Herald JournalColumns
Jan. 23, 2006, Enterprise Dispatch
Pastor's Column

For unto you...

By George Koivukangas, Laestadian Lutheran Church, Stockholm

Have you, dear neighbor, struggled with sin?

When we consider the measure of sin in this present time, it is beyond comprehension. Yet man has struggled with it from the beginning, ever since the serpent first deceived mankind.

Our heavenly Father reminds us, “Be sober, be vigilant: Because your adversary, the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.” 1 Peter 5:8

We can recall one incident from many, many generations ago, how it cunningly caused a certain king to fall grievously into sin. First into the sin of adultery, then into deceit and finally into murder.

This man was King David. At the time, outward peace and prosperity prevailed in Israel. God had gained many victories over his enemies, unto the king. Although his enemies had laid down their weapons, there was one who had not—enemies of souls.

There is no doubt King David’s fall was great. He had taken unto himself his neighbor’s wife. He then tried to cover his deeds with deceit. When this did not succeed, he formed a sly plan to slay the woman’s husband, his best soldier. From the Psalms of David, we see now he felt heavy burden after his fall into sin.

He expounds, “How the hand of God was heavy upon him night and day, so that his moisture was turned into the drought of summer.” He felt as though his bones would crumble.

King David needed help. God did not forsake him, for he had penitence, sorrow over his condition.

God sent the prophet Nathan to him. It was not an easy duty unto the prophet.

Joyous rapture was experienced in the palace that day when Nathan spoke of the grace of God and assured him of the forgiveness of his sins. David had confessed his transgressions, “I have sinned against the Lord.”

Certainly we also are reminded of the importance of putting sin away. God encourages us lovingly, “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Heb. 4:16

This grace of God is found here upon the earth in his kingdom. It is of this grace of which the Apostle Paul exhorted unto those of his time and reminds us, “Be it known unto you, therefore, men and brethren that through this man, (our Lord Jesus), is preached unto you, the forgiveness of sins.” Acts 13:38

We very quickly come to realize that if salvation was in our hands, we would be doomed. Paul reminds us, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves; it is a gift of God, not of works, lest any should boast.” Eph. 2:8-9

Certainly dear neighbor, you heard during this past Christmas celebration the proclamation of God, through his holy angels, unto the lowly shepherds abiding in the fields of Bethlehem. This proclamation is so personal. It is especially unto you, unto me and unto all mankind.

“For unto you is born this day in the city of David a savior, which is Christ the Lord.” Luke 2:11

Yes, unto you this Christ child was sent. The grace of God belongs to you. This is the gift of God unto you.

A certain little child once asked her mother, “Is this the same Jesus who suffered and died?”

“Yes,” she replied, “This baby Jesus was sent by God unto you and went on to suffer and die and rose victorious on that glorious Easter morning, on your behalf.”

Through this merit work of Jesus is our salvation. Our victory is dependant upon the abundant grace of God, not on us. All one has to do is believe the gospel message. Sins are forgiven in Jesus’ precious name and blood.

The Apostle Paul lamented of his poorness and wretchedness, “O wretched man that I am, who shall deliver me from this body of death.” Ro. 7:24

God has promised his own, “I will not forsake you, I will not leave you.”

We are totally dependant upon his grace which he so freely offers unto all mankind.

Yes, dear neighbor, unto you.

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