151115 John 5:24-29

Text: John 5:24-29
Theme: Every Christian Is A S.A.I.N.T.

Please close your eyes and clear your brain and get yourself ready to remember the first image that enters your mind when I say this word: "saint." It really isn't practical to ask every one of you what you saw, so let me suggest a couple possibilities.

Raise your hand if you saw a statue or painting or stained glass window depicting one of the holy men or women of the Bible. Raise your hand if you saw one of your sainted relatives, maybe a grandma or grandpa who is now in heaven. Raise your hand if you saw another Christian you know and respect and admire. And finally, raise your hand if you saw a picture of yourself.

Just as I suspected, I don't see any hands in the air for that one. Why is that? Why didn't you immediately identify yourself as a saint? Maybe it's because you remember some of the hurtful things you have said. Maybe it's because you can't forget some of the awful things you have done. Maybe it's because you know what kinds of evil thoughts your mind is capable of producing.

At the beginning of this service we confessed that we are disobedient sinners, that we have done what is evil and failed to do what is good, that we deserve eternal punishment. And so to think of ourselves as saints, to put ourselves on the same level as people like Peter or Paul or Matthew (the namesake of our congregation), would be the height of arrogance. Or would it?

Martin Luther observed that it was common for first century Christians to call each other saints, and he argued that this practice should be retained. Luther said: "When Christians call themselves holy after Christ, this is not arrogance; it is honoring and praising God. For thereby we do not praise the malodorous holiness of our own works but His Baptism, Word, grace, and Spirit, which we do not have of ourselves; He gave them to us."

Because Jesus sacrificed his life for me, I am forgiven. Because Jesus shed his blood for me, my sins have been washed away. Because Jesus lived a holy life in my place, I am a saint. And so are you.

On this Saints Triumphant Sunday we honor the memory all those believers who have died and gone to heaven, but we also recognize that this world (and this church) is filled with saints. In fact, the words of Jesus recorded in John 5 will lead us to see that...


I. Saved by faith, not by works
II. Alive, physically and spiritually
III. Innocent in spite of the evidence
IV. Not complacent
V. Triumphant

Read more: 151115 John 5:24-29

151108 Hebrews 9:27-28

Text: Hebrews 9:27 – 28

Theme: What Does Jesus' Appearing Mean for Me?
1. He Appeared the First Time to Take Away My Sins
2. He will Appear a Second Time to Bring Me My Salvation

In the calendar of the Christian Church we have moved in to that time know as "The Sundays of End Times". During the next three weeks we will consider the truth found in the Bible that our Almighty Lord is coming again on the great Last Day known as Judgment Day. We will rejoice that through the forgiveness of sins won for us by our Savior we will live forever as the saints triumphant in heaven. Finally, in the last Sunday of our Church Year, we will offer our praise and worship to the King of kings and the Lord of lords, our Lord and our Savior, Jesus Christ. Today, as we consider our Lord's coming to this earth, each one of us asks ourselves the question, "What does Jesus' appearing mean for me?" Based on God's Word from Hebrews chapter 9, we will see that Jesus appeared the first time to take away my sins; and that he will appear a second time to bring me salvation. Listen now as I read for you from the Second Lesson appointed for our worship this morning. I will be reading verses 27 and 28 from Hebrews chapter 9.

Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.

Read more: 151108 Hebrews 9:27-28

151101 Psalm 46

Text: Psalm 46
Theme: Our God Is A Mighty Fortress

In the name of our triune God, the one true God, the God who has saved us by grace alone, by faith alone, through Scripture alone, dear friends:

Imagine going to Miller Park on a warm summer day and getting to your seat a few minutes before the game. You can see the players warming up on the field. You can hear the PA announcer introduce the starting lineups. You can't miss those two huge words, "Play Ball!," displayed in fancy graphics on the big screen. And before you know it the pitcher winds up and throws the first pitch. What is wrong with this picture? What's missing?

Somewhere in there aren't we supposed to sing the National Anthem? Before every game fans stand and remove their caps and some of them even put their hands over their hearts. Singing the Star Spangled Banner is a time honored tradition, and a baseball game just wouldn't be the same without it.

It's not just baseball fans who embrace tradition. Christians observe similar traditions when we come together in God's house on special occasions. For many people it wouldn't be Christmas if they didn't get to sing "Silent Night" in a candle-lit sanctuary. For others Easter wouldn't be the same without trumpets accompanying "I Know That My Redeemer Lives." And it is my personal belief that something would be missing from our worship if we celebrated the Festival of the Reformation without a hearty rendition of "A Might Fortress."

Martin Luther composed the text and tune of this famous hymn, and he based the words on the inspired words of Psalm 46. But instead of singing it once a year on the Sunday closest to October 31, Luther sang it often. When he was down, when he was discouraged, when he needed comfort and strength, he would say to his friends: "Come, let us sing Psalm 46." And then he was able to go forward with renewed courage and confidence.

I chose "A Mighty Fortress" as the opening hymn for today. Not because our church body is named after the man who wrote it. Not because that is what we are supposed to do on Reformation Sunday. Lutheran Christians sing this hymn on this day because the words are so powerful and so meaningful, because like Luther we face serious challenges to our faith, because we need comfort and strength, because we need to be reminded that...


Read more: 151101 Psalm 46

151025 "Honor the Lord with Your Wealth"


1) What has the LORD done for you?

a. Our Condition

Romans 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God

James 2:10 For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.


b. Our Remedy

John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

Romans 3:23 – 24 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.

Galatians 4:4 – 5 But when the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under law, to redeem those under law, that we might receive the full rights of sons.


2) How can you honor the LORD with your wealth?

Exodus 23:19 Bring the best of the first-fruits of your soil to the house of the Lord your God.

a. By giving back to the LORD the BEST (first-fruits) of all the blessings he has graciously given to me.


2 Corinthians 9:7 Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.

b. By giving back to the LORD CHEERFULLY.


1 Corinthians 16:2 On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with his income, saving it up, so that when I come no collections will have to be made.

c. By giving back to the LORD REGULARLY.


List below two or three ways you personally will honor the LORD with your wealth:





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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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