“Building on our Lutheran Confession”
“Building on our Lutheran Confession” is our capital campaign theme, which starts this month (If you want a copy of the presentation, they are on the table in the narthex). We confess this theme in light of Psalm 127:1, “Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain.” This is what St. Paul, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, wrote to the Corinthian congregation. “What then is Apollos? What is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, as the Lord assigned to each. I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. He who plants and he who waters are one, and each will receive his wages according to his labor. For we are God’s fellow workers. You are God’s field, God’s building. (I Cor. 3:5-9) God is graciously building His spiritual house, the Church, until He returns on the Last Day, with Christ as the cornerstone. “The Church’s One Foundation is Jesus Christ her Lord.” (LSB 644, Public domain) “Built on the Rock the Church Shall Stand!” (LSB 645, Public domain)
The Lord builds His house through the preaching and watering of His Word—His Word that endures forever, as recorded in Matthew 24, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.” Just as our Lord planted congregations and gathered believers through St. Paul and Apollos’ sowing and watering with His Word, the Lord continues this same work today through His Divinely instituted Office of Preaching (Augsburg Confession V), supported by the labor and offerings of the priesthood of believers. By the planning, labor, and generous giving of Christians from generation to generation, the Gospel has gone out from Jerusalem to Frisco—the Lord alone giving the growth.
Alleluia! By His grace, the Holy Spirit has called us by the Gospel and continues to gather and enlighten us with His sacraments. Amen, amen, the fact that God declares us righteous for the sake of the life, death, and resurrection of Christ alone continues to come to our ears and mouths unto life everlasting. The Lord has opened our lips to build on this Biblical—Lutheran confession. As we sing, “My hope is built on nothing less, Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness; No merit of my own I claim, But wholly lean on Jesus’ Name, On Christ the solid Rock I stand; All other ground is sinking sand.” (LSB 575, Public domain) This is why we come to St. John Lutheran Church of Frisco—to hear, believe and confess this Good News. This is why we invite others to come and hear what our Lord says and sows in preaching and His Word. By His grace, we have tasted that the Lord is good and we long for this spiritual milk, and we want others to taste too.
Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation– if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good. As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For it stands in Scripture: “Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a cornerstone chosen and precious, and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.” So the honor is for you who believe, but for those who do not believe, “The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone,” and “A stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense.”(I Peter 2:2-8)
The Lord has blessed our labor and sacrifices to date and we humble ask Him to continue to do His good and gracious will among us. Let us continue to labor while it is daylight, building on our Lutheran confession that Christ is the cornerstone of the building. Let us continue to support and expand Christ’s building in this place with our time, talent, and treasure. By God’s grace, let us work hard, with our eyes looking forward to His return and doing all that we can to pass the faith on to the next generation. Let us think eternally and generationally. Let us continue to build on this awesome Lutheran Confession of Christ and His salvation by grace alone, through His gift of faith alone, preached from Scripture alone.
“Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain.” Let us continue to pray earnestly that our Lord bless our ongoing labor, until we reach the finish line and the building is complete on the Last Day. On that great and final day, let us recall Jesus’ Words and confess, “So you also, when you have done all that you were commanded, say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done what was our duty.'” (Luke 17:10)
Soli Deo Gloria! – Pastor
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