Saturday, June 25, 2011

Pentecost 2 - Proper 8

Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church
10653 N – 550 W
Decatur, IN 46733

A 21st Century Parish with a 1st Century Faith
Acts 2:42

Celebrating our 173rd Year
Chartered February 25, 1838
June 26, 2011
Pentecost 2- Proper 8
Proper 8 (26 June—2 July)
Almighty God, by the working of Your Holy Spirit, grant that we may gladly hear Your Word proclaimed among us and follow its directing; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

Matthew 10:34 - Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.

The one who receives a prophet receives a prophet’s reward. Though he was born Prince of Peace, Jesus shocks us when He says he did not come to bring peace but a sword. Peace is not always possible. There are times when war is inevitable. Christians dare not live at peace with Satan. Stand for the truth, justice, and liberty and enemies will cluster around you. Jesus was and still is a controversial figure. He makes us choose sides in the battle of good and evil

King Ahab called Elijah the “troubler of Israel” because he demanded justice and obedience to God. Christ as a troubler in his day — he cleansed the temple, broke the Sabbath law by healing on it, and challenged the religious leaders for their hypocrisy and bigotry. In our day, Jesus is the troubler of our society. He is not content with a status quo based on injustice and falsehood. When conditions are evil, Jesus comes not to bring peace but a sword — conflict, fighting, dissension. Out of this conflict will come genuine peace when truth and justice triumph. Jesus will have no part in the violence of our day because it is the product of hatred. The controversy and conflict result when truth challenges falsehood, right faces wrong, and love opposes hatred.

Jesus brings a sword of conflict into our world.
1. When truth confronts error.
A. It was Pilate who asked, “What is truth”? There are many today asking this same question. Is there anything as absolute true? Are there moral absolutes? If there is absolute truth, where does one find it? Is truth relative?
B. It was Jesus who said, “I am the way the truth and the life.”
1. He is not one option among many.
2. He is the only solution to the world’s need. “…no one comes to the Father except by Me.”

Transition: Jesus brings a sword of conflict into our world when truth confronts error. He also brings conflict when right opposes wrong.

2. When right opposes wrong.
A. Jesus as the bearer of divine truth condemns all falsehood. Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. Matthew 5:17
1. He was made under the law - But when the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under law to redeem those under law, that we might receive the full rights of sons. Galatians 4:4
2. He lived in perfect obedience to the law and received the Father’s favor. Matthew 17:5 While he was still speaking, a bright cloud enveloped them, and a voice from the cloud said, "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!" 1Peter 2:21-23. To this, you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps. “He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.” When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly. He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed. For you were like sheep going astray, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls
3. He fulfilled the law by His holy life and sacrificial death. Hebrews 9:27-28 Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.

B. Falsehood can not stand to the scrutiny of what is right. Armed with the truth of the Gospel and the message of Christ and Him crucified is the message the world needs to hear. It is the only message we have to proclaim to this world.

Transition: Jesus brings a sword of conflict into our world when truth confronts error and when right opposes wrong. He also brings conflict when love challenges hatred.

3. When love challenges hatred.
A. Jesus predicted, “You will be hated on account of Me.” We sometimes must bear the burden of the faith for being faithful to Christ. But love champions hate. We love and act as Christ lived and loved.
B. Yet we have no fear. We need not fear for Christ goes before you to lead you according to His will and way.
1. “The one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world”
2. “I have overcome the world”
Have now fear little flock you have overcome the world. Greater is He who is in you then he who is in the world for Christ has overcome the world.

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