Repentance
March 2019
Dear Friends in Christ,

The Christian life in this world is full of daily responsibilities and wrongdoings. But we do not grow weary or despair on account of falling short of God’s glory because God’s Word assures us of forgiveness of our sin for Jesus’ sake.

This month’s TLO Disciple topic is Repentance. Acts 3:19 says, “Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out.” Repentance is turning away from sin to and trusting in Jesus Christ and His forgiveness.

On Ash Wednesday, we begin the season of Lent to help us turn back to God in true repentance and prepare for the celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus on Easter.

God desires our spiritual well-being that we may grow up to mature fullness of life that is ours in Christ Jesus. There are dangers and false teachings that can lead us to despise the truth of God’s Word and take away our confidence in the Good News. Nathan confronted David of his sin and Paul told how speaking the truth in love prevents people from being deceived by false teaching and other dangers.

By means of the Law of God, the Holy Spirit convicts me of my sin and leads me to repentance, so that, working through the Gospel and the Sacraments (the Means of Grace), the Holy Spirit then brings me to faith in Christ and makes me a member of the Church (Small Catechism with Explanation, CPH, 2017, p. 206).

I pray that this month’s TLO Disciple will encourage you to live a life of repentance. That daily, by the power of the Holy Spirit working in you, you do not become idle, fall into despair or any recurring sin, but turn back to God. That you trust that through Christ Jesus your sins are forgiven.

Pastor James L Kroonblawd
Lenten Series
Wednesdays
March 6 through April 10
  • Supper 5:15-6:15pm
  • Worship 6:30pm

Every superhero movie has an uncommon hero. In the case of Batman it is the millionaire orphan Bruce Wayne, while Superman is the farm kid from a small town. Moses is also an uncommon hero. He was a three-time loser. He takes matters into his own hands and murders an Egyptian.   Click for more on this exciting series
What Lutherans Teach about Repentance
Lutherans teach that the whole life of the Christian is one of continual repentance, as Jesus proclaimed, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 4:17). Since all Christians can and do sin after Baptism, all must live in repentance, that is, having sorrow and terror over their sins and receiving and trusting the Gospel’s word of absolution, namely that Christ has obtained forgiveness of sins and restores life with God. “[Faith] comforts the conscience and delivers it from terror” (Augsburg Confession, XII 5). In this life of repentance, the Christian learns to forsake sin and amend his sinful life, thus bearing “fruit in keeping with repentance” (Matthew 3:8).

…Therefore, Lutherans teach what Scripture teaches and what faithful Christians have taught through the centuries: Since “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8), Lutherans boldly and consistently teach that “since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1)
Read entire article from Concordia Publishing House  , Dec 17, 2015

A Joyful Lent
The Lutheran Witness
By Christopher Hall

The figure cloaked in black looms over the kneeling parishioners. The quiet breaks with words recalling—and promising—death: “From dust you came and to dust you will return.” Somber hymns in minor keys mark this day and the next 40 to come.

The season of Lent begins this way in many of the parishes of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, and we Lutherans seem to love it. The black vestments of Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, the quiet, meditative Lenten services, murmured conversations about what we “gave up” for Lent and why….

This is a beautiful picture of repentance. Repentance is not so much a feeling of sadness, regret over past sins, or feelings of guilt. Repentance means action, not only changing your mind and your will but also your direction in life—your actions. Read more.
How do we rightly use Baptism?

We rightly use our Baptism when we live in repentance and faith in the triune God, who has made us His beloved children. “In this way one sees what a great, excellent thing Baptism is. It delivers us from the devil’s jaws and makes us God’s own. It suppresses and takes away sin and then daily strengthens the new man. It is working and always continues working until we pass from this estate of misery to eternal glory (Large Catechism IV 83).
True Repentance
By Dr. William B. Knippa
Every once in a while I hear our pastor say how we all sin much daily. What does he mean? What does it mean to repent of our sin?
In Scripture, the word repent means to “turn.” As a sunflower turns its face to the sun for light and growth, so we, when we repent, turn from our sinful selves and turn to the face of God enfleshed in Jesus. We no longer perceive ourselves as self-sufficient, but as being in desperate need of the sufficiency of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross.  Read full answer.
International Work
A Bridge to the Gospel

Die Brücke, a Lutheran outreach center in Leipzig, Germany, is connecting refugees and native Germans to Christ.
The refugees describe meeting in house churches underground. Military officials often showed up disguised as interested Christians. But when they learned the names of the people, they arrested many. In prison, the Christians were severely mistreated. Many were hanged or “released” to be killed on the streets.

Let us pray
You promise, O Lord, to be with Your Church and to call people to repentance. Many throughout our world face persecution for their faith and flee to find refuge in foreign lands. Just as You were with Israel as they wandered in the wilderness, so be with immigrants and refugees through Your Church. Bless especially those in Germany who proclaim the Gospel to those in their midst. Restore also the church there, which has weakened. May all find shelter in Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen
The right response to #MeToo? #Repent
by Joshua Theilen
The past several months have brought forward a slew of allegations of sexual harassment and abuse against some of the most popular and powerful men in America. Movie producers, journalists, politicians and even pastors have all come under fire for sins they committed and good deeds they left undone.

The response from these accused men generally comes in one of two forms: apology or denial. Those who have denied allegations deserve to be investigated and either convicted or acquitted. But what are we to do with the ones who issue apologies? These men have admitted their guilt. They really did the awful things they were accused of doing. They say they’re sorry. So now what?

…True repentance
I believe the word we are searching for here is “repentance.” Repentance is at the core of Christianity. John the Baptist (Matt. 3:2), our Lord Jesus Christ (Matt. 4:17) and the Apostles (Mark 6:12, Acts 2:38) all exhorted sinners to repent.

….When we repent, we respond to our sin with grief over the damage it has done to others and the condemnation that we justly deserve. Then we do the only thing we can: receive the pardon of Christ and “walk in newness of life” (Rom. 6:4).

Jesus has paid for our guilt and cleansed us from sin. He frees us from our former life of sin. He frees us from the need to save face. He makes all things new. Read the full article, with links to recent stories

Rev. Joshua Theilen is the executive director of Camp CILCA in Central Illinois.
Repentance in the Confessions
by Rev. Aaron Moldenhauer

You may have an idea about who needs to repent, and what they need to do. He needs to stop sleeping around. She needs to clean up her language. Odds are that he or she is not you. You’ve already cleaned up your act, so you’re done with repentance.

The Lutheran Confessions see repentance differently on several points. First, they insist that you need to repent, regardless of who you are. Second, they teach that repentance is not something you do. God works repentance in you. Third, they teach that repentance does not consist only of works, and the Augsburg Confession and the Apology do not include works as part of repentance. How does that work? Find out here
The Joy of Forgiveness
by Rev. Matthew C. Harrison
[Excerpted from A Little Book on Joy (CPH, 2011), pages 4447.]

“I didn’t come to kill you.”
He was an imposing figure. He had an even more imposing reputation. But what he had been known for, well-earned to be sure, was not why I remember him. He had become an ever more devout Missouri Synod Lutheran and regularly shared the good news of Jesus with, and invited to church, people who wouldn’t have given him the time of day had he not been who he had been.

This former purveyor of intimidation had become an ambassador of reconciliation. Read more.

Pastor Matthew Harrison
“Let’s go!” Mark 1:38
e-mail:  president@lcms.org
There is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents. Luke 15:10
CHRIST IS RISEN! HE IS RISEN, INDEED!
Most of us remember Jesus’ parable of the Prodigal Son. If so, you will recall the joy shown by the father who saw his delinquent boy returning home. The Lord shared how the father ran to his boy, embraced him, and threw a party for him. Everyone would have empathized with the old man when he said, “let us celebrate … my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost and is found.” Every generation loves that story, because they understand that story.
Last week, I asked you to pray for the safe return of 13-year-old Ben Ownby. Read more from Daily Devotions by Lutheran Hour Ministries
Help me to understand repentance.
Question: I don't really understand repentance. Is it being sorry for your sins and confessing them to God or does it mean to stop committing a certain sin? Like if you are stealing, does repentance mean to stop stealing, because that would mean we can stop sinning and we know we can never stop sinning. I have sins that I commit over and over again, not like I did before I was saved, but I still commit them. So if I don't stop committing those sins (repentance), does that mean that I am going to hell? And also, when the Bible talks about how worldly sorrow brings death but godly sorrow brings repentance and life, how do I know which one I have?

Answer: Repentance means first of all, to acknowledge our sins, to be truly sorry for them. This "godly sorrow" comes from the Holy Spirit convicting us with God's law. But the Bible also uses the work of repentance in a broader sense to include faith in Jesus our Savior. This faith is produced by the Holy Spirit, who convinces us through the Gospel that our sins are forgiven for the sake of Jesus, who lived, died and rose again for us.

Put those two concepts together and you have repentance in its fullest sense. Read complete answer; one of three LCMS Frequently Asked Questions
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.
 
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Soli Deo gloria
Trinity Lone Oak Lutheran
2950   Highway  55
Eagan,  MN   55 121
651-454-7235