A Reading from the Book of Concord 1 year series May 19, 2013 - Feast of Pentecost
The following reading from the CONCORDIA edition of the Book of Concord is for the Gospel, John 14:23–31 for the Feast of Pentecost, May 19, 2013.
It is from Formula of Concord, Epitome, Article III.
According to Jesus, the purpose and work of the Holy Spirit is to "teach" and "bring to remembrance" everything He taught His disciples regarding His suffering, death, resurrection and ascension. To be sure, this work will be accompanied by miracles as God sees fit. However, it is the proclamation of the Word of Christ by which men are saved and the Holy Spirit is known.
AFFIRMATIVE STATEMENTS The Pure Teaching about This Article, according to God's Word
4] 3. God the Holy Spirit, however, does not bring about conversion without means. For this purpose He uses the preaching and hearing of God's Word, as it is written in Romans 1:16, the Gospel "is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes." 5] Also Romans 10:17 says, "Faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the Word of Christ." It is God's will that His Word should be heard and that a person's ears should not be closed (Psalm 95:8). With this Word the Holy Spirit is present, and opens hearts, so that people (like Lydia in Acts 16:14) pay attention to it, and are converted only through the Holy Spirit's grace and power, who alone does the work of converting a person. 6] For without His grace, and if He do not grant the increase, our willing and running, our planting, sowing, and watering (1 Corinthians 3:5-7)--are nothing. As Christ says in John 15:5, "apart from Me you can do nothing." With these brief words the Spirit denies free will its powers and ascribes everything to God's grace, in order that no one may boast before God (1 Corinthians 1:29; 2 Corinthians 12:5; Jeremiah 9:23).
NEGATIVE FALSE STATEMENTS Contrary False Teaching
13] 6. We also reject and condemn the error of the Enthusiasts. They imagine that God without means, without the hearing of God's Word, and also without the use of the holy Sacraments, draws men to Himself and enlightens, justifies, and saves them. (We call people enthusiasts who expect the heavenly illumination of the Spirit without the preaching of God's Word.)
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