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October 28, 2018

AS WE GATHER: While 2017 was the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, our celebrations continue into the 501st year since Martin Luther posted the Ninety-five Theses on the practice of indulgences.  The Reformation is a celebration of freedom in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  This can particularly be found in today’s Epistle from Romans 3.  In a marvelous, great exchange, Christ takes our unrighteousness and gives us His righteousness.  Even though we all sin and fall short of the glory of God, we are justified by God’s grace, as a gift.  We celebrate God’s love and activity on our behalf to save us.




PROCESSIONAL HYMN:                                   “Lift High the Cross”

Refrain: (ALL)  Lift high the cross, the love of Christ proclaim

Till all the world adore his sacred name.

(ALL)  Come, Christians, follow where our captain trod

Our king victorious, Christ, the Son of God.  Refrain

(ALL)  Led on their way by this triumphant sign,

The hosts of God in con-qu’ring ranks combine.  Refrain

(CHOIR)  All newborn soldiers of the Crucified

Bear on their brows the seal of him who died.  Refrain

(ALL)  O Lord, once lifted on the glorious tree,

As thou hast promised, draw us all to thee.  Refrain

(ALL)  So shall our song of triumph ever be:

Praise to the Crucified for victory!  Refrain



P:  In the name of the Father and of the Son + and of the Holy Spirit.

C: Amen!

P:  God is our refuge and strength,

C:  a very present help in trouble.    

P:  Come, behold the works of the Lord.

C:  He makes wars cease to the end of the earth.   

P:  He will be exalted among the nations.

C:  He will be exalted in the earth. 

P:  The Lord of hosts is with us;

C:  The God of Jacob is our fortress. 



P:  God indeed is our refuge and strength, our help and our fortress.  Yet we often choose to flee from the refuge of the Lord.  We abandon the strength and safety of our God, trusting in our own strength and power.  The apostle Paul writes that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.  And Jesus says that everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin.  As we enter the house of the Lord and call upon Him for His good and gracious gifts, let us consider our enslavement to sin and our continued shortcomings as God’s people.

(A moment of silence to reflect on our sin and our need for the Savior)

P:  Heavenly Father,

C: we have sinned against You in our thoughts, words, and actions.  We have sinned as individuals and as a community.  We have ignored neighbors in need.  We have caused divisions among Your people.  We have sought refuge in the things of this world and not in You.  Forgive us, renew us, and lead us back to You, our refuge and strength.      

P:  While we have indeed fallen short of the glory of God, we are all also justified by God’s grace as a gift.  Though we have been slaves to sin, God has set us free in the death and resurrection of His Son, Jesus.  As a called and ordained servant of the risen Christ and by His authority, I forgive you all your sins in the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit.

C: Amen. 


SONG OF PRAISE: “The Church’s One Foundation”  LBW 369 (v. 1-4)

The Church’s One Foundation Is Jesus Christ, her Lord;

She is his new creation By water and the Word.

From heav’n he came and sought her To be his holy bride;

With his own blood he bought her, And for her life he died.


Elect from ev’ry nation, Yet one o’er all the earth;

Her charter of salvation: One Lord, one faith, one birth,

One holy name she blesses, Partakes one holy food,

And to one hope she presses with ev’ry grace endued.


Though with a scornful wonder This world sees her oppressed,

By schisms rent asunder, By heresies distressed,

Yet saints their watch are keeping; Their cry goes up: “How Long?”

And soon the night of weeping Shall be the morn of song.


Through toil and tribulation And tumult of her war,

She waits the consummation Of peace forevermore;

Till with the vision glorious Her longing eyes are blest

And the great Church victorious Shall be the Church at rest.



P:  The Lord be with you

C: And also with you.

P:  Let us pray:  Heavenly Father, You sent Your Son, Jesus Christ, to free us from our enslavement to sin.  Help us to abide in Your Word and bring others by Your Holy Spirit in to the Body of Christ, so that every nation, tribe, language, and people will know the saving power of Christ and His resurrection.  Through Jesus, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

C:    Amen. 



The First Lesson:                                                           Revelation 14:6-7

God’s messenger brings the eternal gospel.

6 Then I saw another angel flying directly overhead, with an eternal gospel to proclaim to those who dwell on earth, to every nation and tribe and language and people. 7 And he said with a loud voice, “Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has come, and worship him who made heaven and earth, the sea and the springs of water.”


Epistle:                                                                              Romans 3:19-28

God justifies us through faith in Christ.

19 Now we know that whatever the law says it speaks to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be stopped, and the whole world may be held accountable to God. 20 For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin.

21 But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— 22 the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. 26 It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

27 Then what becomes of our boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? By a law of works? No, but by the law of faith. 28 For we hold that one is justified by faith apart from works of the law.


CHOIR ANTHEM                                                         “In Christ Alone”




Gospel:                                                                                   John 8:31-36

God sets us free as we abide in Jesus’ Word.

31 So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” 33 They answered him, “We are offspring of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone. How is it that you say, ‘You will become free’?”

34 Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin. 35 The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever. 36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.


SERMON SONG: “Before You, Lord, We Bow”          LBW 401 (v. 1-4)

  1. Before you, Lord, we bow,

Our God who reigns above And

Rules the world below,

Boundless in pow’r and love.

Our thanks we Bring in joy and praise,

our hearts we raise to you, our king!


  1. The nation you have blest

May well your love declare,

From Foes and fears at rest,

Protected by your care.

For this bright Day, for this fair land –

Gifts of your hand – our thanks we pay.


  1. May ev’ry maountain height,

Each vale and forest green,

Shine In your Word’s pure light,

And its rich fruits be seen!

May ev’ry Tongue be tuned to praise

And join to raise a grateful song.


  1. Earth, hear your Maker’s voice;

Your great redeemer own;

Believe, obey, rejoice,

and worship him alone.

Cast down your pride your sin deplore,

And bow before the Crucified.


SERMON           Pastor Jeremy Lucke



Luther’s Explanation of the Second Article of the Apostles’ Creed

C: I believe that Jesus Christ, true God, begotten of the Father in eternity, and also a true human being, born of the Virgin Mary, is my Lord.  He has redeemed me, a lost and condemned human being.  He has purchased and freed me from all sins, from death, and from the power of the devil, not with gold or silver but with his holy, precious blood and his innocent suffering and death.  He has done all this in order that I may belong to him, live under him in his kingdom, and serve him in eternal righteousness, innocence, and blessedness, just as he is risen from the dead and lives and rules eternally.  This is most certainly true.    



The offerings gathered are a sign of our whole lives offered to God in humble gratitude for his greatest of all offerings, his Son offered for our salvation.



P:  Let us pray for the whole people of God and for all people according to their needs.  Lord, You are our refuge and strength.  Defend Your Church from the attacks and accusations of the devil.  Keep our eyes fixed on Jesus and His Word.  Lord, in Your mercy,

C: hear our prayer.    

P:  Lord, since the fall into sin, all creation groans for restoration.  Earthquakes, hurricanes, fires, floods, and other disasters cause great frustration.  But You are the God of all creation.  Calm our hearts and be in our midst when the earth gives way.  Lord, in Your mercy,

C: hear our prayer. 

P:  Lord, in this fallen world, nations rage and kingdoms totter.  War, violence, and division plague the earth.  But You are the Lord of hosts, and You are with us.  Defend us from conflict and be our King of peace.  Lord, in Your mercy,

C: hear our prayer.   

P:  Lord, send healing to all who are sick, injured, and recovering, (especially…).        If it be Your will, restore their health with the overflowing abundance that comes only from Your hand.  Lord, in Your mercy,

C:  hear our prayer.   

P:  Lord, we exalt You among the nations for the blessings You have poured out upon us.  We give You thanks especially this day for Dave and Terry Garvin.  Grant them a safe transition to family in Utah.  We pray that You would give them continued joy in all that they do.  Lord, in Your mercy,

C: hear our prayer. 

P:  Into Your hands we commend all for whom we pray, trusting in Your mercy, through Jesus Christ, our risen Lord.

C: Amen. 



C: 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 trespass

against us;

             And lead us not into temptation,

             But deliver us from evil.

             For Thine is the kingdom and the power and glory forever

and ever.  Amen. 



P:  The Lord bless you and keep you,

The Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you.

The Lord look upon you with favor and give you peace.

C: Amen.




CLOSING SONG: “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God”                 LBW 229

A mighty fortress is our God, A sword and shield victorious;

He breaks the cruel oppressor’s rod And wins salvation glorious.

The old satanic foe Has sworn to work us woe!

With craft and dreadful might He arms himself to fight.

On earth he has no equal.


No strength of ours can match his might! We would be lost, rejected.

But now a champion comes to fight, Whom God himself elected.

You ask who this may be? The Lord of hosts is he!

Christ Jesus mighty Lord, God’s only Son, adored.

He holds the field victorious.


Though hordes of devils fill the land All threat’ning to devour us,

We tremble not, unmoved we stand; They cannot over pow’r us.

Let this world’s tyrant rage; In battle we’ll engage!

His might is doomed to fail; God’s judgment must prevail!

One little word subdues him.


God’s Word forever shall abide, No thanks to foes, who fear it;

For God himself fights by our side With weapons of the Spirit.

Were they to take our house, Goods, honor, child, or spouse,

Though life be wrenched away, They cannot win the day.

The Kingdom’s ours forever!



P:  Go in peace!  Serve the Lord!

C:  Thanks be to God!