The Holy Spirit – Filling Believers

How may one know if another is filled with the Holy Spirit? Our Lord teaches us what to expect in the Gospel of John: “He will testify of Me” (15:26), “He will glorify Me” 16:14), “He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment” (16:8), “He will guide you into all truth” (16:13).

From these promises we learn that one admits the damnable nature of his sin only by the power of the Holy Spirit. The person who clearly confesses Jesus Christ as his only Savior and Lord, does so only by the power of the Holy Spirit. (1 Cor. 12:3). When the preacher makes clear in His preaching that righteousness before God comes through the crucified and risen Lord Jesus Christ, and not through our own goodness, this preaching is through the power of the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:8).

So we pray: Fill all our preachers with the Holy Spirit that they will boldly and clearly preach so as to bring conviction of sin, and declare clearly that forgiveness of sins and eternal salvation come through Jesus Christ. Fill all hearers with the Holy Spirit so that they will be led to admit their sin, rejoice in the Savior who died for them and rose again, and bear the fruits of faith in their everyday lives (Galatians 5:22-23).

Peace Lutheran Church Sunday service time, 10:00 a.m.

The Kingdom

Before Jesus ascended His disciples asked, “Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” (Acts 1:6). The question implies their mistaken expectation of Jesus giving to the nation of Israel earthly power and glory, a kingdom over which He would be king. This notion is still attractive to many followers of Jesus. Some look for a thousand year reign on this earth. Others think of the pomp and glory of a mega church.

When one is mindful that the Kingdom of Israel in the New Testament (Romans 9:6) is the sum total of those who believe in Jesus Christ, then restoring the Kingdom has gone on since the Holy Spirit was given at Pentecost and the Good News of Christ the crucified and risen Savior is proclaimed. For this reason the ascended Christ gives gifts of pastors and teachers (Ephesians 4:7-16)

Instead of having pomp and glory, this Kingdom will be despised by the world, and its citizens will be hated. Each person in the Kingdom will at some time take up a cross of pain, persecution, or peril, yet lives with the assurance that nothing “shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:39). Come to Peace Lutheran church and be established as a citizen of this Kingdom.

Sunday service time is 10:00 a.m.

True Love

“That you love one another as I have loved you” (John 15:12), is the mandate Jesus gave His disciples. He then helps us understand His love with these words, “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lays down his life for his friends.” Christ Jesus loved us and gave Himself into death upon the cross to bear our sin and reconcile us to God. Love cannot be understood apart from Jesus Christ. “We love because He first loved us” (1 John 4:19).

With such love, deep emotions and feelings may be absent. This love is sacrificial, giving, seeking the best interests for the person loved.

The husband or wife who will say, “I do not love you anymore,” are thinking of love as a feeling. That can be lost through careless indifference. Yet the command still stands, “Love one another as I have loved you.” Husbands are especially directed, “Husband love your wife as Christ loved the Church and gave Himself up for her” (Eph. 5). The person who will not love his spouse, or as for that matter his neighbor, cannot claim to be a Christian. Come to Peace Lutheran Church where the proclaimed LOVE OF CHRIST “controls us” (2 Cor. 5:14) for loving one another. Sunday service, 10:00 a.m.

Good Deeds & Fruit

Jesus said, “I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in Me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5). We abide in Christ when we continue trusting Him for who He is, the Son of God, and for all He accomplished for us by His death and resurrection. We continue trusting when we continue in His Word (John 8:31).

Those who are so connected to Christ, like a branch to a vine, will bear much fruit. The fruit is the Christian life, such as being “kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another” (Eph. 4:32) or even “loving your enemies and doing good to those who hate you” (Luke 6:27).

As fruit does not make the tree, so our good deeds do not make us Christians. Good deeds may make us more valuable employees, but only as we are connected to Christ through faith can we be called Christians. In God’s eyes there is no good apart from Christ. “Apart from Me you can do nothing.” Come to Peace Lutheran Church where our connection to Christ is continually confirmed. Sunday service time is 10:00 a.m.