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Sharper Iron from KFUO Radio

Sharper Iron, hosted by Rev. Timothy Appel, looks at the text of Holy Scripture both in its broad context and its narrow detail, all for the sake of proclaiming Christ crucified and risen for sinners. Two pastors engage with God’s Word to sharpen not only their own faith and knowledge, but the faith and knowledge of all who listen.Sharper Iron is underwritten by Lutheran Church Extension Fund, where your investments help support the work of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. Visit lcef.org.

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It’s Not the End of the World As We Know It – Yet

Rev. Sean Kilgo, pastor at the Northeast Kansas Lutheran Partnership, joins host Rev. Timothy Appel to study Matthew 24:1-14.Jesus leaves the temple for the last time on Tuesday of Holy Week and tells His disciples that this grand building will one day be destroyed. God’s presence dwells in Jesus; therefore, the foundation of the disciples’ faith is not a building, but Jesus’ words. They ask Him two questions in response to this shocking statement, perhaps with some misunderstanding concerning the connection between the destruction of the Temple and the consummation at the end of the age. Jesus answers both questions throughout His discourse in Matthew 24-25, though we may sometimes have difficulty discerning which question He is answering. Jesus first warns His disciples concerning false teaching, which presents an eternal danger to His disciples. Wars and rumors of wars and famines will all happen before the destruction of Jerusalem and the end of the age, but Jesus comforts us not to be alarmed and instead to trust in His Words. The disciples will be persecuted. Lawlessness will increase. The Gospel will be preached all over the world. All the while, Jesus’ disciples have the comfort that in their Holy Spirit given endurace, they will be saved.“All Righteousness Fulfilled” is a mini-series on Sharper Iron that digs into the Gospel according to St. Matthew. The first evangelist proclaims Jesus to Jews and Gentiles alike as the fulfillment of God’s saving words and acts throughout the Old Testament. As the Christ in the line of David and Abraham, Jesus is the promised King who comes to bring sinners from every nation to live under His gracious reign.

20 Mar 2020

Rank #1

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An Epistle of the Purest Gospel

Rev. Chris Hull, pastor at Zion Lutheran Church in Tomball, TX, joins host Rev. Timothy Appel to study Romans 1:1-7.St. Paul’s epistle to the Romans lays out the fullness of the Christian faith centered around the truth of justification by grace through faith in Christ. Paul identifies himself both as a child of God bound only to Christ and as an apostle sent to preach the Gospel of God. That Gospel was announced already in God’s promises through the Old Testament prophets. That Gospel centers in Jesus Christ our Lord. He is true man, our Brother, the Christ from the line of David. He is true God, declared to the world in His resurrection from the dead by the power of the Holy Spirit. These are more than empty historical facts. Jesus has accomplished this for sinners, to give us His grace and give us a new identity underneath the hearing of His Word. This is what the Romans have received as those loved by God and made holy by Him. Because of Jesus, grace and peace are theirs and ours still today.“The Righteousness of God for You” is a mini-series on Sharper Iron that goes through St. Paul’s Epistle to the Romans. Human righteousness cannot save, because all have sinned and fall short of God’s glory. Only the righteousness of God can bring life and forgiveness to sinners. This is the righteousness that He has fulfilled in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. This is the righteousness that is revealed in the Gospel, the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes. This is the righteousness that is not earned, but is freely given by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone.

15 Apr 2020

Rank #2

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Christ is Surely Coming: Do Not Grow Weary in Doing Good --- 2019/12/23

Rev. Tim Koch, pastor at the Emanuel Lutheran Church in Milbank, SD, joins host Rev. Timothy Appel to study 2 Thessalonians 3:13-18.Paul strengthens weary Christians to continue in the good works God has given them to do. We can be confident that such works are good and pleasing in God’s sight, not based on how impressive they look to human eyes, but based upon God’s clear Word. The Christian response to this Word is to hold onto it in faith and deed; those who refuse to do so must be noted and avoided in order to bring them to repentance. The shame that is brought upon is not one of humiliation, but one of correction. Others are not to be regarded as enemies who must be destroyed. Rather, Paul commands love as toward a brother. The goal is to win the brother back into the family of God; he is one for whom Christ died. Paul brings his epistle to conclusion in his typical fashion. He signs the letter with his own hand as a sign of genuineness and closes by giving the peace and grace of God to the Thessalonians.

24 Dec 2019

Rank #3

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Prophetic Sarcasm and Satire --- 2019/10/30

Rev. Ned Moerbe, pastor at Trinity Lutheran Church in Blackwell, OK, joins host Rev. Timothy Appel to study Amos 4:1-5.Amos’ satire and sarcasm are biting. He holds back no punches. Though every detail may not be easily identified, the overall clarity of Scripture remains in order to drive us to repentance and faith in Christ alone. First, Amos attacks the women of Samaria, shockingly calling them cows of Bashan. Like these well-fed, plump cattle, the women of Samaria have enjoyed the good life. Yet they have neglected to care for the poor and needy as they, by their demands for more alcohol, have only encouraged their husbands to continue to oppress these weak members of society. Their punishment fits the crime. Those who have treated others no better than animals are treated the same. They are led with fishhooks into captivity, a warning to us still today to consider the need to be stewards of what God has given in order to care for our neighbors’ physical needs. Such sins against our neighbor stem from sins against God. Amos piles on the sarcasm again, calling the people to come to their idolatrous shrines in order to transgress against God. Israel thought that their overtly religious lifestyle would make everything alright, but they were sorely mistaken. Their self-made worship they loved was not what God loved. Through Amos, He called them, and us, to repentance from any idolatrous worship and instead to find our atonement and righteousness in Christ alone.

30 Oct 2019

Rank #4

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Injustice for Jesus Means Justification for Sinners

Rev. Joel Haak, pastor at Trinity Lutheran Church in Rochester, MN, joins host Rev. Timothy Appel to study Matthew 27:11-26.As Jesus goes on trial before Pontius Pilate, the question of who is to blame for Jesus’ death takes center stage. As governor, Pilate recognizes that Jesus has committed no crime, yet he releases the guilty Barabbas in place of the Innocent One. Though Pilate washes his hands in an attempt to ease his conscience, his guilt remains. The chief priests and elders act only out of envy, persuading the crowd to join them in their demand for Jesus’ crucifixion. They proclaim a willingness to accept responsibility for Jesus’ death. Ultimately, the blame lies not just with Pilate or Jesus’ generation; all sinners bear the responsibility. In this fact, the gracious truth of what Jesus is doing shines forth. Jesus has come to die for all sinners. He reigns as King precisely by allowing Himself to be declared guilty, so that sinners can be declared innocent. He directs events toward the shedding of His own blood, so that His blood can be placed upon sinners in order to forgive their sins. Jesus allows the injustice to Himself in order to give justification to sinners.“All Righteousness Fulfilled” is a mini-series on Sharper Iron that digs into the Gospel according to St. Matthew. The first evangelist proclaims Jesus to Jews and Gentiles alike as the fulfillment of God’s saving words and acts throughout the Old Testament. As the Christ in the line of David and Abraham, Jesus is the promised King who comes to bring sinners from every nation to live under His gracious reign.

7 Apr 2020

Rank #5

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The Day Is Surely Drawing Near: The LORD Roars --- 2019/10/14

“The Day Is Surely Drawing Near” is a new mini-series on Sharper Iron that digs into the book of Amos. This Old Testament prophet speaks the LORD’s roaring Word in order to call us first to repentance over our idolatry and injustice and second to faith in the Messiah in the line of David, Jesus Christ. Only through faith in Him will we stand forgiven and redeemed on the coming Day of the LORD.Rev. Paul Pater, pastor at Shepherd of the Ridge Lutheran Church in North Ridgeville, OH and Hope Lutheran Church in Sheffield Village, OH, joins host Rev. Timothy Appel to study Amos 1:1-2.Although Amos was a sheep herder from Tekoa, a fortified city in the southern kingdom, Judah, that didn’t prevent the LORD from sending Amos as His prophet to the northern kingdom, Israel. The people of Israel may have been outwardly prosperous under the reign of Jeroboam the son of Joash, but inwardly they were spiritually bankrupt. In the early part of the 8th century BC, Amos spent his ministry to Israel condemning their idolatry and injustice and calling them to repentance. Amos doesn’t pull any punches because he has heard the LORD roar. The LORD’s voice sounds forth from His dwelling place in Jerusalem, not in celebration over Israel’s outward growth, but in condemnation over Israel’s inward decay. This is the burden of Amos’ preaching, which the LORD validated through the earthquake two years later. Therefore, we ignore Amos’ preaching to our own peril. We too must repent of our idolatry and injustice so that we can hear the hope that Amos does preach. Even in the very first verse of his book, Amos tells us that Uzziah reigns in Judah as the rightful king in the line of David. By the end of his book, Amos proclaims that the LORD will restore the fallen booth of David. The LORD has fulfilled His promise through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, who is both the sacrificial Lamb of God and the victorious Lion of Judah.

14 Oct 2019

Rank #6

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The Oracle against Israel --- 2019/10/24

Rev. Philip Hoppe, pastor at Peace Lutheran Church in Finlayson, MN and St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Bruno, MN, joins host Rev. Timothy Appel to study Amos 2:6-16.Amos has finished his prelude; now he begins the main content of his prophecy. The LORD has sent Amos to preach to and against Israel herself. The wording of this oracle is similar to the preceding seven, for Israel has behaved and believed no differently than her pagan neighbors. Masterfully weaving together both general and specific sins, Amos calls Israel out for her mistreatment of the poor and licentious sexual behavior. These are tied closely to their idolatry; wrong worship has led them into wrong living. Of all people, Israel should have known better, for the LORD had saved them in the past and was still bestowing His Word upon them in the present. Yet even these gifts Israel misused. For this reason, the LORD’s judgment was coming. Not even the best of their warriors would escape. The LORD did not give this judgment lightly or gladly, for His people’s sins had been His burden. This fact points us forward to the moment when the LORD Himself bears our sins on the cross. Jesus’ forgiving death is our only hope of salvation from God’s wrath, the hope to which He desires that we cling in repentance and faith.

24 Oct 2019

Rank #7

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Love Your Enemies

Rev. Dustin Beck, pastor at Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Warda, TX, joins host Rev. Timothy Appel to study Matthew 5:38-48.Jesus continues to sharpen the focus concerning the Law. The sort of love to which He calls His disciples is not found anywhere else in the world. The default position for people is to take revenge when they have been wronged; the principle, “an eye for an eye,” limited such revenge from getting out of control. Jesus calls His disciples away from such retaliation. Rather than returning evil for evil, Jesus teaches us His disciples to return love for evil. This does not overturn the call Christians have in their vocation to love and protect their neighbors. Rather, Jesus calls us toward that same love that He showed to those who did evil to Him, willingly going to the cross for the very people who put Him there. This call reaches its climax as Jesus startles those who hold to worldly wisdom as He says: “Love your enemies.” This is the love that God has for us sinners in Christ, and it is the love that shows itself forth from those who are in Christ. As Jesus’ disciples exercise this love, they show themselves to be children of their heavenly Father who has loved them first. In Christ’s call to be perfect in the same way God is, the Law drives us back toward the righteousness of Christ that has been bestowed upon us freely by grace, so that the Holy Spirit begins to bring forth His fruit in our lives.“All Righteousness Fulfilled” is a mini-series on Sharper Iron that digs into the Gospel according to St. Matthew. The first evangelist proclaims Jesus to Jews and Gentiles alike as the fulfillment of God’s saving words and acts throughout the Old Testament. As the Christ in the line of David and Abraham, Jesus is the promised King who comes to bring sinners from every nation to live under His gracious reign.

24 Jan 2020

Rank #8

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The Oracle against Judah --- 2019/10/23

Rev. Zelwyn Heide, pastor at Redeemer Lutheran Church in Grassy Butte, ND and St. Peter Lutheran Church in Belfield, ND, joins host Rev. Timothy Appel to study Amos 2:4-5.The first six oracles of judgment in Amos are against pagan nations surrounding Judah and Israel. Now the prophet turns the corner to address the LORD’s own people, starting with the southern kingdom, Judah. During the period of the Divided Monarchy, which began with Rehoboam of Judah and Jeroboam I of Israel, the southern and northern kingdoms were sometimes friend and sometimes enemies. During the time of Amos, Israel was enjoying relative peace and prosperity from an earthly perspective, while Judah was weaker. Yet even Judah does not escape the LORD’s judgment. Using the same words as He used against the pagan nations, Amos preaches against Judah for an even worse sin. They rejected the law of the LORD. It was bad enough for the pagans to break the law written on their hearts; it was far worse for Judah to knowingly reject the word the LORD spoke to them by the prophets. This word is the Torah, the LORD’s word, instruction, and way. It stands in complete contrast to the idols in whose lies Judah was walking and had been walking under their fathers. The LORD’s fire would come down upon Judah as well, not only under Babylon, but also under Rome, after the rejection of the Torah made flesh, Jesus Christ. In this way, the LORD shows the condemnation that awaits all who reject His Son by faith. Amos’ preaching calls all people to repent and to place their trust in Him alone.

23 Oct 2019

Rank #9

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Alleluia! Christ Is Risen!

Rev. Richard Mittwede, pastor at University Lutheran Church in Austin, TX, joins host Rev. Timothy Appel to study Matthew 28:1-10.The women went to Jesus’ tomb on the first day of the week just as the light was dawning, though they did not yet realize just how bright that light would be. The reality became apparent soon enough. As an earthquake accompanied Jesus’ death, so another earthquake accompanied Jesus’ resurrection as God’s own creation announced the new creation. God sent His angel to roll the stone away from Jesus’ tomb to reveal that it was already empty. The guards became like dead men in their fear, but they were the only dead ones there. The angel announced the good news to the women. Jesus’ resurrection takes away all fear. It is the central event of all history and of the Christian faith, giving us hope not only for this life, but for eternal life. As the women went in fear and great joy to tell the news to the disciples, Jesus met them with His greetings. In worship, they took hold of His feet, an important reminder that Jesus’ resurrection is physical. Jesus again took away their fear and sent them to His disciples as His brothers, those loved and forgiven through His death and resurrection.“All Righteousness Fulfilled” is a mini-series on Sharper Iron that digs into the Gospel according to St. Matthew. The first evangelist proclaims Jesus to Jews and Gentiles alike as the fulfillment of God’s saving words and acts throughout the Old Testament. As the Christ in the line of David and Abraham, Jesus is the promised King who comes to bring sinners from every nation to live under His gracious reign.

14 Apr 2020

Rank #10

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Binding Beelzebul

Rev. Adam Koontz, assistant professor of exegetical theology at Concordia Theological Seminary in Ft. Wayne, IN, joins host Rev. Timothy Appel to study Matthew 12:22-37.The opposition to Jesus takes a darker turn. After Jesus heals a demon-possessed man, the Pharisees claim that Jesus is in league with Satan. Jesus responds by addressing the silliness of their claim. If Satan has hired Jesus to cast out demons, then Satan is trying to destroy himself. The truth is the opposite. Satan is not engaged in a civil war, but is united in his attack against Jesus. This, however, is a fight that is not Satan’s to win. Jesus is the stronger man who binds Satan in order to take back from him those Satan is holding captive under sin and death. This means that there is no neutral ground; a person is either with Jesus or against Him. To speak of Jesus’ saving work as demonic is to sin against the Holy Spirit, rejecting the salvation that He would freely give to you in Jesus Christ. The Pharisees speak this way because they are bad trees; they can only speak such evil words against Jesus. Jesus speaks harshly toward them in order to reveal this truth to them that they might repent and believe now. The day of judgment is coming when such words of confession of who Jesus is will reveal who has trusted in Christ for salvation and who has not.“All Righteousness Fulfilled” is a mini-series on Sharper Iron that digs into the Gospel according to St. Matthew. The first evangelist proclaims Jesus to Jews and Gentiles alike as the fulfillment of God’s saving words and acts throughout the Old Testament. As the Christ in the line of David and Abraham, Jesus is the promised King who comes to bring sinners from every nation to live under His gracious reign.

14 Feb 2020

Rank #11

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Free Slaves of God

Rev. Clint Poppe, pastor at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Lincoln, NE, joins host Rev. Timothy Appel to study Romans 6:12-23.God’s gracious action in Christ delivered in Holy Baptism means that sin is no longer the Christian’s king or lord. Therefore, St. Paul commands that we must not live in our bodies as if sin is our king. Though we think sin is under our control, sin quickly progresses to control us. However, this is not our reality in Christ. Our members are not weapons put into service for sin and unrighteousness, but instruments of good works that God has given to us as He has brought us from death to life. This action of God by His grace is our controlling reality, not so that we would continue in sin, but so that we would present ourselves as obedient slaves to righteousness. God be praised! This is exactly what has happened, not out of compulsion, but from willing, grateful hearts molded by God to the doctrine that Jesus has given us. Such slavery is not to be understood in the human way of tyranny. Rather, Jesus is our gracious Lord who sacrifices Himself for our good. Though sin deceptively offers freedom from righteousness, its fruits are only full of shame and the wage paid is death. Our gracious God, however, freely gives to His people eternal life in Christ Jesus the Lord.“The Righteousness of God for You” is a mini-series on Sharper Iron that goes through St. Paul’s Epistle to the Romans. Human righteousness cannot save, because all have sinned and fall short of God’s glory. Only the righteousness of God can bring life and forgiveness to sinners. This is the righteousness that He has fulfilled in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. This is the righteousness that is revealed in the Gospel, the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes. This is the righteousness that is not earned, but is freely given by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone.

54mins

6 May 2020

Rank #12

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The LORD Calls from Death to Life --- 2019/11/05

Rev. Clint Poppe, pastor at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Lincoln, NE, joins host Rev. Timothy Appel to study Amos 5:10-17.The courtroom scene of Amos 3-4 has shifted to a funeral dirge in Amos 5. The LORD tells His people that they have died and the reason why. They have been faithless in their legal transactions at the city gates, fleecing the poor for a profit. They have loved lies rather than truth; they have sought to increase their wealth at the expense of justice. For this reason, the LORD’s great reversal comes upon His people as Law. They will not dwell in the custom homes they had built, nor will they drink the wine of the choice vineyards they have planted. Such an evil time requires silence before the LORD so that His people will hear His Word and confess their sin. When they silently hear His Word, God’s people hear what He desires above all else. He desires to call His people out of their death and into His life. Even if His faithful remnant experiences the same tribulation as faithful Joseph, the LORD will give eternal life to those who cling to Him in true faith. For those who do not, judgment remains. This judgment against Israel will be the same judgment that the LORD meted out against Egypt in the tenth plague, such that the entire land will mourn. That is why the LORD extends His Gospel call so that His people would seek Him, and in Him alone, find life.

5 Nov 2019

Rank #13

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The Lord Has Compassion on His Martyrs

Rev. Bryan Wolfmueller, pastor at St. Paul Lutheran Church and Jesus Deaf Lutheran Church in Austin, TX, joins host Rev. Timothy Appel to study Matthew 14:1-21.Herod’s bad conscience has him seeing John the Baptist. Even though Herod had beheaded the prophet, the king is afraid that John has been raised. The account of John’s beheading can be difficult to swallow. Herod’s extravagant birthday party and hasty oath, combined with a vengeful queen, mean death for John. Just as John preceded Jesus in life and ministry, so he precedes the Lord in death. Yet Jesus precedes John in resurrection, and so John has the promise of life eternal in the Savior along with all who trust in Jesus. When the Lord hears of John’s death, He withdraws from the crowds, yet they follow Him. His compassion for them continues even through His exhaustion. He spends the day healing the crowds, and at the end of the day He does not desire to send them away hungry. Though His disciples seem clueless, Jesus teaches them and trains them. Showing Himself to be the God who provided manna in the wilderness and the Lord who shepherds His people, Jesus feeds more than five thousand people with only five loaves of bread and two fish.“All Righteousness Fulfilled” is a mini-series on Sharper Iron that digs into the Gospel according to St. Matthew. The first evangelist proclaims Jesus to Jews and Gentiles alike as the fulfillment of God’s saving words and acts throughout the Old Testament. As the Christ in the line of David and Abraham, Jesus is the promised King who comes to bring sinners from every nation to live under His gracious reign.

21 Feb 2020

Rank #14

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The Showdown between Amos and Amaziah --- 2019/11/15

Rev. Dustin Beck, pastor at Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Warda, TX, joins host Rev. Timothy Appel to study Amos 7:10-17.Amos intended to bring Israel back to true faith in the LORD by his preaching, and the first to listen should have been one called a priest. Amaziah, however, proves himself unrepentant. Instead of returning to the LORD as the true king, Amaziah appeals to Jeroboam, claiming that Amos is leading a conspiracy against the kingdom. He commands Amos to return to the southern kingdom to make his living; he is free to preach there, but the temple of the kingdom is off limits. Amaziah has replaced the LORD as king. Amos, however, remains faithful in the face of such apostasy. He defends his ministry not as his own desire or plan. Before the LORD’s call, Amos worked in agriculture. When he heard the LORD’s roar, however, he could not do anything other than speak the LORD’s Word, even when that Word was not what people wanted to hear. That Word proclaimed judgment not only against the nation as a whole, but against the unfaithful individuals, including Amaziah. We too need to hear such preaching, lest we think that we can escape God’s just judgment for our sin on our own. We dare not exchange the true King over all for the kings or things of this world. Instead, our trust must be in Christ and His Word, for His Word will never pass away. God’s judgment has been poured out upon Christ so that by faith in Him, we have eternal life.

15 Nov 2019

Rank #15

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Don’t Be Afraid of Fearing God

Rev. Chris Hull, pastor at Zion Lutheran Church in Tomball, TX, joins host Rev. Timothy Appel to study Matthew 10:24-42.Jesus tells His disciples that they will follow Him in suffering and the cross. Since the world has called Him evil, the disciples should expect the same. However, this hatred from the world need not make the disciples afraid as they proclaim publicly all the things Jesus has done in His death and resurrection. Their fear is rightly directed toward God, for He alone has power over body and soul. The true fear of God sees Him in Christ as a loving Father who has poured out the wrath sinners deserved upon Jesus. In this fear of God, there is nothing to fear. This emboldens the disciples to confess Jesus freely before the world. Jesus does not leave them with any illusions. The peace He brings between God and man will also result in division among people, even within families. True life, however, is not found in any earthly family relationship, but in Jesus Christ. He has gone the way of the cross, and so His disciples will carry the cross He gives as well. With this cross comes His promise of resurrection, as those who hear the Word receive God’s grace to have Jesus as Lord and God as their Father now and forever.“All Righteousness Fulfilled” is a mini-series on Sharper Iron that digs into the Gospel according to St. Matthew. The first evangelist proclaims Jesus to Jews and Gentiles alike as the fulfillment of God’s saving words and acts throughout the Old Testament. As the Christ in the line of David and Abraham, Jesus is the promised King who comes to bring sinners from every nation to live under His gracious reign.

10 Feb 2020

Rank #16

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The Christian’s Struggle Between the Old Self and New Self

Rev. Dr. Rick Marrs, associate professor of practical theology at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis and author of Making Christian Counseling More Christ Centered, joins host Rev. Timothy Appel to study the distinction between the old Adam and new Adam.In distinguishing the old Adam and new Adam, God’s Word lays out an important distinction that Christians daily experience. The old self is the corrupt sinful nature that each person has inherited from Adam. This fleshly nature rebels against God and His Word. The new self is a gift of God to Christians through the Gospel. In Christ, God makes us His new creation. The battle between the old and new self wages in Christians throughout life. Even St. Paul later in life recognized the evil that dwelt in him and his continued need for the righteousness of God that comes by grace through faith in Christ. In his Small and Large Catechisms, Martin Luther makes use of this distinction by calling Christians back to Baptism. There we rejoice that God has drowned the sinner in us and raised the new self in Christ. As we daily struggle against the old self, we find our strength in Christ alone, returning to His forgiveness found in the cleansing flood of water and Word.“The Righteousness of God for You” is a mini-series on Sharper Iron that goes through St. Paul’s Epistle to the Romans. Human righteousness cannot save, because all have sinned and fall short of God’s glory. Only the righteousness of God can bring life and forgiveness to sinners. This is the righteousness that He has fulfilled in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. This is the righteousness that is revealed in the Gospel, the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes. This is the righteousness that is not earned, but is freely given by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone.

25 Apr 2020

Rank #17

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The Oracle against Moab --- 2019/10/22

Rev. Tim Koch, pastor at Emanuel Lutheran Church in Milbank, SD joins host Rev. Timothy Appel to study Amos 2:1-3.The Moabites trace their lineage to the incestuous relationship between Lot and his oldest daughter. Related to Israel, the Moabites were sometimes friends and sometimes foes of God’s people. Perhaps best known among the Moabites is Ruth, who married into the Israelite family and ended up in the genealogy of Christ. Yet the idol worship of Moab was a snare to Israel during their history as well. Amos preaches against Moab’s crime of desecrating the grave of the king of Edom, burning his bones into lime for use as mortar. Such defiling of God’s gift of the body is horrific, even by one pagan nation to another. For that reason, the LORD’s anger literally burns against the people of Moab. His wrath will come against them publicly and loudly, as He cuts off their ruler and kills all of their princes. Such language echoes throughout the Scripture in contexts not only of temporal judgment, but also concerning eternal judgment. The righteous anger of the LORD poured out upon Moab invites us to repent of our own sin; we dare not stand aloof as if we have no need of repentance. The Word of God comes to us not so that we might engage in hand-wringing or cheerleading. God speaks His Word not simply for their repentance, but for our repentance. The only refuge is Christ, who took God’s fiery wrath upon Himself on the cross and rose on the third day, so that baptized into Him, we would be saved.

22 Oct 2019

Rank #18

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Amos’ Funeral Dirge for Israel --- 2019/11/01

Rev. Sean Daenzer, pastor at Trinity Lutheran Church in Great Bend, ND and Peace, Barney, ND, joins host Rev. Timothy Appel to study Amos 5:1-3.When a funeral dirge is sung, our ears perk up to learn who has died. The surprise of Amos 5 is that death has come to God’s own people, Israel. Though physically alive, they are spiritually dead. They have not heeded the LORD’s call to repentance through increasingly severe plagues, and so they have met their God in death rather than life. Their failure to cry out to the LORD for mercy, having not even recognized their need for it, has led to their own fall, which they have brought upon themselves. Tragically, due to her own idolatry and injustice, the virgin Israel did not receive the wonderful gifts her husband, the LORD, desired to give. On her own land, the destruction of Israel would occur at the hands of Assyria in 722 BC. Only a tenth of the soldiers would remain, and these ten tribes of Israel would be lost to history. Yet the prophet sings this funeral dirge with the desire that the people hear and recognize that there is no hope in themselves. Only the LORD Himself can raise the dead from their graves. In this repentance, the LORD calls us to meet Him on His terms, so that we would not have death, but life. This happens in Christ crucified for us. Through faith in Him, we meet God and live.

1 Nov 2019

Rank #19

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Plagues for Repentance --- 2019/10/31

Rev. Peter Ill, pastor at Trinity Lutheran Church in Milstadt, IL, joins host Rev. Timothy Appel to study Amos 4:6-13.As Amos continues to preach to Israel, he draws on previous Old Testament texts. As the LORD sent plagues against Egypt in order to bring them to repentance and faith in Him as the only true God, so He has sent plagues against His own people Israel with the same goal in mind. He has enacted the covenant curses listed in Leviticus and Deuteronomy in order to wake His people up from their apathy toward Him. His plagues gradually grow in intensity and hit closer to home to the people each time. The LORD sent famine, drought, blight, mildew, pestilence, death, and destruction against His people, all in an effort to call them away from their idolatry and injustice. Each time the refrain rings with growing tragedy: “Yet you did not return to me.” For that reason, Israel will meet their God in an unmistakable way. They will know for certain that He is the Creator and the God of His angel armies. Such a text forces us to grapple with the uncomfortable truth that the LORD does do His alien work of bringing judgment upon His people for the purpose of bringing us to repentance. When disaster strikes, the faithful response of God’s people is one of repentance, recognizing that we deserve even worse temporally and eternally. In that repentance, we cling by faith to what God does in His proper work. He reveals Himself to us in Jesus Christ as the God who suffers for us, making the day into darkness on Good Friday in order to suffer for our sins and win our eternal salvation.

31 Oct 2019

Rank #20