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PASTOR'S POST:  AUGUST 2019

 God's Very Essence and Our Response

We have come to discover that God's essence; God's very personality is revealed in the grace that God presents to everyone. We are saved by grace through faith Ephesians 2:8. But understanding grace is more than accepting the free offer, by God, for forgiveness of sin, the door to eternal life. Most Lutherans see grace as a doctrine rather than a way of life. Grace is the 'breath of life', given by God. We cannot earn our way into God's Kingdom. The Israeliteswere not saved by works, Israel was saved for works.

The great theologian and pastor, Dietrich Bonhoeffer said, "We Lutherans have gathered around the table of grace to nibble at it and leave it for scavengers." That is to say, grace, love, and forgiveness are the catalysts that produce good works.

We try to find God's grace in workaholsim, alcoholism, successism, materialism, sexism and controlism. Those deceivers never produce the results that God's accepted grace produces. Jesus Christ is the true bread that sustains our deepest cravings, forever. Dr. Martin Luther wrote the following, "I am seeking and thirsting for nothing else than a gracious God. And He earnestly offers Himself as such and urges even those who spurn Him and are His enemies to accept His as such. We are saved for works, not by works."

We are either driven by grace or law. A man moved to a new neighborhood. As he went around meeting his neighbors he found that a Christian family lived on one side of him and a judge on the other side. He wrote to his brother, "I've got law on one side and grace on the other." We predominately live by grace or law. Do you know your dominant theological outlook? If not, then just observe how you treat others. Are you willing to overlook their faults and praise what good you see? Are you willing to let things pass or do you want to confront everything you deem an inequity? Do you want to control or are you willing to allow others their latitude?

We can never live up to the Law, because we are sinners. We must depend on Absolution and God's Grace (undeserved love). If you lived between grace and law, which one would you visit with the most? What is the point of this article? No point is being made. Just some things I think about. Sometimes thinking about these things are instructive for me.

Blessing to you and yours,
Pastor