Jesus Christ came to save us…by Himself…without any help from us.

He doesn’t need our help, or want our help when it comes to the business of saving people and giving them eternal salvation.

Only a puny sort of god would require assistance in giving people new life and raising them from the dead.

 Our God is a real God and therefore is more than capable of doing for us and giving to us everything that we need.

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 Pastor Mark Anderson’s sermon for the 4th Sunday after the Epiphany:

click here > Jesus came to save us…and He came to do it…ALONE’

 

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Thank you, Pastor Mark.

And thanks to flickr and freestone, for the photo.

 

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Preaching this sermon would probably get you thrown out of Saddleback Church, Calvary Chapel, or Willowcreek

 

Why? 

Listen, and let me know ‘why’ (if you agree with me), or ‘why not’, if you don’t agree with me.

I have posted this one before (it is my all time favorite sermon – if that’s a sin, well…I am a sinner – what’s one more?)

It is a sermon on Luther’s explanation of the third article of the Apostle’s Creed, the Holy Spirit.

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click here > I believe that I cannot believe

 

 

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Thank you, Pastor Mark for this strong Word of the gospel.

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

 

 

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‘God’s grace, in a graceless world’

 

How much of God’s grace can this world really handle?  How much can you handle?

There’s some law in this sermon, and a lot of grace.

If you believe that you are making a pretty fair showing of your life, and are maybe not perfect, but you are steadily improving since you’ve made your decision to accpet Jesus, then you might not hear very much grace in this sermon.

And to that we say, take another look at yourself, and then another look at Jesus.

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click here > In this world, God’s grace meets with trouble

 

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Thanks for the sermon, Pastor Mark.

Thanks to flickr and anjotesorero(ii), for the photo.

And thank you Jesus for Baptizing us into Yourself and Your grace.

 

 

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Open mic … ask the Pastor

 

Pastor Mark fields questions from the class on the ‘God hates religion’ video that has been widely circulated as of late. The Creeds – why we use them and which ones?  The lessons read in the worship service – how is it decided which ones will be used? And some related issues.

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Enjoy:

click here > Why some criticize Traditional ‘religion’

 

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Thanks, Pastor Mark.

And thanks to flickr and kk+, for the photo. (not taken at class)

 

 

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The meaning of the ‘Jacob’s Ladder’ story

‘Angles were ascending and descending a ladder from Heaven.’

What does that have to do with the price of eggs in Alabama?

Pastor Mark’s sermon for the 2nd Sunday after the Epiphany unpacks the Jacob’s ladder story.

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(mp3 audio)

 

 click here >Angels descending and ascending…what does it mean?

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Thanks, Pastor Mark.
And thanks to flickr and wumpus, for the photo.
 
 
 
 
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How Humanism in the church after the Reformation has led to a denial of the Sacraments

 

The external Word.  The Sacraments.  Humanism and reason.  Luther at Heidelberg.

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click How humanism has led to a theology of glory and a denial of the Sacraments

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A very interesting class and discussion. The ‘Sweathogs’ in Pastor Mark’s class weren’t too disruptive this time.  Just a little , near the end of the class.

 

Enjoy.

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Thanks, Pastor Mark.
And thank you, Brent, for not asking too many questions.
Also, thanks to flickr and amras_de, for the photo.

 

 

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‘The Endless Round of Resolutions’

 

  

 

 ‘The Endless Round of Resolutions’

By Pastor Mark Anderson  

Lutheran Church of the Master, Corona del Mar, CA

With the new year comes the time for resolutions. As we look back over the year that was, most of us can identify aspects of our lives that could use some improvement or adjustment, at the very least. What strikes me about this annual exercise is that it never ends.  Still, making New Years’ resolutions can at least give one a sense of hope, if nothing else.  I would like to hope, as each year rolls around, that some prospect exists for a remediation of life; lose weight, be more efficient in use of time, “smell the roses” a bit more often, and so forth. There is something going on here that cuts deeply into the reality of life in God’s world, life lived under the demands of God’s law.

Theologian Gerhard Forde once wrote,

For it is the supernatural pretension of law, its
unbreakable absoluteness that makes it
unbearable and drives man in his endless quest
to be rid of it.”

The simple reason we never seem to arrive at the fulfillment of our lives (thus, the return to annual resolutions) is because the expectations of fulfillment are always one step ahead of us. The law is always ahead of us.  Again, Forde writes;

Law does two things to us, come
what may. It sets limits to sinful and destructive
behavior, usually by some sort of persuasion or
coercion -ultimately by death itself; and it accuses of
sin. That is simply what it does. We have no choice in
the matter.”

Under these circumstances, our failure to keep the demands of our resolutions (read, ‘repentance’) must lead us to either laugh or cry. The law offers no compassion.

So, you see, the apparently innocuous annual new year’s resolution is actually a window into the reality of the human condition before God. We are bound to law in all it’s forms and it’s absolute demands. And all of them are summed up in the greatest of all commandments;

You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart,
mind and strength and your neighbor as yourself.”

How about that for a New Year’s resolution!

If the law is always ahead of us with it’s endless demands, Christ Jesus is even further ahead with His cross and forgiveness. This is what the Bible means when it declares, “Christ is the end of the law.”
We cannot bring and end to the law.  Only Christ is the end of the law for faith.

If the endless failures of your life’s resolutions are getting to you, they are supposed to!… in order that you might see your need for Jesus, who brings an end to the law, it’s demands and accusations.

So, as 2012 begins, make all the resolutions you want! (Personally, I’m going for weight loss.)  Just remember that your life is already fulfilled in Jesus.  

Without Him we have nothing. With Him we have it all!

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                                 Grace to you,

                                                   Pastor Mark                                                    

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Thank you, Pastor Mark.

And thanks to flickr and ifeelstock (calender), and also michaelrparker (scale).

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