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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August 12 – Pentecost 11 – The Bread Of Life – John 6:35-51

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 John 6.  We begin with prayer.

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

  • What a distinction we see in our lessons regarding those whom Paul describes as “darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God, with hardened hearts, and living in the futility of their minds,” versus those who feed on the Bread of Life, and who live as “imitators of God.”  We see the darkness and ignorance in Jezebel, who pledged herself to the murder of Elijah. 
  • Which group do you desire to belong to and be part of?  Unfortunately, our sinful flesh does not want us to withdraw from this fellowship of darkness and ignorance – even though we would readily affirm that we are children of God.  We prefer NOT to have “put off your old self” and change up our “former manner of life,” but simply reform it a little bit and steer clear of the really wicked stuff.  But this kind of compromise is simply not possible – the struggle is to the death, and one side of the other is going to win, either the “old self” or the “new man” created in Christ Jesus. 
  • It is rather fascinating that the determinative thing that makes all the difference is our “encounter” with the Lord Jesus Christ – whether we will be fed by Him and receive Him as “THE BREAD OF LIFE,” OR “grumble about Him” as the Jews did in our text.  But the means by which God seeks to renew us and restore us to life is in the gift of His Son Jesus Christ, for:

I.  It Is Jesus Whom God Feeds To His People To Sustain Them Through Life In This World

 

A.  So That We Will Have No More Spiritual Want

 

Text:  “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to Me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in Me shall never thirst.”

 

B.   So That We Have Eternal Life And Resurrection

 

Text:  “This is the will of Him Who sent Me, that I should lose nothing of all that He has given Me, but raise it up on the Last Day.  For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in Him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the Last Day.”

                   

Text:  “I am the living bread that came down from heaven.  If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever.”

 

Statement:

  • We see clearly the goal that God has in mind for us, which He seeks to accomplish in us, and that is our eternal life and salvation. He gives these blessings to us in His Son, through faith, simple faith.  The one who believes in Jesus has this life – and will live forever, and Jesus will raise us up on the Last Day. 
  • With this gift from God – the Lord Jesus Christ our Savior, forgiveness and salvation, eternal life and resurrection, everything changes for us, as the Apostle Paul describes it in the Epistle Lesson.  No longer are living in darkness and ignorance, but we are putting on “the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.”

 

Application:

  • Obviously, this is not just a little change but a dramatic one.  It may be effected incrementally within us, but it is complete and absolute, with no compromises.  And all of this is not accomplished by us – although we cooperate; rather it is given to us as “the Father draws us to Christ,” and as we feed upon this Bread from heaven given to us by the Father. 
  • Again, all of this is dependent upon the Father, for those who have heard, have learned from, and been taught by the Father come to Jesus, trusting in Him for life and salvation, and eager to learn the ways of love from Him.  All of this comes to us through God’s Word.

Transition:  But not all are willing to allow God to do these things for us – just as Adam and Eve were not willing to simply live in God’s love in the Garden.  For it is clear from Holy Scripture that:

 

II.  There Will Always Be Wicked Futility Directed Against God And Against The Lord Jesus Christ  

 

A.  The General Wickedness Of The World Will Remain

 

O.T. – the hatred of Jezebel against the Word of God, against God’s prophet Elijah, and against God

 

Epistle:  “They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity.”

 

B.  Likewise, Unbelief And Grumbling Against God Will Remain

 

Text:  “So the Jews grumbled about Him, because He said, ‘I am the bread that came down from heaven.”

 

Statement:

  • We see these same things in people all around us – and sometimes even within the institutional, or visible church.  There are frequent assertions of unbelief, rejection of Jesus as the true Savior of the world, and the source of all true spiritual life.  There are frequent encouragements  and justifications for living in grotesque immorality – abortions, homosexuality, divorce, and promiscuity.  So also many will attempt to live apart from the fellowship of God’s people, apart from Christ’s Word and Sacraments, convinced that they can sustain and maintain spiritual life apart from the Father and His Son Jesus Christ. 

Application:

  • It has always been this way, dear friends in Christ.  It is described in the Old Testament Lesson, and in the Epistle Lesson, and we see it in our text in those who grumbled about Jesus in unbelief.  But it needn’t be so – the Father even now is drawing us to His Son, to life and salvation, in His Word and Sacraments! 

Transition:  And this is the joyful calling which Christ extends to us:

 

III.  To Rather Believe In Him – To Eat The Bread Of Life

 

A.  This Is First And Foremost A Call To Faith

 

Text:  “This is the will of My Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in Him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the Last Day.”

 

B.  And Through Faith In Jesus, Renewal Of Life Ensues, Decency And Goodness

 

                    1.  So that we become imitators of God

 

                              Epistle:  “Be imitators of God, as beloved children.”

 

                    2.  So that as His beloved children we are walking in love

 

                              Epistle:  “Walk in love as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us.”

 

                    3.  So we become like Christ, “a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.”

 

Statement:  This is the power of eating “the Bread of Life.  God wants this for all of us!

Application:  So let us allow Him to work His will within us, that we may have all the blessings of God, and that He might make us a blessing to others!  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.