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October 2013

Using the Reformation

Using a gift is a fine way to express appreciation and gratitude.

The sixteenth century Lutheran Reformation was a great gift from God, for through it God restored to us His greatest gifts. Our full and free Salvation in and through Jesus Christ had been put on the shelf by the Roman Catholic Church, which then substituted works that man himself had to accomplish, and God’s undeserved Grace had been shelved in favor of the notion that God infuses grace into man, enabling people to do His will and thus supposedly merit eternal life.

Those precious gifts were all but lost because God’s Word had been put away on a shelf and all but forgotten, being replaced by the teachings of men.Read More »Using the Reformation

Contend Earnestly for the Faith!

In his short epistle Jude wanted more than anything to write about the wonders of “our common salvation” (v. 3), which is the marvelous gospel of God’s gracious love and forgiveness through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. We have been led by the Spirit to appreciate how “God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them” (2 Corinthians 5:19).Read More »Contend Earnestly for the Faith!

Keeping The Wells Unblocked!

Most kids are curious, and I was no different. When I asked my father why a certain pasture which we passed almost every Sunday had a small fenced-off area serving no apparent purpose, he explained what could not be discerned at a distance. A spring of water was being protected from cattle which in the past had blocked up the water’s flow with their trampling hooves.

Isaac was confronted by a similar situation (recorded in Genesis chapter 26). There was a famine in the land, and Isaac was living in Philistine territory by permission. Despite the famine, Isaac’s herds increased, and his planted crops yielded bountifully. The Philistines, envious of his wealth, filled in all the wells his father Abraham had dug there in the hope of limiting Isaac’s power. Then they demanded that Isaac vacate the area.Read More »Keeping The Wells Unblocked!

Membership Has Its Privileges

We understand and appreciate the difference between a church denomination or congregation and the Church—the spiritual Israel, “the Holy Christian Church, the communion of saints” (The Apostles’ Creed).

Through membership in our local congregations the Spirit strengthens us in the Christian faith through His Word and Sacraments; there we praise and worship Him together; there we gather with like-minded believers to encourage and build one another up in our holy faith.

Christ-believers understand their Lord’s directive to “go to church” (Colossians 3:16, Romans 10:17; Hebrews 10:25) as coming from His unconditional love for their spiritual welfare.

But let us consider that, first and foremost, we are at the same time Read More »Membership Has Its Privileges