Presentation on theme: "Witnessing to those Engaged in Sinful Lifestyles Rev. Dr. Mark Larson Director United States Ministry Lutheran Hour Ministries."— Presentation transcript:
Witnessing to those Engaged in Sinful Lifestyles Rev. Dr. Mark Larson Director United States Ministry Lutheran Hour Ministries
Current Situation Sexuality 75 percent of woman 30 and under have cohabited 1 Nineteen states have legalized same sex marriage 2 75 to 98 percent of college students have cheated College_Students_Have_Cheated.html
Current Situation Individualism over community Cable TV Choose your gender Symptoms of Post-modernism Reaction to Enlightenment No truth – no authority 1 2
Current Situation Six Reasons Young Christians Leave the Church 4 Response to sexuality seems simplistic, judgmental Question exclusive nature of Christianity Church seems unfriendly to those who doubt 4https://www.barna.org/barna-update/millennials/528-six-reasons- young-christians-leave-church#.U8fSE50o6M8
Current Situation Six Reasons Young Christians Leave the Church 4 Churches seem overprotective fear based, risk averse Experience of Christianity is shallow boring, irrelevant Church seems antagonistic to science 4 https://www.barna.org/barna-update/millennials/528-six-reasons- young-christians-leave-church#.U8fSE50o6M8
Essential Question: What does God want you to say or do? What can you say without turning people off? Is it okay to offend people at times? He does want you to say something!
The Law shows our sin and threatens God’s punishment. It requires perfection. “For the wages of sin is death...” Rom. 6:23a Law Gospel The Gospel is the Good News that God forgives our sins without good works. “…but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord”. Rom. 6:23b
The Law is a blessed ministry of death. Its purpose is to kill the Old Adam within us. “Now if the ministry of death, carved in letters on stone, came with such glory...” 2 Cor. 3:7 Law Gospel The more glorious Gospel is a ministry of life, whose purpose is to give birth to the New Man. “… the ministry of righteousness must far exceed it in glory”. 2 Cor. 3:9b
Law and Gospel The Word of God is not rightly divided when … Thesis VI: … the Law is not preached in its full sternness and the Gospel is not preached in its full sweetness Thesis VII: … the Gospel is preached first and then the Law Thesis VIII: … the Law is preached to those who are already in terror on account of their sins; or the Gospel to those who live securely in their sins
Law and Gospel The Word of God is not rightly divided when … Thesis X … the preacher describes faith in a manner as if the mere inert acceptance of truths, even while a person is living in mortal sins, renders that person righteous Thesis XVI: … the preacher tries to make people believe that they are truly converted as soon as they have become rid of certain vices and engage in certain works of piety.
Law and Gospel The Word of God is not rightly divided when … Thesis XVII :… the universal corruption of mankind is described in such a manner as to create the impression that even true believers are still under the spell of ruling sins and are sinning purposely Thesis XIX:... the preacher speaks of certain sins as if there were not of a damnable, but of a venial nature
Law and Gospel The Word of God is not rightly divided when … Thesis XX: … a person’s salvation is made to depend on his association with the visible, orthodox Church, and when salvation is denied to every person who errs in any article of faith Thesis XXIII:... when an attempt is made by means of the demands or the threats or the promises of the Law to induce the unregenerate to put away their sin and engage in good works and thus become godly…
Law and Gospel The Word of God is not rightly divided when … Thesis XXV: … the person teaching it does not allow the Gospel to have a general predominance in his teaching
Biblical Examples: Prophets Jonah preaches to Nineveh to repent Jonah – “Jonah began to go into the city, going a day's journey. And he called out, ‘Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown.’” Jonah 3:4 How did that turn out? What can we learn?
Biblical Examples: Prophets John preaches repentance to Jewish leaders John the Baptist – “But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them, ‘You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?’” Matthew 3:7 How did that turn out? What can we learn?
Biblical Examples: Jesus in John The Woman Caught in Adultery Read John 8:3-12 “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” v. 7 “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.” v. 11
Biblical Examples: Jesus in John The Woman Caught in Adultery Thinking about both the Jews and the woman … How did that turn out? How did Jesus use Law and Gospel? What can we learn?
Biblical Examples: Jesus in John Nicodemus meets Jesus Read John 3:1-17 “Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” v. 3 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” v. 16
Biblical Examples: Jesus in John Nicodemus meets Jesus How did that turn out? How did Jesus use Law and Gospel? What can we learn?
Biblical Examples: Jesus in John Jesus and the Woman at the Well Read John 4:5-19 “Jesus answered her, ‘If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, “Give me a drink,” you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.’” v. 10 “Jesus said to her, ‘You are right in saying, “I have no husband;” for you have had five husbands, and the one you now have is not your husband. What you have said is true.’” v. 17b-18
Biblical Examples: Jesus in John Jesus and the Woman at the Well How did that turn out? Did Jesus preach the Gospel before the Law? What can we learn?
Biblical Examples Prophets Jonah 3:4 - Jonah began to go into the city, going a day's journey. And he called out, “Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown. https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=jonah+3%3A4&version=ESV John the Baptist - In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah when he said, “The voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord; make his paths straight.’” Matthew 3:1-3? Jesus Witness in John The Woman Caught in Adultery (John 8) The Jews – Nicodemus Woman at the well Thief on the cross Paul Acts 17: Even though his spirit was provoked: The unknown God Peter Acts 2 -
Strategies for Post-moderns Community is important This is WHO WE ARE; we have a unique identity Narrative over reason Tell stories (parables!) that reinforce our values Practices reinforce belief What the community does to strengthen identity
See It from God’s Perspective You are not the only one God is using Member of my former parish Micah Wilder – ex-Mormon He is sending you! He expects you to speak
Your Perspective Consider your relationship with the person Your actions must flow from love Invest in the relationship Don’t be judgmental; share their brokenness Listen
Build the Case from a Higher Principle (world view) Community over individualism Post-moderns, Millennials value service Belong, believe, become (in that order) Sacrifice is better than selfishness What is the effect of selfish (read sinful) actions on family and children
The Law is Applied in Various Ways Natural knowledge of God While imperfect, let it work God-size hole in the heart The first use of the Law Ex.: Promiscuity brings brokenness, even disease Previous encounters with the Revealed Law
Surprise them! Think of creative approaches Jesus took conversations in unexpected directions Anticipate the “Post-modern Catechism” Work inductively Ask questions that help them see their position clearly “How is that working for you?”
Let the Gospel Predominate For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.” Romans 1:16-17