We sit here, 500 years downstream from our Reforming brethren, and celebrate and proclaim the same Gospel which turned the world topsy-turvy then. Your salvation, from top to bottom, is by grace through faith alone.
It isnâ€™t because you came to church, sat up straight, and nodded piously along. It isnâ€™t because you did a sufficient amount of good deeds this week with a healthy dose of humble brag. It isnâ€™t because of which family or nation you were born into.
We come to this meal and proclaim here that God saves sinners. Proud sinners. Craven sinners. Corrupt sinners. Self-righteous sinners. Hypocritical sinners. Sinners of every stripe are invited to come. But because of what is proclaimed here in this meal we know that weâ€™re no longer known by our sins, weâ€™re no longer known as sinners. Instead, weâ€™re known by the One in Whom weâ€™ve trusted. He has taken away our soiled rags of sin, and clothed us with white robes of His righteousness.
And we receive all this by faith. We receive it all with hands He gave us. We behold it all with eyes which He opened. We taste it with mouths He made new. We delight in it with hearts which were once stone, but are now alive. By this faith we see that everywhere we turn is gift after gift after gift of Godâ€™s kindness to repentant sinners, even the faith which lets us see this is itself a gift.
God gives you this gift of forgiveness and everlasting life, and by that first gift of faith you receive it. Thatâ€™s the Gospel the Apostles, Church Fathers, Reformers, Puritans, and Evangelists have proclaimed. We enjoy it once more in this memorial meal, and proclaim the great redemption truth: by grace you have been saved through faith.
So come in faith and welcome to Jesusâ€¦