Through Grace To Resurrection
By the time many of you read this, the writer will have changed addresses. He will have moved from Grace to Resurrection, from Fridley, Minnesota to Corpus Christi, Texas.
It is one of the advantages that the CLC enjoys to this point that its president still serves as an active pastor of a congregation. He is daily reminded of what the ministry is really all about. He remembers the trials and joys of the pastoral ministry because he daily experiences them. The ministry is not administrating. It is speaking to the hearts of people like himself, people in need of the daily instruction from the Word of God and the daily comfort of the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.
‘From Grace to Resurrection.’ Our God is the God of grace. Offended by our sin, the Father nevertheless showed to mankind love — undeserved love. He determined in His own heart to rescue man from the consequence of sin. In grace He promised the Savior from sin. And it is an expression of His grace that He preserved His promise, nourished it over time, and in time sent the Savior in whom we believe — by grace. We are what we are–children of God–by virtue of grace. We have what we have–faith unto salvation–by virtue of grace. “By grace are ye saved, through faith. . . . ” Our Lord “has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given us in Christ Jesus before time began” (2 Tim. 1:9). Grace goes back a long way, doesn’t it?
Our past was blessed with the reality of divine grace. Our present continues to be so blessed. For in His grace He keeps us in the faith by means of the Gospel so that we might live in daily hope of the resurrection.
It is to the resurrection that our hearts and minds are pointed in the Easter season. But in the correct order. Our Lord Jesus Christ, having paid the all-sufficient price for our sin through His death, rose again from the dead according to the Scriptures. He became the “first-fruits of those who have fallen asleep” (1 Cor. 15:20) and who will yet fall asleep before the end of time. Now we who believe praise the Father “who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” (1 Pet. 1:3).
‘From Grace to Resurrection.’ Grace would be an empty thing if there were no resurrection. There would be no resurrection unto life everlasting if it were not for grace. Grace and resurrection are forever tied together in the life of the Christian. Grace is the underlying cause of the resurrection. The resurrection unto life is the ultimate fruit of grace.
It is this message rooted in Christ that is the touchstone of Grace in Fridley, or Resurrection in Corpus Christi, in St. Stephen’s of the East Bay and Indian Landing in Rochester, New York, and in all churches in between. For wherever there are churches there are sinners in need of the proclamation of grace in Christ and hope of the resurrection. Venues change. The needs of pastor and hearers do not, and therefore the message dare not.
Wherever you attend one of our churches this Easter, you will hear the message without qualification or evasion: “Christ the Lord is Risen Today.” Thank God for His grace.
Now, the peace of God be with you all in the hope of the resurrection.
— Pastor Daniel Fleischer