Sermon Notes      Reformation   Oct 24 & 25  2020  “The Truth Will Set You Free”

Memory verses –  John 8:31 & 32.

31To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples.  32Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”                                                           –John 8:31-32

Why is teaching important?                  How can we know the truth?

What do Freedom and Courage mean for us as Christians?

from Master Builder’s Bible for Men – LMM Edition of the Serendipity Bible questions for John 8 also appropriate for affirmation of Baptism aka Confirmation:

What are you proud of in your religious heritage?     What has knowing the truth set you free to do?            How can you be sure that there is room in your life for his Word?

Remembrances of past  Confirmation services and questioning… baptism…VBS

We are really Jesus’ disciples (followers) when we hold to his teaching… (John 8:32)

Record, news media, anonymous sources  as measure of political candidates as liars or true to  promises…

Truth mentioned at least 18 times in the Gospel of St. John… “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:31-32)ESV.   Abide in the Word of God by faithful study it and regular worship where the Word of God is faithfully read and proclaimed as God’s truth.   Discipleship meant accepting all of Jesus’ teaching and remaining faithful to it.  “The truth will set you free.”  (John 8:32)

Only in Jesus and His teaching will anyone be free from sin, death, and Satan’s rule, and thus free to serve God with a pure heart.  We need to study the law of God, for it helps us to see that we are sinners and in need of a savior. 

Since the fall of Adam and Eve into sin, only the Son of God, Jesus Christ, can bring genuine freedom and make us children of God through faith.  Through Jesus’ sacrificial death and resurrection, He provides liberation  (true freedom) from sin, death, and the devil to all who believe and are baptized into His name.                                                           Jesus’ tender invite to comfort:  “Let not your hearts be troubled.  Believe in God; believe also in me. …” –John 14:1 … answer to Thomas:  “I am the way, and the truth, and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through me. …”  –John 14:6

Jesus not merely a way, but rather the only way to God. 

Confirmands verses:  Kenzie, Deuteronomy 31:6;   Payton, Joshua 1:9 verses inviting  strength & courage and not afraid or discouraged.  Reminds of the presence of the LORD God who goes with us.    Elliot, Proverbs 4:25 reminds to not waver from following God’s commandments, to not turn aside to temptations and disobedience.

Freedom references, in special edition of The American Patriot’s Bible  produced by Thomas Nelson Publishers in 2009 with editorial notes and articles by Richard G. Lee of There’s Hope America.  Dr. Lee states in introduction: “There is no book more powerful than the Bible to shape the morals and values of men and nations to be right and noble and just…       While other nations have built their governments upon the shaky foundations of communism, socialism, and countless other anti-God philosophies, only to see those foundations crumble, America stands without equal as a beacon of hope and freedom in a hurting world.”  Not all of Founding Fathers were Christians, but those who were not were deeply influenced by the principles of Christianity – a mindset that help to shape their political ideals. 

Quotations from some of the Founding Fathers of our nation:

“It cannot be emphasized too clearly and too often that this nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religion, but on the gospel of Jesus Christ.”  –Patrick Henry, Governor of Virginia

“Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers, and it is the duty, as well as the privilege and interest of our Christian nation, to select and prefer Christians for their rulers.”  –John Jay, first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court

“Without morals a republic cannot subsist any length of time; they therefore who are decrying the Christian religion, whose morality is so sublime and pure…are undermining the solid foundation of morals, the best security for the duration of free governments.”   –Charles Carroll, signer of the Declaration of Independence

May seem  catechism was written long ago as a basic summary of Christian teachings in Holy Scriptures, … Revelation of St. John 14:6-7 gives glimpse of future …message of first of three angels proclaims an eternal gospel to those who dwell on earth, to every nation and tribe and language and people…:“…Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has come, and worship him who made heaven and earth, the sea and the springs of water.” (Revelation 14:7)  ESV                  Reminder of Catechism

First Commandment and the explanations to all of the commandments? 

The first commandment is “You shall have no other gods.”…..“What does this mean?”                                                                                                                                                   We should fear, love, and trust in God above all things.                                                                

(Explanations of commandments 2-10, What does this mean?)                                                                     We should fear and love God so that…

Revelation 14:7 reminds, “worship him who made heaven and earth, the sea and the springs of water.”     Do you recall the 3rd commandment?  Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.  What does this mean?  We should fear and love God so that we do not despise preaching and His Word, but hold it sacred and gladly hear and learn it. 

The angel’s call to worship might remind of the 1st article of the Apostles Creed :I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth.

Please answer with me the question:  “What does this mean?”

I believe that God has made me and all creatures; that He has given me my body and soul, eyes, ears, and all my members, my reason and all my senses, and still takes care of them.                                                                                                                                                                   He also gives me clothing and shoes, food and drink, house and home, wife and children, land, animals, and all I have.  He richly and daily provides me with all that I need to support this body and life.

He defends me against all danger and guards and protect me from all evil.

All this He does only out of fatherly, divine goodness and mercy, without any merit or worthiness in me.  For all this it is my duty to thank and praise, serve and obey Him.

This is most certainly true.

This explanation expounds upon what God has done for us as our creatorand our response to Him. 

The explanation to the first Petition of the LORD’s prayer reminds us that God’s name is certainly holy in itself, but we pray in this petition that it may be kept holy among us also.   

The answer to the next question in the explanation also includes a couple of additional brief prayers. As I read the answer to the question, “ How is God’s name kept holy?” I’ll invite you to join me in the responsive prayers which I indicate in sermon notes with a capital  R: 

God’s name is kept holy when the Word of God is taught in its truth and purity, and we, as the children of God, also lead holy lives according to it. 

R:  Help us to do this, dear Father in heaven!

But anyone who teaches or lives contrary to God’s Word profanes the name of God among us.

R:  Protect us from this, heavenly Father!

Confirmation is not a graduation.  Confirmation is not about a freedom to not go to class – to not study Luther’s Small Catechism;  Rather it is about a freedom in Christ.  That we are not under the bondage of the law as a requirement but that we have an understanding that Christ has set us free from our bondage to sin; which gives us a freedom to study and learn the Word of God; Not as a burden but as a blessing where the Holy Spirit guides us to a deeper knowledge of the freedom that sets us free from our sins.

It gives us a freedom to act with courage and to know the Truth that sets us free- Jesus Christ and the power of His Holy Gospel. 

ALL PRAY:  Heavenly Father, remind me that You have chosen me to be Your own child in Baptism into the death and resurrection of the unblemished Lamb, Jesus Christ my LORD.  Grant that I may take courage and remain faithful to the Truth of Your Holy Word until my last hour.      Amen.

(Now may the peace of God which passes all human understanding keep our hearts and minds through faith in Christ Jesus.  (Amen.)

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