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Archive for September 2017

Avoiding Death

Avoiding Death
Ezekiel 18:1–4, 25–32
October 1, 2017

Philippians 1:2 (ESV) 2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Do we ever get punished for sins from a previous generation? Doesn’t sound far, that we would get punished for someone else’s crime. Of course the cliche for today’s world is life isn’t fair. But does God punish a person for a sin not committed. The quick answer is yes of course. We need to remember that Jesus bears our sin and the sin for the whole entire world:

Isaiah 53:5 (ESV) 5 But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed.

Life isn’t fair, is it. But it is to our benefit that Christ Jesus pays the price for our sins. The result of which is that we avoid death, while Christ Jesus dies is our place.

But let go to our Old Testament reading for today, from Ezekiel, where the people are complaining and using this saying, “the fathers have eaten sour grapes and the children’s teeth are set on edge. The people were complaining because of the exile. Their fathers sin and forgot about God which resulted in exile. Now the children are complaining it is not my fault that we are here in exile, so why are we suffering, when others have done the disobedience. It may sound like a fair question to ask, but it is also a denial of their own sin and an affirmation of their own lack of trust with God. Blaming other for example saying, “the devil may be do it.” doesn’t work with God. God know our heart, He knows if we are trusting in Him above all things.

So the prophet is sent, with this message, stop blaming others and realize it is our own sin that causes death. So Ezekiel tell that people that God does not delight in anyone ones death, so avoid it.

Ezekiel 18:32 (ESV) 32 For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Lord God; so turn, and live.”

But we have a hard time understand sin and disobedience of God with death. Just like Genesis 2:16–17 (ESV) 16 And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”

When Adam and Eve ate as it says in verse 17 “for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die” they didn’t die. They were still breathing and Eve would later have children after taking the forbidden fruit. What they didn’t realize is that they were dead spiritually.

Ezekiel notes in Ezekiel 18:4 (ESV) 4 Behold, all souls are mine; the soul of the father as well as the soul of the son is mine: the soul who sins shall die.

Why is sin death of the Soul. Well what is sin, a disobedience of God, yes, but a better answer would be a separation from God. For when we sin we separate ourselves from God. Now lets look at where the Soul comes from.

Genesis 2:7 (ESV) 7 then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature.

God’s breath is the the breath of life. So if we push God out of our lives as we do when we sin, it is like pushing out our own breath which is our life, out of us. Before God breathed into man, man was just dust from the ground, not the wind as Kansas would say. This Spiritual death of the soul is so important that Jesus says,
Matthew 10:28 (ESV) 28 And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.

The people during the time of Ezekiel were not necessary fearing the one who can destroy the soul and body in hell. Yes they were in exile, but at the moment they were not concern about their sin, they were concern about their body or comforts. We do love our creature comforts more than God? We have been blessed by God with an abundance. But why would we ignore Christ and the forgiveness He brings.

Ezekiels words need to reminds us what Jesus said in Matthew 16:25–26 (ESV) 25 For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. 26 For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?

To answer Jesus’ question, we can’t give anything in return for our soul, for it is the breath of God. This is why I end my confirmation class each session with Luther’s Evening Payer, because it has a strong emphasis of forgiveness and commending our selves to God’s care of our body and soul. It says,

I thank You, my heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ, Your dear Son, that You have graciously kept me this day; and I pray that You would forgive me all my sins where I have done wrong, and graciously keep me this night. For into Your hands I commend myself, my body and soul, and all things. Let Your holy angel be with me, that the evil foe may have no power over me. Amen.

This prayer of Luther is similar to what God is telling Ezekiel 18:30b–32 (ESV) 30 “Repent and turn from all your transgressions, lest iniquity be your ruin. 31 Cast away from you all the transgressions that you have committed, and make yourselves a new heart and a new spirit! Why will you die, O house of Israel? 32 For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Lord God; so turn, and live.”

And we return to Christ, as Christ takes away our sin, and gives us His own Body and Blood for the forgiveness of our sins. This forgiveness brings life to our souls, so that we avoid death, in His name Amen.

1 Thessalonians 5:23 (ESV) 23 Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

Written by dballa

September 30, 2017 at 1:18 pm

Always Forgiving

Always Forgiving
Isaiah 55:6–9
September 24, 2017

Philippians 1:2 (ESV) 2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Christ Jesus is Always Forgiving, at least what the electronic sign in front says. But is this true? Does Christ always forgive? What does out text for today say:

Isaiah 55:7 (ESV) 7 let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the Lord, that he may have compassion on him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.

Abundantly pardon. Please note the adverb, Abundantly, not occasionally, but abundantly.

Many people ask the question then, Why are all people not saved saved? Another question is similar, do I really need to go to church?

The reason why the church gathers together in worship each week is because this is how Christ Jesus and the forgiveness He alone brings comes to us. There are two things we need to keep in mind, First how the forgiveness of sins is achieved and won and Second how the forgiveness of sins is given to us.

When Christ Jesus does on the cross, Christ defeats Sin, death and the devil.

John 19:30 (ESV) 30 When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished,” and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

The Second part has is the forgiveness of sins given to us. St. Paul notes that this also comes through Christ.

1 Corinthians 15:57 (ESV) 57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

So where does Christ promise the forgiveness of sins.

Matthew 26:26–28 (ESV) 26 Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is my body.” 27 And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, “Drink of it, all of you, 28 for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.

Christ Jesus notes a little later in Matthew

Matthew 28:19 (ESV) 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, (how, by) baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
Both Baptism and the Lord’s Supper distributes and apply the forgiveness of sin to us.

This is why we, as Lutherans, have such a strong focus upon Word and Sacrament Ministry in our churches. Because it is in God’s Word and Sacraments by which we receive this pardon abundantly.

Matthew 12:31 (ESV) 31 Therefore I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven people, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven.

What does this mean?
I believe that I cannot by my own reason or strength believe in Jesus Christ, my Lord, or come to Him; but the Holy Spirit has called me by the Gospel, en- lightened me with His gifts, sanctified and kept me in the true faith.
In the same way He calls, gathers, enlightens, and sanctifies the whole Christian church on earth, and keeps it with Jesus Christ in the one true faith.
In this Christian church He daily and richly forgives all my sins and the sins of all believers.
On the Last Day He will raise me and all the dead, and give eternal life to me and all believers in Christ.
This is most certainly true.

So the Holy Spirit is calling, but why are not all saved,

Acts 7:51 (ESV) 51 “You stiff-necked people, uncircumcised in heart and ears, you always resist the Holy Spirit. As your fathers did, so do you.

Christ Jesus allows Himself to be resisted, and there are many people who resist. Many people claim to be spiritual, but resist receiving God’s grace and mercy through Christ Jesus Word and Sacraments. But since this is the way the Holy Spirit call us, then they are resisting the Holy Spirit. So if a person is saved, we give Christ Jesus the Glory, for it is Christ’s victory over sin, death, and the devil. But a person condemns themselves who resists the Holy Spirit.

John 3:17 (ESV) 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.

Theodoret of Cyr (an early Christian father): says, “When you who seek have found, … show God your face, not your back. For he will grant you mercy and give you forgiveness of sins.”
Elliott, M. W. (Ed.). (2007). Isaiah 40–66 (pp. 187–188). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.

How do we show God our face, not our back? The first verse of our text:

Isaiah 55:6 (ESV) 6 “Seek the Lord while he may be found; call upon him while he is near;

Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.
What does this mean? We should fear and love God so that we do not despise preaching and His Word, but hold it sacred and gladly hear and learn it.

Why is this important
Hebrews 12:1b (ESV) 1 …lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,

St. Paul also notes:

Romans 7:21 (ESV) 21 So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand.

We still have our sinful nature and continuance of sin which clings to us.

Besides we may not have a tomorrow:

Proverbs 27:1 (ESV) 1 Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring.

So we have today.

Do we daily need to turn from our sin and return to Christ and His Word of promise. For we have a Savior Christ Jesus who always forgives. We gather where Christ promises to be, where Christ Word is proclaimed and His sacrament is given. We gather for Christ Jesus always forgives. In His name, Amen.

Philippians 4:7 (ESV) 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Written by dballa

September 23, 2017 at 3:01 pm

Lord’s Prayer

From Issues Etc

 Thy will be done
Listen Here

Forgive us our Tresspasses as we forgive those who trespass against us
listen here


Lead us not into temptation
Listen here Direct LinkListen Here

Written by dballa

September 22, 2017 at 4:34 pm

Posted in Lord's Prayer

God’s Grace in the Midst of Evil

Genesis 50:15–21
September 17, 2017

Philippians 1:2 (ESV) 2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Joseph has reasons and means to destroy his brothers. His brothers wanted to kill him because they were jealous of Joseph. Instead they sold Joseph, who in the midst of being a salve, was falsely accused of a crime, and was sent to prison. While in prison, God blessed Joseph who was eventually put in charge of all of Egypt. His brother come to Egypt looking for food, and as our text notes now that Joseph’s father had died, Joseph had many reasons and the means to destroy his brothers, but Joseph forgave his brothers

Genesis 50:20 (ESV) 20 As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.

“you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good”

There is where many Christians get tripped up. Is Joseph just putting a positive spin on evil situation? No, Joseph means what he says. So approach this another way.

First, lets begin with

Hebrews 12:2 (ESV) 2 looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

Can the Founder and Perfecter of our faith have anything to do with Evil?

Zechariah 8:17 (ESV) 17 do not devise evil in your hearts against one another, and love no false oath, for all these things I hate, declares the Lord.”


Psalm 5:4 (ESV) 4 For you are not a God who delights in wickedness; evil may not dwell with you.

Hence God is not the author or cause of Evil, but God is the author and cause of our faith.

Next question people love to ask, is did God allow Evil to exist and could God have stopped it?

Psalm 81:12 (ESV) 12 So I gave them over to their stubborn hearts, to follow their own counsels.

Yes, God allowed evil to exist and God could have stopped it. Now our minds may be yelling to favorite 2 year old question, WHY? The Psalmist answered it, God gave them over to their stubborn hearts.

Whereas I do not know the exact reason why each unique evil was allowed by God, but our Old Testament reading puts us on the correct track.

Genesis 50:20 (ESV) 20 As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.

Joseph was able to see God’s grace in action, even in the midst of evil.

Let pick up with
John 19:30 (ESV) 30 When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished,” and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

Christ defeats evil upon the cross, It is finished, just like the stain glass show the victory banner, Christ did the work, or as I mentioned in Confirmation class Christianity is a done religion, all done through Christ, it is finished. Sin, Death and the Devil defeated. But the 2 year old continues to ask why? Why didn’t God just stop evil completely at this point.

As you know we are not in paradise yet, that time will come when God decides for it to come. But God’s grace is still with us while we are waiting for paradise, even in the midst of evil.

Remember Job, God allowed Satan to act upon Job, but notice that it was God who set the limits that Satan could not pass, for God is more powerful than evil.

Martin Luther wrote, “Why should you fear? Why should you be afraid? Do you not know that the (devil) has been judged? He is no lord. You have a different, a stronger, Lord, Christ, who has overcome and bound (the devil ). Therefore let the (devil) look sour, bare his teeth, and make a great noise, threaten and act in an unmannerly way; he can do no more than a bad dog on a chain, which may bark, run here and there, and tear at the chain. But because it is tied and you avoid it, it cannot bite you” (WLS, 1185).

Evil has no power over you, as St. Paul reminds us:
Romans 6:14a (ESV) 14 For sin will have no dominion over you,

Later St. Paul notes

Romans 8:38–39 (ESV) 38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

God’s grace is there, He has you in His hands, He’s got you.

But as the Small Catechism tells us devil can lead us away from Christ, by trying to convince you to leave the safety of God’s hands. How, by our sin.

The Sixth Petition “And lead us not into temptation.” What does this mean?
God tempts no one. We pray in this petition that God would guard and keep us so that the devil, the world, and our sinful nature may not deceive us or mislead us into false belief, despair, and other great shame and vice. Although we are attacked by these things, we pray that we may finally overcome them and win the victory.

How prone are to to leap from God’s grace? Maybe the better question to ask is, “How quickly do we dismiss our sins?” We may say to ourselves, “Everyone does it.” True, since everyone is a sinner, but just because everyone is a sinner doesn’t take away the fact that it is a sin which leads us away from Christ. We may also use denial or our self justification for our sin, but that fact is our sin is leading us away from Christ.

This is why our sin is really the ultimate evil in the universe. Because our sin leads us away from the greatest good in the universe, that is Christ Jesus.

So when someone sins against us, would we rather take revenge or forgive? If we react and sin, that leads us away from the greatest Good, but when we remember the Lord’s Prayer, 5th Petition, “And forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.”

Romans 12:19 (ESV) 19 Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.”

For it is God’s Word that shows us God’s grace in action.

Notice that is how Joseph end in God’s hands, as he said, “for am I in the place of God?” Joseph seeing God’s grace, remembers that he does have a role in this. Joseph role could have be wrath, but instead Joseph forgives, so that he would not sin and Joseph continues to care for them, again so that he would not sin.

Romans 13:8 (ESV) 8 Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law.

God’s grace is that He limits the evil and uses the evil to strengthen you, as James reminds us:

James 1:12 (ESV) 12 Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.

So when evil enters into our lives, as 1 Peter 3:9 (ESV) 9 Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing.

So we bless, not curse, we forgive hence we are avoiding sin. As we are avoiding the ultimate evil, sin, which separates us from Christ, we can cling to the ultimate good, that is in Jesus the Christ. In His Holy Name, Amen.

Philippians 4:7 (ESV) 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Amen.

Written by dballa

September 16, 2017 at 1:58 pm

Posted in Sermons, Uncategorized

Christ’s Great Cover-up…your sins

Covering Our Sin
Psalm 32:1–7
September 10, 2017

Philippians 1:2 (ESV) 2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Typically when we hear of a great cover-up our mind, we are usually thinking along the lines of fraud, a government conspiracy, or we just may be used to hearing about so many cover-ups we think just another. We may wonder who got caught this time.

If you caught the electronic sing in front of the church you may know where I am going with this. Christ’s great cover-up. Did Christ Jesus cover-up some great crime, fraud or dishonesty. Actually He did. Not that Christ personally committed any of these things, but Christ covers up your activities. So the sign reads Christ’s Great Cover-up…your sins.

The Psalmist notes in the Psalm for today:

Psalm 32:1 (ESV) 1 Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.

Some people has asked why the church has a focus upon sin. Notice how the Psalmist begins with the world Blessed, or happiness. Blessed is the one whose sin is covered. Why are people blessed, remember that blessings come from God. So Isaiah reminds us why we need this blessing.

Isaiah 59:2 (ESV) 2 your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear.

Sin separates us from God, we are blessed when that separation is removed.

The Psalmist also uses the word forgiveness and covered in regards to what God does with our sin. We usually have an understanding with forgiveness that our sins are removed from us, but do they completely disappear? The Psalmist notes that they are covered, hence the cover-up.

Think of it this way. God know all things. He know our heart, thoughts, words and actions. When our sins are forgiven, they do not disappear, it is not like God destroys part of His memory. Instead, Holy Scriptures gives us a different picture.

The anger and punishment for our sins was transferred to Jesus the Christ. So our sins are released from you and Christ bears those sins when He dies on the cross. Isaiah chapter 53 is about Jesus the Christ and what the Christ will do.

Isaiah 53:4–5 (ESV) 4 Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. 5 But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed.

These words from Isaiah were fulfilled in

Mark 15:34 (ESV) 34 And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

Yes, Jesus died on the cross, for the forgiveness of the sins of the whole world. But how do we receive that forgiveness?

Let’s go back to the Psalmist and notice what stops the person from receiving the healing words of forgiveness

Psalm 32:3 (ESV) 3 For when I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long.

Being silent that is not confessing our sin as v5 brings this out more

Psalm 32:5 (ESV) 5 I acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not cover my iniquity; I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,” and you forgave the iniquity of my sin.

If I may even another verse from:

Proverbs 28:13 (ESV) 13 Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy.

It is by confession and the proper response of confession which is absolution that we obtain mercy.

There are two parts as Martin Luther says in the Small Catechism

What is Confession?
Confession has two parts. First, that we confess our sins, and second, that we receive absolution, that is, forgiveness, from the pastor as from God Himself, not doubting, but Firmly believing that by it our sins are forgiven before God in heaven.

last week I mention that nothing should separate confession and absolution.

Where is forgiveness in Christ found.

From Luther’s Works, If now I seek the forgiveness of sins, I do not run to the cross, for I will not find it given there….But I will find in the sacrament or gospel the word which distributes, presents, offers, and gives to me that forgiveness which was won on the cross.

Luther noted that upon the Cross Christ achieved forgiveness of sins, and that forgiveness is distributed through the Gospel and the Sacraments.

Which is the reason we rejoice, as the Psalmist says in v7.
Psalm 32:7 (ESV) 7 You are a hiding place for me; you preserve me from trouble; you surround me with shouts of deliverance.

We rejoice because there are those shouts of deliverance. Jesus Himself says in Luke 15:7 (ESV) 7 Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.

So we gather, here at Peace our services have the confession of sins, the proclamation of the Gospel and the Sacraments of Holy Baptism and the Lord’s Supper which means we participate in the Great Cover up of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, for it is a Scandal that we sinners have our sins covered and are given life eternal while our sinless Savior Jesus the Christ suffers and dies. But it is only through this scandal, that Great Cover-up that we will have life eternally. In His Name Amen.

Philippians 4:7 (ESV) 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Written by dballa

September 10, 2017 at 5:56 am

Posted in Sermons

Healing and Restoration

Jeremiah 15:15–21
September 3, 2017

Philippians 1:2 (ESV) 2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Christ brings Healing and Restoration. But do we see ourselves in need of healing and restoration. Think of it this way. We don’t just wander into an Emergency Room of a Hosptial if there is nothing wrong with us. The Emergency Room is there for a purpose, for those in need of medical care. Likewise do we just wonder into Peace Lutheran Church today, or are we seeking healing and restoration from Christ Jesus our Lord? This may be a tougher question to understand and appropriately answer. The symptoms of a broken arm may be more obvious and acute, that those who need Christ’s healing.

So let’s take a look at what Jeremiah says in Chapter 15, and find out more about the healing and restoration that Christ brings.

Quick summary of Jeremiah who is noted as the weeping prophet. He had tough assignment, to proclaim God’s Word to a people unwilling to listen, and who at times be antagonistic.

The opening words of the Old Testament reading bring this out. Jeremiah 15:15 (ESV) 15 O Lord, you know; remember me and visit me, and take vengeance for me on my persecutors. In your forbearance take me not away; know that for your sake I bear reproach.

Obviously Jeremiah is feeling the pain and burden and notes that he has those that persecute him. But also notice that Jeremiah is not lashing out against the people, but calling upon God for some relief. Why, because Jeremiah knowing that same thing that the prophet says in:

Ezekiel 18:23 (ESV) 23 Have I any pleasure in the death of the wicked, declares the Lord God, and not rather that he should turn from his way and live?

So Jeremiah is trying to remain faithful to God’s Word, for God’s Word is a joy for Him, but yet Jeremiah is still in pain.

Jeremiah 15:18 (ESV) 18 Why is my pain unceasing, my wound incurable, refusing to be healed? Will you be to me like a deceitful brook, like waters that fail?

Notice, the pain the incurable wound, the idea here is that you cannot heal yourself. So if you could fix your own heart attack, or broken bone, but if you cannot fix it, then you need medical attention. Jeremiah cannot fix himself. But how many times have you heard of the cliche, “Time heals all wounds.” The idea here is that just let time pass and the emotional wounds will heal itself. I say emotional wounds because if you have a blockage in your heart, time will not heal it. Then why do we think that if we are wounded emotionally, or spiritually that someone who sins against us that time will just heal the wound. Please note that “Time heals all wounds” is not a Biblical idea.
Jeremiah knew this very well, for people were practicing this during Jeremiah’s day.

Jeremiah 6:14 (ESV) 14 They have healed the wound of my people lightly, saying, ‘Peace, peace,’ when there is no peace.

The spiritual wounds are not healed with time nor denial.

So how are the spiritual and emotional wounds healed, especially when one sins against us?

1 Peter 4:8 (ESV) 8 Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.

John 3:16 (ESV) 16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

Psalm 103:2–3 (ESV) 2 Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, 3 who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, the Psalmist notes healing, but as Luther says in the Large Catechism, We must never regard the sacrament as a harmful thing from which we should flee, but as a pure, wholesome, soothing medicine that aids you and gives life in both soul and body. For where the soul is healed, the body is helped as well. Why, then, do we act as if the sacrament were a poison that would kill us if we ate of it?

Christ is the one who bring this healing, through His death and resurrection as

Isaiah 53:5 (ESV) 5 But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed.

Then why did Jeremiah still have these wounds? The rest of v18 gives us a clue.

Jeremiah 15:18b (ESV) Will you be to me like a deceitful brook, like waters that fail?

One of the professors at Seminary would say, when you see water utilized in the Bible think baptism. Ok, then did Jeremiah’s Baptism fail, deceptive brook? No. God’s promise is there, but do we trust even in the midst of great pain. Jesus notes
John 7:38 (ESV) 38 Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’ ”

v.19 the Thus says the Lord section, the Lord doesn’t directly responds to Jeremiah questions, but instead point Jeremiah to the correct direction.

Jeremiah 15:19 (ESV) 19 Therefore thus says the Lord: “If you return, I will restore you, and you shall stand before me. If you utter what is precious, and not what is worthless, you shall be as my mouth. They shall turn to you, but you shall not turn to them.

Jeremiah is called to return from the wasteland of doubt to a complete trust in Christ Jesus and in the promises He made to the prophet when He was called. Jeremiah is to be the prophet that he was called to be, It will not be an easy life, for evil men will continue to fight against him. Yet the Lord will save and deliver him. Also note that Jeremiah is not to given in to peer pressure, for there is no acknowledgement of sin nor need for a savior who heals sinners. Instead Jeremiah is to stand firm, for the people need to hear the healing message.

God calls Jeremiah to repentance for his doubt and promises to strengthen him for the work ahead. We, too, are often weak and afraid to proclaim Christ’s Word boldly, fearing the reprisals we might suffer, just like Jeremiah. But hear the promise that God gives:

Jeremiah 15:20 (ESV) 20 And I will make you to this people a fortified wall of bronze; they will fight against you, but they shall not prevail over you, for I am with you to save you and deliver you, declares the Lord.

How does Christ do this, that is make us a fortified wall of bronze, to remain firm in the faith:

1 Corinthians 10:13 (ESV) 13 No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.

Luther again in the Large catechism points us to Christ, as we confess our sinfulness.

Rather we give this advice: If you are poor and miserable, then go and make use of the healing medicine. [27] Those who feel their misery and need will no doubt develop such a desire for confession that they will run to it with joy.

Joy in confession, yes, for in confession there is Christ’s healing, which brings us joy.

Yes, Christ Jesus does deliver us that this deliverance gives us joy. Joy that is not a band-aide, but a joy that we realize no matter what happens in this life on earth, our true joy is in Christ Jesus eternally.

The Seventh Petition
But deliver us from evil.
What does this mean?
We pray in this petition, in summary, that our Father in heaven would rescue us from every evil of body and soul, possessions and reputation, and finally, when our last hour comes, give us a blessed end, and graciously take us from this valley of sorrow to Himself in heaven.

Until that time we come here at Peace, where the true peace of Christ’s Promises are heard and Christ’s sacraments are given for forgiveness, for strength, for healing and restoration.

Jeremiah 15:19 (ESV) 19 Therefore thus says the Lord: “If you return, I will restore you, and you shall stand before me.

In the Holy Name of Jesus, Amen.

Philippians 4:7 (ESV) 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Written by dballa

September 2, 2017 at 2:08 pm

Posted in Sermons