Word for Word 9/21/22

Pastor Abraham Faugstad
Pastor Abraham Faugstad

“You’d fit right in!”

Recently, I have been going around the community to introduce myself and share information about our church and the Good News about Jesus who has won forgiveness and life for all people with His death on the cross. It reminded me of a story I heard about a pastor who went to visit a man one day. He knocked on the door and invited the man to come to church. The man shook his head and said, “I will never go to church. It’s full of hypocrites!” The preacher replied, “Well, you’d fit right in!”

This humorous story brings up an important question: who is church for? Is it just for nice people or those who need help? Who needs church? Perhaps the better question is - who needs Jesus? This answer is clear - we all do!

There are two common reasons people have for not going to church, either because they don’t think they need it or because they feel like they have messed up too much, behaved so foolishly, that their sins are unforgivable.

While we might tend to think of ourselves and others as either good or bad, God puts us all on the same level: “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). God’s Word is clear. Since the fall into sin, no one is innocent and free from sin. We don’t need to use a fine-toothed comb to find this to be true. Our conscience tells us we have sinned, and God’s word confirms it. “For the wages of sin is death.”

Since we could not save ourselves, God the Father sent His only begotten Son into the world - to save sinners, hypocrites, like you and me. The apostle Paul writes to Timothy, “This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief” (I Timothy 1:15).

Our church service begins with a confession of sin where we confess that we are sinners who deserve nothing but God’s wrath and punishment. Confession is followed by absolution, where the Pastor forgives us our sins in the stead and name of Christ (John 20:22–23). This is a great explanation for why we come to church  - not because we are perfect people, but because we are imperfect sinners who need a Savior, who lived a perfect life and died on the cross to pay for our sins so that we could be forgiven.

“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (I John 1:9). Forgiveness is a gift from God, and He wants you to have it!

Therefore, I’d like to invite you to join us for our Sunday morning service at 9 a.m. to hear the Good News about what Christ has done for you! You won’t find perfect people here at King of Grace Lutheran Church, but you will learn about our perfect Savior, who loves us so much, that He gave His own life, so that sinners like you and me might be forgiven and have the hope of everlasting life!

Pastor Abraham Faugstad
King of Grace Lutheran Church ELS, Waukon and Trinity Lutheran Churches