Pastor's Pen for 10/03/2017For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6)

In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. LAW & GOSPEL. This summarizes the teaching of the bible. The LAW teaches what we are to do and not to do. The LAW places demands on us. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ (Mark 12) Love perfectly God and your neighbor. Sinners fall short of the glory of God. By works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin. (Romans 3)

The LAW gives us our wage. The LAW is you get what you deserve. Our jobs give us our wage. Our labors bring the payment. The payment for our sin is death. Sin when it is fully grown brings forth death. (James 1)The LAW(S.O.S.) shows our sin and God's anger. The preaching of the LAW brings us into the state of repentance. For I take no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Sovereign LORD. Repent and live! (Ezekiel 18)

The GOSPEL is GIFT. Jesus comes down out of heaven to save sinners. Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. (John 1) The GOSPEL teaches us what God has done and still does for us by His Grace. The law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. (John 1)

God so loved you that He has gifted you His only Son. Jesus comes to stand in the place of sinners as our substitute. Jesus loves God and His neighbor perfectly. By the one man's obedience the many will be made righteous. (Romans 5) Jesus stands in the place of sinners under the wrath of God for all our LAW breaking. JESUS takes the punishment for all our sin. DEATH.

God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. (Romans 5)

GOSPEL is GIFT. Good News – Jesus has bled, Jesus has died, Jesus has risen from the dead. Good News – JESUS has done it all for you! Salvation is a gift full and free in the Gospel preached to you.

The Holy Spirit is at work on you the sinner by the power of the Word of God. Both LAW & GOSPEL. Through the GOSPEL the Holy Spirit works on the sinner, bringing Christ’s blessing of salvation received by faith. Faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ. (Romans 10)

It is by grace you have been saved, through faith — and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God — not by works, so that no one can boast. (Ephesians 2)

Receiving GIFTS is a great joy. No need to wake up children on Christmas morning to receive gifts. They know it is time to RECEIVE. Sunday morning is time for God's Baptized Children to gather around Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Gather around God's Word of LAW and GOSPEL preached. Sinners/&/ Saints are in need of the LAW & GOSPEL on this side of heaven working on our hearts. God calling sinners to REPENTANCE. God forgives the sinner all for Christ’s sake. In Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise. (Galatians 3)

Rev. Lance D. Berndt is a pastor of Zion Lutheran Church ( in Omaha, NE.