Sermons, Uncategorized

Questioning

Immanuel Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO

INI + AMEN.

All eyes—all ears!—on the Lord. That’s the life of faith; that’s the life of a disciple. He speaks. We listen. He delivers; we receive. That, too, is faith. To trust Jesus is to hear and receive from Him. To His disciples He gives life. (He gave His life—not just for His disciples, but as a ransom for many, for all.) The life Jesus gives is delivered in His Word and Gifts. Jesus leads His followers to His Word and Gifts—to hear, receive, and believe. This isn’t a before confirmation sort of thing. It’s a life-long sort of thing. It’s really the life of a Christian: all eyes—all ears!—on the Lord.

Our Lord’s first Word to you is where He “began His good work within you.” Without that Word none of would be here today. You wouldn’t be confessing your faith. There would be no faith. His Word first. Not just in your ears—on your forehead: “I baptize you in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” He put His name upon you to “bless you and keep you; to make is face shine upon you and be gracious unto you; to lift up His countenance upon you and give you His peace.”

Peace. That’s benefit and blessing of Him who “redeemed you…purchased and won you from all sins, from death, and from the power of the devil; not with gold or silver, but with His holy, precious blood and with His innocent suffering and death.” This Jesus lives and reigns with His Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. The Font is filled with rosy-red water of Jesus’ blood for you—it really was for you: the Font says so. It made it “for you.”

“The words ‘For you’ require all hearts to believe.” There faith. Given by the Spirit. Fonted to you. Made you a living child of the Father. Those baptism promises remain. They’re as certain as the empty tomb. Jesus can’t die again, neither can you be unbaptized. “Then I can live how I want.” “Then I can sin.” “I don’t need the Lord’s Word and Gifts.” “I can break some commandments if I keep others.” “I can decide what’s sin and not.” “But I did this really bad thing…” That’s unfaith. The work of the devil. Your flesh. The world. “Faith comes by hearing.” So does unfaith. The devil speaks his lies in the world, in your conscience, and your flesh believes them.

“Daily contrition and repentance”—that’s the Spirit’s job. He was given to you in Baptism, and He stays with you. And with the Law, the Holy Ten Commands, He shows you “that you have not been free from sin.” He defines sin and unfaith. We, like the Syrophoenician, simply say, “Yes, Lord.” But He has another Word to “guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”

“Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of Christ.” Listen to what Christ says to drown out and silence the devil, your flesh, and the world: “If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven.” So the Absolution: “I forgive you.” So also the Supper. “Take, eat; this is My body, given for you. Drink of it, all of you; this cup is the New Testament in My blood, shed for you for the forgiveness of sins.”

In the Work, Word, and Gifts of Jesus—His cross, His Baptism, His Absolution, His Supper—there is life and peace. There, in those things, He’s continuing His good work within you, your salvation. Without them, there is no good work, only evil. Apart from them, there is no life, only death. If they’re absent, faith is absent, only unfaith.

He conforms you to Himself: baptizing you into Himself, Suppering Himself—His body and blood—into you. So He lives you and you in Him. New life—cherishing Him. Loving God. Loving neighbor. As outlined in the Commandments, which is nothing else than living a Christlike life—not toward self, but fully toward neighbor, and, more importantly, fully toward the Lord.

All eyes—all ears!—on the Lord. That’s the life of faith; that’s the life of a disciple. He speaks. We listen. He delivers; we receive. That, too, is faith. To trust Jesus is to hear and receive from Him. To His disciples He gives life, delivered in His Word and Gifts. Jesus leads His followers to His Word and Gifts—to hear, receive, and believe. This isn’t a before confirmation sort of thing. It’s a life-long sort of thing. It’s really the life of a Christian: all eyes—all ears!—on the Lord.

INI + AMEN.

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