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Jesus Saves From Sin

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Wednesday of Advent 2         Trinity Lutheran Church

12 December 2018                  Murdock, NE

 

+ Jesu Juva +

 

Matthew 1:18-25

 

The Baby Jesus is Immanuel. Just as Isaiah the prophet said centuries before. “The virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel.”

 

Immanuel means “God with us.” Baby Jesus is Immanuel – God with us.

 

So, if you want to find God where do you look? Into your heart? No. Somewhere up there in the milky-way galaxy? No. How about everywhere? Nope. Where do you find God? The answer is really quite simple. In the Baby Jesus. He is Immanuel, God with us. Behold! The Baby Jesus that nurses at Mary’s breasts is God with us. The Baby Jesus that wets and dirties His diaper is God with us. Baby Jesus is Immanuel, God with us.

 

Immanuel-God-With-Us-Baby-Jesus is God with us for a very specific reason. For an exceedingly particular purpose. And what’s that? Glad you asked. It’s this: “For he will save his people from their sins.” In other words, Immanuel Baby Jesus comes to SAVE YOU from the hellacious damnation that all your sin deserves. Baby Jesus is God with us to be God FOR US, FOR YOU, AND FOR ME in the Good Friday way.

 

Baby Jesus Immanuel is God with us in order to die FOR YOU. On the cross He has answered for all your sin. Shed His divine Blood to atone for all your sin. Good Friday-ly sacrificed Himself to reconcile you to God the Father so that He DOES NOT COUNT YOUR SINS AGAINST YOU. All your sin and all its hellish condemnation got counted against Jesus as He hung on the cross to “save his people from their sins.”

 

There too on the cross you find Immanuel, God with us! But also being God FOR YOU and for your salvation. There He preaches: “It is finished.” Salvational job done! Done very good!

 

You’re a sinner. That’s a no-brainer. So I ask you the big theological question. Are you saved? What’s the answer? What is faith’s answer? It’s this. “Jesus, Immanuel, died for me. All my sin is His. All His forgiveness is mine.”

 

Listen again to the angel’s sermon to Joseph. It’s true for you too. Today. Tomorrow. And on the day of your death. “She will bear a son and you shall call his name Jesus for he will save his people from their sins.”

 

In the Name of Jesus.

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Christ And Son of Man Jesus Mark 14

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Life Lived In And From Baptism!

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Second Sunday in Advent          Trinity Lutheran Church

9 December 2018                        Murdock, NE

 

+ Jesu Juva +

 

Luke 3:3 “A Baptism of Repentance For The Forgiveness of Sins / Baptism of Sawyer George Smith

 

John the Baptist prepares sinners for the arrival of Messiah Jesus! He preaches. Preaches God’s Word. That’s a no-brainer. Right? Of course. Did you notice, however, what John preaches? Check it out. “He went into all the region around the Jordan PROCLAIMING A BAPTISM OF REPENTANCE FOR THE FORGIVENESS OF SINS.”

 

Can you imagine the shock? The utter surprise? The complete and total scandal of such preaching? In John’s day it was perfectly natural to expect repentance and a baptism for sinners like the Gentiles. But for Jews? God’s chosen people? The descendants of Abraham? A baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins? For his fellow Hebrews?

 

Yes! Absolutely. Categorically. Emphatically. Hebrews not only put their pants on the same way as the Gentiles but they too are sinners just like the Gentiles. The call for sinners (all sinners) to repentance and to receive the gift of forgiveness is always God’s cup of tea. It’s how the Lord has a church.

 

That’s why God sent John. To gather for Himself a church – a bunch of salvational moochers or hangers on – faith-ers, trust-ers — through a sermon that called for all sinners including Jews to repent – to tell the truth that they’re sinners, to rely only on Messiah Jesus for salvation, to receive a baptism that bestowed the promise of forgiveness and to “bear fruits in keeping with repentance.”

 

Then Jesus shows up. John must decrease. Jesus must increase. That’s a no-brainer too. After all, Jesus is the Good Friday Savior of sinners. Only His perfect life and bloody sacrificial death atone for all sin and for every sinner. Jesus too, instituted His baptism. Matthew 28:19! “Make disciples of all nations baptizing them in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”

 

Faithful to His bidding Nic and Brenda brought little Sawyer George for the Matthew 28 baptism. To be baptized by God Himself. To be given God’s divine and saving Name. To be given victory over death and the devil, forgiveness of sins, God’s grace, the entire Christ and the Holy Spirit with all His gifts. In short, because Jesus died for Sawyer George and because in holy baptism Jesus gives Sawyer George the Triune Name, he is SAVED. It’s just as Jesus promised in Mark 16:16, “Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved.” Or as St. Paul puts it in Titus 3, “God saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit.” Or as Peter preaches it in 1 Peter 3, “Just as God saved Noah and his family through the water of the flood, so now also baptism saves you … through the resurrection of Jesus.”

 

In addition, St. Paul preaches in Romans 6 that the person who is given holy baptism is, “baptized into Christ’s death,” and “buried with Christ by baptism,” and is raised to “walk in newness of life.” WALK IN NEWNESS OF LIFE! WALK IN NEWNESS OF LIFE!

 

Do you understand what this means? Do you? It means that anyone who is baptized, you, me, Sawyer George are NOT GIVEN PERMISSION TO SIN BECAUSE WE ARE BAPTIZED! To be baptized means just the opposite.

 

To be baptized means to live in and from our baptism properly. Not TO SIN but to avoid sin, fight it and put it to death in our lives. Yes, to be baptized in God’s most holy name means that you live a NEW LIFE. This includes, I’ll say it again, daily fighting against your old Adamic sinful nature and its sinful desires as well as the temptations of the world and the devil. Baptismal living means to repent! Yes, Lutherans as sinners need to repent, not just the non-Lutherans like the Methodists or the Roman Catholics. Don’t begin to say that you have Martin Luther as your father as some kind of exemption from repentance!

 

St. Paul describes baptismal living this way: “Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions,” (Rom. 6:12). Again, baptismal living means the relentless repentant daily search and destroy mission against your old sinful nature. The brood-of-vipers-like old Adam must die! That’s all that can be done to the old Adam. You can’t reform him. You can’t rehabilitate or tame him. The old Adam must be drowned in the repentance of baptismal life. That’s truly is new. It really is.

 

The unbaptized know nothing of this. “Die to sin?” they mockingly ask. And they yell: “You Christians are idiots! Life is about doing whatever you want whenever you want. Doing whatever makes you feel good. Whatever makes you happy!” To that the baptized Christian says: “No. I live differently. I will not live in what is old and what is nothing but death. I live a new life.”

 

And that leads to the most important part of living in and from holy baptism. Something new creation-ly new! Baptismal-new-life-living includes what is essential to being a Christ, namely, … F-A-I-T-H … in Jesus alone for salvation. Yes, faith in Good Friday Jesus who answered and atoned for all sin on the cross. Trusting His Mark 16:16 promise that, “whoever believes and is baptized will be saved.”

The new life of baptismal faith draws strength and comfort from the divine gift of baptism when your sin, the devil or your conscience oppresses you. At those critical times of doubt and despair in your life, baptismal faith says: “Yes I am a sinner. Yes I have sinned. I truly deserve nothing but God’s temporal and eternal wrath. However, Jesus died for me and I am baptized. And since His death counts for me and because I am baptized in the Triune Name I have the promise that I shall be saved and have eternal life, both in soul and body.”

 

One final point. Baptismal living has another aspect. To use the words from John the Baptist’s sermon in Luke 3 the baptized are to “bear fruits in keeping with repentance.”  This means doing works that God prescribes in His Word. It’s what the baptized want to do. You, after hearing God’s Word – you who are baptized — like the crowds, tax collectors and soldiers naturally ask: “What should we do?” Glad you asked! I’ll tell you too just like John told his congregation in the desert. For God’s glory, for putting your old Adam to death on a daily basis and for the life of sacrificial love for others you are to and want to do what God desires as described and prescribed in the Ten Commandments.

 

1 – Trust in God above all things. Faith in God is the

highest work and makes all that follows God-

pleasing.

2 – Call upon His Name that He gave you in holy

baptism in prayer, praise and thanksgiving.

3 – Come to church to hear His Word of law that kills

the old Adam and the gospel that raises up the

new man spelled F-A-I-T-H.

4 – Honor authority (parental & civil)

5 – Protect life (especially the baby in the womb)

6 – Lead a sexually pure and decent life / be faithful in

holy marriage.

7 – Don’t steal your neighbor’s stuff.

8 – Protect and defend your neighbor’s reputation.

9-10 – Be content with what you have.

 

Life as a Christian is the life lived in and from holy baptism. Repentance or turning from sin, faith in Savior Jesus and holy living that flows from faith that is according to God’s Word.

 

Happy Baptism Day Sawyer George! Happing living in and from it. Dittos to the rest of you that are baptized.

 

In the Name of Jesus.

 

 

 

 

 

Lutheranism 101 Ten Commandments Part Twenty

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Lutheranism 101 Ten Commandments Part Nineteen

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What a Sermon! Believe It!

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Wednesday of Advent 1            Trinity Lutheran Church

5 December 2018                      Murdock, NE

 

+ Jesu Juva +

 

Luke 1:26-38

 

Mary has a visitor. From heaven. Gabriel. The archangel. Angels preach sermons. Sent by God to preach His Word. That’s their cup of tea. Sermons preached go into ears and hearts. Mary’s. One of the most important sermons preached in the history of the world.

 

Check it out: “You will conceive in your womb and bear a son and you shall call his name Jesus.” The Holy Spirit will come upon you [Mary] and the power of the Most High will overshadow you [Mary].” “Therefore the child to be born will called holy – the Son of God.”

 

Loads of important stuff here from the archangel’s sermon. The virgin Mary is pregnant. Soon she’ll have a baby bump. She carries a baby. Jesus. How can this be? Not by being with a man. She’s a virgin. The baby Jesus is conceived in her womb by the Holy Spirit. “The Holy Spirit will come upon you.” The conception of baby Jesus is a divine miracle. The Holy Spirit does it! Conceived by the Holy Spirit Jesus is!

 

But how? How does the Holy Spirit do it? In other words, how is Jesus conceived in Mary’s womb by the Holy Spirit? Glad you asked. Mary gets pregnant with Jesus through her ears! Yes, that’s right! As Gabriel preached God’s Word to her, into her ears and into her heart, the Holy Spirit is doing the conceiving. Through the archangel’s sermon the Most High overshadows Mary. The Word preached does and gives what it says and promises. Baby Jesus is conceived by the Holy Spirit! Got it? Good!

 

The virgin Mary believes and trusts the sermon. “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.”

 

Isn’t that amazing? It sure is! This too is another huge miracle! It’s called FAITH! Mary is an excellent example to you about what it means to be a believer, a Christian. She eagerly will be the Lord’s instrument to carry in her belly the Savior of the world no matter what it costs her personally or otherwise.

 

Can you imagine what people, like her parents, her relatives, her community, her fiancée Joseph will say when the baby starts to show? “Mary! Mary!” What is this? What have you done?” And then can you imagine their reaction to her answer? “The baby was conceived not by Joseph or anyone else but by the Holy Spirit! The archangel Gabriel preached a sermon into my ears. That’s how it happened. Oh, and by the way, this baby that I’ve named Jesus is the Savior we all been waiting for. Gabriel put it this way: ‘He [the baby] will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the LORD God will give to him the throne of his father David and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.’”

 

I’ll tell you what one person thought. Joseph. He went immediately to his attorney to draw up the divorce papers and call off the wedding. Mom, Dad and most of Mary’s relatives would say something like this on social media: “Mary, you poor dear! You need desperate help. You’re deluded. Such a gullible young thing! Obviously you’re suffering from some sort of mental illness. Some kind of WANTING-TO-BE-THE-MOTHER-OF-THE-MESSIAH-MANIA! We know a doctor that offers shock treatment. There’s a nice rubber room and a straight jacket reserved for you. #VIRGINSDON’TGETPREGNANTBYTHEHOLY SPIRIT.”

 

Faith, however, trusts the Lord and His Word. “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.”

 

Now, the Lord Jesus has sent me to you to preach. To preach His Word into your ears. That’s my cup of tea too. And it’s this. Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary in order to save you. To atone for all your sin. To achieve and win FOR YOU salvation. How? Glad you asked again!

 

Here’s how. He did it by taking all your sin in His body on the cross and getting damned with it. Jesus who knew no sin was made to be sin so that in Jesus we have the righteousness of God (2 Cor. 5:21). What you deserved because of your sin, hellish damnation, Jesus took in His crucified on the cross Body. Your sin, all of it, belongs to Jesus. His righteousness, His perfection and holiness now belong to you. Because of Good Friday Jesus God does not count any of your sin against you. Really He doesn’t. He has forgiven it all for Christ’s sake.

 

What is your response to what I just said? How do you react to such preaching from Kuhlman? Is it? “This can’t be true! I can’t believe it! This preacher is totally insane! He should be institutionalized – rubber roomed, straight jacketed and shocked repeatedly!” Or is it faith’s salvational answer like Mary’s? Learn from Mary. Be her student. Let her be your teacher and follow her example when it comes to things most important. LIKE LISTENING TO GOD’S WORD AND BELIEVING IT NO MATTER WHAT. Give faith’s answer. Faith talks like this: “Let it be to me according to your word.” In other words, “I believe what your preach Kuhlman because it is a word from the Lord FOR ME.”

 

As you believe SO YOU HAVE! Forgiveness, life and salvation because of the Baby Jesus conceived by the Holy Spirit and Good Friday-ly crucified FOR YOU.

 

In the Name of Jesus.

 

 

 

Advent Faith and Advent Living

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First Sunday in Advent            Trinity Lutheran Church

2 December 2018                    Murdock, NE

 

+ Jesu Juva +

 

Luke 19:28-40

 

Well. Well. Well. Advent. Blue paraments. Beautiful decorations. Christmas trees. My, the look here has changed. It’s as if we’re expecting something! No, not someTHING but SOMEONE! Someone very, very, very important. Someone royal. Yes, and more. Someone divine!

 

The Lord Jesus of course! True man and true God! The Word made flesh. Blessed is Jesus who comes in the Name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest! He comes at Bethlehem. And the angelic choir sang the Gloria in Excelis (Lk. 2:14)! He comes into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. He comes in His Word hooked with water, bread and wine. On the Last Day He will come in glory to just the living and the dead.

 

Blessed is Jesus who comes in the Name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest! Glory and peace. Heaven’s glory! Heaven’s peace! Pure gift of salvation from the Lord Jesus to His sinners that He’s come to redeem.

 

In Luke 19 Glory and Peace, Divine and Royal Jesus rides into Jerusalem. On a colt. On a young donkey. To bring to fulfillment all the salvific promises of the Old Testament that go all the way back to Eden. He rides the donkey to do a Good Friday Salvation Job! FOR YOU! For all! For every sinner. For every sin.

 

Loads of eager anticipation as Jesus approached Jerusalem. Crowds were there to meet Him. Palm branches in hand. Praise on their lips   Their overcoats to pave the highway for this royal arrival. Quite a commotion. Of excitement. Enthusiasm. Exhilaration. Delight. For now.

 

Soon this Palm Sunday crowd will be replaced with another mob. A rabble that will cry out for His Blood. Shouting: “Crucify Him! Crucify Him! We have no king but Caesar!”

 

What they meant for evil God uses for good. Your salvational good! He truly is the King. The Messiah. The Savior. He comes to take all your sin and all its damnation on the cross. If He doesn’t do this, then you are not saved. If He doesn’t bear all your sin and all its condemnation in His Body on the cross, then you’d have to suffer it, die with it and be damned with it.

 

Rides a donkey. Dies on a cross. Looks so foolish. So worthless. A waste. Backwards. Yes. Of course it does. From our human perspective. However, donkey riding and cross dying — this is God’s wisdom. His power. His might. His glory. His peace. FOR YOU!

 

It’s why DIVINE and ROYAL Jesus came to Bethlehem. And Palm Sunday. To do His Good Friday salvational work. Achieving salvation for you. It’s done. Pure gift from Him to you.

 

In the divine service He comes in the Word speaking and giving the very salvation He won on the cross. The Lord Jesus sent me here to speak His word of Good Friday won forgiveness. YOU ARE FORGIVEN! JESUS DIED FOR YOU! YOU ARE SAVED! HE IS YOUR RIGHTEOUSNESS BEFORE GOD! HE MAKES YOU RIGHT BEFORE GOD! In the Lord’s Supper we sing the words of the Palm Sunday crowd because He comes salvationally giving us His Good Friday Body and Blood in the bread and wine the promise of forgiveness, life and salvation.

 

On the Last Day Jesus will return in glory for all to see. He will judge the living and the dead. Until then and beginning with this season of Advent is the time for holy living. The Epistle speaks of this today. To the church at Thessalonica the apostle Paul gives this blessing: “May the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, as we do for you, so that he may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his saints.”

 

As Jesus serves you graciously with His Good Friday forgiveness in the absolution, the preached gospel, and the Lord’s Supper He, together with the Holy Spirit, blesses you with His holiness until the Last Day. Gives it to you as pure gift. So that you are a holy people toward God now and when you stand before the judgment seat of Christ on the Last Day.

 

So, you are given Christ’s holiness for a different kind of living in the here and now. Holy living. There’s faith toward Jesus for salvation. Faith that eagerly and gladly receives Christ’s holiness in Word and Sacrament for salvation. And then there is what flows from faith in Jesus. That’s the life of sacrificial love for others because you want to help people. It’s what Christians do. It’s done according to God’s Word. So it’s a holy life. Jesus uses you, His holy ones to do holy work. Helping people according to His Word.

 

That includes being a faithful husband or wife. Father or mother. Employer or employee. Citizen. Member of Trinity. Participant in your community. Dying to your sin. Believing in Jesus. Serving others. The Ten Commandments speak of these things. And it’s what you gladly want to do as Christ’s holy people. Let’s call it Advent living. And as we live advent-ly we eagerly pray: “Come Lord Jesus! Abide with us. Come in the divine service today. Bless us. Remain with us on the day of our death and bless us with heaven. Then, come on the Last Day and give us / bless us with the resurrection of the body and life everlasting. We trust in you.”

 

In the Name of Jesus.