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Living From Jesus’ Promise

November 3, 2013

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All Saints’ Sunday                                                Trinity Lutheran Church

3 November 2013                                               Murdock, NE

 

+Jesu Juva +

Matthew 10:32-33

Confirmation of Bryan Smith

 

“Whoever confesses me before men, I will also confess before my Father who is in heaven.”  That’s the Lord’s promise to you Bryan.  And to all of you gathered here today at Trinity.

 

And you’re going to need it.  Seriously.  Why?

 

Because you rejected and turned your back on the prince of this world, the great red dragon, the father of lies, the devil!  You gave Satan the middle finger today!  He’s furious.  He is now your relentless enemy.  His endless mission is to get you to compromise or renege your confession of Jesus.  He will stop at nothing to keep you from hearing Christ’s Word and eating and drinking His most holy Body and Blood in the Sacrament Sunday after Sunday.  He will tempt you to trust in false gods of your own creation so that you shipwreck your faith in Jesus.

 

In addition, your confession today of Jesus as Lord is exclusive.  It’s black and white.  No shades of gray here.  In other words, Jesus alone sent by His Father in the power of the Holy Spirit is Savior.  Savior for you.  He alone redeemed you a lost and condemned person.  Only Jesus took all your sin in His Body and got damned with it on the cross.  He alone buried you through Holy Baptism into His Good Friday all sin atoning death.  There’s no other Savior.  No other God than this man Jesus!

 

The world in which you live can’t stand this Jesus.  So what did they do with Him?  Mocked Him as a moron.  Harassed him as a heretic.  Branded Him a fanatic – one most dangerous to society – and an enemy of the state.  Vigorously hated Him.  So they got rid of Him.  Gave Him what He didn’t deserve:  the cruelest of cruel – execution by hanging.

 

So let’s be brutally honest.  No sugarcoating it.  Here’s how it is.  The “student [named Bryan] is not above his teacher [Jesus] nor is a servant above his master,” (Matthew 10:24).

 

Bryan, since you’ve stood up today, confessed Him, and promised to be one of His hangers-on – one of His homeboys (if you will), His given-to-disciple, then the world can’t stand you either.  Guilt by association!  The world is now very nervous about you Bryan.  The world won’t put up with you Bryan.

 

Seriously.  What and whom you’ve confessed today puts you in grave jeopardy.  Publicly confessing Christ in the world today could cost you your friends, your reputation, your job, your freedom and even perhaps your life.  Confessing Christ is no joke.  Confessing Christ is risky business. So Jesus promises: “Whoever confesses me before men, I will also confess before my Father who is in heaven.”

 

Bryan, and members of Trinity, I beg you to live on and from that divine promise.

 

So many before you have done just that.  Listen again to some of the words of the hymn we sang earlier:  “Despised and scorned, they sojourned here … On earth they wept through bitter years.”  Who?  Who was despised and scorned?  Who cried many tears through bitter years?

 

All those who have gone before us – renouncing the devil, all his works and all his ways – and who confessed Jesus to be the Lord!  Who believed that salvation comes to sinners only through Christ’s Good Friday death!  Like Abel whose own brother Cain murdered him because he believed in the promise of Jesus.  Like Jeremiah, Zechariah and Stephen — stoned to death — or like Isaiah — sawn in two pieces for preaching the promise of the Savior.  Like the little baby boys King Herod ruthlessly murdered in order to take down the infant Jesus. Like the blessed apostle Peter — crucified upside down.  Paul — made shorter by a head.  Like the unnamed millions who have suffered so much under the brutal tyranny of Lenin, Hitler, Stalin, Mao, or jihadist mullahs in Iran, Iraq, Syria, the Sudan, Egypt, Pakistan.

 

These saints and many more who suffered for confessing Christ make up what St. John sees in the Book of Revelation.  “I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count … standing before the throne and before the Lamb [Jesus].”  White robed.  Palm branches in hand.  And what are they doing in heaven?  What they did while they suffered as Christians on the earth!

 

THEY’RE STILL CONFESSING JESUS AS LORD!  “Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.”

 

Then all the millions of angels, the twenty-four elders, and the four living creatures join in with their confession.  First, they give their “Amen!” to the “Salvation belongs to the Lamb” confession of the no-one-could-count-multitude-of-saints redeemed by the Lamb’s Blood.   It’s a perfect or complete confession and worship.  Count the words:  seven, the biblical number for completeness.  “Praise and glory and wisdom and thanks and honor and power and strength be to our God for ever and ever.  Amen!”

 

Yes, Bryan, Jesus is the Lord.  No one or nothing else is!  This is the Christian confession.  It is the Christian life.  The world and Satan will come after you.  Be prepared.  And when the attacks happen you have the Lord’s blessing:  “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.  Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven,” (Matthew 5:11-12).  Reread Revelation 7 or the entire book of Revelation for that matter to see what that looks like.

 

Finally, you have the Lord’s gracious promise: “Whoever confesses me before men, I will also confess before my Father who is in heaven.”

 

Happy Confirmation Day Bryan!

 

In the Name of Jesus.

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