Newsletter
REDEEMER’S VOICE
“O Lord, my Rock, and my Redeemer.” – Psalm 19:14
November 2021
 
A Devotion from the Pastor's Devotion
I read through the book of Daniel this past month. There are some very familiar stories in that book. You know the story of Daniel in the lions Den and the story of Shadrach, Meshak, and Abednego.

In the story of Shadrach, Meshak, and Abednego the king ordered that everyone must worship an idol that the king erected. Shadrach, Meshak, and Abednego would not worship the idol, but would only worship the true Lord God. The punishment for disobeying the kings command was to be thrown into the fiery furnace. Shadrach, Meshak, and Abednego were thrown into the furnace. Whereas the guards who threw those three in died because of the extreme heat, Shadrach, Meshak, and Abednego didn’t die. They didn’t even smell like smoke! There was a fourth person in the furnace with them who protected them from the flames and the heat.

Everyone remembers this story for God showing his power and protecting those who stand up for God’s commands. We are able to praise God for the strong faith that Shadrach, Meshak, and Abednego had to face the fiery furnace rather than the fiery wrath of God. But do you know how deep their trust in God was?

When the king threatened Shadrach, Meshak, and Abednego to throw them into the fiery furnace, the king asked, What god will be able to save you from my hands? They answered the king, we have no need to answer you about this matter. Since our God, whom we serve, does exist, he is able to save us from the blazing fiery furnace. So, he may save us from your hand, Your Majesty. But if he does not, you should know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods, and we will not worship the golden statue that you set up. They knew God could save them, but they didn’t know for sure. They were willing to die rather than disobey God’s command. They pretty much said, “your will be done God.”
Let us pray to the Lord to strengthen our faith,

“Lord, may we have a faith like Shadrach, Meshak, and Abednego. As troubles and temptations are erected in our lives, give us a faith that knows you can save us and the trust that you will do what is best for us in the end. Keep us safe in this life, but more importantly keep us save to our life everlasting with you in heaven. Amen.”
 
A Word from your Head Elder
Happy Thanksgiving brothers and sisters in Christ.
This month of November is a very busy month with all of the building construction going on, our church is a little congested. We defiantly have so much to be thankful for! The Lord has blessed us and the congregation with more opportunities to spread his Word. We all can give thanks for having a minister to lead us and a building to worship in. I would like to thank Pastor Schwartz for teaching and leading us in God's Word. I would also like to thank all the present and past Sunday School teachers for all of their hard work in teaching the children of the congregation. All of us, as individuals and families, have many things to be thankful for. It makes me think of Psalm 118:1, Give thanks to the Lord for he is good: his love endures forever.
Wishing all a safe and happy Thanksgiving.

Head Elder,
Richard Mitchell
 
A Word from your Vice-President
Thank you all for a great Octoberfest weekend. It was a great success only because of the hard work everyone put into the Saturday Outreach Event and the Sunday Outdoor Service with Picnic. Thanks to all who donated time and items to make the great booths, food and fellowship even better. It was great to be able to show off the Church campus and let people know who we are and to share the good news of Jesus.

For November we will be having another great opportunity for Fellowship. Sunday, November 21st we will be having a Thanksgiving Meal after Service. There is a signup sheet to bring items on the “How We Can Help” Board. Please take a few minutes and sign up for an item to bring. I am looking forward to seeing everyone there to enjoy good food and Fellowship.

Thanks,
Joshua D. Preboski
Vice President

A Word from your Pastor
We just celebrated Reformation Day when Martin Luther posted the 95 Thesis. But how much do you know about Martin Luther and what makes us, members of Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS) truly Lutheran? I found 14 articles that answers that very question! One article a month will be posted from Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary, Professor Joel Otto series of “What it Means to be Truly Lutheran”. This month is the second article from this series.

What it means to be truly Lutheran: The Distinction between Law and Gospel
By: Joel D. Otto
A question asked in almost every Lutheran catechism class is: “What are the two main teachings of the Bible?” Sometimes, a student might be confused and say, “The Old and New Testament.”

The correct answer is the law and the gospel. One of the unique emphases of being truly Lutheran is the understanding of the distinctive content and functions of these two main teachings of the Bible.

In a sermon, Martin Luther noted the different content of the law and the gospel. “Everything that proclaims something about our sin and God’s wrath is the proclamation of the law, however and whenever it may take place. On the other hand, the gospel is the kind of proclamation that points to and bestows nothing else than grace and forgiveness in Christ” (Formula of Concord, Solid Declaration, Article V:12). These contrasting messages are evident throughout the Bible. For example, numerous psalms preach law and gospel in the same psalm (Psalm 32; 51). Paul’s letters often place law and gospel side by side (see, for example, Romans 3:23,24).

God has a grand purpose for these distinctive teachings of his Word. In the same sermon, Luther preached, “[The apostles] begin by proclaiming the law to those who still do not recognize their sins and feel no terror in the face of God’s wrath. . . . The gospel and Christ are established and given not to terrify or to condemn, but rather to comfort and console those who have felt its terror and are fainthearted.” The law and gospel have distinctive functions. God uses the law to bring people to see and believe the depth of their sins and helplessness. God uses the gospel to bring people to see and believe the heights of his love and power to forgive.

Law and gospel can be easily confused. Our natural sinful condition wants to turn the law into something that saves us. “Tell me the things I need to do so God will love me and give me heaven.” Or it makes the unconditional gospel conditional. “Jesus died and rose again. If you only turn your life over to Jesus, then you’ll be one of his blessed children.” Being truly Lutheran means that we do not give the impression that God’s love can be earned by our obedience to the law. Being truly Lutheran means that we do not undercut the good news of God’s love by adding conditions. Instead, we let the law thunder its commands and drive people to see their need for God’s mercy. It also means that we let the gospel be the good news of Jesus to comfort sinners with the love and forgiveness of our gracious God.

Questions to consider (answers on the back)
1. List at least five verbs that describe what the law does. List at least five verbs that describe what the gospel does.
 
2. Compare Jesus’ use of law and gospel in helping the paralyzed man in Luke 5:17-26 with how Jesus addressed the expert of the law in Luke 10:25-37.
 
3. How do these incidents and the list of verbs help us understand how the distinctive messages of law and gospel function in the lives of people?

Contributing editor Joel Otto, a professor at Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary, Mequon, Wisconsin, is a member at Salem, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

ANNOUNCEMENTS
Thanksgiving Potluck: Our annual Thanksgiving Potluck will be on Sunday, November 21st. To sign up to bring something, look at the “How You Can Help” bulletin board.

Picture Updating: Marlene Currie will be taking pictures of members to update our picture board. Please coordinate with her when you would be able to have your picture taken.

Firewood: With firepit season approaching, please feel free to take some firewood from church. We ask that you do give a donation for the firewood. 
 
Congregational Mission Statement:  The mission of Redeemer Evangelical Lutheran Church is to reach out with the saving gospel of Jesus Christ to call those who are lost, comfort those who mourn, rejoice with those who come to know and believe that Christ’s victory is their victory and to grow together in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ until the final victory is ours.
 
Answers to “What it means to be truly Lutheran: The Distinction between Law and Gospel”.
1. List at least five verbs that describe what the law does. List at least five verbs that describe what the gospel does.
Law: commands, demands, accuses, curbs, convicts, exposes, condemns, guides
Gospel: gives, forgives, justifies, redeems, saves, motivates, strengthens, encourages, comforts, assures
 
2. Compare Jesus’ use of law and gospel in helping the paralyzed man in Luke 5:17-26 with how Jesus addressed the expert of the law in Luke 10:25-37.
Jesus could see that the paralyzed man (Luke 5:17-26) had already been crushed by the law. Perhaps his paralyzed condition left him a lot of time to think about this sinfulness. So Jesus is quick to proclaim the gospel of forgiveness. The expert in the law (Luke 10:25-37), on the other hand, clearly thought that through his obedience of the law he could attain eternal life. He needed to hear what the law really demands. He needed to hear the accusing voice of the law so that he could be convicted of his sin.
Because we still have an old sinful nature, we regularly need to hear the accusing, condemning words of the law. We need to be convicted of our sins. We need our sinfulness exposed. The stinging, condemning words of the law lead us to turn from our sins. That’s when the comforting, forgiving message about Jesus lifts us up and strengthens us. At other times, we may already be feeling the weight of our guilt. So the gospel needs to be applied.
 
3. How do these incidents and the list of verbs help us understand how the distinctive messages of law and gospel function in the lives of people?
The gospel also motivates us for Christian living; we want to thank God for his forgiving love. The law guides us so we know how to live lives of thankfulness.
The messages of law and gospel are distinct with distinct purposes. But they work together in the lives of God’s people so that we remain and live as his people.


Congregational Mission Statement:  The mission of Redeemer Evangelical Lutheran Church is to reach out with the saving gospel of Jesus Christ to call those who are lost, comfort those who mourn, rejoice with those who come to know and believe that Christ’s victory is their victory and to grow together in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ until the final victory is ours.