Inner Peace

Working diligently and long hours should get one more pay.  In our usual thinking that is a fair standard.  It is natural to carry this thinking over to our relation with God.  “Work hard and you will be in favor with God.  Let your good deeds outweigh your bad and He will give you eternal life.”  That is the thinking of every religion devised by mankind.  The problem is that no one can be sure he or she has done enough.  There can be no inner peace.  Yet the default is “salvation by works” even within the church, when the Bible, the Word of God, is neglected.  Five hundred years ago Martin Luther sought this peace with God in works, but failed.

Things changed for him when he read in the Bible, “The righteous out of faith shall live” and the object of that faith is Jesus Christ.  “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God being declared righteous, as a gift, through the redemption that is in Jesus Christ, whom God set forth as a sacrifice to satisfy His justice” (Romans 1:27; 3:23-28).  In that Luther found peace, and you can too.  Sunday service time is 9:00 a.m.15

Valuable “Values”

A newsletter reported that two professors extolled the values of the mid-20th century: “Get married before you have children and strive to stay married for their sake. Get the education you need for gainful employment, work hard, and avoid idleness….Be respectful of authority. Eschew substance abuse and crime.” The letter goes on to report, “Almost immediately students, professors, and alumni circulated petitions accusing the two professors of racism, white supremacy, discrimination and bias.”

The opposition was not just to mid-20th century values. These “values” are part of the fruits of the Christian faith: living a chaste and decent life before marriage, honoring one’ spouse, bringing up children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, preparing for and seeking gainful employment to provide for the family. These “values” make for less poverty and a more stable society. Opposition to this way of life is also opposition to Christianity. On this 500th Anniversary of the Reformation we want to remember that a return to the Holy Scripture brought to people hope, life, and forgiveness through Jesus Christ. The fruit of this faith is stronger marriages, a culture of freedom, and a care for one’s neighbor. This is what the devil and his minions would steal from you. Sunday Service at Peace Lutheran Church is at 9:00 a.m.

Daily Cleansing

The 500th Anniversary of the Reformation (dated as Oct. 31, 1517) is portrayed by our LORD’S cleansing the temple (Matthew 21:12-17).  The unthinkable was going on in the temple, mercenary profiting from selling animals and exchanging money.  Jesus drove them out quoting, “It is written, My house shall be called a house of prayer, but you have made it a den of thieves.”  When the Word of God is neglected the visible church degenerates into a den of thieves.  The peace, forgiveness, hope, new life which the church is to convey to people through the proclamation of the finished work of Christ on the cross is inevitably robbed from the people when the Word of God is supplanted by the wisdom of man.

The Reformation was a cleansing of the church by returning it to the Word of God, to Christ, to forgiveness, to peace and eternal life as a gift received by faith in Christ.  “Lord Jesus, cleanse us and our churches daily.”   Sunday service time at Peace Lutheran Church is 9:00 a.m.

Whose Body Is This?

The Christian wants to listen when the Word of God says, “Your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit….You were bought with a price!” (1 Corinthians 6:20-21).  The immediate appeal is that one does not satisfy his sexual desires with prostitutes.  You belong to the Lord; you are His temple.   Application, however can be extended beyond adultery.  The one tempted to use tobacco should ask, “Is this the way to treat the temple of the Holy Spirit?”  The person who is addicted to surgery foods and drinks should ask, “Is this good for the body which our Savior bought with a price?”  The producers of illegal, “recreational” drugs would be out business, if everyone would say, “No, my body is the temple of the Holy Spirit.  I belong to my Savior who redeemed me with His life blood.  I will not contaminate it with drugs!”  With this attitude the police and the medical personal would have far less to do.

Why don’t we live this way?  Because we forget that it’s not our body to do as we please.  We forget that our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit; we are bought with a price; God gives us this body to glorify Him.  Come to Peace Lutheran Church so you will not forget.  Sunday service time is 9:00 a.m.

Who Can Repay?

“If You, LORD, should mark iniquities,  O LORD, who could stand?”  (Psalm 130:2).  Jesus compared our sins to a servant who owed his master/king ten thousand talents (Matthew 18:24), an impossible sum to repay.  He is not speaking to notorious murderers, adulterers, or thieves.  He is speaking to His disciples, ordinarily thought of as good people.  No one can repay, or make up for, the debt of sin.  Every person is totally dependent on the mercy of God to forgive.

God, who demanded the penalty of death for sin (Gen. 2:17; Romans 6:23), took on human flesh (Hebrews 2:14) in the person of Jesus Christ, to pay that debt.  He did this by His suffering and death on the cross.  Through Christ He provides forgiveness for all (John 1:29; 2 Cor. 5:15); yet only those who acknowledge this debt and trust Christ to forgive receive this forgiveness (John 3:16; 1 John 1:8-9).  Come hear this Good News at Peace Lutheran Church.   Sunday service time is 9:00 a.m.

What Do You Seek?

“What is a person profited if he gains the whole world and loses his own soul (or life, as some translations say)?  Or what will a person give in exchange for his soul?” (Matthew 16:25).  This is a question everyone pursuing an education, a career, or the wealth of this world must ask?  It is one thing to forfeit marriage, family, and friends and die a lonely, wealthy scrooge.  It is quite another, yet similar, to get so wrapped up in trying to find life, and in so doing neglect the Word of God, the fellowship of Christian people, and the Divine Service in which God calls us to repentance and assures us of His forgiveness through Jesus Christ. That person will die in unbelief and lose his soul.

Jesus Christ willingly gave up His life on the cross so forgiveness now and the eternal treasures in heaven may be ours.  Seek first this Kingdom (Matt. 6:33) with us at Peace Lutheran Church.  Divine Service is at 9:00 a.m.

Speaking of Satan and Christ

“Jesus began to show His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised.  And Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him saying, ‘Far be it from you, Lord!  This shall never happen to You.’  Jesus turned and said to Peter, ‘Get behind me, Satan!’” (Matthew 16:21-23).  Peter only minutes before clearly confessed, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

Peter wanted a “crossless Christ” as do many today who are okay with a Healer, Teacher, Giver of Success, Coach,  Example, or even a King-like leader to give peace and prosperity to the nation, and would agree with Peter, “Far be it from You to be crucified for the sins of the world.”  Jesus had said, “He MUST” go to the cross.  This was His purpose for coming into the world.  The prophets had said he would be “wounded for our transgressions…God will lay upon Him the iniquity of us all” (Isaiah 53).  As Jesus said to Peter, “Speaking of Christ apart from the Cross is of Satan.”   Sunday service time at Peace Lutheran Church is 9:00 a.m.

Innuendo or Free Speech

He didn’t say, Innuendo, surmise, allegation, might have, could have, maybe—these words define much of the “news” being excitedly reported in the national news.  One must ask, “Is the purpose of such reporting an effort to destroy the credibility and reputation of our leaders?   To speak this way of one’s neighbor in court or otherwise must not be tolerated.  It is a violation of the intent of the commandment, “You shall not give false testimony!” “Free speech” is not license to destroy the reputation of our leaders or our next door neighbor, even when that speech is only innuendo.

The positive side of this commandment is “Defend your neighbor, speak well of him, and explain everything in the kindest way.”  “A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches” (Prov. 22:1).  How the Christian speaks of another reflects on his own name and the name of Christ.  “Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity” (2 Tim. 2:19).  The purpose and prayer of Peace Lutheran Church is to “Hallow God’s name” as stated in the Lord’s Prayer.  Sunday service time is 9:00 a.m.

The REAL Christ

The August issue of NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC has an article featuring a number of men from various countries of the world claiming to be Christ.  Is the editor’s agenda with such an article to imply that the one confessed to be The Christ, the Son of God, two thousand years ago is just one among many?  That would be in tune with multicultural thinking of our times.  Unwittingly the editors are pointing out the fulfillment of The Christ’s words: “False christs and false prophets will arise and show great signs and wonders, so as to deceive, if possible, even the elect” (Matthew 24:24).

Let these christs be crucified publicly on a cross for everyone to view, and then let them rise from the dead on the third day if they wish to convince the world.  This is what the real Christ did to reconcile mankind to a just and holy Father (2 Cor. 5:18-21).  He then showed Himself alive by many infallible proofs (Acts 1:3).  Little wonder that the Apostles would say, “Salvation is found in no other” (Acts 4:12).  Sunday service time at Peace Lutheran Church is 9:00 a.m.

Science or Speculation

Many young people explain, “I guess I’m just too scientific to take Christianity seriously.”  In questioning them they explain, “The evolution I was taught in my biology classes is just not compatible with what is taught In the Bible.”  In that they are right, but can evolution rightly be called scientific?  True science depends on what human senses can observe, measure, and repeat.  The origin of the universe is outside the realm of science.  The beginning of life and many kinds of creatures cannot be explained by science.  God asked Job (38:4) “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?”  Job would have had to answer, “I wasn’t even born yet.  I have to take Your word for how You created the world and brought forth life.”  God could have answered, “Well then, do not call your speculations about the origin of the world and the life in it science.”

God’s account of the creation of this world and all that is in it (Genesis 1 & 2) fits well with what can be observed.  Come study the Bible with us at Peace Lutheran Church to see how this is so.  Sunday service time is 9:00 a.m.