Nov 20, 2017

Word of the Week - Contentment

In our Word of the Week, Pastor Rob Sauers takes us through a study of contentment. Contentment seems to be one of those things a lot of people search for, but never find. Can we ever find true contentment? If so, where is that contentment to be found? Our study seeks to answer these questions by looking at both the places where people look for contentment and what the Scriptures have to say about the subject. We pray that this study will be a blessing to you.

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Nov 17, 2017

CPR - Where Do Babies (and Faith) Come From?

Faith is one of those topics that is very often misunderstood in our world today. The Bible itself, while speaking a lot about faith, only defines it in one place - Hebrews 11:1 - "Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen." In order to help us gain a better understanding of what faith is and specifically how faith begins, Pastors Neal Radichel and Nathanael Mayhew take us through a discussion of faith in today's CPR episode from a unique perspective - comparing the beginning of faith to the beginning of physical life. We pray that this study will help you to better understand this important concept. 

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Nov 13, 2017

Word of the Week - Petition

In our Word of the Week this week, Pastor Rob Sauers takes us through the word "petition." When we hear that word, we might think first of a formal written request signed by many people, appealing to authority in respect of a cause. In a petition, we are pleading to one in authority to do something we would like to see done.

The Bible speaks of petitions in the formal setting of the court. We have the example of Esther making her petitions known to King Ahasuerus. In the New Testament, the Jews petitioned Festus to execute the Apostle Paul. 

The Bible also uses "petition" in the sense of prayer. When we think of petitions in this context, we probably most often think of the seven petitions of the Lord's Prayer. In this prayer, Jesus gives us a wonderful example of how we should bring our petitions before the Lord. 

And we can do so with confidence. Though we are not worthy that God should answer any of our petitions, yet we have the promise from our gracious God, "Ask, and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you." (Matthew 7:7). Surely, God will answer our prayers according to His will out of His grace and His love for us. 

And so, we can do what Paul encourages in Philippians 4:6 - "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God."

May God bless our study.

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Nov 10, 2017

Bible Study - 2 Peter

In today's Bible Study episode, Pastors Nathanael Mayhew and Rob Sauers take us through the book of 2 Peter. Peter here sets out to encourage his recipients and us in our faith, and warn us of others who would try to lead us away from the truth. This has been called the “Epistle of Knowledge” since different forms of the word “know” appear 16 times in this short letter. Chapter 1 encourages growth in true knowledge and emphasizes that the knowledge of the Scriptures is true. Chapter 2 describes the perils of abandoning knowledge. Chapter 3 gives us reason for confidence in true knowledge. We pray that this study will encourage you to "grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ." (2 Peter 3:18).

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Nov 6, 2017

Word of the Week: Courage

In our Word of the Week we cap off a week of Reformation celebrations with the word Courage. Courage is a word that comes quickly to mind when we think of Martin Luther standing before church and emperor and saying: "Here I stand. I cannot do otherwise." But he was not the only one. Throughout the history of His Church the LORD has constantely raised up leaders to encourage, direct and instuct His people through the teaching of His Word. The LORD called Joshua to be strong and courageous as he led the people of Israel into the promised land. The same was true in the New Testament era. Paul writes: "Most of the brethren in the Lord, having become confident by my chains, are much more bold to speak the word without fear" (Philipians 1:14). This is what God's reformers throughout history have done. From Joshua, Jeremiah and Paul, to men like Peter Waldo, John Wycliffe and John Huss who preceeded Luther by a century or more. What caused these men to be courageous? It was God who was at work in them through His Spirit, and bringing them to the truth. Like Peter may we too along with Joshua, Paul, Wycliffe, and Luther, corageously proclaim: "We cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard" (Acts 4:20). 

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Nov 4, 2017

CPR - Means of Grace

On today's podcast, we finish up our Reformation series by taking a look at the doctrine of the Means of Grace. This doctrine is very closely connected to the doctrine of Objective Justification as it describes how God delivers His gifts of life and salvation to us. The means our Lord gives to us, His Word, Baptism, and the Lord's Supper may not seem like very powerful things in and of themselves, but what wonderful gifts they are as they give us a solid, unmovable foundation for our faith. We pray that this study will encourage you to make regular use of these treasures that our Lord has given us. 

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Oct 30, 2017

Word of the Week: Means of Grace

In our Reformation Word of the Week today, Pastor Nathanael Mayhew takes us into the phrase "Means of Grace." This phrase is not found in Scripture but is descriptive of a truth that is taught in Scripture. God has chosen to impart His grace to sinful mankind through means or particular "tools." The tools that God has chosen to use to bring us to Himself and give us His grace are the Gospel in Word and Sacrament. God uses three particular tools to accomplish this work: His Word which is truth (John 17:17), and through which faith is imparted (Romans 10:17). The Sacrament of Baptism which washes our sins away (Acts 22:!6) and offers forgiveness of sin (Acts 2:38-30). And the Sacrment of the Lord's Supper which Jesus instituted and through which He still today imparts forgiveness (Matthew 26:28). God has chosen to use these means to give us His grace, and so these should be of the most importance in our lives, knowing that God is working through them for us. Thanks be to God for these gifts and means of bestowing His grace!

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Oct 27, 2017

CPR - Living in Two Kingdoms

Today on Burden and Blessing as we continue our Reformation series, Pastors Nathanael Mayhew and Rob Sauers take us through the Doctrine of Living in Two Kingdoms. This doctrine really ties together the doctrines we have discussed over the past couple of weeks - the Doctrine of Justification dealing with the Spiritual Kingdom, and the Doctrine of Vocation dealing with the Secular Kingdom. The Lord has called us to live in both kingdoms, but this is not always an easy task. We will discuss three main errors that different groups of people have fallen into concerning the two kingdoms (Hermit Theology, Liberal Theology, and Social Theology). We will then discuss exactly what it is the Lord is calling us to in this doctrine. We pray that the Lord will bless our study!

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Oct 23, 2017

Word of the Week - Antichrist

In our Word of the Week this week, Pastor Rob Sauers takes us through the word "Antichrist." The way that the Antichrist is usually thought of in Christianity today is as a political figure who is going to rise up and unite the world into a one world government near the end of the world. He’s thought of as more of a political figure than a religious one, though he will, in the end, try to turn the world against Christ and Christianity – so the thought goes. But does that fit with what Scripture says about the identity of the Antichrist? One of the things that came out of the Reformation was the proper, Biblical identity of the Antichrist. As Martin Luther grew in his appreciation of the gospel, he also grew in his recognition that the Papacy is the Antichrist. This identity comes from the Bible itself, most specifically from 2 Thessalonians 2:1-10 which will be the basis for our study. We pray that this study will be informative and beneficial!

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Oct 20, 2017

CPR - Justification

As we continue our Reformation series, Pastors Joe Naumann and Rob Sauers take us through the all-important Doctrine of Justification. Justification really is the heart of the Gospel. It is that doctrine that teaches us that God has declared us righteous for the sake of Jesus' perfect life and innocent death on the cross. Our justification has nothing to do with our own works. It is all about what Christ has done for us to take away our sins and make us right with God. We will dig into exactly how this justification works, why so many people reject it, and how this doctrine really is the ultimate source of comfort. May God bless our study!

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