A Reading from the Book of Concord 1 year series May 18, 2014 - Cantate: Easter 5
The following reading from the CONCORDIA edition of the Book of Concord is for the Gospel, John 16:5-15 for the Cantate: Easter 5, May 18, 2014.
It is from FORMULA OF CONCORD: SOLID DECLARATION, ARTICLE VI.10-14.
Jesus sends the Holy Spirit to declare to and through His disciples and servants of the Word, all truth. This includes and even begins with the truth of our sin, of which we are unaware apart from His rebuke by the Law, much less able to correct apart from His raising in the Gospel.
10] We must also explain clearly what the Gospel does, produces, and works toward the new obedience of believers. We must also explain the Law's office in this matter, regarding believers' good works.
11] The Law indeed says it is God's will and command that we should walk in a new life (Romans 6:4). But it does not give the power and ability to begin and to do it. The Holy Spirit renews the heart. He is given and received, not through the Law, but through the preaching of the Gospel (Galatians 3:14). 12] Thereafter the Holy Spirit uses the Law in order to teach the regenerate from it and to point out and show them in the Ten Commandments what is the "will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect" (Romans 12:2) in what "good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk" (Ephesians 2:10). He encourages them to this. When they are idle, negligent, and rebellious in this matter because of the flesh, He rebukes them through the Law. So the Spirit carries on both offices together: He slays and makes alive (Deuteronomy 32:29). He leads into hell and brings up again. For His office is not only to comfort, but also to rebuke. For it is written, "when [the Holy Spirit] comes, He will convict the world [which includes also the old Adam] concerning sin and righteousness and judgment" (John 16:8). 13] Sin is everything that is contrary to God's Law. 14] St. Paul says, "All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof" (Timothy 3:16), and to rebuke is the Law's special office. Therefore, as often as believers stumble, they are rebuked by the Holy Spirit from the Law. By the same Spirit they are raised up and comforted again with the preaching of the Holy Gospel.
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