Sermon Text: God Chose You!

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Proper 12A: God Chose You!

  1. Many people like to cheer for the underdog
    1. We like to see the little guy come out on top
      1. We’re still waiting and hoping that Charlie Brown kicks that football
      1. When the mom-pop store succeeds despite the big box stores
    1. You might say that God is the ultimate underdog fan, just look at who He chooses:
      1. He chose David over Goliath
      1. He chose 12 imperfect guys for His closest associates
      1. As our OT lesson says He chose Israel to be His special people
      1. And He chose you…He chose me to be His special people
    1. You might say, “Well just hold on there a minute maybe I’ve got my faults but…”
      1. But what? The truth hurts but what makes you so special?
      1. Out of the 6 billion people on earth are you the best, the brightest, the most talented in anything…and if you think so how can you be sure? (If you think so you are definitely not the most humble!)
    1. So, what make you so special that God should favor you?
      1. Not a comfortable question but cheer up because God does favor you and He DID choose you…He chose each and every one of us to be His own
      1. You are God’s treasured possession through no merit or credit on your part – it’s all HIS work and His choice because God loves the underdog
  2. What we see in our OT and Epistle lessons is that God not only loves underdogs, but He works through them so that they overcome all kinds of adversity
    1. Our OT lesson comes from Deuteronomy
      1. This comes as the children of Israel had already been through their 40-years of wandering in the desert; the first generation had died off
      1. Now the second generation was about to take possession of Israel and Moses gives them a reality check before they entered the land
      1. First, he reassured them of their special status, For you are a people holy to the LORD your God. The LORD your God has chosen you to be a people for his treasured possession, out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth. (Deu 7:6).
      1. But lest they grow proud he tells them, “It was not because you were more in number than any other people that the Lord set his love on you and chose you, for you were the fewest of all peoples,”
    1. There was nothing special about Israel that God chose them      
      1. If anything, just the opposite, look at the trouble they caused throughout the OT: they turned their backs on God, complained, worshipped idols but when trouble came they cried out to the God they tried to forget.
      1. That’s what God would later remind Israel through the prophet Isaiah, I know that you are obstinate, and your neck is an iron sinew and your forehead brass…(Is 48:4)
      1. And yet God chose Israel as Moses says, because the Lord loves you and is keeping the oath that he swore to your fathers…(Dt 7:8)
      1. That promise was first given to Abraham in Genesis 12, And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing – God is true to His Word (Gen 12:2)
    1. As we’ve said before what God’s deliverance of Israel through Moses foreshadowed what He would do for the world through Christ as we see in our Epistle
      1. Just as God called Israel to be His treasured possession so He called you as Paul says, For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. (Rom 8:29)
      1. But was there anything special about you to make God choose you?
      1. Hear what Paul says in 1 Cor. 1, consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. (1Co 1:26-29)
      1. God does not give His glory to another, and He will not allow His work to be credited to human abilities.
    1. Like Israel the Church is not the most numerous, most powerful, or richest – it always appears to be the underdog
      1. How often have we turned our back on God and His commands to live a holy life in thought, word and deed? Yet He remains true to His Word.
      1. And just as He provided for Israel, He promises that He will provide and protect us, the Church – God is true to His Word.
      1. How do we KNOW that for sure? By how He accomplished our salvation, He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? (Rom 8:32)
      1. If God was willing to send His Son to die for us, He is not going to fail to protect us and provide for all that we need in body and soul.
  3. God graciously gave the Promised Land to Israel and God has chosen you and has given you all good things, too!
    1. Yet so many Christians are unaware of what they already possess
      1. How is that possible? Because they are unaware of what Scripture teaches about how God works through His Word and Spirit.
      1. But they are also unaware of the support and strength that our Lord gives in the sacraments.
    1. We often talk about our Lord’s body and blood given for the forgiveness of our sins and the strengthening of our faith
      1. But we sometimes overlook the treasury of our baptism – it wasn’t a onetime event, but it is an ongoing identity.
      1. In our baptisms God HAS given us all good things – the full righteousness of Christ and adoption as His children not once but as an constant reality as Paul says in Galatians, for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. (Gal 3:26-27)
      1. Or as Paul told us earlier in Rom 8, The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ. (Rom 8:16)
    1. So many Christians needlessly fret over whether God is “pleased” with them and how can they be sure?
      1. But in your baptism God has chosen you to be a people holy for Himself, a treasured possession, as He told Israel in our OT lesson
      1. And as Paul concludes in our reading from Rom today, Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword…No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Rom 8:35-39)
      1. God has chosen you, you are His treasured possession, it is not something you earned or grew into, but His promise given you in your baptism and God is true to His Word.