Eternal Savior Lutheran Church

A member of the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod

2688 North Park Drive
Lafayette, CO 80026
303-665-6105
» Get directions

PENTECOST 5 – June 24, 2018 – Acts 13:13-26 “THE MESSAGE FROM GOD”

Introduction:  Grace be to you and peace, from God our Father, and from our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ.  Our text is the Second Reading, from Acts 13.  We begin with prayer.

 

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

  • People sometimes wonder whether or not they might receive some direct “MESSAGE FROM GOD.” They feel that it would be easier for them to believe in God, and to know what to believe, if God would only tell them directly. 
  • If there is one thing that is crystal clear and forcefully clear from the Holy Scriptures, the Bible, it is that God does indeed want to communicate with us, with all human beings.
  • Look at the Old Testament reading! God says something!  He gives the message to His servant to speak to Jerusalem.  And that voice, His messenger, cries out the message.
  • In our text, Paul refers to “the message of this salvation” which has “been sent” to the apostles, and through them to all people.
  • So also in the Gospel Reading, we see the gift that God gave to all people, through His prophet, John the Baptist. And John’s principle task was to preach God’s salvation, identifying Jesus Christ as the Savior of the world.
  • When people try to communicate with us, whether by phone, email, text message, or even face to face, if we want to get the message we must get it through the means they are using to send it. It is no different with God.  He is indeed speaking to us, and He does indeed have a message that He wants all people to hear.  But it is clear from Scripture, and from our readings for today that:

 

I.  The Message From God Is Always Delivered To Us Through His Messengers

A.  Moses, David, And The Prophets Delivered The Message Of God To His People Of Old

 

Text:  “[Moses in the days of the Exodus, and the conquest of Palestine] And after that He gave them judges until Samuel the prophet. . . .  He raised up David to be their king, of whom He testified and said, ‘I have found in David the son of Jesse a man after My heart, who will do all My will.’  Of this man’s offspring God has brought to Israel a Savior, Jesus, as He promised.”

 

B.  The Message Of God Was Also Delivered By John The Baptist

 

Text:  “[Before Jesus’ coming, John had proclaimed a baptism of repentance to all the people of Israel.]  And as John was finishing his course, he said, ‘What do you suppose that I am?  I am not He.  No, but behold after me One is coming, the sandals of Whose feet I am not worthy to untie.’”

 

He identified Jesus as the Savior of the world!

 

John 1:29  “Behold, the Lamb of God Who takes away the sin of the world.”

 

C.  And After Jesus’ Death, Resurrection, And Ascension, God’s Message Of Salvation Was Delivered By His Apostles

 

Text:  “To us has been sent the message of this salvation.”

 

 

Statement:  There was a time when God spoke directly to His people, at Mt. Sinai.  It was so awesome, fearful and intimidating, that we read:  “The people were afraid and trembled, and they stood far off and said to Moses, ‘You speak to us, and we will listen; but do not let God speak to us, lest we die.’”    [Ex.20:18,19]   So it is best, how God has chosen to speak to us through His spokesmen, His prophets and apostles.  And the task of pastors, that is, true pastors of God, is to convey this prophetic and apostolic message from God to people living today.

 

Application:  It is tremendously comforting and strengthening to know that God wants to communicate with us, to give us His message.  Likewise, it is a tremendous blessing for us to hear and to know where this message is being delivered – in the writings of Holy Scripture, the Bible, and wherever this “Word” is being preached and taught.  Here God is speaking His Word to us, giving us His message, to this very day! 

 

Transition:  And “THE MESSAGE FROM GOD” is worth hearing, and important, for:

 

II.  The Message From God Is Man’s Salvation, God’s Gracious Gift To All Mankind, That All May Know Him, The God Of Love

 

A.  His Message Is The Forgiveness Of Sins, So That We May Have Integrity With God And Repent

 

Gospel:  “to give knowledge of His salvation to His people, in the forgiveness of their sins.”

 

B.  The Message Is About God’s Great And Gracious Mercy

 

Gospel:  “because of the tender mercy of our God.”

C.  The Purpose Of His Message Is To Renew Good Within Us, The Way Of Peace

 

Gospel:  “to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.”

 

Statement:  This is the comforting message that God’s spokesmen are to deliver to mankind – back in Isaiah’s day, back in John the Baptist’s day, in the days of the apostles, and to this very day!  You want to have a conversation with God?  When you pray, which He encourages and commands, and which He promises to hear – this is your side of the conversation, you message.  God’s side of the conversation is given to us through His Word, the Bible, the Holy  Scripture of God.  He orders it to be spoken by His messengers, which makes clear that He wants us to hear it and receive it! 

 

Application:  And His message is so good to us, so gracious, so filled with comfort and strength.  His message to us is His salvation in Christ Jesus, His Son – forgiveness, cleansing, and renewal to serve God in holiness and righteousness all our days, walking in the way of peace.  

 

This is what we read of God’s Message, His Word, in the book of Ezekiel:  “And He said to me, ‘Son of man, eat whatever you find here. Eat this scroll, and go, speak to the house of Israel.’  So I opened my mouth, and He gave me this scroll to eat.  And He said to me, ‘Son of man, feed your belly with this scroll that I give you and fill your stomach with it.’ Then I ate it, and it was in my mouth as sweet as honey.  And He said to me, ‘Son of man, go to the house of Israel and speak with My words to them.’”

 

Conclusion:  How blessed are those who are charged with speaking and teaching the Word of God!  It is absolutely shocking and horrendous that anyone would claim to speak for God, but not speak His Message to us faithfully. 

 

Likewise, how blessed are those who hear the Word of God and keep it – putting faith and trust in God’s gracious love, mercy, forgiveness, and salvation!  And, how absolutely shocking and horrendous that anyone would turn away from “THE MESSAGE FROM GOD” in unbelief and rebellion!

 

Let us always be among those who are eager to “hear from God,” to receive His message, and to grow in our knowledge and understanding of His great love!  He wills this and wants it for each of us.  To this end He has given us prophets, apostles, and preachers of His Word, through which He sends us “the message of this salvation.”  Thanks and praise be to God, 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.