October 31 has been preempted by Halloween so that the event which transformed the Christian world is largely forgotten. On October 31, 1517 a Roman Catholic priest and professor at the University of Wittenberg in Germany, Martin Luther by name, dared to post on the door of the Castle Church theses which called into question certain practices and teachings of the Roman Catholic church. Especially contrary to the Holy Scriptures was the sale of indulgences, the idea that the forgiveness of sins could be bought for money.
That event on October 31, 1517 sparked a return to reading and study of the Bible which was translated into the language of the people. It returned the teaching that a right relation to God is not earned by works. Rather it is the gift of God (Eph. 2:8,9) through what Jesus Christ did upon the cross. That gift is received by faith. Good works do not earn that gift. They only prove that faith is real. The Reformation emphasized the Scripture teaching that every believer is a priest before God and that every vocation provided a setting in which to offer service to God.
The Reformation laid the groundwork for a free society in which people need not be forced to obey but willingly do so in love for God and their neighbor. Come to Peace Lutheran Church to learn the Bible for faith, grace, Christ, forgiveness of sins, a renewed life, and for true freedom. Sunday service time is 10:00 a.m.
America prides itself in the separation between church and state. No religion is to be taught in schools supported by tax money. Even Christians can support this understanding because of the question, “”Whose religion shall be taught?” Better to have no religion than to favor one over against the other.
Is this kind of neutrality being practiced? John Dewey and Horace Mann were leaders among those favoring a government supported, tax based school system. They were humanists who in their manifesto declare that rather than relying on a Deity mankind must govern their own fate. The foundation for such doctrine is the credo of evolution, purported to be science, which is not science. It is a “faith based religion.” What has not and cannot be observed (true science), the change of one kind of creature to another, places evolution and humanism into the category of religion. This bias is so strong that in some places, graduates from a school where Creationism is taught, will not be accepted into the university system. The success of the government schools in teaching their religion is that many people now say, “I guess I’m just too scientific to be a Christian.” Neutrality in textbooks and official teaching is a lie.
Admittedly Biblical Christianity is a “faith based religion.” But Christians need not “leave their intellect at the door.” The symbiotic relationship between plants and animals affirms a short time in which God brought life into being. The evidence of Catastrophes affirm a young earth. The recognized complexity of life rules out mere chance, even if billions of years are argued. The Bible account of creation and the “fall” fits what we see. Come to Peace Lutheran Church. Sunday service time is 10:00 a.m.
The EMERGING CHURCH is the title given to those groups centering around the cultural thinking: no right or wrong teaching, no true or false doctrines, no propositional truths. The Emerging Church draws on each person’s experience, centers on relationships, and emphasized one’s own personal feelings. As popular as these groups are, they cannot claim to be Christ’s Church.
The true Christian Church is built upon “the Apostles and Prophets, Jesus Christ Himself the chief cornerstone” (Ephesians 2:20). Christian doctrine points people to Christ, who He is and what He has done, and still does, for our salvation. The purpose of Holy Scripture is to teach you of this Christ (2 Timothy 3:15). “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9).
Borne out of this confession is a relationship. People are one in Christ. A fruit of this faith is a special love for those who also believe. First, however, must come the doctrines of Christ. “Faith comes by hearing of Him” (Romans 10:17). Come to Peace Lutheran Church1506 E.
42nd St., Texarkana, AR, to hear this Word. Sunday service time is 10:00 a.m.
When Elijah, the great prophet of God, was taken up by a whirlwind into heaven, Elisha his student-servant cried out, “My father, my father, the chariot of Israel and its horsemen!” (2 Kings 2:12). Chariots and horsemen were the best armaments a nation could have in that day to defend itself against an enemy. Elisha recognized that the true defense of the nation were prophets like his mentor, Elijah, who proclaimed the Word of God, turning people from their idols to the true and living God as He has revealed Himself in Holy Scripture.
So also the real defense of this nation is not in its technology and trained soldiers. The real strength of this nation are the preachers willing to incur the disfavor of the majority in faithfully calling people from the gods of their own choosing to the God of the Bible, the Creator of all things, and the One who chose to reconcile a sinful world to Himself by offering up His Son on the cross. When this nation turns from this God, no matter its great armies, it will go the way of all great civilizations in history, the Mayans, Greece, Aztecs, Rome, and ancient Israel.
Come to Peace Lutheran, 1506 E. 42nd St., Texarkana, AR, to hear this Word of God proclaimed. Sunday service time is 10:00 a.m.
A watchword of the Reformation was “Sola Fide,” meaning “by faith alone.” “People cannot be justified before God by their own strength, merits, or works, but are freely justified for Christ’s sake, who by His death has made satisfaction for our sins” (AC Art. IV, written in the year 1530).
However, faith is never alone. Of the Christian who is saved “by grace through faith” and not of works, the Bible goes on to say “we are His workmanship created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:8-10. Jesus Christ said, “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me and I in him, bears much fruit” (John 15:5). It is in this sense that “faith without works is dead” (James 2:26). Nevertheless, “If righteousness come through the law (doing good works), then Christ died in vain” (Galatians 2:21).
Come to Peace Lutheran Church, 1506 E. 42nd St., Texarkana, AR, where the Holy Spirit generates faith through the Word of Christ and empowers believers to serve God and their neighbor. Service time is 10:00 a.m.