day when your body will be raised. So that whether your soul sleeps, or whether it is fully cognizant of what is happening around you in the heavenly throne room, you will be with the Lord (1 Thes. 5:9-10; Rom. 14:8) with that great cloud of witnesses. (Heb. 12:1) And ultimately you will be raised immortal, imperishable, never to die again for sin will be gone from the very fibre of your being, for you will truly be changed. (1 Cor. 15:51-53)

And ponder this: He planned all this from the foundation of the world. (Eph. 1:4) He knew that our first parents would sin Yet, He created you anyway. He knows all that will happen and is gently, mercifully, in His great power and providence supplying all that is needed through the Word of God made flesh for your salvation. (Eph. 1:8-10)

So that all creation praises its Lord! And at this time of year we see a small foretaste of this as briefly people’s thoughts turn to the Son who came from Father, full of Grace and truth. (John 1:14b) And so to our Father hymn and chant and high thanksgiving, in unending praises be, evermore and evermore. For He loved you in His Son before you were a glimmer in your earthly father’s eye. 

In +Jesus’ name, Amen. 

—Pastor David Haberstock
Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church
Regina, SK