Yesterday morning Penny and I made breakfast. Well, Penny really made breakfast. She made the bacon, she made the hash browns and she made the coffee. I just made the eggs. But if you really think about it, we didn’t actually make anything. Penny didn’t actually make the bacon, the ones that raised the pigs; butchered the pork and smoked it, they made the bacon. Penny just put it in hot oven and left it there until it was nice and crispy. Penny didn’t actually make the hash browns, the one who grew the potatoes; who processed them and shredded them, they made the hash browns. Penny just put them in the hot pan and seasoned them, flipped them, and put them on the plate. Penny didn’t actually make the coffee, that happened in Columbia, and Penny has never been to Columbia, she just ground up the beans and ran some water through them. And I didn’t make the eggs. The chicken made the eggs, or did the eggs make the chicken — I never get that right. All I did was crack the shell and fry the eggs in a pan and put them on the plate. So how can we seriously say that we made breakfast?
Our role here was only the smallest part of the process that led to our breakfast, and none of the elements of that breakfast were actually made by us. The bacon was bacon before Penny made it, and so were the hash browns and the coffee — you don’t go to the grocery store to buy that which might become coffee, you go and buy coffee. Before I ever saw them, those eggs were already fully eggs and nothing I did had anything to do with making them eggs. This does not mean that we didn’t do anything, we just didn’t “make” what we made. But it was through our effort that what was already what it was, became accessible to us. The bacon was already bacon, but without Penny making it, that already made bacon would not have been accessible to me, neither would the hash browns or the coffee. Had I not made the eggs that I never made, they would not have been accessible to Penny, they would have just continued to exists as they were in their shells. So when I say that Penny and I made breakfast, I’m not suggesting that the things that were included in that breakfast were the result of our creative activity, but it was through our making that those already made things that they became available to us. Penny didn’t make the bacon or hash browns or coffee, she made them “for me.” I didn’t make the eggs, I made them “for her.”
In our second lesson, Paul wrote that Jesus was “declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead.” Where we read “declared to be the Son of God,” it literally reads made the Son of God. So does that mean the Jesus wasn’t the Son of God before His resurrection? Was Paul saying that in Jesus’ resurrection, the Holy Spirit made Jesus the Son of God and before that moment, He was not the Son of God? No! Paul does not mean that at all. What Paul means is that the Holy Spirit, in the resurrection of Jesus Christ, powerfully makes Him the Son of God FOR US. The Holy Spirit did not make the Son of God and He certainly did not make Jesus the Son of God. The Gospel according to John says “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 was not any thing made that was made… And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” The Gospel according to Matthew says, “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel”(which means, God with us).” Before the Word became flesh, He was the Word of God; He was the Son of God. Before Mary conceived the baby from the Holy Spirit, that baby was already the Son of God. Before He suffered and died; before He was raised from the dead, He was always from everlasting to everlasting the Son of God. But without Mary’s conception from the Holy Spirit; without the birth of the baby in Bethlehem; without His suffering and death; and without His resurrection — though He would still have been the Son of God — that fact would have meant nothing for us. Yes He was God the Son without all of that, but what we needed was Immanuel, God with us.
This is what the Spirit made. The Spirit made Immanuel, God with us. The Spirit did not make Jesus the Son of God, He made Him the Son of God FOR US. The Good News of God is not THAT Jesus is the Son of God. It is not simply the fact that Jesus is God the Son, but that He is God the Son for us. This does not change that FACT that Jesus IS God the Son. Like the breakfast we made. If the bacon was not already bacon, and the coffee, already coffee, and the eggs already eggs, the breakfast we made would have been nothing. If He wasn’t already God the Son, it would be meaningless for the Spirit to made Him the Son of God for us in His resurrection. It would be meaningless for the Spirit to make Immanuel — God with us — if the baby in Bethlehem was not already that Word of God made flesh. But Jesus is God — the only begotten Son of the Father — from everlasting to everlasting. And so the truth that the Holy Spirit made the baby in Bethlehem Immanuel, God with us; that the Holy Spirit made Jesus Christ the Son of God in power in His resurrection, is truly the Good News of God.
We are redeemed from the power of sin and death because Jesus Christ was made the Son of God FOR US in power by the Holy Spirit in His resurrection. We are saved from our alienation from God because the baby in Bethlehem was made Immanuel, God with us. This is the grace we have receive, that this gift of the baby in Bethlehem is Immanuel, God with us. This is the faith to which we are made obedient, that Jesus Christ in His suffering, death and resurrection is made the Son of God FOR US.
And just as the Holy Spirit declared Jesus Christ to be the Son of God in power by His resurrection from the dead, so I declare to you all who are loved by God and called to be saints: Grace TO YOU and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.