The Glory Has Departed


Norma Boeckler, Artist-in-Residence

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

Luther's Sermons, Lenker Series
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Bente's Historical Introductions,
and Martin Chemnitz Press Books

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Bird Is Not the Word

Chad Bird, LCMS,
former UOJ professor at The Surrendered Fort.

Bird is not the Word.


From a Reader -
Thanks for the Ichabod post concerning Chad Bird. Not surprising to see that universalism is alive and well in the LCMS, but tragic to think of the people led into accepting such gross error.

The post was so bad, in multiple ways, I was, thankfully, driven to read Luther. From his Commentary on Galatians (with this masterpiece available, why read Bird?):

Luther - Galatians, Chapter 5:
The battle of the sinful nature against the Spirit is something all God’s children have felt. If we search our own conscience and are not hypocritical, we will see that what Paul says here is true in ourselves: our sinful nature battles against the Spirit. All believers, therefore, confess that their sinful nature resists the Spirit and that these two are so contrary to one another that whatever they do, they cannot perform what they want to do. Therefore, the sinful nature stops us from keeping God’s commandments, so that we cannot love our neighbors as ourselves, much less love God with all our heart; therefore, it is impossible for us to become righteous by obeying the law. Indeed, there is a good will in us, and so there must be (for it is the Spirit himself who resists our sinful nature). This good will would gladly do good, fulfill the law, love God and neighbor, and so on; however, the sinful nature does not obey this good will but resists it. Yet God does not impute this sin to us, for he is merciful to those who believe, for Christ’s sake. But it does not follow from this that we should make light of sin. It is true that God does not impute sin to us, but for whom is this true, and why? It is true for those who repent and lay hold by faith upon Christ the mercy-seat; just as all their sins are forgiven them, so the remnants of sin that are in them are not imputed to them. They do not make their sin less than it is but amplify it and set it out as it is indeed, for they know that their sin cannot be put away by what they do or by righteous works, but only by the death of Christ. And yet the enormity of their sin does not cause them to despair, but they assure themselves that it will not be imputed to them or laid to their charge.

I say this lest anyone should think that after faith has been received, there is little account to be made of sin. Sin is truly sin, whether committed before receiving the knowledge of Christ or afterwards. And God always hates sin. All sin is damnable in itself, but it is not damnable to the believer, thanks to Christ who by his death has taken away sin. All the unbeliever’s sins are damnable, and even his good works are sin (Romans 14:23). Therefore, it is a pernicious error to distinguish sins according to the fact and not according to the person. The believer’s sins are just as great as the unbeliever’s, but the believer’s sins are forgiven and are not imputed; the unbeliever’s sins are not pardoned but are imputed. To the believer sin is venial or pardonable, while to the unbeliever it is mortal and damnable, not because of any difference in the sins or because the sin of the believer is less and that of the unbeliever greater, but because of the difference between the persons. Believers assure themselves, by faith, that their sins are forgiven since Christ has given himself for them. Therefore, although they have sin in them and sin every day, they remain godly; the unbeliever, on the other hand, remains wicked. It is the true wisdom and consolation of godly people that although they have and commit sins, they still know that for Christ’s sake their sins are not imputed to them.