Newsletter
REDEEMER’S VOICE
“O Lord, my Rock, and my Redeemer.” – Psalm 19:14
September 2022

A Devotion from the Pasto's Devotion
As a young pastor (I think I can still say that), I appreciate very much reading 1st, 2nd Timothy and Titus. They are letters from the veteran pastor, Paul to the inexperience ‘pastors’ of Timothy and Titus. Sometimes, I need to hear wise, encouraging words from a more experience pastor. These encouraging are meant for you to.
14 As for you, continue in the things you have learned and about which you have become convinced. You know from whom you learned them 15 and that from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is God breathed and is useful for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, and for training in righteousness, 17 so that the man of God may be complete, well equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:14-17)

Thanks be to God for my parents, for my pastors, and all Christian men and women who have taught me the Holy Scriptures and made me wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. Thanks be to God for you parents or grandparents, for your pastors (I am not the only one), and all Christian men and women who have taught you the Holy Scriptures and made you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. God used them to bring the good news of salvation to us so that we may be saved through faith!

Let us continue in God’s Word. Let our faith not grow dull, grow weak, or forgetful of what God’s Word says. Let us be in God’s Word often. Afterall, it is the very words of God that he uses to teach, rebuke, correct and train you and me, his children through faith. As we are in God’s Word, God makes sure that we are well equipped to do what is good no matter what happens in life.

“Dear Lord, thank you for the light of your truth. I live in a world racing toward the day of judgement. So many people live in the darkness of error and unbelief. But in your Word, you have revealed the truth that leads to eternal life and you graciously led me to know my Savior. Keep me close to your word so that the Holy Spirit may work through the gospel of your forgiveness. Amen.
(Taken from “There’s A Prayer for That…)
 
A Word From Fellowship/Outreach Committee
At the end of this month on Saturday the 24th, Redeemer Church will be hosting a Fall Festival followed by an outside service with a meal on Sunday. It’s our BIG outreach event as a congregation and we can use your help!

There are many ways to help with the Fall Festival. You can donate food items (check the “How You Can Help” Bulletin board). You can host a booth. The booth can be what you want from games to something else that would engage visitors. We already have Hay Ride, Face Painting, Photo Booth, and a few carnival games. We could always use more carnival games. One person suggested selling Redeemer Cookbooks (which we have 80 cookbooks to sell!). Use your imagination, sign up on the “How You Can Help” Bulletin Board, and have fun! One final way to help out is just to be there. Come there with a smile on your face and visit with guests. The whole point of our Fall Festival is to bring in community to the yard of God’s House and let our light shine so they may glorify our heavenly father. Just as Jesus said,
“People do not light a lamp and put it under a basket. No, they put it on a stand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. In the same way let your light shine in people’s presence, so that they may see your good works and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:15-16)
Let us work together as one big church family and let our light shine!

Temporary Chairman of
Fellowship/Outreach,
Pastor Schwartz
What it means to be Truly Lutheran
How much do you know about Martin Luther and what makes us, members of Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS) truly Lutheran? Joel Otto, a professor at Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary, wrote 14 articles that answer that very question of “What it Means to be Truly Lutheran” in Forward in Christ. This article is about Faith-produced good works.

What it means to be truly Lutheran:
Faith Produced Good Works

By: Joel D. Otto

One of the sharpest criticisms of Lutheran theology revolves around the subject of good works. The argument is directed against the teaching that a person is saved by grace alone through faith alone. Some object saying, “If salvation by grace is true, then no one will do good works. The incentive to live a godly life is gone.”

Luther was sensitive to this criticism. That’s why he went out of his way to show that he encouraged Christians to do good works. But he was careful to put good works in their proper place. Good works neither earn grace and forgiveness nor are they somehow combined with faith to win heaven. Rather, good works flow from faith. Good works are what Christians who have been saved by grace through faith naturally do. Good works are done not to earn heaven but to thank God for his gift of heaven in a tangible way.

In his preface to his commentary on Romans, Luther stressed this truth about faith producing good works. “O, it is a living, busy, active, mighty thing, this faith. It is impossible for it not to be doing good works incessantly. It does not ask whether good works are to be done, but before the question is asked, it has already done them, and is constantly doing them. . . . 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. Thus, it is impossible to separate works from faith, quite as impossible as to separate heat and light from fire” (Luther’s Works, Vol. 35, pp. 370,371).

To be truly Lutheran is to put good works in their proper place. Yes, we’re saved by faith alone in Jesus alone. But faith is never alone. It always produces good works. If there are no good works, faith is non-existent (see James 2:14-26). Faith rests in the promises of God and receives the blessings of God’s love. Then faith responds by loving God and living for Jesus (see 2 Corinthians 5:14,15). Luther stressed this truth in the opening words of explanation to each commandment in his Small Catechism: “We should fear and love God that we...”

Questions to consider (answer at the end)
1. Explain this apparently contradictory statement of Luther: “A Christian is a perfectly free lord of all, subject to none. A Christian is a perfectly dutiful servant of all, subject to all” (Luther’s Works, Vol. 31, p. 344).

2. Describe how each of the following passages, in a unique way, demonstrates the place of good works in the life of a Christian: Luke 19:1-10; John 15:1-8; Romans 6:1-14; Galatians 2:20,21; Ephesians 2:8-10.

3. Read Matthew 25:31-46. How might someone think Jesus is teaching salvation by works in these verses? How do we know that is not what Jesus is teaching?
 
ANNOUNCEMENTS
Sunday School: Sunday School will begin after Labor Day on September 11th.

Catechism Class: Catechism Class will begin on September 7th. 5th and 6th grade will have class from 4-5:30pm and the 7th and 8th graders will have class from 5:30-7pm.

TV: Church is looking to get rid of the old TV with mount If you are interested, please talk to pastor.
No More Wednesday Services: We will be discontinuing our mid-week service in Sep.

Fall Fest: Our annual Fall Fest will be on September 24th from 2-5pm. There are several ways you can help! One way is to attend. Having more people there makes the visitor feel more at ease. Second way is to invite a friend. They are more likely to come if you go with them. Third way is to host a booth for playing a game, face painting, selfie stand, etc.  Fourth way is to pray that God would use this as an arm into our community for bringing the lost back to his flock. For more information check the “How You Can Help” bulletin board.

To-Do List: There are some projects to do around church. Please take a look at the “How You Can Help” bulletin board and help with any project that you can.
  
 
Answers to “What it means to be truly Lutheran: Faith-Produced Good Works.
1. Explain this apparently contradictory statement of Luther: “A Christian is a perfectly free lord of all, subject to none. A Christian is a perfectly dutiful servant of all, subject to all” (Luther’s Works, Vol. 31, p. 344).
Christians are free from having to do anything to have forgiveness, life, and salvation (Galatians 5:1). These are free gifts from God, received through faith (Ephesians 2:8,9). Christians are set free from the demands of the law because Jesus fulfilled the law perfectly in our place (Romans 5:19) and suffered the curse of the law in our place (Galatians 3:13). We are children of God and heirs of eternal life. We can freely approach God our Father. We are no longer slaves to sin, death, and hell (Galatians 4:4-7).
Because Christians are perfectly free, forgiven children of God, we desire to serve God and follow his commands (Titus 2:11-14). We are called to serve God by serving others (Galatians 5:13). In our various callings in life, we love our neighbors as ourselves. We serve one another in love.
To summarize, when it comes to our justification, we are completely free—free from having to do anything to earn God’s favor, free from the curse of the law, free from death and hell. When it comes to our sanctification, our lives of good works, we are to live as the people God has made us. We are slaves of righteousness, bound to do good works, and serve the people in our lives (Ephesians 2:10; Romans 6:15-19).
2. Describe how each of the following passages, in a unique way, demonstrates the place of good works in the life of a Christian: Luke 19:1-10; John 15:1-8; Romans 6:1-14; Galatians 2:20,21; Ephesians 2:8-10.
● Luke 19:1-10—Zacchaeus demonstrates the spontaneous response and change of life from a Christian when he has been brought to faith. He wants to make amends. He wants to be generous. He wants to help others.
● John 15:1-8—Only Christians can do good works because only those with faith in Jesus can do works that are good in God’s sight. Christians can only do good works because they are connected to Jesus by faith, a faith worked and sustained through the gospel. Like branches connected to a vine, we are called to bear fruits of faith, good works. They are “good” because we are covered with the forgiveness and righteousness of Christ by faith. These fruits of faith give glory to God and are evidence of our faith.
● Romans 6:1-14—Our sinful nature may be tempted to think that because we’re saved by grace alone we can live any way we want; we have a license to sin. But that would be misusing and cheapening God’s grace. We were baptized into Christ. We were buried and raised with him. We are now to be dead to sin and slaves to righteousness. Because of our baptism, we have a new life.
● Galatians 2:20,21—By faith in Christ, he lives in us. He loves us and gave himself up for us. Therefore, we strive to life for him, even as he lives in us. We live for him not to gain righteousness but to reflect Christ’s love.
● Ephesians 2:8-10—Our salvation is entirely God’s gift of grace. We receive this salvation through faith in Christ. This faith is also a gift of God’s grace. God has saved us for a purpose. We are God’s workmanship, his handiwork, created in Christ to do good works. And God puts opportunities to do good works in front of us every day.
3. Read Matthew 25:31-46. How might someone think Jesus is teaching salvation by works in these verses? How do we know that is not what Jesus is teaching?
It can seem like Jesus is teaching salvation by works because the King highlights all the good things that the sheep, the believers, did for the King. He points out the good things the goats, the unbelievers, failed to do.
This is not teaching salvation by works. The King gives to the sheep the inheritance of heaven. An inheritance is not earned by those receiving it but by someone else. This inheritance has been prepared for them by God. They receive it by faith. The good works that the King highlights are evidence of the faith in the hearts of Christians. Since this is a public judgment, he points to the public evidence. The sheep are even surprised that they were doing anything for the King. They were not doing these good things to earn anything. It is simply what they did as his believers. The unbelievers are condemned and cast out because of their unbelief, as evidenced by their lack of good work done for the King. Jesus is still teaching salvation by grace through faith; fruits of faith always follow as the evidence of faith in the heart.
 
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.