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Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost (no audio this week)

September 1, 2019 Speaker: Murray Keith Series: Pentecost

Passage: Luke 14:1–14:14

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†††In the Name of Jesus†††
Pastor Murray Keith
Text: Luke 14:1-14
Date: August 28th, 2016; Pentecost 15
Grace and peace to you from God our Father and our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
  • In our Gospel lesson for this morning Jesus warns, “For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled” (Luke 14:11). 
  • Exalting ourselves really gets to the heart of our problem.  
  • This goes back to the Garden of Eden. 
  • The serpent tempted Eve with the highest exaltation when he told her, “You will become like God” (Genesis 3:5). 
  • As good as Adam and Eve had it - they wanted more. 
  • Trusting the lie that they would become exalted like God, they took the fruit and ate it - and then all hell broke loose.
  • No longer did they walk with God, they ran from him. They hid in shame. 
  • Once they only spoke words of truth to God; now they spoke lies and deception. 
  • This original sin, inspired by a desire to exalt self, broke everything. 
  • It broke their relationship with God. 
  • It broke their relationship with the world around them. 
  • It broke their relationship with each other.
  • Health, vitality, and life were exchanged for sickness, suffering, and death.  “For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled” (Luke 14:11).
  • Nothing has changed.  We still desire to exalt ourselves today.
  • We like it when we get the attention - the good grades, the promotion at work, the nice clothes, the new car, the new house.  Check me out!
  • While none of these things are inherently bad or wrong, the danger is they can lead to sinful pride.
  • It’s hard not to exalt ourselves in this world that thrives on the survival of the fittest.   
  • To be humble is viewed as weakness. 
  • But there is also danger in being proud of being humble.
  • Instead of being exalted in our accomplishments and stuff, we become proud of our humility.  
  • “I’m a very humble person” we brag.  
  • We take pride in the fact that we aren't like the rest of those egotistical people out there.  
  • In one way or another, it is such a temptation to exalt ourselves before others.
  • But even more dangerous is the temptation to exalt ourselves before God.
  • It seems to be our default to exalt ourselves before God.  
  • “Look at how much better I am than all of those other sinful and horrible people, God.”
  • “Look at all of the holy things I do - you must be very pleased with me God.”
  • “For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled” (Luke 14:11).
  • Be humbled by God’s Word that reveals to us that “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).  
  • Be humbled by God’s Word that reveals to us that “all who rely on works of the law are under a curse” (Galatians 3:10).  
  • Be humbled by God’s Word that reveals to us that “You are severed from Christ, you who would be justified by the law; you have fallen away from grace(Galatians 5:4). 
  • Examining our lives in the light of God’s Law will leave us humbled.  
  • It should.  
  • Not for the sake of beating ourselves up, or wallowing in our sin and failures - but to remove every single bit of self-righteousness that is in us.
  • One who is self-righteous has no need for God’s grace and his righteousness.
  • God’s Law leaves us humbled, but Jesus doesn’t just leave us there.  
  • In addition to his warning - he gives us his promise.  There’s a flip side.
  • Jesus warns, “For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled.”  
  • But he then promises, “…and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”
  • Humbled by God’s Law, all we can do is repent and confess our sins.  
  • All we can do is cry out to God for his mercy.  
  • All we can do is pray that our hearts and minds be turned away from sin so that we walk in his righteousness.
  • Our sin wreaks havoc in our lives and in the lives of others.  Our sin humbles us.  It kills us.
  • But Christ Jesus exalts us.
  • And he accomplished this for us not with his power and might, but through his ultimate act of humility.  
  • Just think about that.
  • God, who created everything, controls everything, has power over everything - took on our flesh to save us.
  • He allowed himself to be disrespected, mocked, spit-on, tortured, and finally to be put to death on a cross to set us free.
  • God sacrificed himself, he humbled himself to the point of death on a cross - to exalt you - to save you and give you eternal life.
  • When Natalie and I lived in Edmonton we would try our best to get to one Oilers game a year.  
  • The tickets that we could afford had us seated in in the rafters where the players looked like ants!
  • A moving company in Edmonton sponsored what they called “the move of the game”.  
  • Two fans would randomly be selected to move from the nosebleed section down to the main level where they sat on leather recliners to watch the rest of the game.  
  • At one of the games we attended, the people sitting right in front of us were chosen.  
  • An usher approached them and said, “Come with me.”  
  • The couple, filled with joy, made their way down to watch the rest of the game in comfort and style.
  • As we cling to Christ in faith, God graciously moves us from our sin and death and seats us in his heavenly kingdom.  
  • He says, “Come with me.  Come to the font and be washed in your baptismal waters and be joined with me.”
  • “Come receive the forgiveness of your sins, and be reconciled, be at peace with me and one another.”
  • “Come hear my Word through which the Holy Spirit creates in you a clean heart.”
  • Come eat and drink at my table for the forgiveness of your sins and the strengthening of your faith.”
  • Dear friends, Jesus has defeated your sin and death and he has exalted you.
  • Hear him say to you, “Come and take your seat at the heavenly banquet and live eternally in my kingdom.”  Amen.
The peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus unto life everlasting. Amen.

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