Pastor Thoughts for November 13th
“Come to Me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” Matthew 11:28.
The weight of sin is rather heavy. So heavy that no one is able to take upon the burden of sin. Yet, people try. They believe that legalism, morality, works to become righteous, are ways to gain their way to eternal life and forgiveness. Luther attempted this feat, yet he too failed, and realized that the more he tried, the further away he was from God.
We always want to play a part don’t we? In a recent interview entitled, “3 things I’ve heard about Lutherans”, the discussion dealt with salvation and ‘how do you have it?’. It was an interesting discussion because I think this is a question that many people have.
So how do we have it [salvation]?
Do we play a part?
Do we give our lives to the Lord?
Do we choose or make a decision to follow Him?
Do we make a commitment to dedicate our lives to the Lord?
And the simple answer would be found in these verses,
“Faith comes by hearing, hearing the word of Christ” Rm10:17
“No one can say Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit” 1Cor12:3.
“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is a gift of God” Eph2:8-9.
Faith is a gift and it comes to us through the words of Christ. We do not play a part. It’s impossible. [See Is64:6, Rm3:23, Eph2:1]. Rather, it is God who accomplishes the complete [100% God and nothing of ourselves] work of salvation for us. And as “the wind blows where it wishes, and you heart its sound, but you do not know where it come from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit” [Jn3:8].
Thanks be to God for the gift of faith that clings to the work of Christ alone. The one who died and rose, the one who stood in the place of sinners, to be the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world[Jn1:29]. The one who took the weight of our sin, and went to the Cross to wash them all away. The weight has been lifted, sin and death accounted for, and through it all, you have been set free.
Jesus-The Lord gifting you His life saving work in His death and resurrection.
Holy Baptism-The Lord gifting you by His Word the promise that you are saved and covered by God’s Word in the water [Gal3:27, Rom6]
Lord’s Supper-The Lord gifting you His body and blood for the forgiveness of sins.
It’s all gift. And it will always be. For the burden is lifted, the weight of sin is released only through the gift of our Lord who graced us with His everlasting promises in the Word and Sacraments.