A Reading from the Book of Concord 1 year series February 9, 2014 - The Transfiguration of Our Lord
The following reading from the CONCORDIA edition of the Book of Concord is for the Gospel, Mathew 17:1-9 for the The Transfiguration of Our Lord, February 9, 2014.
It is from Formula of Concord: Solid Declaration, Article II.
The Transfiguration of our Lord gives a glorious glimpse of heavenóJesus standing and talking with His sainted forerunners, Moses and Elijah. But the message God wants us to take from it is directed to the ear: "This is my beloved son . . . ; listen to him."
51. . . The eternal Father calls down from heaven about His dear Son and about all who preach repentance and forgiveness of sins in His name, "Listen to Him" (Matthew 17:5).
52 All who want to be saved ought to listen to this preaching. For the preaching and hearing of God's Word are the Holy Spirit's instruments. By, with, and through these instruments the Spirit desires to work effectively, to convert people to God, and to work in them both to will and to do [Philippians 2:13].
53 A person can hear and read this Word outwardly, even though he is not yet converted to God and regenerate. As said above, a person even since the fall has a free will to a certain extent in these outward things. So he can go to church and listen or not listen to the sermon.
54 God works through this means (i.e., the preaching and hearing of His Word). He breaks our hearts [Jeremiah 4:3-4] and draws us to Him [John 6:44]. Through the preaching of the Law, a person comes to know his sins and God's wrath. He experiences in his heart true terrors, contrition, and sorrow. Through the preaching of, and reflection on, the Holy Gospel about the gracious forgiveness of sins in Christ, a spark of faith is kindled in him. This faith accepts the forgiveness of sins for Christ's sake and comforts itself with the Gospel promise. So the Holy Spirit (who does all this) is sent into the heart [Galatians 4:6].
. . . 57 If a person will not listen to preaching or read God's Word, but despises God's Word and community, and so dies and perishes in his sins, he cannot comfort himself with God's eternal election or receive His mercy. For Christ, in whom we are chosen, offers to all people His grace in the Word and holy Sacraments. He sincerely wants it to be heard. He has promised that where two or three are gathered together in His name and have His holy Word, He will be in their midst [Matthew 18:20].
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