‘By What Authority?’

 In Luther's Pulpit (Kirk) by crbassettJoin Pastor Mark as he works from an article by James Nestingen, on how Lutherans understand the Word of God,  and where we (any Christian) derive our authority to preach, teach, and proclaim the Word, and administer the sacraments.



click here > By What Authority?’ 



Thanks to Pastor Mark Anderson, and James Nestingen.

And thanks to flickr and crbassett, for the photo of the pulpit that Luther preached from.






“Denying yourself and following Jesus”


Jesus and the Devil by Will Humes

Here’s Pastor Mark’s sermon for the 11th Sunday after Pentecost.

In the gospel text for today, Jesus calls Peter “the Devil”.






click here> Denying yourself and following Jesus



Thanks, Pastor Mark.

And thanks to flickr and Will Humes, for the photo.




“Back it up!”

“You just can’t make statements like that with backing it up with the Word!”

“Who do you think you are?!”

That’s right, actually.

I think I am nobody.

 But when the Word is attached to those statements they are true because of Christ Jesus and His forgiveness of your sins. Then the power of God (Romans 1:16) is attached to those statements (the two previous posts) about God and His Spirit being at work in you.

I could list a lot of other verses to back it up, and opponents could list lots of other verses from the Bible to back up their assertions that I am wrong and that there is something else we need to ADD to what Jesus has done for us.

No “3rd uses of the law” are necessary. No “inerrant Bibles” that drop directly from Heaven are necessary. No “decisions for Christ” are necessary. No “good works” are necessary. No “serious efforts” are necessary. No particular fingerprints of any particular church person need to touch you or the sacraments to make the whole thing “work” (be valid), either.   Those things may be  helpful from time to time in your life of faith (they may not be, also), but they are not needed IN ADDITION to Jesus.

“But the Bible says this, that, and the other thing about what I must be doing.”

Then who is right?

Jesus is right and He says that “your sins are forgiven for His sake”.

You see, therein lies the difference between a biblicist and one who trusts in the Word.

That Word is the forgiveness of sins. It is the person of Christ Jesus. It is by His authority that we can say (preach) those gospel sayings (truths) that trump the law sayings (truths).

 At times it can be useful to write a whole lot more about it. But it isn’t necessary. The Word will make it’s own way.  It will not return void.  And of that we can be sure.

“Your sins ARE forgiven, because of Jesus.” That death on that cross and that forgiveness… ARE… for you.

That is what is necessary. And that is ALL that is necessary for God (by His grace) to go to work in you. And you may not be a quick fix for the Lord. You and the world, and the devil, have spent quite a bit of time getting you to where you are right now. It may take the Lord the rest of your life to get you where you ought be, but be assured that He can handle the job…even when you get it in the way of it with all your “good motives and ideas”.

This was, this is, the great message of the Reformation. The fact that they (so many) would not accept it then, and that we (so many) will not accept it now, says a great deal about us and our desire to “stay in the saddle at all costs”.

Thanks for listening.


“Yeah…but what about our sanctification?!”




In the words of Tony from Jersey…






How can you be sure the Holy Spirit is at work in you?


“You’re still breathing…aren’t you?”










The kids perform ‘Noah’s Ark’



Instructions for Holiness

People all over the place are telling me that the Bible has laid out instructions for our Holiness.

One guy says it’s all right there in Romans 12-15.


How about this for a list:


“…well…that’s no fun. You’ve just ripped the religion project right out of my hands!”



Biblicism stinks.



A different take on Baptism (other than the symbolic view and the sacramentarian view)

Full Lecture Hall by Thomas Conner

Class is in session.


You’re probably going to hear some things you’ve never heard before about the Christian faith in this mp3 audio.



It’s not important that you agree with them. Only that you hear them.




Click here > Baptism, “free will”, and other stuff




Many of you have already listened to this before. So have I…a few times. But it doesn’t hurt to hear it again.


Thanks, Pastor Mark.

Thanks to flickr and Thomas Connor, for the photo.



Cultivating your ‘spirituality’

4 Minutes After Daylight [on her way]

Is the Christian life an adventure in ‘spirituality’?  Should it be?  Or should we leave the things of the Spirit up to God and concentrate on being human?  

Give a listen to this sermon by Pastor Mark.

If you can’t spend the whole 20 minutes, the first 30 seconds is worth it for a good laugh.



click here> Becoming more spiritual 




 This is an oldie but goodie that I thought you might enjoy listening to again.

Not that your enjoyment is the goal of a sermon.

But Someone is after you to kill you (that Old Adam or Eve ), so that he can raise you again.

I think that is something that He enjoys!



On Death to Self

Pastor Tullian Tchvidjian of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Fort Lauderdale, FL has a post up http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/tullian/2011/08/13/on-death-to-self/?comments#comments  on the importance and ramifications of dying to yourself.


Pastor Tchvidjian has discovered Gerhard Forde and has been reading quite a lot of him as of late.

While there are things we can do to get out of ourself that will free us for the neighbor, and we ought try and do those things, I believe that God isn’t relying upon when it comes to putting ourselves to death.

I left a comment about Romans and Baptism over there (as I have done before), but the discussion usually ends up back in the arena of what we should be doing, saying or feeling.

Am I being too Lutheran persnickity about the external Word which acts for us and upon us, or is a little talk about ways we can die to the self alright?