Lutheran Spokesman

"…the Scriptures cannot be broken." John 10:35

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Called To Be Witnesses

Written by | September, 2011
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But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.
(Acts 1:8)

In the first chapter of Acts we read the account of how Jesus, in the weeks leading up to His ascension, appeared to His disciples on various occasions and confirmed for them His great Easter victory. At this time He also informed them that He would soon bless them with power from on high that would enable them to serve as His gospel witnesses. After His departure to heaven He would use them as His instruments to broadcast far and wide in the world the news of His death-destroying, life-restoring work as mankind’s Savior. Read More…

Reaching Out with the Gospel… “Bragging Rights”

Written by | September, 2011
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Many people like to brag to others about what they have or what they’ve done.

The child on the playground may brag about what his dad can do. He may even get into a “My dad’s better… stronger than your dad” argument with other kids.

As adults we are inclined to brag about our children or grandchildren and their accomplishments. If one proves to be better than others, or has cuter grandkids than others, it might be said that he has the “bragging rights.”

As Christians we are somewhat reluctant to brag about ourselves, for in His Word our God warns about the destructiveness of pride. However, we do have the greatest bragging rights when it comes to our God. We truly have a God and Father who is greater than all.

We can rightfully and proudly brag and boast about our God!! Read More…

The Big Test

Written by | November, 2010
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Studies in Second Timothy

(Please read 2 Timothy 1:1-7)

Since Christ’s Ascension, millions of people have died for His sake, and thousands of people throughout the world become martyrs in His Name every year.

But it sure is easy to be a Christian in our land–even in our Lutheran congregations.

Is there something wrong with that? We can find out. Be sure to re-read the above passage.

Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth 2 Timothy 1:1-7

If you were baptized and grew up in Lutheranism, chances are you were helped and guided in one way or another by parents or a grandparent or by some dear, close friend, just as Timothy experienced.

It was easy to go through Sunday School and to enroll in Confirmation Class. You thought you had some real work then–memorizing the chief parts of the Small Catechism, dozens of Bible passages, a bunch of hymns, reading several books of the Bible, learning many historical facts, and so on.

As Confirmation Day approached, you knew you had a test to pass. Maybe it was an oral exam by the Board of Elders, and then another one in front of the congregation. And lo and behold–whew!–you made it! (You learned that pretty well everyone makes it.)

And looking back, it really wasn’t too hard. And from here on out, well, it was going to be easy to be Lutheran.

But look out! You may well be losing the Key to your Christian existence!

So here’s another test–the BIG one. You might need some guidance. Take three sheets of paper. Leave a few lines at the top of each sheet for the names, addresses, and perhaps a few details, on three people–preferably weak, lapsed fellow-members or some outright unbelievers. Remind yourself that a large percentage of your congregation desperately needs the gospel through personal communication; and that many suffer the malady of lack of assurance in Christ and His promises.

And using the gifts the Holy Spirit has given you through the gospel (love, spiritual strength, self-control), you are now to do all you can to bring Christ to these three people.

Don’t argue with them. You do not have to convert them–that’s God’s work; just make sure they know the gospel.  There’s no mad hurry either; take a few months; get to know and love them.

Examine your results and notes. What will you have learned?

It Takes Pains…

Among many good things, you may learn that you are the dumbest, the most self-centered, thoughtless, Biblically-illiterate, shallow-faithed person you ever met. Good! For if you learned at least that much, you will probably be on your knees, saying with Paul that you are “chief of sinners” (as he went about bringing the gospel to people).

You will understand something of what Martin Luther went through in order to convince friend and foe of the gospel. And now you may understand what Confession and Absolution are. And how to go to the Sacrament for more of the love of God in Christ, more strength, self-control, patience, and lots of other virtues.

You learn that it takes pains (efforts) to witness, and that you will receive, often with tears, many pains and wounds for your troubles and prayers.

You will have an idea of what Paul was saying to Timothy here. And rejoice! You have found the Key again. For now Christianity is not just a matter of being “easy”–not just “academic”–for now it is purely Christ! He is the gift of God that resides in you, and by His Spirit He supplies you with real life.

And you learn that the more you must explain Him to others, the more you retain Him for yourself.

You are now ready for three more sheets.

By the way, this article is not just written for young people. Some of you older ones have been taking it just too easy! So stir up the gift of God that is in you! Take the BIG test yourself!

Turning Back to God

Written by | November, 2010
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The Lord tells us through the pen of the Apostle Paul: “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.  For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent [that is, without self-control], fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, high-minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof…” (2 Tim. 3:1-5).

Where is the thinking Christ-believer who can legitimately deny that the above indictments aptly describe the society as well as the time in which we live?

In the aftermath of the Reformation celebration, we append to this “Cross Purposes” feature a brief but timely commentary by Pastor Fleischer. — Editor

When will They ever Learn?

“Pope John Paul II whipped himself with a belt, even on vacation, and slept on the floor as acts of penitence and to bring him closer to Christian perfection, according to a new book by the Polish prelate spearheading his sainthood case.” Read More

Furthermore, the same apostle said to the elders of Ephesus: “For I know this that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.  Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them” (Acts 20:29-30). Who is the faithful Christ-believer who–standing in awe of the Word of God and the manifold grace of God–will deny that that prophecy of St. Paul which came to pass in the early church is being fulfilled also in our day?

Can any true disciple of the Lord who trembles at the Word give a good reason why– except that the Heavenly Father is gracious and does not desire the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his wickedness and live–the Heavenly Father should stay the deserved judgment upon the nation and the church at large? Read More…

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