A Reading from the Book of Concord 1 year series June 2, 2013 - First Sunday after Trinity
The following reading from the CONCORDIA edition of the Book of Concord is for the Gospel, Luke 16:19-31 for the First Sunday after Trinity, June 2, 2013.
It is from APOLOGY OF THE AUGSBURG CONFESSION, ARTICLE V.
The reward of the kingdom of heaven is a matter of God having mercy to give comfort to those who receive it through faith according to His promise in Christ Jesus. Lazarus receives the aid, deliverance, and protection in heaven that the rich man failed to provide out of the abundance his worldly riches.
241] We are not trying to start a needless word battle about the term reward. But this is a great, exalted, and very important matter about where Christian hearts can find true and certain comfort. It's about whether our works can give consciences rest and peace, whether we are to believe that our works are worthy of eternal life, or whether that is given us for Christ's sake. These are the real questions regarding these matters. If consciences are not rightly taught about these, they can have no certain comfort. However, we have stated clearly enough that good works do not fulfill the Law, that we need God's mercy, that through faith we are accepted by God, that good works--be they ever so precious, even if they were the works of St. Paul himself--cannot bring rest to the conscience. It makes sense that we are to believe that we receive eternal life through Christ by faith, not because of our works or of the Law. But what do we say of the reward that Scripture mentions?] If the adversaries will admit that we are regarded righteous through faith because of Christ, and that good works please God because of faith, we will not afterward argue much about the term reward. We confess that eternal life is a reward; it is something due because of the promise, not because of our merits. For the justification has been promised, which we have previously shown to be properly God's gift. To this gift the promise of eternal life has been added, according to Romans 8:30, "Those whom He justified He also glorified. 242] Here belongs what Paul says, "There is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me" (2 Timothy 4:8). The justified are due the crown is because of the promise. 243] Saints should know this promise, not that they may labor for their own profit, for they ought to labor for God's glory. But saints should know it so they may not despair in troubles. They should know God's will: He desires to aid, to deliver, and to protect them.
Condensed quotations from the Lutheran Confessions from Concordia: The Lutheran Confessions, copyright 2005, 2006 by Concordia Publishing House. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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