Certain Because of God
Martin Chemnitz, Pastor and Confessor
9 November,2018
Humans are strange creatures. They manage to doubt that which does not depend on them, while being quite certain of what does. For example, if you ask a teenage boy (or any man!) if he is sure where he's going when he starts out on a long road trip he will answer with high certainty, "Yes, of course." However, he is quite likely to get entirely lost more than once on his trip.
However, if you ask that same human being if he is certain of his hope in Jesus Christ, and he will mumble and shuffle his feet, "Ah, um, I'm not really sure." The road trip depends on him and his fallible sense of direction and Google map reading skills, but the hope in Jesus Christ depends on God, who does not fail. God promises Himself to us in the most certain things, things more certain even than our own lives. Even though these things are unseen, they are ours because they depend on God. And because they are unseen we must walk by faith. Faith schools us to believe what we can neither see nor feel, because it is God's to give. We are certain because of Him.

Rev. Dr. Scott R. Murray
Memorial Lutheran Church

   Martin Luther
"We can and should promise ourselves the things God has promised us with greater certainty, as if we held them in our hands. I have the kingdom of heaven, Baptism, the Word, and the Eucharist. These things pertain to me and are mine with greater certainty than this very life which I live. 'And yet I do not feel it,' you will say. My answer is that you must learn with the fathers to hope for things not seen (Heb 11:1) and to fix your eyes on heaven; you must learn with the fathers to ride on the clouds. The kingdom of heaven is yours; your sins are forgiven you through the blood of the Lamb. Only see to it that you believe. The promises are no joke. God does not lie. He says that you have been justified, sanctified, and saved. Thus these things are offered to us in the clearest and most glorious manner through the ministry of the Word. The only thing lacking is that we do not firmly assent to the Word and promises of God." 

Martin Luther, Lectures on Genesis,
Genesis 48:14-16

Israel stretched out his right hand and laid it on the head of Ephraim, who was the younger, and his left hand on the head of Manasseh, crossing his hands (for Manasseh was the firstborn). And he blessed Joseph and said,
"The God before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac walked, the God who has been my shepherd all my life long to this day, the angel who has redeemed me from all evil, bless the boys; and in them let my name be carried on, and the name of my fathers Abraham and Isaac; and let them grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth." (ESV)
Lord Christ, give me faith to believe what cannot be seen and to be certain of the things hoped for. Amen.
For all those preparing for holy marriage, that God might bless them in this honorable estate
For the board of elders of Memorial Lutheran Church, that they would see to the needs of the people of God
For all those whose consciences are troubled because of unrepented sin, that they would fall upon their knees for His full mercy
Art: Albrecht DURER, The Adoration of the Trinity (1511)
Memorial Lutheran Church
© Scott Murray 2018
Memorial Lutheran Church, 5800 Westheimer Rd., Houston, TX 77057
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