Sermon Text for THE HOLY TRINITY Sunday – Do not doubt but believe!

To watch the video as you read the sermon below please go to our

Trinity Online Bulletin >>>

Trinity 2020 – Do not doubt but believe

  1. Doubt…a word like so many others: skepticism, disbelief, uncertainty, these express a common human experience.
    1. The word itself is not necessarily negative, if it weren’t for “doubt” about received wisdom we’d still think that the sun is the center of the universe and earth is flat
      1. But doubt can also be negative leading to despair
      1. Think of the times that we live in; our nation has now suffered a one-two punch of coronavirus and ongoing, widespread civil unrest.
      1. There are many who doubt that our country will ever return to “normal” and despair over its future.
      1. In times of unrest and uncertainty doubt can easily become a constant companion, but our Lord is the remedy for doubt!
    1. This Sunday marks the end of the “festival” time of the church year – the period that begins with Advent (the beginning of a new church year) and roughly follows our Lord’s ministry from beginning to end.
      1. Today is Trinity Sunday, when we worship and contemplate one of the greatest of all mysteries of our faith – the three in one God, not three gods but one God in three persons.
      1. We recite the Athanasian creed, the church’s most comprehensive confession of that divine mystery.
      1. But if we stayed in the abstract revelation of God’s nature which we cannot really comprehend that too can lead to doubt because what we cannot understand we often dismiss, it’s human nature.
    1. But what is NOT abstract about this incomprehensible, all powerful, all knowing God is how He feels about us and what He has done for through Jesus, the second person of the Trinity
      1. He left His rightful place in heaven to become human in Bethlehem that first Christmas morning
      1. He lived a sinless, perfect life fulfilling all of God’s commandments and died as a sacrifice for all of humanity’s wrongs (all of my wrongs…all of your wrongs) on the cross.
      1. He rose again on the third day (that first Easter) revealing that death no longer is the final answer for all who believe in Him.
      1. And ascended into heaven that when we die here on earth we know that He has prepared a place for us with Him in heaven and that at the end of time He will return to earth and raise up our bodies, like He did on Easter, that we may live with Him forever in both body and soul.
    1. And yet, as we see in our Gospel, even after the resurrection as His disciples came to Him on the mountain Matthew records, And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted.
      1. So how can we be expected not to doubt, not to fall into despair, when the very people who were witnesses of Christ’s ministry doubted?
      1. How, when it feels like society is teetering on the brink of collapse, can we not doubt the very promise given in this passage, “And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age,” – where is He now?
      1. Do you find yourself in that category after the events of recent months…how can anything good come from this…will it ever get better…where is God?
      1. Our Lord bids us to believe in Him and what He has done for us and our salvation and that belief dispels all doubt and despair about life in this world
  2. Our Lord tells us, “Do not doubt but believe…believe in my Word, believe in my promise, believe that I am in control…I’ve got you!”
    1. And He has left us with a permanent sign, a permanent testimony and reminder that His Word is true for He also says in this passage, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.”
      1. In your baptism the triune God marked you with His Name, a seal, a permanent testimony that you are God’s and He is yours, you bear His mark and He will never let you go.
      1. We know the importance of being marked; we see it repeated even in our movies – when you are marked you are safe, you belong.
      1. In the original Toy Story, Woody worries that He has been replaced when Buzz Lightyear received Andy’s name on his foot in indelible ink just like Woody had years earlier – only the favorite toys were marked.
      1. Or in a darker rendition, in movies about the mob the characters know that after you’re a “made man” (you’ve shown loyalty in word and deed) no one can touch you; you’re marked.
    1. God is in the business of marking His people so that they don’t forget His mercy and protection
      1. In the Old Testament a very visible, permanent mark was given to the Israelites to remind them that they were God’s people – there was no denying circumcision, and you can’t reverse it.
      1. Paul tells us in Colossians 2, “In [Jesus] you also were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead.”
      1. Just as surely as circumcision was a permanent sign that You were now God’s child so baptism is an indelible mark of adoption – you are His.
    1. So that when the world goes up in flames or something specifically afflicts you, you can be sure that no matter what, God’s Word and Promise still stand.
      1. Or when Satan tempts you to think that you have committed some unpardonable sin, that real Christians wouldn’t do what you’ve done or been where you’ve been you can say with Luther, “Pull out your Baptism and wave it under the devil’s nose and say, ‘I am baptized. …I have God’s bath. It is Christ’s own blood.’ It is a bath blessed and mixed with the blood of Christ.
      1. Beloved our Lord reminds us, “In the world you will have trouble…” and it seems we have it in spades today…“but FEAR NOT for I have overcome the world!”
      1. And that promise has been delivered to you in your baptism, you are God’s and He is yours and nothing in all of creation can now separate You from His love for you in Christ!
      1. Do not doubt but believe! He’s got you; you have nothing to fear.