“Here I Stand”

The Festival of the Reformation
On the Occasion of the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation
1517-2017
“Here I Stand”
October 29, 2017

Sermon Text: Romans 3:20-25

Grace, mercy and peace be unto you this most blessed day from God our Father and from our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.

“Hier stehe ich”  These words in German have been the subject and title of countless books and articles written over the past five hundred years.

“Here I stand.” Actually the complete phrase that Martin Luther is purported to have said is: “Ich kann nicht anders, hier stehe ich, möge Gott mir helfen. Amen.”

“I cannot do otherwise, here I stand, may God help me. Amen.”

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“Salvation by God’s Grace Through Faith is not a New Teaching”

2nd Sunday in Lent

“Salvation by God’s Grace Through Faith is not a New Teaching”

March 12, 2017

Sermon Text: Romans 4:1-8

When Moses was called at the burning bush to go back to Egypt to command Pharaoh to free the Israelites, and to speak words of peace and comfort to the Israelites, he asked the Lord, “If they ask me Who sent me, what shall I say?”  And the Lord responded, “I am Who I am” has sent you.  That word from the Lord, together with the great Shema of Deuteronomy 6, “Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One,” was instrumental in forming the Israelites’ whole notion of God.  Those two texts speak of the oneness of God, the eternity of God, the consistency of God, the fact that God never changes.  He is always the same, yesterday, today, and tomorrow, for all eternity.

Now, to be sure, there are places where the Scriptures speak of the Lord changing His ways, repenting that He made man, turning His face again to the sinner and downtrodden where He has turned away, and so on, and so forth.  But all those passages are written from the human perspective, they are all meant to be our expressions of our experience with the Lord at any given point in time.  He does appear to change from our perspective.  But really, deep down, the Lord never changes, just as your father doesn’t really change from the time he’s grounding you for getting in trouble to the time that he’s giving you a bunch of presents at Christmas.  It’s only our view of the Lord that changes.  He Himself is always the same.

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“Do You Not Know?”

The Baptism of Our Lord
“Do You Not Know?”
January 8, 2017
Sermon Text: Romans 6:1–11, Matthew 3:13–17

Peace be unto you from the One who is God incarnate, our Savior, Christ Jesus. Amen.

Dearly Beloved of the Lord,

When it comes to running a dairy farm, playing the cello, or operating a bulldozer, I haven’t a clue what to do… even though I might think I do to varying degrees. How many times have we heard it said and have said it ourselves, “How hard can it be?”

Well, about that. Thomas Sowell once said, “It takes considerable knowledge just to realize the extent of your own ignorance.”

It is true. The problem is, few are willing to find out… to pursue such knowledge, that is… to know… to investigate the extent of their ignorance on any given subject. And this could not be more the case then when it comes to one’s religious understanding and beliefs… what they believe and why they believe it.

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