Roger's Postings

Saturday, July 15, 2017


Romans 8:1-11.                 Living the Life???                                             16/7/17

{1) Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, {2} because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. {3} For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man, {4} in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit. {5} Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. {6} The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; {7} the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God's law, nor can it do so. {8} Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God. {9} You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ. {10} But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness. {11} And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you.

Fred had listened carefully to the sermons of the last weeks; but the more he thought about it, the more it disturbed him greatly. He couldn’t get past thinking, that he is called to act quite differently to what he knew in his heart he was like. He understood in a deeper way that it was important that he lived this Christian life that was called for from him. But that concerned him greatly, because he found that he was really struggling to be able to live up to what was expected of him.

Despite his best efforts he kept failing to do what he knew was required of him. Even though he tried hard to allow Christ’s light to shine in his life, all he could see was his faults and his failings. But then at other times he found that he was trying to excuse himself and shrug it off as if it were no big deal; after all God loves him and forgives him so it doesn’t matter if he lives completely opposite to what he knows is right. This self-righteous attitude was not sitting comfortable with him either.

So Fred could identify with Paul’s words in last week’s lesson, when he stated: I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. (Rom 7:15) and When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. (Rom 7:21)  He now knew what the right thing was for him to do, but he just couldn’t get it right. This was now playing on his mind and causing him much turmoil.

Over and over again he kept thinking that he was a failure at being a Christian; so how could God love and accept him. Doubts crept in to the point the he began to think that he was just fooling himself about his being a Christian. What is he to do? Where does he turn? Perhaps he should just give up.

So to the Fred's and others with similar thoughts, listen carefully to what God has to say to you here in this reading. To those who are smug in their own self- righteousness, you can switch off and have a sleep. To the rest of you, listen also, for there is a message for you also. Romans 8 is a wonderful chapter for all who are going through a rough time in life and their faith.

Paul here begins by saying that there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Despite our doubts, and failures have no fear, for through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life has set you free from the law of sin and death. In other words, because of Jesus' death on the cross, we are assured that nothing in all creation can separate us from God's love. Nothing! Not even our doubts and failings. Jesus has died for us, and through our baptism has joined us to himself.

Since we are unable to live up to God's standards because of our sinful nature and so cannot make ourselves acceptable to God; God sent his Son to do everything necessary for our forgiveness and salvation. The soul that sins shall die; but Jesus joined himself to us and died in our place, so that we might have life.

 And so he condemned sin in sinful man, in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit. We who now believe in Jesus Christ and the importance of his death on the cross, are now considered by God as being sinless. He sees us as righteous people. As we look to him and trust in him we can go forward with confidence.

So we can know that because we are still sinful while we live on this earth, our body is still subject to failure and death. We will constantly have that battle within us between what we know is right and good and our ability to do it. Just as it was for Paul, there will also be many times when you and I will fail to live the righteous life, even though we know what the right thing is.

We are as Luther once said, 'saint and sinner at the same time'. But that does not mean that we are not loved and accepted by God and that we are not really Christian. And it doesn't mean that we are not to strive to live as God' would have us. We cannot excuse ourselves. But at the same time who now know that we are freely and fully forgiven. We are righteous in and through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Remember however that; 'Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace.'

So the point is, are we now wanting to live in accord with God and his Word, or do we want to live according to our sinful, selfish nature. Is Jesus Lord of our lives or are we? Do we want what God has given us and has to say to us, or do we want look to ourselves and the world around us, which determines life for us?

As Christians, Paul says: 'You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you.' Here remember that we do have God's Spirit living in us. We were baptised. There he promised that his Spirit would live in us to help us: he is now in us always. Yes, God is at work in our life every day, seeking to control what happens in our life; to give us life and peace.

The Spirit is at work in our lives to lead, guide and ever point is to Jesus and what is important for us. As the Spirit draws us to regular worship in his house, we are continually reminded that we are forgiven and thereby have the assurance of eternal life in heaven. At the beginning of every service we have Confession and Absolution; We have the Word read and preached; and we have The Lord’s Supper; ever reassuring us of that which we need most of all. The Spirit is at work leading us to that which is good for us, because we have this constant battle in our lives.

On top of that; take note of what he says next. 'But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness.' Did you hear that? When Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin. Our life; our getting our own way; our living the way we want, is dead: it is not important. The things that the world out there sees as important are nothing; they are no longer what now makes for life for us as Christians. We are a part of something infinitely greater.

Christ and his life is what now makes for true living. With him in us, we have that which already has made us righteous and which will help us to live with peace and certainty, despite our struggles. We are now free to be what Christ would have us be. Now we can be children of light; striving to do what is in accord with one who is called a child of God. We can strive now to do what the Spirit would have us do, knowing that we already have that which makes for life.

Here remember also what Paul went on to say in this connection: 'And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you.' Did Jesus really raise Jesus from the dead? Yes! Then he also has promised that he gives life to us also; guaranteed.

So we can now go forward with confidence, knowing that we have that which is important working in our life. There is no condemnation toward us, while we allow that Spirit to work life in us. Even when we fail, as we all do along the way, he draws us back and assures us again and again of his forgiveness and help.

It is only when we become smug in our own abilities and righteousness that we are in trouble. When we look here [ourselves and our rights and all the rest] we will struggle and only find death. But with the Sprit working in us, as we listen to and mediate on his Word and as we participate in the Lord's Supper, we will receive all that we need for this life and the next

So as we go forward in life look to Jesus Christ and know that his Spirit is working in us, to help us to live with our struggles to be the person we know that we should be. The troubles will always be there, but as we look to Jesus and all that he has made possible for us, we will find the strength and life that we need. Then we will also find that more and more glory will go to him whom it belongs; to our great God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. For to him alone belongs all glory and honour, now and always. AMEN.

Pastor Roger Atze
Glandore/Underdale Lutheran Parish


Saturday, July 08, 2017


Romans 7:15-25.               What is wrong with me??                             9/7/17



I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. {16} And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. {17} As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. {18} I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. {19} For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do--this I keep on doing. {20} Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it. {21} So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. {22} For in my inner being I delight in God's law; {23} but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. {24} What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? {25} Thanks be to God--through Jesus Christ our Lord!



What is wrong with me? As I look back over the past week, month, years, I see that I have done any number of things that I know I shouldn’t have done, and didn’t want to do. At the same time there are things that I know I should have done, but didn’t, and I should know better. What is wrong with me? What a wretched man I am! And I am your pastor.



Time and time again I fail to live the kind of life that I know I should. And then to make matters worse, someone comes along with a smart comment, like, ‘Christians are supposed to be good people, aren’t they?’ ‘What a Hypocrite!’   Or, ‘you can’t possibly die a sheep if you are living a goat’s life’. In a sense they are right. So Again then what is wrong with me?



For most of us we easily fall into the thinking that to be a Christian is all about living a good moral life. We are simply to be good people and the church is there to encourage us to do this. So we look to the church and the bible to tell us how to live the Christian life. It is all about ‘me’ and what I must do. But all too often all we see is our failures and the failures of others around us.



This is a struggle I have, and I am sure that many of you have also. We know the good that we want to and need to do, but far too often we find ourselves doing just the opposite. We want to do the right thing but so often it all seems to go wrong. This is a problem for all of us, including Paul here in our reading. ‘For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate to do.’

Now we could go along with those out there and say that we have a real problem and that we are hypocrites and much more. But here we are reminded that this struggle and difficulty that we have is not faith-shattering, but in fact the opposite – faith-building.



In fact, this is what the Christian faith is all about. Yes, God calls us to live good, holy lives, but because of our sinfulness we will never be able to achieve this. So the Christian faith is all about what God has done through Jesus Christ and the cross to rectify the situation. Then for us to recognise our weakness and look to God and the help that he has provided.



So it is not faith-shattering; because when we struggle in this way we know that certain laws and forces are at work in our lives. It makes us ever aware of the sinfulness that is continually at work in our lives and the sinful nature that we have - even now as Christians. It also makes us aware that God’s good Law is there and at work pointing out our failings and shortfalls – our sin – and so our need to look beyond ourselves for forgiveness and help.



It also helps to show us that when we look to ourselves and seek to live under our own strength and ability we are in trouble. We just cannot do it as we should, and so we are forced to acknowledge our weakness and failure and then look again to the one who truly can give us what we really need. So this struggle that we have is good.



In fact, there is a real problem for us if we do not have this struggle, because it shows that there is a lack of conscience: that there is the absence of any understanding of God’s Law and any desire to live in accord with the will of God. If anybody does not have this struggle in their lives, they are lawless in the full sense of the word, and so are in deep trouble.



Their only desire is to please themselves and to get out of life what they can for themselves: to hell with anyone else. We can already see that our society is well down this track, and the churches are sadly following suit. They seem to think that they can ignore what God has to say to us in his Word because God loves us and accepts us never-the-less. “We’ll all be up there when we die! So it doesn’t matter.” Sadly, despite these hopes, God’s Word is clear that this will not be the case for most.



However, for those of us who are aware of God’s Law and have this struggle in our lives, of doing what we know we shouldn’t be doing and all of that, means that we become painfully aware of who we really are. In light of God’s Word, we know that something is drastically wrong in our lives and that when we look to ourselves and our goodness we are in deep trouble.



Now as Paul says here and elsewhere, that does not mean that God’s Law is bad or that he has fouled up. It means that we have fouled up: that we are not living up to the expectations that God has set for us and created for us to do: and that there is an evil force at work in our lives. It also points us to the consequence of hell for those who do not trust in Jesus Christ and the importance of his death on the cross for the forgiveness of sins.



Yes, it shows that we are all too human: that we are full of sin, and that, nothing good lives in us. That is what is wrong with us! So it shatters any faith we may have in ourselves, and compels us to cry out, ‘what a wretched person I am’.

Having done that it drives us to seek help beyond ourselves. So we cry out with Paul, ‘who will rescue me from this body of death?’ Who is there that can truly help us?



Certainly it is not the saviours that our world is putting forward today: The power of positive thinking; or the doing away with all religious thinking; the accumulation of wealth and material possessions; the conservation of our environment; our technology, and the like. Nor does it help to bury our heads in a glass of beer, or drugs and sex, or some other form of avoiding the big issues of life. No, there is only one way out!



Thanks be to God, that it is through Jesus Christ our Lord. It is through Jesus Christ alone that we can find any real and lasting hope, and the only way out of the mess we are in. Through his life, death and resurrection, we have a sure way out: God’s way out for us all.



All who look to Jesus Christ and the cross, no matter how big their struggles and failures in life may be, they have the assurance of perfection in God’s sight, through the forgiveness of their sins. Because of his death on the cross, God forgives everyone and accepts those who now look to Jesus and put their trust in what he has done for them.



So now again there is hope and joy, now there is a future; despite ourselves and our failure to be the people that we were intended to be. Now we can go forward with confidence; not in ourselves, but in Jesus Christ. Now we can again go forward to live. But not in our strength and ability anymore, but in Jesus Christ alone. As we look to him and live in him, we know that it will all work out.



So our struggles in life are not faith-shattering, but faith-building. Instead of destroying our faith, it turns us away from ourselves to the only one who can truly help us. As we look to our Lord Jesus Christ and trust in him and his promises to us, we can continue on with our struggles, recognising that they are not always in this life going to be taken away from us, for they are a part of life in a sin-ridden world.



These struggles will dog us each and every day of our lives, and yes, will even still cause us a great deal of anguish and pain. But now they will be God’s means of turning us away from ourselves, and help us to continually look to him who is now our Lord and Saviour. As a result, all glory will again go to our great God.



So now we can readily acknowledge our weaknesses and failures. Instead of ignoring, downplaying or denying their existence in our lives; and so truly being hypocritical. We can accept that everyone of us are far from perfect, but at the same time remind ourselves that God’s ways are Good and beneficial for us and our lives in this world.



So we remind ourselves and one another of our need for forgiveness and also of the need for God’s help and the support of and for one another.  In this way we are then enabled and enabling each other to live in the face of all kinds of troubles and hardships. We are in this way living the Christian life as God sees that we need to. We are then enabled to see that great value of Jesus Christ and his death on the cross. He will then be held up as Lord and as that which is all important in life for us.



So what is wrong with me? Sin and evil! But thanks be to God that through our Lord Jesus Christ he has provided a way out. So to him alone again then, be all praise, honour and glory, now and always.  AMEN



Pastor Roger Atze

Glandore/Underdale Lutheran Parish


Friday, June 30, 2017


Romans 6:12-23.                               Dancing to a new tune!!                                                02/7/17



Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. {13} Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness. {14} For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace. {15} What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! {16} Don't you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one whom you obey--whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? {17} But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you wholeheartedly obeyed the form of teaching to which you were entrusted. {18} You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness. {19} I put this in human terms because you are weak in your natural selves. Just as you used to offer the parts of your body in slavery to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer them in slavery to righteousness leading to holiness. {20} When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness. {21} What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death! {22} But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. {23} For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.



Today in this reading our Lord is laying a challenge before each one us here. He is calling us all who are Christians to dance to a different tune than the rest of the world around us. God is encouraging us to now live a new and wholesome life in response to what he has done for us through our Lord Jesus Christ. Rather than a life of slavery to the things of this world, which ultimately lead to eternal death.



Now we might think, ‘Oh come on pastor, we are Christians; we have got our faith. So look, don’t go getting carried away again, by trying to make us all squares and nerds or whatever you call it these days.’ ‘Look we will be OK. We know where it is at. So what if we go astray a little here and there now and again, we will be fine, we’ll come through in the end.’ And we could go on and on, and we do.



But hang on; are you so sure that you have got it sorted out and together? Are you so sure that you will be OK and that you will come through? Experience will show us again and again, that many, many are not surviving.  Many; if not most, have lost it altogether, and are facing disaster, without even knowing it. Many others have placed themselves in such a precarious position that little short of a miracle is needed in order for them to come through.



Here God is saying just that. Those who think that they can flit here and there: that they can have a foot in both camps, so to speak, can NOT do so and come out unscathed. He quite clearly is saying either, or. You are either a slave to sin which leads to death, or you are a slave to righteousness which leads to eternal life. You are either dancing to God’s tune or the devils. We either are seeking to live for the God who has saved us, or we are living and doing as we please. Either one or the other.



He is saying, how can you, who know that you have been set free from sin, now turn around and play with fire and not expect to be burnt? Surely because we have been set free from sin and assured of forgiveness of sins, life and salvation, we will now want to obey and be slaves to the one who has given us all of this. He and what he says will be all-important in our lives.



But that is where we have trouble isn’t it. We do not want to be slaves to anyone; we today want to be free to do our own thing, and we think that we will get by. Here we need to remember that was the sin of Adam and Eve, and of every human being ever since. We want to be like God: we want to be our own gods: we want to determine what is right and wrong for ourselves, and that is our real sin – even today. We don’t want to listen to God, but do it our own way.

That being the case, we need to remember that the wages of this sin is death – eternal death.



But also in this life we are slaves to that way of thinking, which constantly leads us into real trouble. There is a whole world out there who is slavishly pandering to selfishness and self-centredness as if it is the only god there is; and they are reaping the results. Sure the media, and all and sundry, are praising how wonderful and exciting and alive this new way of thinking is. But even in this life, these people are burdened, lonely and dying inside. We can see these results all around us; and in our own lives as well.



As one who is constantly dealing with people, the world out there is full of people, who outwardly have a veneer of having it all together, but inwardly are in deep trouble and they know it.  But they are slaves to this world’s thinking and so cannot see a way out, except to try harder and pretend that they have got it all together. They are constantly looking for the next guru who promises us an easy and happy life. Then there are those who have just given up and burying themselves in their lives or alcohol, drugs and sex addictions.



So here again we see that the wages of sin is death. So we need to be aware that we are slaves, whichever way we look at it, as this passage says. We are slaves to either sin or to God. We cannot have it both ways. We are either for him or against him. Either we want life, in this world and the next, or we want death. It is a simple and straight forward choice.



This is not simply what I or the church says in this regard. This is what God Almighty himself has clearly said to us over and over again. His Word is true and sure, despite the whims of many who try to change or ignore it to suit their own thinking. Throughout the ages that Word has stood the test and remains in tack. It always will because it is God’s Word. It has much to say to our world today.



Here, let us remember, as we are reminded in this reading, that we have been brought from death to life; we have been set free from slavery to sin and have become slaves to God. We now have a new tune to dance to: and one the leads to life, and real joy and hope. A way of life that is good for us and pleasing to our God. What greater incentive than that, can we have as we go forward in life.



God himself came into this world for the express purpose of helping us out of the mess we have made for ourselves. In our selfishness and self-centredness, we have disobeyed God and brought all kinds of troubles and heart-aches on ourselves and one another; and finally death itself – here and in eternity. However, Jesus comes and takes our punishment on himself so that forgiveness of sins, life and salvation could be extended to us once more.



So we have a new and great Master who has guaranteed the results for us. We therefore are winners, by the grace of God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through his life, death and resurrection we have forgiveness of sins: we have been brought from death to life: we have the assurance of eternal life with our great God.



At our baptisms we were joined to all of this. There we died with Christ and were raised with him into this new and glorious life. There we were adopted into his family, so that we can now belong for sure: we can be with him always. Now it is all guaranteed. So we can live. Truly live, as we are meant to live. We can follow him and his ways and it will all work out in the end.



Not only has he saved us, and joined us to all of this, but he has also promised to be with us and give us every assistance possible along the way. He has given us all that we need in order to keep going as his people. Through his Word and the Sacraments, we are constantly assured that we have all that we need to keep us strong and on track.



He has given us a family; the Church, to support and encourage us along life’s way. As we regularly gather together; every week if possible, to be served by Him through the Word and the Sacraments, and as we join with one another, we are given what we need in order to go forward as his people. There we are constantly kept mindful to look to our Lord and follow his ways that are all good and helpful. We have fellow believers alongside us to help and encourage us forward.



So surely, now, we will listen to him, and follow him. We will want to obey him: we will want to be the kind of people he would have us be. Surely we will leave aside this life that is nothing but trouble and death, and aim with all that we can, to stay close to him. We will constantly look to him to help and guide us to live and be the people he would have us be.



Looking to him as the one who not only saved us, but who really knows what it is all about. Surely He will be our Lord and Master. Surely we will seek to obey him. Surely! Surely every single one of us here, will now dance to this new tune that our Lord has placed before us. We will offer our whole selves to him as instruments of a right way of life. For he is our loving, living, all powerful Lord, who has and continues to do so much for us.



To him alone then be glory and honour, now and always. AMEN.



Pastor Roger Atze

Glandore/Underdale Lutheran Parish

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Romans 6:1-11.                 Live your baptism??                                        25/6/17

{1) Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? {2} By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? {3} Or don't you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? {4} We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. {5} If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection. {6} For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin-- {7} because anyone who has died has been freed from sin. {8} Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. {9} For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. {10} The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God. {11} In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.

Here this morning we have a most challenging and yet a most encouraging message for us to consider carefully. It has much to say to us and to the church today. It has much to say to those who are seeking after an easy, soft Christianity, where we can have and do what we want.

It challenges those who think that they can presume on God’s grace and it doesn’t matter how they live and act in relation to their fellow human being. It also challenges those who think that we can attract members by giving them a soft, feel-good, all-tolerant accepting church.

Yet it is most encouraging to those who are burdened by their weaknesses and the failures of humanity and facing death or a life that seems to be ‘death warmed up.’ It helps us to focus our attention where it needs to be. It points us to the sure and certain hope that we have as a result of our baptisms.

I believe we desperately need to hear this message today, for much of our life we focus on ourselves and the world around us; even when it comes to the Christian faith and life. “I have my faith; therefore, I can do [whatever].” Our faith and life is centred in ourselves.

Here are some examples that we hear regularly. ‘I believe in Jesus Christ, so it doesn’t matter if I do things that are wrong’ ‘Surely I have every right to get even with someone who has wronged me.’ ‘We mustn’t speak out against error: after all, they have their understanding of the truth.’ ‘Don’t you tell me what I can or cannot do; after all we live in the freedom of the gospel.’ ‘I don’t need to go to church regularly, or Bible Study, or even desire to know the truth, because I think I am doing OK.’ ‘We must liven up our church services or else we will lose our young ones.’ ‘We mustn’t insist on people holding to the same beliefs that we have.’ And the list goes on and on.

We all too often want everything to fit into our own criteria of what we believe is right and good. We want to make and find our own life. We want to live life to the full, and have that which we believe is good for us. After all, life and living is what it is all about; us and our happiness is paramount. Surely that is what God wants for you and me.

Yet the reality of life is far different. The more we hanker after life and its pleasure; and the more that we strive after the ideal life; the more we find that we are left short; over and over again. We want our life to go well for us, but we experience pain and frustration: we want love and acceptance and are left more and more alone: we search for fulfilment and find only meaninglessness and emptiness. The more that we strive for the things of life that we want, the more we experience the opposite. We long for life and only find death. We are living, walking death; and we are totally unable to make any sort of life for ourselves.

But then, as we come to this understanding of life, we are pointed to exactly the opposite. We are pointed to the baptismal font.  We are pointed to that fact that there we are drowned and died, but have in that been given life – eternal life with God. There we find that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.

So as we as death-bound sinners come to the baptismal font we are connected to Jesus and all that he had done for us on the cross. There we were drowned; killed with Jesus Christ for that sin and to that sinful nature that clings so closely to us. There we are given the new life of Christ. Just as surely as he rose from the dead, so we also are assured that this new life of Jesus Christ is ours. Our whole life and living is now found in him and in him alone.

Our old life and orientation in life was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin. We have been freed from sin; that means, that life that has to strive in order to have what we want. We have been freed to be able to have the life that God knows should be there for us. In connection with Jesus Christ it is now ours already. Completely! Fully!

‘But; but ….’ I can hear you say; ‘Where is it? Where is this new and good life?’ Where, in this world, do we find that which we so desperately need?

 Look again at the baptismal font; it is there in our connection with Jesus Christ and his life, death and resurrection. When Jesus walked this earth, did he have life good and easy? I think not! And he certainly didn’t promise us that it would be the case for us either. In fact, he said that we could expect quite the opposite.

Along with that he says; as we bear our cross, doing what he would have us be doing, he will be using it all for good; that is for people’s soul’s salvation and eternal life. And we are able to bear it all because we now have the full assurance that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. So also, it will be the case for us. Nothing will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus.

Along with that assurance and knowing that we are now connected in Christ, we now take note of those next words that are spoken. The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God. In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.

That surely is now the positive challenge then that we have before us today: To count ourselves dead to that old self-centred, I want to do my own thing and get my own way, type of attitude. That surely is not what is important to us. We are a part of something infinitely better; and it is guaranteed for us. We can now acknowledge the depravity of life that we experience, and now be able to look to that which is far better.

So we are now alive to God in Christ: that means we will want him to have his way in our lives, at all times. He and what he says and wants is what will be all important in our lives. As we do allow him to have his way we will find the life that is needed. God himself will work great things, for his kingdom. In that we will find all the meaning, satisfaction and purpose that is needed for us as we live out our lives in the midst of a sinful, hurting world.

So, shall we go on living as if we are the centre of the world?   By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? We know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.

We therefore, now, know that we are dead. Our life as we selfishly want it to be, counts for nothing. No longer do we find, chase, or make our own life. It is nothing. What is important is the life that we are now baptised into; Jesus Christ. There we find the life that we truly need, and which gives all that is necessary for us as we live out our lives every day.

Jesus Christ is surely the centre of our world and the centre of our activity; whether that is at home, at work or when we are with our friends. As we focus on that life that we have in and with Jesus Christ we will find that all our petty selfishnesses are nothing and mean nothing. We have something far more important; and far more life-giving.

Even though we may still experience all kind of weaknesses, hurts and tragedies we can know for sure that they are not the end of the story. Nothing that happens in our lives, is now bad for us. For God is using it all for good – either our good or the good of others. Nothing now can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus.

So now we can go forward, boldly and confidently. We face everything, knowing that since we are united with Jesus Christ the future is certain. Our troubles and hardships are but a brief interlude, before an eternity in heaven with our great God, there to enjoy the very best of everything.

So let us remember, daily, our baptism and what God has done for us in it. Then let us go forward to live this new life that is given to us; all the while giving all glory and honour to our great God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, to whom it belongs, now and for all eternity. AMEN.

Pastor Roger Atze
Glandore/Underdale Lutheran Parish

Saturday, June 17, 2017


Matthew 9:35-10:8.         The Kingdom of Heaven is near!!               18/6/17



{35)  Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. {36} When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. {37} Then he said to his disciples, "The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. {38} Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field."

{1}  He called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out evil spirits and to heal every disease and sickness. {2} These are the names of the twelve apostles: first, Simon (who is called Peter) and his brother Andrew; James son of Zebedee, and his brother John; {3} Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; {4} Simon the Zealot and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him. {5} These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: "Do not go among the Gentiles or enter any town of the Samaritans. {6} Go rather to the lost sheep of Israel. {7} As you go, preach this message: 'The kingdom of heaven is near.' {8} Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.



Today's society is struggling; and in many ways has given up on the whole idea that God is here, with us and for us: It has put aside the whole idea that the kingdom of heaven is near. I am sure that we all here struggle with this from time to time. I know that I do. Often we wonder where in the world is God?



What is our answer for the family and friends of a little boy tragically taken in an accident? Where is God in the prayers that we send up time and time again, with nothing seeming to happen? What has the kingdom of God got to do with the here and now, in the midst of all the tragedies and hardships of life? Where is God working, when nothing results from the preaching and administration of the Sacraments week after week, when the Bible says that it is through those means that he will grow the Church?



We all struggle with these and many other thoughts along this line. There is a whole world out there and in here, crowded with worried, helpless and hopeless people; people caught in the web of life, from which there seems to be no escape. So we bury ourselves in our work, pleasure, drink or drugs; anything as long as we don’t have to think about these issues, for it is all too depressing. This is our world today; harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.

                     

Interestingly, here in this reading, Jesus is sending us out to them all - with the clear message; the kingdom of God is near. We who ourselves are often struggling and grappling with this idea, are the ones Jesus is sending out to help those around us. We are called to go out to these people and tell them this simple message; the kingdom of God is near. In fact, he says; As you go about your daily life, preach this message: 'The kingdom of heaven is near.' No - more than that - we are called to take the kingdom of heaven to those people; to be the presence of Jesus for them. That is what is being asked of you and me.



So we need to ask, what does it mean that we are to go and preach that the kingdom of heaven near? Does it mean that we go around like some and stand on the street corners or knock on door after door, proclaiming that the end is near and that the prophecies of Revelations are coming true, so you had better watch out or you will get caught out. Telling them that God will judge them for their rottenness; so repent and turn back to God for the Kingdom of heaven is near. Telling them that God expects us all to live better lives and that we are to do this and that if we want to be saved.



Well, yes, there is an element of that in this call for us; but there is much more; and a far more important message involved in these words. It is not judgement and judging that Jesus is primarily concerned with. We are told that as he saw the crowds, his heart was filled with pity for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. It was pity that motivated Jesus to send his disciples and us out with love for those who are struggling and lost. There is a whole harvest of them out there in the community.



In Jesus day they maybe weren't contemplating suicide; maybe they were not caught in a web of domestic violence or hemmed into an anti-social, self-centred society; but they were still harassed and helpless never-the-less. Today there are crowds of them; we are only too well aware of that, if we read and listen to the news; if we lift our eyes beyond our own self-centred, egotistical little world of our own.



The message that God has here for them all, is, that despite what might seem to the contrary, the kingdom heaven is near – that God is not very far away from each and every one of us. He and his mercy is every present for us; it is just that so often we are not aware of it; and we don't recognise what is plainly obvious. Let me illustrate.





Jim was a small business owner who was struggling under all the pressures of modern business life: high costs and low margins; growing regulatory requirements and constant bureaucratic changes; and much more; all placing a huge stain on his management skills and brain power, causing him to wonder whether all the long hours, hard work and uncertainties were worth it. He became so wrapped up in the difficulties and struggles, that he no longer considered the working of God in his life. He had too many other things to think of and hassle with.



He became more interested in the fact that business down the road was sprouting about how well he was doing, than the fact that his bank manager was not hassling him and his clientele was still faithful. The constant adequate income was no more seen as a blessing from God, but as that which seemed to be a constant struggle to maintain. The growth or lack of it in his business was more and more seen only in terms of the work that he had put in, and the costs that he had to outlay. All the blessings and God's hand in it all was lost.



Along with that, he failed to see how God was upholding him and keeping him going through his family, his friendships and the encouragement of his neighbours. He saw the big salaries of his brothers in the top end of the city, but didn't stop to think that he also had clothes on his back, a roof over his head, three good feeds a day. The kingdom of God was at work all around and through his life, but he couldn't see it – he didn't recognise that it was there.



Jim had long since rationalized to himself and others that it was OK to rip someone off in a business deal if you can get away with it; after all everyone else is doing it. He could slander others around him, because he felt that he might be better accepted by others; he had to fight for his own rights.



However, deep down Jim knew that these sorts of practices were wrong and was what is wrecking the morality of our nation. It bothered him that his relationships with others; and with his wife and children in particular was a long way from what it should be; that the false front of strength and a man who has got it all together, belied the frailty and uncertainty that lay below the surface. He was harassed and helpless like sheep without a shepherd. He longed for peace, love and contentment, but could no longer see that it was all there for him.



God was near to him. He was connected to God and the Church through baptism and his attendance at worship, and had heard God's message many times. But now it no longer sank in, for he was distracted by many things. As a result, he no longer considered that the Kingdom of heaven was already drawn near to him.



His distractions meant that he failed to listen to the true significance of Jesus' death and resurrection for his own life. When told again and again of the fact that Jesus has died for him and everything he had done wrong and that in connection with Jesus there was a whole new aspect of life there for him to take hold of and live in light of, it never sunk in. His eternal salvation and life was secure and certain, but he no longer recognised it.



The kingdom of heaven was ever so near to him and so many like him. But the workers to help him see it unfortunately are ever so few. Here though, is where Jesus reminds us that we have our part to play. We are sent out to help those around us to see again that God is not afar off. We are to remind each other by the little things that we say and do, that God is involved and active in every part of our life.



We have received without paying from all the goodness of our Lord. In our baptism we have been freely made children of God - heirs of eternal life; forgiven, healed, restored; given new life. Thereby we know and experience the presence and blessings of God Almighty himself - every day. We certainly have received greatly without deserving it or having to pay for it; so let us give without being paid – without expecting anything in return.



We do have something to say - something to share - with others as we go about our daily lives. We do have an important message for the harassed and helpless - the kingdom of heaven is near. Jesus Christ and his death on the cross alone is what gives life and gives meaning to life. Without him we are nothing. With him and the salvation that he has won for us we have that which enables us to live with and cope with whatever it is that we face in life. Jesus Christ alone is what our world around us desperately needs to hear. Here, remember, that we are the only workers God has to get this message of love and forgiveness to all those around us who need to hear it.



So pray that the Lord will not only send you, but go with you, help you and bless what you do in his name, as you go and proclaim that the kingdom of heaven has drawn near. For to our great God; Father, Son and Holy Spirit alone belongs all glory and honour, now and always. AMEN



Pastor Roger Atze

Glandore/Underdale Lutheran Parish

Saturday, May 20, 2017


Acts 17:22-31                     The Unknown God???                                   21/5/17



{22) Paul then stood up in the meeting of the Areopagus and said: "Men of Athens! I see that in every way you are very religious. {23} For as I walked around and looked carefully at your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: TO AN UNKNOWN GOD. Now what you worship as something unknown I am going to proclaim to you. {24} "The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands. {25} And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything, because he himself gives all men life and breath and everything else. {26} From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. {27} God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us. {28} 'For in him we live and move and have our being.' As some of your own poets have said, 'We are his offspring.' {29} "Therefore since we are God's offspring, we should not think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone--an image made by man's design and skill. {30} In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent. {31} For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to all men by raising him from the dead."



Today we have many people acknowledging AN UNKNOWN GOD. Most people will say they believe in God; but they do not really know him; who he is or what he is like; or take him all that seriously. This god is someone out there who has set the world in motion and then left it to run by itself; and is a god who will receive them all into heaven when their time is up here on earth.



Sadly, we also have many today who claim that there is no God. They have hardened their hearts to such an extent, that their egotism will not allow even their conscience to remind them of the reality of the God who is there. They seek their meaning for existence in the goodness of humanity, but are all left in wonderment and despair.



However, just as in Athens of Paul’s day, so also we today have many objects of worship, but to the people who worship them, they have little connection to the true God; Father, Son and Holy Spirit. On Anzac Day there was great reverence and crowds of people, all remembering the heroics of great men; and seeking to gain strength and courage for our nation from this. This is good, up to a point. We need to be thankful for those who lived and died for their nation.



Then we have perhaps the greatest religion of our time, football. Crowds of people will reverently attend and sing the praises of their team. Here is their great escape from the day to day life. Then of course, there is the great Australian dollar and materialism that is seen as that which will give us what we need so that we can be truly happy.



 All Australians look up to and see many things as being that which will give us what we need for this life and beyond. However, all these form of reverence and idealism that do not have their basis in the One True God, are a problem and will leave us short of what we really need.



On top of that we have people religiously following Allah, Budda and many other similar gods and new age thinking. The thinking is that here is the one who should be worshipped. However, they are not the true and only God: The one who is the Lord of heaven and earth. So we cannot accept them as being on the same path to heaven, or tolerate them as a real expression of Christianity. They are religious, but not worshippers of God Almighty himself.



Sadly, too often, even within Christian circles there are many people who are religious; but who do not know God. They know all kinds of facts about him, but they do not know him. Others believe and speak of a god and worship him, without understanding and accepting Jesus Christ as the Son of God who came and died on the cross for our salvation. Others acknowledge God; but they make no attempt to listen to or heed what he has to say. Others think that the only way they will be acceptable to him, is to live up to a certain standard of “Christian life” or have certain spiritual experiences.



Here in the face of all of this religious thinking, the true God, through Paul, is proclaiming very clearly who he is. He is the Lord of heaven and earth. In other words, he is the one and only true God that can be found anywhere. He is the Almighty God who is supreme over all. There are no other Gods besides him. He alone then is the one who is to be worshipped and glorified. He alone is the one who is to be looked up to and followed. Every other object of worship is a worthless idol and a distraction from what is right and true; and in the end will prove disastrous.

This Lord of heaven and earth we are reminded here is not a God who is limited to churches, statues, books or anything else at all. As much as he is there in all of those things, he is much more and beyond anything that we could possibly make him to be. He is not a God who conforms to our limitations and thinking. He does not even need us to serve him. He is one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. (Eph 4:6)  He is as we learnt in our confirmation lessons; omni almost everything; unlimited by time, space, and in power, knowledge and understanding. His greatness is way beyond human understanding.



Yet as we heard in our Gospel reading today; he chooses to live with you and will be in you. (John 14:17) That is all who believe, trust and desire to live in him. Jesus goes on to say; I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. (John 14:18-20) This great God has chosen to dwell with and in us human beings; his creation. Isn’t that something amazing!



Particularly when we remember that we are not the centre of the world. The world does not revolve around us; but the Almighty God is the centre of it all. He himself gives all men [all people] life and breath and everything else. And not just gives us life, but he determined the times set for us and the exact places where we should live. God did this so that all people would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us. Even though he the Supreme Being he is at work in our lives and is close to us.



Even though we have sinned and chosen to go our own way, he allows troubles and hardships to be a part of our lives so that we would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him. He does not erase us from the face of the earth because of our selfish egotism, but works through all the mistakes we make and difficulties that are imposed on us by a sinful world. He is constantly seeking to draw us to himself; trying to make us aware that we need him and the forgiveness and salvation that Jesus won for us through his life, death and resurrection. 



Through Jesus and his death on the cross and our connection to him and his death and resurrection, through our baptism, we are assured that we are now God’s children. His Spirit now lives in us and goes with us as we live out our lives day by day. We are God’s offspring.



Therefore since we are God's offspring, we should not think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone--an image made by man's design and skill. Since he has done all of this for us and continues to live with us and in us, now we surely will treat him with much respect. We will trust him and take him seriously. He will mean much more to us than our money, material things and technology. We will not treat him as a possession or as one who should do what we want him to do.



Surely we will look up to him; wanting to live in a close personal relationship with him; wanting to be where he wants us to be and to do what he wants us to do. What is important to him will be important to us. We take what he has to say in the Bible as his Word, instead of twisting, changing and ignoring what it says. He will be our Lord and our God.



Here let us not forget those other words that he spoke also. In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent. For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to all men by raising him from the dead.



So we are reminded that he does look closely at who we are and what we think, say and do. His Son Jesus, who came into our world and died on the cross for us, will also come and judge us all on that last day. He knows if we have taken him seriously or not. He knows what we believe and whether we trust him and all that he has done for us. Take note; he knows and he judges.



So take heart; here we are reminded again that our God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit is for real. He is the Almighty Lord of heaven and earth. He is the only true God and he seeks to be not far from each one of us. He loves us, forgives us and made us his very own. Believe him. Trust in him; and take him seriously. For to him alone belongs all glory and honour, now and always. AMEN.



Pastor Roger Atze

Glandore/Underdale Lutheran Parish

Saturday, May 13, 2017


John 14:1-14                       Show us God???                                                               14/5/17



1 “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.”

Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”

Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.”

Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10 Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. 11 Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves. 12 Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. 13 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.



We all have our own ideas of what God is like. All of us. Even those who try to convince themselves that there is no God. Deep down we all know that there is a God ‘out there’ somewhere. We also know that in the end we are answerable to him.



However, the question for us all is; who is he and what is he really like? If only we could see him and know what he is all about, then we could be sure. Particularly now as we reflect on the news of Jesus’ death on the cross and his resurrection. Is this for real? And can we be sure that it is not just a story, or at least a twisting of something that may have happened? “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.” Then we can be sure.



But of course that raises the real problem for us. Do we really want to know? You see, we know that there is a God and we also know that we have not taken him seriously and that we will be answerable for that. We have disobeyed him and we expect that he will punish us for it. Why else do we so often say, ‘I hope I will be in heaven’. We know that we are far from being the people that God would have us be. We know what we deserve, but we don’t want to think about it or acknowledge it.



Along with this, our sinful human nature wants ‘to be like God.’ Or perhaps more to the point, make God into the image that we want him to be. So God becomes in our thinking, the kind of god that we would like him to be. So we ignore those aspects of God in the Bible that we don’t like and highlight that which we like. So God becomes a god of our own making.



In this way we then can in some way appease our consciences and allow ourselves to live and do what we want. For instance, today many believe and teach that God is an all-loving and accepting God, but ignore his holiness, righteousness and wrath. So we ignore his Law and simply focus on the Gospel. Without the Law then, the Gospel – that is Jesus death on the cross for the forgiveness of sins, becomes a nonsense. Christianity becomes nothing but a feel good religion, with no real substance or meaning.



But again deep down we know that this is not the case. We know that there is much more to God than that. We are just trying to convince ourselves that we can ignore the hard stuff and in the end God will accept us no matter what. As long as I am “sincere,” and as long as I live a reasonably good life, then ‘she’ll be right mate.’ But we are merely hoping that this is the case and that our deep conscience is wrong.



Now, here in this reading we have Phillip struggling to come to terms with who this Jesus is and who God is, and how much to take seriously Jesus and what his Word says. He, like us, seemed to be struggling with who Jesus was and what God was about, in and through Jesus. How can we be sure about all this stuff that Jesus is talking about and more?



In response to Jesus saying that he is going to heaven to prepare a place for us, Phillip asks: “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?” To which, Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.  If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”



So here we have Jesus laying it on the line for Phillip and for us. For starters, again the clear point is that Jesus alone is the only way, the only truth, and the only life. He is our only access to God and eternal life.



He is not one way amongst many. Muslim, Hindu, Good works ‘christianity’, Pentecostalism and many others are not other ways for us to gain access into heaven. Nor is living a good ethical life [whatever that might mean], or I am a reasonably good bloke so I will be okay. Jesus Christ and his death on the cross is our only way through the mess of this life and into heaven.



So also, He is not one truth amongst many other truths we might want to make as the truth. He alone knows what is good and right for us. After all he was the creator of all, so he knows how it all works and what is best. Because he is all-knowing he is far superior to our frail human nature that is turned in on itself. So what he has given us in his Word – the Bible – is the truth that we need to know in order to get through this life and into the next.



Then also we are told that: He is not one life here and in eternity, amongst other eternal lives that we might like to think there are out there. If we are to truly live as we are intended to, then we are to be connected to he who is life itself – Jesus Christ. He again knows what life is meant to be for us. Any other life that we might think is appropriate is futile and empty. In the end they all will lead to disaster and death. Christ alone is life and gives life.



Following on from that Jesus again reiterates the point the no one comes to Father except through him. He alone is the only way to God’s presence and eternal life. It has to be, because in the Old Testament God it quite clear that sinful humanity – that is all of us – cannot come into God’s presence. His holiness would burn us up and destroy us.



So how does God uphold his holiness and yet make it possible for us to come into his presence? His Son’s coming into our world was for that very purpose. He takes our sinfulness on himself and allows God to punish him. God upholds his holiness by punishing all sin. His love is fulfilled in his forgiveness being extended to all of believe and are connected to this Jesus.



In this way forgiveness and acceptance is made possible for all who are connected to this Jesus Christ. So now when God looks at those who are in Christ he sees the perfection of his Son. There alone then we have access into God’s presence and eternal life.

But again then the question is raised, how can we know that this is all for real? Are the people out there who say this is a made up story, right? It all sounds a bit far-fetched and odd? Phillip says what is in the back of our minds. “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.” Then we can be sure. Then we can take all this seriously.



Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?  Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves.  



So there is our answer. There is our proof. Jesus and the Father are one – they are in each other. When Jesus speaks, he speaks what his Father would have him speak and have all the authority of God almighty himself. All that Jesus said and did was what God himself wanted said and done.



The works that Jesus did, themselves are clear evidence of this. All the miracles that Jesus did were clearly seen to be only that which God himself can do. Even when he spoke it was commented that he spoke with the authority of God. Then he goes to Jerusalem to die on the cross, just as was prophesied hundreds and hundreds of years before hand. There is absolute proof even today that this is the case.



But then most telling of all; this Jesus rose from the dead after dying on the cross. After three days he arises just as he said would happen. This is the miracle of all miracles. Again this could be proven in a Court of Law today, to have really happened, even though it is humanly impossible.



The works of God are clear. The evidence is there that this Jesus is every bit in the Father and the Father in him. God has shown himself to us so that we can know for sure. Everything that he has said, done and promised is true and can be relied on. So we can go forward with a sure and certain hope into the future. Jesus is who he said he is, and the life and salvation that he has won for us can be relied on. So to him again then, be all glory and honour, now and always. AMEN.



Pastor Roger Atze

Glandore/Underdale Lutheran Parish