The Epistle to the Ephesians

The central teaching of the Lutheran Reformation is briefly stated in the Augsburg Confession:

Men cannot be justified before God by their own strength, merits, or works, but are freely justified for Christ’s sake, through faith, when they believe that they are received into favor, and that their sins are forgiven for Christ’s sake, who, by His death, has made satisfaction for our sins. This faith God imputes for righteousness in His sight. (AC, IV, 1-3)

EphesiansThe Lutheran reformers drew these words and teaching directly from Holy Scripture -in particular from the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Ephesians.

Concordia has just published a new commentary on Ephesians and in the following four-part series, its author Dr. Thomas Winger, is interviewed about Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians. Continue reading

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Being a pastor during an election

Election-320x180So we have a federal election coming on October 19, 2015.

In my younger years as a pastor I thought of venturing into the arena of politics. So one election I decided to volunteer to be a scrutineer for one party. I won’t tell you which one.

It was during that same election that my preaching also turned to political issues of the day. Their conclusions, however, sounded a bit too close to one of the political parties and therefore, bothered some of my members.

Since that time I have left politics behind except for voting and staying informed about the issues.

But what if I would go and talk with a particular candidate today? How would people perceive that?

I know there is a tendency for “evangelicals” to saddle up to the conservative candidates and “progressive” (liberal) Christians to get close to those on the left. As a Christian of the Lutheran confession I find it difficult  to be tied to one political ideology since I have found that no party totally holds my confession of faith and life. On the other hand, perhaps I like so many others, have merely become cynical about politicians and politics. Which party has not been tainted by scandal? Continue reading

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Genesis 22-24

GenesisGenesis 22-24

Genesis 22…God now offers the ultimate test to Abraham’s faith. He asks Abraham to take his son Isaac and sacrifice him. At this point God has not made any laws against human sacrifice. Abraham does what God commands and goes to the place of sacrifice. There is no description of any struggle Isaac would have had once he found out that he was to be the sacrifice. Abraham simply binds him and is about to kill him when again, an angel of the Lord calls to him and stops the slaughter. He has passed the test and God knows that he is faithful. A ram is provided for the sacrifice and God pronounces an expanded blessing upon Abraham and his descendants. Abraham would never have taken this initiative had he not been commanded by God, but God so loves the world that He sends His only Son to suffer and die that through faith none should perish, but have eternal (John 3:16). Continue reading

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