Apr 24, 2017

Word of the Week: FORGIVENESS

Pastor Rob Sauers discusses the word "forgiveness" in our word of the week today.  We often think of the emotional response of forgiveness, but the Biblical definition of forgiveness is about a restoration of a relationship through removal of sin.  This is what God has done by sending away or blotting out our sins our transgressions.  God is merciful, but also just.  He cannot simply overlook our sin, His character must remove that sin through the punishing sin by death.  It is in the person of Jesus that we receive that forgiveness as He paid our debt, and we have been restored in our relationship with God.  God's forgiveness sets Christianity apart from the religions of the world.  God has done all that was necessary to restore us to Himself through the death of Christ.  Rejoice in the forgiveness of your sins through Jesus Christ.   

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Apr 21, 2017

Bible Study - Galatians

This week Pastors Nathanael Mayhew and Mark Tiefel discuss Paul's letter to the Galatians in our Bible study episode.  Only 6 chapters long, this short letter is full of application to our every day lives as Christians.  God's Word has the ultimate purpose of pointing us to Jesus and the salvation He has won for us through His work of justification.  Without this truth we are lost and condemned.  So Paul defends the truth of God's Word and His salvation in Christ and warns of the danger of false teaching which undermines that truth.  Why would we ever give up or set aside the only truth which is able to save us from sin and death?  This truth sets of Jesus sets us free to serve God as a response for all that Christ has done for us.  Join us as we journey through this valuable review of Christian freedom in Christ!

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Apr 17, 2017

Word of the Week: RESURRECTION

In the afterglow of the celebration of Jesus' victory over death we take a look at the word "resurrection" on this Easter Monday.  The resurrection of Jesus, while denied and rejected by many, has a great deal of evidence to support it.  1) The resurrection is prophecied in the Old Testament and many places.  Job (19:23-27) refers not only to the resurrection of Jesus, but also our resurrection on the last day.  2) Jesus Himself foretold His own resurrection (Luke 18:31-33) as well as our resurrection from death (John 14:19).  3) The tomb of Jesus was empty.  If Jesus had not risen from the dead, the authorities simply would have had to produce the body of Jesus to remove all doubt.  4) The followers of Jesus boldly proclaimed the resurrection of Jesus, and many gave their lives for that truth.  Who would give their life for a lie?  5) There are examples of other resurrections in the Old Testament (2 Kings 4:18-37), the Ministry of Jesus (Luke 7:11-16; Mark 5:35-42; and John 11), and in the ministry of the apostles (Acts 9:37-42; 20:9-12).  God has given us plenty of evidence to see that the resurrection is true for Jesus, and for us. What hope and comfort is ours in the resurrection of Jesus who died for our sins and was raised for our justification!

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Apr 14, 2017

REVIEW: Batman vs. Superman Movie (Good Friday?)

On Good Friday in 2016, the movie Batman vs Superman was released and made quite a stir among Christians.  Why was this movie released on Good Friday?  Tune in to hear Pastors Nathanael Mayhew and Mark Tiefel discuss both the obvious and subtle religious and Christian themes throughout this movie.  In the epic battle between good and evil, who makes the decisions about what is morally right and wrong?  Are both characters presented to be of a Messianic type nature?  What philisophical truths are being made in this film?  Should the Christian even watch it?  These are some of the questions that are tackled in this episode as we review the challenges the Christian faces with modern day messages in movies and medias today.  

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Apr 10, 2017

Word of the Week: MAUNDY

As we enter another Holy Week and reflect on all that our Savior endured for our salvation, Pastor Rob Sauers defines the word "Maundy" from "Maundy Thursday".  You may be familiar with this word because it is the name given to the Thursday before Easter, the day when Jesus celebrated the Passover meal with His disciples and instituted the Lord's Supper.  The word "Maundy" comes from the Latin word Mandatum which means commandment. This is taken from the words that Jesus spoke to His disciples on that night, recorded in John 13:34:  "A new commandment I give you, that you love one another." On this night Jesus was giving His followers an example of love, a love that serves rather and desired to be served, an unconditional love, a love which Jesus had for sinners that led Him to the cross.  On this night Jesus also gave His disciples another gift of His love when He instituted the Lord's Supper.  Through this sacrament we have the assurance of the forgiveness of our sins as Jesus says:  "For this is the blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins." Finally it was on the night of Maundy Thursday that Jesus went with His disciples to the Garden of Gethsemane where He was betrayed, arrested and put on trial.  He willingly went though all this and was crucifed where He suffered the agony of our hell and was forsaken by God for the sins of the world.  Oh, the depth of Jesus' love for sinners! 

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Apr 7, 2017

Bible Study - Luke and Holy Week

In our Bible Study today Pastors Rob Sauers and Nathanael Mayhew will be taking a closer look at the Gospel of Luke and his particular perspective of the life of Jesus during Holy Week. Luke was a Gentile who was used by the Holy Spirit to record these events for the benefit of other Gentiles in particular.  One of the major themes in Luke's Gospel is to show that Jesus was the Savior of all people, not just Jews.  He shows how Jesus reaches out to the "less" of Jewish society, as well as foreigners in love and with compassion and forgiveness.  In this study they will look at some of the events of Maundy Thursday and Good Friday that are unique to the Gospel of Luke and which empahasize these themes. In addition they will look at some of the resurrection appearances of Jesus and His ascensionwhich revels the theme of Jesus being the Savior of all and our joy in praising Him for His work of salvation for us.  We hope you will benefit from this deeper look at the passion history of our Lord as recorded in the Gospel of Luke.

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Apr 3, 2017

Word of the Week: VICARIOUS ATONEMENT

This morning Pastor Mark Tiefel looks at the Lenten concept of "Vicarious Atonement."  The word "atonement" means to appease or to remove something.  When it comes to sin, God has removed our sin thought the sacrifice of His Son.  The word "vicarious" means substitute, and this points to Jesus who had taken our place and made the sacrifice needed for our sins.  The Old Testament believers celebrated the Day of Atonement once every year.  One goat was killed and sacrificed, the other had the sins of the people placed upon it and it was led out into the wilderness where it was left to die.  These pictures point us to the sacrifice made by Jesus on Good Friday.  Jesus told his disciples that He had come to set sinners "at one" with God, through His death on the cross.  Jesus has become our substitute and made that sacrifice for our sin, removing it forever.  

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Mar 31, 2017

Bible Study - Psalm 22

In this special Bible Study segment, Pastors Nathanael Mayhew and Rob Sauers take an indepth look at Psalm 22 and the clear predictions of the suffering and death of Jesus on the cross, as well as the victory He wins for sinners through His death.  This Psalm was written by King David over 1000 years before they were fulfilled by Jesus on Calvary.  Yet, by inspiration, the Holy Spirit foretells specific details regarding the work of the Messiah, Jesus, in how and what he would suffer to redeem sinners to God.  When we consider the accounts of Jesus' passion, we often focus only on the physical suffering that He endured.  And it is true that he endured much physical pain on that first Good Friday.  He was abandoned by His disciples to face the agony of the crucifixion, having His hands and feet pierced, suffering from dehydration and suffocation, while being mocked and ridiculed by those around Him.  But the greatest burden He endured on that day was being forsaken by God the Father as He endured the penalty of our sin and the wrath of God against it in our place.  Through this sacrifice, Jesus won the victory for us.  Life and salvation is ours by faith.  Thanks be to God!

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Mar 27, 2017

Word of the Week: SHEOL

This week, Pastor Nathanael Mayhew digs into the unfamiliar word "sheol" and its meaning.  This word is a Hebrew word that isn't found in all English translations.  It is used often in the Psalms, and has the basic meaning of "death" or "grave", although it is also translated "hell" a few times.  It is a reminder that death is the just judgment we deserve because of sin and God told Adam in the Garden of Eden and as Paul reiterates when he says:  "The wages of sin is death."  Death is a certainty in life for all people, both believers and unbelievers, because of our sin.  Sheol is used to describe sorrow (Genesis 42:38), mourning (Genesis 37:35), shortening of years (Isaiah 38:10), and loss of knowledge and wisdom (Ecclesiastes 9:10), even for the one who believes in Christ.  Without the message of Christ's work for us in His substitutianary death and resurrection, death is an extreme terror.  But the Old Testament also proclaims the message of the Gospel to believers through victory over Sheol.  “But God will redeem my soul from the power of Sheol (the grave), For He shall receive me. Selah” (Psalm 49:15).  It also foretells the Savior's resurrection from the dead:  “For You will not leave my soul in Sheol, Nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption” (Psalm 16:10).

Surely, God has not left us to die, but He has redeemed us from the power of Sheol through the death of His Son Jesus, and by His resurrection from the dead, He has assured us that we too will be brought from death to life! What an important reminder, as we look to Easter during this Lenten season.  Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

 

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Mar 24, 2017

Review - When I Survey the Wondrous Cross by Isaac Watts

In our Review segment this week, Pastors Nathanael Mayhew and Rob Sauers look at another Lenten Hymn, "When I Survey the Wondrous Cross" by Isaac Watts.  This hymn (number 175 in The Lutheran Hymnal) was composed in English by the prolific hymnwriter, Isaac Watts, who wrote over 700 other hymns, some of which are found in our hymnal and other hymnals.  Watts had a natural talent for meter and rhyme at a very early age, and put it to work in pointing people to his Savior.  This hymn is rich in Biblical pictures and based largely on Paul's words in Galatians 6:14: "But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world."  He points sinners to the cross of Jesus which is the means of our salvation, and our only hope in this world of sin.  We are reminded of the danger of our pride and posessions which we are tempted to value above Christ and His cross.  In the final verse, after we have viewed the gift of God's salvation in Christ's sacrifice for us, we are motivated to respond by giving our life to Christ and in His service.  We give thanks to God for the salvation He has won for us in Christ and the forgiveness of our sins.

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