As the events of God’s eternal plan of redemption unfold, Jesus sovereignly accepts the cup the Fath er gives to him.

Photo. Justine show choir competition. 2012

IX. The Sermon: The Cup of Wrath – Rev. Kyle McClellan, Senior Minister, Grace Presbyterian Church

Some people today would believe Jesus was a victim surprised by his treatment and ultimately his own death. But this is not supported by texts such as these.

The Sermon Passage: John 18:1-11

The Big Idea: As the events of God’s eternal plan of redemption unfold, Jesus sovereignly accepts the cup the Father gives to him.


I. The Margaret Thatcher rule (vv. 4-10).

John has used irony very well through his gospel. Many of us when we use irony we are as subtle as a ten pound hammer. It is ironic that the lost one, Judas, is leading the troops to take Jesus and betray him. It is ironic that he has to bring a torches to find the light of the world. It is ironic that they come with clubs and swords to get the prince of peace.

Margaret’s rule was if you have to constantly remind those around you that you are in charge, you are not. If Judas had to hire / be hired to get Christ to show he had the power, then he does not.

Vs 5 has a word of warning for us. Judas was no longer standing among the disciples, he was numbered among “them” – the ones against Jesus. Judas’ betrayal is not in that he does not believe Jesus is God, he is trying to force Jesus’ hand to be the conquering king to kick out the Romans from over the Jews. What about you? Where do you stand this morning?

Peter announces his presence with authority because he thinks that Jesus needs his help. He cuts off the high priests servants ear – probably not what he was aiming for as fishermen are not usually adept with swords. “It is foolish for Peter to show his allegiance to Christ with his sword when he can’t seem to do so with his tongue” – John Calvin quote.

II. Drinking the Father’s cup (v.11, cf.: Jeremiah 25:15-29).

What is the cup? It is not just the physical beatings Jesus will get unto deth. The cup is symbolic of God’s wrath not against the Jews only but against all mankind! Jeremiah 25:15ff. The cup was God’s just anger against us sinners. We confess that ALL have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God – not most but all of us.

Conclusion. There is a cup to drink. Either you drink it at the end of your life for all eternity for trying to hold on to some vestige of power. Or Christ drinks it once and for all for all who call upon him to be saved.

The passage.

1 When Jesus had spoken these words, he went out with his disciples across the Kidron Valley, where there was a garden, which he and his disciples entered. 2 Now Judas, who betrayed him, also knew the place, for Jesus often met there with his disciples. 3 So Judas, having procured a band of soldiers and some officers from the chief priests and the Pharisees, went there with lanterns and torches and weapons. 4 Then Jesus, knowing all that would happen to him, came forward and said to them, “Whom do you seek?” 5 They answered him, “Jesus of Nazareth.” Jesus said to them, “I am he.” Judas, who betrayed him, was standing with them. 6 When Jesus said to them, “I am he,” they drew back and fell to the ground. 7 So he asked them again, “Whom do you seek?” And they said, “Jesus of Nazareth.” 8 Jesus answered, “I told you that I am he. So, if you seek me, let these men go.” 9 This was to fulfill the word that he had spoken: “Of those whom you gave me I have lost not one.” 10 Then Simon Peter, having a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s servant and cut off his right ear. (The servant’s name was Malchus.) 11 So Jesus said to Peter, “Put your sword into its sheath; shall I not drink the cup that the Father has given me?”


To the glory of God and as an incontravertable witness to the world, Christians are to manifest the unity of the Triune God in our life together.

VII. The Sermon: The Prayer of Jesus (Part 3) – Reverend Kyle McClellan, Pastor, Grace Presbyterian Church

The Sermon Passage: John 17: 20-26

Intro. What we usually mean by unity is that you agree with me. Or we can get unity through force. But this is not the type of unity that Christ has in mind.

Where can true unity be found? Is there a remedy to our disunity as sons and daughters of Adam and Eve? The punch line is yes and no.

The Big Idea: To the glory of God and as an incontravertable witness to the world, Christians are to manifest the unity of the Triune God in our life together.

I. Know the source of true unity (v. 21, 23; cf. 1 John 4:7-12).
Jesus prays for the 12 disciples AND those of us who believe on their account. If you believe in Christ and are his follower like the desciples too, then he is praying for you! The source of this unity is not that we all think alike or drive the same cars or live in the same place. Rather, the source of our unity is much deeper than that. It is in the fact that we bow the knee to a common Lord.

This is what is also amazing about flying all the way to Kenya and worshipping with other Christians there. Because we all worship the same Lord, this family unity is felt deeply even though we have different languages, worship styles, etc.

The reason the answer to “can we have unity” is yes and no, is that not all bow their knee to Christ. Yes, we have unity in Christ, but, no, not universally in this world right now.

II. Know the present purpose of unity (vv. 21, 23).
The world will want this beautiful unity but will not be able to get it. How does such a diverse group of people fit together, those who normally don’t come together in society? Our unity is to add to the beauty of the gospel. It is to be a living breathing reminder to the world that God has not forsaken his creation but is redeeming all things to himself.

We are to show the beauty of this gospel – where the loved Son was removed from the unity of the Godhead on the cross so we could have unity with God and his followers!

III. Keep the goal of unity in mind (vv. 24).
This unity around the Lord’s Table, for instance, is an amazing foretaste of the glory to come one day around the table of the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. All the tribes and tongues will be around that table! This glorifies God to see those who once had hearts of stone worshipping with new hearts the one and only lamb of God.

20 “I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, 21 that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, 23 I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me. 24 Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world. 25 O righteous Father, even though the world does not know you, I know you, and these know that you have sent me. 26 I made known to them your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.”

Five elements of Missional Churches – Tim Keller

Photo. Sandhills fb page. 2011

Five elements of Missional Churches – Tim Keller

1. Use common language – intelligibility

Use the common language of our culture. Words matter. Not have religious speak unintelligible to those outside a ‘holy huddle’, but speak in a straightforward way.

2. We want to learn the cultures story and connect that to the gospel’s story.

Leslie Newbigin had a profound impact here. In Fremont, how do they define success? What makes life meaningful? What does human flourishing in Fremont look like? What are things that they love and worship more than God?

Then after you have defined ‘your place’, your town, are there places the gospel bridges into the culture as well as confronts the culture? The world, Fremont, is not to be seen as a sinking ship to be discarded and seen as worthless, but rather what aspects of it reflect God’s character and beauty and what is being redeemed to Christ? See what it is and not dwell on what it is not.

Seeing the beauty in Fremont is a means God uses to have us LOVE this place!

3. We need theologically trained lay people for public life and service.

The pastor is not seen as the expert to be the only one qualified to ‘close the deal’ for someone entering the kingdom. How is it in what I am doing is building and forwarding the kingdom?

4. Seek to create counter-cultural Christian community.

Culture Making book by Andy Crouch talks about three common misconceptions of how we as Christians poorly approach culture. God made us gardeners and artists to take the elements of his world and make culture to reflect his great character.

5. Proactive Christian unity within our culture.

Work with the Catholic church, for instance, in addressing hunger and homelessness within our town. Even when groups do not fully align with the PCA, work winsomely with them and elevate the level of thinking in the conversation on how Christ redeems all of culture!

Source. Based on Tim Keller’s five points of Missional Church

The Glory of the Triune God. John 17 – My notes from a Tim Keller sermon. iTunes

The big idea: how does the doctrine of the trinity further explain the glory of God?

Point one. The ancient love of the trinity.
Vs1-5 explains the ‘dance’ of the trinity as told by CS Lewis. God is infinitely happy in the trinity. God crated the world to share this happiness. Christ worships God and the Holy Spirit and does not live for his own glory. This is also how we were made.

Point two. The ultimate hour.
The hour is the hour of Christ’s death.
A. In vs. Christ prays for glory at the cross NOT after it. This is total submission and glory in the godhead B. Infinitely worse than divorce.
C. Servanthood is the meaning of life.

Point three. The welcoming hour.
Jesus was utterly foresaken of the father so that we would never be.

The New Heaven and Earth: Revelation 21:1-7- My notes from a Tim Keller sermon. iTunes

Photo. FOP Trot, 2011

The big idea: John wrote the book of Revelation to remind persecuted Christians of their living hope.

Point one. The nature of this hope.
Vs1. “Coming down”. We have a material future.
Negro spirituals are immersed in this theme.

Point two. The need for living hope.
We need hope. Your belief of what is coming, the “then”, rules your now. What you believe about judgment or ablivion as being next rules how you live now.

Point three. How to get living hope.
You must believe in two things:
A. The death of Christ. V6. Drink without cost. John 4
When Jesus says I thirst on the cross, he got my cosmic thirst and hopelessness so I could drink from the river of life and the river of delights. Our deep longings of soul are for love, value, and to be lasting. We thirst for this but are never satisfied.

B. the resurrection of Christ.
V1. He sits on the throne in a new body and will make all things new.
Death hit Christ and we only get the shadow of death. It is like a truck that almost hits you when walking across the street but only hits you at the last second with its shadow.

Only two things can happen when we suffer with hope: A. we get better. Or B. we die and ARE better!

The Big Idea: Even when Jesus does not act as we think he ought to, he gives both the world and the apostles the necessary ministry of The Holy Spirit.

Photo. Okoboji. 2011

IX. The Sermon: The Spirit of Truth – Rev. Kyle McClellan, Senior Minister, Grace Presbyterian Church

The Sermon Passage: John 16:4b-15

How is it that any of us can not make hash of who Jesus is and how he relates to the Father and the Holy Spirit?

The Big Idea: Even when Jesus does not act as we think he ought to, he gives both the world and the apostles the necessary ministry of The Holy Spirit.


I. What will you do when Jesus doesn’t give you what you want? (vv. 5-6).
The disciples are so focused on what will now happen to them that they forget to ask Jesus where HE is going. Jesus is not acting in the way that they think he should. They think he should stay with them forever. What we think we need and what we think we want is often not even close to what we really need.

Jesus said that it actually is BETTER for them that he goes back to the father. How so? How is this to their advantage? Next point.

II. Know how Christ’s leaving is to our advantage (v. 7).
1. Jesus is fully human – he can’t be in multiple places at once.
With the Holy Spirit, however, this is entirely possible. In Acts 2 this happens.

2. We need our High Priest seated at the right hand of the Father (cf,.: Hebrews 4:14-16).
This is good news for us because Jesus non-stop, incessantly prays to God for our faith to be made strong! He empathizes with us in all ways as he has been through everything that we have been through. Therefore, we can approach God boldly because Jesus is our mediator that perfectly understands how we feel and lovingly talks to God on our behalf.

III. What does the Holy Spirit do in the world? (vv. 8-11).
He will speak on Jesus’ behalf. God is not on trial or in ‘the docks’ – we are. 1. Sin (v. 9; cf.: John 3:16-20).
The Holy Spirit convicts us sinners that we live in Gods world and want nothing to do with God and his son. We love the darkness. We love our sincere than we love God’s son.

2. Righteousness (v. 10; cf.: Acts 2:36).
What does Jesus going to the Father have to do with righteousness? What is the logic in the grammar here in verse 10? In Acts 2, Peter is speaking at Pentacost. Jesus is under the condemnation of God. Jesus was born under the law. Jesus was not condemned because he was a false Christ but because he was actually God’s judgement offering. He was killed for our sin not his own and according to the perfect plan of God. By God raising Jesus from the dead, he proves that he is God’s son and our righteousness.

3. Judgment (v. 11; cf.: Ephesians 2:1-3).
We stand justly condemned before God for our sin. But we don’t know it. Evangelism is a miracle ministry. It is a miracle that the tomfoolery stops. It is a miracle that we do not see Jesus as a nut case. It is a miracle to see him as the real son of God and have deep affection for him.

IV. How firm a foundation! (vv. 12-15).
Two problems to overcome: the disciples are facing two challenges. 1. Remembering (cf.: 14:25-26).
How can they remember all that they heard Jesus say these past three years, and what he has done? The Holy Spirit will do that in the disciples.

2. Proclaiming a Trinitarian Gospel.
The Bible we have is accurate because the Holy Spirit oversees all of it – how the Bible was written, what was said, what was recalled, etc. We may get it confused but the disciples did not as they wrote because the Holy Spirit guided the whole process.

Jesus is not a magic genie. He cannot be our savior but not our Lord. It is the Holy Spirit that applies these truths to our lives. Why? Because it is a miracle when we get it right about God and Jesus – we get it right not because we are good but because the Holy Spirit applies it to our hearts!

The passage.
4 But I have said these things to you, that when their hour comes you may remember that I told them to you. The Work of the Holy Spirit “I did not say these things to you from the beginning, because I was with you.

5 But now I am going to him who sent me, and none of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ 6 But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart. 7 Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you. 8 And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment: 9 concerning sin, because they do not believe in me; 10 concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you will see me no longer; 11 concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.

12 “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. 13 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. 14 He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. 15 All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.