Preaching to the saints of the Lutheran Church at Christ-Elkhart and Faith-Hugoton in Kansas since February 8, 2015. All sermons prior to that date were preached either at Trinity Lutheran Church-Layton or First Lutheran Church-Tooele, Utah.
Dear people of God,
If you would like to hear the sermon preached at Trinity Lutheran Church in Layton, Utah for the Fourth Sunday after Trinity, "You Will see Clearly," click on the MP3 audio link provided above.
Have a blessed day and week in the Lord as one who sees clearly because of the merciful goodness of our Father in heaven who gave His Son to die for you and forgive you all your sins.
A servant of the Word and His folk,
Here is the sermon manuscript.
TEXT: Luke 6:36-42
Dear people of God,
Your Father is merciful, and you will see clearly. This is the good news of the Gospel text I have been given to proclaim to you this day.
The first part of that good news is a fact, God our Father in heaven is merciful.
The second part of that good news, which flows from the first, is God's will for you that He works through faith that receives the mercy He offers only through His Holy Christian Church and the forgiveness of sins He distributes amongst her members.
In this life, seeing clearly comes only when the forgiveness of sins won on Calvary by our Savior Jesus Christ is delivered by the Holy Spirit through the Word and Sacrament of Christ's Church.
The first part of the good news, Your Father is merciful, is where our dear Lord begins His teaching about mercy and forgiveness.
The second part of the good news, you will see clearly, is where our dear Lord takes us and where He wants and would have us to be. For this is faith and the kingdom of heaven on earth.
And that is what all the teaching in between these two pieces of good news is about--the life of faith, your life in the kingdom of heaven that begins here and now through the forgiveness of your sins.
[Small Catechism, LSB p. 322, 324]
36[Jesus said:] "Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.
Why? Because He is God. He doesn't need anything from us and He has given us everything we need.
First Article: I believe in God, the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth. What does this mean? I believe that God has made me and all creatures. He has given me my body and soul, eyes, ears, and all my limbs, my reason, and all my senses, and still preserves them. In addition, He has given me clothing and shoes, meat and drink, house and home, wife and children, fields, cattle, and all my goods. He provides me richly and daily with all that I need to support this body and life. He protects me from all danger and guards me and preserves me from all evil. He does all this out of pure, fatherly, divine goodness and mercy, without any merit or worthiness in me. For all this I ought to thank Him, praise Him, serve Him, and obey Him. This is most certainly true.
Being merciful is simply a summary of the second table of the Law and what it means to thank and praise, to serve and obey God—to love your neighbor as yourself by considering and treating him as one who has been created in God's own image, fallen though he is. After all, you are fallen and have plenty sin of your own, as Jesus reminds us in the next section of our Gospel.
37"Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven; 38give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you."
Why? Because you have faith that Father is merciful to you, you can and will be merciful to your neighbor.
Because you have been forgiven by your merciful Father in heaven and given eternal life, you don't need anything from your neighbor that God does not have your neighbor freely or by human law provide for you. Instead of trying to get whatever your sinful self thinks it deserves from your neighbor by any means necessary, you pray to your Father in heaven for those things you need to live in this fallen world.
The Fourth Petition: Give us this day our daily bread. What does this mean? God gives daily bread, even without our prayer, to all wicked people; but we pray in this petition that He would lead us to realize this and to receive our daily bread with thanksgiving.
What is meant by daily bread? Everything that belongs to the support and needs of the body, such as food, drink, clothing, shoes, house, home, field, cattle, money, goods, a pious spouse, pious children, pious servants, pious and faithful rulers, good government, good weather, peace, health, discipline, honor, good friends, faithful neighbors, and the like.
And since you receive all those things from your merciful Father, you are able to give your neighbor what God has given you to supply him according to his needs—especially forgiveness of sins, which you receive in abundance every single time you ask for it.
39He also told them a parable: "Can a blind man lead a blind man? Will they not both fall into a pit? 40A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone when he is fully trained will be like his teacher. 41Why do you see the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 42How can you say to your brother, 'Brother, let me take out the speck that is in your eye,' when you yourself do not see the log that is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take out the speck that is in your brother's eye."—How? Receive the forgiveness of sins—often. Luke 6:36-42
THE FIFTH PETITION And forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. What does this mean? Answer: We pray in this petition that our Father in heaven would not look upon our sins nor deny such petitions on account of them. We are not worthy of any of the things for which we pray, neither have we deserved them. But we pray that He would grant them all to us by grace. For we daily sin much and indeed deserve nothing but punishment. So will we truly, on our part, also heartily forgive and readily do good to those who sin against us.
Our forgiving others is not what earns our forgiveness. We have that already—in Holy Baptism, in Holy Absolution, in hearing the Holy Word of God, In Holy Communion. As Luther puts it, our forgiving others who trespass against us is,
97 This sign is therefore attached to this petition. When we pray, we remember the promise and think, "Dear Father, for this reason I come and pray for You to forgive me, not so that I can make satisfaction or can merit anything by my works. I pray because You have promised and attached the seal to this prayer that I should be as sure about it as though I had Absolution pronounced by You Yourself." 98 For Baptism and the Lord's Supper—appointed as outward signs—work as seals [Ephesians 1:13]. In the same way also, this sign can serve to confirm our consciences and cause them to rejoice. It is especially given for this purpose, so that we may use and practice forgiveness every hour, as a thing that we have with us at all times.
Christ's teaching today does not tell you how to get to heaven or earn your Father's mercy. It tells you that you already have your Father's mercy and what life in the kingdom of heaven as you walk by faith here on earth is like.
Yes dear people of God, Your Father is merciful, and you will see clearly because all of your sins are forgiven and this is life in the kingdom of heaven today and even forevermore--in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen
Insofar as this sermon is a true proclamation of the Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ, it belongs to Him and His Church. Therefore its use is free to all who deem it worthy and beneficial.
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