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Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. 11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Ephesians 6:10-13 KJV.

Saturday, April 17, 2021

Hostage to Hostas

 Patriot Hosta

My introduction to Hostas came at an evangelism conference. The LCA leader said he ran into a bunch of people going to a Hosta convention. Recently I got a coffee table book on Hostas, endorsed by Prince Charles, the elderly king-in-waiting. The variety is endless.

I did not grow them until recently, and then I noticed how interesting they were - all sizes, all colors, spreading on their own, easy to maintain, all sending up a spike of flowers for hummingbirds.

Yesterday I went out to look for the yellow and green Hostas, but they were just starting with a little white sprout. Then I saw a small Patriot Hosta poking through the mulch. Gardeners in early spring are anxious to see everything come up at once, and the plants are not designed for instant appreciation. Older roses are budding but new roses are only showing their early red leaves. 

Clethra look dead and Joe Pye is still hiding. Chaste Tree will flower later. The beauty of roses is their flowering all summer. The others, because they take turns being in full bloom,
keep insects and birds happy. 

The Military Gardening Group, always ready to spot new flowers, is already using the Overwatch (the front porch) to look for progress while drinking pour-over coffee.

The Hostas gave me a flash-back to the evangelism conference, about 42 years ago. Stick with me for the lesson. A fine lecturer described the changing church scene. Not long before, half the babies baptized would be in confirmation class. In the future, very few of the children would still be around for confirmation. He had some gloom and doom predictions which I recalled. He might have been a Fuller Seminary, but I do not recall him talking about his sources.

Gardening made me think about the conference - and the difference between mourning the lost plants and keeping up with new beginnings. The expert only discussed sociology (which is the study of middle class people). There was no Gospel content, no efficacy of the Means of Grace. Every expert from that point on, whether LCA or LCMS or WELS, lined up to tell people all was lost without their advice, grim days were ahead.

One of the big theories was keeping everyone busy as a way to have a healthy church. All the sociology morphed into marketing (sociology for junk food vendors). Churches could buy packaged programs for generating members' activities, spiritual gift inventories, and the rest of the nonsense.

In the LCA, I asked if we had any message better than "Let's march downtown and cause some destruction." That cleared the room. In WELS, it was "We are so pure, you can't help but join our tiny sect." Nobody offered anything that grew, and anyone questioning the plan was to be shunned like a skunk at a picnic. I kept asking why WELS was using material directly from the LCA, down to the graphics and fakey charts. Instead of spending so much money on Christian Ed in WELS, why not buy directly from Fuller Seminary? Wearing a Fuller sweatshirt at WELS gatherings was my way of fitting in, but it was not well-received - or WELS-received. 

"Fuller has a vast accumulation of missionary data," one WELS pastor told me. Notice the tilt - the people who sell their buffoonery have the data, so they must be honored, used, financed, and respected.

Back to gardening - I could sow the seed (some always survives) and plant the seedlings, or I could explain to everyone why it is so hard to grow roses, unusual herbs, and special plants. The only way to have a garden is to work it all the time, even long into autumn with a winter season of mulch turning into rich soil ahead.

An abundance of gardening work turns into an abundance. If a congregation cannot confidently teach faith in Jesus Christ - once the theme of all churches of the Reformation - it is bound to starve, like my boyhood churches. The Congregationalist (UCC) church is gone. The large Disciples church closed and could not find buyers for a long time. The Augustana Synod church, which became LCA and ELCA, was advertising their Blessing of the Animals service when we last drove by...without stopping.



Friday, April 16, 2021

LutherQueasy Blows Smoke To Avoid the Chief Article of Christianity

Woods' - a Calvinist - added this translation note to his English translation of the published Knapp lectures. Woods was a major figure in American Calvinism and this book was used throughout America. Knapp was considered one of the last Pietists at Halle University, which became entirely rationalist, the home of Biblical "scholars" who mocked the Scriptures - like the faculties of LCMS, WELS, ELS, and ELCA today. I own an early copy of the English version, which circulated before Walther and his syphilitic bishop landed in America.

The Objective Justification salesmen seem unaware of this passage and its basis for Justification by Faith throughout the New Testament.






Jojakim Dettmann (Random_layman)
Senior Member
Username: Random_layman

Post Number: 3907
Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Thursday, April 15, 2021 - 10:55 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post

The Ichabod site is probably not a source you want to be using on LQ much, even if it is right which it is sometimes.

A mistake Rev. Jackson makes is that he does not understand the German idealist roots of the Objective-Subjective distinction. Instead he thinks objective justification came from Pietism or an earlier figure named Huber. Also, he thinks that rejecting Objective Justification and affirming a simpler "Justification by Faith" concept he is adhering to the true biblical view.

Actually, his position is just reflective of a different epistemology. It doesn't make him any more biblical.

Because he doesn't realize the crypto-secularist orgins of his disagreements, he (& many if not all of his opponents) are doomed to talking past each other, trying to solve the question with theology, when really it is an underlying difference in their secular philosophies.

Answers Below

Dettmann - "The Ichabod site is probably not a source you want to be using on LQ much, even if it is right which it is sometimes."

GJ - LutherQueasies get hysterical when someone refutes their nonsense with the Scriptures, the Book of Concord, Luther, Chemnitz, Melanchthon, and Hunnius. 

Dettmann - "A mistake Rev. Jackson makes is that he does not understand the German idealist roots of the Objective-Subjective distinction. Instead he thinks objective justification came from Pietism or an earlier figure named Huber. Also, he thinks that rejecting Objective Justification and affirming a simpler "Justification by Faith" concept he is adhering to the true biblical view."

GJ - I have shown the source of OJ/SJ and cited it. Dettman has refuted nothing and somehow does a long-distance brain scan to explain what I think. Knapp was one source, and the translation led to the Waltherians adopting the OJ/SJ labels, because Walther liked that distinction. Huber has been explained and researched on this blog and his works eviscerated by Hunnius, translated by Rydecki. The plain words of the Sacred Scriptures are far more persuasive than the quasi-psycho-socio-neo-crypto-babbling of LutherQueasies.

Dettmann - "Actually, his position is just reflective of a different epistemology. It doesn't make him any more biblical."

GJ - Dettmann starts in darkness and ends in confusion.

Doomedman - "Because he doesn't realize the crypto-secularist orgins (sic) of his disagreements, he (& many if not all of his opponents) are doomed to talking past each other, trying to solve the question with theology, when really it is an underlying difference in their secular philosophies."


GJ - The fear in this doomed man is palpable, but where is his post from yesterday?



 The print copy of The Path To Understanding Justification is found here.


No faith, no forgiveness, no Holy Spirit.


OJ won in the LCMS, WELS, ELS, CLC (sic), and ELCA.


Thursday, April 15, 2021

Rain To Follow New Plants Planted

Joe Pye Weed, enough to rename the rose garden 

The postman only left a gardening packet today. That was it. "Only one?" I wondered. 

Christina and I were going to Walmart. She wanted a haircut, so I went inside to get her. The garage door was open and the postman left a surprise - a large box from Growers Exchange. They pack plants the way people pack prized china.'

The haircut went well and we headed home. The weather was already changing, with a steady cold wind suggesting a long rain. Soon I was in clover, literally, sitting on a bed of clover planting the Joe Pye Weed in the back yard.

Questions

"Joe Pye is a weed?" Yes, that is the name, but the plant grows in one spot and attracts butterflies and hummingbirds. It must be ordered before spring to beat the rush.

"Joe Pye grows 9 feet tall?" Yes, the Pyes began shading the roses quite a bit last year, so I am pruning them back in the front yard - somewhat.

Carbon Cowboys say, "Leave living roots in the ground as long as possible." The perennials come back every year, so they are a major addition to a garden. As they grow stronger, they improve the soil and rain penetration into the soil.

Earthworm Count

The traditional measure of good soil is an earthworm in every shovel of soil. I enjoyed digging deep little holes, each handful of soil holding at least one earthworm. The rain will further fatten the new red wigglers.

I soak all new plants in rainwater, so they can reverse the dehydration of shipping. Growers Exchange packs them in perfect shape with plastic to hold in moisture. I gave them all a bath anyway, so they would start out strong. After eight (8) of them were in the ground and staked - to mark them and warn clumsy feet like mine - I poured 10 gallons of rainwater on the bunch, gently and precisely.

We should get rain tonight and plenty tomorrow. All day I will be enjoying the work done outside by the nitrogen rich storm, tons falling down, absorbed by wooden and organ mulch.

Ranger Bob, Sassy and I had coffee before the planting began. A juvenile rabbit began to cut across the rose garden as we watched. Bob ordered an immediate attack, but Sassy knew better. The rabbit was alerted and double-timed to our neighbor's yard.

Sassy barked sharply at Bob, so I told her to come over for some petting. She likes to be asked, so she came over and got a thorough fur massage from Bob. That was a fun day, marked by a phone call from good friends.


Hawk on the bird feeder (garbage barrel). He sat there a long time and watched me like a...



Abraham in Hebrews and James. The Bible Book
- The KJV Reborn for Those Who Love the Word of God



Abraham in Hebrews

            Hebrews is the most eloquent book of the New Testament, constantly referencing the Old Testament. Genesis 15:6 is fulfilled in this unique way –

Hebrews 2:16 For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham. Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.

Centuries before King David, the Promise was given to Abraham. Centuries after David, the Promise was fulfilled by the Son of David, the Messiah. The Two Natures of Christ are clearly taught and the Virgin Birth implied in this passage. From a purely human standpoint, the entire New Testament was not based upon Adam, Moses, or the prophets, but upon Abraham – because he was promised to be the forerunner of the Kingdom of Christ and believed that Promise could miraculously overcome the frailties and infertility of old age. He believed and was counted forgiven by God.

Melchizedek

            Hebrews gives more space to Melchizedek than the rest of the Bible put together. This caused all kinds of speculation about Melchizedek throughout the ages.

Hebrews 7 For this Melchisedec, king of Salem, priest of the most high God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings, and blessed him; 2 To whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all; first being by interpretation King of righteousness, and after that also King of Salem, which is, King of peace; 3 Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually.

Lenski’s concise summary is excellent:

The genealogies of Jesus, that of his legal father in Matthew, that of his physical mother in Luke, extend back to royal David and back of that, the former to Abraham, the latter to Adam, and nowhere are there any priestly ancestors; his tribe is that of Judah and not of Levi. The sudden way in which the Scriptures draw back and close the curtain on Melchizedek is the divine way of making him a type of Jesus, the King-Priest, who, like Melchizedek, stands alone and unique in his priesthood and is absolutely distinct from the long Aaronitic succession of priests. Hebrews, p. 213.

Briefly, the lesson in Hebrews 7 is that Christianity does not depend on the Levitical priesthood of the Jews, so the believers should not depend upon or look to Jewish traditions making them the true Christians. In fact, sects and splinter groups still go back to what was left behind, adding required works to guarantee salvation, as Paul feared would happen. Abraham’s unique gift to Melchizedek is a foreshadowing of Jesus as the Great High Priest. Lenski:

The Jews as well as any other readers of this epistle were mistaken if they believed that the laws regarding the Aaronitic priesthood were unalterable and thus also made that priesthood unalterable. These laws rested only on the priesthood. When this priesthood was set aside, the laws of necessity went with it. “Completion” had to be attained; God could not permit inadequate means and laws concerning such means to stand in the way. These means and these laws served their temporary purpose; and when the time came, they had to be changed for something that would be permanent, complete, eternal. Hebrews, p. 224.

Lenski is very much like Luther in his unified approach to all of Scripture, as distinct from the use and abuse of isolated verses and half-verses to argue a point opposed to the Chief Article of Christianity.[1]




The Faith Chapter

            Hebrews 11 is properly called the Faith Chapter for its emphasis upon faith, and Abraham is given a paragraph to emphasize his trust in God, against all human reason:

Hebrews 11:8 By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. 9 By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: 10 For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God. 11 Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised. 12 Therefore sprang there even of one, and him as good as dead, so many as the stars of the sky in multitude, and as the sand which is by the sea shore innumerable.

Whatever Abraham accomplished came by faith in God, so he established an earthly estate - and with Sarah, the future of believers, too numerous to count. And yet he also took, by God’s command, his only son to be sacrificed, to teach all those who followed what it can mean for God to give His only-begotten Son. The ram which replaced Isaac on the altar was like Christ on the altar as the substitute for our sins, both the victim and the priest.

Hebrews 11:17 By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, 18 Of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called: 19 Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure.

Abraham in James

            James 2 contains a passage which the works saints try to kidnap for their benefit. This is good for the logical fallacy of emphasis, so often exploited by false teachers.

James 2:20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? 22 Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? 23 And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God. 24 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.

The author was not presenting an argument against Paul, but showing that as a believer, Abraham obeyed the command of God. We could alternately write that faith without works is not genuine faith.



[1] Almost anything can be proven with the careful selection of verses and wrongful selection of topics. As Luther wrote, the Bible is a book for heretics.



Transparency - The Lutheran Hymnal


The TLH lectionary has some quirks, such as providing the Introit for each Sunday but not the Gradual.

Fortunately, the Lutheran Librarian, aka the Lutheran Library Publishing Ministry, provided a Word document with the variable elements for the entire church year. 

Copying the Introit, Collect, and Gradual is easy for each Sunday, and that adds to the Scriptural content for each Sunday. 

The historic liturgy was not invented by Luther but developed directly from Old Testament worship. "Always the same" is not true of the liturgy. Most of the worship service changes from week to week, and the standards can be replaced by hymns for that portion - such as the Gloria in Excelsis, Creed, Offertory.



I like having the entire service, including the sermon, reproduced on the blog, almost completely - or at least linked. The blog edition (emailed as a Word document) is a portable hymnal. The video is posted for each service, on the Ustream website, on the blog, and on Facebook.

In contrast, when I have been at non-Lutheran services, there is a lot of banal repetition. One choir sang the same word over and over. I saw one women standing up, writhing around, making terrible faces. I thought she was sick, then realized she was dramatizing the repetition of a single word. At what point does that become entertainment or a search for talent? 



Wednesday, April 14, 2021

The Cutting Edge of Organic Gardening - The Creation Garden


I told one reader that we are the cutting edge of organic gardening. Oddly enough, the traditional farmer today is a chemical and plowing advocate. If a carbon cowboy (organic)
or lunatic farmer (even more organic) comes into the hardware store, the modern farmers look away or scowl.

I dig holes for plants, but digging is quite limited. The foundation of plant nutrition is the fragile fungal network connecting plant roots with sources of nutrition and water. I fertilize with wood mulch, one of the best (and slowest to decay) soil additives. The rain and fungus work away at the wood and the fungus network is strengthened.

This is God's design and impossible to refute. Creation will improve on its own, because its inter-connected software does that. It is automatical - as we say, based on an ancient funny story. ("In this district, I thought the doctoral degree was automatical.)

For example, the daisies were planted primarily to host the Tachnid fly, which attacks aphids by laying eggs near them. All the aphid powders and sprays are a joke, because they kill every beneficial insect but not necessarily the aphids. 




Yesterday I planted five Hostas known for their bright yellow color. Years ago I learned Hosta flowers were good for hummingbirds. Then I watched them buzzing our Hostas, so I planted more Hostas and provided more hummingbird and butterfly plants. 

After I planted the new Hostas yesterday, the clouds came in and watered them steadily. First I soaked them in rainwater for a few hours. Every shipped plant is a bit dehydrated, so a rainwater soak is idea. I did learn that typical plants do not like all-night soaks, while roses can soak for a week or more.

Ranger Bob admonished me for wanting to take down a Mimosa tree. "It's a hummingbird tree. Don't you know that?" I looked it up and he was right. The Mimosa stays. The five feeders for hummers are filled. Joe Pye is warming up for a summer of Creation displays, fragrances and flowers and pollinators. 

More rain came last night and even more is expected the rest of the week.

I do my rounds to help plants along. Roses needed more help or elimination. The wild roses offer little but one set of dark red roses and a summer of long, thorny, canes. Newly planted ones get extra rainwater, peat humus (Ivy League manure), and pruning. 

I even added red wiggler earthworms, though they are already growing in the yard. They arrived a bit skinny from the trip, dehydrated. I dropped them in little lumps around our garden and two neighbors' gardens. It rained that night. My first order years ago, came very late after shipping. I spread them around anyway, because of possible live ones and eggs. Soon a fresh batch came and I scattered them. The garden became much lusher in two weeks. They produce usable nitrogen and sweeten the soil, so they are as dependable as the rain in garden improvements.

Do much garlic do you like?
This is giant Allium. I may have a few smaller ones.


Tuesday, April 13, 2021

The Bible Book - Abraham in Galatians and Romans -
Bad News for Objective Justification. The KJV Reborn for Those Who Love the Word of God.


Abraham in Galatians and Romans

            If Abraham is a major figure in John and Luke, then he is dominant in Galatians and Romans. Galatians is first in composition, and Romans is first as the doctrinal statement. Paul wrote Galatians with great energy to refute the false claims of needing the Jewish law to be real Christians. The argument is clear in both books – we are justified by faith in Jesus Christ, which is impossible through the Law.

            The teaching of Justification by Faith is so clear in Galatians that only the apostates can miss what it means. Abraham was not circumcised when he was promised a son who would begin a line leading to the Savior. How could the false teachers entice the Galatians to engage in a practice that Abraham did not need?

Galatians 3: 3 Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh? 4 Have ye suffered so many things in vain? if it be yet in vain.

 

5 He therefore that ministereth to you the Spirit, and worketh miracles among you, doeth he it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? 6 Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness. 7 Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham.

The mainstream, liberal, apostate mainline denominations – including ELCA, WELS, LCMS, and the ELS – teach universalism by claiming that the entire world is absolved from sin and forgiven, without faith. This is clearly contrary to the Scriptures from Genesis onward. What ties the two Testaments together is the faith of Abraham in Christ, his example of trusting God’s Promises.

Galatians 3:8 And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed. 9 So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.

Dr. Walter A. Maier (PhD, Semitics, Harvard) created a radio ministry by teaching the inerrancy of the Bible and Justification by Faith[1]. His LCMS academic heirs teach the opposite of both – Biblical errors and justification without faith. The example of Abraham, so often repeated in the Bible, has no impact on their dogmatics. Nevertheless, the Scriptures connect Abraham to faith in every possible example.

11 But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith. 12 And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them. 13 Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: 14 That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.

The example of Abraham’s two sons is another way of defining salvation through faith or the Law.

Abraham in Romans – Faith Is Access to Grace

            The Apostle Paul, in the early part of Romans, chapters 1 and 2, eliminated all the forms of righteousness which do not enable forgiveness. Many sentimental funerals emphasize what Paul renounced – “He was a good man. He had a kind heart. He loved his children and the Cubs.” One funeral director grew alarmed when a mobster was preached into heaven by a fill-in minister. The relatives could not connect the praise with his violent history.

Chapter 3

Just like Galatians, Paul argued for Justification by Faith - followed by Abraham as the irrefutable example – Abraham believed the Promise and it was counted by God as righteousness. This righteousness is without the Law and comes by faith of Jesus Christ to all who believe. The Chief Article of the Christian Faith is so clear in this passage that people must insert words and distort the meaning to have it come out the opposite.

Romans 3:21 But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; 22 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: 23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; 24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: 25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; 26 To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.

Those who deny the faith of Jesus are blasphemers and no amount of text distortion and added words can change that sin. Yet Paul has already filled up those bolt holes that are intended by ignorant interpreters to cinch their dogma against the Chief Article. “3:26 To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.”

Justification and faith go together. So Paul uses Abraham to show that grace and faith are together, not opposed to each other. The KJV preserves the truth of the Greek text – the faith of Jesus – even to the point of confounding those who only know “faith in Christ,” which is also in the New Testament.

Chapter 4

            Nothing shows the ignorance of false teachers more than pruning a half-sentence from verse 25 and declaring victory. But what did Paul write?

Romans 4:1 What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found? 2 For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God. 3 For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.

The various Justification by Faith phrases are repetitive because the Chief Article is based upon one verse – and its consequences – in the Old Testament. Sin begins with Adam, but forgiveness starts with Abraham, Genesis 15:6.

            Paul wrote these verses, aimed at all the congregations, because of the temptation to make Christianity faith plus works to earn salvation. Abraham is key because of his justification preceding his circumcision.

Romans 4:8 Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin. 9 Cometh this blessedness then upon the circumcision only, or upon the uncircumcision also? for we say that faith was reckoned to Abraham for righteousness. 10 How was it then reckoned? when he was in circumcision, or in uncircumcision? Not in circumcision, but in uncircumcision.

This was a major conflict in the Apostolic Age, and seem odd today, but forms of it repeat and flourish today, so it must be understood with child-like faith, not with Barthian-Kirschbaum theology tomes. Imagine an entire volume from Barth and his mistress that starts with “The gift is a demand.”

Romans 4:16 Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all, 17 (As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were.

This chapter is only 25 verses long and has so much to say about Abraham and Justification by Faith.

            Everything comes down to the historical fact, that God chose this elderly couple, longing for a son, to have a son when no one could imagine. While this alone was a great miracle for them, the greater miracle was the ultimate blessing for all mankind in providing the Savior in the future by God’s grace and power.

Romans 4:17 (As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were.18 Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be. 19 And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sarah's womb: 20 He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; 21 And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform. 22 And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness.

Thus the future of Israel and the Gentile nations depended on the faith of one elderly man and his supposedly infertile wife. God works His miracles among the most unlikely people.

            The following verses cannot be adequately understood apart from the entire chapter and the preceding three chapters. Snipping and clipping verses and half-verses is an ideal way to twist the truth but not to explain it.

Romans 4:23 Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him; 24 But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; 25 Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.

We are all beneficiaries of this faith, which gave us, through God’s guidance the Savior, but also the key to understanding the Word of God. We are declared righteous through faith in Him.

Romans 5, The Summary of Romans 4

Romans 5: Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: 2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 3 And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; 4 And patience, experience; and experience, hope: 5 And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.

 



[1] Galatians 2: 16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified. The first bolded - δια πιστεως ιησου χριστου – not faith in Christ but the faith of Christ. The second bolded -  ινα δικαιωθωμεν εκ πιστεως χριστου – the faith of Jesus. Neither one is faith in Jesus, a fact skipped by modern translators. The KJV is correct with “faith of Christ.” Yes, He was both man and God, and He had faith in God the Father. Salvation comes to all believers from the faith of Christ to our faith, from faith to faith.



The Bible Book - Abraham in Luke's Gospel


The reference to Abraham as the father is found in Matthew 3, so we can see how this concept was elaborated in John 8

Matthew 3:9 And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham. 10 And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

This is another expression of John 8 – God’s Word can raise up children of Abraham from stones, and we can rejoice that the Gospel created children of God from the tattooed and naked pagans of Europe, the Picts and Celtics, the ancestors of many of us. Already during Jesus’ ministry, the Word converted pagans into believers, children of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, but many blood descendants would be cast into outer darkness, Mathew 8:10-12.

Luke

Zacharias – “His name is John.”

 

              Luke reveals many truths in a few verses. The holy prophets have existed since the world began. These prophets taught the ancient Gospel Promises of protection for those who trust in the covenant of Abraham. God swore He would deliver us from our enemies so we could serve Him without fear – in holiness and the righteousness of faith – all our days.

Luke 1: 70 As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began: 71 That we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us; 72 To perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant; 73 The oath which he sware to our father Abraham, 74 That he would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve him without fear, 75 In holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life.

The central figure is not Adam or Moses but the patriarch Abraham, who believed God’s Promise of an everlasting and ever-growing Kingdom, and that was counted as righteousness. This happened before Abraham was circumcised, forgiveness without any form of Law, civic or religious.

Children from Stones

 

            As Luther wrote, the Holy Spirit is very stingy with words, so when we see them repeated in the Gospels, those words and verses are especially important. John the Baptist taught this, as quoted above in Matthew. The concept of children from stones is repeated in Luke’s Gospel. The last of all the prophets, more than a prophet – John the Baptist thundered -

Luke 3: 8 Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance, and begin not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, That God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.

Nothing is more lifeless and inert than a stone, so this metaphor is a clear reminder of the efficacy of God’s Word, since we are no more tuned to God’s Promises than stones are – until the Gospel is preached to us, as babies at baptism and later in life when the Promises come to us and give us a new life. The reference of John the Baptist to Abraham is related to the patriarch’s faith, not his blood.

Daughter of Abraham - Luke 13:16

            The woman healed in Luke 13 is a “daughter of Abraham,” so the synagogue ruler raged that she was healed on the Sabbath, when everyone must rest and not work. Jesus shamed the ruler, and the people rejoiced. The distinction is made again, about faith in Him versus the works of the Law.

Luke 13: 28 There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out.

On Judgment Day, the patriarchs of faith and all prophets will be in the Kingdom of God, but the works saints (Luther’s term) will be tossed out.[1]

 

Luke 16 – Jesus Parable of Lazarus, the Rich Man, and Father Abraham

 

            Two great contrasts teach us the Gospel in Luke 16:19-31. The rich man is clothed in rich fabrics and eats a banquet of delicacies daily. Poor Lazarus is a dying cripple laid at the rich man’s gate, so he might beg some food from the rich man. But all Lazarus got, day after day, was the attention of scavenger dogs licking his open sores. The poor beggar died and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s bosom. But the rich man was carried into Hell, and he saw Lazarus far away, in the bosom of Abraham. His debate with Father Abraham, a noble title, is especially noteworthy because this is the Son of God teaching clearly about forgiveness and eternal salvation.

The rich man, who had everything in life and banquets daily, pleaded “Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.”

Father Abraham said, “Son, you had everything in life, he only had evil; now he is comforted and you are tormented.”

The rich man tried another approach, sending Lazarus to his five brothers, who were in need of this warning and his advice. The dying beggar is now a professor or preacher who might command the attention of the brothers who were so much like the rich man. Abraham countered, “They have Moses and the prophets. Let your brothers hear them.” This is a thunderbolt from heaven, meant to shake up everyone neutral or against the faith of Jesus. Moses and the prophets are sufficient for teaching people about the Savior, forgiveness of sin, and eternal life. The Old Testament alone is enough Gospel and is in fact an abundance of Gospel Promises and Blessings.

The rich man had a flawless final counter offer – “But if someone would rise from the dead, everyone would listen.”

The final response, spoken by the Savior, is weighted down with meaning – “If they do not pay attention to Moses and the prophets, neither will they listen to One if He rose from the dead.” Two doctoral students in theology at Notre Dame were furious with me for saying, “Of course I believe Jesus actually rose from the dead.” They said, “There is no talking with you about anything.” Rejection of the Old Testament Gospel blinds people to the simple, obvious truths of the New Testament.

Abraham’s name appears six times in this parable, because Father Abraham is the Father of Faith in the Savior.

Luke 19 – Little Zacchaeus

            Zacchaeus was short, but he was rich from extorting taxes from his countrymen to support the Roman occupation. He received a percentage, so he was motivated to harvest tax money in abundance. His rush to see Jesus suggests that he had heard much, felt deeply troubled by his greed, and raced to get a view from a sycamore tree. The Word of Jesus was certainly effective, so he slid down the tree, bark flying, to host Jesus.

Luke 19:5 And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up, and saw him, and said unto him, Zacchaeus, make haste, and come down; for today I must abide at thy house.

The people, who were sinners, murmured against Jesus going to the house of Zacchaeus, an open sinner. As a sign of his contrition, he offered to give money to the poor and pay back his overcharges.

Jesus said, “9 And Jesus said unto him, This day is salvation come to this house, forsomuch as he also is a son of Abraham.10 For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.”

Zacchaeus is a son of Abraham by faith in Jesus Christ.



[1] Bunyan’s The Pilgrim’s Progress is full of examples of faith versus the false notions of works. He obtained a copy of Luther’s Galatians Lectures and read the book more than any other book except the Bible. Those two books are found in the Lutheran Library, as printed books and PDFs, and as Understanding The Pilgrim’s Progress and Understanding Luther’s Galatians as my contributions.


Monday, April 12, 2021

The Bible Book - Abraham in the New Testament.
The KJV Reborn for Those Who Love the Word of God.


Abraham in the New Testament

 

John 8

              Nothing demonstrates the unity of the Testaments – and the clarity of the Gospel – more than Abraham in the New Testament. Readers should ask why this is so and why so many who wear the academic gown ignore this truth.

            One example alone sets the stage while the other citations show the strength of this connection between the Genesis patriarch and the divinity of Christ. The Gospel of John is a good place to start, because the Fourth Gospel assumes knowledge of Matthew, Mark, and Luke, giving us additional knowledge of the three-year public ministry of Christ and His message.

            In John 8, Jesus spoke of His relationship with His Father, and the importance of faith in Him as the will and the voice of His Father above.

John 8:31Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; 32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

This created a division, because Jesus spoke of faith in Him while His opponents taught the virtue of descent from Abraham.

John 8: 33 They answered him, We be Abraham's seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free? 34 Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. 35 And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever. 36 If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed. 37 I know that ye are Abraham's seed; but ye seek to kill me, because my word hath no place in you. 38 I speak that which I have seen with my Father: and ye do that which ye have seen with your father.

The Apostle Paul made much of this distinction in Galatians and Romans, so the earlier division needs to be kept in mind.

            39 They answered and said unto him, Abraham is our father.

Jesus is teaching faith in Him while they speak of works. Today the works are the teachings of the synod’s patriarchs, opposing the Scriptures, not faith in Jesus Christ but obedience to the current yet always-changing local dogmas.

39b Jesus saith unto them, If ye were Abraham's children, ye would do the works of Abraham. 40 But now ye seek to kill me, a man that hath told you the truth, which I have heard of God: this did not Abraham.

As Jesus and the Jewish leaders debate, it is clear that He is directing them to God the Father through Him, but that only upsets them more.

56 Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad. 57 Then said the Jews unto him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham? 58 Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I AM. 59 Then took they up stones to cast at him: but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.

This remarkable statement teaches the Two Natures of Christ and His pre-existence as the Son of God before His incarnation. Jesus’ response is humanly impossible, and can only come from God Himself. He is the divine Voice from the Burning Bush, existing before Abraham and yet speaking of Abraham believing in Him as the future Messiah, the foundation of the descendants more numerous than the stars in the sky.[1]

Genesis 15:5b God brought Abraham outside and said, “Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be. 6 And he believed in the Lord; and he counted it to him for righteousness.”

Abraham did not believe in his own empire, because no empire has lasted forever and had countless inhabitants. He believed in God’s Promise of the future Messiah, whose Kingdom of God would grow forever until the end of time.

The modern scholars pick up heavy volumes to cast at the Gospel of John, because they do not know or fear God. They have Tischendorf, Hort, Barth, Bultmann, and Nida for their fathers, so they despise the simple, inspired Scriptures – and ignore Abraham the father of faith, who is named in Matthew 1:1 –

            The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.

This is summed up in Matthew 1:17 –

So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations; and from David until the carrying away into Babylon are fourteen generations; and from the carrying away into Babylon unto Christ are fourteen generations. 18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise:

The reference to Abraham as the father is found in Matthew 3, so we can see how this concept was elaborated in John 8

Matthew 3:9 And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham. 10 And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

This is another expression of John 8 – God’s Word can raise up children of Abraham from stones, and we can rejoice that the Gospel created children of God from the tattooed and naked pagans of Europe, the Picts and Celtics. During Jesus’ ministry, the Word converted pagans into believers, children of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, but many blood descendants would be cast into outer darkness, Mathew 8:10-12.



[1] Timothy Ferris, in his classic book Galaxies, has photos of one area of the sky where countless galaxies swirl, each one containing millions of stars. Genesis 15.


Catching Some Morning Sun


Our skin makes Vitamin D from the sun, and Vitamin D is the foundation of our immune system.

Walking twice a day - as Sassy insists - is basic for health.

How many people do I see walking at any time? Very few.


Saturday, April 10, 2021

The First Sunday after Easter, Quasimodo Geniti, 2021.


The complete video service is linked here.



Quasimodogeniti, 
The First Sunday after Easter, 2021
Pastor Gregory L. Jackson




The Confession of Sins
The Absolution
The Introit p. 16

As newborn babes: desire the sincere milk of the Word.
Hear, O My people, and I will testify unto thee: 
O Israel, if thou wilt hearken unto Me.
Psalm. Sing aloud unto God, our Strength: 
make a joyful noise unto the God of Jacob.

The Gloria Patri
The Kyrie p. 17
The Gloria in Excelsis
The Salutation and Collect p. 19

Grant, we beseech Thee, Almighty God, that we who have celebrated the solemnities of the Lord’s resurrection may, by the help of Thy grace, bring forth the fruits thereof in our life and conversation; through the same Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord, who liveth, etc.

The Epistle and Gradual       

Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
V. Christ, our Passover, is sacrificed for us. Hallelujah!
V. The angel of the Lord descended from heaven: 
and came and rolled back the stone from the door 
and sat upon it. Hallelujah!

The Gospel               
Glory be to Thee, O Lord!
Praise be to Thee, O Christ!
The Nicene Creed p. 22 
    
The Sermon Hymn #656
        Behold a Host     
       

The Power of Faith


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
Hymn #198        He's Risen, He's Risen



Prayers and Announcements
  • Treatment and recovery - Kermit Way, Christina Jackson. Pastor Jim Shrader.
  • Pray for our country as the major trials continue. And help all those suffering from economic difficulties.
  • The Bethany Lutheran Hymnal Blog was finishing up a year ago, with many enhancements and Norma Boeckle art since. Almost 16,000 views.


KJV 1 John 5:4 For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. 5 Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God? 6 This is he that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth. 7 For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. 8 And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one. 9 If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater: for this is the witness of God which he hath testified of his Son. 10 He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son.

KJV John 20:19 Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. 20 And when he had so said, he shewed unto them his hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord. 21 Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you. 22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost: 23 Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained. 24 But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. 25 The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe. 26 And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you. 27 Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing. 28 And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God. 29 Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed. 30 And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: 31 But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.


First Sunday After Easter

Lord God, heavenly Father, we thank Thee, that of Thine ineffable grace, for the sake of Thy Son, Thou hast given us the holy gospel, and hast instituted the holy sacraments, that through the same we may have comfort and forgiveness of sin: We beseech Thee, grant us Thy Holy Spirit, that we may heartily believe Thy word; and through the holy sacraments day by day establish our faith, until we at last obtain salvation through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, one true God, world without end. Amen.

The Power of Faith


Background
This lesson shows the effect of the resurrection of Christ. The facts are laid before us. Jesus was tortured and killed but death had no power over Him. The disciples lost hope and only some women and John were there at His crucifixion. This feeling of death and doom hung over them until the women, then Peter and John saw the empty tomb. The Emmaus disciples walked with Him and finally realized He was the risen Christ, so they came to where the disciples were locked up, for fear of the Jews.

The divine nature of Jesus cannot be limited by His human nature. That is shown in several instances where people sought to surround Him and control Him, but could not. The sealed tomb could not hold Him. The angels open it to show He was already gone. That large, new spacious tomb remained open to show everyone that the One who created the mountains could not be held by mountains.

The door of the room was not just locked, but barred shut with a heavy piece of lumber resting in two cradles. In the movie "The Heiress," the lady of the house tells the maid, "Bar the door!" to keep out the one who betrayed her before. We lived in a house where the outside doors were chained and some were barred. The reason was obvious -  a tremendous fear of someone.

The tomb and the locked room reveal faith - and human reason. The Calvinists and others have angels opening the cave's stone door to let Jesus out, as if the Word incarnate needed help. Likewise, the Calvinists have Jesus entering the locked room through a secret passage (as Calvin claimed) or already there.

KJV John 20:19 Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.

What seems so difficult for many should be energy for our faith, which subordinates our human reason to the power, majesty, and compassion of God. Leaving the sealed stone tomb and entering the room with the door barred - both tell us what the risen Lord could do.

Our fallen nature leads us to think God cannot do this or that. Nothing is more telling than the elegant but little-faith oil paintings of the angels releasing Jesus from the stone tomb. That is where it starts, limiting the power of God. The miraculous is removed because God's work clashes with human reason.

Just as there are many episodes showing the power of Jesus Christ over all of Creation, so there are examples of those who doubt and compromise the truth. They will glory in "the Easter faith of the disciples" to keep from confessing the truth of the resurrection. As long-timers know, I asked each one of the ELCA seminaries if anyone on the faculty taught the actual Virgin Birth of Christ and His actual physical resurrection from the dead - and prove it in writing. One of all the seminaries said that they had one who did and gave me the article, which said He probably did. 

Why are there not a dozen blogs asking with unconcealed rage - "Why are the LCMS-WELS-ELS leaders working with ELCA leaders through Thrivent? Are we as broke financially as ELCA is spiritually?" 

Jesus appeared to the disciples on the Day of Resurrection, and then a week later, to show Doubting Thomas what the disciple demanded - proof of His actually rising from the dead. So clergy call this Doubting Thomas Sunday or their vacation Sunday due to low attendance. What better way to celebrate the truth of the resurrection of Christ than this? And what if the church is less crowded? Jesus appeared before a few, and only a few hundred saw Him in His resurrection appearances. 

The faithful can say, "What are we among so few?" to remind us of the loaves and fish that Jesus multiplied through the divine power of the Word.

20 And when he had so said, he shewed unto them his hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord.

The best commentary on the miracles can be found among children. "How could this be?" I have asked. They say, "Jesus is God. God can do anything." That teaches us again, "You must have the faith of a child to enter the Kingdom of God." 

God has imposed a terrible penalty for those who do not believe. They may have volumes of knowledge about the Scriptures, but if they do not believe in the Bible as the actual Word of God, they are blind to everything God does and especially blind to miracles. They will bury bulbs in the soil and expect flowers. They will plant ugly rose canes in the soil and water them lovingly and wait for roses. But they will not accept God's past and present miracles. 

Jesus displayed His hands and side to show the disciples the two Natures united in Him - divine in power, human in form - but One Person. No wonder they spread across the world to teach the truth. They reached the absolute depth of despair, fear, and doubt, but their training kept them together for those days of proof leading to His Ascension. 

21 Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.

Believers receive the peace of God, peace through forgiveness. These are fruits of faith, fruits that the Spirit establishes in us through the Gospel. Jesus only did what His Father commanded. He was sent for this purpose, and fulfilled it in spite of His knowledge of the tortures and rejection. The disciples had no great strength on their own, but He infused Him with strength from trusting in His power and guidance.

22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost: 23 Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained.

Confession and absolution are the divine gifts He gave to them and the Christian Church. What tears people apart? Lack of forgiveness - something so intangible but powerful. Marriages are torn apart from lack of forgiveness and restored by forgiveness through Christ. When I tell people long marriages come from faith in Christ, some are crestfallen. They want Dear Abby answers which is why we have a Dear Abby society waiting for the answer from some specialist. 

This is a great power - the Word of God. I have seen clergy destroy themselves because they thought they had Uncle Joe's Magic Wand for wealth, power, and pleasure. When I put up graphics of a few of them - some I met and others I heard speak - the total was numbing. The Internet had lots more.

 24 But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. 25 The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe. 

Doubting Thomas did not accept the witness of those people gathered, and he had plenty of chance to be convinced. In the middle of this wonderful gathering, he seems terribly out of place, but those who harbor false doctrine work that way. Many times they are humored and pampered when they needed to be rebuked. We are living in an age where very few people read the New Testament as passed down through the ages. A handful of wise guys took that away and substituted their ideas. Where were those who might have rebuked them? They took the easy way out and went along with the crowd.

26 And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you. 27 Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing.

Thomas became a great apostle because Jesus rebuked him. I agree with Lenski  that God commanded Thomas to touch the wounds and reach into His side. It was not a suggestion but something Thomas had to do. That erased any chance he would dither about the actual resurrection again.

28 And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God. 29 Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.

Of course, the answer to this comes from the new Doubting Thomas generation. They dismiss the Gospel of John and give it no authority rather than the greatest honors for showing us so much about Christ. "It is centuries after Christ" but we have the earliest fragment of the New Testament from John, about 100 AD. So how did he get that written several centuries before it was written, hmmm? The Fourth Gospel harmonizes beautifully with the other three, which would not happen with a late, phony, false Gospel. 

30 And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: 31 But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.

This will upset the great and wise in Lutherdom, but this climactic statement is another clear statement that the Bible is written entirely to produce faith in Christ, and that by having faith we have forgiveness and eternal salvation.

2. Faith, as we have often said, is of the nature, that every one appropriates to himself the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, of which we have already said enough; namely, that it is not sufficient simply to believe Christ rose from the dead, for this produces neither peace nor joy, neither power nor authority; but you must believe that he rose for your sake, for your benefit, and was not glorified for his own sake; but that he might help you and all who believe in him, and that through his resurrection sin, death and hell are vanquished and the victory given to you.

3. This is signified by Christ entering through closed doors, and standing in the midst of his disciples. For this standing denotes nothing else than that he is standing in our hearts; there he is in the midst of us, so that he is ours, as he stands there and they have him among them. And when he thus stands within our hearts, we at once hear his loving voice saying to the troubled consciences: Peace, there is no danger; your sins are forgiven and blotted out, and they shall harm you no more.