This story of Jesus being tempted in the wilderness shows you Jesus fighting for you. And that’s more important because I could stand up here all day and tell you to fight against satan with the Word of God until I’m blue in the face and you know what? You’ll still sin. Satan will still get the better of you. You’ll still fall for and believe his lies and false goods, especially when he attacks you in your weaknesses and at the worst possible times. You know it’s true. Jesus as your example cannot save you.
But Jesus as the one who came to fight satan for you and win can. And does. We sang it earlier: But for us fights the valiant One, whom God Himself elected. Ask ye who is this? Jesus Christ it is! (LSB #656 v. 2) And so right after Jesus stands with sinners in the Jordan and is baptized for us, He is led out into the wilderness to begin the battle – the battle that will culminate at the cross. And there satan’s “if you are the Son of God” will ring in His ears yet again, coming this time from the mockers, taunting Him to come down from the cross and show that He really is who He claimed to be. That would be good . . . To show everyone that He is the Son of God . . . right? [Read more…]
The Old Testament reading for the first Sunday of Lent was about Satan’s successful temptation of Adam & Eve. The New Testament reading was about Satan’s unsuccessful temptation of Jesus Christ. That’s a good reminder about how Jesus not only paid the penalty for our sins; he also fulfilled the righteousness that we so painfully lack.
We had a great, great sermon about it. Read it all–and I am going to make another post about it–but after the jump I excerpt a point that Pastor Douthwaite made about temptation, how we tend to be tempted not so much by overt evil but by evils that present themselves as being good. [Read more…]
Have you noticed how Jesus fulfilled the Sermon on the Mount–turning the other cheek, returning good for evil, exemplifying each of the Beatitudes? We don’t, but He did, on our behalf.
Now note how Pastor Douthwaite treats “love your enemies,” moving from Law to Gospel, with a bit of the Gospel-motivated Third Use of the Law. [Read more…]
Final: The Rapture is another end times movie. It’s billed as a “Christian horror movie.” The purpose, according to filmmaker Tim Chey, is to “win people to Christ” by scaring “the living daylights out of nonbelievers.”
After the jump, I excerpt a story about the movie with various quotations that I put in bold. I know that the Law terrifies, as it drives us to the Gospel. But that doesn’t mean that anything that terrifies is the Law. Does there seem to be either Law or Gospel in this particular evangelism project?
And what do you make of all of this interest in this particular interpretation of the End Times?
Last Sunday, Pastor Douthwaite riffed on the hearts of Valentine’s Day and on the sins of the “heart” that the readings from Deuteronomy 30 and Matthew 5 were exposing. Then he explored David’s prayer in Psalm 51 that God “create” in him a clean heart, tying in to the way God creates: ex nihilo (out of nothing) [Read more…]