Monday, February 12, 2018

Sermon February 10-11, 2018 - Transfiguration

Title: Jesus transfigures you!
Text: 2 Cor. 3:12-13; 4:1-6

6 For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

Maybe you remember the old joke:

How many Lutheran’s does it take to change a light bulb?

CHANGE! We don’t like change!

The truth is Lutheran’s love change but it has to be the right change. Change for change sake is not good. Change for the wrong reasons is not. Change in compromising the truth is not good. Change just to be different or new is not good. Change because of the world, opposed to the word, is not good.

Last weekend we saw change in a good way. Gregory Michael Goddard went from being God’s enemy to God’s child. He went from darkness to light. He went from death to life … from separation from God to an eternity with God.

Gregory was changed, he was transfigured.

Paul too as he writes to the Corinthian church:


12 Since we have such a hope, we are very bold, 13 not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face so that the Israelites might not gaze at the outcome of what was being brought to an end. 2 Cor. 3:12-13

Paul comes to the Corinthians in this letter with the Good News that change has come. Grace has fulfilled the Law in Christ. Moses veiling of the glory of God reflected in his face, is now shining forth in the faces and lives of the children of God, and that was made known in the Jesus, the word made flesh for you.

3 And you show that you are a letter from Christ delivered by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts. 2 Cor. 3:3

What an image of God working through word and Spirit! You are a testimony of God’s work through his bringing you to life by the Gospel. You are his work just as by the finger of God he wrote on the tablets of stone he has written the word of life upon you.

Paul contrasts the ministry of death to the ministry of life. The Law kills but the Spirit gives life.
In his previous letter Paul had to deal with the false Apostles that had infiltrated the church at Corinth, causing division and puffing up some within the church, calling those at Corinth Rich, and Kings while contrasting himself and the other Apostles as poor and fools for Christ sake. But Paul here points to the change that has come as a result of the gospel of God in Christ Jesus. This ministry is through the mercy of God and because of that – he and the other apostles don’t lose heart.


Last weekend was a joyful time for me but sad also. The weather didn’t cooperate much and many that I contacted didn’t come to worship because of the weather or other circumstances. But the sadness for me was the ones who didn’t even respond. Now certainly an anniversary isn’t the end all and be all of the work of the church but it is a symptom of what the word of the lord gets at here through Paul and his letter.

3 And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. 4 In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

The god of this world that Paul is speaking of is not Jesus but Satan. The devil is also called the prince of the air. In our Men’s Breakfast Bible study last weekend and the Martin Luther DVD series that we just finished, John Nunes who is President of Concordia University New York, spoke of the difference between Lutheranism and a Calvinistic understanding of the scriptures. A key point in the understanding of salvation would include – the perseverance of the saints. Can you squander the gift of grace and lose your salvation? Lutheran’s would say yes.

The devil will do everything in his power to point you away from Christ and our loved ones, and fellow members who self exclude themselves are in danger as the text from Pastor Merrell’s message last week makes clear:

25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.

The word of God and work of the Holy Spirit are the only means to come to faith and to remain in the faith. It is all of God and for some reason we in our sinfulness can and do reject the work of the Holy Spirit. It is you and it is me that need to be that encouragement to stir up one another.

5 For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus' sake.

For 55 years Peace has had six pastors. Under shepherds and servants of the word but we all who serve in so many ways are servants. Some serve the body of Christ here at Peace in clear view in defined roles. Some serve in the corners and out of view. 

Some serve as the body of Christ in the world like the clip of David Sams from the message last weekend pointing out an obvious bias in the Google Home devise to not understand the question - who is Jesus - but knowing the answer to who is Buddha, or who is Mohammad or even who is David Sams. 

Darkness will cover or make every attempt to cover the light of the gospel. So it is up to you and it is up to me as Christians to make every attempt to shine that light of Christ in a very dark world.

6 For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.


The Super Bowl is probably not a place that you might expect the light of Christ to shine but it did and in a big way. The Eagles coach Doug Pederson did when asked by NBC’s Dan Patrick:

“How do you explain this, that nine years ago you’re coaching in high school and here you are with this trophy?”

To which Pederson responded:

“I can only give the praise to my Lord and savior Jesus Christ for giving me this opportunity,”

And MVP quarterback Nick Foles told

"I want to be a pastor in a high school. It’s on my heart. I took a leap of faith last year and signed up to take classes at seminary. I wanted to continue to learn and challenge my faith. It's a challenge because you are writing papers that are biblically correct. You want to impact people's hearts."

New England Patriots [player] Matthew Slater, himself a devout Christian, didn't just talk about his respect for the other team's playing ability. He spoke about how he admired their faith.

"I really appreciate Carson's boldness for the Gospel, how he represents Christ day in and day out," the 10-year NFL veteran responded. "And it's not only him. You know, Nick does that as well. Chris Maragos. Brother Burton. I mean, there are a lot of brothers over there that stand firm for what they believe in, they represent the Gospel in a tremendous fashion."

"Ultimately, I know, to them and myself, that's what's going to matter for eternity beyond the game of football," Slater said. "They'll be my brothers in the Lord for a long time to come," he continued. "But on Sunday, obviously we'll be competing."

Dear friends, I don’t give a rip about football but this could just get me a bit excited!

In the Transfiguration the light of Christ Jesus shines out of darkness.

And he was transfigured before them, 3 and his clothes became radiant, intensely white, as no one on earth could bleach them. 4 And there appeared to them Elijah with Moses, and they were talking with Jesus.

The Law and the Prophets all point to Jesus and are fulfilled in him.

Jesus Christ, has to remove the cover of His humanity to reveal the true glory that is His and his alone … and has now been veiled for a time from the eyes of the world. Though Jesus is fully God and fully man he reveals this truth through means to you and me his disciples.

We all fail to recognize the true glory of Jesus, at times seeing only a good man who can be an example for us to follow. But many play the fool, trusting in themselves, or listening to the ways of the world that lead away from the glory of Jesus and his gift of faith and life in him which is promised for all by faith.

7 And a cloud overshadowed them, and a voice came out of the cloud, “This is my beloved Son; listen to him.” 8 And suddenly, looking around, they no longer saw anyone with them but Jesus only.

“It is good that we are here.” It is truly good, that through Jesus only and his suffering and death at the Cross and glorious resurrection on the third day that we can be made sons and daughters of our heavenly Father by faith in him.

The light of Christ shines in you and me as we shine that light of Christ in a dark world. Share and shine that light of forgiveness and peace and the eternal hope in the Son who takes away the sin of the world.

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


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