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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March 11 – Where To Place Your Trust

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 1 Cor. 1.  We begin with prayer.

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

  • Virtually everything we do in life is based upon trust.  We trust the car will start up rather than blow up when we turn the key.  We trust that the food we purchase at the grocery store and eat is not poisoned.  We trust our banks, our insurance companies, our investments companies with our money, our future.  We trust that the locks in our homes will keep harm from us, and that when we go to sleep at night we will wake up safe in the morning.
  • We trust electricity, and gravity, and natural laws.  We trust other people, that when the light has turned red they will stop.  We trust mechanics, plumbers, sales people, and restaurants preparing our food.  We trust our government, that they are providing us with safety, and are making wise decisions regarding our safety and future.  We trust each other, our spouses, our children, and our parents.
  • I trust also that you put trust in God for many of these things, and especially that when it comes to the gracious forgiveness that we all need, the merciful verdict of “not guilty” that we require under God’s judgment, that you are also trusting in God.  And this is the essential nub of our relationship with God – trust in His gracious mercy, forgiveness and love.  But sadly:

 I.  All Human Beings Tend To Trust In Themselves – Even When It Comes To God’s Law And Our Eternal Salvation

A.  Even Though The Law Clearly Condemns All Human Beings, And God’s Word Clearly Identifies All Human Beings As Sinful

Rom. 3:19,20,23  “ Now we know that whatever the law says it speaks to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be stopped, and the whole world may be held accountable to God.   For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin . . .  for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

Text:  “So that no human being might boast in the presence of God.”

B.  People Completely Overlook The Fact That God’s Gracious Mercy Is Embedded In The Very Giving Of The Law Of God, Clearly Indicating That No One Can Keep It, That All Stand In Need Of God’s Forgiveness And Mercy

After the children of Israel had grossly violated God’s law in the matter of the golden calf idol, and Moses had broken the first stone copies of the Law of God, we read:

Ex. 34:4-7  “So Moses cut two tablets of stone like the first. And he rose early in the morning and went up on Mount Sinai, as the LORD had commanded him, and took in his hand two tablets of stone.  The LORD descended in the cloud and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the LORD.  The LORD passed before him and proclaimed, “The LORD, the LORD, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness,   keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children’s children, to the third and the fourth generation.”

C.  People Continue To Trust In Themselves Even Though Only Despicable And Lowly People Are Chosen For God’s Kingdom

Text:  “Consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth.  But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God.”

D.  People Continue To Trust In Themselves Even Though God Has Determined To Save People Only Through The Lowly Cross Of Jesus Christ, And His Lowly Preaching

Text:  “The word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. . . .  Since the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe. . . . We preach Christ crucified.”

E.  People Continue To Trust In Themselves, Even Though Jesus Did Not Trust Men

John 2:24,25 [last two verses of John 2, immediately following our Gospel Lesson:  “But Jesus on His part did not entrust himself to them, because he knew all people and needed no one to bear witness about man, for he himself knew what was in man.”

 

Statement:

  • So, just the opposite of faith and trust in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is the kind of trusting in ourselves that yields “boasting” – telling other people all of the great things about ourselves, putting ourselves and our good works forward to be admired by others, and an eagerness to exalt ourselves over other people by our boasting.

 

Application:

  • We should all take to heart Luther’s explanation of the First Commandment, that we should “fear, love, and trust in God above all things” – and this means placing no trust in our own “goodness” and “righteousness.”  To trust ourselves, our righteous keeping of the Law, is to reject the Lord Jesus Christ and the salvation of God.

 

Transition:  All of this is made quite clear in the words of our text, words that our sinful nature does not want to hear.  But:

II.  God Calls All Human Beings To Trust In Jesus, Not Themselves

A.  He Calls Us To Embrace What The World Judges To Be Foolishness And The Weakness Of God

Text:  “We preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.”

B.  So God Also Calls Us To Take Our Place Among The Weak And The Foolish – Trusting Not In Ourselves, But Trusting And Boasting In God Alone

Text:  “God is the source of your life in Christ Jesus, Whom God made our wisdom and our righteousness and sanctification and redemption.  Therefore, as it is written, ‘Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.’”

 

Statement:

  • If you perceive of yourself as being among the wise of this world according to earthly standards, as being among the privileged, the successful, the elite, the powerful, the superior – this disqualifies you from membership in Christ’s kingdom, for “He chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world.”

 

Application:

  • On the other hand, if you are among the weak, the lowly, and the despised, then you belong – and you will certainly not be trusting in yourselves, nor boasting in yourselves – what you have done, your wealth, power, privilege, prestige, and prerogatives.  Rather, you will be fully aware of your need for Christ, for God’s gracious mercy and forgiveness, and you will joyfully embrace the reality that Christ is your everything – “our wisdom and our righteousness and sanctification and redemption.”  If you these things, if you have Christ by faith, then you lack nothing.
  • But then, there will be nothing coming out of your mouth that elevates or glorifies you – but all your boasting will be in the Lord, for you will be trusting Him for everything.

 

Conclusion:

  • As I began, so I reiterate – everything in life is filled with trust.  The most important thing that involves trust is our relationship with God – and in the matter of our salvation we trust only Him for everything, for grace, mercy, forgiveness, eternal life, and salvation.
  • And in all other matters in life, we also trust Him, knowing that “Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it; Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain.” [Ps. 127:1]  So even in matters of earthly success and joy we boast not in ourselves but in the Lord.
  • It is all a matter of “WHERE TO PLACE YOUR TRUST.”  Every time we boast of ourselves we reveal where we are placing our trust, and the nature of our “faith.”  Likewise, those who truly know and believe the love that God has for us “boast in the Lord.”  God grant such faith to us all, 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.