Trinity Lutheran Church - Defending The Faith - From the Pastor

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  Trinity Lutheran Church


  3353 Highway 176
Tryon, NC  

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Phone: 828-817-5506

Church e-mail:

"Behold my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen, in whom my soul delights; I have put my Spirit upon him; he will bring forth justice to the nations."  Isaiah 42:1



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From The Pastor:  Articles & Readings


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Houston and South Texas 2017—Our Peacetime “Dunkirk”
Sept 2, 2017

It has been amazing amidst the suffering and great need of so many to see the rescue efforts taking place in coastal Texas. While we only lived in Texas for seven years, I am proud to say that all three of our children were born there and Deb’s roots are Texan.

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Jesus at the Wedding At Cana
John 2: 1-11

For so many Jesus’ miracle at the wedding of Cana is an out of place incident of little significance theologically or salvifically. What can be made of it contextually? Who is it that has come to Cana for a wedding? And why is He there?

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Morality at the Ballot Box:  Vote "Yes" and Vote for Marriage

In her statement regarding North Carolina’s golden opportunity to vote in the primary for marriage as “marriage” and not against marriage as “marriage,” it is sad that Senator Kay Hagan makes this moral issue subject to state economics, “North Carolina is one of the most business-friendly states in the nation, and this amendment would harm our state's ability to recruit the innovators and businesses that are driving our economic recovery.” She could use her leadership in this area to promote what is morally good for our society and for all the males and females who live in it.

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What it means to “do righteousness” and “do sin” in First John

Normally, the word “do” is a helping verb in the English language. The same is true in Greek. It can carry a couple of different connotations, however. It is the proper understanding of these different connotations that holds the key to a proper comprehension of John’s epistle.

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1.  It's Time

St. Paul spoke to the people of Athens (Acts 17:29-31), even so God speaks to all:

“Being then God's offspring, we ought not to think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of man. The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now He commands all people everywhere to repent, because He has fixed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by a Man whom He has appointed; and of this He has given assurance to all by raising Him from the dead.”

The Creator has “fixed a day.” Knowing that, how can we not count today the day to repent? Jesus Christ has died for you and is the risen One. Trust in Him for the forgiveness of all your sins. Abraham saw His day and believed, and Abraham’s faith in the Son of God was counted as righteousness. God will judge the world by the righteousness of faith in His Son. Whoever believes in Him will not perish but shall have eternal life.

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2.  It’s Free and It’s For You

Last time we examined how sinful man is unable, by his own reason or strength, to believe in Jesus Christ the Lord or to come to Him. Here is a summation of what we learned:

The Scriptures flatly call natural man in spiritual and divine things darkness (Ephesians 5:8 “…for you were formerly darkness, but now you are light in the Lord; walk as children of light…”; In Acts 26:18 Paul tells how Jesus sent him “to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God, in order that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me.”)

The Scriptures deny to the intellect, heart, and will of the natural man all readiness, skill, capacity, and ability to think, to understand, to be able to do, to begin, to will, to undertake, to act, to work, or to agree to work anything good and right in spiritual things from himself. (1 Corinthians 2:14 “The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God.” Romans 8:7 “For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot.”)

In a word, what God’s Son says remains eternally true, “For apart from Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5).

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3.  It’s The Truth

God “desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:4). Therefore, when the Son of God was conceived and born for you as a man, having lived a holy life as the second Adam and the obedient Son of the Father, having offered Himself as the sacrifice for your sin, having arisen, He sent His apostles.

“Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and He said to them, ‘Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and rise again from the dead the third day; and that repentance for forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem.’” (Luke 24:45-47)

Jesus “opened” the minds of His disciples. Understanding was given to them. Repentant hearts. Faith in the Savior. Reliance not on the things of this life, but on righteousness and the kingdom of God. “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26). Soon even Saul, the most infamous enemy of the Gospel of Jesus, was converted and by the Holy Spirit Saul (now Paul) was made its chief proponent and defender. Through Paul the forgiveness of sins for Jesus’ sake was preached to Lydia, “and the Lord opened her heart to pay attention to the things spoken by Paul” (Act 16:14). She was baptized and her household. Through Paul the Philippian jailer was saved.

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4.  Take Courage

A paralytic was brought to Jesus (Matthew 9:1ff.). “Take courage, your sins are forgiven,” Jesus said to the paralytic. While the King James Version translates this word “be of good cheer,” the word really has to do with confidence and boldness. “Have courage,” Jesus says. When used as an adverb this word is never translated “joyfully” or “cheerfully,” but “boldly.” We might say, “Be brave,” or (in days gone by) “Be a man.” It is the word God used after Moses’ death, when He sent Joshua leading Israel into the Promised Land. “Be strong and courageous,” God told Joshua. [LXX] This is a word from God for all Christians today. Christians need courage to believe, and to say and do what is right.

Jesus bestows what He Himself calls for. He gives courage, “the spiritual strength to persevere and withstand danger, fear or difficulty.” Courage is needed when a person has a task to do, the doing of which necessarily arouses opposition. Can you imagine the ridicule this man faced when he told people Jesus had healed him, when he said and did not deny, “I believe Jesus is my Lord and Savior.”

It takes courage to resist opposition. And because of our enemies, we Christians all need courage—the capacity to meet strain and stress with resilience. That’s what St. Paul needed when he was arrested in Jerusalem for confessing Jesus Christ. While Paul was kept in the barracks, the Lord stood by him at night and said, “Take courage, Paul; for as you have testified of Me in Jerusalem, so you must also bear witness at Rome.” If you or I think we have it bad, more than 40 Jews banded together the next day and bound themselves with an oath: they would neither eat nor drink till they had killed Paul!

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Trinity Lutheran Church
3353 US Highway 176
Tryon, NC  28782-8651
Phone: 828-817-5506   
Church e-mail:

We are a member congregation of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod


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