A Reading from the Book of Concord 1 year series November 11, 2012 - Trinity 25 (Michaelmastide 7)
The following reading from the CONCORDIA edition of the Book of Concord is for the Gospel, Matthew 24:15-28 for the Trinity 25 (Michaelmastide 7), November 11, 2012.
It is from The Solid Declaration of the Formula of Concord, Article XI.
Jesus warns us just how dangerous and threatening false prophets are, saying they even "perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect." But thanks be to God it is not, for this is what it means to be elect.
45] The doctrine also provides the excellent, glorious consolation that God was greatly concerned about the conversion, righteousness, and salvation of every Christian. He so faithfully provided for it that even before the foundation of the world was laid, He considered it, and in His purpose ordained how He would bring me to salvation and preserve me in salvation. He wanted to secure my salvation so well and so certainly, since through the weakness and wickedness of our flesh salvation could easily be lost from our hands, or through the devil's and the world's craft and might it could be snatched and taken from us. Therefore, He ordained in His eternal purpose what cannot fail or be overthrown. He placed salvation for safekeeping in the almighty hand of our Savior, Jesus Christ, from which no one can snatch us (John 10:28). 46] Therefore, Paul asks in Romans, because we "are called according to His purpose" (8:28), who "will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord"? (8:39)
48] Furthermore, this doctrine provides glorious consolation under the cross and amid temptations. In other words, God in His counsel, before the time of the world, determined and decreed that He would assist us in all distresses. He determined to grant patience, give consolation, nourish and encourage hope, and produce an outcome for us that would contribute to our salvation. Also, Paul teaches this in a very consoling way. He explains that God in His purpose has ordained before the time of the world by what crosses and sufferings He would conform every one of His elect to the image of His Son. His cross shall and must work together for good for everyone, because they are called according to God's purpose. Therefore, Paul has concluded that it is certain and beyond doubt that neither "tribulation, nor distress," neither "death, nor life," or other such things "will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus, our Lord." (See Romans 8:28, 29, 35, 38, 39.)
50] This article provides a glorious testimony that God's Church will exist and abide in opposition to all the gates of hell (Matthew 16:18). Likewise, it teaches what God's true Church is, so that we may not be offended by the great authority of the false Church (Romans 9:24-25).
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