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Newness of Life

Divine service theme for the month of May: "Newness of Life"

The sermon on the first Sunday in May deals with the significance of baptism. Not only does the act of baptism wash away original sin, but it is also a reference—and this meaning is found in the epistle to the Romans—to being buried with Christ and resurrecting with Christ. Only those who share in the death and resurrection of Christ, and who accompany Him upon His path, will attain salvation.

On the second Sunday in May the focus is on the development of the new creation within us. This new creation is made possible through the sacraments, namely through Holy Baptism and Holy Sealing. The service is intended to illustrate the great significance assigned to the sacraments in the New Apostolic faith.

On the third Sunday of May we will explore the presence of the Holy Spirit in the old covenant. In that period of salvation history, the Spirit of God worked through individual human beings—mostly prophets— who revealed the will of God and thereby gave the people direction.

The divine service on Ascension Day brings to expression that the ascension also signifies the exaltation of Jesus Christ. The Risen One thus returned to His state of glory. His divinity is brought to expression by the fact that He now sits at the right hand of God.

The focus of the second last Sunday sermon in May is on the baptism of Jesus. This event not only constitutes the first great self-revelation of the triune God, it also serves as a reference to baptism with both water and the Spirit. The baptism of the Spirit, which first occurred on Pentecost, imparts the gift of the Holy Spirit to a human being.

The feast of Pentecost commemorates the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. At the same time, it draws attention to the implications that arise from the presence of the Holy Spirit in the church. Among other things, prophetic speech—which is an effect of the activity of the Holy Spirit—enables the believer to praise God, profess Him, and draw attention to the love of God.

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