Governments realize that people want security. Political aspirants cater to this desire, promising “Job security,” a protection of “Social Security,” and now more recently the security of certain health care. We are dangerously close to making a “god” out of government. Of course government is not the only “god” to which we may look for security. It could be our investments, assets, education. Whatever we fear, love, or trust in, more than the Triune God is in reality our “god”, a sin against the very first commandment, “You shall have no other gods.”
On Sunday the readings direct us to the Good Shepherd. Jesus said, “I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd lays down His life for the sheep” (John 10:11). In every way He is the fulfillment of Psalm 23, “The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want (lack nothing)….Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me….Goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life. I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” Here is a security government or nothing else can give. Come to Peace Lutheran Church where God’s Word directs us to this security. Sunday service time is 10:00 a.m.
Sinful man has a bent towards self destruction. He is attracted to drugs which destroy his mind and body. He is lured into sexual aberrations (considering marriage and one spouse God’s standard) which leads to depression and sexually transmitted diseases. He places into his body excessive sweets which adds weight to his body and overburdens the pancreas and heart. He smokes cigarettes which are known causes of cancer and heart attacks and emphysema. Is it any wonder that medical costs are skyrocketing? Need we be surprised when the government takes over our health care that such “care” will be rationed? The illnesses we bring on ourselves will drown this nation in red ink!
There is no guarantee that we can totally avoid illness in this fallen world, but is it not an affront to the Creator (not to speak of our tax paying neighbor) to carelessly and indifferently do what we knowingly will bring harm to the body? The “health care crises” is one more call for self examination and repentance. It is time to acknowledge the evil of the slogan, “It’s my body. I can do with it as I please.” And in humility acknowledge with the Bible, “You were bought at a PRICE; therefore, glorify God in your body” (1 Cor. 6:20. It is also a great comfort to know when you are on your back because of some illness, be it self induced or otherwise, that this PRICE, the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, God forgives these and all your sins.
Come to Peace Lutheran Church to learn more of this price. Sunday Service time, 10:00 a.m.
The significance of the resurrection of Jesus Christ is this:
- It is an affirmation that all Jesus taught is true. When they questioned His authority He replied, “Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it again” (John2).
- God the Father is satisfied with the sacrifice made for sin (Isaiah 53:11). “If Christ be not raised your faith is vain; you are still in your sins’ (1 Cor. 15).
- Every believer can be assured that God will raise him at the Last Day. “Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep” (1 Cor. 15:20). He gave His Word, “Because I live, you also shall live” (John 14:19).
- Those baptized into Christ are raised to a new life now, in the likeness of His resurrection (Romans 6:5). That our Lord is risen from the dead is the assurance that “our labor (our serving) is not in vain in the Lord” (1 Cor 15:58).
- Christ will come again to judge every person who has ever lived. (Acts 17:31;2 Cor 5:10; John 5:28).
Come to Peace Lutheran Church where every Sunday is a miniature Easter so that the significance of the resurrection will show forth in your life. Sunday service time is 10:00 a.m.
Why would anyone not want to believe that Jesus Christ arose from the dead on the 3rd day following His crucifixion? The evidence was there:
The testimony of the guards (Matt. 27); the grave cloths lying in such a way (John 20); the empty tomb with the stone flung aside (John 20); the witness of the Apostles plus 500 seeing Him 1 Cor. 15); Thomas who insisted on seeing and touching Him(John 20); the enemies of Jesus did not squelch the account of witnesses by producing His corpse. Then there was a virtual of explosion of believers 50 days later, people who could easily have investigated for themselves whether Jesus had arisen from the dead (Acts 2).
Why would anyone not want to believe that the crucified body of Jesus arose from the dead? The Athenians mocked because they rightly concluded that, if true, Jesus Christ will come to judge and condemn them in their sin and unbelief (Acts 17:31-33). It made Felix the Roman governor afraid, probably for the same reason. It was in the very least a call to repentance (Acts 24:25-26). The enemies of Jesus Christ would have to admit they crucified the Lord of glory (Matthew 27:64; 28:11-15; 1 Cor. 2:8). Properly understood, it would cut them to the heart (Acts 2:37).
While the resurrection of Jesus Christ is a terror to unbelievers, it is comfort and strength to those who believe. Many of the first witnesses of the resurrected Lord told the world, even though the telling cost them their lives. Jesus assured them, “Because I live, you shall live also” (John 14:19). Come to Peace Lutheran Church for this comfort and strength, and join us in believing and telling. Easter Sunday, 10:00 a.m.
“Whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many” (Mark 10:43-45). These words were spoken by Jesus Christ in response to two disciples, James and John, but really all the disciples, wanting the seats of honor in His coming glory. They wanted to be served rather than serve. Such is the nature of humanity. It is the cause of marital discord, conflict in the work place, and political upheavals.
Jesus Christ came to “redeem us from this futile way of life” (1 Peter 1:18). The ransom price paid to satisfy the justice of the just God was His death upon the cross. “None of us could by any means redeem his brother, or give to God a ransom for him. For the ransom of his soul is precious” (Psalm 49:7). But Christ redeemed us from the curse of sin (“you shall surely die”). He also redeemed us from the bondage of sin, that “we no longer live for ourselves” (2 Cor. 5:15).
In Christ Jesus God forgives our selfserving sins and writes in our hearts the desire and the power to serve God and humanity (Philippians 2:13). Come to Peace Lutheran Church to be moved and empowered for service. Sunday service time is 10:00 a.m. Good Friday, 7:00 p.m.
As forgiveness is an essential characteristic of Christianity, so is the confession of sin. “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us” (1 John 1:8). Those who, even after an apology, will not forgive, are also unable to admit to doing any wrong. Religions which teach retaliation and revenge, such as when their sacred books are burned, are not heard to make any admission to wrong doing when converts to Christianity among them are killed, churches are burned, and whole villages are massacred or forced to flee (Northern Nigeria, as reported in WORLD MAGAZINE).
In contrast to the nature of human beings and therefore to all other religions of the world, the Bible teaches one to admit to sinning against God and one’s neighbor. The Bible also teaches us to forgive those who sin against us, just as God has forgiven us. Neither the person who will not admit to his sin, nor the person who will not forgive, can claim to be a Christian.
Come to Peace Lutheran Church where confession of sin is followed by the assurance of God’s forgiveness in Christ. Sunday service time is 10:00 a.m.
Forgiveness is an essential characteristic of Christianity. Under Christian memory and influence the assumption is made by our government officials that apology will lead to forgiveness. For those whose religion encourages retaliation and revenge, an apology is an affirmation of guilt and a sign of weakness. Of course, one does not need a religion to teach him to “pay back” or “get even.” This sinful nature of humanity is seen already in early childhood: “He hit me first.”
For those who know nothing of Christianity, an apology gives them an excuse for further blood shed.
Jesus Christ was sent to reconcile sinful humanity to God: “God was in Christ reconciling the world unto Himself….He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” ( 2 Cor. 5:19,21), simply stated, “so God may forgive.” The Gospel is the good news that you are forgiven in Christ. Repent and believe this good news.
To believe that in Christ God forgives is the power to forgive those who wrong us. “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake has forgiven you” (Ephesians 4:32). Come, learn more of this essential characteristic of Christianity at Peace Lutheran Church. Sunday service time is 10:00 a.m. Lenten service, Wednesday 7:00 p.m.