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IRMGARD M. QUADE
Irmgard “Irmie” M. Quade, age 94 of rural Randolph, passed away on Sunday, January 15, 2017 at the Markesan Resident Home.
Irmgard was born on July 17, 1922 in the town of Herman, Dodge County, daughter of Gerhardt and Martha (Christian) Quandt. A graduate of Beaver Dam High School, Irmgard worked at Campbell’s Department Store, Bear Brand Hoisery and Yellow Truck Line Inc. all in Beaver Dam. She enjoyed gardening, cooking, entertaining and playing cards. She actively pursued following a healthy lifestyle by incorporating homemade healthy remedies into her life. Irmgard was united in marriage to Theodore L. Quade Sr. on October 22, 1955, and her greatest joy in life was raising their children and grandchildren. Irmgard was a charter member of Faith Lutheran Church, where she was active with the Ladies of Faith, sang in the choir and taught Sunday School. She was also a member of County Line Homemaker Club.
Irmgard is survived by her children, Ted (Georgine) Quade of Waukesha, Kent (June) Quade of Randolph and Marla (John) Scheberl of Fond du Lac; her grandchildren, Nathan (Kelly) Quade, Rachel (Jake) Kearns, Samantha (Andy) Dolgner, Joe Quade, Alex Scheberl, Kyle (Jessi) Scheberl, Luke (Jenny) Scheberl; 11 great-grandchildren; and further survived by nieces, nephew, other relatives and friends.
She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Theodore; her brothers, Alvin (Eldoris) and Melvin(in infancy); brother and sister in-laws, Quentin(Miranda) Quade and Bernadine(Rodney) Blochwitz and other relatives.
Visitation for Irmgard will be held on Wednesday, January 18, 2017 at Faith Lutheran Church, N1529 Hwy 73, Markesan from 9:30 a.m. until the time of the funeral service at 11:00 a.m. Revs. Matthew Ude and Mark Bernthal will officiate. Burial will take place at Lake Maria Cemetery, town of Manchester.
Cornerstone Funeral & Cremation Services, 181 S. Main St., Markesan is honored to be serving the family. You may send private online condolences or sign the family’s guest book at www.cstonefs.com.
Irmgard Quade went to be with the Lord a little before 2am Sunday January 15th.
Her visitation is scheduled for Wednesday January 18th
Visitation: 9:30 am
Funeral: 11:00 am
Place: Faith Lutheran Church, Markesan WI
Faith Call News
Pastor Mark Bernthal has accepted our call to serve as vacancy pastor. This will begin on June 20th. …. Pastor Nathanael Mayhew is considering the call which we extended to him on May 26.
CLC Call News
Pastor Rick Grams of Hecla, SD has announced his retirement from the public ministry effective June 30… Seminary graduate Joe Naumann has accepted the call to serve as associate pastor of Immanuel, Mankato… Teacher graduate Andrew Roehl has accepted the call to teach at Messiah, Eau Claire.
Men, you are invited attend the “Man Up” men’s retreat this summer, from Friday, August 26 to Sunday, August 28. It will be held at beautiful Wyalusing State Park near Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin (one hour south of LaCrosse). The cost is only $75 for the weekend and includes lodging, meals, and activities. Registration deadline is July 1, 2016. The retreat is being organized by CLC congregations in Minnesota and Wisconsin to strengthen and encourage men 18 years and older in their God-given roles in the home, church and society. The weekend will include Bible Study, Fellowship, Leadership Training, Team and Relationship Building and Worship, including awesome outdoor activities. Sign up today at www.manup.clclutheran.org or email Nathanael Mayhew at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reformation Hymn Poetry
The CLC Worship Committee is currently inviting church members to submit original Reformation-themed hymn poetry for potential use in our congregations. This is pursuant to the convention’s directive that the committee should be “soliciting worship material from the membership of the CLC.” Authors should set their work to a known hymn tune and while they may copyright their submissions, hymns should be licensed in a way so as to allow free distribution and use. Interested writers may contact Pastor David Schaller (email@example.com) to request a submission form containing further information. The submission deadline is September 30, 2016.
The Immanuel Professorage Committee (IPC) has been doing a lot of planning for projects that will upgrade the professorage that Professor Paul Naumann will be moving into this summer. We are looking for volunteer help immediately before or after Convention, or anytime in June and early July convenient for you (in teams or individuals). In particular, the time after Convention (ends June 26) will be the most crucial and helpful. Projects include: installing new windows & siding, installing new carpeting/flooring, updating kitchen, painting inside, and fencing in the back yard. Those who are able to help with any of these projects or would like more details, please contact Pastor Paul Tiefel (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Then one of the Pharisees asked Him to eat with him. And He went to the Pharisee’s house, and sat down to eat. 37 And behold, a woman in the city who was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at the table in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster flask of fragrant oil, 38 and stood at His feet behind Him weeping; and she began to wash His feet with her tears, and wiped them with the hair of her head; and she kissed His feet and anointed them with the fragrant oil. 39 Now when the Pharisee who had invited Him saw this, he spoke to himself, saying, “This Man, if He were a prophet, would know who and what manner of woman this is who is touching Him, for she is a sinner.” 40 And Jesus answered and said to him, “Simon, I have something to say to you.” So he said, “Teacher, say it.” 41 “There was a certain creditor who had two debtors. One owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. 42 And when they had nothing with which to repay, he freely forgave them both. Tell Me, therefore, which of them will love him more?” 43 Simon answered and said, “I suppose the one whom he forgave more.” And He said to him, “You have rightly judged.” 44 Then He turned to the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave Me no water for My feet, but she has washed My feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head. 45 You gave Me no kiss, but this woman has not ceased to kiss My feet since the time I came in. 46 You did not anoint My head with oil, but this woman has anointed My feet with fragrant oil. 47 Therefore I say to you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little.” 48 Then He said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” 49 And those who sat at the table with Him began to say to themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?” 50 Then He said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you. Go in peace.”
The Connection Between Forgiveness and Love
Dear fellow redeemed in Christ:
I normally am not a fan of quoting Latin because I don’t know it, and most people do not know it. But I’m going to throw a phrase at you that I heard on a TV show recently: Post hoc ergo propter hoc (Latin: “after this, therefore because of this”). The idea is that we can mess up cause and effect. For example, “I had my lucky jersey on, and my team won. Therefore my jersey caused the victory.” This can lead to a lot of wrong thinking. “The rooster crowed so the sun came up.” Or worse in some religions: “We made a sacrifice and so our god caused our crops to grow.”
Just as dangerous is when we mix up the order of God’s love for us and our love for Him. We dare not say, that a person is forgiven because he shows how much He loves God. Rather today we have presented to us the correct order: The love of Jesus brought about forgiveness. That forgiveness brings about our love. That is the connection between forgiveness and love. May the Holy Spirit open our hearts to receive His message today.
1. The love of Jesus brought about forgiveness
During His ministry on this earth, Jesus was criticized more than any public figure today. The criticism mainly came from the religious establishment. Their criticism ranged from what He taught, to how He acted, to the people with whom He associated. The question then, might be raised as to why Simon the Pharisee invited Jesus to his house. For a time, the Pharisees gave Jesus some respect as a Rabbi – certainly on a lesser scale than they were, but they wouldn’t put Him in the same category of the dregs of society whom they despised. Later they wanted nothing to do with Him as they perceived Him to be dangerous.
On His part, Jesus worked with both the Pharisees and the public sinners – prostitutes, drunkards, thieves, and the like. Both were involved in sin. One group had a problem with pride and self-righteousness. The other group fell into the trap of moral lapses when it came to the works of the flesh. In love, Jesus exposed sin for what it was, but also offered forgiveness for that sin. He never approved of any sin, but at the same time, He did not withhold forgiveness for those who were repentant.
There was this tension between the Pharisees and those caught up in immorality. This is encapsulated when Simon saw a sinful woman, more than likely a prostitute, lavishing attention on Jesus. We read in verse 39, Now when the Pharisee who had invited Him saw this, he spoke to himself, saying, “This Man, if He were a prophet,, would know who and what manner of woman this is who is touching Him, for she is a sinner. He thought that certainly Jesus didn’t know of her reputation otherwise He wouldn’t even allow her near Him. Jesus, of course, knew full well who she was and what she had done, and still accepted her attention because she was showing love and thankfulness to Him.
What prompted these acts of love was the forgiveness that she knew was found in Jesus. She had become aware of her great debt of sin and was relieved to know that Jesus had paid it. Jesus illustrated this in a parable in verses 41-42, There was a certain creditor who had two debtors. One owed him five hundred denarii (one denarius was a day’s wages), and the other fifty. And when they had nothing with which to repay, he freely forgave them both. Tell Me, therefore, which of them will love him more? The obvious answer is the one with the larger debt.
Jesus forgave the debt of sin because of His great love for sinful humanity. Whatever the amount owed in this parable, it could not be repaid. The same is true of sin. No matter how many or how great a sin might be, it puts us into debt that carries a repayment price of eternal punishment. There could be no bankruptcy claim. Our holy and just God could not simply magically remove our debt from the books.
There are only two options: Either you pay the debt yourself, or someone else pays it for you. That someone else cannot be a human being. In a great act of love, Moses made such an offer on behalf of the children of Israel in Exodus 32 after the people were facing God’s wrath due to the sin of idolatry. Moses offered to have his name blotted out of the book of life. The Lord responded, Whoever has sinned against Me, I will blot him out of My book. One sinner cannot take the place of another. Only Jesus the holy Son of God could make satisfactory payment for sin.
We might ask the same thing that the Pharisees did in verse 49, Who is this who even forgives sins? They were questioning His authority. When this was asked before, Jesus demonstrated His authority by healing a paralyzed man. We don’t question His authority, but still may ask, What God would freely forgive sins? What kind of God would put Himself into harm’s way in order to release sinners from a mess into which they had put themselves?
That God is one full of love and mercy. He is One who would rather give up His Son, One who would rather suffer the punishment of hell than see it happen to anybody else. He is a God who calls sinners to repentance so that they do not remain mired in unbelief. He is One who makes every effort to present to us that good news of eternal life and salvation. His is generous, able to forget about sin once it is paid for, and who does not require any conditions from us before He gives forgiveness. His love prompted Him to forgive. That is what came first. Jesus’ love brought Him to earth not only to live among sinners, associate with them. His love prompted Him to die for them.
2. The forgiveness of Jesus brings about love
Just as God’s love brought about forgiveness, so also there is a product of God’s forgiveness – that we are able to respond in love to Him. The one who doesn’t know of forgiveness, or does not believe that he needs forgiveness cannot love God, or truly love his neighbor. Simon was one of those. Jesus presents this contrast in verses 44-46: Then he turned to the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave Me no water for My feet but she has washed My feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head. You gave me no kiss, but this woman has not ceased to kiss My feet since the time I came in. You did not anoint My head with oil, but this woman has anointed My feet with fragrant oil.
Simon did not see Jesus as His Savior. In fact, he saw Him to be less than Himself, and so he did not extend even common courtesy to Him. This woman knew of her great need for a Savior, and was so overwhelmed with relief that her debt of sin was paid that she went above and beyond common courtesy and showered affection upon Him. If we are lacking in love for our Savior either we are full of pride concerning our spiritual state or we are ignorant about our sin and need for a Savior. The only way that we can love Jesus is because He has loved us first.
The order of love and forgiveness is very important. We are not forgiven because we love. Forgiveness has to come first. Jesus illustrates this in verses 47: Therefore I say to you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little. This translation is not real clear and seems to say the opposite of what the rest of this account says when it comes to cause and effect of forgiveness and love. Try this out: It has rained, for the sidewalk is wet. We obviously understand that to mean that the rain is the cause, the wetness is the effect. That is the sense of this verse.
Think of the joy if somebody paid off your mortgage, or credit card bills that are out of control, or $75,000 in student loans. What a sense of relief! Knowing the debt and the payment causes a reaction in us. This is all the more true in the spiritual realm. The grace, love, and forgiveness of Jesus changes hearts in like nothing else can.
The more we know of our great debt, the more that we will appreciate the payment that Jesus made. It’s easy to get off track and find those who we believe are worse sinners than we are. It’s easy to act like Simon or like the Pharisee in the parable in which he was glad that he was not like a sinner such as the tax collector. It’s easy to abuse the forgiveness of Jesus and just go out and rack up more sinful debt.
Rather look inside. See your spiritual bankruptcy. Become aware of your disobedience and your own sin and know it’s price, and also be very aware of how that price was paid. The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Through this continuing belief that Jesus has given to you personally the forgiveness that He won for the world, hear the final words of Jesus to this woman: Go in peace. Amen.
Faith Lutheran Church – Markesan, WI
Pastor Mike Schierenbeck – 920-398-2778
May 22, 2015 Trinity/Confirmation Sunday
Text: Romans 12:2
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
Conformation vs. Confirmation
Dear fellow redeemed in Christ and especially today we address Morgan, Dylan, and Morgan:
Confirmation is day of making promises. You are voicing today what you were unable to voice at the time of your baptism, namely that you wish to remain faithful to God for the rest of your lives. This also marks a time in which you are taking more responsibility in your faith life. Up to this point your parents have told where and when to go to church. You are now transitioning to a point where you will be making those decisions yourself, and in a way making your faith your own.
Becoming independent is a joyful experience and one that young people look forward to, but it is not without responsibility. As you grow older, you will be making more choices, but there will be temptations to discard what you have learned from your parents, teachers, and pastor, and make the wrong choice. Today we focus on the difference between confirmation and conformation. We either remain with God and stand out or we are molded into the world and its ways. May God’s Spirit open our hearts to receive His message today.
1. The unbelieving world wishes to mold you in its ways
There are many people here today to support and encourage you and help guide you in the ways of your Lord. There are also those who are united against you with the goal to separate you from God. The devil wants you to be like him and rebel against God becoming more like the unbelieving world. Your sinful nature is drawn to what seems to be attractive in the world, but is in fact soul destroying. Unbelievers themselves exert pressure for you to conform to their standards. “Become like one of us. Don’t stand out!” But being of the world and of God are mutually exclusive. You can’t do both at once. We’re told in 1 John 2:15, If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
We are warned, Do not be conformed to this world. Being conformed is like being a lump of clay, molded to the shape of what is going on around us. There is appeal to this. When we conform to the world’s standards of sin and wickedness we are living without rules and restraint. There is what seems to be freedom in being free from what we view as the restrictions of God.
Yet all that conformity is nothing but being a slave of sin, and giving yourself a death sentence. There is a price for loving the world and its ways. Too often we don’t consider the consequences of our thoughts and actions until it is too late. There is really deception here because we are led to believe that what we do really doesn’t matter. We think that we can ignore God and still maintain our faith. This is a dangerous and destructive way of thinking. There is no neutral position for the soul. You are either for God or against Him. You belong to Him or you belong to Satan. There is nothing in between.
Being a Christian is a constant striving. If we coast, if we do nothing to remain connected to God, then we will end up being conformed to the world. That is our default setting. If you don’t dig into God’s Word on a regular basis, if you don’t take the time for worship of God, time to be with your fellow believers, and if you despise the Lord’s Supper, it is a fact that you will be dragged down, probably not even being aware of it.
It’s very easy to say, “I know what I learned as a kid, but now I’m older and smarter. I’ve outgrown those simple ways.” It took the power of God to change you and your direction, and He still is working in you. But as a Christian you are making choices every day. You have the new man created in you to battle against your sinful nature. You can either feed your new man with the Gospel, or let him starve.
2. Remember that you are a new creation in Christ
I don’t want to make it sound like you have no hope. The Good News is that you are not part of the world right now. You have been transformed, changed. From this Greek word we have the English word “metamorphis.” It’s the same word used of Jesus when He was transfigured and revealed His glory.
Your Triune God has seen to it that this miraculous transformation has taken place in you. You have a Heavenly Father who not only created your body, but when He saw that not only your body, but more importantly your soul was in danger of destruction He sent His Son into the world to be your substitute. The Son obeyed His Father’s will and became sin for us that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. Jesus not only took away your sin, but He was your substitute in His life, crediting all the right things that He did to your account. The third Person of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit, made the forgiveness of the world, your very own by creating faith in you Through the Gospel in Word and Sacrament this faith is not only created, but maintained. With this connection He made, that forgiveness flows to you. You have been transformed from a sinner into a saint; from an enemy of God to His very own child.
Be transformed by the renewing of your mind. As a child of God you have a new and different way of thinking that the world cannot conceive of. Unbelievers try to ignore their conscience or believe that if they do enough things right that they can balance the scales for what they have done wrong. In this renewing your mind you know that all of your righteousness are like filthy rags and useless to try to make payment for sin. It would be liking taking a bucket of dirt into a car dealership and saying, “This is my payment for a car.” Thankfully you know that Jesus has done everything for your salvation. And that this has been given as a gift to you. The works that we do are a result of our salvation not a cause of it.
This way of thinking then leads us to constantly test what we encounter. We need to confirm whether something is of God or not. Be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. This word “prove” has the idea of proving by testing to see what is genuine. You may have seen in Westerns how a prospector would bit down on a piece of gold to determine how soft it was and to see whether it was fake or real.
So it is with us. In every stage of life we are in a constant process of proving by testing if something is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. He wishes above all that you would be in heaven with Him. To this end He gives you information not only as to how you are saved, but how to remain connected to Him. This is not being conformed, but confirming. Continuing in your faith day by day with new thinking, not like that of the world which leads to destruction. This means not being spiritually lazy, but being active with your faith. This is not thinking that we can pick and choose what we sounds good to us in the Bible, but accepting all of it as truth.
One final question, but not for our confirmands, but for parents, grandparents, and the members of Faith congregation. What will you do to help these young people remain in the faith? What will we do to help each other remain in the faith? We have a responsibility to each other in Christian love to build each other up, to encourage and to warn. It’s a jungle out there and we need the blessing of God and the help of one another not to be conformed, but to remain transformed. Your future is bright and full of joy and peace now and forever being connected to your Triune God. Amen.
Council Meeting Notes
∙ Pastor announced that his final day will be Sunday, June 19
∙ There was consensus to have the inmates come on August 17 for cleaning
∙ Resolved: To recommend to the voters to establish a fund and committee to assist those in need. The guidelines are as follows:
∙ The purpose of this committee is to provide financial aid to individuals and families when special needs arise. This would be primarily for Faith members, but non-members may be considered on a case by case basis. Members of Faith will receive the top priority.
∙ The Helping Hands Committee will consist of one elder and two voting members appointed by the council. It will be a standing committee. The committee will elects its chairman from the three members. The pastor is an ex officio member of the committee as per the constitution.
∙ Members may donate to the fund through their offerings. It will be administered by the Special Funds treasurer.
∙ When a need arises, the individual may ask the committee, or possible recipients may be suggested by the elders or members of the congregation. The committee will then meet with the individual to determine what is needed, and disburse money as it sees fit.
∙ The committee will report its activity to the annual voters’ meeting.
∙ The pastor may disburse up to $100 at his own discretion.
∙ The fund may be promoted through the bulletin and other ways as special needs arise.
Letter from Pastor Hanel
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ of Faith Lutheran,
I want to let you know that I have received your Call to serve as your pastor. It is both an honor and humbling to be considered for such work in the Lord’s Kingdom. I ask for your prayers during this time and look forward with excitement to the Lord’s guidance as to what His Will is in this matter.
Pastor Matthew Hanel
If you wish to contact Pastor Hanel and talk to him about the congregation’s needs, you may reach him at 972-733-4535 or email@example.com
Tables and Chairs
As we enter the season of graduation parties and similar events, just a reminder that we are asking that the white tables and the chairs that are in the gym and lunch room remain there. The brown tables and chairs in the safe room are available for members to borrow. Please leave your name and date on a piece of paper attached to them with the date of your use. Thank you.
Pastor David Pfeiffer of Ascension, Batavia, IL has accepted the call to Holy Trinity, West Columbia, SC… Seminary Graduate is considering the call to Mt. Zion, Madison Heights, MI and as Associate Pastor to Immanuel, Mankato, MN
From Teacher Ted Quade: Our annual Brewer outing is Tuesday, July 26 against the Arizona Diamondbacks. A limited number of tickets are available for $21.00. Inquiries or to register, individuals should email me BEFORE June 1 (sooner, if at all possible): firstname.lastname@example.org
It is time to renew or start a subscription to the Lutheran Spokesman. There is a “throwback” rate of $10 to renew or $8 for a new subscription. The form is posted on the bulletin board. The deadline is June 12. Samples of the Spokesman may be found by the guest register. Yellow envelopes are available on the bulletin board and may be put in hte offering plate or pastor’s mailbox. For current subscribers, please look this today so that you won’t have your subscription cancelled.
We could still use one more lay-delegate for convention in Eau Claire June 23-26 and our local delegate conference in Hales Corners on June 6-7. We need to register shortly, so if you can help out, please see Pastor right away.
May 15, 2016 Pentecost Sunday
Text: Acts 2:37-47
Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?” 38 Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.” 40 And with many other words he testified and exhorted them, saying, “Be saved from this perverse generation.” 41 Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them. 42 And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers. 43 Then fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles. 44 Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, 45 and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need. 46 So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, 47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.
What is the Most Impressive Miracle of Pentecost?
Dear fellow redeemed in Christ:
As we read in our Scripture reading, there were some impressive things going on that first Pentecost Sunday. There were miracles to consider with both your eyes and ears. People were startled by the sound of a rushing, mighty wind. Then as they gathered around what they considered to be the source, they found the apostles of Jesus with what looked like flames on top of their heads. Then to their amazement they could hear these uneducated fishermen speaking to them in their own language. Even more miracles would follow. There were multiple miracles of healing, demons were cast out, there was even a man who was brought back to life.
There are those in Christianity who view these acts as the most impressive aspect of Pentecost. They even try to replicate those events by trying to speak in tongues or attempting to heal people. There are those who claim that you’re not a genuine Christian if you are unable to do those things. But as impressive as those miracles were, they were not the point of Pentecost. All of those things were there to give the opportunitie for people to hear the good news about Jesus and believe. Today we consider the true miracles of Pentecost: the creation of faith which give hope, followed by the fruits of faith which show hope. May the all powerful Holy Spirit open our hearts to receive His message.
1. Faith which gives hope
What we are missing between our Scripture reading and our text is the sermon that Peter gave. He spent many verses illuminating the people that the events of that day were foretold by the prophet Joel. He also reminded them that in the Old Testament it was clear that the promised Messiah would be put to death, but that He would rise again. God would not allow His holy one to see corruption.
What cut them to the heart, though, was when Peter revealed to them that Jesus of Nazareth was that Messiah. He was the One that they had waited their whole lives to see. Not only them but their parents and grandparents and many generations were waiting on the One that God had promised would come and deliver them. Yet what did they do? They put him to death. Know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ. You could see why this would not only be a stab to the heart as far as sadness would go, but also they the would be frightened because of this terrible act that they had committed. They said in verse 39: Men and brethren, what shall we do?
Peter responded in verse 38: Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and you shall receive the Holy Spirit. Repentance is more than remorse and being sorry for your sin. That is one part of it. The second part is know and believe that Jesus forgives that sin. Connected to this repentance is baptism, being baptized and also remembering your baptism. Baptism is the sacrament which replaced circumcision from the Old Testament. Circumcision was a lifetime reminder that you were a part of God’s people. It was a mark that you were part of God’s covenant. But baptism is far superior to circumcision. First of all, there is no power in circumcision. Also it was limited to males, and finally it was connected to the Old Covenant which demanded rather than gave.
In baptism we are connected to Jesus and all the blessings that He gives. We receive the forgiveness of sins. life and salvation. It is not something that we do for God. Instead it is something that God does for us. The gift of the Holy Spirit is that He takes the not guilty verdict that Christ acquired for the world and gives it to you personally. This connection to Jesus and His forgiveness turned them from a people of despair to a people of hope.
But there’s more: For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call. The Holy Spirit gives knowledge that you are included in the plan of salvation. The gift of forgiveness was not just meant for those who were around that day. It was not meant just for the Jews. It is meant for everyone who needs forgiveness. Certainly we would include ourselves in that description. We nailed Christ to the cross with our rebellion against Him. These are words that we need to hear.
Belonging to God is not like being a member of an exclusive club that once you get inside the velvet ropes than you dismiss anybody else who wants to come in. God want everybody to be brought into His family. Verse 40 Be saved from this perverse generation. The Lord does not wish us to be condemned. He is constantly working to take us off the path that leads to hell. He calls us out of the world. This creation and sustaining of faith is much more impressive than the sound of a rushing, mighty wind, or tongues of fire, or speaking in different languages. The three thousand that were baptized that day were just a precursor of the great impact that the Holy Spirit would have. Verse 47: And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.
2. The fruits of faith that show hope
We don’t want to make the mistake that after Pentecost that the party was over. Hearts were changed and people reflected that hope that was now in them with changed lives. The faith that was created in them produced fruits. We start out in verse 42: And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread and in prayers. It was important that they would not corrupt the purity of the message that they were given. Not all teachings are equal. Sadly, we find that as the Word spread, there were those that would follow the truth with lies, and corrupt the message of Jesus alone providing salvation. They taught salvation was Jesus’ work plus what you did. There came the idea that Jesus was not true God. There was the teaching that Jesus was not true Man. It is a constant struggle to continue in the apostles’ doctrine because Satan is always trying to pull us off the path.
That is why the fellowship (the sharing) of those who remain in the truth is so important. We boost each other up. We work to keep our guard up. That includes not only being involved with the Word, but also the sacrament. It is thought that the breaking of bread refers to more than just sitting down for a meal, but that it is speaking of the Lord’ Supper. In holy communion we are strengthened for the battle. We are personally assured that we have received the forgiveness of sins and are drawn closer to God. In our prayers we may not only praise and thank God for His goodness, but also petition Him to help us. Those who have faith show this faith to the world in leading a life dedicated to God.
This was further shown in their desire to live with one another in Christian love and sharing. To this extent we read in verses 44-45: Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need. We could say that they were communists in this way, not with the godless government present, but in an effort to make sure that the poor were taken care of.
It was not too long after this that they realized that sin makes it impossible to live in such a way, but we want to remember that the principle remains true. Those who have are to look out for those who have not. While we may become jaded and uncaring because at times we are taken advantage of, we certainly should not give up on the idea of showing the hope given by Christ in acts of Christian love, especially to those of the household of faith. This is why the council recommended the establishment of a helping hands fund which is outlined in your bulletin.
There’s more: So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, praising God and having favor with all people. The Pentecost miracle continued from church to house. Their load was lightened. They were relieved to know that they had a Savior, and so they could eat their food with gladness and simplicity of heart. I think that that is an aspect that is missing in most of our lives. We worry. We emphasize the wrong priorities. We are so busy that we fail to give time to what is most important: faith then family. Our lives will not be problem free, but God does desire for us to have worry free lives and that can happen when we put our trust in Him.
We missed out on what was heard and seen on that day of Pentecost, but the true miracle of Pentecost continues today. The Holy Spirit is still at work. He gives faith which gives hope, and we are able to reflect that hope as we exercise that faith. Amen.