The Church of Jesus Christ rises and falls on the proposition that Christ died for you. This is fundamentally what the Lutheran Church is all about. It is no joke when we say that we preach “Christ and Him crucified.” It is a matter of utmost seriousness when we say that.

That which caused the break in the church in the 16th century was simply this question: how is one justified before a holy God? How is one made right before a just and holy God? How is one saved?

Martin Luther, a good, faithful, and pious Roman Catholic at the time, was taught and believed that God was a God of retribution, a God of vengeance, an angry God. One was made right with God only by doing that which He demands. Thus, Martin Luther strove to appease this God, believing that if he were sufficiently subservient, if he were sufficiently pious, if he believed enough, and if he served the church properly, then, and only then, would he be saved.

What Martin Luther believed before the Holy Spirit brought Him to understand the true message of the gospel, however, harked back to Adam and Eve. In Genesis we read how frightened Adam and Eve were when they realized that they had sinned and disobeyed God; they attempted to hide themselves from God. This was simply impossible. They thought that by hiding from God they would not be subject to His anger and punishment; Martin Luther thought that by appeasing God He would not be subject to God's anger and punishment. Scripture tells us, however, that one cannot hide from God. Scripture also tells us that we cannot appease God. There is only one punishment appropriate for man's sinfulness: death, eternal death.

Thus we return to our proposition above: Christ died for you. It is only by Christ's atonement for your sins that you are made right with God once more. It is not possible, because of the severity of our sin, for us to make things right with God. Scripture is very clear plan says: “Jesus said to Him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6, ESV). Further, not only can we only come to the Father through the Son, but we all can have access to the Father because of what the Son has done for us. “Now all of us can come to the Father … because of what Christ has done for us.” (Ephesians 2:18, NLT)

Thank God, praise Him, and rejoice in Him because of what He has done through His Son. You have been saved by His grace through faith that He implants in your heart. God's love is so tremendous that He sacrificed His Son that you might live, eternally, forever, world without end. Amen.

  June 2021  
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