Pastor's Pen 09/21/2016
A message from Pastor Berndt
Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. (Romans 13)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. When it comes to your righteousness before God, it does not come by works or merits. You are righteous by faith in Jesus Christ. Without faith it is impossible to please God. (Hebrews 11) Abraham “believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness” (Galatians 3)
The Scriptures teach the doctrine of the two Kingdoms. The Lord is at work in both for your good.
God’s Right and Left Hand Kingdoms
With the left hand, God uses temporal authority – authority which He establishes for the sake of restraining evil in society. This temporal authority is given the tool of the sword to restrain evil. Rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad... he is God's servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. (Romans 13) This authority is exercised in rulers, public servants, judges, law enforcement, and the military. God’s left hand is used for the punishment against law-breakers and evil doers.
Rulers have an unpleasant task. The Lord commands us to prayer for those who serve in government to provide a peaceful place for us to conduct our lives. We ask that the Lord would bless our country with wise and noble rulers. I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. (1 Timothy 2)
God's Right Hand Kingdom He rules by the power of the Gospel. Jesus Christ our Crucified, Risen, and Ascended Lord “sitteth at the Right Hand of God the Father”. (Apostles Creed) The Lord is reigning and ruling by the power of His Word, Law and Gospel, serving you with the Means of Grace. God raised Jesus from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all. (Ephesians 1)
The church’s God-given job is to rebuke sin and forgive it where there is repentance. The government’s God-given job is to keep the temporal peace by establishing civic laws and punishing those who do not obey.
Rejoice that the Lord is at work in both His Right and Left Hand Kingdom for your good. Of these Kingdoms only one is eternal – the Lord's Right Hand Kingdom – in which the Lord serves you with the riches of forgiveness through Christ’s blood.
In November there will be another election in our country. Many have expressed concern to me about this. Where is your trust? Put not your trust in princes. (Psalm 146) Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God. (Psalm 20) In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
God of Grace and God of Glory LSB 850:2
Lo, the hosts of evil round us Scorn the Christ, assail His ways!
From the fears that long have bound us Free our hearts to faith and praise.
Grant us wisdom, grant us courage For the living of these days,
For the living of these days.
- Published: 24 September 2016 24 September 2016
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