The Lutheran Church and Purgatory, Pt. 1

Purgatory2

This is our pastor’s newsletter article for the June 2016 issue of our congregational newsletter. Last month, we looked the body’s resurrection and the intermediate state of our souls being in heaven until Jesus calls forth our bodies on the Last Day. The Roman-Catholic Church also believes in an intermediate state of existence for heaven-bound […]

Our Life with God, Lesson 8: Christian Prayer, Pt. 2

Why Pray

Last week, we looked at the Lord’s Prayer as a model prayer and a prayer to say verbatim.  Today, we continue looking into why we pray when our Father knows what we need ever before we pray—and other topics.   Why Pray?  “Grace Alone” Jesus doesn’t command prayer (just like He doesn’t command helping the […]

Ruth, Lesson 2: From Moab to Bethlehem

Gleaning

Last week, Naomi told her two daughters-in-law—twice—not to come with her to Israel.  We now find out their response after they both earlier said they still wanted to go. Read Ruth 1:14 What do Orpah and Ruth respond?   “Cling”: Hebrew, dabaq, meaning to “cleave”, “cling”, or “hold fast to” a person or thing. With […]

Our Life with God, Lesson 7: Christian Prayer

Teach Us to Pray

If we want to know about Christian prayer, then we turn to the Christ, who gave us His prayer. Read Matthew 6:5-6 When Jesus says, “When you pray,” what does He assume is part of His disciples’ lives?   What does Jesus NOT want our prayers to become?   Read Matthew 6:7-8 “empty phrases”: Greek, […]

Ruth, Lesson 1: Introduction; Living in the Land of Moab

Death of a husband

Love stories never grow old—but not all love stories are between lovers.  The story of Ruth is a love story: Of God for Ruth, Naomi, and Boaz; but also of Ruth’s love for God, which overflowed in her kinship with Naomi.  A mutual love also developed between Ruth and Boaz—a mature and understanding love, moving […]

Our Life with God, Lesson 6: Helping the Poor and Stewardship

We earlier looked at vocation—serving others in our everyday lives.  For this to happen well, it requires managing what we have in a good way.  Thus, a look into stewardship is proper.   The Origins of Stewardship Genesis 1 tells us of God creating the world and everything in it.  “The earth is the Lord’s, […]

Satan, Demons, and Christ’s Descent into Hell

Fallen Angel

The Creation of the Angels In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth (Genesis 1:1).  The angels were part of this creation from the beginning. In Job’s suffering, God told him about the creation of the world.  “Who laid [the world’s] cornerstone while the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted […]

Our Life with God, Lesson 5: Serving Your Neighbor: The Doctrine of Vocation

Faith at Work

When we thank God for our food before a meal, we are right to do so.  For He does provide our food, and He does so through vocation—regular people doing their everyday jobs.   It’s Identity: You Serve Based on Who You Are Imagine you are a son, 14 years old, still living at home.  […]

Solus Christus: Christ Alone

Christ Alone

What is “Christ Alone”? Our only source of salvation is the life, death, and resurrection of God’s Son, Jesus Christ.  Christianity is inclusive because Jesus died for the sins of the entire world; it is also exclusive, for only one way exists to God: Jesus (John 14:6.)  “Salvation is found in no one else [Jesus], […]

Our Life with God, Lesson 4: Living with a Clean Conscience before God

splash

Corresponding to this [God saving Noah and his family through the water], baptism now saves you, not by removing dirt from the flesh, but by the appeal of a clear conscience toward God through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.  1 Peter 3:21   Is a Clean Conscience Possible before God? The Christian’s way of life […]