September 20, 2003

I Cor. 16:9  For a great and effective door has opened to me, and there are many adversaries.

One very basic consideration in doing outreach is that we actually do outreach, beyond the Christian church to those as yet in unbelief.  And then basic to this is going where other Christian churches are not working.  This is a constant consideration among our Indian brethren.
For instance what follows is from four of the five districts of the BELC.  This shows the thrust of going to those villages especially where there is no Christian Church.    Many of the pastors who have been with us for awhile are working in 15 villages where there is no other Christian church, 8 villages where there is one other Christian church and in 4 where there is more than one other Christian church.
Among the newer pastors, there is the same thrust.  They are working in 20 villages  where there is no other Christian church, 14 villages where there is one other Christian chruch and in 6 where there is more than one other Christian church.
We remember Paul’s consideration in Rom 15:20-21 about working where no one else worked.
Part of our consideration in outreach obviously also involves ushering in the Kingdom of God by means of baptism.  In the 5th district of the BELC, out of 1239 souls last year they had 90 baptisms.  While some of these were children of those who now accept infant baptism having joined with us, there were others who were baptized as adults.


We have many inquires for support in India.  I have turned down over half a dozen in the two months I have been here.  After going out of the email outlet, a pastor followed me asking if we couldn’t support him.  I said we had to be agreed on God’s Word. He said he was sure we were.  I asked him if they baptized little babies.  After a pause, he said they could.  This is indicative of so many who approach us.  There are several other inquiries which seem legitimate searching for the truth, which we explore with those individuals.


The Two Great Teachings of Scripture are Law and Gospel
The Law tells us what we should do and condemns us for sinning.  The Gospel tells us what Jesus has done and gives us forgiveness of sins and deliverance from death and the devil.  Both Law and Gospel are found in both the Old and New Testament. Law and Gospel must not be confused.  What is the Law should not be turned into Gospel, and Gospel must not be made into a Law.  “Luther taught that we must carefully distinquish Law and Gospel in the Bible, and this was one of Luther’s principal hermeneutical  rules. Any fusion of Law and Gospel was wrong (Catholics and Reformed who make the Gospel a new law), and any repudiation of Law was wrong (antinomianism).  The Law was God’s Word about human sin, human imperfection, and whose purpose was to drive us to our knees under a burden of guilt.  The  Gospel is God’s grace and power to save.  Hence we must  never in interpreting the Scripture, confuse these two different activities of God or teaching of Holy Scripture”. (from  Protestant Biblical Interpretation)

Christian Doctrine Must Be Based on Clear Passages
Everything necessary to salvation is clearly set forth in the Word.  We can readily understand for instance, the resurrection from I Cor. 15, the deity of Christ from John 5 and many other passages, justification by faith in Romans 3, Galatians 2, eternal life from John 3, etc.  Confusion in Christian teaching is largely traceable to the unscholarly use  of Scripture passages to support human speculation or interpretations.  We are encouraged to do our best to present ourselves as workmen who know how to rightly handle the Word. 2 Tim. 2:15  It is true that there are less clear passages in Scripture.  Most of the time the obscurity is in man’s mind.  In those difficult passages that are difficult in themselves, we await our Lord’s disclosing of the meaning, if not on this side of time, then in eternity.

In Christ, our Savior,
Pastor David Koenig