Good News for Little Children
Rev. Marq Toombs
13 January 2019
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Little children, listen to the words of my mouth. Pay close attention as I tell you an old story in a new way.
Psalm 78 tells us the story about the mighty works and amazing things that God did for his people when he brought them out of Egypt, led them through the desert, and gave them a king in the promise land.
Now, that’s what God did for our forefathers a long time ago.
Do you want to know what God has done for you?
Like the psalmist, I want to tell you the story of the mightiest work and most amazing thing that God has ever done.
I want to echo the psalm and tell you the story of the gospel.
Do you know what the gospel is?
The gospel is the story of good news. It is the power of God — for salvation — for everyone — who believes — including you.
God came into the world and became a man named Jesus to save you.
Jesus was a man after God’s own heart. He served God’s people as a faithful pastor with an upright heart and skillful hand.
Jesus obeyed the Law of God. He loved God and he loved people — not just family and friends, but even strangers and enemies.
Jesus came to save you and me and lots of other people from all our bad attitudes and bad actions. He came to rescue us from the Devil and death.
This is how God showed his love for us: He gave his one and only son as a sacrifice for our sins. Jesus laid down his life at the cross. He took our place at the cross and he was punished for our sins. He gave up his spirit and died and was buried. On the third day he rose up from the dead.
Jesus did all this to prove that he is the one true God, and that all other gods are fake gods.
He also did this to protect us from the angels of death.
When judgment comes, these destroyers will pass over you because Jesus — our passover lamb — was sacrificed for you and his blood is sprinkled on your hearts.
God sent us his Spirit to guide you from slavery into freedom. He helps you escape the power of the Devil.
Remember what God did when our forefathers came to the Red Sea? God blew apart the waters with his Spirit and the people crossed over on dry ground.
At that time, all the people — men, women, and children — were baptized by the rains that poured down from the glory cloud above them. (cp Psalm 77:16-18)
Little children, I want you to remember your baptism. And every time you see a baptism, and you see the water poured out and sprinkled, coming down from above, remember what God has done for you — and how he delivered you from evil.
And rejoice and worship God.
Remember you are not alone. The Spirit of Christ is with you. He is leading you out of everything that is wrong and bad in the world — into everything that is right and good in God’s eyes.
The Holy Spirit is helping you become more like Jesus.
Like our forefathers, we are living in the desert between Egypt and the Promise Land.
God is with us and he gives us everything we need for life.
When we get hungry and thirsty, God gives us water from a Rock and Bread from heaven — — the Spirit of Christ and the Word of Christ.
He also gives us the sacraments — baptism and the Lord’s supper — water, bread, and wine — the Spirit, body, and blood of Jesus.
These are the gifts of God for the people of God.
He also gives us the church, a family and a community of people to help keep us safe and secure.
When we need to know how to live, what to do and where to go, God gives us his Word in the OT and the NT to show us the way to go.
When we face enemies (like the world, the flesh, the devil), God drives them away.
When we need leaders, God raises up pastors, teachers, and elders to feed his flock and fight off wolves.
When we come to end of this life, God brings us home, into the promise land, and gives us a new place to live, move, and rest.
Little children, this is the story of the psalm and the gospel. It’s the story your parents and pastors are teaching you.
It’s also the story you must ask for, believe, and confess.
Now, if you believe the gospel story with your heart — that Jesus was crucified on the cross for you, and died for your sins; and if you believe that Jesus was raised from the dead, and lives for you; and if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is the Lord!” — you will be saved.
For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord — everyone who prays “Jesus save me!” will be saved.