From the Pastor
Romans 3:27-28 ---
"Then what becomes of boasting? It is excluded. By what law?
By that of works? No, but by the law of faith. For we hold that a person is
justified by faith apart from works prescribed by the law."
James 2:25 ---
"For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith
without works is also dead."
Brothers in Christ,
Sunday is coming, and the verses cited above from Romans will again be read.
We will celebrate Luther’s discovery that our salvation depends not
on works, but on the grace and mercy of God.
Yet lately, I seem to have been challenged quite a bit from lay folks
and clergy from other denominations with the text from James that says ---
"faith without works
is dead". But wait!
"we are justified by faith, apart from works"; but James says,
"faith without works is dead".
Are these apostles contradicting each other?
How can we say that we are saved by grace through faith alone, if
"faith without works is dead"? Could they both be right?
If so, how?
The answer lies
in what the grace of God does for us. Paul says in another place, we are not
only forgiven by grace, but we are restored to new life, made new creatures.
We are becoming new creatures who live according to God’s law-not as
something outside of ourselves, but as something written on our hearts, deep
within. In other words, we do
good works, not because we have to; not because we’re afraid of what God
might do to us, but because we want to. Because we love God, we do them
naturally, sometimes without even knowing what we’re doing.
much emphasis on works causes us to put our faith ultimately not in God, but
in ourselves; in our ability to do what we should. As we trust God, we are
led by Him into good works, as it states in Ephesians 2:8-10,
"For by grace you
have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the
gift of God --- not the result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are
what he has made us, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God
prepared beforehand to be our way of life."
So if you ever
wonder if you’re doing enough, know that God will lead you into what He has
designed you to do --- and know that your salvation depends not on you, but on
the cross Christ did everything necessary to bring you to eternal
life, and we celebrate this at Reformation, and every time we gather around
Word and Sacrament.
In the peace of
Pr. Paul <><
p.s. Did you know?
We have had wonderful success with our monthly movie
night even during this time of Covid-19.
For the month of October, we are going to change things up a bit and
bring some humor into our lives.
The feature presentation will be
The Ghost and Mr. Chicken (1966). As only
Don Knotts can do, he takes on figuring the answers to the mystery that lies
in the old Simmons mansion. Luther Heggs (Don Knotts) visits the estate at midnight. Certain he's seen a ghost, Luther writes
a story which makes the town’s front page news - and brings on a libel suit
from the mansion's owner.
Thursday, October 15 @ 6:30 p.m.
Please come and join us for a great movie and wonderful fellowship.
p.s.s. - Did you know that Luther said. . . . ???
"Should anyone knock at my heart and say "Who lives here?"
I should reply, "Not Martin Luther but the Lord Jesus Christ."