I believe in the Holy Christian Church
May 2017

 
PASTOR'S MESSAGE
Dear Friends in Christ,
 
What is the Church?  Who belongs to the church?  What is our purpose? 
 
This TLO Disciple is focused on what we mean when we say in the Apostles' Creed, I believe in the Holy Christian Church.
 
Pastor Kroonblawd



THE JOY OF CHURCH
by Matthew C. Harrison, President LC-MS
 
The Bible teems with joyous, paradoxical truths. God is three in one. God is man. God dies on a cross. The God who visits His vengeance upon trespassers has mercy only on sinners. We die to live. We live to die. The sinner is righteous .The weak are strong. Saints are sinners. Sinners are saints. Afflictions are blessings. The word of man is the Word of God.   Read more



THE CHURCH IS INVISIBLE TO HUMAN EYES
 
"The Kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed, nor will they say, 'Look, here it is!' or 'There!' for behold, the kingdom of God is in the midst of you."  Luke 17:20-21


THE HOLY SPIRIT CONTINUES TO GATHER AND PRESERVE THE CHURCH
 
"Those who received His word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls . . . And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved."  Acts 2:41, 47


MY SERVICE WAS BETTER THAN YOUR SERVICE
by Paul Soulek

My church had the best service last week. The brass group rocked. Both traditional and contemporary Christian songs were used; there was truly something for everyone! The pastor's sermon was engaging, relevant and only eight minutes long. The organist played with authority, and the congregation's singing was awesome.  It was epic.
 
Yuck. Conversations like this have dominated my bragging more than I like to admit. I might confess that I'm sinful and unclean, but how could God not love our excellent music, phenomenal congregational singing and outstanding worship attendance?!?
 
Enter in Martin Luther and those familiar 95 Theses. "Our Lord and Master Jesus Christ...willed the entire life of believers to be one of repentance."   Read more


THERE IS ONLY ONE CHURCH, ONE SPIRITUAL BODY OF BELIEVERS (SAINTS), WHOSE ONE AND ONLY HEAD IS CHRIST.
 
"Be eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.  There is one body and one Spirit-just as you were called to one hope that belongs to your call-one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all."  Eph 4:3-6


THE CHURCH BELONGS TO CHRIST AND IS BUILT ON HIM ALONE
 
"No one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ." 1 Cor 3:11



THE HOLY CHRISTIAN CHURCH IS TO BE FOUND WHERE "THE GOSPEL IS PURELY TAUGHT AND THE SACRAMENTS ARE CORRECTLY ADMINISTERED (Augsburg Conferssion VII 1)
 
"For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall My word be that goes out from My mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it."   Isaiah 55:10-11




MEET THE LUTHERAN CHURCH-MISSOURI SYNOD

Click here for a wonderful video of explanation of the LC-MS Church








LC-MS BELIEF AND PRACTICE


FIVE THINGS THE CHURCH WISHES THE CULTURE UNDERSTOOD
by J. Patrick Niles
 
Time and time again, I have read blog posts about how the church is doing church wrong. The church is a victim of its ambivalence toward its own perpetual exclusivity of the present generation who has needs that are not being met. And each time I read the same list of an interchangeable 5-7 attributes (unloving, culturally irrelevant, superficial worship and unintelligible jargon are ones that top the list most often), I realize that the ire and frustration comes from a misunderstanding of what church is. So let's break the silence on behalf of the church . . . Read more


WHAT THE CHURCH NEEDS NOW
 

What does our faith have to do with our vocation?  And how do we live as Christians in this world?  Read a helpful and discerning article entitled What the Church Needs Now.


FROM MARTIN LUTHER
 
Where the holy Christian church exists, there we can find God the Creator, God the Redeemer, God the Holy Spirit, that is, him who daily sanctifies us through the forgiveness of sins, etc. The church exists where the word of God concerning such faith is rightly preached and confessed.


MORE FROM LUTHER
 
Pious Christians and living saints on earth, who have pure faith and do genuine good works, must continue on earth, as this article of our Creed demands: "I believe in the Holy Christian Church." This cannot be untrue. But it would have to be untrue if there were no more living saints on earth who have faith and keep God's commandments. However, the fact that they do exist on earth is not by human power but by divine grace. The psalmist does not say: "We perform His precepts" but: "They are performed." Do not praise men but God alone, that such teachings are there. It is He who does and says all things in us, as it is written (John 15:5): "Apart from Me you can do nothing"; and Paul says (Gal. 2:20): "Christ lives in me."


"THE DAY OF PENTECOST: WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?" (Acts 2:1-21)
By Rev. Charles Hendrickson
 
You know those people we read about in Acts 2, the ones gathered in Jerusalem on the first Pentecost? I think they must have been Lutherans. I mean, it says it right there in the text: "And all were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, 'What does this mean?'" That's the Lutheran question, isn't it? "What does this mean?" We would almost expect the answer to begin, "We should fear and love God so that. . . ." Well, even if it isn't right out of the catechism, this is still a good question for us to ask today: "What Does This Mean?"
 
Let's start with the obvious, that word, "Pentecost." What does this mean? Literally, it means, "fifty days." It was on the fiftieth day after Passover that Jews from around Palestine--indeed, from around the world--thousands of Jews gathered in Jerusalem for one of the great pilgrimage festivals in the Jewish religious year. In Hebrew, it's called, "Shavuot," or "Weeks." The Feast of Weeks came seven weeks, seven sevens, after the Passover. So that's why all these Jews from around the world were gathered in Jerusalem at that time. They were there for the Feast of Weeks--"Shavuot," in the Hebrew, or in the Greek, "Pentecost," the "fiftieth day."


THE GIFT OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
Dr. Gerhard Bode
 
The miracle of Pentecost is not merely a past historical event. The Spirit's wondrous activity goes on in the Church today.
 
What is a Christian to do with Pentecost?
 
Traditionally, the Church has observed this day as one of the most important festivals of the year. But unlike Christmas or Easter, Pentecost doesn't have the cultural attachments that remind us of its significance. There are no ornamented trees, strings of lights, or wrapped presents to announce the season, no egg-filled baskets or Easter lilies to proclaim the day. Without cultural traditions behind it, we may wonder how to celebrate Pentecost. Is it really as important as the other days? Why do we observe Pentecost at all?   Read more




WITNESSING FOR CHRIST

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ: 

The salvation story of Jesus Christ reaches around the world. So that the readers of our Daily Devotion may see the power of the Savior on a global scale, we have asked the volunteers of our International Ministry Centers to write our Friday devotions. We pray that the Spirit may touch your day through their words.

In Christ, I remain, His servant and yours,
Kenneth R. Klaus
Speaker Emeritus of The Lutheran Hour
(Jesus said) "But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth." Acts 1:8
 
The author of today's devotion is Mr. Sathiyabalan who has served as director for the Sri Lankan office of Lutheran Hour Ministries since it opened in 2001. 

INPUT WELCOME

Do you have a suggested topic for an upcoming TLO Disciple?  Send an email to Pastor Kroonblawd by clicking here.

EDITOR'S NOTE

TLO Disciple, with a topical study in each issue, is distributed primarily via email on the first of every month.  Print copies are available by contacting the TLO Church office at  651-454-7235 or the  Church Office via email.
 
Calendars, volunteer information, serving groups and the like will accompany the TLO Together, on the last Wednesday of the month. Click here to subscribe to TLO Together .  This publication is also mailed upon request.
 
Soli Deo gloria



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