A Reading from the Book of Concord 1 year series March 23, 2014 - Oculi: Third Sunday in Lent
The following reading from the CONCORDIA edition of the Book of Concord is for the Gospel, Luke 11:14-28 for the Oculi: Third Sunday in Lent, March 23, 2014.
It is from Formula of Concord: Epitome, VI. The Third Use of the Law.
"Blessed are those who hear the Word of God and keep it." In this way the heart of faith is kept full of Christ and occupied with the things of the Spirit of God so that, swept clean of sin, His baptized believers not return to the evil from which He has saved them.
AFFIRMTATIVE STATEMENTS: THE TRUE CHRISTIAN TEACHINGS
2] 1. We believe, teach, and confess that, even though people who are truly believing in Christ and truly converted to God have been freed and exempted from the curse and coercion of the Law, they are still not without the Law on this account. They have been redeemed by God's Son in order that they may exercise themselves in the Law day and night (Psalm 1:2; Psalm 119). Even our first parents before the fall did not live without Law. They had God's Law written into their hearts, because they were created in the God's image (Genesis 1:26-27; 2:16-17; 3:3). 3] 2. We believe, teach, and confess that the preaching of the Law is to be encouraged diligently. This applies not only for the unbelieving and impenitent, but also for true believers, who are truly converted, regenerate, and justified through faith. 4] 3. Although believers are regenerate and renewed in the spirit of their mind, in the present life this regeneration and renewal is not complete. It is only begun. Believers are, by the spirit of their mind, in a constant struggle against the flesh. They struggle constantly against the corrupt nature and character, which cleaves to us until death. This old Adam still dwells in the understanding, the will, and all the powers of humanity. It is necessary that the Law of the Lord always shine before them so that they may not start evil and self-created forms of worship from human devotion. The Law of the Lord is also necessary so that the old Adam (Romans 6:6) may not use his own will, but may be subdued against his will. This happens not only by the warning and threatening of the Law, but also by punishments and blows, so that a person may follow and surrender himself as a captive to the Spirit. 5] 4. Now, consider the distinction between the works of the Law (Galatians 2:16) and the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23).… They are called works of the Law as long as they are only forced out of a person by teaching the punishment and threatening of God's wrath. 6] 5. Fruit of the Spirit, however, are the works wrought by God's Spirit, who dwells in believers. The Spirit works through the regenerate. These works are done by believers because they are regenerate. They act as though they knew of no command, threat, or reward. In this way God's children live in the Law and walk according to God's Law. St. Paul calls this the "law of Christ" and the "Law of my mind" in his letters.
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