Lutheran Worship and Resources



Traditional Lutheran worship services, using The Lutheran Hymnal and the KJV.

Norma Boeckler, Artist-in-Residence

The Lutheran Library Publishing Ministry

Bethany Lutheran Worship on
Ustream - Sunday, 10 AM Central.


Thanksgiving Eve - 7 PM Central Time.

Saved worship files and Greek lessons are at the live worship link.

email: greg.jackson.edlp@gmail.com,
which works asgregjacksonedlp@gmail.com too.

Luther's Sermons, Lenker Series
Book of Concord Selections
Martin Chemnitz Press Books

Norma A. Boeckler Author's Page

Pastor Gregory L. Jackson's Author's Page

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Quasimodogeniti: The First Sunday after Easter



Shepherd and Sheep, by Norma Boeckler


Quasimodogeniti, The First Sunday after Easter

Pastor Gregory L. Jackson

http://www.ustream.tv/channel/bethany-lutheran-worship

Bethany Lutheran Worship, 8 AM Phoenix Time

Mid-Week Lenten Services are Thursdays at 6 PM.

The Hymn #208:1-5 Ye Sons and Daughters 2.29
The Confession of Sins
The Absolution
The Introit p. 16
The Gloria Patri
The Kyrie p. 17
The Gloria in Excelsis
The Salutation and Collect p. 19
The Epistle and Gradual 1 John 5:4-10
The Gospel John 20:19-31
Glory be to Thee, O Lord!
Praise be to Thee, O Christ!
The Nicene Creed p. 22
The Sermon Hymn #208:6-10 Ye Sons and Daughters 2.29

Holy Communion Teaches the True Christ

The Hymn #195 Christ Jesus Lay in Death’s 1:46
The Preface p. 24
The Sanctus p. 26
The Lord's Prayer p. 27
The Words of Institution
The Agnus Dei p. 28
The Nunc Dimittis p. 29
The Benediction p. 31
The Hymn #197 Where Wilt Thou Go 1:2
KJV Luke 24:29 But they constrained him, saying, Abide with us: for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent. And he went in to tarry with them. (Emmaus)

First Sunday After Easter
Lord God, heavenly Father, we thank Thee, that of Thine ineffable grace, for the sake of Thy Son, Thou hast given us the holy gospel, and hast instituted the holy sacraments, that through the same we may have comfort and forgiveness of sin: We beseech Thee, grant us Thy Holy Spirit, that we may heartily believe Thy word; and through the holy sacraments day by day establish our faith, until we at last obtain salvation through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, one true God, world without end. Amen.

Book of Concord
"Now, although both, the planting and watering of the preacher, and the running and willing of the hearer, would be in vain, and no conversion would follow it if the power and efficacy of the Holy Ghost were not added thereto, who enlightens and converts the hearts through the Word preached and heard, so that men believe this Word and assent thereto, still, neither preacher nor hearer is to doubt this grace and efficacy of the Holy Ghost, but should be certain that when the Word of God is preached purely and truly, according to the command and will of God, and men listen attentively and earnestly and meditate upon it, God is certainly present with His grace, and grants, as has been said, what otherwise man can neither accept nor give from his own powers."
Solid Declaration, Article II, Free Will, 55-56, Formula of Concord, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 903.

Holy Communion Teaches the True Christ


KJV John 20:19 Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. 20 And when he had so said, he shewed unto them his hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord. 21 Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you. 22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost: 23 Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained. 24 But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. 25 The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe. 26 And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you. 27 Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing. 28 And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God. 29 Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed. 30 And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: 31 But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.

Doubting Thomas

The minister of St. Thomas Lutheran Church was asked, “Which Thomas?” The person wanted to know if the congregation was named after Doubting Thomas or the apostle who traveled as far as India in proclaiming the Gospel, according to tradition. One province in India, Kerala, is mostly Christian. They trace their church, Mar-Thoma by name, to the apostle Thomas.

Many different lessons can be learned from this Gospel. First of all, we see that the disciples were frightened and locked in a room after the death and resurrection of Christ. Why? “For fear.” Fear is not a reason but an emotion. Fear is the opposite of faith.

The disciples were trained by Christ. They saw the miracles of Christ: water turned into wine, walking on water, raising the dead. They believed in Him, but fear caused faith to vanish at times, such as when Peter denied Jesus three times during His trial. Fear is easily transferred to others. Screaming “fire” in a crowded place is likely to cause a stampede, even if no one detects any evidence for fire.

The disciples were not looking for the risen Christ. Nor did they go out and announce the resurrection of Christ. On Easter Sunday evening they knew the tomb was empty. But the doors were locked. The Gospel of John has many ironic contrasts in it. One is that Peter denied Jesus three times in front of a charcoal fire (John 18:18), then received absolution from the risen Lord three times beside a charcoal fire (John 21:9). The sealed tomb could not hold the crucified Christ in, and a locked room could not keep the risen Christ out.

Jesus could also move at will through any obstacle during His earthly ministry, as we see from Luke 4:30, when the crowd tried to throw Him from the cliff. This is called the non-reciprocity of the second genus by Lutheran theologians, meaning simply that the divine nature of Christ was not limited by His human nature. However, Jesus often did not display His divine nature. Most of the time He appeared to be an ordinary man. He converted others through the Word, using miracles to confirm the Word.

KJV Luke 4:30 But he passing through the midst of them went his way…

An ordinary man, pushed to the edge of a cliff by an angry mob, cannot pass through their midst.

It is important to remember Jesus entering the locked room, because our frail human reason is so inclined to doubt how God works. In fact, reason cannot come to any certainty about any act of God.

For instance, even the most hide-bound atheist will pray in times of crisis, if television is to be believed. Does he stop to ask how God hears that prayer, especially when his prayer is silent? The Reformed believe in prayer. They get prayer mixed into conversion, asking Jesus to come into their hearts, as if He did already do that through the preached and taught Gospel.

Therefore, entering the locked room is akin to Jesus converting us through the Word. Most of us have times in our lives when we are cold toward the Gospel. We are born as unbelievers. Yet God enters our hearts through the Word and converts us to faith.

The Word of God creates and nourishes faith, dispelling fear. We could not pray a single prayer if we did not have faith that God hears and answers prayer. In fact, the Bible is filled with assurances of God’s love, power, and willingness to answer our prayers.

KJV John 15:7 If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.

The Gospel tells us that Jesus showed His wounds to the disciples. He was not a ghost or a vision, but a real person. His body was glorified, but it was the same crucifixion-scarred body in a transformed state. At the end of time, all believers will have a similar glorified body. Christ is the first-fruits of all who will rise from the dead.

Jesus also gave the disciples the office of the keys. They were to use the Law and Gospel to pronounce lack of forgiveness to the unrepentant and pardon for the contrite believers. Offering forgiveness without any contrition only hardens hearts. We see the results of that all around us in our society, where people think they can do anything they want. The 10 Commandments were carved in stone, not placed temporarily on a chalkboard. They remain God’s perfect will and command, even if no one obeys or believes. Nothing in this world will last, but the Word of God remains forever.

Thomas Returns

This Gospel is read for the first Sunday after Easter because Thomas was absent on Easter evening. He was perhaps shopping for another lock. He refused to believe the preaching of the apostles. (They were now “sent” as Jesus was sent. Apostle means “sent.”)

Thomas demanded evidence, just as people demand today. Woe to all church leaders who rely upon human reason and evidence to prove that God’s Word is true. They are Doubting Thomases who try to prop up God’s Word with human arguments.

"It is most scandalous for us to attempt to defend God's Word with our reason, whereas we are to defend ourselves against all enemies with the Word of God, as St. Paul teaches (Eph. 6:7). Would he not be a great fool who in battle would seek to protect his helmet and sword with bare hand or head? But that is the situation when we try, with our reason, to defend God's Law, which is our weapon."
What Luther Says, An Anthology, 3 vols., ed., Ewald Plass, St. Louis:
Concordia Publishing House, 1959, III, p. 1475.

When Jesus returned, the doors were still locked, reminding us that people resisted the profound message of the Gospel even then. Jesus appeared and offered to let Thomas actually touch the evidence he demanded.

Thomas did not actually touch the wounds of Christ, but he confessed, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus warned Thomas, “Blessed are those who believe without seeing.” That has remained the blessing of the Christian Church, for faith has grown across the world without people seeing the risen Christ. Once again, we see the power of the Word in creating faith. Doubting Thomas is an example to us, a warning not to demand or rely upon physical evidence.

When people puzzle about having a small or an independent church, often the same questions trouble them. Something out there is needed to make them feel secure. A building? A bigger building? A full-time pastor? I see no evidence that St. Paul’s congregations owned a building. Perhaps some did and others did not. He was certainly not a full-time apostle. He made tents for a living, a tradition among the Pharisees (to have a real job, as they say). St. Paul helped to support his own ministry by making tents. That will be necessary for most independent Lutheran missions from now on. Seldom will a church large enough to support a full-time pastor break away from Holy Mother Synod. Few pastors will actually leave the warm nest of a pension fund and health benefits for the privilege of preaching the Word faithfully.

God does not permit us to predict the future or generate 5-year plans. Everything is in His Hands. He started with nothing but a few, fallible men on the Day of Pentecost and created the Christian Church through the preaching and teaching of believers. Some are known to us. Many are unknown. Countless Christians were killed for their faith. Many worshiped underneath the ground, in the catacombs, using a tomb as an altar. For that reason many altars look exactly like coffins, a reminder of how the Church began, not in comfort, but in persecution.

We have this comfort alone – that the Law and Gospel are God’s sole method for turning people from sin and offering them forgiveness. Wherever the Gospel is preached, sins are forgiven, Satan is defeated, and the gates of heaven open up. The fruits of the Gospel become manifest. All this is God’s doing and not our own.

When Lutheran pastors tell me how discouraged they are about the lack of progress and outward success they have, even saying, “I haven’t seen it work, even though I believe the Word is effective,” I challenge them with a series of questions. Have you never baptized a baby? Have you never distributed the body and blood of Christ in holy communion? Have you never preached the Word of God faithfully?

The answer is usually, “Well, I haven’t liked the results. They are not what I expected.” That is irrelevant. God’s Word is effective in creating faith, sustaining faith, and in damning unbelief. Some reject the Word. They do not want the righteousness of Christ in place of salvation by works. When St. Paul caused a riot with his sermon, he was preaching effectively. When religious leaders opposed him, he was obviously doing his work.

KJV Acts 17:13 But when the Jews of Thessalonica had knowledge that the word of God was preached of Paul at Berea, they came thither also, and stirred up the people.

We are told that the end-times will be so bad that Christ wondered in advance if He would find faith.

KJV Luke 18:8 I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?

KJV 2 Timothy 4:3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; 2 Timothy 4:4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

2 Timothy 3:1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, 4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; 5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. 6 For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, 7 Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth

America enjoyed a great era of outstanding Lutheran leaders, in the 19th and 20th centuries:
1. C. F. W. Walther.
2. Francis and August Pieper.
3. Matthias Loy.
4. Krauth and Schmauk.
5. Henry Eyster Jacobs.
6. A. Hoenecke.
7. Martin Franzmann.
8. Jack and Robert Preus.

All of these men had their faults, as we all do, but they contributed genuine leadership in Lutheran doctrinal matters. Now Lutherans are being led by Doubting Thomases who require statistics (Church Growth Movement), false doctrine (God commands us to love ourselves; if true, the only commandment we can keep!), and loyalty to an institution at the expense of the Word.

Matthew 18:20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.

QUOTE: "Let us learn more and more to look upon the Lutheran Church with the
right kind of spiritual eyes: it is the most beautiful and glorious Church; for
it is adorned with God's pure Word. This adornment is so precious, that even
though an orthodox congregation were to consist of very poor people - let us say
nothing but woodchoppers - and met in a barn (as the Lord Christ also lay here
on earth in a barn, on hay and straw), every Christian should much, much rather
prefer to affiliate himself with this outwardly so insignificant congregation,
rather than with a heterodox congregation, even if its members were all bank
presidents and assembled in a church built of pure marble. Let us be sure that
our flesh, and the talk of others does not darken the glory of the orthodox
Church, or crowd it out of our sight."
Francis Pieper, The Difference between Orthodox and Heterodox Churches, and Supplement, Coos Bay, Oregon: St. Paul's Lutheran Church, 1981 p. 47.

Quotations

"Another defect of Reformed preaching is its contempt for the Means of Grace. They will tell you that the Holy Spirit needs no vehicle, neither ox-cart nor aeroplane, to enter the heart of man; and by this rationalistic argument they think to have done away with the Means of Grace. But notice how they set about immediately to construct their own Means of Grace. Luther told them in his day:'If the Holy Spirit needs no vehicle, no preaching, then why are you here? And why are you so earnest in spreading your errors? It seems that what you really meant to say was that the Holy Spirit does not need true prophets, but He is very much in need of false prophets.' If the Holy Spirit needs no Means of Grace, who do these Reformed churches undertake their campaigns of revivalism?"
Martin S. Sommer, Concordia Pulpit for 1932, Martin S. Sommer, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1931, p. iv.

"Speak, O Lord, Thy servant heareth, To Thy Word I now give heed; Life and spirit Thy Word beareth, All Thy Word is true indeed, Death's dread power in me is rife; Jesus, may Thy Word of Life Fill my soul with love's strong fervor That I cling to Thee forever."
Anna Sophia, 1658, "Speak, O Lord, Thy Servant Heareth," The Lutheran Hymnal, trans., George T. Rygh, 1909 St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1941, Hymn #296. 1 Samuel 3:10.

"So the Law finds all guilty, none righteous, no not one; it stops every mouth, and holds the whole world accountable (Romans 3)."
George Tiefel, Jr., "God the HS Acts in Both Law and Gospel," God The Holy Spirit Acts, ed., Eugene P. Kaulfield, Milwaukee: Northwestern Publishing House, 1972, p. 47. Romans 3.

"The Holy Spirit thus uses the Law to bring us to despair; it is a despair of ourselves and our own righteousness before God; and then through the Gospel He shows us Christ."
George Tiefel, Jr., "God the HS Acts in Both Law and Gospel," God The Holy Spirit Acts, ed., Eugene P. Kaulfield, Milwaukee: Northwestern Publishing House, 1972, p. 50.

"Since the age of Rationalism and Lutheran Pietism a new spirit has crept into the life of the church which is un-Lutheran, un-Evangelical, and un-biblical. The Sacraments have been neglected at the expense of the Word."
Walter G. Tillmanns, "Means of Grace: Use of," The Encyclopedia of the Lutheran Church, 3 vols., Julius Bodensieck, Minneapolis: Augsburg Publishing House, 1965, II, p. 1505.

"These means are the true treasure of the church through which salvation in Christ is offered. They are the objective proclamation of faith which alone makes man's subjective faith possible (Augsburg Confession, Article V). The Formula of Concord (Solid Declaration, Article XI, 76) states expressly that God alone draws man to Christ and that he does this only through the means of grace."
Walter G. Tillmanns, "Means of Grace: Use of," The Encyclopedia of the Lutheran Church, 3 vols., Julius Bodensieck, Minneapolis: Augsburg Publishing House, 1965, II, p. 1505.

"The Sacraments are not mere symbolic expressions by which faith is strengthened (Calvin), nor are they mere acts of confession of faith (notae professionis, Zwingli), but are effective means by which God sows faith in the hearts of men."
Walter G. Tillmanns, "Means of Grace: Use of," The Encyclopedia of the Lutheran Church, 3 vols., Julius Bodensieck, Minneapolis: Augsburg Publishing House, 1965, II, p. 1506.

"This faith, encouraging and consoling in these fears, receives remission of sins, justifies and quickens. For this consolation is a new and spiritual life [a new birth and a new life]. These things are plain and clear, and can be understood by the pious, and have testimonies of the Church [as is to be seen in the conversion of Paul and Augustine]. The adversaries nowhere can say how the Holy Ghost is given. They imagine that the Sacraments confer the Holy Ghost ex opere operato, without a good emotion in the recipient, as though, indeed, the gift of the Holy Ghost were an idle matter."
Article IV., Justification, Apology of the Augsburg Confession, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 139.

"Truly, it is amazing that the adversaries are in no way moved by so many passages of Scripture, which clearly ascribe justification to faith, and, indeed, deny it to works. Do they think that the same is repeated so often for no purpose? Do they think that these words fell inconsiderately from the Holy Ghost? But they have also devised sophistry whereby they elude them."
Article IV., Justification, Apology of the Augsburg Confession, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 153.

"If we call Sacraments rites which have the command of God, and to which the promise of grace has been added, it is easy to decide what are properly Sacraments...Therefore Baptism, the Lord's Supper, and Absolution, which is the Sacrament of Repentance, are truly Sacraments. For these rites have God's command and the promise of grace, which is peculiar to the New Testament. For when we are baptized, when we eat the Lord's body, when we are absolved, our hearts must be firmly assured that God truly forgives us for Christ's sake. And God, at the same time, by the Word and by the rite, moves hearts to believe and conceive faith, just as Paul says, Romans 10:17: 'Faith cometh by hearing.' But just as the Word enters the ear in order to strike our heart, so the rite itself strikes the eye, in order to move the heart. The effect of the Word and of the rite is the same..." [Luther, Bab Captivity, 3 sacraments]
Article XIII, Number/Use Sacraments, Apology of the Augsburg Confession, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 309.

"And it is of advantage, so far as can be done, to adorn the ministry of the Word with every kind of praise against fanatical men, who dream that the Holy Ghost is given not through the Word, but because of certain preparations of their own, if they sit unoccupied and silent in obscure places, waiting for illumination, as the Enthusiasts formerly taught, and the Anabaptists now teach."
Article XIII, The Sacraments, 13, Apology of the Augsburg Confession, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, J-234 p. 311.

"For Christ wishes to assure us, as was necessary, that we should know that the Word delivered by men is efficacious, and that no other word from heaven ought to be sought. 'He that heareth you heareth Me,' cannot be understood of traditions. For Christ requires that they teach in such a way that [by their mouth] He Himself be heard, because He says: 'He heareth Me.' Therefore He wishes His own voice, His own Word, to be heard, not human traditions."
Article XXVIII, Eccles. Power, Apology of the Augsburg Confession, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 449.

"2. That such merit and benefits of Christ shall be presented, offered and distributed to us through His Word and Sacraments. "3. That by His Holy Ghost, through the Word, when it is preached, heard, and pondered, He will be efficacious and active in us, convert hearts to true repentance, and preserve them in the true faith."
Formula of Concord, SD, XI, Of God's Eternal Election, #17, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 1069.

"And this call of God, which is made through the preaching of the Word, we should not regard as jugglery, but know that thereby God reveals His will, that in those whom He thus calls He will work through the Word, that they may be enlightened, converted, and saved. For the Word, whereby we are called, is a ministration of the Spirit, that gives the Spirit, or whereby the Spirit is given, 2 Corinthians 3:8, and a power of God unto salvation, Romans 1:16. And since the Holy Ghost wishes to be efficacious through the Word, and to strengthen and give power and ability, it is God's will that we should receive the Word, believe and obey it."
Formula of Concord, Solid Declaration, Article XI., Election, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 1073. 2 Corinthians 3:8; Romans 1:16.

"Moreover, the declaration, John 6:44, that 'no one can come to Christ except the Father draw him,' is right and true. However, the Father will not do this without means, but has ordained for this purpose His Word and Sacraments as ordinary means and instruments; and it is the will neither of the Father nor of the Son that a man should not hear or should despise the preaching of His Word, and wait for the drawing of the Father without the Word and Sacraments." Solid Declaration, Article XI, Election, #76, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 1087. John 6:44. concerning God, etc. For these facts it is apparent that the Law cannot be kept without Christ and the Holy Ghost."
Augsburg Confession, Article III, #11, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 159.

"But Christ was given for this purpose, namely, that for His sake there might be bestowed on us the remission of sins, and the Holy Ghost to bring forth in us new and eternal life, and eternal righteousness [to manifest Christ in our hearts, as it is written John 16:15: He shall take of the things of Mine, and show them unto you. Likewise, He works also other gifts, love, thanksgiving, charity, patience, etc.]. Wherefore the Law cannot be truly kept unless the Holy Ghost is received through faith...Then we learn to know how flesh, in security and indifference, does not fear God, and is not fully certain that we are regarded by God, but imagines that men are born and die by chance. Then we experience that we do not believe that God forgives and hears us. But when, on hearing the Gospel and the remission of sins, we are consoled by faith, we receive the Holy Ghost, so that now we are able to think aright."
Augsburg Confession, Article III, #11, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 159.

"And since the Gospel is taught among us purely and diligently, by God's favor we receive also from it this fruit, that in our Churches no Anabaptists have arisen [have not gained ground in our Churches], because the people have been fortified by God's Word against the wicked and seditious faction of these robbers. And as we condemn quite a number of other errors of the Anabaptists, we condemn this also, that they dispute that the baptism of little children is unprofitable."
Apology of the Augsburg Confession, Article IX, Baptism, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 245. Matthew 28:19.

"But as the Confutation condemns us for having assigned these two parts to repentance, we must show that [not we, but] Scripture expresses these as the chief parts in repentance and conversion. For Christ says, Matthew 11:28: Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Here there are two members. The labor and the burden signify the contrition, anxiety, and terrors of sin and of death. To come to Christ is to believe that sins are remitted for Christ's sake; when we believe, our hearts are quickened by the Holy Ghost through the Word of Christ. Here, therefore, there are these two chief parts, contrition and faith."
Apology of the Augsburg Confession, Article XII (V), #44, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 263. Matthew 11:28.

"But if ordination be understood as applying to the ministry of the Word, we are not unwilling to call ordination a sacrament. For the ministry of the Word has God's command and glorious promises. Romans 1:16 The Gospel is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth. Likewise, Isaiah 55:11: So shall My Word be that goeth forth out of My mouth; it shall not return unto Me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please...And it is of advantage, so far as can be done, to adorn the ministry of the Word with every kind of praise against fanatical men, who dream that the Holy Ghost is given not through the Word, but because of certain preparations of their own...."
Apology of the Augsburg Confession, Article XIII (VII), #11, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, J-205 p. 311. Romans 1:16; Isaiah 55:11.

"And just as the Word has been given in order to excite this faith, so the Sacrament has been instituted in order that the outward appearance meeting the eyes might move the heart to believe [and strengthen faith]. For through these, namely, through Word and Sacrament, the Holy Ghost works."
Augsburg Confession, Article XXIV (XII), #70, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 409.

"Our adversaries have no testimonies and no command from Scripture for defending the application of the ceremony for liberating the souls of the dead, although from this they derive infinite revenue. Nor, indeed, is it a light sin to establish such services in the Church without the command of God and without the example of Scripture, and to apply to the dead the Lord's Supper, which was instituted for commemoration and preaching among the living [for the purpose of strengthening the faith of those who use the ceremony]. This is to violate the Second Commandment, by abusing God's name."
Apology of the Augsburg Confession, Article XXIV, The Mass, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 414f.

"That we may obtain this faith, the Ministry of Teaching the Gospel and administering the Sacraments was instituted. For through the Word and Sacraments, as through instruments, the Holy Ghost is given, who works faith, where and when it pleases God, in them that hear the Gospel, to wit, that God, not for our own merits, but for Christ's sake, justifies those who believe that they are received into grace for Christ's sake. They condemn the Anabaptists and others who think that the Holy Ghost comes to men without the external Word, through their own preparation and works."
Augsburg Confession, Article V, The Office of the Ministry, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 45.

"Of Confession they teach that Private Absolution ought to be retained in the churches, although in confession an enumeration of all sins is not necessary. For it is impossible according to the Psalm: 'Who can understand his errors?' Psalm 19:12."
Augsburg Confession, Article XI, Confession, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 47. Psalm 19:12.

"Of Baptism they teach that it is necessary to salvation, and that through Baptism is offered the grace of God; and that children are to be baptized, who, being offered to God through Baptism, are received into God's grace. They condemn the Anabaptists, who reject the baptism of children, and say that children are saved without Baptism."
Augsburg Confession, Article IX, Baptism, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 47.

"Although the Church properly is the congregation of saints and true believers, nevertheless, since in this life many hypocrites and evil persons are mingled therewith, it is lawful to use Sacraments administered by evil men, according to the saying of Christ: 'The Scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat, etc.' Matthew 23:2. Both the Sacraments and Word are effectual by reason of the institution and commandment of Christ, notwithstanding they be administered by evil men."
Augsburg Confession, Article VIII, What the Church Is, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 47. Matthew 23:2.

"Of Free Will they teach that man's will has some liberty to choose civil righteousness, and to work things subject to reason. But it has no power, without the Holy Ghost, to work the righteousness of God, that is, spiritual righteousness; since the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God, 1 Corinthians 2:14; but this righteousness is wrought through the Word."
Augsburg Confession, Article XVIII, Freedom of the Will, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 51. 1 Corinthians 2:14.

"Other writings, however, of ancient or modern teachers, whatever name they bear, must not be regarded as equal to the Holy Scriptures, but all of them together be subjected to them, and should not be received otherwise or further than as witnesses, [which are to show] in what manner after the time of the apostles, and at what places, this [pure] doctrine of the prophets and apostles was preserved."
Formula of Concord, Epitome, Part I, 2, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, J-55 p. 777.

"We believe, teach, and confess that the sole rule and standard according to which all dogmas together with [all] teachers should be estimated and judged are the prophetic and apostolic Scriptures of the Old and the New Testament alone, as it is written in Psalm 119:105: 'Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.' And St. Paul: 'Though an angel from heaven preach any other gospel unto you, let him be accursed,' Galatians 1:8."
Formula of Concord, Epitome, Part I, 1, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, J-56 p. 777. Psalm 119:105; Galatians 1:8.

"Therefore, before the conversion of man there are only two efficient causes, namely, the Holy Ghost and the Word of God, as the instrument of the Holy Ghost, by which He works conversion. This Word man is [indeed] to hear; however, it is not by his own powers, but only through the grace and working of the Holy Ghost that he can yield faith to it and accept it."
Formula of Concord, Epitome, II, Of the Free Will, #19, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 791.

"This power {the Keys} is exercised only by teaching or preaching the Gospel and administering the Sacraments, according to their calling, either to many or to individuals. For thereby are granted, not bodily, but eternal things, as eternal righteousness, the Holy Ghost, eternal life. These things cannot come but by the ministry of the Word and the Sacraments, as Paul says, Romans 1:16: The Gospel is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth. Therefore, since the power of the Church grants eternal things, and is exercised only by the ministry of the Word, it does not interfere with civil government; no more than the art of singing interferes with civil government."
Augsburg Confession, Article XXVIII, #8, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 85. Romans 1:16

"Moreover [On the other side], both the ancient and modern enthusiasts have taught that God converts men, and leads them to the saving knowledge of Christ through His Spirit, without any created means and instrument, that is, without the external preaching and hearing of God's Word."
Formula of Concord, Thorough Declaration, II. 4. Free Will Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 881.

"Against both these parties the pure teachers of the Augsburg Confession have taught and contended that by the fall of our first parents man was so corrupted that in divine things pertaining to our conversion and the salvation of our souls he is by nature blind, that, when the Word of God is preached, he neither does nor can understand it, but regards it as foolishness; also, that he does not of himself draw nigh to God, but is and remains an enemy of God, until he is converted, becomes a believer [is endowed with faith], is regenerated and renewed, by the power of the Holy Ghost through the Word when preached and heard, out of pure grace, without any cooperation of his own."
Formula of Concord, Thorough Declaration, II. 5. Free Will Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 881.

"Thirdly, in this manner, too, the Holy Scriptures ascribe conversion, faith in Christ, regeneration, renewal, and all that belongs to their efficacious beginning and completion, not to the human powers of the natural free will, neither entirely, nor half, nor in any, even the least or most inconsiderable part, but in solidum, that is, entirely, solely to the divine working and the Holy Ghost, as also the Apology teaches."
Formula of Concord, Thorough Declaration, II. 25. Free Will Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 891.

"These treasures are offered us by the Holy Ghost in the promise of the holy Gospel; and faith alone is the only means by which we lay hold upon, accept, and apply, and appropriate them to ourselves. This faith is a gift of God, by which we truly learn to know Christ, our Redeemer, in the Word of the Gospel, and trust in Him, that for the sake of His obedience alone we have the forgiveness of sins by grace, are regarded as godly and righteous by God the Father, and are eternally saved."
Formula of Concord, Thorough Declaration, III 10 Righteousness Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 919.

"...and He has revealed it in His Word, as much as is needful for us to know of it in this life. Now, everything for which we have in this instance clear, certain testimonies in the Scriptures, we must simply believe, and in no way argue against it, as though the human nature in Christ could not be capable of the same."
Solid Declaration, Article VIII., Person of Christ, Formula of Concord, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, J-57 p. 1033.

"For few receive the Word and follow it; the greatest number despise the Word, and will not come to the wedding, Matthew 22:3ff. The cause for this contempt for the Word is not God's foreknowledge [or predestination], but the perverse will of man, which rejects or perverts the means and instrument of the Holy Ghost, which God offers him through the call, and resists the Holy Ghost, who wishes to be efficacious, and works through the Word, as Christ says, 'How often would I have gathered you together, and ye would not!' Matthew 23:37."
Solid Declaration, Article XI, Election, 41, Formula of Concord, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, J-127 p. 1077. Matthew 22:3ff.; 23:37.

"Moreover, the declaration, John 6:44, that no one can come to Christ except the Father draw him, is right and true. However, the Father will not do this without means, but has ordained for this purpose His Word and Sacraments as ordinary means and instruments; and it is the will neither of the Father nor of the Son that a man should not hear or should despise the preaching of His Word, and wait for the drawing of the Father without the Word and Sacraments. For the Father draws indeed by the power of His Holy Ghost, however, according to His usual order [the order decreed and instituted by Himself], by the hearing of His holy, divine Word, as with a net, by which the elect are plucked from the jaws of the devil. Every poor sinner should therefore repair thereto [to holy preaching], hear it attentively, and not doubt the drawing of the Father. For the Holy Ghost will be with His Word in His power, and work by it...."
Solid Declaration, Article XI., Election, #76-77, Formula of Concord, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 1089. John 6:44.

"For this reason we shall now relate, furthermore, from God's Word how man is converted to God, how and through what means [namely, through the oral Word and the holy Sacraments] the Holy Ghost wants to be efficacious in us, and to work and bestow in our hearts true repentance, faith, and new spiritual power and ability for good, and how we should conduct ourselves towards these means, and [how we should] use them."
Solid Declaration, Article II, Free Will, 48, Formula of Concord, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 901.

"Therefore God, out of His immense goodness and mercy, has His divine eternal Law and His wonderful plan concerning our redemption, namely, the holy, alone-saving Gospel of His eternal Son, our only Savior and Redeemer, Jesus Christ, publicly preached; and by this [preaching] collects an eternal Church for Himself from the human race, and works in the hearts of men true repentance and knowledge of sins, and true faith in the Son of God, Jesus Christ. And by this means, and in no other way, namely, through His holy Word, when men hear it preached or read it, and the holy Sacraments when they are used according to His Word, God desires to call men to eternal salvation, draw them to Himself, and convert, regenerate, and sanctify them. 1 Corinthians 1:21: 'For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.' Acts 10:5-6..."
Solid Declaration, Article II, Free Will, #50, Formula of Concord, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 901. 1 Corinthians 1:21; Acts 10:5-6.

"Now, although both, the planting and watering of the preacher, and the running and willing of the hearer, would be in vain, and no conversion would follow it if the power and efficacy of the Holy Ghost were not added thereto, who enlightens and converts the hearts through the Word preached and heard, so that men believe this Word and assent thereto, still, neither preacher nor hearer is to doubt this grace and efficacy of the Holy Ghost, but should be certain that when the Word of God is preached purely and truly, according to the command and will of God, and men listen attentively and earnestly and meditate upon it, God is certainly present with His grace, and grants, as has been said, what otherwise man can neither accept nor give from his own powers."
Solid Declaration, Article II, Free Will, 55-56, Formula of Concord, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 903.

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