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Pastor's Column

“Nuts” To Sin, Satan, and Death!

Rev. Jeff Luplow

  During the Battle of the Bulge, American leadership strategically determined it remained imperative to hold Bastogne.  But things seemed hopeless.  The German army had the Americans surrounded.  A German delegation came to the Americans with an ultimatum: “Surrender or suffer the consequences.”  When field command passed this demand to General McAuliffe, he responded, “Nuts.” His “nuts” confused the Germans, buying time for the Americans and we know the rest of the story.

  Sometimes, Christians seem surrounded by enemies: sickness; suffering; troubles; death.  Our Commander-in-Chief promises that HE is always in control.  That may seem “nuts,” especially when sin’s fallout of death strikes.  St. Paul’s words become personal: “Sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin and in this way death came to all, because all sinned” (Romans 5:12).

  Yet, General Paul assures God’s troops: 𠇊nd we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28).  Paul doesn’t say everything that happens is good.  Rather, Paul promises God will work it out for the Christian’s good.    

  How can we be sure?  Jesus guaranteed so in his “Gospel in a nutshell” (John 3:16):“God loved the world [all people] so much that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”  The result: confidence in troubles, power when struggling with sin and confidence dealing with death!  True God from eternity, God’s “one and only” took on true humanity living perfectly to satisfy God law requirements.  According to God’s battle plan, Jesus surrendered to the cross to suffer our sin consequences and rose from death victoriously.

  Martin Luther once wrote when he felt attacked by Satan seeking to hold his conscience hostage: “I concede, devil, that I am a sinner burdened with the old Adam and subject to the wrath of God. But what do you, devil, say about this: God so loved the world that He gave His only Son that all who believe in Him might not perish but have eternal life? These words I believe!”

  On Tuesday, November 11, our country celebrated Veterans’ Day.  Remember to thank a vet, whether past or present, for serving to preserve and protect freedom.  But remember especiallyto thank our gracious God who preserves our religious freedom to proclaim eternal freedom in the gospel.  That “Gospel in a nut shell” remains our “nuts” in response to sin, death, and the devil.

 


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