Sermons

Easter Day (Mk 16:1–8; Job 19:23–27)

Bethlehem Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO

Alleluia! Jesus Christ is risen!
He is risen indeed! Alleluia!

INI + AMEN.

Their eyes had seen so much. They’d seen Him crucified and die. They’d seen Him dead and buried. They’d seen the very large stone rolled in front of the tomb. Now, it was a new day, a new week, and Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome came to the tomb. Mark chose the testimony of these three women who could see that the sun was rising. But they saw more, and what they saw was astonishing!

They didn’t have to worry about the large stone. They saw that the stone had already been rolled away. They saw “the young man,” the angel “clothed in a white robe.” (Mark highlights the one who spoke.) They heard him! “You seek Jesus of Nazareth who was crucified. He’s not here.” They saw the place, and they left to “tell the disciples and Peter.” Then they saw Him. They saw Jesus! Alive! (That’s Matthew, though.)

Their eyes saw so much! They’d shed tears of sadness and tears of gladness all because of what they’d seen. But I’ve got news for you today. Their eyes really aren’t any different than your eyes. Their eyes were created just like your eyes, and your eyes were created for the exact same thing as theirs, the exact same purpose.

YOUR EYES WERE CREATED TO SEE JESUS. Continue reading

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Sermons

Easter Sunrise (Jn 20:1–18; 1 Cor 15:1–11)

Immanuel Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO

Alleluia! Jesus Christ is risen!
He is risen indeed! Alleluia!

INI + AMEN.

WE LIVE IN A WORLD WHERE DEAD PEOPLE DON’T STAY DEAD. That’s a fact. 2+2=4. What goes up must come down. Pontius Pilate was the Roman Governor of Judea. George Washington crossed the Delaware river. And dead people don’t stay dead. That’s the sort of universe you live in. That’s reality, not make-believe. How do I know that we live in that sort of universe? It’s pretty simple. It’s earth shattering. It’s actual, factual, true. Jesus actually came back to life from the dead. Continue reading

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Sermons

Exaudi (Jn 15:26—16:4)

May 28, 2017
Bethlehem Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO
Immanuel Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO

Alleluia! Jesus Christ is risen!

HE IS RISEN INDEED! ALLELUIA!

INI + AMEN.

Jesus has ascended to the right hand of God’s Almighty throne. Now He’s seated there forever looking like a Lamb that was slain. Slain for your sins. He took them as His own. He conquered His foes. Death is undone—He rose. Satan, the accuser, is silenced. He lives and reigns with all things placed under His nail-scarred feat.

He’s got not just “the whole world in His hands,” but Jesus upholds the entire universe. Planets rotate, stars shine, galaxies spin because Jesus says so. He does all this not just as God, but as a man, because He’s both God and man.

He uses His power for you. He makes everything work out for good. He makes blessings out of bad choices. He heals you when you’re sick. He mends all wounds—spiritual, physical, and emotional. He gives you strength when you’re weak from all those pains.

He feels them all. He experienced them all. He lived life just like you and me (without sin though), and He bore it all in His own body on the tree. He redeemed all of you: your soul, your body, your everything. He’s God, so, of course, His dying and rising did that. Continue reading

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Sermons

Ascension (Mk 16:14–20; Acts 1:1–11)

May 25, 2017
Bethlehem Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO

Alleluia! Jesus Christ is risen!

HE IS RISEN INDEED! ALLELUIA!

INI + AMEN.

Jesus has ascended. It’s a big day for humanity. Easter was big: death was overcome. Our God became man, then died and rose. He really was alive again: “He showed Himself alive…by many proofs” (Acts 1). Now, another big day: there’s a man upon the eternal throne! Jesus is God, and He’s still man—will be forever! “Man with God is on the throne” (LSB 494), as we sang earlier. That’s huge!

Acts 3:21: HE MUST RECEIVE HEAVEN UNTIL THE RESTORATION OF ALL THINGS. Continue reading

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Sermons

Rogate (Jn 16:23–30)

May 21, 2017
Bethlehem Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO
Immanuel Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO

Alleluia! Jesus Christ is risen!

HE IS RISEN INDEED! ALLELUIA!

INI + AMEN.

The Lord delivers on His promises. He dies. He rises. He lives and reigns with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. He delivers the benefits of His fulfilled promises: forgiveness of sins, new life, eternal salvation—delivered in Baptism, Absolution, and the Supper.

The life we have in Jesus can only be had by being firmly, continually, even weekly, planted and rooted in His life-bestowing Gifts and Word. We will only blossom in faith and love through Him, the Vine. Only when we are steeped in Him and His love, delivered in reading and studying His Word, will we actually have love for others.

The implanted Word blossoms not just in the fruit of love for those around us, but more importantly it blossoms, bears fruit in our faith toward God. This blossoming fruit can be seen, or rather heard, in a simple way: prayer. Continue reading

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Sermons

Cantate (Jn 16:5–15)

May 14, 2017
Bethlehem Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO
Immanuel Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO

Alleluia! Jesus Christ is risen!

HE IS RISEN INDEED! ALLELUIA!

INI + AMEN.

((5. Oops!: The Spirit convicts concerning sin.))

The Spirit convicts. He convicts about sin. He convicts the world. Now, we read this as finger pointing, but the Spirit, the Holy Spirit, doesn’t just convict what’s out there in the world. He convicts us, too—that part of us that likes parts of the world, the part of us that’s actually ok with the things and actions of the world.

When the Spirit convicts sin, He’s not convicting behavior. That’s what we’d want. The world promotes, establishes, defends X,Y, and Z behavior, lifestyle, and choice. We point fingers at somethings and others we put on our mantels, we make a priority. And since we don’t think they’re icky, it’s ok.

But the Spirit convicts because of a lack of faith. What causes our sins? A lack of faith. “Concerning sin because they don’t believe in Me.” We treat God and His judgment over sin like running from a bear. I don’t have to outrun the bear. I just have to outrun you. So we boil it down to behavior.

But the conviction over sin isn’t just over gross and manifest sins—sins that are clearly against God’s Word of Law. No, it’s about lack of faith which produces all sorts of sins, even things we don’t want to admit are sins.

What does that mean? Well, everything that doesn’t flow from faith is sin. If it flows from our own desires (to get what we want, to put ourselves first), that’s sin. From trying to get the upper hand in a deal, to trying to be more accepted than someone else.

The Holy Spirit’s conviction of sin and unbelief has no limits. If there’s unbelief, there’s the Spirit saying, “Condemned!” If there’s lack of faith and sins that flow from that, He also says, “Condemned.” Continue reading

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Sermons

Jubilate (Jn 16:16–23)

May 7, 2017
Bethlehem Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO
Immanuel Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO

Alleluia! Jesus Christ is risen!

HE IS RISEN INDEED! ALLELUIA!

INI + AMEN.

That’s our joyful shout, as we sang in the Introit. That’s the glory of our God’s name. “He is awesome in His deeds toward the children of men”: He rose from the dead! That’s our hope in the face of death, our peace in the midst of struggle, our joy in the midst of tragedy, and it can even be our happiness in the midst of our sadness.

The sorrow and sadness that Jesus overcomes with His resurrection isn’t just the sorrow His disciples had when they saw Him die. No, it’s your sorrow, too. When all other enjoyments and happinesses fail, there’s Jesus. When life takes a turn for the worse, there’s Jesus. When life ends, there’s Jesus. He is faithful and true to you, dear Christian. Come what may! There’s Jesus. The living Jesus. The One who died, rose, and will never die again.

“Let songs of holy joy outburst” for that. Because no matter what

THE LIVING JESUS IS OUR TRUE JOY. Continue reading

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