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

18 March 2012

Sermon: Lent 4B (OT)

Sermon Theme: Self-Raising, Self-Defeating

The Bronze SerpentSummary: In pride, we raise ourselves up, assuming rights of priority and claiming privileges that are not ours. We ignore or downplay our sinfulness and find ways of worshiping, praising, and exalting ourselves.

While not always crassly direct in our approach, we still find ways of insisting that God and other people treat us the way we think that we deserve to be treated. Of course, this ignores the treatment that sinners deserve — and will receive — from a just and righteous God.

Only when we turn away from self-interest and self-worship and fix our eyes on Jesus (cf. Hebrews 12:1-2) do we find what we need from God: Forgiveness, life, and salvation in His Son Jesus. He was raised up on the cross just as the bronze serpent was raised above Israel’s camp and He brings complete healing from the venom inflicted by that old serpent Satan.

Text: From Mount Hor they set out by the way to the Red Sea, to go around the land of Edom. And the people became impatient on the way. And the people spoke against God and against Moses, “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? For there is no food and no water, and we loathe this worthless food.”

Then the Lord sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people, so that many people of Israel died. And the people came to Moses and said, “We have sinned, for we have spoken against the Lord and against you. Pray to the Lord, that he take away the serpents from us.”

So Moses prayed for the people. And the Lord said to Moses, “Make a fiery serpent and set it on a pole, and everyone who is bitten, when he sees it, shall live.”

So Moses made a bronze serpent and set it on a pole. And if a serpent bit anyone, he would look at the bronze serpent and live.
Numbers 21:4-9

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 MP3 of Self-Raising, Self-Defeating, preached at Bethlehem Lutheran Church, Warrensburg, Missouri.

Other Readings: Psalm 107:1-9; Ephesians 2:1-10; John 3:14-21

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