A Reading from the Book of Concord 1 year series September 2, 2012 - Thirteenth Sunday after Trinity
The following reading from the CONCORDIA edition of the Book of Concord is for the Gospel, Luke 10:23-37 for the Thirteenth Sunday after Trinity, September 2, 2012.
It is from FORMULA OF CONCORD: SOLID DECLARATION, Article V.
In asking Jesus, "What shall I do to inherit eternal life?" the lawyer is missing the distinction between Law and Gospel. Eternal life is a gift of the Gospel, thus not a matter of man's works but the saving work of God.
1] As the distinction between the Law and the Gospel is a special brilliant light, which serves to the end that God's Word may be rightly divided, and the Scriptures of the holy prophets and apostles may be properly explained and understood, we must guard it with especial care, in order that these two doctrines may not be mingled with one another, or a law be made out of the Gospel, whereby the merit of Christ is obscured and troubled consciences are robbed of their comfort, which they otherwise have in the holy Gospel when it is preached genuinely and in its purity, and by which they can support themselves in their most grievous trials against the terrors of the Law. 17] Therefore [we shall set forth our meaning:] we unanimously believe, teach, and confess that the Law is properly a divine doctrine, in which the righteous, immutable will of God is revealed, what is to be the quality of man in his nature, thoughts, words, and works, in order that he may be pleasing and acceptable to God; and it threatens its transgressors with God's wrath and temporal and eternal punishments. … 19] Thus, the Law reproves unbelief, [namely,] when men do not believe the Word of God. Now, since the Gospel, which alone properly teaches and commands to believe in Christ, is God's Word, the Holy Ghost, through the office of the Law, also reproves unbelief, that men do not believe in Christ, although it is properly the Gospel alone which teaches concerning saving faith in Christ. 20] However, now that man has not kept the Law of God, but transgressed it, his corrupt nature, thoughts, words, and works fighting against it, for which reason he is under God's wrath, death, all temporal calamities, and the punishment of hell-fire, the Gospel is properly a doctrine which teaches what man should believe, that he may obtain forgiveness of sins with God, namely, that the Son of God, our Lord Christ, has taken upon Himself and borne the curse of the Law, has expiated and paid for all our sins, through whom alone we again enter into favor with God, obtain forgiveness of sins by faith, are delivered from death and all the punishments of sins, and eternally saved. …22] Therefore every penitent sinner ought to believe, that is, place his confidence in the Lord Christ alone,
Condensed from CONCORDIA: THE LUTHERAN CONFESSIONS, copyright 2005,2006 by Concordia Publishing House. Used by permission. All rights reserved. To purchase a copy of CONCORDIA, call 800-325-3040.
Lord grant you faith in His grace alone for your salvation unto eternal life. Amen