“The Word of The LORD endures forever.” That Old Testament line is one of the hallmarks of The Evangelical-Lutheran Reformation. Dr. Luther made his preaching completely about God’s Word. He rejected and preached against the false doctrines and works-righteous practices that surrounded him. He preached Law and Gospel because he knew that was the only way to save souls.
That’s what the Reformation was all about. It was not primarily about how you can live a better life now or get more blessed now. It was about faith, which saves. Nothing else saves. You can’t do anything to save yourself. You can’t do what you think is a really super good work to do it. You can’t make a decision to get you on the way. Only simple trust in Jesus saves.
So how do you get this trust? Why does a baby trust his mommy? He just does. It’s natural. He’s been in mommy’s womb 9 months. He knows nothing else. He knows mommy takes care of him. He hears her voice and recognizes it. He knows mommy loves him and takes care of him, and that causes him to love her right back. He can’t help it. He loves her because she loves him.
This is how faith works. We hear God’s Word. The Holy Spirit works through His Word. He tells us we’re sinners. He makes us be sorry for our sins. Then He tells us about Jesus. He tells us Jesus died for us and rose again to take away our sins and give us eternal life. This is the simple message of The Bible: We are sinners saved only by Jesus’ Blood.
This message leads us to trust Him. It leads us to rely on Him, hope in His salvation, and be confident in Him. He does all the work. He proclaims to us. He leads us to trust in Him. He keeps us trusting in Him through that same Word. We love Him only because He first loved us. He loved us in sending us Jesus, and He loved us by bringing us to Jesus.
So we assist that preaching. With our gifts and mission offerings we support those who preach The Word and those who hear them. We do this out of faith and love for Him which leads us to also love others. It’s our response to the message. We believe His Word, so we want many more to believe along with us and be with us in the eternal paradise. God will use our gifts and offerings, and His Word will be proclaimed to the salvation of many souls.