Saturday, October 23, 2010

Pentecost 22 - Proper 25

Luke 18:9-17
A proper perspective on works

Jesus came as John the Baptist had done before Him preaching repentance and salvation. He cared for publicans and sinners. He was their way back to the waiting arms of the heavenly Father. Many repented. They cried, “God be merciful to me a sinner!” By the power of the Spirit they were led to contrition and faith. He led them back to their merciful Father. He sent them back to their homes justified. Having been justified the loved and served their neighbor. Their works came as the fruit of faith.

1. The Pharisee and all self-righteous people with him think they can be saved by their works.
A. They feel they are able of themselves to please God.
B. But the Father condemns all their works.
1. They are a denial of his saving work.
2. They are therefore filthy rags in His sight.
2. The publicans and all who trust in Christ plead only for mercy.
A. They recognize their unworthiness before God.
B. They see their hope and salvation in Christ alone.
C. They recognize that whatever good they do is itself a gift of God, a fruit of faith.
3. It is important that we learn our lesson well.
A. Do not look for any part of your salvation in your works.
B. Look for all your salvation in your merciful Father.
1. He saved you in Christ.
2. He has brought you to faith in Christ through His Word.
C. Then keep studying His Word.
1. His law will remind you of works that are pleasing to Him.
2. His Gospel will give you strength to do these works as you love God and serve your neighbor.

Face of Christ

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