'Rome' Tagged Posts

'Rome' Tagged Posts

REFORMATION 501 – THE HEIDELBERG DISPUTATION

Last year we marked the 500th anniversary of what most folks consider the starting pistol of the Lutheran Reformation – Luther’s hammering of the       95 Theses to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Oct. 31. 1517.   With these theses or statements in Latin, Luther proposed a debate among the theologians on the sale of indulgences to purchase time off purgatory.  The debate he asked for didn’t happen that year. But the 95 Theses were translated, printed and…

THE CONSOLATION OF BRETHREN

In one of our Lutheran Confessions, The Smalcald Articles, Martin Luther talks about the different ways in which the Gospel gives us counsel and help.   Predictably he says, “Through the spoken Word…Secondly, through Baptism, Thirdly, through the holy Sacrament of the Altar, Fourthly through the power of the keys.”  And then Luther adds this neat little phrase:  “And also through the mutual conversation and consolation of brethren.” “The mutual conversation and consolation of brethren” is what happens when Christians…

GOD’S JUSTICE FILES

There is, legally speaking, a different burden of proof needed to convict in a criminal trial as opposed to a civil trial.  There are judicial reasons. But after all the “legalese” has been explained, it’s still hard for the average Joe or Jane to figure out how O.J. could be “not guilty” of the murder of his wife, Nicole, and Ronald Goldman in a criminal trial – while at the same time being found “responsible” and “liable” for their deaths…

LIBERTY OR LICENSE?

Paul once framed an issue with a question so shocking that it hits us upside the head.  He asked the Christians at Rome:  “Shall we keep on sinning so that grace may increase?”  He hastened to answer:  ”Absolutely not!” There have always been people who turn liberty from sin into a license to sin.  Noting that Christ’s grace and forgiveness are full and free, they assume they are licensed to wipe their muddy boots on God’s holy will for them.…

GOOD HABITS

Luke tells us that Jesus “went to Nazareth where He had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day He went into the synagogue, as was His custom…” We find similar statements throughout the four Gospels.  Each worship day, Jesus could be found in some synagogue or at the temple in Jerusalem.   Christ did not stand aloof from the family of believers, gathering only with the strong in faith.  He did not think it beneath Him to keep company…

MEET DR. LUKE

In the last couple of years our sermon series have covered portions of both the Old & New Testaments.  Most recently, we have studied: Gems From The Prophet Jeremiah The Acts Of The Apostles The “Joseph” Chapters of Genesis The Life of Solomon from 1 Kings The Letter of Paul To The Philippians The Prophet Obadiah On this first Sunday of Advent we return once more to the heart of it all – to the life of our Lord and…

“WE AIN’T SEEN NOTHIN’ YET!”

To the Christians at Rome, the apostle Paul wrote:  “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.” Paul does not belittle nor deny the sufferings of this present time.  In his epistles, he catalogs his own sufferings for the sake of Christ – beatings, imprisonments, shipwrecks, persecutions and hardships of all kinds. The great heroes of faith listed on the pages of Scripture all have this in common –…

“WHEN YOU PASS THROUGH THE WATERS”

In the second to the last chapter of Acts Paul is shipwrecked on his way to Rome to stand trial before Caesar.  It isn’t the first time.  “Three times I was shipwrecked,” he writes to the Christians at Corinth (2 Corinthians 11:25). In Acts 27 we do not have the longest, but we do have the most precise account ever given of an ancient sea voyage.  Even Homer’s Odyssey does not contain the precise nautical terms used by St. Luke,…

ON THE LIGHTER SIDE

Sometimes humor conveys heavy truths in a gentle way.  Consider this tongue-in-cheek example of a letter from a modern mission board to St. Paul: Dear Sir: We recently considered a recommendation that you serve under our mission board.  We have completed an extensive background check on your ministry.  You will find it enclosed in the spiral binding. To be frank, we wonder how you were able to pass as a bona-fide missionary.  We require 20-20 vision. We note also that…

“TO THE ENDS OF THE EARTH”

The Acts Of The Apostles falls neatly into two parts.  Chapters 1-12 deal with the start of the early church in Jerusalem as it radiates outward.  The apostle Peter is the prominent figure in these early chapters. Chapters 13-28 deal almost exclusively with the spread of the gospel to the Gentiles through the missionary journeys of the apostle Paul. These chapters of Acts are the flesh and blood background of the 13 epistles (letters) of the New Testament which Paul wrote…

LIBERTY OR LICENSE?

Paul once framed an issue with a question so shocking that it hits us upside the head.  He asked the Christians at Rome:  “Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase?”  He hastened to answer the question:  “By no means!  God forbid!” There have always been people who turn liberty from sin into a license to sin.  There is a liberty that is really no liberty at all, but rather a foul bondage. Eve became the first “liberated”…