“The real distinction of Lutheranism, as a practical system of truth, is its declaration and strong emphasis of the doctrine of justification by faith, or the truth that salvation is not something to be wrought out, but a gift freely bestowed on all who will take it from Christ.
“The great Lutheran doctrine, is that men “are justified gratuitously for Christ’s sake through faith when they believe that they are received into favor; and that their sins are remitted for the sake of Christ.
“When a minister will just hold up Jesus Christ as a model man there is no power in it; the truth is, when you hold up Jesus Christ as a good man and not as the Son of God, it is all nonsense. Jesus Christ was either the Son of God, or he was the biggest rascal that ever walked on earth. When a man claims to be the Son of God, and is not, he is a liar, and a liar is never a good man.
One of the key teachings of the Bible – Old and New Testaments both – is the Fall, when Adam and Eve disobeyed God. The penalty of that “original sin” was that death entered into the world. All the terrible things suffered by you and I and all the creation come as the result of that one act. “But God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
Christ’s merit is considered in election not merely as obtained for us, but also as apprehended by us – God has elected in view of faith. Have you ever heard of The Blue Island Theses?
On November 16, 1881, 12 pastors and teachers, 4 representatives of congregations, and 9 guests met at Blue Island, Illinois to discuss the doctrine of predestination. The impetus was new teaching in the Missouri Synod.
The old battles in the church are here again. Perhaps the most important one is not about spiritual gifts for today, but rather what constitutes salvation. Is it all Jesus Christ? Or is it Jesus Christ plus our obedience?
Modern Evangelicals like Paul Washer1, John Piper2, and perhaps even John MacArthur3 seem to suggest that works you do are required for being right with God. If they truly believe that justification requires anything more than faith in Christ’s atonement, then according to Luther and the other reformers, they are mistaken.
“By grace I’m saved, grace free and boundless; My soul, believe and doubt it not. Why stagger at this word of promise?
May you remember today this wonderful gift granted through faith in Jesus Christ. By grace I’m saved, grace free and boundless by Christian Scheidt, 1709-1761.
Video More hymns here.
Lyrics "By Grace I'm Saved, Grace Free and Boundless" by Christian L. Scheidt, 1709-1761 1. By grace I'm saved, grace free and boundless; My soul, believe and doubt it not.
Do Jewish people need Christ, or are they already right with God? Or asked another way, how many ways are there to God?
One of my favorite hymnals is the Church of England’s Hymns Ancient and Modern - Standard Edition, first published in 1861. An appendix was added 1868. Then a second edition in 1875, with supplements added in 1889 and 1916. This 1916 “standard” version has gone through innumerable printings and is still in use.
In all the branches of my family going back to all the people who are remembered, as far as I know I am the only one who has ever become a Christian.
There’s a woman who lives with her husband and three children in a large and beautiful home in Connecticut.
She’s not a Christian, but has had everything the world says constitutes success. The grounds of her home are lovely, her children attractive and well-behaved, and the relationship with her husband loving and respectful.