Sermon – November 26, 2017
There are many times when people place faith against logic and reason. Faith, they say, is outside of logic. We walk by faith, not by sight. Perhaps this is true; but often times, we are told to think through our faith, to reason out what we are to know and how we are to act. As Paul confronts Peter, he does not ask for Peter to simply believe him, but rather to think through his faith, seek to understand the implications of what he knows is true. Today, we get to see the logic behind Paul’s faith.
1. We are all sinners
Paul begins with the most basic point – but one that needs to be driven home again and again, both with Peter and with ourselves. We are sinners. Whether we be Jewish or American, a first century Gentile or an impoverished peasant on the other side of the world, we are all in the same boat: sinful and guilty before God.
2. Sinners will all die
God has spoken through his word, time and time again, that sin leads inevitably to death. This does not mean that death is immediate, but rather that it inexorably will come, sometimes silent, sometimes screaming, it will come and find you. Death is the end of sin, what we buy when we sin: For the wages of sin is death (Rom 3:23)
3. We sinners can die with Christ
Paul affirms that he himself has died with Christ. We do indeed need to die because of our sin, but when we trust in Christ, we are placed in him, and thus die with him. We are to share in his sufferings because we share in his death.
4. We sinners can live with Christ
We live out our lives in Christ, this means that we die with him, so that we might also live with him. This is the great promise of the gospel: the death we owe, Christ has paid, the life we want, we live in Christ. Christ is everything to us, and therefore, we need nothing else.
This is the purpose of God’s grace in Christ: for you both to die and be resurrected with him. To find your hope outside of him, separates you from his death, and subsequently from his life. Do not set aside God’s grace! Live in that grace, knowing, believing, and trusting that Jesus’ death and resurrection is all you need.