Tuesday, October 30, 2018

The Bethany Bullet Sermon Message - Week of October 28, 2018

Sermon: “Reformation: By, Through & For
                   Reforming: For, Through & By”

Before he became the famous, or infamous, Reformer (depending on your view) Luther was a simple priest.  While a resident of the Augustinian monastery in Erfurt he could often be found prostrate before the altar pleading, "I am yours Lord, save me!"

Luther knew the gravity of his depravity and was burdened with his sin.  Release, however, was not found in the chancel but the classroom.  Preparing to lecture on St Paul's letter of Romans to university students, he found in the pages of Scripture the promise of God that "flung the gates of heaven wide open." 

The burden of sin, which weighed Luther down, and which the church had said could be lifted with personal action - (say a prayer, light a candle, purchase a mass, buy an indulgence, reverence a relic, etc.) never actually helped.  Yet, there in Scripture was the clear promise of divine intervention through which the burden of sin is lifted and we are saved "by grace, through faith, for Christ's sake."

By:  Not the result of anything from us nor in us but the result of God's favor for us, His grace.

Through: Not brought about via our action(s) nor decision(s) but simply personal trust in Jesus person and work, Through faith.

For: Not on account of our membership in the church or actions in the same but on account of Jesus perfect and holy life, His innocent suffering and death, and His victorious resurrection from the dead, For Christ's sake. 

As those burdened by sin no more, on account of Christ, we find ourselves however burdened anew by the work of the Spirit.  As God's redeemed children we bear a burden for the gathered and the scattered; those found and those yet lost.  And making a daily plea on their account, "They are yours Lord save them!" is where we Lutherans "Ought be found." 

(The word picture below was crafted by a member while listening to Sunday's message.  Perhaps it will help your visualization of this Scriptural truth too)

You are invited to go to the altar for 31 consecutive days, starting on Reformation day, praying for your brothers and sisters in the faith.  Pray by name or ministry team ..."They are yours Lord, save them!" and again for the outsider, those not yet a part of the community of faith.  Pray by name or in general..."They are yours Lord, save them!"  

Send an email, voicemail or text to PK to let us know you'll be heading to the altar these next 31 days burdened for others.  If you need a reminder download the Bethany app as we'll be sending out a daily call. 

-Pr. Kevin Kritzer


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