Eternal Savior Lutheran Church

A member of the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod

2688 North Park Drive
Lafayette, CO 80026
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PENTECOST 5 – July 14, 2019 – Leviticus 19:9-19 “THE MERCY AND LOVE OF GOD”

Introduction:  Grace be to you and peace, from God our Father, and from our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ.  Our text is the Old Testament Lesson just read, from Leviticus 19.  We begin with prayer.

 

Dear fellow disciples of our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ:

  • This speech of Moses was initiated by God laying out for Moses His good and gracious will for His people. They were to honor Him, and not practice the idolatry or the immorality of the Egyptians – from which they were coming; nor that of the Canaanites – the land they were entering. 
  • All of God’s instructions are predicated upon His great love for His people, His mighty deliverance from Egypt, and the promise of deliverance from sin, death, and the devil, in the “seed of the woman,” in the Lord Jesus Christ.  It is His love that is critical for His people to live in – by faith.  It is the knowledge of God’s great love for us that is to move us to truly love others.  And that includes staying clear of idolatry and immorality, and encouraging others to do the same.
  • And so in our text, after each instruction there is the reminder: “I am the Lord your God, I am the Lord.”  This is not a threat; it is a reminder of the gracious mercy and love of God!  And if we remember His love, then all of His commandments will make complete sense to us, and we will be eager to be a “good Samaritan,” and to do good to all people just as His Word instructs us! 
  • We have an example of this kind of love and goodness in the Gospel Lesson. In the Epistle Paul first reminds us of the wondrous gifts of salvation and eternal life which God has given us.  He cites this as the basis for his encouragement that we “walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to Him.”
  • So this morning we want to look once again at “THE MERCY AND LOVE OF GOD,” and the consequences that knowing His love has for our behavior.

 

I.  God’s Ways And The Christian Life Are Contrary To Worldly Ways

 

A.  The Christian Life Is Centered In Knowing God As He Truly Is

 

John 3:16  “God so love the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.”

 

John 17:1-3 “Father, the hour has come; glorify Your Son that the Son may glorify You,  since You have given Him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom You have given Him.  And this is eternal life, that they know You the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.”

 

1 John 4:8  “God is love.”

 

B.  So The Christian Life Rejects Idolatry And Immorality

 

Leviticus 18:3  “You shall not do as they do in the land of Egypt, where you lived, and you shall not do as they do in the land of Canaan, to which I am bringing you. You shall not walk in their statutes. “

 

Statement:  We do not always think of it as being so, but to offer up your time, perhaps your talent, and almost certainly your money to a “god” who is not real, is no god at all, is not only a grievous evil, but it also denudes you of wealth that could be used to help others or to advance the cause of Christ’s kingdom.  Likewise, all forms of immorality are demonstrably evil and harmful to people. For all of these sins, which we at times engage in,we must be in constant repentance.  Then we can know how well God loves us, as He “forgives our iniquity and remembers our sin no more.” [Jer. 31:34] 

 

Application:  Ignorance of God’s gracious mercy, forgiveness, and eternal love makes it impossible to truly know Him.  If we think that our relationship with God is based in our performance, and not purely in His gracious love, we remain ignorant of God as He truly is.  This is remaining in death.  So let us by all means first and foremost confess our sins so that we may receive His gracious mercy and forgiveness.  In this way we will indeed come to know God’s love for us, and we will also have eternal life! 

 

Transition:  Then we will also be equipped to “walk in a manner that is worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to Him.”  For:

 

II.  God Is Love, And He Is Richly Generous – And We Are To Be Likewise

A.  Our Selfish And Greedy Ambition Is To Be Kept In Check – Gleanings Are To Be Left For The Poor And The Sojourner

 

Text:  “When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap your field right up to its edge, neither shall you gather the gleanings after your harvest.  And you shall not strip your vineyard bare, neither shall you gather the fallen grapes of you vineyard.  You shall leave them for the poor and for the sojourner; I am the Lord your God.”

 

B.  There Is To Be No Stealing, False Witness, Or Economic Abuse

 

Text:  “You shall not steal; you shall not deal falsely, you shall not lie to one another.  You shall not swear by My Name falsely, and so profane the Name of your God.   You shall not oppress your neighbor or rob him.  The wages of a hired servant shall not remain with you all night until morning.

 

C.  We Are To Be Merciful And Kind To The Disabled

 

Text:  “You shall not curse the deaf or put a stumbling block before the blind, but you shall fear your God; I am the Lord.”

 

D.  We Dare Not Engage In Injustice, Slander, Hatred, Or Vengeance

 

Text:  “You shall do no injustice in court. You shall not be partial to the poor or defer to the great, but in righteousness shall you judge your neighbor.  You shall not go around as a slanderer among your people, and you shall not stand up against the life of your neighbor: I am the LORD.  You shall not hate your brother in your heart, but you shall reason frankly with your neighbor, lest you incur sin because of him.  You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against the sons of your own people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the LORD.”

 

Statement:  Obviously, the account of Jesus and the example of the Good Samaritan illustrate what God wants of us.  When we recognize our failures – for we are selfish, and sometimes greedy, at least to a degree, and we are willing at times to slander with gossip, and even to hate others, or to take vengeance upon another – then we should by all means repent and confess our sins to the Lord.  Then we will once again hear the assurance of His Word, that our sins have all been washed away and forgiven in the blood of Jesus, the Lamb of God.  Then we will hear the reassurance of God’s love for us. 

 

Application: And as we grow in our knowledge of God’s grace, mercy, and love – and this is eternal life – then we will grow in our desire to love as He has loved us.  And we will then know how to love as well, as His Word instructs us!

 

Conclusion:  All of this is predicated upon the gracious deliverance and salvation of God – in the Lord Jesus Christ.  He has freed us from our sins and given us eternal life.  So He also says to us:  “I am the Lord your God, I am the Lord.” 

 

And if we truly know Him, we also love Him.  And as we love Him, He wills for us to express this love in our love, kindness, and mercy to others.

 

So it is with “THE MERCY AND LOVE OF GOD.”  It flows into and out of us, and accomplishes great things.  We are blessed inwardly, and so many others are blessed outwardly by our works of love.  And some of these folks, impacted by our love, might also be blessed inwardly.  God grant it in abundance to each of us.  Amen.

 

Votum:  And the peace of God, which surpasses all human understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds in the true faith, which is in Christ Jesus, even unto life everlasting.  Amen.