Craig Donofrio is currently serving as the Pastor of St. James Lutheran Church, in Cleveland Ohio. He is the husband of Paula, master of Rufus, a Pastor, Radio Professional, Author, former Missionary, and Communications Director for the Eurasia Region of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod’s International Missions. He holds a Bachelor of Business Management from Christ College Irvine and an MDiv. from Concordia Seminary St. Louis. Craig can be heard on the God Whisperers at godwhisperers.org and 200 Proof Gospel 200proofgospel.com podcasts.
Are there any more wonderful words in this life than, “for you?” Martin Luther writes in his Small Catechism, “That person is truly worthy and well prepared (for the Lord’s Supper) who has faith in these words: “Given and shed for you for the forgiveness of sins.”
Tis the season to make promises, that you may or may not keep. We call them New Year’s Resolutions. These are traditions in which people resolve to change an undesired trait or behavior in order to accomplish a personal goal or otherwise improve their lives.
We live in a world full of fear and anxiety. When we turn on the news, we are greeted by suffering, tragedy, and disaster. Our politicians are determined to destroy one another’s reputations, and so they take turns dragging each other through the mud and making more and more outrageous accusations against one another all for the sake of being elected or keeping their position.
Too often, we equate “repent” as the final warning to stop a particular sin before God ceases to love you and sends you to hell for your evil deeds.
How often do we confound these words in our heads with our own religiosity? It is natural for fallen man to assume his relationship is built on transactions with God.
It was the summer of 1519 at Leipzig, in debate with John Eck, where Martin Luther said those fateful words, “Ja, Ich bin ein Hussite”—I am a Hussite. With this, the gallery exploded with murmurs and shouts of dispute. But why?
Jesus is the subject, but you are the object. It is our fallen nature to want to interject ourselves into the salvation equation. We always want to try to take some credit for the completed work of Christ on the cross.
What would it be like if you were the king of a country or the President of the United States? The world would be your oyster. You would hob knob with the elite. You would be on the “A” list all the way.
In my office is a little, gold man who both mocks me on a regular basis and also serves as a reminder of God’s grace for a sinner.
I have been told many times that the future of Lutheranism lays in the hands of those who have not grown up Lutheran. Being an ex “Fundagelical” myself, I tend to smile when I hear these things, especially when new wars over a proper understanding of Law and Gospel are being waged.