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Sharing God's Love and Word Within and Beyond Calvary

Sermon October 25 2020

Reformation Sunday 2020

John 8:31-36


Grace to you and peace, from God our Father and from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  Amen. 

This morning we just heard Jesus tell the Jews who had believed in Him “If you abide in my Word, you are truly my disciples; and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”  

Let us pray: Lord God of our salvation, it is your will that all people might come to you through your Son Jesus Christ our Lord.  Inspire our witness to him, that all may know the power of his forgiveness and the hope in his resurrection.  In Jesus name we pray.  Amen. 

Truth.  What is truth?  That was the question that Pontius Pilate asked of Jesus right before Jesus was sentenced to death and led away to be crucified.  We are told that after Jesus told Pilate “Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.”  Pilate responded, “What is truth?”    

Truth.  What is truth? 

That is a good question, because we live in a world today that states that truth is relative.  And we live in a world today where people believe that they have the right to decide what is true and what is not true.  

In an age of social media, and instant communication, we live in a world where what is true for you may not be true for me, and vice versa. 

And we live in a world today where your truth is not truer than my truth, because what is true for me is true for me, and you must respect that. 

Well, thank goodness, our text today calls us out of this world of relative truth to The One who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.  Our readings today point us towards the One who is the truth that sets us free from the power of sin, and death, and the influence of the evil one.  

Our text today directs our attention towards the One who looked Pontius Pilate in the eye and said: “those who are of the “truth” listen to my voice.”

So, what is truth?  The truth is, that Jesus loves you.  I know you have heard this truth before.  Ever since most of us were little children we have sung the song “Jesus loves me, this I know.  For the Bible tells me so.”  

Jesus does indeed love you.  That is the Gospel truth.  Jesus loved you so much He humbled Himself by being born of a virgin in a stable.  He loved you so much that He lived the perfect life in your place.  He loved you so much that He laid down His perfect life as an atoning sacrifice for your sins, and then was raised back to life for you.  

What is truth?  The truth is that Jesus will never leave you or forsake you.  That was His promise as He ascended into heaven when He said: “I will be with you always even to the end of the age.” 

What is truth?  The truth is that you and I are sinners.  Each one of us has been conceived and born into sin.  It is called original sin.  Our sinful condition has been passed down through our parents all the way back to Adam and Eve. 

What is truth?  The truth is that sin separates us from God and from each other.  And because we are separated from God and each other we encounter big problems in this world. 

What is truth?  The truth is “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves. And the truth is not un us.  But if we confess our sins, God who is faithful and just will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 

What is truth?  The truth is that God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. 

What is truth?  The truth is that you have been baptized into the very name of the triune God.  Through water and the Word, you have been claimed as a beloved child of God and your sins have been washed away. 

What is truth?  The truth is that over the past 2000 years the truth has been a big deal and still matters today.  Truth is not relative.  Truth is timeless.  The truth does not change.  The truth is none other than Jesus Christ our Lord.

And that is why today, on Reformation Sunday we place a great emphasis on “The Truth.”  And we also remember the time when a monk by the name of Martin Luther made a big deal about the truth of Jesus being proclaimed to all God’s children. 

Luther did this by posting 95 theses on the Castle door in Wittenberg, and when he called the Roman Catholic Church to account for their sale of indulgences, and when he called out the church for abandoning the Word of God. 

And so today we rejoice that the Word of God was restored to the church.  We rejoice in being Lutherans who believe and confess that we are saved by grace alone, and faith alone, and by scripture alone.

Pilate asked Jesus “What is truth?”  Little did he know that the truth that he needed for salvation was standing right in front of him. Today the truth is right here among us.  Today the truth comes to us when we hear the Word of God and when we eat the bread and drink the wine of His Body and His Blood. 

And so, let us join our voices together and celebrate the truth as we sing the first verse of Jesus loves me. 

Jesus loves me, this I know.

For the Bible tells me so.

Little ones to Him belong.

They are weak, but He is strong.

Yes, Jesus loves me.

Yes, Jesus loves me.

Yes, Jesus loves me.

The Bible tells me so. 

Let us pray: Blessed Lord, you speak to us through the Holy Scriptures.  Grant that we may hear, read, respect, learn, and make them our own in such a way that the enduring benefits and comfort of the Word will help us grasp and hold the blessed hope of everlasting life, given to us through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.