Showing posts from June, 2013

Sermon on Galatians 3:23-4:7 for the 5th Sunday after Pentecost, Part 4: "Faith in Christ"

Grace, mercy, and peace to you from God our Father and from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, Amen. Today we’re in the fourth part of our series on the book of Galatians. And sin, law, faith, and Christ are the focus of today’s reading. Faith is a tremendously important word to us, and is widely “borrowed” even outside the church. But it’s often used in a fuzzy and vague way. Statements like “you just gotta have faith”, for example. Faith in what? Believe in yourself? Believe that everything will just be ok, even if it doesn’t seem that way? On the other hand, the Bible uses the word faith with great clarity. The closest synonym to faith would be “trust”—and both faith and trust must always have an object. The person or thing faith or trust looks to. That which we believe in. This helps us understand that faith or trust can’t really exist by itself, “aimed at nothing”—or it will receive exactly nothing. Also, we’ll see that faith or trust aimed at the wrong person or thing, won’t do u

Sermon on Galatians 1:11-24, for the 3rd Sunday after Pentecost, Part 2 of 6

·          Last week: Paul’s vigorous response to the Galatians, astonished they were abandoning Christ and His Gospel, for a false gospel. Strenuously argued his gospel is from God, not man. Evident because centered on Christ, not man, and all glory to God. ·          First, pause to define “gospel.” Good news or good message. But not just any good news, but here, precisely the gospel taught by Paul, or the Gospel of Jesus Christ, has a particular content: the death and resurrection of Jesus for the forgiveness of our sins. His whole saving act accomplished for us, by grace (undeserved love), received by us through faith. Pastor Roschke’s sermon next week will touch in greater depth on what that gospel is, but this “gospel” or good news, stands distinct from God’s other holy message—the Law, which shows us our sins and condemns us. The Gospel is what frees us and comforts us with the love of God, and delivers us from the judgment of the Law. ·          Anyone could claim their

Sermon on Galatians 1:1-12, for the 2nd Sunday after Pentecost, Part 1: "Divine Origin"

·          Intro to 6 part sermon series on Galatians: Apostle Paul, to the Christian church in Galatia (modern day Turkey). Church founded by Paul, but now in his absence, overtaken by a powerful and destructive false teaching. Paul was no stranger to churches suffering confusion about the Word of God, wrestling with immorality in their midst, or a facing a host of other serious concerns. Uniqueness of Galatians in the fervor, anger, and vigorousness of his reply. Skips his usual pleasant greeting, his habit of thanking God for the church he’s addressing, and almost immediately expresses his profound shock and disappointment. ·          Why? What moved Paul to such heights of emotion and passion, that even remarkably dysfunctional churches like the one in Corinth, did not create the same intensity of response? ·          Here, above all else, it’s the heart of the Gospel that’s at stake. The Gospel, that stands as the theme of this powerful and short, 6 chapter letter. The good n