Sermon 10.16.2016

Pastor Lane’s message (2016-10-16) from Peace Lutheran – Faribault on Vimeo.

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ALONE

What do you think of when you hear the word alone?  For many the word alone can be a very negative word such as being alone. For kids and even many adults being alone is something that is actually fearful.  Kids don’t like being alone when it’s dark.  Many people don’t like being alone at home especially at night.  Even those of us who enjoy time away from people are stilled wired to want to be in connection with other people because we are not made to be alone all the time.  Yet when we talk about the reformation that we are going to be celebrating the 500 anniversary of in 2017 the word ALONE is all over it.

Being alone is one thing but the “alones” (or the Solas) of the reformation are anything but scary they are actually the most comforting thing one could ever hear. We are justified by grace alone through faith alone because of Christ alone which is known in scripture alone all of this for God’s glory alone.  The Solas of the reformation actually point to the fact that we are not alone in anything that we do.  In our sinfulness (aka our complete corruption) we are alone separated from a holy and perfect God, but that holy and perfect God also has a perfect love and desires all people to be saved and people who are dead in their sins can’t save themselves and for that matter can’t even be encouraged and equipped to save themselves they are simply alone in their sin.  With that being the case God alone would do the saving of humanity and he would justify humanity by GRACE ALONE nothing more nothing less simply by grace.  Yet the grace alone is not sitting in a bucket somewhere for you to find and apply to your sinfulness we simply received this grace through FAITH ALONE.  Even this faith is not something that we do but rather something that we receive. Ephesians 2:8–9 (ESV) For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. Did this grace which we receive by faith simply pop out of thin air? No, it was actually very costly as it was obtained by CHRIST ALONE.  Christ’s perfect life, death, and resurrection are those things which have earned that which is offered to you freely, salvation.  How could we ever learn about this good news?  Must we pray really hard for God to make this clear to us?  Do we have to obtain some feeling or hear the voice of God from the heavens which only throws the responsibility back on us?  No, once again we have been given the scriptures and it is by SCRIPTURE ALONE that we know of the goodness of God and love for he has for all of humanity, desiring them all to be saved.  Salvation is not our work it is alone the work of God which is the best news one could ever know and because of that the GLORY goes TO GOD ALONE!

The reformation was all about rediscovering the biblical teachings that we are actually alone in our sin unable to free ourselves and get to God yet God had no intention of leaving us alone. If you feel alone for whatever the reason sin, suffering, or just because it Saturday remembers the “alones” of the reformation which are the “alones” of scripture which tell you that you are never alone.

Deuteronomy 31:6 (ESV)

Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.”

Romans 3:21–26 (ESV)

21 But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— 22 the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. 26 It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.