close up shot of a person holding a cross pendant

The Church Fulfills Its Role as Its Brother’s Keeper

Since Jesus, the Good Shepherd, spared no pain to find the lost sheep, so Christ’s Church will
diligently use God’s law and gospel to call the erring brother to repentance. The object is always to win
the brother over. The church speaks with Christ’s full authority when it declares God’s judgment upon
the impenitent sinner and pronounces full forgiveness to the penitent sinner.
blue and red dress religious man illustration

The Church Proclaims Jesus as Lord and Savior

Human reason cannot consider Jesus to be any more than a prophet – the forerunner of the
Messiah, at best. But Peter, on behalf of the other disciples, confesses, “You are the Christ, the Son of
the living God.” On this bedrock confession, the entire church of God is built. We who are built upon
Christ has overcome the dark powers of death. Jesus gave all Christians the authority to proclaim
freedom to penitent sinners. Likewise, Christ’s voice is heard through us when we withhold forgiveness
from those who proudly insist on their life of sin.
glory to god book

The Church Is Meant for All People

How harshly Jesus seems to treat a gentile woman who turns to “the Son of David” for help!
Her repeated pleas are met with silence, exclusion, and insult. Nevertheless, faith in a loving, merciful
Savior still sees room for a “yes” in his harsh replies. Her “great faith” in Jesus is not disappointed but
strengthened. Her prayer is answered with the healing of her daughter.
statue of jesus

The Christian Answers Doubt with Faith

The disciples were terrified at the sight of Jesus walking across the water toward their boat.
Fears are dispelled by Jesus’ words, “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” Faith is emboldened at
Jesus’ invitation, “Come!” And the arm of the Almighty is never too short when little faith trembles,
“Lord, save me!” The life of a Christian is often riddled with fears, doubts, and distractions. But even a
“little faith” finds strength in the gracious promises of the almighty Son of God. When the storms of life
pass, we, too, worship Jesus with a deeper confidence: “Truly you are the Son of God.”