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Thursday, September 2, 2021

Armored

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil” Ephesians 6:10

As St Paul closes his letter to the Ephesians, he instructs them on how to proceed. The Christian life is a victorious and triumphal joy as we rest in the gracious work of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The old has gone, the new has come and thus as His children we rejoice in the blood of Lamb that was slain for us. Yet as we wait for the “not yet” [The Lord’s final return] the devil never stops scheming. His attack manual is a chockfull of strategies: a “how to” guide on tempting and turning us from God and His Word. Sometimes his attack is subtle while in other instances, more overt. For the Ephesians, the schemes of the evil foe were alive and well. From false teaching [Eph4:14], to falsehood [Eph4:25] and returning to their former life [Eph5], the temptations were surrounded the Ephesians as they too were living in the now and waiting for the not yet. And so it is with us. Therefore we must “be sober-minded. For your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour” [1pt5:8].

But remember, your strength and might is not rooted in your human will and reason. Rather, it is Christ who has already been given you the strength in His mighty promises. In faith, we rest in the death and resurrection of our Lord where there our strength is. In faith, we cling to the gifts given through the Water and Word where there our might is given as God puts on you the garment of grace in Holy Baptism. In faith, we feed upon the very body and blood our Lord where there we are strong in His promise-filled words, “given and shed for the forgiveness of your sins”.

You may think that you must win this battle over the spiritual forces of darkness. Yet we know, this is something we cannot do but rather what needs to be done for us. And though the schemes of devil are plentiful, God is greater for He is the Lord of the Resurrection. Yes you will continue to face challenges, conflicts and sufferings. Yet even then, our Lord points you to the suffering of Christ upon the Cross who is your true comfort and care-the eternal remedy and armor for your soul.

In these gray latter days, it seems there is much to fear in this world. Yet remember, we do not proceed alone. Thanks be to God for His gracious care as He has given you the divine armor that not only withstands but also triumphs over sin, death and the devil. I pray that the Lord may grant you His peace as you live in Christ and the invincible armor that He has graciously bestowed upon you in His body and blood for the forgiveness of your sins.

Have a blessed September.

✝️ Pastor Jeong

The full newsletter can be found here:
https://www.faithmoorpark.com/files/pdf/2021/2021-09-Newsletter.pdf

Friday, July 9, 2021

From Gravity to the Gospel

July / August 2021

Gravity: the natural force that tends to cause physical things to move towards each other : the force that causes things to fall towards the Earth.

Have you ever tossed a ball into the air and asked, “I wonder if the ball will ever come back”. Of course not, for the law of gravity teaches, what goes up must come down. So certain we are that whenever we see a baseball released from a pitchers hand, we assume that it will fly 60ft 6 inches straight into the catcher’s glove. This is most certainly true.

Gravity: the condition of being grave or serious

Another certainty is the gravity of our flesh. Ever since the fall [Gen3], humanity was born into the curse of sin. The gravity of the situation is one of great seriousness. “Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin and so death spread to all men because all have sinned” Romans 5:12. Yet our world, through its marginalization of sin, defines it as merely a “bad mistake” or an “awful choice”. Of course, it is more than simply a behavioral misstep. Yet one thing is certain, we were all born in the depravity of sin. We cannot [Is64:6] rescue ourselves from the grave of sin and condemnation. Therefore, the gravity of the fall is something we cannot overcome for we are dead in our sins [Eph2:1] This is most certainly true.

Gospel: The death and resurrection of Jesus Christ for eternal life, forgiveness and salvation.

In the midst of our own uncertainty, true certainty is given extra nos. That is, outside of ourselves, our Lord sends His Son into the flesh to be the sacrifice for our sins. Through His own blood shed for you, Jesus delivers you an iron-clad certainty that by His merit and work of the Cross and Empty Tomb, you are redeemed, purchased and won by His precious blood. Though the devil will attempt to cast doubt, “did God really say??”, your certainty is in the words, “He is not here, He is risen, just as He said” Mt 28:6. Through His resurrection, the jaws of eternal death were destroyed and so are the gates of hell. Indeed, this is most certainly true.

Humanity is searching for a gravity-like certainty in the midst of many questions. “How do I know I have eternal life?” “Am I forgiven”, “Am I child of God?”, “Have I done enough to please God and earn my way to His kingdom?”. Many will ponder, even unto their very last breath, these very questions. But for you, the questions are already answered! Your faith is certain. Your salvation is certain. Your forgiveness is certain, for your certainty of faith is Christ alone.

So continue in what is certain. And your certainty is God’s Word and Sacrament. Until the end of time, join us day after day [devotion and bible studies], week after week [Divine Service] as we continually feed on the words of Christ. For here, we rest in the bullseye of certainty that flows from the Cross of Christ alone. Indeed, this is most certainly true.

A blessed July-August to you all

✝️ Pastor Jeong

The full newsletter can be found here:
https://www.faithmoorpark.com/files/pdf/2021/2021-07-Newsletter.pdf


Faith Lutheran Church • 123 Park Lane • Moorpark, CA 93021 • (805) 532 1049 • Send Email