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

28 August 2016

Pentecost 15 Sermon: True Humility

Preached on Luke 14:1-14
The Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost — Proper 17C
28 August AD 2016

Title: True Humility (MP3 Audio)

Luke 14:10 Summary: To be truly humble is not to go about feeling worthless. It isn’t a life of emotionally abasing and berating yourself. It is, however, learning to see ourselves and others the way God does — as hurting sinners and as forgiven people for whom Christ died.

Living in a nursing home, as do most of those in attendance for this sermon, is humbling on a earthly level. Yet even there, residents need to be reminded that the God who loves them equally loves each of their fellow residents and all who are entrusted with their care. Their low estate doesn’t give them license to take advantage of, bully, or ignore the needs of others.

They — as do we — also need constant reminder that all sins are forgiven. Christ humbled Himself, taking on our flesh and claiming ownership of our sins so that we might be raised up and exalted by Him. Remembering His atoning sacrifice leads believers to joyfully respond and lovingly look out for their neighbor’s best interests.

True Christian humility isn’t a self-started work designed to please or appease God. Instead, it is generated as faith’s response to the Gospel’s freedom. Humility is our acceptance that we are truly no better, holier, or more worthy than anyone else and the God-given desire and ability to act on this knowledge in true love for others.

Humility, then, is the Christian’s “sacrifice of thanksgiving (Psalm 116:17).” It’s the ongoing action of confessing to God and to others that we lowly sinners who deserve God’s wrath are nevertheless also forgiven saints and worthy of eternal glory for the sake of Christ Jesus.

Luke 14:13 Text: One Sabbath, when he went to dine at the house of a ruler of the Pharisees, they were watching him carefully. And behold, there was a man before him who had dropsy. And Jesus responded to the lawyers and Pharisees, saying, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath, or not?” But they remained silent.

Then he took him and healed him and sent him away. And he said to them, “Which of you, having a son or an ox that has fallen into a well on a Sabbath day, will not immediately pull him out?” And they could not reply to these things.

Now he told a parable to those who were invited, when he noticed how they chose the places of honor, saying to them, “When you are invited by someone to a wedding feast, do not sit down in a place of honor, lest someone more distinguished than you be invited by him, and he who invited you both will come and say to you, ‘Give your place to this person,’ and then you will begin with shame to take the lowest place.

“But when you are invited, go and sit in the lowest place, so that when your host comes he may say to you, ‘Friend, move up higher.’ Then you will be honored in the presence of all who sit at table with you. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

He said also to the man who had invited him, “When you give a dinner or a banquet, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, lest they also invite you in return and you be repaid. But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the just.” Luke 14:1-14

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 True Humility.

NB: A few people have had problems trying to play the inline audio with Windows Media 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 131; Proverbs 25:2-10; Hebrews 13:1-17

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