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LUTHERANS FOR LIFE
TRUST GOD! CHOOSE LIFE!
"Therefore choose life, that you and your offspring may live." Deuteronomy 30:19b
It is our choice to either trust Him or turn to other gods ... when we choose other gods, death becomes our god and our only answer ... when we trust Him, God becomes our life.
The Lutheran's view of "choice" differs greatly from the world's view. Lutherans base their choice on being chosen by God. We believe we can trust God in ALL situations of life. (Romans 8:32) We can trust God in ALL situations because we are His chosen people in Christ Jesus, our Lord. (1 Peter 2:9) What does all this mean when facing difficult life situations: crisis pregnancies, chronic disease, aging and frailty? It means that we base our choices, NOT on fear, or on what we think may happen or on what others think might happen ... we base our choices upon the fact that we are chosen and we can trust that nothing can separate us from God's love in Jesus Christ. (Romans 8:35-39) What if we make wrong choices? We still remain God's chosen people upon whom He has "set His love." (Deuteronomy 7:7) in Jesus. When we confess our sins, God forgives us and frees us to continue to live as His chosen ones. (1 John 1:9)
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE A LUTHERAN ?
Lutherans believe the Bible to be the inspired, the only infallible, authoritative Word of God and inerrant in the original writings. We believe that there is one God, eternally existing in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We believe in the deity of our Lord Jesus Christ, in His virgin birth, in His sinless life, in His miracles, in His vicarious and atoning death through His shed blood, in His bodily resurrection, in His ascension to the right hand of the Father, and in His personal return in power and glory.
Hand-in-hand with our commitment to pure teaching and confession of the faith, is, and always must be, our equally strong commitment to reaching out boldly with the Gospel and speaking God's truth to the world. That is what "confession of the faith" is all about, in the final analysis.
WHAT ABOUT THE GOSPEL
We indeed have "an announcement of good news." God, through His Gospel, offers us forgiveness and help against sin in more than one way. God is surpassingly rich in His grace. He gives His Gospel to us through His Word, through Baptism, through the Sacrament of the Altar, and through confession and absolution.
The Holy Spirit works through the Word of the Gospel to create and sustain faith in our heart that Christ is the Savior of the world and thus our personal Savior too. Through the almighty, Spirit-filled Word, God gathers us into His church. The Holy Spirit is present, effective and active through the Word when it is proclaimed, heard and meditated upon.
The Sacrament of Holy Baptism is water included in God's command and combined with God's Word. Through Baptism we are made partakers of Christ's death and resurrection. Therefore, we know that Baptism works forgiveness of sins, rescues from death and the devil and gives eternal life to all who believe. Since Baptism is connected to the Word and promise of God, it is truly a life-giving water, rich in grace-- a washing of the new birth in the Holy Spirit.
Christ has provided a special application of the Gospel through confession and absolution. Confession is admitting our sins to God and receiving His forgiveness from our pastor, as God's ordained representative, not doubting, but firmly believing that by it our sins are forgiven. By divine ordinance, Christ Himself has entrusted absolution to His Christian church and commanded us to absolve one another from sins.
The Lord's Supper is the true body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, under the bread and wine, instituted by Christ Himself, for us Christians to eat and to drink. In the Lord's Supper, Christ's body and blood are given to us as our treasure and gift which sustains our faith and life in Him. If you are heavy-laden and feel your weakness, go joyfully to the Sacrament and receive refreshment, comfort and strength.
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