Messages from Pastor Raddatz


November 1, 2020 All Saints Day, Mount Olive Houston TX


Dear Children of God,


Grace, mercy and peace to you from God our Father and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.


There are many inspiring pictures of Jesus who welcomes all people.  I am thinking of Jesus and the children.  It is a picture with Jesus in the center and the children of many ethnic backgrounds around him.  It is a comforting picture because Jesus welcomes all, even little children who want to come to him.  If another human being calls an adult, “a child” it can be insulting, but when God calls us his child it is a title of honor.


1 John 3:1-3 reads, “See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are.  The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. 2 Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is.  3 And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.”


Is everyone a child of God?

Everyone is created by God, but not everyone is a child of God because God as Father can be rejected. 


Who is the originator of Sin?  The Devil

Most importantly, however, the New Testament teaches us that this being, who has been evil from the beginning (1 Jn 3:8, “He who does sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning.  The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work.”)


Satan is seldom mentioned in the Old Testament. He is pictured as an angel who acts as the heavenly prosecutor (Job 1:6–12; 2:1–7; Zec 3:1–2).

The New Testament has a developed portrayal of Satan, and he comes with a whole list of names: Satan (Hebrew for “accuser”), devil (the Greek translation of Satan), Belial, Beelzebub, the Adversary, the Dragon, the Enemy, the Serpent, the Tester, and the Wicked One. Satan is pictured as the ruler of a host of angels (Mt 25:41) and the controller of the world (Lk 4:6; Acts 26:18; 2 Cor 4:4), who especially governs all who are not Christians (Mk 4:15; Jn 8:44; Acts 13:10; Col 1:13). He is opposed to God and seeks to alienate all people from God; therefore, he is an especially dangerous foe of Christians (Lk 8:33; 1 Cor 7:5; 1 Pt 5:8), who must steadfastly resist him and see through his cunning (2 Cor 2:11; Eph 6:11; Jas 4:7). Satan works his evil will by tempting persons (Jn 13:2; Acts 5:3), by hindering God’s workers (1 Thes 2:18), by accusing Christians before God (Rv 12:10), and by controlling the evil persons who resist the gospel (2 Thes 2:9; Rv 2:9, 13; 13:2).

Elwell, Walter A.;   Comfort, Philip Wesley: Tyndale Bible Dictionary. Wheaton, Ill.: Tyndale House Publishers, 2001 (Tyndale Reference Library), S. 1168


How has the Devil been overcome

Hebrews 2:14-15,  “Since then the children have flesh and blood, he himself also in just the same way partook of the same, in order that by means of death he might do away with him who holds the power of death, that is the devil, and free those who were subject to slavery by a fear of death through all of life.


Most importantly, however, the New Testament reminds us that Satan has now been bound and cast out of heaven through the ministry of Jesus (Lk 10:18; Rv 12). While Satan is still a dangerous enemy, Jesus himself prays for us and has given us the powerful weapons of prayer, faith, and the efficacy of his blood. Satan can still cause physical illness when allowed by God (2 Cor 12:7), and persons can be delivered over to him for punishment (1 Cor 5:5; 1 Tm 1:20). Satan will always be under God’s control, who will eventually destroy him (Rom 16:20; Rv 20:10).


What does v. 6 mean when it says, “no who continues to sin has seen him”?

See John 15:4-11, which is the positive way of saying how we stay away from sin.  We stay away from sin by staying attached to Christ.


When the Bible talks about “continuing to sin” it is not saying we can attain perfection.  We will never be perfect.  The key word is CONTINUE!  Falling into sin by weakness even falling into the same sin does not mean a person willfully continues to sin.  


“the one who keeps on sinning” (lives a life of sin, not mere occasional acts of sin as ?μαρτησας [hamartesas], LOGOS BIBLE SOFTWARE


In his book Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis wrote, "Do not waste your time bothering whether you 'love' your neighbor act as if you did. As soon as we do this, we find one of the great secrets. When you are behaving as if you loved someone, you will presently come to love him. If you injure someone you dislike, you will find yourself disliking him more. If you do him a good turn, you will find yourself disliking him less." Our Daily Bread, February 14.



Motion resulted in emotion. The ability to love is established not so much by fervent promise as often repeated deeds. J. Allan Petersen.


More likely, John is turning the claims of the false teachers and their followers (1:8–10) against them: unlike those errorists who merely claim to be sinless, true believers do not live in sin. (Many commentators suggest that the present continuous tense of “sin” suggests “living in” sin, sinning as a natural way of life. This is different from living righteously but sometimes succumbing to temptation or deception and genuinely repenting.) The particular sins that dominate John’s portrayal of these secessionists are violations of the two basic precepts John stresses in this letter: the right attitude toward members of the Christian community and the right view about Jesus (3:24). Thus John may mean that they commit the sin that leads to death, i.e., leading out of eternal life (cf. 5:16–17).


The Greek word agape (love) seems to have been virtually a Christian invention -- a new word for a new thing (apart from about twenty occurrences in the Greek version of the Old Testament, it is almost non-existent before the New Testament). Agape draws its meaning directly from the revelation of God in Christ. It is not a form of natural affection, however, intense, but a supernatural fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22). It is a matter of will rather than feeling (for Christians must love even those they dislike -- Matt. 5:44-48). It is the basic element in Christlikeness.


Read 1 Corinthians 13 and note what these verses have to say about the primacy (vv. 1-3) and permanence (vv. 8-13) of love; note to the profile of love (vv. 4-7) which they give. James Packer, Your Father Loves You, Harold Shaw Publishers, 1986.


When Christ appears, we will fully enjoy being His children! See verse 2 of 1 John.

1 Corinthians 13:12, “Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.” (NIV)


NOW - Without waiting for the παρουσια [parousia] or second coming. We have a present dignity and duty, though there is greater glory to come. It is not yet made manifest (ο?πω ?φανερωθη [oupo ephanerothe]).


“What we shall be” – this will be our glorified body: upon entering the presence of Christ in death and when Christ comes to raise the dead.  This is our destiny and glory (Rom. 8:29), to be like Jesus who is like God (II Cor. 4:6). We shall see him even as he is. Future middle indicative of ?ραω [horao]. The transforming power of this vision of Christ (I Cor. 13:12) is the consummation of the glorious process begun at the new birth in our baptism (II Cor. 3:18).


We are children of God, birthed by him saved by Christ and not yet perfected until we see Christ unhindered by our flesh and by this world.  Amen.


May this peace, which passes all human understanding keep your hearts and your minds in the one true faith, in Christ Jesus, to life everlasting. Amen.


From one Child of God, Pastor John F. Raddatz

Pastor, Mount Olive Lutheran Church – To God Be the Glory

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