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30 March 2014

Sermon: Lent 4 (OT)

30 March AD 2014
Laetare — The Fourth Sunday in Lent

Title: A Time of Favor (MP3 Audio)

Benediction Summary: If God waited around until we were ready to enter His presence, He would wait literally forever. Since Adam’s fall, there has never been and will never be a time when we will have made ourselves favorable in His eyes.

Because of this, we know that the “time of favor” in today’s text is a time chosen, established, and accomplished solely by God. The favor is strictly His choice — it cannot be based on our merit.

God chose this time of favor, known also as “the fullness of time,” from all eternity. It was the time of His Son’s incarnation, birth, life, suffering, death, and resurrection. It was the time ordained for mankind’s salvation.

We are in a time of favor as we live under grace, being baptized, hearing the Gospel, and receiving Absolution and Communion. Here, we receive the blessings and benefits won for us by the Son upon whom God’s favor rested.

He who endured His Father’s disfavor and disavowal won pardon and peace, forgiveness and fellowship for all. Now all who believe receive God’s favor, His gracious forgiveness that we claim through faith in Christ Jesus.

God's Favor Through Christ's Suffering Text: Thus says the Lord: “In a time of favor I have answered you; in a day of salvation I have helped you; I will keep you and give you as a covenant to the people, to establish the land, to apportion the desolate heritages, saying to the prisoners, ‘Come out,’ to those who are in darkness, ‘Appear.’

“They shall feed along the ways; on all bare heights shall be their pasture; they shall not hunger or thirst, neither scorching wind nor sun shall strike them, for he who has pity on them will lead them, and by springs of water will guide them.

“And I will make all my mountains a road, and my highways shall be raised up. Behold, these shall come from afar, and behold, these from the north and from the west, and these from the land of Syene.”

“Sing for joy, O heavens, and exult, O earth; break forth, O mountains, into singing! For the Lord has comforted his people and will have compassion on his afflicted.” (Isaiah 49:8-13)

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 A Time of Favor.

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 132:8-18; Galatians 4:21-31; John 6:1-15

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