Thoughts from Pastor - September 2018

September 2018

Back to the Bible - A Challenge!

In a recent edition of The Lutheran Witness, our Synodical President issued a challenge to the members and clergy of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod to return to the Bible.

He wrote, in part:

Jesus preached, “Back to the Bible!” “You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me” (John 5:39). The apostles preached, “Back to the Bible!” In fact, every great era of reform in the Church’s life has begun with the cry to repentance, and “Back to the Bible!

The Lutheran Reformation was exactly such an event. The Lutheran Confessional Revival of the 19th century was also such an event. After a century of pastors and scholars denying that the Scriptures are the Word of God — and even that Christ is the God-Man, “the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29) — a revival of serious study of the Word of God began in the 1820s. Soon many were captivated by the truth of Scripture. In Germany, after many began reading the Word again, they read the Lutheran Confessions and came to the joyful discovery that the Confessions agree with the Word, and that, because they confessed this, they themselves were, in fact, Lutheran. This happened to many of the great founders of the LCMS, including C.F.W. Walther, Friedrich Wyneken, Wilhelm Sihler and Wilhelm Loehe.

The Scriptures are God’s own inspired and infallible Word. “Holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit” (2 Peter 1:21). Jesus Himself quoted the Old Testament as the very Word of God and as absolutely reliable and authoritative (“the mouth of God” Matt. 4:4; “It is written,” Matt. 21:13; Mark 11:17; Luke 19:46; “this which is written must be fulfilled in me,” Luke 22:37; “Have you not read that which was spoken unto you by God …” Matt. 22:31–32; and much more!). Back to the Bible!

  • Can we be sure of Christ, forgiveness and eternal life? Back to the Bible! (1 John 4:1–4)
  • How shall we treat each other in the Church? Back to the Bible! (1 Corinthians 13)
  • Shall we share the Word of the Gospel with others? Back to the Bible! (Luke 19:10)
  • How shall we hold up under suffering and ill health? Back to the Bible! (Romans 5; Hebrews 12; 1 Peter 1)

There is no problem of faith, life, family or Church for which the Bible does not have answers. As we move toward the Synod’s 175th anniversary in 2022, let’s be people of the Bible. …

Back to the Bible! I challenge you!

Back to the Bible — Challenge Accepted!

Beginning Tuesday, September 4 at 6:30 pm and Wednesday, September 5 at 3:00 pm we will go Back to the Bible! as we resume our Midweek, Bible Studies. Accepting the challenge of President Harrison, and by the grace of God, we will study the Holy Gospel according to St. Matthew this year and subsequent Books of the Bible in the years following. I will do my best to keep the same schedule for both the Tuesday evening and Wednesday afternoon studies so if you know you will miss the one you usually attend, you might attend the other and stay current.

Even as the LCMS will soon celebrate it’s 175th anniversary in 2022, our St. James congregation will celebrate its 175th anniversary in 2023. Let’s accept the challenge of our President and, moving forward, be people of the Bible.

Back to the Bible!

 

Blessings in Christ!