Monday, February 9, 2015

Sermon Feb. 7- 8, 2015

Title: Healed in an instant … forgiven for eternity!
Text: Mark 1:29-39

30 Now Simon's mother-in-law lay ill with a fever, and immediately they told him about her. 31 And he came and took her by the hand and lifted her up, and the fever left her, and she began to serve them.
34 And he healed many who were sick with various diseases, and cast out many demons.
37 and they found him and said to him, “Everyone is looking for you.” 38 And he said to them, “Let us go on to the next towns that I may preach there also, for that is why I came out.”

There is a story is told of an Eastern king. The king was seated in a garden, and one of his counselors was speaking of the wonderful works of God.

"Show me a sign," said the king, "and I will believe."

"Here are four acorns," said the counselor, "will you, Majesty, plant them in the ground, and then stoop down for a moment and look into this clear pool of water?"

The king did so, "Now," said the other, "look up."

The king looked up and saw four oak-trees where he had planted the acorns. "Wonderful!" he exclaimed, "This is indeed the work of God!"

"How long were you looking into the water?" asked the counselor.

"Only a second," said the king. "Eighty years have passed as a second," said the other. The king looked at his garments; they were threadbare. He looked at his reflection in the water; he had become an old man. "There is no miracle here, then," he said angrily.

"Yes," said the other, "it is God's work, whether he did it in one second or in eighty years."

Sunday School Times.

It is the reality of what we see in this life. Looking forward, it seems to take an eternity to get where we are going. When we get there it seems to have passed in an instant.
Healed in an instant … forgiven for eternity!

29 And immediately he left the synagogue and entered the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John.

The same disciples who had followed Jesus and were to become fishers of men were with him in Capernaum, as evidently Simon had a house there with his wife and mother-n-law and Andrew evidently lived there also. James and John arrive at the home with Jesus and may have also witnessed the exorcism of the demon possessed man in the synagogue and now upon entering immediately, right away, they tell Jesus about Simon’s mother-in-law who lay ill with a fever.  Which Mark says that she literally, lay prostrate burning with fever and in St. Matthew account he says she was completely stretched out with her illness.

Whether the call of rebuke from Jesus to the demon and the casting out of that evil spirit of the man possessed in the synagogue, or the healing of a fever, which could also have been a very serious illness as well, especially in a day of limited medical remedies, Jesus has power over both the spiritual as well as the physical maladies of life. He heals both body and soul.

31 And [Jesus] came and took her by the hand and lifted her up, and the fever left her, and she began to serve them. St. Luke even says that Jesus stood over her as a physician and held her by her hand. Either way the healing touch of Jesus had an immediate effect.

Healed in an instant … forgiven for eternity!

32 That evening at sundown they brought to him all who were sick or oppressed by demons. 33 And the whole city was gathered together at the door.

Our sickness is real whether the condition of our bodies or our souls and they both need the healing touch of Jesus. Those with physical maladies will do almost anything or go anywhere for a cure. Those with Spiritual blindness are blind to their condition and need for healing.


[Take for example]British comedian, actor and author Stephen Fry — a hard-line atheist — [who] appeared on a spiritually minded TV show and was asked by the host what he’d say after death, discovering that God really does exist.

“Suppose it’s all true, and you walk up to the pearly gates, and are confronted by God,” the host asked. “What will Stephen Fry say to him, her, or it?”

Fry, 57, didn't exactly say he’d fall to his knees.

“I’d say, ‘Bone cancer in children? What’s that about?’” he began. “How dare you? How dare you create a world to which there is such misery that is not our fault,” Fry continued. “It’s not right [and] it’s utterly, utterly evil. Why should I respect a capricious, mean-minded, stupid God who creates a world which is so full of injustice and pain?’ That’s what I would say.”

[He continued,]

“… because, the God that created this universe, if it was created by God, is quite clearly a maniac…utter maniac, totally selfish. We have to spend our life on our knees thanking him? What kind of God would do that?”

Fry went on to question why the God of the universe would allow pain and suffering and argued that doing away with belief in God makes life [in his words] “simpler, purer, cleaner, [and] more worth living.”

First of all he is blind he’s not able to see that what God had created perfect, being broken and corrupted by sin.

14 The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. 1 Cor. 2:14

Then he falls victim to the lies of the evil one who Jesus calls the Father of lies - the devil - who convinces him that God is the evil one because our world, broken by sin has so much injustice and pain?

14 And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. 2 Cor. 11:14

Atheist logic: He doesn't believe that God exists but if he does exist he must be evil because we see suffering and the effects of sin in our world. It is the way of our flesh, the world and the devil to call God the liar so we in our sin wish to live – whatever the choice - “simpler, purer, cleaner, [and have a life] more worth living.”

Simpler – no God to complicate the choices we make. Bone cancer in children? I’d say contrast that with abortion on demand which is definitely not God’s will or fault.

Purer and cleaner – which is to just get rid of the stuff that complicates the things I want to do and the way I want to live. Society sees the suicide of Robin Williams as a tragedy but the physician assisted suicide of Brittney Maynard as a death with dignity because she face a terminal illness.

This they say leads to a Life worth living – but there is still one thing to consider, and that is that life eventually will end. No if, ands or buts, death will knock and we will all, one day, answer that door. For some sooner and for some later; God could have left us in our sin because it is our fault, it’s our sin and it’s our disobedience … but he didn't.

Healed in an instant … forgiven for eternity!

God, in Christ first became what we are. He took on flesh, yet without sin, for you, so that he could be that perfect sacrifice and payment for sin that we could never be.

He could have left you and me to the fires of hell and been just and right in his decision. But God would not leave you in your sin. He came to heal you with a healing that gives you himself – that blessed exchange – he takes your sin and gives you his righteousness.

What a maniac, quite clearly a maniac … utterly selfless, not thinking of himself … but only you.
Luther speaks of the blessed exchange in this way:

“But now, if God’s wrath is to be taken away from me and I am to obtain grace and forgiveness, someone must merit this; for God cannot be a friend of sin nor gracious to it, nor can he remit the punishment and wrath, unless payment and satisfaction be made.

Now, no one, not even an angel of heaven, could make restitution for the infinite and irreparable injury and appease the eternal wrath of God which we had merited by our sins; except that eternal person, the Son of God himself, and he could do it only by taking our place, assuming our sins, and answering for them as though he himself were guilty of them.

This our dear Lord and only Saviour and Mediator before God, Jesus Christ, did for us by his blood and death, in which he became a sacrifice for us; and with his purity, innocence, and righteousness, which was divine and eternal, he outweighed all sin and wrath he was compelled to bear on our account; yea, he entirely engulfed and swallowed it up, and his merit is so great that God is now satisfied and says, “If he wills thereby to save, then there will be a salvation.”

Sermons of Martin Luther, vol. 2, p. 344

Healed in an instant … forgiven for eternity!

God in Christ has done all things for you. Your birth is a miracle and so is your rebirth. You have been given life and newness of life by faith in Jesus Christ our Lord.

May this peace from God comfort you now and forever.

In the name of the Father and of the Son + and of the Holy Spirit.


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