171001 Ephesians 4:32-5:2

Text: Ephesians 4:32 - 5:2
Theme: Forgive Each Other!

In the sermon last weekend, I asked the question: "How do you know that you are forgiven?" And we heard once again the Good News that because of our Savior, Jesus Christ, you and I are able to take our loving Father in heaven at his word when he says, "I forgive you!" Rejoicing in our own forgiveness, today you and I hear the encouragement to FORGIVE EACH OTHER! I invite you to listen as I read once again a portion of the Second Lesson that was read earlier. From Paul's inspired letter to the Ephesians, in the final verse of chapter 4 and the first two verses of chapter 5, we read this:


Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

Read more: 171001 Ephesians 4:32-5:2

170924 Galatians 2:11-21

Text: Galatians 2:11-21
Theme: How Do You Know That God Forgives You?

Has this ever happened to you? A friend and you are talking. Then your friend says something that hurts you very badly. Because you are so hurt by what your friend says, the two of you don't speak for a long time. Finally, your friend comes to you and apologizes for what he or she said. To which you respond, "I forgive you." But inside you are still angry and hurt. The words, "I forgive you" are easy enough for us to say. However, there are times when we say those words, but deep down we don't truly forgive the person for what they had done to us or said to us.

Because you and I far too often fail to have a truly forgiving attitude, we may be tempted to think that our God deals with us in the same way. We may be tempted to think, "God says he forgives me. But how could he forgive me time after time after time." All three readings from God's Word before us this weekend give us the opportunity to talk about forgiveness. Specifically, here in Galatians chapter 2, we consider the answer to the question, "How do you know that God forgives you?"

Read more: 170924 Galatians 2:11-21

170917 Romans 11:33-36

Text: Romans 11:33-36
Theme: A Doxology Rooted In Theology

Since you are worshipping in a Lutheran church today, I am guessing that most of you know who Martin Luther is. Most famously, Luther was the monk who posted ninety-five theses on the Castle Church door in Wittenberg. But unless you are a church history buff, you probably don't know a whole lot about the history of the Lutheran Church beyond Martin Luther.

After Luther's death a number of his followers championed his cause. They clarified and codified Lutheran biblical teaching. They wrote hymns that allowed the people to praise God in their own language. They preached sermons that pointed out error and proclaimed the truth.

Sometimes called the Age of Orthodoxy, the century after Luther's death in 1546 was critical for the survival and spread of the truth Luther had rediscovered. But there was a downside. Over time this quest for the truth became (at least for some) an obsession with "being right." Sermons were aimed at the head, not the heart. Faith was reduced to a system of proof passages and dogmatic formulas.

Pietism was a religious movement that sprang up in the 1700s as a reaction to this heavy emphasis on doctrine. Pietism elevated subjective feelings over objective truth. Pietism can be summarized by the simple phrase: "Deeds, not creeds." In other words, how you live is just as important as (and maybe even more important than) what you believe.

So who was right, the people who stressed the importance of believing the right things or the people who stressed the importance of doing the right things? The correct answer, and Paul's answer, is both.

The first eleven chapters of Romans read more like a dogmatics text book than a personal letter. Paul tackles heavy subjects like justification and sanctification and election. And so it might come as a surprise that this part of the book ends the way it does. Instead of summarizing his argument, instead of drawing a logical conclusion, Paul bursts into a song of praise.

This doxology teaches us a valuable lesson, and the lesson is this. Christian teaching and Christian living are not incompatible. They are inseparable. Paul's words demonstrate that the Word of God naturally leads the people of God to respond. Simply put, Paul's song of praise is...

A DOXOLOGY ROOTED IN THEOLOGY

Theology is the study of God, and today we will focus our attention on three of his attributes...

I. God's wisdom
II. God's justice
III. God's mercy

Read more: 170917 Romans 11:33-36

170910 Matthew 16:13-20

Sermon Text: Matthew 16:13-20
Sermon Theme: Confidently Confess Christ!

Two professional football players both kneel before their game. One kneels to protest during the national anthem, and he is praised and celebrated for expressing what he believes in. The other kneels to offer a prayer before taking the field, and he is mocked and ridiculed for expressing what he believes in. This shouldn't come as a surprise to us. Our Lord Jesus knew that, in a sinful world, his followers would be hated. In John chapter 15 our Savior tells you and me, "If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. Remember the words I spoke to you: 'No servant is greater than his master.' If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also...They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the One who sent me." Despite the hatred of the sinful world, you and I are to share with others what we know to be true about the Lord Jesus: that he is the world's one and only Savior. Based on our Gospel Lesson for this Sunday morning, you and I hear the encouragement: CONFIDENTLY CONFESS CHRIST!

Read more: 170910 Matthew 16:13-20

Our Mission Statement:

Compelled by the love of Christ, St. Matthew’s Evangelical Lutheran Church and School seek to reach out to our families, community and world, using Law and Gospel to make disciples, growing and nurturing them in their Christian faith and life.

 

Worship Schedule

Sunday
8:00 A.M. & 10:30 A.M.

9:15 A.M. Bible Study for All Ages

Monday at 7:00 P.M.

Television Broadcast
Thursday at Noon & 7:00 P.M.
Sunday at 10:00 A.M.
on Charter Cable Station 985

 

St. Matthew's Lutheran Church
818 West Wisconsin Avenue
Oconomowoc, WI 53066
262-912-6060

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