Cantate—Easter 5 (Jn 16:5–15; Jas 1:16–21)

Photo by Joshua Eckstein on Unsplash

Bethlehem Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO
Immanuel Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO

Alleluia! Jesus Christ is risen!
He is risen indeed! Alleluia!

INI + AMEN.

Salvation won. Salvation delivered. That’s the fruit of salvation won. Salvation has been won, and so salvation is delivered. Salvation bears fruit, too. There’s fruit that comes from salvation won and delivered. The Christian faith is receiving these three things: salvation’s being won, salvation’s being delivered, and salvation’s fruit.

It’s all gift from the Lord: the winning, the delivery, the fruit-bearing. We rejoice this Easter season, every Sunday, and every day of our lives, that it’s all gift from the Lord. “Every good gift and every accomplished gift is from above.” We claim nothing, except what’s been given to us freely as a gift.

Salvation—won, delivered, fruitful. One flows into the next, one bears the next. First accomplished, then delivered, then more fruit, more gift. It’s the Lord’s Way. What He does for you.

Jesus and James focus on these three things today: Salvation won, salvation delivered, salvation fruitful—all for you.

((I. Salvation’s been won by Jesus.))

Salvation’s, of course, been won. That’s Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection. He came down “from the Father of lights.” Jesus is the true “good gift from above.” “For us men and for our salvation He came down from heaven.”

He didn’t just come down from heaven. “I am going away to Him who sent Me.” He would suffer, die, rise, and ascend. All of that is Jesus accomplishing your salvation—redeeming you from your sins, from your death, from your grave “to live before Him in righteousness and purity forever.” His blood, cross, and empty tomb do it.

He is the first fruits. He is “the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep,” as Paul says. And if He’s the “first fruits,” that means there’s more gifts, because that’s what first fruits are all about. Always more with the Lord. He’s Gift-giver God. “Every good gift and every accomplished gift.” He pours forth more and more.

So it was with your salvation. Jesus wasn’t just born. He lived a perfect life in your place. Not just that—suffered your punishment in your place and died under your condemnation. Still more—rose. Still more!—ascended, and lives and reigns forever and ever as your Savior, Gift-giving God.

((II. Jesus’ salvation’s delivered by the Spirit.))

Yes, always more with Jesus. He doesn’t just win your salvation. He delivers it, too. That’s His promise: “The Comforter, the Spirit of Truth will come to you.” Yes, Jesus goes away. First fruits—more gift. Salvation has been won. Salvation is also delivered. That’s why the Spirit comes. That’s His job. Jesus doesn’t abandon you. He gives you the Spirit.

The Spirit does His work, too. He delivers Jesus’ salvation right to you. “He will take what is Mine and declare it to you,” Jesus said. What’s Jesus’? Salvation. Righteousness. Innocence. Blessedness. Jesus took all that was yours—sin, death, devil, hell. Jesus makes sure that you get all that’s His—holiness, eternal life, His Father, heaven. The Spirit makes that yours in the here and now.

He does it by “declaring it to you” in the “implanted word.” Through the Word the Spirit delivers Jesus and His salvation to you. Washed over you at the Font in the water and word of Holy Baptism. Implanted within you through the Absolution and preaching and Word. Implanted within you also through Jesus’ own body and blood. The Spirit causes you to receive that Word, He makes it your gift. So, it is your gift! Salvation isn’t just won for you. It’s delivered to you, too.

((III. The Spirit produces fruit from Jesus’ won and delivered salvation.))

Salvation won is salvation delivered. And salvation won and delivered is salvation fruitful. You’ve been “brought forth by the Word of Truth”—Font, Preaching, Absolution, Body and Blood. You are now first fruits in Jesus, and first fruits mean yet more gifts.

So it is, the Spirit in Jesus’ delivered salvation, “guides you in all truth,” and so you are in the Truth. You’re in Jesus. The Spirit bears His fruit within you. “Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.” “Gentleness” or “meekness” is the Spirit’s fruit so that you become “quick to listen, slow to speak,” so you “put away all uncleanness and the abundance of evil.”

You also are first fruits by the Spirit because He causes His fruit to grow and sprout and abound through the implanted Word. Apart from the Word means apart from the Spirit. Apart from the Spirit means apart from Jesus. Apart from Jesus means apart from salvation. No fruit. Just death.

((Conclusion.))

Salvation won. Salvation delivered. That’s the fruit of salvation won. Salvation has been won, and so salvation is delivered. Salvation bears fruit, too. There’s fruit that comes from salvation won and delivered.

Jesus and James focus on these three things today: Salvation won, salvation delivered, salvation fruitful—all for you.

Salvation has been won. Jesus died and rose. He forgives. He ascends. That’s His work to win salvation for you, and you are saved.

This bears fruit. Not just on a Sunday. Jesus is first fruit, and you are, too, in Him. You abound in love, in forgiving, in dying for those around you. You are “quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger.” You’ve “put away every uncleanness and abundance of evil.” That’s daily life. Merciful. Kind. Forgiving. No grudges. That’s salvation’s fruit.

It’s all given to you. It’s implanted in you. The Salvation and the fruit, too. Salvation is a Gift. So’s the fruit. It’s the Spirit’s fruit. He delivers it through the “implanted” “Word of truth,” which “guides you into all Truth,” Jesus Himself. You are also implanted with Jesus’ salvation, His body and blood.

It’s all gift from the Lord: the winning, the delivery, the fruit-bearing. “Every good gift and every accomplished gift is from above.” We claim nothing, except what’s been given to us freely as a gift. Salvation—won, delivered, fruitful. It’s all gift! One flows into the next, one bears the next. First accomplished, then delivered, then more fruit, more gift. That’s the Lord’s Way. What He does for you in giving you the Spirit and His Gifts.

Alleluia! Jesus Christ is risen!
He is risen indeed! Alleluia!

INI + AMEN.

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