Two Mountains; Sinai and Zion

Two Mountains; Sinai and Zion

Why we need both

In our Lutheran circles, we espouse the Gospel. We emphasize forgiveness of sins, grace, and mercy. We lean on the Solas – Sola Scriptura, Sola Fide, and Sola Gratia. We know God’s love for us.

This means that sometimes, the Law is set aside. Oh, we know it’s there but it’s not the entree. The Gospel is our main dish while the Law is a side dish of brussels sprouts we begrudgingly acknowledge.

However, the Law is significant. Without it, how would we know the depths of our sin? How could we appreciate the glory of Christ’s sacrifice for us? Without it, the Gospel loses its value.

We know the Law is good because it comes from God. Psalm 119:72 tells us, “The law of your mouth is better to me than thousands of gold and silver pieces.” But we also know that we are incapable of following the Law. Fortunately for us, Jesus did.

Even better, he made himself the perfect sacrifice in our place. “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” The price to us? Only that we are baptized into his family and believe in him.

Those brussels sprouts may not taste good to us as a child, but as adults, we can learn to savor their complex flavors and the crispiness that they get when roasted in butter and herbs. In the same way, once the Law no longer condemns us we can learn to love its instruction and guidance in our lives.

Thanks be to God for giving us a perfect law, and giving us a way to be counted righteous by it!

Here is today’s sermon text from Romans 3:

19 Now we know that whatever the law says it speaks to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be stopped, and the whole world may be held accountable to God. 20 For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin.

The Righteousness of God Through Faith

21 But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— 22 the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. 26 It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

27 Then what becomes of our boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? By a law of works? No, but by the law of faith. 28 For we hold that one is justified by faith apart from works of the law.

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Announcements

Bible Study: Our midweek Bible study meets Wednesday at 7 pm via Zoom. Sunday morning Bible study starts at 10 am.

Congregational Meeting: We will host this meeting to discuss the long-term future of St. James on November 13th immediately after church.

Donations: Even during the pandemic and with a decline in attendance, the expenses continue. If you wish to make a donation please mail them to the St. James post office box as that is a secure location. You may also donate online.

Prayer requests. Bring your prayer requests to Pastor Jenson, Deacon Poe, or Loyd Harris (bulletin typist). They will be printed in the bulletin and prayed in the Sunday service. The deadline is Tuesday. Remember to obtain permission if you bring a prayer request on behalf of another person.

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