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Trinity Lutheran Church, White Lake, SD
Trinity Lutheran Church, White Lake, SD
  South Dakota
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July 2014 Pastor's letter
Dear Fellow Followers of Jesus:
In the month of July each year we celebrate Independence Day on the 4th day of July. Independence or freedom is very important to Americans still today.
Philip Melanchthon, a professor and friend of Martin Luther in Wittenberg, Germany, in the sixteenth century wrote a textbook about the main teachings of the Lutheran Reformation in 1543. In writing about what the Bible has to say about freedom, Melanchthon wrote: “What is this thing which we call liberty? Is it merely an empty word, like some paradox of the Stoics or some foolishness of those who say that only the wise are free? Far different is the doctrine of the Gospel concerning freedom, of which Christ speaks when He says [John 8:36], ‘If the Son shall make you free, you shall be free indeed.’ Indeed, He says, you shall be free not with some empty title or the appearance of liberty, but with true freedom. When sin is destroyed, the wrath of God appeased, death abolished, and all human calamities removed, you will be given eternal righteousness, light, life, and glory.
“Christ includes the concept of complete liberty, which He Himself brings and prepares for His church by His death. To be sure, this pure freedom does indeed begin in this life, but in the resurrection it will be complete. When all evils have been destroyed, then the church will enjoy an eternal and beautiful relationship with God and our Savior, Jesus Christ” (Loci Communes, 1543, page 240).
We enjoy more freedoms than most people in other countries. Freedom comes with a cost though. Many Americans have fought and died to give us the freedoms we have and to keep our freedoms for us. This is a blessing from God. A greater blessing is the freedom we enjoy as Christians. We are freed from our sins through the death of Jesus for us. Whether we continue to enjoy earthly freedom or not, we will enjoy Christian freedom now and forever for the sake of Jesus.

In Jesus Christ’s Service,
Pastor Richard Milbrandt

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