April 28, 2006

I Cor. 16:9  “For a wide door for effective work has opened to me, and there are many adversaries.”

News from the Brethren.

ELCC (Congo) – Pastor Muzakuza reported that on March 26th they had ten people finish the catechist training course. The office of catechist is a practice in the ELCC by which individuals other than the pastor train the children in the catechism. The new catechists are: 5 from Trinity congregation, 2 from Kipushi, 1 from Kalebuka and 2 from the Town Centre.
In the Congo the CLC supports Pastor Muzakuza to travel to train pastors and teach in congregations. He has finished a third trip recently in which he spent a month teaching in Kolwezi. During this trip he also met with interested persons in Likasi who now must make a decision whether to join the ELCC or not. His upcoming trips are to North Katanga and Kasai. Pray for success of the Word as Pastor makes these trips and for Pastor Muzakuza’s good health.

CLCEA (Kenya/Tanzania/Uganda) – As we celebrated recently the resurrection of our Lord yet again, the brothers here also celebrated with baptisms that gave the washing of new birth and renewal in the Holy Spirit. Rejoice over the following report from the parishes of the baptisms, which are not merely numbers, but souls won for Christ by the power of the Gospel: Majengo- 4 children, Taveta- 6 children, Olmapinu-13 ch. & 12 adults, Inkitto-8 ch. & 9 ad., Olchorro-6 ch. & 13 ad., Esukutta-5 ch. & 14 ad., Enkusero-7 ch. & 14 ad., Society-8 ch. & 6 ad., Lenkopito – 9 ch.9 & 14 ad. In addition a new parish was started at Ndoomani with 35 ad. and 19 ch. The Word of God speeds on and triumphs as it is His Word. Praise God that our men are working diligently to bring the true teaching of baptism for all ages.

BELC (India) – In Andhra Pradesh state a new teaching site has started at Kurnool with 12 men attending to see if they find agreement with us on the truth of the Word. Pastor Victor goes there once a month for a two day session.
A new development in the BELC is that recently we have had to limit the number of new men investigating us due to financial considerations especially. Pray that when the new year begins we can open up our classes to the many inquirers about  our ministry. We at this time can give them literature to better understand us, and prayerfully later we can sit down together and study.

Thumbnail Sketches – Galatians

This letter is one of the two most doctrinal letters of Paul, the other being Romans. It was Romans and Galatians that influenced Luther so greatly in moving him to reformation of the church. This letter, different from most of Paul’s others, was not written to an individual or congregation, but a region. A circular letter to be passed around. It just may be that Ephesians is also such a letter to the region and not just the city of Ephesus. Written it seems in 48 it deals specifically with the problem of the Judaizers. These were Jewish Christians who considered that Gentile converts to the Christian faith should first go through circumcision and other Jewish rituals and adherence to the law. Even at first of course these wondered within themselves if even Gentiles were saved. They attacked Paul as not being a true apostle. In the year following this writing(49) the great Jerusalem council would be held to answer just these questions and came down decidedly on Scripture’s side. Jesus death meant the law had been fulfilled. We believe that we die to the law.  The law could never act as a means of salvation.  As Abraham was justified by faith, so are we. 3:11 In Christ we are free, so that we should not fall back again into a yoke of slavery. 5:13 Sin, death, hell and satan have all been overcome by Christ who fulfilled the law perfectly for us even bearing the curse for us. 3:13
The great work of God at Antioch in Syria of Gentiles being brought into the church in a wonderful harvest(Acts 11:19-23) continued with Paul in his missionary journeys from Antioch in ever widening circles. In this letter the danger of losing this thrust was met by the inspired Word.

I   Introduction – 1:1-10
II  Paul’s Apostolic Authority – 1:11-2:21
III Paul’s Doctrine of Justification – 3:1-4:31
IV The Effect of Christian Liberty – 5:1- 6:10
V  Conclusion – 6:11-18

Thumbnail Sketches – Ephesians

Ephesians coupled with Colossians pictures the church in its totality with the Head/ Christ pictured in Colossians and with the body/the church pictured in Ephesians. This is one of Paul’s four prison epistles written during his two year imprisonment at Rome(59-61). It appears to be a letter written to Ephesus and its surrounding region where Paul labored for three years on his third journey. Some highlights of the epistle are:
1:3-6 – The clear teaching of predestination or election, that God in eternity picked us to be His. An act of pure grace. Both words used for predestination and election are found in the Greek in the reference.
2:1 – With this passage conversion is showed to be a singular act of God and not of man in any part.
2:8-10 – If you haven’t already memorized this reference, by all means do. It is an excellent brief summary of grace/faith/works all properly aligned.
5:21-33 – A detailed exposition of marriage as to both the partners.
6:11-17 – And who can forget the full armor of God listed here by which we stand!

I   Salutation – 1:1-2
II  Doctrinal Affirmations – 1:3-3:21
III Practical Exhortations – 4:1-6:20
IV Conclusion – 6:21-24

HIGHLIGHTS – Lutheran Church of East Africa (Tanzania and Kenya)

The brethren in this sister church number 1197 souls served by nine pastors besides evangelists and assistants. They have withdrawn from the large Lutheran church in Tanzania which has become liberal allowing Pentecostalism and women as preachers. The church is divided into five districts and one other area of work. St. Peter’s Seminary at Himo, Tanzania has 14 students in the three year program. Pastor Angowi, who is head of the church, states, “7 students are in the 3rd year Diploma Course under graduates, 3 are second year and 4 are doing their first year.  We thank God for St. Peter’s Seminary which is the hope of the LCEA to sustain growth and strengthening the proclamation of Christ’s message of salvation to all people.”
Pastor Angowi further reports, “On Sunday July 7th, 2005, the new Karoyo church was founded…11 converted Moslems were baptized and 20 children were also baptized. Over 40 Christians from other churches were accepted and joined the LCEA. It is the Holy Spirit who is working through Karoyo village to call and gather God’s people to His Kingdom through the proclamation of the Gospel.
Dar es Salaam District. This district is located in the east coastal belt of Tanzania and is the capital city of the United Republic of Tanzania. The growth in this district is coming up very slowly because of the strong Islamic faith which dominates the eastern coastal area.
Losimingori: Manyara Mission Area   Over 85% of the inhabitants of this mission field are Masai and most of them are not Christians.  In 2005 baptisms were conducted twice in the year. This increased the membership of Christians by 50.  Total number of Christians in Losimingori is now 160. God be praised for such a harvest of hearts to Christ our Lord, in a period of two years.”
Also at Kasaani among the Kamba people in the last two years there were 30 adult baptisms and 10 child baptisms.

Pastor Koenig