170702 Romans 5:1-11

Text: Romans 5:1-11
Theme: Rejoice In The Lord Always

No tour of Rome would be complete without a visit to the Pantheon. Originally built by the Roman consul Marcus Agrippa in 27 BC, the massive domed structure remains a "must see" destination for tourists today.

The dome itself is 43 meters in diameter and stretches 43 meters from the floor to the top. It is supported by brick and concrete walls that measure twenty feet thick, and when it was built it was the largest structure of its kind in the world. The hole in the top of the dome, called the oculus, is open to the sky. And some people say the dome is so high that rain evaporates before it hits the floor.

Today the Pantheon serves as a Roman Catholic church (the Church of St. Mary and all Martyrs), but this was not always the case. True to the meaning of its name, "all gods," the Pantheon was originally built to honor the gods and goddesses of Roman mythology.

You are probably familiar with some of the more prominent gods (names like Jupiter, Juno, Apollo and Venus), but the Romans recognized a host of lesser deities as well. Roman religion was built on a foundation of ritual and ceremony, and about one day out of every four was set apart for the worship of the gods.

On the surface the Romans were a very religious people, but that was the problem. It was all on the surface. No one actually believed in the gods, at least not anyone who claimed to be educated. The religious skepticism of the day culminated in the poetry of Lucretius, who declared that faith in the gods had been the curse of the human race.

This was the spiritual atmosphere that surrounded the Christians who lived in Rome, people who regularly passed by the Pantheon, people who found themselves surrounded by gods in a godless society. As worshippers of the one true God, they were mocked. They were ridiculed. They were persecuted. So what was this small band of believers to do?

Would you believe "rejoice?" I'm not kidding. I'm actually borrowing from the inspired words of the apostle Paul. And his words of encouragement for first century Christians are no less meaningful for us, for twenty-first century Christians trying to find our way in a skeptical, secular world. No matter how tough things are, no matter how difficult the situation appears to be, children of God always have reason to rejoice...


I. Rejoice in the hope that is yours by faith
II. Rejoice in the God who gives you that hope

Read more: 170702 Romans 5:1-11

170625 Romans 4:25

Sermon Text: Romans 4:25

Theme: Not Guilty!

Last week, Pastor Larry Schlomer started our "Summer in Rome" sermon series by reminding us that you and I enjoy a right relationship with the one true God. It is not because of anything that you or I have done. It is only because of our Savior-God's grace to us. Today, as we continue our "Summer in Rome", our tour through the Apostle Paul's inspired letter to the Christian in Rome takes us right into God's court room. At this time, I would like us to focus on one verse from Romans chapter 4. It is in verse 25 that we read this Good News:

He (Jesus) was handed over to death because of our trespasses and was raised to life because of our justification.

The Evangelical Heritage Version™ (EHVTM) of the Bible is held by The Wartburg Project. © 2016. All rights reserved worldwide.

Read more: 170625 Romans 4:25

170618 Romans 3:21-28

Guest Speaker: Pastor Larry Schlomer

Romans 3:21-28
The Right Kind of Righteous

Summer is here. School is out. Thunderstorms are booming. Temperatures are climbing. Vacation days are being planned. This week we officially move from Spring to summer and I trust your plans are coming together to spend some good time being refreshed and renewed. I hope it is not too late, but I would like to make sure you add a very important trip to those plans. This is big. Pastors Pagels and Schmidt have offered to be your tour guides and have been busy making all the arrangements to help you spend a Summer in Rome. One of the many perks of this trip is that you won't have to spend 12 hours on a plane, worry about passports or figure out how you could afford to come along. It is going to happen right here. Our summer sermon series is going to dive into a study of Paul's letter to the Romans. Whatever your plans are for relaxing and vacationing this summer, these Sunday mornings can't be missed. Everyone is invited to spend a Summer in Rome.

Read more: 170618 Romans 3:21-28

170611 Genesis 1:1-2:3

Text: Genesis1:1-2:3
Theme: The Origins Of Intelligent Design

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, dear friends:

ID. Put those two letters together and they mean different things to different people. If you have a pen pal in Boise, you probably recognize ID as the postal abbreviation for Idaho. If you are looking to buy a bottle of wine at the grocery store, the checkout person might ask for some ID. In that case, ID stands for identification.

In recent years the letters "ID" have become associated with something else, a movement in the scientific community known as intelligent design. At the risk of oversimplification intelligent design is the assertion that certain features of the universe and living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, not an undirected process such as natural selection (a theory that is consistent with evolution and widely accepted by the scientific establishment).

The beginnings of the modern Intelligent Design movement can be traced back to the 1980s, but the term itself is actually much older. It can be found in an 1847 issue of Scientific American, and ironically it appeared in a letter written by Charles Darwin in 1861.

We aren't here today to debate the claims made by the proponents of intelligent design. We don't need to argue about how and when the movement began...because we already know. It began in the beginning, the beginning of the Bible, the beginning of history, the beginning of the world. Only God was present at creation, and in the opening verses of Genesis he tells us everything we need to know about...


I. The design of the Creator
II. The design of his creation

Read more: 170611 Genesis 1:1-2:3

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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.


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