Saturday, January 10, 2009

The First Sunday after Epiphany

Rose, by Norma Boeckler

The First Sunday after the Epiphany

Pastor Gregory L. Jackson

Bethany Lutheran Worship, 8 AM Phoenix Time

The Hymn # 277 Vox delecti
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 Romans 12:1-5
The Gospel Luke 2:41-52
Glory be to Thee, O Lord!
Praise be to Thee, O Christ!
The Nicene Creed p. 22
The Sermon Hymn # 657 Schoenster Her Jesus

Objective Truth of the Gospel

The Hymn #130 Valet will ich dir geben
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 #40 Yigdal

KJV Romans 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. 3 For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith. 4 For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: 5 So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.

KJV Luke 2:41 Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the passover. 42 And when he was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem after the custom of the feast. 43 And when they had fulfilled the days, as they returned, the child Jesus tarried behind in Jerusalem; and Joseph and his mother knew not of it. 44 But they, supposing him to have been in the company, went a day's journey; and they sought him among their kinsfolk and acquaintance. 45 And when they found him not, they turned back again to Jerusalem, seeking him. 46 And it came to pass, that after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions. 47 And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers. 48 And when they saw him, they were amazed: and his mother said unto him, Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing. 49 And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business? 50 And they understood not the saying which he spake unto them. 51 And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them: but his mother kept all these sayings in her heart. 52 And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.

First Sunday After Epiphany
Lord God, heavenly Father, who in mercy hast established the Christian home among us: We beseech Thee so to rule and direct our hearts, that we may be good examples to children and servants, and not offend them by word or deed, but faithfully teach them to love Thy Church and hear Thy blessed word. Give them Thy Spirit and grace, that this seed may bring forth good fruit, so that our homelife may conduce to Thy glory, honor and praise, to our own improvement and welfare, and give offense to no one; through the same, Thy beloved Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, one true God, world without end. Amen.

Objective Truth of the Gospel

In this Gospel we see that Joseph and Mary were unable to comprehend the Child they raised, even though they knew about His divine origin and unique virgin birth. Secondly, this Gospel silences anyone who wonders why God did not convert the Jewish religious leaders. There stood Jesus in their midst, showing His amazing superiority at an early age. They had every opportunity to believe in Him, starting at that time, but also later, when He revealed Himself through His teaching and miracles.

Throughout Epiphany we have lessons that emphasize the revelation of Jesus to the entire world. This one is especially intriguing. As Paul asked in Romans, “What advantage does the Jew have?” The advantage is knowledge of the Scriptures. Every faithful Jew is raised with a knowledge of Hebrew, a cycle of readings, and access to what we call the Old Testament. The Hebrew name is literally Torah, Prophets, Readings. I think it is exciting to think of these elderly scholars, with an incredible knowledge of the Scriptures, listening to Jesus with awe.

It’s important to understand how this works. Jesus was not found until the third day, so we can assume He was at the Temple the entire time. In addition, His role was not to stand there and lecture the Jewish leaders. Sometimes we see paintings of Jesus standing in front of the leaders, His arm raised, as if He were delivering a solemn address. The Jewish tradition encourages younger people to ask difficult questions of the learned. So the text tells us that Jesus was listening and asking questions. Obviously, the questions revealed how much He understood.

I may have mentioned that in Columbus we had a family visit on a regular basis. The father was a pioneer in military jets. The mother was brilliant. The children radiated intelligence. The oldest son went to the U. of Chicago and earned a Ph.D. in economics. The children loved to ask difficult questions, and their questions not only gave away their understanding of the Christian faith, but also what was being discussed in the adult class. We only guess that Jesus in the Temple was 10 times as perceptive. Everyone was astonished at His understanding and answers, for surely the teachers began asking Him questions as well.

People can sense when someone has an unusual amount of knowledge. There will always be fakes and pretenders, but still people know real authority. Nothing has more authority than the Word itself. Jesus was and is the Word of God in the flesh. When He spoke, He taught with authority, not the authority of the scribes and Pharisees, but the authority of God.

This happens today as well. The Word of God has its own authority. The whole world can preach against the Word, and it does, but people still believe the Word and consider the Scriptures infallible. From time to time I heard people tell me that the minister would attack the Bible in the pulpit. More than one person said, “Why go to church to hear the minister preach against the Bible and say it is full of errors?” Most people do not get involved in all the historical data confirming the truth of the Bible, and it’s just as well. Too many get involving in an outward proof that depends upon a certain discovery, such as Noah’s Ark or the ark of the covenant. I saw a television show where Pat Robertson seemed to be claiming that they just found the ark of the covenant. They must have been wrong, because the story died away.

I have no question about the historical and geographical accuracy of the Bible. If anything, I am surprised that any liberal can open his mouth, considering what we have learned in the last century. Obviously few of them have studied these discoveries. But I doubt whether the guestbook from the Temple, signed by Jesus, would convince them. They would say, “That is interesting, but it does not prove Jesus walked on the water.”

On the other hand, a believer, someone converted by the Word, cannot be dissuaded by the arguments of man. Why? Because he knows that the Word of God pierces his heart with the Law. No matter what any fool might say about the Bible and the Christian faith, the Law reveals us for what we are. It can be so dramatic that people will burst into tears, as one group of prisoners did once when I simply quoted the Bible to show how we are all sinners. The individual knows that the Word of God has done this, not an effort by a human, but through the power of the Holy Spirit alone. Individuals know this because of their own resistance. There are only two causes of conversion: the Holy Spirit and the Word. The Bible does not recognize “a willing heart” or “a receptive person” as a third cause.

How receptive was Paul on the road to Damascus, persecuting the Christian faith? How receptive was Grace Fuller, spouting her Unitarian blather (her conversion by the Word alone is quoted verbatim in Thy Strong Word)? How ready was Augustine, who willfully resisted the Christian faith of his mother Monica? How ready was John Newton, a hated member of a crew doing hateful business, hauling slaves from Africa? Look at how we diminish the power of God when we make man or the human will a cause of conversion.

"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."
J. Elwin Wright, The Old Fashioned Revival Hour and the Broadcasters, Boston: The Fellowship Press, 1940, p. 54.

As Grace Fuller realized, the proclaimed Word has the power to slay the elegant doubts of Unitarianism and to energize faith in the Gospel in an instant. Therefore, believers have an abundant witness in the Scriptures about the power, clarity, and effectiveness of the Word, but they also have the added benefit of experiencing the energy of the Law and Gospel, which work together to kill the dead old skeptical sinner and to create a new man who loves God and wants to serve Him. The Old Adam remains, but the leaven of the Gospel continues to work in those who hear the Word.

1.12 Conversion of St. Augustine,
Thy Strong Word

People think of St. Augustine (354-430) as a religious leader of the distant past, but he was once a famous, hedonistic pagan. His mother Monica gave him Christian instruction as a child and prayed for his conversion to the faith. Augustine’s unique intellectual gifts made him a powerful intellectual leader and the finest orator at a time when rhetoric was the pathway to fame. He was so brilliant that he felt the Scriptures were beneath him. In addition, Christianity was one of many religions of his day and not very successful in the marketplace of ideas. Monica never ceased her prayers. Another burden in her life was an unbelieving husband. One day, as Augustine felt the weight of his sins, he was overwhelmed with a sense of contrition. Weeping under a fig tree, he heard a child’s voice sing out a Latin song, “Tolle, lege. Take and read.” The song had no religious content, but Augustine felt compelled to pick up the Scriptures where he read the damning words of the Law and the comfort of the Gospel:

KJV Romans 13:13 Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying.

J-131, Thy Strong Word
Augustine wrote: “I wanted to read no further, nor did I need to. For instantly, as the sentence ended, there was infused in my heart something like the light of full certainty and all the gloom of doubt vanished away.” Augustine then went to tell his mother Monica, who “leaped for joy triumphant, and she blessed Thee, Who art ‘able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think.’” (Ephesians 3:20) [24]
Monica prayed to have a believing son, but God gave her something she never imagined, a son who became one of the greatest of all teachers of Christianity. Augustine became a bishop and served the African church, writing such classics of the faith as his Confessions and The City of God. It is impossible to study Christian thought apart from Augustine or find a topic he did not write about, using the gifts abundantly given him by God. At the last bookstore I visited, not long ago, I saw a well known highly respected biography of Augustine in paperback, a testimony to the kind and loving Father Who blessed Monica far beyond her ability to think or ask. That power gave her, like many heart-broken mothers afterwards, the faith to pray, the hope to find comfort in waiting, and the patience to wait for the effectual working of the Triune God, who can use a child and a secular song to fashion a bishop and theologian out of a rogue.

J-131, Thy Strong Word
"In like manner, St. Paul says that God's ability is thus proved, in that He does exceeding abundantly above and better than we ask or think. Ephesians 3:20. Therefore, we should know we are too finite to be able to name, picture or designate the time, place, way, measure and other circumstances for that which we ask of God. Let us leave that entirely to Him, and immovably and steadfastly believe that He will hear us." [25]
Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, III, p.179f.

J-132, Thy Strong Word
"A very fine example of the power of prayer is provided by Monica, the mother of St. Augustine. She asked for nothing in her prayer for her son except that he might be liberated from the madness of the Manichaeans [pagans] and be baptized...But the more she prayed, the more stiff-necked and stubborn the son became, and her prayer seemed to her to have become a sin. But when the time for hearing her solicitous prayer had come (for God usually defers His help), Augustine is not only converted and baptized but devotes himself entirely to the study of theology and turns out to be such a teacher that he shines in the church to this day, teaching and instructing the church. Monica had never asked for this. It would have been enough for her if her son had been freed from error and had turned Christian. But God wants to give us greater blessings than we can ask for, as long as we do not weaken in our prayer."
What Luther Says, An Anthology, 3 vols., ed., Ewald M. Plass, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1959 II, p. 1094. Genesis 17:19-22.

When we consider Jesus in the Temple, we should not assume that everyone who heard Him rejected Him. It is likely that we have vignettes from the life of Jesus to show us why the Gospel was a powerful force in Israel. After all, the persecution of the church did not happen because it was harmless and ineffective, but precisely because it was uprooting sclerotic Judaism and converting Jews to the Christian faith. Paul, before his conversion, was eager to have Christians arrested. The apostles preached in synagogues until they were expelled. When the truth becomes apparent to people, the enemies of the truth must silence the Word by killing, persecuting, jailing, and expelling. Nevertheless, key leaders became believers.

KJV John 19:38 And after this Joseph of Arimathaea, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews, besought Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus: and Pilate gave him leave. He came therefore, and took the body of Jesus.

KJV John 3:1 There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: 2 The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.

Should we think that the initial listening and questioning by Jesus in the Temple had no effect? When Jesus spoke, God incarnate spoke. When He converted key leaders through the Word, they converted others through the Word. The Word is not as sharp as the sharpest sword, but sharper than any double-edged sword.

KJV Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. 13 Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.

The Word is sharp and powerful in discerning and powerful in comfort, as the subsequent verses show.

KJV Hebrews 4:14 Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. 15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

So we can see that Jesus conducted His public ministry for the very purpose of revealing the comfort of the Gospel to all people. Who would aid the Roman government in killing Him? Jesus spoke with them, the Jewish religious leaders, for days in the Temple? That was “His Father’s business.” By this we know that there is no comparison between our thoughts and God’s thoughts, our ways and God’s ways. God provided the Gospel in the flesh for those who were in a position to crucify Christ. Many were justified by faith. Many more were condemned to eternal death and punishment for their unbelief.

And we can consider this wonderful story, the only one about the youth of Jesus, and think, “All this happened for me.” The very fact that we are hearing the Gospel means that God has provided the means to give us His Word. He sent the prophets and the apostles and most of all, His beloved only-begotten Son. The Gospel has been sent out to the entire world, but in particular to individuals.

The Gospel moves forward in positive ways, through people God has sent and trained through the Word. But it also moves ahead because of afflictions, disruptions, persecutions, splits, and controversies. Many people have been shocked to find themselves expelled or excommunicated for believing the Word, but the warnings began clearly enough in the Gospel of John.

KJV John 16:2 They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service. 3 And these things will they do unto you, because they have not known the Father, nor me.

It is difficult at the moment to see these events as good, but they are God’s will, or at least within the control of God. He limits the evil that people can do and also turns evil into good. Some people miss the ease and comfort of the large congregation, when they form a tiny, independent congregation. No money, no furniture, no hymnals, no candles, no Sunday School materials, no building (usually) or too much building. But look at this contrast: in a large congregation an inordinate amount of time is spent running the organization, and secular concerns often dominate the agenda. In an independent congregation, organization strength is missed, but endless meetings are not. Very little time is spent in an established congregation on spiritual matters.

That also happens in denominations. When I was in the LCA, we never had parish pastors giving papers. The bishop would give a talk, very unprepared. National church leaders, sometimes called The Wisemen From the East, would lead sessions. One man had a huge division and an enormous budget – all the American missions plus most of the social activism efforts. Someone noted on a napkin: “The greater the height, the larger the view of the speaker and the shallower the content.” The man was so vain he put on glasses to write on a board and took them off in facing the group. In contrast, when pastors are forced to give papers, they have to study a topic and at least one person learns something. If he does a good job, someone else learns something. If he is orthodox or not, something worthwhile is accomplished, if people are discerning about the Word. If not, they are damned for their unbelief and participate in the spread of false doctrine.

But the greatest testimony to the power of the Gospel is this. Although many books have the power to judge us and condemn us for our actions, our sinful nature, only the Gospel has the power to comfort us through the forgiveness of sins. This is the very purpose of the Christian Church, to show sinners that their Savior has paid for their sins on the cross and risen from the dead. No one, no matter how religious or moral he might be, is anything more than a lost sinner without Christ. No one can ever be comforted apart from the Gospel. We live in a troubled world because people want forgiveness but only receive more Law – commands, demands, and judgment.

Someone may say, “But I don’t feel forgiven.” That is all the more reason for hearing the Gospel and clinging to it. If someone is tortured by regret, the Gospel promises must penetrate the regret with the constant message of true and genuine forgiveness through Christ. If someone has grown up with nothing but the Law, this is difficult to grasp. In fact, for all of us, our weak faith is always in need of God’s love to strengthen the trust He plants in our hearts. Complete and full forgiveness, through God’s grace alone, received in faith, goes against our human pattern of thought. We cannot imagine taking on the sins of the world and dying for sinners. Because we cannot imagine it, God reveals it as truth and proclaims it in hundreds of ways through the Scriptures and the Sacraments.

Forgiveness in the Book of Concord
Megatron Database

"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."
Apology Augsburg Confession, III. #11. Love Fulfilling of Law. Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 159. Tappert, p. 125. Heiser, p. 42.

"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]
Apology Augsburg Confession, XIII,#3. Number/Use Sacraments. Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 309. Tappert, p. 211. Heiser, p. 94.

"Also they teach that men cannot be justified before God by their own strength, merits, or works, but are freely justified for Christ's sake, through faith, when they believe that they are received into favor, and that their sins are forgiven for Christ's sake, who, by His death, has made satisfaction for our sins. This faith God imputes for righteousness is His sight. Romans 3 and 4."
Augsburg Confession, IV. Justification. Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 45. Tappert, p. 30. Heiser, p. 12f. Romans 3; Romans 4

"Of Repentance they teach that for those who have fallen after Baptism there is remission of sins whenever they are converted; and that the Church ought to impart absolution to those thus returning to repentance. Now, repentance consists properly of these two parts: One is contrition, that is, terrors smiting the conscience through the knowledge of sin; the other is faith, which is born of the Gospel, or of absolution, and believes that, for Christ's sake, sins are forgiven, comforts the conscience, and delivers it from terrors. Then good works are bound to follow, which are the fruits of repentance."
Augsburg Confession, Article XII. Repentance. Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 49. Tappert, p. 34f. Heiser, p. 13.

"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. Tappert, p. 418. Heiser, p. 195.

"We further believe that in this Christian Church we have forgiveness of sin, which is wrought through the holy Sacraments and Absolution, moreover, through all manner of consolatory promises of the entire Gospel. Therefore, whatever is to be preached, concerning the Sacraments belongs here, and in short, the whole Gospel and all the offices of Christianity, which also must be preached and taught without ceasing. For although the grace of God is secured through Christ, and sanctification is wrought by the Holy Ghost through the Word of God in the unity of the Christian Church, yet on account of our flesh which we bear about with us we are never without sin."
The Large Catechism, The Creed, Article III. #54. Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 693. Tappert, p. 417. Heiser, p. 195.

"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, uninterrupted] 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. Tappert, p. 418. Heiser, p. 195.

"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. Tappert, p. 418. Heiser, p. 196.

"Behold, all this is to be the office and work of the Holy Ghost, that He begin and daily increase holiness upon earth by means of these two things, the Christian Church and the forgiveness of sin. But in our dissolution He will accomplish it altogether in an instant, and will forever preserve us therein by the last two parts."
The Large Catechism, The Creed, Article III. #59. Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 693f. Tappert, p. 418. Heiser, p. 196.

"Therefore we believe in Him who through the Word daily brings us into the fellowship of this Christian Church, and through the same Word and the forgiveness of sins bestows, increases, and strengthens faith, in order that when He has accomplished it all, and we abide therein, and die to the world and to all evil, He may finally make us perfectly and forever holy; which now we expect in faith through the Word."
The Large Catechism, The Creed, Article III. #62. Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 695. Tappert, p. 419. Heiser, p. 196.

"Therefore there is here again great need to call upon God and pray: Dear Father, forgive us our trespasses. Not as though He did not forgive sin without and even before our prayer (for He has given us the Gospel, in which is pure forgiveness before we prayed or ever thought about it). But this is to the intent that we may recognize and accept such forgiveness."
The Large Catechism, The Lord's Prayer, Fifth Petition, #88, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 723. Tappert, p. 432. Heiser, p. 202f. Matthew 6:12

"For this reason let every one esteem his Baptism as a daily dress in which he is to walk constantly, that he may ever be found in the faith and its fruits, that he suppress the old man and grow up in the new. For if we would be Christians, we must practise the work whereby we are Christians. But if any one fall away from it, let him again come into it. For just as Christ, the Mercy-seat, does not recede from us or forbid us to come to Him again, even though we sin, so all His treasure and gifts also remain. If, therefore, we have once in Baptism obtained forgiveness of sin, it will remain every day, as long as we live, that is, as long as we carry the old man about our neck."
The Large Catechism, Part Fourth, Of Baptism. #84-86. Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 753. Tappert, p. 446. Heiser, p. 209f.

"Therefore also it is vain talk when they say that the body and blood of Christ are not given and shed for us in the Lord's Supper, hence we could not have forgiveness of sins in the Sacrament. For although the work is accomplished and the forgiveness of sins acquired on the cross, yet it cannot come to us in any other way than through the Word. For what would we otherwise know about it, that such a thing was accomplished or was to be given us if it were not presented by preaching or the oral Word? Whence do they know of it, or how can they apprehend and appropriate to themselves the forgiveness, except they lay hold of and believe the Scriptures and the Gospel? But now the entire Gospel and the article of the Creed: I believe a holy Christian Church, the forgiveness of sin, etc., are by the Word embodied in this Sacrament and presented to us."
The Large Catechism, Sacrament of the Altar. #31-32. Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 759. Tappert, p. 450. Heiser, p. 211.

"For here in the Sacrament you are to receive from the lips of Christ forgiveness of sin, which contains and brings with it the grace of God and the Spirit with all His gifts, protection, shelter, and power against death and the devil and all misfortune."
The Large Catechism, Sacrament of the Altar. #70. Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 769. Tappert, p. 454. Heiser, p. 214.

" 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, SD, III. #4. Righteousness of Faith. Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 917. Tappert, p. 539f. Heiser, p. 250.

"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, SD, III 10, Righteous of Faith before God, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 919. Tappert, p. 541. Heiser, p. 250.

"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, SD III. #16. Righteousness of Faith. Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 921. Tappert, p. 541. Heiser, p. 251.

"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 us in the promise of the Gospel."
Formula of Concord, SD, III 31, Righteous of Faith before God, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 925. Tappert, p. 544. Heiser, p. 252.

"The other eating of the body of Christ is oral or sacramental, when the true, essential body and blood of Christ are also orally received and partaken of in the Holy Supper, by all who eat and drink the consecrated bread and wine in the Supper--by the believing as a certain pledge and assurance that their sins are surely forgiven them, and Christ dwells and is efficacious in them, but by the unbelieving for the judgment and condemnation, as the words of the institution by Christ expressly declare...."
Formula of Concord, SD, VII. #63. Holy Supper. Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House 1921, p. 995. Tappert, p. 581. Heiser, p. 270.

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