Posts Posted in May 2023View All Posts >>

It makes sense that doing good deeds and being religious would cause God to love us and forgive us for our efforts. If God commands it, then there should be the reward of his favor. Yet, “The wisdom of this world is foolishness before God.” More
God does not say, “Do this thing and you will be saved.” He could have said something like, “Do a cartwheel and you will be saved.” Of course, he said nothing so absurd... More
Yes! We should obey God by loving one another and doing acts of charity and other good works. Yet these actions will never conquer sin and death or provide access to God. More
Faith is not formed by love or other good works. That is backwards thinking and contrary to Scripture. Rather, love is formed by faith. Faith in Christ compels us to love and to obey God. More
The Roman Confutation claimed that people are justified by adding love and other works to faith in Christ. Conversely, the Lutherans confessed that love and good works are a necessary response to faith in the saving work of Christ. More
The assurance of God’s love for us is always disturbed by our works. As soon as we trust in an act of charity or devotion to God, our confidence is shattered by an unkind thought or lack of devotion. More
Polls differ as to how many Americans say that they believe in God, some as high as 80% or more. Other polls demonstrate that the most basic evidences of faith are a much lower percentage. So let us be clear. More
If you pay attention to the sports headlines, you will hear an odd assertion from time to time, especially during professional basketball season. A very talented player will either claim or a reporter will state that the athlete was a one-man team. More
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness.” (Matt 5:6) Note that Jesus did not say blessed are those who have dug a well and quenched their own thirst. More
Being a pastor or missionary is not a free ticket to heaven. While the work that such people do is important to the kingdom of Christ, it is only faith in Christ that opens the gates of heaven. More
But the Lutherans confessed that there was no grace to be derived from the work itself. Thus, the Lord’s Supper is not a work through which we receive forgiveness because we went through the motions. More
In the 1950s, the farmers and ranchers of a small town in southern Texas quit working. For one year, they all laid off work and built a brand new Lutheran Church. What a sacrifice! More
The working of the work does nothing to temper the Almighty. You could sacrifice a thousand burnt offerings and it would not pacify him. You could serve on every committee in your church and it would not justify you to God. More
God wants us to be confident of eternal life. He does not dangle salvation over our heads, tempting us and teasing us to work a little harder, or else. Instead, we are to believe in the great name of Jesus Christ, who died and rose and ascended so that we might do the same. More
So long as we think our relationship with God depends upon ourselves, it will also suffer. As long as we imagine that we make the difference with God, we will fail God... More
You were baptized before you ever thought to do a good deed. God put his seal on you first. So, baptism, like circumcision, is a sign that God gives Christ’s righteousness to sinners. More
Garry Trudeau produced a popular series of cartoons in the 70s called I Have No Son. The father in the series seemed to disown his son for being an embarrassment, someone who did not think or act at all the same as himself. More
That God rewards one’s labors is certain but what he rewards to “fellow workers,” and when, is unknown. What is very certain, however, is that all who believe in Christ... More
You may think that your little church does not contribute much to the kingdom. Never think that way. That is the same as saying that Christ does not contribute much to his own kingdom. More
You are not yet perfect. You are weak. The old nature still clings to you, thereby making your works, however well-intentioned, seem poorly executed and blemished. More
He has freely promised his merciful grace through Christ. The forgiveness of sins is certain because it depends upon the promise of God, not your deeds. More
There is nothing ambiguous about the distinction between the law and the gospel. The law requires one to keep its commandments, rules, and rituals. The gospel requires one to believe that Jesus has fulfilled the law. More
Most of us have been a part of group projects in school. Three or four people are assigned to a team to complete an assignment. Many times, one person does all the work while the entire group gets the credit. More
Peace is a profound need in our world that is torn apart by war and terrorism. There is also the lack of peace caused by bad economic conditions. Yet the lack of peace that is most dire is spiritual. More
You are not whole because you have filled yourself. If you believe in Christ, you are whole and filled in him, by him, because of him. So far, and as far as this life allows, you will never be whole as a result of your religious works and moral behavior. More
It will always be impossible in this life to do anything in an altogether pure manner. However unfulfilled our efforts seem to us, they are accepted by and pleasing to God if they are done with faith in Christ. More
We profess that the law ought to be kept. We also declare that it is kept because Christ has fulfilled it—we did not, nor can we. So we seek to please God by keeping his perfect law even though we keep it imperfectly. More
From the moment we are born again, the battle begins. We are always at war within ourselves. The flesh resists the Spirit who has moved into our lives. More
Imagine the poor apostle, wanting to be godly but failing at the task. The things he set out to do, he was not able to perform. Conversely, the very things he wished to avoid were what he kept on doing. More
When people hear the gospel and believe, God cleanses their hearts and gives them the Holy Spirit. If we add works and the keeping of the law to the simple requirement of faith in Christ, we test God by seeking to undo what he has accomplished through Christ Jesus. More
Original sin is a powerful thing; it holds humanity in its clutches with a grip so tight that no one can escape its deadly consequences. More

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