Furthering Thoughts for June 1st 2019
“The baptized believer is a good tree who will produce according to God’s gracious will. This is a good order worth remembering!”
Some may say I am a stickler for good order. But who can argue against good order? We very well know how important it is!
“Please excuse my dear aunt sally”. Without PEMDAS and the order of operations, how could we ever solve a multi-layered equation?
And so it is with life.
When it comes to bearing fruit, Jesus says, “so, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit” Mt7:17. A tree must be healthy before it bears fruit. Likewise a tree must be diseased before it bears bad fruit. Bearing fruit begins with the health of the tree.
As sinners, we are not self-healing. We cannot will ourselves to be healthy trees, and even more, we are unable to will ourselves to bear good fruit.
First , we need the remedy. The cure that is Christ who sheds His body and blood on the Cross as our sacrificial lamb. His blood cleanses and washes our sins away, giving to us a clean bill of righteousness, that is, the forgiveness of sins. Yet at times, we take our eyes off Christ, and we plod along trying our best to live in the disorder [oh, how the devil loves chaos!] believing we can bear good fruit without Him.
Believing in Christ is not a 50/50, meet you in the middle transaction. It is Jesus who comes to you by His grace because we are dead in our trespasses[Eph2:1]. “No one righteous, not even one” [Ecc7:20]. There is no where to go but [in faith] to flee to Christ. “God saves in Christ and the justified sinners bear fruit. Instead of worrying about the amount of fruit, we trust in God’s promise that we are forgiven in Christ”.
Every Sunday you will hear Jesus “for you” because it is in this order from the law to the Gospel [Lk24:44-47] that we are convicted then comforted by the promise of our Lord. And by the gift of forgiveness we are cleansed and renewed as we hear the words of Absolution, the preached word, and the promise distributed by way of Supper “Given and shed for the forgiveness of sins”. In His promise given, we are healthy and righteous. And Righteous we go, loving and serving as the fellow redeemed in Christ.
“Don’t put the cart before the horse”. Abide and be at home in the Gospel, for there you will find the great joy to love and serve in the one who loved and served you first [Mk10:45].