Summary: This message is the conclusion to Martin Luther's Small Catechism. the 6 major theological points of scripture, concluding with "our vocation".
In Jesus Holy Name November 11, 2018 Series: Luther’s Small Catechism Redeemer
Text: II Timothy 3:16
“Thinking the Things of God”
Conclusion to Martin Luther’s Small Catechism
On this Sunday we have come to our final topic in our series of messages through Martin Luther’s Small Catechism . I hope you have found this sermon series and bible studies helpful. Deacon Jim has done a fantastic job writing these bible studies. We all should be very proud of him.
On December 6, 1877, Thomas Edison leaned forward and shouted a poem into a very large horn. Cleaned up a bit from the original recording, this is what Edison said more than 139 years ago. These words “Mary had a little lamb”…caused a crude stylus to make marks on a piece of tin foil which had been placed around a cylinder. When the needle was put down again, the machine played Edison’s words back to an amazed group of onlookers.
I have no doubt that if Edison were to wander through a modern day electronics story he would be staggered by seeing CD’s that store music and photos. We can store millions of documents on a small chip. No need for cameras… your cell phone takes high quality photos. Our grandchildren are intrigued by the old rotary phone still hanging on our wall. “Did you ever talk on one of these things, grandpa? E-commerce did not exist prior to 1975. Now we have the explosions of Amazon, Wayfaire, Home Shopping Network while we watch the old box stores like Sears, JC Penny, Lowes begin to close their doors.
(Cell Phone) Simple, yet complex. Your email, your google map, your social media, your address book, your family photos, your dictionary, your phone numbers, all on this little hand held device. Simple. Yet Complex.
This is why Luther wrote the Small Catechism. Simple. Straight forward bible truths to live by. The Ten Commandments. Rules for a Civil Society. The commands of God. Theological truths. What to believe about God. The Creed. How to pray to the God of the Universe. The Lord’s Prayer. How to know you are saved and have your sins forgiven. Baptism and Holy Communion. A logical flow.
Throughout your life you have had questions about God. Haven’t you? When you were young, your questions might have dwelt with topics like: “Where did the dinosaur go?” Of “if God made flies, why do people swat and squish them?”
As you got more sophisticated, so did your questions. You wanted to know: “How come some people die when they are young?” and “If we sent a rocket far enough into outer space would it land in heaven?”:
As an adult, you really got down to brass tacks. You knew before you would ever consider a church, they would have to answer, “Are all gods the same?” and “How come there are so many hypocrites in church?” and “If God really is a God of love how come He lets bad things happen to good people?”
In your first visit to a church you hear words like “sanctification”, “synergism”, “Objective justification. But these words are not simple. Luther knew that if people were to have a common sense theological approach to life then he needed to provide a simple straight forward explanation to the biblical truths about life. He wrote the Small Catechism.
Five fingers: Ten Commandments. The Creed. The Lord’s Prayer. Baptism and Holy Communion. Today, Christianity remains the largest movement in the world. Jesus has touched more people, changed more lives, redirected more souls than anybody else. And if you wonder how a dead Man could do such a thing, I can tell you.
The story of Jesus has changed the world because Jesus who was crucified, died and was buried, didn’t stay that way. Having shouldered and carried our sins to the cross Jesus did die. Anybody who says differently is full of baloney. Among the tens and hundreds of thousands of people the Romans crucified, not one of them ever escaped. Forensic medicine will tell you that when Jesus was stabbed …and “blood and water” came out, it was a sure and certain sign that Jesus have dead for some time.
No, Jesus died and was buried, but He didn’t stay that way. Three days after Jesus’ lifeless body had been placed into that tomb, days after a guard had been set as His grave, and a seal placed upon Him, some women who had come to take care of His corpse saw Him; His closest disciples saw Him numerous times; hundreds of others saw Him, ate with Him, touch Him. Let’s keep it simple
There is no doubt that three days after Jesus had died, according to prophecy, Jesus was alive. Why is this important? Well, you may be a good person, but you, like all of humanity, are a sinner. Your thoughts, your actions, your words confirm that you have broken God’s commandments. In Ecclesiastes 7:20 God states: “surely there is not a righteous man on earth who does good and never sins.” Ezekiel 18:20 says: “The soul who sins shall die.”