Welcome


Take a Survey


Help support this site:


Sermon List
Search
About

Login or Register

Luther Sayings

Terms of Use

YAAG
(lectionary)

Newsletter Articles or other writings

BOC readings - 3 year

BOC readings - 1 year

Bible in One Year

Bible in Two Years

5 mins with Luther














Pericope

Sermon List       Other sermons by Rev Hering       Notify me when Rev Hering posts sermons
      RSS feed for Rev Hering       RSS feed for all sermons

Your Father Is Merciful

Luke 6:36-42

Rev. Kurt Hering

Fourth Sunday after Trinity
Trinity Lutheran Church  
Layton, Utah

Play MP3 of this sermon

Sun, Jul 13, 2014 

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.

God the Father is merciful. This is the good news of the Gospel text for today.

The fact that you are here today is evidence of God’s mercy. It tells you that He has been and is now giving you everything you need for body and soul even though you have done nothing to deserve it and everything to be grounded from it.

The truth is, God has every right and would be perfectly fair if He grounded us for life and sent us to bed without our supper. But He doesn’t do that, does He?

To hear the entire sermon preached for the Fourth Sunday after Trinity, click on the MP3 audio link provided above. The audio begins with the Old Testament Reading, Genesis 50:15-21. The sermon begins at the 12:54 point of the mp3 file.

A servant of the Word and His folk,

Pastor Hering

For those of you who prefer to read or read along while listening, the preaching manuscript follows below.

Nota bene: Sermons are meant to be heard. Some points from the manuscript are explained and filled out during the preaching, so you will need to listen to the audio file to get the full sermon.

TEXT: Luke 6:36-42 [Jesus said:] “Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful. … 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.”

[Small Catechism, LSB p. 322, 324]

Dear children of God,

Your Father is merciful. This is the good news of the Gospel text I have been given to proclaim to you this day.

The fact that you are here today is evidence of God’s mercy. It tells you that He has been and is now giving you everything you need for body and soul even though you have done nothing to deserve it and everything to be grounded from it.

Our Father in heaven has every right and would be perfectly fair if He grounded us for life and sent us to bed without our supper. But He doesn’t do that, does He?

We saw this clearly last week in the parable of the Prodigal Father as per Luke 15:11-32 And it is a common theme for it is the heart of the Gospel—the Father’s heart.

And if you had known what this means, ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the guiltless. 8 For the Son of Man is lord of the Sabbath.” Matthew 12:7-8

Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven—for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little.” 48 And he said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” Luke 7:36-50

Here we see there is a second part of that good news, which flows from the first. “…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.”

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.

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. Luther preached it this way. 

Now how is God our heavenly Father merciful? Thus, in that he gives us all things, natural and spiritual, temporal and eternal, gratuitously and out of pure goodness. For should he give unto us out of and according to our merits, he would have to give us only hell-fire and eternal condemnation. Therefore what he gives us in our possessions and honor, is given out of pure mercy. [Bulletin Insert: Luther’s Sermon for the Fourth Sunday after Trinity, ca. 1523]

And we confess our Father in heaven’s mercy in the First Article of the Creed.

[Small Catechism, LSB p. 322]

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 text today.

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. This is what it means to “thank Him, praise Him, serve Him, and obey Him.”

If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. 1 John 4:20

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 as you go about your daily business of serving your neighbors—starting with your own household.

[Small Catechism, LSB p. 322]

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.

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.

[Summarize the Gospel parable]

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.”— Luke 6:36–42

How? Receive the forgiveness of sins—often. That’s what and why he teaches us to pray THE FIFTH PETITION And forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.

[Small Catechism, LSB p. 322]

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 the need to be merciful to others. Because all of your sins are forgiven, you are free and clear to help your neighbor by being merciful. That is, to treat him as our Lord has treated and continues to treat you—giving you everything you need for body and soul even though you have done nothing to deserve it and everything to be grounded from it.

This is life in the kingdom of heaven today and even forevermore--the life of mercy in which God forgives you your sins and extends that forgiveness to the world through your words and deeds--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.



Send Rev. Kurt Hering an email.




Unique Visitors: