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

09 December 2012

Sermon: Advent 2C (OT)

9 December AD 2012

Title: Refined and Purified (MP3 Audio)

Jesus' Baptism
Summary: We need to be cleansed of our sinfulness, guilt, and shame. Like raw ore, we need to be refined and purified in order to receive Christ and His gifts. The Law has the power of the refiner’s fire, able to burn away sin. It can scour us cleaner than the harshest fuller’s soap. Unfortunately, the cure is so harsh that it will destroy us.

Instead, God abandoned Jesus to the smelter’s crucible. He sent Him forth to be scrubbed clean — not of his own sins, but of ours. He obediently humbled Himself, experiencing temptation, pain, sorrow, and death that He might purify us.

When the washing comes, it isn’t harsh and violent but gentle, as we are baptized into Christ’s name. Holy Baptism applies the refiner’s fire and the harsh alkali soap of purification and washes away all our sins. He who took our sins upon Himself at His baptism comes in ours to “cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9)”

Text: “Behold, I send my messenger, and he will prepare the way before me. And the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple; and the messenger of the covenant in whom you delight, behold, he is coming, says the Lord of hosts.

Refiner's Fire
“But who can endure the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appears? For he is like a refiner’s fire and like fullers’ soap. He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, and they will bring offerings in righteousness to the Lord. Then the offering of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasing to the Lord as in the days of old and as in former years.

“Then I will draw near to you for judgment. I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, against the adulterers, against those who swear falsely, against those who oppress the hired worker in his wages, the widow and the fatherless, against those who thrust aside the sojourner, and do not fear me, says the Lord of hosts.

“For I the Lord do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, are not consumed. From the days of your fathers you have turned aside from my statutes and have not kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you, says the Lord of hosts.” Malachi 3:1-7b

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 Refined and Purified, preached to the saints of God at Faith Lutheran Church, Knob Noster, Missouri.

NB: For some reason, a few people have had problems trying to play the inline audio if Windows Media is their default MP3 player. If this occurs, you can either change to QuickTime or another default browser player, copy and paste the link directly into a selected player, or download it to your computer, where it seems to work regardless of which player. Several folks have suggested VLC Player from VideoLAN.

Other Readings: Psalm 66:1-12; Philippians 1:2-11; Luke 3:1-14 (15-20)

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