Pastor's Pen for 02/13/2018You may be justified in your words and blameless in your judgment. (Psalm 51)

In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. God's Word Justifies sinners. God's Word is clear. The Word of Lord condemns sin. Y ou are not a God who delights in wickedness; evil may not dwell with you. The boastful shall not stand before your eyes; you hate all evildoers. You destroy those who speak lies; the LORD abhors the bloodthirsty and deceitful man. (Psalm 5)

God's anger burns hot against sin and against sinners. God in His mercy sends you His Word. The Word of God that justifies sinners.

God's Holy Law is preached against sin to remove from the sinner any hope that we could ever save ourselves. 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. For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin. (Romans 3)

Zion stained glass window
Stained glass window from Zion Lutheran Church

Repent of your sin. Repent means to turn away from your idols. Repent of your sin. Turn in faith to the living God. The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel. (Mark 1)

The bible teaches that there is a difference between regret and godly grief. For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death. (2 Corinthians 7)

God's Law exposes our sin. We confess our sin unto the Lord, crying out for mercy. Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love... blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin! For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight. (Psalm 51)

The Word of the Lord brings sinners into the state of repentance. Sorrow over our sin. God in His mercy sends you Jesus. Christ is the Word made flesh to make His dwelling among us. Jesus preaches His Word into the ears and hearts of sinners. Jesus is your substitute. Christ stands in your place under the wrath of God to take the punishment due you.

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. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. (Romans 5)

Lent as arrived. Lent is a 40 day journey to the Cross and Empty tomb of our Lord. Highlighting Christ’s work to save sinners. Jesus’ Passion. What to do these 40 days. Hear the Word of the Lord. The Word that justifies sinners. Pray Psalm 51. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise. (Psalm 51) The Word of God repents you. The Word is at work on your heart.

After hearing the Word of God rightly preached we pray a portion of Psalm 51 in the Offertory. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit. (Psalm 51)

Happy hearing the Word of the Lord. The Word that justifies you. Happy Repenting of your sins. Happy believing the Gospel. Blessed Lent. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.

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