Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Bethany Bullet - October 27, 2009

Let this world’s tyrant rage;
In battle we’ll engage.
His might is doomed to fail;
God’s judgment must prevail!
One little word subdues him.

-A Mighty Fortress Is Our God
Martin Luther

What do you suppose that one little word is that can stop this world’s tyrant, i.e. the devil? Think of all the wonderful words that could supply the answer to this question:

Jesus - That one word is the answer to the devil’s threats.

Grace - That one word is the cure to the devil’s accusations.

Faith - That one word is the salve to the devil’s taunts.

Yet, none of them was the one little word Luther had in mind.

Liar - That was the one little word that Luther had in mind. Call the devil a liar:

  • When he says, there is no hope for you - “Liar, Jesus is my hope.”
  • When he says, God couldn’t love someone like you - “Liar, Grace abounds.”
  • When he says, obviously God has abandoned you - “Liar, Faith is being confident of what I do not see.”

The difficult thing about using that word is that often we like the lies.

  • Lies provide fertile ground for our self-righteousness and hypocrisy.
  • Lies afford us secret sins.
  • Lies allow us to cling to prejudices and illusions.
  • Lies permit traditions and opinions that are selfish and shallow to be paraded as sacred and sacrificial.

In the Gospel for Reformation Sunday, John 8:31-36, Jesus declares that, “The truth will set us free.” Is it also possible that the truth will set us back? The truth is freeing but at the same time it isn’t free. It comes with a price. The truth that frees us also costs us our prejudices and illusions; our selfish and shallow opinions and traditions we’d like forced upon others; our self-righteousness and hypocrisy. The truth will set you free but it will set you back. The truth comes with a cost.

It cost Jesus His reputation, His support, and His life. This is the price for freeing truth? Jesus becoming captive:

  • To the crowd (of mockers)
  • To the crown (of Rome)
  • To the cross (of Calvary)

The truth set Jesus back – to the back of a cave for three days where he lay dead for all our lies. When He burst free from the tomb He brought our freedom and set us back into a right relationship with God.

In Christ we are free - from the power of the devil, the threat of the grave, and the guilt of sin.

The Truth has set us free and set us back, into a right relationship with God.

-Pastor Kevin Kritzer


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