Pr. Mike Paul, Missionary serving Taiwan

 

Map of China & Taiwan

 

Rev. Dr. Mike Paul, a missionary of the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod (LCMS) serving in Taiwan, gave a presentation (July 6, 2019) at Apostles on his work and responsibilities in this country, where fewer than 5% of the population are Christian.  There is an openness to hearing the Gospel, the Good News of sins forgiven through faith in Christ, yet a great number of challenges remain, as in the United States. An emphasis on feeling/emotion, experience, confusion of serving God, low regard for liturgical worship, and God’s work through Word and Sacrament (Holy Baptism and the Sacrament of the Altar), these are just a few of the challenges faced in Taiwan by those who seek to be faithful to Holy Scripture and the Lutheran Confessions.  Ancestor Worship and various nonChristian religious beliefs also are encountered.

Pray for Pr. Paul and his family as he serves in Taiwan, that others, too, know and believe Jesus Christ.

More information on Pr. Paul and family is here.

Information for supporting Pr. Paul with financial support is here.

 

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Announcements for the week of April 28, 2019

A Treatise on the Power and Primacy of the Pope

Treatise Compiled by the Theologians Assembled at Smalcald – 1537

11] V. In 1 Cor. 3:6, Paul makes ministers equal, and teaches that the Church is above the ministers. Hence superiority or lordship over the Church or the rest of the ministers is not ascribed to Peter [in preference to other apostles]. For he says thus: All things are yours, whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, i.e., let neither the other ministers nor Peter assume for themselves lordship or superiority over the Church; let them not burden the Church with traditions; let not the authority of any avail more than the Word [of God]; let not the authority of Cephas be opposed to the authority of the other apostles, as they reasoned at that time: “Cephas, who is an apostle of higher rank, observes this; therefore, both Paul and the rest ought to observe this.” Paul removes this pretext from Peter, and denies [Not so, says Paul, and makes Peter doff his little hat, namely, the claim] that his authority is to be preferred to the rest or to the Church.

 

19-04-28, Easter 2, ALC-BA-2019C

 

 

Announcements for the Week of April 21, 2019

The Large Catechism

The Apostles’ Creed, Article II

31] Let this, then, be the sum of this article that the little word Lord signifies simply as much as Redeemer, i.e., He who has brought us from Satan to God, from death to life, from sin to righteousness, and who preserves us in the same. But all the points which follow in order in this article serve no other end than to explain and express this redemption, how and whereby it was accomplished, that is, how much it cost Him, and what He spent and risked that He might win us and bring us under His dominion, namely, that He became man, conceived and born without [any stain of] sin, of the Holy Ghost and of the Virgin Mary, that He might overcome sin; moreover, that He suffered, died and was buried, that He might make satisfaction for me and pay what I owe, not with silver nor gold, but with His own precious blood. And all this, in order to become my Lord; for He did none of these for Himself, nor had He any need of it. And after that He rose again from the dead, swallowed up and devoured death, and finally ascended into heaven and assumed the government at the Father’s right hand, so that the devil and all powers must be subject to Him and lie at His feet, until finally, at the last day, He will completely part and separate us from the wicked world, the devil, death, sin, etc.

 

19-04-21, Easter Sunday , ALC-BA-2019C

 

 

 

Announcements for the week of April 14, 2019

 

He comes to you a just Savior.

This is quite a wonderful description of this King. Just as He is very different from all the kings of the world, so also His area of responsibility and His royal apparatus are clearly different from those which fit a king of this world. Here there is no violence, no armor, no power, no anger, no wrath. All these, you see, are proper for kings of this world. Here there are only kindness, justice, salvation, mercy, and every good thing. In short, He dispenses the sweetness and the mercy of God. He is just, because He justifies. He is Savior, because He saves. These are qualities which no king could ever bring to his throne. They are qualities far greater than those which befit a man. Moreover, all of these properties are spiritual and depict a spiritual kingdom, which the coming and accession of this just King reveal. For He comes in humility, riding on a donkey. Then, too, He is not surrounded by the powers of His subjects. The powers of the people lie in their King rather than the reverse, which is true in the case of worldly kings. Here the entire passage agrees with the antithesis. For if that King of ours is just and does come to save, then we are clearly wicked and condemned sinners. Otherwise He would come with a vain intent to make us righteous and to save us.  (Luther’s Works Vol 20, Zechariah 9:9)

 

19-04-14, Palm Sunday , ALC-BA-2019C

 

 

Announcements for April 7, 2019

 

A Treatise on the Power and Primacy of the Pope

Treatise Compiled by the Theologians Assembled at Smalcald – 1537

 

9] III. John 20:21. Christ sends forth His disciples on an equality, without any distinction [so that no one of them was to have more or less power than any other], when He says: As My Father hath sent Me, even so send I you. [These words are clear and plain:] He says that He sends them individually in the same manner as He Himself was sent; hence He grants to no one a prerogative or lordship above the rest.

10] IV. Gal. 2:7f St. Paul manifestly affirms that he was neither ordained nor confirmed [and endorsed] by Peter, nor does he acknowledge Peter to be one from whom confirmation should be sought. And he expressly contends concerning this point that his call does not depend upon the authority of Peter. But he ought to have acknowledged Peter as a superior if Peter was superior by divine right [if Peter, indeed, had received such supremacy from Christ]. Paul accordingly says that he had at once preached the Gospel [freely for a long time] without consulting Peter. Also: Of those who seemed to be somewhat (whatsoever they were, it maketh no matter to me; God accepteth no man’s person). And: They who seemed to be somewhat in conference added nothing to me. Since Paul, then, clearly testifies that he did not even wish to seek for the confirmation of Peter [for permission to preach] even when he had come to him, he teaches that the authority of the ministry depends upon the Word of God, and that Peter was not superior to the other apostles, and that it was not from this one individual Peter that ordination or confirmation was to be sought [that the office of the ministry proceeds from the general call of the apostles, and that it is not necessary for all to have the call or confirmation of this one person, Peter, alone].

 

19-04-07, Lent 5 , ALC-BA-2019C

 

 

 

 

 

Announcements for the week of March 31, 2019

 

Treatise on the Power and Primacy of the Pope

 

7] In the first place, therefore, let us show from the [holy] Gospel that the Roman bishop is not by divine right above [cannot arrogate to himself any supremacy whatever over] other bishops and pastors.

8] I. Luke 22:25. Christ expressly prohibits lordship among the apostles [that no apostle should have any supremacy over the rest]. For this was the very question, namely, that when Christ spake of His passion, they were disputing who should be at the head, and as it were the vicar of the absent Christ. There Christ reproves this error of the apostles and teaches that there shall not be lordship or superiority among them, but that the apostles should be sent forth as equals to the common ministry of the Gospel. Accordingly, He says: The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them, and they that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors, but ye shall not be so; but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that doth serve. The antithesis here shows [By holding these matters against one another, one sees] that lordship [among the apostles] is disapproved.

 

19-03-31, Lent 4 , ALC-BA-2019C

 

 

Announcements for the week of March 24, 2019

A Treatise on the Power and Primacy of the Pope

 

1] The Roman Pontiff claims for himself [in the first place] that by divine right he is [supreme] above all bishops and pastors [in all Christendom].

2] Secondly, he adds also that by divine right he has both swords, i.e., the authority also of bestowing kingdoms [enthroning and deposing kings, regulating secular dominions etc.].

3] And thirdly, he says that to believe this is necessary for salvation. And for these reasons the Roman bishop calls himself [and boasts that he is] the vicar of Christ on earth.

4] These three articles we hold to be false, godless, tyrannical, and [quite] pernicious to the Church.

5] Now, in order that our proof [reason and opinion] may be [better] understood, we shall first define what they call being above all [what it means that he boasts of being supreme] by divine right. For they mean that he is universal [that the Pope is the general bishop over the entire Christian Church], or, as they say, ecumenical bishop, i.e., from whom all bishops and pastors throughout the entire world ought to seek ordination and [confirmation, who [alone] is to have the right of electing, ordaining, confirming, deposing all bishops [and pastors]. 6] Besides this, he arrogates to himself the authority to make [all kinds of] laws concerning acts of worship, concerning changing the Sacraments [and] concerning doctrine, and wishes his articles, his decrees, his laws [his statutes and ordinances] to be considered equal to the divine laws [to other articles of the Christian Creed and the Holy Scriptures], i.e., he holds that by the papal laws the consciences of men are so bound that those who neglect them, even without public offense, sin mortally [that they cannot be omitted without sin. For he wishes to found this power upon divine right and the Holy Scriptures; yea, he wishes to have it preferred to the Holy Scriptures and God’s commands]. And what he adds is still more horrible, namely, that it is necessary to believe all these things in order to be saved [all these things shall and must be believed at the peril of forfeiting salvation].

 

19-03-24 , Lent 3 , ALC-BA-2019C

 

 

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