Happenings

Sermons by Pastor Walter Snyder plus announcements, articles, videos, and anything else that doesn’t fit Ask the Pastor or the Luther Library.





15 April 2012

Sermon: Easter 2B (Epistle)

15 April AD 2012

Sermon Theme: Proof Positive

Caravaggio's Disbelieving ThomasSummary: Sometimes we hear of “blind faith” regarding Christianity. Existentialist philosopher Søren Kierkegaard spoke of a “leap to faith” (often mistranslated as a “leap of faith”) necessary to resolve paradoxes in Christian doctrine. It is true that one either has or has not faith — there is no middle ground. Unbelievers have no faith in Christ and so cannot move to claim and hold onto His promises. Yet the “leap” is not made blindly but based on the biblical record, with eyes firmly fixed on Jesus.

Likewise, existing believers do not cling blindly to the Christian Faith. What we believe is predicated on actual historical events — particularly the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. We believe God’s Word because that Word became a flesh and blood human being whose life, ministry, suffering, and death were witnessed by many and whose resurrection was attested by the women, Peter and John and the other apostles, the Emmaus Road disciples, Paul, and “more than five hundred brothers at one time. (1 Corinthians 15:6)”

What we have isn’t wishful thinking, satirized by Joe Hill as “pie in the sky.” Faith;— “the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1)” — is certainly created and sustained by the Holy Spirit. Faith, however, doesn’t spring into being in a vacuum; nor does it continue on its own. Rather, our “assurance” and our “conviction” flow from the fact that Jesus Christ is who Scripture claims He is and did and does everything God’s Word says He did and does.

In the past, God used established historical events such as the Red Sea crossing throughout the Old Testament and Creation in Isaiah, to guarantee His promises. Now He points us to Jesus, who “has risen, as he said, (Matthew 28:6)” to attest to the truth and inerrancy of His Word, to guarantee our forgiveness and new life, and to demonstrate His ongoing care for His Church and His entire Creation.

Risen Christ with the DisciplesSermon Text: That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life — the life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to us — that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. And we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete.

This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.

If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.
1 John 1:1-2:2

Scripture quoted from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®, © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Audio: Click to hear the MP3 of Proof Positive, preached to the saints of God at Faith Lutheran Church, Knob Noster, Missouri.

Other Readings: Psalm 148; Acts 4:32-35; John 20:19-31

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