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

16 February 2014

Sermon: Epiphany 6A (OT)

16 February AD 2014
The Sixth Sunday after the Epiphany

Title: Jesus’ Surprising Choice (MP3 Audio)

Choice Summary: When we don’t understand and correctly interpret Scripture, we may confuse our way to life with God. The Law says, “Choose. Decide. Do.” We think, “I can choose to love God. I can decide to serve Him. I can do as He commands.”

However, the promises of the Law are only for those who keep it in absolute holiness, never breaking a single command, never doubting, never sinning against God or others in thought, word, and deed. This means that if we would save ourselves through our own deeds, we are doomed.

owever, Jesus chose to help us. He chose evil — not to commit but to remove from us and take upon Himself. Therefore, the sinless Son of God also chose death — the death of an evildoer suffering the consequence of sin. He did so that we sinners might live.

Now we discover that God has chosen us because His Son chose to die for us. He chooses to credit Christ’s righteousness to our accounts. He chose us to live with Him now and evermore.

What seems from our human perspective to be us choosing life and good is instead our acknowledgment of God’s choice. We choose the gift we already have. We choose Christ because He chose us. We choose to have Him as our God because He chose to make us His children.

It’s really no decision, is it? Our choice is faith’s “Amen” — our confession that we have all that we need, that we believe God’s promises: He is faithful, His Word true, and our salvation certain.

Moses Addresses Israel Text: “See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil.

“If you obey the commandments of the Lord your God that I command you today, by loving the Lord your God, by walking in his ways, and by keeping his commandments and his statutes and his rules, then you shall live and multiply, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land that you are entering to take possession of it.

“But if your heart turns away, and you will not hear, but are drawn away to worship other gods and serve them, I declare to you today, that you shall surely perish. You shall not live long in the land that you are going over the Jordan to enter and possess. I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse.

“Therefore choose life, that you and your offspring may live, loving the Lord your God, obeying his voice and holding fast to him, for he is your life and length of days, that you may dwell in the land that the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.” Deuteronomy 30:15-20

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 Jesus’ Surprising Choice. Preached to the saints of God at Trinity Lutheran Church, Alma, 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 119:1-8; 1 Corinthians 3:1-9; Matthew 5:21-37

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