Sermons

Septuagesima (Mt 20:1–16)

Bethlehem Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO
Immanuel Lutheran Church—Bremen,KS || AUDIO

INI + AMEN.

The Lord is true to His Word and Promises. He does what He says. He can’t not! He is merciful and gracious. From Him flow all manner of Gifts that deliver salvation and eternal life. He’s the true Source. Like with the Israelites, it wasn’t the rock itself, but Yahweh who “stood on the rock.” From Him flows the Gift. He gives. We receive. “Without any merit or worthiness” in us. Continue reading

Standard
Sermons

Invocabit—Lent 1 (Gen 3:1–21; Mt 4:1–11)

Immanuel Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO
Bethlehem Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO

INI + AMEN.

The Lord gives His Word. He speaks. His Word isn’t off somewhere, in some unknown place, so that you’re left wondering where He is, where His Word is. If He gives His Word, He wants it received, wants it heard, and so He puts His Word somewhere. Continue reading

Standard
Sermons

Ash Wednesday (2 Pt 1:2–11)

Immanuel Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO

“[Jesus’] divine power has gifted us everything for life and godliness.”

INI + AMEN.

Everything gifted? Yes, everything. All means all. Everything means everything. Nothing left out. All gift. Everything’s gift. Everything for life. Everything for godliness. Jesus gives. We receive. “Faith, virtue, knowledge, self-control, endurance, godliness, brotherly affection, love.” All these are a gift from the Lord. He gifts everything for life and godliness.

This doesn’t quite jive with our views of Lent and repentance and even absolution. We turn Lent into our time to shine. “Fasting…is certainly fine outward training.” Our flesh shouldn’t be in control. Like Paul said a few weeks ago, “I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.” We turn our repentance into the credit that earns the absolution.

We live day to day fulfilling our own desires. We aren’t disciplined. Well, we have worldly discipline. We go to work, do our chores, do our homework. But that’s not what Jesus supplies or gifts to us. Or we’ll use our godliness as a way of comparing ourselves to others.

In the face of all this, in the face of our desires, our selfishness, our puffing ourselves up, our doing of Lent, Peter says, “That’s not how any of this works.” Peter says, “[Jesus’] divine power has gifted us everything for life and godliness.” If you have life and godliness, then it’s a gift you received from Jesus. If you don’t, you’ve rejected the gift.

This is Lent and your Christian life, too:

JESUS GIFTS US EVERYTHING FOR LIFE AND GODLINESS. Continue reading

Standard
Sermons

Quinquagesima (1 Cor 13; Lk 18:31-43)

Immanuel Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO

“Whenever what is finished comes, then what is partial will be brought to nothing.”

INI + AMEN.

Faith trusts Jesus. Faith looks to Him alone and not what we do or our own love. Apart from Christ we are blind. Without Him we’re nothing. No Jesus, no faith. Faith alone saves because faith is trust that Jesus alone saves you by His death and resurrection.

Faith isn’t perfected by your love. Faith doesn’t save you because love for your neighbor is also present. Trusting Jesus, your Savior, alone saves you and makes you right with God. He is all in all, not you and not your love. Otherwise you’d have something to boast in—your love. Continue reading

Standard
Sermons

Transfiguration (Mt 17:1–9)

Immanuel Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO
Bethlehem Lutheran Church— Bremen, KS || AUDIO

Jesus commanded them, “Tell no one the vision until the Son of Man is raised from the dead.”
Jesus touching them said, “Rise and don’t be afraid.”
“This is My beloved Son; with Him I’m well pleased. Listen to Him.”

INI + AMEN.

((3.)) Jesus commanded them, “Tell no one the vision until the Son of Man is raised from the dead.”

He did rise from the dead. That’s what Transfiguration’s really all about. Jesus doesn’t want to be known for Sinai type glory or mountain of transfiguration glory. He doesn’t want to be known as the big, powerful, almighty God. (He is those things, of course. He’s one with the Father, after all.) No, He wants to be known for His Calvary glory, His cross and death glory, but also His risen from the dead glory. It’s why He says don’t tell anyone until after “the Son of Man is raised from the dead.” It’s why the angel says to the women, “You seek Jesus who was crucified. He’s risen. He’s not here.”

We’re getting a preview of that today—80 days or so ahead of time. (It’s about 80 days until Easter Sunday.) But before He heads up Mt. Calvary, before He’s buried and raised on the mountain Jerusalem’s built on, Jesus heads up this “very tall mountain.” There He shines in glory. There a preview of what Jesus is all about: not just death, but resurrection, too—His FOR YOU.

Jesus is raised from the dead, and so we can rejoice today when looking at the movie-trailer version: the mountain of transfiguration.

((2.)) Jesus touching them said, “Rise and don’t be afraid.”

We live lives of fear. We’re afraid of so many things. Maybe we’re afraid of what the world’s coming to. Maybe we’re afraid of God and judgment because of our sinfulness like the disciples were. And each of us should consider how we don’t “fear, love, and trust in God above all things” when it comes to how we act in our day to day lives, but there is something we’re all afraid of: dying and death.

We’re afraid of death. Our heart stops, then what? Blackness. Nothingness. Death. But it’s not just that split second we worry about, that we’re—pun intended—scared to death of. We’re also afraid—maybe more so—about what happens before that. We’re afraid of dying. What if I get cancer? What if it’s Alzheimer’s? What if I linger? What if there’s pain? The list goes on and on.

He says to you, “Don’t be afraid.” Someday, the Last Day, He’ll tell you, “Rise!” Then no more fear. No more death. Not for you. Not ever. Why? Jesus has died and risen. He did it for you. He makes it yours. His death is your death. His resurrection is your resurrection. You will live forever. You will see Him face to face. You’ll be in your Father’s presence forever.

You will be raised from the dead. Jesus is raised, and His resurrection is yours. “Don’t be afraid.”

((1.)) “This is My beloved Son; with Him I’m well pleased. Listen to Him.”

Beloved Son of the Father: baptized for sinners, suffered for sinners, died for sinners, raised for sinners. The Father’s pleased with Jesus not just because He’s His eternal Son, but because Jesus does all that He does not for glory’s sake but for your sake—to save you from the dead.

We should listen to what He says. He’s risen from the dead, after all. Probably good to listen to someone who does that. We listen not only because He says, “Rise and have no fear.” His resurrection is your resurrection, and listening to Him is exactly how He makes His resurrection your resurrection.

“Listen to Him.” “I baptize you into the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” “Whoever believes and His baptized will be saved.”

“Listen to Him.” “I forgive you all your sins.” “If you forgive anyone His sins, they are forgiven.”

“Listen to Him.” “This is My Body and Blood, given and shed for you, for the forgiveness of sins.” “Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will resurrect Him on the Last Day.”

“Listen to Him.” Listening to Him is resurrection, eternal life, and eternal peace.

((Conclusion.))

The Son of Man is raised from the dead. He died for you. Rose for you. We get a preview of that today.

We don’t need to be afraid of death. He will raise us from the dead “to live before Him in righteousness and purity forever.” His resurrection didn’t just happen. His resurrection is yours. He makes it yours, and so we’re never afraid. Not of the world, not of death or even dying. Not anything. Because Jesus isn’t just about death. He’s about resurrection, too—His FOR YOU.

It is yours. “Listen to Him.” That’s how He makes it yours. Over your forehead. Into your ears. Into your mouth. We listen to Him not just cause it’s a good idea, not just cause we’re told to, but because in His Word is resurrection, eternal life, and eternal peace.

LISTEN, JESUS’ RESURRECTION IS YOURS!

It has to be. He not only did it. He makes it yours. “Listen to Him.” “I baptize you.” You are baptized! “Listen to Him.” “I forgive you.” You are forgiven. “Listen to Him.” “My Body and Blood for you; I will resurrect you.” You are bodied and blooded. You will be resurrected. One day He’ll do it. One day, He’ll touch your grave and say, “Rise.” You don’t need to be afraid. LISTEN, JESUS’ RESURRECTION IS YOURS! He says so.

INI + AMEN.

Standard
Sermons

Purification of Mary and the Presentation of Our Lord (Lk 2:22–40)

Bethlehem Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO
Immanuel Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO

INI + AMEN.

The Lord’s Word gets filled up. It gets fulfilled. It gets done. Laws cherished and obeyed. Promises kept, made good on. The Lord takes care of it all Himself. It’s all done in Jesus. Jesus cherished the Laws and did them purely and with a pure heart. Jesus kept the promises of salvation. He not only did them, He finished them.

It doesn’t matter if the Lord spoke a command or a promise, either way Jesus fulfilled it: filled it up. He fills up the Laws 100%. He fills up the Promises, too—past overflowing. That’s what happens when Jesus comes. Everything gets filled up. Nothing’s left empty.

Continue reading
Standard
Sermons

St. Titus—Observed (Acts 20:28–35)

Bethlehem Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO
Immanuel Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO

[Paul said to the Ephesian pastors,] “Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock among which the Holy Spirit has placed you as overseers in order to pastor the Church of God that He purchased with His own blood.” (Acts 20:28)

INI + AMEN.

Red like blood. Jesus’ blood. Blood that was shed for you. Red like fire. The Spirit’s fire. Tongues of fire at Pentecost. Red for Titus. Titus’ day. The color of the holy ministry, the color of pastors.

These aren’t separate, at all! We’re seeing red today because of Jesus’ blood shed for you. We’re seeing red because of the Holy Spirit’s work for you. We’re seeing red because of pastors’ work, too. Jesus’ blood, the Spirit’s work, the pastor’s work are all connected. They’re connected because

THE SPIRIT USES PASTORS TO DELIVER JESUS’ BLOOD TO YOU. Continue reading

Standard