Grace and mercy to you from God our Father and the Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.
God has written through the apostle John, “Jesus said to (the Nobleman), “Go your way; your son lives.” So the (nobleman) believed the word that Jesus spoke to him, and he went his way” Jn 4:50. Thus far the text.
Let us pray, “Gracious Father, from depths of woe we cry to You, whose love and grace alone avail to blot out our transgression; O Lord grant us to live by Your mercy alone; in the name of Jesus. Amen.
We gather here this morning because we are a people who live by faith in Jesus.
Those who have faith in Jesus have all the gifts of God. You lack nothing.
But let me give you a few examples from the Bible to show you something about your faith in Jesus and a little bit about this God in whom you believe.
First, Job is a man who lived by faith in Jesus. Job was called the richest man in the East, but Job gave God the credit for all his wealth. Job was called the wisest man in the East, but Job gave God the credit for all His Wisdom. Job was called a family man for he had a loving wife and many faithful children, but Job gave God the credit for his wonderful family.
Job is one of the righteous men of old who lived by faith in Jesus who was to come. You, too, are those who are righteous before God for it is the righteous who live by faith in the Jesus who has come.
Job had everything. You have everything.
But here is the problem. Our Father is a generous God who loves to give to His children more and more good gifts.
So, the problem belongs to our Father because what do you give to someone who already has everything?
What happens next? Our Father allows Satan to take away Job’s wealth, Job’s health, and Job’s family. Everything that could be seen is destroyed by Satan with the permission of our generous and loving Father. When faithful Job cries out for mercy, when faithful Job starts to question the mercy of God, what does God do? God rebukes Job.
Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said: “Who is this who darkens counsel By words without knowledge? Now prepare yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer Me” (Job 38:1–3).
To set up the problem even more, let us look at a second example. The disciples followed Jesus because they had faith in Jesus. And yet, when the storm tossed their boat around on the sea, Jesus rebukes His faithful ones saying, “Why are you afraid, O you of little faith!” (Matthew 8:26).
A third example from today’s Gospel, “The Nobleman went to Jesus and implored Jesus to come down and heal his son, for the boy was at the point of death. 48 Then Jesus said to Nobleman, “Unless you people see signs and wonders, you will by no means believe” Jn 4:47–48. What? The Nobleman went to Jesus believing that Jesus alone could heal his son. Jesus rebukes the Nobleman for lack of faith.
The Lord takes our faith away with a rebuke. For the purpose of giving us a greater faith.
Job, the disciples, and the Nobleman believed in Jesus. They also saw their many blessings from God. But our Father takes them through the cross of Jesus Christ to give them a faith in Jesus that also sees the blessings that can’t be seen.
With this greater faith, Job was content will many blessings of God even though he had no wealth, no health, no family. He could give thanks knowing that all things will turn out well because of faith in Jesus.
With this greater faith, the apostles were content with both the physical and spiritual blessings of faith in Jesus, even when they were being put to death for this faith. The apostles could give thanks knowing that all things will turn out well because of faith in Jesus, even though they die.
With this greater faith, the Nobleman was content with both the physical and spiritual blessings of faith in Jesus, even though one day both he and his son would one day die.
Through the cross, the Lord makes us children of God. Children don’t question the generosity of God. They take Jesus at His Word. They trust Him. They are content.
Receive again the faith of a child. The faith you had as a child trusting that all things will be ok.
The Lord restored Job with a new family. He has restored you with a new family of God’s children, your brothers and sisters in Christ.
The Lord saved the apostles from an early death. He saved you from death to eternal life that you not die.
The Lord cured the Nobleman’s son from the grip of death. He cures you from the grip of death by forgiving your sins in the name of Jesus.
Let us listen to the powerful and effective Word of Jesus when He says to you, “Go your way, the children of God - live.”
In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.
The First Article - From the Large Catechism
 “I believe in God, the Father almighty, CREATOR of heaven and earth …”
 This is the shortest possible way of describing and illustrating the nature, will, acts, and work of God the Father. Because the Ten Commandments have explained that we are to have no more than one God, so it may now be asked: “What kind of person is God? What does he do? How can we praise or portray or describe him in such a way so we may know him?” This is taught here and in the following articles. Thus the Creed is nothing else than a response and confession of Christians based on the First Commandment.  If you were to ask a young child, “My dear, what kind of God do you have? What do you know about him?” he or she could say: “First, my God is the Father, who made heaven and earth. Aside from this one alone I regard nothing as God, for there is no one else who could create heaven and earth.”
 For the highly educated and those somewhat more well informed, however, all three articles can be treated more fully and divided into as many parts as there are words. But for the young pupils it is now enough to indicate the most necessary points, namely, as we have said, that this article deals with creation. We should emphasize the words “creator of heaven and earth.”  What is meant by these words or what do you mean when you say, “I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator,” etc.? Answer: I hold and believe that I am God’s creature, that is, that he has given me and constantly sustains my body, soul, and life, my members great and small, all my senses, my reason and understanding, and the like; my food and drink, clothing, nourishment, spouse and children, servants, house and farm, etc.  Besides, he makes all creation help provide the benefits and necessities of life—sun, moon, and stars in the heavens; day and night; air, fire, water, the earth and all that it yields and brings forth; birds, fish, animals, grain, and all sorts of produce.  Moreover, he gives all physical and temporal blessings—good government, peace, security.  Thus we learn from p 433 this article that none of us has life—or anything else that has been mentioned here or can be mentioned—from ourselves, nor can we by ourselves preserve any of them, however small and unimportant. All this is comprehended in the word “Creator.”
 Moreover, we also confess that God the Father has given us not only all that we have and what we see before our eyes, but also that he daily guards and defends us against every evil and misfortune, warding off all sorts of danger and disaster. All this he does out of pure love and goodness, without our merit, as a kind father who cares for us so that no evil may befall us.  But further discussion of this subject belongs in the other two parts of this article, where it says, “Father almighty.”
 Hence, because everything we possess, and everything in heaven and on earth besides, is daily given, sustained, and protected by God, it inevitably follows that we are in duty bound to love, praise, and thank him without ceasing, and, in short, to devote all these things to his service, as he has required and enjoined in the Ten Commandments.
 Here much could be said if we were to describe how few people believe this article. We all pass over it; we hear it and recite it, but we neither see nor think about what the words command us to do.  For if we believed it with our whole heart, we would also act accordingly, and not swagger about and boast and brag as if we had life, riches, power, honor, and such things of ourselves, as if we ourselves were to be feared and served. This is the way the wretched, perverse world acts, drowned in its blindness, misusing all the blessings and gifts of God solely for its own pride, greed, pleasure, and enjoyment, and never once turning to God to thank him or acknowledge him as Lord or Creator.
 Therefore, if we believe it, this article should humble and terrify all of us. For we sin daily with eyes, ears, hands, body and soul, money and property, and with all that we have, especially those who even fight against the Word of God. Yet Christians have this advantage, that they acknowledge that they owe it to God to serve and obey him for all these things.
 For this reason we ought daily to practice this article, impress it upon our minds, and remember it in everything we see and in every blessing that comes our way. Whenever we escape distress or danger, we should recognize how God gives and does all of this so that we may sense and see in them his fatherly heart and his boundless love toward us. Thus our hearts will be warmed and kindled with gratitude to God and a desire to use all these blessings to his glory and praise.
 Such, very briefly, is the meaning of this article. It is all that ordinary people need to learn at first, both about what we have and receive from God and about what we owe him in return. This is knowledge of great significance, but an even greater treasure. For here we see how the Father has given to us himself with all creation and has abundantly provided for us in this life, apart from the fact that he has also showered us with inexpressible eternal blessings through his Son and the Holy Spirit, as we shall hear.
Psalm 8 Notes
Formula of Concord, Article 8 - Concerning the Person of Christ
 erOn this basis, too, after the resurrection from the dead the human nature enjoys exaltation over all creatures in heaven and on earth. This is nothing other than that he has laid aside the form of a servant completely (without discarding his human nature, which he retains forever) and was installed into the p 621 full possession and use of his divine majesty according to his assumed human nature. Of course, he also possessed this majesty from his conception in the womb of his mother, but, as the Apostle testifies [Phil. 2:7*], he emptied himself of that majesty, and as Dr. Luther explains,265 he kept it secret in his state of humiliation and did not use it all the time but only when he wanted to.  eHowever, after this he did not merely ascend to heaven as any other holy person, but, as the Apostle testifies [Eph. 4:10*], he ascended far above all the heavens, truly fills all things, and now rules everywhere, from one sea to the other and to the end of the world, not only as God but also as a human being. As the prophets prophesy and the apostles testify [Pss. 8:2*, 7*; 93:1*; Zech. 9:19; Mark 16:19–20*], he worked everywhere with them and has confirmed their message through the signs that accompanied it.  Indeed, this did not take place in an earthly manner but, as Dr. Luther explains,266 according to the mode of the right hand of God. It is not some specific spot in heaven, as the sacramentarians propose without basis in the Holy Scripture. Instead, it is nothing other than the almighty power of God, which fills heaven and earth. Christ has been installed in this power according to his humanity.
Large Catechism - Sixth Petition - Deliver Us Not Into Temptation
 Then comes the devil, who baits and badgers us on all sides, but especially exerts himself where the conscience and spiritual matters are concerned. His purpose is to make us scorn and despise both the Word and the works of God, to tear us away from faith, hope, and love, to draw us into unbelief, false security, and stubbornness, or, on the contrary, to drive us into despair, denial of God, blasphemy, and countless other abominable sins. These are snares and nets; indeed, they are the real “flaming darts”186 that are venomously shot into our hearts, not by flesh and blood but by the devil.
 To experience attack, therefore, is quite a different thing from consenting to it or saying “Yes” to it.187 We must all experience it, though not to the same degree; some have more frequent and severe attacks than others. Young people, for example, are tempted chiefly by the flesh; adults and older people are p 455 tempted by the world. Others, who are concerned with spiritual matters (that is, strong Christians), are tempted by the devil.  But no one can be harmed by merely experiencing an attack, as long as it is contrary to our will and we would prefer to be rid of it. For if we did not experience it, it could not be called an attack. But to consent to it is to give it free rein and neither to resist it nor to pray for help against it.
My dear friend, regard it as a real treasure that God speaks into your physical ear.23 The only thing that detracts from this gift is our deficient knowledge of it. To be sure, I do hear the sermon; however, I am wont to ask: “Who is speaking?” The pastor? By no means! You do not hear the pastor. Of course, the voice is his, but the words he employs are really spoken by my God. Therefore I must hold the Word of God in high esteem that I may become an apt pupil of the Word. If we looked upon it as the Word of God, we would be glad to go to church, to listen to the sermon, and to pay attention to the precious Word. There we would hear Christ say: “Give Me a drink!” But since we do not honor the Word of God or show any interest in our own salvation, we do not hear the Word. In fact, we do not enjoy listening to any preacher unless he is gifted with a good and clear voice. If you look more at the pastor than at God; if you do not see God’s person but merely gape to see whether the pastor is learned and skilled, whether he has good diction and articulates distinctly—then you have already become half a Jacob.24 For a poor V 22, p 529 speaker may speak the Word of God just as well as he who is endowed with eloquence. A father speaks the Word of God as well as God does, and your neighbor speaks it as well as the angel Gabriel. There is no difference between the Word when uttered by a schoolboy and when uttered by the angel Gabriel; they vary only in rhetorical ability.