Happy Easter!

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Not the ‘same ‘ol Religion

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They expected nothing new. They wanted nothing new.

That certainly isn’t what they got.

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Listen to > Not the same ol’ religion

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Thank you, Pastor Mark.

 

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Thanks to OSM ministries for the photo. 

 

 

 

 

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Audio

  Midweek Advent Sermon #1

  Breathing in God

_Not sure the title of this one (click on the N)

  Bible Study…Luke 13

 

The Gerasene Demoniac and Jesus

dvgt 04 001b ch45.02 demonized man

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If we will just cooperate with Him, Jesus will throw out our demons and do great things for us. Right?

Wrong. What kind of a wimpy god would that be?

Jesus is quite capable of healing us on His own. For that is what a real God does. A real God creates out of nothing. He casts out demons.He makes new. He destroys evil. All without having to rely on the help of the ones who need the healing.

Listen in to this sermon on Jesus’ encounter with the Gerasene demoniac delivered by Brian Seaman. Brian is a Lutheran layman and president of our church council at Lutheran Church of the Master, Corona del Mar, CA.

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 Listen > Jesus sends us home

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Thank you, Brian Seaman.

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And thanks to flickr and aslpicsmd, for the photo.

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“All you need is love”

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Pastor Mark’s sermon for the 5th Sunday in Easter, “Need Love” vs. “Gift Love” :

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Thank you, Pastor Mark.

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And thanks to flickr and lentes bravo, for the photo.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Jesus always gives us two things

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Sermon for the 3rd Sunday in Easter:

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Thank you, Brian Seaman, for delivering this sermon in the absence of Pastor Mark.

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Thanks to flickr and Waiting For The Word, for the photo.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The No’s and Yes’s of the Christian faith

 

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I know some really nice folks, many of whom are Christians. But some of them tell me that they are working on some project, such as not eating or drinking certain things. Or not doing certain activities, which will then bring them “closer to God”.

There is a great focus in their places of worship on ‘what we do’, or ‘what we ought not do’. No matter how much gospel they receive, the message always seems to get back to them, and what they should, ought, or must be doing to achieve a closer relationship with God.

How come?

They lack an understanding of the true nature of the human being. They lack the understanding that we are ‘bound to sin’. They have the opposite and false assumption that we have “free-will” when it comes to matters of faith. And they lack an understanding about God’s real presence in the external Word and sacraments. No real presence of Christ in Baptism and Holy Communion, then it will inevitably all turn back onto you, and what ‘you do’, or ‘don’t do’.  There is no relying on Christ’s finished work. There is no assurance. There is no freedom.

In essence these folks, God bless them, may as well be Roman Catholics (some are). For in the end, Christ’s work on the Cross is good, and nice, and a great example, but there still remains some things that I ”need to do’, as well.

We say, NO! 

NO to the proposition that we need to add something to His Cross. NO to the chorus of well-meaning Christians who would put us on the ladder up to God, also. NO to those folks who believe that we carry within ourselves some spark of goodness that just needs to be set in motion to get us onto the proper path of sanctification. NO to the belief that Christ is waiting for us to do our part.

But we do say, ‘YES’!

Yes that Christ is our All in all. Yes that Jesus loves the ungodly, the kind of ungodly that we know we are. Yes that everything needful for our justification and sanctification has been done, is being done, and will yet be done…by our Lord, Jesus.

And YES, that this free gift is given without any strings attached for ALL people. That they might hear, and by God’s grace believe that this is true.

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God’s Word to us, is YES!  Lord have mercy on me a sinner.  And the Lord says,” YES…I will.”

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Thanks to flickr and Thomas Hawk and erix!, for the photos.

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“The Kingdom of God is within you.”

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What does this mean?

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Pastor Mark unpacks this verse and quite a bit comes out of it.

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Listen to >  The Kingdom of God is within you.

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Thank you, Pastor Mark.

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And thanks to flickr and returntogodsgarden, for the photo.

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Where does this blog go?

In the last 5 months, this blog was viewed in these places.

Thanks to all of you who help spread this Christ centered blog around the world.

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I have no idea where ‘AP’ is…unless it’s the news gathering organization.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Cross.. the two-fold scandal.

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Paul in 1 Cor 1: 23-25: “Jews seek miracles and Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified….” 

The cross is a scandal, a two-fold scandal:

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1) The scandal of particularity:

[2] That is to say, how can the finite world contain the infinite God?  The God, who is infinite and above all, who makes everything out of nothing, has become an individual, a male who lived between 4 B.C. and 30 A.D. in a place called Palestine and died on a cross. This is the scandal of particularity. We can only look at this in awe and wonder.  It’s like in the book of Job, chapters 38-42, where God says to Job, “Where were you when I created the foundations of the earth?” God is the One who has done all this. Who are you, lowly man, to claim that you understand and that you had a part in what this is all about?

2) The scandal of holiness becoming sin and taking on death:

[3] That the one who is holy would take on sin is far different and far more astounding than that the infinite would become part of the finite.  We have that verse that Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 5:21, “For our sake He made Him to be sin who knew no sin that in Him we might become the holiness of God.” He took our sin, we take his holiness.

The cross is more than the central symbol of Christianity; it is the starting point, the fulcrum, for all that is said about sin and salvation. The cross itself defines what sin is and what salvation is.

On the cross the last judgment has taken place. This is to say: The Lord God himself saw that we had a problem called sin, death, and the devil. He handled it his way on the cross. And it is finished (John 19:30).

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[1] A 2005 CrossAlone District summary statement of  “the scandal of the cross.”

[2] Often loosely associated with the slogan finitum capax infiniti.

[3] Rudolf Otto’s The Idea of the Holy (1917) takes up an entirely different conceptuality.

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Thank you, CrossAlone Lutheran District.

 http://crossalone.us/

 

 

 

 

 

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