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Archive for April 3rd, 2014

What did Jesus Have to Lose? by Pastor T. R. Halvorson

I Haven’t Made Jesus My Personal Lord and Savior by Chad Bird

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The Pharisees, as all Pharisees, are those who trust in their works to save.  Thy are the ‘good’ people.  They will tell you as much  ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.’ (Luke 18:  9-14, Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector).  Sounds so much of what goes for Christianity, sadly enough.  As a pastor I would want a congregation of fasters and especially tithers, that is, a congregation of Pharisees, but thank the Lord He does not grant that prayer.

I cannot imagine after being blind since birth and then seeing again to be so investigated by so many good people. I saw in a meme this past week which shows a man with a real quizzical, sarcastic face with the statement:  “Not going to church because of the ‘hypocrites’ is like not going to the gym because of “out of shape people”. I have heard folks say that I do not like to go church because of all the good people.  Sounds like too much like Christianity and that’s wrong.  Pharisees did not want to be forgiven people in Jesus Christ.  We are by His grace alone, a congregation of forgiven sinners.  We were darkness, not merely doing a dark thing or two, wrote the Apostle; and so walk as children of the light, that is, children of God baptized into Christ (Ephesians 5:8-14).  How can we walk as children of light?  Because in Baptism we are “light in the Lord” (Ephesians 5:8).  Only He can raise the dead, give light to the darkened, see the man born blind, see Saul of Tarsus, Peter, James, John, Lydia, the Philippians Jailer…you, me.  We need His light, the light of the Word:  preached, taught, administered, prayed, served in order  to so walk, protected by the Lord according to His Word, against all enemies, even our flesh.  His Word is the light of the world.  At the end of the Gospel the seeing man is at the feet of Jesus worshiping Him, the glory and truth of the Father in the communion of the Holy Spirit, as Jesus speaks with the Pharisees, protected by the Lord.

At the end of John 9, the seeing man is worshiping at the feet of Jesus and the Pharisees are still taking pot shots.  Jesus is protecting him.  We are told that Jesus went in search of the formerly blind beggar.  Jesus teaches, I am the Good Shepherd, I go search of the lost (John 10).  Jesus found the now seeing man.  He protects him from the barbs of the self-righteous and all the wolves seeking to devour the flock. Jesus and the worshiping and seeing man is the icon, the  picture of the Church.  “For, thank God, today a child seven years old knows what the Church is, namely, the holy believers and lambs who hear the voice of their Shepherd. For the children pray thus: I believe in one holy Christian Church.”(Book of Concord, Smalcald Articles)

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Icon of Noah, Kramer Chapel, Concordia Theological Seminary, Ft. Wayne, IN

Intro:  On Wednesday March 12, we began at the Mission a 6 week Bible Class, The 6 Building Blocks, a review of each of the 6 Chief Parts of The Small Catechism by Dr. Martin Luther.  Below is the outline  of the fourth session.-Pr. Schroeder 

Merciful Father, through Holy Baptism You called us to be Your own possession. Grant that our lives may evidence the working of Your Holy Spirit in love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control, according to the image of Your only-begotten Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior.

 From The Lutheran Service Book:  Holy Baptism, page 268ff, Luther’s “Flood Prayer”:

Almighty and eternal God, according to Your strict judgment You condemned the unbelieving world through the flood, yet according to Your great mercy You preserved believing Noah and his family, eight souls in all. You drowned hard-hearted Pharaoh and all his host in the Red Sea, yet led Your people Israel through the water on dry ground, prefiguring this washing of Your Holy Baptism. Through the Baptism in the Jordan of Your beloved Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, You sanctified and instituted all waters to be a blessed flood, and a lavish washing away of sin.

We pray that You would behold name according to Your boundless mercy and bless him with true faith by the Holy Spirit that through this saving flood all sin in him which has been inherited from Adam and which he himself has committed since would be drowned and die. Grant that he be kept safe and secure in the holy ark of the Christian Church, being separated from the multitude of unbelievers and serving Your name at all times with a fervent spirit and a joyful hope, so that, with all believers in Your promise, he would be declared worthy of eternal life, through Jesus Christ, our Lord.

 

1)      Pray the Fourth Chief Part

i)        Emphasis of Sections:

(a)    Institution of the Sacrament of Holy Baptism God’s Name:  See St. Matthew 28: 19;  Numbers 6: 22-27

(b)   Relation to Second Commandment, 1st Article of the Creed, and 1st Petition of the   Lord’s Prayer

(c)    Actual Water

2)      Types of Sacraments in General:  see Numbers 21:8-10

(a)    Old Testament Type of Holy Baptism:  see 2 Kings 5: 1-15  “At first, Naaman was furious, thinking that God should use a more spiritual means of cleansing. Yet God willed to attach His Word to the ordinary water of the Jordan.”

(b)   Time-conditioned Sacraments

(c)    Definition of Sacrament: Christ’s command, Christ’s promise, a visible element (water, wine, bread),

(d)   Summation of Bible regarding water  and the Word:  Luther’s Flood Prayer, see above

3)      Question:  Can infants and children be baptized?

(a)    See St. Matthew 28:  19:  “all nations” include infants and children, otherwise our Lord would have said, baptize all adults;  see St. Mark 10: 13-16:  even adults who are baptized are baptized as children See Acts 2: 39;  Acts 16: 15, 33

(b)   Denial of Baptism is denial three key Christian Doctrines:

  1. Doctrine of Original Sin, “If you don’t believe in the doctrine of original sin, then have children” Tree and fruit, so-called “age of accountablility”
    1. See: Psalm 51: 5;  Romans 5: 12, 18-19;  Ephesians 2: 3 & 5
  2. Doctrine of Faith:  See Ephesians 2: 8-9; St. Luke 1: 41-44
  3. Doctrine of God’s Work confused as man’s work.  Who asked to be born?  Birth is something that is given, just as the New Birth, Baptism:  See St. John 3: 5-6;  1 Peter 1: 3, Titus 3: 5-8;  Galatians 3: 25-27  One Baptism continued from this life to the next, Romans 6: 3-11, see 3rd Article of the Creed, the resurrection of the body. See last paragraph of Luther’s explanation

 Close with The Lord’s Prayer

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