So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ. (Romans 10:17)

  • To know the true God, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

    June 1, 2018

    Martin Luther of the 16th century writes in the Large Catechism: All who are outside this Christian people, whether heathen, Turks, Jews or false Christians and hypocrites…do not know what His attitude is toward them. They cannot be confident of His love and blessing, and therefore they remain in eternal wrath and condemnation. For they do not have the LORD Christ, and, besides, they are not illuminated and blessed by the gifts of the Holy Spirit, (Large Catechism, Part II, par. 66).

    Luther’s words merely reflect Jesus’ own preaching: “Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God,” (John 3:18).

    Luther’s other points are worthy of reflection. Those who do believe in Jesus are richly blessed. They by faith in Jesus own a child-like confidence in the Lord’s love. They are confident in God’s attitude toward them. They don’t live life as if the other shoe is about to drop. They don’t live in fear of what God’s thinks of them. For they —we — know that there is no condemnation from God toward us because of our sin (see Romans 8:1).

    Believers in Jesus also live without a grumpy edge but with an attitude of graciousness and joy, a gentle and burden-less spirit. Believers in Jesus don’t see the Divine Service as a “have-to” but a “get-to.” We get to meet the One, live and in person, who daily and richly forgives us of all our sins. Believers eagerly gather for Bible Study, summer, fall, winter and spring. “My soul clings to the dust; give me life according to Your word!” (Psalm 119:25).

    Such a blessed life does not stop here. There are those who don’t know or have this privileged living, those who are broken by their sin but who do not own the knowledge of the Savior.

    God has put Trinity here at this time and place, with every person part of the churchschool, to live and enjoy these rich blessings from the Lord.

    Secondly, Trinity is here to be “the light of the world. A city set on a hill…,” (Matthew 5:14). Jesus goes on to say, “Let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to Your Father who is in heaven,” (Matthew 5:16).

    Such blessed living is not by compulsion at all, in any way.

    An empty feeling remains, just like the Thanksgiving dinner without all the kids and grandkids. We do own—as the Savior does—a lively awareness that His family is not yet full. Jesus preaches: “Go quickly to the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in the poor and crippled and blind and lame,” (Luke 14:21b).

    Thus, we live and so we work. 

    Pastor Golter is the Senior Pastor at Trinity Lutheran

  • Serving the LORD Grows on You

    June 8, 2018

    “Serving the LORD Grows on You.”

    The veterans of the Cross, those who’ve been through the ups and downs of the Christian life, they give wisdom. We better listen.

    The words above are from Margaret Duling, who also is pictured above, 90 years young, who spoke these words to Trinity’s eighth-grade class.

    She added: “Whatever you do, make sure you are involved in your church. I didn’t know I would like volunteering and being involved in the church until I started doing it…It’s something that grows on you and becomes a family thing. Being involved in the church is so important because you know what’s going on in the congregation, and you get to meet so many people.”

    “There was no one to do Altar Guild, so I decided to do it.”

    So far, Margaret Duling, pearls of wisdom for us younger believers to ponder.

    St. Peter writes: “The end of all things is at hand…As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace,” (1 Peter 4:7, 10).

    The “end” of which he writes is God’s Second Coming to bring all His saints home to the new heaven and new earth. Since all sins have been done to by Jesus’ death and resurrection, believers do not need worry about the certainty of their salvation; it’s been done by God.

    So what should we do? Margaret’s and Peter’s words describe: serve, help others, in this is profound joy.

    Two big needs presently for your prayerful consideration here at Trinity:

    1.      Youth – The Lord moved Tony Dixon, our Director of Christian Education, to Cedar Rapids; he oversaw the youth. We have a marvelous Youth Ministry Team presently working and praying. A big opportunity is for someone—individual, couple—to lead and work with our Youth Ministry Team. Consider the cultural prophets who daily attack, attempting to cause God’s youth to doubt His sure and certain Word. What an opportunity!

    2.      Work Club – What is this? Glad you asked. A big need: for someone to lead and/participate in a volunteer group to address weekly facility needs: leaky faucets, tightening chairs, replacing lightbulbs, etc. A church in south Denver has a group of volunteers who gather every Tuesday morning for coffee, solve the world’s problems, and then attacked the list of needs.

    What about you? Remember Margaret’s words: “Serving the LORD grows on you…I didn’t know I would like volunteering and being involved in church until I started doing it.”

    What about you? 

    Pastor Golter is the Senior Pastor at Trinity Lutheran

  • Happiness Hour

    June 15, 2018

    Seeking happiness is a common pursuit by everyone. Bars invite customers to their Happy Hour. Churches have a “Happy Hour,” also.

    It’s called the Divine Service, where those gathered by God meet His Son through the Word and the Sacraments, and hear of their sins forgiven.

    Now, I have nothing against bartenders and their profession. But think with me, can you even imagine how many confessions the bartenders hear, night after night after night? What is likely absent, most likely absent, is an Absolution. “God has forgiven you in Christ.” I suspect some have said, “I wonder if you should go see a pastor.”

    Happiness is elusive unless you discern what your true problem is. Right away in the Divine Service, the Holy Spirit teaches the gathered to confess sin, but not in the way Adam and Eve did it. Adam blamed Eve; Eve blamed the serpent (Genesis 3:8-13). You know the routine so well, me, too. Bottom line: sin is the problem, yours and mine. We can’t blame others.

    One theologian labels this living by faith as “calling a thing for what it is.” No skirting the truth, I am the sinner. “The” is purposeful, because it follows what the tax collector said to God in church, “God be merciful to me, the sinner,” (Luke 18:13). The English translation misses the definite article, by putting an “a” before sinner. No. The tax collector wasn’t looking right or left to make comparisons with other sinners. He was not one sinner among many. He was the sinner. He simply knew—he knew!—that he was unworthy.

    Jesus says of the tax collector, “This man went down to his house justified, rather than the other” (Luke 18:14). God’s word forgave this sinner because of the shed blood of Christ. The tax collector went home justified, that is, happy.

    Happiness is elusive to those who play the blame-game, as Adam and Eve. Happiness is also not found by those who don’t know the cause of their unhappiness. One must know to whom to go and where to find Him, His words of forgiveness.

    “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life,” (John 6:69), are words stuck right between the Epistle and Gospel readings in Divine Service Setting One, pp. 156-157 of the Lutheran Service Book.

    Perhaps, we should call the Divine Service the “Happy Hour.” It would take some explaining…

    You might take a peek at the Trinity church sign for the next few days. I wonder what it says?

    Pastor Golter is the Senior Pastor at Trinity Lutheran

  • You Need the Holy Spirit

    June 21, 2018

    The first question is why? Without the Holy Spirit, you will not understand the Bible (John 16:13) or believe in Jesus.

    The main work of the Holy Spirit, according to Jesus, is this: “He will bear witness about Me,” (John 15:26). He doesn’t speak or bear witness about Himself. One professor explained: “The Holy Spirit is the undercover Person of the Holy Trinity; He does not like attention.” The Holy Spirit’s work is to preach, bear witness, and testify of Jesus Christ, the Truth. And, Jesus is eternal life.

    Here’s the second question: How does one receive the Holy Spirit? God gives the Holy Spirit through Holy Baptism (Acts 2:38), which is the Holy Spirit’s work as well as the way He is initially given (John 3:5, “born again of water and the Spirit”).

    Initially given, what does this mean? Once God gives you the Holy Spirit, don’t you possess or own the Holy Spirit permanently? No, you possess the Holy Spirit as little as you possess the light of the sun, or the oxygen that you breathe. The Holy Spirit is God; He cannot be possessed, as little as a wife owning her husband and his love.

    The Holy Spirit must be received continually and repetitively, just as one needs to keep breathing to receive oxygen to live. As oxygen keeps you alive, so does the Holy Spirit, by giving you Jesus Christ.

    How do you receive the Holy Spirit continually? Through the Word, read, preached, sung, meditated or prayed. Paul writes in Galatians 3:1-5 that you receive the Holy Spirit by the hearing of God’s Word.

    God also gives His Holy Spirit through His Supper, Holy Communion. The Word and also Holy Communion are God’s necessary “spiritual food” for this earthly pilgrimage, where you “drink of the one Spirit,” (I Cor. 12:13). Jesus gives you Himself in the Supper; the Holy Spirit is giving Jesus through the Supper.

    What does the life of the Spirit look like? His children meditate and pray His Word, in the morning—bible devotions—and weekly, in the Divine Service. Paul teaches this in Ephesians 5:18 f. “But be filled with the Holy Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns…making melody to the Lord with your heart…giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

    Believers are filled with Christ by the work of the Holy Spirit, through the Word and the Holy Sacraments.

    How silly—reckless and dangerous—if one does not attend to breathing? The same is true for a believer not paying attention to their church attendance and Bible reading!

    Naïve is the Christian who holds to the fact that “I still believe,” but abandon God’s way of keeping them spiritually alive.

    Luther writes:

    ‘But I am a Christian; I believe; I am baptized; and I can talk all about it too’—and we become presumptuous and lazy spirits, who do not ripen but fall like a wormy fruit. ‘No,” says Paul [Eph. 5:15-20], ‘we were not called and baptized in order that we might be careless, lazy, negligent, and do nothing, even though you may say, ‘I am a believer; I have the Gospel.’ Rather, he [St. Paul] says: ‘You should take heed that you do not snore and sleep, as if you could be saved even with your presumption and dissolute [wild and wicked] life: ‘It will do not do me any harm. I am a Christian; the remission of sins is such a great thing that now [sins] are no great matter (Luther’s Works, 58:295).

    This is why you need the Holy Spirit. 

    Pastor Golter is the Senior Pastor at Trinity Lutheran