Thanks for the wonderful welcome yesterday. It was nice to renew some friendships of last winter and to meet new people in the process.
The Foundation: Getting It Right: Romans 10:5-17
Paul reminds us that there are really only two religions in the world: one based on Law and the other based on grace. That means that the righteousness of the Law (how well we do on our own) will always demand, accuse, and lead to despair. The righteousness of faith does not strive for the Law’s demands, but receives the righteousness of Christ, who fully satisfied the Law for us. This righteousness of faith looks only at who our Savior is and what he has done for us.
That is the foundation of what we believe; it is also the message that we proclaim, from the pulpit and from the street corners. Thus it is important for us to state clearly what we believe. The Creeds (Apostles, Nicene, and Athanasian) tell us what is most important. As we repeated several times yesterday, that can be summed up as: justification by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. This is the article by which the Church stands or falls. From The Book of Concord, Solid Declaration, Article III.
(Para 6) This article concerning justification by faith (as the Apology says) is the chief article in the entire Christian doctrine, without which no poor conscience can have any firm consolation, or can truly know the riches of the grace of Christ, as Dr. Luther also has written: If this only article remains pure on the battlefield, the Christian Church also remains pure, and in goodly harmony and without any sects; but if it does not remain pure, it is not possible that any error or fanatical spirit can be resisted.
May this foundation be evident in what we say, do, and acomplish in our lives together in this congregation.
Let us walk together in that confession of the Christian faith.