The Lutheran Hour 4-2-17

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Sunday, April 2nd
00:30:00

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The Lutheran Hour bringing Christ. To the nation's. Your past need not be your prison. Pastor Gregory cells tells held captive school's team true freedom. Through faith in Christ. Because of Jesus Christ there is no plays beyond his reach and because of him there is right now no condemnation for those Lawrie and him. Passes a freedom beyond your troubles of freedom that overcomes your season. Of freedom god wants you to have in his son's name right now. Stay with us for pastor sultans message titled. Freedom in the spirit. Today's program is and loving memory of our friend and colleague. Roy Middleton. Isaiah chapter forty verse 31 says those who hope in the board will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like Eagles they will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not be faint. Owen mark nature. Your gift some prayers helped Duluth run our bring Christ to the nations and donations to the church thank you for your faithful support. Now here's our speaker pastor Gregory supports. Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the spirit of the life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and death. What the law could not do weak as it was through the flash oh god did. Sending his own son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin he condemned sin in the flash so that the requirement of the law might be fulfilled. In us. We who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the spirit. Christ is risen he has risen indeed Colin Lumia. Listen to what Paul says spreading now there is no condemnation. For those in Christ. No condemnation. How does that sound. I mean I know what it would sound like for bill. Before I tell you Bob Dylan askew. You know someone who's been in jail if you do remember them in your prayers right now. No matter what a person's done. Jail is a terrible reminder that things can get even. Worse and even their people need to know that there can be salvation there can be a changed heart there can be and if eternal future in spite of the justice. Of time served. So remember them. Remember him. That's what I'm doing right now I was especially thinking about someone right now. Let's call him bill not less on his real name. They'll as a fellow Christian. A few months ago he called a friend of mine a fellow pastor he called and said that he was in a tough jam he had no place to stay he had no money no job and on that phone call bill confessed. That he had addiction problems drugs. But he really wanted to get clean. He needed actually more importantly he wanted. Help. He started going to this recovery group at church he seemed to be walking down the path of getting well but then things changed. Something tripped him up. It landed bill in jail. Not only thinking about bill and prayer right now but I'm also thinking about all kinds of people out there are more like bill they don't seem to have anywhere to turn may be if there was someone who could have helped someone they could have talked to maybe they wouldn't have given in to temptation fallen off the wagon maybe they would have never done whatever they did to get them in jail in the first place. But now. In jail after the fact. Maybe if there's still was someone to turn to. Maybe their testimony maybe their assistance might even help build and people like him get them through the day through the sentence or maybe help them yet go free. There was just someone. Who would go the extra mile. For them. But who would do that. When you are incarcerated. You are cut off fuel are out of reach of every and that's Everyman extended parents friends family so many times even if they wanted to help it may be beyond their means beyond their influence beyond. Their best efforts. When your caught off because of all the things you've done you wonder. Who would even care anyway. I'll listen mostly listening today you've never been in jail you have never had that feeling that comes when the door of the cell client shot. But that doesn't mean that you never felt like you were all alone. Outside of the reach of anyone who cares that doesn't mean that you haven't filled. Deep inside that you trapped not sure where to turn or who to turn to. And that's why this Bible verse today is so special so powerful so practical. For every one of us today. Let's just say it again you ready. In Jesus Christ because of Jesus Christ there is no place beyond his reach and because of him there is. Right now no condemnation for those soaring in him. But the law of the spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sand and death. Pass a free down. Beyond your troubles of freedom that overcomes your CN. As a freedom from all Shane and all bondage that's a freedom god wants you to have in his son's name. Right now. So let those words ring in your ears today there is no condemnation. For those. Who are in Christ Jesus. Does that make you feel. I know that guilt can weigh me down I know the feelings of shame that all of us feel lead times in our lives. Oh what a feeling to know that those things can be overcome they can be put in the rear view mirror. But the good news of this verse today is that this freedom is more than a feeling. This freedom in Christ is very real tangible. And it's based on the reality. Of just who this Jesus was. And who he is for us. It's right here right now in front of your eyes but Paul says it this way in Jesus. God has done with the law could not do. By sending his own son in the likeness of sinful flesh and force in he condemns sin in the flesh. In order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us. We who do not walk according to the flesh. But according to the spirit yet. So who easy who is this Jesus Christ while he is god in human flesh at work for you. It's what god has done in you get the blessing of what he has done why. Because he offers it to you as his gift of grace. Period you can't earn it you can't do it you can only receive it and it is as search and as Jesus himself. In Austin about how to illustrate this and and I'm sorry if this is a little silly illustration but it just came to my mind because the masters is on this weekend it's a tournament that I used to watch with my grandfather and we saw a great comebacks. Great Falls from grace and in great competition throughout. One of these years I wanna go to that tournament now wanna see the blades of grass myself. Anyway thinking about golf there was a tournament I've played in several years ago. And on this one hole they had hired the longest driver champion. To hit our drive for us to say that again he would hit. Our drive as if we had it. Now listen everyone of us stepped up two hit our own drive without wouldn't be great if we hit it further than he did it. One of our players in the foursome actually. Crushed a drive I mean right down the fairway while it was down there a long way but then this guy stepped up and folks I have never seen anyone hit a ball that far. That's straight then that day. He almost drove a par five he almost hit a golf ball 500. Yards all the way to the green in one shot. But his drive. Was our drop. I you know it wasn't by grace though because we paid we've paid that hole to get what he had done. Which you know in life we need more than a drive down the fairway when it really matters we can't even hit it off the tee so if you're honest you noted means to be overwhelmed with your inability east especially when people are really counting on you when you're in need of something beyond your best. And Paul says Jesus stepped up. I to a tee box but took frost where CN sort of be punished where sinners pay the price for their sins. Jesus stepped into your life at that moment. And he nailed it in on Easter Sunday in golf terms he miraculously. Drove the green it was. A hole in one. And today he offers you the blessings of his work. As a gift of his grace tangible. Real as real as Jesus Christ himself. It is. God has done it Paul says god has done it for. You. The problem for so many of us we keep trying to make it all our world work on our own terms we still think we can do it we think our efforts are all that's needed. We want to be the difference maker we'd like to be important to others and we'd love to be successful. Or to put it into terms for someone. Sitting in the slammer we'd like to clean up our act up ourselves. We wanna hold on a job would like to make our family proud we'd love to live differently as if we were the very power of god in our lives. On our terms. So listen to Paul again no god had to do it and god has done it for you. I'm covers all our bases in fact. Simply saying this way he covers us he wraps around you his arms of love and grace so you don't feel all alone. The Bible says for god has done with the law weakened by the flesh could not do. By sending his own son in the likeness is sinful flesh he condemns sin in the flesh in order that the right just requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us. Who walk not according to the flesh but according to the spirit. What has god done for you well he has done what the law weaken in the flash with the law could not do. He has done what norm on a printing and posturing or wishing I could ever do. He sent his son Jesus to die on the cross for every single bid of humanity's simple list all of it. And Jesus Christ god makes you and me new. That's the confidence that is now yours because of what god has done he declares you a new man or a new woman in. Jesus Christ. I'd just like you wardrobe needs to be updated regularly orient house needs a fresh coat of paint so it is that you and I are in need of a mindset that breeds with the freedom of the spirit. Why was because our old selves only too easily fall back in their own ways. Where sin sick gore Sheen bloated and quite probably guilt ridden. It takes work to update old stuff and our old selves effect a new pair of clothes or shoes. Don't really make the man he knew or create the woman in new duvet. Not at all. The scripture verses from Romans here helpless to realize the need for constant care crisis constant care and keeping. Paul says for those who live according to the flash they set their mind on the things of the flash. But those who live according to the spirit. They set her mind on the things of the spirit for the mindset on the flash that's death but the mindset on the spirit is life and peace. You know remember my friend bill. Well it turns out that some really great people at church did post bond and did get him out he's free. Well physically. He knows that he's got a long way to go emotionally. It's spiritually. But he's getting support people are working with him in a program one day at a time he's battling staying sober no drugs no alcohol but he's not doing an on his own. He's already seen where that got him one day hopefully soon his treatment program will allow him the freedom to get a job earn a livable wage and live freely. That's a little bit like the struggle living in the flashed by the power of the spirit of god and Jesus Christ but there's one big difference. We live by his grace not justice helped. And his grace and help Asif Ali powerful compared to even our best helpers best efforts. Even though we all struggle with temptations. With weakness with problems we struggle with the all of that. By faith in the one who was already overcome. All things for us. So today. Start to butcher mine and the things that god tells you. Are already true free UN Jesus Christ no matter you circumstance. No matter you struggle because he will have the final word in your life and mine. In so many today worry about important things like their identity esteem their purpose in life. As if it's built on our sinful best efforts alone and see when you do that you'd collect the new identity that god has for you in Jesus. In other thing too little of yourself or you think way too much of yourself. And worse you miss the whole point. So god wants you to think of yourselves. With an identity. A power and a purpose that comes to big gift of God's righteousness. Be stowed upon you and me by Jesus Christ. Romans a goes on to say you however are not in the flesh but in the spirit. If in fact the spirit of god dwells in you in if the spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells he knew he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead. Also give life to your mortal bodies through his spirit who'd wells. In you. Because of jesus' life death and resurrection. Freedom from the guilt of sand freedom from the shame you sometimes feel a buy your own flesh and blood and freedom from mental anguish. Is yours. Don't take your life into your own hands rather fall into the hands of the one who stretched his hands out free you on the cross. Who stretches his hands out to you right now all the way from heaven to where you car. His hands our power to lift do you when you are fallen. To unfold you when you're all alone Industrie continue the grip of grace that we'll see you through whatever you are facing right now. In fact you'll see you through death itself. The life eternal. That's his gift. That's he is promised that he is new identity free use straight down the middle when it matters. Most. No freedom is a big word in the Bible I know it's a big word for many people in our culture to. But if you need freedom the Bible says that the real deal was from Jesus to all who believe and there's nothing like living in that freedom. Now and forever that's a freedom to be the person that god created Jew re. Bill has a glimpse of that right now he knows what it's like to be set free but. I've talked to people who are still behind bars who've come to know Jesus as their savior who tell me they've never been freer than they are even now. Yes because they know Jesus as savior. So where every you are this side of heaven the struggle continues but the god who plays Jesus on the cross to his gifts a baptism is words of the scripture he can literally put Christ by the power of the holy spirit into your hearts. And into your lives. And what does the Bible say about that while greater is he who is in you and he who is in the world. That's a power of the spirits promise in the very name of Jesus. And that's life now that's freedom now and that's life forever. All who put their faith in him. Don't go ahead live in the power of the freedom. Of the spirit. You'll be glad you did. Oh man. You're listening to the Lutheran Hour in this is action in ministry. God forgives sins but seasons do have consequences. M market we've all had to deal with consequences from our past mistakes but even then we can know we can sell a true freedom and Jesus Christ and that's true even knows. Decisions that may have landed some of us in jail literally you know. We have two special guest -- today the reverend LeRoy Johnson has written a resource forest titled the journey home and also here with us is Vince Stanley chaplain at the Saint Louis county jail pastor Johnson Vince it's wonderful to have you thank you for being here with us today. Thank you for him. And word play chair pleasure now pastor Johnson tell us why you decided to write this study. At that time hours have been steadiness and teaching on a proper side. One of the things we found so many individuals have been costly is it. They're rejected man not only society did Sammy even sometimes church and the days of earthy sound or someone who's self esteem and mend. Take into such a degree here and think his final evening except in Bacchus on what is servants or any dis. Went from there from the air so many Meehan who hadn't I had defined as a finalist who reject and cozy and come up to their standards and while we're here we see. On the sign thinking how his father is owner see him yet. His father. Wanting him there couldn't wait to calmly sit down and the same way is to listen to from the shuttle's daughters and sons who have not done what they want it. To receive him. Because as seen as a Meehan SP jumped 6060. Fat wow how about opening G didn't crash you showed no emotion here the court. You know and you didn't think he. Already here is shows what a man can really you can do. Yeah as some of these are just talking about there I mean they're Selma so many these issues especially that Eric acute in people that are behind bars but there and all of us two and a certain way to an end. That sense that even god doesn't love us. And god doesn't want us back suddenly all that turns around when you realize this is who got really isn't he really does love you. Vince armed US we were in the prison system and you're there every day tell us what you do and tell us about what you see when you Connery individuals. Well I going into this has Saint Louis county justice center in the morning hand kissing and do they say is I go up and I know chaplain. For the whole facility sort of go anywhere side I make my rounds I go into the Hudson. And I have serve opened up the interview room and and announce it to Chapman is here. And people comment to bring their issues and you know because. Most of people dead or in the justice sooner. Are there because they're broken from. Drug addiction and the consequences of it and and the family issues and hand the you know drive them to. Drug addiction so vague they already know that the laws broken down and one of the things I Jews who so allowed them to speak can and it's amazing. Then when you have a loving. Listening presents how you can win that trust. Right away they see that you're you know you really interest in what they have to say consider told what to do 24 sevenths I give me a chance to talk and share and and then I bring the gospel into that whatever their needs present. Go to a scripture to sprint. Some current and you. While Howell how open you know are are the folks to YouTube because I mean they've got to be suspicious a little bit right yeah yeah it really pence and you know were there takes time and he sometimes does take time we're you're it's amazing. They know we're here for if you're fur on not this power really is available to everybody listened and today because I was telling. A ball to guys beat about John who was a prisoner down and Angola who became kind of a missionary inside the prison. And how he was actually you know when he first was sent to death row that the guards made fun of over in the prisoners may funnel may preach what are you doing here we don't need you they stripped him naked they treated him like nothing and he kept coming back he can't come on back he kept saying have this mind you which is in Jesus he did Jesus did this from me I'll do this for them. And I think it was about four months later and John if you're listening god bless you. Four months later they started saying believe it close on preaching and then some of the guys in death throes sent a can I talk to you because if for god has long to send a guy like you to me I gotta get to know discuss. It's a fascinating conversation we're having today amber also thankful to have this resource that pastor Johnson has written for us is one that can be shared with those who were incarcerated. Or perhaps someone you know who's living in rebellion against god but might be open to hearing about. This hole opened freedom that we have through faith and Chrysler wanna thank both of you for joining us today. And that's our action in ministry segment today to bless to wind power industry in your life in Christ for others. And for your free copy of the journey home go to Lutheran Hour dot org click on action in ministry. Or call 1855. John 316. That's 18555646316. Next week things changed when a great leader rides into town to make things right. Pastor cells says that's what homes Sunday is all about. It. Salute for an hour is brought to you we tweaks to the generous support of Lutheran Hour ministries donors and partners. To make a gift please call 18555646316. Or go online. LH down and dot org. And thank you for partnering with us in this Christ senator Donald reached together we are bringing Christ to the nations and the nation's it to the church. Now pastor Selz invites you to join him and praying that the lord's prayer. Please about your heads and pray with me. Our father who art in heaven Palo would be dining. Biking in common. I will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespass is as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. But the idea is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever and never. Our men. The lord bless you and keep you. The lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious unto you the lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you always he is. Peace. Our men. I. We're back once again with pastor Gregory Selz responding to questions I'm mark I sure in today's question is what might he say to a Jewish person. To help them understand their need. For Jesus mark that's an important question especially as we entry and holy week and why's that Jesus was ethnically Jewish as early disciples were Jewish and even some of his enemies were Jewish so we're gonna hear a lot about Jewish leaders. And Jesus this time of year in the Bible and that's another connection between Jewish people and the Christian church. Even today a Jewish people would regard what we call the old testament as God's work right yet they do and some are still even waiting for the messiah though others think differently about such things now the writers of the new testament Saint Paul Matthew mark and others. They understood the old testament as their Bible wouldn't. And that also the Jewish people. Were a significant part of God's plan of salvation for all for many Jesus was the fulfillment of all the old testament promises and prophecies. Which is one reason nearly churches were filled which bush people who believed. That Jesus was messiah today consider him the Jewish messiah I don't think they would set it that way he was the world's messiah who came from the lineage of David Moses some of Abraham. A promised people from whom would come I promised messiah savior though for all people. Well Jesus is indeed the fulfillment of all that's prophesied in the old testament how might that help us talk with the Jewish person about their need for the messiah and that Jesus is that aside what in reality it just answered the second part of your question that Jesus is the fulfillment of all the promises of the old testament and one good way to share the good news about Jesus with the Jewish person is to go back to the old testament. And examine those prophecies in the issues. Thank god himself was to fulfill in their lives exposure talking here about the promise god made to Abraham in Genesis chapter twelve judges like that Abraham was blessed for a reason. To be part of God's plan the blessed to redeem and restore all people he was blessed to be a blessing. All people need the messiah and Jesus is God's plan for assault and the Jewish people were the honored choice of god to bring all that to fruition. We all need the messiah because without him we're separated. From god just like at a many of the old testament also teaches that sacrifices. And offerings were to be given in order to reconcile us to god Yemen there's power of that promise. In the messiah Jesus who was to come. So on a manner of speaking god made certain provisions for salvation pre incarnate. A pre Christmas Jesus. Those gifts of god in the old testament sacrifices the pass over the temple God's gifts granting salvation and forgiveness. Their power was and finally the messiah Jesus who was the com. And when Jesus came he died for our sins which means that the sacrifices of the old testament are no longer required. In order to receive forgiveness because their power was in the messiah who was coming now that he's come those old things. Give way. That means that Jewish people who don't believe in Jesus don't really have what god wants them to have but that's transferred them yes but it's true for all of us. So when people try to worship god without Jesus they're missing the whole point of who god is. And what he's done for us Jesus himself says that this way if you wanna know god the father he who has seen he has seen the father. So Jesus makes these claims that sounds so incredible to watch Sen what's so special about Jesus he's more than people expected he's not just the royal son of David he's not just the profit. Who teaches the truth about god he's not just the one who lived a perfect life he's god in the flesh he's the perfect sacrificed. For all sins and through his death and resurrection Jesus the god man in this world paid for the sins. Of the world so we all need a savior because of arson in a Jewish and non infect the early church they were Jewish people who believe they needed a messiah in Jesus they believe they have found him. Even as the Bible speaks of a special favor for Jewish people it all culminates in Jesus for them and also for us. Absolutely thank you pastor Selz this has been a presentation. A Lutheran Hour ministries. I.
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