This does not mean that God’s word has failed, because not all who are descended from Israel are really Israel. (Romans 9:6 EHV)
Please allow me to repeat myself a little bit from the sermon this past Sunday. This verse from Paul comes after he points out that the Jews fell away from faith in the one true God despite the many blessings they enjoyed as God’s own children. This might conclude some people to think that God’s Word failed—that it is not powerful and effective. This misconception is what Paul is addressing here. And the proof that God’s Word works? You and all believers! The fact that you believe is proof that the word works. Many of us were brought to faith at our baptisms, while some of us where brought to faith when someone shared the Word with us—and all of us were kept in the one true faith through the Word and the Lord’s Supper, for through these means the Lord feeds and nourishes our faith! And it is through faith that we are part of Spiritual Israel—Abraham’s spiritual descendants.
So the Word has not failed; it works because it is the very Word of God and the Holy Spirit works through it. There are a number of passages that tell us this; here are a few: Isaiah 55:10-11, As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. Hebrews 4:12, The word of God is living and active, sharper than any double-edged sword. It penetrates even to the point of dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow, even being able to judge the ideas and thoughts of the heart. And, Romans 10:17, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message comes through the word of Christ.
So the Word works. And since that is the case, how does it affect what we do as a congregation and individual Christians? It means that as a congregation we gather around the Word of God—it is the basis of what we do. It means that if we want more people to join our congregation, if we want our stewardship to be better, if we want people to obey the Lord, then we must share the Word with them! If we want someone to believe in Jesus, or to start worshiping him, then what must happen? They must hear the Word! So many Christians and many congregations are concerned about other things—they think that we must have a certain worship style to reach certain people; they want the church to have all sort of events to reach people in the community, or that the church has to invent new and exiting things to do to retain today’s youth.
While their hearts are in the right place, the bottom line is that they are entirely off-base. The bottom line is that the gospel is the only thing that creates and sustains faith. Prayer—it is a good thing; however, so many are eager to pray someone to faith or adherence to God’s Word; but not so eager to actually share the Word with them. If we want to retain today’s youth, gain more members, and reach more people—one thing needs to be done: share the Word! It’s as simple as that, the Word still works and it will always work. It does not return to the Lord empty; so we remain in the Word ourselves and share that Word with others, so that they too may believe and join us in heaven forever.
Pastor Andrew Frey
Sunday school for your children (3K to 8th grade) began on Sunday, September 8, 2019 at 9:15 am. We pray that you would make the most out of this great opportunity for your children to learn God’s Word!
Sunday morning Bible classes have resumed. Pastor Frey will be leading us through a study on "The Lord's Supper." We will see what God's Word has to say about the Lord's Supper and we will see the many blessings God gives to us through this sacrament.
Our Monday/Tuesday Bible classes also have resumed. The same class is offered on either Monday at 8:00 am or Tuesday evening at 5:30 pm. Pastor Gartner will be leading a study of God’s Word under the theme: “What Does It Mean To Be A Lutheran?” Have you ever had questions about some of the main differences between all the Christian churches or maybe just have wondered how come we there are so many different types of Christian churches? If so, please come and join us as we explore what God’s Word has to say about some very key teachings that the devil is trying to distort.
Mission Festival Sunday
Sunday September 22, we will be celebrating our Mission Festival Sunday. Pastor Steven Prahl who serves at Foundation Lutheran Church in Peyton, Colorado, which is the Mission congregation that St. John supported this year with our yearly Mission Offering, will serve as our Guest preacher and will also lead a Bible study about his congregation and what it is like to serve in a mission congregation. Please mark your calendars and plan to join us for this special Mission Festival Sunday. We will be having a special door offering on that Sunday that will be used to help support this mission field.
Another year of choir is about to begin at St. John. Our first rehearsal will be Wednesday, September 11 at 7:00 pm in the church balcony. No experience necessary! All are welcome. New singers are encouraged to attend. Come and worship with your voices. Enjoy Christian fellowship! Contact Dave Dahl at (920) 915-3867 with any questions.
We still have a watch with a pink band that was found at the Church picnic. You may pick it up from the counter in the back of church or talk to one of the Pastors.