Thursday, October 12, 2017

Sermon October 7-8, 2017

Martin: The Man! Video series 5th Installment
Title: The Word, the Church, the Truth, and the World!
Text: Acts 4:19-21a; 5:27-29 (Readings below)

19 But Peter and John answered them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God, you must judge, 20 for we cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard.” 21 And when they had further threatened them, they let them go, finding no way to punish them, because of the people, for all were praising God for what had happened.

27 And when they had brought them, they set them before the council. And the high priest questioned them, 28 saying, “We strictly charged you not to teach in this name, yet here you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching, and you intend to bring this man's blood upon us.” 29 But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men.”

As we conclude this video series we see God’s word coming out of hiding. As Luther is hidden away – in the Wartburg Castle - he works hard to make the word of God clear and available to the German people by translating the New Testament into the common language of the people.

The church had the power to keep the people subservient to what the church directed and wanted them to know … and we all know that control means power … for a few. Luther and the reformation returned the truth and the gospel to the people. The freedom of the gospel meant real forgiveness apart from the works of the Law. As the Lutheran church emerged it needed to see what this new freedom meant. Luther’s German mass was the beginning of what we understand as the Divine service along with the singing of hymns - another Luther gift and blessing - where we together sing together the one true faith into our hearts and live that faith out daily in love for God and our neighbor.

The Lord’s Supper is and has always been pure gift for us Lutherans who received the true body and blood of Christ in and with the bread and wine for the forgiveness of our sins … nothing more and nothing less. The confessions of the Lutheran church contained in the Book of Concord makes our confession known. The Augsburg Confession in its unaltered state is what we as Missouri Synod Lutherans hold too.

Today the turmoil continues in our lives. It is not the same battle but it is the same fight. The world has become once more the arbiter of truth no matter the side you’re on as there is plenty of blame to go around. Marriage has been redefined and God’s word belittled. Respect is demanded … not earned. Traditional values are replaced with new ones and the family has been redefined. Children are aborted; lives are stilled in a shooting of mass proportions in Las Vegas and race relations are at an all time low. There is no place for that in the lives of Christians who see not the color of the skin but fellow sinners redeemed by grace.

As the gospel for today tells us in the words of Jesus:

38 But when the tenants saw the son, they said to themselves, ‘This is the heir. Come, let us kill him and have his inheritance.’ 39 And they took him and threw him out of the vineyard and killed him.
This son who was killed is the word of God made flesh Jesus Christ himself.

When the word is rejected, the Son is rejected. That which was not available to the people in Luther’s day – the word of God – has been available to you your whole life. For many in our day, in our life and even in our church it means little. “Take it away, they think, I live just fine without it.” But then we live according to the word of man and man at his core remains evil – as the Apostle Paul calls all born in sin to account in Romans 3.

10 as it is written:

“None is righteous, no, not one;
11 no one understands;
no one seeks for God.
12 All have turned aside; together they have become worthless;
no one does good,
not even one.”
13 “Their throat is an open grave;
they use their tongues to deceive.”
“The venom of asps is under their lips.”
14 “Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness.”
15 “Their feet are swift to shed blood;
16 in their paths are ruin and misery,
17 and the way of peace they have not known.”
18 “There is no fear of God before their eyes.”

Sounds like today.
Sounds like the protests.
Sounds like our country.
Sounds like our world.

We need a return to the word of God. A reformation if you will again to the truths that God has revealed in and through his word and to the cure that he alone can bring to a dying world

“We are only beggars (before God), it’s true.”

Each day we work as if it all depends on us. We pray, we help, we care, we provide, we love, we forgive and we hope, knowing also that … everything depends on God alone.

Let us pray that just as Martin Luther was used by God to bring Reformation to the church that God also will reform each one of our lives so that we can be a voice of reform and restoration in our lives and in our world.

In the name of the Father, and of the Son + and of the Holy Spirit!


Video A Man named Martin part 5

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