Eternal Savior Lutheran Church

A member of the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod

2688 North Park Drive
Lafayette, CO 80026
303-665-6105
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ALL SAINTS SUNDAY – Nov. 4, 2018 – Matthew 5:1-12 “REJOICE AND BELIEVE”

Introduction:  Grace be to you and peace, from God our Father, and from our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ.  Our text is the Gospel Lesson just read, from Matthew 5.  We begin with prayer.

 

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

  • What does it mean to be a Christian? What does it mean to be a child of God?  Or a saint? 
  • I know I have had a lot of different ideas about these things through the years, and have also heard a lot of things that reveal what others think about “being a Christian.”
  • Most of it centers in being a good person, doing good things, not sinning, not being a bad person. But I have not yet met such a Christian.  They are all people who are aptly described in Scripture as having a sinful nature.  Yes, they are people who are battling against that nature!
  • In our text Jesus describes people who are “blessed.” We should really get a grasp on this.  You remember that famous statement of Jesus, that: “God so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should have everlasting life.”  “He that believes the Son has everlasting life; he that does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.” [Jn. 3:16,36]
  • So, those who are “blessed” by God are believers. Believes know that they are sinful, and that they cannot save themselves or free themselves from sin.  What they “believe” is God’s love, God’s gift of His Son, Jesus redeeming us from our sin by the shedding of His blood on the cross. 
  • In the book of Revelation the “saints” are those who have “washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.” They are also described as having “come out of great tribulation.”  So, these are the ones described by Jesus in our text.  They are the ones who are blessed, those who are believers in Jesus! 
  • Are you a believer? Then you are also a “saint,” a child of God, and you are among those whom Jesus pronounces “blessed.”  Let’s look at them – and see ourselves in them as well.

 

I.  Saints Of God Suffer In This Life – They Come Out Of Great Tribulation

A.  They Are Poor In Spirit – Confessing Their Sins Of Thought, Word, And Deed

 

Rom. 7:18,19  “For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) dwells no good thing. For to will is present with me, but how to perform that which is good I do not find.  For I do not do the good that I desire to do; but the evil which I do not will to do, that I do.” 

 

B.  So They Are Mourning, Meek, And Hungering For Righteousness

 

 Rom. 7:21-24  “I find then a law: when I will to do the right, evil is present with me.  For I delight in the Law of God according to the inward man; but I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin being in my members.  O wretched man that I am!”

 

C.  Because They Desire Good They Are Also Often Persecuted, Reviled, And Slandered By The Unbelieving And Ungodly

 

Text:  “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake . . . Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on My account.”

D.  But The Saints Do Reflect God’s Image – They Are Merciful, Pure In Heart, They Are Meek, And They Are Peacemakers – Even If We Do So Imperfectly

 

Statement:  Because I grew up in a Christian family I always thought that you were rewarded for doing good and being good, and that you only suffered if you were bad.  Boy was I naïve!  And it made my experience out in the world somewhat confusing!  Likewise, I often thought that there was something wrong with me – that perhaps I was not a Christian, for I also found it very hard to do good, and very easy to do evil.  However, I did know what Christ had done for me, and I believed in Him.  So I guessed I was a Christian, but there was a lot of confusion!  I know that many of you  have had similar thoughts and experiences. 

 

Application:  So we are among those who acknowledge that they are poor in spirit, among those who mourn, among those who hunger and thirst for righteousness – and among those who are persecuted, reviled, and slandered for Christ’s sake.  Perhaps we are “saints” and blessed by Christ after all.  I pray that it is so for each of us.  Not that I want you to suffer, but look:

 

II.  In All Of These Things The Saints Are Richly Blessed

A.  You Have The Kingdom Of Heaven

 

Text:  “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

 

B.  You Will Be Comforted

 

Text:  “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”

 

C.  You Inherit From God

 

Text:  “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.”

D.  Your Desire For Good Will Be Satisfied

 

Text:  “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.”

E.  You Will Receive God’s Great Mercy

 

Text:  “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.”

 

F.  You Will See God, And You Are Sons Of God, And Your Reward Is Great

 

Text:  “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.  Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.  . . . Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven.”

 

G.  Yes, Therefore Rejoice And Be Glad!

 

Statement:  I would rather mourn and sorrow appropriately – over what is evil within me and outside of me!  What is the other option?  Delusion!  I would rather rejoice in the things that are good and right, even if it means being out of step with and incurring the wrath of evil people!  What is the other option?  Being on the wrong side of God and incurring His wrath!  This is a no-brainer! 

 

Application:  So let us take heart in the sufferings that come to us for being with Christ, for being Christians, for being among the “saints of God.”  And let us hold fast to the promised blessings!  We are not going to suffer loss!  God has pronounced us “blessed,” and has assured us of all blessings! 

 

And although the world cannot recognize the signs and symptoms of being a genuine Christian, let us rejoice in them.  Let us not be ashamed to have them ourselves, and let us rejoice to see them in others!  A Christian is a repentant child of God who confesses their sins, rejoices in God’s gracious mercy, forgiveness, and love, and who desires to truly love others even as God has loved him/her. 

 

Conclusion:  This is who Jesus describes in our text – believers in Him, saints of God.  He is also describing us, we who know and believe the love that God has for us!  What does He call us?  He pronounces us “blessed.”  He blesses us – and that means immense good is coming our way!

 

This is what He did for the saints described in heaven.  This is what He did for our loved ones who have died in faith.  It is what He has done for us, and for our believing children and grandchildren!  It is a wondrous and blessed thing!

 

So let us rejoice in what God has made us!  Let us rejoice to be saints of God.  Let us not shy away from the discomforts of being a saint, and let us grasp firmly the blessings that are ours already, and the greater blessings to come.  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.