The Sinner
St. Timothy, Pastor
24 January 2018
Shame on us that we find this proclamation of the gospel so ho-hum, that we seek a more exciting message, that we desire not to hear the pure gospel, but with itching ears attend to counterfeits of the message that the Lord has laid on Christ my iniquity. In innumerable different ways, God's Word assures us that Christ has borne our sins in His own body. Our gracious heavenly Father wants us to have no doubts that He has laid on Him the iniquity of us all (Is 53:6).
If by freely taking our sin into Himself, he becomes the sin-bearer, then we ourselves have become free of sin. If He has become cursed for us, then our sin no longer curses us. If He bears our sin, we no longer do. How mind-boggling! The King takes the form of a filthy peasant. The master takes the mantle of a slave. The captor of sin becomes its captive. He who is the essence of purity becomes iniquity.
The law must be attended to. That is its inner, inexorable logic. The curse attendant upon sin must be taken care of. Christ takes care of it. He is punished for it, as we ought to have been, that we would not have to be. He becomes THE sinner by bearing the world's sins. What a great salvation that He has taken all, that we would be free of it. If He is THE sinner, then we are not.

Rev. Dr. Scott R. Murray
Memorial Lutheran Church

   Martin Luther
"Isaiah 53 says: 'God has laid on Him the iniquity of us all' (Is 53:6). These words must not be diluted but must be left in their precise and serious sense. For God is not joking in the words of the prophet; He is speaking seriously and out of great love, namely, that this Lamb of God, Christ, should bear the iniquity of us all. But what does it mean to 'bear'? The sophists reply: 'To be punished.' Good. But why is Christ punished? Is it not because He has sin and bears sin? That Christ has sin is the testimony of the Holy Spirit in the Psalms. Thus in Psalm 40 we read: 'My iniquities have overtaken Me' (Ps 40:12); in Psalm 41: 'I said, "O LORD, be gracious to me; heal me, for I have sinned against you!"' (Ps 41:4); and in Psalm 69: 'O God, you know my folly; the wrongs I have done are not hidden from you.' (Ps 69:5).  In these psalms the Holy Spirit is speaking in the person of Christ and testifying in clear words that He has sinned or has sins. These testimonies of the psalms are not the words of an innocent one; they are the words of the suffering Christ, who undertook to bear the person of all sinners and therefore was made guilty of the sins of the entire world.
"Therefore, Christ not only was crucified and died, but by divine love sin was laid upon Him. When sin was laid upon Him, the Law came and said: 'Let every sinner die! And therefore, Christ, if You want to reply that You are guilty and that You bear the punishment, you must bear the sin and the curse as well.' Therefore, Paul correctly applies to Christ this general Law from Moses: 'Cursed be everyone who hangs on a tree' (Gal 3:13). Christ hung on a tree; therefore Christ is a curse of God."

 Martin Luther, Lectures on Galatians, 3.13
1 Timothy 6:11-16

But as for you, O man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. I charge you in the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who in his testimony before Pontius Pilate made the good confession, to keep the commandment unstained and free from reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, which he will display at the proper time-he who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, 16 who alone has immortality, who dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see. To him be honor and eternal dominion. Amen.
Collect for St. Timothy
Lord Jesus Christ, You have always given to Your Church on earth faithful shepherds such as Timothy to guide and feed Your flock. Make all pastors diligent to preach Your holy Word and administer Your means of grace, and grant Your people wisdom to follow in the way that leads to life eternal; for You live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
For Lutheran Schools Week celebrations across the country, that we would thank God for Lutheran School and those who teach and learn in them
For Pastor Gennadij Khonin, who is preaching the gospel of God's grace in Kazakhstan
For President Lawrence Rast and the faculty of Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, that they would faithfully proclaim the Word 
Art: DAVID, Gerard  Triptych of Jean Des Trompes (1505)
Memorial Lutheran Church
© Scott Murray 2018
Memorial Lutheran Church, 5800 Westheimer Rd., Houston, TX 77057
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