Redeemer Lutheran Church Blog

TryLife Center Luncheon Remarks, October 18, 2018

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Posted: Thursday, October 18th, 2018 by Pastor Westgate

I’m Pastor Brian Westgate, pastor at Redeemer Lutheran Church in Oakmont. Have you heard of our school, Redeemer Lutheran School, at the end of Idaho Avenue in Penn Hills? Every other year Redeemer Lutheran School sends some of its high school students to the March for Life in Washington, DC. I and my family attend nearly every year; our church body holds a life conference every other year in conjunction with the March.

Redeemer Oakmont is a congregation of The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod; other LCMS churches near here are Grace, Universal, Penn Hills; John Huss, Arnold; and St. Paul’s, New Kensington. We are very much pro-life because we take the Bible seriously. Part of our church body is an organization called Lutherans for Life, which works to help Lutherans individually and in the community uphold the God-given value of human life and influence society to do the same. The Pittsburgh chapter of Lutherans for Life is based at First Trinity Church on N. Neville St. in Shadyside. Lutherans for Life has published many bulletin inserts and pamphlets about all sorts of life issues, and these can be purchased from Concordia Publishing House, which has also published books on life issues, including a recent book on miscarriage.

The Psalms sing about life. We sing with David in Psalm 139: “For Thou hast possessed my reins: Thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise Thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are Thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. My substance was not hid from Thee when I was made in secret: and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Thine eyes did see my substance yet being unperfect: and in Thy book all my members were written, Which in continuance were fashioned: when as yet there was none of them.” The same David leads us to sing in Psalm 31: “Into Thine hand I commit my spirit: Thou hast redeemed me, O LORD God of truth….But I trusted in Thee, O LORD: I said, Thou art my God. My times are in Thy hand: deliver me from the hand of mine enemies and from them that persecute me.”

Scripture doesn’t stop there. The LORD tells Jeremiah in the first chapter: “Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.” St. Luke tells us that St. John the Baptist leapt in his mother’s womb. Sacred Scripture clearly tells us therefore that life begins not when a baby is born, not even when mother first feels baby, but at the very moment of conception – that’s when the miracle of life is. God visits the womb and makes life happen and shapes it like a potter shapes his clay over those 9 months.

David sings in Psalm 51: “Surely I was sinful from birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.” Every child, no matter how small or young, needs Christ. Every parent needs Christ. You need Christ. He is the only way to eternal life. By His Death He has conquered death. The Author of life is The Author of eternal life. The Destroyer of Death wants to destroy death in you. He wants to destroy it in all of us and bring us to eternal life.

For your Jesus is true God, but He is also true Man. He is just as human as you are, except He is untainted by sin. He was a baby in Mary’s womb and in her arms. She carried her God. By His Life and Death He sanctified life. He made the littlest life in the womb holy to God and He made the deaths of His saints holy to God. The Evangelists tells us how He once held little children in His arms, yes, even infants. He loves them very much. He created us with dignity and worth. His Death confirms this. So every human being matters to us, no matter their size or strength.

For this reason The Church is sent by Christ to forgive sins. His Death has won forgiveness for sin. The Lord has sent out His ministers to forgive sins. One of those sins is abortion. He died for that sin. He died to cleanse those who suffer from this sin and to comfort them with His love. He is victorious over sin, death, and Satan. He gives you this victory too. He calls on you to resist the devil; know that your strength to do so is not of yourself. Your strength is His Word which says to you: I forgive you all your sins; go and sin no more.

Since we are called to forgive sins, we are called to call mankind to repentance. We do not just speak out against abortion because it’s evil, which it is. We don’t just speak out against it because we want to preserve a child, which we do. We speak out in order to bring God’s Law and Gospel to people who so desperately need to hear it so they too may be saved. That Law will tell them they deserve God’s wrath and punishment for their sins, but then The Gospel enters in to tell them Jesus already suffered God’s wrath and punishment – for them. For you! And in faith you show love for those parents who need help by providing for their needs; you reflect in what you do our Savior’s love for them, the love He showed you by forgiving your sins, the love He showed all the world by dying and rising again.

Categories: Pastor Westgate's Sermons

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