Malagasy Lutheran Church Song & Gospel Sunday V Before Easter, March 13 – 19, 2022 “God loves to save sinners” *

The message: God would like that all people may be saved from the numerous wars and tribulations, and especially from the death that befalls them as a result of their separation from Him because of sin (Rom.6: 23). Because of His unfathomable love, God does not want mankind to perish, and His aim is to restore them to the glory He gave them since the beginning, when He created them in His image (Gen. 1:26). As a guarantee of this, He gave his Son, Jesus Christ, as He said: “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life” Jn. 3:16. Jesus did come to reconcile people with God (Eph.2: 14) by giving His life on the cross as a ransom for sinners (Matt.20: 28), He, the Righteous One, to save the unrighteous (1 Pet.3: 18). It was through humility and deep suffering which He endured to the point of death that Jesus accomplished the work of salvation; it opened heaven to us sinners. The Epistle to the Hebrews says in this respect: “Although he was a Son, he learned obedience through what he suffered; and having been made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him” Heb 5 :8-9. Jesus Christ is the Messiah Anointed by the Father to be the Savior of the world (John 4:42), as He revealed Him when He was transfigured on the mount, saying: “This is my Son, the Beloved; with him I am well pleased; listen to him!” Matt. 17:5, which can also be translated, « Believe in Him ». So receive with faith the salvation that God offers you in His Son Jesus Christ. as the Scriptures say: “Believe on the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household”Act.16 :31.

Monday 14: God calls sinners to be saved. “Turn to me and be saved, all the ends of the earth!” Isa.45:22a. Reading 1: Act. 3: 1-10. Reading 2: Isa.45: 20-25. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Isa.45: 22. Introduction: Being a “sinner”? That is a very serious state of affairs as it means death, spiritual death due to separation from God. For the Lord said: “Rather, your iniquities have been barriers between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear” Isa.59:2. Most amazingly, God’s love lifts up all who are fallen from sin and draws them to receive His salvation, that is “looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith” Heb.12:2a.

Tuesday 15: God loves to forgive sinners. “Neither do I condemn you. Go your way, and from now on do not sin again” Jn.8:11. Reading 1: Isa.55: 6-11. Reading 2: Jn. 8: 1-11. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Jn 8: 10-11. Introduction: God loves sinners, but does not love sin, because « the wages of sin is death » Rom.6: 23. Therefore, Jesus came to destroy the power of sin by His death and provided full forgiveness for the salvation of sinners (1 Pet.2: 24). “Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him” Jn. 3:17.

Wednesday 16: God suffered to save sinners. “Because he himself was tested by what he suffered, he is able to help those who are being tested” Heb.2:18. Reading 1: 1 Pet.1: 3-9. Reading 2: Heb.2: 10-18. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Heb.2: 18. Introduction: It was because of God’s love to save sinners that He endured to the point of death. For it is written: “When he ascended on high he made captivity itself a captive; he gave gifts to his people” Ephes. 4:8. His gift is His own life for the salvation of sinners so that they may receive eternal life.

Thursday 17: It is faith that can save sinners. “Woman, great is your faith! Let it be done for you as you wish.” Matt.15:28a. Reading 1: Gen.32: 23-31. Reading 2: Matt.15: 21-28. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Matt.15: 28. Introduction: God’s salvation is received by faith, as it is written: “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. Therefore, “believe on the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household” Acts 16:31.

Friday 18: God’s holiness delivers from sin. “For this is the will of God, your sanctification” 1 Thess.4: 3a. Reading 1: Heb.12: 14-17. Reading 2: 1 Thess.4: 1-7. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: 1 Thess.4: 3. Introduction: God’s plan for His saved people is their perfection, in accordance with Jesus’ words: “so that you may be children of your Father in heaven” Matt.5:45a. In this regard, the Lord said “you shall be holy, for I am holy” Lev. 11:45b. For “without holiness no one will see the Lord” Heb.12:14b.

Saturday 19: God exhorts sinners to repentance. “but (the Lord) is patient with you, not wanting any to perish, but all to come to repentance” 2 Pet.3:9b. Reading 1: Isa.49: 9-13. Reading 2: 2 Pet.3: 1-9. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: 2 Pet.3: 9. Introduction: God does love sinners so much that He sent His Only Begotten Son « so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life » John 3: 16b. So, when Jesus began His work, He preached and said: “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near” Matt.4:17. This call of God still resonates today, for God’s patience exhorts sinners to repentance (Rom.2: 4/2 Pet.3: 9b). Therefore, “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts […]” Heb.3:7,8, but receive God’s salvation.

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