Lutheran Witness: January 2020

Many Christian denominations would agree to the statement that Christians are “saved by grace.” But how, exactly, do we define “grace”? The Lutheran Witness turns its attention to answering this question from a biblical and Lutheran perspective in its January issue.  



  • Grace: Excusing Sin or Forgiving It? — Aaron Uphoff
  • Views on Grace — Andrew Preus, Jeffrey Ries and Brian Flamme
  • The Expert in Prayer — John Kleinig
  • Are You Gifted? What It Means to Have Spiritual Gifts — Tyler Arnold 
  • Five Ways to Care for the Hard-to-Love People in Your Life — Shaina Wurdeman


  • world views: A monthly news column from Gene Edward Veith
  • searching scriptures: The Fullness of God’s Grace — Peter Ill 
  • bene+diction: Kathleen Counted — Megan K. Mertz

From the editor

“For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known” (John 1:17–18).

The first 18 verses of the Gospel according to John introduce the narrative to follow. Through these verses, John weaves together Old Testament allusions to lead each reader to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God. And in so believing, have life in His name (John 20:30–31). As John 1:1 begins with words that echo Genesis 1, so John’s prologue ends with words that call to mind Moses’ encounter with God at Sinai.

Moses desired to see God (Ex. 33:18). Instead, Moses learned who God is through God’s Word. As God passed by Moses, who was hidden in the cleft of the rock, God proclaimed, “The LORD, the LORD, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness” (Ex. 34:6). Moses knew God’s name, and now he learned of His character. God desires us to know Him as the God of mercy and grace. Though Moses does not see God (fully), he learns who He is and trusts in Him through His Word.

The same is true at the end of John’s prologue. No one has ever seen God. But we know Him through His Word made flesh, His Son, Jesus, who is the revelation of the Father. The story of Jesus as the revelation of the Father culminates in His death and resurrection. This is the grace and mercy of God. This is the truth and grace of God. This is the steadfast love of God. This is the Messiah, who suffers and dies to forgive sins. This is grace.

In His mercy,

Kevin Armbrust
Interim Managing Editor, The Lutheran Witness


Lutheran Witness: January 2020