Explaining the Faith
Grace mercy, and peace be to each of you from God our Father through Jesus Christ his only son and how Risen Lord and Savior men and we continue to celebrate the season of Easter. The season of Joy will Begin Again a little time together with some humor and at this time they'll be some pictures up on the screen and I will try to read you the words as you see the image. It's about irony is the theme of these slides and unfortunately, it involves a lot of car accidents you'll see and you'll see that a car has driven through in fact in the wall there. Okay, here is van from Cliffs fire extinguishers that has been burned pretty much to a crisp. Okay, here's a driver's license office where indeed a car has driven into the driver's license office. I don't know whether you can see that there's a sign here. This looks like it's from Europe. Thank you for driving carefully and there was a car on the side of the road on its side. Alright, then man, of course quality service that doesn't cut any Corners except for the fact that the quality part doesn't really hold up on the wall or you got here always a light rail train that says safety begins with you and it has come to a stop in the middle of the road because there's a car that is blocking its way. And I'm what do we got here? Yes, soda dispensing machines, which are labeled Orange Crush. And so there is a jeep that has indeed crushed the soda machine. Alright, here's a newspaper delivery truck from the Republican. I never heard of that but there and the subtitle is where the news hits home. And obviously you see that this car had his truck has hit home. All right, and there's a fishing boat that says no worries. Going down but fortunately the cruise being rescued and I think we have one more do we not go into more is a truck on the side of the road that says on the road to success. There are no shortcuts. But I clearly this truck was making a shortcut anyway, and here is an overhang that has printed on it or attached to the wording College of architecture and planning and to finish the sign they put the C on the actual wall. So that says College of architecture and planning. Somebody didn't really plan that too tightly. Well today. All right. Anyway, let's get back to the demon hands. All right, and I'm sure you can find many other examples of such humor and irony on the internet.
Everyone who has raised a child. Understands what the words with the phrase teachable moment means and if you have not raised the child, you can hopefully imagine what that phrase those two words meme that something happens in life and the child's life. They basically allows a parent to explain life to a child that allows a parent to explain reality to the child in an age appropriate. Younger child the more that explanation involves the consequence but even as an older child, it might involve a consequence that quickly negative and B positive a teachable moment could be not only negative thing. It could be a positive sign although of course as a child gets older maybe hopefully they'll be an actual conversation because you really want to explain it and this is part of the great honor we have is Paris those of us who are parents to be the primary teachers of children. Right parents don't ever say that parents should be the primary teachers of children. They are the primary to your teachers of children. And so the key for parents. Is not to Misty's teachable moment. This is not to let them talk out of blow-by in the rush of the day or or slipway. The key for parents is not to be so busy so distracted. So preoccupied that they missed these teachable moments and do not take advantage of them. And that is why people say and that's why I believe it's true that parenting is a full-time job. You're always on as a parent until of course, they leave the house. That's a 33 years and that's why it is. And that's why it is also the hardest job and the most rewarding job because we get to teach we get to enter and encounter these teachable moments with our children and we get to impart to them and instill in them life lessons. The Bible readings for today are for us such a spiritual teachable moment. They are loaded with opportunity to learn. I'm only going to take advantage of one of those opportunities, but there's actually quite a few that I had to say no to as I Was preparing. This is little talk this morning. I would be a poor spiritual parents. So to speak if I were to let this moment for this opportunity slip by and slip away. So I'm not going to do that. I will instead take advantage of this opportunity and by the grace of God lead you on a journey deeper into God's word.
So today you'll notice we will use the Apostles Creed instead of the Nicene Creed. Why did that for two reasons? First of all, because we've been using an ice cream treat for 8 weeks. We haven't confessed that the Apostles Creed for over 2 months. So I figured it was time. It's one of our crates of a faith in confessions of faith for the second reason that I did. This is more important than that. It's not just simply a matter of rotation. The second reason why we use the Apostles Creed today because there was a phrase in the middle of it. Like we say all the time when we say the Creed, but I want to bring attention to it. And that's this whole idea of he descended into hell. It comes right after he was crucified died and was buried and it comes right before on the third day. He rose again and in between there it says he descended into hell meaning Jesus. That's a lot of misunderstanding about those four words about that phrase and there's a whole lot of people that do not know where that phrase comes from and what it actually does me. So for me there for this is a teachable moment. If you know what this is and you know where it comes from. Bear with me. Maybe this would be good reinforcement. Cuz it many people think that this Descent of Jesus into hell of as part of his suffering. They sort of like interpret it like this that the Creed actually kind of mean something like this that he was crucified died and was buried and suffered in hell. That is not true. That is not correct. Jesus did indeed suffer and experience. Hell he did but where and when on the cross
Let me hear kind of backpedaled a little bit and get some basic understandings first before we go on too much further and let me ask a very simple question. What is hell? Hey, if you're watching on Facebook, if you want to put in some comments now would be a good time while I get a drink and see what you all think.
But what's a good basic working definition of hell?
the absence of God
at home The absence of God hell is where God is Not? How is separation from God? To be separated from God is to be in hell. And so therefore with this working basic definition of hell, if we look back on Good Friday when Jesus was suffering and dying on the cross, he was nailed there around 9 in the morning. He completed his suffering around 3 in the afternoon towards the end of his suffering towards the end of those six hours. Jesus said my God my God. Why have you forsaken me?
That was it. That was that's what it means to be in hell to be forsaken by God. This was the climax. This was going toward the climax of Jesus is suffering and paying for our sins. But he was isolated from God that God had withdrawn his presents and that Jesus was truly. alone
in the absence of God on the cross. Paying for our sins.
First after he said those words then Jesus said these words it is finished. Meaning in Comer and Greek a commercial business language it is paid in full.
The sins of the world that he was suffering for that he was paying for when I finished being paid for because they were paid in full is suffering was completed. And that meant is a Dodge abandonment also was now completed God's abandonment was over and so the next thing that Jesus said on the cross was father into your hands. I commit my spirit.
And then the Bible says that he died with a loud cry with a loud voice.
So right at the moment and before the moment of his death Jesus and the father were reunited. There was no more separation. There was no more abandon meant there was no being forsaken. The body of Jesus was buried the Soul and Spirit of Jesus were in heaven. With God the Father with that thief on the cross method for thief on the cross that said remember me when you come into your kingdom and what did Jesus say today? You will be with me in Paradise.
So when he died on Friday.
He went and returned to his father in Heaven his soul his spirit and he met that Thief that criminal there in the presence. of the Almighty the next day Saturday or seventh day Jesus rested his body rested in the Tomb is sold in his Spirit rested in heaven. And on the third day on what we call Sunday the first day of the week. He then rose from the dead as he said he would and descended into hell before he appeared on Earth. Okay, that's the truth dictory. If you will that before Jesus appeared on Earth resurrected he descended into hell resurrected not to suffer because that was over remember is finished. He went into descended into hell to Proclaim his victory. Because he has triumphed he has one. He is the victor.
Now, where do we get all that where we get that cut? I'll let you in that trajectory. We get that from the epistle reading. I was just wrapping 1st Peter chapter 3 in which in general broad Strokes paints this picture and verses 18 and 19 that Jesus was put to death in the flesh. That's Friday. But made alive in the spirit that Sunday the first day of the week in which he went and proclaimed to the spirits in prison, which is another way of saying he'll okay. So he was put to death on Friday. He was made a live on Sunday and in the spirit. He went in for claim to the spirits in prison. He went and descended into hell. Holy Spirit enable Jesus then to visit how to Proclaim this victory over sin over evil over death over hell over Satan over all his enemies over all our enemies.
And there was probably some sort of inappropriate hand gesture that he did that I can't do because we're recording this for the internet. When he went to Proclaim to the spirits in prison, and it was then that he came to Earth and began to appear to the various Chosen Few of his followers and disciples to Mary Magdalene first by the tomb to the two of them that we're going to Emmaus. And came back right away that same day to the 10 of them that were in the locked room that night without Thomas to the 11 of them for what they had the following Sunday with Thomas and so on and so on. Those are the resurrection appearances. Of course that are recorded for us in the gospels that we've been remembering and recounting these last couple of weeks. But the descent into hell is also part of his Triumph. It is part of his resurrection Triumph. He has conquered He has conquered evil. He has conquered unbelief. He has conquered death. He has conquered sin. There is no more guilt. There is no more shame. There is no more regrets. God works all things together for good. God has taken away and paid for all of our misdeeds. And because of his Triumph of Christ in his suffering and in his resurrection, including the descent into hell, this is what then gives us home.
In this world in this life, and this is why we can face the present and the future without fear.
We can face the present and the future without fear because Jesus didn't defeated all of our big enemies.
Our enemies are not a poor economy. Our enemies are not a virus. Our enemies our sin and guilt and shame and regret and death. And those have all been defeated and in the future when he sees fit. The father sees fit kit will come and completely defeat these enemies when none of them will exist anymore.
That's what a violation says. It will be no more crying No More Tears no more death. No more sorrow no more pain. and until that future day comes He will sustain us. He will protect us. He will rescue us from any and all spiritual or Eternal harm and danger until that day comes we are Safe in His Hands. That's part of Jesus being the Good Shepherd of support we didn't read this year, but coming up next year. But no one I know my sheep. They know my voice. No one can snatch them out of my hand. That's what that means.
That's how we live now. with hope without fear Do you see what a teachable moment this is? You see what good news is buried in that do Testament reading and in those four words of the Creed that we sometimes just say mindlessly. Do you see the true meaning of those four words he descended into hell?
You see how powerful the news is in those four words and in those two verses of 1st Peter 3.
I need you to see it. I need you to believe it. I need you to apprehend it for yourself. You may not be able to comprehend it, but I need you to apprehended. I need you to grab onto it and hold on to it and live it.
We are in the midst of a pandemic and yes, there are signs that maybe some of the restrictions are lifting. So be it but maybe not no matter we are still not afraid. We are not the people who are afraid. We are the people of Hope. Because Jesus has one. TS trionfi is Concord. And we're not the people of Hope in the sense that the over the pandemic is coming to an end in the state's reopening and we can go to the beach now and things are getting better. Maybe they are maybe they're not going to be maybe they'll be all relapse.
That's not what our hope is. Our hope is Jesus. And I hope actually is in Jesus. Because he's the one who is triumph to triumph over evil. These triumph over sin is triumph over death. He's trying to over Hill over health is triumph over guilt is triumph over shame triumph over regrets. And all those things have been defeated what is there to fear?
Maybe to be a little risque what the blank is there to fear?
Because all of those things have been rendered impotent.
and I need you to not only see this and apprehend it. I also need you to be able to explain it to others.
Two others who may be are afraid.
Two others who may be are lacking. Hope
Peter also mentioned that inverse V steam this was going to be the other part that I never got to and I'm not going to get too but I do want to mention these words of verse 15 and 1st Peter 3 where he says that we need to be always prepared to make a defense meaning explanation to anyone who asks you for the reason for the hope that is in you.
But do it with gentleness and respect.
Cuz you know if you're going to be living in a pandemic as a person of Hope. And not fear what if you're going to be going through some trial and hardship? As a person of Hope and not a person of despair. other people are going to ask you how How is this possible? How are you doing it? What will you say? How will you explain the reason for the hope and the lack of fear that you have?
Took today now, but maybe not now it's 10 minutes. But today when we go home or when I stopped our gathering together would be a good time for you to prepare that answer. I know today would be a good time for you to prepare an explanation of your faith. Seneca nation of your hope in Christ in Jesus
Got to put it in a cup cup cup of the bullet points in your head 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 5. Someone asks you how how are you living with hope now, how are you living without fear now? How are you living without anxiety now, what will you say? Prepare be prepared to give a reason for the hope that you have. Cuz it's Christians ladies and gentlemen brothers and sisters. We are not optimists. We don't just simply think things are going to get better. We are people of faith. We are people of Hope. And we have good reason for that.
The question is how will you explain yours?
That's what Peter would like us and God would like us to be able to to be ready to do. To be prepared to give an answer for the reason for the hope that is in you with gentleness with respect. And I know somehow or other whatever you prepared to say you cut a little stump speech. It's somehow it's all going to boil down to Jesus. It always does. I think that's true. Okay think that through.
Nobody's in school today. So that's homework, right? That's homework think through your a little stump. Speech.
On what you'll say to somebody when they'll ask you. How are you living with hope? or without fear the sake of Christ
at this point we would continue our search.