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Faith Related Q and A
» I am a practicing WELS member and want to say thank you for having courage to answer so many questions that, in my view, are not really questions seeking understanding. They are questions designed to say "I got you" or to discredit biblical truths. Considering this, do you publish all questions submitted to this website or do you edit or throw some out because they are inflammatory or not appropriate given the mission of our church body?
» Should WELS churches take government money meant for small businesses? Church is non-profit? Is this part of separation of church and state?
» I am a lifelong member of WELS. I am very happy that the WELS is a Bible teaching church, but I have a problem with the end of the Athanasian Creed - "Those who have done good will enter eternal life, but those who have done evil will go into eternal fire." That statement is not the true Christian faith as the next sentence in the creed calls out. I've read your responses to others who had made similar comments concerning the Athanasian Creed. The reader of the Athanasian Creed is to understand that the statement "Those who have done good will enter eternal life, but those who have done evil will go into eternal fire" implies that those who believe in Jesus as their Savior will receive forgiveness for their sins, and thereby be saved, while those who do not believe that Jesus is their Savior will receive eternal damnation. I was hoping that the new WELS hymnal will either eliminate the Athanasian Creed altogether, or add an explanation below the creed clarifying the questionable statements at the end. The WELS does a very good job preaching and teaching that salvation is only obtained through faith in Jesus, and not by good works, but then once every year on Trinity Sunday they kind of contradict that good and solid doctrine by using the Athanasian Creed. Is there any plan to address this issue in the new hymnal?
» I am hearing about contemplative prayer and centering prayer. Because I can’t find a crystal clear definition of either, I’m not certain whether they’re the same or different things. If either involves emptying the mind, I realize that’s of Eastern religion and not biblical. Yet I hear of so-called Christians doing these practices, and want to respond biblically. Please enlighten me on these terms.
» A friend gave me books by Joseph Prince, describing how we can give ourselves Holy Communion every day if we choose during this COVID-19 time. I am skeptical about this. Is this approved by WELS? Is it vital that we continue even in different times to administer the body and blood of Christ to ourselves? I had never heard of this. Thank you.
» Was Jesus one of God's angels?
» Was the Baptism of John the Baptist the same as the Baptism done by the disciples after the ascension of Jesus?
» 1 Cor 3:2 "I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able." What is the meat and where can I get it? I still feel like all I am fed is milk.
» Hi, I am having a bit of problem that I am not sure how to solve in regard to correcting wrongs. You see when I was a college student, my friend lent me his Netflix login info for about a year. I used it on a few occasions throughout the year and went on to get my own Netflix account. But I still feel guilty because I did not pay for it when my friend lent me his. You see lending someone else your Netflix info is a violation of the Terms of Service (which I did not while I was using my friend's account). I want to try to pay Netflix back, but my family says that seems crazy since Netflix is a transaction based business and does not take donations (This would cost $192 total). Similarly, for the last 3 years of my college education I have had an Amazon Prime Student Account which is half the price of a regular prime account. I was unaware of this until last week, but I found out from the Terms of Service that I am not supposed to share my account or account benefits with my family (My mom runs the account). I feel guilty and want to pay Amazon for those three years as a regular account (Which would cost $360 total). I know that God forgives me and I know that I cannot correct everything I have done wrong. I just want to correct the things I can. I do not know if I am doing this to please God or instead appease my guilty conscience and sense of pride. I just want your opinion on if trying to pay the money back is an idea that makes sense, or should I just ask God for forgiveness and move on?
» I have been reading about the Reformation concept "Sola fide" (justification by faith alone), and I have a question for the WELS leadership. If one could become more lackadaisical with this mindset, knowing they would go to heaven regardless of following God's rules, what would your argument be against their thinking, other than appeals to emotion? I am genuinely curious about this, because I read in one post that 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 commands God's followers not to do a multitude of wicked actions, but wickedness and the baring from the Kingdom of God was due to impenitence. I suppose my question is ultimately, can a Christian be wicked, while simultaneously having faith in Jesus and being saved, since salvation comes about by being justified by faith alone, not actions, and if not due to the mere faith of the wicked, how would their disobedience to God's commands have denied themselves entry into heaven? To rephrase this in a less scrambled manner, how immoral can one be, with a 100% chance of being saved, if they espouse faith in Christ?
If you died and God stopped you at the gate to heaven and asked, “Why should I let you in?” -- what would your answer be?
 
What God Demands
God demands perfection -- no more and no less -- because he is perfect and just. God created us to be perfect too. Since Adam and Eve, people are born imperfect and live far less than perfect. But since God is the same, the requirement of perfection remains the same. We may not like
that requirement, but God is God. He makes the rules.
 
What God Sees
As much as we'd like to deny or hide it, no one can claim to be perfect -- without sin. We'd like to believe that we are but, if we're honest, even our own hearts won't let us get away with that lie. Our Ways of Coping with that Truth Our hearts don't want to believe we're sinful, that there's something wrong with us, and we'll try anything to avoid admitting it. Trying to balance the bad things we do with good things, promising to do better next time, and comparing our lives with others may make us feel better for a time, but they don't solve the problem!

God Has Provided the Solution! 
God's remedy centers on a person. That person is God's own Son, Jesus. The Bible tells us that Jesus was God from all eternity, but that he became a human being. But Jesus was unlike any other human being. He never sinned in any way. Yet he was put to death. We're told why. "The Lord has laid on him the iniquity (sin) of us all." (Isaiah 53:6) In the same way, Jesus' perfection, righteousness, was credited to us. "God made him who had no sin, to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God." (2 Corinthians 5:21)

If you died and God stopped you at the gate to heaven and asked, “Why should I let you in?” The answer is because of Jesus! Jesus died for my sins. He was punished for them, not me. I have been declared not guilty through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus!

This priceless gift which God has provided for all and that he gives through faith in Jesus Christ is the starting point for our life in him, with him, and for him. It is in this grace of God that we live and grow. Everything we do now, we strive to do out of thankfulness for what he has done. We can't earn his love or make him love us any more than he already does! As his Holy Spirit continues his work in us through Word and Sacraments, we experience more and more the blessings of God: freedom from guilt, power for godly living, answers to prayer, and guidance for life. This is life -- God's kind of life. This is peace with God through Jesus. And he gives it to you.
 
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