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

June 13, 2009

Pastor Raju of the Himalayan Church of the Lutheran ConfessionNepal wrote:

23 May, 2009 Saturday, there was a bomb explosion in a church in Lalitpur. It is about a kilometer far from us. Two believers died and four are in very serious condition. There is a fear among Christians in our city. Please pray for us.
We are safe. These Hindu extremists are persecuting Christians, they make phone calls and threaten Christian leaders and ask for money.”



“Dear brothers we greet you in the name of Jesus Christ. We are fine and doing well in our ministry. The aim of writing this letter is to inform you that the youth’s seminar will be held as usual in the end of this month. The last seminar was held at Olmapinu parish and the result was so pleasing. It challenged the youth a lot. From that time we came to realize that youths are willing to join the others.

There were more than 500 youths who attended the seminar and the organizers of the seminar were the Olmapinu parish members. The end of this month’s seminar will be held at Inkiito parish which will take 3 days. According to the chairman of the youth we are expecting more than 600 youth to attend the seminar. We are planning to do this after three months in the whole district to help the young not to commit themselves to evil things… After all the name of God be praised as He have done great things to us, thus I ask for your prayers…

In His service Pastor Paul Papani.”

This comes to us from the CLCEA and is a reminder that the future of the church is her youth. We must do what we can to instill in them the truth of His Word and the joy of  following Him.

Distinctly Lutheran (3)

Clear Differences between Us and other Christian Churches

In connection with the sacraments we differ.

  • The Roman Catholic church taught that there were seven sacraments. They said that beside baptism and communion there was marriage. Of course God did set up marriage, though it is for all universally and does not bestow forgiveness. The RC also said that confirmation was a sacrament, though this was set up by men.
  • Reformed churches in the Reformation times searched the Scriptures just as we did but came up with no sacraments. They used reason to rule over Scripture or to interpret Scripture.
  • In the Lutheran Reformation the reformers dug back into the Word to find out what it is that we call a sacrament. They saw from the Bible that there were four qualifications or requirements that make something a sacrament: 1) It had to be set up or instituted by Christ – baptism, Mt. 28:19, communion, I Cor. 11:23-26, 2) The Word had to be used, 3) There were earthly elements used – water/ baptism, bread and wine/communion, 4) It assures us of forgiveness of sins. The decision that there are only two things that meet these qualifications was arrived at from the Word.

In connection with justification the Lutherans teach it correctly from the passages that say all men’s sins are forgiven and that this gift has to be accepted by faith. Some go to one extreme away from the clear Word and say that not all men’s sins have been forgiven. Others go to another extreme and say that it is not by faith that this comes to us.

  • Universal Justification is clearly taught in II Cor. 5:19 and I Jn. 2:2 among many other passages. All men have been forgiven in Christ. But this is of no value to them unless they believe it.
  • Individual Justification is clearly taught in Eph. 2:8-9 and in Rom. 5:1-2 among many other passages. It is by faith created by God Himself that we receive the forgiveness won by Christ on Calvary.

In connection with Law and Gospel there is much confusion among Christian churches. Some make of the Christian faith a new law to be obeyed. Others make of Christianity just another religion bypassing the Gospel altogether. Christianity is not just a new set of laws. In Rom. 6:23 we see clearly the law and the Gospel. Law – the wages of sin is death. Gospel – the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Some Christians try to obtain results by the law while it is the Gospel that is the power that transforms and impels. Some do not point up the sin of people so as not to offend them. But the people need to hear of their sin through the law that they might see the need of the Savior from sin in the Gospel. We Lutherans clearly differentiate between these two great teachings of the Word and how to use them.

In the church’s purpose we still maintain the Bible position, while so many have made of the church a mere social organization, or a community of people who have lost their last day and heaven direction. We do not preach the social gospel but the Gospel of Jesus Christ which is first of all spiritual that bears fruit. We bring the way to heaven to people, that is Jesus. So many churches have opted to make this a better earth and leave off about heaven, or downgrade this emphasis. But the Bible’s emphasis is Heaven.

Some churches have opted to get involved in politics. That is not the purpose of the church either. Individuals may well get involved, but not the church. We have to much work to do to get out the message of life eternal in Jesus to unbelievers and to bolster those who believe with the truth of the Word. Jesus gives us an overriding caution in His High Priestly prayer in Jn. 17:14-18 about being in the world but not of it. Paul encourages us not to be conformed to the world but to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. Rom. 12:1-2

In our outreach we follow the simple message of Jesus to make disciples of all nations by baptizing and teaching. For children we baptize and teach. For adults we teach and baptize .It is never one without the other. We are willing to use the gifts God has given us to communicate the Word. We do not compromise God’s truth though through the use of incorrect methods or means to reach people. Paul’s words are important as a compass. I Thess. 2:3-6, II Cor. 4:2-5

Pastor Koenig

Attachment of Symbols 21