I actually preached two very different sermons today.
Been to court lately? It’s a place I try to avoid most of the time.
some valid, some invalid
people angry with others, sometimes with cause, sometimes without
sometimes someone can do something completely unacceptable but not against the law
justice moves slowly, sometimes good, sometimes not
scary people - judge, armed guard, lawyers here and there, someone writes down everything
judge sometimes does what is right and sometimes not
usually verdict is not entirely pleasing to anyone, almost always unpleasant to someone
What is God’s courtroom like?
the only judge who is able to actually give grace, human judges can give some similar substitute
How are we ready for the judgment?
1 Corinthians - need to mature in the solid food of God’s Word.
takes away divisions
releases us from bondage to our own opinions
allows us to put down our preferences
prepares us to hold firmly to what God holds dearly
Sermon on the Mount - murder, insults, adulterous thoughts and actions, looking for greener relational pastures rather than nurturing them, calling God to account for what we do, making oaths which are not for others’ benefit - all are offensive to the God who judges rightly.
What is our stance?
like to be not guilty, but can’t defend that
guilty with provocation? Still guilty.
Remember prodigal son - makes up a litany of plans for restoration while he is far away, then sees father and simply confesses his guilt and stops.
Lord, we are guilty. We confess. We throw ourselves upon Your mercy.
What has the Lord done?
Recall Matthew 5:23-24
your brother has something against you
leave gift at the altar
go and be reconciled
Restoration of a relationship is more important than worship.
Forgiveness is what we all need.
We pray the Lord will forgive us our trespasses like we forgive others.
Jesus is the one who is able to forgive and restore.
This is the solid food of the Gospel.
This is why we go to church.
This is the message the Lord gives.
Jesus laid down his glory, the worship that was due him.
Jesus knew his Father had something against humanity, so became a man to live as us.
Jesus plead that the Father would receive his death for all humanity.
The last Adam brought forgiveness for the sin of the first Adam and all his descendants.
Jesus received the condemnation of God which was intended for you and for me.
By his death he has bought our life.
How do we receive that life? How do we live in his forgiveness? By trusting that he is the one who has redeemed us from the curse of sin.
How are we fortified in that life?
Word and Sacrament
Fellowship with the saints
Asking the Lord to let us see him working in those around us
Come, believe, receive his forgiveness, and live.
(Ephesians 3:20-21, ESV)
20 Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.