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    Rev. Cameron Schnarr

Beautiful Savior Lutheran School

Lutheran Church Canada - What do you believe?

LCC - Lutheran Church Canada

Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church - Winnipeg, Canada
Doubt, meet Life

Doubt, meet Life

Based on John 14:15-21

Preached on May 25, 2014

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Fellow baptized saints, those who may say, "Baptismal waters cover me", the man's obituary read: "If you are reading this in the paper then I am no longer of this world but have passed on to the eternal world promised by Jesus. Hopefully, I am headed up, not down."

Hopefully? Hopefully? Has the Son of God taken on human flesh, suffered all our punishments, died on the cross and risen from the dead so that hopefully we will be with Him forever? Has God the Father Almighty, before all the angels and all of creation, spoken and sent forth His Word so that hopefully it will come true? No, but mankind is full of doubt. We are distracted. Worried. Confused and overwhelmed. So God continues to act. He continues to speak. To guard. Protect and Defend. He does not want us to suffer in our uncertainty so He makes us a promise.

"Because I live, you also will live." "Because I live, you also will live."

Jesus said these words in the Upper Room because His disciples, His closest friends and followers, were all rattled with doubt. They were afraid. They were lost and frightened and desperate for something real, something true to tell them that everything was going to be ok – because it sure sounded like things were not going to be ok. It sure sounded like Jesus had talked of being betrayed - like He had just given them His Last Will and Testament in this Holy Supper and was talking of His own death. Darkness and death, fear and despair had come crowding in, and resolve was shaking.

"Because I live, you also will live."

Jesus said these words because He knew that even His disciples in this room, even you and I, are still rattled with doubt. We are still afraid. Lost. Frightened and desperate for something real – because everything is not going to be ok! Everything is not fine. It is dying. Sick. Twisted. Dark. All around I see.

"Because I live, you also will live."

Jesus said these words the night before He went to the cross. The night before He was scourged, beaten and tortured. Jesus said these words the night before His Father would turn His back on Him. The night before He would suffer the punishment of our sin. Jesus said these words looking beyond the shame and the pain and the grief to the joy that was set before Him – the joy of you being saved. You – Forgiven. Alive. Whole.

"Because I live, you also will live."

Jesus said these words because He knows you. He knows your heart. What is it you actually doubt? The chief thing you find so hard to believe? That Jesus is alive? That He has the power to raise the dead? No, the thing that you could never believe on your own – that without His Spirit you could never trust - is that this Jesus would actually do all of this for you. Suffer for you. Die for you. Love you - that much - that He would hold nothing back to see you safe. Because let's face it – your doubting heart is not worth saving that way. It doesn't deserve it.

But this is the whole point, beloved. God doesn't have mercy on those who deserve it. He has mercy on those who don't. He doesn't wait for you to stop doubting, He speaks His truth past your doubt. Your heart will have doubt until the Last Day, so He gives you His Spirit to be with you forever. To tell your heart again and again – Yes its true. Jesus did this for you. Yes its true. He is coming to you. Yes its true. You will be with Him forever.

And because He knows you, because He knows what kind of heart He is dealing with, He doesn't give you room to doubt whether or not you have His Spirit. He simply pours Him out on you richly in the washing of regeneration and renewal. Baptism that saves you. He simply gives your heart another advocate – another defense attorney – to remind you that Christ has cleaned your conscience – that His life means eternal life for you. "Because I live, you also will live." Shpush… There. Alive. Holy Spirited.

You are God's dear children. And I know this life is full of crosses. I know that everything you see is pain and suffering, but look through the shame and the pain and the grief of the cross with Christ to the joy that He has set before you. He will not leave you as orphans. He is coming to you. His resurrection is yours – and all of Scripture resounds this beautiful truth.

John 3 - "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.

John 10 - "My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish.

John 11 - "I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die."

Eph 2 - But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ.

Col. 2 - You were buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead.

Rom 6 - For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. 10 For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God.

Fellow baptized saints, those who sing "Baptismal Waters Cover Me," do not let your hearts be troubled. You never need to wonder if you are going up or down. For the words of Christ are not a lottery, nor a game in which you hope to win. They are His eternal promise, His New Testament to you. "Because I live, you will live also." For all of your sins are forgiven -- in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

Rev. Cameron Schnarr