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FREEDOM! (CC)

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Zion Ev. Lutheran Church-WELS www.ziontorrance.info Zion Ev. Lutheran Church-WELS www.ziontorrance.info Sermon Text: Galatians 5:1-6 Reformation Sunday 10-30-2011 Sermon Text: Galatians 5:1-6 Reformation Sunday 10-30-2011 Let us rise for the reading of this morning's Sermon Text recorded for us by the Apostle Paul in his Letter to the Galatians where we read from Chapter 5, the first 6 verses: IT IS FOR FREEDOM THAT CHRIST HAS SET US FREE. STAND FIRM, THEN, AND DO NOT LET YOURSELVES BE BURDENED AGAIN BY A YOKE OF SLAVERY. MARK MY WORDS! I, PAUL, TELL YOU THAT IF YOU LET YOURSELVES BE CIRCUMCISED, CHRIST WILL BE OF NO VALUE TO YOU AT ALL. AGAIN I DECLARE TO EVERY MAN WHO LETS HIMSELF BE CIRCUMCISED THAT HE IS OBLIGATED TO OBEY THE WHOLE LAW. YOU WHO ARE TRYING TO BE JUSTIFIED BY LAW HAVE BEEN ALIENATED FROM CHRIST; YOU HAVE FALLEN AWAY FROM GRACE. BUT BY FAITH WE EAGERLY AWAIT THROUGH THE SPIRIT THE RIGHTEOUSNESS FOR WHICH WE HOPE. FOR IN CHRIST JESUS NEITHER CIRCUMCISION NOR UNCIRCUMCISION HAS ANY VALUE. THE ONLY THING THAT COUNTS IS FAITH EXPRESSING ITSELF THROUGH LOVE. This is the Word of our Lord. Let us pray: May the Lord our God be with us as He was with our fathers. May He never leave us nor forsake us. Amen. [Text taken from the HOLY BIBLE: NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, 1973, 1978, 1984, used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers] Dear Followers of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ: A few days ago I got a new computer. And you might think that that may be a wonderful thing. But I didn't want a new computer. I didn't want to spend the money. But I had to. I had to buy a new computer because the other one just died. Was not coming back to life. There was no resuscitation; it was hopeless. So I go to the store. And, of course, there's someone right at my side to help me pick out my new computer, who is doing all sorts of wonderful and cool things. I can have 20 desktops displayed on top of my computer that I can just flip through with a click of a mouse. A wonderful and amazing thing. I don't want 20 desktops. I want one! I want my old one back where I knew where everything was and it was always there and I had a wire on my mouse that worked on my glass desktop because my wireless mouse now doesn't work on the glass desktop. We like what we become comfortable with. We want to do those things and use those things that bring us a sense of reliability. That gives us tradition in our life. Or ritual in our life. So that we can do them day-after-day after day and we have this comfort. And maybe that's the thought that those Jews of the early Christian Church had. That thought that for years and generations they WERE the chosen people of God. That God had come to them. Out of all of the peoples in the world and selected them to be His own. To be His children. He made a covenant with them. He called them to be His people. And He gave them a symbol. Something that would mark them as His children. Separate them from the rest of the world. And that was circumcision. It was such a clear representation to God's people that they were His and He was theirs. It would sum up everything that God was dealing with them about in His Law. And in His sacrifices. And that was their life. That was their worship life. All of those regulations that needed to be followed in their worship life. The sacrifices that needed to be carried out. All of God's Law was put into their personal life. With their dietary laws and the way that they were supposed to live. And even their legal system was governed by God's directives, as to how they were to punish people. And what was bad behavior. All of that became for them this rich heritage. A rich tradition. And then the One who came to fulfill that, to fulfill that Law ... Jesus Christ came into the world and offered Himself as the ONE sacrifice. The sacrifice that covered ALL sins for ALL time. Doing away with that old order of sacrifices. Doing away with the Law that set for the Moral Law that God had put into place to be carried out. But those regulations that needed to be followed each and every day ... Christ destroyed them as He destroyed those dietary laws. When the curtain was torn in two people had access to God. They didn't have to go through the priest because Jesus had given them the forgiveness of sins. And it opened to them a relationship with their Father that was personal. That was intimate. He had come to Peter and said: All of this food ... all of these things are now clean and available for you to eat. But the early Christian Church still struggled with that heritage. Those people, who saw Jesus as the Messiah and began to follow Him, reached out to other peoples who didn't have that background; who didn't have that heritage. And in their own sinfulness, an idea developed among the churches in Galatia, that those non-Jews HAD to be circumcised to mark them as God's children. And the Apostle Paul came to those churches to clearly teach them that it was not by the Law that people are saved, but it is by GRACE. By the grace of God, through His Son Jesus Christ! It is by grace that we are saved, not in the observance of some ritual. Not in doing something ... because the Apostle Paul said: Let me make this clear to you. If you are going to circumcise yourself to gain favor with God ... to think that somehow this is going to give God ... give you to God, or give God some way of seeing you and drawing attention to yourself; that now you are somehow better and deserving of His love ... that is not the point! Because if you are going to circumcise yourself and put yourself under that law, then you need to put yourself under the entire Law. And who can stand up to that yoke of slavery of the entire Law? I mean we today look at the 10 Commandments and we see in them that we can't live up to the standard that is set there. Let alone adding to that the hundreds of other laws governing the sacrifices that needed to be made ... the dietary laws and the legal laws. The life of an Old Testament believer was one who was under this weight of that Law. And the Apostle Paul said: You are NOT under that weight any longer. Christ has come and He has set you free! Free from that yoke of slavery. It's the same thing that Jesus told the Jews in our Gospel Lesson for today when He said to them: If you follow My teachings you are really My disciples. And they will set you free. And the Jews that were there immediately said: We haven't been slaves of anyone. We have never had anyone else rule over us and been owner of us. And Jesus reminded them the slavery that they are freed from is the slavery of the yoke of sin. That He came and shattered that. And that they were to live in freedom ... not as someone who doesn't have an inheritance in the house. Because a slave doesn't have an inheritance in the house. But a son and a daughter does. And we ARE the children of God. Paul reminds us that by faith we are free! Free from that weight of sin. That yoke and that slavery to sin. Free because Jesus Christ was the One who shattered that yoke and its punishment. God the Father took the punishment that should have been placed on us. That punishment of death. And He placed it on His Son. And Jesus willingly took that upon Himself. In love for us sinners Christ died and washed away our sins. He rose from the dead to show the way for us to know, that through faith, we will also follow Him, so that we live in the freedom of knowing that our sins are forgiven. That Christ has been victorious over them. That death has been defeated. That Christ is the victor and that He has life and that we will have life ... eternally with Him because of God's grace. And we are not to put ourselves under that Law and hold ourselves to old rituals because we think that somehow that makes us better Christians. And it's a danger for us each and everyone today. That we don't start setting up some kind of new law standard in our own minds and in our own lives as to say: What is a good Christian? And that we can then apply that to people sitting around us. That I'm better; they're worse. Maybe they're half-way there. Maybe they're not. They really need to do this. They really need to do that. We become people who become legalistic thinking that somehow through the Law we are going to impress God enough to save us. When the simple truth in reality is that God did it all to save us by sending His Son. And that we are to hold to His teachings. We are to take the faith that has come to us by God's grace that has been given to us by the gift of the Holy Spirit and to take that faith ... and live it. And apply it. And the Apostle Paul said: Express that faith in love reflective of God's love. Showing Christ's love. Reminding each other that what is of most importance is what God has done. Adhering to the Word of God. Keeping all of us focused on Christ. Keeping us, all of us, teaching that Word in truth and in its purity. As we share it with each other. As we share it with our children. As we reach out to the world with that comes our greatest expression of love. Because we look at the world and see sinners who need the comfort and the love that only comes from God Himself. That they are chained and burdened in their lives and we can offer them the freedom that comes from knowing Christ. The freedom that is ours. The freedom that makes us rejoice and sing and be happy in our faith. To know that God has taken care of our greatest need. That we have no fear of death because we know it's just the passing to eternal life. We know that God is our fortress. He is our strength for each and every day in this world when we are weak and we are tired, He is the One that we turn to. To protect us. To provide us with His strength. There is our joy. There is our freedom. There is our reason for rejoicing. To live in that faith that reminds us each and every day: It is not about me ... but it is about Christ. And what He has done. And by grace ... I am His child. And new things are going to come. They always do. We can have change in this world but one of the things we always have to remind ourselves is, that change shouldn't be done to say: Hey God, look at us. But all of these changes that we do, in our life, in our worship, in how we proclaim the Word of God, should be about: World ... look! Here is Jesus Christ. Let me show you Him. Let me teach you about His love. Let His freedom be yours. For it is by grace you have been saved. Not of ourselves. It is the gift of God. Let us rejoice ... in that gift. Amen. Let us rise. Now may the peace of God which goes beyond all of our understanding, keep your hearts and your minds, and especially your lives, in the one true faith unto life everlasting. Amen.

Video Details

Duration: 16 minutes and 16 seconds
Country: United States
Language: English
Producer: R & M
Director: Jesus
Views: 50
Posted by: hischild on Nov 5, 2011

By His grace we are saved by our faith in Christ alone. We celebrate the Reformation of the Church and listen to this Sermon based on Galatians 5:1-6. To contact Pastor Dave: www.ziontorrance.info

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