Online Worship for Trinity Eight, Sunday August 7, 2022
Sermon for Trinity Eight – Sunday August 7, 2022
Calvary/Marquette ● Soli Deo Gloria
God’s Grace, mercy and peace are yours in abundance, for you have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit to be sprinkled with the blood of Jesus Christ. Amen.
1 Peter 1:13-21 (EHV)
13Therefore, after preparing your minds for action by exercising self-control, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed. 14As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. 15Rather, just as the one who called you is holy, so also be holy in everything you do. 16For it is written, “Be holy, because I am holy.”
17If you call on the Father who judges impartially, according to the work of each person, conduct yourselves during the time of your pilgrimage in reverence, 18because you know that you were redeemed from your empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, not with things that pass away, such as silver or gold, 19but with the precious blood of Christ, like a lamb without blemish or spot. 20He was chosen before the foundation of the world but revealed in these last times for your sake. 21Through him you are believers in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God. ***
In the Name of Jesus, the Christ,
Dear Fellow Redeemed in His Precious Blood –
Let’s imagine for a moment that in the beginning -- instead of fashioning clothing from skins with which to clothe Adam and Eve – that God gave them clothing that revealed the contents of their minds. So as a result, every time that Adam was angry with his wife, it would be printed on his tunic: “I’m angry with Eve.” Likewise, every time that Eve disagreed with Adam’s leadership, it would scroll across her clothing: “Adam has stupid ideas.”
Consequently, when each child was born to each descendant, they would be born with the same ‘revealing’ clothing. So as a result, everyone would know what everyone else is thinking, just like God. Every time that a man looks with lust or a woman is jealous and gossips it would show up on the front of one’s clothing. Whether during the day or at night, what we are thinking would be revealed!
Would any of us ever leave the house? Could we live with another person? If we came to church, would the pastor look out at the assembled congregation and read, “I’m only here because I want people to think I’m a good person.” “I say I believe, but I’m really not so sure about what the Bible says.”
Would we be embarrassed? Defensive? Would we try and convince everyone that our clothing was faulty, inaccurate? We are concerned about what other people think about us...but do we forget that God sees and knows our thoughts as if they were printed on our clothing?
After comforting us concerning our Salvation, the Spirit of God urges us to live with Godly Integrity. He reminds us who we are and then urges us not to be conformed to this world. He also urges and enables us to live with respect for our Father in heaven, who really does know everything about us.
We seek the blessing of our God upon our faith. We ask that our God would cleanse us of all that is evil, and enable us to live like children of God, no matter who we think is watching. We therefore pray: “Sanctify us by your truth, O Lord, Your Word is Truth. Amen.
13Therefore, after preparing your minds for action by exercising self-control, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed.
I wear a black gown. I don’t know where the tradition began, but I understand that a black gown is symbolic of sin, of the fact that I am a sinful human being. I occasionally wear a white gown, which is symbolic of the fact that as a Christian I have been cleansed of sin by the blood of Jesus.
It can be a precarious thing to wear a long gown, especially when climbing stairs. It can happen (and I speak from experience) that a person steps on the hem of the gown and trips. So I make a point of grabbing a handful of my gown when I walk upstairs.
In the Old Testament, among the Jews, most men to wore long flowing robes. Consequently, whenever a man (wearing a long robe) was to run or prepare for work, he would pull up his garment and tuck it in his belt. In the King James Translation, it was called “girding one’s loins.”
In fact, the expression is used in this first verse (vs. 13; lit. ‘girding the loins of your mind’), but the translators of the EHV do us a favor by expressing what it means, “to prepare for action.”
Our Christian Faith is not only to be a matter of the mind, but also a way of living. It’s true that God chose us before we were born and planned to separate us from sin and cleanse us by the blood of Jesus. It’s also true that God would have us live as children of God, and not lose our focus and return to the ways of sin. God doesn’t want us to be distracted from our Salvation and risk losing it. Thus, God urges us to focus, on the Grace of God that was given to us when Jesus was revealed to us.
We are urged not to model our lives after the attitudes of this sinful world, rather...
14As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. 15Rather, just as the one who called you is holy, so also be holy in everything you do. 16For it is written, “Be holy, because I am holy.”
“I’m a non-conformist!” has become a popular declaration in our day, especially the last few years. There have always been people who try to be ‘different’ largely for the sake of being ‘different.’ They are proud of their refusal to conform or their insistence to be ‘different.’ What’s funny is that non-conformists often emulate other non-conformists.
We may claim to be different and even try to be different...but at the same time we also want to be considered normal. We want to fit in to be liked and even accepted by other people. Which is why we Christians sometimes try not to look like Christians. We try to fit into this world, to live and act like this is our home, as if we were not ‘spiritual immigrants’ passing through this world. We try to conform, to look like we belong here when our neighbors are watching.
We are Children of God. God in mercy made plans to save us before we were born, to set us aside and dedicate us to God by the Holy Spirit and cleanse us in the blood of His Son, Jesus.
We may live here, but this isn’t home. We aren’t locals. Which is why our Father doesn’t want us to be like the locals and follow our inborn sinful desires. He doesn’t want us to drink too much or look with lust or wink at sin. He wants us to remember who we are and strive to be like our Father in everything we do. Which means that we are to be holy in everything we do...not to earn God’s favor but because God has shown us the ultimate favor in choosing us even over His perfect Son.
“Be Holy” ...may sound easy, but without the guidance and power of God, it’s impossible. We don’t just decide to be holy, because we are sinful human beings. God has cleansed us of sin and declared us to be holy. We can – with the power of the Holy Spirit – be self-controlled. In faith, we can make every effort to do what pleases Him.
If we are non-conformist in this way, the world will make fun of us. Our neighbors will pity us. They did the same thing to poor Noah, as he worshipped the LORD and built the ark before the flood.
17If you call on the Father who judges impartially, according to the work of each person, conduct yourselves during the time of your pilgrimage in reverence,
When human beings create religions, they create gods who are like them. The Greeks and Romans created gods who were supposed to possess great power, while at the same time had corrupt morals. They got drunk and slept around...just like those who worshipped them. The same is true with other man-made religions today.
If we call on God the Father as our Father then we ought to respect Him by remembering who He is and what He has done to make us His Children. He judges impartially. In other words, He doesn’t play favorites. He will judge those who sin and their actions will stand as evidence worthy of condemnation.
Let’s not pretend that God is like a corrupt police officer who might decide not to write a ticket for speeding. We are to live as strangers in this world and respect our God because of who He is and – perhaps more importantly – because of what He has done.
We know what He has done because He has revealed it.
18because you know that you were redeemed from your empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, not with things that pass away, such as silver or gold, 19but with the precious blood of Christ, like a lamb without blemish or spot.
God doesn’t ‘grade on a curve.’ God didn’t look the other way when it came to your sin or mine. God didn’t set up a payment plan enabling us to ‘pay it back’ by lighting candles or praying to dead Christians. God Himself paid the price necessary to set you – and every other sinner – free, to redeem you.
But God didn’t redeem us with something counted valuable by men. He didn’t send angels to withdraw silver or gold from some heavenly vault. God did what we would never consider doing. He gave up his precious, one-of-a-kind son. He sent His Son to shed His precious blood.
It wasn’t a game. The ransom price proves that God the Father was serious about setting us free...and so was God the Son. He came to be the once for all sacrifice.
When Peter calls Jesus ‘a lamb without blemish or spot’ he’s comparing him with the Passover Lamb, whose blood delivered the Israelites from death. Each and every year the Jews were to gather together in family groups to remember what God had done for them. They were to choose for themselves a lamb ‘without blemish or spot’. In other words, it had to be an externally perfect lamb. It couldn’t have birth defect or broken leg. It was to be without spot, pure.
Jesus, the Lamb of God’s choosing, was himself without any blemish. He never once committed sin. He never once left a command of God incomplete. He was himself, perfect and pure. For only the greater sacrifice of God’s Son could redeem the world from sin. This was the plan of mercy God’s Love set in motion before the world was created, even if it’s fulfillment was only recently revealed (2000 years ago).
For it is written:
20He was chosen before the foundation of the world but revealed in these last times for your sake. 21Through him you are believers in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God. ***
This was God’s Plan, God’s Sacrifice, God’s Purpose to make you a Child of God. It was neither simple or free. God’s Son took upon Himself your sin and its consequences and suffered your condemnation. Now by faith in Jesus, God is your Father and You are His Children.
The Christian Life is not a repayment plan for salvation. It’s faith’s overflowing thank you. It’s faith’s song of love.
As Children of God, we don’t try to imitate the enemy. Rather, with God given Godly Integrity, we reflect our thanksgiving for Christ’s Love by imitating our Heavenly Father.
I lay my sins on Jesus, the spotless Lamb of God; He bears them all and frees us From the accursed load. I bring my guilt to Jesus To wash my crimson stains White in His blood most precious Till not a spot remains.
I long to be like Jesus, Meek, loving, lowly mild; I long to be like Jesus, The father’s holy Child. I long to be with Jesus Amid the heavn’ly throng To sing with saints His praises, to learn the angel’s song. (TLH 652:1,4)