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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Oct 13, 2017

CPR - Vocation

In our continuing study of important doctrines of the Reformation, Pastors Nathanael Mayhew and Rob Sauers take us through the Doctrine of Vocation. It has been said that this is one of Luther's most original contributions to understanding the spiritual life. When we think about vocation, probably the first thing that comes to mind is our job our occupation, but, as we'll discuss, vocation involves much more. We'll focus on 1) that Biblical difference between a vocation and an occupation, 2) how God bestows His First Article gives to sinners through vocation, 3) how the Doctrine of Vocation puts the role of good works in its proper place, and 4) how the Doctrine of Vocation gives purpose to our lives in this fallen world. We hope that this study will be a blessing to you!

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Oct 9, 2017

Word of the Week - Justification

As we continue our series of Reformation words for the Word of the Week in October, Pastor Mark Tiefel defines the Biblical word Justification. He discussed justification in its objective and subjective sense. Christ's death is an objective truth through which all sinners have been declared not guilty before God (Romans 3:23-24, 28; Romans 4:25; Romans 5:18-19) but the benefits of this declaration are received by faith in Christ Jesus (Galatians 2:16) We are all sinful. But through God's work for sinners in Christ and through faith, we have been justified (1 Corinthians 6:9-11; Romans 1:16-17). Thanks be to God! Listen, learn, study and proclaim God's Word of Truth as faithful heirs of the Reformation!

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Oct 6, 2017

CPR - The Theology of the Cross

Over the next five weeks, our Friday podcast will take up a series covering some of the important doctrines of the Reformation. This week, Pastors Rob Sauers and Nathanael Mayhew take us through "The Theology of the Cross." This is a term coined by Martin Luther in 1518 in the Heidelberg Disputation that understands the cross as the only source of knowledge concerning who God is and how God saves. It is contrasted with the "Theology of Glory" which places greater emphasis on human abilities and human reason. The Theology of the Cross teaches the truth that God does not reveal Himself to us through displays of glory and signs in the heavens, but through the cross, and through the simple Means of Grace. It also describes the reality of the cross we are called to bear in this world as Jesus says to His disciples in Mark 8:34: “Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me." Yet that cross is also a blessing as it keeps us running back to the Savior and His cross where we find life and salvation. May the Lord bless our study!

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Oct 2, 2017

Word of the Week - Three Solas

For our Word's of the Week this October, we will be focusing on words related to the Reformation. This week, Pastor Rob Sauers takes us through a study of the three "Solas" of the Reformation: Sola Scriptura (Scripture Alone), Sola Gratia (Grace Alone), and Sola Fide (Faith Alone).

Sola Scriptura is really the foundation for the other two as we would know nothing of Grace Alone or Faith Alone without the Scriptures. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 says, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” John 20:31 summarizes the primary purpose of the Scriptures: “these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.” 

Sola Gratia is the Scriptural teaching that God chose us for salvation because of His undeserved love for us. 2 Timothy 1:9 speaks of God "who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began." 

Sola Fide is the Scriptural teaching that God saves us through faith in Jesus Christ, not through our own good works. Romans 4:5 says, "But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness." 

A good summary passage for these "Solas" is Ephesians 2:8-9 - "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast."

May God help us to cling to these important Scriptural truths.

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Sep 29, 2017

Review - “The Great Divorce” by C. S. Lewis

In our review this week, Pastor Mark Tiefel takes us through the "The Great Divorce" by C. S. Lewis. At first glance, you might think this book has something to do with the ending of marriage, but by divorce, Lewis is describing the great divergence that exists between heaven and hell. In the book, Lewis pictures a number of people from hell who are permitted to take a bus trip into heaven and interact with the people living there. Lewis is not suggesting that such a trip between hell and heaven is actually possible, but he uses allegory to contrast the differences between the people in heaven and hell. As with anything written by C. S. Lewis, the reader will want to watch out for an emphasis on the human will and decision theology, but the book does a nice job of giving insight into the human nature. We hope you benefit from this review!

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Sep 25, 2017

Word of the Week - Pastor

In our Word of the Week, Pastor Rob Sauers takes us through a study of the word pastor. There are a number of words that are commonly used to refer to the pastor of a church, including Reverend and Minister. The term pastor is derived from the Latin word meaning shepherd. Shepherd is the term Paul uses in Acts 20:28 where he says, "Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood." We find many of the qualification for pastors listed in 1 Timothy 3:1-7, 2 Timothy 2:24-25, and Titus 1:5-9. Maybe the best summary of the work of the pastor is found in 2 Timothy 4:2 - "Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching." Your pastor's main responsibility is to bring the Word of God to you, and this is something he is happy to do whether it's through sermons, Bible studies, visits over the phone, or in private home devotions. Let your pastor know how he can serve you. And also pray for your pastor. Pray that he would be faithful to God's Word and that the Lord would give him a love for souls that motivates his work among God's people. 

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Sep 22, 2017

Bible Study - 1 Peter

In our Bible Study, Pastors Rob Sauers and Nathanael Mayhew take us through the book of 1 Peter. This epistle is written by the Apostle Peter most likely near the end of his life. He is writing to those Christians who are “sojourners and pilgrims” in this world (2:11). Though this letter deals quite a bit with the suffering and persecution Christians can expect to face in this world, it often, and rightly called the “Letter of Hope.” That hope is the Christian’s serene and confident dependence on God that is based on the unshakable certainty of the resurrection of the dead which is begun and guaranteed in the resurrection of Jesus. As we study through this letter, we will be encouraged that no matter what suffering comes our way (and we can be assured that suffering will come) we can have a confident hope through our Savior. May the Lord bless our study!

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Sep 19, 2017

Word of the Week - Respect

In our Word of the Week, Pastor Mark Tiefel looks at the word “respect.” The Bible has much to say about respect, especially as it pertains to the respect that children are to have for parents and grandparents. Ephesians 6:1-3 says, “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honor your father and mother,” which is the first commandment with promise: “that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.” Having respect for the elderly benefits not just the elderly, but us as well. When the family falls apart, so does respect, and the Bible has much to say about the effects of disrespect. Isaiah 3:5 says, “The people will be oppressed, Every one by another and every one by his neighbor; The child will be insolent toward the elder, And the base toward the honorable.” Respect is important because it mirrors our respect for God. A lack of respect for elders probably means that there is also a lack of respect for God. We pray that this study will help you see the benefits and blessings of a proper respect for elders.

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Sep 15, 2017

Bible Study - Imprecatory Psalms

In our Bible Study, Pastors Rob Sauers and Neal Radichel discuss the Imprecatory Psalms. The word imprecation refers to a spoken curse, and so these are Psalms which speak curses against the enemies of God and His people. One of the more striking examples of this type of Psalm is Psalm 137:8-9 - O daughter of Babylon, who are to be destroyed, Happy the one who repays you as you have served us! Happy the one who takes and dashes Your little ones against the rock! Christians have struggled for centuries with questions of how to deal with these Psalms, and so our discussion focuses on how we should understand and use them. May the Lord bless our study!

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