Sunday, May 17, 2009

Easter 6 sermon

We are accustomed to thinking of Jesus as our friend, and we express this thought with such wonderful hymns as we have sung this morning such as “What a Friend We Have In Jesus, All our sins and grief’s to bear.” Yet, friendship is a two-way street.

Not only is Jesus our friend, but we are the friends of Jesus! Let’s look at what it means to be a friend of Jesus!
I. We have the privilege of friends.

A. Christ has chosen us "You did not choose Me, but I chose you, and appointed you, that you should go and bear fruit, and {that} your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask of the Father in My name, He may give to you.” (V.16)

1. We are not able to choose Him Paul would remind us in his letter to the Ephesians.2: 3 where he reminds us “Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.”
And again, in his letter to the Corinthians Paul simply tells: But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised.” 1 Corinthians 2:14

2. “In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son {to be} the propitiation for our sins.”

B. Christ opened Himself to us verse. 15 of our text tells us "No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you.
1. He shares with us the truths regarding His redemptive work.

2. Our regeneration in Baptism, and the blessings of His body in Holy Communion.

3. He has divulged to us the precious truths of His Word.

TRANSITION: Christ promises to give us what we ask in His name. (v.16). Don’t we need patience, love perseverance? Aren’t there fellow Christians whose needs we can bring to Jesus? Don’t our home and church have needs?

II. We have the responsibilities of friends.

A. We are to do what He commands. Listen again to verse 14 of our lesson for this morning: "You are My friends, if you do what I command you.”

1. We bind ourselves to the sound doctrine of His Word.

2. We practice what accords with sound doctrine no matter how the world reviles us (John 15:18-20) "If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before {it hated} you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you, 'A slave is not greater than his master.' If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they kept My word, they will keep yours also.”

B. We are to love one another (v.17) "This I command you, that you love one another.”
1. As Christ loved us (v.13) “Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.

2. Carrying each other’s burdens, overlooking each other’s weaknesses, forgiving them as God in Christ has forgiven us.

3. We are to bear abiding fruit (v.16) no matter what the circumstances or how we feel. Thus it is Christ abiding in us that lifts us higher to bear fruit that endures in His name. By ourselves we can not do it. But by His abiding presence in our lives we are able to accomplish much for Him in His name.

CONCLUSION: There will be abiding fruit when we support the faithful preaching of the Word and the right administration of the Sacrament. For that is what the Church is all about. That’s what we as believers are all about. We come to hear Jesus and His Word.

Holy sheep gathering to hear the voice of the Shepherd; that’s what you are all about! Through both Word and Sacrament Christ has assured us that we will abide in Him to the end.

You are My Friends” Jesus said. Are you enjoying your great privileges? Are you carrying out your holy responsibilities? Blessed are you, the friend of Jesus!

No comments: