GOLTER'S MUSINGS january 2019

So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ. (Romans 10:17)

  • I WIsh Your Sins are Forgiven

    January 3, 2019

    Along with the pastors, the congregation kneels and confesses sin to Jesus.

    The pastor stands up, faces the congregation and says: “In the stead and by the command of my Lord Jesus Christ I wish your sins are forgiven in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.”

    Wish….oh, may it never be!

    The Lord does not deal in wishes or possibilities; He works with promises that make reality.

    Hear the Christmas proclamation by God’s angel: “I bring you good news of great joy…For unto you is born…a Savior, who is Christ the Lord,”

    (Luke 2:10, 11).

    No speaking of a possibility, but only the real, concrete reality of the Savior for you. “For you” brings it home to your heart personally, real and true.

    The center of the Christian faith is God’s words of promise, both of Law and Gospel, with His Gospel as the final word.

    God actually judges sinners for their sins, and promises eternal death. He did this already in Genesis 2:17, “But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you will surely die.” No uncertainty here. This is called the Law of God.

    God works with the promise of the Good News, the Gospel. Again, the Christmas angel’s preaching, “For unto you is born…a Savior,” (Luke 2:10). No pious wish or possibility statement; it’s real time. God is sending the Savior to save you.

    Promises of the Savior, the promises of the Gospel, create confident, joyful believers.

    The old man, Simeon, who picked up 40-day old Jesus in his arms, started singing and praising God for sending his Savior (Luke 2:25 f.). The same day, the 84-year-old Anna saw the divine Baby and started giving thanks to God, as she was “waiting for the redemption of Jerusalem,” (Luke 2:38).

    God does not deal with your sin via wishes.

    The pastor stands and faces the congregation: “In the stead and by the command of my Lord Jesus Christ, I forgive you of all your sins in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.”

    The congregation responds: “Amen,” meaning, it is true.

    Pastor Golter is the Senior Pastor at Trinity Lutheran