Eternity Amid Change

Right here where God has put us we have God’s faithful and reliable promises in Christ. We have preserved for us here “the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3). It is the faithful deposit that is handed down in stewardship from the holy apostles of the Lord Jesus. It does not change. In southeast Wisconsin we see continual change in so many ways and it can be frightening, nerve-wracking, and simply makes us weary. We might wonder how we can be at peace, rest, recover, and and find joy amid so many things that seem to be constantly in motion, continually changing, and unrecognizable.

The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the sure promise that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever. His mercy never ceases. Once and for all Christ has paid for our sins upon the cross. For all humanity of all time, Jesus has said, “it is finished.” He tells us that our sins are paid in full. All of our failures, selfishness, cruelty, idolatry, and transgressions against God’s commandments were laid upon Jesus, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.

And Jesus has been raised physically from the dead to deliver to us an eternal victory over sin, death, and hell. For those who believe in Jesus Christ, these treasures and gifts can never be taken away. God in Christ is both just and the justifier of those who have faith in Jesus. For those who are baptized into Christ are clothed with Christ – God sees us then eternally as His redeemed children, covered in the righteousness of the Son eternally begotten of the Father who also fulfilled for us all righteousness and pronounced us righteous for His sake.

And the Church of the Lord has the charge then to deliver the “whole counsel of God” and to “teach all things” faithfully as a stewardship of the mysteries of God. The Church is not called upon to make it up as they go along or simply “do what works.” The Church is called to be faithful, as are the ministers of Word and Sacrament who proclaim Good News and administer the holy sacraments. As we live, work, play, shop, rest, and struggle in the constantly changing context we have here, let us find our rest, our comfort, our peace, and certainty in the unchanging truth of Christ, His Word, and the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints. Then we will see things as they truly are and see ourselves not just as bouncing around in a pinball machine, but as creatures who belong to eternity through Christ our Savior, bound together in the Body of Christ the Church. Come and hear this truth with us at Grace Lutheran Church in Racine!

If you are a Christian who has been away from God’s Word and Sacraments, make the time for church. We need to hear God’s Word regularly and have it faithfully taught (Romans 10:17; Acts 2:42). Our faith lives from what it receives in God’s holy Word and Sacraments. Without it we become numb to our spiritual hunger and thirst and become cold and lose our faith. Faith is more than just remembering, it is trust that depends upon what God continually gives in Christ by the work of the Holy Spirit in the Lord’s chosen means of His Word and Sacraments. The truth matters. Saving Christian faith must have a true object and not just optimism or nostalgia or assuming the culture’s values and standards. The Lord perseveres in His reaching out toward us. Let Grace serve that and teach you the “whole counsel of God,” the apostolic faith that was once for all delivered to the saints. Return to the Lord, for He is gracious and merciful. Times of renewal, repentance, and divine forgiveness are here for you at Grace Lutheran Church. Be established, grounded, and centered in Christ with us at Grace Lutheran Church in Racine! What we teach is both evangelical and catholic in the best senses of those words.

+ Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints. Jude 3

+ Then I saw another angel flying directly overhead, with an eternal gospel to proclaim to those who dwell on earth, to every nation and tribe and language and people. Revelation 14:6

+”Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?” Luke 18:8b

+Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:2

+”I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one.” John 17:14-15

+“If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.” John 15:18-19

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and for ever. Do not be led away by diverse and strange teachings… Hebrews 13:8-9a

Also they [our Lutheran churches] teach that one holy Church is to continue forever. The Church is the congregation of saints, in which the Gospel is rightly taught and the Sacraments are rightly administered. 2] And to the true unity of the Church it is enough to agree concerning the doctrine of the Gospel and 3] the administration of the Sacraments. Nor is it necessary that human traditions, that is, rites or ceremonies, instituted by men, should be everywhere alike. 4] As Paul says: One faith, one Baptism, one God and Father of all, etc. Eph. 4:5-6.
Augsburg Confession, Article VII (The Church)