Sermon for 02.25.24 “A profound reality”

02.25.24 Lent 2
Text: Romans 5:1–11
Theme: A profound reality
Other Lessons: Genesis 17:1–7, 15–16; Psalm 22:23–31; Mark 8:27–38

(A) In the Name of the Father…Amen.
(B) The Epistle lesson serves as our sermon text for this morning.
(C) Grace, mercy, and peace be yours from God our heavenly Father through
our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.
(D) Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, let us pray:
Heavenly Father, Lord of all creation, we come before You on this second
Sunday in Lent, our hearts joined in worship and adoration.
In the spirit of the Psalmist, we proclaim Your name to our brothers and
sisters; in the midst of the congregation, we praise You.
Lord, You have not despised or abhorred the affliction of the afflicted;
You have not hidden Your face from us, but when we cried to You for help,
You heard.
Your faithfulness extends to every corner of the earth, calling all who
fear You to worship and stand in awe.
From the greatest to the least, from the ends of the earth to the heart of
our community, Your righteousness is proclaimed to a people yet unborn,
declaring that You have done it.
You, O Lord, who bring kings to their knees and feed the hungry, who
remember the poor and the suffering, who give us a reason to sing even in
our darkest hour, guide us to live in a way that Your justice and love are
known by all. Amen.

(A) Romans 5:6 (NASB95)
For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the
(B) That’s a magnificent statement, isn’t it!
(1) That is what the Lenten season is all about.
(2) In fact, it’s the essence of our Christian faith.
(C) But do we truly understand the Passion and death of Christ?
(1) Has the message of Christ dying for us been repeated so often that it’s
become a formula we hear and just nod absentmindedly—or even worse, nod
(2) Do we no longer hear the wonder of Christ’s work that led him to suffer
and die an shameful death in our stead?
(3) Can we . . . or do we even comprehend the atonement?
(D) The devil, the world, and our sinful nature are all behind the sin of
indifference toward Christ’s Passion, suffering, dying, and rising.

(1) But God’s Word is more powerful than those enemies, and in His Word
today, God through Paul rouses us with a most rousing declaration of what
that familiar yet magnificent truth means for us.
(E) Paul shows us that Perhaps The More than We Grasp the idea, “Christ
Died for the Ungodly” The More We Realize What A Profound Reality of that
(1) It’s profound because we don’t even want to understand how ungodly we
(A) That’s true, first of all, because we probably forget how much we
needed Jesus to do this for us.
(B) In today’s Gospel, Jesus clearly taught his disciples that he must
suffer, be rejected by the Jewish leaders, be killed, and after three days
rise again.
(1) Peter’s response?
(2) He wanted nothing to do with such a mission and took Jesus aside to
rebuke him.
(3) The very idea of Jesus dying for our sins!
(4) Why would this be necessary?
(C) Indeed, there’s a wholesale dismissing of sin in our culture. Already
in the late 1970s, famed American psychiatrist Karl Menninger wrote a book
called Whatever Became of Sin?
(1) A very good question.
(2) Maybe in the contemporary mind school shootings still make the list,
but abortion, homosexuality, divorce, sex change—certainly not.
(D) Yet the divinely-inspired apostle Paul writes in our text:
Romans 5:6 (NASB95)
For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the
(1) Ungodly!
(2) Without God!
(3) Paul goes even further when he says in verse 10:
Romans 5:10 (NASB95)
10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death
of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His
(4) “Enemies” of God!
(5) Opposed to God!
(6) We would kill God, wipe Him off our slate, get Him off our backs, if we
(E) And don’t overlook the word “we.”

(1) We were still weak, ungodly, sinners, enemies.
(2) Maybe we’re right on all those major social issues:
a) abortion,
b) homosexuality,
c) transgenderism.
(3) Still, surely more than we want to grasp, sin lurks in each of our
(4) We were conceived as ungodly, and that wickedness continues in our
sinful nature.
(5) Look inside.
(6) You don’t even need to look too deep.
(7) This thought or that thought that you don’t tell your wife.
(8) Resentment toward your husband you only think about after the light’s
turned out.
(9) The laugh in your heart that Mom and Dad really don’t get it.
(10) The jealousy of friends.
(11) The secret pact with yourself that God doesn’t know you’re giving Him
less than your best when you write your check for the offering or leave
your Bible unopened.
(12) God does know all of it.
(13) By nature, that was you.
(14) And you have to face it, because the sinful nature lingers still.
(F) Yet Christ died for you, Ungodly.
(2) It’s profound because the death of the Christ for us is far beyond
anything we can comprehend.
(A) Paul writes:
Romans 5:7–8 (NASB95)
7 For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good
man someone would dare even to die.
8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet
sinners, Christ died for us.
(1) You hear about:
a) a fireman or police officer dying in the line of duty,
b) a soldier sacrificing himself for his buddies,
c) a mom for her child.
(2) But we weren’t the adorable child, the loyal brother in arms.
(3) All we are able to bring to the table is weakness, ungodliness, and
(4) Sin is a horribly messy business, and understanding that is crucial to
seeing how profound is God’s dealing with us.
(B) And consider this:
(1) It was the Christ who died for us, the ungodly.
(2) The sinless Son of God.
(3) The one who is all-glorious needs nothing from anyone.
(4) Didn’t need you!
(5) But nevertheless made us perfect because He wanted to be with us and us
with him.
(6) Who loved us from eternity.
(7) And then He’s the one we turn around from and ignore, insult, try to
hide from.
(8) What kind of reaction would you get from your boss, your friends, even
from those people who love you if you did that to them?
(C) When Mel Gibson’s movie The Passion of the Christ was released in 2004,
there was much criticism of its depiction of Christ’s suffering.
(1) Some said it was too graphic.
(2) Others said that it was emotionally draining rather than spiritually
(3) Some discouraged parents from allowing young children to view it.
(4) Nonetheless, the film was impactful on many levels.
(5) For example, film critic Roger Ebert said it was “the most violent film
I have ever seen.”
(6) But as a former altar boy, he was also struck by the film, writing,
“What Gibson has provided for me, for the first time in my life, is a
visceral [you feel it in your guts] idea of what the Passion consisted of”
(Roger Ebert, “The Passion of the Christ,”, February 24,
2004, [accessed
August 29, 2023]).
(D) That “feel it in your guts” feeling expresses Christ’s substitutionary
death for sinners.
(1) He carried all of your sin and the sin of all humankind in His body at
the cross.
(2) He is your substitute:
a) the innocent for the guilty.
b) There He suffered in anguish and died in your place to satisfy God’s
wrath for your sins.
c) And that, together with His resurrection from the dead, not only insures
victory over sin, Satan, and death, but forgiveness, life, and salvation
also are now available through faith in him.
d) Ponder that!
(3) It’s profound because it creates a new relationship that we don’t fully
(A) Christ’s dying was all to reestablish that broken relationship with the
Lord God Almighty.
(1) Because God does not want to condemn us, He calls and enables us to
(2) The Holy Spirit leads us to have sorrow for our rebellion against the
Lord of heaven and earth and to believe “that sin has been forgiven and
grace has been obtained through Christ” (AC XII 3–6, Tappert, German).
(3) Now, then, Paul writes:
Romans 5:1-2,11 (NASB95)
1 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through
our Lord Jesus Christ,
2 through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this
grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God.
11 And not only this, but we also exult in God through our Lord Jesus
Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.
(B) Paul describes God’s grace in Christ with two terms:
(1) justification and reconciliation.
(C) Paul’s words:
Romans 5:10 (NASB95)
For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of
His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.
(D) These words make Christ’s death on the cross very personal.
(1) It justifies us.
(2) Then justification results in peace with God, along with the peace of
God and hope.
(3) Peace signifies a new relationship, as does reconciliation.
(4) In much the same way that a citizen would be granted entrance into the
presence of a monarch, the grace of God is now accessible to us through
Christ and His work.
(E) Justification and reconciliation are the means by which God brings us
into fellowship with Himself, with Jesus, and with the Spirit.
(1) And so we experience the answer that negates Peter’s rebuke.
a) Christ gives us the reality of grace and peace.
b) We experience His forgiveness.
c) We desire to do better than to keep on sinning.
d) And when we repent, God forgives us of our sinful nature and all our
actual sins.
e) He forgives us for Jesus’ sake.
f) Christ is present in our lives by his Word and Sacrament. He is present
in His Word in all its forms.
g) He is present in His Word in the Holy Scriptures:
1) read,
2) spoken,
3) and expounded,
4) here among us.
h) He is present in His Word connected to the water of Holy Baptism:
1) which brings us into the kingdom of God,
2) creates faith,
3) and, as for Abraham and Sarah in the Old Testament Reading, gives us a
divine calling.
i) He is present in His Word of Holy Absolution:
1) which comforts us
2) and releases us from despair.
j) He is present in His Word:
1) which make the elements of bread and wine the Sacrament of the Holy
2) which nourishes us with his true body and his true blood given and shed
for us.
k) The crucified and risen Jesus is with us in:
1) every joy and sorrow,
2) every gain and loss,
3) every healing and illness,
4) every triumph and temptation!
(F) Do we always fully appreciate this new relationship established when
Christ died for the ungodly?
(4) It’s profound because it enables us to rejoice in something we do
understand all too well: sufferings.
(A) We don’t even need to explore our interior thoughts to find our
(1) The world dumps those thoughts on us quite often.
a) Aging,
b) illness,
c) stress to make ends meet.
d) Our values assaulted every day in the media and in the workplace.
e) Dad that’s not here anymore.
f) Kids that left in a huff.
g) A lonely apartment.
h) A dead-end job.
i) No job.
(2) Yet Paul writes:
Romans 5:3 (NASB95)
And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that
tribulation brings about perseverance;
(3) Really?
(4) Even believers who know Christ died for the ungodly struggle with such
a message, especially when the struggles of daily life become overwhelming.
(5) Is this all a bunch of hype or is it real hope?
(B) “Hope” is the key word.
Romans 5:3–5 (NASB95)
3 And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that
tribulation brings about perseverance;
4 and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope;
5 and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out
within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
(C) Hope flows out of our dependence on God’s grace.
(1) And this hope sustains us in difficult times because its object is the
glory of God, regardless of our circumstances.
(2) And it is real hope, not hype.
(3) It is certain because Christ died for the ungodly.
(4) He loves us that much.
(5) And since His death has:
a) reconciled us to God,
b) reestablished that relationship of peace with God,
c) it is therefore certain that He will be with us even in these most
difficult circumstances.
d) This, then, is how and why we can rejoice in our sufferings!


(A) Today’s Epistle directs our attention to the sufferings and death of
Christ as the supreme cost for our salvation.
Romans 5:6–8 (NASB95)
6 For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the
7 For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good
man someone would dare even to die.
8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet
sinners, Christ died for us.
(B) Perhaps many who saw The Passion of the Christ were stunned by its
graphic content.
(1) Yet this is the staggering price Jesus paid to redeem us.
(C) Our Introit this morning reminded us that:
Psalm 115:11 (NASB95)
11 You who fear the LORD, trust in the LORD; He is their help and their
(D) And again in today’s Psalm:
Psalm 22:24 (NASB95)
For [God] has not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted;
Nor has He hidden His face from him; But when he cried to Him for help, He
(E) Why?
(1) Because Christ died for us, the ungodly, reconciling us to God.
(2) A profound reality indeed!
(F) Perhaps people are stunned by the staggering price Jesus paid to redeem
(1) The justifying and reconciling Passion, death, and resurrection of
Jesus enable us to hope in the glory of God even in the time of suffering.
(2) In his same Epistle to the Romans, Paul powerfully and perfectly
Romans 8:18 (NASB95)
18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy
to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.
(3) To be ours for eternity because Christ died for you, for me, the
ungodly. Amen.
(G) Let us pray:
As we journey through this season of reflection and repentance, remind us
of Your enduring mercy and steadfast love.
Help us to trust in Your promises, to proclaim Your deliverance and
salvation, not keeping it to ourselves but sharing it with the world You
came to save.
We pray for those among us who feel forsaken, who cry out in distress.
May they feel Your presence near, may they see Your light in their
Use us, Lord, to be bearers of Your comfort and peace, to share the hope
that comes from knowing You.
Strengthen us in this worship service to glorify You with all our hearts,
souls, and minds.
May our praises echo the faithfulness of those who have gone before us, and
may our lives reflect Your glory to a future generation.
In the name of Jesus Christ, our Savior and Redeemer, who lives and reigns
with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
(H) The peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, guard your hearts
and minds in Christ Jesus. Amen.
(I) In the Name of the Father…Amen.