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Lutheran World Federation Tenth Assembly

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July 21 - 31, 2003
Winnipeg Manitoba Canada

God's Healing Gift of Justification

1. To what are we in bondage?


  • me first
  • a need to be perfect
  • achievement at any cost
  • self-reliance
  • selfishness
  • impressing others
  • success


  • consumerism — time and goods
  • money — profit before people
  • electronics — TV, computers, e-mail — are isolating individuals from personal contact
  • slaves to convenience, entertainment, TV, video games, computers, jobs
  • bigger is better
  • financial security

Deteriorating Moral Values

  • people are unable to take responsibility for their own actions
  • fear of rebuttal to speak out against wrongs
  • media bias in reporting world
  • happenings
  • violence and hatred
  • addictions
  • sin
  • power and status
  • greed
  • pride
  • busyness


  • world, country, province
  • world thinking
  • customs and traditions
  • jobs

Societal Issues

  • daily needs, basic needs
  • stress
  • sickness
  • poverty
  • productivity
  • peer pressure
  • prejudices
  • domineering spouses
  • apathy
  • lack of care for creation
  • our human bodies

Problems within the Church

  • judgment within the church
  • as forgiven children of God
  • denial of God
  • inability to proclaim our love of God and to show our beliefs and religion

2. What does it mean to YOU that you are justified through Christ's death and resurrection?

Acceptable to God

  • made worthy of salvation
  • justified in/by Christ
  • assurance of salvation
  • member of God's family
  • baptized and recorded in the Book of Life


  • when we commune
  • relief
  • free, fully accepted, restored and innocent in the eyes of God

Jesus Paid the Penalty

  • assured of eternal life
  • freed from the fear of death, though we may fear the process of dying
  • freedom from fear
  • Christ is waiting for us at the end of our journey
  • made right with God through our faith in the suffering, death, resurrection
  • no elaborate, highly visual rituals
  • our identify as Christians is seen in our behaviour and attitudes to others

Inner Peace

  • courage
  • hope
  • peace of mind
  • we believe God's promise
  • I can be me
  • don't take self too seriously

God's Gift

  • don't have to work at it, resulting in complacency and using time which could be used to glorify God in bondage to the pursuits listed in #1.
  • not earning heaven goes against Protestant work ethic, no snob appeal
  • free from bondage of sin
  • free gift given to all believers and cannot be earned
  • called to be faithful, not successful, in ministry
  • can honour God's name
  • free to worship, accept all people

3. As Lutherans in our communities, how can we share with others the healing gift of justification?

Church Life

  • inviting others to worship
  • church building available to community groups
  • live a life committed to Christ, church and community
  • be aware of changing needs in church and community
  • do not change gospel message of salvation
  • prepare members so they can present the gospel
  • sharing the message of the gospel is the prime task of the church
  • praying for our church and others

General Respect

  • treating others with respect and care
  • acceptance of people of other nationalities, sexual orientation and religion
  • let others know they matter
  • witness — talking, answer questions, respond to other's situations, sharing yourself, being available
  • caring

By Reaching Out

  • supporting community efforts both individually and congregationally i.e. Habitat for Humanity, food banks
  • benevolence which support National church, Synod, Seminary, etc
  • inviting others to events
  • visiting, phone calls
  • setting a Christian example
  • love one another in Christ
  • sharing hope of God's grace
  • share God's word
  • serving others
  • welcome everyone into our churches
  • remind people of their church home
  • love those who refuse to gather or commune with us
  • don't get holier than thou - but take part in joys of life
  • unconditionally love and accept everyone
  • do something for someone
  • help with anger management
  • forgiving

Bishop Ray asks:

As Lutherans in Canada prepare for the Tenth Assembly of the Lutheran World Federation in Winnipeg, what is the good news of justification for people today in your community?

God Equips

  • We are a special people. We are free to act in love. When we tackle social or justice issues we should talk about why we are doing it (be honest). God gives capabilities to the incapable.
  • We are equipped to rise above our political differences and to strive to meet human needs through acts of acceptance and unity.
  • We can live in turbulent world knowing our sins are forgiven and when we die we will be with God. Knowledge thus provides peace, joy, comfort, strength and eternal hope.
  • Jesus modeled this. Jesus is the "Yes" of God.

Accept Differences

  • Each community is different so we must find a way to communicate this
  • Jesus Christ is the only means of salvation.
  • You matter, your acts, wealth, etc do not matter, but you do because you are. You belong, you are family. People seek to belong, seek to matter. People search in consumerism, greed, entertainment, jobs and relationships to find a place to belong. But when faced with justification look to see the catch — can't trust God. Yet God says "You matter to me"
  • You are loved.

Slow Down

  • You don't have to rush. Slow down, enjoy the goodness of life; watch the grass grow, the seasons change.
  • Life is not just work, take time to smell the roses.
  • Close your eyes. Listen to creation. Look at creation.
  • Peace/harmony is good. Live together in love.
  • The stars are to be watched.

All Can Be Justified By Faith

  • regardless of social status, race, sex, age, economic status
  • As of old, believing in the resurrection and the Triune God, following the Golden Rule, serving others with kindness, faithfulness and consideration. Being aware of the dangers modern media, cults project, above all, taking all our cares, fears, worries, prayerfully to the Lord can help see us through, that without which might seem insurmountable.
  • The good news for today is the same good news for all generations, past, present and future — faith in Jesus Christ our Saviour frees and liberates us from the bondage to sin.
  • It gives hope.
  • All people are equal with God. God's grace and salvation is available for everyone. We are blessed and loved by our Almighty Saviour who died for us that we might have the promise and assurance of eternal life in Him. How can we keep this message of joy and freedom to ourselves? Our testimony and example and witness goes out to others.
  • The Good news of the gospel of justification is the same as it has always been. Jesus Christ is the only means of salvation, which includes justification. It is spread in many ways, by our very presence wherever we are, and in our testimony, deeds, prayers, etc.

Don't agree with Bishop Schultz that the 16th century answers are obsolete. We were very emphatic on this. Why does he say this?


In full communion with The Anglican Church of Canada
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