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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June 10 – The Will 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 Epistle Lesson just read, from 2 Cor.  We begin with prayer.

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

  • When we judge things only on the basis of pre-conceived notions, or only on the basis of what can be seen, observed, sensed, and deduced on the basis of our pre-conceived notions, we are highly susceptible to making “miss-judgments” and mistakes!  I know you have had such experiences – when after you had made a judgment or decision which turned out badly, you later realized exactly what information, truth, and reality you were unaware of when you first made the decision.  You realized, and probably even stated: “If I had known that I would have chosen differently.” 
  • We see this phenomenon over and over again in the record of Holy Scripture.  It is part of the Old Testament reading – the poor decision made by Adam and Eve in the Garden.  It is in the Gospel reading – the absurd and blasphemous deduction made by the scribes from Jerusalem in regard to Jesus – that He was in cahoots with the devil!  It wasn’t long before they were made painfully aware of how dumb this opinion was – and also their decision to crucify Jesus.
  • This phenomenon is also raised in our text – in regard to “THE WILL OF GOD” for human life.  The body is wasting away, and people are dying every day, even Christians, children of God – and yet God’s will is that we have eternal life; and it is the assertion and promise of God’s Word that we already have this eternal life.  So we are encouraged to take great care as to the conclusions we make as we pass through the various experiences of earthly life – even aging and death; and the decisions we may be tempted to make which are contrary to reality and genuine wisdom.   In our text it is clear that:

I.  God’s Will Is That The Death Of Man Be Reversed

A.  This Death Began When Adam And Eve Fell Into Sin, And So Also Our Outer Body Is Still Wasting Away

                    Gen. 2:17  “In the day you eat thereof you shall surely die.”

                    Text:  “our outer nature is wasting away . . . “

B.  Still, The Inner Man Is Being Renewed Daily In God’s Gracious Love

Text:  “We also believe and so we speak, knowing that He Who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into His presence.  For it is all for you sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God.  So we do not lose heart.  Though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed day by day.  For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but  to the things that are unseen.  For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.”

C.  So Even Now We Know That We Have An Eternal Home, Though It Remains “Unseen”

Text:  “For we know that if the tent, which is our earthly home, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.”

D.  And We Know That One Day Our Bodies Also Shall Be Raised Again To Glorious Life

Text:  “He Who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into His presence.”

 

Statement:

  • From all appearances, and every time I have to go to the doctor, it appears as if my prospects for this earthly life are rather dismal, and becoming more so with each passing year.  If I try to deduce from this the will of God, I must conclude that His will is my death and demise – and it appears that nothing will change this.  If I go to the cemeteries, I see only graves, and know that the dead are still in their graves.  So if I focus only on what is seen – which in fact is transient and fleeting – I will come to wrong conclusions, and I may actually begin making decisions and determinations that are quite consequential on the basis of these erroneous notions and ideas.

 

Application:

  • And sadly, this is what so many people do – often even we who are Christians.  It was the “original” mistake – of observing, evaluating, and deciding on the basis of what “looked true” and made “sense,” rather than living by faith in the Word of God, His promises! 
  • We too are tempted to think the same way and process our experiences the same way – on the basis of what can be known from experience, and in ignorance or forgetfulness of what the Word of God actually asserts and promises.
  • So we may allow our experiences of aging, or even disease, accident, and injuries to lead us to doubt God’s love, and to obscure His will for our lives – His will that we LIVE forever, that we LIVE in the knowledge of His love for us, and that we have an eternal future in heaven! 

 

Transition:  And when this happens, we may begin to make a series of dramatic mistakes and miscalculations in this life – in regard to our priorities, our activities, our behaviors, and even our thoughts and emotions!  And so we must take care, for:

 

II.  The World Sees These Promises Of God And His Asserted Will For Humanity As Insanity – And Blasphemes Against The Holy Spirit

Gospel:  “Truly, I say to you , all sins will be forgiven the children of man, and whatever blasphemies they utter, but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin.”

 

Statement:

  • The sin these scribes were guilty of us is saying of Jesus: “He has an unclean spirit.”  They made this miscalculation, this miss-judgment, precisely because of their preconceived notions, their observations of His behavior and teaching, and their rejection of the Word of God.  This led them to unbelief, and as Jesus taught: “he that believes not the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.”

 

Application: 

  • And this is precisely the concern we should have for ourselves – that we might allow preconceived notions, observations, common sense, and human reasoning to lead us to all the wrong conclusions, so that we become ignorant of “THE WILL OF GOD,” and possibly even fall from faith and eternal life!  Obviously, this is not God’s will for us, for “God wills all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”

 

Transition:  So let us take care and caution in this whole business of living and being, for:

III.  People Of Faith, In Accord With God’s Will, Are The Family Of Jesus, The Family Of God – And This Is His Will

 

Gospel:  “Jesus answered them, ‘Who are My mother and My brothers?’  And looking about at those who sat around Him, He said, ‘Here are My mother and My brothers!  Whoever does the will of God, he is my brother and sister and mother.”

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

 

Statement:

  • So the real issue in this matter of “THE WILL OF GOD” is Jesus Christ – what God in love has sent Him to do, what He has accomplished for us in His suffering, death, and resurrection.  But all of this is received and embraced by faith – in the Word of God, what God has revealed to us in His Word, what is asserted and promised to us.

 

Application: 

  • And often this is contrary to our pre-conceived notions, or to what we may be “experiencing” and “observing,” and hence what “makes sense” to us.  Certainly this is principally the case with our “aging” and “dying,” which appear contrary to “our inner nature being renewed day by day” and the “unseen” things which are eternal, which are guaranteed to us by God’s own Word.

 

Conclusion:

  • Over and over again in Scripture we see how poorly things turn out when people rely on anything rather than the Word of God, and we’ve seen the same in our own experiences in life.  So let us learn and grasp onto the true “WILL OF GOD,” so that we also order our decisions, our priorities, our goals, our life plans, and our behaviors in ways that our consistent with His good and gracious will for us, and consistent with what He has done for us and provided for us in Christ Jesus. 
  • For this too is His good and gracious will for 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.