The Glory Has Departed

Lutheran book boxes sent to three African seminaries -
a third one has been sent now.

Norma Boeckler, Artist-in-Residence

The Lutheran Library Publishing Ministry

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

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

which works as 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

I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. 1 Timothy 2:1-4

Alec Satin, Lutheran Library Publishing Ministry

Laissez les bons livres rouler!

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Luther on Encouragement. Lutheran Library Publishing Ministry

 Norma A. Boeckler

Hence the Lord Jesus very properly concludes that the children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light. 

The fact is that the devil always has a hundred servants where the Lord has scarcely one. What can we do to effect a change for the better? Such a change we can not bring about, because the children of this world will take no counsel. But we may teach and continue to reprove, rebuke, and exhort with all long-suffering and doctrine, that some, if possible, may be delivered from the snares of the devil. 

We should endeavor also to arouse sleepy Christians, and to urge all to be more diligent in the performance of Christian duty and to persevere in well-doing, as the children of this world persevere in evil-doing. In these our efforts we should continue, because we are the children of light, no matter how difficult it is.

Luther, Martin. House Postil, or, Sermons on the Gospels for the Sundays and Principal Festivals of the Church Year, Volume III.
“Ninth Sunday After Trinity.”

From Your Unofficial Vatican Observer - The Pope and the Witches' Stang

Here is one of many articles on the pope's stang.

The pagan influence within the papacy was already established during the Reformation, and it certainly preceded Pope Francis, SJ, who is - confessedly - the worst ever modern pope.

A careful examination of the cross held by Francis shows that there is a head in the middle and an upraised arm, not exactly a stang, but not really a crucifix or anything else.

"Error loves ambiguities," a good saying to remember when dealing with UOJ minions, who will even say their world absolution helps and protects Justification by Faith. Certainly, just as a raging fire helps and protects a drought. Sure, if you say so and you. studied. Greek.

The non-cross with the snake figure on it, rises above the stage in the enormous audience hall, 1971.

Stepping back, we can see the reptilian figure more clearly.

 Farther back, we can see the papal audience hall is the inside of a serpent's head, complete with windows as eyes and fangs in the mouth. Did they teach Paul McCain and Jack Kilcrease the meaning of these symbols at convent school?
Many more pagan symbols can be found at St. Peter's, which should be viewed as a Halloween house of horrors rather than a church. They can be explained one way and countered with soothing words: "No really. Why are you saying that?"

 In another photo, the waiting priest seems to be thinking, "Get this over with!"

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Worth Reading Again - Lindee, Rambach, Webber, and Objective JustificationOr

The original post is here.

The upcoming Snore-a-Thon, called the Emmaus Conference, will feature Jay Webber promoting his "in Christ" flavor of Universal Objective Justification. All the flavors are toxic and remarkably similar, but there are two divergent and discordant paths they take.

One is making "It is finished" mean that the entire world was justified and saved--without faith--the moment Christ died on the cross.

The other is using 1 Timothy 3:16's "justified in the Spirit" mean that since Jesus was justified, the entire world was justified and saved "IN CHRIST" - without faith.

1 Tim 3:16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was 

  • manifest in the flesh, 
  • justified in the Spirit, 
  • seen of angels, 
  • preached unto the Gentiles, 
  • believed on in the world, 
  • received up into glory.
Thus Jay Webber rejected the Martin Chemnitz interpretation of this verse in favor of Rambach's, without mentioning that Rambach was a Halle Pietist known chiefly for writing several hymns in The Lutheran Hymnal.

Intrepid Lutherans, 2011 - 
Jay Webber Defending the Halle Pietist Rambach
Mr. Douglas Lindee said...

Rev. Webber,

I've been away from my desk for several hours now, and I notice that I have been addressed in several posts, above, but your last post is foremost on my mind at the moment. I am disappointed. Of course, none of us have ever heard of this theologian you quote with distinction, Johann Jacob Rambach, and use to discredit the orthodox theologian Martin Chemnitz in his exegesis of 1 Tim. 3:16. One of us Intrepids -- not me, not Rev's Rydecki or Spencer, but one of us who does a lot of work behind the scenes -- began feverishly researching this theologian, to find out who he is. You quote Rambach from Schmidt/Marquart, so perhaps you don't really know who he is, either. I assume, in all charity, that you don't.

What our fellow Intrepid found is that Rambach was a confessing Pietist. In fact, several essays from the WELS essay file identify and criticize him as such:

Pietism’s Teaching on Church and Ministry: As Evidenced in its Pastoral Practice
After Three Centuries - The Legacy of Pietism
Agreement on the Correct View of the Authority of Scripture as the Source of Doctrine: The Way to Unity in the Church
A Historical Survey and Brief Examination of the Hymnbooks Used Within the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod
The Confessional Lutheran Emigrations From Prussia And Saxony Around 1839

When I found out about this, I immediately pulled my copy of Loescher's Timotheus Verinus off the shelf, only to discover that Loescher really had nothing to say about the man. But when I pulled Schmid's History of Pietism down, and search for Rambach, I discovered that he was no ordinary Pietist. He was a Halle Pietist, and a close associate of Hermann August Franke. Schmid, on page 319, identifies Rambach as a Halle Pietist and compatriot of Franke, and credits Rambach for his accomplishments in the area of hermeneutics -- which is, no doubt, how it is that we find him prominently mentioned in F.S Schmidt's work. However, on page 320 Schmid qualifies his praise of such pietists, stating that their accomplishments are low compared to the harm caused by them: thee use of such accomplishments was for the purpose of discrediting orthodoxy. And here we are now, treated to the authoritative work of a German exegete of whom we were happily ignorant, who is marshaled for the purpose of discrediting Chemnitz and elevating UOJ, only to discover that this man was a bona fide Halle Pietist, and that he engaged his work, alongside that of Franke and other radical Pietists, to serve the design of toppling Lutheran orthodoxy.
You know, we at IL have been very careful, for the sake of fraternity, to avoid mention of his name or reference to his research on this subject. But the prominent use of a Halle Pietist, who produced his work at the pinnacle of the period of radical German Pietism, to discredit an orthodox theologian like Chemnitz and instead supporting the teaching of Universal Objective Justification, only proves Dr. Jackson's thesis: UOJ did emerge from Halle Pietism. I myself, up to this point, have been skeptical of this thesis, as my own extended and personal contact with confessing Pietists has had me convinced that they are not guilty of distinguishing Objective from Subjective aspects of Justification -- certainly not to the elevation of the Objective! -- as everything for them is Subjective. But rather, I had thought, they are guilty of separating (subjective) Justification from Conversion. You yourself have read Iver Olson's Baptism and Spiritual Life, and know precisely what I am referring to. To me, if there was anything to Dr. Jackson's connection of Halle to UOJ, it was in later Halle Rationalism. But now there can be no doubt. Rambach, a bona fide Halle Pietist, supplied the foundation necessary to topple formerly orthodox teaching on the matter of Justification.
David Jay Webber said...
I knew that Rambach was a pietist. I was not using his observations on this verse to discredit Chemnitz, but to supplement Chemnitz. His exegesis and reflections stand on their own, and should be evaluated on their own merits, regardless of what he might have said on other topics on other occasions. And it is also clear that on this topic in particular, he was not inventing a new pietist notion, but was recapitulating the orthodox teaching of the orthodox theologian Quistorp. Theologians with pietist leanings were not wrong in everything they said, especially when they were repeating the sound teaching of orthodox theologians of earlier times.


(February 20, 1885.)

One of the most important of the many doctrinal differences that were discussed during the first half of the eighteenth century between the so-called Pietists and the Orthodoxists was this: the Pietists — disciples, though not altogether faithful disciples, you know, of Spener, August Herman Francke, and John Jacob Rambach — held that any one unable to state the exact day and hour when he was converted and entered into grace was certainly not a true Christian and could be regarded as such neither by himself nor by others.

Quistorp - He is even more removed from Lutheran memory than Rambach. Here is what one expert said -
Unquestionably, Mueller, Quistorp, and Grossgebauer can all be counted among the piety movement initiated by Johannes Arndt in the early seventeenth century. All three stressed the practice of the Christian life over doctrinal matters. 
(Jonathan Strom, Orthodoxy and Reform: The Clergy in 17th Century Rostock, 1999, p. 244.)
Jay Webber, MDiv, uses "orthodox" twice for Quistorp, but Strom, a PhD from the University of Chicago says otherwise.
Most people would limit the Age of Lutheran Orthodoxy to the Concordists and some immediate successors, such as Gerhard, who worked with Chemnitz, and P. Leyser, who was an expert in justification and helped edit the Book of Concord. Leyser crushed Samuel Huber, the first UO Jay in Lutherdom.
Robert Preus' two-volume work shows that orthodoxy waned after the Lutheran Reformation and the Book of Concord (1580) era. This particular Jay Webber gambit seems to say, "I cannot find UOJ in the Scriptures, the Book of Concord, or the Concordists, so I will keep searching until I can find support at Halle University or cite someone so obscure that Google hardly knows his name.

Boycott the Emmaus Conference

The CORE Is So Hip They Have a Pagan Working on Their CoWO,
But They Are Real, Relevant, and Relational -
Even When They Take Staff To Court for Pastoral Wrong-Doing

 The CORE and Time of Grace are very hip.

The CORE’s Contemporary Worship technician gave a “lecture” at Luther Prep today. Someone there said he “spent five minutes talking about how he doesn't see God in the Bible, but he does see Him in nature.”

 Not a Photoshop, Katie's onesie is that short,
and Glende had this as his FB profile for a long, long time.

 Kerry Perry has lost her sects-appeal.

Catechisms and Cataclysms

Two roads diverged in the woods and I,
I took to my heels - too young to die.
(The Intrepids scattered after one conference, the head Intrepid being the first to bail out.)

Gideon commented on catechism material from some months ago. When someone wants to communicate on this blog, I post it. A few people really pursue the varying editions of the Small Catechism, which are like rings on a tree. We know about the rings but seldom see them, though they are everywhere.

Many people have their catechism from their days in confirmation class - or a soccer ball from Victory of the Lamb (WELS). Assumed in my day - memorization was good for children, especially worthwhile academic material.

Assumed today, "Memorizing will damage young minds," so they turn their attention to rock lyrics and cool commercials.

I am an outsider to editions, I only used the Small Catechism booklets, straight from the Book of Concord. But they are handy evidence to use in doctrinal histories. There are classic attack strategies - "In view of faith!" which make faith seem the most odious possible outcome of training, unless it is "faith in me as your Objective Justification guide." That is alleged to be a good trait in ovine minds. Faith in Jesus is bad, faith in OJ is blessed.

I said to DP Mueller, called "more spineless than DP Nitz" by F. Bivens -
"The original phrasing is perfectly fine, isn't it? - In view of the merits of Christ, apprehended by faith." Mueller conceded that there was nothing wrong with that.

The dogmatic demagogues work constantly to make faith - even saying the word faith - evil. Like the demons, they believe but their hides bristle. They know just enough to hate, despise, condemn, and censor.

I was examined by two LCMS district presidents, some years apart. One made sure I knew how much he loathed home-schooling. Another wanted to know if I had read the LCMS report on Church Growth. Deep guys, those WELS and LCMS DPs. They hasten to protect UOJ and Church Growth, the twin toxins of their synods.

The Lutheran leaders constantly expand their Babylonian Talmud of rules about shunning, but explain how the Calvinists, Baptists, Calvinist Baptists, and Pentecostals are good sources for evangelism. They advocate safe sects but quail at Biblical, Lutheran doctrine.

Several people have awakened me about Calvinism taking over the Baptist congregations, something I never dreamed possible. Of course, that is the problem with "No creed but the Bible." The Baptists kill off curiosity about doctrine: they make everyone as persuadable as a girl who just off the bus from convent school.

These Calvinist conquistadors - Dever, 9Marks - strike me as modern Walthers in the worst sense:

  1. Full of orders and Law demands;
  2. Relying on thesis statements rather than Biblical teaching.

If someone can embed those declarations in neutral territory - supposedly doctrine-free minds - they can make every suggestion fit into their little world, no matter how absurd.

Few laity can accept world absolution without faith, but they feel guilty if they are accused of being disloyal to Holy Mother Synod.

The worst Bible translation evah! UOJ is embedded.
This is the official WELS Bible now, because they had one meeting for grousing, the next meeting for surrender.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Gideon Warns about Kookaid

Pastor Jackson,

Lots of good reading on your blog over the past month or so.  I really appreciate the analysis on the catechisms over time.  That was a real eye opener.  I didn't understand why your paid so much attention to it initially (months and months ago), but I do know now.

This crazy doctrine (UOJ, OJ/SJ) is just but a single facet of the decline of American Lutheranism, and I am not speaking of just the numbers.  I keep asking myself "why?"  And, the only answer I can come up with is that they must believe this clap-trap.  They are always talking a good game, but they have dumped the notion of efficacy of the Word altogether.  Why else would they always attempt the enhance the Gospel (UOJ) and enhance the Bible (NIV and others).  They talk about the Word, but apparently they don't believe God will deliver or He needs their help.

I read a book lately on the Third Use of the Law (Scott Murray - CPH).  Have no idea what the author's position is on Justification, but the book was an eye opener.  He defended the position that the Law does indeed have a use after conversion. Seems ridiculous that anyone would say that it doesn't but, at any rate he chronicled Lutheran thought on the topic since WWII, after which American Lutheran pastors and theologians were infected with Barthian Existentialism.  But, the theme that made an impression on me was this:  Some theologians made the subtle error of allowing their systematic theology to overrule Scripture.  The theology was correct....until it crossed the line to judge Scripture.  Some theologians actually used Law and Gospel (as a theology) to judge Scripture.  Who could argue with Law and Gospel, right?  Doing so allowed some theologians to draw some interesting conclusions with regards to the 3rd use (some dismissed it in the name of the Gospel for example).

 Gideon is dead on target with "improvements,"
which are described in the last paragraph.

I think the same is the case with the Synodical Conference over the past 150+ years.  Layers and layers of small "improvements" in theology and so forth have calcified in American Lutheranism.  With a healthy dose of nepotism make it harden.  UOJ is just one example, perhaps the most glaring error of them all. But, it can't be questioned, because "that's how daddy did it!"  In a sense, UOJ is American Lutheranism's analog to Catholicism's Purgatory doctrine.  As was demonstrated a few weeks ago on your blog, someone wrote in and blew UOJ to smithereens with nothing more than simple Scripture used in context.

You wrote recently:  "The advantage laity have over clergy is their lack of synodical brain-washing. Seminaries train future pastors to be synodocrats. Those who conform best and think least are rewarded with non-parish jobs, high-carb dinners, and free deluxe travel. One could start a new synod simply from settled, hush-hush lawsuits each year.

So "I'm only a layman" is an advantage, not a liability."

I would only add this qualifier:  ONLY if they spat out the Kool-Aid, and shook off the slick ministry plans, etc. and simply read the Scriptures.  

This isn't easy.  It took me many months of examination after stepping back to get a larger perspective.  After all you're supposed to implicitly trust your pastor and judge Scripture for you?  Friendships, relationships, euphoria...meanwhile who's reading the Bible as it was intended?  When you're inside you just don't see clearly because it never occurs to you to challenge or test the spirits.  You're in the program!  You drink the Kool-Aid.  You open your wallet.  

Most members I have known don't even know what UOJ or OJ/SJ is; they are easily steered by ministry efforts to enhance the Gospel. They just go along because they just like that smiling nice man.  And, I think there are a lot of pastors too that have been suckered in by the program.

American Lutheranism is dire need of Reformation.  They need to shed corporate influence (let Thrivent go back into the business of paying for funerals), return to solid theology and as much as I hate to admit it, they need to downsize by giving the congregations back to the congregations.  This can happen when they start teaching the Bible again instead of worksheets and stupid thick catechisms that no one will really read anyway.  There's plenty of good theology out there; we don't need any more improvements.  The theologians that have calcified the Lutheran Church are progressives.  And that progress needs to be rolled back.


Relax, folks - their replacements will be worse.
Some thought ELCA Bishop Hanson was bad, then came Liz.

Some Clarity about Objective Justification versus the Chief Article

The heart of Objective Justification is the same in all its flavors and its names - God has already declared all men absolved (justified, free of sin, as a judge would) when He raised Jesus from the dead.

This general absolution is not the Atonement, which is sidelined and almost ignored. For Walther the German speaker, general means "every single one."

Note that in America, "general knowledge" does not mean that most people know a fact, only that many do. But in German, the word is algemeine or - universal.

Pulling phrases from the Bible is contrary to teaching the Word. Shouting thesis statement is also inadequate.

Walther's language clearly comes from Halle Pietism, through Bishop Stephan, seducer of  young girls, via Halle University, the center of rationalistic Pietism.

This odious sermon borrows deceitfully from Romans 4:25 and 1 Timothy 3:16.

Romans 4:25 KJV

25 Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.
1 Timothy 3:16 KJV  justified in the Spirit,

First impression of Romans 4:25 - That is an incomplete sentence, but also lacking a world absolution based upon the Resurrection.
What about 1 Timothy 3:16? I chose only the phrase being used, but there is also no world absolution in that creed or hymn, which is exclusively about Jesus. Six aorist verbs are about Him, not about you being born forgiven.

1 Timothy 3:16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.
Hint to all the hip modernists and Evangelicals - you are just repeating the vapid subjectivism of the Halle rationalists. They - like Schleiermacher - lacked faith in Jesus so they made it all about themselves, just as Karl Barth and his delightful slave mistress assistant, Charlotte Kirschbaum did.

What better shopworn creed with which to launch a thousand clergy adulteries? - than Barth's at Fuller Seminary and Willow Creek! But I digress - a serious weakness when the topic of UOJ comes up. But it is a short mental trip from the felt needs of Karl and Charlotte to the felt needs approach of Fuller, WELS, and Paul Calvin Kelm.

Objective Justification blends the Atonement and Justification by Faith together, rendering their new language contradictory and ridiculous.

The Atonement is the Gospel, the datum that the Son of God died for the sins of the world. This is also called the Reconciliation, the Redemption, the Expiation, and the Propitiation. Some call it preaching the cross.

Preaching the cross - or those synonyms above - does not absolve the unbelieving world of its sin. The Holy Spirit carries  this Gospel message to individuals and plants faith in their hearts. See the Parable of the Sower for how that can turn out. Or the True Vine in John 15 about those who no longer remain with the Means of Grace.

UOJists love terms that convey God's universalism, which is utterly contrary to the Scriptures:

  1. The Justification of the World - John Sparky Brenner
  2. Universal Objective Justification - David Valleskey
  3. General Justification - Germans in general
  4. Objective Justification - O. J. Webber
  5. Justification - Liars when they want to conceal their dogma
  6. The Chief Article - Zarling, Bivens the Plagiarist, and S. Valleskey (WELS graphic below). They open with "Justification," apply the Chief Article attributes to it, then slither into UOJ - as if Absolution without Faith is the historic, Biblical Justification by Faith.
 The Three Chief Article-ists of WELS,
posing formally and informally.

The Lutheran Church Methodist Synod Has Lost 500,000 Members Since 2000 -
In Spite of UOJ and Church Growth

"The Lutheran Church Methodist Synod is losing members twice as fast as we are, so we are feeling great. Besides, we have our own gay ministry. Keep your friends close and your enemies uncomfortably closer. That's what I say."

How could this happen? LCMS lost 500,000 members since 2000? They have five (5) in the Church Growth Hall of Fame, named by C. Peter Wagner hisself!

They have Herman Otten as their PR director, story-spiker, and UOJ advocate. He is a long-time spin-doctor for David Valleskey, the sainted Waldo Werning, and many other Fuller alumni.

Let's be frank - the leaders of LCMS, WELS, ELS, CLC (sic), ELCA, and the Church of Rome are Fuller trained, sometimes by zombies trained by Fuller, but bilge is bilge, even when pre-digested.

Ominous signs - Fuller canceled their own expansion plans and shut down satellite campuses when they ran out of fools willing to part with big bucks for worthless degrees.

Now the little piggie seminaries feeding off the Mother Sow are closing down too. Few people show up to spend three years plus a vicarage for an iffy vocation in a failing church body.

Will Christian News issue a profound apology for backing these synodical thieves and liars, who gladly rob widows and orphans for another round of booze?

Monday, November 12, 2018

The Blessings of Cheerfulness - Lutheran Library Publishing Ministry

The Blessing of Cheerfulness 

by James Russell Miller

“We are set in this world to be happy. We should not falter in our great task of happiness, nor move ever among our fellows with shadows on our face when we ought to have sunlight.
“We have a mission to others — to add to their cheer. This we cannot do unless we have first learned the lesson of cheerfulness ourselves. We cannot teach what we do not know. We cannot give what we do not have.
“In this little book a lesson is set for you, my reader. It may seem a hard lesson to learn; nevertheless, it is one you want to learn, and one you can learn, if you will surrender your life wholly to the great Teacher.
– From the Preface by James Russell Miller

Download the E-book

Martin Luther, "You have as much laughter as you have faith." What Luther Says, II, p. 692. Psalm 126:5.

About the Lutheran Library
Publishing Ministry
The Lutheran Library exists to promote knowledge, understanding and wisdom by finding, carefully restoring, and republishing accurate, well-written, and readable books suitable for self-learning. All titles are available at little or no charge in hand-formatted Kindle, EPUB, and PDF versions to work with most

The Lutheran Library editors believe, teach and confess the Evangelical Christian faith as described by the Ecumenical Creeds, The Augsburg Confession, The Formula of Concord, and the other sections of the Book of Concord.

Some Authors For You To Discover

  • Jacobs, Henry Eyster, (1844-1932)
  • Krauth, Charles Porterfield, (1823-1883)
  • Lehmanowsky, John Jacob, (1773-1858)
  • Long, Simon Peter, (1860-1929)
  • Loy, Matthias, (1828-1915)
  • Schmauk, Theodore Emanuel, (1860-1920)

Thank You, Veterans and Their Families

 The little girl asked the veteran, "Would you do it all over again?" He said, "Yes, for you."

The Jesuits Called it "Renewal" While the Lutherans Called It "Church Growth" and "Missional"

Remember, folks, SJ is a warning label,
like Pope Francis, SJ.

I am never going to call Malachi Martin reliable, but he is an interesting author. His book on The Jesuits should awaken many nightmares for Lutherans. Simply put, the Roman Catholic apostates used the term "renewal" as a way subvert everything in their church body, turning Vatican II, a truly Medieval congress and document, into a declaration for the promotion of radicalism.

As I mentioned in the sermon, I kept checking on the book's title, was it -

  1. The Recent History of Lutherans in America, or
  2. The Jesuits?

Given a few changes, it could be #1. All the Lutherans, from ELCA and LCMS and WELS down to the CLC (sic) and micro-minis, the Lutherans used Church Growth to destroy Lutheran doctrine and worship.

The SynCons tried hard to deny their ugly mistress, but anyone who criticized Church Growth was pushed out and all those who promoted Fuller Seminary's Barthian hooey were promoted, protected, and given Get-Out-of-Jail-Free cards (literally).

 Like slugs, they leave a toxic trail of slime behind them.

 Like the real popes, these popes mirror the corruptocrats who gave them their office. "Let not many be teachers," James warned, for "we shall receive the greater condemnation." They are Renewal - I mean - Church Growth to a fault. Mirthless Mark "hates the NIV," but Through My Bible on his website is NIV.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

The Twenty-Fourth Sunday after Trinity, 2018

 Norma A. Boeckler

The Twenty-Fourth Sunday after Trinity, 2018

Pastor Gregory L. Jackson

The Hymn #11                 Safely Through Another Week                      

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       
The Gospel              

Glory be to Thee, O Lord!

Praise be to Thee, O Christ!
The Nicene Creed             p. 22
The Sermon Hymn #236                Creator Spirit By Whose Aid         

Raised Up by His Hand

Colossians 1:9 For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; 10 That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; 11 Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness; 12 Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: 13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: 14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:

Matthew 9:18 While he spake these things unto them, behold, there came a certain ruler, and worshipped him, saying, My daughter is even now dead: but come and lay thy hand upon her, and she shall live. 19 And Jesus arose, and followed him, and so did his disciples. 20 And, behold, a woman, which was diseased with an issue of blood twelve years, came behind him, and touched the hem of his garment: 21 For she said within herself, If I may but touch his garment, I shall be whole. 22 But Jesus turned him about, and when he saw her, he said, Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith hath made thee whole. And the woman was made whole from that hour. 23 And when Jesus came into the ruler's house, and saw the minstrels and the people making a noise, 24 He said unto them, Give place: for the maid is not dead, but sleepeth. And they laughed him to scorn. 25 But when the people were put forth, he went in, and took her by the hand, and the maid arose. 26 And the fame hereof went abroad into all that land.

The Book of Concord, Formula of Concord, Solid Declaration, Article III,
The Righteousness of Faith
 6] This article concerning justification by faith (as the Apology says) is the chief article in the entire Christian doctrine, without which no poor conscience can have any firm consolation, or can truly know the riches of the grace of Christ, as Dr. Luther also has written: 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. (Tom. 5, Jena, p. 159.) 7] And concerning this article especially Paul says that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump.

  1. In the Gospel of John, believing and witnessing to the truth go together - and there is only one Truth in the Bible.
  2. This is directly related to creeds, because the people witnessing were responding to the truth, the revelation of Christ Jesus. The witness is the result of God's revelation.
  3. In the early Church, there were various Creeds and catechisms. Some poetical passages may very well be reminders of the memorized creeds or hymns they used. 1 Timothy 3:16.
  4. Creeds are secondary to Scripture, but that does not make them "boring and irrelevant" as one WELS pastor said.
  5. Apostates and unionists do not like creeds. Apostates have lost their faith, and unionists see all roads as leading to God. Both are hostile to faith.
  6. Hymns and creeds are born in conflict, so they are valuable for that reason.
  7. The Formula of Concord, 1580, came from 50 years of doctrinal strife after the Augsburg Confession. Luther considered himself a "theologian of the Augsburg Confession," as the Book of Concord editors did.
  8. Confessions are not weighty chains that imprison us in the past - they are witness to Biblical truths, which inform us and keep us from making the same mistakes again.
  9. The Book of Concord is a reference book, which we read in small sections at a time. Justification can be looked up in AC IV and V, the Apology, and FC III.
  10. We can see for ourselves in the parts are in agreement with each other and with the Scriptures.
Chemnitz - Apology of the Book of Concord - Ending. 
The Zwinglians are like renters ordering the property owners around so there is peace and harmony. They came after the Lutheran Reformation and declared Sacraments did not offer forgiveness, and the "Holy Spirit did not need a vehicle, like an oxcart." They denied the Real Presence in Holy Communion.

 Universal Objective Justification is a perfect case of this, as Hoenecke falsely claimed, "protecting the Gospel," so much that now WELS-ELS-LCMS are in agreement with each other, and ELCA, against the Chief Article, against Luther, against the Scriptures.

Luther's Galatians
FC. III. 67] Concerning what is needful furthermore for the proper explanation of this profound and chief article of justification before God, upon which depends the salvation of our souls, we direct, and for the sake of brevity herewith refer, every one to Dr. Luther's beautiful and glorious exposition of the Epistle of St. Paul to the Galatians.

This is another provision, lest the topic be kidnapped by false teachers. The editors thought so highly of this work that they recommended it to everyone for additional study of Justification. How often is it cited and quoted by UOJ salesmen?

Romans 5:1-2 summarizes Romans 4 and then elaborates  further, after 5:2.

Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

δικαιωθεντες (Having been justified) ουν (therefore) εκ πιστεως (by faith) ειρηνην εχομεν (we have peace) προς τον θεον (with God) δια του κυριου ημων (through our Lord) ιησου χριστου (Jesus Christ).
δι ου (through Whom) και (also) την προσαγωγην εσχηκαμεν (we have an entryway) τη πιστει (by faith) εις την χαριν ταυτην (into this grace) εν η εστηκαμεν (in which grace we stand) και καυχωμεθα (and we boast or exult) επ ελπιδι (in the hope) της δοξης του θεου (of the glory of God).

Raised Up by His Hand

Matthew 9:18 While he spake these things unto them, behold, there came a certain ruler, and worshipped him, saying, My daughter is even now dead: but come and lay thy hand upon her, and she shall live. 

The Bible teaches a connection between resurrection and faith, because there is no better display of God's power than giving life back to someone who has died. So there are three specific examples revealed to us, not that they were the only ones. So many miracles were performed that the Gospels use examples which teach us.

The three are the widow's son, the synagogue ruler's daughter, and Lazarus - the third one precipitating the crisis that culminated in the death and resurrection of Christ. That left no question about the divinity of Jesus and His titles, Son of God, David's Son, the Savior.

We should not overlook details, such as the status of this young girl's father. He was the head of a synagogue, so the death and resurrection of his daughter had a powerful influence on the entire group and anyone who knew the father. This is another case of Jesus taking the Gospel to the Jewish leadership, so everyone had a chance to believe in Him. If they did not witness the event, they had many witnesses available to tell them about the event. And how could that be suppressed? When something so tragic happens, a complete turnabout is going to be discussed forever, especially when it is death to life.

There are many examples of this around us. Some great difficulty, painful experience, or impossible burden creates a turning point of some type. And there is a before and an after.

Jesus raises people up, just as surely as He raised up the young woman in this miracle. Her father believed in Jesus and came to Him, worshiping Him and saying "My daughter is dead. Lay your hand on her and she will live."

19 And Jesus arose, and followed him, and so did his disciples. 20 And, behold, a woman, which was diseased with an issue of blood twelve years, came behind him, and touched the hem of his garment: 21 For she said within herself, If I may but touch his garment, I shall be whole. 22 But Jesus turned him about, and when he saw her, he said, Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith hath made thee whole. And the woman was made whole from that hour.

On the way to one miracle - there was another miracle. This gives us a perspective about how much happened during His public ministry. This woman also believed in Him. After suffering for years with no relief from doctors, she concluded that touching His clothing would be enough for healing. She drew near and received that healing. Knowing all, Jesus turned and re-assured her - He does not cast down, but lifts up. The woman was healed.

This was like being raised from the dead, because of all the physical and social problems. So there was definitely a before and an after. She doubtless told everyone, because it could hardly be suppressed, and people ask, "Have you found anything that worked?" This is how the Gospel initially spread, so there were many believers, many curious people too, with everything confirmed by the empty tomb.

23 And when Jesus came into the ruler's house, and saw the minstrels and the people making a noise, 24 He said unto them, Give place: for the maid is not dead, but sleepeth. And they laughed him to scorn.

Therefore, when Jesus arrived at the home of the synagogue ruler, He had performed a great and greatly appreciated miracle. But He was back to zero with the crowd. When He began to shoo the professional mourners away, they mockingly laughed at Him.

This is the reaction of un-faith to the object of faith. People become blinded by their version of reality and do not see what is plainly before them. Sedona, Arizona has interesting rock formations where sea life is high up in the rocks. Two different guides said, "According to scientists, millions of years ago..." And I finished - "Or the Flood." One said, "Well, yes. I am not getting into that." 

Jesus revealed the girl was about to live again, not that she was in a coma. The crowd knew their stuff. They went to lots of funerals and the poor girl was beyond hope. But there is scornful laughter, which happens when faith antagonizes unbelievers. The Epistle of James 2:19: "They believe but their hides bristle." 

1. Dear friends, you know that the Gospel is nothing else than a sermon about one person who is called Christ. And although there are many other books written here and there, and many sermons preached by many different persons, both about the heathen and the Christians, yea, also about the mother of God, St. Peter, angels and many of the saints; yet they are not Gospels, for this alone is the true Gospel which sets before us Christ, and teaches the good things we may hope from him.

2. Of course there is also at times something in the Gospel on John the Baptist, Mary and the Apostles, but this is not properly the Gospel, for they are taken into consideration so as more perfectly to indicate whence Christ came and what his office is. So Luke relates the history of John the Baptist from the beginning, his conception and birth; and that of the Virgin Mary, all which is written not for their sake, but only for the sake of the one person Christ, so that everything written in the Gospel concerns this person Christ alone. In St. Paul’s Epistles there is nothing written about the saints, all there is about Christ alone. The Evangelists describe what miracles and wonders Christ performed; but they write of no work that John or Mary did; but only what Christ did, how he helped the people in body and soul, and how the people clung to him.

25 But when the people were put forth, he went in, and took her by the hand, and the maid arose. 26 And the fame hereof went abroad into all that land.

The unseeing or unbelieving were not allowed in for the miracle. They might have remained scornful too. God blinds and hardens those who increasingly oppose His Word.

She rose from the dead, and this miracle was told throughout the land. So we can see how this great sign from God planted faith and fulfilled hopes - the Messiah is here! - and also fired up opposition to Him! - stop this Jesus before he becomes too powerful.

We would like to think, "This is such a wonderful miracle, the whole countryside should have believed in Him and not gone into a suicidal war only a few years later." But as soon as faith is planted or renewed, opposition sets in.

In one case, many years ago, there was no problem with someone going to an old-fashioned Lutheran Church. But he discovered the Reformation and suddenly it became a marriage crisis and an ultimatum.

Two sets of facts go together - one is resurrection and faith, because the foundation of Christianity is the empty grave. Through faith we are forgiven our sins and promised eternal life.

The set of facts is well known and illustrated in Europe - cross and crown. Those who do not bear the cross will not not wear the crown. Faith in the Gospel inspires opposition, ridicule, hatred, and all kinds of opposition from the New Pharisees - the professional religious set, the rulers of the synods and denominations. I can read a book called The Jesuits and check back on the cover - "This reads like Recent Lutheran History 101."

Remedies for the Malady
I realize the Reformation had its moment last month, largely spoiled by those who despise Luther's doctrine, but Reformation is year around at Bethany, because that was a peak century - the 16th.

The first remedy is a knowledge and love for the Scriptures themselves. It is fun to see that a chance remark led a number of people into studying Greek, which we will continue. That provoked even more thirst for Greek. That is not litmus test, but once someone gets a sample of what can be learned, it is difficult to stop. That can be done 100% in English because we have great books for that if only people discover and use them.

If someone is not well armed - for the Word is a shield and a sword - he will be prey to the claims of various books and leaders. That is why the Christian Church needs to renew sermons on the Biblical text, not themes about friendship, time-management, and making new friends (signs of triumphant rationalism, by the way; nothing is new - we keep recycling errors).

Secondly, faith leads to witnessing faith, so we have the remarkable and harmonious Book of Concord, a one-volume Bible commentary. There key statements that keep us from drifting into old errors.

The Chief Article is Justification by Faith.

If someone argues against this, he is against the Book of Concord and by implication - the Scriptures.  I can show Justification by Faith in dozens of Scripture passages.

If we have problems with that statement, there are many places we can go for support and additional education. I am thankful for all the opposition that made me study these topics for years.

And this is so important to understand, grasp, and apply. The great quest of our time is Grace - and that is good - God's love, favor, and forgiveness.

How do we know we really have this grace and all its benefits? We know through faith in Jesus, who takes us by the hand, raises us up, and leaves all sin behind.