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A Word for this Week” - Pastor Bill Mugnolo

Week of June 10-16, 2024: “That Three-Letter Word” … Genesis 3:8-15.

Sin: It’s a three-letter word that we often hear in Church. But the world has its own ideas as to what it means. Some would say that we are flawed but not really sinful. Others would divide people into “oppressors”, who are nothing but sinful, and the “oppressed”, who are merely broken, but not sinful, as their “brokenness” is all because of systems that the “oppressors” have set up against them. Still others will acknowledge that we are sinful but can “make up for it” by our deeds and performance of religious rituals.

While some Churches will go so far as to avoid mentioning the word “sin” in their worship services, we, in our Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, don’t shy away from it. One of our confessional documents from the Reformation Era, The Formula of Concord, states it well in these words:

We believe, teach, and confess that original sin is not a minor corruption. It is so deep a corruption of human nature that nothing healthy or uncorrupt remains in man’s body or soul, in his inward or outward powers … This damage cannot be fully described. It cannot be understood by reason, but only by God’s Word.

God’s Word, in Genesis, Chapter Three, truly describes how deep sin truly runs. Having broken the one command the Lord had given to them—not to eat from the one tree—the man, Adam, blamed his wife, Eve, and even God for giving the woman to him. Eve, in turn, blamed the serpent whom Satan had used as his instrument to deceive her. This sin then led to horrible consequences that would come upon them and all their descendants—even all of us. Worst of all, we would all have to face physical death and the possibility of eternal separation from God.

But before Adam and Eve were even sorry for what they had done, God promised that a Savior would come, born of a woman, to crush the power of sin and death. While doing so, this “seed of the woman” would be gravely wounded. This would be fulfilled, in time, in the suffering, death, and resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ. He took on the oppressor who is Satan and the oppression that is our sin. The promise of Genesis 3:15 has been realized in the words of John 3:16: “For God”—that other “three-letter word”—“so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.”

Replace today's negative thoughts with God's eternal truths

The world says: "Its impossible." God says: "All things are possible." (Luke 18:27)

The world says "I'm too tired." God says: "I will give you rest." (Matthew 11:28-30)

The world says: "Nobody really loves me." God says: "I love you." (John 3:16, 34)

The world says: "I can't go on." God says: "My grace is sufficient." (2 Corinthians 12:9; Psalm 91:15)

The world says: "I can't figure things out." God says: "I will direct your steps." (Proverbs 3:5- 6)

The world says: "I can't do it." God says: "You can do all things." (Philippians 4:13)

The world says: "I'm not able." God says: "I am able." (2 Corinthians 9:8)

The world says: "It's not worth it." God says: "It will be worth it." (Roman 8:28)

The world says: "I can't forgive myself." God says: "I forgive you." (1 John 1:9; Romans 8:1)

The world says: "I can't manage." God says: "I will supply all your needs." (Philippians 4:19)

The world says: "I'm afraid." God says: "I have not given you a spirit of fear." (2 Timothy 1:7)

The world says: "I'm always worried and frustrated." God says: "Cast all your cares on Me." (1 Peter 5:7)

The world says: "I'm not smart enough." God says: "I give you wisdom." (1 Corinthians 1:30)

The world says: "I feel all alone." God says: "I will never leave you or forsake you." (Hebrews 13:5)