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). 


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. 


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!


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!


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!


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!


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!


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!


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!


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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