Saint Paul's Lutheran Church of Irvine

Tomorrow at Saint Paul’s Lutheran Church of Irvine, Reformation Day, October 28th, 2012: “The Righteousness of God” (Romans 3:21-25a)

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Tomorrow we celebrate Reformation Day! I’m excited to be preaching from Romans 3:21-25a on “The Righteousness of God”. This is the foundation of our faith, this is where our confidence lies, and this is where our assurance of forgiveness and salvation is known. This righteousness is not found in us, but is entirely outside of us. So while we see sin within our hearts, thanks be to God that He brings to us from the outside a righteousness applied to us, put upon us, laid on us, which covers us. This is a gift, a pure gift. And it is yours in Christ. Tomorrow we break this down from this amazing text that also represents THE teaching spring out of the Reformation which led to the re-discovery of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. We will have some great hymns, a sermon which not only expounds on the text, but also provides a historical overview of the Reformation, and of course as always, a service which will give to us the very body and blood of our Risen Lord and Savior Jesus Christ keeping us in the forgiveness of sins and eternal life.
Two other announcements:
1) Tomorrow is our first EVANGELTHON. It is two things: (1) It is a reaching out to our surrounding community by inviting folks to our church while distributing our brand new brochure which you will receive a complementary copy of that you may share with your neighbors or friends; and (2) It is a way of sponsoring/financially supporting our confirmands through high school-aged youth as they will be active in this activity as they raise funds for this summer’s Higher Things youth gathering in Tocoma, WA. Please come and pray with us and if you have the time, join me and our youth as we share these brochures with the new neighborhoods next to Crean Lutheran High School. We will have a pizza lunch, orientation, and then pray from 11-11:30 in the Cafe, and then go out and distribute brochures from 11:45-1:45 and then return for closing prayer at Crean and be finished by 2 pm.
2) Tomorrow we are also distributing and then collecting half-sheet sign-ups for loved ones who have gone to heaven so that we may remember them in memorial for Sunday, November 4th when we celebrate All Saints’ Day and the Commemoration of the Faithful Departed.
What a joy it is to serve you dear Christian with the Word of Christ and His Holy Sacrament. I hope to see you in God’s house tomorrow morning. And oh yes, we have a special guest musician, Ben Hunter, principal trumpet in the Concordia wind orchestra and sinfonietta…Ben will be a blessing for this Reformation service!
Here is an excerpt from the Sermon:

Part I: An Age-Old Problem:

1. As Luther once called it: “The Presumption of Righteousness”…man assumes that he may in some way earn a right standing before God. That is, make himself right/good/acceptable before God.

2. God corrects this presumption:


Romans 3:23: “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,”


  1. The meaning is that man hasn’t a leg to stand on per being able to glory in himself before God.
  2. That is, there is nothing in man to allow him a legitimate good opinion of himself.
  3. We miss the mark and prove ourselves to be sinful before God.
  4. We can’t brag about ourselves in front of God…our bragging doesn’t hold water; none of it is legitimate. St. Paul is consistent with the rest of Scripture:

1st Kings 8:46: “…for there is no one who does not sin…”


Ecclesiastes 7:20: “Surely there is not a righteous man on earth who does good and never sins.”

3. The further problem, however, Luther points out:


“Through such presumptuousness and pride it comes about that even the works of grace are turned into works of the Law and the righteousness of God is turned into the righteousness of men, because, when men in grace have done good works, they become pleased with themselves…(Luther’s Works, vol. 25, 246).”

4. Christ turns the presumption of indulgences, the presumption of all works of men and imagined righteousness on its head: There is nothing man can do.

5. We do this constantly. We live as if we’re so good that we really don’t need God or we act as if our goodness merits God’s goodness to us. Either way, we are presumptuous…we look inward at ourselves and are proud.

6. Christ, however, redirects us: He leads us outward…namely, to HIM!


Come to divine service and look forward to the rest!


In Your Service and To Christ’s Glory,


Dr. Espinosa


Comments (0) Trackbacks (0)

No comments yet.

Leave a comment

No trackbacks yet.