Pastor's Corner

Pastor’s Corner

Grace is a word that many of us think of as a simple pray we say before we eat our dinners.  For us Lutherans, we celebrate with the Reformer’s Sola Statements, Sola Fide (Faith Alone), Sola Scriptura (Scripture Alone), and Sola Gratia (Grace Alone).  That last phrase Sola Gratia is what we cling to and celebrate as Lutherans. 

It is more important than anything else in the world, because it is the only way that we could possibly be saved in a world darkened and polluted by sin and destruction.  Even our intellects are subjected to the venom of sin’s prolific poison.  We want to think that surely there is a way that we could earn or eventually earn God’s grace.  If we pray hard enough, if we sing loud enough, if we learn enough, if we sacrifice enough then surely God’s grace is something that we could merit.    But the truth is grace is something that you nor I could ever earn or deserve.

Grace is freely (gratis) given to the most undeserving and unworthy and it is not obtained by any strenuous efforts, endeavors, or works, either small or great, not even by the efforts of the best and most honorable men who have sought and followed righteousness with a burning seal.          – Martin Luther (LW 18, 775f)

Or as the Prophet Isaiah wrote the sad truth:  All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away. (Isaiah 64:6)

The Truth is left on our own devices, we all are like the dead leaves of the fall season.  We would dry up and be blown away, like when a winter breeze picks up the leaves and tosses them away like trash someone forgot to pick up.  Even our good deed are in reality filthy rags, we need someone besides ourselves to reach down and save us.   That is what grace is, a gift given to the most undeserving people.  A free gift of love, and mercy that only Christ Jesus could give to us.  We were spiritually dead unable to even lift a finger to secure this gift, Christ breathed His Spirit into us through His Word and Sacraments to make us alive again and to claim us as His brothers and sisters.

4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—

It is a grace that reminds us our salvation is secure because it rests completely upon the work of the Living God, His grace is always a gift, not something we could ever earn; but it is exactly what we always needed.  

In His Service,

Pastor Ryan