Memorial Lutheran Church

"For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edge sword, it  
 penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the
 thoughts and attitudes of the heart." Hebrews 4:12
Memorial Sermons Online
Click on the date below to listen to the sermon:
(Please note that not all Sunday sermons are taped.)

Summer Series based on -
Reading Romans with Martin Luther by RJ Grunewald
​May 28, June 18 -Present

July 30: Righteousness - "Righteous, Brothers" - Rev. Kirk Douglas

“Throughout the Scriptures, we see a distinction in two kinds of righteousness: there is a righteousness that comes solely from the work of Christ, which describes our standing before God. And there is a righteousness that comes in our relationship with our neighbor.”   (Grunewald, p. 82.)
The righteous that comes in our relationship with our neighbor does not result in our salvation, however. This righteousness is based on our works of the Law – and is always made imperfect by our sinfulness. Our actions are never enough to make us right before God. We are being fooled if we think otherwise.
The righteousness of God, however, is based on Christ’s action for you, and is given to you as a gift. In Christ’s righteousness you stand as God’s child. This gift we humbly trust and believe, because God has declared it to be so!

July 23: The Power and Primacy of the Gospel - "What Only God Can Do"
      The Gospel is powerful because its message is all about what God has done and not about what we can do. Salvation is God’s gift – a gift that can’t be earned; a gift that depends on our merciful God and not on someone’s will. We are saved by the work of Christ alone. No efforts or intentions – nothing but the death and resurrection of Jesus will forgive our sins.
      This is the primary message of the Church. It is the message that brings peace to troubled consciences; life to those who are dead in their sins; hope to hearts that are in despair. This is the message of rescue that God announces to sinners like you and me. This is the message we live by!

July 16: The Bad News - "A Powerful, Dangerous, And Necessary Tool"
A powerful  tool can be deathly dangerous when used irresponsibly.
        When we come into contact with God’s Word, His expression of His perfect will – The Law – has a powerful effect on our lives. Because God’s Law is perfect, it has the power to condemn us as it exposes our sinfulness.
        The power of God’s Law to destroy our pride is important for preparing our hearts to hear God’s Good News for us in Jesus. But if the Gospel isn’t present with its rescuing power, the bad news left by the Law can crush our hope and leave us in despair. Thanks be to God for His compassionate reach to us in Jesus Christ!

July 9: Law & Gospel - "It Is Finished"
God speaks to you and me in His Word. He desperately desires people to know and trust that He is our saving God! Without what He has done to forgive our sins, there can be no future for us with Him. He wants us to be sure of this truth. Therefore, there are two basic parts to God’s salvation message:
The Law – which makes it clear to our hearts that we cannot save ourselves because we are sinners.
The Gospel – which makes it clear that in Jesus, He has accomplished the work that needed to be done to forgive our sins and that He gives this forgiveness to us freely through faith in Jesus Christ.
These two themes work together ultimately assuring us that God’s saving work is full and complete for us!

July 2: The Old Man - "A Race That You CAN'T Win"
The old man in us doesn’t trust God. The old man is fearful that God doesn’t have our best interest in mind. The old man “goes along with the rules” only because he’s afraid he’ll get caught. The old man is obedient only when it’s convenient. The old man is all about “me, me, me.”
There’s only one way to fix the old man. He needs to die so that you and I can be made new and have a real life to live!

June 25: A Worship Problem - "A Worship Problem" - Pastor Pete Sestak
We would probably never figure that we’d have a problem with God’s command to not worship any idols. Yet God’s Word in the book of Romans makes it clear that all sin is idolatry – we’ve allowed ourselves to exchange the truth of God for our own thoughts and ideas. We place our own concerns over God’s concerns. We worship ourselves rather than God. We can even make our worship of God more about us than about Him. Thus, we struggle with idol worship.
Yet, the Lord God will always remain as the only true God – and extends His compassionate reign toward us by providing us with all things we need. He especially covers us with the gift of forgiveness through our Savior Jesus, restoring in us a new life that truly worships Him!

June 18: The Human Condition - "Wanted: Dead And Alive" - Pastor Pete Sestak
Chap. 2 – What’s wrong with us? Why do we do bad things? Why do we fall short of perfection in anything and everything we do? Shouldn’t we be able to work hard enough or with enough good intention to place ourselves in a failsafe position of choosing good? We’re tempted to think that our sins are simply mistakes that we can find the power to correct if we work long and hard enough at it.
        That’s not what God’s Word tells us, however. Scripture tells us that we’re diseased. Sin is the disease. “We aren’t sinners because we sin, we sin because we’re sinners.”* Since the Fall of Adam and Eve, sin is our human condition. We cannot save ourselves. The only cure for this condition? The Gospel – namely, that the Son of God who took on human flesh “gave Himself selflessly so that we might be united with Him in spite of ourselves.”* *quoted sections from Reading Romans With Luther by RJ Grunewald

June 11: Go, Make Disciples - Pastor Pete Sestak
The Almighty God who created uis the very same Almighty God who saves us. The Lord who made all people is the same Lord who commissioned His disciples to carry forward the ministry which brings His saving work to all people. “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations,” Jesus told His disciples, “baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.”
We welcome to Memorial our guest Pastor Peter Sestak who will share insight into what God’s Word is saying to us today!

June 4: Life Flow
Flowing water provides a refreshing picture of life! Flowing water doesn’t become stagnant. Flowing water packs power.
When Jesus spoke about the work of the Holy Spirit, He used the image of flowing water streaming from the life of a believer. By His gifts, the Holy Spirit causes God’s people to overflow with words and actions that carry to one another and to others God’s words and promises of life.
By the Holy Spirit’s work in us, you are I are beloved children of God – believers in Jesus Christ! We overflow with the life God has given us The Holy Spirit is at work through us!

May 28: Exposed - "Greater Exposure".
        In the early 1500’s, 500 years ago, Martin Luther helped God’s people rediscover the greatest treasure of life found in the Word of God – namely, the clear message of God’s gift of forgiveness and life through Jesus. We need to daily rediscover God’s Good News as we live our lives in the year 2017. Too many distractions and deceptions in our world threaten to keep us from joyfully and freely living the forgiven life in Jesus Christ. In his book, “Reading Romans With Luther,” RJ Grunewald helps us walk together with Martin Luther as we listen to some of his teaching on the book of Romans, the letter which Luther calls “the purest Gospel.”
      Chap. 1 – “Exposed” – We often protect ourselves from having the actions, the thoughts, and the motives of our lives examined too closely. We hide certain parts of the story. We spin a revised version of the truth. We don’t want to look bad – but wind up suffering greatly when our unaccounted-for guilt nags at our hurting consciences. If we’re afraid of other people seeing the whole truth, how much more do we shudder at the thought of the whole picture being exposed to God Almighty?
        But what if we were to stop hiding? What if we would learn that we can be honest about those things we’ve been keeping a secret? What if we were exposed to an Almighty God who graciously declares us to be forgiven? . . . Then we would count the exposure as the greatest blessing in life!

May 21: Where's Jesus?
On the second of his missionary journeys, Paul entered Athens and found the city to be filled with many very religious people. There were many places dedicated for worship that the people apparently visited quite often. There were many religious ideas being talked back and forth by very interested folks. But there was something missing from their practice that made everything they said and did totally incomplete.
   Jesus was missing! The religion that was being practiced by the people had developed out of their own thoughts and ideas rather than on the revelation of God. But having spent some time observing his surroundings and talking with the people, Paul found an opportunity to introduce the truth of God’s revelation and the Good News of Jesus!

May 14: Caring, Sacrificing, Healing, Leading, So That . . .
      Sheep need to be cared for. They don’t do so well on their own. They need help finding the basic needs of life. They get lost. They easily walk into situations that get them in trouble. They readily follow influences that lead toward danger. They need a fully committed shepherd.
      As the Bible helps us see, we are like sheep. For many of the same kinds of reasons, we need a fully committed shepherd – and not just for our physical needs, but one who can provide what we need on our relationship with God, as well. That’s why we need Jesus as our Good Shepherd – the shepherd who heals, according to 1 Peter 2:24.
      Note well – the Shepherd doesn’t do the things He does so that He looks good as a shepherd. He does what He does SO THAT we the sheep have a life of purpose to live; “SO THAT we might die to sins and live for righteousness.”
      And since we’re thinking about Mothers’ Day, doesn’t this kind of shepherding help us understand the job description of a mom?

May 7: Gotta Share This Hope
   The apostle Peter, moved by God the Holy Spirit, wrote a letter of hope and encouragement to early Christians who faced many trials and even persecution for being disciples of Jesus Christ. It’s a letter that also addresses the huge need for hope that our world has today.
    Our hope comes in God’s announcement that we are His special people! Hope just has to get shared – this announcement is             a message for everyone to know about. We cannot help but “declare the praises of Him who called us out of darkness into His marvelous light.”

April 30: Hope --- For 'New And Improved' Living
    The apostle Peter, moved by God the Holy Spirit, wrote a letter of hope and encouragement to early Christians who faced many trials and even persecution for being disciples of Jesus Christ. It’s a letter that also addresses the huge need for hope that our world has today.
    Our HOPE is firmly rooted in all that God has done. He’s loved us and has completed His love for us by saving us as His own special people. So, we know we can trust Him to lead us in ways that bring blessing for our lives. We therefore live in willing obedience to His will, understanding that obedience is a matter of living with confidence in what God has done and has promised.

April 23: Hope Understands Struggle
      The apostle Peter, moved by God the Holy Spirit, wrote a letter of hope and encouragement to early Christians who faced many trials and even persecution for being disciples of Jesus Christ. He spoke of hope as a gift of the resurrection! The need for this Easter gift hasn’t really changed over the years since Peter wrote this message.
      In today’s opening part of this 3-week series, our struggles are placed in perspective when we recognize the hope that is alive in us through our Lord Jesus Christ.

April 16: In Christ We Rise
    A great surprise greeted the women who went to Jesus’ tomb early on the Sunday morning following Jesus’ death – they found out that Jesus was alive! How could their lives ever be the same?

April 9: Why The Attitude?
Jesus would have every reason to be frustrated & upset. His entrance into Jerusalem seemed to go well enough, at least if one measures popularity as success. For the most part, people seemed quite happy to have Jesus be with them. But Jesus knew that much more was going on underneath the surface. The fact was that another force was quietly at work that would ultimately (and in a short time) lead to Him being put to death – and quite unfairly so. Could anyone possibly keep their composure under such circumstances?

April 2: The Final Word
Death appears to be our ultimate enemy. For all we can see, death is very final. But the One who has carried our sin on Himself has also made it clear that death is not the final word. Even after raising Lazarus, Jesus would soon die on the cross from the crushing weight of our sin. But His power to raise Lazarus demonstrated the power of God over death, period. We KNOW what awaits us on the other side of the cross . . . and on the other side of the grave!

March 26: Point To The Light
He wasn’t especially seeking all the attention He was getting, but it’s obvious that sooner or later the “spotlight” would be drawn to Jesus. This time He healed a man who was born blind – that really turned people’s eyes toward Him and caused a lot of folks to ask questions. No, He didn’t seek all the personal attention, but at the same time He could hardly help but be seen. He really didn’t even need to “step into the spotlight” for, as He acknowledged, He already is the true Light of the World. He is the Light who brings sight for all who are spiritually blinded by the darkness.

March 19: A Surprising Reach (audio not available)
When it comes to helping someone out, there are some people that seem easy to help. They’re friendly, humble, thankful, and very gracious. They’re not overly demanding. They probably just need a little helping hand and are likely to help themselves out along the way.Sure, I’ll carry their burden for a while. But what about when you run into someone who is just downright mean, nasty, and crude? There doesn’t appear to be any potential for this person to pick himself up in the future. You won’t even hear any mumbled words of thanks. Give an inch and you’ll get taken for a mile. Help him out and you’re likely to get fleeced.
Are you ready to carry this burden? The Sin Carrier is!

March 12: Out of Work - And It's Wonderful
We are God’s children – not because of our ability or strength to present ourselves as good enough before God. We are God’s children who believe and depend on the One who is able to bear our burden and be our “sin-carrier.” As Paul says to the Ephesians, “By grace we have been saved through faith – and this not from ourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.”
To add another thought: When it comes to earning the right to be saved, we are “out of work.” It can be uncomfortable to ever say we’re “out of a job,” but in this case, it is best comfort we can get!

March 5: The Blame Game
“It’s not my fault!” – True or not true?
“It’s not HIS fault!” – What if the statement is said about Jesus? Is it true or not true?


Memorial Lutheran Church • Sioux Falls, SD • 605-334-7133  © 2017