170813Romans 8:28-30

Last Updated on Monday, 14 August 2017 Written by Pastor Schmidt

Sermon Text: Romans 8:28 – 30

Sermon Theme: Why Can You Be a Confident Christian?

There is a saying which tells us that there are only two things you and I can be certain of: death and taxes. Today, as we continue our summer sermon series, "A Summer in Rome" we will answer the question: WHY CAN YOU BE A CONFIDENT CHRISTIAN? I invite you to listen as I read once again our Second Lesson for our worship today from Paul's letter to the Romans, chapter 8, where we read this comfort in verses 28-30:

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.

Did you hear the answer to the question? Why can you be a confident Christian? Because our loving, almighty, Savior-God makes you and me a promise that "in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." Having just heard that promise from the Lord, are you ready to join me in a confession? You and I will confess together that we have, at times, doubted this promise from our God. Far too easily, you and I allow ourselves to become filled with worry and doubt. When things are going bad in life, you and I too easily give in to the temptation of doubting God's love for us. When things are going well for us, you and I too easily forget about the love our gracious God showers upon us.

So I invite you to join with me in confessing these sins before our one and only Savior-God. As we do, together you and I rejoice in the Good News that God's great love for you and me sent us Jesus. Together, we give thanks that through Jesus our Savior you and I enjoy the forgiveness of all of our sins, including the sins of doubting his love for you and me. Empowered by God's love for you, live as a confident Christian. Be confident that the Savior-God is working in your life, and as he does, he promises to make all things work out for your good.

"But", you may be thinking, "What good can come from a sickness that may end my life?" It is the fulfillment of the promise that you will live forever at the side of Jesus in the perfect joy of heaven. Or you may ask, "What good can come from an aching back, sore knees, a hip that needs to be replaced or some other pain, or some other source of trouble or heartache, which never seems to go away completely?" It is the reminder that there is no such thing as "heaven on earth" and that you and I are completely dependent on our Lord as we go to him with our prayers.

Why Can You Be a Confident Christian? It is because you enjoy the love of God the Father who sent his one and only Son, Jesus Christ, to be your Savior. It is because you have experienced the love of our Savior-God in your own life day after day, as he works out ALL THINGS for your eternal good. It is because your Savior-God chose you to be his own dear child.

This brings us to a very challenging teaching from the Bible that is before us. Listen to what God's Word tells you and me in verse 29, "For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers." When we hear these words, the temptation is to think that if God chose some to be saved, then he must have chosen others to be damned. But that is not what the Bible teaches. About those who are lost forever in hell, the Apostle Paul writes to Timothy in his first letter that it is not God's fault. Rather, the sad truth is that "some have in fact already turned away to follow Satan."

When you and I are tempted to think that we can somehow earn our way into heaven, when we think that we have to "make our decision for Christ", this verse from Romans chapter 8 reminds you and me that our being saved is all the work of our Savior-God. God the Father offered up his one and only Son. God the Son willingly came as your Savior and mine, gave up his body and shed his blood, as the full payment price for all of your sins and mine. God the Holy Spirit chose you and me to be children of our Father in heaven. As we read in Ephesians, chapter 1, "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will—to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves."

How did our Savior-God chose you and me to be his own? We are told that "those he predestined, he also called..." In his Word, the Savior-God called out to you and me. He proclaimed his Law to us to show you and me our sins and the great need you and I have for a Savior. He shared with us the sweet message of the Gospel, to proclaim his love for you and me; love shown to you and me through Jesus our Savior. Our Savior-God used that powerful Gospel message to bring us to faith in Jesus as our one and only Savior, and he uses that same Gospel message to keep us in our faith. It is through the Means of Grace, that is, the Gospel message in the Word and in the Sacraments, that we hear the Good News that through Jesus "those he called, he also justified..." Because of Jesus, you and I are "justified", that is declared "Not Guilty". Because Jesus willingly offered up his perfect life in place of ours, you and I are able to speak about living with him in heaven as an accomplished fact. As we read from God's Word: "those he justified, he also glorified." Because of Jesus, you and I are able to be confident that our Savior-God chose us to be his own dear children to live with him forever in the perfect joys of heaven.

Why can you be a confident Christian? Because again in Ephesians chapter 1 you and I read the Good News that through Jesus "you enjoy redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding...In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, in order that we...might be for the praise of his glory...Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God's possession—to the praise of his glory."

What are you confident about? Are you confident about the future of our country? Are you confident that you will be able to keep your job? Are you confident that you will be able to do well in school this year? Are you confident of the forgiveness of all of your sins? Are you confident of your place at your Savior's side in heaven? Why can you be a confident Christian? Because your Savior-God loves you. In love for you, he is working for you day after day and in his love for you your Savior-God chose you to be his own. Amen.

 

 

Our Mission Statement:

Compelled by the love of Christ, St. Matthew’s Evangelical Lutheran Church and School seek to reach out to our families, community and world, using Law and Gospel to make disciples, growing and nurturing them in their Christian faith and life.

 

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Sunday
8:00 A.M. & 10:30 A.M.

9:15 A.M. Bible Study for All Ages

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818 West Wisconsin Avenue
Oconomowoc, WI 53066
262-912-6060

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