Posts Posted in June 2016View All Posts >>

Are we to make sacrifices? Yes. For example, John teaches us that we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. Paul teaches us to offer our bodies as living sacrifices. More
By definition, confirmation and extreme unction, or last rites, are not sacraments. They do not contain the clear command of God in Scripture, nor do they have a promise of his grace. More
We find in God’s gracious commands, in the sacraments, the essence of New Testament. For these things must be received in faith. We must come before the Word with soft, believing hearts. More
The sacraments have the express command of God for all the people of God. Go and make disciples, baptizing and teaching (Matt 28:19–20). More
The sacraments are not merely indicators of who we are, in the sense of someone thinking that since a group baptizes in water, and ceremonially eats bread and drinks wine, they must be Christians. More
There are times when it is difficult to believe that God really loves us. When we sin, we sense an estrangement with God that must somehow be overcome. The instinct is to make an offering... More
There are no confessed sins that Christ Jesus cannot or will not forgive. Therefore there is no confessed sin for which a minister of the gospel cannot and should not give absolution. More
The purpose of the keys involves both peace and terror. For those who believe in Christ and confess their sins, there is the comfort of knowing that they are forgiven because Christ alone is God’s satisfaction. More
Where is it written? Where do the Scriptures teach that we pay the price of freedom from eternal death? How do our punishments replace the excelling merit of Christ’s satisfaction for sin? More
In order for us to produce good fruits, we must depend upon God’s promises. We must have faith in him. Otherwise, we would eventually despair of doing much, if any, good. More
Does God say to do something? Then it must be done. You shall love the Lord your God, and your neighbor as yourself. These are not options. More
You may have all of the outward signs of a Christian but if you neglect the greatest commandment, you are headed for trouble. More
Repentance means a changed mind. We might think of it as a change of heart. It follows that a real change of heart would include different fruits or results in that person’s life. More
God will do what he must for the good of those he loves—even if it means inflicting them with some corrective troubles. Perhaps the psalmist’s bones were not actually broken but... More
It has long been known that sparing the rod creates spoiled brats. Just like good, earthly parents, God sometimes punishes us so that we will not spoil. More
When a child says, “I’m sorry,” sometimes a parent responds, “Then act like it.” This is no different than the relationship that a child of God has with the Father. More
Works of repentance are required of us. They are not non-compulsory things that we can use to purchase our redemption or righteousness. More
Saul of Tarsus was a scholar, presumably with good eyesight, able to read scrolls and manuscripts. Then he was blinded by God on the Damascus road. More
Many people think that our troubles originate in our sins. Often enough, this is precisely the case—but not always. Sometimes our troubles are meant to point us and others to the glory and the power of God. More
We should learn to regard our troubles as signs of impending grace. God is at work in these afflictions. When we have gotten to the other side, we can see that suffering drew us back to God, and caused us to rely upon him, and persevere. More
In the reasoning of God, we are to be holy, yet we are not holy, nor can we become holy, so God makes us holy through Christ. This does not make sense to our natural reason. More
God may impose certain punishments for sins, by way of making an example of some people, and to discipline others. But these punishments are corrections and examples, not a means of grace and forgiveness. More
Life happens. There are going to be troubles throughout life. All of them, whether they come from God or not, are allowed by his will. More
Martin Luther proclaimed in his sermon, “On the Hymn of Zacahrias,” that as long as we are clothed with this flesh, sin is not extinguished, nor can be wholly subdued. More
God disciplines his children because he loves them. He does not require this discipline as some means of grace. For how could this be grace, if it is required of us to endure? More
The human heart that is heartily sorry always turns to God. But when we are not really contrite, we seek human remedies to our guilt. More
Imagine a husband or wife who has truly wronged his or her spouse, offering a box of chocolates, a bouquet of roses, or even a fancy meal, in an effort to gain their forgiveness. More
Being a disciple of Jesus Christ involves taking up one’s cross and following him. That means one is willing to die rather than stop trusting God. More
When we imagine that there is something we can do to appease God’s wrath toward our sin, we soon discover that we have deceived ourselves. More
We are threatened on every side. Ten things are listed in Romans 8:37–39, over which we have no power or control. Indeed, the tenth thing Paul lists is anything not mentioned in the first nine. More

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