Reformation Day 2023 (Observed)
Immanuel Lutheran Church, Hamilton, Ohio
Pastor Kevin Jud 
October 29, 2023
Rev. 14:6-7, Rom. 3:19-28, John 8:31-36


Sermons online: 
Text and Audio:         immanuelhamiltonchurch.com   click “sermons”
Text:                           pastorjud.org   
Audio:                         pastorjud.podbean.com 
itunes:                        bit.ly/pastorjud
Full Service Audio:   bit.ly/ImmanuelWorship


             You are walking alone down the sidewalk when a man shouts from behind you.  “Police!  Stop in the name of the law!  Put your hands up and turn around slowly!”  What should you do?  You have done nothing wrong that you know of, but, at least for me, I think I would put my hands up and turn around slowly.  A police office has the authority to make me stop.  He has the authority of the law.  If he is abusing that authority that is something that can get figured out later in court.  A police officer has the authority of the law given to him by his jurisdiction.

            God has given us God’s law.  God has authority of the law because He is creator of the universe.  God’s law is given in the 10 commandments and in other parts of the Bible and is even written on your heart.  God’s law is strict and demanding.  God is, by nature, holy and pure.  You are, by nature, sinful and unclean.  When faced with the solid wall of God’s holy law you want to look for loopholes to excuse your behavior.  You want to justify yourself.  You want to explain why you sin.  

When you open your mouth to make an excuse for your sin God says, “Stop, in the name of God’s law!”  Close your mouth.  You have no excuse.  You cannot justify yourself. 

            But, but, but…I can’t help it… but everyone is doing it…. But I feel like it is okay… But God’s law is so old fashioned…I know God says it is a sin, but…fill in the blank with your favorite excuse.  But, but, but.  Stop! In the name of God’s law.  Stop.  The law shows that you are a sinner.  End of discussion.  When you want to say “But!”  Shhhhh. 

Romans 3:19 (ESV)  19 Now we know that whatever the law says it speaks to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be stopped, and the whole world may be held accountable to God.”  Every mouth stopped.  The whole world held accountable to God.  Stop in the name of God’s law. 

            God’s law is harsh and unbending, but it is equitable to the utmost.  We are all equal under God’s law.  Under God’s law the whole world is held accountable. No human being is justified by the law.  All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.  God’s law serves to curb evil behavior, it serves as a guide for how to live, and it serves as mirror to show you your status before the holy glory of God.  The mirror of the law’s message to you and to everyone is this:  You are not good enough.  You are a sinner.  You cannot save yourself.  You cannot earn salvation.  You cannot buy salvation.  You are not saved by the law.  This news is devastating to your proud self that wants to be a part of your salvation. 

God’s law declares you are helpless to save yourself.  You cannot do it.  You need to be saved.  Romans 3:22–23 (ESV) 22 … For there is no distinction: 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God…”  You need a savior.

            The amazing Good News is that your Savior has come.  Forgiveness is a gift to you from the Son of God who comes as the Lamb of God to take away the sin of the world.  Righteousness with God is not found in the law, but in the blood of Jesus. The law shows your sin.  Righteousness comes from God apart from the law. 

            Romans 3:21 (ESV) 21 But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— 

            You…Romans 3:24–25 (ESV) 24 …are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. …

            Propitiation is a good vocab word.  It means to appease, to conciliate; it is to offer a sacrifice that appeases God's just judgment and righteous anger against us and our sin. Jesus is not just the propitiator, He is the propitiation.  Jesus appeases God’s anger at your sin and gives you his righteousness, to be received by faith.  Faith is also not something that you do.  Faith is a gift of the Holy Spirit.  Faith receives God’s gifts of forgiveness and eternal life. 

We got to witness a miracle this morning.  Little Samuel Christopher Kehr was baptized this morning.  Samuel is two weeks old.  He does not do much besides eat, sleep, pee and poop and throw up occasionally.  God redeemed Samuel this morning in the waters of baptism and transferred him from the domain of darkness to the light of Christ. As the Church, together, for our brother Samuel, we renounced the devil and all his works and all his ways.  Together we confessed belief in God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  Samuel was born on the afternoon of October 14.  Samuel was born again this morning with water and the Spirit.  Samuel received the Holy Spirit.  He was given the gift of saving faith in Jesus even though we cannot understand the faith of a two week old.  We cannot really understand faith at all.  The righteousness of God was given to Samuel, not because of anything Samuel has done, but because of what Jesus has done for Samuel. 

There is nothing to boast about from yourself because there is nothing that you have done.  Poor in spirit you come to God with empty hands and He fills you to overflowing.  You do not have anything to do with your salvation.  Thanks be to God!  You can trust that it is finished. 

            It hurts your sinful pride, but your salvation is accomplished 100 percent by Jesus so you can trust completely that it was done fully and correctly.  You will still struggle with sinful temptations, but you struggle as one redeemed by the blood of the Lamb.  The battle against evil continues, but the war is already won. 

            If you are ever tempted to brag about your faith or your holy living or your pious practices….shhhh.  Romans 3:27 (ESV) 27 Then what becomes of our boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? By a law of works? No, but by the law of faith.” 

There is nothing to boast about from yourself because there is nothing that you have done.  Poor in spirit you come to God with empty hands and He fills you to overflowing.  You do not have anything to do with your salvation.  Thanks be to God!  You can trust that it is finished. 

            And when Satan accuses you of your sin and tries to convince you that there is no way that God could love and forgive a sinner like you, declare to him, “Stop! In the name of the Gospel!  You are right devil, I am a sinner, but Jesus has forgiven me all my sins and I belong to Him forever.  You lying devil, Stop! In the name of the Gospel!”

            Your salvation is secure because it is accomplished 100% by Jesus.  It is not about you.  It is about Jesus for you.  Amen.