Showing posts from August, 2014

Sermon on Romans 11:33-12:8, for the 11th Sunday after Pentecost, "Transformed for Service" Part 10

Part 10 of a sermon series based on Romans 6-14, "God's Greater Story".  In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen. As we enter Romans 12, a quick recap of where we have been so far in the book of Romans is in order. Chapter 12 marks a significant transition in the topic of the book, marked by a “Therefore.” And as we said before, a good rule when reading, is when you see a “therefore”…ask what is it there for ? It connects what follows, with what came before. Starting from Romans 6, we talked about how we’ve been baptized into God’s Greater Story. In chapters 7-8 We heard how that Greater Story unfolds to us through Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. In chapters 9-11 we’ve learned about God’s Greater People, the community of His church. And in these final weeks we’ll see God’s Greater Plan for our lives—the way He desires us to be people of mercy in response to His mercy toward us in Christ Jesus. The “therefore” tells us that the Christian

Sermon on Romans 11:1-2a, 13-32, for the 10th Sunday after Pentecost, "People of Faith and Mercy", Part 9

Sermon on Romans 11:1-2a, 13-32, part 9 of a 13 part series in Romans, "God's Greater Story." This sermon is not adapted from the series. In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen. Today in Romans chapter 11, we come to another challenging and often misused Bible passage, which is partly why I expanded the verses included in the reading, from what you find in the bulletin insert. Paul renews his discussion from Romans 9 about the make-up and identity of the church, the relation of Jews and Gentiles (non-Jewish peoples) in the church, and the mysteries of God’s eternal choosing or predestination of His people. Part of Paul’s aim in Ch. 11 is to reign in a dangerous attitude of pride or arrogance. From any Gentile Christians who might look down on or even ignore the Jews who had fallen away from God through unbelief in Jesus, and so were under the present “partial hardening” that Paul describes. Paul wants to teach us Gentiles of our place

Sermon on Romans 10:5-17, 9th Sunday after Pentecost, "People with a Purpose", Part 8

Sermon on Romans 10:5-17, part 8 of a 13 part series in Romans, "God's Greater Story." This sermon is not adapted from the series. Grace, mercy, and peace to you from God our Father and from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, Amen. Last week in Romans 9 we heard St. Paul’s impassioned love for his people the Jews, many who had hardened their hearts against believing in Jesus as Savior. Chapter 9 went on into the mystery of God’s eternal election—or choosing the people of His promise. While we did not delve into those mysteries of election, or how God chooses—we did hear loud and clear from Paul that God’s choice is not based on works, either good or bad, it is not based on our human will or exertion, but only based on Him who calls, in His mercy. We cannot earn our way into God’s favor, but rather it is entirely up to God and His undeserved love, who He calls to believe in Him and be saved. It’s God’s sovereign right to do this, Paul argues, against any claims that i

Sermon on Romans 9:1-13, for the 8th Sunday after Pentecost, "People of Promise", Part 7

Note: The following sermon is part 7 of  a 13 part series on Romans 6-14, adapted from the Series "God's Greater Story" by Rev. David Schmitt of Concordia Seminary, St. Louis. I did not preach sermons 4-7 in the series, if you are following along on the blog. In the beginning of the sermon I allude the difficulty of Romans ch. 9, referring to the passages about election and specifically vs. 13. In this sermon I did not tackle that large and complex issue, which would require a whole sermon in itself. However, for the interested reader, I can commend no better summary of the issue of election and predestination than the summary found here  or here   These are, respectively the Epitome (short version) and Solid Declaration (long version) of the Formula of Concord, from the Lutheran Confessions found in the Book of Concord. While not resolving all difficulties and potential questi