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

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Mid-Week Lenten Service - Because We Are Not an Emergent Church



Mid-Week Lenten Vespers


Pastor Gregory L. Jackson

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

Bethany Lutheran Worship, 7 PM Central Time

The Hymn #292 Lord Jesus Christ 1:2
The Order of Vespers p. 41
The Psalmody Psalm 2 p. 123
The Lection The Passion History

The Sermon Hymn #295 The Law of God 1:93

The Sermon – The Simple Gospel

The Prayers
The Lord’s Prayer
The Collect for Grace p. 45

The Hymn #511 Jesus Shall Reign 1:80


KJV John 3:13 And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven. 14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: 15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. 16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. 18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. 21 But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.

A Lutheran pastor sent me his summary of Thy Strong Word, and I am going over his remarks. He wanted to know if he was getting it right.

That is the great result of studying God’s Word together. This used to go on all the time, because Lenski was the New Testament expert for The American Lutheran Church, the LCMS, WELS, and ELS. I am not sure that many in the LCA read Lenski, but the rest did and they were a large segment of all Lutherans in America.

At the same time, many are involved in the defining the Gospel correctly – justification by faith alone, apart from the works of the Law.

There are some basic attributes of the Gospel, which we should always keeps in mind when listening to others.

One – The Word is always clear and plain, never obscure. If someone wants to pretend that this matter is so difficult that only pastors can understand it, he is a total fraud and obviously not even vaguely aware of Biblical, Lutheran doctrine. His argument is really Roman Catholic – claiming only the priesthood can interpret the Bible – and then only in the traditions of man.
Two – The Gospel is always comforting, offering blessing and forgiveness. The Gospel message creates and sustains faith, and faith receives the Gospel of forgiveness.

Three – The Holy Spirit has bound Himself to the Word, so nothing is accomplished by God apart from the Word. Only the Word builds up the Kingdom of God. Programs and fads come and go. God works only through His Word.

Four – Everyone wants to speak of God’s grace. Everyone is all for it. The Catholic Church teaches salvation by grace, but one must ask what this means. A closer examination shows that their grace is no grace at all, but a system of works whereby man tries to please God and satisfy His wrath, but never does. No one is ever really forgiven, so that is no grace at all. God’s grace comes to people only through the Holy Spirit in the Means of Grace. Any other claim is pure Enthusiasm.

John 3:16 and the entire section distinguish between those who believe in Christ and those who do not.

Believing is forgiveness, and forgiveness is salvation. John 16’s sermon by Christ shows us in addition that the primary mission of the Holy Spirit (in the Word) is to convict people of the sin of not believing in Him.

This should be understand as utterly trusting in Christ for salvation, because belief as a word has been watered down so much. If a Buddhist believes in Jesus, then the word needs to be changed or modified for clarity. The problem is not with the language but what we have done to the Queen’s English.

Just hearing a reference to John 3:16 is comforting to many people because they remember the words instantly and they know what they mean.

“Whosoever believes in Me shall not perish but have everlasting life.”

Two of our readers have lost someone in the last few weeks. One was sudden. One was drawn out.

The Gospel is the ultimate comfort for loss of life, and this Gospel is taught in every possible way in the hymns, liturgy, and Creeds.

The Gospel is Jesus dying for the sins of the world, rising from the dead, and giving this Gospel to the apostles to teach.

Satan’s message is works. God’s message is grace and forgiveness. Satan offers everything now but enslavement forever. God promises a cross and eternal blessings, even blessings in the cross.

The more we hear the Gospel, the more the New Creation is built up by the Word. When that happens, the New Man generates the fruit of the Spirit, not because we are inherently good, but because the Gospel always has that effect.


Quotations

"How is a person justified before God? This occurs solely by faith in the Son of God, Jesus Christ; that is, freely, not because of any works or merits of one's own but only because of the one Mediator, Jesus Christ, who became the sacrificial victim and propitiation on our behalf. By this sacrifice, man obtained forgiveness of sins and became righteous; that is, God-pleasing and acceptable. His righteousness was imputed to man for Christ's sake, and man becomes an heir of eternal life when he believes with certainty that God gives him these blessings for the sake of His Son."
David Chytraeus, A Summary of the Christian Faith (1568), trans., Richard Dinda, Decatur: Repristination Press, 1994. p. 105. Chapt 5.
"Christian righteousness is the forgiveness of sin, the imputation of the righteousness of Christ and acceptance to eternal life. It is free, not the result of any virtues or works but is given solely because of Christ, the Mediator, and apprehended by faith alone."
David Chytraeus, A Summary of the Christian Faith (1568), trans., Richard Dinda, Decatur: Repristination Press, 1994. p. 106.
"Scripture therefore uses these words, 'We are justified by faith,' to teach both: 1) What the reason (or merit) for justification is, or what the blessings of Christ are; to wit, that through and for the sake of Christ alone we are granted forgiveness of sins, righteousness and eternal life; and 2. How these should be applied or transferred to us; namely, by embracing the promise and relying on Christ by faith alone."
David Chytraeus, A Summary of the Christian Faith (1568), trans., Richard Dinda, Decatur: Repristination Press, 1994. p. 107. Chapter 5.
"It must be admitted that when our Lutheran Confessions speak of justification they speak almost exclusively of that facet of justification we usually call 'subjective' justification, which has also been called 'special' or 'personal' justification. But the Confessions also show us that the basis for this justification is the justification that precedes faith."
Rick Nicholas Curia, The Significant History of the Doctrine of Objective or Universal Justification, Alpine, California: California Pastoral Conference, WELS. January 24-25, 1983. p. 13.
"Here again there is great need to call upon God and pray, 'Dear Father, forgive us our debts.' Not that He does not forgive sin even without and before our prayer; and He gave us the Gospel, in which there is nothing but forgiveness, before we prayed or even thought of it. But the point here is for us to recognize and accept this forgiveness." (LC III:88) Rick Nicholas Curia, The Significant History of the Doctrine of Objective or Universal Justification, Alpine, California: California Pastoral Conference, WELS. January 24-25, 1983. p. 13.
"The law would seem to be harmful since it has made all men sinners, but when the Lord Jesus came He forgave all men the sin that none could escape." (Apol. IV, 103) Rick Nicholas Curia, The Significant History of the Doctrine of Objective or Universal Justification, Alpine, California: California Pastoral Conference, WELS. January 24-25, 1983. p. 13. "If somebody doubts that his sins are forgiven, he insults Christ because he thinks that his sin is greater and stronger than the death and promise of Christ. (Apol IV, 149) Rick Nicholas Curia, The Significant History of the Doctrine of Objective or Universal Justification, Alpine, California: California Pastoral Conference, WELS. January 24-25, 1983. p. 13. "What else is the refusal to believe absolution but the accusation that God is a liar? If the heart doubts, it maintains that God's promsises are uncertain and inane. (Apol. XIII, 62) Rick Nicholas Curia, The Significant History of the Doctrine of Objective or Universal Justification, Alpine, California: California Pastoral Conference, WELS. January 24-25, 1983. p. 13. "It is God's command and the Gospel itself that they should be sure that their sins are forgiven freely for Christ's sake, not doubting that they are forgiven them personally. If anyone doubts, he makes the divine promise a lie. (Apol. XIII, 88) Rick Nicholas Curia, The Significant History of the Doctrine of Objective or Universal Justification, Alpine, California: California Pastoral Conference, WELS. January 24-25, 1983. p. 13.
"Here the panel feels itself compelled to distinguish between form and content. While the form of the Four Statements is inadequate, the doctrine of objective justification it grapples with is Scriptural. The Four Statements have served to show that there is a doctrinal difference between Faith Congregation and the appellants." Report of the WELS Review Committee, Hartman, Pohlman Appeal, June 30, 1980. Rick Nicholas Curia, The Significant History of the Doctrine of Objective or Universal Justification, Alpine, California: California Pastoral Conference, WELS. January 24-25, 1983. p. 133.
"If anybody, therefore, is not sure that he is forgiven, he denies that God has sworn to the truth; a more horrible blasphemy than this cannot be imagined." (Apol. XIII, 94) Rick Nicholas Curia, The Significant History of the Doctrine of Objective or Universal Justification, Alpine, California: California Pastoral Conference, WELS. January 24-25, 1983. p. 14. "In answer to a question, Walther made it clear that we are not to absolve those we know will refuse to believe the good news absolution proclaims, but only because this would be a misuse of the Gospel, 'and not for some other reason, as if the Word would not be bringing forgiveness if it is spoken over an impenitent.'" Rick Nicholas Curia, The Significant History of the Doctrine of Objective or Universal Justification, Alpine, California: California Pastoral Conference, WELS. January 24-25, 1983. p. 14.
"The fact of the redemption and reconciliation of the entire human race through Christ, and with it the forgiveness of all sins for all men on God's part--which, indeed, is precisely what the Gospel proclaims, presents and gives--can by no means become a lie through the unbelief of men...even when the unbelievers don't receive it, but reject it for themselves and for this reason--indeed, for this reason alone--are lost." Walther's colleague, Theodore Brohm, 1808-1881 Rick Nicholas Curia, The Significant History of the Doctrine of Objective or Universal Justification, Alpine, California: California Pastoral Conference, WELS. January 24-25, 1983. p. 16.
"The teaching of the Wisconsin Synod is this, that in and with the universal reconciliation, which has occurred in Christ for the whole world--even Judas; the world--even Judas--has been justified and has received the forgiveness of sin. Therefore, according to Luther's clear words ("for where there is forgiveness of sins, there is also life and salvation"), (even Judas) has become a child of God and an heir of heaven." Quotation from Gottfried Fritschel, "Zur Lehre von der Rechtfertigung," Theologische Monatshefte, vol 4, 1871, (1-24), p. 7. Rick Nicholas Curia, The Significant History of the Doctrine of Objective or Universal Justification, Alpine, California: California Pastoral Conference, WELS. January 24-25, 1983. p. 2. Does Curia mean Wisconsin or the Norwegian Synod?
"The chief differences between the contestants [Norwegians and Augustana] seems to have been in the essence rather than in the effect of Absolution. Both agreed that the Gospel offered the forgiveness of sins, but the one side held that it was given only tho those who in faith received it, while the other side said that it was given also to unbelievers, though they did not accept it. Both agreed that unbelievers received no benefit from such an absolution." J. Magnus Rohne, Norwegian Lutheranism up to 1872, New York, Macmillan, p. 231. Rick Nicholas Curia, The Significant History of the Doctrine of Objective or Universal Justification, Alpine, California: California Pastoral Conference, WELS. January 24-25, 1983. p. 20.
"So, then, we are reconciled; however, not only we, but also Hindus, and Hottentots and Kafirs, yes, the world. 'Reconciled', says our translation; the Greek original says: 'placed in the right relation to God'. Because before the Fall we, together with the whole creation, were in the right relation to God, therefore Scripture teaches that Christ, through His death, restored all things to the former right relation to God." F. R. Eduard Preuss, 1834-1904, Die Rechtfertigung der Suender vor Gott. Rick Nicholas Curia, The Significant History of the Doctrine of Objective or Universal Justification, Alpine, California: California Pastoral Conference, WELS. January 24-25, 1983. p. 24.
"Nowhere in the bible is any man constituted or declared righteous without faith, before faith; all asservations and argumentations to the contrary nothwithstanding." Lenski, Romans, p. 382? Rick Nicholas Curia, The Significant History of the Doctrine of Objective or Universal Justification, Alpine, California: California Pastoral Conference, WELS. January 24-25, 1983. p. 86.
"When a man does not repent, he cannot rightly excuse himself with this that he was incapable of doing so. For it is God's gracious will to remove this hindrance, as well as everything which hinders a man's conversion. The cause is only that the man himself would not. Matthew 21:32; 22:4; Psalm 95:8; Isaiah 55:6-7; Acts 7:51; Isaiah 65:2." [Section II, Thesis 18] U. V. Koren, 1884, "An Accounting," Grace for Grace: Brief History of the Norwegian Synod, ed., Sigurd C. Ylvisaker, Mankato: Lutheran Synod Book Company, 1943, p. Isaiah 55:6-7, 65:2; Matthew 21:32; 22:4; Psalm 95:8; Acts 7:51.
"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.
"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.
"The second argument is that 'God desires all men to be saved' (1 Timothy 2:4), and He gave His Son for us men and created man for eternal life. Likewise: All things exist for man, and he himself exists for God that he may enjoy Him, etc. These points and others like them can be refuted as easily as the first one. For these verses must always be understood as pertaining to the elect only, as the apostle says in 2 Timothy 2:10 'everything for the sake of the elect.' For in an absolute sense Christ did not die for all, because He says: 'This is My blood which is poured out for you' and 'for many'--He does not say: for all--'for the forgiveness of sins.' (Mark 14:24; Matthew 26:28) Martin Luther, Luther's Works, 25 p. 375. 2 Timothy 2:10; 1 Timothy 2:4; Mark 14:24; Matthew 26:28
"In like manner Moses must precede and teach people to feel their sins in order that grace may be sweet and welcome to them. Therefore all is in vain, however friendly and lovely Christ may be pictured, if man is not first humbled by a knowledge of himself and he possesses no longing for Christ, as Mary's Song says, 'The hungry he hath filled with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away,' Luke 1:53."
Martin Luther, Sermons of Martin Luther, ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, II, p. 149. Matthew 15:21-28; Luke 1:53
"The apostle says 'our,' 'our sins;' not his own sin, not the sins of unbelievers. Purification is not for, and cannot profit, him who does not believe. Nor did Christ effect the cleansing by our free-will, our reason or power, our works, our contrition or repentance, these all being worthless in the sight of God; he effects it by himself. And how? By taking our sins upon himself on the holy cross, as Isaiah 53:6 tells us." Martin Luther, Sermons of Martin Luther, ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, VI, p. 180. Hebrews 1:1-12; Hebrews 1:3;
"Christ is speaking here not of the word of the law, but of the Gospel, which is a discourse about Christ, who died for our sins, etc. For God did not wish to impart Christ to the world in any other way; he had to embody him in the Word and thus distributed him, and present him to everybody; otherwise Christ would have existed for himself alone and remained unknown to us; he would have thus died for himself. But since the Word places before us Christ, it thus places us before Him who has triumphed over death, sin, and Satan. Therefore, he who grasps and retains Christ, has thus also eternal deliverance from death. Consequently it is a Word of life, and it is true, that whoever keeps the Word shall never see death." Martin Luther, Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, II, p. 177. John 8:46-59.
"To this incline your ears, and be persuaded that God speaks through men and forgives you your sins; this, of course, requires faith." Martin Luther, Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed. John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983 II, p. 200. "If I do not believe it, I will not receive its benefits; but that neither renders it false nor proves that anything is lacking in Christ." Martin Luther, Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, II, p. 258. Mark 16:1-8.
"It is a faithful saying that Christ has accomplished everything, has removed sin and overcome every enemy, so that through Him we are lords over all things. But the treasure lies yet in one pile; it is not yet distributed nor invested. Consequently, if we are to possess it, the Holy Spirit must come and teach our hearts to believe and say: I, too, am one of those who are to have this treasure. When we feel that God has thus helped us and given the treasure to us, everything goes well, and it cannot be otherwise than that man's heart rejoices in God and lifts itself up, saying: Dear Father, if it is Thy will to show toward me such great love and faithfulness, which I cannot fully fathom, then will I also love Thee with all my heart and be joyful, and cheerfully do what pleases Thee. Thus, the heart does not now look at God with evil eyes, does not imagine He will cast us into hell, as it did before the HS came...." Martin Luther, Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, III, p. 279. John 14:23-31.
"All who are born into the world of man and woman are sinful under God's anger and curse, condemned to death. For all are conceived and born in sin as Scripture testifies (Psalm 51:5): 'Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.'" Martin Luther, Sermons of Martin Luther, The House Postils, 3 vols., ed., Eugene Klug, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1996, II, p. 26. Luke 24:13-35; Psalm 51:5
"The 'rod of His mouth' signifies the spoken Word or the Gospel, which proceeds from the mouth of all whose teaching is pure. It is not inefficacious; it bears fruit; it justifies the godly and destroys the ungodly." [Footnote F. Pieper, Dogmatics, Word of God has twofold effect. It illumines and blinds. I, p. 125.] Martin Luther, What Luther Says, An Anthology, 3 vols., ed. Ewald M. Plass St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1959, III, p. 1469. Isaiah 11:4
"Christ did indeed suffer for the whole world; but how many are there who believe and cherish this fact? Therefore, although the work of redemption itself has been accomplished, it still cannot help and benefit a man unless he believes it and experiences its saving power in his heart." Martin Luther, What Luther Says, An Anthology, 3 vols., ed., Ewald Plass, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1959, II, p. 705f.
"Objectively speaking, without any reference to an individual sinner's attitude toward Christ's sacrifice, purely on the basis of God's verdict, every sinner, whether he knows about it or not, whether he believes it or not, has received the status of a saint. What will be his reaction when he is informed about this turn of events? Will he accept, or will he decline?" J. P. Meyer, Ministers of Christ, A Commentary on the Second Epistle of Paul to the Corinthians, Milwaukee: Northwestern Publishing House, 1963, p. 103f. 2 Corinthians 5:18-21
"Before Christ's intervention took place God regarded him as a guilt-laden, condemned culprit. After Christ's intervention and through Christ's intervention He regards him as a guilt-free saint." J. P. Meyer, Ministers of Christ, A Commentary on the Second Epistle of Paul to the Corinthians, Milwaukee: Northwestern Publishing House, 1963, p. 107. 2 Corinthians 5:18-21
"This applies to the whole world, to every individual sinner, whether he was living in the days of Christ, or had died centuries before His coming, or had not yet been born, perhaps has not been born to this day. It applies to the world as such, regardless of whether a particular sinner ever comes to faith or not." J. P. Meyer, Ministers of Christ, A Commentary on the Second Epistle of Paul to the Corinthians, Milwaukee: Northwestern Publishing House, 1963, p. 109. 2 Corinthians 5:18-21
"The administration of the katallage is carried out by means of the Word. The Word is made the vehicle for conveying and applying the katallage to the world. There is no other way of administering it...It is the Word which God established through which the katallage is brought to us and through which we bring it to the world." J. P. Meyer, Ministers of Christ, A Commentary on the Second Epistle of Paul to the Corinthians, Milwaukee: Northwestern Publishing House, 1963, p. 110f. 2 Corinthians 5:18-21
[Translation of Gottfried Fritschel article on Justification] ed., Thedore Tappert, Lutheran Confessional Theology in America, 1840-1880, New York: Oxford University Press, 1972,
"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.
"Now, that faith signifies, not only a knowledge of the history, but such faith as assents to the promise, Paul plainly testifies when says, Romans 4:16: 'Therefore it is of faith, to the end the promise might be sure.' For he judges that the promise cannot be received unless by faith. Wherefore he puts them together as things that belong to one another, and connects promise and faith."
Apology of the Augsburg Confession, Article IV, Justification, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 135. Romans 4:16.
"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.
"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.
"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.
"The third controversy which has arisen among some theologians of the Augsburg Confession is concerning the righteousness of Christ or of faith, which God imputes by grace, through faith, to poor sinners for righteousness." Formula of Concord, Thorough Declaration, III. 1 Righteousness Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 917. "...it has been unanimously taught by the other teachers of the Augsburg Confession that Christ is our righteousness not according to His divine nature alone, nor according to His human nature alone, but according to both natures; for He has redeemed, justified, and saved us from our sins as God and man, through His complete obedience; that therefore the righteousness of faith is the forgiveness of sins, reconciliation with God, and our adoption as God's children only on account of the obedience of Christ, which through faith alone, out of pure grace, is imputed for righteousness to all true believers, and on account of it they are absolved from all their unrighteousness." Formula of Concord, Thorough Declaration, III. 4 Righteousness Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 917.
"If this only article remains pure on the battlefield, the Christian Church also remains pure, and in goodly harmony and without any sects; but if it does not remain pure, it is not possible that any error or fanatical spirit can be resisted." Dr. Luther Formula of Concord, Thorough Declaration, III. 4 Righteousness Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 917. "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.
"Therefore it is considered and understood to be the same thing when Paul says that we are justified by faith, Romans 3:28, or that faith is counted to us for righteousness, Romans 4:5, and when he says that we are made righteous by the obedience of One, Romans 5:19, or that by the righteousness of One justification of faith comes to all men, Romans 5:18. For faith justifies, not for this cause and reason that it is so good a work and so fair a virtue, but because it lays hold of and accepts the merit of Christ in the promise of the holy Gospel; for this must be applied and appropriated to us by faith, if we are to be justified thereby." Formula of Concord, Thorough Declaration, III 12 Righteousness Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 919. Romans 4:5; Romans 3:28; Romans 5:19
"Accordingly, the word justify here means to declare righteous and free from sins, and to absolve one from eternal punishment for the sake of Christ's righteousness, which is imputed by God to faith, Philippians 3:9. For this use and understanding of this word is common in the Holy Scriptures of the Old and the New Testament. Proverbs 17:15: He that justifieth the wicked, and he that condemneth the just, even they both are abomination to the Lord. Isaiah 5:23: Woe unto them which justify the wicked for reward, and take away the righteousness of the righteous from him! Romans 8:33: Who shall lay anything to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth, that is, absolves from sins and acquits." Formula of Concord, Thorough Declaration, III 17 Righteousness Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 921 Philippians 3:9; Proverbs 17:15; Isaiah 5:23; Romans 8:33
"This righteousness is offered us by the Holy Ghost through the Gospel and in the Sacraments, and is applied, appropriated, and received through faith, whence believers have reconciliation with God, forgiveness of sins, the grace of God, sonship, and heirship of eternal life." Formula of Concord, Thorough Declaration, III 16 Righteousness Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 921. "For when man is justified through faith [which the Holy Ghost alone works], this is truly a regeneration, because from a child of wrath he becomes a child of God, and thus is transferred from death to life, as it is written; When we were dead in sins, He hath quickened us together with Christ, Ephesians 2:5. Likewise: The just shall live by faith, Romans 1:17; Habakkuk 2:4." Formula of Concord, Thorough Declaration, III 20 Righteousness Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 921.
"Moreover, neither contrition nor love or any other virtue, but faith alone is the sole means and instrument by which and through which we can receive and accept the grace of God, the merit of Christ, and the forgiveness of sins, which are offered to us in the promise of the Gospel." Formula of Concord, Thorough Declaration, III 31 Righteousness Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 925. "Here belongs also what St. Paul writes Romans 4:3, that Abraham was justified before God by faith alone, for the sake of the Mediator, without the cooperation of his works, not only when he was first converted from idolatry and had no good works, but also afterwards, when he had been renewed by the Holy Ghost, and adorned with many excellent good works, Genesis 15:6; Hebrews 11:8. And Paul puts the following questions, Romans 4:1ff.: On what did Abraham's righteousness before God for everlasting life, by which he had a gracious God, and was pleasing and acceptable to Him, rest at that time? Formula of Concord, Thorough Declaration, III 33 Righteousness Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 927. Romans 4:3; Romans 4:1ff; Genesis 15:6; Hebrews 11:8
"For good works do not precede faith, neither does sanctification precede justification. But first faith is kindled in us in conversion by the Holy Ghost from the hearing of the Gospel.This lays hold of God's grace in Christ, by which the person is justified. Then, when the person is justified, he is also renewed and sanctified by the Holy Ghost, from which renewal and sanctification the fruits of good works then follow." Formula of Concord, Thorough Declaration, III 41 Righteousness Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 929,
"If remission of sins without repentance is preached, the people imagine that they have already forgiveness of sins, and thereby they are made secure and unconcerned. This is a greater error and sin than all error of former times, and it is verily to be feared that we are in that danger which Christ points out when He says, Matthew 12:45: 'The last state of that man shall be worse than the first.'" C. F. W. Walther, The Proper Distinction Between Law and Gospel, trans., W. H. T. Dau, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1928, p. 123. Matthew 12:45.
"Christ's Glorious Resurrection from the Dead the Actual Absolution of the Entire Sinful World Here I would point out two things: 1. That This Is Certain And True, and 2. That Therefore Every Man Who Wants To Be Saved Must By Faith Accept This General Absolution As Applying Also To Him," C. F. W. Walther, The Word of His Grace, Sermon Selections, "Christ's Resurrection--The World's Absolution" Lake Mills: Graphic Publishing Company, 1978 J-5 p. 230. Mark 16:1-8 "For God has already forgiven you your sins 1800 years ago when He in Christ absolved all men by raising Him after He first had gone into bitter death for them. Only one thing remains on your part so that you also possess the gift. This one thing is--faith. And this brings me to the second part of today's Easter message, in which I now would show you that every man who wants to be saved must accept by faith the general absolution, pronounced 1800 years ago, as an absolution spoken individually to him." C. F. W. Walther, The Word of His Grace, Sermon Selections, "Christ's Resurrection--The World's Absolution" Lake Mills: Graphic Publishing Company, 1978 J-5 p. 233. Mark 16:1-8
"Objectively speaking, without any reference to an individual sinner's attitude toward Christ's sacrifice, purely on the basis of God's verdict, every sinner, whether he knows it or not, whether he believes it or not, has received the status of saint." (J. P. Meyer, Ministers of Christ, p. 103) WELS, Kokomo Four Statements, 1979. 001
"After Christ's intervention and through Christ's intervention God regards all sinners as guilt-free saints." (J. P. Meyer, Ministers of Christ, p. 107) WELS, Kokomo Four Statements, 1979. 002
"When God reconciled the world to Himself through Christ, He individually pronounced forgiveness to each individual sinner whether that sinner ever comes to faith or not." (J. P. Meyer, Ministers of Christ, p. 109) WELS, Kokomo Four Statements, 1979. 003 "At the time of the resurrection of Christ, God looked down in hell and declared; Judas, the people destroyed in the flood, and all the ungodly, innocent, not guilty, and forgiven of all sin and gave unto them the status of saints." (Pastor Charles Papenfuss) WELS, Kokomo Four Statements, 1979. 004

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