Living Faith
May-June 2019
Dear Friends in Christ,

In his “Preface to the Epistle of St. Paul to the Romans” (1546/1522), Martin Luther declared that the true faith is a living, busy, active and mighty thing. “[It] is a living, daring confidence in God’s grace, so sure and certain that the believer would stake his life on it a thousand times.” 

The theme for the May-June TLO Disciple is Living Faith. No one can give himself faith. It is a gift of God. True faith is the work of triune God, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit who worked righteousness in us through the forgiveness of sins.

When Christ ascended into heaven He promised He would send the Holy Spirit who would teach you all things and bring to remembrance all that He had said to His disciples (John 14:26). 

The gift of faith, created in the heart of the infant by baptism, and in the heart of an adult who hears the Word of God and believes, is that assurance of the things hoped for those in Christ Jesus. May the Lord bless you with living faith in all God has promised through Jesus Christ.

Pastor Kroonblawd
From God's Word:
"I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me." Galatians 2:20
James Saleska, a graphic designer in Frankenmuth, Mich., “reflects the ideas of strength and fortitude to remind us that ‘God is our refuge and strength,’ ” he says.

Youth and adults from across the Synod will come together July 11-15, 2019, in Minneapolis for the next  LCMS Youth Gathering under the theme “Real. Present. God.” The theme is rooted in Psalm 46. “Through the gift of faith, we know our God to be real and present with us in daily troubles, fears and joys,” said the Rev. Mark Kiessling, director of LCMS Youth Ministry.Please pray for God’s blessing and protection on all who will be attending and serving at the Gathering. 
Our Faith is not in Vain
By Andrew H. Bartelt

Easter assures us that our faith in Jesus Christ has substance and content; it is not futile. It is focused on God who has saved us—indeed, the only God who can save us. Read this clear synopsis of our faith.
Faith in Jesus is the only thing that will help us through any and every surprise life flings at us. Nurture it. You never know when it’s the only thing that will sustain you. — Tom Eggebrecht 

Am I Willing to Take a Stand?

Does God want us to take stands? There is a simple answer to those questions: Jesus did. Read what this means to us in 21st-century.
Raising children in an age of nothing
by Anthony Esolen

It’s not a happy thing to read that so many of our countrymen are “nones,” belonging to no church and adhering to no way of paying homage to God. How do we raise children in a no-land, where their deepest beliefs will be met with what’s sometimes more discouraging than enmity, with the shrug of indifference and incomprehension?

I think we must bear in mind the character of this nothing. It is not deep — it cannot conceivably be deep — but it is broad, like a vast slick of muddy water and wreckage after a flood, shallow as a few inches in most places, but lapping at every post and foundation in sight.

Let me name the things whereof the nones have none.
1. They are not apt to have feasts. Big meals, maybe, and debauchery, too often, but the feast that brings people together in joy because they stand in the light of the transcendent God — none. We must have feasts: the more, and the more solemn, the merrier; a paradox that the nones do not understand.

This article originally appeared in the August print edition of The Lutheran Witness.  Want to read more like it? Visit  and subscribe today.
By His suffering and death as the substitute for all people of all time, Jesus purchased and won forgiveness and eternal life for them. Those who hear this Good News and believe it have the eternal life that it offers. God creates faith in Christ and gives people forgiveness through Him.

Amen: A Powerful Word of Faith

In terms of confessing your faith, there’s little that you can say that is more powerful than this simple little word. When Jesus uses the word “Amen,” it brings the full weight of the authority of God’s will with it. When Jesus uses the word “Amen” there should be no doubt; what He says is and will be. (In fact, “amen” is often translated into English as “truly.”)

As Living Members of One Body in Christ
by D. Richard Stuckwisch

The preaching of repentance and forgiveness calls people to the waters of Holy Baptism, and to the ongoing significance of Baptism. That preaching and baptism of repentance are the fountain and source of congregational life, with Christ, His Cross and Resurrection, and His forgiveness of sins at the heart and center. So do we live in repentance and faith before God, and in mutual repentance, forgiveness, and love with our fellow members of the Body of Christ.

A congregation also lives and learns to love from the Lord, who loves and gives life to His people in the celebration of the Holy Communion. The church lives from the altar, and she is always returning to the altar. So do we learn from Him to feed the hungry and to give drink to those who thirst. As we receive and depend upon His charity toward us, we learn to be charitable in our dealings with each other, and with those who are still outside the fellowship of His Church.

‘Unplanned’: Pro-life advocate and author Abby Johnson talks about activism, faith and life

By Holly Scheer
At one time, Abby Johnson was one of the nation’s youngest directors of a Planned Parenthood clinic. She also had two abortions behind Planned Parenthood’s doors.Johnson responded by acknowledging that legislation is important but that, at its root, abortion is a “sin problem” that will not be solved by legislation alone: “We have to work on conversion. We have to work on change of hearts.”

Slayton noted, “Our most natural sinful instinct is to justify our own actions, and especially if there’s pain in that action, we’re going to try to justify it all the more in order to hide that pain.”

Johnson agreed, pointing to Jesus Christ — not rationalization — as the answer for those hurting from abortion: “When I left Planned Parenthood, I learned that if you are trying to justify something, then you probably shouldn’t be doing it. … The truth of Christ doesn’t need justification. It doesn’t need any rationalization.”

On the subject of how to help those affected by abortion, Slayton and Johnson talked about the importance of grace and forgiveness for all people. Johnson emphasized the need to separate the abortion industry from those working in it: “We all sin. I just sin differently. … You may not understand [my sin]; I may not understand your sin. That’s not for us to understand. … What’s to understand is that grace is available, and mercy is available to everyone equally no matter what you’ve done.”

Of Faith in Christ

By this faith in Christ, through which men obtain the forgiveness of sins, is not meant any human effort to fulfill the Law of God after the example of Christ, but faith in the Gospel, that is, in the forgiveness of sins, or justification, which was fully earned for us by Christ and is offered by the Gospel. This faith justifies, not inasmuch as it is a work of man, but inasmuch as it lays hold of the grace offered, the forgiveness of sins, Rom. 4:16.

#9, Brief Statement of LCMS Doctrinal position of the LCMS; Adopted 1932
10 Questions with Professor Ben Freudenburg
by Megan K. Mertz

Since Professor Ben Freudenburg came to Concordia University, Ann Arbor, Mich., (CUAA) 10 years ago to start the Family Life Education program, more than 130 future workers have been trained to go into churches and communities to provide preventive education to help families weather the storms of life. Freudenburg — a husband, father of two and a certified director of Christian education — also is the director of the Concordia Center for the Family and the founder of Family Friendly Partners Network, a ministry that helps raise the capacity of churches to have strong family ministries. In his article, he answers questions such as:

·         Why is teaching the faith at home so important?
·         What is the family’s role in faith formation?
·         And the church’s role?
·         What pressures are families facing as they try to pass on the faith?
·         What are some ways parents can reinforce faith?

Learn more about Professor Freudenburg's work
Megan K. Mertz is managing editor of Lutherans Engage the World and a staff writer for LCMS Communications.
Reformation Relevance: What is faith?
Faith is a living, daring confidence in God’s grace, so sure and certain that the believer would stake his life on it a thousand times. This knowledge of and confidence in God’s grace makes men glad and bold and happy in dealing with God and with all creatures. And this is the work which the Holy Spirit performs in faith. Because of it, without compulsion, a person is ready and glad to do good to everyone, to serve everyone, to suffer everything, out of love and praise to God who has shown him this grace.

— Excerpted from Martin Luther,  Luther’s Works, Vol. 35: Word and Sacrament I, ed. Jaroslav Jan Pelikan, Hilton C. Oswald, and Helmut T. Lehmann, vol. 35 (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, ©1999), 370-371. Used with permission.
By Faith Alone
by Christopher J. Neuendorf

I recently wrote  here  on how grace alone and faith alone can both save us at the same time: The one doesn’t exclude the other, because God’s grace and our faith both save us in different respects. But we still need to reckon with the fact that though faith alone is the means by which salvation comes to us, the faith that saves us cannot be alone. 

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
Trinity Lone Oak Lutheran
2950   Highway  55
Eagan,  MN   55 121