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  • Day 6, Lesson 3: Communion, a Meal of Remembrance

    < Back Confirmation Day 6: Caring For Faith Within the Congregation Day 6, Lesson 3: Communion, a Meal of Remembrance Objective Communion is a meal of remembrance that strengthens the faith of a child of God; When in faith we receive the bread and the wine, we receive the body and blood of Christ Learning Outcome Explain what communion is and its benefit for a believer. Confirmation Exercise Questions #22. What are the sacraments? Holy Baptism and Holy Communion. #25.What is the benefit of Holy Communion? Our faith is strengthened and we are reminded of Jesus’ redemption work for us. #26.Who is an acceptable Communion guest? A believer. Reference Material Booklet Song: We gather here before Your altar; / We break and eat the mutual bread. / We, as Your holy body, Master, / Give thanks to You, our gracious Head. / And when the Bread of Life is breaking, / One mind and spirit You are making. (SHZ 228 v.5) ​ Booklet Text: “And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins” (Matt. 26:26-28) Additional Reference Material SCRIPTURE 1 Cor. 11:26; Luke 22:19, 20, 22; Matt. 26:26-28; 1 Cor.10:16; 1 Cor. 11:27-29 ​ CURRICULUM Lesson 4.3 ​ ADDITIONAL LESSON POINTS Holy Communion is also the feast of God's family and as such is a meal of fellowship. Student will understand how he/she should conduct him/herself at the Communion table. Student will distinguish between Communion and conversion—there is no new birth in Communion. In communion, we remember Christ’s suffering and death for our sins ​ RESOURCES ​ By Faith 26; Christian Doctrine 62; Luther’s Small Catechism Part VI; The Treasure Hidden in a Field, J. Uljas, pages 66-71. VZ: Holy Communion – The Sacrament of the Altar, J. Sturos, Apr. 1984, page 90 ; How is it Taught: Communion, J. Uljas, Oct. 1998, page 5. LLC Website: The Sacraments, M. Lohi, Summer Services Ministers and Board meeting, 2017. Previous Next

  • Brainerd Laestadian Lutheran Church

    Brainerd Laestadian Lutheran Church Contacts Pastor Howard Parks 1501 South 8th Street, Apt 26 Brainerd, MN 56401 Phone: 218-831-1490 Email: Chairman Steve Collette 1126 Poplar Dr East Gull Lake, MN 56401 Phone: 218-828-0536 Email: Service Schedule Sunday Service 10:30 a.m. Communion Service 1st Sunday monthly Sunday Evening Song Services/Devotion in Lee Square 6:00 pm Wednesday: Online devotion service 7:00 p.m. Sunday school (held in homes during school year) Address 1501 South 8th Street Brainerd, MN 56401 Phone: 218-829-5745

  • Day 5, Lesson 1: Grace, Unmerited Love

    < Back Confirmation Day 5: I Need the Word Of Grace Each Day Day 5, Lesson 1: Grace, Unmerited Love Objective Grace is the undeserved and unearned love and mercy of God towards sinners; Grace is the teacher and source of strength for the child of God Learning Outcome Give an example of how grace is unmerited love and mercy. Confirmation Exercise Questions None Reference Material Booklet Song: Here grace will teach you, you will find / That Jesus takes Your burdens; / His house is called the House of Bread, / He feeds the hungry pilgrims, / And in this kingdom on the earth, / God’s joyful children travel / To heaven’s home eternal. (SHZ 287 v.9) ​ Booklet Text: “For by Grace are ye saved through faith.” (Eph. 2:8) Additional Reference Material SCRIPTURE Tit. 2:11-13; Eph. 2:8; John 1:14–17; Rom. 3:21-26; Rom. 4:16; 1 Cor. 1:3; 15:10; Eph. 2:5-7; Eph. 3:8; 2 Tim. 1:9; Tit. 2:11, 12; Tit. 3:1-8; Gal. 2:21; Col. 3:16; 4:6; Heb. 4:16; 2 Pet. 3:18; ​ CURRICULUM None ​ ADDITIONAL LESSON POINTS Grace cannot be earned Grace is the love of God The grace of God is also the power in the endeavor of faith RESOURCES​ VZ: Bible Concepts: Grace, The Love of God, A. Hirvonen, Nov. 1993, p 12; Time of Visitation, Time of Grace, Time of Death, K. Paavo, Aug. 1987, page 4; The Effect of God’s Grace, E.Lepisto, Nov. 1981, Page 174; By Grace Alone, A. Paananen, Apr. 2016, page 2; Previous Next

  • Day 5, Lesson 5: Prayer, Thy Will Be Done

    < Back Confirmation Day 5: I Need the Word Of Grace Each Day Day 5, Lesson 5: Prayer, Thy Will Be Done Objective Prayer is the speech of our heart to God; God answers according to His will and in His time Learning Outcome Create a personal prayer to God. Confirmation Exercise Questions #10. What is prayer? Prayer is the speech of the heart to God. #28. Let us together recite the Lord's Prayer: Our Father, who art in heaven: Hallowed be Thy name: Thy kingdom come: Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven: Give us this day our daily bread: And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who have trespassed against us: And lead us not into temptation: But deliver us from evil: For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever. Amen. #29. Let us together recite the Benediction: The Lord bless us and keep us. The Lord make His face shine upon us, and be gracious unto us. The Lord lift up His countenance upon us, and give us peace. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. Reference Material Booklet Song: Our Father, Thou in heav’n above, / Who biddest us to dwell in love / As brethren of one family, / To cry in ev’ry need to Thee, / Teach us no thoughtless words to say, / But from our inmost heart to pray. (SHZ 168 v.1) ​ Booklet Text: And it came to pass, that, as he was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples. (Luke 11:1) Additional Reference Material SCRIPTURE Matt. 6:5-15; Ps. 42:1,2; 100; 130; 150; Num. 6:24-26; Rom. 8:24-28; 34; Heb. 7:25; Exod. 17:10-13; Jer. 29:11-14; Luke 18:1-8; John 16:23-30; Acts 12:1-11; 16:25-34; Ps. 66:20; James 5:16-18 ​ CURRICULUM Lessons 4.4, 9.11 ​ ADDITIONAL LESSON POINTS Students will know what prayer is and able to pray as God’s Word teaches. Students will be able to say the Lord’s Prayer, Benediction, and to understand their meaning. The Holy Spirit and Jesus Christ make intercessions on our behalf. God hears our prayers but may delay in fulfilling them or give that which is more needful for us. We can approach God with any, and all our matters, both temporal and spiritual. God has promised to hear our prayers. Believers can approach God as a child does to a father. God created man in His own image and fellowship; we can speak to God and hear His speech. ​ RESOURCES​ By Faith 28; Christian Doctrine 78-82 ; The Treasure Hidden in the Field, J. Uljas, p. 72-77; VZ: Jesus’ Teaching of Prayer, K. Kankkonen, Sep. 1993, page 13; The Power and Value of Prayer, Abs. Tauiainen, Jan 1996, page 12; The Bible’s Teaching on Prayer, Päivämies editorial, May 2005, page 2. LLC Website: Prayer, L. Hakso, Summer Services Ministers and Board meeting, 1998; Prayer, M. Kontkanen, Summer Services Ministers and Board meeting, 2009. Previous Next

  • Laestadian Lutheran Church of Illinois

    Laestadian Lutheran Church of Illinois Contacts Chairman & Pastor Tim Niskanen 7430 Korbel Gurnee, IL 60031 Phone: 847-548-6884 Email: Service Schedule June–August Sunday Service 10:00 a.m. Communion Service first Sunday of month Bible Class last Sunday of month September–May Sunday School 10:00 a.m. Sunday Service 10:45 a.m. Communion Services first Sunday of month Bible Class last Sunday of month

  • Day 4, Lesson 1: The Holy Spirit, the Sanctifier

    < Back Confirmation Day 4: The Holy Spirit, The Spirit of God Day 4, Lesson 1: The Holy Spirit, the Sanctifier Objective Holy Spirit calls and gathers the congregation of Christ; The Holy Spirit comforts, teaches, and guides Learning Outcome Give examples of how the Holy Spirit sanctifies. Confirmation Exercise Questions None Reference Material Booklet Song: You desire true devotion / And a heart of purity; / You hate evil and corruption / You despise hypocrisy. / Therefore, sanctify my mind, / That in me You always find / An abiding dwelling lowly, / Worthy of Your presence holy. (SHZ 127 v.6) ​ Booklet Text: But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.(John 14:26) Additional Reference Material SCRIPTURE John 20:19-23; John 14:26; Acts 15:28 Matt. 16:15-19; Acts 10:43; Rom. 3:24,25; 1 Cor. 6:11; Eph. 1:7; Col. 1:14; Heb. 4:15; 9:7-12; 1 John 1:7; 5:13; 1 Pet. 1:18, 19; Rev. 5:9; 7:14; Jer. 1:4,5; Rom. 15:16; Gal. 2:20; Eph. 5:25-27; 2 Thess. 2:13,14; 1 Pet. 1:1,2; 1 John 1:9 ​ CURRICULUM Lesson 2.7 ADDITIONAL LESSON POINTS The Holy Spirit is the spirit of God the Father and of Christ. God is the almighty Lord, whose sphere of influence is boundless. He has given His Holy Spirit as a guide and comfort to the believer. God sent His Holy Spirit into His Congregation. The Holy Spirit speaks in our conscience and in God's congregation. The office of the keys is a function of the Holy Spirit. Forgiveness is the office of the Spirit and not the office of mere words. RESOURCES ​ By Faith 21; Luther’s Small Catechism Apostle’s, Nicene, and Athanasian Creeds The Holy Spirit and Its Work, V. Juntunen, The Sheepfold Tender, pages 102-111. LLC Website: The Office of the Holy Spirit, W. Lampi, Summer Services Ministers and Board meeting, 2017; The Office of the Holy Spirit, C. Simonson, Summer Services Youth Presentation, 2017. VZ: The Holy Spirit’s Work, H. Jussila, May, 1994, page 3; Bible Concepts: The Holy Spirit, May, 1995, page 12; The Holy Spirit, The Comforter, P. Haataja, Feb. 2010, page 4. Previous Next

  • Rolla Laestadian Lutheran Congregation

    Rolla Laestadian Lutheran Congregation Contacts Secretary/Treasurer Bonnie Bercier PO Box 922 Rolla, ND 58367 Phone: 701-477-2164 Email: Service Schedule Recorded Service 11:00 a.m. (1st & 3rd Sundays) Services arranged with visiting ministers at varying times Address PO Box 922 Rolla, ND 58367

  • Position Statements

    Position Statements INTRODUCTION LLC Position Statement - adopted July 2006 ​ We live a time during which the concept of right and wrong has blurred. It appears that many people accept the philosophy of moral relativism, denying the existence of moral truths. As a result many base their beliefs on the ever-changing tide of popular opinion and thus have no enduring foundation upon which to build their lives. The Bible, once widely respected and esteemed as the foundation for Christian faith, is now commonly believed to have only symbolic value, more significant as a source of history and culture than moral guidance. ​ Our beliefs direct our lives and guide our actions. They have consequences with regard to both eternal life and this life. As individuals and as a society we will reap the consequences of our actions. Thus with heartfelt concern we wish to draw attention to the following issues and present our position on them. GOD'S WORD THE BIBLE IS THE WORD OF GOD We believe that the Bible is God's Word. While men have written the Scripture, they have not done so as an expression of their own will, but God has moved them by His Spirit to express His own will (2 Pet. 1:20, 21; 2 Tim. 3:16). God's Word is not to be treated or regarded in the same manner as man's word but rather granted our highest esteem and reverence. ​ GOD'S WORD IS CHRISTIAN FAITH'S HIGHEST AUTHORITY We believe that God's Word is Christian faith's highest authority and thus Christian faith's guiding principles and doctrine must be examined and evaluated in the light of God's Word. ​ GOD'S WORD IS UNCHANGING AND ETERNAL The claim that God's Word is bound to time and shackled to the culture of its time does not do justice to God's revelation. According to Jesus, the content and the message of the Word of God does not change along with changes in the world. God's Word is always timely. We cannot relinquish this principle. Jesus says of the permanence of His Word: “Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away” (Luke 21:33). THE CENTRAL MESSAGE OF THE BIBLE IS SALVATION IN JESUS CHRIST The teaching about Jesus Christ and the salvation that God in His love has prepared in Christ is the central message of the Bible. Man is saved alone by grace, through faith, on the merits of Christ. Only faith in Christ justifies man and makes him acceptable to God (John 20:31; Rom. 5:1; Eph. 2:8). FUNDAMENTAL ISSUES CONCEPT OF GOD Increasing numbers of people have rejected belief in the Triune God revealed in the Bible. They prefer instead to create a concept of God that conforms to their own notions. We believe that there is no living God beside Him who has revealed himself in Jesus Christ and His Word. God is love. He is also holy, righteous, and unchanging. He hates sin but loves sin-fallen mankind. ​ CONCEPT OF MAN Modern man's self-image has become both more individual-centered and human-centered. Understanding of the fact that man is responsible to both God and his fellowman has dimmed. The view that man is basically good is also widely held. This view is contrary to God's Word. While God created man in His image (Gen. 1:26) and has intended that man live in unity with Him, man was corrupted when the first human pair, Adam and Eve, fell into sin. As a result of this original sin, man's basic nature is no longer good but corrupted by sin and inclined to evil (Gen. 6:12, 8:21; Rom. 3:10-12, 23). It is because of sin that there is so much evil in the world. ​ SIN Sin is one of the principal concepts of the Bible. Simply stated, sin is the falling away of the heart from God. Every person has a conscience and some kind of understanding of right and wrong. The voice of the conscience, however, is corrupted if it is not joined to God's Word. Knowledge of and reverence for God's Word has dimmed in our time and with it people's concept of right and wrong, of sin, has also dimmed. If teaching about sin ceases, man's awareness of his need for God's grace also ceases. ​ MAN'S VALUE IS BASED ON CREATION AND REDEMPTION Because every person is created in God's image (Gen. 1:26) and has been redeemed by Christ, every individual is of value, unique, and irreplaceable regardless of age, position, occupation, race, gender, or other attributes. God wishes us to love our neighbor as we love ourselves. True love for our neighbors is to help them when they are in need and to encourage them to live according to God's Word and support them in their endeavor to do so. It also includes warning them of the dangers of living contrary to the will of God (Lev. 19:17; Eph. 5:11; 2 Tim. 4:2). ​ GOD IS LORD OVER LIFE AND DEATH As knowledge increases and technology advances, man strives to take decisions of life and death into his own hands. This manifests itself, for example, in the prevention of conception, the termination of pregnancy, some kinds of gene manipulation, efforts to clone humans, and euthanasia. People have forgotten that God is the Creator and upholder of all, Lord over life and death. He alone has the power to create life and take it away (1 Sam. 2:6; Job 10:12; Ps. 139:13-16). He has not authorized man to control life. The duty of medicine is to protect life, alleviate suffering, and promote and maintain health while respecting humanity. ​ DOCTRINE AND LIFE GO TOGETHER Doctrine and life are closely joined. God blesses those who live according to His will. The gospel brings man freedom in Christ and gives him the power to serve God and his fellowman. It does not give him permission to live in sin (Gal. 5:13; 1 Pet. 2:16). God has lovingly set limits for man, like loving parents do for their children. The grace of God teaches us to reject sin and to live according to the instruction of His Word (Tit. 2:11, 12). CHRISTIANITY IN SOCIETY GOD'S LAW AS A FOUNDATION FOR SOCIETY AND ITS LAWS Just as God has established the so-called laws of nature, which govern the physical world, He has also established a moral law, sometimes called higher or natural law, which governs the lives of men. This law is universal, eternal, and unchanging. God reveals this law to all men by general revelation, that is, through nature, the fate of men's lives, and history (Rom. 1:19, 20; 2:14, 15), as well as in His Word. There it is briefly expressed in the Ten Commandments and even more briefly in Jesus' Two Great Commandments (Matt. 22:37-40). ​ Previous generations have recognized the existence and immutable nature of this higher law. They have understood that by His law God does not seek to hinder and oppress man but rather to protect life and all that which is sacred and precious in life. As a result, they strove to emulate God's law in the laws of our land. Recent generations and their elected leaders, legislators, and judges have challenged or denied the existence or validity of a higher law. Deviating from the truths of God's law and the teaching of His Word shakes the foundations of our society and threatens its survival. ​ THE FEAR OF THE LORD GRANTS SECURITY It is a benefit to our society that this and upcoming generations are given wholesome models for life and secure conditions for growth. These rise from the correct fear of God and from personal faith. “In the fear of the LORD is strong confidence: and his children shall have a place of refuge” (Prov. 14:26). ​ SOBER LIVING IS A PART OF CHRISTIAN MORALITY Sober living has always been part of Christian morality. The Scripture warns of the dangers of alcohol and other intoxicants. It teaches that the power of alcohol wars against the will and power of God (Isa. 5:11, 12; 1Cor. 6:10; Eph. 5:18). The use of intoxicants causes immeasurable suffering and hardship in our society, affecting not only the user, but also others around them. Individuals in the public eye, including elected officials, civil servants, and educators, can teach the value of a positive, unimpaired lifestyle by providing an example of sober living in their own lives. MARRIAGE AND FAMILY ISSUES GOD CREATED MARRIAGE AND FAMILY God has established marriage and family in His creation work and they are thus defined and governed by the natural law of God's creation (Gen 2:18, 23, 24). Attempts to redefine marriage and family and to alter or resist their intended purpose thus injure families and society. ​ MARRIAGE-A LIFELONG COVENANT BETWEEN MAN AND WOMAN A fundamental change of values and concepts marked the so-called sexual revolution of the 1960s. Marital fidelity lost its significance. Sexual cohabitation has gained moral acceptance in our society. The fulfillment of nearly all one's inclinations has become permissible. This is manifested, for example, in legislation legalizing same-sex unions. God, however, instituted marriage as a lifelong covenant between man and woman. God's will is that sexual life between man and woman takes place only in the estate of marriage. The Bible always calls sexual relations outside of marriage fornication. ​ DIVORCE AND REMARRIAGE God hates divorce (Mal. 2:16). Moses allowed divorce, but, as Jesus explained, he did so only because of the hardness of men's hearts, that is their unbelief, and that it had not been so from the beginning. Jesus taught: “What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder” (Matt. 19:6; Mark 10:9). The effects of increasing divorce are evident in our society. Truly divorce, in a person's innermost being, is always a wounding and pivotal change-not to mention the degree to which children and youth suffer when their parents part ways. Because God established marriage as a lifelong covenant it ends only when one of the spouses dies. According to the Bible remarriage is acceptable only after a spouse has died (Luke 16:18; 1 Cor. 7:39). ​ HOMOSEXUAL BEHAVIOR IS SIN The Bible teaches that homosexual behavior is immoral and as such is sin (Rom. 1:24-27; Lev. 18:22). Appeals to God's creation work and genetics do not justify homosexual relations, for even if in some cases the individual may not be responsible for the onset of the homosexual tendency, God's Word nonetheless obligates him or her to abstain from its practice in the same manner that it obligates an individual with normal sexual inclination to abstain from extramarital sexual relations. God does not approve the sexual relations of partners of the same sex and He does not bless such relationships. It is with good reason that the Bible warns against this sin. The increase of homosexuality and its acceptance has always been an expression of moral decline. ​ GOD WISHES TO PROTECT AND STRENGTHEN MARRIAGE AND FAMILIES God's Word seeks to protect and strengthen the family (Exod. 20:12; Prov. 1:8; Eph. 6:1-3). The family forms the fundamental unit of society and strong families are crucial to the health and preservation of society. Our society needs to value lifelong marriage and to support parenthood. Governments, policy makers, and public institutions at all levels should strive to support and strengthen marriage and families. ​ CONCLUSION The Bible teaches that true wisdom begins with the fear of God. He and His Word are eternal and unchanging. A life built upon the enduring values of God's Word brings blessings to both the individual and society: “Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people” (Prov. 14:34). ​ God's Word is a bright and true light. It exposes evil and gives man knowledge of his sin and convicts him of it, but it also tells of the forgiveness and life that God has provided in Jesus Christ and the keys of the kingdom of heaven with which His children forgive penitent sinners on His behalf and thus release them from the bondage of sin.

  • Day 7, Lesson 1: In the World, Not of the World

    < Back Confirmation Day 7: Mission Work: Go Ye Therefore and Teach All Nations Day 7, Lesson 1: In the World, Not of the World Objective A believer is a citizen of the Kingdom of God and this world; A believer is a light unto the world and a salt of the earth Learning Outcome Write down a few examples of how a believer lives according to God’s word in the midst of this world. Confirmation Exercise Questions None Reference Material Booklet Song: When evil’s power round the world is growing, / O God, oppose it with a greater might, / That we would hear it: Music overflowing / Your people’s hymn from realms of gentle light. (SHZ 540 v.4) ​ Booklet Text: I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. (John 17:15,16) Additional Reference Material SCRIPTURE Matt. 6:33; Matt. 10:16; John 3:19; 17:9-11, 14-17,19,25; 18:36,37; 2 Cor. 6:14-18; James 4:4; 1 John 2:15-17; Gen. 39:9; 2 Cor. 7:1; Col. 3:17; Jer. 29:7; 2 Cor. 5:9; Matt. 6:24; Matt. 5:13-16; 10:32,33; 2 Tim. 2:12; 1 Pet. 3:14-17; Matt. 18:20; 28:20; Mark 16:18; Luke 10:19 ​ CURRICULUM Lesson 6.1 ​ ADDITIONAL LESSON POINTS A Christian's conscience is bound to God's Word, he/she cannot always do something because, "Everyone else is doing it." A Christian wishes to live as he/she believes at home and in public and work constructively in the society in which he/she dwells. God also wishes them to fulfill His will in the various situations of social life. God wants us to confess faith in word and deed in life's situations and thus confess the Lord. Christ has promised to be with His own every day, everywhere. RESOURCES​ The Treasure Hidden in a Field, J. Uljas, pages 95-99 VZ: A Citizen of Heaven in the World, Bible Class Lesson, Jun. 1979, page 90 In the World, But Not of the World, M. Kamula, Jan 1982, page 3 In the World, But Not of It, Confirmation students, Sept. 2007, page 9 In the World, But Not of the World, D. Wuollet, Sep 2012, page 5 LLC Website: Love Not the World, T. Stewart, Summer Services Youth Presentation, 2009 Blessed are They that Hear the Word of God and Keep It, H. Parks, Winter Services, 2011; Be Ye Not Unequally Yoked Together with Unbelievers, R. Haapala, Winter Services, Youth Presentation, 2015 Previous Next

  • The Kingdom of Heaven

    The Kingdom of Heaven ​TREASURE HIDDEN IN A FIELD "Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth,and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field." Matt. 13:44 ​ ​THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN There is no subject which was more prevalent in Jesus' preaching than the kingdom of heaven, that is, the kingdom of God. It was the most common subject of His parables and was the theme of His preaching.(1) In fact, Jesus said that the first thing that a man should search for in life is God's kingdom and His righteousness.(2) ​ It is important to find God's righteousness, for He has declared man's righteousness, or our very best deeds, impure and unacceptable in His sight.(3)The righteousness which is acceptable before God is found in His kingdom. ​ Jesus was once asked to explain when the kingdom of God would come. In His reply, He reveals two essential points: first, the kingdom of God is not visible to the human eye, and, second, it is present in the midst of men.(4) ​ ​A HIDDEN KINGDOM It might seem impossible to find a kingdom that cannot be seen, but with God's help it can be found. Jesus said, "Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you" (Matt. 7:7). In the parable at the top of the page, Jesus shows us that while the kingdom is hidden, it can indeed be found. ​ The parable illustrates why the kingdom of God cannot be seen. It is like treasure buried in the dust and dirt of a field, hidden from man's sight. It is certainly an apt picture. In this world God's kingdom is hidden beneath the flaws and faults of believing people, people whom God has made from the dust of the earth.(5) ​ ​A GREAT TREASURE The parable also illustrates what happens when a man finds God's kingdom. He hides its treasure, sells all that he has, and buys it. Simply said, God's kingdom becomes the most important matter in his life. He wants, above all else, to protect and preserve his new-found treasure and follow the people of God and the Lord Jesus.(6) ​ Like the man in the parable, we have found the kingdom of God and obtained its treasure. We now carry this treasure in our sin-corrupt bodies. We wish to share it with you. ​ ​YOU CAN HAVE THIS TREASURE What we can offer you is God's forgiveness in Jesus Christ. This forgiveness is the very essence of the gospel and the essence of God's kingdom. Martin Luther said: "Forgiveness of sins is nothing more than two words in which the whole kingdom of Christ consists...This word of consolation shall not cease among Christians until the last day: 'Thy sins are forgiven, be of good cheer.' Such language a Christian always uses and openly declares the forgiveness of sins."(7) ​ Luther was right. This word of consolation has not ceased. God's children live of it and use it constantly. We declare it to any sinner who longs for God's forgiveness. ​ We can give you this treasure because Jesus has given us the power to forgive men their sins. He said that what we forgive on earth is also forgiven in heaven, that is, it is forgiven before God.(8) Belief in this gospel of forgiveness obtains what it promises, namely, God's forgiveness and the righteousness of Jesus Christ, the righteousness that is acceptable to God. You can have it too. ​ ​END NOTES 1 "Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel." (Mark 1:14­15) "And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people." (Matt. 9:35) ​ "Then he called his twelve disciples together, and gave them power and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases. And he sent them to preach the kingdom of God, and to heal the sick." (Luk 9:1, 2) ​ 2 "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." (Matt. 6:33 ) ​ 3 "But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away." (Isa. 64:6) ​ "As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one." (Rom. 3:10­12) ​ 4 "And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you." (Luke 17:20, 21) ​ 5 "But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us." (2 Cor. 4:7 ) 6 "And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost." (1 Thess. 1:6) ​ 7 Luther, Martin, "Sermon for the 19th Sunday after Trinity" in Luther's Church Postil, Vol.V, trans. John Nicholas Lenker (Minneapolis: Lutherans In All Lands Co. : 1905) 201, 202, 209 ​ 8 "Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you. And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost: Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained." (John 20:21­23) ​ "Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven." (Matt. 18:18) ​ "And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God." (2 Cor. 5:18­20)

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