Sunday, November 18, 2012

“He’s Got It!!!” (John 20:31)

S-1342 11/15/12 Hymns: (O) #537; (S) #801; #744; #748 (all from LSB)

Text: Psalm 23; 2 Timothy 4:6-8; John 14:1-6

Theme: “He’s Got It!!!” (John 20:31)

Celebrating the New Life promised to Carl Peter Gjoraas by His Savior, Jesus Christ.

Christ is Risen! He is Risen indeed! Alleluia! The text for the celebration of the new life of our departed brother Carl is his confirmation verse: “But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in His name”(John 20:31).

In the name of Christ Jesus Amen, at times when say we say “he got it” we mean he deserved it. A basketball player gets the Mr. Basketball award, because he has shined on the court. A student gets a full ride scholarship because he has excelled in the classroom. A salesman is awarded the Salesman Year Award because he has sold the most in his department. And a week ago Tuesday, President Obama got the win to serve another 4 more years.

All of these examples are a means to convey that people get things they deserved because of their efforts in life—be it school, work or marriage. Today, we remember with thanksgiving to God the life of one of His saints—Carl Gjorass. How is it that he “got it” – this servant of God, a man who knew his place in this world and gave diligently and freely towards those he loved? For over 57 years He was the loving, caring, husband of Laura, tenderly and gently he nurtured his children Ron, Karen, Noreen and Wayne. He cherished spending time with his grandchildren. He was truly a hard working man, farmer and businessman who took pride in what he did. He knew his place as the redeemed of God and he joyfully served His Lord and His church in many and varies ways. We are grateful to God for all these ways that Carl was a gift to us. Carl, in his long life, may have received this or that honor. However, the text for us today speaks of another getting—one that is a gift and not a reward, that is an undeserved honor from our gracious and loving God.

Listen please to Pastor John’s emphasis in Carl’s confirmation verse. “But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in His name.” This pastor teaches the early Christians and us “But these are written” to suggest that what he has written is to confess, comfort and console his hearers that Christ is the Messiah promised of old. That He is God’s Son in the flesh. That He did everything to demonstrate He is the heaven-sent Savior and the One who had defeated the grave, demolished the devil and done away with the stench of sin through His resurrection on the third day.

Second, John says: “that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God.” that is to say, this Jesus, the One called, the son of Mary, the son of Joseph, the carpenter’s son, Jesus of Nazareth, and of Galilee, was the Christ, the true Messiah; the One anointed by the Holy Spirit and sent by God to redeem the world. He is the One and only who has been anointed to fulfill His mission as Prophet, Priest, and King, and offering His life as a ransom for all of humanity. He is none other than the One promised to our first parents in the Garden when they fell into sin. He is the One Moses spoke about in Deuteronomy “The Lord Your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your brothers—it is to Him you shall listen” (18:15). He is the One the prophets spoke about and the Psalmists praised.

Through these signs men are called to believe in Him and through the greatest sign of His resurrection, He demonstrated to the world that He is the True Son of Man and God. Jesus is the Divine taking flesh and blood and standing among the Jewish people of Palestine. This is an article of faith that is attested by God, by angels, and men; and is confirmed by all the disciples as the One who conquers death and the grave and gives us eternal life.

Third, John continues by saying “and that by believing you may have life in His name.” believers have their spiritual and eternal life through Christ; their life of grace, of justification by Him, of sanctification from Him, and communion with Him; the support and maintenance of their spiritual life, and all the comforts of it: and also their life of glory, or eternal life, they have through, or in His name; it lies in His person, it comes to them through Him as the procuring cause of it; it is for His sake bestowed upon them, yes it is in His hands to give it, and He gives it to all that believe: not that believing is the cause of their enjoyment of this life, or is their title to it, which is the name, person, blood, and righteousness of Christ; but faith is the way and means in which they enjoy it; and therefore these signs are written by the evangelist for the encouragement of this faith in Christ, which is of such use in the enjoyment of life, in, through, and from Him.

That is why we can say with confidence that He’s got it! What is it that Carl has gotten? On August 11, 1919, as the Pastor poured the water over Him in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit—in that gift we call Baptism; he got new life, salvation, forgiveness of sins, and peace with Christ and became a child of the heavenly King. Because of Christ’s life-giving Word, Carl got to hear and learn the message of the cross that saved Him. As he knelt at the Altar to receive the body and blood of His Lord and Savior he got the confirmation of how much he is loved and cherished.

Indeed Carl got it. He didn’t get it because he deserved it. He didn’t get it because he excelled at holy living. Nor did he get it because he shined more than others. No, Carl got it because our Lord Jesus Christ gave it to him. He got it this past Friday when the Lord called him home and said, “Come home son, your room is ready!” He got it ALL—life—eternal life with Christ His Savior in the blessed heaven prepared for him. He got life and salvation because by faith he believed in Jesus as His only Savior and God.

This why we can say with great joy, CARL GOT IT! He got the gift of eternal life through and on account of Christ His Savior. Amen.

Now the peace…


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