Sermon for 01/17/21, 2nd Sunday After Epiphany
1st Samuel3:1-20; Psalm 139:15-, 12-17; 1st Corinthians 6:12-20; John 11:43-51
Well, in 1st Samuel, we see the little boy Samuel be tutored under Eli. One night a call from God and three times he went to Eli and said, “hers I am you called me.” On the final time, Eli realized that it was God calling to Samuel. So he told Samuel to go and lay down, and if it was called again, “and Samuel responded, speak, for your servant is listening.’ God told Samuel that Eli and his family would never again enjoy His favor, for his sons had sinned and Eli did not speak out against them, thus God would punish them for their sins. He became known as a prophet of the Lord, and the Lord made himself known to Samuel.
God’s call to speak His word comes, and those He calls are to obey. Simple, right? Obedience to the call of God is an essential motive in the task of evangelism. The doctrine of evangelism demands obeying God as He commits to us the task of witnessing. We are servants. That means obedience even if the message is a difficult one as in your Samuel’s case. So if God calls you, will you respond to His call? Obedience requires dedication and commitment to the tasks God gives us.
So in our Psalm today, we come to understand the significance of our wisdom not just as a philosophical concept, but that praising God because He takes interests in every single individual. He has personal, detailed knowledge of what is going on in our world, thus we praise Him.
In First Corinthians, we understand that Christians cannot justify sexual sin in any way; Christian bodies are part of Christ as their bodily sins are not only sins against Christ but against themselves. By linking bodily behavior with the presence of the Holy Spirit, the apostle made I impossible for believers to separate their sexual practices from their relationship with the Lord. Christians cannot put themselves above he moral and ethical standards give by the Spirit without attempting to deny the Spirit with them.
Christian Ethics consists of integrity of character respect for our physical bodies. Our bodies are to represent Christ and do nothing which would bring shame on His name. Addiction to alcohol, food, or drugs reveals that we have let something other than Christ be our Master. Think about this, brothers and sisters.
This leads us to our Gospel lesson, the Believer’s Resurrection. The Raising of Lazarus back to continues early life, after he had been dead four days, was a demonstration in time of he end time power of God to effect the resurrection of believers. Lazarus was raised but would die again. Believers will be raised never again to die. Even the religious establishment unconsciously and against their own wills acknowledged the atoning work of Jesus.
So to bring all of this together, we are to accept God’s call on us; remembering we are servants, accepting His call in obedience and dedicating and being committed to the task we are called to. We also understand that God knows us more than we ever did about ourselves, but it is the foundation of our relationship with Him and we praise Him because of our relationship. Ethical integrity is important because it helps us to understand that which separates us from God and our relationship with Him. God gave us an example of his end of life power, in the raising of Lazarus, and that the final lesson was the raising of Jesus Himself from the dead, to defeat death completely and that the end of our life in this world is not the end, it is only the eternal life with Him in the kingdom. Amen