May 22, 2016

Pastor Bernt P. Tweit

The First Lesson; Proverbs 8:22-31

Gospel Lesson; John 16:12-15

Sermon Text; Romans 5:1-5

The Word of God we focus on for today, is taken from Romans, chapter five, looking at the first five verses. This portion of scripture was chosen for Trinity Sunday, because all three persons of the Trinity - Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are mentioned in just these very few, short, verses in scripture.

Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through Him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

These are your words. Heavenly Father lead us in the way of truth. Your Word is truth.


There was once a pastor who said,

“Peace is joy resting.

And joy is peace dancing.”

Now, the first time I heard that, it took awhile for it to sink in. I will say it one more time, to help you out.

“Peace is joy resting.

Joy is peace dancing.”

It is this portion of scripture in which we see not only the peace we have in the Triune God, but also the joy we have in our Triune God. Today is a perfect weekend, a perfect Sunday to look at who the Triune God is, their person, and their work, as it is laid out in our scripture text for today.

But, after hearing who the Triune God is, to know the peace, and joy we have in Him. This is also the perfect Sunday to do this, because in between services, our eighth grade confirmands are going to be going through their public examination, and answering questions they have learned in their Christian faith, expressing it with their very own lips. My sermon for today is really a review of what they are going to share with us in between services.

So, let's do that today. Let's look at the person, and the work of the Triune God. Then, let's see the peace and joy we have in Him.

Scripture tells us it is God the Father who created us. As Pastor Bartels said, as he read through our Old Testament Lesson, from Proverbs, chapter eight, it was all of the Trinity that was active in creation. But, it is our text for today that specifically tells us it is the Father who has justified us.

What does the word 'justify' mean? Well, the word 'justify' simply means 'to declare to be not guilty'. It is a courtroom term. A judge, at the end of a trial, can say one of two things. Either a person is guilty, or they are not guilty.

Here is what God is doing.

       -He is proclaiming you to be not guilty.

       -He is justifying you.

God does that in two ways.

       -The Father does that as He declares the whole world not guilty, because of their sin.

       -But, the Father also proclaims to you, you are not guilty of your sin.

The first is very universal. This is what it says about Jesus doing this work for the Father. Jesus is the atoning sacrifice for our sins. That is personal. Not only for ours, but also for the sins of the whole world. That is universal. So God, first of all, has declared the whole world, to be not guilty, because of their sin.

But, now you can say that very personally for you, too. God has justified me. You can say that today. “God has justified me. He has proclaimed me to be not guilty.”

So, in a very simple way, we ask, “What are the benefits that come to us, because the Father has justified us?” Going through class, the youth would say,

“The benefits are the forgiveness of sin, and life, and salvation.”

But, there is a question in our Catechism that just goes into a little further in depth on what those benefits are. Here is the question.

“What benefits have you received from your justification?”
Here is the answer.

“The benefits of my justification I have received are

       #1 Adoption as God's child,

       #2 Peace with Him,

       #3 Free access to His daily blessings,

       #4 The sure hope of the glorious inheritance, the life everlasting!”

Well, notice in that list, one of those is peace with God. The Father has justified the world. The Father has justified you. One of the benefits we have is we have peace with God.

Now, when God created Adam and Eve, they had peace with God. After all, they were created in God's image. They were holy. They were perfect. They were without sin.

But, after the fall into sin, Adam and Eve lost that peace with God. They were no longer in the image of God. They were no longer holy, perfect, and without sin.

Instead of having that peace, what did Adam and Eve try to do? Well, they tried to hide from God. They tried to flee from God. It wasn't until God came to them, and made a promise with them, that they had peace with God, once again. That is when God came, and promised to send a Messiah. God promised to send a Savior who would save them from their sin. It was then, and only then, they were restored to having that peace with God that had been lost, because of their sin.

Well, you and I have peace with God, because He has justified us. It comes to you, and it comes to me through whom? Our text for today says, “we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ”.

Which gets us to talking about the person, and the work of God the Son. Jesus is true God, and true Man in one person. Jesus' work is to do this.

Jesus' work is to redeem us.

The word 'redeem' simply means 'to buy back'. Jesus has redeemed you and me from sin, from death, and from the power of the devil.

       -Isaiah chapter 53 tells us Jesus redeemed us from sin.

“The punishment that brought us peace

was upon Him.”

Our sin has been taken away from us. It was placed on Jesus at the cross. And, you and I have been redeemed.

       -Jesus has redeemed you and me from death.

2nd Timothy 2, says,

“Jesus has destroyed death,

and has brought life

and immortality to light through the Gospel.”

       -Jesus has redeemed you and me from the devil. Go all the way back to the first promise God gave to Adam and Eve, in the Garden of Eden. Here was the promise, and when God makes a promise it is kept true to the end. God said to the devil,

“I will put enmity between you and the woman,

between your offspring and hers.

He will crush your head.”

It is with those words, at the cross, when Jesus said,

“It is finished”,

that He defeated the power of the devil.

Jesus has redeemed you and me, buying us back from sin, death, and the power of the devil.

So now, as our text says, we stand in grace. How awesome it is we stand in grace, because of what our Savior, Jesus, has done for us! God's grace simply is His undeserved love for us who are sinners.

So, here we have this peace with God, because He has justified us. Here we have this peace with God, because Jesus has redeemed us.

But, how can we have joy? How can we rejoice in what the Triune God has done for us? Well, it is the last verses of our text for today which tie these four words together. They seem to be four words that don't have anything to do with each other, and yet they are connected. They are words:



       -character, and


You might say, “How can I rejoice, or how can I have joy in my suffering?” I wish we had enough time this morning in which everybody would be able to talk about this personally, and share some incident in their life, in which those four things are connected together. The sufferings we endure that leads to the hope we have, so that we can have joy, and rejoice in the Triune God.

I will share with you an earthly example. Remember this date. October 16th, 1982. It was a balmy fall day, here in Madison. The Michigan State Spartans were in town, playing football against the Wisconsin Badgers, at Camp Randall. As the game went on, it was very obvious Michigan State was the superior team that day. The sixty thousand-plus Badger faithful in attendance knew that. They came to cheer on their team, and yet they were being soundly defeated.

But, there was something very interesting happening that day. As the Badgers were loosing, occasionally there would be shouts, applause, and cheering that was coming forth from the stands.

The Badger coaches, and players were wondering, “What is going on here? We are losing. How can our fans be cheering?”

You see the fans were listening to their radios, and on that day, seventy miles away, at County Stadium in Milwaukee, the Brewers were beating the St. Louis Cardinals in game three of The World Series! And, they won that game!

So, the Badger faithful, right in front of their eyes, were seeing their team losing, and being soundly defeated. And yet, they could rejoice, and they could cheer, because of something that was outside of their circumstance, at County Stadium.

We can say the same thing happens to us in our lives in connecting these four words. (Again, I wish we had an opportunity for everybody to speak here this morning, and talk about the sufferings that are going on right before our very eyes, because of our lives of sin.)

       -It may be problems we are having in our families.

       -It may be problems we are having with a child.

       -It may be problems we are experiencing, because of our lives of sin.

And yet, connect these four words.

Suffering produces endurance.

Endurance produces character.

Character produces hope.

Hope does not disappoint us.

Dear Christian Brothers and Sisters in Christ, we may have suffering that we are experiencing right now in our lives, because of our sin. Don't despair. Don't give up. We know those four things are connected. And, being connected, not only do we know we have peace with God, but we can rejoice, and have joy in the Triune God, because of the hope He has given to us, through Christ Jesus, our Lord.

Which leads me to the person, and work of the Holy Spirit. Thanks be to God that it is the Holy Spirit who is the One who brings us to faith.

The Holy Spirit brings us to faith to believe in Jesus, as our Savior, through God's Word.

       -The Holy Spirit uses God's Word in baptism.

       -He uses God's Word in The Lord's Supper.

       -He uses God Word through preaching, and teaching.

All to point us to Jesus, and to remind us our Savior, Jesus, lived a perfect life in our place. He suffered death on the cross, so that with the forgiveness of sin, you and I have everlasting life, with Him in Heaven.

So, it is now the Holy Spirit who pours out God's love into your hearts, into our hearts, as our text for today tells us. As the Holy Spirit pours out God's love into our hearts, not only do we have peace in our Triune God, but we have joy. We can rejoice, because of what the Triune God has done for us.

This morning I would like to close with a hymn number 390. It is the hymn, Salvation Onto Us has Come. It ties in the Triune God. It ties in the peace and joy we have in our Triune God. I would like to close with verses 1, 5, and 6 of this hymn.

Salvation onto us has come

by God's free grace and favor.

Good works cannot avert our doom.

They help and save us, never.

Faith looks to Jesus Christ alone.

Who did for all the world atone.

He is the One Redeemer.

Since Christ has full atonement made,

and brought to us salvation.

Each Christian therefore may be glad.

And build on this foundation.

Your grace alone, dear Lord I plead.

Your death is now my life indeed.

For you have paid my ransom.

All blessing, honor, thanks, and praise

to Father, Son, and Spirit.

The God who saved us by His grace.

All glory to His merit.

O Triune God, in Heaven above,

You have revealed your saving love.

Your blessed name be hallowed.