"Blest Through The Cross!" Matthew 5:1-12

Series: Trinity Season Gospel Sermons

November 05, 2023
Rev. Nathan J. Rusert

All Saints’ Day Observed 5-November-2023 Sermon Text: Matthew 5:1-12 Sermon Theme: Blest Through The Cross! I. Saints By Hearing! (Vs.1-2) II. Knit Into Christ’s Life! (Vs.3-6). III. United With Christ’s Heart! (Vs. 7-9) IV. Sealed With Christ’s Victory! (Vs. 10-12). by Rev. Nathan J. Rusert

Episode Notes

All Saints’ Day Observed                                             5-November-2023
Sermon Text: Matthew 5:1-12
Sermon Theme: Blest Through The Cross! I. Saints By Hearing! (Vs.1-2) II. Knit Into Christ’s Life! (Vs.3-6). III. United With Christ’s Heart! (Vs. 7-9) IV. Sealed With Christ’s Victory! (Vs. 10-12).
I.N.R.I. Who are these? Poor. Broken hearted. Timid. Hungry. Thirsty. Persecuted. Who are these? The world only sees their rags. Mocks them as fools. Hates, oppresses, and cancels them as unloving and unscientific. Governments exterminate them as non-conforming extremists. Their books are burned, banned from open use in government schools, their ideas are too radical for modern education.
    Who are they? Children of God! Not because they feel it, experience it, or have earned it. They only know and feel their sins, their failure to do good walking in the path of God’s Holy Ten Commandments. God the Father through the sacrifice of His only begotten Son calls them by His Holy Spirit through the Gospel - My Beloved Children. Born from above in Holy Baptism - they are what the Triune God names them - He has baptized them into His Name - into His mercy - into His family. He declares them - forgiven - Saints made pure in Jesus’ blood and sanctified by the Holy Spirit to be His own!
    The world doesn’t know them. They themselves know their sins - their conscience convicts them - they feel they are 100% sinners deserving only hell. Then they hear the voice of Jesus every morning, every evening - “In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” They are brought back to their baptismal rebirth as Jesus uses their finger to mark them with the sign of His cross - declaring them again - 100% Saints by grace through Faith. They are: Blest Through The Cross! I. Saints By Hearing! (Vs.1-2) II. Knit Into Christ’s Life! (Vs.3-6). III. United With Christ’s Heart! (Vs. 7-9) IV. Sealed With Christ’s Victory! (Vs. 10-12).
I. An old man was imprisoned far away from family, friends, and his congregation. He was isolated and alone. Perhaps you’ve felt like him, discarded by the world, forgotten by family. Shut-in by age, in a nursing home alone, or isolated by the prison of blue screens and social media. St. John is alone, imprisoned on the island of Patmos - canceled by his culture for preaching the Truth - Jesus! He feels alone - but he isn’t - Emmanuel - Jesus is with him. Sunday morning dawns. John goes to church - He speaks, sings, prays, repeats the liturgy of the Church out loud. His isn’t an imagined spirituality of neglecting to gather with Christ’s people. Suddenly his eyes are opened. He sees Jesus - the Alpha and the Omega. Emmanuel unites John with the Church Triumphant in heaven and the Church Militant on earth. One Holy Christian and Apostolic Church - found where Jesus is present speaking His Word and distributing His cross won - empty tomb certified gifts of forgiveness, life, and salvation.
      Sinners are made saints, not by their trying, feelings, experiences, or doing. It isn’t their thinking or strength that makes them God’s beloved children - they are saints by hearing! Listen! (Vs.1-2). Crowds of sinners, Jews, Gentiles, sick, and healthy follow Jesus. The nations are being gathered to Him. Jesus, the greater than Moses, sits down on a mountain. God Himself is present. Jesus sits down, the posture of a Rabbi to teach His students - those who are His disciples come to Him. Saints receive Christ Jesus in His Word. Faith comes by hearing, and hearing from the message of Christ. True saints gather together to hear Jesus’ Word! In their homes in daily Scripture readings, Psalms, and prayers. They are of God, so they gladly hear Christ’s Word every Sunday in their local congregation. Saint are made and kept saints by hearing every Word that proceeds from the mouth of God - Jesus!
II.   God/Man Jesus opens His mouth to bless sinners with His perfect life. Listen. (Vs.3) These blessing of Jesus are not prescriptive telling sinners what they must do to earn God’s favor. They are descriptive of the mercy of our Father in His only begotten Son to save us sinners by His Spirit. It isn’t poverty that blesses us, but poverty of spirit. Behold Jesus - God’s only begotten Son - emptied Himself and made Himself of no account to come alongside of sinners like me. God’s work in Holy Baptism knits us sinners into the very life of Christ Jesus. His life is our life. Our sin becomes His sin. Our poverty and weakness is clothed upon Him. We are blessed to be honest - we are poor miserable sinners with no hope in ourselves. King Jesus comes only for poor sinners - He delivers us from our sins into His Kingdom as He lays His nail scarred hands on our forehead proclaiming, “Peace! I forgive you all your sins!”
      Jesus laid aside the joy of heaven to carry our sorrows and bear our infirmities in His sinless flesh. What human ruler would surrender all his joy to become miserable with his people?(vs.4) Jesus did and He does. His heart breaks for lost mankind. He mourns sin. He wept at death. He struggles with suffering the consequences of our sin for us! He comes alongside us in our mourning - we live in a world captive to Satan, deceived by the Lie, chained to death, and hungry for power and riches. All these lies cannot save us - they cannot take away our death, our tears, our mourning. Jesus has and does. He comes alongside our broken hearts at the grave of our loved ones speaking Joh 11:25-26"I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. (26) And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?" With mourning Martha we confess, Joh 11:27 “Yes, Lord, I believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God, who is to come into the world."   His Easter victory is our comfort - He shall wipe away all tears from our eyes on the Last Day - we shall see again all who rest in Him!
    Jesus, though God, humbled Himself(vs.5) - His meekness saves us! He humbled Himself to the point of death on the cross - that by Him we might be reconciled to our God and Father. Now the earth awaits its release from Adam’s sin, when the day dawns and Jesus descends with power and glory to reclaim this world filling it with eternal righteousness.
    Jesus hungers for you - dear sinner! (Vs. 6). The Bread of Heaven hungered and thirsted everlasting righteousness for YOU! Your hunger and thirst cannot be satisfied by something inside. You need the Lord God to provide for you from outside of yourself. Jesus hungers and thirsts battling Satan for you in the wilderness as your Brother. He hungers and thirsts to win you righteousness upon the cross. He empties Himself as His tongue sticks to the roof of His mouth - as He shoulders the eternal hell of your sin. He finishes it all. Now He draws near to you with His life - in bread and wine - His living flesh and blood placed into your mouth. You are forgiven by His cross. His perfect life sustains you. His blood quenches your thirst for righteousness - the Father welcomes you as His child through His Son! Sinner/ Saints are blessed with Jesus’ life!
III.   Listen! (Vs.7) God is mercy! Mercy isn’t something we earn - it is given sinners only in the flesh and blood of Jesus. The Psalmist cries out from the depths of his sin and despair. He has no hope in himself, but with the Lord Jesus there is mercy - forgiveness that He may be feared. Receiving God’s mercy we are made knew from the inside out - given Christ’s mercy we forgive all who sin against us - seeing them through the heart and eyes of Christ.
    God the Holy Spirit has removed your sinful heart of stone. He has created a clean heart within you - the very heart of Jesus - a heart of true flesh! (Vs.8) Moses, could not see the Lord face to face - the Law cannot make us pure - we need a new heart - the very heart of Jesus. Now we see the face of God - always and only in the face of the God/Man Christ Jesus.
    The heart of God the Father is fully revealed in Jesus. He tenderly invites us to believe that He is our True Father - we are His True children. Born from above by His Spirit through the reconciliation He worked for us in Jesus. (Vs. 9) We are blessed by the Peacemaker - Jesus - His blood has washed us and made our robes white. Reconciled to our Father sinners declared saints - we seek peace by speaking the Truth in love to all.
IV. “Receive the sign of the cross both upon your forehead and your heart to mark you as one redeemed by Christ the crucified.” Words that echoed in your infant ears as you were born from above at the font. This is the seal of the living God placed upon you in Holy Baptism, clothing you with Christ’s robe of righteousness.
      Jesus blesses us through the cross. (Vs.10) He was persecuted to win for us sinners righteousness. The mark of Christ’s Kingdom is the cross. The world treats you as it treated Jesus! Do not despair!
      Listen, the world means it unto you for evil, Jesus blesses you! (Vs.11-12) Others will revile, they will speak evil of you. The world mocks Christianity as a dying failure - they cannot see the truth - the Church never shrinks - it has grown every generation sinners are called from death to life eternal by grace through faith! Rejoice! When all seems lost - Christ wins! It was that way on the first Good Friday! Satan rejoiced when Jesus cried out, “It is Finished!” and laid down His life into death. Death and the grave swallowed up the Lord of Life, the devil rejoiced - but his joy was short-lived. Sunday morning - death’s maw was shattered and the gates of hell breached by the Lord of Life. God/Man Jesus marched in triumph over Satan, sin, death, and hell. He declares poor miserable sinners who look only to His cross - beloved Saints - children of God.
    “Who are these?” St. John wasn’t alone - Emmanuel - Christ Jesus was with him in suffering and prison. Where Jesus is present in His Word and Sacraments - His whole Church is untied as one! Blesses us now with Christ’s Word, Life, Heart, and Cross! Assuring us that soon we will see Him as He is and all tears will be wiped away from our eyes forever. Blessed are you! Amen.

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