Who Are the Saints?

Who are the saints? No, not a football team! Neither is a saint one who has done a lot of good in this world. The Biblical use of the word refers to those sanctified, that is, set apart through the working of the Holy Spirit to believe in Jesus Christ, and in this way to be covered over with Christ’s righteousness (Rev. 7:14). Hence, the Apostle Paul writes to the saints in Philippi, Colosse, and Corinth.

There are outstanding saints, such as Peter and Paul and others today who serve faithfully or suffer persecution and even martyrdom. Yet they are saints not because of what they do. They are saints because they were brought to faith in Jesus Christ and kept in that faith even unto death. The saints are not to be prayed to, nor are we to think of them as having works sufficient to share merit with others. We should view them and the humble saints around us as “a great cloud of witnesses” encouraging us to keep “looking unto Jesus (our crucified and risen Savior), the author and finisher of our faith” (Hebrews 12:1-2).

Come to Peace Lutheran Church, 1506 E. 42nd St., Texarkana, Arkansas, this Sunday (All Saints Day) to receive this encouragement. Service time is 10:00 a.m.

The Reformation Message

“The gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23). Speaking of being saved from God’s eternal anger the Bible says, “By grace are you saved…it is the gift of God” (Ephesians 2:8,9). When one seeks to earn a gift, it ceases to be a gift and becomes a wage.
When one seeks to deserve a gift it ceases to be a gift and becomes a reward. What God offers to you through the death and resurrection for your sins is a gift. To seek to earn it or deserve it is an insult to God.

That God’s favor is a gift is revealed to us in Holy Scripture. Every religion (other than salvation through faith in Jesus Christ) teaches that one must work for or deserve God’s favor. This is our nature: We must work for what we get. Even when churches neglect the Bible, the attention will be centered on what people must do. The Reformation beginning in the year 1517 turned the attention back to the finished work of Jesus Christ as revealed in Holy Scripture.

Come to Peace Lutheran Church, 1506 E. 42nd St., Texarkana, Arkansas, a Reformation church proclaiming a Reformation message. Sunday service time is 10:00 a.m.

The Impossible Thing

“How difficult it will be for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!” Jesus told his disciples. “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle” (Mark 10:23-25). “Who then can be saved?”
they asked, knowing well that not only the wealthy, but everyone in some way trusts in what they own. As that is true of ownership, what of a citizenry that trusts in government for health care and security? If that in which we trust is our god, then what difference is there between trusting money or government? Who then can be saved? is a relevant question today.

Jesus answered, “With man it is impossible, but not with God.” God made the impossible possible through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ for our sin and as He leads us to trust in Him through His living and powerful Word (Hebrews 4:12). Come to Peace Lutheran Church, 1506 E. 42nd St., Texarkana, Arkansas, where God by His Word continues to make the impossible possible. Sunday service time is 10:00 a.m.

Earthly Gain

The collect this Sunday (a short prayer at the beginning of the service) asks this: “Help us to forsake all trust in earthly gain and to find in You our heavenly treasure.” In a time when banks fail, inflation devours savings, and the stock market collapses, people are still inclined to trust this earthly gain. Even though you may hold on to your possessions, a time will come when the Bible truth will be said of you, “Naked he came into the world, and naked he will return (Job 1:21).

Jesus Christ “became for us wisdom from God–and righteousness and sanctification and redemption” (1 Cor. 1:30). “In Him are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Col. 2:3). No treasure compares to “knowing Him and the power of His resurrection”(Phil. 3:10). This is the treasure “which will not be taken away” (Luke 10:42) from you.

Come to Peace Lutheran Church, 1506 E. 42nd St., Texarkana, Arkansas, for this true treasure. Sunday Divine Service 10:00 a.m.

Marriage – Who Cares? God Does!

The sociology textbooks teach that marriage is the invention of humanity. As such if one is uncomfortable in marriage divorce is an option. Sexual experimentation before marriage is regarded as neither right nor wrong. The entertainment world presents sex before marriage, or outside of marriage, as really more fun than marriage. Should our culture be surprised at the epidemic of sexually transmitted diseases, the broken hearts, the number of insecure and troubled children? History teaches that no nation can long endure that trifles with marriage.

The Bible presents marriage as God’s invention. The first woman God made for the man has this inspired comment: “A man…shall hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh” (Gen. 2:24). Jesus Christ affirms, “What therefore God has joined together, let man not separate”
(Mark 10:9). The Apostle Paul declares the incongruity of sex outside of marriage in the words, “One joined to a harlot is one body (one flesh) with her” (1 Cor. 6:16), and declares, “Because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the children of disobedience” (Ephesians 5:6).

Come to Peace Lutheran Church,1506 E. 42nd St., Texarkana, Arkansas, where marriages are strengthened through the Word of God. Sunday Divine Service is at 10:00 a.m.