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Faithlife

The Gospel according to Paul: Romans 5-14

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When Justice Isn’t Served - The Philando Castile shooting verdict - from National REview Commentator David French
Last Friday, Jeronimo Yanez, a St. Anthony, MN police officer, after 5 days of testimony that followed by five days of jury deliberations, was acquitted of 2nd Degree Manslaughter, apparently because two jurists were convinced by the other 10 to change their verdict from “guilty” to “not guilty.” The shooting incident, which began as a traffic stop over a faulty tail light, escalated to a officer-involved shooting when Castile, having informed Yanez and his partner that he had a concealed carry permit and was armed, reached for his driver’s license. Yanez, claiming that he feared for his safety, shot 7 times. Castile died from his wounds.
In the National Review, a magazine founder by Conservative thinker David Buckley, David French wrote the following commentary: In recent months we’ve seen a number of cases where courts have excused police for shooting citizens even after the police made mistakes — and the citizens were doing nothing wrong — simply because these citizens were exercising their Second Amendment rights. This is unacceptable, and it represents the most extreme possible deprivation of civil rights and civil liberties. I understand the inherent danger of police work. I also understand the legal responsibilities of men and women who volunteer to put on that uniform, and the legal rights of the citizens they’ve sworn to protect and serve. I’m aware of no evidence that Yanez panicked because Castile was black. But whether he panicked because of race, simply because of the gun, or because of both, he still panicked, and he should have been held accountable. The jury’s verdict was a miscarriage of justice.
Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/448740/philando-castile-verdict-was-miscarriage-justice

The Gospel is a Substitution, not a Miscarriage

Romans 5:6 ESV
For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.
, Article II [Concerning Original Sin] 1 Our churches teach that since the fall of Adam [], all who are naturally born are born with sin [], that is, without the fear of God, without trust in God, and with the inclination to sin, called concupiscence. 2 Concupiscence is a disease and original vice that is truly sin. It damns and brings eternal death on those who are not born anew through Baptism and the Holy Spirit [].[1]
[1] McCain, P. T. (Ed.). (2005). Concordia: The Lutheran Confessions (pp. 31–32). St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House.
No matter how you look at it, Jesus Christ died for people who deserved every last flame that awaits sinners in the Lake of Fire. The Good News is not that “God looked the other way” - He didn’t. Instead, it is that God, looking at us for what we are - sinners - offered a complete reconciliation to guilty sinners through the innocent, bitter suffering and death of His Son.
In , Paul makes a compelling argument that, no matter how righteous we appear before our fellowmen, before a righteous and holy God, we are all guilty of sin. In ways both large and small, we find ways to express our fallen inclination to miss the mark of sinless perfection, a standard that only Jesus Christ fulfilled. The standard is as clear, simple, and impossible today as it was the moment after Adam ate of the tree of the knowledge of Good and Evil.
Beginning with , Paul begins to make his case for the Gospel, saying, “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.”
1) , Article II [Concerning Original Sin] 1 Our churches teach that since the fall of Adam [], all who are naturally born are born with sin [], that is, without the fear of God, without trust in God, and with the inclination to sin, called concupiscence. 2 Concupiscence is a disease and original vice that is truly sin. It damns and brings eternal death on those who are not born anew through Baptism and the Holy Spirit [].[1]
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
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.
Later, if you have a faithful pastor, you will be reminded that, no matter how many people think otherwise about you, the Law condemns you :
In , Paul makes a compelling argument that, no matter how righteous we appear before our fellowmen, before a righteous and holy God, we are all guilty of sin. In ways both large and small, we find ways to express our fallen inclination to miss the mark of sinless perfection, a standard that only Jesus Christ fulfilled. The standard is as clear, simple, and impossible today as it was the moment after Adam ate of the tree of the knowledge of Good and Evil.
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.
Later, if you have a faithful pastor, you will be reminded that, no matter how many people think otherwise about you, the Law condemns you :
SA III:II:4-5 [Concerning the Law] 4 But the chief office or force of the Law is to reveal original sin with all its fruit. It shows us how very low our nature has fallen, how we have become utterly corrupted. The Law must tell us that we have no God, that we do not care for God, and that we worship other gods []—something we would not have believed before and without the Law. In this way, we become terrified, humbled, depressed. We despair and anxiously want help, but see no escape []. We begin to be an enemy of God and to complain, and so on []. 5 This is what Paul says, “The law brings wrath” (). Sin is increased by the Law, “The law came in to increase the trespass” ().[1]
Finally, having been chastened by the Law, you will hear the Good News that, while your actions support the Holy charge of your status as a sinner, God, in His love and mercy, sent your son to be the object of His divine wrath against sin, by exchanging our sinfulness for His righteousness, as it is written, “8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”(). As a result, you are now free to serve the Lord in the beauty of Christ’s holiness, which has been imputed to you.
Now, I could just send you home with that, after receiving Holy Communion, right? Except, there is this thing. When someone has done such a wonderful thing for you, and you have come to know Him as a result of this, “where do we go from here?”
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.. As a result, you are now free to serve the Lord in the beauty of Christ’s holiness, which has been imputed to you.
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After all, are we the only ones in this world that operate as an enemy of God? Does the world act like it is God’s World? Does our community look like God’s community? What do we do about our neighbor? Should he or she not know that Christ died for them?
[1] McCain, P. T. (Ed.). (2005). Concordia: The Lutheran Confessions (pp. 271–272). St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House.
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Ro 3:23–25). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.
You all remember the parable about the talents don’t you? Can we really get away with just handing our souls over to God saying, “Here Lord, you may have what is yours?” Having paid the redemption price for them, is what God sees of Tolleston, today, of Mid-Town today, of Tarrytown and Glen Park today, even , of City Hall today, the BEST that we can hope for? When we pray, do we only pray for our house, but not our neighbor’s house? Our child, but not his or her classmates and playmates? Is God’s message of Good News only “for me and my four, but not for anyone more?”
I look around and see the beautiful trees, and then see homes that are surrounded by grass and overgrown bushes; is there nothing that I should do? I see young people who think that their life has little meaning because they happen to live here; is there nothing that I can do? Did God truly, raise me up from the grave with Christ through Holy Baptism, and made me a partaker of His Holy Spirit, but with no sense of His love for this world, and no sense of His passion for its transformation alongside of me?
When you leave this beautiful place, you know that the Lord goes with you. Does He see anything less than you? No, in fact, He sees more. He sees behind the smile that hides the pain, the hopelessness, the despair, that is the burden of many a Gary citizen. He sees behind the desperate gaiety, the hustle and flow, the aggressive posturing for position, that occupies the lives of many. He sees the hunger and thirst for righteousness, the desire for peace, and the longing for security, all of which He has promised to supply to those who put their trust in Him.
How will they believe unless they hear? That’s why I’m here, to enable them to hear! Will you, help me, help them, to hear? I want them to hear - I want them to taste and see that the Lord IS GOOD! - What will you do to help me, help them? What time can you give? What witness can you give? What mercy can you show? what life can we live together?
God has given to us - EVERYTHING that pertains to life and Godliness through the knowledge of His Son. Did we bury it all out back, hoping not to lose it? If so, let’s dig it up while we can, and put it to work with our neighbor. Let’s dig it up, and put it to work in our community. As we go, lets make disciples of our neighbors, baptizing and teaching, as the Lord has commanded us.
We’ve been forgiven, we are redeemed, we have nothing to lose, because whatever we give away for Christ’s sake, He’s promised to restore. We are on the winning side; our adversary, the devil, can do nothing of substance to us other than try to get us off our focus of being the Body of Christ. We have nothing to lose, that we can’t get back, and everything in Christ to possess. So let the peace of God, that passes all understanding, guard your hearts and minds, through Christ Jesus.
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