ďThe Almighty Power of Godís WordĒ
January 23, 2005
was a cold day in January thirty three years ago when the Supreme Court
of the United States struck down the abortion laws of all fifty states.
Abortion ceased to be a crime and became a civil right.
The law is a very effective teacher.
When abortion was a crime in America, most Americans understood
that killing unborn babies was wrong.
The law agreed with the conscience of the people.
We know by nature that killing children before they are born is
against Godís law. Whether
there has ever been a time in our nationís history that most Americans
have been Christians is a question that only God can answer.
But itís obvious that there was a time when most Americans
believed that abortion should be a crime and abortionists should be
prosecuted and punished.
is an assault on God. God
is the Author of life. As
God said to Jeremiah: ďBefore I formed you in the womb I knew you;
before you were born I sanctified you.Ē
It is not blind chance that determines if and when someone is
born into this world. It is
God. It is God who forms us
in the womb. He knows us
before He forms us. He
forms us to be what He decided beforehand we should be.
He decides whether we will be male or female.
He chooses the color of our eyes, how tall we will grow, and what
our talents will be. It is
true that sin corrupts the entire creation.
But God is still the Creator.
God sanctifies what sin corrupts.
was wrong for the Supreme Court of the United States to make abortion on
demand legal. The State has
the God-given responsibility to protect people from violence. The most common violence committed in America today is the
violence committed every day against unborn children. These children have done nothing wrong, yet they are
regularly slaughtered in the name of the right to privacy. Politicians who are afraid of the pro-abortion lobby permit
the slaughter to continue. The
unborn have no vote. Even
some Christians will argue that, while they personally disapprove of
abortion, they have no right to impose their views on others.
But they donít understand.
Thatís what the law always does.
Every law ever written imposes somebodyís view on others.
abortion is legal throughout America we Christians must learn to judge
what is right and wrong without relying on the moral authority of our
own government. We must not
look to the generic American religion for guidance.
More and more, the laws of our country stand in defiance of the
law that God has written in the conscience of all people.
has given everyone a conscience. As
a result of our common sin, it doesnít always work very well.
But even those who donít know the true God and donít know His
law do understand that there is a God and that His law must be obeyed.
We call this the natural knowledge of God and the natural
knowledge of the law. The
fact that people deny this knowledge doesnít mean that they donít
have it. St. Paul writes of
the natural knowledge of God in Romans 1:18-20,
by nature know that God is there. The
creation points to the Creator. People
can learn much about God by looking at what He has made.
He is intelligent. He is almighty. He
is God. But they suppress
this natural knowledge, and worship false gods that they invent for
themselves. Why do they do
this? Because they donít
want to face God, thatís why. Their
conscience tells them they have done wrong and that they are accountable
to God. Their conscience makes them afraid of God so they run away
from Him into some form of idolatry.
has a conscience. We invent
words to describe people who act as if they have no conscience.
We call them psychopaths. Thatís
just a fancy word for someone who has succeeded in silencing his own
conscience. That doesnít
mean that he doesnít have one. St. Paul describes how people who donít have the Bible and
donít know the true God nevertheless follow their own conscience.
We read in Roman 2:14-15,
know by nature the difference between right and wrong.
They know it is wrong to kill unborn babies.
They know it is wrong to commit adultery.
They know it is wrong to commit homosexual acts.
They know it is wrong to defy parents and other lawful authority. They know it is wrong to lie about their neighbors or to try
to get their property by force or deceit.
The human race has always had a conscience. Thousands of years before God gave the Ten Commandments on
Mt. Sinai, people lived under human government that enforced the same
standards of behavior set forth in the Ten Commandments.
sinners do not want to confront their sin.
So they run away from God. He
is good and gracious. He
loves them more than they could know.
But they know Him only in their conscience and their conscience
accuses them. They are
afraid of the accusation of their conscience so they hate the God who
gave them their conscience and they run after humanly invented gods who
they imagine will treat them better.
the religious climate in which we live.
That was the religious climate in which Jeremiah lived.
The popular religion of Jeremiahís day was the religion of the
Baals and the Asheras. Baal
was a fertility god and Ashera was a fertility goddess.
These religions promoted sexual immorality.
In order to curry favor with neighboring countries that
worshipped these idols, the kings of Judah regularly promoted idolatry
for political gain. Judah did experience a brief reformation under the leadership
of King Josiah, but the nation was on the decline when Jeremiah was
called into the prophetic office. No
wonder the young man was afraid of prophesying to this nation! He knew that he would face fierce opposition, even
persecution. He knew that
he would be required to condemn popular sins and that he would be
attacked from all sides. The
political powers that be would try to silence him.
The religious elites would resent and persecute him.
And he would watch as the nation and the people he loved fell
into the hands of Godís enemies.
God called him to speak His word and thatís what Jeremiah would do.
He would go where God told him to go.
He would say what God told him to say.
God would put His words in Jeremiahís mouth, and the words
Jeremiah would speak would cause nations to be uprooted and pulled down.
By the power of His word that He would put into Jeremiahís
mouth God would destroy and throw down nations.
He would also build and plant nations.
Thatís what Godís word does.
It is the almighty power of Godís law to destroy nations.
It is the almighty power of Godís gospel to establish here on
this earth the kingdom of grace that will last forever.
own government has declared war on the unborn in service to an
idolatrous religion that makes the worship of the Baals and the Asheras
seem almost civilized by comparison.
It is a religion that teaches, as central to its creed, the
womanís right to kill the fruit of her womb.
While it claims that it champions the rights of women, this
diabolical religion takes away from women their true God-given dignity.
In service to promiscuity and to the pursuit of pleasure for
pleasureís sake, women are regularly debased as if they exist to be
objects of manís desire. Adolescent
girls who want to be fashionable wear clothes that accentuate their
sexual attraction to boys and men.
At least the idolatrous religions that Jeremiah condemned
acknowledged that children were a positive blessing, even if they
didnít acknowledge the Creator of heaven and earth as the source of
formed Jeremiah in his motherís womb.
God formed you in your motherís womb.
God sanctified Jeremiah to be a prophet before he was even born.
God sanctified you to be His holy temple when He baptized you
into union with His holy name. Jeremiah spoke Godís word against a godless religion and
culture that led Godís people into soul-destroying error. And so God continues to speak His word today.
speaks today to call America to repentance for the mass killing of the
unborn. But He promises
nothing to America as America. She
is not like ancient Judah. She
has no promise from God that God will deliver her.
But God does promise deliverance in Him who was born a Jew from
the tribe of Judah. His
name is Jesus. He was so
named because He would save His people from their sins.
will judge abortionists and those who defend their murderous trade.
God will uproot every nation that presumes to defy His goodness.
God will judge every single human being in this world, even those
whose consciences have been seared into complete insensitivity.
But Jesus, whom Jeremiah described as ďthe LORD, our
righteousness,Ē did not come into this world to judge anybody.
He came to save sinners. He
came to save adulterers, abortionists, homosexuals, pedophiles,
murderers, rapists, thieves, con artists, and terrorists.
He came to save you, too. The
word God speaks may come to you from timid and fearful men, but it
remains His almighty word. It
rips apart the faÁade of righteousness you build around your guilty
conscience, laying bare the sin underneath.
Thatís what Godís law does.
Then Godís word brings the forgiveness of sins that Jesus
earned on Calvary and gives you that forgiveness so that you can rest
confident that Christ really and truly has taken your sin away from you
forever. Thatís what
Godís gospel does.
all over America observe Life Sunday every year at this time of the
year. Frankly, I have mixed
feelings about this observance. It
is true that the Roe versus Wade decision of the Supreme Court that
legalized abortion was a terrible decision that has resulted in the
killing of millions upon millions of babies with the legal sanction of
the government. That must be condemned and Christís Church must speak
Godís word condemning it. That
is true. But is it also
true that the central message of our Christian religion is not Godís
judgment against evildoers, but it is Godís grace in Christ.
Where sin abounded, grace abounded so much more. God loves these
people who run around like animals, begetting and conceiving children,
and then run off to abortionists who kill these children.
There is no sin so great that the blood of Christ doesnít cover
it and blot it out. This is
the word God has entrusted to His Church to preach.
So we must preach it. We
must preach it to sinners whose sins bring them grief so that these
sinners will not run away from God but to Him.
what is your sin? How great
is it? How much does your
conscience hurt when you think of it?
How much harm did it cause others?
How much do you wish you had never done it?
But you cannot undo it, can you?
You cannot silence the conscience because its accusation is true.
Now listen to this word of God! Christ Himself silences the accusations of your conscience. There is no sin you have done for which He did not die. There is nothing for which you are guilty that He did not bear that guilt and remove it by bearing it for you. If your conscience accuses you this morning, direct your conscience to the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. This is Godís word, not my word. This is Godís word, with the power to create life within your heart and to establish in you true faith. Godís word invites you who are burdened by your sins to lay that burden where it belongs: on Christ, the Lamb of God. He has already borne it for you. You donít need to carry it yourself. Thatís the word of God that He put in my mouth to say to you. In response to that word of God we say Amen.
Rev. Rolf D. Preus