A Reading from the Book of Concord 1 year series April 6, 2014 - Judica: Fifth Sunday in Lent
The following reading from the CONCORDIA edition of the Book of Concord is for the Gospel, John 8:42-59 for the Judica: Fifth Sunday in Lent, April 6, 2014.
It is from Formula of Concord: Solid Declaration, VII. The Holy Supper.
Jesus says to the Jews, "Whoever is of God hears the words of God. The reason why you do not hear them is that you are not of God." The point being, since He is the Son of God, they were hearing the words of God right then and there. Yet they were not hearing them as the words of God. The same is true today when those hearing the words of the very Son of God regarding His body and blood given in the bread and wine of the Sacrament dismiss them by replacing His words with their own.
44] Consider this true, almighty Lord, our Creator and Redeemer, Jesus Christ, … In ordaining and instituting the Holy Supper spoke these words about the bread, which He blessed and gave:" Take, eat; this is My body, which is given for you," and about the cup, or wine: "This is My blood of the new testament, which is shed for you for the forgiveness of sins."
45] We are certainly duty-bound not to interpret and explain these words in a different way. For these are the words of the eternal, true, and almighty Son of God, our Lord, Creator, and Redeemer, Jesus Christ. We cannot interpret them as allegorical, figurative, turns of phrases, in a way that seems agreeable to our reason. With simple faith and due obedience we receive the words as they read, in their proper and plain sense. We do not allow ourselves to be diverted from Christ's words by any objections or human contradictions spun from human reason, however appealing they may appear to reason.
46] When Abraham heard God's Word about offering his son (Genesis 22), he had reason enough to debate whether the words should be understood literally or with a tolerable or mild interpretation. They conflicted openly not only with all reason and with the divine and natural law, but also with the chief article of faith about the promised Seed, Christ, who was to be born of Isaac. Nevertheless, when the promise of the blessed Seed from Isaac was given to him, Abraham honored God's truthfulness. He confidently concluded and believed that what God promised He could also do, although it appeared impossible to his reason (Hebrews 11:17-19). So also about Isaac's sacrifice he understood and believed God's Word and command plainly and simply, as they read according to the letter. He commited the matter to God's almighty power and wisdom, which, he knew, has many more modes and ways to fulfill the promise of the Seed from Isaac than he could comprehend with his blind reason.
47] We, too, are simply to believe with all humility and obedience our Creator and Redeemer's plain, firm, clear, solemn words and command , without any doubt and dispute about how it agrees with our reason or is possible. For these words were spoken by that Lord who is infinite Wisdom and Truth itself. He can do and accomplish everything He promises.
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