"Because all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,” Romans 3:23-24 (EHV)
Most of you are well-aware that the impeachment inquiry hearings started today. Although this is not a trial—it’s part of investigation into determining whether or not President Trump has done anything that might be an impeachable offense, I can’t help but think of a courtroom when watching some of the procedures. The past Sunday was Last Judgment Sunday. We know that whenever the Lord comes again, he is going to come in his full glory and judge the living and the dead.
The reason why you have a trial (or an inquiry, for that matter) is because you don’t know whether or not someone is guilty of committing a crime—the judge, the jury, etc. do not know if the person in question is guilty, so a case has to be made and evidence is weighed before a decision is made. We, on the other hand, know full-well what we have done. We were born sinners and since then we have done nothing but sin against the Lord. By our thoughts, words, and actions, we have failed to obey God’s commands. And because of our sins we deserve nothing but punishment. There is no question: all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. And there is no hiding from God, who knows all things. He knows every sin we have ever committed, he knows every sinful thought, word, and action. He is aware of the sins we thought no one else knows about; and he even knows of the sins that we were ignorant of ourselves.
And yet, he still forgives us; for the blood of Jesus Christ, his Son, cleanses us from all sin (1 John 1:7). From all sin—every sin I have ever committed, my secret sins, the sins of my youth, the sins I was unaware of or had forgotten all about—he fully and freely forgives each and every one of our sins.
All may have sinned, but all are justified. Here we are back in a courtroom. God is our righteous judge looking down on us guilty sinners, but freely by his grace, he declares us not guilty (which is what the word, justification, means). On account of Christ, our Lord does not count our sins against us or treat us as our sins deserve. Since Christ suffered for our sins, he removed our guilt far from us and we are declared not guilty.
How comforting is it to know that the one who will return to judge the world, is the one who gave up his life to save the world—that the one who comes with his righteous and just judgment paid for our sins already so that we could be declared not guilty! There is no need for a trial, we have been declared not guilty, and so we wait for the Lord to return on the Last Day so that we will live with him forever.
— Pastor Andrew Frey
Starting this week Pastor Gartner will begin a short study on the practice of Stewardship—how God wants us to use all the gifts that he has graciously given to us—whether it’s the use of our time, our talents, our treasures, our bodies, his great creation, etc. Plan on joining us for this study on Sunday mornings at 9:15am. On Monday mornings and Tuesday evenings Pastor Frey will begin a study on the letters of John the Apostle. In his first letter John expertly weaves doctrine with practice—a practical letter filled with passages on the love and mercy of Christ. Please plan on joining us as we study these interesting letters to God’s people.
NOTE: We do have audio recordings and the Lesson Sheets of these Bible Classes. If you have been unable to attend and would like these sent to you, please email Pastor Frey or Pastor Gartner.
Join us on Wednesday, November 27th at 6:30pm or Thursday, November 28th at 9:00am as we join together to give thanks to our Lord for all the gracious gifts he has given us throughout this year. Also, plan on joining us for our pie fellowship after the worship service on Wednesday—bring a pie for all to share—enjoy some Christian fellowship and taste some delicious pies!
Advent and Christmas Services and Practices
As we approach December please keep the following worship services and events along with their times in your mind that you can join us in worshiping our coming Savior!
Midweek Advent Services
December 4, 11, 17 at 10:30am and 6:30pm
Children’s Christmas Practices
December 7, 14, 21 at 8:00 am
Christmas For Kids
December 14 from 9:30-11:00am
December 14 at 1:00pm
Children’s Christmas Service
December 21 at 9:30am and 11:00am. Advent 4 at 8:00 and Monday at 6:30
Christmas Eve Candlelight Worship
December 24 at 3:00pm, 5:00pm, and 7:00pm
Christmas Day Worship with Holy Communion
December 25 at 9:00am
New Year’s Eve Worship with Holy Communion
December 31 at 7:00pm