Sunday, September 25, 2011

"Someone Took Your Place"

The sermon text was Philippians 2:1-13. Look under "Love" (label in sidebar) for related sermons.

Death by God's wrath should have been ours. We qualify for and deserve it. But only Christ Jesus is qualified to pay for all sins of all men; He stood before judgment for this purpose. He saw you, your sin, and the cross - and deliberately went through with the Father's plan.

Your existence, your salvation, your vocation, were God's choice and His doing. All you can do is continue, through life, through the race you are in! Where you are is where you should be; your purpose is to exude the One in control of you, as a clear glass lamp permits the light. Therefore (v. 12) fulfill the purpose of God. Spread the Gospel of life and divine love!

Soli Deo gloria.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Living for eternity

See "Love" label for other sermons related to this one. The text was Philippians 1:27.

As children of God, our best life is yet to come! We eagerly anticipate heaven, for God in His unending and eternal love has prepared a mansion for each of us. St. Paul therefore challenges us to live now worthily of the gospel of Christ. It is tough to be His follower - but whatever happens, remember that you are His. Our earthly bodies and the inheritance from our fathers will wear out, but our eternity is built by God.

How do we therefore live? By faith, not requiring sight. We are warned to be prepared always to show our faith, to welcome Christ into our doings (i.e. do nothing you would want to keep secret from Him). We are accountable for all our thoughts, words, and actions. So listen and obey the Word - belief in Him whom the Father has sent will surely beget acts of service. Our life is in Christ, not in the world's filth; we are transformed, not conformed. Be renewed daily by kneeling at the Cross to plead and receive Christ's forgiveness. Keep your eyes focused on Jesus Christ, your sustenance and guaranteed reward.

Soli Deo gloria.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

The Labor of Love? (Pentecost 12)

Readings: Three-Year, Series A. This seems to be the start of a sermon series on aspects of love as properly viewed by the Christian. Enjoy!

Who did the work of our justification, sanctification, and resurrection? Jesus Christ! The starting point of looking at this is that we get the benefits of His labor. Continuing from this fact, we are to labor in love by obeying the Great Commission.
  • Love-labors are unnatural. They are only through Christ, not our sinful nature. Do we forgive, obey, respect authority, be generous, focus on heaven, be humble, and love (the opposite of which is lust), or not? We can in Jesus Christ!
  • Love-labors are hard! Love doesn't come automatically; it is worth working for.
  • Love-labors are commanded in many places. The basis of each command is God in Christ.
  • Love-labors may be unappreciated, so put on the armor of God and continue to love your neighbor as yourself.
  • Love-labors are to be done with joy and selflessness.
Is this assigned work of ours impossible? No - God commands and equips us by Word and Sacrament. Therefore we need not become weary in doing good. He equips His chosen, so don't worry about what others may think of your ability to be a disciple of God.

Soli Deo gloria.