Monday, April 25, 2011

Guarding Against Judgement

Forgiveness of sins and tolerance for others are indispensable to the Christian life. We should bear with each other and forgive one another, as Paul taught "We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves." This is what Christ meant when He said, "Stop judging." No one should act superior to others, or think of themselves as better than those who don't have such gifts. Among believers, no one should try to dominate anyone else. Your neighbor receives as much of God's grace as you do. There is one God who creates people and gives everyone of us our own gifts. God is pleased by the least as well as the greatest.

Do not judge, or you too will be judge. For in the same way your judge others, you will be judged, and with the same measure you use, it will be measured to you. Matthew 7:1-2 

Friday, April 22, 2011

O Happy Fault of Adam's Sin!

Most holy night most blessed of nights
When Christ broke the chains of the darkness.
God's mighty love is stronger than death.
Christ our light shines forever.

Let every tear be wiped away, let every sorrow fade.
For Jesus the Christ, has risen from the grave.

How wonderful Your care for us.
How boundless is Your love?
To ransom a slave,You gave away Your Son.

O happy fault, of Adam's sin, O blessed day of grace.
Which gained for us, a Savior Christ the Lord.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

A New Life

To whom does God give his beloved Son? God gives him to the world-the lost multitude who never deserved it. They could only expect to remain lost and condemned without him. God gave his Son to the lost so that they might be saved. Then what should you do for this loving God in return? Nothing! Don't go on pilgrimages. Don't do this or that good work for God. Instead, simply believe on Christ alone. 

You cannot take hold of this gift- the Son of God -with your hand. The Son of God cannot be contained in a jar. He is grasped only with the heart and by faith. When this gift enters into your heart, then you won't be the same person. Even if you once were a thief, an adulterer, or a murderer, you will become a new person, for you have the Light in your heart. 

So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Romans 10:17

For God so loved the world that he grace his one and only Son, that whoever believes on him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16 

Thursday, April 7, 2011

He Who Knew No Sin Was Made Sin For You

God made him who knew no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. 2 Corinthians 5:21

When you are made aware of your sin and frightened by it, you must not allow the sin to remain in your conscience. This would only lead to despair. Rather, just as your awareness of sin flowed from Christ, so you must pour your sin back on him to free your conscience.

So be careful you don't become like the misguided people who allow their sin to bite ate them and eat at their hearts. They strive to rid themselves of this sin by running around doing good works. But you have a way to get rid of your sins. You throw your sins on Christ when you firmly believe that Christ's wounds and suffering carried and paid for your sins. If you try to deal with your sin in your conscience, let it remain there, and continue to look at it in heart, your sins will become too strong for you. They will seem to live forever. But when you think of your sins as being on Christ and boldly believe that he conquered them through his resurrection, then they are dead and gone. Sin can't remain on Christ. His resurrection swallowed up sin and death.
Faith Alone by Martin Luther

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Looking Back On Life

We see the hand of God working in our lives no more clearly than when we reflect back on the years of our lives. Augustine said that if people had a choice of either dying or reliving their lives over again, they would certainly choose death because of all the danger and evil they so narrowly escaped. In one sense, this statement is certainly true.

Looking back, people can see how much they have accomplished and suffered without trying or thinking about it, even against their wishes and wills. They gave such little thought to what they were doing before it occured or when it was happening. Now, after everything has been carried out, they are amazed and say, "Why did these things happen to me when I never thought about them or thought something completely different could happen?" So Proverbs 16:9 is true: "In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps," even against his plan and will." So we must agree that our own cleverness and foresight don't guide our lives and actions. Instead, God's wonderful power, wisdom, and goodness guides us. Only as we look back do we fully recognize how often God was with us when we neither saw His hand nor felt His presence at the time it was happening. Accordingly, Peter said, "He cares for you" (1 Peter 5:7).

Even if there were no books or sermons to tell us about God, simply looking back on our own lives would prove that He tenderly carries us in His arms. When we look back on how God has led and brought us through so much evil, adversity, and danger, we can clearly see the ever-present goodness of God, which is far above our thoughts, minds, and perception.

                                Faith Alone Martin Luther