“I will forgive their guilt, and I will remember their sins no more.” Jeremiah 31:34
Have you ever seen the commercial for 1-800-GOT JUNK? It is for a company that comes to your house and picks up and disposes all of your unwanted junk items. In the commercial all the customer has to do is just point at what they want gone and it is gone immediately. It is advertised as a convenient and simple way to get rid of your mess and clutter.
In a spiritual sense, this is a very fitting description of our hearts. Inside our hearts is this pile of clutter and all the junk of our sins piled everywhere you look. At times we can try and hide our sins by moving them to back corners of our hearts so that we don’t really think about them too much. At times we try and cover them up by stacking all of our “good deeds” on top of them to cover them. Other times we just pretend they aren’t there, but what is the final result with all of these man-made remedies to the clutter and junk of our sins in our hearts? They are still there and our hearts are a spiritual pile of junk!
And what is even worse is that God knows every one of those sins in that pile of sins. He knows all the bad stuff we have said and done. Even when nobody else is watching, God is. Even if you can hide your sins from some people, God knows about them. Every single sin makes God angry. Just think how mad he must be as he thinks about all the sins of the world. It sure would be nice if we could erase God’s memory.
But here’s the good news: God chose to forget our sins. He said, “I will forgive their guilt, and I will remember their sins no more.” Like calling 1-800-GOT JUNK to get rid of earthly junk, we can call God’s spiritual 1-800-GOT SINS to get rid of our “spiritual junk” of sins. This isn’t a company or a phone number, but this is God’s Law and Gospel as they are found in the Bible. God’s Law leads us to see our sins and call on Jesus in true repentance and guess what happens to all our sins? God had a plan to get rid of all our sins.
They are gone! We call this the Gospel. God knows what we have done, but he chooses to forget about all the sinful things we have done. He didn’t erase that memory. Instead, he used his Son, Jesus. Our sins didn’t magically disappear, but rather Jesus took them from us. God got angry at Jesus instead of us. He punished Jesus instead of us. He killed Jesus instead of us. When Jesus died on the cross, he used his innocent blood shed on the cross to wash from God’s memory every one of our sins.
Imagining Jesus on the cross can make us sad, because we know our sins made him suffer. But imagining Jesus on the cross can make us happy too. Christians gave a happy name to the day when Jesus died; it’s called Good Friday. It is good that Jesus erased God’s memory of our sins. By the power of Jesus perfect life and perfect death, God remembers our sins no more. That is what we call grace and it is by God’s grace alone that we are saved. Thank You Jesus!
Pastor Mark Gartner
Daylight Saving Time
Daylight Saving time ends on the morning of Nov. 6th. Remember to set your clocks back one hour Saturday night and get an extra hour of sleep.
Teen Bible Study
Our new Teen Bible study has begun "The Bible On Trial: Beyond A Reasonable Doubt" In this class the case is made that the Scriptures are authentic, dependable, God-inspired and worthy-not only of our full attention but of our complete faith.
Sunday Morning Bible Class
In our Sunday morning Bible Class Pastor Gartner is leading a Bible Study on the book of Hosea entitled: “Hosea -- God’s Unbroken Love For A Broken People.” Join us as we see God’s Law and Gospel at work in lives of God’s people of Israel and how that applies to us living today.
Monday/Tuesday Bible Class
In our Monday/Tuesday Class Pastor Schoell is leading a study on the Augsburg Confession (AC) of 1530. Although written for laypeople (much like Luther's Catechism) it is unfamiliar and unknown to many. Together we'll see why it is considered the chief confession of the Lutheran church and is still relevant for today.
Ladies Bible Study
All ladies of the congregation are invited to join us Tuesday, November 8th at 1:00 pm for Bible study and Lutheran Women's Missionary Society (LWMS) updates. Our Bible Study will continue our study on the “10 Lies about God” This month the lie we will study is, “God Helps Those Who Help Themselves.” We meet in the church basement.
We continue to live-stream our services and post our worship folders online. We will be recording our Sunday 8:00 am service which means you can watch any time after 8:00 am on Sunday morning. If you need any help accessing these resources, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
You can find our worship services at: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCCsQs-LDzlHE1NTjOaVaQ2A.
You can find a bulletin for each Worship Service so you can follow along here: https://stjohn-appleton.org/bulletins
Listen To Our Worship Service Though Your Phone:
If for some reason you cannot access our YouTube Livestream or you don’t have Internet at your home, you can always phone 1-920-212-3625 after 10:30 am each Sunday to listen to our service through your phone.