“Recognizing salvation” is the title of our sermon series in March. The Bible uses the term “salvation” in the sense of “deliverance”, “protection”, and “redemption”. Whoever believes in the Son of God recognizes: “This is indeed the Christ, the Savior of the world” (John 4: 42). Salvation cannot be found in anyone else (Acts 4: 12). The divine offer of salvation is addressed to all of mankind, irrespective of origin, intelligence, or social standing. Every human being has access to the salvation of God. But before anyone can partake of it one has to recognize his own need and ask for salvation. God devotes Himself to our salvation through His word and the sacraments, both of which are essential.
The objective of the divine service for the departed on the first Sunday of the month is to demonstrate that the offer of salvation applies to both this world and the beyond. In order to be redeemed it is indispensable for the living as well as the dead to believe in the divine offer of salvation in Jesus Christ, to hear the word of God, and to receive the sacraments of the church. Faith is required in order to receive the sacraments and for them to unfold to their full effect for salvation.
On the second Sunday the focus of the sermon is on the way we can attain salvation. It takes more to be saved than just to go to church regularly. A living and deeply rooted faith in Christ must also come to expression in good works. This requires us to cultivate a close relationship with the Son of God.
The service on the third Sunday urges us to become aware of our absolute dependence on salvation. A life devoted exclusively to the pursuit of transitory and material things lacks an important aspect, namely a relationship with God, the Creator and Sustainer of life. This is why it is so important for us to strive for this fellowship with God, namely so that we can attain eternal life.
The last Sunday of the month marks the beginning of the Passiontide, when we commemorate the bitter suffering and death of Christ. He walked the path that led Him to the cross, inquired into the will of God, and put it into practice. This is how He fulfilled His mission. Despite all our weaknesses, let us likewise strive to follow the Lord, inquire into God’s will, and submit to it. Let us intercede for others and show our contemporaries the path to salvation.