Grace, Mercy, and Peace

Posts by Rev. Dr. Curtis Leins

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The Reformation Today | Part 4

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The self-assured pastor set himself as an example for his congregation. “I really don’t sin anymore,” he said. “Sure, when I was young, I might have sinned. But, now that I am older in the faith and more mature, I don’t sin anymore.” This is not a fictional story or an exaggeration to make a point. These words actually were spoken in an American...

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The Reformation Today | Part 3

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We live in a strange moment in human history. This is the time of the Superstar. We have superstars in television and movies, superstars in music and sports, superstars in politics, and, yes, even superstars in religion. Recently, Brent M. Farias wrote an article for Charisma News titled “Beware of Superstar, Self-Appointed Church Personalities”...

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The Reformation Today | Part 2

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Imagine, if you would, a worship service that is designed much like a sporting event. Enter the superstar, the embodiment of strength with style. Assisted by several supporting players, this Most Valuable Player performs virtually all of the “action” that takes place. The occasion is enhanced by inspiring music, performed by...

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The Reformation Today | Part 1

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How would you describe the world? It could be described as besieged by an expanding Caliphate, beleaguered by social unrest, influenced by pervasive secular humanism, and plagued by a general mistrust of all in authority, even those of the Christian religion. How would you describe society’s reaction to the Christian faith?...

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The Necessity of Holy Baptism

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Recently, I was asked a question about Holy Baptism: Is it true that unless a person is baptized in water, he or she cannot be saved? In short, Is water baptism necessary? The answer to this question is both simple and complex. It will be found in Holy Scripture and will be interpreted and practiced across the history of the Church....

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God is Love | love

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High in a desert canyon of Arizona, a perennial spring bubbles to the surface. It is located at approximately 4,100 feet above sea level and is known as Fossil Creek. At its headwaters, this tributary of the Verde (Green) River yields 20,000 gallons per minute; that is 29 million gallons per day! Strangely placed in a desert wilderness,...

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Hopes and Fears | hope

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Phillips Brooks was the Episcopal rector of Holy Trinity Church, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Even as a young pastor, he was already renowned for his powerful preaching. Loved by young and old alike, this six-foot-six giant was equally at home standing among the adults or playing with the children....

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Reformation Celebration | faith

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For almost 200 years, voices in the church had been clamoring for religious reform. John Wycliffe (1320 c.-1384), seminary professor and Bible translator, opposed the opulent wealth of the clergy and called for them to give up their property. His conflict with the church continued even after his death....

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Pentecost: A New Kind of Harvest

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In the Book of Deuteronomy, it is recorded that God required three pilgrimage festivals. The first was the Feast of Unleavened Bread. We know this festival as Passover. It was God’s will that the Crucifixion and Resurrection of Jesus would take place during the observance of Passover. The second festival was the Feast of Weeks....

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A New Exodus

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After Peter’s famous confession at Caesarea Philippi, Jesus shocked His disciples with an unexpected announcement: The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed and be raised up on the third day. (Luke 9)...

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Unity of the Spirit

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This edition of The Evangel focuses our attention on the many important conferences that were held during the past year. There were at least 10 conferences that I attended, each of which was characterized by an emphasis on the unity of our church body. Admittedly, at the beginning of 2015,...

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Luther’s Lenten Observance

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Luther’s Lenten observance included disciplined attention to the confession of sins, prayer, the Ten Commandments and the Creed. It is true that these subjects always received Luther’s careful study, but during the Season of Lent his spiritual attention was even more pointedly focused....

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Luther’s Christmas Celebration

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Have you ever wondered how Luther celebrated Christmas? Legend has it that the lighted Christmas Tree owes its origin to Martin Luther. One Christmas Eve as he was walking home through the forest, Luther was struck by the extraordinary beauty of the stars shining through the glistening evergreens....

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Anfechtung and Absolution Part 2

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While traveling in Southern Africa, I was once invited to address a Pastors’ Bible College. I had known its Principal for many years and was invited to teach the students for the 3-hour morning session. The students were Pastors, serving churches in the bush. They were used to living with witch doctors and curses,...

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Anfechtung and Absolution Part 1

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Judas, the worst merchant Asked to Kiss the Lord. And He, like an innocent lamb, Did not reject the kiss of Judas. For a number of coins he delivered Christ to the Jews. It would have been better for him, had he never been born. For a number of coins he delivered Christ to the Jews....

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Temptation to Be Like God

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We all know the story of the Fall of Adam and Eve. They were given a wonderful place in the Garden of Eden. They knew God and walked with Him in the cool of the day. The Lord God supplied them with everything that they needed for life, health and joy. But, they were tempted....

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Pastor-in-Uniform

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The weekend had been a busy one: a plane ride to a distant city on Friday, an all-day Conference and several important conversations with Pastors on Saturday, Worship Service and more conversations on Sunday. I had been driven back to the airport and was waiting for my flight home....

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No Confession and No Communion

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Many contemporary Christian worship services have no Confession of Sins and no Service of Holy Communion? Why? Obviously, someone has decided that these things are less important than other things. What are the other things that are so important that they take the place of confessing sins and receiving God’s forgiveness?...

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It's an Epidemic!

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That is what my friends said as they looked for a church in their neighborhood. “It’s an epidemic! Poor theology, false theology, no theology: It is everywhere!” I asked my friends to explain what they were seeing. They said that at least three messages seemed to be in churches all around them:...

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