Sixth Sunday of Easter

~ Rogate ~

Holy Baptism of Maria Regina Cleveland

Readings: Numbers 21:4-9 | James 1:22-27 | John 16:23-33

Text: John 16:23-33

The name for this Sunday, Rogate, derives its name from the Gospel lesson, instead of first word of the Introit. Rogate in Latin means, “Ask (all of you), and you will receive, that your joy may be full.” (John 16:24) In this part of John, Jesus is preparing His disciples for the time of His ascension and visible departure from them.

Really, this is all we’ve ever known as Christians. We are the ones about whom our Lord says, “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed” (John 20:29) But the only way that we, nearly two millennia later, can receive such a blessing, is because Jesus has ascended to the right hand of the Father, to fill all things (Eph. 4:10). He has sent us the promise of His Father, the Holy Spirit, who has worked faith even in us, who heard the Word, and received it, “not as the word of men but as what it really is, the word of God, which is at work in you believers.” (1 Thess. 2:13)

What our Lord Jesus is teaching us here though, is about prayer: “In that day, you will ask nothing of me. Truly, truly, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in my name, he will give it to you…Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.” That is to say,


I. When we think about prayer, we often think about the action of it—the folded hands, being on the knees, the certain words we say. But what does the Lord in the flesh actually teach us about prayer?

“Truly, truly, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in my name, he will give it to you”

1. The main thing of prayer does not start with us. Prayer is inspired and empowered by God.

a. We can misunderstand what Jesus says– whatever you ask the Father in my name—thinking of God has our “heavenly grandpa” who gives us whatever we want because we know how to melt His heart. Some think of “in Jesus Name” like a magic formula which unlocks whatever we want to happen. But that’s far from what “in Jesus’ Name” means.

b. Prayer through Christ is so much different. It is not self-centered, because it is not our old sinful flesh demanding. It is the new man in each of us, being conformed to God’s way.

i. Today’s Collect summed this up: O God, the giver of all that is good, by Your holy inspiration grant that we may think those things that are right and by Your merciful guiding accomplish them; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

c. Prayer is not a method to manipulate the Almighty to kowtow to our wishes. He refuses to be our genie in a bottle. Rather, in this asking in the Name of Jesus, we have been formed and are being formed into those who ask for the right things.

2. Prayer “in the Name of Jesus” is asking according to our new birth.

a. In Jesus’ Name is what we are in our Baptism. We have received the holy Name of God—the Name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. It’s a sacred mystery of faith is that God doesn’t only forbid misuse of His name (taking it in vain), but through the Son of God, He has given us the access of sons and daughters.

b. Because we are God’s children, born again to a living hope, living together in that hope, we can’t help but ask. In the day of the joy of the resurrection, the Church is constantly at prayer.

II. In that day you will ask in my name, and I do not say to you that I will ask the Father on your behalf; 27 for the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God. 28 I came from the Father and have come into the world, and now I am leaving the world and going to the Father.”

1.This is a gift which none of us could claim for ourselves, unless we were unimaginably haughty.  To God’s face, who would be so haughty as to claim that they were a child of God and deserving of such benefits?

2. But we receive this status as a gift, that’s how we come to know our God and Father. It doesn’t come automatically like a download of information. It comes through experience.

3. The disciples would soon face their own weakness, and learn what it means to know how to call upon the Father as dear children.

III. 29 His disciples said, “Ah, now you are speaking plainly and not using figurative speech! 30 Now we know that you know all things and do not need anyone to question you; this is why we believe that you came from God.” 31 Jesus answered them, “Do you now believe? 32 Behold, the hour is coming, indeed it has come, when you will be scattered, each to his own home, and will leave me alone. Yet I am not alone, for the Father is with me. 33 I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

1.The disciples we so sure they had mastered the lesson Jesus had for them. They were ready for a kind of graduation, but they were naïve.

2. It was painful experience which taught them how much they must rely on Him. We’re often not aware of this weakness until it humbles us. The Church, with Peter, John, James, and all the rest of the Apostles, was not ready for the crucifixion and resurrection. It was not ready for the coming persecution, for the writing of Scriptures, and the martyrdom.

3. What can such an incapable people do, but pray? Go to the very Father who created all things and upholds them. We are weak, but He is Almighty. We are powerless, but “all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to [Him]” (Matt. 28:19).

Finally, this means that prayer is a thoroughly natural thing for the Christian. In our new creation, we are constantly praying. The world says, “You are in our thoughts and prayers” which is ultimately powerless. What can your thoughts do? But the thoughts of a Christian, because we belong to Christ, the Holy One, are prayers because they can’t help but bring these impossible things to the Almighty, not on the basis of our actions, but according to His own. In the day of the joy of the resurrection, the Church, with all her members, is constantly at prayer.

So, let us pray: O God, the giver of all that is good, by Your holy inspiration grant that we may think those things that are right and by Your merciful guiding accomplish them. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.

Sixth Sunday of Easter

Rogate ~ Ask

Readings: Numbers 21:4–9 | James 1:22–27 | John 16:23–33

Text: John 16:23-33

This Sunday differs from the other ones in Easter, with the Latin names that we’ve been seeing, Quasimodo Geniti and Jubilate and things like that, because in this one it doesn’t come from the first verse of the Introit. It actually comes from a word in the Gospel that Jesus says several times Rogate, or ask.

This word runs all through the lesson. Just listen to the first 2 verses: “In that day you will ask nothing of me. Truly, truly, I say to you whatever you ask of the father in my name. He will give it to you. Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask and you will receive that your joy may be full.”

So what does it mean to ask?

First of all, I think, as I was mentioning to the children during the Children’s Catechism lesson that the word pray is actually just a fancy word for ask. Just ask. It happens to be in in usage in Christendom that it has come to mean that you are offering a petition to our God. Because it is a prayer to God, it often takes on this this aura of asking petitions of a more powerful human party. Like when you’re at the DMV and you need to ask them to take something off of your record. It’s something you’re not really sure that you’re going to get.

Then, you combine that with the centuries of Christian history and a lot of baggage has been added to the act of asking God, and sometimes we might even become intimidated because of written prayers like the Collect of the Day. The formulated Collect of the day is no better than the prayers of any Christian. The only difference is that it’s written out in a systematic way.

Jesus says, “Truly, truly, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in My name, He will give it to you.”

So what does it mean to ask specifically in Jesus’ name?

Unfortunately, “in Jesus name” is often taken to be a stamp of approval or the prayer is ending, a magic formula. I asked in Jesus name, so I should expect whatever my heart desires! How come God didn’t give me a Mercedes?

Asking in his name is actually much simpler than we think. It simply is the same thing as being in Christ in his Name is to live in His baptismal promise to you as a New Testament Christian. It is a reminder of whose we are, of who God has made us to be—His children! How He has adopted us in the waters of Baptism, when He put His Name on us. We bear the Name of God as adopted children through Jesus Christ.

So as his beloved children, we come to him asking him in that family name that God has given us.

To pray in his name is to ask under the shelter of the cross (so to speak) under the death and resurrection of Jesus because Paul teaches that we are baptized into his death and his resurrection (Romans 6:3-4).

Jesus continues, “I have said these things to you in figures of speech. The hour is coming when I will no longer speak to you in figures of speech, but will tell you plainly about the Father.”

In that hour, He will not be speaking in proverbs or parables as he did for those outside of the church, or as he did for the disciples in the Upper Room. He will show them plainly what God the Father is up to. His passion is the hour where He showed the Father to us plainly was not a proverb or a parable, but it’s where the Father offers up His only-begotten Son to reconcile the world to himself, to adopt sinners like you and me into his family, to draw sons and daughters to himself through faith. That is where we see God pulling back the curtain so that we can see his heart.

What can we ask the Father in Jesus name, in that baptismal Name He gave us?

First of all, just to be clear, we do address prayers to the Father, to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit and all of them are right. We have been given, that name of the Trinity, and while each Person may have a unique work and relationship to the others, the unity of the One God remains.

As far as what to ask, here it’s helpful to understand there’s two kinds of asking and I made reference to it with the with the children. In the original Greek, there are two different words translated “ask”– ἐρωτάω (ero-TAH-oh) and αἰτέω (ay-TEH-oh). In the first verse of the gospel lesson, “In that day you will ἐρωτάω nothing of me. Truly, truly, I say to you, whatever you αἰτέω of the Father in my name, he will give it to you.”

ἐρωτάω is to request someone where the outcome is uncertain. There’s not a guarantee that they’re going to do what you asked. For example, in Luke 7, “One of the Pharisees asked him to eat with him, and he went into the Pharisee’s house and reclined at table.” (Luke 7:36)

But αἰτέω has a completely different expectancy to it. It is where you were asking someone with the promise that, or the reasonable expectation that they are going to do what you have asked. An example that I’ve heard of this is where you go to the bank, not today ’cause they’re closed, but say you go to the bank tomorrow and you ask for money from your account, you would expect that they would give it to you. In Luke 11, Jesus gives an example of this asking: “What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent; or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion?” (Luke 11:11-12)

The asking that Jesus is saying about prayer is this later one. You’re not trying to convince the Sovereign Lord on High of your puny petition. You are just like Luther taught us in the Small Catechism asking as dear children ask their dear father. And that’s why Jesus emphasizes it by saying in verse 26 and 27, “In that day, you will ask in my name, and I do not say that I will ask the father on your behalf, for the father himself loves you. Because you have loved me and had believed that I came from God.”

Faith is at work in you who believe. Back to this promise of Jesus, “truly, truly, I say to you, whatever you ask the father in my name, he will give it to you.”

That could be very broad. It could be misunderstood if it comes unhinged from who God has revealed Himself to be. He is not the heavenly sugar daddy who gives us whatever our spoiled heart’s desire. No, what we are able to ask is everything according to what God has revealed, He made his desire and his disposition to hear us clear on the cross: He desires all to be saved. He desires to care for his children. He desires to take care of every earthly need that we have.

But we shouldn’t ask and can’t expect that he’s going to do something contrary to his will. This is why it’s wrong for us to say God d*** you. We shouldn’t say something like that. It’s not our place because it’s not God’s will, but it would be better for us (as those who justly deserve to be damned), to instead say “God save you” or “God have mercy on you.”

Even though it just doesn’t satisfy that that intensity we have when we’re flying off the handle. Remember last week’s lesson from James (James 1:16-21) where he says, “the anger of man does not work the righteousness of God.”  Thanks be to God that he’s put his anger away in His Son.

We can ask for God’s help in every need we can ask even in times where we are tempted. We cannot ask for something that is completely against his will, but we can ask, when we see that we are being tempted to break his commandments, we should by all means pray for His help! “Call on me in the day of trouble, and I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me.” (Psalm 50:15)  We can also ask for someone else who is being tempted, “Brothers, if you see anyone who is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness.” (Galatians 6:1)  We can ask for forgiveness when we have failed, and we can trust that he answers our prayers. We can ask for justice to be carried out for him to save people.

We are free to ask for anything in the faith that he has given us, from the inconsequential to the profound. Faith receives abundantly: “The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.” (James 5:16)

The Lord has already given us a starting place: The Our Father (Lord’s Prayer) is a great place to start.

It’s not something that’s meant to be thoughtlessly rattled off, but something that Jesus has given us to ponder daily. These are things that he teaches us to ask for and to expect from God.

That his name would be hallowed, that we would live lives that reflect that name that he has given to us, that we would reflect Christian lives. And that he would have mercy on us when we fail, where we fail to do that. That his Kingdom would come is the prayer of the church in in our day, where numerically it is declining. We pray that his Kingdom would come because we see more of the population of the Earth going the way of their own delusions. We pray for his will to be done, trusting that it’s not our own wisdom and learning our own powers that are going to go the best way, but we entrust those things to our Heavenly Father. We ask him to provide for all of our needs that we ask him to not only forgive us, but enable us daily to forgive those who have wronged us. We ask to be protected against temptation and more on that when we get to the end of the text and that. Finally, we ask to be delivered from every evil that we suffer day to day, and the evil of everlasting death. All of these things Jesus has taught us to ask for because God has promised to answer us in those needs.

Another place than Scripture that is so valuable is in the Psalms. The Psalms are filled with every manner of prayer. Every situation that a Christian will find themselves in is in the Psalter, all 150 Psalms. If you just want the brief tour, I’d recommend looking at the prayers in Responsive Prayer 2, page 285 in the hymnal.

There are things that can prevent us from asking, from praying. “I don’t know if I’ll say the right words!” We could feel unworthy to ask for such great things (and we are, but He has offered them!) 

We could be distracted, and often are. Our minds are like kittens. They can go crazy. Our thoughts can be so busy when we have a moment to pray. (Speaking from experience) You quietly fold your hands and close your eyes to take away the distractions and keep your hands from doing the million things on your To Do List. And what do you do? You obsess or you plan, or you think about all the things that you failed at this or that. That’s not prayer; that’s worry. So, there are many things that can distract us from prayer.

But the Lord has given us his Holy Spirit to keep us asking, to keep us focused on Him and His work, and so the things that encourage us in our prayers that don’t have to be formatted, they don’t have to be any more than, “Lord, have mercy.”  He has adopted us as his children, so we should picture him being on the edge of our edge of his seat to hear from us whenever we put our feeble trust in him. He’s commanded us several times in these verses to ask him, and he’s promised to hear every single last request, even those prayers that don’t even have words.

In the last part of the reading today reminds us of what we will be driven, what will drive us to prayer?

Behold, the hour is coming, indeed it has come, when you will be scattered, each to his own home, and will leave me alone. Yet I am not alone, for the Father is with me. I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

It really shouldn’t come as a surprise to us when bad things happen. Jesus has said that it will happen. Our own experiences have shown that it will happen. But the thing that is unique for the children of God is that we have a Father in heaven, who has promised to hear us in our tribulation and who has promised to love us, save us, protect us, and deliver us! We have an Almighty Father who has given His Son nailed to the cross and raised from the dead is the guarantee that he will answer every request of his children. As St. Paul writes in Romans 8, “He who did not spare his own son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him, graciously give us all things?” (Rom. 8:32)

So don’t be intimidated by the word “prayer.”  Be encouraged to talk to your Heavenly Father constantly in your heart, inwardly, in public, wherever it is. Asking him in faith, trusting His Word, where he has shown you what you can ask for and expect from him, and he will surely do it.

In the Name of + Jesus. Amen.

Sixth Sunday of Easter (Acts 17:16-31)

In the Name of Jesus. Amen.

Paul had entered a context in Athens that was not entirely foreign to us today.  It was a very diverse city, with metropolitan people of diverse opinions and philosophies.  Athens had a reputation as being the seat of many great thinkers: Socrates and Antisthenes, Plato and Epicurus.  These were their hometown philosophic heroes, but that didn’t necessarily mean they were adverse to debating other views.  As Luke comments, “All the Athenians and the foreigners who lived there would spend their time in nothing except telling or hearing something new.”

Now, even the message which Paul brought was not entirely outlandish.  For the past 500 years, the cult of Dionysus had been a regular part of society.  According to legend, Dionysus, the god of wine and madness, crops and fertility, was killed by the Titans who ate all but his heart.  Athena took the heart back to Zeus, who gave it to his lover Semele.  She ate it and gave birth again to Dionysus.  So, death and resurrection was not the strange part of Paul’s message.  There was something else about it—that there was only one true God and that His Son had been born, executed by people who were still living, and that He had risen from the dead.

Gods who had origins of long ago, who lived atop high mountains they could handle.  Those gods had influence over their lives, and any who chose could appeal by sacrifice to the god whose help was needed.  Hera for family, Poseidon for sea and storm, Demeter for the earth, Athena for wisdom, and so on.  Some of the great philosophers like Socrates had challenged the gods of Athens and paid dearly for impiety. But for the most part you could live peacefully whether you devoted yourself to the gods or not.

The divinity which Paul was preaching about didn’t fit into Athenian way of life.  Not that he was preaching about living as a hermit in a clay pot on the street (Diogenes, a cynic philosopher), but One who to know would change a person’s outlook on every facet of life.  One who exposed the darkness of idol worship, the degrading reality of debauchery, the God who justly consigned all to disobedience that He might have mercy on all. 

But Paul preached to them from within their understanding of the world.  He complimented their devotion to deities, the virtues they praised, and their quest for a good life.  Someone, likely not officially sanctioned, had set up an altar, “To the unknown god”—the “Agnosis god,” the god of which we do not know.  What they sought from this unknown god can’t be clear, but it was in this opening that Paul explained of Whom he was speaking.

He corrected their errors, commended them for the glances of truth they had, and then preached the call for personal devotion of every person.  The true God made heaven and earth, and is not limited to temples, statues, or objects that fell from the sky.  They served their deities with offerings which brings the god down to a human level. Instead, it is God who not only created all, but gives life and breath to us.

They still had a glimpse of what their Creator was like, but learning more fully what He is like, they ought not to continue in ignorant (agnostic) ways.  The hour has come for all people to acknowledge not gods of their own imagination, but their Creator who lovingly gave them life and still preserves it, who out of sheer grace gave the sacrifice which answers for the sins of all, and who is coming again to judge on the basis of the righteousness of faith.

It was not Paul’s eloquent speech upon the Areopagus which reached their hearts.  It was God doing it with His Word.  Just as Jesus the Lord had promised, Paul preached repentance unto forgiveness of sins—and some believed (v. 34). This is a wonderful example of the witness a Christian makes in the company of those who are grasping in darkness.

We believe in God who raised Jesus from the dead, and who gives life to our mortal bodies. No matter what cancer or a virus might do to them, God will raise us with Christ at the last.  This fills us with hope because no matter what calamity happens to us now, we have eternal life and resurrection guaranteed by God.

We believe in the forgiveness of Christ upon the cross, given for the whole world.  Outside of Christ all people can see is cries for justice and revenge.  We hold grudges, and try to let go of them for pragmatic reasons, it’s only in the blood of Jesus that there is peace and forgiveness.  Covered with the blood of Christ, we pray for those who abuse us (Luke 6:28).

We love our neighbors not just for “the good feels” it gives or because we’ve been threatened into performing well, but because we have been born anew and are being restored in the image of our Creator. This same Creator is the one who loves even His enemies and seeks their good to the end.

We have joy and perseverance whether the country is wealthy or poor because we have a Father in heaven who cares for us.  For so many happiness depends solely on whether they can keep their standard of living comfortable, or have enough sedatives on hand to numb the pain.  But we “know how to be brought low, and how to abound. In any and every circumstance, [we] have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. 13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:12-13)

The future does not terrify us, because we await from heaven our Savior who said that these very things would happen.  While the rest of the world may be crippled with fear over pestilence, weather patterns, famine, and so forth. we continue steadfast because it means our Lord’s return grows close.  We know that the One who commanded wind and waves to still, demons and death to depart, will give command to the angels and gather us in and remove every cause of sin and all lawless people (Matt. 13:41).

Our faith which we’ve received from God, delivered in the Scriptures, changes the way Christians live in the world. It transforms the way we think, for with the Holy Spirit, we are “transformed by the renewal of [our] minds” (Rom. 12:2).

As Christians in a pandemic, God has put us in a critical place to witness.  We can see the idols of our age—science and medicine, and the almighty dollar and we know their weakness.  It is a human weakness which is fallible and can only save so far.

Of course, we can commend the good things of our country—charity, dedication, honor, self-sacrifice.  But as servants of God, we know that all those virtues which do our country so much good come from the true God.  Former times He has overlooked our ignorance, but if we hear this call to repentance and this eternal gospel and cling to our idols, it would be better for Sodom and Gomorrah than for us.  With all confidence, we can confess that God  has appointed a day when He will judge each person—not as people judge each other with outward worth—but how they received this Word of life.

And like Paul standing in that pagan forum, God’s Word will go out and accomplish that for which He sends it.  This same Word has the power to overcome unbelief and quell rebellion.  As Paul later wrote to Corinthian believers, “The weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ.” (2 Cor. 10:4-5) 

Our calling is merely to live out our faith in the grace He gives, and pray for those opportunities where our life will be a witness of the hope that is within us.  May God grant that hope to be theirs too.

In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Sixth Sunday of Easter (John 14:15-21)

Bethlehem Lutheran Church, Lebanon, OR
Sixth Sunday of Easter + May 21, 2017
Text: John 14:15-21

As we approach Ascension Day (this year, May 25), we continue to hear powerfully encouraging words from our Lord about how He continues to be with us, even though hidden from our sight.
This time, our Lord tells us that we will be distinct among men.  The first way He says that we will be distinct is to say that, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.”  To love Jesus is more than an act we can conjure up.  It’s more than thinking He’s a great guy and having affection toward Him.  This is the result of faith, not our own doing, that we love Jesus.  This is God’s incredible work that He has created a clean heart within us and renewed us with a right spirit.  The reason we know if we love Jesus by faith is that we keep His Word.  Those who love Jesus treasure the Word of God, hold it sacred, gladly pore over it.  They experience spiritual awakening, feeling the terror of God’s Law when He thunders against our wickedness, being raised up by the sweet consolation that our sins are forgiven through the precious blood of Jesus, and living in the joyful freedom of our salvation.
Yet, beware because the devil is a sly enemy.  He delights in convincing people that they can love Jesus and close their ears to His Word.  He would love to have you believe you can be a true Christian and never pray, put worship on the bottom of your priorities, and close your heart to your neighbor so you don’t care if he perishes in body or soul.
Just as we are too sinful to love God on our own, we also don’t have it in us to continue in this faith even for an hour.  Therefore, Jesus says, “I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, 17 even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive.”  He is the One who converted our hearts at the beginning, and brought us to know and believe in Jesus (the other Helper).  He is also the one who will keep us in this confession and faith, even while the world and the devil war against the true God and all who belong to Him.  The Spirit of truth is in us to keep us as the people who bear God’s Name—Christians.
Because of this, Christians are the target of attack.  We look vulnerable to the world, because we follow a God who saved us by dying on a cross.  But our living Lord assures us that He does not leave us as orphans (fatherless).  Rather, He gives a whole string of promises: “I am coming to you…you will see me…you will live…you will know…I will manifest myself to you.”  In fact we are not Fatherless, but we have the greatest and most powerful keeper of all, the Triune God.
Because of all this, Christians are distinct from the world.
You are distinct from the world because you love God and keep His Word.  His Word is a lamp to your feet.  Where the rest of men choose the guidance of their own darkened hearts, you have a light from above.  That light shows you who God is, proclaims the glories of His creation, instructs you in what it means to be a human being, and gives definition and meaning to your relationships.
You are different because you know your Father in heaven, and that He is the One who faithfully provides for you.  While the world scrambles for resources and men covet each other’s goods afraid they will be left destitute, you rest in God’s care even though we may have to wait for it for a time.  What other people in the world have a promise from heaven, “I will never leave you, nor forsake you”?[1]
You have a Savior who gives you a peaceful conscience through your Baptism—“Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.”[2]  While others numb their conscience with drinking and drugs, you have an advocate in heaven whose blood speaks for your guilt and who causes you to be judged by His perfect obedience.
You have the Holy Spirit, the Helper who is with you forever.  The world religions all rely on the fortitude and self-dedication of their followers.  Not so with your God—“I am the vine, you are the branches…apart from Me you can do nothing.”[3]  You are not on your own in your faith or your life in Christ. Jesus has given you His Spirit of Truth who puts His Word into your heart and causes it to bear fruit.  He gives you strength for your struggles, and reassures you in your doubts.
What other people have a god so near to them as the Lord your God is to you?[4]  The answer is no one but the children of the Triune God.  Amen.
[1] Hebrews 13:5
[2] 1 Peter 3:21 (Epistle reading)
[3] John 15:5
[4] Deuteronomy 4:7