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October 26, 2008

Reformation                                 Trinity Lutheran Church
26 October 2008                         Murdock, NE

                                             + Jesu Juva +

John 8:31-36

A true disciple of Jesus.  Who’s that?  Isn’t it someone who’s “discipled” in the way of Jesus?  Churches these days promise to disciple you.  It’s all the rage.  Transforming you from just being a lazy member into an on fire DISCIPLE whose life is 24/7/365 mission work!  Can you think of anyone who is a true disciple of Jesus?  Are you?  What about the Reverend?  Follow him around and you’ll figure out pretty quick that Kuhlman’s a lost cause.  Maybe he ought to try being a chaplain for the PGA.   

So who is a true disciple?  Before you give an answer don’t you think it’s better to hear from the Lord Himself.  Better let Him have His say, right?  Give Him the first word, at least?  We can do that can’t we?  Sure.  All right.

But I warn you.  His answer to the question may just shock you.  Outrage you.  Scandalize you.  Anger you.  Or it may just bring you the greatest possible comfort and joy.

Are you ready for Jesus’ answer?  All right.  Here goes.  “If you abide in My word,” Jesus states, “then you are truly My disciples.”  

Abide in His word.  Is that all?  Is Jesus joking?  That sure doesn’t sound like much.  Of course Jesus must be mistaken!  A word from Him in which to abide?  Wouldn’t He want us to do something instead?  Actions speak louder than words don’t they?  We’re good at doing things!  Even religious things!  Obedience.  Decisions.  Dedication.  Mission trips.  Name it Jesus and we’ll do it.  Let us do something.  You’d be so proud of us!  That should prove that we’re truly your disciples!

Better slow down and be quiet.  After all, Jesus insists on speaking His Word of Promise.  He speaks.  You are to listen.  That’s right, listen!  Are you listening? 

So what does Jesus promise through His Word?  That you’re died for.  That you’re forgiven.  Because He shed His blood to atone for all your sin. 

“I baptize you in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”  Not my words.  Not your words.  Christ’s!  With His words hooked with water He baptized you.  Promised that His death and all its benefits are for you. 

“I forgive you all your sins in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”  Not my words.  Not yours.  They are Christ’s words.  Through His words you hear Him.  When you hear His words you’re hearing the living voice of Christ. 

“Take, eat.  It’s my Body.  Take the cup.  Drink from it.  It’s my Blood of the new testament.  And I promise that your sins are forgiven.”  Christ’s words again. His last will and testament words. 

The font.  The pulpit.  The altar.  All places for Christ’s words to be going on.  Words of divine promise for you.  Promise words of Jesus that do and give exactly what they say.  All for your hearing.  For your salvation.  For you to trust.

“If you abide in My word, [My word of forgiveness], then you are truly My disciples.” 

So who’s a true disciple of Jesus?  The baptized child of God who says:  “Amen.  Thanks a ton Jesus.  Couldn’t have done it without you, the salvation job that is.  All thanks go to you Jesus.  You’re the Savior.”

Now if you don’t want to confess that Jesus and refuse to give your “Amen,” well, that’s a shame.  A damn shame.  For slaves of sin you will remain.  Living in the prison of hell.  Outside the comfort of the Father’s house. 

Jesus, He alone is the Savior of sinners.  That’s precisely what Jesus means when He says, “and you will know the truth.”  That’s the whole truth about you and about Him.  You’re the lost and condemned sinner.  He’s the Redeemer who’s purchased and won you from all sin, death, and the power of the devil.  Not with gold or silver.  But with His holy precious blood and His innocent suffering and death. 

 “And that truth,” Jesus says, “makes you free.” 

Since He’s done the salvation job, you don’t have to.  Your sin, all of it, is answered for.  None of it can accuse you.  Or enslave you ever again.  God’s eternal wrath against you for your sin has been satisfied in Jesus who suffered your damnation when He suffered with your sin in His Body on the Cross.  You’re free from trying to atone for your sin because Jesus has been there and done all that!   

No need to justify yourself before God or anyone else for that matter.  And that includes the devil.  For Jesus has Good Friday-ed you.  And He’s given you His Word that you are justified by His Blood! 

His Word!  His Word!  His Word of Promise.  Of forgiveness and salvation.  “If the Son makes you free, you are free indeed.”  That’s a Christ promise you can always count on.  Always.  And with that you truly are His disciples.    

Happy abiding.  Happy Reformation Sunday!

In the Name of Jesus.    

From → "A" Sermons

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