S-1375-11SAP/C 8/04/2013 Hymns: (O) #342; (S) #398; #; (C) #412
Texts: Ecclesiastes 1:2, 12-14; 2:18-28; Colossians 3:1-11; Luke 12:13-21
Theme: “Let It GO!” (Colossians 3:5-6)
Question: “How easy is it for you to let go of things?” Armour, SD
Faithful followers of the Savior, Christ is Risen! He is Risen indeed! Alleluia! The text is from the Epistle lesson: “Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. On account of these the wrath of God is coming” (Colossians 3:5-6).
INTRODUCTION: In Nomine Iesu.
Precious children of the heavenly Father, God’s living Word is the TREASURE of our lives. It is the compass by which we live, move and have our being. It is the power and source of our joy in sorrow, our strength in weakness and our light in darkness. The Word of God is our guiding light (Psalm 119:105) for survival on this planet we call earth.
However, not all people including Christian people, people like us, live daily by obeying and keeping God’s infallible Word on the journey of life. Many say, if you want to live as a homosexual, lesbian, or shack up together before marriage go ahead and do it. Abortion is not wrong. Lying, cheating and stealing are your privilege to be the free man or woman you want to be. The world and the society we live in would have us ignore God’s precious Word. Many voices in our world would say live and let live. Don’t worry about what the Bible teaches after all it is not true. There is no heaven or hell and there are no consequences to sin.
But that is not the case faithful saints in Christ. God’s Word is eternal and it changes not. And it’s about time, we, His followers stand up for the truth it teaches and live according to it. It is time that we learn what the Bible says and let it be our compass in life. PAUSE.
Truthfully, I’ve had it up to here (point to my nose) I am sick and tired of everyone telling me I have to be tolerant. I am sick and tired of someone telling me to be politically correct and not offend anyone. I’ve had enough of the media saying be careful of what you say to others because we DARE not hurt someone else’s feeling. I’m beside myself with the idea that everyone including evil and criminal people ought to be treated as if they were royalty.
It is time for us to stop and let go of these kinds of thoughts and the ways we use to live. Listen to how Pastor Paul teaches us to live. “Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. On account of these the wrath of God is coming.” Paul is saying to us, that is how you use to live in the past. But let go of the past and hold on to the present that guarantees your future. There is a new you. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come” (2 Cor. 5:17). It is time to let go because we are no longer the same people, we have been changed, we have been purified, we have been redeemed, we have been washed in the waters of baptism, and we have been sanctified for a different life style—to live for Jesus and spread His kingdom.
Today, you and I are called upon to let go of the things that drag us down and shame the name of Jesus. Today, you and I are called to let go of the gossip, hatred, envy, jealousy, lust and evil desires. It is time we live as the Baptized and Redeemed of God.
We can’t be like the world or some other churches. We are called to be different because we are different—because we are the baptized and forgiven people of God. We no longer live our life for ourselves but for Him who died and rose for us Christ Jesus. As we live for Him the Holy Spirit will strengthen us to let go of the things that cling to us.
The church IS accepting of those who are beset by the sin of same sex attraction. There is nothing “special” about this sin over and above others. Lying, murder, and cheating are all the same as homosexual attraction. Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God” (1 Corinthians 6:9–10 ESV).
Paul’s point here is not to single out certain sins as damning, but to accuse us all of these very sins! We all stand condemned in our sin, but the Apostle continues, “And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God” (1 Corinthians 6:11, ESV).
Christians are declared righteous in the name of the heaven-sent Savior—Jesus. That is, our righteousness comes to us because we are forgiven by the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. His death in the place of the sinner. His life given as the replacement and punishment for the sinner. Forgiveness is the free gift of God given to those who trust that Jesus is their Savior and Redeemer. That is what it means to be a Christian. Looking to Jesus on the cross as Jesus on the cross for you! Christians are called to live the forgiven life, not to continue living in sin, but to live in Christ. Christians hate sin, especially their own. And that is why we must by the strength and power of the Holy Spirit let go of that kind of lifestyle. PAUSE.
Precious children of God, you who are so blessed to have Jesus as Your Lord and Savior; have been coming to this house of worship to be fed and nourished for years. For over 70 years the truth of Scripture has been taught in this place, to equip you to live not only for today, but for eternity. You have been called a follower of Jesus, then, let the people around you know you have been purchased by His blood. Let go of gossip. Let go of hatred. Let go of grudges. Let go of past sins, they have been nailed to the cross of Jesus and you’re a new creation in Him. Daily, the Holy Spirit leads us to live and honor Him. Daily we share His story as it continues to be written in our hearts and heads. PAUSE.
Years ago I heard of two pastors who were putting up two signs on the road which went between their churches. They got the first sign up. It read: “The end is near. Turn around now before it is too late.” They were getting ready to put up the second sign when a car went shooting by them. As it did, the driver stuck his head out the window saying, “Why don’t you religious nuts leave us alone!” Both car and driver disappeared around the curve ahead. In a few seconds the pastors heard the screech of braking tires and a splash. The preachers looked at each other and quickly put up the second sign which read: “Danger! Bridge Out Ahead!” That second sign is what we have been called to do for Jesus. We are called to be caring, loving, forgiving and sharing the Gospel with the world which is still blind and deaf to the message of the cross and the empty tomb.
Saints in Christ, you can call me a religious nut if you want, but today you’ve heard the truth of the treasure of the Word of God. This treasure leads to eternal life only when we believe it and live according to it. It is my prayer that the story of the Savior has touched your heart and moves you by His grace to let go and live for Him in joy and peace forever. Amen.
Now the peace of God…
SOLI DEO GLORIA