A Reading from the Book of Concord 1 year series September 1, 2013 - Fourtheenth Sunday after Trinity
The following reading from the CONCORDIA edition of the Book of Concord is for the Gospel, Luke 17:11-19 for the Fourtheenth Sunday after Trinity, September 1, 2013.
It is from The Apology of the Augsburg Confession, Article IV.48-60.
What is this faith of the tenth leper by which Jesus says he was saved, rather than merely cleansed as He says of the other nine? It is the right worship of God that receives His blessings with thanksgiving for His merciful goodness instead of claiming them as just reward we deserve.
[Faith] it is to want and to receive the offered promise of forgiveness of sins and of justification.
49] The difference between this faith and the righteousness of the Law can be easily discerned. Faith is the divine service … that receives the benefits offered by God. The righteousness of the Law is the divine service … that offers to God our merits. God wants to be worshiped through faith so that we receive from Him those things He promises and offers.
…53] Whenever we speak of justifying faith, we must keep in mind that these three objects belong together: the promise, grace, and Christ's merits as the price and atonement. The promise is received through faith. Grace excludes our merits and means that the benefit is offered only through mercy. Christ's merits are the price, because there must be a certain atonement for our sins. 54] Scripture frequently cries out for mercy; the Holy Fathers often say that we are saved by mercy. 55] Therefore, whenever mercy is mentioned, we must keep in mind that faith, which receives the promise of mercy, is there required there. Again, whenever we speak about faith, we want an object of faith to be understood, namely, the promised mercy. 56] For faith justifies and saves, not because of it is a worthy work in itself, but only because it receives the promised mercy.
57] Throughout the Prophets and the Psalms this worship … is highly praised, even though the Law does not teach the free forgiveness of sins. The Old Testament Fathers knew the promise about Christ, that God for Christ's sake wanted to forgive sins. They understood that Christ would be the price for our sins. They knew that our works are not a price for so great a matter. So they received free mercy and forgiveness of sins by faith, just as the saints in the New Testament. …
60] God wants Himself to be known, He wants Himself to be worshiped, so that we receive benefits from Him and receive them because of His mercy, not because of our merits. This is the richest consolation in all afflictions. The adversaries ban such consolation when they diminish and disparage faith and teach only that by means of works and merits people interact with God.
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