January 28, 2003 B.A.S.I.C.

This was suggested as the name for the newsletter. It stands for “brothers and sisters in Christ.”. The word ‘basic’ reminds us that basic to our fellowship is being part of God’s family, Agreeing on God’s Word, Sharing God’s Word with each other, and Giving God’s Word to those outside His family. The Bible Passage for this newsletter is I Cor. 16:9 “…a wide door for effective work has opened…and there are many adversaries.” This passage reminds us of Paul’s long labors in Ephesus and the great results that the Holy Spirit brought forth. We pray for that among us also. We remember also the opposition that Paul met at Ephesus. Remembering this we commit our work to Him in prayer, realizing that He alone can carry us through.
PRAYER ALERT – I ask you to remember Pastor Benson in the NCLC, Nigeria in your prayers. He and his wife and one son are facing court trial due to a wicked man in his village bearing false witness against him. On this day when the newsletter is sent out, he is in court. Pray also for the wicked/crazy man who is doing this. Jesus taught us to pray for our enemies. The late Pastor Wurmbrand who suffered many years in prison in Rumania for his Christian faith wrote, “Christians therefore face not the problem of evil, but its challenge. Problems depress, challenges spur us to activity. Christians in Romania saw no possibility of solving problems, but they learned to transcend them, to view them from heavenly places. For us, it was enough that the communists tortured us. We decided not to add self-inflicted torments…Every torment was only a challenge to surmount the biggest obstacle: to win the tormentor through love. Let us love our enemies, and our reward will be great. Luke 6:35”
SINGULAR TEACHING – Last time we considered that all men’s sins are forgiven, which is called universal or objective justification. Today we remind ourselves how this great fact becomes our own possession. It is through ‘faith’. Faith is the hand that receives the forgiveness of sins. By grace are you saved through faith…Eph. 2:8-9 For we hold that a man is justified by faith apart from works of law. Rom. 3:28 We confess in the explanation to the third article of the Apostles Creed, “I believe that I cannot by my own reason or strength believe in Jesus Christ, my Lord, or come to Him: but the Holy Ghost has called me by the Gospel…even as He calls, gathers, enlightens and sanctifies the whole Christian church on earth…” Faith is the receiving hand to receive the forgiveness of sins, deliverance from death and the devil, eternal life and all other spiritual blessings. And it is the Holy Spirit who animates, moves the hand to accept all this. As Paul writes in Eph. 1:19-20, we believe by His power. Sadly, among some Christian churches there is the effort to take some glory to man in this, as if faith were not a work of God but of man. Next time we consider ‘conversion’.
WHAT IS IN A NAME? – A lot. We call ourselves orthodox, because we hold to all the Word in its truth and purity. Orthodox means straight or true teaching. We call ourselves Evangelical Lutherans because first we are Gospel-proclaimers as evangelical means from the Greek. To furth define ourselves as Christians we call ourselves Lutherans not because we worship M. Luther, but because we believe as he did. Our Lutheran name dates from the Reformation beginning in 1517. This differentiates us from the Reformed and Roman Catholic.

Pastor David Koenig