Malagasy Lutheran Church Song and Gospel Sunday III before Easter – March 08-13, 2021 « God makes a covenant of redemption » *

The work of redemption that God has made consists in vindicating sinners by setting them freem from the power of sin and the penalty of sin, so that they may be justified and be able to reconcile again with God, their Creator and Savior. The Apostle John stated in this respect: « But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God » Jn 1:12. This refers to the power and the right to inherit God’s kingdom and the eternal life in it. Five aspects are addressed below: 1 / God has already offered the redemption, that is, the purchase of the sinners so that they may be rescued from the bondage of sin and the devil’s accusation. For sin is what makes the sinners guilty in the sight of God, so that they neither find justice in Him nor have part with Him. However, the Word of God says, « Who will bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? It is Christ Jesus, who died, yes, who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who indeed intercedes for us » Rom 8:33-34. 2 / Our redemption as sinners was bought at a high price⸺with the precious blood of Christ, « like that of a lamb without defect or blemish » 1 Pet 1:19; as « without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins » Heb 9:22b. This is also how Jesus Christ made a covenant for us, according to the words He spoke to His disciples, saying, « This is my blood of the covenant which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins » Mt 26:28. 3 / This is what is called « the covenant of redemption. » Therefore, God’s purpose in making the covenant is that we make common cause with Him and stand firm in order to abide in it, because the redemption that Christ made was accomplished once and for all and it was intended to remain « an eternal redemption » (Heb 9:12b). 4 / To this end, it is up to everyone to believe and choose to receive this covenant or not. To those who received it, Jesus says, « Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life » Jn 3:36a. 5 / Jesus gives truly an assurance of redemption to those who come to Him, saying: « Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven » Mt 9:2b.

Monday, 08th: The Messiah, “covenant of redemption” for men.
« I have kept you and given you as a covenant to the people » Isa 49:8d.
Reading 1: Mar.14:17-24. Reading 2: Isa 49:8-13. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Isa 49:8.
Introduction: It is by God’s great mercy that we, descendants of sinful men, have not been destroyed, as « God, who is rich in mercy, out of the great love with which he loved us even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ » Eph 2:4-5. He is the Messiah whom He designated as a « merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make a sacrifice of atonement for the sins of the people » Heb 2:17b.

Tuesday, 09th: The work of the covenant of men’s redemption is complete and perfect.
« Those who gathered much had nothing over, and those who gathered little had no shortage » Ex 16:18a.
Reading 1:Jn 6:1-15. Reading 2: Ex 16:11-18. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Ex 16:18.
Introduction: The work of the covenant of God’s redemption of His people is complete and permanent. About Jesus’ caming into earth, the apostle John proclaimed: « From his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace » Jn 1:16. In fact, « He has put all things under his feet and has made him the head over all things for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all » Eph 1:22-23.

Wednesday; 10th: The life of redemption given by God is eternal life.
« But the one who eats this bread will live forever » Jn 6:58d.
Reading 1:1 Pet 1:1-9. Reading 2: Jn 6:52-58. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Jn 6:58.
Introduction: Jesus gives eternal life to those who receive him and “eat his flesh” according to his words in Jn 6:54a. This life shall not be affected by the corruption on earth because it is from above. He reveals about Himself: « For the bread of God is that which comes down from heaven and gives life to the world » Jn 6:33.

Thursday, 11th: It is by faith that God’s redemption is received.
« Everyone who lives and believes in me will never die » Jn 11:26a.
Reading 1: Rev 14:12-16. Reading 2: Jn 11:17-27. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Jn 11:25-26.
Introduction: The word of the Lord declares: « my righteous one will live by faith » Heb 10:38a, « And without faith it is impossible to please God, for whoever would approach him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him » Heb 11:6. Jesus said to Martha, Lazarus’ sister: « Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God? » Jn 11:40.

Friday, 12th: The word of God, word of redemption.
« The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life » Jn 6:63d.
Reading 1: Deo.30:15-20. Reading 2: Jn 6:59-65. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Jn 6:63.
Introduction: God gives a great assurance through Jesus Christ, the Word made flesh, namely the power and life of the word of God, for « the word of God is living and active » Heb 4:12a, and the Holy Spirit, who ist not « a spirit of cowardice, but rather a spirit of power » 2 Tim 1:7a. For Jesus said to the Apostles: « But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you » Acts 1:8a. Therefore, they spoke « as one speaking the very words of God » 1 Pet 4:11a.

Saturday, 13th: The house of God, place of redemption forever.
« Happy are those who live in your house » Ps 84:4a.
Reading 1: Jn 8:31-35. Reading 2: Ps 84:1-4. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Ps 84:4.
Introduction: Dwelling in God’s house is the most certain redemption. The psalmist says: « You who live in the shelter of the Most High, who abide in the shadow of the Almighty » Ps 91:1. Surely, « Happy are those whom you choose and bring near to live in your courts » Ps 65:4a. In fact, Jesus says: « And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, so that where I am, there you may be also » Jn 14:3.

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