Skip to content

Pres. John Schierenbeck

Redemption for the Past. Hope for the Future

Pastoral Letter April 2010

1 Corinthians 15:35-38; 42-50

Fellow Under-Shepherds in Jesus, the Resurrection and the Life:

Greek philosophy and culture ridiculed the idea of the physical resurrection of the body. Today also the here and now existence of this world is the most important thing. No one wants to think about the inevitability of death. In the beginning of chapter 15, the Apostle Paul emphasizes the reality of Jesus’ physical resurrection from the dead and therefore the reality of our bodily resurrection from the grave. “But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep” (1 Cor 15:20).Read More »Redemption for the Past. Hope for the Future

At the Foot of the Cross

Fellow Servants of Christ:

Pastoral Letter February 2010

Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast Save in the death of Christ, my God;

All the vain things that charm me most, I sacrifice them to His blood.

TLH 175:2

Next Wednesday, we begin another Lenten journey that ends at the foot of the cross. The cross is where the saving glory of the Lord is revealed to sinful men. The foolishness of the cross is indeed the power of God. Our lives and our ministries are lived under the cross. The cross is the proclamation of the Gospel of God’s saving love. Second Corinthians reveals the paradox of the Gospel and the Gospel ministry of reconciliation which has been entrusted to us. The preaching of the cross is foolishness and weakness to the world. The glory of the Gospel and the glory of our ministry is hidden to the world because it is the opposite of what the world considers important and world-changing.Read More »At the Foot of the Cross

His Inexpressible Gift

Pastoral Letter
January 2010
2 Corinthians 9:15 “Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift.”
As we celebrate the 50 th anniversary of the formation of the Church of the Lutheran Confession,
we give thanks to God for His “inexpressible gift” to us. We give thanks not for the CLC, but for
the Gospel ministry God has entrusted to us. We gift thanks for the “inexpressible gift” of God’s
Son, Jesus and the ministry of reconciliation entrusted to us by the grace of God. Grace is the
undeserved gift of forgiveness and life to lost and condemned sinners.
In this section of 2 Corinthians, the Apostle Paul speaks of the “grace” of thankful giving.
These believers were enabled by God to bring their offerings out of faith and to show their
thanksgiving to God in a concrete way. Chapters eight and nine of Second Corinthians remind
us of the value of grace-giving:
! We look upon giving as a privilege not a choice.
(2 Corinthians 9:7) “for God loves a cheerful giver.”Read More »His Inexpressible Gift

In Christ God Was Reconciling the World To Himself

Pastoral Letter

October 2009

2 Corinthians 5:17-21

We continue our study of Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians. In this letter the Apostle Paul presents the glory of the Gospel and the Gospel ministry in contrast to the weakness of those called to proclaim the Gospel. This Reformation month, Paul reminds us of the essence of the Gospel Ministry entrusted to us. God through Martin Luther restored the Gospel truth of salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. The sedes doctrina of the universal Gospel of reconciliation is revealed in this section of Paul’s second letter to the saints in Corinth.

In This Year of Jubilee We Are Reminded that the Ministry of Reconciliation Is That

“In Christ God Was Reconciling the World To Himself”

The message of the Gospel is what God has done for the entire world. This reconciliation is not something we did or agreed to. God in one act of grace unilaterally reconciled the entire world to Himself. This reconciliation took place solely through Jesus Christ. For God was in Christ reconciling the world unto Himself.Read More »In Christ God Was Reconciling the World To Himself

Our Jubilee in Christ

Pastoral Letter August 2009

The main purpose of Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians is to defend the Gospel ministry. Super-apostles had been undermining Paul’s ministry in Corinth because they felt that Paul had a poor speaking ability and was not a very exciting pastor. With their worldly wisdom and influence, they also were confusing the new Christians in Corinth about their life-style as God’s people as well as basic doctrines of the Christian faith such as the bodily resurrection from the dead. They were undermining Paul’s ministry by promoting themselves.

Paul in second Corinthians does not personally defend himself against these attacks. Instead he sets forth the power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the power of a true Gospel ministry. The Gospel ministry does not need gimmicks or worldly advertising techniques to accomplish God’s purposes. After all, God uses the foolishness and weakness of the Gospel to confound the pride of power of men. (1 Cor 1:25) “Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.”Read More »Our Jubilee in Christ