A False and Misleading Dream

The sermon preached at Matins for the Higher Things Retreat: Law and Gospel at Faith Lutheran Church in Plano.

Grace, Mercy, and Peace be yours from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.  None can remove sin’s poisoned dart… we only drive it deeper. While causing sin and wrath we elevate ourselves over others. The LAW is not a stepping stone or ladder to gain heaven. The LAW is but a mirror bright to bring the in bread sin to light. And sin does indeed lurk within our nature.

It does not want us to hallow God’s name, to pray, to give thanks, and call upon his name. Have you let Satan and the world and your flesh entice you to forget? Have you been plunged into the midst of a false and misleading dream?? Would someone tell you that you can by your works gain heaven??? And that someone might be you. Because your flesh can’t abstain, and you can’t walk away… sin holds its way unceasing in our deep corruption.

So it is that God reminds you, through Paul (the apostle), through Higher Things, through Faith Lutheran Church and each of the churches you call home… and your through your pastors, but especially, most seriously, through their preaching — the delivering to you as of first importance — Christ died for our sins in accordance with Scriptures that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he appeared to many witnesses.

So we sang, “Yet as the Law must be fulfilled or we must die despairing, Christ came and has God’s anger stilled, our human nature sharing. He has for us the Law obeyed and thus the Father’s vengeance stayed which over us impended.” And thus one has removed your poisoned dart. One has elevated you above himself. One has become your stepping stone and ladder to heaven. He is the Light of heaven and sin cannot lurk in his presence. This one is Jesus.

Christ has full atonement made and has brought you full salvation. It was by his dying on the cross of shame and the curse of man’s sin that he has made new again what death had languished in despair. It is by this work, this dying, this agony and bloody sweat, that you gain heaven. Believe the Word, faith clings to Jesus Christ alone, for it is a free gift of God that you this day are saved through that faith. It is a gift of Jesus, God’s own son, delivered to you on Holy Spirit wings. Out the sermon, in the ear, and perched and nested in your heart.

Rejoice, O sinner, for today the Father has been reconciled to you again. Today, Jesus speaks a clear and powerful Word to you and to His Father in heaven. This one, these ones, the lambs here gathered have been washed in the blood of the cross and they are good and new… saints and by that blood you are saved.