Monday, September 30, 2019
Romans 5:18-19: Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. For as by the one man's disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man's obedience the many will be made righteous.
The Depth of Sin:
Most people don't get it. I sometimes wonder if most Christians get it.
What don't we get?
How the sin and disobedience of Adam led to mankind's sin and disobedience.
Think about it this way. Adam had one command only. "Don't eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. If you do, you will surely die." With a little help from Satan, Adam disobeyed God. Then he died, just as God promised.
Death came as a result of sin.
And before Adam died, the human race inherited his inclination to sin. It is in our "DNA." We are sinners through and through. As far as God the Father is concerned, there is nothing in us to see that's good. There is no faith. There is no grace. There is only the human sin.
And human sin is deadly, both temporarily and eternally. You can be a really nice person. You can be "kind to animals." You can be a social activist. You can be a member of NRA. It doesn't matter. The condition of human beings is still the same. As St. Paul states above, "Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men..." and "For as by the one man's disobedience the many were made sinners..."
The Depth of Grace:
"So the one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men." Jesus, the ONE man AND God, the ONLY sinless human being, the ONLY one sinless before God the Father because Jesus is GOD the Son, sacrificed His life for the sake of every human being. Because of Jesus and His act of Grace, we have justification.
What does justification mean?
We are declared "NOT GUILTY" of all sin by God the Father because of Jesus. Jesus took our sin upon Himself to the cross and became the sacrifice that removes them from us. So we are released from the judgment of death. Jesus said, "He who believes in me, even though he dies, yet will he live."
"By the one man's obedience the many will be made righteous." We are right with God the Father. We have a new relationship with Him. God the Father sees us as He did Adam and Eve before the fall. We are connected. We are His.
When We Believe This...
It is all ours. Jesus is God the Father's gift to us. He is life. He is grace He is mercy. He is love. Jesus is THE GIFT of justification and righteousness. Receive the gift. Take the gift. It is all yours.
Tuesday, September 17, 2019
John 1:9-14: The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, yet the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and His own people did not receive Him. But to all who did receive Him, who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen His glory, glory as the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.
As We Look at God...
We see and hear John describing God using two fundamental words. They are light and Word.
Light has a wonderful characteristic. It keeps us from being in the dark. I know, that sounds overly simplistic. That doesn't make it any less true. Light dispels and displaces darkness. Light brings feelings of warmth and peace.
Then why in God's green earth, do we shy away from THE LIGHT? I think the main reason is, light exposes darkness. Light brings that was hidden out of hiding. Think of lights around an office, factory, or any other building. Lights around the perimeter keeps people who are trying to hide sinful deeds away.
We do not like being in the light because our sins are dark and harmful. Look at Adam and Eve. They tried to hide from God because they KNEW they had sinned.
Light brings peace and forgiveness. The exposure of sin that light brings at first brings shock and guilt. It then brings relief and mercy. For it is the LIGHT of GOD who brings mercy and peace and forgiveness through His death executed in the darkness.
And when we believe in Jesus, the Light of the World, we are Jesus' brothers and sisters and the children of God the Father.
Words carry meaning. Words can hurt. Words can lift up. Words teach. Words lead to action. Words have impact.
And THE WORD, who is Jesus Christ, speaks volumes. This WORD, who was involved in creation, forgiveness, justification, and being set apart, became a person similar to you and me.
He was, and is, fully human. Jesus became a person, just like the people He came to save. AND the greatest difference between Jesus and us is, Jesus is also GOD!.
THE WORD takes away sin. The WORD is sacrificed for sin, both yours and mine. THE WORD gave up His body and shed His blood. AND THE WORD rose to life to bring life to you and me both now and forever.
And the Light and the Word:
Wednesday, September 11, 2019
18 Years Ago:
I remember exactly where I was and what was happening on that day.
I was in the middle of a prayer meeting with and for law enforcement people when someone came in and said a plane had hit one of the World Trade Center towers. At that moment, I thought that it may have been a Cessna or another small plane.
It wasn't until I was going to another pastors meeting that I realized what was happening. Our meeting was dominated by watching the news coverage that day. We were all dumbfounded.
God's Word through St. Paul's to the Thessalonians gives to us our lives and how we are to live today.
1st Thessalonians 4:1-2: Finally, then, brothers, we ask and urge you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God, just as you are doing, that you do so more and more. For you know what instructions we gave you through the Lord Jesus.
Our lives today, as well as everyday, are based upon God's Words for us. Words like,
You shall have no other god but me. That does not include idols or anything or anyone more special than me.
You shall not use God's name in a manner that is not respectful.
You shall honor your mother and your father.
You shall not murder.
You shall not commit adultery.
You shall not steal.
You shall not bear false witness, or testimony, against your neighbor.
You shall not covet your neighbor's house.
You shall not covet your neighbor's wife, or husband, man servant, maid servant, ox, donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.
God's word is ways by which we please Him. God's word opens our lives to His direction, strength, focus, and life. God's word was made flesh and He made His dwelling among us.
God's Word, Jesus Christ, is the perfect fulfillment of God's word. He knows we can't and won't. We know we can't and won't. It is time to be honest with ourselves about that reality. So by believing and knowing that, we can realize God's grace in Jesus more fully. Jesus is also the sacrifice that "keeps on giving." Jesus is the one time sacrifice so that we are forgiven of all of our sins. Jesus' forgiveness frees us from sin, death, the influence of Satan, and eternal separation from God the Father. Jesus' resurrection gives to us the promise of a brand new life to live right now as well as a brand new life to live with Him forever.
We experience God's words with appreciation for what Jesus did along with what God the Father calls us to do.
We follow His words not because we HAVE TO, but because we WANT TO.
We live each day honoring those served with love, cared with heart, and gave the full measure of devotion to save other lives.
Pastor Robert Hemsath joined Faith Lutheran Church and School as the Senior Pastor in January 2017. Pastor Hemsath comes to FLC from Christ the King Lutheran Church in Waxahachie, TX. He has also served congregations in Aberdeen, ID and Pocatello, ID. He has been a Lutheran pastor for the past 20 years.