The Gift of Jesus – Not Indulgences

On October 31, 1517, the hallowed evening, (Halloween to many), before All Saints Day, Martin Luther issued a challenge to the Church’s practice of selling indulgences: “Any truly repentant Christian has a right to full remission of penalty and guilt, even without indulgence letters.” An indulgence was a certificate one could purchase granting so many years of release from purgatory.  It was a device to raise money for the construction of St. Peter’s Cathedral, a magnificent structure which still stands in Rome today.

Only shortly before, Luther came to realize, while studying the Book of Romans in the Bible, that “one is justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law” (Romans 3:28).  Luther had tried to be saved from God’s just anger by doing what the law and the Church required.  He found no peace until he discovered from Scripture that salvation is God’s gift through the redemption of Jesus Christ (Romans 3:23-28), a gift which can be received by trusting God’s promises.  The selling of indulgences, and all the other works the Church prescribed for salvation, were opposed to this gift won for us by Jesus Christ.  Luther’s protest was the beginning of the return to the authority of Scripture and that salvation is a Gift received only by trusting God’s promises relating to Jesus Christ.  Come celebrate with Peace Lutheran Church the return of this treasure.  Sunday service time is 10:00 a.m.

The Entertainment Industry

Robert H. Bork, in his book, SLOUCHING TOWARD GOMORRAH, wrote, “The American public watches, listens to, and makes profitable art forms it agrees are debased.  That is an important point.  The entertainment industry is not forcing depravity on an unwilling American public.  The demand for decadence is there.  The fact does not excuse those who sell such degraded material any more than the demand for crack cocaine excuses the crack dealer.  But we must be reminded that the fault is in ourselves, in human nature not constrained by external forces.  If that were not so, the problem would not be so dangerous and difficult to solve.”

No better argument could be made to affirm original sin and depravity of mankind (Psalm 51:5).  We are born into the state of rebellion against the Law of almighty God.  An unrestrained entertainment industry profits from it.  No better argument could be made for the need of a “clean heart and new nature” (Psalm 51).  God provides this for you through the redemption of Jesus Christ.  Come receive of this hope at Peace Lutheran Church.  Sunday service time is 10:00 a.m.

Invited to God’s Feast

God in His Word repeatedly describes His mercy, forgiveness, and defeat of death offered through Jesus Christ,  as a sumptuous meal.  In Isaiah 25 He promises, “The Lord of Hosts will make for all peoples a feast of rich food….He will swallow up death forever” (vs. 6-8).   He invites, “Come, buy and eat.  Yes, come buy wine and milk without money and without price” (Isaiah 55:1)   In Matthew 22 Jesus says, “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding feast for his son” (vs. 1-10).

Sadly, many who are invited to this feast refuse to come.  “They paid no attention and went off, one to his farm, another to his business, while the rest seized his servants, treated them shamefully, and killed (those who invited) them.”   They insult the Host and show contempt for His Feast, busying themselves with the things of this life.  Is that you?  Know that the Lord of Hosts is angry with such insults.

While many spurn the invitation to God’s feast, the inviting still goes on wherever the Gospel is faithfully proclaimed.  Come to Peace Lutheran Church to hear this invitation.  Sunday service time is 10:00 a.m.  Mission Festival at St. John, Clarksville, 4:00 p.m.

True Freedom

“Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” words from the Declaration of Independence, are words that Americans hold most dear.  Yet liberty and the pursuit of happiness without constraints imposed by Christianity, morality, and family are recipes for moral chaos.   When freedom is to do what natural man chooses to do, such liberty will be followed by slavery.   Sadly, this is a freedom touted by many in this nation today.

Liberty, freedom, in Biblical language is the freedom to do what God wants.  “You have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another….The works of the flesh are adultery, uncleanness, licentiousness…envy, murder, drunkenness, revelries, and the like….Those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.” (Galatians 5:13,19-21,24).  The nation’s founding fathers conceived of a liberty bounded by a Christian milieu.

True freedom comes when through Jesus Christ God gives a “clean heart” followed by a “right spirit” (Psalm 51), a spirit that wills and does God’s good pleasure (Phil. 2:13).  These are gifts God gives through His Word and Sacrament at Peace Lutheran Church.  Sunday service time is 10:00 a.m.