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Summary: A Reformation Sermon

Reformation Sunday

Jeremiah 31:31-34

"The Gift"

““Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, not like the covenant which I made with their fathers when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant which they broke, though I was their husband, says the LORD. But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put my law within them, and I will write it upon their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. And no longer shall each man teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, says the LORD; for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”” Jeremiah 31:31-34, RSV.

Grace and Peace to you fro our Lord and Saviour, Jesus who is the Christ. Amen

James Kennedy tells this story:

A famed cabinet maker is very fond o you. He wants to surprise you with the greatest gift you’ll ever receive. Unknown to you, he gathers all the money he has. He takes all his life’s savings and thought he has to deny his own son the privileges that others have, he sells all that he has, cashed in stock and bond and hunts the world over to find the best wood money can buy. The priceless unfinished wood is brought into his shop.

Day and might he works to produce the most prefect the most beautiful table the world has ever known.

finally, the butting, the sawing, the gluing, the fitting and the sanding are all done. He finishes this masterpiece by hour and hours of hand polishing.

The next day he comes to your door with his men holding the table draped in cloth.

what will be your response? Will you ask if it needs some more work? Will you ask how much do you owe him? What will you do?

To these questions the master craftsmen will answer

does it need more work

No is it finished completely

How much do I have to pay for it

Nothing it is a gift

Will you accept it as a gift?

Only you can answer that question/

This story illustrates the main point of the Reformation we celebrate this morning. For God paid a great sum, a priceless sum in giving Jesus on the cross for your salvation. You and I can add nothing. We cannot pay for it. We must accept this gift from a gracious God to us undeserving children.

Salvation through Christ is a free gift from the Father to his sinful children.

As we leaned in confirmation class, Grace is God’s free, unmerited love for sinful people. It is fee and unearned, there is nothing you or I can do , say feel or think to deserve God love for sinful people. God gave freely from the cross of Dal;vary for you and me.

This morning we are going to look at this gift of salvation and our relationship to Jesus Christ.

this salvation is a gift. We can do nothing to earn it, or make it better. God decided to do this for his sinful people.

This is the gift which makes saints our of sinners. Luther liked to say that we are at the same time saint and sinner. Saint because we have the promise of salvation and sinner because that promise is not fully realized yet.

A pastor tells the following:

“A pastor friend said he was trying to get a nonmember to at least examine the claims of Jesus. But this person would bring up this argument: ‘Well pastor, I’d come to your church, but there are just too many hypocrite that go there.’

The pastor looking that man right in the eye said, ‘oh nuts don’t let that keep you from coming. One more won’t make or break us.’”

Yes, the church is made up of saints and sinners. But there is a quality about us which shows other that we are different. We know Christ.

Our sainthood is showing. As we live in this world, we bring a measure of Christ into it. Christ is there to give us the strength to live and in that living we show other who we are. We are saints and sinners at the same time.

And in that relationship with Christ, we find the power to live life among all the brokenness in which we encounter each day. It is Christ’s love for us which enables us to carry on.

It is this love which says to a brother who goes to the grave of his sister, places flower on the headstone, stand there in silent grief shedding no tears. It is this love from Christ which say it is all right to cry, to shed a tear, to feel sorrow, loneliness and the pain of death. it is this love of Christ which continues to say to that grieving brother, I will redeem those tears, I will bring victory out of the sting of death. I will bring you the assurance of the promise there is a resurrection for all who believe.

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