Grace Lutheran Church

Joined together in fellowship by the Holy Spirit and nurtured by God's Word and Sacraments, we share with others the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

WHAT WE BELIEVE GOD: God is Triune, Father, Son, Holy Ghost; three persons, one divine essence. He is the only true God: Matt. 28:19;1 Cor. 8:4 . JESUS: Jesus is God, equal to the Father, the only Savior of mankind: John 5:23, 14:6; Acts 4:12. SIN: All mankind is born in sin; by nature man is spiritually blind, dead and an enemy of God, condemned to eternal damnation outside of Christ: Psalms. 51:5; Rom. 3:23. SCRIPTURE: The Bible is inspired by God, without error: II Tim. 3:16; John 10:35. JUSTIFICATION: The world has been reconciled to God through the death and resurrection of Jesus, and all sins have been forgiven through Him. God no longer holds our sins against us, but has declared us righteous: 2 Cor. 5:19; Rom. 4:25. CONVERSION: Coming to faith in Christ is entirely the work of the Holy Spirit, not by some "decision" or "experience" by man. Conversion is worked by the Gospel and Holy Baptism: I Pet. 1:23; John 3:5-6. HOLY BAPTISM: Baptism creates faith, washes away sins, saves, all as a gracious work of the Holy Spirit: John 3:5-6; Acts 22:16; I Pet. 3:21. HOLY COMMUNION: (Our Lord’s Supper) is Christ’s true Body and Blood, really present in the bread and wine, for the forgiveness of sins: Mt. 26:26-28; I Cor. 11:23-29; I Cor. 10:16. We practice "Closed Communion" as an expression of unity in God’s Word: Rom.16:17; I Cor. 1:10; I Cor. 10:16-17. CREATION: The world was created as described in Genesis 1-2. Evolution is unscriptural, unscientific, unnecessary: Gen. 1:1; Heb. 11:3; Ps. 33:6. 2ND COMING OF CHRIST: Judgment Day will come suddenly and unexpectedly. There is no millennium: 2 Pet. 3:10; Mk. 13:32; Matt. 24. You are invited to join the congregation in worship and hearing the Word of God. Please come!

Operating as usual

[10/23/20]   Note for Contemplation and Comfort

"Just as God gives you the gift of faith (Ephesians 2:8; Romans 12:3, 2 Peter 1:1), He also sustains and increases your faith. Faith is not a muscle that you must exercise to strengthen. It does not grow stronger through increased commitment or devotion. Faith is nourishment that God provides to you through the gifts of His Word, Baptism, and Holy Communion. Your faith becomes stronger, not when you act, but when God acts through these things!"

[Rev. Erik Rottmann, “Myths About Faith,” Higher Things: Volume 6:2, Summer 2006, p. 11]

[10/22/20]   Note for Contemplation and Comfort

“Kyrios Jesous Christos, “Jesus Christ is Lord.” This is the original confession of the church. With it the Christian faith once entered world history. To understand the sense of this confession ever more deeply is the great, yes, basically the only task of all Christian theology. To repeat this confession, to speak it in ever new forms, to translate it into the language of all times and peoples, to protect it against misunderstandings and reinterpretations, and to understand its meaning for all areas of life—that is the task of all confession building within Christendom. No later confession of the church can and wants to be anything else than a renewal of the original confession to Jesus as Christ and Lord. This is true of the Apostles’ Creed, the Nicene Creed, the confessional writings of the Reformation, and any confession in which the Christendom of the future may want to speak its faith. As this confession [“Jesus Christ is Lord”] stood at the beginning of the church’s history, so it will stand at its end. Then will be fulfilled that great word of the apostle: “At the name of Jesus every knee shall bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Phil. 2:10f.). “

[Hermann Sasse, Jesus Christ is Lord, the Church’s Original Confession, 1931]

[10/21/20]   Note for Contemplation and Comfort

“Did you ever think, when you were a child, what fun it would be if your toys could come to life? Well suppose you could really have brought them to life. Imagine turning a tin soldier into a real little man. It would involve turning the tin into flesh; and he sees is that the tin is being spoilt. He things you are killing him. He will do everything he can to prevent you. He will not be made into a man if he can help it.

What you would have done about that tin soldier I do not know. But what God did about us was this. The Second Person in God, the Son, became human Himself: was born into the world as an actual man -- a real man of a particular language, weighing so many stone. The Eternal Being, who knows everything and who created the whole universe, became not only a man but (before that) a baby, and before that a fetus inside a Woman’s body. If you want to get the hang of it, think how you would like to become a slug or a crab.”

[C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity]

[10/19/20]   Note for Contemplation and Comfort

“Just as God gives you the gift of faith (Ephesians 2:8; Romans 12:3, 2 Peter 1:1), He also sustains and increases your faith. Faith is not a muscle that you must exercise to strengthen. It does not grow stronger through increased commitment or devotion. Faith is nourishment that God provides to you through the gifts of His Word, Baptism, and Holy Communion. Your faith becomes stronger, not when you act, but when God acts through these things!”

[Rev. Erik Rottmann, “Myths About Faith,” Higher Things: Volume 6:2, Summer 2006, p. 11]

[10/16/20]   Note for Contemplation and Comfort

“But this [the Fifth Petition of the Lord’s Prayer] should serve God's purpose of breaking our pride and keeping us humble. For in case any one should boast of his godliness and despise others, God has reserved this prerogative to Himself, that the person is to consider himself and place this prayer before his eyes, and he will find that he is no better than others, and that in the presence of God all must lower their plumes, and be glad that they can attain forgiveness. And let no one think that as long as we live here he can reach such a position that he will not need such forgiveness. In short, if God does not forgive without ceasing, we are lost. It is therefore the intent of this petition that God would not regard our sins and hold up to us what we daily deserve, but would deal graciously with us, and forgive, as He has promised, and thus grant us a joyful and confident conscience to stand before Him in prayer. For where the heart is not in right relation towards God, nor can take such confidence, it will nevermore venture to pray. But such a confident and joyful heart can spring from nothing else than the [certain] knowledge of the forgiveness of sin.”

[from the Large Catechism, Explanation to the Lord’s Prayer]

[10/15/20]   Note for Contemplation and Comfort

“The gospel is a preaching of the incarnate Son of God, given to us without any merit on our part for salvation and peace. It is a word of salvation, a word of grace, a word of comfort, a word of joy…But the law is a word of destruction, a word of wrath, a word of sadness, a word of grief, a voice of the judge…of death…[But]…the light of the gospel comes and says…behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world [John 1:29].”

[Martin Luther, quoted by Eugene F. A. Klug in Lift High This Cross; The Theology of Martin Luther, p. 33]

[10/14/20]   Note for Contemplation and Comfort

“Our world desperately needs to hear about our Christian faith and see it at work. We have been given new and eternal life through Christ’s death on the cross and His resurrection. Filled with the joy of our own salvation (1 Peter 2:9), we are enabled to share the Good News about what Christ did, not only for us but also for others (John 3:16). Wherever and whenever the opportunity arises for us to witness about Christ to those who are without our Savior, we do so without compulsion but joyously and voluntarily, enabled by the new life granted by the Holy Spirit.”

[Klaus Detlev Schultz, in Lutheran Spirituality, Life as God’s Child (CPH), p. 153]

[10/13/20]   Note for Contemplation and Comfort

“Where the custom of churchgoing has lapsed with the consequence that the Christian congregation is dead or a-dying, there is but one single means of getting people back to church. Hunger and thirst for the Lord’s Supper must be aroused in them. Whenever this hunger and this thirst awake—and it obviously does not lie within our own power to awaken them—people go to church again. For hunger and thirst for God’s Word can in an emergency be satisfied in one’s chamber, at any rate according to that pietistic theory with which the Protestantism of the last two centuries has preached its own churches empty. Except in case of grave illness, however, the Sacrament of the Altar can only be received in the house of God. The renewal of the Christian congregation and her Divine Service therefore begins, in a way most theologians today still find incomprehensible, when we once again seriously learn and teach what the New Testament and the Catechism say on Baptism and the Lord’s Supper. “

[Hermann Sasse]

[10/12/20]   Note for Contemplation and Comfort

“But outside of this Christian Church, where the Gospel is not, there is no forgiveness, as also there can be no holiness [sanctification]. Therefore all who seek and wish to merit holiness [sanctification], not through the Gospel and forgiveness of sin, but by their works, have expelled and severed themselves [from this Church]. Meanwhile, however, while sanctification has begun and is growing daily, we expect that our flesh will be destroyed and buried with all its uncleanness, and will come forth gloriously, and arise to entire and perfect holiness in a new eternal life. For now we are only half pure and holy, so that the Holy Ghost has ever [some reason why] to continue His work in us through the Word, and daily to dispense forgiveness, until we attain to that life where there will be no more forgiveness, but only perfectly pure and holy people, full of godliness and righteousness, removed and free from sin, death, and all evil, in a new, immortal, and glorified body. Behold, all this is to be the office and work of the Holy Ghost, that He begin and daily increase holiness upon earth by means of these two things, the Christian Church and the forgiveness of sin.”

[from the Large Catechism, Explanation to the Fifth Commandment]

Divine Service October 11th, 2020

Today's Divine Service is now on YouTube.

[10/07/20]   Note for Contemplation and Comfort

“The brood born here to live in Heaven has life from water and the fructifying Spirit. Sinner, seek your cleansing in this stream that takes the old and gives a new person back. No barrier can divide where life unites: one faith, one fount, one Spirit make one people. A virgin still, the church gives birth to children conceived of God, delivered in the water. Washed in this bath the stains will float away that mark the guilt of Adam and your own. The stream that flows below sprang from the wounded Christ to wash the whole world clean and give it life. Children of the water, think no more of Earth; Heaven will give you joy; in Heaven hope. Think not your sins too many or too great: birth in this stream is birth to holiness.”

[Baptistry inscription St. John Lateran, Fifth Century]

[10/06/20]   Note for Contemplation and Comfort

“The dynamic flow of the Gospel—the forgiveness of sins, life, and salvation—occurs in preaching, Absolution, Baptism, and the Lord’s Suppers. Luther writes:
“Wherever that Word is heard, where Baptism, the Sacrament of the Altar, and absolution are administered, there you must determine and conclude with certainty: “This is nothing else than calling it the kingdom of Heaven and Heaven itself, for the place where God dwells is the house of God. But where does God dwell? Does he not dwell in Heaven? Therefore he joins the Earth with Heaven and Heaven with the Earth.” (Luther’s Works, AE 5:244)
After receiving the Lord’s Supper, we ask God to strengthen us through this precious gift “in faith toward you and in fervent love toward one another.” God sends us back into our places in life, fed on His Word and on the Supper, eager to be of service to those in our congregation, our families, and our neighbors.”

[Naomichi Masaki, in Lutheran Spirituality, Life as God’s Child (CPH), p. 228]

[10/05/20]   Note for Contemplation and Comfort

“The Church is that ship which carries Christ and His disciples (Matt. 8:23), and which will bear us finally into the haven of eternal blessedness; the Church thus sails in a blessed course over the sea of this world, furnished with faith as a rudder, having God for her pilot, angels for her oarsmen, and all the company of the godly for her passengers; on her deck is erected the cross of our salvation as her mast, upon which are suspended the sails of evangelical faith, and with these filled with the breezes of the Holy Spirit she is conducted to the haven of eternal rest.”

[Johann Gerhard, Sacred Meditations, p. 125-126 (Repristination Press)]

[10/04/20]   Apologies for the technical difficulties in the live stream this morning, this was a Facebook issue. Unfortunately, since the stream was cut off part way through the sermon, the service will not be posted on YouTube as usual.

[10/02/20]   Note for Contemplation and Comfort

“Now, what is the Sacrament of the Altar!

Answer: It is the true body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, in and under the bread and wine which we Christians are commanded by the Word of Christ to eat and to drink. And as we have said of Baptism that it is not simple water, so here also we say the Sacrament is bread and wine, but not mere bread and wine, such as are ordinarily served at the table, but bread and wine comprehended in, and connected with, the Word of God.
It is the Word (I say) which makes and distinguishes this Sacrament, so that it is not mere bread and wine, but is, and is called, the body and blood of Christ. For it is said: Accedat verbum ad elementum, et At sacramentum. If the Word be joined to the element it becomes a Sacrament. This saying of St. Augustine is so properly and so well put that he has scarcely said anything better. The Word must make a Sacrament of the element, else it remains a mere element. Now, it is not the word or ordinance of a prince or emperor, but of the sublime Majesty, at whose feet all creatures should fall, and affirm it is as He says, and accept it with all reverence fear, and humility. “

[from the Large Catechism, Part Fifth. Of the Sacrament of the Altar]

[10/01/20]   Note for Contemplation and Comfort

“Jesus leads the church in its songs of praise. He does not just proclaim his Father’s name to those who are his brothers and sisters; he invites them to join with him as their lead singer. He teaches them to praise by giving them his word (Col 3:16) and his Holy Spirit (Eph 5:18-20). The church then sings its songs of praise together with Jesus… The church then follows Jesus in singing its songs and in performing its praises. It does not, however, sing its own song; it sings the song that it receives from him. Nor does it sing that song by itself with its own instruments. The vision of St John in Revelation 15:2-4 shows how the saints hold ‘the harps of God’ in their hands as they sing ‘the song of the Lamb’. The song of the Lamb is the song of Jesus, the song that he sings as he adores his divine Father. Jesus does not copyright that song, but he makes it freely available to us. We can sing it with him because he sings it for us, like a mother teaching her child to sing.”

[John Kleinig, “What’s the Use of Praising God?” (p. 8)]

[09/30/20]   Note for Contemplation and Comfort

“We should be the more urged and incited to pray because God has also added a promise, and declared that it shall surely be done to us as we pray, as He says Ps. 50:15: Call upon Me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee. And Christ in the Gospel of St. Matt. 7:7: Ask, and it shall be given you. For every one that asketh receiveth. Such promises ought certainly to encourage and kindle our hearts to pray with pleasure and delight, since He testifies with His [own] word that our prayer is heartily pleasing to Him, moreover, that it shall assuredly be heard and granted, in order that we may not despise it or think lightly of it, and pray at a venture. This you can hold up to Him and say: Here I come, dear Father, and pray, not of my own purpose nor upon my own worthiness, but at Thy commandment and promise, which cannot fail or deceive me. Whoever, therefore, does not believe this promise must know again that he excites God to anger as a person who most highly dishonors Him and reproaches Him with falsehood.”

(from the Large Catechism, The Lord’s Prayer)

[09/29/20]   Note for Contemplation and Comfort

“To an extent, Jesus serves also as our example. He alone is our righteousness and has attained our right standing before God. But just as Jesus’ attitude was oriented toward the spiritual well-being of His human creatures, so we, too, willingly and voluntarily embrace sharing our God-given faith with others.
In order that our light might never go out but instead enlighten the world around us, our faith needs to be nurtured through regular attendance at church, where we receive the Word and the Sacraments. Baptism gives us our birthright as God’s children, and His Word and Christ’s Supper strengthen and nourish our faith for an active witness. We do not witness to our faith in order that we might gain glory for ourselves, but that all glory may be given to Christ, our Lord (Philippians 2:10-11).”

[Klaus Detlev Schultz, in Lutheran Spirituality, Life as God’s Child (CPH), p. 154]

Divine Service September 27th, 2020

This morning's Divine Service is now on YouTube.

[09/24/20]   Note for Contemplation and Comfort

“Music is a gift from God. Luther claimed that “Next to theology” music was God’s greatest gift to us. In the Scriptures music was used in the church (Ezra 3:10), by those who are skilled (1 Chronicles 15:22), to teach (Colossians 3:16), or to confess the truth (Psalm 145:4, 7), as well as to return our praise to God (Psalm 149:6; Psalm 98:4). Recognized as a very powerful instrument either for good or evil (2 Chronicles 5:13-14; Daniel 3:7), music should adorn the message of Christ so that Jesus and His grace are understood (1 Corinthians 14:15) and complemented. The purpose of music in church is to promote Christ.”

[Klemet I. Preus, The Fire and the Staff, pg. 150 (Concordia Publishing House, 2004)]

[09/23/20]   Note for Contemplation and Comfort

“God gave His light to us not by taking us out of the darkness, but by entering into our darkness, by being enveloped in the darkness of our death, by being oppressed by the darkness of our evil, by experiencing the darkness of our ignorance. “From the sixth hour until the ninth hour darkness came over all the land,” Matthew records in his Gospel (Matthew 27:45). On the cross, Jesus went into the darkness. He became the “darkness of the world” for us so we might be the “light of the world” (Matthew 5:14).
We no longer live in the darkness. We bask in the light, in the life, in the goodness and wisdom of Christ’s light. In this age, the darkness always lurks nearby, seeking to envelop us once again. In this age, we live as “children of light” (Ephesians 5:8) in a world still groping in darkness. But having seen the Light, we know the Way. We know that our end is in that city where “[t]hey will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light” (Revelation 22:5).”

[J.A.O. Preus, Just Words, 69]

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7550 Eubank Blvd NE
Albuquerque, NM

Opening Hours

Sunday 09:00 - 11:30
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