St. Andrew, Apostle 2022 (Jn 1,35–42)

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᛭ INI ᛭

There are three separate things comings together this evening. It’s Advent. It’s St. Andrew, the Apostle day. There’s also starting the Commandments with the Close of the Commandments. Now, before I can get into how all these things come together, let’s take a look at the Close of the Commandments. That’s on LSB 322.

What does God say about all [the] Commandments?

He says, “I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate Me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love Me and keep My commandments.” (Ex 20:5–6)

What does this mean?

God threatens to punish all who break these commandments. Therefore, we should fear His wrath and not do anything against them. But He promises grace and every blessing to all who keep these commandments. Therefore, we should also love and trust in Him and gladly do what He commands.

(3. Malady: As sinners were under the wrath of God!)

Now, the Close of the Commandments actually serves as a pretty good introduction to the Commandments as well. It reminds us what they’re all about, and it definitely reminds us of our true problem before God. Our true problem is that by nature we’re under the wrath of God! God threatens to punish all who break these commandments. And we all break His Commandments…so, draw your own conclusion on that one…

Every human being is doubly under the wrath of God, that is, God’s “furious burning anger.” (Just look at what happened to Sodom and Gomorrah.) Now, sinners are under the wrath of God for two reasons—like I said, “doubly.” First, because of our hereditary sinfulness that makes us sinners. Second, because of the sins that we sinners actively commit.

Proof of how much our hearts and minds are broken, corrupted, and evil by hereditary sin, is that we aren’t actually afraid of God and His wrath over our being sinners and our sins. First, we don’t feel all that bad, even though God warns us that each sin, even ones we think are “small,” are worthy of “His wrath and displeasure, death, and eternal damnation.” (Christian Q&A) Each lack of sincere faith toward Him and each lack of sincere love toward our neighbor sets us at odds with Him “who is able to cast both body and soul into hell.” (Mt 10) That’s just our sins! Not our being sinners! Most Christians (and Lutherans) don’t even believe we’re conceived born sinners! Proof is in the fact that so many delay Baptism for their children who are “by nature children of wrath,” as we all are, as Paul says.

God’s wrath breaks out at sin with His Law. He demands perfection. He demands the impossible. He demands us to death, works us to death. “It’s not fair!” It’s not fair that humanity rebelled against God in the Garden and that each and everyone of us by nature continues to do so. His Law shows how angry He is. He ratchets up expectations at Sinai to increase our trespass. His wrath in action!

The wrath of God continues when He gives individuals, groups, or even whole nations and societies over to their sins. The end of those things is death. First they got the sins they liked so much and then destruction such sins deserve. That’s what happened to Sodom and Gomorrah, Egypt with the 10 Plagues, Judah’s exile into Babylon. What makes us think we can escape? We think it won’t happen to us because we think God’s more like a weak, kind grandpa rather than Almighty Judge, who’s “a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate Me.”

(2. Means: CHRIST JESUS IS THE LAMB OF GOD WHO SAVES SINNERS FROM THE WRATH OF GOD.)

Yet, God is rich in mercy! He locates His mercy in time and place so that He really can have mercy. It’s mercy that doesn’t ignore His wrath or His justice or what’s right and wrong in His sight. His mercy is located in Jesus Christ, who came and was crucified for our sins.

CHRIST JESUS IS THE LAMB OF GOD WHO SAVES SINNERS FROM THE WRATH OF GOD.

Christ Jesus comes as our substitute. Not only as the substitute for adults or children of a certain age. He is the substitute for sinners who are not only born sinful but are conceived sinful. That’s why Jesus, the eternal Son of God, was “conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary.” He’s our Substitute and Savior even at only two cells big!

Jesus is, as John the Baptist preached, “The Lamb of God.” That means He is the “Messiah,” the “Christ” as Andrew preached to Peter. Jesus not only actively lives an obedient life under the Law He Himself gave to Moses at Sinai, but He also suffered the penalty that we by our sins have deserved. He was “stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted.” (Is 53) “The punishment that brought us peace was upon Him…By His wounds we are healed” (Is 53), forgiven.

CHRIST JESUS IS THE LAMB OF GOD WHO SAVES SINNERS FROM THE WRATH OF GOD.

God doesn’t set aside His wrath. He satisfies His own wrath. Doesn’t forget His Holy Law. Instead He fulfills His Holy Law. That is what Jesus, the Son of God, does for sinners. It’s why He came from His Father, why His Father sent Him. To die for the sins of the whole world. Your sins. My sins. To die under the wrath you deserved, so that you would forever live in peace.

(1. Goal/Result: We’re all Andrews—sinners preached out of wrath unto the Lamb who do the same for others in our vocations.)

What’s the result of CHRIST JESUS [being] THE LAMB OF GOD WHO SAVES SINNERS FROM THE WRATH OF GOD? What’s the consequence of that? What’s the fruit of HIs death for our sins?

We’re all Andrews. Now, I don’t mean we’re all Apostles. In our text today, Andrew wasn’t yet an Apostle. “Apostle” means “sent.” Sent to preach the Gospel. Right now Andrew’s just a follower of John who became a follower of Jesus. But why did that happen? Well, Andrew had a preacher. He had John to preach him out of the wrath of God unto the Lamb of God who saves sinners from that wrath. John’s sermon is very brief: “Behold, the Lamb of God!”

Andrew as a fledgling follower of Jesus also preaches. He preaches within his vocation. He goes and finds his brother Simon and preaches to him, “We’ve found the Messiah!” “The Christ.” (Christ and Messiah both mean “Anointed One.”) Anointed to save from sin by His death. Andrew, like John did for him, was preaching Simon out of the wrath of God toward Jesus who saves sinners from the wrath.

That’s what we’re all called to do. This is especially the charge of Christian Fathers. “Andrew” means “manly” in Greek. The Catechism lays this all out: “As the head of the household should teach.” The Table of Duties lays this out, too. Christian father’s bringing their children to church to hear the preacher. At home they preach them out of the wrath of God unto the Lamb of God, Jesus, and they also bring them to the preacher who does the same. This is why Job in the Old Testament made sacrifices for his kids!

Absent a father, mothers and grandmothers take up the charge! They too become Andrews. This is what Paul says to Timothy: “I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well.” (2 Tim 1:5) That’s how Timothy “from childhood [was] acquainted with the sacred writings, (2 Tim 3:15)” the Bible. There’s also faithful Dorcas and Phoebe. And Paul’s charge to godly widows in 1 Timothy.

(Conclusion.)

CHRIST JESUS IS THE LAMB OF GOD WHO SAVES SINNERS FROM THE WRATH OF GOD.

Apart from Him saving us and our faith in Him, we are under the wrath of God for our sin.

His Word comes to us through preachers and we proclaim Jesus according to our various vocations of course. Husbands and wives to each other. Fathers and mothers to their children. (Children to their parents—the joy of the Christmas programs!)

But Andrew eventually was sent, as John the Baptist had been. In our time, we need more men to step up. Not just being Andrews in their own homes, but to step into the office of Pastor, those who follow in the footsteps of Andrews office of Apostle. After all,

CHRIST JESUS IS THE LAMB OF GOD WHO SAVES SINNERS FROM THE WRATH OF GOD.

᛭ INI ᛭

Total:  1505
Outline:79
Final:  1,426

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