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Showing posts from February, 2017

The Salutary Gift: The Lord's Supper ~ Life-Giving Fruit

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This sermon is from a series written by Rev. Paul L. Beisel and published by Concordia Publishing House.

Living in the Timeout

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And Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good that we are here. If you wish, I will make three tents here, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah” (Matthew 17:4). Grace and peace to you from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ! Lord, it is good to be here. It is good to here at St. John’s/Trinity/Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church. It’s good to be here to worship with you. It’s good to be here to hear God’s Word with you… to sing God’s praises with you… to come to the Lord’s Table with you… to share a Sabbath rest with you. Rest is good. Rest is important. Rest is necessary for our physical, mental, and spiritual well-being. But rest is hard to come by, isn’t it? There is so much these days to keep us busy. If I projected a community calendar up on the wall here we’d all see how busy we all are. There are meetings, community events and family activities. Add to all this busyness our children’s schedules: play dates, basketball games, soccer, dan…

Jesus Closes the Loopholes

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Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ! The brilliant comedian W. C. Fields had a reputation as a womanizer with a fondness for alcohol. He was not known as a religious man, but as his death approached, he began to study the Bible. When a friend asked him what he was doing, Fields replied: “I’m looking for loopholes.” Looking for loopholes. When it comes to God’s Word we all do it, though most of us gathered here today are not nearly as forthright in admitting our self-justification as Fields is reputed to have been in this case. But Jesus won’t have any of it. In our Gospel for today He continues to teach us about the Law. God’s Law remains God’s Law. God hasn’t relaxed it, softened it up, or dumbed it down so that you might be able to keep it. God’s Law is not something you can keep. It’s there to show you what you should be doing, what you fail to do, and how much you need Christ and His forgiveness. We are not the first…

Exceeding Righteousness

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[Jesus said:] “For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:20). Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ! Any religion worth its salt is concerned with righteousness—righteousness among people and especially righteousness before God. In fact, I would go so far as to say: All religions except Christianity teach that people must find a way to make themselves righteous enough to be acceptable to God, to earn their own salvation. Such was the case with the scribes and the Pharisees. And if it were possible for anyone to ever pull it off, it might have been the scribes and the Pharisees. They were so serious about their religion, they established their own set of rules to make sure they kept God’s law. But that very addition to God’s law weakened the killing, condemning power of the law, turning it into “manageable law,” a self-help manual on how to…