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Saturday, May 30, 2009

Whitsunday, The Feast of Pentecost

Whitsunday, The Feast of Pentecost

Pastor Gregory L. Jackson

Bethany Lutheran Worship, 8 AM Phoenix Time

Note – if you are having trouble reading Ichabod or the Bethany blog, Google is reporting problems not yet fixed - as of this post. One solution is to download and use the Firefox browser (much faster working than Internet Explorer). The free download site is :
I made changes to Ichabod, which have helped.

The Hymn #10 This is the day 3:39
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 Acts 2:1-13
The Gospel John 14:23-31
Glory be to Thee, O Lord!
Praise be to Thee, O Christ!
The Nicene Creed p. 22
The Sermon Hymn #370 My Hope Is Built 3.11

We Are the True Pentecostals

The Hymn #231 We Now Implore - Luther 3.38
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 #354 In the Cross of Christ 3.84

KJV Acts 2:1 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. 2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. 3 And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. 5 And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. 6 Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language. 7 And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans? 8 And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born? 9 Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia, 10 Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes, 11 Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God. 12 And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this? 13 Others mocking said, These men are full of new wine.

KJV John 14:23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. 24 He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's which sent me. 25 These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you. 26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. 27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. 28 Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I. 29 And now I have told you before it come to pass, that, when it is come to pass, ye might believe. 30 Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me. 31 But that the world may know that I love the Father; and as the Father gave me commandment, even so I do. Arise, let us go hence.

O Lord Jesus Christ, Thou almighty Son of God: We beseech Thee, send Thy Holy Spirit into our hearts, through Thy word, that He may rule and govern us according to Thy will, comfort us in every temptation and misfortune, and defend us by Thy truth against every error, so that we may continue steadfast in the faith, increase in love and all good works, and firmly trusting in Thy grace, which through death Thou hast purchased for us, obtain eternal salvation, Thou who reignest, with the Father and the Holy Ghost, world without end. Amen.

We Are the True Pentecostals
One denomination has made a splash in the world. They call themselves Pentecostals but they do not mark this day, which is based upon the Old Testament calendar. Pentecost is still observed today by Jews because it marks 50 days after the Passover. Of course, Easter is directly related to the Passover, but they do observe Easter.

The Day of Pentecost is just as Jesus-centered as Easter, because the Savior’s promises were fulfilled on this day. All the parting sermons from Jesus in John are about the coming of the Holy Spirit. The disciples remained in Jerusalem because of these promises.

On this day, the disciples were gathered with one accord – Concordia. The Book of Concord expresses that harmony. I used to wonder, as an outsider to the old Synodical Conference, why so many things had to be named Concordia. Now that I have seen so much discordia over the years, Concordia sounds so much better. If only we had more Concordia, and pursued the path toward that harmony – study of the Word and Confessions.

The miracle of Pentecost is simply told. The Holy Spirit entered with a great rush of wind. In Greek and Hebrew, the word for Spirit is the same as wind. What better word could be found for the shy member of the Trinity? We do not see the wind but its power is so great that walls are knocked down and roofs torn away in seconds.

Tongues of fire appeared above the disciples. They spoke in foreign languages. When scoffers want to get rid of the miracles of the Bible, they explain that the word in this text really means dialect, so the disciples were only speaking the same language in those various dialects, not unlike Minnesotan compared to Milwaukee or Southern. But the disciples were Galilean, so that was their dialect, whether speaking in Greek or Aramaic. To say they switched dialects is a bit silly – all the rationalisms of apostates are equally strained. When Paul wrote about speaking in tongues, he used another word and made it clear that they were speaking an ecstatic language, not one that made sense to others. See 1 Corinthians 12-14. The love chapter (13) is aimed at the practice.

Most of people were shocked and amazed, hearing the miracles of God in their own language. We know that 3,000 were baptized, so the Word converted them to faith in Christ. At the same time, other mocked and said, “They are drunk.” This encapsulates the effectiveness of the Word. Those who receive the Word with meek hearts find the living Word grafted onto their hearts. Those who harden themselves against the Word feel compelled to mock. Even today, some begin their lives with faith because of infant baptism, but they lose this gift through the various devices and problems described in Mark 4 – the Parable of the Sower.

We are the true Pentecostals because we believe in the power of the Holy Spirit as described in the Scriptures.

When I was began studying the doctrinal problems of Lutherans, I knew about Calvin separating the Holy Spirit from the Word and Sacraments. I looked for Biblical passages that consistently taught what I knew from Lutheran doctrine.

This one is the most extensive treatment:

KJV Isaiah 55:8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. 9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. 10 For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: 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 shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.

The passage first establishes that God’s Word and ways are far beyond ours, therefore not subject to man’s approval or analysis – like the person who says, “I cannot believe in a God who…” Nor is there any suggestion that we need to make God’s Word appealing, germane, or in harmony with our own perspective.

Secondly, the role of precipitation in God’s Creation is described as everyone knows it. Rain and snow always have an effect, and that is life-giving – watering the earth, making it fertile, providing seed for the sower and bread for the eater. If we have a long, slow rain in Phoenix, something rare – like Israel – plants simply burst into activity, in a rush to bloom and set seed. Weeds erupt from plastic barriers and gravel. Trees bloom and form their pods. Cactus blooms. Western sage is covered with purple blossoms for a day, and ocotillo (buggy whip) greens up.

Thirdly, the three-fold effect of the Word is portrayed with clarity, in a few words:
A. The Word never returns void – a double negative that excludes any exceptions.
B. The Word will always accomplish what God desires, so we can see that includes both the good and the bad, converting and hardening, enlightening and blinding.
C. The Word will prosper whatever God blesses.

As I saw from studying Luther and the great theologians of the Lutheran Church, this is a passage which destroys any separation of the Holy Spirit from the Word. Notice that the term Holy Spirit is not used, but the concept is clearly taught. God always works through the Word = the Holy Spirit always works through the Word. The WELS theologian Hoenecke said, “The Holy Spirit never without the Word; the Word never without the Holy Spirit. That is sound doctrine.”

In this light we can see why the Bible will use “Word” and “Holy Spirit” as synonyms. In other words, the work of the Holy Spirit is always through the Word and never apart from the Word. The Word is always divine, always powerful and effective.
KJV Ephesians 6:17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
KJV Ephesians 1:13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,
The only purpose of the Bible is to show us Christ and His death on the cross for our sin. So grace comes to us through the Holy Spirit, which means through the Word, only through the Word.

Paul taught the same thing, using these words:

KJV 1 Thessalonians 2:13 For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.

The Church Shrinkers are always saying, “We want something that works.” The word for “works” in the Greeks texts is “effective” or “efficacious,” a different version of the same word. What works? The Word of God works. Nothing else is effective. If they are, it is only because of the Word. Man likes to measure, so the human temptation is to forget the opening of the Isaiah passage (My ways are not your ways) and change the message to get results, to push the hot buttons, as one council president told me.

This means that the only source of God’s grace, forgiveness, and love is the Word. The Holy Spirit creates a meeting place for the individual and Christ – the Word. The individual believer comes before Christ, is known to Him by name, and receives the blessings promised by the Savior.

When the Holy Spirit works through the Law, we do not call that a Means of Grace, because the Law cannot work grace or provide forgiveness. But the Law of God in the Word effectively reminds us of our sinful nature and need for the Savior. God’s Law is a burning fire and a hammer that smashes our stubborn pride.

Our earlier Cattle Dog told me she was there by putting her mouth on my heels, left and right, as I walked through the house. Our new one, Sassy, nibbles on my fingers as I walk. They remind me of the Law – always there, always reminding. The Law is good and useful, as Paul wrote, but limited. When I heard Helmut Thielicke speak in Canada, he compared Law and Gospel to the Shepherd Dog and the Good Shepherd. If we wander from the Good Shepherd, the Shepherd’s Dog (the Law) nibbles at us until we follow again.

When someone has done something horrible, we want to take revenge, but God’s Law will catch up with the miscreant in time. The longer God takes, the greater the terror of conscience that person faces. Sometimes the Law of God takes an immediate toll on the sinner. The folly of this age teaches people they can do whatever they want without consequences.

Sacraments and the Holy Spirit

Calvin separated the Holy Spirit from the Word, and also from the Sacraments of Holy Baptism and Holy Communion – just as Zwingli did.

There are dozens if not hundreds of passages where the Sacraments are clearly taught as the visible Word, as Means of Grace.

First of all, Christ commanded the Sacraments, so they could not be empty rituals condemned as Roman Catholic.

Secondly, they are effective, something lost in the new Calvinistic translations (NIV, etc) loved by the LCMS, WELS, and ELS.

KJV 1 Peter 3:21 The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:

NIV 1 Peter 3:21 and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also-- not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a good conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ,

Or we look at the classic passage about the Lord’s Supper conferring forgiveness upon us:

KJV 1 Corinthians 10:16 The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ?

NIV 1 Corinthians 10:16 Is not the cup of thanksgiving for which we give thanks a participation in the blood of Christ? And is not the bread that we break a participation in the body of Christ?

In baptism and communion, the Word of God is active through the earthly elements.

We are the true Pentecostals because we look for the Holy Spirit in the Word, which is what God teaches us throughout the Scriptures. So we know from the Word that the Word and Sacraments are instruments of God’s grace.


"For neither you nor I could ever know anything of Christ, or believe on Him, and obtain Him for our Lord, unless it were offered to us and granted to our hearts by the Holy Ghost through the preaching of the Gospel. The work is done and accomplished; for Christ has acquired and gained the treasure for us by His suffering, death, resurrection, etc. But if the work remained concealed so that no one knew of it, then it would be in vain and lost. That this treasure, therefore, might not lie buried, but be appropriated and enjoyed, God has caused the Word to go forth and be proclaimed, in which He gives the Holy Ghost to bring this treasure home and appropriate it to us. Therefore sanctifying is nothing else than bringing us to Christ to receive this good, to which could not attain ourselves."
The Large Catechism, The Creed, Article III, #38, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 689.
"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."
The Large Catechism, The Creed, Article III, #58, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 693.
"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]."
The Large Catechism, The Creed, Article III, #56, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 693.
"Everything, therefore, in the Christian Church is offered to the end that we shall daily obtain there nothing but the forgiveness of sin through the Word and signs, to comfort and encourage our consciences as long as we live here. Thus, although we have sins, the [grace of the] Holy Ghost does not allow them to injure us, because we are in the Christian Church, where there is nothing but [continuous, uninterupted] forgiveness of sin, both in that God forgives us, and in that we forgive, bear with, and help each other."
The Large Catechism, The Creed, Article III, #55, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 693.
"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.
"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, p. 311. Romans 1:16; Isaiah 55:11.
"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.
"The Holy Spirit works through the Word and the Sacraments, which only, in the proper sense, are means of grace. Both the Word and the Sacraments bring a positive grace, which is offered to all who receive them outwardly, and which is actually imparted to all who have faith to embrace it."
Charles P. Krauth, The Conservative Reformation and Its Theology, Philadelphia: The United Lutheran Publication House, 1871, p. 127.
"The Holy Spirit teaches man better than all the books; He teaches him to understand the Scriptures better than he can understand them from the teaching of any other; and of his own accord he does everything God wills he should, so the Law dare make no demands upon him."
Sermons of Martin Luther, III, p. 280.
"The Holy Spirit is given to none except to those who are in sorrow and fear; in them it produces good fruit. This gift is so precious and worthy that God does not cast it before dogs. Though the unrepentant discover it themselves, hearing it preached, they devour it and know not what they devour."
Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, III, p. 281f.

"He allows the affliction to remain and to oppress; yet He employs different tactics to bestow peace; He changes the heart, removing it from the affliction, not the affliction from the heart. This is the way it is done: When you are sunk in affliction He so turns your mind from it and gives you such consolation that you imagine you are dwelling in a garden of roses."
Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, III, p. 285. John 14:23-31.
"Thus true spiritual leaders fight. They strike Satan dead and rescue souls from him; for to pierce Satan to death is nothing else than to rescue from him a human being whom he has taken captive by deceitful teachings. And that is the right kind of spiritual tactics."
Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, III, p. 289. John 14:23-31.
"Neither is he [Satan] truthful; he is the spirit of lies, who, by means of false fear and false comfort having the appearance of truth, both deceives and destroys. He possesses the art of filling his own victims with sweet comfort ; that is, he gives them unbelieving, arrogant, secure, impious hearts...He can even make them joyful; furthermore, he renders them haughty and proud in their opinions, in their wisdom and self-made personal holiness; then no threat nor terror of God's wrath and of eternal damnation moves them, but their hearts grow harder than steel or adamant."
Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, III, p. 302. John 14:23-31.
"Again, with truly pious hearts, which in many respects are timid and tender, his [Satan's] practice is just the opposite. He tortures them with everything terrible that can be imagined, martyring and piercing them as with fiery darts, until they may find no good thing nor comfort before God. His object in both cases is to ruin souls by means of his lies and to lead them to eternal death."
Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed. John N. Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, III, p. 302. John 14:23-31
"Therefore, let God's Word be of more authority to you than your own feelings and the judgment of the whole world; do not give God the lie and rob yourself of the Spirit of truth."
Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, III, p. 304. John 14:23-31.
"In the eyes of the world, and even in her own estimation, she has not the appearance of a prosperous and well ordered organization; rather she is a scattered group of poor, miserable orphans, without leader, protection or help upon earth. All the world laughs at her and ridicules her as a great fool in thinking that she is the Church and comprises the people of God. Furthermore, each individual is so burdened and oppressed in his need and suffering as to feel that no one else lies so low or is so far from help as he."
Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, III, p. 304f. John 14:23-31.
"It will not do for individuals to formulate their own ideas of conduct, act accordingly and then say that the Church is led by the Holy Spirit."
Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, III, p. 320. John 14:23-31.
"Secondly, it is shown here that this Word precedes, or must be spoken beforehand, and that afterwards the Holy Spirit works through the Word. One must not reverse the order and dream of a Holy Spirit who works without the Word and before the Word, but one who comes with and through the Word and goes no farther than the Word goes."
Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, III, p. 329. John 14:23-31.
"We hear God's Word, which is in fact the preaching of the Holy Spirit, who is at all times present with it, but it does not always at once reach the heart and be accepted by faith; yea, in the case of those who are moved by the Holy Spirit and gladly receive the Word, it does not at once bear fruit."
Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, III, p. 330. John 14:23-31.
"Likewise, in the matter of preaching, we must make selection that order may be preserved. But since all who are Christians have authority to preach, what will be the outcome? for women will also want to preach. No so. St. Paul forbids women to put themselves forward as preachers in a congregation of men and says: They should be subject to their husbands."
Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, III, p. 375. 1 Timothy 2:11-12.
"Paul does not speak of opposing or antagonistic doctrines, but of those placed beside the true doctrine; they are additions, making divisions. Paul calls it a rival doctrine, an addition, an occasion of stumbling, an offense and a byway, when on establishes the conscience upon his own goodness or deeds. Now the Gospel is sensitive, complete and pre-eminent: it must be intolerant of additions and rival teachings."
Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, III, p. 376. Romans 16:16-17.
"The world desires such wolf preaching, and is not worthy of anything better since it will not hear nor respect Christ. Hence it is that there are so few true Christians and faithful preachers, always outnumbered by the members of the false church."
Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, III, p. 385. Deuteronomy 29:19.
"For you do not find Him; He finds you. For the preachers come from Him, not from you. Your faith comes from Him, not from you. And everything that works faith within you comes from Him, not from you."
What Luther Says, An Anthology, 3 vols., ed., Ewald Plass, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1959, I, p. 345. Matthew 21:1-9.
"(3) Hollazius (ib.): 'The Word of God, as such, cannot be conceived of without the divine virtue, or the Holy Spirit, who is inseparable from His Word. For if the Holy Spirit could be separated from the Word of God, it would not be the Word of God or of the Spirit, but a word of man. Nor is there any other Word of God, which is in God, or with which the men of God have been inspired, than that which is given in the Scriptures or is preached or is treasured up in the human mind. But, as it cannot be denied that that is the divine will, counsel, mind, and the wisdom of God, so it cannot be destitute of the divine virtue or efficacy.'"
Heinrich Schmid, Doctrinal Theology of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, trans., Charles A. Hay and Henry E. Jacobs, Philadelphia: United Lutheran Publication House, 1899, p. 505.
"The Lutheran theologians, in general, had reason to illustrate very particularly the doctrine of the operation of the Word of God, in order to oppose the Enthusiasts and Mystics, who held that the Holy Spirit operated rather irrespectively of the Word than through it; and to oppose also the Calvinists, who, led by their doctrine of predestination, would not grant that the Word possessed this power per se, but only in such cases where God chose...."
Heinrich Schmid, The Doctrinal Theology of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, trans., Charles A. Hay, Henry E. Jacobs, Philadelphia: Lutheran Publication Society, 1889, p. 511.
"Mrs. Barnhill looked at me and said, with such a loving look in her gray eyes, 'Oh, Grace, Christ said, 'No man cometh unto the Father but by Me,' and, my dear, you have no way of approach to a holy God unless you come through Christ, His Son, as your Saviour.' "The Scripture which she quoted," Mrs. Fuller continues, "was the Sword of the Spirit, and at that moment Unitarianism was killed forever in my heart. I saw the light like a flash and believed at that moment, though I said nothing. She had quoted God's Word, the Spirit had used it, and, believing, I instantly became a new creation in Christ Jesus. She might have talked and even argued with me about it, but instead she just used the Word." [conversion of Mrs. Grace Fuller, wife of Charles Fuller, Old Fashioned Revival Hour broadcast, founder of Fuller Seminary]
J. Elwin Wright, The Old Fashioned Revival Hour and the Broadcasters, Boston: The Fellowship Press, 1940, p. 54.

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