S‑1070 08/24/2008 15SAP/3A Hymns: (O) #299; (S) #647; L.S. #514; #388; #313; (C) #36
Texts: Isaiah 56:1-6; Romans 11:33-12:8; Matthew 16:13-20
Theme: “Let God Be God!” (Romans 11:33-36).
Armour, SD. SOLIE DEO GLORIA.
Question: “Can you identify the real God?”
Faithful followers of the Savior, Christ is Risen! He is Risen indeed! Alleluia! The text for our meditation is from the book of Romans. “Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and how inscrutable His ways! For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been His counselor? Or who has given a gift to Him that He might be repaid? For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be glory forever. Amen” (Rom. 11:33-36).
INTRODUCTION: Saints in Christ the world in which we live in is not fair. Perhaps you have been watching the Beijing Olympics. If you have, you must agree that there have been some questionable decisions by the judges. One such decision that caused many to question the outcome was in the uneven bar program. After the Chinese and American gymnasts were done they received the same identical score. However, the Chinese gymnast won the Gold medal and the American gymnast got the Silver medal because of some ridiculous method to determine the outcome. As Nastia Liukun sat there stunned, she asked the question, “Why?” The answer because the system is not fair, and neither is life. A 12 year old girl is diagnosed with a brain tumor. After the surgery to remove the tumor, the child dies. The parents are crushed. A young couple bring their infant son home after birth. A week later, the child dies in his crib. Their lives are turned upside down; their hearts are broken and filled with sorrow. Life is not fair.
Sometimes we think that we are being mistreated and misjudged. We complain that we didn’t get the best deal that we should have. We wonder why my neighbor got an inch of rain, and I only 500 feet away from him, didn’t get a drop. Life is not fair. We wonder how come I was overlooked with the promotion, but the newest employee gets it. Why not me? Life is not fair. But what is fair? Fair is getting what we think we should.
Certainly there are many incidents in life that we question the fairness of what has been dealt to us. Why should we be in this position and how could God do this to me?
But as we look at the words of the Apostle Paul, it becomes plainly clear that God is God and we are His created people. We are not gods. We don’t have the mind of God. We don’t act or think like God. Oh, sure sometimes we think we know more than God and question His authority, but we can’t. It is unsearchable.
In the text before us today, Paul by the mighty power of the Holy Spirit, challenges us to look closely at who God is and what He has done. With these words, Paul gives us questions that demand an answer: Paul put it this way: For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been His counselor? The answer plain and simple is no one. He was here before the foundation of the world. He set the order of the Universe in place. So how can we question Him, His authority or His might?
People have tried and are still trying. In the book of Job we read these words:
“Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind and said: ‘Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge? Dress for action like a man; I will question you, and you make it known to me. Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding. Who determined its measurements—surely you know! Or who stretched the line upon it? On what were its bases sunk, or who laid its cornerstone, when the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy? Or who shut in the sea with doors when it burst out from the womb, when I made clouds its garment and thick darkness its swaddling band, and prescribed limits for it and set bars and doors, and said, “Thus far shall you come, and no farther, and here shall your proud waves be stayed”? (Job 38:1-13).
This is our God who is speaking. He is telling Job and us that He is God and therefore let Him be God. But sadly things have not changed. People today still question God, His method, His Means of Grace and the authority of this message that we proclaim Sunday after Sunday.
People haven’t changed. They think they know more than God. When God says, “Take a little water and attach it to my Word and Baptize a child so that she (like Marissa) might become My child, forgiven of her sins and receiving the Holy Spirit”. They snuff their noses and say, “water can’t do that! You can’t convince me that Baptism saves!” When Jesus said, “Take eat, this IS My body…Take drink this IS My blood” People scoff and laugh that the simple wafer and wine, can truly be the Life-giving Body and Blood of Jesus. They say, “It can’t be!” In essence they are saying to God you don’t know what we know.
Even politicians think they know more than God and question His authority. A senator in a speech On June 28th of 2006 said in convention titled “A Call to Renewal” these words: “Which passages of Scripture should guide our public policy? Should we go with Leviticus which suggests slight relocate? Or we could go with Deuteronomy, which suggest stoning your child if he strays from the faith? Or should we just stick to the Sermon on the Mount, a passage that is so radical, that is doubtful that our own defense department would survive its application? Folks have not been reading their Bible!”
This senator has arrogantly mocked and ridiculed the books of Leviticus, Deuteronomy, and the Sermon on the Mount, taking those passages of the Bible so painfully out of context and condescending that folks have not been reading the Bible. People read the Bible, but don’t believe everything because they think God is not fair.
These people who deny the power of God and don’t let God be God are people without true faith in Jesus Christ. They show they have a religion without God. But what is a religion without God but a house without a foundation, an ocean without water, and a person without a heart and soul? (From God Grant It, C.F.W. Walther P. 692).
God is more than fair. Jesus the just dies for the unjust to bring us to God (1 Peter 3:18) If anyone ever got the short end of the stick it was Jesus. Although He was sinless, He takes on all the sin of the world. He gets stuck with our sin. God is more than fair. Jesus suffers hell so that we might have heaven. The sweet swap. Jesus gets our sin, we get His sinlessness.
I wonder how we would do if God said, we could run the world for one day. Thankfully, we don’t have to. We have a God who loves us more than we can imagine and cares for us in more ways than we can think off.
And if we think life is not fair then consider this please: We can pile injustice after injustice about the unfairness that we get. But be aware there nothing more unfair in the history of the world than the cross of Christ. You want to talk about fair? Then study the Word of the Lord and see what it says, about His holy sinless, spotless Son of God, who endured all of God’s wrath and judgment for us. This is not fair. But He did it for YOU.
In Your eyes, God may appear that He is not fair. The reason is because we are not God. We don’t see what God sees. We don’t know what God knows. We don’t think or act like God does. For if He treated us like we deserved, we would all be damned to hell.
But thank God we are not gods, but the Lord, Jesus Christ is. He loved us, poured His mercy upon us, forgiven us all of our sins and sends us on our way with the simple but joyful task to live for Him as Living Sacrifice and to share His love with the world. Being a sacrifice isn’t easy. But it is when we know the hard part has already been done by Jesus. We deserve the sacrifice of the cross. But Jesus took it. Now, called by faith we become the sacrifice every day. God grant us the grace to be sacrificial in our following Him, be living in our worship of Him and transformed in our service to Him now and always. AMEN
Now the peace of God…