Now Is The Day of Your Salvation! 2 Corinthians 6:1-10

February 22, 2021
Rev. Nathan J. Rusert

"Has God indeed said...." Satan, a murderer and liar from the beginning, wages a war of words. His lying words against the TRUTH of God's Word. Our life is found in the living Word that proceeds from the mouth of God. Today we hear and call upon Him for rescue from Satan, sin, death, and hell. Sermon Text: 2 Corinthians 6:1-10. Sermon Theme: "Now Is The Day of Your Salvation!" Preached for Invocavit, the first Sunday in Lent, 21-February-2021, at Emmanuel Lutheran Church, Tell City, Indiana by Rev. Nathan J. Rusert.

Episode Notes

Invocabit - The First Sunday In Lent                         21-February-2021
Sermon Text: 2 Corinthians 6:1-10
Sermon Theme: “Now Is The Day of Your Salvation!”
            written by Rev. Nathan J. Rusert

I.N.R.I. Acts 24:25 "Go away for now; when I have a convenient time I will call for you." The Roman governor Felix spoke these words to the Apostle Paul. Paul had been arrested in Jerusalem after a riot broke out in the Temple courts. He had been transported by armed soldiers to Caesarea Philippi after an assassination plot against him was uncovered. Felix heard Paul’s case, but none his accuses came - instead Annas, the high priest came down with Tertullus an attorney. Felix had a more accurate knowledge of Christianity - called “The Way.” He called for Paul to learn more along with his Jewish wife, Drusilla. History records, Acts 24:25 Now as he reasoned about righteousness, self-control, and the judgment to come, Felix was afraid and answered, "Go away for now; when I have a convenient time I will call for you." A “convenient time” never again came for Felix. He didn’t want to hear this imprisoned preacher anymore and after two years he leaves and hands him over to his successor Porcious Festus. The day of salvation passed for Felix, his wife Drusilla, and their family. Refusing to hear Christ’s Word and the life and liberty that it brings, they choose Satan’s spiritual lies that only chain you in sinful lust and death.
          It is a war of words! The Truth stands opposed to THE LIE! Of our arch enemy Jesus - The Truth - speaks: John 8:44 ....... the devil,...... He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it. Satan, a fallen angel, has lied since the day of his rebellion against his Creator. His lie that God’s Word doesn’t mean what it says and that our Creator doesn’t love His creatures and care for His creation - has enslaved mankind in sin and death since Adam listened to the lie and ate of the forbidden fruit. Satan is a liar and murderer - enslaved from Adam we lie to ourselves that we have no sin and murder each other through hate showing that we have no eternal life abiding in us. Like Adam and his wife we blame God for the guilt and shame we feel for our sin as we run with the devil. So deep is our spiritual deadness that we rebel against the truth that either we belong to Christ Jesus or we belong to Satan - there is no gray mushy middle ground. We lie to ourselves that faith is our own choice a decision of our will - whether or not to believe in Jesus Christ our Lord by our own reason and strength. We live in the lie that we are ‘good” or at least “better” than those other sinners. The Lie that we don’t really need God the Holy Spirit to daily and richly forgive us all our sins through Christ’s Church. The Lie that we can continue in the one saving Faith in Jesus apart from the Holy Spirit’s continual life giving work through the Gospel.
          We need rescue, we need to call for help that is what “invocabit” is all about - “Psa 91:15 NKJV He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him and honor him.” Dead people can’t call for help. Spiritually dead, blind, rebellious captives of sin and death cannot call upon the only true and living God for help. We don’t find salvation - it must come unto us. How? Scripture teaches: “Rom 10:13-17 NKJV For "WHOEVER CALLS ON THE NAME OF THE LORD SHALL BE SAVED." (14) How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? (15) And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: "HOW BEAUTIFUL ARE THE FEET OF THOSE WHO PREACH THE GOSPEL OF PEACE, WHO BRING GLAD TIDINGS OF GOOD THINGS!" (16) But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, "LORD, WHO HAS BELIEVED OUR REPORT?" (17) So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.(Christ).
          The day of salvation came to our lost father Adam and his wife when the Preacher came seeking to restore him to life. Repent! Adam didn’t want to come clean and confess his sin. It is easier to blame his Creator and the “flesh of his flesh” rather than to admit his sin. Then in declaring war on Satan masquerading as a serpent - the Lord preached the Gospel - The Head Crusher will be born of a woman alone - a virgin Mother - He will crush Satan’s head gaining us a bloody victory by taking all of his venomous true accusations against us into His own sinless flesh. Through the Preacher Adam repented and clung to the Gospel promise honoring his wife with the name -“mother of all living.”
        Today! We hear the Preacher again calling to us in His Word! Repent and believe the Gospel! Listen! “Now Is The Day of Your Salvation!”
        St. Paul writes a second letter to his beloved congregation at Corinth. False preachers had invaded. Not everyone who quotes a passage from the Holy Bible is sent from God. Satan tempting starving Jesus in the wilderness quotes Bible passages to Him. Paul warns (2 Corinthians 6:1) Paul in his pastoral office is a fellow worker with the Triune God. He begs his people not to receive God’s grace in vain. Don’t think that it is a common thing to hear God’s Word preached rightly and clearly. Don’t take God’s called and ordained servants for granted.
          In our Augsburg Confession we confess first of all that the Triune God is the only true and living God as confessed in the universal creeds of the Church - the Apostles’, Nicene, and Athanasian. Secondly we confess the truth of our original sin that so has captured and deceived us that apart from God’s Word we don’t believe that we are conceived and born dead in sin. Thirdly we confess Jesus - the Son of God from eternity and Son of Man born by the Holy Spirit of the Virgin Mary is mankind’s only Savior. Fourthly we confess that we are saved - justified- rescued “freely..” “For Christ sake, through faith, when they believe that they are received into favor and their sins are forgiven for Christ’s sake.” Following right after this central teaching of Christianity we confess: “So that we may obtain this faith, the ministry of teaching the Gospel and administering the Sacraments was instituted. Through the Word and the Sacraments, as through instruments, the Holy Spirit is given. (John 20:22) He works faith, when and where it pleases God (John 3:8), in those who hear the good news that God justifies those who believe that they are received into God’s grace for Christ’s sake. This happens not through our own merits, but for Christ’s sake.” - We don’t pick and choose when God the Holy Spirit will work and preserve us in saving faith through the poor stammering tongue of our called and ordained servant of the Word.
    To absent oneself from gathering together to hear Christ’s Word preached and receive His forgiveness, life, and salvation poured out for us in His Sacraments - is to neglect our salvation. (2 Corinthians 6:2) Who knows on what Sunday the accepted time for you - your day of salvation dawns? The day on which God the Holy Spirit deigned to strengthen His gift of faith in you or protect you from false teachers and the lies of Satan. On this text Luther wrote, “Now, since preachers have the office, name and honor of fellow-workers with God, no one may be considered learned enough or holy enough to ignore or despise the most inferior preaching; especially since he knows not when the hour may come wherein God will, through preachers, perform His work in them.”(Invocavit Epistle Postil pg. 134 Para. 2)
      Immediately after our Savior and Brother Jesus was baptized into our sin at the Jordan, God the Holy Spirit led Him out into the wilderness to face mankind’s number one enemy - the Devil. Satan’s lies had captured the first Adam and so he attacks the second Adam with the same lies. Satan doesn’t know the mind of God or the truth that God had humbled Himself to be born of the Virgin in our flesh. Jesus contends with Satan as a man. He wields the sword of God’s Word against Satan’s lies - not to teach us how to engage our enemy, but to win for us the victory. (2 Corinthians 6:3) Paul did not come preaching the Gospel for personal gain, but that sinners might be reconciled to their God and Father through the water and blood that gushed from the side of Christ Jesus crucified for our salvation.
        Baptized into Christ Jesus - His victory over sin, death, and Satan is our victory. Your baptism works the forgiveness of sins for Jesus has won it for you by His blood death upon the cross. Your baptism rescues you from death and the devil for Jesus physically burst the bonds of death and marched triumphantly through Satan’s stronghold. Your baptism gives you eternal salvation for King Jesus has ascended to rule over all things on earth and in heaven - He prepares your place and soon will come again that where He is you will be also. When Satan and false teachers come whispering, “has God indeed said...” We respond it is written: “He who believes and is baptized SHALL be saved!”(Mk. 16:16)
    Baptism marks us with the sign of the cross - it is our salvation. Here we suffer with Jesus. Paul as a pastor rejoiced according to the spirit to suffer for the Gospel’s sake. (2 Corinthians 6:4-5) Dear Christian in your vocation - husband, wife, father, mother, son, daughter - you are also a fellow worker with Christ. You are to speak God’s Word to each other - to build each other up in this Faith, to admonish each other one on one when you see a beloved brother or sister falling into error - to listen to others warning you of your spiritual self deception. You will bear the cross for speaking Christ’s Word - but so be it. His is a living Word filled with the Holy Spirit. We live by His Word alone! (2 Corinthians 6:6-8) This describes our life in this day of our salvation sustained by Christ’s Spirit through the Gospel.
      Jesus wins us the war of words with Satan. The devil leaves Him and angels come to minister to our Savior - they strengthen Him through God’s Word and refresh Him with the Bread of Heaven. The fallen world under Satan’s deception cannot tolerate the Truth - more and more we live a world under the LIE that hates Christianity for speaking TRUTH. How things appear is different from the reality of us on whom has dawned the day salvation. (2 Corinthians 6:8-10). The world speaking for Satan shouts Christians down as deceivers, nobodies, dying, battered, sad, broke, and homeless - but Christ Jesus assures us in our baptism we are true, well known children of our heaven Father, we cannot die, we rejoice, gifted others with true riches of Christ’s forgiveness and love, we are citizens - heirs of heaven and its eternal glory.
  "Go away for now; when I have a convenient time I will call for you."   Don’t allow Satan, the world, or your sinful flesh to deceive you. Now! Today! Is the day of your salvation! Christ Jesus sought you out through His fellow worker to speak God’s Name upon you. He has spoken you forgiven through your preacher’s mouth in Easter absolution. He has breathed His Holy Spirit into your ears in Scripture readings, sermon, and hymn. Now we will call upon Him in prayer. He will send salvation to you - place it upon your lips and tell you - “Eat, Drink - this is My Body and Blood given and shed for you - your sins are gone - you are saved - go in peace. “ Amen.

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