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

08 March 2015

Sermon: Lent 3B (OT)

8 March AD 2015
The Third Sunday in Lent

Title: I Am the Lord Your God (MP3 Audio)

Mount Sinai Summary: Commandments. Law. Imperatives. Promises. Many people treat the Ten Commandments as a roadmap to God. Indeed, if we kept them without fail, we would be in His presence. Yet there is a judgment involved for all who would live by the Law.

These few statements in their bare simplicity tell us something else: We can’t keep them. We can’t — and we don’t and we won’t — even come close. And if we ask the Lord to judge us based upon our following them, we shouldn’t be surprised when He tells us how completely and spectacularly we’ve failed.

What hope do we have? The same as did Israel when they gathered around Mount Sinai. The Lord their God had already drawn them to Himself, bringing them “out of the Land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.” Likewise, the Lord your God saved you from sin and death by Christ’s suffering, death, and resurrection. He brought you out of Satan’s bondage, freeing you to be His dear child.

For the believer, then, the Law isn’t an untraceable path or an insurmountable barrier to living with God. Instead, it becomes an illustration of how God’s family lives. It’s a visual reminder of what fearing, loving, and trusting Him and loving our neighbor is all about. Keeping it neither saves nor sanctifies us. God saves us. God makes us holy. He then moves us to thankfulness expressed in faith toward Him and in fervent love toward one another.

Still, however, the Christian cannot forget that the Law always accuses. For even as we are saints by divine declaration, we remain also sinners. When we take our eyes off of the Lord our God, flouting His rule and flaunting our false gods, we need to hear plainly and clearly that we are wrong and in danger of bringing judgment upon ourselves.

God doesn’t bring our focus back on His Law in order that we might restore ourselves to His good graces. No, He does so that we might crave the forgiveness that is already ours in Christ Jesus. He reminds us that His Son already kept the Law on our behalf and that His absolute and unswerving obedience in thought, word and deed is credited to us as gift in the Gospel.

Red Sea Crossing Text: And God spoke all these words, saying, “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.

“You shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.

“You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain.

“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates. For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.

10 Commandments “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.

“You shall not murder.

“You shall not commit adultery.

“You shall not steal.

“You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

“You shall not covet your neighbor’s house.

“You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s.” Exodus 20:1-17

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 I Am the Lord Your God.

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 19; 1 Corinthians 1:18-31; John 2:13-22 (23-25)

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