Summary: Did you know that you would be damned except for Santa Claus, the Black Dwarf, and others who helped them?
Santa Clause and the Black Dwarf
I preached this at Arbor House on 6/27/04
A. Feast/fast days
B. Who knows?
A. Did you know that you would be damned except for SC, the BD, and others who helped them?
B. Not a fable or simple parable - matter of life or death. Nor is SC the meek & mild sugar daddy - in fact he infuriated his opponents so much that he almost lost his title.
C. ~year 300 A.D., SC & BD were called to a council. This council affected the fate of millions of people and will continue to do so for the duration of life on earth. There were political factions, an emperor, soldiers, men who had lost the use of legs thru torture, fights, and speeches.
C. What does this have to do w/SC?. Who is the BD? Why were they at this meeting and what possilbe connection does all this have w/the Trinity? What is the relevance for me today with computers, space travel, and Survivor TV show?
D. Dutch: Sinter Claus. St. Nicolas. Bishop of Myrna in Turkey. Godly, orthodox man.
E. Council was called by the emperor Constantine to settle a controversy that was rocking the empire. Talk about today’s economic, etc councils. What was this one to determine?
F. Arius or subordinate was there. Spoke. SC’s response? Nice, kind SC slapped him. Defrocked. Dream. Reinstated.
G. What was so important? Simple. The nature of God and the relation of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Some created, or all God?
H. Many, possibly majority were on side of Arius. The most outspoken opponent was Athanasius, known as the BD bec of his color and stature. Better named the Bold Dynamo.
I. Contra Mundum. Post-Nicea, as bishop of Alexandria, exiled and reinstated 5 times. Hunted.
J. Why so important? Listen to Athanasius himself: "Whosoever will be saved, before all things he must believe the catholic Faith. Which Faith except everyone do keep whole and undefiled, without doubt he shall perish everlastingly. And the catholic Faith is this: That we worshop one God in Trinity and Trinity in Unity... This is the catholic Faith, which except a man believe faithfully, he cannot be saved."
K. Why? 2 strangers meet, w/supposed common friend, Bob Smith.
L. Pagan Greeks: God’s nature from natural revelation.
M. Jews and Christians: God’s nature from revelation.
N. Trinity is a mystery, not contradiction. Cannot be fathomed by rocket scientists, brain surgens, philosophers, etc.
O. Word not in Scripture, but it is a succicient summary of what Scripture teaches.
P. God’s revealed nature.
1. One in essence. Deu 6:4: "Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one!" Ex 20:3: "You shall have no other Gods before Me."
2. Indivisible: John 4:24: "God is Spirit." This cannot be divided.
3. Three in persons:
b. Christ: John 5:18: "God was His father, making Himself equal with God." Col 2:9:" For in Christ all the fullness of the Diety lives." Titus 2:13: "our great God and Saviour." John 20:28: "our Lord and God." John 9:4: "before Abraham was, I AM."
c. Holy Spirit: Mat 1:18: she was found with child of the Holy Spirit. Mat 28:19: "Baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit." Eph 4:4-6: "There is ... one Spirit ... one Lord ... on God and Father of all." Titus 3:5-6: "He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit."
4. Asiety: Father isn’t 1/3 of God, etc. "Oneness", p 50: "God is therefore fully present in each of the three ways he eternally exists." The church asserts this w/o claiming to be able to explain it.
Q. So what? Your salvation depends upon it!
R: Father decreed it 1:11: "In Him also we obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will."
S. Son accomplished it: John 10:15: "I lay down my life for My sheep.", Ro 5:8: "But God demonstrates His own love for us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."
T. The Holy Spirit applies it: Titus 3:5: "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."
U. Who does the Holy Spirit regenerate? Well, who needs it? Dead people!. Who does a doctor treat? Those who need it. Regeneration means to make alive again. The only ones who need to be made alive are dead people. And they can’t do anything about it! God chooses us and gives us faith to receive it. It is by faith alone that you receive the gift of eternal life: Ro 3:28: "Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law."