Sermons

Trinity 18 (Mt 22:34–46)

October 15, 2017
Immanuel Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO
Bethlehem Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO

INI + AMEN.

You are not your own. Sounds simple enough. Christianity is simple. The faith and life laid out in all the Scriptures is simple. It’s truly simple. “Love Yahweh your God with your whole heart, soul, and strength”—that’s faith. “Love your neighbor as yourself”—that’s fervent love toward your neighbor. Continue reading

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Sermons

Pastor Matthew Durance Installation (Jn 20:19–23)

October 14, 2017
Bethlehem Lutheran Church—Greenleaf, KS || AUDIO

INI + AMEN.

The Lord gives. Of course He does! He’s the Giver God, don’t you know? You didn’t doubt that, did you? Of course not! Only ask, seek, and knock, call a call committee—3 times, 4 times, 5 times. Only our sinful flesh would doubt the Giver God then.

But the Lord, as is His way, gives. He gives precisely when He means to, precisely what He means to, precisely in the measure and quantity He means to. Today, there’s no “please, sir, may I have another,” no “I need more power,” no some for you and none for you, no haves and have nots. That’s how it is on other days with rain, crop yields, money, or “whatever else we need to support this body and life”—His Father’s 1st Article Gifts.

No, here and now the Lord gives freely, abundantly, completely, and fully. There’s no limit here. “The Lord gives the Spirit without measure.” No limit to His “spoke by the prophets,” His “one Baptism for the remission of sins,” His “resurrection of the dead,” His “life of the world to come.” There’s only overabundance to His “forgiveness of sins,” His “communion of saints,” His “holy Christian Church.” His Spirit’s 3rd Article Gifts. Continue reading

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Sermons

Trinity 17 (Lk 14:1–11)

October 8, 2017
Immanuel Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO
Bethlehem Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO

INI + AMEN.

Rest. Sounds nice, doesn’t it? God created rest. “And God rested on the seventh day from all the work He’d done.” He rested. He sabbathed. He gave it as a gift. And it’s more than just not doing work. Because we need more than just a little time off, we need more than just a little RnR, more than just a little vacay. We need true and lasting rest. Continue reading

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Sermons

Trinity 16 (Lk 7:11–17)

October 1, 2017
Immanuel Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO
Bethlehem Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO

INI + AMEN.

((5. Oops!: We can’t escape death.))

The tragedy of it all: a widow’s only son, dead. No wonder there was “a considerable crowd from the town with her.” But, as tragic as that was for her and that town, as tragic as those sorts of things are in our time, too, the real tragedy is something we don’t really want to think about. The real tragedy is: we can’t escape death. The funeral procession, the coffin, the grave awaits each and every one of us. One day, you’ll have your coffin, too.

But that’s not all. Each and every bump and bruise, every cold, every ache and pain, every exhaustion is just a preview of that certain and final end. Oh, we may get better and heal, but one day we won’t. Behind every physical pain lurks death. Suddenly or not so suddenly, the bell will toll for you. Continue reading

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Theology

CFW Walther on Faith

Suppose a person had never heard a word concerning faith and, on being told the Gospel, would rejoice, accept it, put his confidence in it, and draw comfort from it, that person would have the true, genuine faith, although he may not have heard a word concerning faith.
 
– C.F.W. Walther (Law and Gospel, Thesis VI)
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Sermons

Trinity 15 (Mt 6:24–34)

September 24, 2017
Immanuel Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO
Bethlehem Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO

INI + AMEN.

I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth. We don’t really understand these word. We don’t really trust ’em. We say the words. We know what each word means. But we don’t really get what it’s all about. We think it’s all about stuff, and that God is the source of that stuff. That He created everything and gives us everything.

We learn that in the Catechism, but that’s only the start of what God reveals to us. (It’s why continued study of His Word is so important.) Anyway, Jesus has more for us today. It’s not just that God’s the source of our stuff. Since you’re baptized, it means He’s your Father. We don’t think of our earthly fathers as just sources of stuff. Jesus’ Father really is your Father. So He acts like it. Jesus tells us

YOUR HEAVENLY FATHER CARES AND WILL CARE FOR YOU. Continue reading

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Theology

Forgiveness Comes from Christ NOT Contrition

Besides, they teach us to be confident that we obtain forgiveness of sins because of contrition and love. What else is this than to put confidence in our works, not in God’s Word and promise about Christ? But if the Law is enough for receiving the forgiveness of sins, what need is there of the Gospel? What need is there of Christ if we receive forgiveness of sins because of our own work? [76] We, on the other hand, call consciences away from the Law to the Gospel, and from confidence in their own works to confidence in the promise and Christ. We do so because the Gospel presents Christ to us and freely promises the forgiveness of sins for Christ’s sake. In this promise it asks us to trust, namely, that we are reconciled to the Father for Christ’s sake, not for the sake of our own contrition or love. For there is no other Mediator or Atoning Sacrifice than Christ.

– Apology of the Augsburg Confession, XIIa (V) 75–76

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